We have said that the discovery of the real dimensions of the role of religion in the march of history and the progress of man depends on the evaluation of the two stable elements of the social relationship which are man and nature.

Now let us see from the viewpoint of the Qur’an about man and his role in the movement of history. In the light of the Qur’anic concepts we studied earlier, it is evident that man or his inner content forms the basis of the movement of history. We have already pointed out that to have an objective is the distinguishing feature of the movement of history. In other words, the movement of history is a purposive movement. It is not merely related to its past through its cause, but is related to its future as well through its objective. Being a purposive movement, it has a final cause and is forward looking.

It is the future which stimulates the active movement of history. Though the future does not exist at the present time, it is visualized through its mental existence. It is this mental existence which on the one hand points to an intellectual aspect embracing the objective and on the other points to the power and will which push man towards this objective. Thus the mental existence of an objective which is to materialize in future and which motivates history, shows on the one hand the existence of an idea and on the other shows the existence of a will. It is the blending of an idea and a will that has the power to make future and is a force capable of starting historical activity on the social scene.

Idea and will in fact form man’s conscience, and in these two basic elements man’s inner content is seen. It is man’s inner content that moves history and with the blending of man’s idea and his will it can realize his objectives.

With this explanation it may be said that it is man’s inner content or his thinking and will which make history move. The whole structure of society including all its relations, organizations and their characteristics stand on the foundation of man’s inner content, and every change and development of society depends on the change and development of this infrastructure of it. In other words, the structure of society changes with a change in man’s ideas and his will. It is obvious that if this base is solid, the structure of society will be strong. The relation between man’s inner content and the social and historical superstructure of society is that of a cause and its effect. This relationship recalls the laws as explained earlier in connection with the following verse: “Allah does not change the condition of a people unless they change that which is in their hearts.”

This verse says that the social condition of a people is their superstructure. Any fundamental change must appear in the people themselves. All other changes, such as changes in the quality of life, historical condition or social condition spring from this basic change. A “change in that which is in their hearts” means a change in the inner content of society as a whole, that is as a community or a nation. Society should be like a plant that always bears new and fresh fruit. A change in one or several individuals in a society cannot lay the foundation of the development of society as a whole.

A change in the conditions and the circumstances of a community or a nation is fostered only by an inner change in that community or that nation which should like a tree that bears new fruit every day. Hence only a change in the inner and psychological content of a nation which on the whole is represented by the spiritual condition of the majority of that nation, is capable of bringing about any basic changes in the historical character of a nation. A change in the spirit of one, two or a few individuals cannot do this.

Necessity of Harmony between Superstructural and Infrastructural Movements of Society
Islam and the Qur’an believe that the process of inner and outer changes should proceed side by side so that man may reconstruct his inner faculties, that is his spirit, his thinking, his will and his inclinations. This inner infrastructure should be in complete harmony with the outer superstructure. As no superstructure can be visualized without an infrastructure and a superstructure without a strong base will be shaky and liable to disappear, Islam has called the proper reconstruction of the inner content, the major jihad (Spiritual purification), and the reconstruction of its superstructure the minor jihad (Holy war). Drawing a comparison between the two, Islam says that the minor jihad will have no real significance nor will it be able to bring about any change in social and historical fields, if it is not accompanied by major jihad.

Therefore these two processes should go on side by side. Whenever they are separated from each other, they lose their real value. In order to lay stress on the significance of man’s inner content and to make clear that this inner content is the basic thing, Islam has called its reconstruction the major jihad.

Whenever the major jihad and the minor jihad are separated from each other, no useful inner change can take place. Describing such a state the Qur’an says: There is such a man that his view on this worldly life pleases you. He even calls on Allah to vouch for that which is in his heart. Yet he is the deadliest of your opponents. No sooner he leaves you than he tries to make mischief, destroying crops and cattle. Allah does not like mischief. (Surah al Baqarah, 2: 204)
Man cannot accept truth and act righteously so long as a desire for a change for the better does not have a firm hold on his heart and he does not rebuild himself from within. Society cannot be shaped in a befitting manner unless man’s heart is replete with human values representing truth. Otherwise any talk of truth will be hollow and meaningless.

