Some religious organizations want to promote Jihad, a religious duty of Muslims. Whether from an individual ustaz or non-profit organizations let’s list down some acts that will benefit communities and society in general from their services. I will just peruse the second chapter of the Quran and mention a dozen thrusts or areas for concrete measures.
Those who conceal God’s sanctions [vide Q2:174-176] about food and then invent the extras will consume fire in their belly. The Jews [vide Q2:58] were given a town or country to freely eat whatever they want but they changed the words of God. In this context of “slandering” we are to confront them if they violate our rights to our way of life (Refer Q2:190-193).
There are pitfalls of exploitations and abuse in common everyday living – including matters of marriage and divorce. Some challenges are bigger than others. We can choose the lesser ones or even just rejuvenate ourselves through self-discipline and still deliver the good news of how to live peacefully. For example, doing something about shedding blood is a very challenging matter and dealing with evicting people without just cause is a lesser challenge.
[Inferring from Q2:188-195] Upon receiving the Quran – one lesson is to be just. Do not use the courts to unjustly consume part of the properties from other people. It is not virtuousness if you try to sidestep God’s system through back door means. Hence do we “contribute” to legal aid for the distraught that lack resources and do we champion outside of court action the rights of those being evicted? Will this be of any benefit?
In sponsoring a public building will it cater to the homeless destitute and aged, desperate traveler in search of employment, or simply have space for a community hall to serve as an enrichment center? When we afford wages with public funds to individuals is the community better off in health, education, security, judicial and administrative services or it might be expenditure to alleviate consequences of adversity, temporary displacements and calamity; or on positive enablers to uplift the standard of living, improve agriculture and other economic activities and fair trading.
Whatever we champion we can link the desired outcome to how society will benefit or how a specific community of individuals can be uplifted in administration of justice, protection of livelihoods, better education and health or less corruption, exploitation and oppression and such in their daily lives.
What are some other specific causes to be taken up?
1) From Q2:104 we are prompted to note the role of leaders and teachers. We should not say, “Be our shepherd (Ra’inaa)”, instead say “watch over us (Un-zur-naa)” Q2:111 Beware of self-proclaimed preachers who claim that none will enter the Garden except from they and their followers. Hence what mass media measures can we get involved in to counter such propaganda so that the masses are not exploited to buy their books and talks at the very least.
2) From Q2: 148-152 we acknowledge that for everyone is his own focus. We are commanded to race towards virtuousness. Hence what legislature is needed to reduce any bias in education, health care, housing, welfare; and promotion of equal opportunities, fair trading and a more competitive yet less exploitative environment?
3) Corrupting the land – Q2:155 God will definitely put you to the test with something from the fear and hunger and shortages from the prosperity (lives, businesses and food are at risk). Hence what measures can we get involved in to reduce looting and fixing of high food prices in times of calamities such as floods and draughts? What cartels and monopolies must be broken up or be supervised?
4) Contribution – Q2:177 Can setting up of cooperatives or welfare agencies enabling a dignified way of relief for the needy, beggars and those who are vigilant (the man who is need but is over cautious not to be a burden on others) be worth striving for instead of mere giving charity. For example where feasible insist that abled bodied persons receiving charity must put in time on social services or volunteer work at old aged homes, hospitals, community kindergarten and tuition centers and such.
5) Pertaining to Q2:180 can we campaign for public institutions or government agencies to offer free or nominal chargeable fees in the matter of making wills.
6) Corrupting the land (Q2:262 . . . destruction of crops). Hence what are the measures to mitigate flooding (vast drainage and/or irrigation works and excess water holding ponds), unscrupulous commercial forest clearing and conflict induced causes? In addition there must be no unwarranted conversation of agriculture land to commercial and industrial use.
7) Contribution (Q2:273) Can setting up of cooperatives / use of common community resources and vans / city council bus services for people who lack resources to travel for a livelihood, the man who is need but is too modest to ask (might need assistance to turnaround from misfortune perhaps due to past business failure or job retrenchment) be worthwhile?. The objective is to assist people to be independent and help themselves.
8) Corrupting the land (Q2:275-276 . . . profiteering). Hence equipment calibration certification, and what measures can we get involved in to report non-compliance to price displays / instances of price difference for different buyers. Also Islamic banking terms cannot be more expensive or costlier than conventional banking loans.
9) Corrupting the land (Q2:280) can set up of special class of cooperatives address the issue of providing assistance to debtors needing more time to meet their obligations?
10) With reference to Q2:221-241 . . . matters of marriage, divorce and care of children. Hence let’s not spare any effort in getting greater enforcement, for instance legal requirements for committed individuals to maintain only one bank account with court supervised standing instructions for remittance to agreed terms.
The devoted servants of God must tell people the practical deeds required for the communities to do. The deeds which matter are those which bring benefits and promote us in being upright – not just lip service gestures or renditions of sorts.