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Individual Responsibility of Muslims

The search for justice is one of the continuing quests of humankind. It is the quest that is prescribed by the Qur’an for every Muslim. Social and individual justice are evolving concepts which depend largely upon a variety of external considerations. Above all, Islam seeks to inculcate within every Muslim the need to seek justice and to apply it to himself as well as to others. Because Muslims believe that Almighty God is the beginning and the end of everything, all is preordained by Qadar (divine will). Qadar does not imply inaction, but, rather, acceptance. It requires the strength to change what can be changed and the fortitude to accept what cannot.

Individual responsibility is a cornerstone of Islam. Every Muslim is accountable to his Creator for what he himself does or fails to do – as well as for others for whom he may be accountable – and for things that he has control over and also for its exercise in the framework of Islamic morality. But the relativity of human justice is not to be confused with the absoluteness of divine justice whose application every Muslim expects without fail on judgment day.

The Prophet Mohammad said: “Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; and do good—To parents, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers; the companion by your side, the way-farer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For God love not the arrogant, the vainglorious” (Quran 4:36). The Prophet also said: “Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended” and “None of you (truly) believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself”. These quotations are aptly suitable for the Muslims in India, especially in the present scenario, not only for their upliftment but also for the development of the nation.

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