As such, the most important question is that of the change of heart, which accords meaning to the words and a dimension to the mottos, and determines the goal and the line of action to be adopted to secure it.

So far we have learnt that man’s inner content is the basis of the movement of history. It fixes the rules and laws.

Importance of Choosing an Ideal in the Life of Man
Now the question is what this inner content of man is. What is the thing that forms the starting point in the construction of this inner content? How can that thing be discovered?

In fact it is man’s ideal that performs this role. It is an ideal that forms man’s inner content and moves the wheels of history. It is an ideal that guides the movement of history through a conception which exists in man’s mind and is blended with his will and thinking. The objectives which move the wheels of history are organized by an ideal.

We know that man’s inner content gives a concrete shape to his objectives and goals on which the movement of history depends. It gives a practical shape to the movement of history through the mentally existing ideas blended with will and thinking. All the objectives around which history revolves, and which concern entire human society spring from the great ideals. It is a great ideal which brings into existence many small objectives and specific questions.

The objectives or the main goals in life are the sole makers of history. In their turn they have a deep foundation in man’s inner content, that is the main ideal of his life. This ideal is the corner stone of all his objectives which reverberate it. The higher and the nobler the ideals of a human society, the more befitting and broader objectives are. Similarly if its ideals are limited and mean, the objectives springing from them will also be limited and mean. Therefore a great ideal is the starting point of the internal reconstruction of human society. The main ideal of a society depends on its conception of life and the world. A great ideal is formed in the light of that conception, and society can move to realize that ideal in consonance with the spirit of the ideal in question and the conception that it holds of the world and life.

A great ideal is the outcome of a particular way of thinking and a particular mentality. All those who choose a particular ideal, determine their course of an action in the light of it. This course of action may be described as a historical movement. It may be mentioned that all historical movements have some definite aim and are distinguished from each other by the ideal behind them, which determines their objectives and goals. These objectives and goals keep all the efforts and moves which are mode, concentrated on the course, leads to that ideal. The Qur’an and the religious terminology call such an ideal deity, because it is a high ideal alone which can occupy our full attention and make us comply with all its requirements.

The Qur’an believes that these are the qualities of a deity (ilah) only. That is why it describes every big ideal and every force that occupies the place of a big ideal, as deity. It is these deities (aliha) which fix the course of history. Lust and licentiousness are one of these deities. The Qur’an says: Have you seen him who chooses for his deity his own lust. (Surah al-Furqan, 24: 43)

In this verse excessive lust of a licentious man has been described as his deity.
According to the terminology of the Qur’an and the religion the big ideals are so to say Allah, the real Deity who issues injunctions to man and is his true motivating force. If the influence of something else goes to this extent, it socially and religiously may be called a deity.

Different Kinds of Human Ideals
I. The big ideals the conception of which man draws from the externally existing realities of the world and the living conditions and mental disposition of human society, do not lift man’s vision beyond the limited affairs of material life.

When man’s big ideal is inspired by the existing condition of society with all its characteristics and limitations, life begins to move in a circle. In other words, it ceases to move forward and becomes stagnant. As a result man begins to regard as absolute what he previously regarded as limited and relative. He ceases to have any desire to attain any thing beyond what already exists. He stops making efforts to achieve a higher ideal. In these circumstances the movement of history becomes circular. It does not move forward. The future becomes only a repetition of the past.

