Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | ST Weekly Blog | March 05, 2018

THE edifice of human civilization is really just an extension   of nature — man takes simple matter and converts it into buildings, machines, factories, industrial plants and all the other artefacts of the modern world. What enables him to do this is the fact that all matter has been invested by nature with certain constant properties. These properties make up the character of a substance; they are absolutely predictable. All the advances of human civilization are the result of this predictability. Any change in the properties of basic matter, or unpredictability in its character, would reduce the whole of human civilization to ruins.

Society is only as good as the individuals who constitute it.

Just as the things which contribute to human civilization have to display certain properties for civilization to flourish, so too the individuals who constitute human society have to do what is expected of them for society to run smoothly. They too have to maintain a certain character. A man’s worth depends on his ability to maintain a consistent character under all conditions. There are certain attributes that constitute a human character; only if one displays these attributes can one be counted as a true human being.

The inevitable result of inconsistent and irregular character on the part of individuals, is instability in the society to which they belong.

Corruption of human society comes into being when its members break their promises instead of keeping them; when they are petty instead of open-minded; when they are miserly instead of generous; when they think only of themselves instead of society as a whole; when they are vindictive instead of forgiving, rebellious instead of accommodating; when they vainly pursue their own interests instead of acknowledging the rights of others; when they seek to put down other people instead of lending them a helping hand; when, in short, people fail to treat others as they would have others treat them.

A society will only prove to be strong if its members prove to be human beings in the real sense of the word — if they display the character that is expected of them as human beings.

If the forces that contribute to civilization did not do what is expected of them, then civilization as we know it could not survive; so too if people do not show consistency, reliability and predictability in their character, human society will crumble.