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The path of good morals

Faith linked to the creation

The path to happiness is certainly one on which good morals flourish. The person walking on this path must find love, tolerance, generosity, forgiveness, modesty, peace, humility and selflessness. They must also find justice, honesty, charity and mutual advice and consultation, as well as other morals. It is also a path that makes the person overcome the self and its desire so as to obtain high morals and an abundance of good manners. Morality is not a luxury that can be dispensed with; rather, its status comes at the forefront of the fundamentals on which the direction of life depends. If individuals’ morals are good, then this will be reflected positively in the contentment of their lives and those of their communities. If, however, these morals are bad, then they will all be wretched and live miserably.

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Gustave Le Bon

French Historian
Principles of morals
“The principles of morality in the Qur’an are sublime. Morals of these nations which used to believe in the Qur’an turned away from it with the passage of time, like those nations who used to believe in the religion of Jesus. The most important result that can be inferred is the impact of the Qur’an on the great nations that complied with its legislations. Religions that have that same impact as Islam has on souls are very few. You will not find a religion which has such a permanent effect like Islam. The Qur’an is the pivot of life in the East, which is the impact we see in the most delicate affairs of life.”

Therefore, Islam is keen to instill virtues in the hearts of its followers and to urge them to adhere to these virtues. The Prophet (pbuh) has defined the first target of his mission, saying: “I was but sent to perfect good morals.”[ Al-Bayhaqi] This hadith indicates that the message of Islam, which stretched across time and space to build the largest civilization known to mankind, and whose prophet exerted great effort in communicating its guidance and gathering people around it, does not seek more than to better the morals of humans and purify their virtues, as well as illuminate everything perfect in front of their eyes.

Thus, his mission entailed the teaching of morals and also their development, purifying souls and refining them. People deviated from many of these morals, not knowing nor caring about them. Allah says: {He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) from among themselves, reciting to them His Verses, purifying them (from the filth of disbelief and polytheism), and teaching them the Book (this Qur’ân, Islâmic laws and Islâmic jurisprudence) and Al-Hikmah (As-Sunnah: legal ways, orders, acts of worship, etc. of Prophet Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]). And verily, they had been before in mainfest error;}(Al-Jumu’ah:2)

The Almighty also says: {Similarly (to complete My Blessings on you) We have sent among you a Messenger (Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) of your own, reciting to you Our Verses (the Qur’ân) and sanctifying you, and teaching you the Book (the Qur’ân) and the Hikmah (i.e. Sunnah, Islâmic laws and Fiqh - jurisprudence), and teaching you that which you used not to know.}(Al-Baqarah:151)

Faith is a force that urges the believer to have noble and good manners. It also safeguards him from vices and errors. Weakness of morals is a sign of weakness of belief, just as good manners are proof of strong belief. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) explained that strong belief inevitably generates strong morals, and that the corruption of morality is due to weakness or lack of belief. An unbeliever commits vices indifferently and does not fear blame nor does he expect to be held accountable for his crimes. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Modesty and belief are interrelated. Should one of them vanish, the other will (definitely) perish.”[ Al-Bayhaqi] Indeed, he (pbuh) stressed that being ill-mannered to one’s neighbor indicates the absence of belief. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “By Allah, he is not a believer. By Allah, he is not a believer. By Allah, he is not a believer.” They asked, “Who is that person, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “The one whose neighbor is not safe from Bawa’iqah.” They asked: “O Prophet of Allah, what are Bawa’iqah?” He replied: “His evils.” [Bukhari]

Hence, when Allah calls His servants to righteousness or commands them to keep away from evil; the servants do this in relation to the belief residing in their hearts. It is for this reason that Almighty Allah repeatedly calls His servants in His book.(O you who believe!) Then He mentions His commands to them, such as in His Saying: O you who believe! Be afraid of Allâh, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).}(At-Taubah:119)

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Tolstoy

Russian Writer
Reprehensible habits
“It will be enough to say that Muhammad saved a lowly bloody nation from the claws of the demons of reprehensible traditions and customs, and he opened in front of them the path of advancement and progress. Furthermore, Muhammad’s legislation will prevail over the world since it conforms with reason and wisdom.”

