Salaam, I apologise for the delay:(
If you have benefited from this post, please pray for my health.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
5 April 2013 / 24 Jamadilawal 1434
Syariah – The Foundation for the Betterment
Dear Friday Jemaah,
Islam came to us, bringing the Syariah which aims to ensure a balance in the development of our spirituality, intellect and souls. Islamic Syariah is a set of rules to help humankind to be closer to Allah s.w.t. Thus, as a proof of our taqwa towards Allah, we must heed all His commands and avoid what Allah has prohibited upon us
Every Messenger or Rasul was sent by Allah with a set of rules or shariah that is specific to that particular group of people, and this includes our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. As Allah says in the Quran, in surah Al-Maidah verse 48:
Which means: “To each of you We prescribed a law and a method.”
Briefly, the Syariah brought by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w is meant to ensure the preservation of our faith in Allah, that He is the One and Only, and that we do no ascribe partners to Allah. It seeks to liberate the human mind from the influence of his or her desires and protect humankind from oppression, tyranny and chaos.
In short, what I would like to stress here is that the Syariah is not constrained to legal or Fiqh issues only. However, it is also the Islamic guide in determining one’s relationship with God and his or her relationship with others, while at the same time protecting his or her rights on earth. The Syariah provides spiritual guidance, as well as guides our character and the universal values instilled in every aspect of our lives.
However, have we ever reflected upon the reasons why we have to obey and follow the Syariah that Allah has ordained upon us?
There are three main reasons as to why we have to obey the Syariah ordained by Allah:
First, to worship Allah s.w.t.
Humankind, with all the blessings bestowed upon us from Allah, is given a higher rank compared to Allah’s other creations. This means that we are created for a noble and important purpose. And the purpose is mentioned by Allah in the Quran, Allah s.w.t. says in surah Al Ahzab verse 72:
Which means: “Indeed, we offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.”
Every bounty given by Allah to us, is to enable us to fulfil our responsibilities and noble purpose on earth. This is the wisdom behind the intellect that is given to humankind and why Messengers are sent to them along with the kitab.
Through these Divine rules, humankind are tested and evaluated by Allah s.w.t, whether they have faithfully obeyed Allah’s commandments. This includes performing ibadah and following the rules Allah has laid down for the benefit or maslahat of humankind. It will then be a yardstick to evaluate and judge us in the hereafter.
Second, as servants of Allah, we fulfil the Syariah as a form of gratitude towards Allah.
Allah s.w.t has bestowed us with countless blessings and endless bounty. Just take a look at ourselves. Every part of our body is a nikmat or blessing given by Allah to help us fulfil our lives. Imagine if we are unable to breathe or move about with ease, it will definitely be more challenging for us to get through our daily activities.
The same applies to our ability to feel and experience various emotions. It is a great blessing from Allah that we are able to experience joy and happiness. Our emotions enable us to interact with our family members and friends. Through it, we are able to feel our relationship with Allah, Rasulullah s.a.w. and other creatures created by Allah.
Being grateful is a characteristic taught by Rasulullah s.a.w. The Prophet has been blessed with the promise, a guarantee for a place in Paradise, and he is also infallible Yet, Rasulullah s.a.w. never failed to pray to Allah every night until his legs and feet were swollen and cracked. The Prophet s.a.w never denied or ignored the Syariah that Allah has ordained upon humankind. What was it that motivated Rasulullah s.a.w. and gave him such extraordinary energy?
It is all captured in a simple hadith which means: “Should I not be a grateful servant”. [Hadith narrated by Ibnu Majah]. My brothers, it is the deep sense of immense gratitude towards the bounty and blessings that Allah has given to him that led Rasulullah to perform ibadah.
Third, we obey the Syariah that Allah has ordained upon us, to maintain the harmony and well-being in our lives.
My brothers, there is not a single tenet of the Islamic Syariah that aims to destroy or damage the well-being of humankind. The Syariah is based on the betterment of human life in this world and the hereafter, and is a wisdom for humankind. In principle, the Syariah is intended to achieve justice and bring benefits or maslahat to humankind.
We are prohibited from zina (adultery) to protect our honour, lineage and maintain the stability of the family institution. We are forbidden from consuming food and drinks that can make us drunk, to protect our intellect and prevent unwanted, negative circumstances. We are taught to be honest in all our dealings, not to oppress and hurt others, in order to maintain good relationships and prevent animosity. The Syariah teaches us to perform our prayers to ensure that our spirituality and hearts are guided and calm, especially as we ride through the many challenges and difficulties in life.
Hopefully, a deeper understanding of the objectives of the Syariah can develop an ummah that holds true to the Syariah, is deep in gratitude towards Allah s.w.t, and eventually gains Allah’s pleasure.