The leaders of the limited ideologies do nothing but forestall any change in society. They block the progress of human society by diverting its attention from the absolute to the relative. Hence, the limited ideologies are chosen for two reasons:

The first reason is a sense of attachment to the existing conditions on account of one’s becoming accustomed to them, and an aversion to any movement because of one’s indolence. From psychological point of view, the development of such a state in society prevents it from moving forward and making progress. Consequently society carves a god (deity) out of a relative truth which it could use as a stepping-stone for reaching its goal. It begins to look at a relative truth as the absolute truth and chooses it as its supreme ideal and the highest goal. This means nothing but blindly following in the footsteps of others which has been denounced by the Qur’an in many of its verses describing the societies which the Prophets had to face.

These societies believed that their rulers were the supreme ideals. They passed all limits in elevating their rulers, and overlooking the relativity of them, tried to make them the absolute. The Prophets had to face the people who on account of their perverted habits, customs and manners, rejected their call and said: We found our fathers following a path. We are guided by their footprints. (Surah al-Zukhruf, 43:22)

Materialism prevailed over their minds and hence they went after perceptible objects only. Materialism so much overwhelmed their feelings that instead of being the thinking men they became material beings of very limited thinking. A man, who is engrossed in his daily needs, is always under the influence of material things and cannot see beyond the daily happenings and the material affairs. He cannot rise above these things. See what the Qur’an says about such people:

They say: `We follow that wherein we found our fathers.’ What! Even though their fathers were totally unintelligent and had no guidance. (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:170)

They say: ‘Enough for us is that wherein we found our fathers.’ What! Even though their fathers had no knowledge whatsoever and no guidance. (Surah al-Maidah, 5:103)

They said: ‘Have you come to us to pervert us from that faith in which we found our fathers so that you may own the place of greatness in the land? We will not believe you.’ (Surah Yunus, 10: 78)

Do you ask us not to worship what our fathers worshipped? Surely we are in grave doubt concerning that to which you call us. (Surah Hud, 11:62)

Their messengers said: ‘Can there be doubt concerning Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? He calls you so that He may forgive you your sins and reprieve you to an appointed term.’ They said: ‘You are no more than human being like us. You want to turn us away from what our fathers used to worship. Then bring us some convincing proof.’ (Surah Ibrahim, 14:10)

They say only: `We found our fathers following a path and we are guided by their footprints. (Surah Az-Zukhruf, 43:22)

In all these verses the Qur’an has declared the choice of an inferior ideal as the first cause of the rejection of the call of the Prophets by the perverted societies. It explains that primarily because of their materialistic views and intellectual vacuum, these societies were unable to choose a better ideal and were contented with an inferior one.

The second cause of the choice of inferior ideals all over history has been the fiendish domination of the tyrants over human societies. When the tyrants come to power in society, they become allergic to every forward-looking idea and do not Ike that anyone should be regarded as superior to them. They always consider such things to be a threat to their status and existence.

That is why all over history it has been in the interest of the tyrants to close the eyes of their people to the realities. They wanted their people to regard the inferior condition of their life as an ideal and indispensable one, and to attach god-like and absolute value to the existing condition. The tyrants try to imprison the people within the framework of their own ideas. They want the people to mould themselves according to their existing condition, not to have any idea beyond that and not to think of changing their existing condition by choosing a better ideal or having a higher ambition. That is the social cause of choosing inferior ideals. This cause is introduced from outside and is not an internal one. The Qur’an has referred to this method of sabotaging the mission of the Prophets when it says: Fir’awn said: Chiefs, 1 know not that you have a god other than me. ” (Surah al Qasas, 28:38)

Fir’awn said: `I only show you what 1 think and I do but guide you to a wise policy. (Surah al Hijr, 15:29)

Here Fir’awn admits that he presents to his people nothing except his own personal views and that he wants to place them within the framework of his own personal opinion. Thus he admits that he wants to make the status quo and his personal views absolute and indispensable. It is pharaonic authority which makes an ideal imposed on a society appear to it to be indispensable and absolute, and forces society to accept it as such. The pharaonic authority regards any change in this policy as a threat to its existence. Listen to what the Qur’an says in this respect:

We sent Musa and his brother Haroon with our signs and a clear warrant to Fir`awn and his chiefs, but they scorned them as they were a despotic folk. And they said: `Shall we put our faith in two human beings like ourselves, and whose people are servile to us?’ (Surah al Mu’minun 23:45- 47)

Fir’awn means to say: “We are not prepared to put faith in the ideal which Musa has put forward, for it will shake the adoration which the people of Musa and Haroon show to us. Therefore it is necessary to maintain rigidly the existing life style of society, which must not be allowed to change at all. Human society must be held under the influence of greed and be authoritatively controlled. That is the only guarantee of our existence and the continuity of our rule.”