Similarly, we find that the Prophet (pbuh), when he taught his followers good morals, he connected this with faith. He, for instance, said: “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him show hospitality to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him treat his neighbor well; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent.”[Ahmed] Thus, Islam depends on true and perfect belief in order to instill virtues in the soul.

Worship and good morals

Worship in Islam is not merely comprised of vague words and movements that have no meanings. Indeed, they are acts and sayings that purify the soul and make life pleasant. Obligations in Islam are intended to allow a Muslim to lead a life of good morals. He must hold fast to such morals, regardless of the conditions or situations. The holy Qur’an and the Sunnah clearly indicate this. When Allah commands the believers to perform Salah (prayers), He stresses that performing them prevents one from the bad morals of indecency and evil. Allah says: {Recite (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Qur’ân), and perform As-Salât (Iqamât¬as¬Salât). Verily, As-Salât (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahshâ’ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and the remembering (praising, etc.) of (you by) Allâh (in front of the angels) is greater indeed [than your remembering (praising, etc.) Allâh in prayers, etc.]. And Allâh knows what you do.}(Al-’Ankabût:45).

Zakat in Islam is not merely a tax taken from the rich to be given to the poor. On the contrary, the primary wisdom for imposing Zakat is to instill the feelings of mercy and compassion and to strength the bond between the various classes so that they are aware of and close to each other. This is over and above cleansing the soul of defaults and flaws, and redirecting the society to a high and noble standard of treatment. Allah says: {Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allâh for them. Verily! Your invocations are a source of security for them, and Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.}(At-Taubah:103)

For that reason, Sadaqa (charity) is not limited to giving money, but includes some fine moral characters that contribute to the happiness of the community and its members. The Prophet (pbuh) expanded the significance of the word sadaqa which should be given by a Muslim. He (pbuh) said: “When you put some of the water from your bucket into your brother’s bucket it is a form of sadaqa, and commanding good and forbidding evil is also sadaqa.” In another narration he said: “When you smile in the face of your brother it is a form of charity (which you will be rewarded for). When you remove a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road it is a form of charity. When you give directions to a man lost in the land it is a form of charity.”[ Al-Bayhaki]

Moreover, Sawm (fasting) is not regarded by Islam as mere deprivation of food and drink. Rather, Islam considers fasting as a means through which one feels the sufferings of the poor and disadvantaged. At the same time, it is considered as a guidance of the soul through which one controls its desires and whims. Allah says: {O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious).}(Al-Baqarah:183).

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “If anyone does not abandon falsehood or acting in accordance with it, Allah has no need [[i.e. will not accept]] that he should abandon his food and drink.”[ Ahmad] He (pbuh) also said: “The fast is not from food or drink (only), but in fact, it means restraining oneself from vain speech and obscenity as well. If someone were to insult you or wishes to fight with you, respond by saying: ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.’”[ Ibnu Khuzaymah]

As for Hajj (pilgrimage), one might wrongly think that it is a mere traditional journey, devoid of any ethical meanings as a result of the abstract acts of worship some religions contain. This, however, is a big mistake. Allah says the following about this important ritual: {The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months (i.e. the 10th month, the 11th month and the first ten days of the 12th month of the Islâmic calendar, i.e. two months and ten days). So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihrâm), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) Allâh knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness, etc.). So fear Me, O men of understanding!{ (Al-Baqarah:197)

All of the above indicates a strong bond linking religion with good morals, for the most important pillars of Islam, such as Salah, Sawm, Zakat and Hajj, and the rest of the acts of worship in Islam, are ways to reach the desired perfection of humanity and its advancement to a life of contentment blessed with happiness and tranquility, and based on good morals and noble principles. These are acts of worship which vary in the manner they are performed and in their appearance as well. They, however, all have the same aim which was indicated by the Prophet (pbuh) when he said: “I was but sent to perfect good morals.” [Al-Bayhaqi]The path to happiness, therefore, is based on good morals and revolves in their orbit. Good morals on this path are inseparable from worship.

