System, A Means of Achieving Perfection
There are two defined ways for achieving perfection, they are Knowledge and Deeds. But apart from this, human being also has one more essential need, and that need is a system. A human being can only acquire knowledge and perform his deeds under the shadow of a system.
In order to get an idea of what is meant by and the purpose of a system, we can take an example of family. Family is such a gift from Almighty Allah (s.w.t.) to us, whose importance we don't realize, and in fact many of us don't even consider this as a bounty at all. Allah (s.w.t.) has not created human beings like animals. Family is actually an environment, which we cannot witness with our eyes; what we see are the walls and windows with few persons living inside them and we call this as family. Many a times there is a house but no family. This happens when people living below the same roof are upset with each other, not communicating with each other, have no respect or right towards each other, perform no duties towards each other and above all this, have no trust on each other. This kind of place is a house but not a family.
Family is that entity which comes into existence by few individuals and then when a generation takes birth from them, it actually takes birth from the laps of this family, just like the lap of a mother. The lap of the family is much larger than the lap of a mother, because this lap of a family is a system. The example of family as a system is a very basic starting point. Without this system of family a human being cannot get educated and disciplined, he cannot accomplish his journey of perfection, and he cannot reach the state of union with God. A human being irrespective of being a man or woman, literate or illiterate, whether from a village or a big city, cannot acquire knowledge and perfection without the lap of this system of family.
The system of family is limited to the extent of few members who live within it, and then with the support of each other they bring an environment into existence, and in this environment they get organized, disciplined and grow spiritually. The importance of family is like a fruit tree present in a garden which needs certain things in an environment for its growth and survival, and it is this family which fulfils these needs. If the family is good then a tree with flowers and fruits comes into existence, but if the family is not good then poisonous plants and trees come out of it.
This is the first system which has been given to the human being, in which he has to live with his own will. And with his own will and intentions performs his duties by taking benefits from this environment of a family. A family is essential, not just because a human being cannot fulfil his needs for physical growth without a family. In fact, the physical growth of a human being takes place even without a family; somehow even the orphans live and grow. Those orphans who have no one to feed and provide them shelter and clothing, they also somehow manage to grow physically without a family. The physical growth of a human being does not stop without a family.
The main essence of growth for a human being is the growth of attributes of humanity inside him, his spiritual growth and discipline of his soul. The role of family is more for the soul than for the body. Even marital relation between a man and woman, where they need each other, is more for spiritual needs than physical needs. Similarly a child needs his parents for his spiritual growth more than physical growth. On the physical side anyone can feed him, you don't need parents. But his spiritual growth, education and perfection cannot be achieved without parents and the system of a family. Hence a family in reality is a school and not just a feeding centre.
The growth and development of a human being spiritually is also limited inside a family, this is not because family has limitations, it is because the dimensions and abilities of a human soul are so high that a family cannot fulfil all the needs of the soul. I take an example over here of some plants which are planted in flower pots where they grow for some time. After a certain period of time, they cannot grow further inside the pot, now they should be transferred to a garden or a farm. This is because it has to further grow into a strong tree and bear fruits, and this is not possible from within a small flower pot.
Family is essential for the growth of a human being, but its role and significance is limited to the likelihood of a flower pot. This means this human being needs at some stage of his growth, a system larger than this system of family. Without this larger system in place a human being can never achieve perfection. This larger system can be termed as a society or a nation (Ummah). The way there are rules and regulations inside a family, this larger system of society or a nation also needs a set of rules and regulations to build an environment. This is also a lap of education for human beings.