Islam and the US Constitution

By: Arif Humayun


Islam in America- Thomas Jefferson's Quran

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ……….

The preamble of the US Constitution lists the following six objectives that also form its foundation:

Form a more perfect Union

Establish Justice

Insure domestic Tranquility

Provide for the common defense

Promote the general Welfare

Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

These objectives and their underlying principles are cross-referenced to the Koran. It must be remembered that while Islam lays down broad principles, values and standards, which clearly endorse the spirit and purpose of the Constitution, it does not pronounce verbatim on all its specific provisions because they relate to administrative detail. Some of this discussion in this chapter may be a repetition from earlier chapters when the same principles are discussed.

Islam acknowledged the importance of each of the above principles in the seventh century, some 1400 years ago; these are explicitly mentioned in the Koran. The Prophet Muhammadsa, his successors (Caliphs) and followers practiced these principles; early Muslim rulers also implemented them in their administrations. Therein laid the secret for their phenomenal successes that lasted many centuries. The collapse of the Muslim empire was the result of abandoning these fundamentals. It is heartening to see the same principles at work behind the most successful economic system in the modern world. Following is the comparison of each of the six principles to the Koran.

1. More Perfect Union: Freedom, equality and dignity of people will promote harmony and a more perfect union among people. Being endowed with reason and conscience, people should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood without any discrimination whatsoever.

The Islamic concept of brotherhood has already been discussed in the previous chapters. Interestingly, the Koran also recognizes the "lively human conscience" as the driver for exhorting people to promote equity and promote harmony (Koran Ch. 75, verse 3). The critical point in Islam's concept of brotherhood is that the relationship between individuals flows through God. It is the practical expression of the truth that all humans are creatures and servants of the same Beneficent Creator and must for His sake, and for the purpose of winning His pleasure, live together as brethren.

"Hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah and be not divided; and remember the favor of Allah which He bestowed upon you when you were enemies and He united your hearts in love so that by His grace you became as brethren; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah explain to you His Commandments that you may be guided" (Koran Ch. 3, verse 104).

The Prophet admonished: "Be not envious of another, nor bear ill-will, nor cut off relations with another; behave towards one another as brethren, O servants of Allah". [48] He reminded: "You are as brothers, one to another, so let no one transgress against another, nor leave another to endure transgression unaided. Remember, that he who occupies himself in assisting his brother will find Allah coming to his own assistance, and he who strives to relieve his brother of anxiety will find himself shielded against anxiety by Allah on the Day of Judgment, and he who overlooks his brother's fault will find his own faults overlooked by Allah". [49]

He observed: "None of you can be a believer unless he should desire for his brother what he desires for himself". [50] He urged: "Go to the help of your brother whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed." On being asked how an oppressor may be helped, he rejoined, "Stop him from continuing in his course of oppression." [51]

2. Establish Justice: Islam presents the ultimate concept for justice and equality. It defines three stages of just behavior: 1. Absolute Justice (Adl); 2. Benevolence added to absolute justice (Ihsan); and 3. Treating people with grace and overwhelming benevolence (Ita'i Dhil-Qurba). The verse reads: "Verily God enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency and manifest evil and transgression. He admonishes you that you may take heed." (Koran Ch. 16, verse 91).

Without claiming exclusivity on this concept, the Koran clearly acknowledges that in addition to the Muslims, there are other people who stand firmly by the truth and admonish and dispense justice righteously. "Of those We have created, there are a people that guide men with truth and do justice therewith" (Koran Ch. 7, verse 182).

A Muslim is not only required to exercise absolute justice at all times but is required to add benevolence to the act of justice and then move it to the third and ultimate stage of human relationship which is a spontaneous expression of love and care as exemplified by the mother-child relationship. The mother's love for the child is spontaneous, pure, and is not based on any expectation or consideration; she considers it her essential duty. Among other things, Islam creates an atmosphere where the demand for one's own rights gives way to regard for the rights of others. The level of consciousness and sensitivity to the suffering of fellow human beings is raised to a degree whereby members of society as a whole are concerned more about what they owe to society than what society owes them.

