Al-Huda Foundation, USA
the Message Continues ... i3/4
Ingredients of Success for the 21st Century
Education: The teachings of Holy Qur’an and Hadith place a great importance on the acquisition of
knowledge. By knowledge it was meant all kinds of scientific, technical, social, and
political in addition to the religious and spiritual. The prophet implored his
followers to travel even to China to seek knowledge. The importance of knowledge
in Islam is emphasized by the following sayings of prophet (pbuh): “The ink of the Scholar is more
holy than the blood of the Martyr.”
Philanthropy and Charity: One of the common sights in many Muslim countries is the omnipresence of poverty. In Islam charity
begins with family, orphans, and neighbors whereupon it then extends out to
other deserving segments of the society. Currently, the modern states in Europe
and America have a complete system of social welfare. In addition to government
programs, there are countless organizations that cater to all kinds of deprived
segments of the society. These kinds of institutions can be appropriated and
improved upon in line with Islamic values. The concept of Zakat is very explicit
but requires modern institutions to reach out to the really needy people.
Simple living: The great prophet of Islam left a shining example unparalleled in
the history of mankind of a simple and honest living. After the conquest of
Mecca the world lay before his feet. Yet the prophet lived an austere life
without any luxury.
Human Rights: Islam is the fi rst religion that started the concept of human rights and equality.
The whole struggle of Islam centered on challenging the status quo in a society.
The ruling class in Mecca once asked the Prophet (pbuh) for a separate status
from ordinary Muslims, which he denied them. Islam was the first religion that preached equal
treatment under the law without discrimination based on race, color, belief, and
gender for all Muslims.
Unity: Before the advent of Islam the people in the Arabian Peninsula were
divided into various tribes and clans. Islam cut across all ethnic and racial
divides to give the Muslims a concept of brotherhood and Ummah. After a brief
period, Islam united the Arabian people and Islam eclipsed the major empires of
Mercy and Forgiveness: Islam combined the mercy and compassion of Christianity with the
concept of punishment proportional to the crime from Judaism. The life and times
of prophet Mohammed (pbuh) is full of numerous historical events where he has
shown mercy for his worst enemies and forgave the people who had committed war
crimes against Muslims.
Cleanliness: The cleanliness in Islam has been described as half of the believers faith (Iman). Muslims have been time and again been reminded about cleanliness, as they have to perform ablution before prayer. The concept of cleanliness has to be extended from personal hygiene to clean home, streets, neighborhoods, and environments.