Home / News / Community Affairs / Are We Self-Sufficient Yet?

Are We Self-Sufficient Yet?

What is an Islamic society? Being the followers of the most complete and perfect religion, how should we envision our communities to be? Do we aim for a self-sufficient society, or do we look upon others to fulfill our needs?

The society which the Holy Qur’an aims for is the one that is self-sufficient and independent in itself. (“…and Allah does not grant the unbelievers any way [of domination] over the believers.” [4:141]) Therefore, an actual Islamic society is one that has cultural, economic, scientific, political, industrial, and technological independence. This means that we should not have to depend upon other (non-Muslim) societies to fulfill our requirements. In addition, we must have the means through which we can defend ourselves from our enemies. We must have the knowledge and resources that surpass those of our enemies.

In today’s world, the basis for success of any society undoubtedly lies in knowledge and education; the Islamic society is indeed no exception. There is no doubt in our minds as to how Islam and its leaders have continuously stressed on the need and importance of knowledge or education. We all know the saying of our Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny): “Acquisition of knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” What one normally tends to think is that this knowledge, which has been obligated on us, exclusively entails Islamic sciences. If one looks deeper into what “Islamic sciences” cover, it would be interesting to note that it does not merely signify theology. The great martyr and scholar Ayatollah Murtadha Mutahhari had said, “Islam’s all-inclusiveness and finality as a religion demands that every field of knowledge that is beneficial for an Islamic society be regarded as a part and parcel of the ‘religious sciences’.”

Any science or field of knowledge that is important to sustain and preserve the strength of an Islamic society automatically becomes obligatory (Wajib Kifai) upon all of us. Although all fields of knowledge will fall into this definition, there are some of them that are needed even more than the rest. As an example, consider the knowledge of medicine and particularly the lack of female physicians and OB/GYN practitioners in our communities.

When we look at our communities, it is indeed disappointing to see that secular education is not always seen from the Islamic perspective. We may usually discover two extremes: either secular education is given too much weight, such that religion is considered inferior in its relation, or it may even be thought of as inferior and isolated from religion, perhaps even contradictory to it. Both of these extremes are un-Islamic. Contrary to this and in actuality, the study of other sciences can in fact serve as a way to attain the Marifah of Allah, and to attain His proximity.

Secular education is also usually looked at with a materialistic lens that is merely to satisfy our survival needs and to boost up our prestige and reputation in the community. Engineering and healthcare professions are regarded as the most ideal and ultimate paths to success. Therefore, parents begin pushing their unwilling children into these fields from an early age. Such stereotypes must never exist in an Islamic community, because we believe the Qur’an when it says: “You endue with honor whom You please, and You bring low whom You please: In Your hand is all good.” (3:36) Therefore, sustenance, prestige, and honor are actually the gifts of Allah.

Taking into account this situation, it should not be of any surprise to us to see the present condition and the decline of the Islamic Ummah. If we desire the progress of our communities, we must start to think actively in terms of how we can build our societies and how we should become the individuals that the Islamic system wants us to be. Parents have a very important duty in this regard, as they become the key inspiration and motivation for their offspring. They should not give their children a selfish and materialistic dimension towards life, but rather inspire them to act according to the needs and demands of the Islamic community. Our beloved Prophet had said: “All human beings are the family of God, and the most beloved of men near God is one who is most beneficial to His family.”

We all eagerly yearn for the return of the last luminary, the Imam of Our Time (may Allah hasten his reappearance). Through his reappearance, we aspire for a society that is perfectly Islamic and free from every deficiency and shortcoming (Daulat Kareema). However, we must remind ourselves that Allah does not change a nation’s situation unless the people themselves endeavor to change it. Therefore, if we need to establish a perfectly Islamic society under our Imam, we must first equip ourselves with the knowledge and abilities that can be of service to our Imam.

About Rabab Jaffery

Check Also

Ask the Shaykh: Is Arbaeen Walk to Karbala an Innovation?

Question By the Grace of God I have been going for the Arbaeen walk in …

The Road from Heaven to Paradise

The Holy place of Najaf – the sacred shrine of my Mawla Ali The father …

  • otowi

    Rabbi zidni ‘ilma, rabbi zidni ma’arifah! :-*

  • Steph

    Salams sister.. i really liked this piece, its defying social norms and as a revert to islam i can say i agree 100%

  • Rabab Jaffery

    Wa Alaikum Salam….. Thanks for the kind words. 🙂

  • impressed

    well-written & thoughtfully presented mashaAllah

  • guest


  • JAM

    Very nice sister. Allah bless you

  • almannai

    Alsalam alikom
    I would like to share this site with all of you.
    The following site search’s the quran in 36 languages same as google search engine.
    I hope you find it usefull

  • J

    Hi. I’m not an Islamist by any means, but I believe in one statement made above. All races and cultures are the family of God. As far as an Islamic Society goes, it shouldn’t be about the Islamic religion entirely, it should be about everyone in the world regardless of our differences. God is love and God loves all, who has faith in God. And we’re all entitled to worship God and we’re supposed to. All religions agree on that. A self sufficient society is what we all want, is it not? So that comes with peace and cooperation and compromise. I’m all for that. As far as science and technology goes though, the mistake is we openned the book of knowledge instead of the book of life. We’ve become to technical and this is what God finds offensive. We’re supposed to live simply, self sufficiently and lovingly. It’s hate, ignorance and arrogance that divides the world, and this is an insult to God. We should all be working together with an open mind to become self sufficient. If we don’t, life as we know it for everyone and everything on Earth is looking at extinction due to our advances in science. Technology is what’s causing extinction of species, the destruction of environment and causing massive illness and it’s all because we want too much instead of the things most important that are free, like love, family, friends, and a supportive community. The problem is our system. It’s been made to be complex, to keep our thoughts trapped by keeping us busy and tired and not being able to think. When we lose the concept of division and accept each other without casting judgement, then we can know what God wants for us. Which is peace, love, nature, fun, and a fruitful healthy simple life. I’m just a nobody, who accepts everyone for who they are. Peace and love to everyone who knows peace and love.

  • Abdalla Azaam

    Mashallah very powerful and touching article . May Allah bless u for nice writing and increase for u