Prophet Muhammadsa repeatedly reminded his followers to 'Give the laborer more than his dues. Pay him what he has earned before his sweat has dried out. Do not put those who serve under you to such tasks that you cannot perform yourself. As far as possible, feed your servants with whatever you feed your family. Provide them with similar clothing. Do not transgress against the meek in any way, or you will be held responsible before God. Lest you succumb to false pride, occasionally make your servants sit on the same table with you and serve them.'

Islam inculcates and upholds these values very clearly and firmly. It is a condition of faith that recourse must be had to the judicial process for the settlement of disputes. The judgment handed down must be accepted without demur and carried out fully (Koran Ch. 4, verse 66). The Prophet himself was the first and the principal Judge at Medina and was commanded to judge justly between the people—Muslims, Jews and non-Muslim Arabs (Koran Ch. 42, verse 16). The Prophet warned that the fact that a person had obtained a judgment in his favor did not confer on him a title to the subject-matter of the dispute, if in fact and in truth he was not entitled to it; for human judgment, his own or anyone else's, was liable to error. [52] He thus strengthened the process of administration of justice with a strong moral exhortation of accountability to God, which could not be evaded by taking shelter behind a judgment handed down by a fallible authority even so high as that of the Prophet himself.

Judges are admonished to carry out their duties with strict impartiality and justice. They are laid under the Divine injunction: "When you judge between the people, judge with justice. Surely, excellent is that with which Allah admonishes you! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing" (Koran Ch. 4; verse 59). Justice is not to be corrupted through bribery (Koran Ch. 2, verse 159) or the presentation of false evidence (Koran Ch. 25, verse 73).

The hostility of a people should not incite Muslims to act unjustly or inequitably towards them. "O ye who believe, be steadfast in the cause of Allah, and bear witness in equity and let not a people's enmity toward you incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is closest to righteousness. Be ever mindful of your duty to Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do." (Koran Ch. 5, verse 9).

A more emphatic and comprehensive injunction is: "O ye! who believe, be strict in observing justice, and bear witness for the sake of Allah, even though it be against your own selves, or against parents or kindred. Whether they be rich or poor, Allah is more regardful of them than you are. Therefore, guard yourselves against being led astray by low desires, so that you may be able to act equitably. If you conceal the truth or evade it, remember that Allah is well aware of what you do" (Koran Ch. 4, verse 136).

Umar, the second Caliph (successor after Prophet Muhammad), was cited as a defendant in a civil suit. When he came into Court to answer the claim preferred against him, the judge stood up as a mark of respect. Umar observed that he had come to Court not in his capacity as the Caliph, but as a private citizen; it was inconsistent with the judge's position to extend a courtesy to him which was not extended to every citizen appearing in Court. He held that the judge, by his action, had contravened his duty of impartiality toward the parties and was no longer fit to perform judicial functions. [53]

Again, during Umar's Caliphate, Jerusalem offered to surrender on the condition that the Caliph personally came to settle the terms and to take over the city. Umar proceeded on the journey from Medina to Jerusalem, accompanied by one servant and only one camel. Umar arranged that out of consideration for the animal they should take turns riding it. For the last stage it was the servant's turn to ride. He offered to forego his turn, but Umar insisted that the arrangement must be adhered to. Thus they arrived in Jerusalem, where the notables and the population were assembled to welcome the great Caliph, and saw the Caliph leading the solitary camel ridden by his servant![54]

Ali, the fourth Caliph, also had occasion to appear in Court as a claimant against a Jew. In support of his claim, in addition to his own statement, he produced his eldest son Hasan as a witness in whose presence the obligation had been incurred by the defendant. The judge held that in view of the close relationship between the plaintiff and the witness, the testimony of the witness was not admissible and he dismissed the claim. The defendant was so impressed that immediately upon emerging from the courtroom he acknowledged the claim and discharged it. [55]

