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Social Interaction from Quran and Traditions Point of View PDF Print E-mail
Written by safinah   
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 00:24

Examples of Positive Social Interaction from Quran and Traditions Point of View

Faezeh Azim Zade Ardebili

Faculty Member, Azad University

Tayebeh Ibrahimi

Faculty Member, Azad University

Masomeh Sarbaz Vatan Kondori

Abstract: positive social interactions are one of the basic pillars of each society and in Quran and traditions of Ahlul Bayt we observe significant guidelines concerning this issue. The goal of this study is to introduce examples of these interactions based on Quran and traditions. The research method is library-based. The examples of      positive interactions are: interacting with others, interacting with friends, respecting people, having good temper, be kind, keeping promises, forgiving others,                  cooperation, security, and psychological and moral health in people’s interaction.

Key words: social interactions, social relationship, society.



Introduction

Interaction and relationship among people are subjects which have existed during history and played a significant role in the life of people. In the light of these bilateral relationship people could gain achievement in various fields of morality, economics, cultural,… . Positive interactions in societies result in unity and peace, and realization of talents and creativity, friendship and kindness.

In Islam numerous teachings based on the specific fundamental principles of it have been outlined applicable for all aspects of life. They can be found in the Quranic verses and traditions of Ahlul Bayt. These verses and traditions promise flourishing of society and bliss in this world and hereafter.

Faithful and Muslim elites try to offer proper Islamic guidelines for educational system to place individuals in the path of God so as to pave their way to prosperity and salvation. We believe that Quranic teachings provide us with humanistic values governing effective and perfect social interactions, in this article, by the use of ethical discussions, interactions among people in society have been introduced. The examples are studies and its positive impact from Quranic and infallibles’ view point are given.

One of the criterion of advancement in each society is the quality of social interactions among individuals of society. How much do they observe morality and humanistic criteria in their social interactions? How much could they show their affection, respect, trust and loyalty in their relationship? What can determine the prosperity and advancement of each society? Islamic and ethical teachings in this regard can offer behavioral role models that if they are fulfilled in practice, Islamic society will reveal its humanistic realization. In culture, there exists various criteria which can contribute to social strengthening and interactions among people. Methods of interactions among people of a society and in social interactions should be compatible with Islamic conditions.  The sound relationship and interaction can establish the foundation of a society. Social interactions not only put wonderful influence on the personality of a person and uplift his spirit but also has significant impact on society. The more powerful, the more effective. The extant of each person’s effect on society is closely tied with his characteristics and attributes. In Islamic society, we witness growing relationship among people, they meet each other’s need by interacting each other; rewards encourage them to take serious roles in benevolent activities. In the present article, methods of interacting each other positively and examples of it have been outlined in the framework of Quran and Ahlul Bayt opinions.

The literal meaning of social interaction and relationship

Social interactions in literal sense means an exchange between two or more individuals. A process by which people act and react to each other. Social relationship is derived from the root “ربط ” and in word means being attached, being related to a group. God in Quran includes various verses concerning establishment and strengthening social relationship. The relationship among people should be based on respecting humanistic dignity. It makes no difference to be black or white, affluent or poor, or follower of which religion. God eloquently mentioned this truth in verse 70 surah Asra. “We have honored the children of Adam” (17:70) anyone who disrespects a person whom God honors, in fact, disrespects God. Therefore, social relationship is connection and fond among people which result in their unity.

Individual entity in Islamic society

In Islamic view point, each person has a relative independence in society. It means he is part of society but does not melt in it. In another word, Islam neither is individualist nor Collectivist. What is important is to adhere to a religion. Muslims if live in atheist society, should not follow atheism; they should stand up against it as much as they can. If it is not feasible for them, they should migrate from there.

They are not allowed to be the same as that atheist society and can not violate religious responsibilities.

However, Islam respect private life of people but to the extent that not to be harmful for societies. If someone’s desire is against social rules of Islam, in Islamic society he should accept Islamic rules. Society and a person are in mutual interaction and can effect on each other. But at the same time they have a kind of relative independency and an individual can make society. It means originality of a person at the same time of originality of a society. But Islam does not favor any type of interaction and relationship. Those interactions are appropriate that are defined in the framework of God’s rules and regulations: a relationship that ends up in God’s satisfaction. Islam emphasized on close relationship among Muslims. The proof on this claim is the quite a few number of Islamic practices which should be carried out in groups. Or when these practices are not done in group, they have smaller rewards. These emphasis empowering connections. Quran advises people gather around a pivot.  Sticking to the rope of God is the basis of worshipping God and among monotheists this belief stands top of the other beliefs of them. This belief can join Muslims together regardless of their race and language and can make trust.

