Ethics in Islam

Religions all around the world lay great importance on ethical aspects of human behaviors.  Generally there is great commonality between different religions as far as moral and ethical questions are concerned. Every religion puts differing weight on different aspects of human morality and they have their ways of performing it. Islam is one of the highlighted religions that is unique in this respect. It has its own ethical values and moral concepts, which are universal as well as specific to Islam.

First of all let us see what exactly is meant by Islam. Islam is completely about the moral, ethical choice that each man must make in his heart, and following through with this choice. Islam is a way of life, the practice of submitting oneself to the will of God in every aspect of one’s life. The basis of an Islamic ethical system is directly related to the teachings of the Qur’an and the prophet Muhammad. There are two concepts that fill every aspect of Islamic ethics, the concept of Tawhid (that is, the oneness of God) and the very meaning of the word Muslims (to submit to God.) Muslims believe in the existence of good and evil, and Muslims seek to do good in every aspect of their lives. At its most basic level, Islam teaches that there is only one God and that to give any other thing a higher importance than God in one’s life is to stray from the true path.

Furthermore, Islamic ethics make a lot of sense as a way to solve the problems of the people in the time the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Islam is not about violence, swagger, and unruliness, but about being humble, compassionate, and seeking peace. One of the most important elements of Islamic ethics is that of personal responsibility. Islam teaches that every single person follows his own path to God. One’s ethics are absolutely no exception.

When considering some of the quotations from the holy book of Muslims; the Qur’an uses the word ‘amal salih'(the ones who believe and do good work) repeatedly. It says that ‘amal salih leads to a society which is reformed, good, efficient, suitable(to humanity), improved and above all which is peaceful and friendly to all human beings. For a moral conduct, according to the Qur’an, ‘amal salih’ is very necessary. In the chapter 103 the Qur’an says, “By the time! Surely man is in loss, except those who believe and do good work, and exhort one another to Truth and exhort one another to patience.” Thus the key ethical concepts here in this chapter are 1) ‘amal salih’; 2) to be truthful and 3) to observe patience. One can say that these are key elements of Islamic ethic. Man is surely in loss but those who perform good deeds are truthful and patient would not be. Thus for ‘amal salih’ truth and patience are highly necessary. One can say that this is most comprehensive statement of the Qur’anic ethic.

In conclusion, Islam basically lays emphasis on establishing a just society free of all forms of cruelty. The Prophet also says that a society can live with unbelief but not with cruelty. Thus Islamic ethic conceives of a society which will be free of all forms of corruption and domination. Islam basically is a non-violent religion. It does not approve of violence at all. The most basic attribute of Allah is mercy and compassion. The Islamic prayers makes a man sensitive to equality of all human beings since all Muslims, irrespective of their social status have to stand in one line to pray; fasting during the month of Ramadan makes him sensitive to others hunger and thirst; and treating the poor makes him conscious of others financial needs. We need these prime virtues in human beings to make them moral and conscious of their duties to other human beings.

#Tahira

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