Islam does not recognize any basis of discrimination. It affirms just and equitable treatment for all. Dignified behavior, deportment and respect for the dignity of others have been outstanding characteristics of Islamic society even during what might be described as its period of decline. The Prophet constantly admonished people to behave with calmness and dignity in all situations, and emphasized the need of exercising courtesy and dignity towards all. He told the leader of a group from a non-Muslim tribe (Abu Qais): "You have two qualities which are very acceptable to Allah: forbearance and deliberation". [56] He told his wife Ayesha: "Whatever is done with grace enhances its value, and that which lacks grace loses all value". [57]

Islam not only seeks to uphold the basic values through legislative safeguards, but also strives constantly to ensure their observance in every sphere by emphasizing the moral responsibility of all concerned—the individual, society, and the State. Islam attempts to create an attitude whereby the governments and the wealthy are constantly reminded that it is in their own ultimate interest to establish a just and equitable system. They are also constantly exhorted to be on the lookout for the rights of others. The weak and poor should not be denied their fundamental rights such as freedom to choose one's profession, equal access to opportunities and the basic requirements of life. The lack of this very special attitude has already caused much misery, pain and disorder in the history of human struggle for survival. There is thus greater emphasis in Islam on 'giving' than on 'taking' or 'keeping'. The governments and the wealthy must constantly be on the lookout lest there be a section of society which is deprived of the fundamental human rights to live decently. In such cases, a truly Islamic state would have proactively felt the need and taken appropriate measures for its fulfillment. Before grief turns into cries and protest and before the need threatens peace and order, the cause of grief must be removed and the need fulfilled.

3. Insure Domestic Tranquility: Islam recognizes that "the family" is the natural and fundamental unit of society and not only accords it the fullest protection but also shows how that protection can be made effective. It rejects the view that the sanctity of the marriage covenant may be freely exposed to pre- or post-marital hazards and yet survives unblemished and unscathed.

In the Islamic view, everything hinges on the hierarchy of values; that is to say, in the event of competition or conflict, which must have preference and which must give way. The responsibility for making these preferences rests squarely with the individual. A society that seeks to give concurrent effect to conflicting values is already straining at the seams of its fabric and will burst them sooner or later. Measured in terms of the span of individual human lives, the process might appear to be slow, it might be well-nigh imperceptible; viewed against the background of history its progress is clearly discernable. In its final stages it rushes along unrestrained and unchecked, and no effort or force can stop it. The crash of the family and society then become inevitable.

Promiscuity and family values are utterly incompatible; they cannot for long subsist together. If the one is not sternly suppressed, the other will disintegrate. To think otherwise is to practice outrageous deception upon oneself and upon society. In this, as in the case of other evils, Islam, in conformity with its function as a religion, seeks to stem the mischief at the very source.

Islam regards the married life as the normal state and does not look with favor upon celibacy or monasticism (Koran Ch. 27, verse 28). The Prophet said: "Married life is our way; whoever turns away from our way is not of us", [58] and declared: "There is no monasticism in Islam". [59] The Islamic concept of marriage is a union for the purpose of promoting righteousness and seeking the fulfillment of the purpose of life both here and Hereafter.

On the occasion of the announcement of a marriage (public announcement being one of the requisites of a valid marriage) the Prophet always recited these verses of the Koran:

"O ye people, be mindful of your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and created therefrom its mate, and from them twain multiplied many men and women. Be mindful of your duty to Allah, in Whose name you appeal to one another, and be mindful of the ties of kinship. Verily, Allah watches over you" (Koran Ch. 4, verse 2).

"O ye who believe, be mindful of your duty to Allah and say the straightforward word; thereby will He make your conduct beneficent and forgive you your defaults Whoso obeys Allah and His Messenger, shall surely attain a mighty success" (Koran Ch. 33, verses 71-72).

"O ye who believe, be mindful of your duty to Allah, and let every soul look to what it sends forth for the morrow. Be mindful of your duty to Allah; verily Allah is Well-Aware of what you do" (Koran Ch. 59, verse 19).