1. Examples of positive interactions in society on the view point of Quran and infallibles

1. Interaction with your fellow citizen

Mankind is a sociable and active creature, and to answer his physical or psychological needs should interact with other fellow citizens. Human beings cannot declare his talents and abilities without interacting others. All human beings to answer their needs are looking for those whom give them peace. This need of interacting others is given to all humans. God asks His servants to treat each other justly. For example in verse 36 in surah Nesa regarding this issue says,

وَ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَ لا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئاً وَ بِالْوالِدَيْنِ إِحْساناً وَ بِذِي الْقُرْبى‏ وَ الْيَتامى‏ وَ الْمَساكِينِ وَ الْجارِ ذِي الْقُرْبى‏ وَ الْجارِ الْجُنُبِ وَ الصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنْبِ وَ ابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَ ما مَلَكَتْ أَيْمانُكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يُحِبُّ مَنْ كانَ مُخْتالاً فَخُوراً

Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him. Be kind to parents and near kinsmen, to the orphans and to the needy, to your neighbor who is your kindred, and to the neighbor at your far side, and the companion at your side, and to the destitute traveler, and to that which your right hands owns. Allah does not love he who is proud and struts.

The above mentioned verse pictures a series of Islamic laws including right of God, ethical code, etc. From this, we can infer some rules:

وَ بِالْوالِدَيْنِ إِحْساناً.

وَ بِذِي الْقُرْبى‏ وَ الْيَتامى‏ وَ الْمَساكِينِ‏:

And also God in the verse 77 Surah Qesas invites human being to do good:

وَ ابْتَغِ فِيما آتاكَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ وَ لاتَنْسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيا وَ أَحْسِنْ كَما أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ وَ لا تَبْغِ الْفَسادَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

Allameh Tabataee, a great Quran commentator, wrote under this verse, “Try to seek the Hereafter, use your blessings of this world to fix your Hereafter by giving your money away for the sake of God and to His satisfaction. وَ لا تَنْسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيا- means do not leave behind whatever of sustenance God has given you, but use it to build your Hereafter. Because the true interest is what you spend for Hereafter which is your deeds. وَ أَحْسِنْ كَما أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ- means donate the extra part of your money to others, as God has donated you from His Kindness and you do not deserve it. and لا تَبْغِ الْفَسادَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ means do not seek moral calamities and do not use whatever you have of money or power to spread evilness that God does not like evildoers, and the base of creation is on goodness and intentions of make others good.” [i]

Imam Sadiq said, “There is a verse in the book of God which is definite and certain.” I said, “Which one is?” He answered, “It is God’s word in His book Who said, “is the reward of goodness something other than goodness?” this is true for unbelievers, believers, benevolent people, and evildoers. Any one who receives kindness should compensate …” [ii]

And also he said, “Believers in kindness and benevolence, in sympathizing and affections are similar to a body, if a member of this body is afflicted by a pain all members will be in pain.” [iii]

According to the Islamic teachings mentioned in Quran and seen in life styles of infallibles, social life receives an special spotlight and Muslims are ordered to be nice with others, whether Muslim or non-muslim. And being nice to parents and then other relatives and all people of society. In those communities which are govern by friendly interactions, fields of prosperity for human beings will be prepared. And in those societies people will move towards perfection calmly.

2. Interacting friends

Friendship is an example of interacting friends. The soul of human being will flourish in the light of friendship. Need of friendship is hidden in the very deep layers of our soul. When he makes friend with a person, he can taste the sweet flavor of life more and release from darkness of loneliness. Friendship with pious people is one of the levers of life and causes of happiness and prosperity. With good friends people can go through difficult periods of life. And reach their real goals and wishes. A person who is deprived of companionship of others, is alone and he can not know himself as he should be. Therefore, in his life he is unable to flourish his talents intellectually and spiritually and will lose happiness. In the verses of Quran some conditions are mentioned for making friends, God in Surah Ale Imran , verse 28 says,

لا يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكافِرِينَ أَوْلِياءَ مِنْ دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَ مَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَيْ‏ءٍ إِلاَّ أَنْ تَتَّقُوا مِنْهُمْ تُقاةً وَ يُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ وَ إِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ

The believers should not take the unbelievers as guides in preference to the believers he who does this does not belong to Allah in anything, unless you have a fear of them. Allah warns you to be cautious of Him, the arrival is to Allah.

