I now come to Islam and proceed to explain the remedies suggested by Islam for the ills with which I have been dealing.
In the first place, Islam abolished the institution of slavery which had been established for thousands of years. I claim that of all the religions, Islam is the only one which abolished the institution by its own teachings, and that no other religion provides for its abolition. On the contrary, the institution was recognised in all other religions. In Judaism and Hinduism, slavery is a religious institution and cannot be abolished. Christianity is only a branch of Judaism, and slavery continued to be recognized among Christian nations for many centuries. When it was abolished, the abolition was brought about not by anything in the teachings of Christianity but by the progress which had been by then made in ethical standards. The history of the Church shows that efforts were made on many occasions to put an end to slavery but on each occasion the fiercest opposition was offered by the Church. In Hinduism, the caste system has established slavery so firmly and on so vast a scale that slavery in the ordinary sense becomes but a small evil by comparison. Islam abolished slavery altogether.
There is, however, one institution recognised by Islam which has been described as slavery and that is the taking of prisoners of war. But if this is an evil, it is a necessary consequence of war. When two nations are fighting each other, it cannot be expected that prisoners taken during the day would be set at liberty at night, so that they could return to their people and join the battle again on their own side the following morning. Even in certain games in which we are caught by the opposite side we have to be counted out for the rest of the game and are no longer at liberty to participate in it for the rest of the innings. As a matter of fact, if prisoners could not be made during a war, or if it were obligatory to release them as soon as they were taken, wars would become almost interminable. This is, therefore, an evil which is a necessary accompaniment of war. Apart from this, Islam countenances no form of slavery. God says in the Holy Quran:
“It does not behove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting in the land. You desire the goods of the world, while Allah desires for you the Hereafter. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.” (8:68).
It was not permitted to any prophet to make slaves of anybody. That is to say, not only was the Holy Prophet(sa) forbidden to make slaves but, according to this part of the verse, even previous prophets were not at liberty to do so, and, therefore, they did not actually do so. We must, therefore, conclude that neither Krishna nor Ram Chandra, Moses nor Jesus did so, and those who attribute this kind of conduct to them are not to be believed. The verse quoted above goes on to say that in the case of a war, which involves bloodshed on a large scale, it is permissible to take prisoners of war. This again indicates that prisoners of war may be taken only in wars between Nations or States, but not of the result of tribal raids or family feuds. It then goes on to explain that those, who desire to enslave people or to make them prisoners under other conditions, are merely seeking worldly advantage and not the pleasure of God, whereas God desires that they should seek benefits for the life to come. God is Mighty, Wise: meaning that these injunctions like all God’s Commandments are based on true wisdom, and that if they are contravened, and Muslims proceed to establish the institution of slavery, they will in turn be themselves enslaved. History tells us that among whichever people slavery became established, those people are reduced to the position of slaves. The Abbasides encouraged slavery and the result was that the majority of the later Caliphs were the issues of slave girls and though sovereign and free in name, in point of fact, they were no better than slaves. The word Ith-khan used in this verse for war means a war which is accompanied by bloodshed on a large scale and excludes the idea of tribal raids and frontier skirmishes. It presupposes a regular war between nations and organized states. A nation that does not desire to take the risk of any portion of the people becoming prisoners of war has only to avoid aggression. If it embarks upon aggression which leads to war and bloodshed, it cannot complain if some of its people become prisoners of war.
Islam, further, prohibits aggression, and the only kind of war permitted by Islam is a defensive war. In other words, it does not permit embarking upon war for the purpose, or in the hope of taking prisoners. The Holy Quran says:
“Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them — Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ — And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty — Those who, if We establish them in the earth, will observe Prayer and pay the Zakat and enjoin good and forbid evil. And with Allah rests the final issue of all affairs.” (22:40-42)
That is to say, permission to go to war is accorded only to those who have been victims of tyranny and aggression, and this permission has been accorded because God wishes to demonstrate His power to help the oppressed against their oppressors. It often happens that aggression is embarked upon by the strong and powerful against the weak and helpless. In this verse God declares that Muslims have been permitted to take up arms in their own defence, inasmuch as they have been oppressed, and have been made the victims of aggression, and God has, therefore, determined to help them against their oppressors, so that those who are weak may overcome those who are strong. So that, not only was permission given to take up arms, but God declared that He would help and succour the oppressed to vanquish and overcome their oppressors.
