Islam is a Religion and a State:
Capitalism has given Man a free-living method and has claimed that following this path will lead to happiness and satisfaction. But what happened is that Man found himself deteriorating in a society classified by class. People either live in extravagant wealth established by unfairness to others, or in poverty and suffering for those who are morally committed.
Communism, on the other hand, cancelled all social classes and tried to establish firm principles, but this caused more poverty and pain, leading to societies that are more revolutionary than others.
As for Islam, it has achieved moderation. It is a moderate nation that has offered humanity a great balanced doctrine praised even by the enemies of Islam. But unfortunately, there are Muslims who haven’t followed Islamic morals properly.
A French diplomat asked me one day about what is considered a contradiction:
He said: I couldn’t understand how could Islam, according to your explanation, be so reasonable at a time when Muslims are living in such randomness which has driven them away from morals and ethics. Isn’t this a contradiction?!
I replied: Where is the contradiction? If your driver made an accident with your luxurious car due to his ignorance of driving rules, would that affect the fact that your vehicle is originally luxurious?
His fellow, who was French with Arab origins, instantly said: Yes, a loser Muslim represents himself. Many people noticed that many non-Muslims behave with Islamic behavior, which led to a saying: We find Islam without Muslims.
Joseph Franz Schacht, a German researcher in Arabic and Islamic studies, had extremist thoughts yet still managed to tell the truth regarding his assessment about Islam.
He said: “One of the outstanding features of Islam is that it’s a religion and state. The Sharia law (Islamic law) and the Islamic jurisprudence are characterized by their clear and strong influence on the legal culture that exceeded or contacted it.
Their domination is stronger than the states. There have been different types of conflicts between religion and the state throughout history. In Christianity, the conflict was over political power, in which the church had an organized, graduated, and coherent institution that had a head leader. The church law was one of its political weapons. As for Islam, the case was totally different than the church’s case. Islamic law never depended on such organized power. Thus, there has never been a real test for the power between religion and the state. The principle stating that Islam must organize the legal aspects in Muslims’ lives has been kept strong and dominant, with no one defying it.”
One of Schacht's thoughts was: “The civil law is one of the most important gains that Islam has given to the civilized world. This is what is called “Sharia”. It is entirely different than all other laws. Islamic sharia is what clearly distinguishes the Islamic way of life. What distinguishes it is that it looks at all human behavior and their relation amongst each other, including the obligatory duties, the desirable, the left out, the hated, or the forbidden.”
He also said: “The Islamic legislation has affected all branches of law with the Christians and Jews who lived in Islamic states and have seen the mercy along with forgiveness of the Islamic sharia. The Jew Mousa Ibn-Maimonides (601 Hijri - 1204 AD) was affected by the Islamic compositions while putting the legal materials in Mishnah Torah, an action which no Jew has done before. Also, Jacobins and Monophysites and Nestorians weren’t reluctant to take from the Islamic legislation.”
In his book “observations into the Islamic History”, the Dutch historian Reinhart Dozy said: “Most Christians in the East followed different doctrines.
They suffered immensely from persecution under the Constantinople governments, still, when Islam came with its brotherhood rules and forgiveness, they were left to choose their religion and were protected and treated with equality. After being exhausted by Roman taxes, they were obligated only to pay the “Jizya” which doesn’t exhaust anyone.”
The state in Islam is not a "religious" state, understood in earlier Western thought.
In Islam, there is a cancellation of any infallibility or holiness to humans. It’s a state which has a primary target of serving the people. Islamic legislation doesn’t contradict novelty and civilization. It should be a source of pride in our civilized position in history.
A French atheist asked me one day: Why not separate religion from the state, and let human thoughts and their points of view be included in references, similar to western societies? Along with completely separating religion and people's lives, similar to how it was implemented in French society.
I replied, smiling: You mean references depending on the human’s whims and mood swings? We need godly legislation that suits humans in all their cases and doesn’t change because of inconsistent human thoughts and mood swings, similar to what happened when usury and homosexuality were allowed. We need legislation that isn’t put by the people in power to be a burden on the weak like in Capitalism, nor do we need Communism that opposes the innate human need for possession.