The Prophet warned that the purpose of marriage has the best chance of being achieved if the choice of a spouse is determined primarily by moral and spiritual considerations and not by looks, family or wealth. [60]

Marriage should, through the constant experience of mutual love and tenderness between the spouses, be a source of fulfillment and peace of mind. "One of His Signs is that He has created spouses for you from among yourselves that you may find peace of mind in them, and He has put love and tenderness between you. In that surely are Signs for a people who reflect" (Koran Ch. 30, verse 32). The general exhortation is added: "Consort with them in kindness; for even if you dislike them, it may be that you dislike something wherein Allah has placed much good" (Koran Ch. 4, verse 20). The Prophet said: "The best of you is he who behaves best towards the members of his family". [61]

Thus repeated emphasis is laid on seeking the will and pleasure of Allah in all things and putting that before personal inclination and preferences.

Despite all this, allowance is made for the frailty and unpredictability of human nature. Thus it has not been sought, in Islam, to convert marriage into an indissoluble sacrament. In its legal aspect, marriage is a civil contract in which the rights and obligations of the parties are clearly defined, but everything is made subject to seeking the pleasure of God and the fulfillment of one's duty to Him. The relationship is intended to be permanent, but dissolution is permissible under certain conditions and subject to safeguards. Concerning dissolution of marriage by divorce the Prophet has said: "Of all things permitted to you the most obnoxious in the sight of Allah is divorce". [62]

The status of men and women in marriage within any particular social system is determined largely by the position assigned to men and women vis-à-vis one another in that system. So far as a system is based upon and derives its values from religion, the crucial factor in this regard would be the relative positions assigned to the sexes in respect of the possibility of attainment of the spiritual ideals proclaimed by that religion.

Islam makes no distinction whatsoever, between the sexes in that respect: "The believers, men and women, are friends one of another. They enjoin good and forbid evil and observe prayer and pay the Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. It is these on whom Allah will have mercy. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise. Allah has promised to believers, men and women, gardens beneath which streams flow, wherein they will abide, and delightful dwelling places in gardens of Eternity. But the pleasure of Allah is the greatest of all bounties. That is the supreme triumph" (Koran Ch. 9, verses 71-72).

More specially is it proclaimed: "Surely, men who submit themselves to God and women who submit themselves to Him, and believing men and believing women, and obedient men and obedient women, and truthful men and truthful women, and steadfast men and steadfast women, and men who humble themselves before God and women who humble themselves before Him, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their chastity and women who guard their chastity, and men who remember Allah much and women who remember Him much—Allah has prepared for all of them forgiveness and a great reward" (Koran Ch. 33, verse 36).

Men and women are equally entitled to protection against calumny and persecution. "Those who malign believing men and believing women for what they have not earned shall bear the guilt of calumny and a manifest sin" (Koran Ch. 33; verse 59), and "Those who persecute the believing men and the believing women and then repent not, for them is surely the chastisement of the Fire, and for them is the punishment of burning" (Koran Ch. 85, verse 11).

The mercy and forgiveness of Allah are extended equally to men and women: "Allah turns in mercy to believing men and believing women, and Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful" (Koran Ch. 33, verse 74).

The element of mutual attraction and co-operation, essential for the continuation of the species and for the promotion of social values, is expressed in the terms: 'They (your spouses) are raiment for you and you are raiment for them' (Koran Ch. 2, verse 188). Raiment serves many purposes. It is a covering for such parts of the body as should not be exposed to view and is also a source of elegance and delight (Koran Ch. 7, verse 27). It affords protection and comfort against weather and climate and against harmful and injurious substances. Moreover, they stands in the closest and most intimate relationship to people. Husband and wife are all this to each other, only very much more so. While the human being's relationship with articles of dress is purely physical, the relationship between husband and wife is a union which involves their total personalities and future generations in all their aspects. The husband-wife relationship is complementary, which emphasizes and enhances its character and value, but also necessitates a certain degree of discrimination, beneficial and not prejudicial, both in respect of its object and its operation.

Another aspect of domestic tranquility is people coming together and collectively working for the benefit of society. Islam upholds the concept of free peaceful association, which is consequent upon the right of freedom of thought, opinion and expression.

