The Order of Rabubiyyat—Its Nature and Purpose
IN the animal world, evolution proceeds through
the operation of natural causes. It aims at the perfection of the species and
the eventual production of a better one. The individual does not count; the race
is all-important. There is no hesitation to expend individual for the good of
the species. This is the animal stage. At the human level, however, the focus of
interest shifts from the race to the individual. There is the emergence of
individuality, and, with it, the evolutionary process enters a new phase—a
strikingly different one. Natural forces which had so far directed the course of
evolution now recede into the background and rational beings consciously and
actively, participate in the evolutionary process. There is a corresponding
change in the goal of evolution which is now, not the production of a species
well adjusted to its environment, but the development of a free and autonomous
self capable of directing its ascent to higher levels of life. Nature leads the
animal in the right direction. Man has to discover the right path and follow it
with his own resources. He relies mainly on reason. He soon finds out, however,
that in voyaging across the uncharted seas of existence, he cannot depend solely
on the fitful flickering light of reason. In desperation, he turns to God for
help which is granted him in the form of a summons to join the Order of the
Rabubiyyat. This order would, naturally, make sense for those who have the
earnest desire and ambition to follow the right path. Those who join the order
are assured of speedy and smooth progress towards the goal of self-fulfilment.
This is what Jannah stands for in the terminology of the Quran. Man will
march towards the goal in the company of like-minded persons.
The Quran sets forth a sustaining practical
programme for this inviting enterprise. The programme is essentially social and
intended for the group the members of which are not competing but wholeheartedly
co-operating with one another. The Quran calls upon man to join such a
co-operative group organized on the basis of justice and for the purpose of
achieving a lofty ideal. Only as a member of this group, can man carry out the
programme of the Rabubiyyat and thereby work out his destiny. Individual
man possesses immense potentialities, but these can be actualised only in a
favourable social milieu and through co-operation with congenial companions.
Membership of a group held together by mutual sympathy and understanding, and
inspired by a high ideal is the guarantee of self-development. The Rabubiyyat
Order provides such a group and summons man to join it by giving up all narrow
personal ends and dedicating himself to the common goal. In such a group, man
can realize himself by serving others and gladly availing himself of their help.
Human personality shrinks and contracts through preoccupation with its own
interests. It expands and blossoms by subordinating interests to the broader
interests of mankind. The practical programme of the Rabubiyyat Order can
be implemented only by a group and by the individual as a member of the group.
Fulfilment of personality is possible only in a group, for an isolated man has
no opportunity for self-sacrifice and for serving others. The sweep for his
activities is too short to influence self-development. Membership of a group is
only conducive to this, but not all groups provide this opportunity. Only that
one offers the right environment which places no curb on the independence of its
members, nor menaces in any way their freedom of thought and action, This
individual privilege is secured, to start with, by throwing the membership open
to a voluntary act. The individual makes a contract with the group, taking upon
himself defined obligations in return for defined rights. The result of this
social contract is the state, generally known to the Muslims as Khilafat.
Khilafat or state is the political and executive organ of the Ummah,
the frame-work for the Order of Rabubiyyat. The Ummah, through the agency
of the Khilafat, launches the Divine programme and provides every member
with propitious opportunity for self-expression and self-development. Man,
according to the Quran, is expected to enter into a contract with God. He is
invited to place his life and his possessions at His disposal in return for
Jannah—the state of perfect self-fulfilment. In the words of the Quran:
Lo! God hath bought from the believers their lives
and their wealth for Jannah (9 : I11).
Like any mundane contract, this covenant
1. The buyer—God.
2. The seller—the Believer.
3. The goods sold—The life and possessions
of the believer.
4 The price—Jannah
Of these., the goods is a concrete tangible and
identifiable commodity and the seller is a living being. The other two God and
Jannah, are abstract and intangible. How can a bargain be struck with the
buyer and the price missing, or, at best, remaining in imagination. "Selling
one’s life to Allah" is an empty phrase, a deluding mirage. The contract would
be meaningful only when it is realised that God and Jannah are as
real—nay more real-than man and life. This can be done only by bringing God and
Jannah into intimate and vital relationship with living human experience.