Tabari in the explanation of this verse said, “as God in previous verses says that He is the Owner of the world and Hereafter and can exalt whom He wills and abase whom He wills, He prohibits faithful ones from friendship with and following enemies of God that exalting or abasing are not by them.” people should always be interested in things at the hand of God, friends of God and faithful ones nor things at the hands of enemies of God and disbelievers, God says in this regard,

لا يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكافِرِينَ أَوْلِياءَ

The believers should not take the unbelievers as guides

It means it is obligatory for Muslims to join faithfuls and prohibits cooperating unbelievers against Muslims.

Therefore it can be concluded that God forbids us of friendship with infidels and enemies of God as their friendship can weaken faith. The other point is declaring brotherhood with someone which is the sign of showing affection to others. And in Islam the relationship between two people is so valued which is named as brotherhood.

God in Surah Hujorat verse 10 says,

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَ اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

Believers are indeed brothers, therefore make things right among your two brothers and fear Allah, so that you will be subject to mercy.

As hard as you try to make peace between two people, you should seriously and firmly try to make peace among all faithful ones.

God states, kind friends become each other’s enemies in the day of Doom except those who are pious. In modern life, finding a pious friend is not easy. Isn’t it that the first thing after prophethood of a prophet was to be accompanied by a good and honest friend? And also of blessings of God to His friends and infallibles and selected ones is to succeed them in friendship and companionship of his infallibles. And this means there is no blessing in surface and in depth which is higher and sweeter than good companions in the way of God, a brotherhood for the sake of God.

Noticing Quranic teachings, one of the most apparent characteristics of a good friend is to be faithful and benefactor, an honest and frank person. A person who rushes to assist in hard times, in sorrow and in happiness, in relief and agony, sympathizing and accompanied his friend like a brother, as it is mentioned in holy verses. In a society friendship with pious people can result in growth and flourishing different aspects of human being. Friends can make not erasable impact on each other, to the extent that to know a person, one can look at his friends. Selecting a good friend can play a great role in success of a person.

3. Respecting people’s dignity and nobility

In a society, the base of all interactions among human beings should be this very important principle. Here by this we mean being benevolent, forgiving and gentle. Being noble, if it refers to God means His beneficence and apparent blessings and if it refers to human beings, it means being noble in behavior. From the effects of this nobility are generosity, forgiveness, … . In Islamic view point, nobility is inborn and intrinsic which is given to all human beings from one hand and due to this they are superior than to any other things. From the other hand, it is something which can be acquired by piety. This kind of nobility which is the result of human beings attempt is the criterion of superiority of human beings and the cause of getting closer to God.

يا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْناكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَ أُنْثى‏ وَ جَعَلْناكُمْ شُعُوباً وَ قَبائِلَ لِتَعارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقاكُم‏

And God states,

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

People, We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you might know one another. The noblest of you before Allah is the most righteous of you. Allah is the Knower, the Aware.( 49:13)

Surely God is Wise and informed. As people are equal no one is superior to others and no one is higher than others. But the differences we can see in their creation, being in different tribes and groups, is to get them to know each other, to organize the society they live in and to help them be united. The privilege which God knows as privilege is the real highness, which is piety and fear from God. In fact the only way to reach salvation in hereafter is piety, which will bring salvation and prosperity in this world as well.

Imam Sadiq said, “no one boasts to believers, then God saves his honor and face in front of Muslims. And the person who cares more to respect God and His prophet, cares more in respecting Muslims.” If a person is reluctant and careless in respecting his religious brothers, in fact tears down the rope of his belief. The holy Prophet said, “respecting family and relatives is in fact respecting and honoring God.” He also said, “the one who has no mercy upon our little ones and do not respect our elder ones is not from us.”

According to the Quranic and religious teachings, each person should be respected regardless of their gender and social class. All people are equal and the more pious, the more respected. In societies where people are respected for their piety, that society can bring up responsible and psychologically healthy individuals.

