A world system

Do you know what the system of this world is? Tajudeen bin Tijani writes that the Quran claims to ha

Those of us who are curious enough to find a "winning formula" for success in this world engage ourselves in all sorts of activities such as observation, investigation, evaluation and so on. This in turn leads to selecting from the options made available as a result of these activities attempted. It is definitely worth mentioning that these activities lead us to choose what "winning formula" we put into practice. We keep on trying and tweaking whatever options we select until it proves to be deemed as a "winning formula" to us.

Guess what, the Quran claims to inform us on the system of this world, for we are informed as per the Quran that God is the initiator of this world and designed a system therein.

So let us examine some of the claims of this system:

  • The Absolute Authority is in full control of the system, also known as the best provider, protector and supporter.
  • The Absolute Authority endorses divine law whereby no human can make illegal such laws.
  • Law and guidance is delivered to the human inhabitants of this world via messengers chosen by the absolute authority.
  • The messengers’ role is to deliver this message, and choose to follow it for their own individual good.
  • The essence of the message is the same- One Absolute Authority to revere (i.e. God, The Almighty, The Creator, The Most High etc.), other than this is detrimental to the human.
  • Humans are allowed ‘freedom of choice’ to willingly believe or disbelieve in God, however, with this freedom comes the responsibility.
  • This world is temporary, and death is inevitable for humans, however, there is a hereafter of eternity in heaven or hell.
  • No nation or community is destroyed without prior warnings.
  • Tribulation directly incurred should trigger a change in the human condition to ponder and do better, and more importantly turn to God.
  • Humans are rewarded for being obedient, steadfast, persevering, patient, calm, honest, humble, truthful, equitable, charitable etc.
  • Humans with the abovementioned traits maintained are always in the minority.
  • Humans are given a lifetime opportunity to do better and develop their essence.

Do we think these claims stand up to some scrutiny? Well, I think it does, and please ponder on the following:

  • We are informed to trace back homage to the only one whom homage is truly due.
  • We are informed to follow the source of inspiration, and not the inspired to go no wrong.
  • We are informed to play our individual part, however, it is not our responsibility to try to save the world.
  • We are informed to submit to the absolute authority and His divine law in order to be in harmony with the system of this world.

Regardless of this straightforward and clear account, many of those who call themselves Muslims and should know better about God and His system as per the Quran are second guessing and even worse attributing lies, or rejecting and disregarding His system. Can we blame anyone but ourselves, if we use up this opportunity to develop as humans to second guess whom God will or will not punish, whose prayers will be answered, how long is long as per the dress code or beard of others and so on?

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Brexit is teaching the UK that it needs immigrants

Finally forced to confront the economic consequences of low migration, ministers are abandoning the easy rhetoric of the past.

Why did the UK vote to leave the EU? For conservatives, Brexit was about regaining parliamentary sovereignty. For socialists it was about escaping the single market. For still more it was a chance to punish David Cameron and George Osborne. But supreme among the causes was the desire to reduce immigration.

For years, as the government repeatedly missed its target to limit net migration to "tens of thousands", the EU provided a convenient scapegoat. The free movement of people allegedly made this ambition unachievable (even as non-European migration oustripped that from the continent). When Cameron, the author of the target, was later forced to argue that the price of leaving the EU was nevertheless too great, voters were unsurprisingly unconvinced.

But though the Leave campaign vowed to gain "control" of immigration, it was careful never to set a formal target. As many of its senior figures knew, reducing net migration to "tens of thousands" a year would come at an economic price (immigrants make a net fiscal contribution of £7bn a year). An OBR study found that with zero net migration, public sector debt would rise to 145 per cent of GDP by 2062-63, while with high net migration it would fall to 73 per cent. For the UK, with its poor productivity and sub-par infrastructure, immigration has long been an economic boon. 

When Theresa May became Prime Minister, some cabinet members hoped that she would abolish the net migration target in a "Nixon goes to China" moment. But rather than retreating, the former Home Secretary doubled down. She regards the target as essential on both political and policy grounds (and has rejected pleas to exempt foreign students). But though the same goal endures, Brexit is forcing ministers to reveal a rarely spoken truth: Britain needs immigrants.

Those who boasted during the referendum of their desire to reduce the number of newcomers have been forced to qualify their remarks. On last night's Question Time, Brexit secretary David Davis conceded that immigration woud not invariably fall following Brexit. "I cannot imagine that the policy will be anything other than that which is in the national interest, which means that from time to time we’ll need more, from time to time we’ll need less migrants."

Though Davis insisted that the government would eventually meet its "tens of thousands" target (while sounding rather unconvinced), he added: "The simple truth is that we have to manage this problem. You’ve got industry dependent on migrants. You’ve got social welfare, the national health service. You have to make sure they continue to work."

As my colleague Julia Rampen has charted, Davis's colleagues have inserted similar caveats. Andrea Leadsom, the Environment Secretary, who warned during the referendum that EU immigration could “overwhelm” Britain, has told farmers that she recognises “how important seasonal labour from the EU is to the everyday running of your businesses”. Others, such as the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, and the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, have issued similar guarantees to employers. Brexit is fuelling immigration nimbyism: “Fewer migrants, please, but not in my sector.”

The UK’s vote to leave the EU – and May’s decision to pursue a "hard Brexit" – has deprived the government of a convenient alibi for high immigration. Finally forced to confront the economic consequences of low migration, ministers are abandoning the easy rhetoric of the past. Brexit may have been caused by the supposed costs of immigration but it is becoming an education in its benefits.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.