Title: Humanism in Islam
Author: Marcel A. Boisard
Publication: Islamic Book Trust 2003
Reviewed by: Safwan
This book, extensively written, covers many aspects of humanism that Islam has to offer to our civilization. The author, Dr. Marcel Boisard tackles the topic by frequently comparing Islamic teachings to that of Christianity and Judaism.
He argued that Islam is unique in that it offers no clear demarcation between judicial obligation and pure ethical duty, but promoted both means in guiding the society. Being a universal way of life, it didn’t escape dogmatic evolution throughout history. Nevertheless, what Islam has gone through is never comparable to the problems that other religions have had to suffer. This is due to its simple creed which has always been practical throughout the course of time.
Dr Boisard has succeeded in putting much light on the importance of the 6 beliefs that make the central creed of Islam. He pointed out how each creed is relevant in today’s society, and in what way it would influence a believing community. The principles of cohesion and amar ma’ruf nahi munkar were also highlighted as being a check mechanism to help a collective attainment of moral dignity. He maintained that the concept of morality in Islam is unchallenged even by western ideas.
Revising the history and contemporary events, the religion has remained united despite political, philosophical, and economical reality. In the author’s own words, “In Islam, all is unity”. Subsequently, the five pillars’ close connection with unity and cohesion of the muslim ummah was established within a few paragraphs of his work.
The book also discussed about issues on liberty, slavery, justice, charity, muslim city, caliphate, war and international relations; on which his insight tells very convincing arguments to support the superiority of Islam above all other possible ways of life. Moreover, in this piece of work Dr Boisard addressed and cleared some prevalent misconceptions regarding women, ahlu zimmi, and jihad.The author ended this magnificent work quoting some facts, problems and realities of the muslim world today, without forgetting to propose some ways forward.