116. If only there had been among the generations before you persons having wisdom, prohibiting (others) from Fasad (corruption) in the earth, except a few of those whom We saved from among them! Those who did wrong pursued the enjoyment of good things of (this worldly) life, and were criminals.
Those who commit Fasad will corrupt the Earth, ranging from criminal activities (theft, murder, drugs etc) to environmental pollution. Without the knowledge of Islamic values people will fail to distinguish between good and bad deeds. A community may believe that real peace and happiness rests in industrial revolution, scientific discoveries or sophisticated medical research. These can be good for mankind, but not at the expense of diminishing value system.
By adopting incorrect values individuals begin to see fundamental changes in behavior and conduct of families, societies and larger group of communities. Allah swt tells us the cause and effect of non Islamic values. Cause is our pursuit of enjoyment in the world and its effect is criminality. By going out of Islam’s circle, concepts such as Day of Judgement, Accountability, Book of Deeds, Heaven, Hell, Mercy, Forgiveness and Intercession will cease to be guidance for us. In their place we get other concepts like career, rewards, recognitions, titles, profits, shares, dividends, bonuses etc as motivation for good work. When we start pursuing materialistic objectives thinking that their achievement will provide salvation we end up corrupting our Earth, although we might be thinking that we are doing a noble job.
Our good deeds will be good only when they are truly good for all humanity, without discrimination to anyone. Since we don’t have complete knowledge of what is good or bad for all of humanity, therefore we have to rely on some power to inform us. That is none other than Allah swt who created the Universe and everything in it, so He only knows the true need of humanity.
Humanity needs a few good men and women who believe in Allah swt and His Messenger swm in order to keep reminding people about the existence of God and our inevitable return to Him swt. God’s message to humanity would be lost in text books and libraries had it not been for these few people. As Allah swt mentions these group of people were always “few”.