Islamic Morality
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A sense of morality is inborn in man,
And (God gave to the Soul) its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right (Ash-Shams, 91:8)
This natural judgment has somewhat served as the standard of moral behavior. Our human conscience has given us, more or less, a consistent verdict in favor of certain moral qualities as being good and deemed others as bad. For example, justice, courage, bravery, truthfulness, compassion, fidelity, and magnanimity have always been valued while selfishness, cruelty, miserliness, bigotry and cowardice have never received the approval of the human society. However, presently it is obvious that the significance of various moral virtues in the society has fallen to the waste side. Dignity, restraint, politeness, and amiability, for example have become less than the norm.
We find that the foundation behind the demise of a humane society surface from people’s views about, the purpose of man on the earth. What is the ultimate aim of man’s creation?
The answers to this questions will determine one’s way of life, and pattern of moral behavior.
Islam’s fundamental attitude towards life is that we are to live in total obedience to God the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
God has sent to us prophets and messengers for the guidance of humanity and has revealed His books through them. It is our obligation to take the code of life from these sources. We are answerable to God for all of our actions in life. In this life, all efforts of man should be centered on obtaining the Pleasure and Blessings of God. He keeps an accurate record not only of our actions but also kept a full record of our innermost ideas, feelings and intentions.
Islam provides us with a flawless set of values which remains unaltered under all instances. When meeting the values of Muslim`s life, the highest and noblest objective is set before humanity.
Islam has prescribed detailed limits with regards to everyone’s role in assuring a humane society, and in doing so has provided a balanced and coherent plan of social conduct.

The preservation of the family

Family relations (In Arabic Selat Ar-Rahem) means to have good relations with relatives and do good for them as possible. Islam stresses the importance of having good relations with relatives. God says Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are nea eighbours who are far, the companion by your side, the traveller in need and what your right hands possess: for God loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious. (An-Nisa`, 4:36). Another verse in the holy Qur`an indicates the importance of family relations, God says: Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood. (Al-Isra`, 17:23.24). Family relations can be maintained through by visiting relatives, hosting them, asking about their affairs, granting them gifts and money if they are poor, participating in their parties and other events, visiting their patients and many other forms that strengthens the good relations among family members. The Islamic perspective on life dictates that a Muslim keeps good relations with his mother and father, his brothers and sisters, his uncles and aunties and others from his relatives. That is why Islam is a religion that is distinguished from other religions because of the importance it attaches to maintaining good family relations in life.
Islam encourages all types of good, and that a Muslim leads a normal life. An individual living an Islamic life is encouraged to marry and have children, to play and joke with his family, to take them out on trips, to buy his children presents and to give them a goodnight kiss. Just as an individual is encouraged to work and earn money in order to provide for himself and his family. Islam also encourages that an individual dresses in clothes of a good nature and looks after his appearance.
Islam takes a middle course when it comes to sexual relations, it neither condemns, nor does it allow it freely. Islam is a strong advocate of marriage. God says in the Qur’an:
And among His signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell (live) in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. (Ae-Rum, 30-21)
There is no place for celibacy in Islam. Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) has said there is no celibacy in Islam.” Marriage acts as an outlet for ou eeds as humans and regulates it so one does not become a slave to his desires.
Marriage is moral safeguard as well as a social necessity because through marriage, families are established and the family is the fundamental unit of our society. Pre-marital and extra martial relations on the other hand, look to ruin the structured family. Common is the case in the modern world where a woman has many children by different men or even so she may not know who the father of her child. Also it is the norm for a man to have many children by many different women and he may even deny being the father of them.
Marriage is only accepted form in Islam to have or practice intimate relationships between a man and a woman. Homosexuality leads to the destruction of family life. One of the focal motives of marriage is procreation, which undoubtedly is impossible except between a man and a woman. Therefore, Homosexuality and lesbianism are prohibited as immoral bad habits are acquired due to a lack of proper guidance.
God the Most High say is the Qur`an:
O Mankind, be conscious of your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single soul, created of like Nature, his mate, and from the two created and Spread many men and women”. (An-Nisa`, 4:1)
Thus, family is the basic unit of society and only through marriage the husband and wife can preserve the moral fabric of society.

