Lesson 22: The Need of having Prophets who Present The Law
In the previous lesson, we came to know the need for the existence of the prophets from the two dimensions of learning and training. Now we have reached the point where we need to know the social laws and the important role of the prophets in this area.
We know that the greatest privilege of life for the human being, which is the factor for all of the progress in all of the various areas of life, is a dynamic social encounter.
Most certainly, if human beings lived apart from each other, they would still be like the human beings in the Stone Age from the point of view of knowledge and civilization.
Yes. It is the united efforts and endeavors which light the lamp of culture and civilization. It is united efforts and endeavors which are the source and origin for all of these scientific discoveries.
As an example, if we consider the journey to the moon, we see that this was not the result of the work of one or several scientists. Rather, it has been the result of the efforts of millions of scholars over thousands of years and the experiences of scholars gained through group living and then this knowledge reached the point where we find it today.
If a skilled physician in our age succeeds to transplant the living heart of a human being from the body of a dead person into the body of another person and save him from certain death, this has been made possible from the results of the experiences of thousands of physicians and surgeons throughout history which, by means of teachers, has been transferred to their students.
But, of course, social life, on the other hand, does present difficulties in the conflicts which arise between the rights and interests of human beings with each other, resulting sometimes in aggression and even war.
It is here that the need exists for law, programming and clear rules? Laws can solve three great problems for us.
1. Laws define the duties of each individual in relation to society. Social duties are clarified and talents are coordinated which blossom among human beings.
2. Laws coordinate the methods to be used to carry out one’s responsibility by every individual.
3. Laws prevent the aggression of individuals against the rights of each other; they prevent chaos and conflicts between individuals and groups and, when necessary, punishments are provided for aggressors.
Who is the best lawgiver?
Now we have to see what person is best to bring laws which meet the human being’s needs in such a way that all three principles mentioned above are followed and included as well as clarifying the limits, duties and rights of the individual and society so that the best system be put to use and aggression be prevented.
Let us to give a simple example here.
Human society can be compared to a great train, and the leaders or rulers to a locomotive, which causes this human society to move towards a destination.
The laws are like the rails or tracks which provide the line to be followed by this train to a clear destination, a line which moves throughout twists and turns. It is clear that a good train must have the following conditions:
• The land which the train moves through must have sufficient strength for the greatest extent of pressure.
• The distance between the two tracks or rails must be carefully coordinated with the wheels of the locomotive as well as the walls of tunnels and the heights of the tunnels must suit the highest level of the trains.
• The ups and downs must not be so sharp that they are beyond the power of the brakes of the train.
• The possibility of landslides or floods along the way which the train moves must be carefully studied so that the train can pass through that area under all conditions.
Noting these examples, we return to human society.
A lawgiver who wants to give the best laws for human beings must have the following qualities:
1. Know the human species in a perfect and total way and be aware of all of their instincts, feelings, needs and difficulties.
2. All of the praiseworthy qualities and talents which exist in a human being should be taken into consideration and laws should be made use of for their blossoming.
3. The events and accidents which are possible to occur should be foreseen, as well as the necessary precaution taken.
4. Such a lawgiver should have no particular interests in society so that in providing the laws, his thoughts turn upon his own interests or his family or his social group.
5. This lawgiver must allow human beings the possibility to benefit from all of the advances made as well as to learn from the deviations.
6. This lawgiver must, at the maximum, be free from error, mistakes and forgetfulness.
7. Finally, this lawgiver must have such power that no position or power in society may intimidate him and he not fears anyone. At the same time, he must be very kind and merciful.
In what person have these conditions been gathered?
Can a human being be the best lawgiver?
Has anyone understood the human being in a complete way to date? A famous scholar in our age has written a book about the human being calling it, Man: The Unknown Creature.
Have the human spirit, instincts and feelings been completely known?
Are the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of the human being clear for a person?
Can someone be found in the midst of average people who have no special benefits or interests in society?
Do you know of any human being among ordinary people who is free from error and sin and who has the awareness of all of the issues of life and individual human beings and society?
Thus, other than God and those who received the Divine revelation, there can never be a good and perfect lawgiver.
In this way, we must conclude that God Who created the human being to reach perfection must send someone as a guide to place the laws of heaven at the disposal of the human being.
It is clear that at the time when people know that laws are the laws of God, they will put them into practice with more credibility and certainty. In other words, this awareness is a valuable guarantee of those laws.
It is important to note the following that the system of creation is itself a living witness for the existence of the Divine prophets and their mission.
The reason is this: a short glance at this wondrous system of existence shows us that nothing of the needs of creatures is hidden from His Mercy.
For instance, if He gives us eyes with which to see, He has also given these eyes, lids and lashes so that they are protected and so that the light which enters is regulated and the eye is not harmed.
The eye has a radius which can see in several directions without the turning of the head.
Is it possible that God Who so met the needs of the human being not provide a leader and a guide who is pure and trustworthy to bring His revelation?
A famous philosopher, Abu ‘Ali Sina (Avicenna) in his famous book Shifa’ says:
“The needs of the human being for the sending of the prophets for the survival of the human species and their moving towards perfection is greater than their need for lashes, eyebrows and the arch of the foot; thus, is it possible for Him to provide those and not these?”
1. What are the greatest needs of life of humanity?
2. Why is it that a human being cannot live without laws?
3. Give a living example to clarify the role of law in human life.
4. What qualities should the best lawgiver have?
5. Why should the prophets be of the human species?