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Marcel Boisard

French Thinker
Law and ethics
“There is no differentiation in the Islamic faith between what is required by Islamic law and the moral duty. This precise combination between the law and morals confirms the power of this system since its beginning. “

Good morals in Islam

The legislative, disciplinary and doctrinal fundamentals of the path to happiness are based on a moral foundation for everything, starting from good morals and ethics with Allah, through to good morals and ethics with one’s self, friends, relatives and neighbors, as well as with the enemy, even if in a state of war, and with animals and objects as well, not to mention the environment, trees and plants. All this includes having good morals in one’s words, in one’s actions, and also in the heart and the mind. Stressing on one of the principles of good morals in speech, the Almighty says: {speak good to people [i.e. enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, and say the truth about Muhammad, peace be upon him]} (Al-Baqarah:83)

Making the principle of good morals in actions firm, the Almighty says: {Repel evil with that which is better. We are Best-Acquainted with the things they utter.}(Al-Mu’minûn:96)

Whoever contemplates over the book of Allah, he will find that it is rich in moral commands. Consider the following verses. Allah says: {Is there any reward for good other than good?}(Ar-Rahmân:60)

He (Glorified be He) also says: {And do not forget liberality between yourselves.}(Al-Baqarah:237)

The Almighty also says: {”So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allâh (Alone) Whose help can be sought against that which you assert.”}(Yûsuf:18)

He says: .. {the Hour is surely coming, so overlook (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]), their faults with gracious forgiveness. [This was before the ordainment of Jihâd holy fighting in Allâh’s Cause].}(Al-Hijr:85)

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J. S. Restler

French Researcher
Rules for even the smallest details
“The Qur’an finds answers to all issues and establishes the link between the religious and the moral law. It aims to create order and social consolidation, to alleviate distress and hard-heartedness, and remove superstition. It seeks to help the oppressed, and enjoins mercy and kindness. With respect to legislation, it has laid down rules and directives for daily cooperation and organized contracting and inheritance. As for the family, it has identified for everyone the form of conduct towards children, slaves (if any), animals, health, clothing, etc…”

He also says: {Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish (i.e. don’t punish them).}(Al-A’râf:199)

Moreover, Allah says: {And when they hear Al¬Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk), they withdraw from it and say: “To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not the ignorant.”}(Al-Qasas:55)

The Almighty also says: {The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allâh ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.}(Fussilat:34)

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Thomas Carlyle,

Scottish Historian and Critic
Slander and falsehood
“Fanatics and atheists claim that Muhammad was after nothing but personal fame, luxury and power. By God! The heart of this poor, hard-toiling man who had radiant eyes and a great spirit was so full of mercy, goodness, tenderness and wisdom. His ideas were so far from worldly greed and his intentions were so far from seeking any power or fame. This is a pure soul and a man of such character cannot help but be seriously sincere!”

The Prophet’s character was in conformity with the Qur’an, and this is not surprising, for His Lord praised his noble character and exemplary morals: {And verily, you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) are on an exalted standard of character.}(Al-Qalam:4)

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Montgomery Watt

British Orientalist
Justice and fairness
“His readiness to undergo persecution for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as a leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement - all indicate his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad was an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history are so poorly appreciated in the West as is Muhammad.”

Thus, he (pbuh) was sent with a message that gives a unique sublime status to good morals. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best behavior, and the best of them are those who are the best to their wives.”[Al-Bayhaqi]He (pbuh) also said: “The essence of virtue is (manifested in) good morals, whereas sinful conduct is that which turns in your heart (making you feel uncomfortable) and you dislike that it would be disclosed to other people.”[ Muslim]He also said: “Verily, Islam is free from obscenity and scurrilous language, and the best Muslims are those with the best of manners.”[Ahmed]He (pbuh) also said: “Nothing is heavier in the believer’s scale on the Day of Judgment than a good character. For indeed Allah, the Most High, is angered by the shameless, obscene person.[Al-Bayhaqi] Furthermore, the Prophet said: “Indeed the most beloved of you to me and the closest of you to me on the Day of Judgment is the best of you in character. And indeed, the most disliked of you to me and the furthest of you from me on the Day of Judgement are the Thartharun the Mutashaddiqun and the Mutafaihiqun .”[ Ahmed]

