Positive Human Participation
Author : Dr. Fadi Rabab`ah
Date Added : 16-01-2024

Positive Human Participation


From the beginning of its call, Islamic Sharia has called for adhering to values, extending beyond its initial call in Mecca, reaching far and spreading its goodness to the entire world. This is exemplified by the stance of the Islamic ambassador, Jafar ibn Abi Talib, the cousin of the Prophet (PBUH) and a noble companion. He was sent as an ambassador to the Negus, the ruler of Abyssinia, who followed the Christian faith.


This is reflected in the statement of Ja'far ibn Abi Talib, found in [Musnad Ahmad, Hadith No. 1699] and [Sahih Ibn Khuzayma, No. 2073], when he addressed the Negus about their state during the era of ignorance, highlighting their immoral practices and their transformation after the Prophet was sent to them. Ja'far said: "O King, we were a people in the era of ignorance, worshipping idols, consuming carrion, engaging in immoral deeds, severing family ties, and mistreating neighbors. The strong among us would oppress the weak." He continued, "We persisted in this state until Allah sent to us a Messenger whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and chastity we knew."


Ja'far ibn Abi Talib then explained the values to which the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) invited them. He said: "He invited us to worship Allah alone and abandon what we and our ancestors used to worship besides Him, such as stones and idols. He commanded us to speak the truth, fulfill trusts, maintain family ties, show kindness to neighbors, refrain from unlawful acts and shedding blood. He forbade us from committing immoral deeds, lying, consuming the wealth of orphans, slandering chaste women, and ordered us to worship Allah alone, associating nothing with Him. He commanded us to perform prayers, give zakat, and observe fasting."


Then Ja'far described the believers' response to this call, saying: "So we believed in him, affirmed the truth of his message, and followed him in what he brought. We worshiped Allah alone, associating nothing with Him, prohibited what He forbade, and allowed what He made permissible."

He continued, "Our people then transgressed against us, tortured and tempted us to forsake our religion and return to the worship of idols instead of Allah, and to resume the permissibility of what Allah had made forbidden for us."


He concluded his speech with wisdom, indicating the reason they sought refuge in Abyssinia, saying, "When they oppressed us, treated us unjustly, made life difficult for us, and stood between us and our religion, we left for your country, choosing you above all others, seeking your protection, and hoping not to be wronged under your rule, O king."


So, the Negus turned to the delegation from the Quraysh who came to take back the companions and said, "Go away, by Allah, I will never surrender them to you."


The Prophet (peace be upon him) requested his companions to migrate from their land due to the persecution and harm they were facing, ensuring their safety and freedom to choose their beliefs. This underscores the positive and humanitarian engagement of Islam, and its openness to other societies, especially those where justice is upheld. The Prophet (peace be upon him) praised the just rule of the Negus, emphasizing the universal value of justice that respects human beings, their freedom, lives, and ensures fairness. Thus, the Prophet (peace be upon him) acknowledged the justice of the Negus and commended him for it.


What confirms the profound positive human engagement of Islam is the Prophet Mohammad`s (peace be upon him) participation in an alliance known as the "Hilf al-Fudul" in Mecca, even before his prophethood and the call to Islam. Its purpose was to support the oppressed, resist injustice, and the Prophet praised this alliance, saying, "I participated with my uncles in a pact at the house of Abdullah ibn Jada'an, which I would not exchange for the choicest camels." (Narrated by Imam Ahmad).


The "Hilf al-Fudul" alliance was formed four months after the Sacrilegious wars (Harb-ul-Fijar). The reason behind it was that a man from Zubaid (a town in Yemen) came to Mecca with merchandise, which Al-As ibn Wa'il purchased from him. However, Al-As denied him his rightful due, and the Zubaidi sought justice against him. The nobles of Quraysh did not support him due to the high status of Al-As among them. The Zubaidi sought help at the Kaaba, and appealed to the Banu Fihr and other honorable people. Al-Zubair ibn Abd al-Muttalib asked why this man was left helpless. The Banu Hashim, Zuhra, and Banu Taym ibn Murah gathered at the house of Abdullah ibn Jada'an and prepared a meal for them. They formed an alliance and pledged by Allah to stand as one hand with the oppressed against the oppressor until his right was restored. Then they went to Al-As ibn Wa'il, took back the goods from him, and returned them to the Zubaidi, establishing this alliance known as "Hilf al-Fudul." It was named so because those who participated in it were named Fadl, such as Fadl ibn al-Harith, Fadl ibn Wada'a, and Fadl ibn Fadala.


Regarding this alliance, Al-Zubair ibn Abd al-Muttalib says:

They pledged and allied in unity, 

That in Mecca, oppression should not stand. 

Neighbor and guest, both shall be free,

 An oath upon which they firmly band.


Islam promotes the value of positive human participation on a global scale and condemns isolationism without necessity. Its call is a universal mercy to all people, as described by Allah in the Quran: "And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds." [Quran, 21:107]. Islam encourages participation in international organizations and humanitarian associations that uphold human rights, people's freedom, and work towards establishing justice while respecting human dignity, in alignment with the values and principles of Islamic law.





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Summarized Fatawaa

Is it permissible for a person to sever ties with his sister because her husband had quit prayer and done him harm?

A sister is a blood-relative and maintaining blood-relations is mandatory in Islam. As regards her husband, he should be invited to the way of Allah with wisdom and beautiful preaching.

Is it permissible to give the expiation due on the vow of anger to one person?

The expiation for the vow of anger-and that of the oath-is to be given to (10) needy persons, or a needy family of ten individuals, but giving it to one person is impermissible.

Is it permissible to make up for missed fast after the beginning of the second half of the month of Sha`ban(the month before Ramadhaan) ?

Yes, it is permissible, but one who had missed fasts should hasten to make up for them. As for the Hadith mentioned in this regard, the prohibition is for offering absolute voluntary fasting.

Is it permissible for the guardian, or the father of the child to hit the latter in order to teach him/her good manners?

It is permissible for the guardian to hit his/her child for teaching them good manners once they become ten years old provided that it is done mildly, harmlessly and without intimidation. Actually, such punishment is to be employed gradually i.e. after: asking, warning, and scolding. As for the teacher, he isn`t allowed to hit the student unless the latter`s father approves of it, and it is done according to necessity without intimidation, or harm.