The verse then goes on to say that Muslims were now permitted to fight inasmuch as they had been expelled from their homes for no other fault than that they had accepted Islam and had proclaimed Allah to be their Creator and Sustainer. It then says that a time would come when all war will be denounced as evil and appeals would be made in the name of humanity to put an end to it. The verse goes on to explain that it would always be necessary to check aggression by force. For, if that were not so, temples, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques dedicated to the worship of God, would all be destroyed. For, it is patent that the designs of an aggressor cannot be checked or frustrated merely because other people are anxious to live in peace and have no desire to go to war. One of the cardinal principles of Islam is to secure absolute freedom of faith, and the object of this portion of the verse is to explain that if war were absolutely prohibited, those, who desire to subordinate all matters of belief and religion to their own political authority, would be encouraged to embark upon aggressive and totalitarian policies and would seek not only to control political and secular activities but would endeavour to destroy religion altogether, and proceed to demolish places of worship. The verse then goes on to declare that God will help those who fight to secure freedom of religion, and that He being Strong and Mighty, those whom He succours will never be vanquished. It then goes on to state that people who are prepared to sacrifice their possessions and lives in order to secure freedom of faith, would not, if they come to power, exploit other people, but would worship God sincerely, distribute wealth equitably, eschew evil, put an end to the practice of evil by others and encourage the doing of good.
It is quite clear that a war of this kind can only be started by some aggressor against Muslims, and not by Muslims themselves. The responsibility, therefore, for prisoners being taken in such a war must lie on the shoulders of the aggressor who starts such a war. If he does not refrain from aggression and deliberately provokes war, he is certainly a menace and deserves to be made a prisoner. Such conduct is his own choice. If he had not sought to deprive others of spiritual freedom, his own liberty would not have been put in jeopardy.
Assuming that a war of this description becomes unavoidable and Muslims are forced to take up arms, the Quran enjoins:
“And when you meet in regular battle those who disbelieve, smite their necks; and, when you have overcome them, bind fast the fetters — then afterwards either release them as a favour or by taking ransom — until the war lays down its burdens.” (47:5)
That is to say, in a war so defined, you may take prisoners. But if you do so, you must adopt one of the two courses: When the war comes to an end, you must either release the prisoners out of pure benevolence; or, you must agree to release them on payment of ransom. If a prisoner is not released out of pure benevolence, he must remain in custody till he is ransomed, and during that period he must do suitable work for his captor. This cannot be regarded as hardship. For, even in modern times, prisoners of war are often put to such work as is suited to their capacity.
It appears to have been authorised by the Holy Prophet(sa) that a prisoner of war may be released on giving an assurance that he would not again take part in a war against Muslims. An incident which occurred in the time of the Holy Prophet(sa) illustrates this. In the battle of Badr, a prisoner was taken of the name of Abu ‘Uzzah. The Holy Prophet(sa) released him on the promise that he would not participate in any subsequent war against Muslims. He broke this promise and fought against Muslims again in the picture battle of Uhud. He was eventually again taken prisoner in the battle of Hamra’ul Asad and executed.
To recapitulate, Islam prescribes two courses, one of which must be adopted in dealing with the prisoners of war. They must either be released without ransom or held in captivity till they are ransomed. While they are held in captivity, it is permissible to put them to suitable employment. But even with regard to this employment, Islam prescribes that no prisoner should be called upon to perform a task which is beyond his strength or capacity, and that he must be fed and clothed in the same manner as his captor. This is an injunction which goes far beyond the practice of modern States. Even those countries which are parties to international conventions are not under an obligation to feed and clothe prisoners of war on a scale and level which is prevalent in the case of their own citizens. This injunction was, however, very rigidly observed by the Companions of the Holy Prophet(sa). On a particular journey, it is said, some of the Companions were accompanied by prisoners, and these prisoners themselves relate that the party ran short of provisions at a certain stage. The Companions, therefore, decided that they would feed the prisoners upon the remaining store of dates and would themselves subsist upon date-stones. It is related that there were not even enough stones to go round. It will be recognised that this injunction of Islam is very equitable and humane.