4.Being Good Temper

One of the other significant examples of interaction and relationship in a society is being good temper. It is a kind of powerful and positive attractions among people which is resulted in friendship and human beings can reach his desires by being good temper. People of society are flexible facing good temper people and having relationship with them can give the feeling of psychological security and peace to them. God in the verse 159 surah Ale Imran cites one of the aspects of great morality of Prophet as his being good tempered and says,

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

It was by that Mercy of Allah that you (Prophet Muhammad) dealt so leniently with them. Had you been harsh and hardhearted, they would have surely deserted you. Therefore, pardon them and ask forgiveness for them. Take counsel with them in the matter and when you are resolved, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who trust.

In its interpretation it is said, though this verse is for prophet but in fact it addresses all Muslims. Muslims were dissatisfied with prophet, people blamed prophet for the killing of their friends. Because of this, God does not address them, He addressed His Prophet and said, in the light of mercy of God, you become kind with people while if you were bad tempered they would leave you.

From the words of interpreters, it becomes clear that this verse is about kindness and forgiveness of prophet to his companions. God points out to the good temper of Prophet which causes his defeat in Uhud Battle. This is a message to all Muslims to set prophet as their role model and to be nice to everyone and overlook each other’s mistakes.

Imam Ali said, no wonder if an honored person is humiliated because of his temper and a humiliated person is honored because of his good temper. Imam Sadiq also answering a question about limitations and meaning of good temper said, “good-temper is to be nice and kind with others, speak politely and be cordial with your brother. God in His book asks people to treat each other well.

5. Showing Affections

One of the other examples of social interaction is to show affection and to answer to kindness. In a society which is based on kindness and forgiving mistakes and all believe that meeting a person’s needs is an opportunity from God, kindness will spread. To increase happiness and affection in society people should show smile facing each other, say positive things and make others laugh. God mentions a general rule in Quran Surah Nisa verse 86 in replying to others’ kindness:

وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُمْ بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with better than it, or return it. Allah is the Reckoner of all things.

In its interpretation, it is said, the first sentence of the verse is to advise to greet in return for a greeting, and the reply should be the same or even better than the first greeting. This is a general rule which include all greetings.

Or it is said in its interpretation, God orders Muslim to answer a greeting of a Muslim better than the first greeting and greeting of a non muslim the same as the greeting not more.

The holy Prophet said in this regard, “whenever one of you likes his fellowship he should announce it because this can cause survival of friendship and affection.”   

Imam Baqir said, “Smiling at a faithful person is a good deed which is rewarded and removing harm from him is also rewarded. The most popular worship in front of God is to make a faithful person happy.” Imam Sadiq said, “Anyone who smiles to his faithful brother, that very smile is counted as a good deed for him.” Therefore one of the examples of social interactions is to show your affection to others and this includes greeting them and be kind with them, make them happy, solving their problems, etc. In society, we are witnessing different behaviors, but those who are treating others based on their fitrah, are usually kind with others, because these people are positive thinkers and optimist, psychologically healthy and are living in peace with others.

1. Forgiveness

One of the other examples of social interactions among people of society is ability to forgive. Forgiveness, tolerance and forbearance are of the most precious moral and humanistic values and are signs of eminence of soul and greatness of a human being. It enables human beings to get along well with others as he/she organizes his/her relationship based on tolerance and forgiveness. Therefore, a stable relationship can be shaped.

A united and powerful society depends on this characteristic of its people to forgive silly behaviors kindly; in personal issues especially in social coexistence where rights of people are subject of discord, forgiveness, forbearance, and kindness should be the base of interactions.

Therefore, the number of cases in them forgiveness is advised is more than the cases harshness is prescribed. Besides, forgiveness has always been advised among relatives and is encouraged by God. In holy Quran, in verse 40, Surah Shora, God states,

وَ جَزاءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِثْلُها فَمَنْ عَفا وَ أَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِين

The recompense of a sin is a sin like it, but whosoever forgives and seeks to reform, his wage will be with Allah. Surely, He does not love the harmdoers.

Allameh Amini in its interpretation said, this verse is the pleading of a suppressed person who asks for help, it says this person can behave similar to the behavior of the oppressed on. This revenge is fair. But there is a nice promise to those who forgive instead of taking revenge.

