Someone may suppose that if the next world's reward is set as a general motive of man's social life this will cause the other motives of worldly life which depend on the natural structure of man, to be destroyed. And if these motives are destroyed, it will disrupt social order and will downgrade it to the level of monastic life, or living in caves.
How can a person pay attention only to one of the many goals of nature, and ignore the rest and at the same time maintain them? Is this anything but contradiction?
But this supposition is the consequence of ignorance about divine wisdom and of the mysteries revealed by the teachings of the Qur'an. Islam has based its divine law on creation:
True factors of creation have combined to bring man into existence. These means direct people in a perfect manner to the goal of life prepared for him. So it is incumbent on man to arrange his life within the compass of submitting to pain and having a choice on the principle of following the way that these factors desire him to do wholly with these factors, so that there is no contrariness with them and his life, and the course of events do not lead to misfortune and destruction.
If a person's mind is misled by such a wrong supposition, he should realize that this statement is the Islamic religion itself. But what is important is that there is one cause above all causes, which has created these causes and arranges everything both big and small.
This single cause is the Most Holy God, who is the perfect and total cause above every cause. As this is the case, therefore it is incumbent upon man to surrender before God and be humble. When we say that Islam is the only Muslim religion, this is what is meant.
If you ponder over the above point, it will become clear that the preservation of the word "monotheism" and surrender to God, and turning only to Him in life, are not only opposed to material causes, but are in agreement with all of them. A monotheist without being a pagan or a negligent person gives every rightful person his right, and gives material causes their place, and considers them in accordance with God’s command.
Thus a Muslim has a number of worldly motives as well as the other worldly goals, that is both material and spiritual objectives. But he makes no undue effort towards worldly goals. So we see that Islam invites people to worship the unique God, and turn away from others and turn to Him, show devotion to Him, ignore every cause and goal but Him, and at the same time commands him to follow the laws of life and way of nature.
It is clear, then, that members of the Islamic society are truly happy in this and the next world, and their final goal which is God and turning to Him who is Almighty and Dominant, is not contrary to other objectives of life, and so both goals are in harmony if worldly goals are legitimate.
A number of sociologists who have discussed this matter, have supposed that the reality of religion and its principal goal is the establishment of social justice, and acts of devotion such as praying, fasting etc. are subsidiary acts. Thus, if someone stands for social justice, he is religious, even if he has no belief and performs no acts of devotion.
But the previous explanations show that this supposition is wrong. A prudent debater who studies ‘The Book and Traditions ' and especially the character of the Prophet, has no need for additional evidence or reasons to know the falsity of the above supposition1.
Moreover such a statement omits monotheism and high morals from religious principles, and consequently it transforms the religious goal which is monotheism, into a civic goal which is the enjoyment of material life. The wise reader knows that these two goals are distinctly different and lack harmony in principle in details and in results.
- 1. The whole of the Qur'an, traditions and the Prophet's character show that the fundamental goal is monotheism, and attention to the origin of' the brilliant Divine teaching, and prayer, fasting and other acts of worship are of the first importance. The reader may consider these three as basic proofs.