This is exactly what the Quran does.
Misled by the figurative language in which
Jannah is described in the Quran, many people have localised it in space and
have conceived of it as a glorified earthly garden. Others, dissatisfied with
this shabby view, have sedulously searched for the hidden meaning of the
relevant verses. It seems to us that both are guilty of not paying attention to
certain delicate hints in the Quran which provide the clue for the correct
interpretation. We will first briefly state the view to which we are led by a
close study of the verses and then we will cite the corroboratory evidence
provided by the Quran itself. We have seen that the Quran envisages the human
self as a developing entity. When the self has successfully completed the
journey of life, death opens the door to the prospect of fresh and more glorious
possibilities. Joy at the accomplishment of a worthy task is blended with
elation at the prospect of fresh opportunities. Having realised a certain
quantum of potentialities during its earthly career, the self becomes aware of
what is still left to be actualised. This state of mind, a blend of joy and zest
for action, is Jannah rightly conceived. The term bliss or beatitude may
appropriately be applied to this frame of mind. However, man can have, at best,
a very imperfect idea of this state of existence. It is radically different from
the experience of this life, and it cannot be described in words since they can
note only the latter. It is imperative, however, to have some notion of the
bliss that awaits a developed self of a man when he dies. This can be done only
through symbols. The higher plane of existence cannot be described, but it can
be symbolised. That is why the Quran has recourse metaphorical language in
regard to Jannah:
A similitude of the Jannah which is
promised unto those keep their duty to Allah: underneath it streams flow; its
fruit everlasting and its shade (13: 35; 47 : 15).
"Similitude" is the key-word in the above verse.
It is significant and highly suggestive. We are clearly warned against insisting
on the literal meaning of the words in which the pleasures and comforts of
Jannah are described. We must heed the admonition that they are merely
metaphors which hint at but do not convey an exact idea of the state of
consciousness which is termed Jannah
In fact, Jannah cannot be described: it can
only be symbolised. The higher plane of existence can neither be visualised nor
imagined by the denizens of the lower plane. The Quran is explicit on this
point, as the following verse shows:
No one knows what joy of the eye is reserved for
them as a reward for what they do (32 : 17).
Another verse of the Quran guides us to the true
conception of Jannah. We are told that Jannah is not to be
regarded as a strictly circumscribed region but as coterminous with existence,
provided existence is in unison with the Divine:
The Jannah is as wide as are the heavens
and the earth (3 : 132 .57 : 21).
Being a state of mind, Jannah is not
unapproachable and inaccessible to men on earth. The good man, living in harmony
with the Will of God (i.e., His Laws), has foretaste of Jannah. The Quran
speaks of life lived in accordance with its teaching as "heavenly." We catch
glimpses of Jannah in this life and this fact makes Jannah real to
us. Jannah is tied to our present experience and, therefore, it is not a
mere figment of imagination.
The question is often asked: Why in the Quran
Jannah is depicted in sensuous terms? It is not difficult to answer it if we
bear in mind two important facts. In the first place, a state of existence so
dissimilar to our present one can only be suggested with the help of objects and
experiences familiar to us. Of these, only those are selected which bear some,
even though very slight, resemblance to the accompaniments of the higher plane.
Terms borrowed from our present experience are employed to suggest, but only to
suggest, the other plane.