Generally speaking, in the interpretation of this verse God asks Muslims to behave kindly with each other. This is because God likes forgiveness and kindness and desires to give splendid reward to the oppressed one. The holy Prophet said, “Do forgive! Because forgiveness does not decrease but increase people’s dignity; so forgive each other, so as God gives you honor.”[iv]

Imam Jafar Sadiq said, “There are three characteristics which are of the greatest personality traits in this world and hereafter. Here they are: forgive one who oppresses you; join one who leaves you, and be patient when you are ignored.[v]

According to the teachings of Quran, it encourages Muslims to be forgiving to strengthen social ties and not to support oppressors. Forgiveness fades away hatred from the hearts of people. This can be a ground for friendship which in its turn is an influential factor to unite nation and to save them from plots of enemies. In a society there are those who forgive other ones mistakes; these are the ones who first and foremost give peace to their own soul. It causes sympathy, kindness, unity, and eventually positive interaction among members of a society.

6.Keeping Your Promises

Loyalty and being practical concerning commitments and promises are one of the criteria of growth of human communities. The foundation is bilateral trust which is the backbone of coordinated social activities and people’s cooperation and resulted in security of society. In various verses and traditions it is asked from Muslims that keep their promises, as it decreases trust in society. Trust is what keeps a community from division and tie people like circles of a chain. In Islam, keeping promises is obligatory and considered as a vajib واجب. God states in Surah maeda, verse 1

يا  أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَوْفُوا  بِالْعُقُودِ أُحِلَّتْ لَكُمْ  بَهِيمَةُ الْأَنْعامِ  إِلاَّ ما يُتْلى‏ عَلَيْكُمْ غَيْرَ محِلِّي الصَّيْدِ وَ أَنْتُمْ حُرُمٌ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ ما يُرِيدُ

Believers, fulfill your obligations. It is lawful for you (to eat the flesh of) the beast among cattle other than that which is recited to you, hunting is forbidden while you are on pilgrimage. Allah decrees what He will.

Allameh Tabatabaee in its interpretation said, “Quran, as it is obvious from the wording of the verse, asserts that promises should be kept. This command addresses all and includes all examples. Each and every action which is considered by public as a kind of promise should be kept. “ عقود” which is the plural form of “عقد” includes each action or word which brings even the literal meaning of “عقد” to minds. And that literal meaning is making relationship between one thing and another thing, in a way that one depends on the other one and cannot be separated like عقد بیع (purchasing something) in which the relationship between customer and goods is in a way that he could do whatever he wants with that goods, and this new relationship cut the previous relationship between the goods and its ex-owner and he could not make any change in it. Quran emphasizes on all meanings of promise and severely advises, a strong advice which stronger than this is impossible, all to live up to their promises. Those who break their promises are strongly reprimanded, they are threatened by a harsh tone; while those who keep their promises are praised in various verses. The number of these verses are quite a few and there is no need to mention them. The tone of the verses asserts that the goodness of keeping promises and ugliness of breaking promises are traced back to our nature.[vi]

Siyuti narrated from ibn Abbas in the interpretation book of Dorrul Manthur that:

أَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ

Be loyal to your treaties and promises.

Which means keep your promises. Do not invade what God announces as Hillal, or what He makes obligatory (Vajib) or what its limitations and rules are mentioned in Quran. Do not change them or violate them.[vii]

The holy Prophet said in describing a faithful person, “a faithful person is the one whom people find him trustworthy regarding their possessions and souls.”[viii]

And Ali (a.s.) said, “ there are signs for pious people by them they are recognized: honesty in their words, returning whatever they borrow, keeping their promise, no arrogance or stinginess, having relationship with family and friends, helping poor people, avoiding sinful companionship with women, generosity, being good-temper, broad knowledge of what gets them closer to God. Lucky them, what a good end is waiting for them!”[ix]

Therefore, according to the Quranic teachings, one of the examples of social interaction is to be committed to promises. This commitment includes all types of promises and God in Quran orders Muslims live up to their promises. As we said it can result in trust and unity of people of each society. In modern life, we can see faithful human beings who are committed to their promises. In the light of this commitment, they can provide a safe and peaceful atmosphere and in this atmosphere, they can benefit from individual and social relationship.

2. Assistance  And Cooperation

Cooperation means assistance and help. Human beings since long time ago have cooperated to facilitate work or to put impossible work into action or to save time and cost. From sociological perspective, cooperation forms among those whose goal is joining some activities together, or mutual assistance. In Quran this Islamic and humanistic principle has been highlighted: in the second verse of surah Maedah, we read,

وَ تَعاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَ التَّقْوى‏ وَ لا تَعاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَ الْعُدْوانِ

The meaning of this verse is obvious, this sentence is explanatory of Islamic sunnah, God in His word in Quran Surah Baqarah verse 177 explained “بر” and said,

‏ وَ لكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَ الْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ"

The word “تقوا” means noticing God’s must and mustn’t. Therefore, this verse means Muslim community should be united on faith and good deeds which are resulted from تقوا (fear of God) and this is social تقوا . Against this, we have unity to commit sins, i.e. a bad act which causes prosperous life.

