Shari'ah — The Universal and Eternal Law

Understanding Islam – Abul Al\’a Maududi

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In the foregoing pages we have given a very brief resume of the law of Islam — the law which Prophet Muhammad (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) delivered to mankind for all times to come. This law admits of no difference between man and man except in faith and religion. Those religious and social systems and political and cultural ideologies which differentiate between men on grounds of race, country or color can never become universal creeds or world ideologies for the simple reason that someone belonging to a certain race cannot be transformed into another race, one born in a certain country cannot tear his identity from that place, nor can the whole world condense into one country; the color of a Negro, a Chinese and a white man cannot be changed. Such ideologies and social systems must remain confined to one race, country, or community. They are bound to be narrow, limited, and nationalistic. Islam on the other hand, is a universal ideology. Any person who declares belief in La ilaha illallah Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah (there is no other god worthy of worship than Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet) enters the pale of Islam and entitles himself to the same rights as those of other Muslims. Islam makes no discrimination on the basis of race, country, color, language, or the like. Its appeal is to the whole of humanity. 

Its law is also eternal. It is not based on the customs or traditions of and particular people and is not meant for any particular period of human history. It is based on the same principles of nature on which man has been created. And as that nature remains the same in all periods and under all circumstances, law based on it is applicable to every period and under all circumstances. This universal and eternal religion is Islam.

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