Islam and the Preservation of the Five Essential Necessities of Life

Islam, as the last and perfect message from Allah to mankind, aims to establish by its principles, a legal framework, a code of ethics, and an ideal society with a balance between protecting the rights of the individual and the rights of the society collectively. One way of achieving this goal is by providing the essential necessities that ensure for the individuals their full rights without damage to the public good. If all members of the society enjoy their legal rights to peace, tranquility, freedom, and the general availability of all the basic human requirements, balanced with public welfare, they will all have the opportunity to live a fruitful life of fulfillment and contentment.

This contentment is defined by the Messenger of Allah when he stated:

Whosoever wakes up (in the morning) feeling that he is secure in his community, free from ailments and diseases in his body, and has enough provision for a single day, it is as if he owns the entire world.
Reported by Tirmidhi no. 2346 and verified as good.

Islam formulates a unique system of rights and obligations that provides for and preserves the following five basic necessities of human existence:

  1. Preservation of the Divine Religion
  2. Preservation of Self
  3. Preservation of Mind
  4. Preservation of Honor, Family and Lineage
  5. Preservation of Wealth

All human societies have devised their own systems to preserve these basic human necessities, and we will highlight the unique aspects of the Islamic system. Before we discuss these basic necessities in more detail, we will make some general observations about the often-misunderstood term "equality.