Tabarsi in the interpretation of this verse said, “Here, God orders His servants to assist each other in good things and do what Gods orders and not to do what God’s forbids. Likewise, they should avoid cooperation in sins.[x]

Based on the Islamic teaching, growth of people of society and their maturity – for individuals and for society, depend on individual’s unity to get good actions done.

Islam knows cooperation as a factor of friendship in society: it can result in advancement of a society. In modern time, we see people who are benevolent and philanthropist, they take part in charities. They solve people’s problems and are ready to do any voluntary work. These people can spread good actions in society and revitalize societies. Through these charity work they find peace and get closer to God.

9. Chastity and Hijab

One of the other examples of social interactions is in facing each other, they should observe chastity and in society be modestly dressed. From Islamic teachings it can be understood that being modest means to be governed by logic and not by lust. If logic gets the rein of human beings at hand, that person will be strong in front of lusts and sinful passions. The tendency of such a person to sins would be less. Hijab means modesty in wearing clothes outside and ifaf عفاف (chastity)  is inside modesty. These two are the factors of prosperity of a society. Hijab and ifaf are religious duties and are of the key issues. They are related to many issues and have political, social, cultural and economical aspects. This issue as it addresses women, in fact, addresses half of a society. This factor has a basic role in regulating relationship between men and women, can influence all individuals of a society. Hijab and proper clothes are of factors which can make human beings and are of reviving laws of pure life. They are based on Fitrah and according to needs and psychological conditions of people and cause of human beings’ motivation and advancement.

Hijab not only can give value to women but also can influence family, society, etc. In Islamic culture, this issue receives comprehensive attention. Orders have been given to men and women in this regard and examples of hijab and ifaf have been given in Quran.

a. Ifaf in clothes

God states in Sura Ahzab, verse 59 that

يا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْواجِكَ وَ بَناتِكَ وَ نِساءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلابِيبِهِنَّ ذلِكَ أَدْنى‏ أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلا يْذَيْنَ وَ كانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَحِيماً

“O Prophet, tell your wives, your daughters and the believing women to draw their veils close to them, so it is likelier they will be known, and not hurt. Allah is the Forgiver, the Most Merciful”.

Allameh in the interpretation of this verse said that the word جلابیب” is plural of جلباب and it is a gown which covers all body or it is a special scarf that cover hair and part of face and the meaning of “draw their veils close to them” is to cover their neck and chest.

ذلِكَ أَدْنى‏ أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلا يُؤْذَيْنَ

It means covering body can help a person to be recognized as a modest person, and when he/she is known as a chaste one, he/she will be less absorbed by corrupted groups. Some interpretation’s experts say: this chastity and cover showed they were Muslims as in that time non-Muslim women and servant women did not have hijab, hijab was specifically for women; therefore, no one dares to harass them. No one mistaken them to be non muslim or maid; though, the first meaning is closer to mind.[xi]

Regarding the importance of Hijab, the holy Prophet said, “There is no more reward even for a martyrs as it is for a person who can commit a sin but stays away from sins.”

If we see the duty of women is more for hijab, or they are more advised to have hijab, it is because women are symbols of beauty and men are absorbed by their beauty. Therefore, women like to flaunt and men like to enjoy their beauty. Hijab is based on our fitrah, raised from their reality, and it is not unfair. It is essential for their survival. From Islamic point of view, hijab does not mean limitation of a woman from social activities but a woman can be present and active in society while keeping her hijab. This will bring peace, psychological health and security in society and paves the way for her useful activity.

In society, those who are wearing indecent clothes are more subject of harassment. This may lead in losing the meaning of family. Here, women are considered as commercial goods, their peace and psychological health are endangered and may cause other social harms.

B. Chastity in Looking

Considering the way of looking in Surah Noor verses 30 and 31, Quran ordered men and women:

قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ.

وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِنْ زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

Say to the believers they should lower their gaze and guard their private parts that is purer for them. Allah is Aware of the things they do.

