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Islam and Class

By: Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari
Anyone who thinks that other nations have raised up the under-privileged classes in society in a way in the least like that which Islam has successfully followed in its fight against tyranny and oppression
misses the point and shows that he has not the faintest perception of the inner truth of Islam, and its humane social justice. No other system has hitherto been able to bring such an ideology so effectively into practice.
Even the Communists, who call themselves foes of religion, acknowledge the amazing renascence brought by the powerful and fundamental doctrines of Islam. The monthly "Mardum", organ of Iran's "Tudeh" (Marxist) party, (No. 2, Year 3), wrote: "The appearance of Islam at the beginning of the 7th century AD is a turning-point of history It changed the face of community living. Its victorious progress, in the course of less than a century, from the Arab homeland as far as the Loire in the West and as Sind and the Amu Darya in the East, forms a fascinating page. The Jezirat-ul-Arab provided the centre for the spread of the religious ideologies of Judaism and Christianity. Yet the Arabs and Bedouin were still idolaters. Mecca was a commercial centre run by the moneymakers, turning the nomad tribal way of life into feudalism : and it was here that Arab nationalism first began to be felt and to break out. Its people were money-grubbers and small farmers owning slaves. To this world Islam came as a revelation and as a democratic revolution against the moneylending oligarchy, who drove the first Muslims out of Mecca. Islam possesses the idiosyncrasies of all moralistic religions, yet it has kept its feet firmly on the ground of this material world we live in. It eschewed monkery and concentrated its attention on the equality of human beings regardless of race and tribe, the equal rights of women with men, the manumission of slaves, the care of the indigent; and provided so simple a set of principles that it is distinguished from all other religions. It was these qualities that enabled it to arouse a social renascence of lifegiving inspiration. It brought a heavy pressure to bear on the minds of the bloodthirsty arrogant ruling class : offered villagers and poor town-dwellers a road of salvation in this world, expelled the troops of Roman and Persian emperors and installed its own form of rule from the Himalayas to the Pyrenees."

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