Islam stands firmly and uncompromisingly on freedom of conscience. It does not seek to secure even belief in God, which is the principal concern of religion, through compulsion or coercion. Much less does it obstruct free association for the achievement of beneficent and lawful purposes through peaceful methods. Indeed, it encourages and even enjoins such association and co-operation, but forbids co-operation in sin and transgression, which obviously cannot be described as "peaceful". "Co-operate with one another in the promotion of virtue and beneficence; but co-operate not with one another in fostering sin and transgression. Be mindful of your duty to Allah; surely, Allah is severe in retribution" (Koran Ch. 5, verse 3). Three types of associations and conferences are encouraged as desirable and beneficent, namely, "those that are charitable, promote welfare and strengthen peace. Whoso does that, seeking the pleasure of Allah, We shall soon bestow on him a great reward" (Koran Ch. 4, verse 115).

4. Provide For Common Defense: While abhorring all kind of violence, Islam allows for self defense only if a war has been imposed upon its followers because of religious persecution. However, the Muslims are directed not to transgress in their defense. It states the logic behind this permission and to further highlight its rejection of violence, liken the killing of one individual to the killing of the entire humankind and the saving of one individual akin to saving the entire human race (Koran Ch. 5, verse 33). The Muslims were thus accorded Divine permission to take up arms in defense of freedom of conscience:

"Permission to fight is granted to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged—and Allah indeed has power to help them—those who have been driven out of their homes unjustly only because they said 'Our Lord is Allah'. If Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. Allah will surely help him who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty. This permission has been granted to those who, if We establish them in the earth, will observe Prayer and pay the Zakat and enjoin equity and forbid evil. With Allah rests the final issue of all affairs" (Koran Ch. 22, verses 40-42).

Thus fighting is permissible only to repel or halt aggression; but even in the course of such fighting, Muslims are not permitted to adopt unduly aggressive measures. "Fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Surely, Allah loves not the transgressors" (Koran Ch. 2, verse 191). "Persecution is worse than killing" (Koran Ch. 2, verse 192), for it seeks to destroy the soul, therefore "fight them until there is no persecution, and religion is freely professed for the sake of Allah; but if they desist, then remember that no hostility is allowed except against the aggressors" (Koran Ch. 2, verse 194).

In his Farewell Address the Prophet admonished: "Your persons, properties and honor are declared sacred like the sanctity attaching to this day, this month and this spot. Let them not be violated." He was speaking on the occasion of the Pilgrimage, to the host of pilgrims gathered in the Plain of Arafat (near Mecca). When he concluded his Address he charged those who were present and had heard him to convey what he had said to those who could not be present: "Perchance, one who is not present here may be even more mindful than one who is." [63]

These are basic and fundamental directives. There is a host of other directions in the Koran with regard to the prosecution of war, but they are all subject to the conditions here laid down, and must be so construed.

Prisoners could only be taken in actual fighting during the course of a justified war. Tribal raids were not permitted, nor could prisoners be taken in scouting skirmishes or chance encounters. "It does not behove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting in the land. You desire the goods of this world, while Allah desires for you the Hereafter. Allah is Mighty Wise" (Koran Ch. 8, verse 68).

5. Promote General Welfare: This principle is directed towards securing a reasonable standard of living for everyone through proper education, appropriate and adequate training, availability of work, gainful employment, so that human beings may have full opportunities for development. Moreover, this principle seeks to safeguard human dignity and human life to enable it to become progressively fuller, richer, healthier and happier. Most of these objectives are covered by the desired social and economic values promoted by Islam, a brief summary of which has been set out earlier.

In Islam all these are part of a more comprehensive pattern, which also includes moral and spiritual values. In fact Islam treats social and economic values as complementary to moral and spiritual ones. It is for that reason that the former have been expounded in such detail so as to foster it as part of a comprehensive pattern.

For instance, though the Prophet chose to live not merely a simple but an austere life, he warned against extremes of privation as likely to affect a person's moral and spiritual evolution. "Safeguard yourselves against penury, for it might tend to push a person into disbelief". [64] For the same reason he said: "There is no monasticism in Islam", [65] basing himself upon the Koran (Koran Ch. 57, verse 28).

Islam inculcates the acceptance of life and the beneficent use of all Divine bounties. "Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good things of His providing?" (Koran Ch. 7, verse 33).