Importance of Knowledge in Society

The importance of education is clear. It can be safely said that a human being is not in the proper sense till he/she is educated. Islam places great importance on seeking knowledge and education. When the Qur’an was revealed, the first word of its first verse was ‘Iqra’ meaning read. Education is thus the starting point of every human activity.
Education and knowledge seeking are mandatory upon both men and women in Islam. God the Exalted says in the Qur`an:
Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition. (Az-Zumar, 39:9)
In an authentic tradition from prophet Muhammad(PBUH) he said:
He who has a slave-girl and teaches her good manners and improves her education and then manumits and marries her, will get a double reward.
In Islam great respect and admiration is given to the learned people of knowledge. They hold an extremely high rank in society. The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
(If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, God will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets inheritance neither dina or dirham (forms of money), they only left knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion.)
The importance of education cannot be neglected. Especially in today’s world, the role of education has become even more vital. It is absolutely essential for economic and social development.
The Power of a Woman’s Beauty
A distinguishing feature of women is that, generally, women have been created with extra physical beauty and adornment. The powerful and mesmerizing presence of a beautified, confident woman is a quality of the female which has its abundant pleasures and as many dangers. Man’s extraordinary attraction to women has been a universal phenomenon which dates as far back as history records. Islam insists that everything in existence has a praiseworthy purpose. Therefore, in the Qur`an, it is explained that woman is she with whom man can find tranquility and a place of rest from the toils of work and the world outdoors. With her beauty and affection, her love and the mercy which is shared between them, the seeds of a healthy relationship, home, family and society are planted and nurtured. The beauty of women is considered so precious and powerful in Islam that women are instructed to only reveal it to either their husband or men whom they are not legally allowed to ever marry (fathers, brothers, uncles, sons, etc.), so the fear of them being harassed or violated is normally absent. Moreover, a woman is advised to flaunt her beauty for her husband as a pleasure for both them, him and her. She is prohibited, however, from flaunting it for others who have no right to her intimacy or even allowing them to see it, because seeing her beauty will lead most men to desire intimacy with her. Many women today spend more time beautifying themselves to go out to work, parties and gatherings than they do beautifying themselves for their husbands. This is one of the primary factors which lead to evils in society such as adultery, sexual harassment and even rape. Here, it is beneficial to mention man’s innate weakness for women and their company. In Islam, men and women are condemned for committing adultery and the likes and are warned of the evil consequences in this life and a painful punishment in the After Life, if they don’t repent and abandon such acts. Therefore, affairs that incite this weakness in men have also been strictly prohibited in Islam as a protection for women and their honor. In light of this, men were instructed by Prophet Muhammad to go immediately to their wives to fulfill their desires with the woman with whom they are married and committed. So, a woman, in that sense, is as a shield for her man against immoral acts like fornication and adultery. Her beauty and love are a great pleasure, protection and refuge for her husband, the man responsible for providing for and protecting her.


Benevolence to Neighbors

In Islam causing inconvenience to ones neighbor is a grave sin.
A man asked: O Messenger of God! such and such a woman is reputed for such prayer, and fasting and alms- giving, but she offends he eighbors. He said: She will go to Hell. He inquired: O Messenger of God! such and such a woman is reputed less for her fasting, alms- giving and prayer but she gives alms of the remainders of curds and she does not offend he eighbors by her tongue. The prophet said: She will go to Paradise.
There are numerous traditions of prophet Muhammad(PBUH) concerning the magnitude of being benevolent to ones neighbor.
He, may peace and prayers be upon him said:
“By God he does not believe, by God he does not believe, by God he does not believe!” It was said: Who O Messenger of God? He said: “The one whose neighbor is not safe from his harm”.
In another authentic tradition the prophet(PBUH) said:
“Gabriel did not stop to advice me about neighbor till I thought that he would soon make him an heir
Islam enjoins that we should establish social relations with ou eighbors in which one could depend upon the other and regard his life, honor and property safe among his neighbors. A society in which two people, separated only by a wall, remain unacquainted with one another for years is not ideal in a humane society.
If we must live in close vicinity to each other it is only appropriate that we deal with each other with the upmost nobility and consideration.