Another rule laid down by Islam is that no prisoner of war must be struck or beaten. If any prisoner of war is beaten or assaulted, he must be set at liberty at once. On one occasion the Holy Prophet(sa) on emerging from his house saw a Muslim beating a prisoner. This Muslim relates that while he was beating he heard the Holy Prophet(sa) call out: “What are you about? Surely this is very un-Islamic. Do you not realise that God has much greater power over you than you have over this prisoner?” He said, he was terrified on hearing this and said, “O Prophet(sa) of God, I liberate him.” ‘The Holy Prophet(sa) said, “If you had not done so, you would have tasted the fire.” These days many people have no qualms while beating their domestic servants, and yet the Holy Prophet(sa) called one of his Companions to account for beating a prisoner.
Another Companion relates that they were seven brothers and that they possessed a female prisoner, and on one occasion the youngest of them gave her a slap for some fault she had committed. When the Holy Prophet(sa) learnt of this, he said that the only penalty for the slap was that she must be liberated, and this was done. In other words, it was not only serious beating or striking that was prohibited, but even a slap involved liberation, inasmuch as such conduct indicated that the person guilty of it was not fit to be entrusted with the custody of, or authority over, another human being.
The Holy Quran also prescribes that marriage should be arranged for such of the prisoners as have arrived at, at the age of matrimony:
“And marry widows from among you, and your male slaves and female slaves who are fit for marriage.” (24:33).
Could humane consideration go any further? Islam says, ‘Feed them with the food that you eat; give them to wear the kind of clothes you wear; subject them to no kind of hardship; make arrangements for their marriage; and if ever any of you should happen to strike any of them the only penalty for this is liberation.’ Many of them may be released unconditionally or only on condition that they will not again participate in a war against Muslims. I doubt very much whether today the most civilized State would forego reparations merely on condition that prisoners of war released by it shall not again participate in a war against itself.
It is necessary to say a word here in explanation of the system of ransoming prisoners of war. As I have already said, the first injunction of Islam is to release prisoners of war without ransom, but if a captor cannot afford to do this, he must release his prisoner or prisoners on receipt of ransom which is only a sort of reparation, or a recoupment of the expenses incurred by the captor on account of the war. The difference between conditions then prevailing and those prevailing today is that in those times each warrior had to provide his own arms and equipment, and reparation was also exacted by individuals. There were no regular armies nor any arrangements for the maintenance or custody of prisoners of war on a large scale. Prisoners of war were, therefore, distributed among those who had borne the expense of the campaign and had made sacrifices in respect of it. Now that modern States maintain regular armies, and in times of war all military activity is financed and provided for by the State, reparations are also a matter of settlement between the belligerent States, and arrangements for the maintenance and custody of prisoners of war are also a state responsibility. On the conclusion of peace all questions of reparations, penalties, exchange and release of prisoners have to be settled between the belligerent States. Reverting, however, to the Islamic teachings in this connection, what I desire to stress is that a prisoner of war could always secure his release by the payment of ransom. This payment could be made by himself or by his relatives or by the tribe of which he was a member or by the State of which he was a subject. There is nothing in these regulations which imported perpetual loss of liberty.
It may be argued that a prisoner may himself be poor and unable to pay his ransom. His tribe or state may be indifferent. His relatives may be hostile to him and may desire the prolongation of his captivity and his captor may be poor and so burdened with the expense which he had been compelled to incur on account of war, that he may not be able to afford his release without ransom. Then what chance is left for the prisoner to obtain his release? Even this contingency is provided for in Islam. The Holy Quran says:
“And such as desire a deed of manumission in writing from among those whom your right hands possess, write it for them if you know any good in them; and give them out of the wealth of Allah which He has bestowed upon you.” (24:34).
That is to say, “If any of your prisoners should be unable to provide for their ransom but should be willing to purchase their liberty on condition of paying their ransom by instalments, you should settle instalments with them and give them a writing in respect of it, if you think that they possess enough capacity to discharge the instalments out of their earnings. If in such a case you can afford to lend them money by way of capital for their ventures you are enjoined to do so.” From the moment such a writing is given, the prisoner is free to dispose of himself in any manner he likes and is competent to hold and dispose of property and subject only to the obligation of the due discharge of instalments.
