Concept of War in the Qur’ȃn

God often ordered the Israelites to go to war with other nations (1 Samuel 15.3; Joshua 4.13). God ordered the death penalty for numerous crimes (Exodus 21.12, 15; 22.19; Leviticus 20.11). So, God is not against killing in all circumstances. God ordered the Israelites to “take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites” (Numbers 31:2). Deuteronomy 20:16-17 declares, “However, in the cities of the nations the Lord, your God is giving you as an inheritance, ‘do not leave alive anything that breathes’. Completely destroy them…as the Lord, your God has commanded you.” Also, 1 Samuel 15.18 says, “Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.” Obviously God is not against all war. Jesus is always in perfect agreement with the Father (John 10:30), so we cannot argue that war was only God’s will in the Old Testament. God does not change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17).

The point should be obvious that religion has certainly played a part in much of the warfare in human history and Islamic history was not an exception. In Islam, we see the concept of jihȃd or “holy war.” Jihȃd is widely understood to describe warfare for the expansion of Islam. This concept is different from that we read in Qur’ȃn.

There is no word in Qur’ȃn that can be translated as “holy war”. The “holy war” is western Western terminology. Most probably Friedrich Schwally was the first who coined the now common term (heiliger Krieg) in his monograph published in 1901. A number of studies and articles are published in Non-Muslim world on holy war as it appears in Islam, only a fraction of them can be considered scholarly. Much must be deemed journalistic and polemical, despite their attempt at objective appearance or their publication in well-known journals and magazines. Prejudice toward Islam is as old as Islam itself. The church considered Arabia a “breeding ground of heresies” (haeresium ferax) even before the great Islamic conquests began in the seventh century CE. The incredible success of Islamic conquests and the civilization that arose represented Europe’s greatest threat, both politically and intellectually. From the conquest of Spain in the early eighth century to the siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Turks in 1683 CE, Islam remained a threat to the very physical existence of Christendom. Islam’s achievement in all scientific and intellectual fields during its golden period in the Middle Ages caused a reaction in the West that epitomized Islam as cruel, evil, and uncivilized. Qur’ȃn is now the most misunderstood book and Islam is the most misunderstood religion to the West. Many stereotypes still hinder clarity about its tenets and practices. We cannot blame the West entirely, but have to look how “jihadists” of past and today abandoned the teachings of Qur’ȃn (25:30) and presented to the world a twisted concept.


Jihȃd and ‘Jihȃdism’

Muslim warriors who considered their fighting as divinely sanctioned gave it the name “jihȃd”. There are many Muslims who believe that “jihȃd” is a holy war enjoined by Allȃh to fight against non-believers. It is a sad but undeniable fact that Muslims learn about Islamic practices and concepts from secondary, often unreliable sources. Scholars from East and the West, with the exception of few, have not taken pains to consult any dictionary on Arabic, or to refer to the Qur’ân to find out its real meaning.

Muslim history, stories of Hadîth (Muslim Traditions) and Muslim scholars all disagree with each other and give different meaning to the word jihȃd. Most Muslim authors agree that jihȃd in the sense of “Holy war” is enjoined in the Qur’ȃn for the establishment or extension of Islamic rule.


Jihȃd in the Qur’ȃn

When we carefully refer to the Qur’ȃn, jihȃd is certainly not an act of war. The Qur’ȃn uses the verb “jahada جهد” in its generic meaning of “exerting the best efforts against something”.

وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ ۚ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ ۚ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِي هَـٰذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ ۚ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۖ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَىٰ وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ

“And strive your hardest [جَاهِدُو] to win the pleasure of Allâh, so hard a striving as is possible[جِهَادِهِ] and as it behoves you. He has chosen you and has imposed no hardship upon you in the matter of your faith, (so follow) the creed of your father Abraham. He named you Muslims (both) before this and (again) in this (Book the Qur’ân), so that the Messenger may be a guardian over you and that you may be guardians over people. Therefore, observe Prayer, keep on presenting the Zakât and hold fast to Allâh. He is your Patron, what a gracious Patron, and what a gracious Helper.” (22:78).

