Friday, April 15, 2011

A Sketch of Moral Values from the Holy Quran (vi)

As a complete code of life, Islam encompasses every aspect of human life. All the material and spiritual, the jurisprudential and moral areas have due relevance and weight in its teachings. As for the Morality, its synonymous ‘khulq’ in Arabic has come only twice in the Quran. Once in negative sense and the second time very affirmatively to describe the grandeur of the moral character of Muhammad, be peace and blessings of Allah upon him, in fourth Ayah of Surah Al-Qalam. But the refulgence of all moral values for which this term stands and are recounted in the Glorious Quran, are obviously found in the personality of Muhammad, be peace and blessings of Allah upon him. Thus his morality, as once told by his most beloved wife, Aishah (RA), is the essence of the Quran. As expansion of the discussion “Morality in Islam” a careful sketch of the Moral Values in the light of the Holy Quran is given in the following lines.

1: Five Significant Moral Qualities

Mentioning the reward of the pious people, those who are obedient slaves of Allah, five of their qualities have been counted.“(They are) those who are patient, those who are true, and obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allah and those who spend (their wealth as Zakat and alms) and those who pray and beg Allah’s Pardon in the last hours of night.” (Al-Imran: 17)

(a) ‘Sabireen’ in Arabic is a comprehensive term, including patience, tolerance, perseverance, constancy, determination and steadfastness.

(b) ‘Sadiqeen’ also is a multiple term with the meanings: true in their belief, truthful in their talks, sincere and reliable in their claims.

(c) ‘Qaniteen’ generally translated as obedient but obedience is simply daring not disobey orders and enjoinment, no matter it is willingly or unwillingly. But ‘Qunoot’ is the sincere obedience from the depth of the heart with no reservations and no chagrin and disgust.

(d) ‘Munfiqeen’, because they are free from greed, selfishness and hard-heartedness; and are kind, sympathetic and affectionate, so they generously spend from their wealth to help the poor and needy people and enhance the noble Cause of Islam.

(e) ‘Mustaghfireen bil-Ashaar’ in spite of all their noble deeds and acts of submission to Allah, SWT, their hearts are filled with fear of getting called to account on the Day of Resurrection for any of the fault done inadvertently. So they get up to pray and beg Allah’s pardon in the last hours of night.

(2) Once again referring to the reward of the believers six more moral values have been in the same Surah:

“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious. Those who spend (in the Cause of Allah) in prosperity and adversity, who restrain anger and who pardon the people, and Allah loves doers of good. And those who, when they commit any sexual immorality or wrong themselves (by transgression) remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins and who can forgive sins except Allah? And (those who) do not persist in what they have done while they know.” (133-135)

(a) Those who spend from their wealth regardless of their good or bad financial position.

(b) Control their feeling of rage.

(c) They pardon those who have wronged them or have vexed and caused them any trouble.

(d) They are ‘Muhsineen’ (good-doers).

(e) When they commit an act counted to be a ‘Fahishah’ (any shameful act may that be of illegal sexual intercourse or of a gesture of immodest and indecent nature) they delay not in repenting and begging Allah, SWT, for forgiveness.

(f) They do not persist in after realizing whatever they have done is wrong.

3: The acts leading to the right path

A sincere Muslim in his five times prayers raises his humble call to his lord at least 33 times every day to show him right path. In Surah Al-An’am a sharp and wise blue-print has been given with the assurance that: “And verily, this (in Ayah 151 and 152) is My Right Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become pious). The main and basic points of that blue-print are:

(a) Join not any in worship with Allah, SWT.

(b) Be good and dutiful to your parents.

(c) Kill not your children (following different schemes of family planning) with fear of poverty.

(d) Come not near to shameful sins, including all the means leading to illegal sexual intercourse, whether the acts committed or the means adopted are open or secret.

(e) Kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except only for just cause.

(f) Come not near to the orphan’s property except in a way that is best (intending improve this property) until he reaches maturity.

(g) Give full measure and weight in justice (in trade dealings).

(h) When you speak (in social disputes or while testifying in the court in favour of or against a disputing party) be just, even the matter if of your near relatives.

4: Good Tidings for the believers who have eight the characteristics mentioned in Surah At-Tawbah: 112

(a) Those who are repentant (b) Sincere worshipers (c) Those who praise Allah, SWT (d) Who travel for the cause of Allah, SWT (e) Those who bow and prostrate (in prayers) (f) Those who enjoin what is right (g) Those who forbid what is wrong (h) Those who observe the limits set by Allah, The Exalted.

5: A fourteen points detailed moral, social and economic charter

The moral evils made forbidden in this charter (Surah Al-Isra: 23-37) are actually hateful to Allah, the Most Gracious. This Surah was revealed a little before the migration of the Messenger of Allah, be peace and blessings upon him, from Makkah to Madinah. After Hijrah, the new society was to be established on the foundations given in this charter and at any stage of history wherever and whenever the Muslims want to create a pure and an exemplary society following this charter is indispensable.