God Morals in Islam are comprehensive and perfect, and they comprise the following aspects:

Good manners with God:

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Louis-Pierre Sédillot

French Orientalist
The religion of morals
“You do not find in the Qur’an a verse except that it suggests a strong love of God. In the rules related to moral behavior which it provides, the Qur’an strongly prompts the believers to adhere to virtue. It contains a strong call to interact and care for each others feelings, to have good aims, and to show forgiveness for insults. It also contains a loathing of pride and anger, and indicates that a sin may be committed by even a thought and a look. It also urges to fulfill promises, even with unbelievers, and advices to lower the wing of humility with others. Sufficient are all those sayings which are filled with wisdom and reason to prove the clarity of the moral laws in the Qur’an. It deals with everything.”

Good manners with Allah include three things:

First: believing in Him and believing in His revelations. Allah said the subsequent about Himself: {Allâh! Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Surely, He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection about which there is no doubt. And who is truer in statement than Allâh?}(An-Nisâ’:87)

Believing in the Word of Allah requires that a person believes in Allah Himself, defends Him, and strives on His path, never doubting or suspecting the Word of Allah Almighty and the message brought by His Messenger (pbuh).

Second: that a person accepts all of Allah’s legislations, and implements and applies them. He must never push aside or reject any of these legislations, for if he does that, then this is considered as dealing with Allah Almighty with bad manners. It is for this reason that Allah forbids us to prefer our view or whims over His Words. He says: {O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allâh and His Messenger ([sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]), and fear Allâh. Verily! Allâh is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.}(Al-Hujurât:1)

Third: to receive his decrees with satisfaction and patience; for it is good manners to be satisfied, reassured with, and to surrender to Allah’s decrees. That is why Allah praises the steadfast when He says: {155. but give glad tidings to As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.). 156. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allâh we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”} (Al-Baqarah:155-156)

Good manners with Allah, the people, animals and the environment

Allah commands us to show kindness to all people, especially parents and kin; who are the relatives that we must keep good relations with, as well as neighbors. Allah says: {And (remember) when We took a covenant from the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none but Allâh (Alone) and be dutiful and good to parents, and to kindred, and to orphans and Al-Masâkîn (the poor), [Tafsir At-Tabarî, Vol. 10, Page 158 (Verse 9:60)] and speak good to people [i.e. enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, and say the truth about Muhammad, peace be upon him], and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakât. Then you slid back, except a few of you, while you are backsliders.}(Tafsir Al-Qurtubî, Vol. 2, Page 392). (Al-Baqarah:83

He also says: {It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, and each and every act of obedience to Allâh, etc.) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is (the quality of) the one who believes in Allâh, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to Al-Masâkin (the poor), and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and to set slaves free, performs As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and gives the Zakât, and who fulfill their covenant when they make it, and who are As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.) in extreme poverty and ailment (disease) and at the time of fighting (during the battles). Such are the people of the truth and they are Al¬-Muttaqûn (pious - see V.2:2).}(Al-Baqarah:177)

The Almighty says: {They ask you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) what they should spend. Say: Whatever you spend of good must be for parents and kindred and orphans and Al¬Masâkin (the poor) and the wayfarers, and whatever you do of good deeds, truly, Allâh knows it well.}(Al-Baqarah:215)

Moreover, Allah says: {74. And those who believed, and emigrated and strove hard in the Cause of Allâh (Al-Jihâd), as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid; - these are the believers in truth, for them is forgiveness and Rizqun Karîm (a generous provision i.e. Paradise). 75. And those who believed afterwards, and emigrated and strove hard along with you, (in the Cause of Allâh) they are of you. But kindred by blood are nearer to one another regarding inheritance in the decree ordained by Allâh. Verily, Allâh is the All-Knower of everything.}(Al-Anfâl:74-75)

He also says: {Worship Allâh and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masâkin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allâh does not like such as are proud and boastful}(An-Nisâ’:36)