And say to the believing women, that they lower their gaze cast down their eyes and guard their chastity, and do not reveal their adornment except that which is outward (face and hands); and let them draw their veils over their neck, and not reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their sons, or their husbands' sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or what their right hands own, or such male attendants having no sexual desire, or children who have not yet attained knowledge of women's private parts; nor let them stamp their feet, so that their hidden ornament is known. And, O believers turn to Allah all together, in order that you prosper.

Scholars interpreted differently the phrase “«غض بصر» in these two verses, but in general based on the following order mentioned after this phrase i.e. «يحفظوا فروجهم», it can be said here this phrase means not to look at those parts which should be covered obligatorily; which are all parts of women’s body except their face, their hands and their feet and in men from waist to knees. Allame Tabatabaee said, " وَ قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِناتِ يَغْضُضْنَ ..." in the sentence ‏" وَ قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِناتِ" is the same as” قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ". Therefore, it is not permitted for women to look at whatever which is not permitted for men. And when God says, " وَ لا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا ما ظَهَرَ مِنْها" here, the word " ابداء" means revealing. And revealing “beauties of women” is meant. Beauties do not mean necklace or earrings but the place they are hung. God Almighty excludes whatever is apparent from this rule. In a tradition, it is said the meaning of whatever is apparent is palm of hands and feet. Numerous traditions have been reached us disparaging ogling and staring. The holy Prophet said, anyone who fills his eyes with hiram, God is going to fill his eyes with igneous nails in the day of doom, then his body is going to be filled with fire till people get up from their graves. Finally he will be thrown into the fire. Therefore the way of looking is one of the Quranic orders which commit both men and women to avoid bad way in looking. If it is observed, men and women can put their steps in the path of God to prepare a pure life for themselves.

C. Chastity in Speaking

One of the other realms of chastity is in speaking. God has pictured various frames for speaking in Quran like: «قول حَسَن» which means good speaking, «قول معروف» means proper speaking,[xii] «قول ليِّن» means soft and mild speaking[xiii], «قول كريم» means venerable speaking[xiv], «قول سديد» means firm and stable speaking[xv], and «قول بليغ» means eloquent and all right[xvi].

God states in Quran, verse 32 surah Ahzab:

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَعْرُوفًا

O wives of the Prophet, you are not like other women. If you fear (Allah), do not be to complaisant in your speech, lest he in whose heart there is a sickness may desire (of his mother); but speak honorable words.

In its interpretation, it is said that speaking in normal way, which is accepted by Islam is meant: a kind of speaking which is to transfer ideas only not flirtation. However, this verse is to address wives of prophet but also it is an order for all women. Therefore, from Quranic view point each way of speaking which is with flirtation and seductive is not accepted. Examples of chastity in speaking is to be benevolent and politely, proper and to the point. In a society we find those who obey these rules and can cause security and morality in society. These people are honest in their speaking, speak properly, and politely.

Conclusion

Social interactions among people have been existed since the first human beings and they have been existing in future. Human beings in the light of these interactions and relations could be able to continue their life besides each other and achieve considerable advancement in various social, cultural, political, economic fields.

These interactions and relations are based on Fitrah and holy religions have embarked on guiding people according this fitrah. Islam which is the most comprehensive religion outlines a series of rules and regulations in accordance with pure fitrah. To establish positive relations among human beings, Quran sets various rules in different fields.

God in Quran cites the most complete and effective rules of Him regarding relationship among people in different ways.

Positive and correct social interaction in society can result in positive effects and results like respecting dignity of human beings, noticing people’s needs, being nice to each other, being good-temper with each other, sympathizing, companionship, restoring cultural and Islamic values.

Endnotes:



[i] Tabatabaee, 1363: 16/111

[ii] Kashani, 1336:7/104

[iii]Kofi Ahvazi, 1387: 79

[iv] Kolaini, 3:289

[v] Ibid, 3:287

[vi] Tabatabaee, 1363: 5/258

[vii] Siyuti, 1404: 2/253

[viii] Javadi Amoli, 1391: 523

[ix] Tabarsi, 1379: 79

[x] ibid: 1360: 6/194

[xi] Tabatabaee,1363: 16/510

[xii] Nesa, 8; Ahzab, 32

[xiii] Taha, 44

[xiv] Asra, 23

[xv] Nesa, 9; Ahzab 73

[xvi] Nesa, 63

 

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