On Justice and the Nature of Man: A Commentary on Surah al-Nisa (4):58 and Surah al-Mu'minun (23):13-14 - Hardcover
Author: Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas
Publisher: Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM)
Pages: ix + 57 pages
Weight: 278 grams
In this monograph, the author selects and comments on verses from the Holy Qur'an; Surah al-Nisa' verse 58 and Surah al-Mu'minun verses 12-14. The author argues that these verses reveal the nature of justice and the nature of man in a way that may not have been previously understood, highlighting their essential intended meanings. The author begins by discussing five fundamental key terms found in Surah al-Nisa': verse 58; amr (Divine command), amanah (trust), ahl (the Keepers), hakam (the arbitrator or judge), and 'adl (justice). The author believes that these terms serve to caution against our tendency to deviate from the right path when wielding power.
The author asserts that man is not a genus nor species but a distinct and unique creation. This contradicts the evolutionary and positivistic theories that consider man as a species that gradually evolved through natural selection from a common ancestor over hundreds of thousands of years. To support this claim, the author establishes a historical timeline for mankind, specifically the arrival of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) in this world. Three sources are used in this rational estimation methodology: verses from the Holy Qur'an, prophetic traditions (hadith), and historical and archaeological discoveries related to the reigns of kings and rulers. The author states that Prophet Adam and his wife arrived on this earth quite recent i.e approximately 7,000 to 8,000 years ago, refuting the notion that it took tens or hundreds of thousands of years for man to evolve into Homo sapiens.
The Nature of Man