This was the second cause of the selection of inferior ideals as mentioned by the Qur’an. It is in this connection that the Qur’an has used the word ‘taghut’ (devil; false god; tyrant).

The Qur’an says: Those who avoid the taghut lest they should worship them, and turn to Allah in repentance, for them there are glad tidings. Therefore give glad tidings to My slaves who hear advice and follow the best thereof. Such are those whom Allah guides and such are men of understanding. (Surah al Ankabut, 29:17 -18)

Here Allah mentions the most important characteristic of those who avoid the `taghut’. He says: Give glad tidings to My slaves who hear advice and follow the best thereof.

That means that those who avoid the taghut have a free and open mind. They are not set in a mould from which they cannot escape. To follow the truth is their only goal. They hear what is said to them and follow the best thereof. They leave no stone unturned to find out and follow the truth. Had they been the worshippers of the taghut, they would have done only that which the taghut would have wanted them to do. They could not have heard what was said to them and could not have selected the best thereof. They could follow only that which the taghut would have told them.

So far we have explained the second cause of following the low quality ideals.

History passes through man’s inner structure which determines his goals. The basis of man’s goal is his ideals, and his ideals spring from his vital objectives. Every society has its own ideals which determine its course of action and provide milestones on its way of life. There are three kinds of ideals. We have so far explained the first kind of them, which springs from the existing conditions and circumstances of society. Such ideals are always monotonous and boring. Under their impact history always moves in a circular way, in the sense that it takes the existing condition and derives the absolute for the future out of it. The Qur’an holds that there are two causes which produce these ideals. The first cause, which is psychological, is people’s attachment to the old customs and habits and their indolence and sensuality. The second cause is external. It is the domination of the despots and tyrants over society throughout history.

Effect of Man’s Contact with Nature and with other Man
Previously we explained that the line of man’s contact with nature is different from that of man’s contact with his fellow beings, and that each of these two lines is comparatively independent of the other. But this comparative independence does not mean that these two lines do not influence each other in any way. In fact both of them affect each other positively as well as negatively. It is this reciprocal effect which produces the relationship that has been mentioned by the Qur’an. The first contact, that is man’s contact with nature, affects man’s relations with his fellow human beings.

Similarly the second contact, that is man’s contact with other men affects man’s relations with nature. Briefly it may be said that the more man gains control over nature and natural resources and the more he acquires improved production implements, the more there is a chance for him to exploit other men. The Qur’an says: Nay, but surely man is rebellious when he thinks himself independent. (Surah al-Alaq, 96:6-7)

This verse refers to this very relationship. It means to say that the more man becomes able to exploit nature, to control it and to utilize improved tools of production, the more he becomes selfish in his relations with other men and uses the means at his disposal to exploit the weak.

Take into consideration a society which earns its livelihood by means of hunting with hands, stones or sticks. The members of such a society cannot withstand the power-seeking stronger men. They can do nothing to frustrate the plans of wealthy brutes. Their power of production being limited, what can these laborious people do in the face of the evil schemes of social exploiters? No one among them can normally earn more than one day’s subsistence. Therefore in such a society there can be no possibility of any large scale exploitation as it exists today. In their case the exploitation can be at the most on individual level.
On the other hand take into consideration a developed society in which man can manufacture steam engines and huge electric equipments. In such a society man bends nature to his will. The developed and complex machinery at his disposal provides him with a means to develop his relations with other men and to acquire a capability and power of exploitation. At this stage he feels inclined to exert himself more and more to give a practical shape to his potential capabilities. With the mechanical and electrical power in his hand he can easily set up an exploiting capitalist system. In fact he is stimulated to use his exploiting power as he gets an opportunity to do so. His inner tussle and contradiction impel him to utilize in the social field of the production power and the production instruments at his disposal.

