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Ethics of Islam

Ethics of Islam is taken from the book Berîka by Muhammad Hâdimi. Immorality and ways to get rid of it; 40 depravities and cures to them; usefulness of ethics; what is a soul; strengths of a soul; Personalities emanating from wisdom, courage, chastity and justice are extensively explained.

misunderstanding is

misunderstanding is concise, clear-cut, and unambiguous language. Ambiguous language will annoy the listener. Three conditions should be observed while communicating the right word (amr al-ma’rûf). The first condition is a pure intention to communicate a commandment or prohibition of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Second, full mastery of the subject intended to be preached, including the sources and documents of the information presented. And third, patience with the consequent trouble. Soft language is a prerequisite, and harshness preclusive. Harsh, quarrelsome language will stir instigation (fitna). One night, during the caliphate of Hadrat ’Umar, he and Abdullah ibn Mes’ûd ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’ were patrolling the streets of Medîna, when, from one of the doors of nearby houses, came the voice of a woman singing. Peeping through the keyhole, the Khalîfa saw an old man seated with a bottle of wine before him and a young songstress in the middle of the room. When he rushed into the room through the window, the old man said: “O, you, Amîr al-Mu’minîn (Leader of Believers)! Would you please listen to me for a second for the sake of Allâhu ta’âlâ?” Hadrat Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ said, “Okay. Go ahead and speak!” The old man said, “Whereas I have committed one wrongdoing, you have violated three different laws of Allâhu ta’âlâ.” When Hadrat ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ inquired what the three different violations were, the old man said, ‘Allâhu ta’âlâ prohibits peeping others’ houses. You have watched inside my house through the keyhole. Allâhu ta’âlâ prohibits entering others’ houses without their permission. You have entered without permission. Finally, Allâhu ta’âlâ commands us to enter houses through the front door and to greet the residents. You have entered through the window and without greeting at all. Hadrat ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ replied with justice and fairness and said, “What you have said are all correct!” Then, apologizing, he left, in tears. We should have a good opinion about people who give us advice, as well as about all Muslims. We should interpret their words and advice with optimism. Believing in the goodness and piousness of a Muslim is an act which brings rewards. Mistrust based on a pessimistic predisposition that a certain Muslim should not be believed is in fact a reflection of loose morals on the part of the owner of the mistrust. We should try to understand what is said and if we are not able to understand it then we should inquire about it. We should not forthwith have a bad opinion about a – 122 –

person who tells us something. Among the evil suggestions brought into the heart by the devil, having a bad opinion (sû-i zan) about others is the one wherein the devil is most successful. Sû-i-zan is forbidden (harâm). In case a certain utterance sounds too clearly malignant to interpret with optimism, a possible mistake or slip of the tongue or lapse of memory (on the part of the person who has made the utterance) should be taken into consideration. When a poor person requests something from a rich person and his request is denied, that may cause anger (ghadab) in both of them. Asking a question or saying something to a person who is busy or thinking or anxious or distressed may cause him to become angry. A crying baby or noise of children or animals may also cause anger in some people. Anger of this nature is extremely unpleasant. An even worse type of anger, an oft-seen one, too, is shown towards movements of lifeless beings. Examples of this emotional excess would be people who have been seen to get mad when something they want to cut with an axe slides from the spot they have placed it or does not break at one stroke; so much so that they hurl expletives at it and sometimes even destroy it frantically, e.g. by burning it. And there do exist people who get mad at themselves, swear at themselves, and flagellate themselves. It is a meritorious act, a sort of religious ghayrat, to be angry with yourself on account of your poor acts of worship; it generates thawâb. Having anger toward the leaders of the government or toward Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ or toward Allâhu ta’âlâ because of their commandments and prohibitions, is the worst kind of anger. This type of anger causes disbelief. The hadîth-i-sherîf, “Anger (ghadab) blemishes one’s belief” shows that having anger toward Rasûlullah or Allâhu ta’âlâ causes disbelief. Getting angry upon seeing someone committing a prohibited action is a very good deed and shows one’s religious ghayrat. But, one should not step out of the boundaries of Islam or wisdom (’aql) when one gets angry. Calling that person by dirty names, e.g., kâfir, munâfiq and the like, is prohibited (harâm). That kind of name calling necessitates punishment of that namecaller. It is not against Islam’s rules for a person who sees a sinner to remonstrate with him by using words like ‘ignorant’ and ‘idiot’; yet it is better to admonish the sinner with mild and – 123 –

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