A captor has no right to refuse a prisoner liberty on the basis of instalments, unless the apprehension of war still continues, or the prisoner is an idiot or is otherwise unable to earn on his own account, and it is feared that if he is left to himself he is likely to do himself more harm than good. It may be objected that a captor might take unfair advantage of this exception and seek to continue a prisoner in bondage on the pretext that he is deficient in intelligence. But the Islamic law provides that a prisoner is always at liberty to apply to a magistrate for a settlement of instalments in case instalments are refused by his captor, or in case the settlement offered is unfair.
If, in spite of all these facilities, a prisoner of war fails to take advantage of them, it can only mean that he prefers the condition in which he is to the condition to which he might be restored in case he is set at liberty. The truth is that many of those who were prisoners in the custody of the Companions of the Holy Prophet(sa) did prefer to continue in that state rather than seek to revert to their original condition of nominal liberty. They were treated by their captors as equal members of their own families and found themselves very much better off than they had been as free men. The Companions provided food and clothing for them as they provided for themselves, set them no tasks beyond their strength, did not ask them to do anything in which they were not prepared to participate themselves; subjected them to no ill-treatment and were very ready to liberate them on payment of ransom in a lump sum or by instalments. It is true that these prisoners were technically held in bondage but often the light of Islam penetrated into their hearts, and they, had no desire to revert to their original condition. This is well illustrated by the case of Zaid(ra) Bin Harith(ra) who was at one time a slave of Hazrat Khadijah(ra).
Zaid(ra) was not a slave in the ordinary sense but belonged to a free Arab family. He was taken prisoner in some local raid and came eventually into the ownership of Hazrat Khadijah(ra). When the Holy Prophet(sa) married Hazrat Khadijah(ra), (though this was long before the commencement of his ministry), she placed all her property and belongings including Zaid(ra) at his disposal. The Holy Prophet(sa) gave Zaid(ra) his liberty, but he continued to reside with his master. Eventually, his father and uncle discovered his whereabouts and came to the Holy Prophet(sa) and begged him to let Zaid(ra) go back with them. The Holy Prophet(sa) told them that he had already set Zaid(ra) at liberty, and that he was free to go wherever he liked. They then tried to persuade Zaid(ra) to accompany them back home, but he refused saying that though he had been set at liberty, he had no desire to forsake the Holy Prophet(sa) and was determined to continue in his service. His father and uncle pleaded long and hard with him and told him that his mother was suffering dreadful pangs on account of separation from him, but all this failed to move Zaid(ra), who reiterated that he could not expect his parents to treat him with kindness and affection greater than he received from the Holy Prophet(sa). Surely nobody could have any objection to bondage of this kind, if in truth it was bondage at all. One is surprised that such a bond of affection and kindness should have existed between two human beings, between whom the technical relationship was that of master and slave.
If in early Islam, therefore, some people preferred to remain in bondage rather than claim their freedom, it was by their own free choice. They realized that they were much better off in bondage than if they were free. But European missionaries continue to proclaim vociferously that Islam carried on the institution of slavery. Your attendance here is an illustration of what I have in mind. Is it not our experience that in ordinary meetings if even the most eminent lecturer exceeds his time by a few minutes, the audience begins to exhibit its impatience in many ways. Here so many thousands of you sit in great discomfort for hours together, cold and hungry, listening to me and wishing all the time that I should go on speaking. What is this difference due to? Is it not due to your having believed in the Promised Messiah(as) and having surrendered your hearts to his bondage? Is this kind of bondage open to any objection? Is it not rather an indication and a measure of true faith? It is to be bound not to man but to God.
In short, it cannot be urged that slavery was abolished by advance in civilization. Slavery was abolished by Islam. True, in Islam it was permitted to take prisoners of war, but even with regard to them, rules were framed which were in advance of those which the Allies and the Axis Powers observe today. Let me briefly recapitulate them. Prisoners could only be made in a war waged to secure freedom of religion. At the end of the war they must be released either without ransom or on payment of ransom. Ransom may be paid by the prisoner himself, or on his behalf by his relatives, tribe or State. If this cannot be arranged, the prisoner can ask for settlement of instalments and on these being settled, he is free to labour and earn as he may choose.
