An Ideal Society
This article describes an ideal society.
Groups formed by disorganized and sinful (disobedient) individuals are merely crowds with no moral or esthetic values, people who are far removed from the thought of doing good. On the other hand, ideal, or complete, people carry the qualities of angels, and are monuments of human foresight and comprehension.
We see these qualities in the following Qur’anic verse, as well as in many others:
We have indeed created man in the most perfect form and nature. (At-Tin 95:4)
The people to whom this verse refers understand it to mean that they are the most adorned and beautiful forms of creation, material or spiritual. They enjoy the perfect state of creation, and are conscious of the unlimited gifts that they have received.
Let us try to understand this verse:
Humanity took on the responsibility that the Earth, the sky, and the mountains rejected, in fear that they would not be able to shoulder this duty. They perceived that humanity was the sole candidate for reaching immortality.
Humans may be considered as traveling on the path to becoming a complete person as long as they continue to develop the gifts with which they were adorned and to live according to divine inspiration.
Such mysteries, like the meaning of life and death, the reason of existence, and our responsibilities, are always on the minds of such people. They think deeply concerning sins, doing good, and being pious. The meaning of catastrophes that harm humanity agitates their minds; the light of divine wisdom shines in their hearts; the rays of this light are reflected on their souls.
All of this allows them to see behind the curtain. Their astonishment and amazement turns into love and affection, and they turn to the Creator of their souls and feel contentment. Souls at this level do not let Divine benevolence go to their heads, nor are they shaken by its loss, for they see benevolence and loss as one and the same thing, and understand that reward and punishment are also the same. While others are spoiled by such favors and descend into pessimism at the first sign of trouble, ideal people gain even when they seem doomed to lose. They manage to grow roses in the desert, to produce sugar from a dry cane.
Ideal people know that they are being continually tested and refined so that they may attain bliss. Even though they face fatal catastrophes and fall into the most terrible whirlpools, even in the most helpless and distressing moments, they hear comforting and consoling whispers from the other world; whispers that come from their innermost soul, and they bow in gratitude and admiration.
Such people have absolute confidence and trust in God, because they believe and trust in that omnipresent and omnipotent Immortal Power. The pure belief dwelling in the depths of their hearts, their perception that gives them unbelievable perspectives, and their knowledge and thoughts raise them to such a point that they can almost hear a voice say: “Fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden which you were promised!”1 and then they witness the most wonderful pleasures of all.
Ideal people try to remain removed from sin, for they have designed their lives according to the Divine Law in which they believe so sincerely. And, because they always struggle against their egos they have no time or energy to engage in ignorant pastimes or bohemian lifestyles. They are always on the lookout for the beauty of their Friend, their minds are on the Hereafter, their hearts are bright and colorful gardens open to visits from spiritual beings, and they themselves are travelers in and explorers of this mystic land and atmosphere.
Worldly people who are enslaved by their egos live only to fulfill their carnal desires. Never content, they feel no tranquility. But ideal people are always at peace with themselves. They are content and, furthermore, they place their knowledge and understanding at the service of humanity. They courageously devote themselves to ridding the world of injustice and tyranny, and are not afraid to protect their land and honor. And, at times, they gracefully spread their wings of forgiveness over their brothers and sisters.
Knowing that everything but God is mortal and will fade away, ideal people do not bow before anything or anyone other than God. They resist the seductive attractions of the material world . . . they assess and use in the way of God that which has been bestowed upon them, just like heavenly beings . . . they examine all that occurs like a scientist in a laboratory . . . they dedicate their lives to humanity and leave a much better world for coming generations.
Ideal people constantly pursue God’s blessing and strive to be true. Neither their bodily passions nor spiritual goals cast doubts on their sincerity. They value all servants of God as being the greatest of people, and appreciate each as their peer. In their hearts, they melt any harshness or bad feelings that emanates from others, thus showing how kindness defeats wrong.
In their bright atmosphere, spears of lightning fade away. . . Nimrod, a merciless emperor who ordered Prophet Abraham to be thrown into the fire, saw his flames die down and turn into a green garden that soothed harsh and ill-tempered souls.
Most of us have not reached this level yet. We cannot confront wrongdoing with kindness. We confront harshness with harshness and hate with hate. We convince ourselves that our thoughts are objective and not really our own selfish desires. Thus we besmirch our struggle in the way of God and lose, although we set out to win. If it were not for the beauty, attractiveness, and life-giving rays of the Qur’an, the misconceptions we have caused and the bad examples we have set would have prevented us from seeing this day.
By M. Fethullah Gulen
1 Fussilat 41:30.
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