Historical Materialism Has No Role in History
The only difference between us and the advocates of historical materialism is that according to historical materialism it is production instruments which bring exploitation into existence and create a system conducive to it, whereas we do not believe that the production instruments do any such thing. These instruments are no more than tools. They may provide an opportunity, but it is man who sets up a system, takes positive or negative action, is honest or dishonest and is industrious or lazy. It is man alone who acts and he invariably acts according to his inner content. He chooses his ideal and decides to what extent he should be attached to it. This is the view expressed by the Qur’an in respect of men’s mutual relations. Earlier we described these relations as the first contact.

As for the second contact, that is man’s contact with nature, the Qur’an is, in short, of the opinion that the more the man’s mutual relations are based on fairness and equity and are free from every kind of injustice and exploitation, the more pleasant becomes the relation between man and nature, the more treasures of natural resources become available to man and the blessings of Allah are showered on him from the heaven and the earth. Many verses of the Qur’an mention this relationship. Some of these verses are as under:

If they tread the right path, We shall give them to drink o f water in abundance. (Surah al-Jinn, 72:16)

If they had observed the Tawrat and the Injil and that which was revealed to them from their Lord, they would surely have been nourished from above them and from beneath their feet. (Surah al-Ma’idah, 5:66)

If the people of the townships had believed and kept from evil, surely We should have opened blessings from the sky and from the earth. But they disbelieved, and so We seized them on account of what they used to earn. (Surah al-A’raf, 7:96)

As a consequence of this relationship, just social relations have an impact on the utilization of the natural resources. The more these relations are just, the better is the utilization. Justice in man’s contact with his fellow beings manifests itself in man’s contact with nature. It is in a just society that man’s contact with nature thrives. It does not flourish well in an unjust society. This relationship not only has a supernatural aspect in which we believe, but it also throws light on a divine norm, because according to the Qur’an an unjust society like that of Pharaoh has always been a decadent society. Over history whenever tyrannical policies have been pursued, these policies have culminated in the wastage of the energy of society, in dissensions among the different sections of it and in the destruction of the potentialities of its members. In this state of disintegration and loss of cohesion it is not possible for the members of society to mobilize their potential resources and gain control over nature. Here lies the difference between choosing the supreme ideal and adopting the inferior and abject ideals.

The true and monotheistic ideal closes the ranks of society and does away with all differences of blood, race, nationality, class or geography. It unites the entire humanity under the banner of monotheism. But a low ideal splits humanity and disunites society.

Just see what Allah says in respect of the supreme ideal:

Surely this, your ummah (community) is one ummah, and I am your Lord. So worship Me. (Surah al-Ambiya, 21:92)
Surely this, your ummah is one ummah, and I am your Lord. So have fear of me. (Surah al-Mu’minun, 23:52)

This is the logic of the supreme ideal which recognizes no frontiers within human society. Now reflect on what Allah says about a society oppressed by the false gods and see how He describes such a society: Surely Fir`awn exalted himself in the earth and divided its people into castes. (Surah al Qasas, 28:4)

Pharaoh is the symbol of the low ideals which base man’s contact with other men on oppression and exploitation. The Pharaohs split and impoverish society and give prominence to class interests. They destroy man’s creative power and stifle the growth of his relations with nature. The Pharaohs divide society into the groups and sections detailed here:

I. The first group is that of the oppressed oppressors. They are the oppressors who are at the same time the oppressed also. They may be called the second class oppressors. The Imams have called them `Lackeys of the unjust’ and the `friends of the oppressors’. The oppressed oppressors support the tyrants and the despots. The existence of the oppressors and the continuance of their reigns depend on them. The Qur’an says:

