O' Prophet-SW! Do not bother about what they say. Rather inform them on the things and the actions Allaah-SWT has forbidden, so that instead of banking on assumptions, they can gain authentic knowledge and pursue Allah-SWT's Pleasure by acting accordingly, in order to attain peace and tranquillity of both the worlds. Although this address is for the misguided people of that era, yet the Injunctions are so articulate as to provide basis for the entire mankind for all times to come. According to the scholars, the teachings of all the Prophets-AS from Prophet Ādam-AS to the Holy Prophet-SW are founded on this Manifesto. Never had there been a conflict on these Commandments in any Shari’ah. To act upon them with a firm faith leads to salvation in both the worlds, though the temporal benefits can be had even without faith. The direct address to the Holy Prophet-SW to tell the people makes it very clear that Dīn is what he-SW
teaches and the task of all saints is to guide people to his-SW
Sunnah rather than to rituals.
Another aspect clarified is that although the aim here is to spell out the forbidden, yet the mode of expression is positive, i.e. the positive aspects of various practices are addressed which ought to be followed. Thus forbidden aspect shall automatically stand out. The preachers and the teachers must always recount the advantages of virtue and righteousness and not describe evil in detail, lest people are lured to indulge in it. Besides, mud slinging on others is not something desirable.
Categories of Polytheism
The first and the basic issue is the Unity of Allah-SWT , under no circumstances should any partners be ascribed to Him. All evils stem from a laxity in the concept of Unity, and the gravest of all sins is polytheism, which has two branches. Firstly, the worship of idols like the polytheists of Makkah practised, or believing the Prophets-AS to be Allah-SWT's sons like the Jews and Christians did or ascribing partners in Divine Attributes, for example, believing that the Aulia and Prophets-AS have control over relief and distress, as do the ignorant. Therefore, they indulge in oblations and offerings in their names and believe that they are aware of their affairs in absentia. This is polytheism manifest.
The second kind is covert, a very delicate matter, as it relates to the heart, the trust within. A person may reiterate belief in the Unity of Allah-SWT , that He-SWT Alone controls good or a bad, but practically obeys others than Allah-SWT for the sake of temporal gains or losses. This is polytheism concealed. So much so that when a person follows his fancies, and is deprived of Divine obedience, he is said to have taken his desires as his Rabb. It is a very delicate matter wherein one must not give up the means and at the same time not rely on them entirely. One should employ means in obedience to Allah-SWT and accept the results of his endeavours as emanating from Him-SWT . This honour is indeed acquired through Zikr-e-Qalbi and only its attainment shall usher in the peace of mind.
Obedience to Parents
The second Injunction is to treat the parents kindly. It is forbidden to go against this Injunction. It is not mentioned here whether the parents are believers or not, only the term parents is used. Parenthood alone is enough to entitle them to the obedience and service of their children in a manner pleasing to them. This must be done with sincerity. Many Ahādīth amply emphasize the virtues of serving the parents. After polytheism, the gravest sin is the disobedience of parents. While details may be seen in Ahādīth, it is necessary to recount the main points: (I) there is no obedience against violation of Allah-SWT's Commands, though respect shall not be lost sight of. For example, if the parents forbid offering the obligatory Salāt; they will not be obeyed. However, one must still not be rude to them and silently continue fulfilling his obligations towards Allaah-SWT . (2) Some people tend to neglect the rights of their wives in their endeavour to obey their parents. But they must remember that Allaah-SWT has granted certain rights to wives, which must not be ignored in the process. (3) The parents of the wives are equally respectable and liable to obedience. Not only should the wives be made to respect the parents of their husbands, but the husbands, also must respect the parents of their wives. (4) The parents are also human and as such liable to err, yet the children must continue to serve them sincerely. Nevertheless, if they get annoyed due to misunderstandings or intrigue by relatives, Allaah-SWT is well aware of every one's intentions. Hence such annoyance will not be harmful as is generally feared.
Rights of Children
The third Injunction pertains to the rights of children. Not only parents but the children also have their rights. The parents must not kill their children for fear of poverty, as they do not fend even for their own food. It is Allah-SWT's Domain Who-SWT evolves a grain seed into a sheaf and makes trees and plants bear fruits and vegetables. Health, vigour, intellect, senses and all the organs are His-SWT Gifts. When He-SWT is providing for the parents, He-SWT , surely, will provide for the children. The mode of expression conveys the Message that the provisions people have are not only theirs but also belong to their children. Every new arrival brings its own fortune. This also refutes the paganistic custom whereby baby girls used to be buried alive. It was done primarily out of fear of starvation or simply out of false pride, for they felt belittled by taking a son-in-law. Another custom forbidden is the selling or mortgaging of children practised to date in India. And as for abortion, once the foetus has become viable, aborting it without a genuine excuse is taken as a murder. Similarly sterilization of any of the spouses is not allowed. All these are various forms of patent murder.
A more brutal murder is the failure to provide proper guidance to the children. Their upbringing, provision of lawful food, and education of both spiritual as well as the physical sciences to the best of their resources, the former being more important, is the parent’s obligation. Those buried alive are at least spared the punishment in the Hereafter, but the children not properly guided will be doomed eternally and be a source of embarrassment in the Hereafter for their parents. To educate the children only in the physical sciences and skills, leaving them ignorant of Prophetic knowledge or keeping them away from both; or putting them to a profession forbidden by Allah-SWT, such as singing and music, to earn a livelihood are various forms of murder.