The words in the above verses: “He has imposed no hardship upon you in the matter of your faith,” clearly show that jihâd is not war, which is a great hardship. Jihâd is simply to “follow the creed of Abraham” in order “to win the pleasure of Allâh”. God has no pleasure in killing.

The word jihâd, according to the Arabic-English Lexicon of E. W. Lane and the great scholar of Islam such as Râghîb means exerting of one’s utmost powers, efforts, endeavours or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation. This is of three kinds, namely; a visible enemy, the devil and against one’s own self. All these meanings are used in the Qur’ân when a reference of jihâd is made. The duty of jihâd is far from being synonymous with that of war to spread Islam. Jihâd, ‘the holy war’, as supposed by the western writers, is unknown equally to Arabic and the fundamental teachings of the Holy Qur’ân. Even in the Traditions of the Prophet (Hadîth) this word was never synonymous with ‘the holy war’. The Prophet of Islam called the greater Pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj) as jihâd (Bukhârî 25/4).

Jihâd is a Qur’ȃnic concept therefore Qur’ȃn should speak for itself to make its meaning clear. The discussion of jihâd should be referred back to Qur’ȃn and not to history and story writer. In reality, Qur’ȃn is rarely consulted for understanding this concept. The widespread misunderstanding of jihâd can only be attributed to an endemic neglect of the Qur’ȃn, not only by Non-Muslims, but by Muslims as well.  Qur’ȃn says in Chapter al-Furqȃn – (another name of Holy Qur’ȃn) about the biggest and the greatest jihȃd

فَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَجَاهِدْهُم بِهِ جِهَادًا كَبِيرًا

“So do not follow the disbelievers, and strive hard against them with the help of this (Qur’ân), a mighty striving – (جِهَادًا كَبِيرًاa great jihȃd)” (25:52)

And it says:

انفِرُوا خِفَافًا وَثِقَالًا وَجَاهِدُوا بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

“Strive hard with your possessions and your souls in the cause of Allâh” (9:41)

God expects from us a jihȃd against our souls, against our nafs-i-Ammȃrah نفس أمٌارة – our commanding self, which is continuously inciting us towards evil.

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ

“The believers are only those who (truly) believe in Allâh and His Messenger, and then doubt not, and who strive hard with their possessions and their souls in the cause of Allâh. It is they who are the true to their words (and Muslims of a high standard)”. (45:15)

Doing jihȃd with one’s properties and self for the sake of Allȃh covers every effort that the person exerts to the way of righteousness. God has not given us any permission to use any kind of force to prohibit people from going to places of worship – Churches, Synagogues and Temples – ‘where the name of Allȃh is being glorified’ (2:114), nor has He decreed that people be forced to Islam.

 وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ

“And say, `It (Qur’ȃn) is the truth from your Lord, therefore let him who wishes (it) believe (in it) and let him who wishes (otherwise) disbelieve (in it).” (18:29)

Meaning of jihȃd becomes clear from another verse:

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حُسْنًا ۖ وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ لِتُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۚ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

“We have enjoined on a human being to be kind to his parents, but should they stress upon you (وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ) to associate with Me things which you know to be nothing at all you shall not obey them. You shall all have to return to Me (after all). I shall tell you all that you have been doing (in your life)”. (29:8)

Here we have translated the word jahada-ka (جَاهَدَاكَ) ‘stress upon you’. Verse 31:14-15 gives the same message. Here جَاهَدَاكَ definitely does not mean to fight with the parents a bloody battle with a sword.

The Qur’ȃn uses the word “jihȃd” in about thirty verses in a specific meaning. It is simply wrong to suggest that the verb jahadu in all these verses is equivalent to the verb qatalu (to fight).