The second consideration, to be borne in mind is
that Quran (though meant for the whole of mankind) was initially addressed to a
people who were conditioned by historical and geographical factors to value
certain things comforts very highly. The Arabs had little liking for abstract
thinking and metaphysical speculation. Perceptible objects alone were real to
them. They had no tendency to deify abstract ideas. They paid heed only to that
which appealed to their senses. Secondly, they lived in a barren country. All
around them was the wide expanse of the arid desert—life was hard, comforts very
few. Above all things, they valued cool springs, green shady trees laden with
fruit, running streams and milk and honey. By means of these familiar and
concrete objects, the Quran strives to evoke a sense of the richness of
existence at the higher plane. While making use of sensuous terms, the Quran
never misses opportunity of putting people on their guard by hinting that the
words are not to be taken in the literal sense. It tells them that they will not
only get the garden they want but also something much more desirable. When the
heathen asked the Rasool to call upon God to send down a garden for him,
the Quran replied, "Blessed is He, Who, if He will, will assign thee better than
all that—gardens underneath which streams flow—and assign thee palaces" (25 :
Moreover., the Arabs were a poor people and were
surrounded by rich nations. They naturally cast envious glances at the wealth
and luxury of their more fortunate neighbours. The Quran assured them that if
they were good, they would get all these things and even more. It is obvious
that the Quran is humouring crude simple men so that they may be induced to turn
to the right path. They were impervious to any other kind of appeal.
Incidentally, we also note that the Quran sees no harm in the enjoyment of the
good things of this world. It does not encourage men to despise the good things,
nor does it approve of asceticism and self-abnegation:
And Allah has promised such of you as believe and
act according to His programme that He will surely give them power in even as He
gave power to those who were before them; and will surely establish for them
their Din, which He has approved for them and will surely change for them
their fear into security (24 : 55).
The above verse raises the question of the rise
and fall of nations. A nation suddenly rises to a position of power and glory
and then, after a short or long period, falls into decay and is supplanted by
another more vigorous nation. Here too we see the working of an
unalterable law, the law of survival of nations. This is basically a moral law.
As long as a nation, by its achievements in the fields of knowledge and action,
helps forward the progress of humanity, it continues to flourish and prosper.
The moment its activities impede the development of mankind, it is doomed to
decay and extinction. We see this law operative throughout human history. The
lives of all nations are governed by this law The fate of nations depends
on moral value and not on the possession of brute force. Note what the Quran
says about this :
We (thus) caused you to inherit their land and
their houses and their wealth, and land ye have not yet trodden (33: 27).
That nation inherits the earth which has, of its
own accord, joined the Order of Rabubiyyat and has implemented its
programme by fostering and developing the absolute values and creating the
proper atmosphere for the development of free selves. Such nation, on entering
upon its inheritance exclaims in the words of the Quran:
Thanks to God Who has fulfilled His promise
to us and has made us to inherit the land. . . . . We may dwell in
Jannah wherever we please. So bounteous is the reward of those who work
This verse reveals the true nature of Jannah
and stresses the continuity between this life and the Hereafter. It is
clear that Jannah is a state of existence and although the good enter on
it only after death, they can, when their life is attuned to the Divine Will,
enjoy a foretaste of it even in this life. The fact that it can be anticipated
in this life shows that it is not to be regarded as a locality. The
characteristic of this plane of existence is that the basic needs of the
physical self are provided for, so that the real self is free to develop and
seek fulfilment. The following verse, addressed to Adam refers to his point:
It is (vouchsafed) unto thee that thou shalt not
hunger therein, (in Jannah), nor shalt thou be naked ; and thou shalt not
thirst therein nor be exposed to the sun's heat (20 : 118-119).
Above all things, the body needs food, clothes and
shelter. When these are provided the mind can pursue higher goals. However, it
is not only these things that will be provided but also others which, though not
necessary, yet add to the charm of life and, therefore, are desired :
They shall be adorned therein with bracelets of
gold and pearls, and their garments therein shall be silk (22 : 23). Dishes of
gold and bowls shall be carried round to them (43 : 71). Also fruits in
abundance (43 : 73). Upon them shall be robes of fine green silk and of brocade
(76 : 21). And flesh of fowls that they desire (56 : 21).