I continued: The French experiment resulted from the dominance and alliance between the church and the state over the people's minds and destiny in the Middle Ages. The Islamic world hasn’t faced this problem at all due to its logical and applicable system.
He said: You don’t acknowledge democracy then.
I said: We have what’s better than democracy. We have Consultancy.
He asked: What’s the difference?
I answered: Democracy is when you consider all family members' opinion no matter their age or how badly their experience would affect the family. During decision making, both views of a kindergarten child and a wise older person would be equal. On the other hand, the consultancy system depends on experienced members' opinions; they get to decide what is beneficial and what isn’t.
I added: The difference between the two systems is noticeable. A piece of valid evidence that proves the deficiency found in the democratic system is that some countries have given legitimacy to practices that oppose human nature, customs, traditions, and religion, such as homosexuality, fornication, usury, and other abhorrent practices just because such practices have been voted for by the majority.
With many voices calling for moral decay, democracy has helped by participating in creating immoral societies.
I continued: The difference between the Islamic Consultancy system and Western Democracy is the source of sovereignty in legislation.
In Democracy, the power starts from the people and nation.
As for the Islamic Consultancy system, power starts from the Creator. It’s not the result of human thoughts. Humans can just build upon the godly legislation.
Also, they have the right to jurisprudence in whatever’s not included in heavenly legislation, as long as it’s within the religious framework of what’s permitted and forbidden.
He said: The Islamic legislative system is unique. Even though it’s a religious system, it doesn’t contradict reason in any way. It’s an organized, coherent doctrine; its various branches are coherent with one another, but I’m against the punishing penalties in the Qur’an.
I said: These penalties have been put as a deterrent, and to punish those who intend to corrupt the community. As evidence to this, these penalties aren’t implemented on unintended killing or stealing during a famine and extreme need. It’s to protect society, and some are already in French law such as the death penalty.
He asked: Is there truly a death penalty in French law?
I replied: Yes, as well as in many postural law systems in other countries. Imagine that you went home and found your whole family murdered by a person. Then that person was arrested and put in prison for a specific period eating and enjoying the prison facilities you are funding through the taxes you are paying.
How would you tolerate this?! You will probably either end up going insane or falling into an addiction to forget your pain. If this same situation happened in a country practicing the Islamic legislations, the case would be completely different. The murderer will be brought in front of the family of the murdered. They will decide whether to take revenge through retribution, which is justice itself, or to take the “Deyaa”, which is the money that the murderer must pay on intentional killing to the family of the murdered, or to give pardon, which is much favored as mentioned in the Qur’an.
…But if you pardon (them) and overlook, and forgive (their faults), then verily God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 
I continued: There are 6348 verses in the Qur’an, while the verses of penalties are no more than ten, and have been put by the One Who is Wise and Well-acquainted with all things. Would you leave reading, enjoying, and practicing this system you consider unique, just because you don’t know the wisdom of ten verses?!
The balance in the economy:
I remember a Latin person interested in economics, once asked me about the difference between the economic system in Islam, capitalism, and socialism.
I replied: Concerning the freedom of ownership, the private property is the main principle in capitalism, while in socialism, public property is the main principle.
In Islam, several types of ownership are allowed:
- The Public Property, which is publicly owned by Muslims, rich lands, for example.
- The State Property, which is owned by the state, like for example, natural wealth, that includes forests and minerals.
- The Private Property, which is acquired only through investment work, in a way that does not threaten the public welfare.
He asked: What about the free economy?
I replied: In capitalism, the free economy has no boundaries. Socialism, on the other hand, completely confiscates free economy.
In Islam, the free economy is acknowledged, but is limited within certain boundaries:
Ø Self-determination, which emerges from the depths of oneself based on Islamic education, and the spread of Islamic concepts in society.
Ø Objective determination, which are legislations that forbid certain practices such as usury, gambling, cheating, etc.