(a) Worship none but Allah.

(b) Be dutiful to your parents. If one or both of them, in old age live with you, say not to them a word of disrespect. Shout not at them and address them in terms of honour. Be submissive, tender and merciful to them.

(c) Give to the kinsman his due and to the Miskin (poor) and to wayfarer.

(d) Do not spend wastefully (your wealth). Wasteful and spendthrifts are brothers of Shaitan.

(e) While giving to the needy people or making an excuse speak gentle words.

(f) Do not hold your hands (as if chained to your neck) displaying your niggardliness.

(g) Do not kill your children (or block their birth through unnatural and artificial ways) for fear of poverty.

(h) Do not approach unlawful (out of wedlock) sexual intercourse. It is immorality and evil as a way to satisfy your sexual desires.

(i) Do not kill a person which Allah has forbidden, except by right.

(j) Do not approach the property of an orphan, except it is in a way that is best.

(k) Be dutiful to your covenants and commitments, because you will be questioned about them.

(l) Give full measures when you measure and weigh with (an honest and) just balance.

(m) Do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge.

(n) Do not walk on the earth with haughtiness and exult.

6: The Ways Leading to Real Success and making the believers inheritors of Paradise (Firdaus)

The real concept in this worldly life and the life Hereafter lies in maintaining some noteworthy moral traits. The opening part of Surah Al-Muminun and with a minor difference of words the verses 19 to 35 of Surah Al-Ma’arij, highlight these traits and tells us that successful are those:

(a) The prayer itself is one of the greatest sources of character building. The believers who are regarded to be successful, they offer their prayers solemnly and submissively.

(b) They refrain from all ‘Al-Laghw’, the purposeless and vain activities causing them a loss of time and energies.

(c) They are observant of Zakat, paying a fixed rate from their wealth to purify their wealth and also their hearts.

(d) They guard their private parts and for getting their sexual desires satisfied they turn to their wives and slave-girls.

(e) The trusts, may they be the material things given in their custody or the duties and responsibilities. Once the believers are entrusted to hold them, they mindfully guard the material items and discharge their duties.

(f) They are true to their covenants and commitments.

(g) Surah Al-Ma’arij adds one more quality and that is: “And those who stand firm in their testimonies.”

7: Faithful Slaves of the Most Gracious Allah

The last part of Surah Al-Furqan gives a beautiful account of moral characteristics of those whom Allah accepts to be His faithful slaves.

(a) And the faithful slaves of the Most Gracious Allah are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness.

(b) When the ignorant and foolish address them harshly they reply back with mild words of gentleness.

(c) Those who, when they spend from their wealth, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but take moderate and medium way between these two extremes.

(d) Those who do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden to be killed, except by right.

(e) Those who do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse.

(f) Those who do not bear witness to falsehood.

(g) Those who, when they pass by some evil play or talk, they pass by with dignity.

(h) Those who, when they are reminded of the verses of the Book or the signs and lessons of Allah’s Power, they do not fall deaf and dumb thereat.

8: The Surah of manners and etiquettes

Though the moral values set by the Quran, in an affirmative way or by disapproving the evil behaviours, are found almost in every part of the Quran, but here in this discussion we are taking in consideration mostly the parts of the Quran which have the moral lessons in a bit composite way. Surah Al-Hujarat is a particular example of this type. It is called the Surah of manners and etiquettes. The salient points of the moral teachings in this Surah are given with brevity. The believers are advised:

(a) Dare not make decisions and put yourselves before Allah and His Messenger, SAW.

(b) Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, be peace and blessings of Allah upon him.

(c) Speak not loud to him in talks as you speak aloud to one another.

(d) “O you who believe! If there comes to you a Fasiq (liar and evil person) with any information, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterward you become over what you have done, regretful.” (6)

(e) “And if two parties or groups among you fall to fighting, then make peace between them.”

(f) “If one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one who oppresses until it returns to the Command of Allah.”

(g) ‘And if it returns then make between them reconciliation between them with justice and act justly.”

(h) “The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers and fear Allah.”

(i) “O you who believe! Let not a people ridicule another people, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let the women ridicule other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former.”

(j) “And do not insult (defame) one another and nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames. How bad is to insult one’s brother after having the Faith”

(k) “O you who believe! Avoid much negative assumptions (suspicion). Indeed, some assumption is sin.”

(l) “And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it…”

(m) There is no ground for racial discrimination. Because, “O mankind! We have created you from male and female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that who is the most pious. Indeed Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”


The Quran is the collection of both the statutes for leading a prosperous and blissful worldly life and also the spiritual and moral values, a guarantee for darning the patches of the different segments of the society and making it a harmonious and peaceful place for living through its wise moral and spiritual teachings. We have chosen only a handful of invaluable pearls from the ocean of the Quran. Almost every part of the Quran is full of the precious treasures of the moral pearls. This, a little from this ocean would let us judge about how majestic the whole would be.

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