No doubt, the language is metaphorical but
precisely because it is metaphorical it serves a dual purpose. With reference to
this life, the words used above denote concrete material objects which are
desirable and were passionately desired by the Arabs. With reference to the
Hereafter, the same words symbolise the joys of a higher level of existence. It
should be noted that the Arabs, by following the teaching of the Quran, actually
acquired an abundance of all the objects promised in this life, as well
as in the next. They are exhorted to enjoy the good things in this world while
feeling grateful to God. Enjoyment of life is not an obstacle to the attainment
of the higher purpose before man, if he is not immersed in
pleasure and his self remains free and detached. The early Muslims fulfilled
this condition and their selves remained free in the midst of the wealth that
conquest brought to them. Within a few years, the Arabs found themselves in
possession of jewelled bangles, utensils of gold and silver, silken robes,
cushioned divans, cups of exquisite beauty, the fertile fields and fruit gardens
of Syria, Iraq and Egypt, rivers and hill-sides covered with forest. No wonder
if they felt that paradise had come down to earth : but the joys of this life
only whetted their desire for the ineffable joy of the Jannah that
awaited them. In the midst of these luxuries they enjoyed that peace of mind
which no emperor or conqueror had experienced. It was because the enjoyment of
all these, good things did not deflect them from the path of self-development
and because the interests of the real self continued to be of paramount
importance to them, that wealth made them not proud and arrogant but humble and
grateful to God :
And they shall say : Thanks to Allah Who hath put
grief away from us (35 : 34).
They had a foretaste of the peace that reigns in
Therein shall they hear no vain talk, but only
peace (19 : 62).
Feelings of ill-will and rancour cannot enter a
mind wherein love and peace hold sway :
And we will remove whatever rancour may be in
their breasts. Face to face (they rest) on couches raised (15 : 47).
They taste the joy of disinterested
companionship and are members of a society which pursues the good and the
beautiful with a single-minded devotion. The earthly career is but the prelude
to the real development of the self of man. The joy of self-fulfilment is
symbolised by a heavenly beverage:
Verily, the righteous shall drink of a cup mixed
with (the water of) Kafur, a fountain whereof the servants of God shall
drink and make it gush forth abundantly (76 : 5-6).
A member of such a society makes steady progress
in self-realisation. If be fails to keep pace with his comrades, the
responsibility lies on his own shoulders. The Quran says :
This is a warning to men. To him of you who
desires to advance or lag behind. Every self lies in pledge for its own deeds
(74 : 36-38).
The path of those who move forward, is illumined
by the "light of their forehead," moving along with them. They are thankful for
the light and desire more of it. "Our Rabb! make perfect for us
our light" (66 :8). They continue to climb higher and higher in the scale of
being. Their progress is hampered by nothing, as the Quran states clearly :
For those who keep their duty to their Rabb,
for them are higher apartments over which are (other) high apartments built,
streams running beneath them (39 : 20).
This is the Jannah which the Order of
Rabubiyyat assures to those who "sell their life and what they possess for
the cause of Allah."
Jannah, therefore, is not a mere abstract
idea. The believers feel it to be real and eminently desirable. They can form an
idea of it on the basis of the foretaste of it during this life. It is thus
interlocked with living experience.
We have seen that the covenant described in an
earlier section, is between God and man. Man surrenders to God his life and
possessions, and God in return awards Jannah to him. How could this
exchange take place ? Where to contact God ? How can life and possessions be
handed over to Him ? On the question of contact with God, the answer is simple.
God is in fact in communication with us when we recite and understand what He
has revealed in the Quran. That is how we come into contact with Him.
As regards the question of delivering the goods, a
satisfactory answer can be given only in the context of the Order of
Rabubiyyat. This order is designed to help man to develop all his
potentialities and build up such a wholesome and integrated personality that it
can withstand the shock of death and survive physical dissolution. Man can
achieve this end not in seclusion but in a society of like-minded persons and
through mutual help and co-operation. Such a society is the embodiment of the
Order of Rabubiyyat. It is organised on a contractual basis and its
membership is open to all who care to enter it and associate themselves with its
aims and ideals. Only a bold ideal nursed with conviction gives meaning to life.
In the absence of an ideal, human life becomes impoverished, humdrum, desultory
and meaningless. The more lofty the ideal, the more excelsior is the life. So.
when man shares the high ideal of his society, and the society is animated by
the spirit of the Order of Rabubiyyat, his personality is enriched and
its progress stimulated. In this accelerated development, he recognises, such an
advantage that he is motivated to keep up the Order—the vehicle of his
progress—at any cost, even, if need be, at the cost of his life and all that he
possesses. It is then that the bargain is struck and covenant fully implemented.
