Rise and fall of Nations The Sunday Guardian | October 3, 2010 | Page 15
Everything that happens in this world is controlled by the well-known Laws of Nature. The same is true of the rise and fall of a nation. The Quran in one of its chapters gives substance to this law thus: God does not change the condition of a people’s lot, unless they change what is in their hearts. (13:11) By the world “people” the Quran means the nation or society, and by the word “heart” or “inner self” the Quran refers to individuals. Here the Quran refers to that law of nature which determines the fate of peoples or nations. This law applies without exception to all nations. According to this law, the destiny of a nation depends upon the individuals of which it is composed. Every individual is an important unit of his nation. If the individuals are good in character, the whole nation will be good, but if the individuals are bad in character, then the whole nation will become bad. This law tells us how to reform a nation or a society after deterioration has set in. This law gives us the starting point. Whenever it has become apparent that a nation has fallen in evil ways, we have to start our reform from its individual members; that is the only possible way to begin. You can successfully address an individual mind, but you cannot similarly address a crowd. This means that in such a situation we have to change individuals through education, both formally and informally. We have to change their minds and hearts, we have to change their way of thinking, we have to de-condition their conditioned minds. How to rebuild a society which has gone into decline? The answer is: Begin from the beginning. Begin with individual reform.