Islam means obedience or submission to the will of God. The will of God is expressed clearly in religious law. The Holy Quran is the supreme expression of Islamic law. Apart from the Quranic law, Islamic law includes old customs and traditions which are not against our religion. The life of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), as a whole, his words and deeds, is another important source of law, after the Holy Quran.
Islamic law covers all the important aspects of our private life. It guides us about the types of food we may or may not eat, the way we dress ourselves, the relations between men and women, and so on. All these rules of private life go together with prayers and acts of worship. We have to pray five times a day, keep fasts during the holy month of Ramazan and perform other acts of worship like a sacrifice at Eid-ul-Azha. Thus, we live to remember God all the time. Perhaps, we know about all this too well. Unfortunately, we don’t fully act on the rules of private living given by Islam.
Islam is quite clear about our public life too. It means that it guides us about the duties of the government and the State and our duties towards society. It also guides us about the duties of society towards the individual (person).
Firstly, the Holy Quran says that full or absolute (complete) power (sovereignty) belongs to God. Therefore, all governments or States become agents of the supreme ruler, that is, God. As such, they have to obey the order of God and frame their laws according to the Quran if they are truly Islamic.
Islam is a religion of true peace, justice, and equality. It gives us clear directions in regard to respect for each other’s rights in society. It asks us to help the poor and the needy by giving “zakat” regularly. It asks us not to give and take an interest. It demands of us to be honest in personal public and business dealings.
Islam is a flexible religion, It permits us to make use of our reason or mind (to practise ijtihad) to suggest solutions for new kinds of social problems. Whatever laws and rules have been given by it in. concrete (definite) form are for our practical benefit.
We can say with certainty that Islam is a complete social and religious system. It can take us to heights of perfection in this world as well as in the next.