At the dawn of human history it was laid down that all men should be entitled to food, clothing and shelter. "It is provided for thee that thou wilt not hunger therein, nor wilt thou be naked, and that thou wilt not thirst therein, nor wilt thou be exposed to the sun" (Koran Ch. 20, verses 119-120). This was the beginning of human society.

Islam put into practice the first effective concept of the Welfare State. Within a few years of the organization of the first Islamic State, the provision of basic necessities for everyone was assured. Not only was the State fully conscious of its duties in this regard, individuals were also keen to perform their obligations towards the widow, the orphan, the needy, the captive, the debtor, the neighbor and the wayfarer. Long before the general diffusion of prosperity had reduced the need and multiplied the public and private resources available for meeting it, the Prophet's exhortations and his own example had so stimulated and sharpened the concept of human brotherhood among the Muslims that sharing their all, even in the midst of adversity, became an outstanding Muslim characteristic. The Prophet had suggested that in case of extreme necessity it would be well to follow the example of the Ash'ari (a Muslim) tribe who, when confronted with shortage of provisions, collect all they have and divide it equally among themselves. So, they are of me and I am of them". [66] The Koran bears witness that these exhortations were taken to heart by the Muslims. Of the Ansars (local helpers) of Medina and the early refugees settled in Medina it says: "Those who had established their homes in this city before the newcomers and had accepted the Faith, love those who come to them for refuge, and find not in their breasts any desire for that which is bestowed upon the newcomers but prefer them to their own selves, even though poverty be their own lot. Whoso is rid of the covetousness of his own soul—it is these who will prosper" (Koran Ch. 59, verse 10).

By the time of the Abbaside Caliphate (750-935 A.D.) there was scarcely anyone to be found in any city of the Muslim domains that was in need of, or was willing to accept, charity. This was symptomatic of the tremendous revolution that had already been achieved in all spheres of life—social, economic, intellectual, moral and spiritual. Science, art, learning and philosophy burgeoned forth and permeated every layer of society. History, poetry, song and fable all bear witness to it. This is proof that Islamic values, as set forth in the Koran and illustrated and expounded by the Prophet, had been put into effect and had borne rich and plentiful fruit.

The basic objectives of this principle were thus achieved to a high degree under the Islamic system in the conditions that prevailed fourteen centuries ago. Some of the specific details set out in this principle are designed to meet conditions and needs, which have emerged and manifested themselves in recent times. The larger objectives are still the same and, as already shown, Islamic teachings are in full accord with them.

6. Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity: Like most subjects affecting human personality, the subject of human rights has many facets. Freedom rightfully occupies a place in the forefront. Yet to ensure due freedom for everyone, the freedom of each must be curbed, restrained and regulated. As has been wisely observed, our only real freedom is the right to discipline our freedom.

This principle of "Liberty" has not overlooked this aspect. It is a truism that every right carries with it a corresponding duty. It is the due observance and discharge of the duty that fully safeguards the right.

It must be recognized that legislative, administrative and judicial checks and safeguards, essential as they are and scrupulously as they must be devised and maintained, can cover but a sector of the total field of human rights. Further, legal sanctions, however valuable in their reparatory and deterrent aspects, can come into operation only after a breach of obligation has occurred, comes to notice and can be established by relevant and admissible evidence. This means, first, that the whole field cannot be made subject to legal sanctions, and secondly that the sector that may be covered cannot be completely and effectively safeguarded.

What is further needed is a lively consciousness of the unity of man and the inter-dependence of all in present-day conditions. That consciousness can be aroused at various levels and through the acceptance of a variety of concept, and values. The most effective and pervasive concept however, is that mankind—all human beings, without distinction of color, creed or race—are the creatures of the One Living, Loving, Almighty, Merciful and Compassionate Creator to Whom the welfare of each is equally dear, to Whom all must return and to Whom all are accountable and responsible for their thoughts, designs, motives, actions and omissions. Unless that concept grips and inspires the hearts and souls of people, it is not possible to establish true brotherhood and equality between all grades and sections of human beings. Here we enter the province of religion.

