As the beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) mentions “Half of religion is comprised of good temper and morals”. He mean that ethics and morals are very important in each person life, and if he is immoral, then half of the religion for him is incomplete. In the very beginning of the semester I hardly knew what ethics really meant. However after the first few lectures I realized it was one very important aspect of life and more than that, a part of life without which I couldn’t have been a human. Ethics according to dictionaries means the moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior, or the moral correctness of specified conduct. However I learnt more than that. Ethics which comprises of the standards of behavior accepted by all, whether it be by the society, country or even globally. Even though very few people actually knows ethics as ethics but know it more in a different context of good and bad or right and wrong.
First and foremost what I learnt about ethics was in the first lecture when we were given some articles and to find the ethical issues in it. I and my friends laughed a little about it knowing nothing of what actually ethics meant. However reading the article a couple of times made me realize the one problem in the article was of corruption in fund giving organization. So, from there I realized this is to do with what is good and bad or what is right and wrong to do. Pondering upon what I had previously learnt in Islam as a subject in school and what my father had taught me, I remembered an incident which I would like to mention here. Talking about history of religion and also the ways how the sayings of prophet has been authenticated by proof, my father once told me a short story. Once a companion of the prophet (PBUH) went to get or learn a hadith (sayings of prophet) from another companion. When he went and found the person he was looking for was feeding the horse. He noticed that, the companion giving food to the horse was teasing the horse by showing the grass close to it and taking away when it tried to eat. This very small incident made him turn away from learning the hadith. He thought to himself, if that person is treating the animal such then how can I take him a reliable source for sayings of prophet (PBUH). So, in Islam the greatest scholars who has passed the sayings and doings of prophet has done so much work to be ethical reliable and truthful in passing them from generation to generation.
Ethics lectures and tutorials has taught me many different ways of looking at ethics either it be religiously or otherwise. Furthermore some of the tutorial classes were really interesting in which I learnt about the ethical differences in religions and societies and some of the major ethical issues and problems that are being faced in different areas in a society. As examples the issues in sports, media, social networks etc. Learning of the different frameworks in ethics and how our daily interactions with things people and life has been related to ethics. In short everything has link to ethics in one way or the other.
Divine command ethics, the people who believe in god has more of this framework. Knowing that following the commandments and revelations of the Almighty defines me through Divine Command Ethics was something new and also something which made me think more of religion in an ethical aspect than how I have always looked at it. Even though the word “ethics” wasn’t there in my context before right and wrong was the root teachings of Islam. Some of the new ethical issues I came across for the very first time we about surrogate mother, homosexual marriage, animal rights, suicide and cloning. Very well explained by all of the lectures in different ways and different lectures, what ethics is became very clear to me. Personally speaking, even though reflective diaries weren’t written on the same day after class, it was a very helpful and an interesting way to ponder and write what we really understood from each lecture. Which I found to be really helpful.
To conclude with, I learnt a lot from Ethics classes and my tutorial lecturer was one of the main reason for me to get a clear picture of what ethics is and where ethical issues can be found and how we could deal with it. For what I believe is, even though being ethical always may be good, sometimes being unethical can be also be ethical depending on situation.