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Shawwal 23 Wednesday Hijrah 1443
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Title – The Message   Preface   Arabian Peninsula the Cradle of Islamic Culture   Arabia before Islam   Conditions of Roman and Iranian Empires   Ancestors of the Prophet   Birth of the Prophet   Childhood of the Prophet   Rejoining the Family   Period of Youth   From Shepherd to Merchant   From Marriage up to Prophethood   The First Manifestation of Reality   The First Revelation   Who were the First Persons to Embrace Islam?   Cessation of revelation   General Invitation   Judgement of Quraysh about the Holy Qur’an   The First Migration   Rusty Weapons   The Fiction of Gharaniq   Economic Blockade   Death of Abu Talib   Me’raj – The Heavenly Ascension   Journey to Ta’if   The Agreement of Aqabah   The Event of Migration   The Events of the First Year of Migration   Some Events of the First and Second years of Migration   The Events of the Second Year of Migration   Change of Qiblah   The Battle of Badr   Dangerous Designs of the Jews   The Events of the Third Year of Migration   The Events of the Third and Fourth years of Migration   The Jews Quit the Zone of Islam   The Events of the Fourth Year of Migration   The Events of the Fifth Year Of Migration   The Battle of Ahzab   The Last Stage of Mischief   The Events of the Fifth and Sixth years of Migration   The events of the Sixth Year of Migration   A Religious and Political Journey   The Events of the Seventh Year of Migration   Fort of Khayber the Centre of Danger   The Story of Fadak   The Lapsed ‘Umrah   The Events of the Eighth Year of Migration   The Battle of Zatus Salasil   The Conquest of Makkah   The Battle of Hunayn   The Battle of Ta’if   The Famous Panegyric of Ka’b Bin Zuhayr   The Events of the Ninth Year of Migration   The Battle of Tabuk   The Deputation of Thaqif goes to Madina   The Prophet Mourning for his Son   Eradication of Idol-Worship in Arabia   Representatives of Najran in Madina   The Events of the Tenth Year of Migration   The Farewell Hajj   Islam is completed by the Appointment of Successor   The Events of the Eleventh Year of Migration   A Will which was not written   The Last Hours of the Prophet  

 

 

Chapter 7: The Power of Love in Society

 

The power of love is a great and effective force in relation to society; the best societies are those which are administered by the power of love: both the love of the leader and the ruler for the people, and the love and devotion of the people for the leader and ruler.

The feeling and love of the ruler is an important factor in the stability and longevity of a government, and until that factor exists the leader cannot, or finds it very difficult to, lead the society, train people to be law-abiding individuals, and even establish justice and legality in that society. But once he does so, people will be so lawfully minded that they will see the affection of their ruler and it is this affection which will attract them to obedience and dutifulness.

The Qur’an addresses the Prophet and says to him that he has a great power in his hands to influence people and to administer society

It is by some mercy of Allah that thou art gentle to them; hadst thou been harsh and hard of heart, they would have scattered from about thee. So pardon them, and pray forgiveness for them, and take counsel with them in the affair.” (A1 `Imran, 3: 159)

Here it is made clear that the cause of the people’s coming to the Prophet is the affection and love which he has bestowed on them. Then it orders him to forgive them and to ask for forgiveness for them and to consult with them. These are all among the effects of love and friendship, just as tolerance, patience and forbearance are also among the degrees of love and kindness.

“By the sword of clemency he (Ali) redeemed so many throats, of such a multitude from the sword. The sword of clemency is sharper than the sword of iron; nay, it is more productive of victory than a hundred armies.” 21

The Qur’an also says:

Not equal are the good deed and the evil deed. Repel with that which is fairer and behold, he between whom and thee there is enmity shall be as if he were a loyal friend.” (Fussilat, 41:34 )

“Forgive, o son that man can trap. By goodness and do savage deeds with fetters; chain the neck of the enemy with mercy, which noose no blade can cut.”

In his firman to Malik al-Ashtar, when he appointed him to the governorship of Egypt, Amir al-mu’minin also explained how his behavior with the people should be:

“Awaken in your heart mercy for (your) subjects and love for them and kindness towards them . . . So give them of your forgiveness and your pardon, just as you would like Allah to give you of his forgiveness and pardon.” 22

The heart of the ruler must be a focus of affection and love towards the nation; power and force are not enough. People can be driven like sheep by power and force, but their inner strengths cannot be awakened and put to use. Not only is power and force not sufficient; even justice, if it is lifelessly enforced, is not enough. Rather the ruler must love the people from his heart like a loving father, show his affection towards them and also have an attractive personality which fosters devotion, so that he may make use of their wills, their ambitions and their great human strengths in furthering his own divine aim.

Notes:

21. Rumi, bk.l

22. Nahju ‘l-balaghah, Letter no. 53

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