The Almighty also says: {Verily, Allâh enjoins Al-Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allâh Alone - Islâmic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsân [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allâh, totally for Allâh’s sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allâh has ordered you to give them e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help, etc.): and forbids Al-Fahshâ’ (i.e all evil deeds, e.g. illegal sexual acts, disobedience of parents, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right, etc.), and Al-Munkar (i.e all that is prohibited by Islâmic law: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds, etc.), and Al-Baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression), He admonishes you, that you may take heed.}(An-Nahl:90)

And He says: {23. And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. 24. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.” 25. Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance. 26. And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskîn (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. [Tafsir. At-Tabarî, Vol. 10, Page 158 (Verse 9: 60)]. 27. Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatîn (devils), and the Shaitân (Devil ¬ Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord. 28. And if you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) turn away from them (kindred, poor, wayfarer, etc. whom We have ordered you to give their rights, but if you have no money at the time they ask you for it) and you are awaiting a mercy from your Lord for which you hope, then, speak unto them a soft kind word (i.e. Allâh will give me and I shall give you)}(Al-Isrâ’:23-28).

He also says: {So give to the kindred his due, and to Al-Miskîn (the poor) and to the wayfarer. That is best for those who seek Allâh’s Countenance, and it is they who will be successful.}(Ar-¬Rûm:38)

Allah says: {O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allâh through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allâh is Ever an All¬-Watcher over you.}(An-Nisâ’:1)

The Almighty also says: {Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship?}(Muhammad or Al-Qitâl:22)

Furthermore, He says: {19. Shall he then who knows that what has been revealed unto you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) from your Lord is the truth be like him who is blind? But it is only the men of understanding that pay heed. 20. Those who fulfill the Covenant of Allâh and break not the Mîthâq (bond, treaty, covenant); 21. Those who join that which Allâh has commanded to be joined (i.e. they are good to their relatives and do not sever the bond of kinship), fear their Lord, and dread the terrible reckoning (i.e. abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allâh has forbidden and perform all kinds of good deeds which Allâh has ordained). 22. And those who remain patient, seeking their Lord’s Countenance, perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and spend out of that which We have bestowed on them, secretly and openly, and defend evil with good, for such there is a good end; 23. ‘Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens), which they shall enter and (also) those who acted righteously from among their fathers, and their wives, and their offspring. And angels shall enter unto them from every gate (saying): 24. “Salâmun ‘Alaikum (peace be upon you) for that you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!” 25. And those who break the Covenant of Allâh, after its ratification, and sever that which Allâh has commanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives), and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse (i.e. they will be far away from Allâh’s Mercy); And for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e. Hell).}(Ar-Ra’d:19-25)

Good morals in Islam are not only linked to the friend, relative and neighbor. They even go beyond that to the enemy, even during a state of war! Thus, it encompasses all mankind. Allah says: {The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allâh ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.}(Fussilat:34)

Allah commands us not to transgress even against those who are in a state of war against us, when He says: {And fight in the Way of Allâh those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allâh likes not the transgressors. [This Verse is the first one that was revealed in connection with Jihâd, but it was supplemented by another (V.9:36)].}(Al-Baqarah:190)

Consider the morals with which Islam treats the enemy in a state of war as indicated in the Prophet’s commands to his army when they were going out to perform Jihad on the path of Allah and to fight the enemies. He (pbuh) said: “Do not be treacherous, do not exceed proper bounds, do not mutilate and do not kill a newborn, or hermits and monks.”[Ahmed]What a strange amazing religion it is that commands its followers to adhere to such ethics even with enemies in a state of war!! While concerning those who are not in a state of war with us, even if he was an enemy, Allah commands us to be good and to be fair with them, when He says: {Allâh does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allâh loves those who deal with equity.{ (Al-Mumtahinah:8)

Good morals with animals

Good morals expand in Islam to even include animals. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “A woman was punished in Hell because of a cat which she kept locked up until it died. She did not give it food or water when it was locked up, nor did she free it so that it might eat the khashash of the earth.” [Bukhari] Moreover, Allah commanded us to be compassionate, even where slaughtering animals is concerned. The Prophet tells us that: “Verily Allah has prescribed ihsan (proficiency, perfection) in all things. So if you kill, then kill well; and if you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.”[Muslim]

Good morals with the environment

“The Islamic Ideal of the brotherhood of all believers is one of the factors that attracted people strongly towards this faith.” {“Eat and drink of that which Allâh has provided and do not act corruptly, making mischief on the earth.”}(Al-Baqarah:60)

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Thomas Arnold

British Orientalist
Believers are brothers
“The Islamic Ideal of the brotherhood of all believers is one of the factors that attracted people strongly towards this faith.”