True brotherhood can be established universally only through firm faith in the Unity of the Creator. Faith alone has the power to make us approach each fellow human being with a desire of eager friendship and deep devotion, irrespective of race, color, creed, religion or language. Each one of us must recognize every other person as a creature and servant of the Lord of the universe Whom we acknowledge, accept and worship as our Creator and Maker, and to Whom the deepest devotion of our hearts and our truest allegiance are due. Through Him and for His sake we can readily and truly accept each human being as a comrade and brother; a fellow traveler on the same path, a fellow participant in the same glorious adventure, seeking in all things the will and pleasure of our Lord and Creator, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful. This is the only way in which the welfare of every one of our fellow beings can become a matter of as grave concern to us as our own.

Great stress is laid in Islam on kindness to and benevolence towards a neighbor. "Worship Allah and associate naught with Him, and behave benevolently towards parents, kindred, orphans and the needy, and the neighbor that is a kinsman and the neighbor that is a stranger, …." (Koran Ch. 4, verses 37-38).

The Prophet laid repeated stress on the duty owed to a neighbor. He said on one occasion, "So often and so much has God impressed upon me the duty owed to a neighbor that I began to think that a neighbor might perhaps be named an heir." [67]

The consciousness of accountability both here and Hereafter, resulting from such faith, can ensure the due discharge of the duties and obligations that we owe our fellow beings in all spheres of life. These, in turn, comprise all their rights and freedoms. If a fraction of the care and concern that we devote to obtaining recognition of and respect for what we claim as our rights could be transferred and devoted to the scrupulous discharge of the duties and obligations that we owe our fellow beings, all human rights in every sphere of life would be fully safeguarded.

Articles of the Constitution

Subsequent Articles contain Administrative details to implement the above principles. These details specify the election and empowerment of the Congress, the President, and the Judiciary. Some of the Articles of the Constitution restate and emphasize fundamental rights and principles, while others only declare and draw attention to objectives and ideals, which should be progressively pursued as the aims of State policy. Still others spell out methods of giving effect to what is considered imperative or eminently desirable in today's conditions as a practical expression of the enjoyment of freedom, justice and equality. The Constitution does not purport to be exhaustive, as, in the nature of things, no human formulation could claim finality. The Constitution has already been amended twenty six times as the result of experience gained or of charges in the social, economic or political patterns of society and the State.

[48] Bukhari IV, Sect.: Good Behaviour.

[49] Tirmadhi 11, Section: Virtue, etc., Ch.: Benevolence

[50] Bukhari 1, Section, Faith, Ch. It is part of faith to desire for one's brother what one desires for oneself.

[51] Bukhari II, Section: Oppresision, Ch.: Help your Brother.

[52] Bukhari IV, Section: Judgments, Ch.: Admonition to Parties.

[53] Kanz-el-Ummal III, p. 174; Shibli Nu'mani, Al-Farooq II, p. 166.

[54] Prof. Abdul Qadir, History of Islam, Vol. 1.

[55] Rahmatultah Subhani, Makhzan-i-Akhlaq, p. 229.

[56] Muslim I, Section: Faith, Ch.: Commandment to believe in Allah and His Messenger.

[57] Muslim II, Section: Virtue, etc., Ch.: Value and Grace.

[58] Muslim I, Section: Marriage; Ch.; Desirability of Marriage etc.

[59] Hanbul VI; p. 226.

[60] Muslim I, Sect.: Giving Suck to Children.

[61] Ibn Maja II, Ch.: Marriage, Good Behavior towards Women.

[62] Abu Daud 11, Sect.: Divorce, Ch.: Divorce is obnoxious.

[63] Hanbal V, p. 411

[64] Hiliat of Abi Naim.

[65] Hanbal VI, p. 226.

[66] Bukhari 11, Section: oppression, Ch.: Sharing food.

[67] Bukhari IV, Section: Good Behaviour Ch.: Benevolence towards neighbours.

[68] Bukhari II, Section: Marriage, Ch.: Wife is a steward in her home.

[69] Ibn Maja 1, Ch.: Dignity of the Learned.

[70] Baihiqi, on the authority of As-Sayuti I, under letter a, p. 37.

[71] Zarqani IV; p.41.