He said: Religion is like a drug that oppressed and impoverished people to accept suffering and unfairness. Then, they are left to dream about paradise to give the rich people a chance to acquire wealth; this has resulted in the poverty of Muslims and other religious nations.
I told him: Never have societies suffered from poverty and social unfairness because of being religiously faithful or lacking in their resources. It was because of people distancing away from religion and unfair resource distribution.
Extreme poverty is only the result of outrageous wealth. In capitalism, it is claimed that natural resources are unable to meet humans' renewable needs; while in socialism, people believe that there is a contradiction existing between the forces of production and distribution relations.
In Islam, it has been clarified that God has created plenty of natural resources that entirely satisfy human needs without running out. The problem lies in the human misuse of these resources and inequality in distribution.
I added: The real drug addiction in societies is atheism, not religion.
He said: Why?
I replied: Because atheism calls its followers to pure materialism. It causes them to exclude their relation with the Creator by relinquishing duties and responsibilities. It calls for enjoying only the current moment, regardless of the consequences, so, they behave as they wish, believing that there are no sanctions, no resurrection, and no judgement.
Isn’t this the correct description of an addict?
He said: Yes, that’s true.
He then asked: How did Islam achieve social balance?
I answered: One of the general concepts in Islam is that wealth belongs to the Creator. We are only in a subordinate position in our control over this wealth. Islam has forbidden wealth to be only exchanged between the rich. Islam has prohibited treasuring wealth without giving out a small portion to the poor and needy from the person’s savings “Zakat”. This act of worship helps the person overcome being tight-fisted; it helps them become generous and giving.
And what God restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns - it is for God and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the needy and the [stranded] traveler - so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever the Messenger has given you - take; and what he has forbidden you - refrain from. And fear God; indeed, God is severe in penalty. 
Believe in God and His Messenger and spend out of that in which He has made you successive inheritors. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward. 
…And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of God - give them tidings of a painful punishment. 
Also, Islam encourages hardworking for those who are capable.
It is He Who made the earth subservient to you. So, traverse in its tracks and partake of the sustenance He has provided. To Him will you be resurrected. 
Islam has forbidden extravagance. It calls for setting the standards of living at a moderate level; this does not mean that the concept of richness in Islam is limited only to the vital needs. Still, it also includes the possession of food, a home, clothing, the ability to marry, perform the pilgrimage, and to give out charity.
And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate. 
The poor, from an Islamic perspective, is whoever’s incapable of achieving the vital needs. These needs are determined according to the living standards in the country that the person is living in. So, if it’s normal for every family to own a separate home in a certain country, then the family that is incapable of this is considered poor. Thus, the law of balance is based on the ability to satisfy every individual's needs according to what’s known in the community at that time.
Islam ensures meeting the needs of every individual in society; this is achieved through public interdependence. The Muslims are considered brothers; helping each other and meeting each other’s needs is obligatory.
The Prophet, Muhammad peace be upon him, said:
The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim. he doesn't oppress him and doesn't put him into ruin, and whoever is concerned for the needs of his brother, God is concerned for his needs, and whoever relieves a Muslim of a burden, God will relieve him of a burden from the burdens of the Day of Judgement and whoever covers (the faults of) a Muslim, God will cover (his faults) on the Day of Judgement.
I recall a beautiful incident with a Colombian visitor. She came to the center with her teenage children and friend. Unfortunately, they arrived late when the working hours were about to end, so I couldn’t answer all her questions. I explained what I could within 15 minutes.
I had the feeling that she was hiding something. She came back the next morning with her children only without her friend.
She said: I insist on continuing our conversation because I have some questions keeping me from converting to Islam for years. I want answers to these questions.
I responded: Ask all you wish. I have the whole day to answer your questions.
She said: I met a Muslim friend while travelling with my husband. This friend told me that Muslims don’t need to go to doctors when they get sick because they just pray to God to get well. I wasn’t convinced at all, and that was one of the points that kept me away from accepting this religion. I believe we must follow the underlying causes.