So much with regard to slavery or quasi-slavery. I now turn to the slavery which in practice results from economic conditions. Before I go on to explain the remedies which Islam has proposed in this field, it is necessary to remind ourselves of the theories which lead to that discrimination between the rich and the poor which we observe today.
First, it is sometimes said that as in the last resort most people act upon the rule of might being right, the rest of mankind is forced in sheer self-defence to follow it. For instance, the British when they possessed the power took whatever they could lay their hands on. Other countries may, therefore, consider it quite legitimate to follow in their footsteps. Thus when Italy invaded Abyssinia, Mussolini was at pains to explain that the object of the invasion was similar to the object with which the British had made themselves masters of India: to extend culture and civilization. He said that the British claim was that they were holding on to India as they were anxious to bring it upto the level of other advanced and civilized countries. Mussolini claimed that his countrymen were in no sense behind the British in their anxiety to help and serve backward countries, and that his attack on Abyssinia was inspired wholly by these motives.
Secondly, some people contend that the State ought not to attempt any control in the economic field and that things should be left to adjust themselves by actual working. These people believe that the able and the strong are entitled to forge ahead and should not be subjected to any artificial control.
Another theory is that race differences are a reality which cannot be overlooked and that the due allowance must be made for them. The Hindu caste system is based upon and justified by an appeal to this theory. Under this system caste is determined by birth and the discrimination that results therefrom cannot be modified or abolished.
A fourth theory is pithily expressed in the saying “Majority has authority.” In pursuance of this theory a minority is not entitled to any voice in the affairs of a nation and is often ruthlessly suppressed.
Another theory is that, that which has no owner belongs to the first finder. This doctrine was very familiar to us as children. Whenever any of us found something lying about in a manner which indicated that it had either been lost or thrown away, we would appropriate it by repeating the formula, “He who finds keeps;” as if that justified all such appropriations. But the articles to which children apply this formula are generally of no value. The Holy Prophet(sa) was asked what was to be done with an ownerless article. He asked the questioner to explain what he meant. The questioner asked what was he to do if he came across a stray goat in the desert? The Holy Prophet(sa) said, “In that case you must call out for its owner, and if in spite of calling out for him you are unable to find him, you may appropriate the goat, for, if you will not do that, it will be devoured by a wolf”. He was then asked what was to be done with a stray camel. He replied, “You have no concern with a stray camel; it can feed itself and look after itself, you should set it at liberty.” The questioner then said: “What am I to do, O Prophet(sa) of God, If I find a bag of money?” The Holy Prophet(sa) replied, “If you find a bag of money, take it up and continue to proclaim the fact till its owner appears and then restore it to him.” So, there is a different rule for different articles. If the article found is certain to be destroyed, it may be appropriated after a reasonable effort has been made to find the owner. If it is liable to no such danger, it should be left alone. If it is in danger of being lost but can be preserved without much trouble or inconvenience, it should be so preserved, and efforts be made to find the owner, and when the owner appears it should be restored to him. In great contrast with these Islamic principles is the theory which European nations have followed in respect of weak and helpless peoples. They think that they are entitled to appropriate whatever is without an owner or whatever belongs to a weak nation. Australia is a great continent, but it has been appropriated by the British as an ownerless tract of land. India is a vast country with a huge population. This also has been appropriated by them on the same principle. The same applies to other European nations who have possessed themselves of vast continents like North and South America and groups of Islands; the principle being that a newly discovered country or continent, or a country having a weak government belongs to the first comer.
In addition to these theories there are some practical defects, and shortcomings which intensify the discrimination between the rich and the poor and the privations suffered by the poor. The first of these is that in the past the State has not charged itself with the responsibility for the needy and the helpless. In more recent times some Governments have begun to pay, attention to this matter and departments have been set up which are charged with the responsibility of providing relief. But these schemes of relief even now fall short of that which Islam has devised. Secondly, institutions the operation of which tended to draw wealth into the hands of a limited section of people have been permitted to flourish unchecked. Thirdly, doctrines have been allowed full play which serve to tie up wealth in hands in which has been permitted to accumulate. Fourthly, large portions of national wealth have been allowed to be spent on nonbeneficial pursuits and objects which have been given the name of Art.
