Wednesday, 5 November 2014

What is the theory of Social Evolution given by Shah Wali Ullah and How he has explained the four evolutionary stages of society

Shah Walliullah

Biographical Sketch :
 Qutub-ud-din Ahmad known as Shah Walliullah was a great Muslim thinker of eighteenth century. He was born in 1703 in Delhi. He completed his education at the age of fifteen years and started his practical life. In his youth time, the Mughal Kingdom and Delhi was breathing its last. There was disorder politically. Mughal Kingdom was loose and the religious, political and social conditions impressed him greatly. Though he was primarily a famous teacher of Islamic theology, Quran'and Sunnah, but by observing the social incidents and
conditions, he has thrown light in his books on Islamic economy, psychology, philosophy and politics. Among his famous books, Khair-ul-Kaseer and Hujja Tul-Baligha are very famous. In these books, topics like collectivity of society and its evolutionary stages, king and his qualities and duties etc. have been discussed in detail, which is an important addition to the knowledge of sociology. He died in Delhi in 1763.
From sociological point of view, his theory about (i) beginning of society, evolution of society, and (ii) social dispersion or ailments, is very important.

Theory of Origin and Evolution of Society ORIGIN OF SOCIETY :

According to Shah Walliullah,
 “The present society did not come into existence automatically but has gained the collective shape slowly. Adam’s family, a dwelling, a village, a town, a state and then a vast kingdom came into existence slowly. Afterwards, kingdoms were divided into states because of differences and their several kingdoms came into existence. This collective life concept is present in animals also but man has the power to think, to have self-dense, to show and to have feelings and emotions and to use natural abilities but such things are not found in animals. Therefore, there is no evolution, no sense and no emotion in the animals. Man’s social life started from forest life having no clear, cut difference between animal and man’s life but mutual exchange and cooperation present in human nature gave a form of Gregration to human groups which resulted in the form of society by increase of population.”

Motives of Collective Life :
According to Shah Waliullah, collective life came into existence on the basis of specific motives of humans which are present in human nature. Their detail is given below :

i. Self-defense or Security :
Shah Walliullah says that there are equal motives of self-defense between animals and human beings and because of this motive they live a collective life and move about to save themselves from cold, thirst, heat and enemies. So in the case with human beings who also live collective life because they had not proper
sources to seek food and save themselves from heat and coldness of weathers.

ii. Security of Race or Generation :
This motive of saving generation is also found between men and animals and has a strong motive for collective life. The love between man and woman is source of union and love of children makes a family.

iii. Social Interaction and Mutual Cooperation :
Shah Waliullah says that social interaction and mutual cooperation are two important motives which distinguish men from animals that change collective life into social collective life. Man has been endowed with sense and understanding that is not found in animals. and these qualities are used to transfer mutual emotions, experience, and as a result of mutual cooperation, it brings about mutual relations and groups become merged into each other and that is society.

Shah Walliullah says about evolution, “Human society in its beginning was not much different from animal life but sense and understanding which is present in human beings by nature completed the stages of evolution by mutual cooperation. Human society has never been still at one situation but has been dynamic always.” Human evolution has been a stage- wise action and it is a journey to be completed by stages. With the passage of time, his life goes on becoming better than before. He has divided life from evolutionary point of view into four stages because of characteristics and structure of society.

Four Stages of Society

1. First Stage of Society : 
This has been called by Shah Walliullah as first evolution in society. This is a preliminary stage with the following characteristics :
i. Individuals live in small groups and change their residence because of change in weather.

ii. Simple residence, dress and simple way of cooking, utensil, making art living on fruit, vegetables and hunted animals and grain. They knew the art of domestication of animals and
executing work from these animals.

iii. Society is divided into four classes:
a. The wise who suggest for social benefits. A
b. Wealthy class; owner of cattle sheep, land, etc.
c. Brave people to defend society from attacks and dacoits.
d. Cunning people class; desirous of fame, authority and
liking business type activities.

iv. Marriage rituals are under collective customs where man’s will is kept in view. Marriage is to satisfy natural sexual desires and is a source of survival of race.

Second Stage of Society :
Shah Walliullah says that, “The first stage of society is the state of helplessness and a man wanders to satisfy his desires with more labour but less achievement but at the second stage the wise class guides him to fulfil the desires with ways and means and principles are made which get the status of collective and cultural morals and are transferred from generation to generation.”

These approved morals have been divided into three parts at the second stage by Shah Walliullah:
i. Guiding principles:
These are such points of the morals which are adopted in daily collective social life like eating, drinking, dressing and living manners and rituals of festivals.

ii. Mutual cooperation :
It is that of morals where relations between families are established, which are based on respect from relation principles are set up, principles for training of individual are set up. Customs are abided by and stability is brought in collective

iii. Mutual exchange :
The individuals of a society transfer their emotions, experience, skills and material things according to collective principles of life. Different professions came into existence an; mutual dependence among individuals increases making the desires completion easy.

3. Third Stage of Society :
Shah Walliullah says that, “In the first two stages, there is no intensity of emotions and depth and mutual cooperation and transfer is just for the sake of completion of desires only but families and tribes do not get mutual contact.” The third stage brings intensity in mutual dependence and there is danger of deviation from approved morals and a collective force is needed and at the stage the dauntless class along with opportunist class set up a political system that fulfils the following needs:

i. Safety of approved morals : 
To settle mutual quarrels, enforces the approved morals through power and reduces such incidents.

ii. Penalties :
Political system sets up norms and sanctions to check the activities of individuals of a society from violating approved morals to save others from this to make the life of the society free of fear and dispersion.

iii. Jehad :
Shah Walliullah has given the policy of Jehad to prevent internal dispersion and disorder and to check external attackers. The wealth and welfare of a society, incites the external forces to destroy the collective life of a society, having the aim of getting wealth and occupation over the country. The political system should prepare the dauntless and brave people of the country. for Jehad every time.

iv. Achievement of public welfare :
According to Shah Walliullah, “To maintain the collective life in a better condition, the aim of collective life is determined by the opinion of the wise of the first stage. The political system maintains the approved morals and provides guidance and training.”

4. Fourth stage of society :
According to Shah Walliullah, “The world is passing through these three stages to reach the fourth stage of complete society with the following characteristics:

i. Collective life being divided into small classes should attach itself to a larger political system to save itself from internal disorders.

ii. Different political unities should create such conditions through mutual cooperation and transfer it to avoid conflict with each other.

According to Shah Walliullah, societies will definitely pass these stages through evolution and the time the society achieves the fourth stage, it will be a complete society which he calls caliphate.


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