The Almighty also says: {151. “And follow not the command of Al-Musrifûn [i.e. their chiefs, leaders who were polytheists, criminals and sinners],152. “Who make mischief in the land, and reform not.”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:151-152)

This includes the rest of the natural elements; eg. water and the like, which is greatly cared for by Islam. Allah says: {Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one united piece, then We parted them? And We have made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?{ (Al-Anbiyâ’:30)

He also says: {And Allâh sends down water (rain) from the sky, then He revives the earth therewith after its death. Verily, in this is a sign (clear proof) for people who listen (obey Allâh).}(An-Nahl:65)

In addition to the Qur’an, the Prophet (pbuh) played his part by urging to protect the environment and its components. The Sunnah abounds with repeated instructions to preserve the environment and thus reduce the impact of natural phenomena such as dredging, desertification and drought. Regarding this he (pbuh) says: “Beware of the three things which provoke curses: relieving oneself in al-mawared , in the middle of the street and in places of shade.”[Abu Dawud] He also said: “Never does a Muslim plant trees or cultivate land and the birds or a man or a beast eat out of them, but that it is a charity on his behalf.”[Muslim] The Prophet (pbuh) also said: “If the Hour (the Day of Judgment) has come, and in the hand of one of you is a Faseelah (a small palm), then if he can plant it before the end comes, let him do so.”[Ahmed] The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) passed Saad when he was performing his Wudu (ablution), and he said: ”What is this extravagance?” Saad replied: “Can there be any extravagance in ablution?” The Prophet replied: “Yes, even if you are on the bank of a flowing river.”[Ibn Majah] What’s more, these good manners were what the companions themselves showed with the environment, even in time of war with the enemy. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) instructed his army commander, saying: “Do not kill a boy, a woman, or a very old man. Do not cut down any fruit trees, nor slaughter sheep or a cow, except for food, nor destroy anything which is built up, nor flood or burn palm trees”.[Malek]

Some moral commandments

It would be convenient here to review a number of moral commandments which are mentioned in the book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (pbuh). These include:

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“There is no separation in the Qur’an between man and nature. The Muslim world embraces the greatest of the accumulated treasures of wisdom and knowledge available to humanity.”

In the holy Qur’an:Allah says: {Verily! Allâh commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He (Allâh) gives you! Truly, Allâh is Ever All¬Hearer, All-¬Seer.}(An-Nisâ’:58)

He also says: {151. Say (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]): “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty - We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to Al-Fawâhish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, and kill not anyone whom Allâh has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islâmic law). This He has commanded you that you may understand.”152. “And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he (or she) attains the age of full strength; and give full measure and full weight with justice. We burden not any person, but that which he can bear. And whenever you give your word (i.e. judge between men or give evidence, etc.), say the truth even if a near relative is concerned, and fulfill the Covenant of Allâh, This He commands you, that you may remember.” 153. “And verily, this (i.e. Allâh’s Commandments mentioned in the above two Verses 151 and 152) is my Straight 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 Al-Muttaqûn (the pious ).{”(Al-An’âm:151-153)

The Almighty also says: {And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke Him with fear and hope; Surely, Allâh’s Mercy is (ever) near unto the good¬-doers.}(Al-A’râf:56)

And He says: {And be patient; verily, Allâh loses not the reward of the good-doers.}(Hûd:115)

