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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.

motives.” Hence,

motives.” Hence, ghiybat is a downright atrocity that must definitely be kept at bay. There are many reasons which tempt a person to commit ghiybat. We will explain eleven of them at this point: Animosity toward the person concerned; propensity to join a common sentiment; the appealing nature of blaming a popularly disliked person; temptation to exclude oneself from a certain sin; to make a show of superiority; jealousy; feelings of jocularity; witticism; and mockery; to express personal surprise, regret, sorrow, or loathing at the sinning of a person not expected to do so. Backbiting causes decrease in one’s rewards (thawâbs) and causes others’ sins to be added to the backbiter’s sins. Thinking about these all the time protects one from committing backbiting. Backbiting is of three types: In the first instance the backbiter denies to have committed ghiybat and claims that he has merely stated a fact about a certain person. This denial causes kufr (unbelief), for it means to say ‘halâl’ about something Islam has forbidden (harâm). In the second case the intention is to let the person who has been backbitten hear about his being criticized, which in turn is harâm and a grave sin. This kind of backbiting will not be forgiven only through tawba. It is necessary also to get the forgiveness of the person whom one has backbitten. In the third case, the person who has been backbitten would not be aware of this. This kind of backbiting is forgiven by tawba and by pronouncing a blessing on the person backbitten. A person who realizes that someone is backbiting in his presence should prohibit it immediately. It is stated in hadîth-isherîfs: “Allâhu ta’âlâ will help a person in this world and in the next world ‘Âkhirat’ if he helps a Muslim brother of his in his absence” and “When a person’s Muslim brother is backbitten in his presence, if he does not support his brother though he could if he wanted, this sin of his will be enough for him in both this world and the next.” and “If a person protects the honour of his Muslim brother in the world, Allâhu ta’âlâ will send him an angel and thereby protect him against torment of Hell.” and “If a person protects the honor of his Muslim brother, Allâhu ta’âlâ will save him from hell-fire.” While backbiting is committed, a person who is present there should stop it with words if he is not afraid of the backbiter. If he is afraid of him then he should reject it through his heart; otherwise he will be sharing the sin of – 162 –

ackbiting. If it is possible to stop the backbiter or to leave, he should do one or the other. Using sign language, e.g., his head or hand or eyes is not enough. It is necessary to tell him that he should stop backbiting. The atonement (kaffârat) for backbiting is the feeling of sadness, making tawba, and apologizing to the person backbitten. An apology without feeling sorry is no more than hypocrisy, which is another sin. [It is written in Ibn-i Âbidîn’s book Radd-ul-Muhtâr, 5th volume, page 263 that it is forbidden to backbite a dead person as well as a non-Muslim citizen (zimmî).] 40– NOT MAKING TAWBA Tawba is the sorry feeling after committing a forbidden action and then having the fear of Allâhu ta’âlâ and having a strong resolution not to do it again. Repentance for fear of a worldly loss that you may incur is not tawba. While one is committing several different sins, one’s tawba for some of the sins would be valid (sahîh) while one insists committing the other sins. After tawba, one’s repeating the same sin again and then repenting again would be valid. Repeating this chain of repenting, committing the sin again, repenting again several times would be valid. Forgiveness of a grave sin certainly requires tawba. Five daily “salât” prayers, Friday “salât” prayer, fasting during the month of Ramadân, going for pilgrimage (hajj), making tawba, avoiding grave sins and all similar acts of worship will cause forgiveness of venial sins. Tawba for disbelief and other types of sins, when done in observance of their conditions, will certainly be accepted. A pilgrimage performed with sincerity and by observing all its conditions is called “hajj almabrûr”. “Hajj al-mabrûr” causes all types of sins to be forgiven except the sins incurred by omitting those acts of worship which are farz and sins wherein violation of others’ rights is involved. In order for these two types of sins to be forgiven, one has to carry out those omitted obligatory duties and one has to compensate the right owners for their violated rights. “Hajj almabrûr” does not cause forgiveness of the sins incurred by omitting the obligatory (fard) duties, yet it causes forgiveness of the sins incurred by not doing the obligatory duties within their prescribed times. After the pilgrimage, if one does not immediately start to perform the omitted obligatory duties, the – 163 –

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