Muhammad (P), the bearer of the last Revelation was the head of the society
embodying the Order of Rabubiyyat. The men who put their lives and
possessions at his disposal were really selling these to God, in the terms of
the Quran :
Surely those who swear allegiance to you do but
swear allegiance to Allah; the hand of Allah is above their hands (48 : 10).
It is the society which gives concrete expression
to the Order of Rabubiyyat, and the head of that society is, so to say,
the "representative" of God in the sense that he takes upon himself the
stupendous task of discharging the responsibilities which belonged to God in
respect of His creation, for example, providing them with means of subsistence
and of enforcing His Laws in the, land. They are thus authorised to make such a
contract with others. The reason is not difficult to discern : the leader of
such a society can only be one who has surrendered himself to God and has
identified his will completely with the Divine Will. Obviously, the verse which
commands men to "spend in the name of Allah" and "lend unto Allah" can only mean
that the "price of Jannah" is to be paid to the central authority of the
Rabubiyyat society. The society will naturally utilise the
resources placed at its disposal for the enhancement and enrichment of human
life and personality.
The Order of Rabubiyyat initiates a new
process of evolution—moral evolution. No man who values the possibilities opened
out to him can remain indifferent to this process of evolution. He will be only
too willing to sacrifice all he possesses for the sake of the perfection he can
attain. Those who join the Rabubiyyat Order and dedicate themselves to
the pursuit of self-realisation regard no price too high for its attainment.
They desire only the good, whether in this life or in the Hereafter. Rightly do
Our Rabb ! give us good in this world and
good in the Hereafter
(2 : 201).
Problem of Subsistence
The real self may eventually become capable of
subsisting by itself., but during its earthly career it is more or less
completely dependent on the body. Bodily needs, therefore., have a prior claim
on man. The body can survive only if the satisfaction of its basic needs is not
delayed too long. Hunger is the most powerful of these biological drives. A
hungry man has no eyes for anything but that which promises to appease his
hunger. Only when he has a plentiful supply of food, does man turn his mind to
higher interests such as art, science and religion. Before engaging in the
pursuit of the good, man demands an assurance that he and his children will not
starve for want of food. The Quran gives this assurance:
We will provide for you and your children (6 :
The Order of Rabubiyyat, therefore, holds
itself responsible for providing its members with the means of sustenance. The
serving of man’s physical needs, though not an end in itself, is the grim
reality to be faced. Once this requirement is met, the mind is free to indulge
in higher pursuits. The ideal of self-realisation can appeal only
to him whose mind is not assailed with pangs Of hunger. Man, therefore, desires
economic security first of all. But man does not want only to live; he
wants to live well. As soon as the problems of physical survival are off his
mind, he turns to matters that enrich and uplift life. This takes him from the
individual to the collective survival. He tries to visualise the kind of social
order that ought to be, and the enduring values which can perpetuate it.
That is why before covering the higher issues the Quranic society regards it as
its first obligation to ensure for all its members the means of supporting life.
Only when this responsibility has reasonably been discharged, the society
summons its members to embark on the enterprise of self-development. However,
the Rabubiyyat society cannot exist in isolation. It cannot confine
Rabubiyyat to its own members. Such a narrow outlook would impede their
progress. Its outlook has to embrace the whole of mankind. It has to interest
itself in man, wherever he may be and whatever allegiances he may
hold. It believes that each man is unique and has his own contribution to make.
It has, therefore, to cater for a congenial atmosphere for all mankind so that
no talent is lost. It has to pursue the goal of economic security for all men.
It devotes itself to the enrichment and development of life and it will
not be true to itself if it cares only for its own members. Its programme must
reflect the Divine Attribute of the "Rabb of all mankind" (114 : 1).
And there is no Daabah (moving thing) on
earth but its provision is with Allah (11.6).