Islam has put a check on all these evils and has opened the door of progress for all mankind. It has set about achieving this object in the following manner:
First, Islam teaches that whatever Providence has created is for the benefit of all mankind and not for any section of it, though it may be that on the surface it looks as if some goods are assigned or committed to the care of a particular people. This is the same as a mother sometimes hands over a plate of sweets to one child who is told to share it with all his brothers and sisters. In the same way God says in the Holy Quran:
“He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth;” (2:30)
By inculcating this principle Islam has rejected Imperialism, National Socialism and International Socialism: for, all these systems contemplate domination of powerful, technically equipped and well-organised nations, over weaker nations. We observe the tendency to this in several forms and directions even today. Apprehensions have been expressed that if the independence of India were to be recognised, it might result in the African tribes putting forward claims for their own freedom and independence, whereas they were and still are in a very low state of culture. At the time of the advent of the European nations into the Dark Continent, the African tribes used to go about naked and used to subsist upon whatever nature out of her abundance had provided. The Europeans introduced the rudiments of culture and civilized existence among them. It is claimed that that somehow gave the European nations a sort of right of proprietorship over Africa, and in any case entitled them to a position of dominance in that continent. Islam recognises no such right. No nation has been entrusted with the mission of civilizing other nations or of forcing any particular sort of culture upon them. The Quran lays down that whatever God has created is for the benefit of the whole of mankind (2:30). Islam has negatived the claim of any nation to a monopoly of any kind. Islam does not support any doctrine whereby South Africa could be reserved exclusively for the Boers and the British, or whereby the continent of America could be reserved exclusively for a few nations and all the rest of mankind could be shut out from sharing the benefits provided by the natural resources of these countries.
Similarly, Islam seeks to reduce the power and influence of those who are engaged in the production of wealth by harnessing or utilizing natural resources and who then claim complete control over the wealth so produced. Islam says that the community at large is also entitled to share such wealth, inasmuch as natural resources which have been created for the benefit of the whole of mankind have been used in the production of this wealth. For instance, all mineral wealth belongs to the nation or to the community, and no particular individual is entitled to its complete appropriation. Islam prescribes that 20% of all mineral wealth that may be exploited must be paid to the State to be utilized for the benefit of the community at large. This is in addition to the liability to pay Zakat to which all accumulated wealth and capital are subject under the Islamic law. By this provision with regard to mineral resources the State becomes part-owner of these resources, and on their being exploited receives 1/5th of the profits for the benefit of the community at large. This provision serves as a corrective to the evils that might result from uncontrolled exploitation of these resources.
Again, Islam teaches:
“Stretch not thy eyes towards what We have bestowed on some classes of them to enjoy for a short time, and grieve not over them; and lower thy wing of mercy for the believers.” (15:89)
The whole of the modern system of colonization is based upon the vicious claim that one nation is entitled to seize upon the lands of another for the purpose of introducing improvements in that country. Not only is this alleged principle false and untenable in itself, but its hollowness is soon demonstrated in practice; for, the dominant nation in practice does not even pretend to share the exploited wealth of subject countries with their peoples. Take East Africa, for instance. A comparison of wealth and prosperity of the European settlers with the poverty and destitution of the original inhabitants of the country would show beyond doubt how this principle operates in actual practice. Islam, therefore, teaches that each people should concentrate upon improvements in its own conditions and circumstances and that no people under any pretext whatsoever should exploit another.
It may be objected that this might put an end to all cooperation between different sections of mankind. This is not so. Islam does not forbid cooperation between one nation and another for mutual improvement or by way of service. It forbids political or commercial domination. A professor or teacher serves by offering his talent in return for adequate reward, but no nation is willing to serve another on this basis. The fashion today is to assume control over the people and resources of another country, with the result that the people of the country itself are deprived of the main benefits of those resources. Islam forbids this, and declares it unlawful for one people to assume political domination over another. Mankind are free to associate, but it must be by way of service and cooperation. The Bolsheviks in theory disclaim all intention of dominating other people but in practice they too subjugate non-Russian nations. Their attack on Finland is an example. The colonial problem which presents so many difficulties can be satisfactorily solved only along Islamic lines. All other solutions are ineffective and are, in fact, devices only for prolonging the system.