The fourth Injunction is that obscenity, whether overt or covert must be renounced. Whatever the form, whether noticeable by the people or observed only by the Creator, is totally forbidden. Not only this but to think of it or harbour it in the heart, or visit places which offer an opportunity for vulgarity is also forbidden. The general applicability of this Injunction extends to every sin, hidden or manifest; for anything disliked by Allaah-SWT is obscenity and what could be more obscene than the disobedience of Allaah-SWT ? Therefore, not only should one abstain from sin but also avoid situations which may lead to it. To adopt such ways which may lead to sin is itself forbidden. Another interpretation of this Injunction also seems to be correct that there are certain actions which are generally accepted as wrong by everyone; for example, swindling the wealth of others, lying or abusing etc. These are the vices manifest. While there are certain actions disliked and not permitted by Allaah-SWT but are taken as a normal feature in the society, these are the concealed sins. For instance, adultery is an evil manifest but evil intentions, evil thoughts and inner pollution is obscenity concealed. Thus one must always feel Allah-SWT's Presence believing that He-SWT is well Aware of every thought and must abstain from wrongdoing.
Fifthly, although a general warning against evil has been given leaving no room for repetition, yet the gravity of certain sins calls for specific mention such as the murder of one human being is like the murder of entire mankind with Allaah-SWT . Every individual, being a component of the human community, the entire mankind is affected by this act. The family of the victim is directly and immediately affected but once killings begin to avenge the murder the entire society is enshrouded by mischief. Therefore, cold blooded murders must be avoided at all costs. However, in Jihād or when a culprit is sentenced to death according to Shari'ah, it is for the prevention of mischief by Allah-SWT's Command. Under normal conditions, no one is allowed to kill another fellow being, even a non believer.
Allah-SWT directs that people must use their intellect as the five Injunctions of Islam discussed above are exactly what the common sense demands. Even if a non believer studies these basic principles with an unbiased mind, he too shall appreciate their importance and necessity.
The sixth Injunction is that wealth of orphans is not to be squandered away, as they do not have parents and depend on their guardians. If they have inherited the resources, these should be spent on their education and upbringing in a decent way. Under no circumstances should the quality of education be compromised, nor should their wealth be unwisely spent and wasted. It should be properly managed and safeguarded until they come of age and are capable of bearing the responsibility. The seventh Injunction is to measure and weigh accurately. This not only applies to the fair sale of commodities, but also means that the duties entrusted to a person must be carried out honestly. It is not mere trading but the sense of responsibility. If a person does not carry out his duties properly, that too is a form of Tatfeef (embezzlement). For instance, the salaries are drawn but the jobs are not done properly. If a person holds an appointment to serve the religion but is guilty of slackness or a person not connected to any Sūfi Order cheats people by claiming to be a saint, or an individual spiritually gifted does not convey this wealth to others, or a labourer who gets his wages but works sluggishly: all these situations connote different facets of embezzlement and are forbidden. Yet there is no need to work beyond one's capacity, neither should one worry about it, as accountability is proportionate to capability. When the matters are beyond one's control, he or she is no longer accountable.
The eighth Injunction pertains to upholding the truth. One must always speak fairly and squarely, even if it annoys a very close relative or a friend, or results in any loss to a near one. Whether it is testimony in a Court of Law or a family dispute, or a matter of national interest such as casting the vote; one must never let personal relations vitiate his judgement. One must always speak what he feels is correct as it eventually pays. The ninth Injunction is to honour the promise made to Allaah-SWT . There are many interpretations of this but the quintessence of all is to stand fast on faith, and after having accepted the Unity of Allaah-SWT to abstain from practical disobedience. The believers must remember that once they have accepted the Prophethood and have promised Allaah-SWT that they will be obedient to the Holy Prophet-SW, they must not, for the sake of mundane pleasures, breach this promise. They must prove by their conduct that they are Muslims. These guidelines are to lead them to the straight path.
The tenth Injunction is that Islam is the only path approved by Allah-SWT, so it must be practised with full devotion and followed completely. The believers must not blindly follow anyone who comes their way, lest they drift away from Allah-SWT's Path. This final Injunction is to encourage them to strive for the attainment of Allah-SWT's Nearness. And this can very precisely be termed as the Manifesto of Humanity. Fourteen centuries ago there was no peace and tranquillity on the face of earth. There was no concept of righteousness or worship, and people had forgotten Allaah-SWT . These Injunctions provided the basis for a new society and the earth charred by the fire of wickedness transformed into a lush green oasis. Now beware of the sequence:-
- No indulgence in polytheism.
- Obedience to the parents.
- No killing of the children.
- No lewdness.
- No cold blooded murders except for just cause.
The one who practises these five basic Injunctions is indeed sensible and will be blessed with sound wisdom. He will then:-
- Not waste the wealth of the orphans.
- Measure accurately.
- Speak the truth.
- Stand fast on the promise made to Allah-SWT , Who-SWT will bless him with guidance. He will indeed become virtuous and his capacity to abstain from sin will be multiplied.
- If a person moulds his life according to the tenets of Islam, he or she will be blessed with Allah-SWT's Nearness, and will be reckoned amongst those who fear Allaah-SWT .
Prophet Mūsa-AS was also blessed with Divine Scripture so that he could guide his people on the above lines, and at the same time make them realize the importance of these Injunctions to enable them to obey Allaah-SWT . In his Scripture too, every detail for leading a noble life was available. Every single word was a blessing, but his people altered and added their own words to it. And now they want to prove it as part of their religion. But these foolish people fail to realise that these were the Divine Injunctions aimed at making them aware of the fact that one Day they will have to stand before their Creator and ought to make necessary preparations. The need to send a mentor with the Book is two fold: Firstly, because he explains the meanings of the Book, and secondly his company instils in the hearts of believers the ability to accept the truth. Together with the teachings, every Messenger-AS dissipates these feelings too.
In short, the aim of all the Messengers-AS and Prophets-AS has been the same, that is, to give people an awareness of Allah-SWT .