Furthermore, Allah says: {29. And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty. 30. Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves. 31. And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin. 32. And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a Fâhishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allâh forgives him). 33. And do not kill anyone which Allâh has forbidden, except for a just cause. And whoever is killed (intentionally with hostility and oppression, and not by mistake), We have given his heir the authority [(to demand Qisâs, Law of Equality in punishment, or to forgive, or to take Diya (blood money)]. But let him not exceed limits in the matter of taking life (i.e he should not kill except the killer only). Verily, he is helped (by the Islâmic law). 34. And come not near to the orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength. And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily! the covenant, will be questioned about. 35. And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight. That is good (advantageous) and better in the end. 36. And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. one’s saying: “I have seen,” while in fact he has not seen, or “I have heard,” while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allâh). 37. And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth, nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height. 38. All the bad aspects of these (the above mentioned things) are hateful to your Lord. 39. This is (part) of Al-Hikmah (wisdom, good manners and high character, etc.) which your Lord has inspired to you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]). And set not up with Allâh any other ilâh (god) lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected, (from Allâh’s Mercy).{ (Al-Isrâ’:29-39)

Allah also says: {133. And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqûn (the pious). 134. Those who spend [in Allâh’s Cause - deeds of charity, alms, etc.] in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allâh loves Al-Muhsinûn (the good¬-doers).}(Âl’Imrân:133-134)

Moreover, He says: {11. O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one’s brother after having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: “O sinner”, or “O wicked”, etc.]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zâlimûn (wrong-doers, etc.). 12. O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. 13. O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqûn (pious - see V.2:2)]. Verily, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Aware.}(Al-Hujurât:11-13)

He also says: {17. “O my son! Aqim¬is¬Salât (perform As-Salât), enjoin (people) for Al¬-Ma’rûf (Islâmic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from Al¬-Munkar (i.e. disbelief in the Oneness of Allâh, polytheism of all kinds and all that is evil and bad), and bear with patience whatever befall you. Verily! These are some of the important commandments ordered by Allâh with no exemption.” 18. “And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allâh likes not each arrogant boaster.” 19. “And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the ass.”}(Luqmân:17-19)

The Almighty also says: {And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allâh) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.}(Al-Furqân:63)

Furthermore, He says: {Worship Allâh and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masâkin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allâh does not like such as are proud and boastful}(An-Nisâ’:36)

Moreover, Allah says: {And by the Mercy of Allâh, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-¬hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allâh’s) Forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allâh, certainly, Allâh loves those who put their trust (in Him).}(Âl-’Imrân:159)

In the Sunnah: If we went to the grove of ahadith, there we would find many a tree of belief from which we can pick ripe fruits about good morals and virtuous principles; including:

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Hell is not allowed to seize a gentle, lenient, and an easy-going man who keeps close relations with people.”[Tirmidhi]

He (pbuh) said to one of his companions: “You possess two qualities that Allah loves. These are clemency and tolerance.”[Ahmed]

He (pbuh) also said: “What wealth I have, I will not hoard it from you. Whoever has forbearance, Allah will help him. Whoever tries to be independent, Allah will enrich him. Whoever tries to be patient, Allah will give him patience, and no one is given a better or vaster gift than patience.”[Muslim]

He (pbuh) also said: “Richness does not lie in the abundance of (worldly) goods, but richness is the richness of the soul (heart, self.)”[ Bukhari]

Moreover, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The strong man is not the one who wrestles, but the strong man is in fact the one who controls himself in a fit of rage.”[Bukhari]

In another hadith he (pbuh) also said: “He does not thank Allah, the one who does not thank the people.”[Ahmed]

The Prophet (pbuh) also said: “Allah Almighty revealed to me that you should be humble and that you should not wrong one another.”[Ibn Majah]

What’s more, the Messenger of Allah also said: “Every good act is a form of charity. Indeed among the good acts is to meet your brother with a smiling face and to pour what is left in your bucket into the vessel of your brother.”[Tirmidhi]

In conclusion, we find that the relationship between true happiness and morals is a close, interdependent and interrelated one. Having a good character is the only source of happiness for mankind, and without it there would be no happiness at all and thus man would only reap disappointment, sorrow, misery, gloom and wretchedness in his life. Happiness is, therefore, the most important motive for mankind to have good morals, since he knows for sure that without good morals, he will not enjoy even a moment of real happiness, or one day of bliss and pleasure.