The Social System in Islam
Many people overstep the mark and apply the term ‘social system’ to all systems of life. This is an erroneous application; given that the systems of life befit more to be called the ‘systems of society’ since in reality that is what they constitute, as they organize the relationships which arise between a people living in a particular society regardless of their meeting or dispersing. The meeting of people is not considered, what is noted is only the relationships (‘Alaqat). Consequently, they will be diverse and differ according to the different relationships. They include economics, ruling, politics, education, penal code (‘Uqubat), societal transactions (Mu’amalat) and the rules of (testimonial) evidences (Bayyinat) etc.
Thus, the application of the term ‘social system’ to all of these relationships is meaningless and inapplicable. Besides, the word ‘social’ is a description of a system, thus the subject matter of this system should be the organization of the problems arising from the meeting (of people) or the relationships that arise from people meeting together. The meeting of a man with a man and a woman with a woman does not require a system because no problems arise from it, nor do relationships arise which require a system. Only the organization of their interests requires a system in view of the fact that they live in the same country even if they did not meet. As for the meeting of a man with a woman and vice versa, it is from this meeting that problems and relationships arise which need to be organized by a system. Thus, this meeting (Ijtima’) befits more to be designated as the social system, because in reality it is this system which organizes the meeting between men and women, and the relationships which arise from such meetings. That is why the social system is confined to the system which demonstrates the organization of the woman’s meeting with the man and vice versa, and organizes the woman’s relationship with the man and vice versa. Thus the social system addresses the relationships that result from men and women meeting and not from their interests (Masalih) in society, and it clarifies all that branches out from this relationship. Thus, trade between men and women pertains to the systems of society and not to the social system, because it falls within the economic system. As for the prohibition of (Khalwa) seclusion between men and women, or when a woman has the right to instigate divorce for herself, or who has the right of custody for a child, all of these issues pertain to the social system. Therefore, the social system is defined as: the system which organizes the meeting of a man with a woman and vice versa and organizes the relationship which results from their meeting and all that branches out from this relationship.