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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.


22– PERFIDY (HIYÂNAT) The twenty-second malady of the heart is “hiyânat”. Committing “hiyânat” causes anger (ghadab). “Hiyânat” also is forbidden (harâm) and it is a sign of hypocrisy. The opposite of “hiyânat” is being trustworthy (amânat). The meaning of “hiyânat” is as follows: A person who portrays himself to others as trustworthy and then does something which belies this impression. A Believer (Mu’min) is a person to whom anybody would entrust their life or property. Amânat (trustworthiness) and hiyânat (perfidy) apply not only to property but also to spoken (or written) words. Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ states in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “A person who is consulted is trustworthy.” As a matter of fact, others trust this person that he will tell them the truth and will not tell anyone else about the question he has been asked. It is necessary (wâjib) for him to tell the truth. A person may place his property with another whom he trusts. Similarly, one may consult with another whom he is sure will tell him the truth. The 159th âyat in Sûra “âl-i ’Imrân” of the Qur’ân al-kerîm purports: “Consult with others beforehand the things you are planning to do.” Consulting with others is like a fortress which protects one from regret. The person whom one wants to consult should know the states of human beings of his time as well as the states and conditions of the country and the time. This is called knowledge of politics and administration (’ilm al-siyâsat). Furthermore, he should be a far sighted and wise person as well as a healthy one. It is sinful for him to say something which he does not know or to say something contrary to his knowledge. If he said these things by mistake, it would not be a sin for him. If one consults with a person who does not possess the above-mentioned attributes and qualifications, both parties will be committing a sin. Those who give religious judgment (fatwâ) with respect to worldly or religious matters although they do not fulfill the aforesaid qualifications, will be cursed by angels. Another kind of hiyânat (perfidy) is to order someone to do something which you know will be harmful. [It is written in the famous religious book Hadîqa that Abdullah ibn al-Mes’ûd ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ said, “The first thing you will lose from your religion will be being trustworthy ‘amânat’. The last thing you will lose will be the ‘salât’ prayer. There will be some people who will be praying ‘salâts’ while – 126 –

indeed they will not even have any faith.” Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ states in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “Anyone who murders his friend is not one of my ‘Ummat’. This is true even if the person murdered is a disbeliever.”] 23– BREACH OF PROMISE Another cause of anger (ghadab) is a broken promise. We have already explained that a promise made by only one party is called “promise” (wa’d) and a promise by both parties is called agreement “’ahd”. A promise of punishment is called “wa’îd”. It is a kindness not to fulfil this kind of promise. It is prohibited (harâm) to promise by lying. Not keeping this type of promise is an additional sin. Keeping such a promise will cause the sin of lying to be forgiven. An illegal agreement of sale (fâsid bay) is also similar to this. Canceling such a sale agreement and giving up that sale is necessary (wâjib). When the parties cancel the sale agreement and ask for repentance their sin will be forgiven. But if they do not cancel this type of illegal sale agreement their sin will be doubled. It is necessary to fulfil one’s promise. Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ states in a hadîth-isherîf: “There are three signs of hypocrisy: lying, not keeping one’s promise and breach of trust (amânat).” If one is not able to keep one’s promise for reasons beyond him, then it will not be a sign of hypocrisy. On the other hand, perfidy as regards an entrusted piece of property or secret, is hypocrisy. In a hadîth-isherîf which is written in the widely known book of hadîth-isherîfs entitled Sahîh-i-Bukhârî and reported by Amr ibn Âs ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’, Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: “Four things are symptomatic of hypocrisy: abuse of trust; lying; not keeping one’s promise; breaking an agreement without informing the other party (ghadr) and not telling the truth at a judicial court”. Ibn Hajar Mekkî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’aleyh’ defined hypocrisy (being a munâfiq) as a “lack of correspondence between one’s intentions and outward behaviour.” Being hypocritical on credal matters is disbelief (kufr). Being hypocritical in one’s words or deeds is forbidden. Hypocrisy based on credal matters is much worse than other types of disbelief. Making a promise (wa’d) with the intention of fulfilling the promise in the future is permissible (jâiz) and even rewarding (thawâb). Fullfilling this kind of promise is not “wâjib”, but it is “mustahab.” It is makrûh tanzîhî not to fulfil it. Rasûlullah ‘sall- Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ states in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “It would not – 127 –

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