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Why to Follow Deen/Sharee’ah?


Everything in this universe, except for human beings and Jinns, follow the Deen and Sharee’ah of Allaah SWT. Their Deen, like us, is Islam -- to obey and submit to Allaah SWT -- and the Sharee’ah they have to follow is what we call the Laws of Nature.

This is what has been alluded to in the following verse:
Do they (people) seek a Deen other than Allaah’s, while everything in the universe willingly or unwillingly surrenders to Him. Aali-Imraan 3:83

The only reason there is consistency, order, balance and sustainability in the universe is because all these creations follow the Sharee’ah perfectly. It is because of this consistent obedience of the laws of Allaah SWT that we can use His creations for our benefit and we have been able to make the technological advancements and discoveries that we have made and continue to make. However, all these creations are pre-programmed and pre-destined for this obedience. They do not have any choice. Hence, they do not have any accountability.

While these creations have been preprogrammed to be Muslims (obedient) so that they consistently behave in a manner that sustains life and that makes them useful for human beings, the question is why should we, the human beings, follow Islam (both Deen and Sharee’ah)? What is in it for us and what does Allaah want to achieve through our practice of Islam?

Similar to the benefit of other creations’ obedience to Allaah’s laws, Islamic behaviour prescribed for human beings is designed to bring beauty, balance, peace and sustainability to the society. From this perspective, Islamic objectives can be viewed from two dimensions because human beings perform both at individual as well as collective dimensions. Following are the goals Islam is designed to achieve:

  1. Individually, its purpose is to make human beings the best people they can become by:
    • Developing a close, intimate relationship with Allaah through practicing the five pillars and through frequent remembrance of Allaah SWT on a continual, ongoing basis;
    • Excelling in morals, ethics, fair dealings, pleasant attitude and decent behaviour;
    • Practicing fairness, decency, trustworthiness, honesty, truth, generosity, grace, magnanimity, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, caring of others, being helpful, etc. and,
    • Avoiding indecency, undesirable behaviour, and taking advantage of others.

  2. Collectively, the purpose of Islam is to recruit all those who have purified their thoughts, actions and behaviour in the above manner into a well-organized movement to establish and maintain a society that is:
    • Structured politically on the basis of Salaah and economically on the basis of Zakaah;
    • Characterized by fairness, justice, equity, human equality, generosity, love, care, graciousness, sharing, giving and forgiving; and,
    • Free from indecency, improper behaviour, aggression, exploitation, and transgression.

    Attaining these objectives individually and collectively in this world are the fundamental requirements and objective of the Deen and Sharee’ah. This is termed as establishing Deen. If a Muslim fails to develop the abovementioned spiritual personality or devote himself to establish the abovementioned society, he is not practicing Islam. Even if he practices Islamic rituals or adopts an Islamic type of appearance, he is not following the Deen of Allaah. By the same token, if a person tries to be good by following some man-made philosophies or without building a personal relationship with Allaah (through Allaah’s prescribed pillars of Islam and remembrance of Allaah), he is not following the Deen of Allaah. If Islam is practiced properly, the fruits of the devotion will be evident in an individual’s personality and a society’s character.

    These objectives are covered variously in the Qur-aan. The following verse summarizes them in a nutshell:
    Allaah enjoins Adl (justice, fairness and equity), Ihsaan (excellence, graciousness, generosity, magnanimity), giving to kinsfolk; and He forbids from Fahshaa (indecency, lewdness, shameful deeds), Munkar (undesirable behaviour, disliked practices, abomination) and Baghy (transgression, exploitation, wickedness, rebellion). An-Nahl 16:90

  3. Ultimate Objective
    The abovementioned objectives were purely from this worldly perspective and they are essentially the same as other creations of Allaah SWT. However, unlike other creations we enjoy freedom of choice and have not been preprogrammed to behave in only the Islamic way. For that reason, we are accountable to Allaah SWT to answer for how we live our life. This accountability on the Day of Judgment specifies the ultimate purpose of why we must practice Deen.

    This purpose can be described in many ways:
    • Seeking the pleasure of Allaah,
    • Succeeding in the Hereafter,
    • Attaining entry into Jannah,
    • Saving oneself from the Fire of hell, or
    • Avoiding being a Loser on the Day of Judgment.

    All of these phrases essentially describe the same objective and the same goal in different styles. They are different facets of the same reality and each of the wordings validly represents the same noble goal for which to strive. Whatever way we express it, Allaah SWT loves to see us work towards it.

    For those who are not altruistic, this ultimate purpose, regardless of how it is expressed, forms the basic motive for following Islam and developing the kind of personality described above and establishing the Islamic society sketched above. The example is like the majority of the people who go to universities and study hard so that they can adopt the most prestigious or best paying careers.

    Those who are altruistic, they may say that they obey and submit to Allaah and establish Deen only because they owe it to Allaah for being their Creator. They are like those who may choose to study just for the sake of seeking knowledge without thinking of the social and economic rewards that good education is going to bring to them.

    Whatever motivates you, as long as your motive is purely for Allaah and for the consideration of the life in the Hereafter, Allaah SWT is going to accept your efforts and reward you abundantly if you devote your time and energies in establishing Deen in your personal as well as collective life.

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