I told her: That’s true. Concerning this point, you, unfortunately, know about Islam more than that Muslim. She needs someone to explain to her her religion. She hasn’t given you the correct information. Islam is a realistic religion.
God Almighty ordered us to rely on Him, and trust His wisdom, but He also forbade us from full dependency without depending on the causes. Reliance includes determination while exerting effort and applying the reasons, then surrendering afterwards to the wisdom of God.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, told someone who wanted to leave his camel without being tied, thinking that this is reasonable reliance on God:
Tie your camel, then trust God; this is the correct balance.
She was delighted with my explanation.
We spent the whole day together, answering her questions. She talked about a time six years ago when her husband, who had no religion, converted to Islam.
He didn’t have any religious interests; he said that he found answers to all his questions in Islam. He invited her to join Islam, but she was reluctant because she still had many questions. Thanks to God, she said that our conversation provided her with answers to all questions.
We conclude that Islam looks at life as it should be. People are looking for a balanced religion that meets their spiritual needs, a religion that is indispensable and at the same time doesn’t marginalize their worldly needs.
The religion calls for moderation, which is the concept that has been strictly stressed in the final heavenly religion. This heavenly religion was sent through the final messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, who came to correct the errors previous nations have made, leading to the distortion of the religion concept by putting it in a spiritual path only. This has resulted in superstitions that have entirely driven people away from religion.
Also, religion has been manipulated to achieve personal objectives by being used as an instrument to pressure the people. This has led to many people following secularism, which is a total separation between religion and the state.
Islam has succeeded as a ruling system and a living method, while capitalism and communism have failed. But atheists and agnostics are increasing because many Muslims stray away from their religion; they also fail in spreading the correct Islamic concept. Humanity has started to lose faith in all creed due to the corruption of the religious concepts that are being introduced. Nevertheless, no oriental researcher, no matter what his opinion in Islam is, hasn’t admitted that Islam is a Religion and State.
My Lord is Merciful and Compassionate
We feed you only for the countenance of God:
In the first two years of our stay in Lagos, Nigeria, we lived in hotel apartments so that it would be easy for us to look for a suitable house near the kids' schools. Usually, after I returned from any trip, I was keen to bring simple presents for all janitors and workers, and share with them food and drinks. At that time, spreading the word of Islam (da’wa) was not in my mind; my intention was only to get close to God by giving gifts.
When we decided to leave that place to move on to the new house, we were surprised that everyone in the was crying! The driver told us that they have never met a Muslim family of such high manners who spread the spirit of love and fraternity and wanted to reward us. After hearing that from the driver, I had two thoughts. Should I feel good that we made their hearts happy? Or should I feel sad about the condition that the Muslims are in that gave the people of that country such a bad impression about Muslim people in general?!
I told the driver that we already got our reward which was their happiness, and I then remembered the verse: We only feed you for the sake of God. We want from you neither compensation, nor gratitude, so I got relieved.
My mercy encompasses all things:
I remember the story of my French language teacher. She was an African from a country called Benin which was adjacent to Lagos where we stayed. After the lecture, I told her that I needed a housemaid who could speak French, for my kids and I could practice the French language with her.
I was surprised when she replied to me: I am ready to work for you!
I told her: You are my teacher, and you have my all respect!
She said: You are very kind, but I am really in need of this job. You know that I come from Benin adjacent to this city, and I need a place to stay.
I will clean the house for you at morning, and work in the center at evening. Also, I noticed that you are very friendly even though your Holy Book (Qur'an) never talked about love, nor even about the love of the Creator to His servants. How can He love them while He tests them and restricts His provision?!
I replied to her: Regarding the place you need to stay in, you are welcome with no job and for free. We already have an annex for the workers, and you can share the dorms with them. Regarding what you've said about the Qur'an, have you ever read the Qur'an?
She replied: No, but I have heard about it.
I told her: If you read the Qur'an, you will see what is mentioned in it about the mercy and love God has for His servants.
