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Islamic Ethics

During this week (week 6), our lecturers discussed about Islamic Ethics by providing the situational information about three time periods- pre-Islamic period (Pre Mohammad (PBUH) period), Mohammad (PBUH) time, and post Mohammad (PBUH) time. The second period plays in the critical part of Islam. During this period, Islam eventually and gradually made certain changes.

Some of them can be indexed into (not limited to) five categories: a) Abandonment, e.g. Alcohol b) Limitation, e.g. limiting the number of wives into 4 c) Redefinition of moral virtues, e.g. women rights, equality among human beings. d) Introduction, e.g. introduction to monotheistic religious idea e) Birth of the Muslim community called Umma

Being a Muslim, this lecture made me think of myself and ask myself the question “What would ‘I’ be IF there were no Islam in my life?” Since I inherited Islam, I became a Muslim before I knew Islam. Therefore, it is very difficult to analyze myself on how Islam changed me. Indeed, Islam did not change me but it has been shaping me since I was born. Thus I need to look in inverse way to find out the solution of the question. I have to take factors of Islam out of myself. Then, my answer is that “I would be a totally different ‘I’ in terms of values, world view, emotional controls and behavioral attitudes IF there were no Islam in my life.”

In Islam Allah, the Almighty, Play the most important role. Every action of us, Muslims, is being watched, recorded and will be judged. Therefore, another meaning of Islam after “Peace” is “Submitting oneself to Allah’s will”. In order to please Allah, I need to follow the teaching of Islam. In Islam, justice, equality, caring fellow human beings, environmental responsibleness are some values which all Muslims have to know and implement in their lives. Concerning the world view, we are taught that this worldly life is a temporary one where we are meant to prepare for the hereafter, the eternal life. In order to spend my eternal life peacefully, I have to abide by the laws prescribed in Islam. This philosophy of impermanence makes me less greedy. Moreover, I am able to control my emotions which could be caused by some worldly loses or even by some gains. There is always Someone to look after me, to whom I can express my feeling and seek for guidance. My life was not always lonely. I reckoned myself to be someone who is aggressive, greedy, unfriendly and emotionally unstable if there would be no Islam in my life.

All due respect to other religions, I did NOT mean that only Islam encourages the criterion above. All religions do have many things in common. But for me, Islam is an integral part of me. Despite the fact that I am not a perfect Muslims, I am who I am today only because of Islam. One more question to ask myself is “Atheists do have manners, attitudes, values and world view as I do. What makes ‘them’ to be ‘the people they are today’ when they do not believe in any religion?”

I deeply believe that by looking at a person we can identify which community he belongs to regardless of religion. The surrounding around us is in the significant role in shaping us into who we are. Similarly, atheists are also human being like us. They are not raised differently but they are raised as we are. Therefore, although they claim to be atheists who do not believe in any religion, they are largely dominated and influenced by religious people around them. Despite the fact that they are religious-less, there are many religious principles which they adopt in their lives. Basically, the world without religions is unimaginable for me.

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