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condemned races, expressions such as social castes and second – class citizens will all become meaningless and obsolete The Concept of Brotherhood Another fundamental element in the value system of Islam is the value of human brotherhood. This value also is founded on the same principles which have been discussed in connection with freedom and equality. Besides those foregoing principles, human brotherhood in Islam is based on an unshakable belief in the Oneness and Universality of God the worshipped, the unity of mankind the worshippers, and the unity of religion the medium of worship. For the Muslim, God is One, Eternal and Universal. He is the Creator of all men, the Provider for all men, the Judge of all men, and the Lord over all men. To Him, social status, national supermanship, and racial origin are insignificant. Before Him, all men are equal and brothers of one another. The Muslim believes in the unity of mankind with regard to the source of creation, the original parentage, and the final destiny. The source of creation is God Himself. The original common parentage is that of Adam and Eve. To this first parentage, every human being belongs and of it he partakes. As for the final destiny, there is no doubt in the Muslim’ s mind that it will be to God, the Creator, to Whom all men shall return. The Muslim believes in the unity of God’ s religion. This means that God does not confine His religion or favors to any particular nation, race, or age. It further means that there can be no contradiction or fundamental differences in the Religion of God. When all this is interpreted properly, it will leave no ground for pretended supremacy or presumptuous exclusivity. And when it is imparted into the human mind, it will provide man with a clear concept and a solid basis of human brotherhood. Because the Muslim believes in the Oneness of God, the unity of mankind, and the unity of religion, he believes in all the Messengers and Revelations of God without discrimination. The Concept of Peace To appreciate how Islam approaches the question of peace, one has only to consider a few elementary facts about Islam. Peace and Islam are derived from the same root and may be considered synonymous. One of God's names is Peace. The concluding words of the daily prayers of every Muslim are words of peace. The greeting of the Muslims when they return to God is peace. The daily salutations among the Muslims are expressions of peace. The adjective “Muslim” means, in a sense, peaceful. Heaven in Islam is the abode of peace. This is how fundamental and dominant the theme of peace is in Islam. The individual who approaches God through Islam cannot fail to be at peace with God, with himself, and with his fellow men. Taking all these values together, putting man in his proper place in the cosmos, and viewing life in the Islamic perspective, men of good regain human dignity, to achieve equality, to enjoy universal brotherhood, and to build a lasting peace. The Concept of Community The word community has acquired certain connotations, some of which are romantic and nostalgic, some derogatory and reactionist. But since we intend to deal with the basics, we shall confine our discussion to the most fundamental meanings of the word community. In one basic sense, the concept community means “ all forms of relationship that are characterized by a high degree of personal intimacy, emotional depth, moral is commitment, social cohesion, and continuity in time ….. It may be found in ….. locality, religion, nation, race, occupation, or (common cause). Its archetype ….. is the family” (Robert Nisbet, The Sociological Tradition - New York: Basic Books, 1996, pp. 47-48) In another basic sense, a community is a comprehensive group with two chief characteristics: (1) it is a group within which the individual can have most of the

Islam in Focus  

By HAMMUDAH ABDALATI Table of Contents Chapter - II