But oh, if you could see, when the wrongdoers are brought up before their Lord, how they cast the blame on to another; how those who were despised on the earth say to those who were proud: But for you we would have been believers. (Surah an-Nur, 24:31)

As may be observed, speaking about the oppressors the Qur’an divides them into two groups, one being that of despised oppressors and the other that of proud oppressors. That shows that among the oppressors also there are some who are despised and others who are arrogant and proud. The Pharaohs – like people are the proud oppressors and those who are their henchmen are the despised or the oppressed oppressors.

On the Day of Resurrection these oppressed oppressors will be raised along with the proud oppressors and there they will say to the latter: “But for you we would have been believers. ” This is the first group of the oppressors on which the arrogant oppressors depend.

II. In an unjust society the second group of the oppressors consists of the sycophants and the hangers-on. They may not do any injustice direct with their own hand, but they encourage the oppressors and justify all their actions. In this respect the Qur’an says: The Chiefs of Pharaoh’s people said to him: `Will you allow Moses and his people to make mischief in the land and flout you and your gods?’ He said: `We will slay their sons and spare their women, for we possess power over them.’ (Surah al-A’raf, 7:127)

Their role was to incite Fir’awn (Pharaoh). They could strike the right chord of his heart at the right moment. Fir’awn was in need of what they said. Therefore they competed with each other in finding out what was in his heart so that they could bring the current situation in harmony with his feelings and sentiments.

III. In an unjust society the third group consists of those whom Imam Ali has described as “automatons”. They allow themselves to be the tools of others and do not realize that any wrong has been done to them. They are unconscious of any injustice. Their actions are mechanical, involuntary and without any consciousness of their subservience and obedience. They are deprived of their intelligence by the despot. They submit to him of their own accord and accept whatever he says without the least reluctance. They do not allow even themselves to criticize any of his actions, what to say of others. In its treatment of nature this group loses all power of initiative and capability of development and is converted into a tool having no will power. If the members of this group still have any initiative, that initiative is controlled by the despot who operates these tools. They themselves are no longer men who can think and use their initiative in any way. In respect of them Allah says: They say: `Our Lord! We obeyed our chiefs and great men, and they misled us from the way.’ (Surah al-Ahzab, 33:67)
In what they say there is no indication of the feeling that any wrong has been done to them. They speak of blind and illogical obedience only.

According to the classification of men mentioned by Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, these people form the third category. He has said: “There are three categories of men: divine scholars, pupils seeking salvation and aimlessly buzzing flies following the cry of everybody.”

This third category creates difficulties for a decent society. These difficulties will be removed and the way opened only in proportion to the success of a good society in doing away with this category and converting it into the second category mentioned by Imam Ali, that is those pupils seeking salvation, or in the words of the Qur’an, that of the followers of goodness, or in the terminology of the jurists, that of the eager disciples.

Imam Ali holds that it is necessary for a good and decent society to convert this category of the aimlessly buzzing flies having neither intelligence nor will and incited by every puff of wind. The Imam believes in this elimination of the category, but he does not want to exterminate its existence. He wants it to be converted into the second category so that a decent society may pursue its policy of opening new venues of progress and giving every member an opportunity to participate in this process.

In contrast, the despotic rulers do every thing to increase the number of such mean persons who change their direction with every sound. As a result of their policy society is drawn step by step to ruin, and these despots find themselves unable to defend its integrity.

The more the number of the persons belong to this category increases, the more acute becomes the danger of the ruin of society in case of any internal mishap or an external exigency. That is how societies accelerate the process of their natural death. Evidently the death of a society or that of a nation or community means its natural death, not its physical death. Societies undergo two kinds of death, one natural and the other trivial. A society meets its natural death as a result of the increase in the number of the persons belonging to this third category, which causes disaster and ruins society. This was the account of the third category in a split and despotic society.

