Islam is based on the fact that not only does The Supreme Being (Allmighty God/Allah/Yahweh) exist, but he has taken the trouble to communicate via the Angel Gabriel and a succession of human Messengers, his instructions for establishing the best possible human society (i.e. that which maximises and safeguards the spiritual, emotional, physical, social and economic welfare of all human beings). Note that this does NOT mean an impossible earthly Utopia, where everyone enjoys permenent bliss, perfect health and endless prosperity; but a practical functioning society of imprefect human beings in which immorality, dishonesty, selfishness, malevolence and injustice are discouraged, outlawed and, where necessary, punished.
The main aim of Allah's Messages has been to teach human beings how to live in a way that promotes the best possible human society; i.e. how to live righteously.
Those Messages – all of which, except the last one, have been mostly or totally lost, misguidedly, or even maliciously, contaminated with material written by human beings who were not Messengers from Allah – have ended with a final unconatminated, comprehensive, and clear Message, i.e. the Holy Quran and the Sunnah (example) of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him and his Pure Family). Because this final Message is all-embracing and unchanged, and has been guaranteed by Allah to remain so, there has not been since, nor will there ever be, any need for another Message from Allah to humankind.
The final Message, as the Messages before it, informs us that Allah requires us to think, speak and act virtuously, truthfuly, selflessly and benevolently, and to establish justice. Furthermore, it warns us that our existence in the material universe is only to test how we, as individuals, live up to the high standards of morality set in Allah's message, and that, after our existence in this material universe ends, He will confront each of us with a detailed account of our life and our effect on His creation (the Final Judgement), and will reward or punish appropriately; both reward and punishment being beyond our wildest dream – or nightmare.
The phillosophy provides many strong motives for living according to Allah's commandments, amoung them are:
- Love of Allah;
- Respect for Allah's Messengers and Message;
- Love for Allah's creation, including, and especially, other human beings (i.e. humanitarianism, environmentalism, etc.);
- Whole hearted commitment to virtue, truth, selfless-ness, benevolence and justice;
- Rational acceptance that only by consistently encouraging virtue, truth, selflessness, benevolence and justice, and discouraging their opposites, can we build the best possible human society;
- Aversion to immorality, dishonesty, selfishness, malevolence and injustice and the harm that they cause to humanity, the environment and the whole of creation;
- Hope of reward from Allah in the hereafter;
- Fear of punishment from Allah in the herefater.
On the other hand, the motivation of people who deny this philosophy is brought into sharp focus; i.e. their desire to behave immorally, dishonestly, selfishly, malevolently and injustly. Of course, such people devote strenuous efforts to denying this motivation, at least in public; to rationalising their attitdues and behaviour in benevolent terms; and to convoluted arguments to make their case seem more appealing, even twisting the meaning of the words such as morality and justice. By their dishonesty, they misled many people – even and especially, themselves.
Righteousness shows itself in altruism, cleanliness, compassion, dependability, generosity, modesty, patience, piety, steadfastness and wholehearted commitment to justice, truth and virtue. Only people who have such qualities can hope for reward from Allah in the hereafter.
Moreover, establishing the best possible human society depends on Islamic philliosophy and motives becoming the foundation of of marality, education, government, and the mass media, business practice and every other aspect of society.
Although many people who deny some, or all, of the Islamic phillosophy and motives claim to be righteous – and may, indeed, exhibit some righteous behaviour – close scrutiny shows that, when there is a conflict between their own selfish interests and doing what is objectively right, they invariably pursue their own selfish interests. That is because they deny the objective nature and origin or righteous teachings (Allah, His Messengers and His Messages) – often attemping instead to impose their own subjective, self-serving, definition into others – and/or they deny the imperatives that motivate the virtuous behaviour (the Final Judgement and consequent reward or punishment) – often leading them to claim that the pursuit of righteousness is no more valid (or, even, is less valid!) than the pursuit of evil.
No person who cares about the quality of human society, and especially about its more vunerable memebers (children, the poor, the elderly, disabled people, victims of crime or abuse or persecution, refugees, etc.) could, or should, tolerate such blatantly selfish, inhumane and malevolently anti-social attitudes.
This is the challenge that Islam presents to all human societies, systems and individuals that are addicted to elitism, immorality, dishonesty, selfishness, malevolence and injustice (including those that calim to be Islamic).