Since Islam is the last religion revealed by
Allah, it possesses some elements that make it unique. One of these is its relevance for human beings regardless of place
This means that Islam - submission
to God - is a comprehensive institution which includes all the guidelines necessary for all aspects of life. Therefore, the
best way to understand Islam is to look at it as more than a religion - as a complete way of life. In other words, it is a
system which regulates every aspect of life, dealing with all issues - social, economic, educational, judicial, health, and
even military. Thus, it is suitable for all human beings and for all times, since it is the final religion. Islamic law aims
to achieve five goals for human beings in life: protecting the religion, protecting one's self, protecting one's possessions,
protecting one's mind, and protecting one's offspring.
Therefore, God (Allah) decided
on two main domains of law:
1. If the domain always requires
change and progress, Allah legislated comprehensive yet flexible rules and gave people the chance to create and develop the
necessary laws to satisfy the specific needs of a certain period of time. For example, in the rule of consultation (Shura),
Allah decided that it should be the general rule for any government; however, its form and style are left open for people
to choose and decide according to their needs.
2. If the domain does not require
or lend itself to change or progress, Allah legislated fixed and detailed laws that govern all issues related to a specific
area. Thus, there is no way for man to change or develop those laws, which were made for the welfare of all mankind. For example,
the area of worshipping God contains fixed details which cannot be changed at all. These regard prayer, fasting, making pilgrimage,
etc. Another example is in family matters, such as the laws of marriage, divorce, and inheritance.
To show how Islam cares for the
environment, one can cite the many laws that protect the environment. About fourteen hundred years ago. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
"The world is green and beautiful,
and Allah has appointed you as His stewards over it. He sees how you acquit yourselves."
Muhammad showed how important plants
and trees are by saying:
"Whoever plants a tree and looks
after it with care until it matures and becomes productive will be rewarded in the Hereafter."
Even in the territory of an enemy,
Islam's care for plants, animals, and trees is profound. Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, or successor, to Muhammad (pbuh), instructed
his troops that he was sending into battle not to cut down any trees or kill any animals except for food.
These are but a few examples of
how Islam remains relevant in the modern world.