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It seems proper to refer to some lessons that are derived from the method of the Holy Qur'an's reforming and guiding the communities to the right path.



Third Lesson

The third lesson that must be learnt from the method of the Holy Qur'an is graduality in guidance and reformation and treating people leniently. The most obvious example on graduality in the Islamic legislation is the case of forbidding the strong drinks. Being a firm custom in the society, the forbiddingness of drinking intoxicants required consecutive stages.

As a first stage, Almighty Allah revealed the following verse: "They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say, 'In them is great sin and some profit for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.' 2/219" As a result, some people abstained from strong drink because they understood their having included great sin and Almighty Allah had forbidden shameful deeds, whether open or secret, and sins. Others decided a small amount of which since it included some profit.


As a second stage, Almighty Allah revealed the following verse: "O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say. 4/43" As a result, some abstained from it and decided not to have anything that might be in contrary to the prayers.

As a third stage, Almighty Allah revealed the verse that declared clearly and openly the forbiddingness of strong drink: "O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling and dedication of stones and divination by arrows are an abomination of Satan's handwork. Eschew such abomination that ye may prosper. 5/90"

The Holy Qur'an was revealed on stages in a period of twenty-three years for many purposes one of which was to treat each incident along with its surroundings such as time, place, social conditions and intellectual levels of people as well as their readiness to receive and apply the law to their conducts.

Graduality may take miscellaneous forms; when we attempt to treat a deep-rooted social problem, such as the adherence to the tribal baseless regulations, we must first invite the attentions to the arguments against the accuracy and advantages of such regulations and to the suspicions about them. Then, we should present substitutes and options that can be accepted as counterparts of these regulations. When such suspicions influence the mentalities to the degree that suitable substitutes are sought, people will be satisfied of the necessity of changing. Only then will it be possible to rebuff these regulations. Prompt failure will be the result of any direct attempt to remove these regulations if such preliminary steps are not taken into consideration. In addition, because such regulations are so deep-rooted and firm owing to the fact that man naturally adores the heritage of the ancestors, all those adorers will stand against any direct attempt of changing this social phenomenon.


When the Holy Prophet was divinely commissioned to convey his mission, he did not malign at the idols directly; rather he, along with Imam 'Ali and Lady Khadijah, worshipped Almighty Allah openly before the polytheists of Quraysh who could not hurt or criticize him at all. Yet, his deed made the publics put many questions: What were these three individuals doing? Whom were they worshipping? Why had they disregarded their people's worship? What was the source of such unyielding courage and faith that made them stand fearlessly against the all?

Although these questions and their likes motivated a good group of people to convert to Islam,1 the polytheists of Quraysh did not object to the Holy Prophet because he did not incense or enrage them since he had not yet criticized their idols directly.