Qur’ȃnic Legislations on war

We cannot delete or abrogate the verses in Qur’ȃn related to warfare to prove that Qur’ȃn brings with it the message of peace. We can present these verses in a way how they are meant and to be understood. Those who misunderstand the Qur’ȃnic term jihȃd as armed struggle have failed to notice the important fact when Qur’ȃn talks about fighting the enemy it uses variations of the word “qital,” (2:24; 4:74; 4:84) and not jihȃd. The permission to fight (22:40) under certain circumstances has no connection with jihȃd and converting by force. At no time did Islam permit the use of force for the purpose of preaching or expansion of Muslim territories.

First Legislation – avoid confrontation: Qur’ȃn recommends in the first place to avoid confrontation and conflict:

“Declare openly what you are commanded (to deliver) and turn away from the polytheists. We do suffice you (to punish) those who treat (you) scornfully and who set up another god beside Allâh; but they shall soon come to know (the consequences). And We know, indeed, that your mind is distressed because of (polytheistic things) that they say. So (the remedy of this distress is that you) glorify your Lord with all His true praise and be of those who prostrate themselves (before Him). And go on worshipping your Lord until there comes to you that which is certain”. (15:94-99)


“Call the people to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly and kind exhortation, and argue with them in the most pleasant and best manner. Surely, your Lord knows very well who has gone astray from His path, and He knows very well the guided ones to the right path.” (Believers!) if you have to punish (the oppressors) then punish them to the extent you have been persecuted. But if you endure patiently, remember it is far better for the patiently persevering. And be patiently-persevering. Verily, you can exercise patient endurance only with (the help of) Allâh. Do not grieve at their state, nor feel distressed on account of their intrigues (out of enmity for you)”.(1:125-127)

The message is that verbal argument and not physical violence against Muhammad’s detractors is called for.

“Put up patiently with what they say and glorify your Lord with (His) praise before the rising of the sun and before its setting. And glorify (Him) during the hours of the night and at the ends of the day (in Prayers), that you may attain (real) happiness (and true bliss).” (20:130)

Another method of avoiding the conflict is to leave the company of those who are provocative in a “graceful manner”.

وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيلًا

“And patiently persevere in the face of all that these (enemies) say and withdraw from them in a graceful manner.” (73:10)

Enmity of the people should not be the cause of fight:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا ۚ اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ

“O you who believe! Be steadfast, upholders of the right for the cause of Allâh, bearers of true witness in equity, and do not let the enmity of a people move you at all to act otherwise than equitably. Be equitable (always); that is nearer to being secure against evil, and take Allâh as a shield. Surely, Allâh is Well-Aware of what you do.” (5:8)


Peace Treaties to be signed and observed:

إِلَّا الَّذِينَ عَاهَدتُّم مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَنقُصُوكُمْ شَيْئًا وَلَمْ يُظَاهِرُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَحَدًا فَأَتِمُّوا إِلَيْهِمْ عَهْدَهُمْ إِلَىٰ مُدَّتِهِمْ

“Those of the polytheists with whom you have entered into a treaty (and) who subsequently did not fail you in any manner, nor did they back up anyone against you. So abide by the treaty you had entered with them to the end of the term you have fixed with them. Allâh, surely loves those who keep their duty.” (9:4)


Fight may become necessary if peace treaties are broken:

إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ عَاهَدتَّ مِنْهُمْ ثُمَّ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَهُمْ فِي كُلِّ مَرَّةٍ وَهُمْ لَا يَتَّقُونَ فَإِمَّا تَثْقَفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْحَرْبِ فَشَرِّدْ بِهِم مَّنْ خَلْفَهُمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ

“Surely, the worst of beasts in the sight of Allâh are those who denied to believe (in the truth in the first instance) so they would not believe; (Particularly) those with whom you entered into a pact, but every time they break their pact and they do not guard . Therefore if you find these (breakers of trust) in battle array, then disperse those behind them so that they may be admonished”. (8:55-57)

