Prelude

Social Disintegration and the change of the Axis

241-242

 

The Prophet (PBUHH) once said: What if your women became corrupt and your youth immoral, and you did not promote virtue and prevent vice?

He was told: And will that take place, O Prophet of Allah?

He said: Yes, and even worse. What if you promoted vice and prevented virtue?

He was told: O Prophet of Allah! Will that take place?

He said: Yes, and even worse! What if you saw virtue as vice and vice as virtue?

It is not difficult for the observer of the general scene in our societies to see two opposing images: the image of a bygone past of big families with several children, the most of which were governed by a kind of disciplined upbringing that was greatly harmonious with values.

That was at a time sources of knowledge were scarce and religious awareness was narrow and limited to mosques being frequented by elderly men and one or a couple of youngsters, the Hajj obligation fulfilled only by the aging people, and Husseini lamentation sessions held only in Ashura.

On the other hand comes our present day image: prolific information sources, development on the educational level, religious awakening with religiously-committed people pioneering over the social scene, and families with few children; however children are morally undisciplined to the extent that things are no more controlled by the parents. What is the reason?!

We may blame the educational curricula, school milieus, and the social media. That would be fair and square. These are the elements of attack that invaded our environment and changed many of our environment’s characteristics and features. However, there is still another factor which is no less dangerous – the lack of a defense line.

The Culture of a Duty with a Defense Line:

The religion line promotes virtue and prevents vice, and evades ill deeds for its prohibition and for fear of punishment.Should the religion line dwindle and vanish, there remains the line of social coexistence which may exchange the fear of punishment by the fear of denunciation and the fixed prohibited by the varied shameful and abandon promoting virtue and preventing vice to reserve good social relationships. Yet, it still evades much of the ill deeds for fear of denunciation. So the balance is still theoretically accurate and practically valid, though some of its clauses are unimplemented. Yet, with the arrival of the civilization that brings along with it the race in lifestyles changes and with the mushrooming of individual demands at the expense of the retreating social demands, the individual came to live for himself more and more, and the culture of coexistence got to retreat at the expense of a new culture that does not only cripple promoting virtue and preventing vice, but also promotes vice while seeing it as so and prevents virtue while seeing it so – while observing a first priority which is individual interest, the necessities of which deem the prohibited permissible. Accordingly, the balance remained accurate theoretically but practically it varies according to interests.

Now though this topsy-turvy is of disastrous consequences, and the balance has become inefficient practically, however, its presence and acknowledging its presence – even if theoretically – leave place for a speech that may return man to his senses. Moreover, its titles and morals would remain present in any educational speech. As such, some of its terms would stick in the early consciousness of the child, though he may see its opposite in much of the conduct of the parents, what would be engraved in his personality far deeper than the theoretical values.

4- Now that the interest transformed into a brute and over dominated the human entity, man’s concept incurred deeper into individualism, and the title of interest broadened from need into desire, the axis of man’s action became bringing along pleasure and pushing away pain – an axis that does not tolerate even the very existence of the above-mentioned theoretical balance. That’s because causing imbalance is no more an exception; it has become permissible and acceptable in any place and time pleasure requires the opposite of the balance. In other words, pleasure replaced the balance; thus the following formula was originated: what brings along pleasure is virtue, and what pushes pleasure away is vice. As such, man comes to have no other motto that represents him except his personal motto under which dwarfs all other titles no matter what – even if fatherhood and motherhood. Hence the child is thrown in the arms of servants, clubs, and electronic devices. Divorce has been facilitated for individual luxury had turned to an exaggerated desire and a priority that exceeds family integration and embracing one’s own child. Culture reconciled with conduct and formed a role model that teaches the child that he is the axis of his world, and nothing is good but what satisfies him, and nothing is bad but what disturbs him. In the light of intellectual theorization that justifies this whim under the title of the sacredness of individual freedom that rules over every obligation and every responsibility, while being supported by the relativity of truth, that had left no place for any control over human conduct – being adopted by the post-modernity culture as its broad title-, no place has been left to a speech of advice or to motivate humanistic reason as principles have been uprooted and personal differences have toppled humanistic common points, rendering every individual in his personal world which is his sole interest.

General disintegration is threatening the very existence of the social humanistic environment. Would it cease to be?! Or would a quake resulting from the repercussions of this status quo shake humanity and restore it back, forcibly, to its senses?

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