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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.

meaning. Knowledge which

meaning. Knowledge which pertains to belief and Islam is in this category. Even (those profoundly learned Islamic scholars called) mujtahid imâms were unable to categrically understand the teachings of Sharî’at which are not communicated with clarity in the ‘Nass’, and were at variance with one another as to their meanings, which gave birth to various Madhhabs with respect to practices. Meanings derived by people well-versed in the aforesaid fifteen sciences are called ta’wîl, not tafsîr, for those meanings contain the interpreter’s personal choice; in other words, he makes a choice from among the various meanings he has inferred. If the meaning he chooses does not conform to the literal and clear meanings of the âyats of the Qur’ân and hadîths or to the unanimity of scholars (ijmâ’), then it is invalid (fâsid). The book Berîka, while explaining that dancing is forbidden, notes: “We are not commanded to practice our religion according to the books of tafsîr. We are commanded to adapt ourselves to books of Fiqh.” 38– INSISTENCE IN COMMITTING FORBIDDEN (HARÂM) ACTIONS Intentional sinning is insistence in sinning, even if the sin committed is venial in quantity. Intentional sinning means sinning committed purposely, willingly, and decisively. Once a person has decided and committed a sin, he has already been insistent in doing so. However, a sin which has not been committed is not classified as an insistent sinning even though one may have decided to commit it continually. If a person decides to commit a sin continually and commits it and then repents and stops committing it, it will not be insistence. If he commits it again and then repents again, it will not be insistence. Nor will it be insistence to commit a sin several times within a day, making tawba after each time the sin is committed. However, the tawba has to be made with a remorseful and sorrowful heart and the sinner has to stop sinning and be resolved not to do so again. A lip-service tawba made without fulfilling these three conditions would be sheer mendacity. Insisting in committing venial sins is a grave sin. It is a graver sin than committing a grave sin once. When the sinner makes tawba, the grave sin will also be forgiven. Considering a venial sin as something unimportant is a grave sin. Bragging about committing a venial sin is a grave sin. It would also be a grave sin to look on – 158 –

a person who commits venial sins as a scholarly (’âlim) and pious (sâlih) person. One ought to shudder with the fear of Allâhu ta’âlâ and His torment even if the sin one commits is a venial one. It is grave sin if one is not ashamed of Allâhu ta’âlâ and does not think that He will punish. 39– BACKBITING (GHIYBAT) Ghiybat means to backbite a Believer or a (non-Muslim citizen termed) zimmî by mentioning (one of) their faults in order to vilify them. Ghiybat is harâm. It is not ghiybat if the listener does not know the person backbitten. If the person who has been backbitten would be sad if he heard it, then it is backbiting. When a person is talked about in his absence, if the remarks made about his body, his family genealogy, his moral behaviour, his work, his speech, his faith, his worldly life, his clothes, or his animals, are in such a nature as to hurt him if he heard them, they are ghiybat. Covert backbiting, as well as that which is done through signs, gestures or writing, is as sinful as overt verbal backbiting. The most sordid type of ghiybat is, for instance, a religious or pious person’s saying, “Al-hamd-u-lillâh (praise and gratitude be to Allah), we are not like him,” when a Muslim’s sins or faults are mentioned behind his back. [A hâfiz is a person who has committed the entire Qur’ân al-kerîm to his memory.] Another utterly loathsome type of libelling is to say, for instance, “Al-hamd-u-lillâh, Allah did not make us shameless like him,” amidst a conversation which somehow concerns a certain person. So is the case with ambivalent backbiting like, for instance, to say about a person, “He is a very good person, unless... .” The twelfth âyat of Sûra Hujurât purports: “... Nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. ...” Ghiybat means backbiting, which in turn has been compared to eating a dead person’s flesh. It is stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “On the day of Judgement, a person’s reward-book will be opened. He will say, Oh my Lord! As I was in the world I performed such and such acts of worship but they are not recorded in the page. He will be answered as follows: They have been erased from your book and transferred to the books of people you spoke ill of.” Another hadîth-i-sherîf reads: “On the day of Judgement, the book containing a person’s good deeds ‘hasanât’ will be opened. He will see there the worships he never performed. They will tell him that these are the rewards ‘thawâbs’ of those who spoke ill of – 159 –

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