Reconciliation and Peace between the fighting Muslims is an obligation:

وَإِن طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا ۖ فَإِن بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرَىٰ فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِي تَبْغِي حَتَّىٰ تَفِيءَ إِلَىٰ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِن فَاءَتْ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَقْسِطُوا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

“(O you who believe!) If two parties of the believers fall out and fight each other, make peace between them. And should one of them commit aggression against the other, then fight (you all) against the party that transgresses till it complies with the command of Allâh (and returns to peace and reconciliation). Then if it returns make peace between them with equity and act justly, for Allâh loves those who do justice.

Believers are but a single brotherhood, so make peace and effect reconciliation between the two (contending) brethren and take Allâh as (your) shield so that you may be shown mercy”. (49:9-10)

Only defensive fighting is permitted:

The next stage is the stage of defensive fighting: Sûra 22:39–40 reads as follows:

أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَاتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ نَصْرِهِمْ لَقَدِيرٌ الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِن دِيَارِهِم بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ إِلَّا أَن يَقُولُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ

“Permission is (now) given to those against whom war is waged (for no reason), because they have been done injustice to, and Allâh has indeed might and power to help them. Those who have been driven out of their homes without any just cause”. (22:39-40)

وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأَخْرِجُوهُم مِّنْ حَيْثُ أَخْرَجُوكُمْ ۚ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُقَاتِلُوهُمْ عِندَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ حَتَّىٰ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِيهِ ۖ فَإِن قَاتَلُوكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُمْ ۗ كَذَ‌ٰلِكَ جَزَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ فَإِنِ انتَهَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“And fight in the cause of Allâh those who fight and persecute you, but commit no aggression. Surely, Allâh does not love the aggressors. And slay them (the aggressors, against whom fighting is made incumbent) when and where you get the better of them, in disciplinary way, and turn them out whence they have turned you out. (Killing is bad but) lawlessness is even worse than carnage.

But do not fight them in the precincts of Masjid al-Harâm (the Holy Mosque at Makkah) unless they fight you therein. Should they attack you (there) then slay them. This indeed is the recompense of such disbelievers. But if they desist (from aggression) then, behold, Allâh is indeed Great Protector, Ever Merciful.” (2:190-192)

Prohibition to fight in the precincts of Masjid al-Harâm (the Holy Mosque at Makkah), clearly show the reference here is to a particular battle between the Muslims and non-Muslims and not a general command. “And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is (freely professed) for Allâh” shows that the purpose of fight is to end the persecution of agroup of people – here the Muslims. Persecuted are the victims and not the aggressor. “But if they desist (from hostilities) then (remember) there is no punishment except against the unjust (who still persist in persecution)” show that fighting is to be stopped if the persecutor desist from fighting. It cannot be continued to the last killing. Verse 16:126 gives the same message:

Verse 2:194 says: “(The violation of) a sacred month may be retaliated in the sacred month and for (the violation of) all sacred things the law of retaliation is prescribed. Then he who transgresses against you, punish him for his transgression to the extent he has transgressed against you, and take Allâh as a shield, and know that Allâh is with those who guard against evil.”

It is worth to note that in verse 2:190 the words used are lȃ ta’dalû [وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا] meaning, do not transgress, do not go beyond limits or commit aggression. The words also refer to the restriction against fighting non-combatants. Such non-combatants are those who are not prepared to fight, such as women, children and old. The jihȃdists in order to claim killing of the non-combatants abrogate this verse. Fitna الْفِتْنَةُ is persecution and lawlessness in any form, which Qur’ȃn says is worse than a kill. Creation of lawless situation and chaos in a country are the first step taken by jihȃdists.

