There is something with regard to Islam that I have wanted to know for a long time. We are often told that the Qur’an (and hence Islam) contains the solution to all of our problems. I would please like to know if there is any method for solving one’s daily life problems according to Islam. We are often faced with situations in which we have so many choices – how do we know what decisions to make (since the Qur’an and Sunnah do not contain guidelines for all possible situations)?
Therefore – does the Qur’an or Sunnah provide us with any guidance with respect to this?
One of the misconceptions about the Qur’an is that it contains solutions to all our daily-life problem situations. The Qur’an is not a book of daily-life problem situations. The Qur’an is a book of guidance for mankind. It is a book of guidance for success in the real and everlasting life in the hereafter.
God has given man the faculty of reasoning and understanding. Man is required to utilize this faculty and try to find solutions for his everyday problem situations. The Qur’an has only dealt with those aspects of our life where, due to some reason, we are prone to making such mistakes that may have a bearing on our morality and thereby have an effect on the purification of our hearts and souls. Thus, as an example, the Qur’an does not tell us on how to make a bicycle to get to the marketplace, but it does tell us that when in the marketplace, we should not defraud or cheat others. As is obvious, the means of transportation we use to get to the marketplace has no bearing on our morality – and thus no bearing on the purification of our heart and soul, while a slight carelessness in our dealing in the marketplace can have fatal effects on our prospects in the life hereafter.
If you study the Qur’an carefully, you shall see that all its emphasis is on the correction of the set of one’s beliefs (the purification and cleansing of knowledge and mind), the promotion of universally acknowledged virtuous values and the correction of our moral behavior (the purification of the heart and soul).
It may be interesting to note that the objectives of all Islamic teachings is not to provide for a better and a more comfortable life in this world. On the contrary, the emphasis of all the Islamic teachings is solely on the purification and cleansing of the heart, mind and soul – which is an essential requirement for deserving the everlasting bliss of the life hereafter.
We are often faced with situations in which we have so many choices – how do we know what decisions to make…?
In all such situations, we should use our faculty of reason and understanding that we have been blessed with, and take the decision that seems the best according to our consideration and analysis. The concern of the Shari`ah in all such situations is only to the extent that whatever alternative we opt for should not in anyway entail the negation of:
The beliefs taught by Islam;
The universally acknowledged virtuous values; and
I hope this helps.
26th September 1999