IV. The fourth category consists of those who do not approve injustice, and have not renounced their power of understanding in favour of the Pharaohs. They do not like injustice, yet they accept it quietly without any protest. Consequently they always live in a state of perplexity and restlessness. This mental state is detrimental to new discoveries in the development of relations between man and nature. According to the following Qur’anic verse such persons are unjust to themselves:

When the angels take away the lives of those who have been unjust to themselves, they ask them: ‘In what circumstances were you?’ They answer: `We were helpless in our land.’ The angels say: `Was not the earth of Allah vast enough for you to emigrate?’ (Surah an-Nisa, 4:97)

They have not been unjust to others. Like the first group they are not the oppressed oppressors, nor are they the toadies and servile sycophants. They are also not the aimlessly buzzing flies having no intelligence or will. They are conscious of their being powerless and oppressed. “They say: We were powerless in our land. ” They have not lost their faculty of understanding and hence are conscious of their sorry plight. But practically they are slothful and indolent. That is why the Qur’an describes them as being unjust to themselves. Can this group be expected to take initiative and do something good to be able to take a step forward in the field of man’s contact with nature? Naturally no such thing can be expected of these people.

V. The fifth group of the despots consists of those who escape from the stage of life to practice monkish life. This state has existed in all despotic societies over history. It may be analysed in two ways. One kind of monastic life is real and true in which man keeps himself away from society under strict self-discipline with a view to save himself from the pollution of his environment and social impurities. Islam rejects this kind of life and calls it an unhealthy innovation. The Qur’an calls it “the monkish life which they have invented.” Monastic life is bad because it has only a negative basis. It implies the renunciation of man’s responsibility as Allah’s vicegerent on the earth, which is not permissible.

Another kind of monkish life is the affected monkery, which means to assume artificially the manners and the dress of the monks without renouncing the world from the depth of one’s heart. The persons who practice it deceive the people and beguile them of the tyranny of the despots, but mentally and spiritually they are supporters of the tyrants. The Qur’an speaks of this group and says: Many of the Jewish rabbis and the Christian monks devour the wealth of others want only debar them from the way of Allah. (Surah at-Tawbah, 9:34)

VI. The sixth or the last group of despots is that of the oppressed. When the despotic rulers divide society into groups, they choose one group to be oppressed. That is what Fir’awn did. He divided his people into castes and oppressed the people of one caste, who led the opposition to him and were his known opponents. He did not care for their dignity while persecuting them. The Qur’an says: And (remember) when We did deliver you from Fir`awn’s folk, who were afflicting you with dreadful torment, slaying your sons and sparing your women. That was a tremendous trial from your Lord. (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:49)

The Qur’an tells us what the final fate of each of these groups will be after the oppression is over. Concerning the last group it says: We like to favour those who have been regarded weak in the land and want to make them leaders and inheritors. (Surah al Qasas, 28: 5)

This verse refers to the sixth group which is misfit in a despotic category. Allah intends to grant them leadership of the land and to make them masters of it. This is another norm of history about which we will talk shortly. So far we have mentioned the fact that the relations between man and nature deteriorate in proportion to the injustice that prevails in a society. Injustice does not allow full exploitation of nature for the benefit of man. On the contrary relations between man and nature flourish in society to the extent that justice and struggle against injustice prevail in it. In such a society creative forces are used to exploit nature.

A despotic society being split and disintegrated, its capabilities and potentialities go waste. The sky withholds rains from falling on it and the earth refrains from granting its blessings to it. Exactly the opposite prevails in a just society. In it all capabilities and potentialities join together. Such a society will be established following the appearance of Imam Mahdi (May Allah hasten his advent and solace). Islamic traditions give enough detail, of the bounties and blessings which will follow his appearance. That will be so because wherever justice is established, man’s contact with nature blooms and a new relationship between man and nature is established.

Source: al-shia.org







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