But God's love to His servants is different from the love humans have with each other because love in humans' case is a need that the loving person seeks and finds in the beloved, but God does not need us, humans. Hence, His love for us is out of generosity, kindness, and mercy. The love coming from the Powerful to the powerless; coming from the Free of need to the needy.
The love coming from the Competent and Mighty to the helpless; coming from the Most Great to the humble. The love which comes with sagacity and wisdom.
She asked: How come?
I replied: Wouldn't you bring your child to the operation room to have his/her stomach opened? Wouldn’t you fully trust the doctor's insight, his love to your baby, and his consideration to save him/her from the illness?
She replied: How come He loves His creations while He limits their freedom and doesn't permit them to do whatever they like to do?
Have you never heard about individualism?
Have you ever heard about this evolving concept, which means that the individual's decisions should be based on their benefits and pleasures? The individual is the focus of attention, so the individual's interests should be above the nation's considerations and above the society's and religion's effects. Besides, people should not be prohibited to gender transition; they should be able to do whatever they like to do and wear and behave in public in the way they want to, as the street is everyone's.
I said: Do you allow your children to do whatever they wish because you love them? Would you let your little son to jump out of the window or to play with an electric cord?
I also told her: Your statement where you said that the street is everyone's is correct, but your understanding of it is wrong. If you were living with a group of people in the same house, would you ever accept one of the house members to urinate in the hall, on the same concept that the house belongs to everyone? Would you ever accept living in this house with no laws and rules to govern it?
A human who has complete freedom becomes an ugly being, as it has been unquestionably proven that the human is unable to handle this kind of freedom.
Individualism can never take the place of collectivism regardless of the individual's power or influence. Community members are classes that cannot survive without each other and can never be independent. Some of them are soldiers, doctors, nurses, and judges. How can any of them outweigh their benefit and personal interest over others to achieve their happiness and be the focus of attention?
She said: How can we achieve happiness then?
I replied: the meaning of happiness in individualism is victory, domination, and the possession of technology. However, in Islam, true happiness is a content heart, a successful marriage, a spacious house, a good neighbor, and a comfortable vehicle, with sharing and cooperation.
Although the Islamic Civilization was formed by a mixture of different people and tribes, it produced accountability and reward systems, along with duties and rights. The person is punished for his crimes, but he is also rewarded in other cases. Islam liberated the individual from his previous prejudices and led him to his pure inner-self to live like an honest, social civil who lives in a community, respects its laws, and appreciates his intellectual potential along with his ability to coexist beautifully with others.
A nation that aspires to progress and builds a higher goal emerges from the concept of a single identity. Everyone has their ideas and capabilities, but applying these ideas requires teamwork, and thus everyone is equal with whatever they present. Therefore, Islam has presented the perfect relationship of the individual with his society.
I proceeded: The individual is only a small and integral part of society; this makes a peaceful and secure society because if the balance between classes is disturbed, conflicts will arise, and it will lead to dissatisfaction in society. Money is no longer the highest standard that distinguishes its owner from others, nor the power or leadership of the world is recognized because of money.
The leader in the Islamic government is not evaluated by the money he possesses, still, by the knowledge, morals, and justice he has, and these were the qualities with which they were able to advance and achieve victories one after the other.
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:
The example of the believers regarding mutual love, affection, and fellow-feeling, consists of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole-body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever.
She said: Individuality is directly related to homosexuality, so why do you not like homosexuals? As I know, it is a natural genetic issue, and we must respect it.
I said to her: Would you respect a thief's tendency to steal? It is an inclination too, but in both cases, it is an abnormal proclivity. It's against the human instinct, and aggression against nature; it should be rectified.
God created the human and guided him on the right path. He also gave him free will to choose between the path of righteousness and the way of evil.
And We showed him the two ways.
Therefore, we find that homosexuality was rarely seen in the societies which prohibit it. At the same time, the percentage of homosexuals is high in the ambient which permits and encourages such a behavior.