Summary of the article by Prof. Naẓīr ˁAyyād, AIRA Secretary General, entitled: “The System of Social Values and Its Impact on Reforming Individuals and Societies (III)”
(Al-Azhar Magazine, Ṣafar, 1443, AH/ September, October, 2021, AD, Part 2, Volume 95)
In the third part of his article entitled, "The System of Social Values and Its Impact on Reforming Individuals and Societies", Prof. Naẓīr Muḥammad ˁAyyād, the Secretary General of Al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy (AIRA), resumes his discussion of some of the foundations of the Islamic system of social values and its impact on reforming individuals and societies. In the first and second parts of this article, ˁAyyād talked about monotheism, justice, equality, objectivity, the balance between religion and worldly matters, the direct communication with Allah Almighty, and freedom. In this third part, he resumes his talk about shūra (Consultation), cooperation, and the correlation between values and Islamic faith.
Regarding shūra (Consultation), Dr. ˁAyyād shows that it is one of the most important principles of the system of social values in Islam, and that Islam considers it one of the strongest foundations and forms of support for the government. Shūra enables society to reach right decisions and opinions on public affairs. Dr. ˁAyyād supports his argument with Qur’anic verses and the Prophet’s attitude in matters related to war, when he consulted his companions, listened to their advice, and even gave in to their opinion. Dr. ˁAyyād states that Shūra achieves goodness and equality among people in society, which is the most palpable evidence that Islam sanctifies intellectual freedom and the exchange of opinion.
As for cooperation, the Secretary General demonstrates that it is one of the important principles of the social system in Islam, by which goodness and righteousness prevail in society. He adds that through cooperation, man becomes the real successor of his Lord on earth, the world is developed, and society goes on the right path. Without it, the weak will be lost and the poor and the needy will not be secure. Cooperation eliminates dissension and spreads affection, mercy, and love among people.
Concerning the correlation between faith and ethics in Islam, Dr. ˁAyyād emphasizes that they are inseparable and that none of them can exist without the other, since ethics is the fruit of Islam as faith and law (shari‘ah), apart from being the practical aspect of a Muslim’s life in all his affairs and conditions. Our religion calls for righteousness, which is the combination of all goodness.