THE CONCEPT OF SOCIETY IN ISLAM AND PRAYERS IN ISLAM
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Man is lonely today, as he never was You live in a crowded world, you are tied into an intricate network of social links and bonds; like a tiny atom, you are whirling around in the company of multitude of others like you, acting and interacting with each other: yet. you are ‘lonely’. Loneliness’ is one of those ‘gifts’ which modern secularist and techno. logical civilisation has bestowed upon you. For your bonds, however numerous, have been drained of warmth: your links, however sophisticated, have turned mechanical; the entire network of your social relationships has become an abstract mosaic, devoid of life and intensity. And with what consequences alienation, personality disturbance, emotional distress, a high crime rate and empty lives.
Unless the human bonds are again infused with affection and the warmth of love and brotherhood, man will never be able to taste the rich joys and pleasures of living together. It is this blessing of love and brother hood which is one of the greatest sources of sustenance and nourishment for man – spiritually, morally, intel lectually, socially and even physically. The lonely man a product of our age is wandering in search of bonds which will not snap like dry twigs and leave him in the lurch.
One of the greatest blessings of Islam is its admir able success in creating strong, warm, rich and durable bonds of love and brotherhood between man and man.It has done so on the basis of faith in one God, tawhid: but it has also inspired man to follow a pattern ofbehaviour which will sustain and strengthen mutual brotherhood. The book now before you, Duties of Brotherhood in Islam, attempts to present those very norms and values of conduct which make brotherhood in Islam so enduring and so affectionate.
I am grateful to my colleague, Brother Muhtar Holland, for having rendered into English this enor mously useful portion of Al-Ghazali’s monumental Ihya Ulum al-Din Al-Ghazali needs no introduction and his name is itself a sufficient guarantee of the charm and effectiveness of the treatment of such an important subject in this book. But I must add that Brother Muhtar has done a very commendable job in preserving and transmitting the original charm in a new vehicle of communication.
The book was originally published in 1975 by Latimer New Dimensions Ltd., London, and, as it happened, was instrumental in establishing our associa tion with Brother Muhtar. I am very grateful to him for having allowed us to bring out this second impression.
I have every hope that the book will be welcomed by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Muslims will be able to use it as a mirror and teacher – to learn, to correct and to strengthen what they still retain of that powerful brotherhood. Non-Muslims should be able to catch a glimpse or two of the rich treasure of divine guidance which was finally given to the Prophet Muhammad fourteen hundred years ago, and which inheritance they share with us.
In conclusion I pray to Allah to bless our efforts with His acceptance and mercy.