It is in sura “Al-Baqara”, revealed at the beginning of the Medina period, that God informs believers of the power with which He invested man from the creation of Adam.
“When your Lord said to the angels: I will set up a lieutenant on earth. » (S.2, 38)
Medina was the period when the legislative texts “descended” from Heaven, as the State of Medina was erected and the Muslim community was formed and consolidated. Thus, the mortal was instructed in the task for which he was brought into the world, at a time when the temporal and spiritual direction was about to become clearer in a more complete and definitive manner, that is to say at a period when he was going to put an end to the cycle of prophecy and where he was placed within the reach of man the Law which made him more apt to fulfill his earthly mission, fully aware of its terrible consequences.
The “Koranic” man is this being raised to a rank which prepares him for the vicariate and to assume this responsibility by means of science. This charge, with which he has been invested, exposes him to trials where good and evil, inner conflicts and temptations of all kinds intertwine and lead him in one direction or the other, depending on the energies spent and the feelings experienced to tear himself away from his perverse passions and bring about the triumph of the virtues which contribute to transporting him to an even higher level.
By establishing on earth this vicar who is man, God granted him, at the same time, the formidable freedom to disobey Him, unlike the angels, absolutely submissive and deprived of this will which authorizes the choice and the decision according to each other’s inclinations. The surprise of the angels at the announcement of the creation of a mortal, prone to turpitude, licentiousness and even crimes, reveals that God has made life here below a sum of trials with multiple facets that man is called to undergo: the successes which result from the way in which he uses this freedom and the degree of his discernment.
“The angels said, Will you set up one who will do evil and shed blood, while we celebrate Your holiness? » (S.2, 30)
According to al-Qor’s commentaryyouobî, the angels fear that men will sow disorder on earth. Although the word “khalifa” implies the fight against evil in order to impose good, the winged beings generalize disobedience to all human beings. However, God who ” knows All ” makes them understand that rebellion against the divine Law will characterize some descendants of Adam, while others will show holiness or, at the very least, will not give themselves up to Immorality. He appeases their anxiety by teaching man the names of things and introducing him to knowledge and the power of discernment.
Before the creation of Adam, all beings vowed total submission to the Creator; they strictly complied with the laws that governed them, without expressing the slightest doubt or allowing themselves the slightest prank. The arrival of man on earth heralded a new era marked by freedom, with all the harmful consequences that this could entail. The tone was set by Satan, who was the first to rebel against the divine Order, letting it be foreseen that men full of glory, forgetting or denying the benefits of God, would engage, by their own will, in the way to perdition.
“When we said to the angels: ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam!’ » (S.2, 34)
Thus, the peace which reigned until the formation of Adam, will come to an end; the manifestations of man on earth will disturb the serenity of this world where conflicts will arise and where good and evil will clash. Absolute obedience will give way to the right to refusal and insubordination. Ultimately, the qualities of angels and the embezzlement of demons will be part of the nature of man and will constantly collide; there will be Cain and Abel in the human being, which will mean that he will personify neither pure resignation nor outright rebellion.
It will be his will, his conscience and his lucidity which will fix him in one situation or another, or even in an intermediate state, if they do not sometimes expose him to the temptations of bewilderment, sometimes engage him in the right way, not that his soul will blame his conduct and cause him to repent of his evil deeds.
The passage from one state to another presupposes an adequate means that God provides to man. It is in the perspective of a positive and non-stop change that the Most High arms him with what will distinguish him from other creatures and dispose him to the envisaged transformations: reason.
Reason operates on nature. To this end, the Almighty, having neglected nothing so that the mutations of humanity are profoundly realized, makes the phenomena of the universe subject to human will so that man can benefit from the benefits of creation.
“Do you not see that God has certainly subjugated what is in the heavens, and also what is on the earth? » (S.31, 20)
The lieutenancy is based on this subjugation, from which man draws his strength and activates the movement. According to the divine Order, he becomes, within the framework of his possibilities and the limits of his will, the master of his future. He will succeed in carrying out his mission well, if he bends to the demands of intellectual and physical work and if he knows how to judiciously exploit the riches of the mineral, animal and vegetable world… in accordance with the divine Decree:
“It was not by playing that We created heaven and earth and what is in between. » (S.21, 16);
“We did not create heaven and earth out of vanity. » (S.38, 27)
The lieutenancy is also based on the understanding and understanding of the Book of God by the Muslim peoples. The Koran is the link of all believers. It is from this that the means of escaping deep dissensions, heart-rending ruptures and bloody conflicts are drawn. Righteous men are those who do not oppress their brothers and do not attack them to make their opinions prevail, neither in word nor in deed.
On the contrary, they arm themselves with patience and diversify the arguments and the proofs to demonstrate the correctness of their views, and therefore, to convince their partners, who would even be in error, deserve praise for the effort made. . The Prophet (pp) said:
“The intellectual effort of the judge, which leads to a just solution, deserves two rewards. As for the one who exerts the same efforts, but commits a mistake, he is entitled to a single reward. »
Thus, the vicariate, a concept unknown to other religions and ancient and contemporary ideologies, raises man to the highest level of creation and gives him the fullness of his means. Its goal is to establish healthy and loyal relationships between men who, by combining their efforts, ensure their material and moral comfort, while preparing to present themselves before God who will judge them according to the results obtained.
Cantor of the “Just Middle”, the late Tahar Gaïd left us in 2019, at the age of 90. He strove, throughout his prolific work, to promote a better understanding of the Muslim religion and to produce a revival of Muslim thought.
In 2016 and 2019, he did us the honor of giving us two interviews: “Tahar Gaïd, the Algerian who influenced the political vision of Malcolm X“, and “Tahar Gaïd: “From the valiant Algerian people sprang a spark which will illuminate their future”.