Conservation of the Environment and Life
Islam requires all living things to be protected, from people to animals to plants. Islam also requires that we care for our planet. God has created the earth as a sanctuary in which mankind is to dwell in comfort. The oceans, forests, and mountains were placed here for us to enjoy and use productively. God says in the Qur`an:
And it is He who spread out the earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm and (flowing) rivers; and fruit of every kind He made in pairs, two and two; He draweth the night as a veil over the Day. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for those who consider. (Ar-Ra`d, 13:3)
It is He who has made the sea subject, that you may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender., and that you may extract there from ornaments to wear; and you see the ships therein that plough the waves, that you may seek (thus) of the bounty of God and that you may be grateful. (An-Nahl, 16:14)
Protection of the environment is no doubt essential to preservation and establishment of a humane society. Without the substance that God has provided for us from the earth where would we be? It is man’s responsibility to conserve and protect the environment, as we are the only creature with the ability to do so. God says in the Qur`an:
It is He who has made you generations coming after generations , inheritors of the earth: He has raised you in ranks, some above others: that He may test you in the gifts He has given you: for your Lord is quick in punishment: yet He is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (An-Nahl, 6:165)
There are more than 700 verses in the Qur`an that urge us to reflect on nature.
Islam commands that the environment must be cared for and protected and forbids polluting it in any way. It encourages planting beneficial plants and trees. The Messenger of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH) said:
No Muslim plants a tree or crop, and its fruit is eaten by birds, people, or animals, except that it will be regarded as charity for him.
Islam has a deep sense of respect and consideration for the environment.
Animals are without doubt creatures of God, and Islam values all living things.
Compassion for both animals and people are at the heart of its principles. Islam does not regard animals as more important than humans; rather,
It teaches that showing kindness to animals and having empathy for people go hand in hand. Islam has made kindness to animals a part of faith and cruelty to them a adequate reason for a person to be thrown into Hell-fire. The Prophet (PBUH) related to his companions the story of a man who found a dog panting out of thirst. The man went down into a well, filled his shoes with water and offered it to the dog to quench its thirst. The Prophet(PBUH) said: “Then God was grateful to him and forgave his sins.” The Companions asked, “O Messenger of God! Is there a reward for us with relation to animals?” He replied “There is a reward with (relation to) every living creature.”
In another tradition the Prophet(PBUH) described God’s anger with those who treat animals unkindly and punishment for this. He said:
“A woman was deemed to enter hell because of a cat. She imprisoned it and neither fed it nor set it free to eat the rodents of the earth.
Even in the slaughter of animals for food Islam instructs us to be considerate. It prohibits inflicting unnecessary harm to animals.
It is also legislated that one should never sharpen their knives in their presence, nor slaughter one animal in the presence of another animal as this would be torture to the animal.
In a narration:
“The Prophet (PBUH) passed by a man who was sharpening his knife while had his foot on one side of the face of a sheep (holding it to the ground), and it was looking up at him. The Prophet(PBUH) said: ‘Couldn’t you have done this beforehand? You wish to kill it many times.”
It would be sufficient here to quote the following two traditions which illustrate the Prophet’s, (PBUH) mercy towards animals and the degree to which he was ardent to protect animals’ natural rights.
Ibn Mas’ud said: “Once we were traveling with the Prophet (PBUH) and he went to do something, meanwhile (we found a bird with its young ones) so we took the young ones. The bird came and started flapping its wings continuously. Then the Prophet(PBUH) asked: ‘Who has distressed this bird by taking its young? Return them to it at once.’
It states in another tradition that Sahl ibn Al-Hanzaliyya reported that the Prophet(PBUH) saw a camel which was carrying a huge load to the extent that one could neither see its back nor its belly, so he said: Fear God when you deal with these beasts of burden.
Islam is remarkable in that it not only defines morality, but also provides us with a through and simple blueprint on how to achieve a humane society, at both an individual and collective level. Islam is a mercy not only for all humans but it extended its mercy to all creatures as well. God the Almighty says in the Qur’an:
“We sent thee not except as a mercy for the beings.” (Al-Anbiya`, 21: 107)

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