The word "Daabbah" (in the verse quoted
above and meaning "a moving thing") is applied to both man and animal. The Order
of Rabubiyyat holds itself responsible for providing for the needs of all
living beings because it is the chief agency for the establishment of din, or,
in other words, "kingdom of heaven" on earth for the development and expansion
of life and beautification of the universe in which we live.
This brings us to a question round which heated
controversy has raged for more than a century. If society makes ample provision
for the needs of its members, will not they be left with no incentive to work ?
Will not they become both lazy and selfish? They will become lazy because they
can live in comfort without having to do a stroke of work. They will become
selfish too, because being content to enjoy the comforts provided for them, they
will hardly give a thought to those who are less fortunate than themselves. The
members of such a society will, therefore, be up physically but down morally.
Those who defend the Capitalistic system argue that a Communistic society cannot
but deprive man of the chief incentive to work. Man finds work irksome and, left
to himself) he would rather play than work. He works because he wants more
comforts and luxuries, or more wealth and power. In an egalitarian society in
which the individual gets only what he needs, whether he works or not,
production will necessarily fall and less and less will be available for
distribution. Despite equitable distribution of wealth such a society will
collapse sooner or later. In a Capitalistic society, on the other hand, there is
full scope for private enterprise and individual initiative. Everyone works
because he knows that he will enjoy the fruits of his labour. National wealth
increases and the people are hardworking and prosperous. This is, generally,
what the protagonists of Capitalistic system say.
Capitalism, however, fails to look at the other
side of the picture. While making the rich richer, it has often driven the poor
to the verge of starvation. The "prophets" of this system declared this in
unequivocal words. Defoe argued, in his pamphlet entitled Giving alms no
charity and employing charily and employing the poor a grievance to the nation,
If the poor were relieved they would remain idle,
or alternatively that if they set to work in public institutions, the private
manufacturer was equally deprived of his source of labour, the
conclusion–expressed in modern term–being that they should be thrown on the
market and allowed to starve if they failed to find a place there.1
Mandeville pointed the conclusion in his Fable of
The poor have nothing to stir them up to be
serviceable but their wants, which it is prudence to relieve but folly to cure.
To make society happy it is necessary that great numbers should be wretched as
well as poor.2
In more clear terms, William Townsend declared in
his Dissertation on the Poor Laws that:
Hunger will tame the fiercest animals, it will
teach decency and civility, obedience and subjugation, to the most perverse. In
general, it is only hunger can spur and goad them (the poor) on to labour.3
This philosophy has brought unspeakable suffering
and misery to the masses. It provides moral sanction for the ruthless
exploitation of the subjugated and weaker nations. In desperation, the workers
and the weaker people rose in revolt. The struggle took a heavy toll of life is
still going on. A system in which the weak and the simple go to the wall
while the unscrupulous have their own way, cannot be expected to encourage the
development of free and good men.
The Communists seek to overthrow the Capitalist
state and, in its place, they want to set up a totalitarian order. The remedy is
worse than the disease. No doubt, in a Communist society every man is assured of
employment and his basic needs are provided for : but he can hardly be said to
be a free man in a free society. He has been reduced to the status of a
mere cog in gigantic machine. He is the member, or rather a part, of a highly
regimented society. In action and thought he must conform to the standard set up
by party leadership. He is not permitted to think, choose and judge for
himself. In the Rabubiyyat society man sells his life to God. In
the Communist state he sells his mind to the state. He perceives, remembers,
imagines things and believe only what the state want him to do. He sells his
individuality—his self—to the state. He is no longer an end in himself; he is
merely the means to the objectives of the state. In short, he is reduced to a
status lower than that of a serf or a slave; to the status of a mindless
machine. How cab the development of a free self be possible in such a society?
In the Quranic society man is a volunteer; in the Communist state, a tool. This
is but the natural corollary of the philosophy of life on which the Communistic
order is based.
In the West, during the last decade the idea of a
welfare state has appealed to many thinking men. The welfare state, like the
Quranic society, is intended to provide for the basic needs of citizen. Such a
state, however, still remains as an ideal, attainable perhaps but not as yet
realised. Even if it is set up, will its members have sufficient incentive to
work when they already have all they need ? The Quranic society, like the ideal
welfare state, seeks to place man above care and want but unlike the
welfare state, it does not weaken but rather stimulates the incentive to work.