وَإِنْ عَاقَبْتُمْ فَعَاقِبُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبْتُم بِهِ ۖ وَلَئِن صَبَرْتُمْ لَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لِّلصَّابِرِينَ

If you have to punish (the oppressors) then punish them to the extent you have been persecuted. But if you endure patiently, remember it is far better for the patiently persevering.” (16:126)

Sûra 2:216 reads: “Fighting is commanded upon you even though it is disagreeable to you. But it is possible that you dislike something which is good for you and that you love something which is bad for you. God knows, but you know not.” is a general statement when defensive war becomes necessary. Qur’ȃn does not use the word jihȃd for fighting but qitȃl قتال. Moreover fighting in any form (qitȃl or jihȃd) is not added to the well-known five pillars of Islam.

No hostages can be taken:

وَإِنْ أَحَدٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ اسْتَجَارَكَ فَأَجِرْهُ حَتَّىٰ يَسْمَعَ كَلَامَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ أَبْلِغْهُ مَأْمَنَهُ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ

“And if any of the [fighting] polytheists seeks your protection, grant him protection so that he may hear the word of Allâh, then conduct him to a place where he feels himself safe and secure. That (treatment) is (to be meted out to them) because they are a people who have no knowledge (of Islam).” (9:6)

Prisoners of war can only be taken in course of regular fight:

مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ

“It does not behove a Prophet to keep captives unless He has triumphed after a regular bloody fighting in the land.” (8:67)

Prisoners of war should be released:

فَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَضَرْبَ الرِّقَابِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَثْخَنتُمُوهُمْ فَشُدُّوا الْوَثَاقَ فَإِمَّا مَنًّا بَعْدُ وَإِمَّا فِدَاءً حَتَّىٰ تَضَعَ الْحَرْبُ أَوْزَارَهَا ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ

“So (believers! Now that you know the will of your Lord), when you meet in (regular) battle those who disbelieve strike off their heads {take away their power to fight by imprisoning them]. After you have bound them fast in fetters (as prisoners of war), then, afterwards, (release them, a must), either by way of grace or by (accepting) ransom. (That is the law,) until war lays down its weapons (and it is over). Such is (the ordinance of Allâh).” (47:4)


If enemy offers peace, the offer should be accepted:

وَإِن جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا

“And if they incline towards peace, you should also incline towards it and put your trust in Allâh. Surely, it is He Who is All-Hearing, All-Knowing”. (8:61)


Invitation to the abode of peace

وَاللَّهُ يَدْعُو إِلَىٰ دَارِ السَّلَامِ وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيم

“Allâh invites (us all) to the abode of peace and He guides him who wishes to be guided to the exact right path leading to the goal”. (10:25)

The teachings of Qur’ȃn are in no way against the religion of peace it preaches. The Book just not speaks of “Peace” but also provides extensive code to achieve it, to establish it and to maintain it. The very first verses of the Holy Qur’ȃn speak of God who is Rabb al-‘Âlamîn – the Nourisher and Sustainer of all the worlds, worlds of matter and non-matter. Here is no claim of exclusiveness or inclusiveness of any particular group. The Book mentions all the hurdles in way of peace and guides us to those basics that bring and maintain peace. It tells us to respect and honour the “lords” of other faiths (40:78; 42:13), respect followers of other faith and not to call them enemies who shall be inmates of hell (2:62).   It provides for all people a formula when followed can contribute to mutual understanding and open the way to dialogue, which is the fundamental of all peaceful efforts. It says:

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ

“Say, ‘O people of the Scripture! Let us agree to a proposition common to us” (3:64)

Covenants, contracts, and engagements are to be made for the welfare of the individual and society, which are fundamental in social and international relations. Thus, respect for law is made obligatory:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ

“O you who believe! Abide by all (your) obligations.” (5:1)

This is a comprehensive Divine Command to maintain peace. The word ‘Uqûd عُقُود- obligations, denotes a solemn undertaking or engagement involving more than one party. Complying with these obligations brings peace and harmony to a society and to our souls; breaching them leads to discord and enmity and is the source of restlessness in individuals and society.