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Topic initiated on Thursday, April 5, 2007  -  2:27 PM Reply with quote
"Never shall we leave alcohol nor shall we..''

Aisha (RA), the wife of the Prophet, has explained the rationale behind this evolutionary or gradual method. According to Al-Bukhari, she says that in the early days of Islam only such verses were revealed that sought to change a person's heart and mind, not verses that laid down divine law. Only when the Quran had successfully inculcated in the believers an innate acceptance of the evil nature of alcohol and adultery were the two explicitly prohibited. Describing this Quranic prohibition, Aisha (RA) says, had such a ban been revealed right in the very beginning, the people would have immediately cried out, "Never shall we leave alcohol nor shall we ever leave adultery."

Gradual change is but the Natural way of change. Islam was able to establish an evil-free society for the first time in history only because it employed this natural method of gradual change. We cannot find an example of such comprehensive success in transforming society on the part of any reform movement in the history of social reform.

In other words, the Islamic scheme for social reform can be called a results-oriented method as opposed to a dogmatic method. Islam seeks to bring about change in a manner that takes into consideration the possible consequences of any action instead of simply imposing its laws without any regard to the results.

Study of the Prophet's life reveals the distinction that he made between his ideas and how he put them into practice. Although he was the greatest of idealists and loved perfection, when dealing with people he kept reality firmly in sight and remained ever practical. The Prophet's life is laden with examples such as those leading unto the prohibition of alcohol and adultery.

The Prophet's effort was always such that people accept the mores of Islam by their own choice rather than be forced to accept it at the command of some political power. One of the aspects behind the wisdom of the Prophet's method is that when people relinquish a certain social evil of their own accord then there is no negative psychology that results. If a certain standard is imposed upon society, however, the social evil in question may seem to have been removed but some other problem is sure to take its place.

Judging by the standard of results achieved, reform by persuasion is true reform while reform by force is simply upheaval rather than real change in any positive sense of the word.
social change in Islam

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