It inculcates in man that the only ideal worthy of him is the full development
of all his latent powers and that he can realise this ideal only through the
disinterested service of mankind. He has to give and not to take.
He must work, not for himself but for others. He is fired with the ambition to
work hard for the enrichment of the life of all men, because it is only in
this way that he can realise himself. This urge is so great that economic
security does not impair the incentive to work. It is true that bread is the
staff of life, but it is equally true that man does not live by bread alone.
Both his physical needs and his higher aspirations must be satisfied if he is to
enjoy real happiness. Prof. Hawtrey's pregnant remark deserves careful
What differentiates economic systems from one
another is the character of the motives they invoke to induce people to work.4
The fact is that materialistic concept of life
cannot provide the motive to work hard for the benefit of others. It is here
that both the Capitalistic and the Communistic systems fail to achieve the
desired end. Christian states in the West, no doubt., profess to believe in God,
but since they are all secular, they are, for practical purposes, as "God-less"
as any Communist State. Materialistic concept of life cannot raise man above
animal level at which there is no incentive for sacrificing one's own interest
for the welfare of others : animals have no values and hence are incapable of
conceiving the idea of altruism. The Communistic philosophy of life cannot,
therefore, provide a foundation firm enough to bear the load of the huge
structure of Communistic social order. This is possible only in the
Rabubiyyat Order based on Quranic concept of life, according to which the
ideal is the development of the human self, and the self develops in
proportion to what one does and gives for the benefit of others. This is one of
the Permanent Values. Communist economic system blended with Quranic Permanent
Values is the only solution of the world problems today. This, in nutshell, is
the Quranic Social Order. "Bolshevism plus God, wrote Iqbal to Sir Francis
Younghusband, "is almost identical with Islam."5
This is not the place to enter into a discussion
of the aims and ideals of Mysticism. We will, however, content ourselves with
pointing out the difference between the ways of life advocated by Islam and
Mysticism. The mystic, believing that his soul has been polluted by contact with
matter, pursues the goal of purifying it and delivering it from the evil grip of
matter. He believes that he can accomplish this task by withdrawing from the
world, living in seclusion and practising self-mortification and
self-abnegation. This view, is based on the duality of matter and spirit, a view
alien to Islam. Even, apart from this, Islam disapproves of both the goal and
the methods by which it is to be attained. For Islam, the goal of man is
self-development and it is to be achieved not by shunning the world but by
making full use of the opportunities it affords. Islam supports the view that
man can enrich his life through the enrichment of all life. Man is exhorted to
produce goods not for himself alone but for the benefit of all men. The Quran
declares that the man who believes he is developing his self in seclusion, is
only deceiving himself:
Have you not seen those who think that their
personality is developing. Nay, it is only through the Laws given by Allah that
personality can develop (4 : 49).
The same idea is elaborated in the following verse
Ascribe not "growth of personality" to yourselves.
God is best aware of one who abides by His Laws (53 : 32).
Again the Quran asserts :
Only his personality develops who gives his wealth
(92 : 18).
According to the teachings of Islam, only that man
succeeds in developing his self who first deserves what he gets, and what he
gets, he gives freely to others. It is not an act of charity but a duty laid on
free rational beings.
Monasticism too is alien to Islam. The cloistered
life hinders the growth of the self. It is by co-operating with others for the
good of all mankind that man makes progress in self-development. The Quran says
But monasticism, they (the Christians) instituted
it themselves only as seeking the good will of God ; yet they could not observe
it with its due observance (as it is not possible to do so) (57 : 27).
The best way to realise oneself is through
membership of the Order of Rabubiyyat, which is a society dedicated to
the pursuit of the absolute values and to the service of all mankind.
1. Quoted by E. H. Carr, in The New Society, pp. . 41-42.
4. Ibid., p. 60.
published in the daily Civil and Ministry Gazette, Lahore, dated 30th July 1931.