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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.

natures would not

natures would not change, the religions communicated by prophets would be futile and unnecessary. The training and punishment methods established unanimously by scholars would be absurd. All scholars taught knowledge and manners to their children and it has always been known that education and training provided useful results. For these reasons, it is as obvious as the shining sun that human nature is changeable. However, so deeply ingrained are some habits, –in fact, some of them have become all but an essential ingredient of the soul–, that it is an extremely difficult task to change or eliminate them. Those habits are mostly seen on ignorant and wicked people. Changing them requires riyâzat and very adamant mujâhada. Riyâzat means resistance against the harmful and iniquitous desires of the nafs, and mujâhada means steadfastness in the useful and graceful behaviour unpleasant to the nafs. Ignorant and idiotic people adduce the stability of ingrained traits of character as support for their reluctance to carry on riyâzat and mujâhada against the nafs, thus trying to rationalize their sloth in ridding themselves of vices. If we accept their argument and let everybody follow desires (hawâ) of their nafs and do not punish the guilty, humanity will be pushed toward iniquities. As a matter of fact, Allâhu ta’âlâ out of compassion for His human creatures, sent prophets to train people and teach them good and evil natures. He chose His beloved Messenger, Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’, as the greatest of all the teachers. He replaced all the previous divine laws with his divine law (Sharî’at, religion), i.e., “Sharî’at al-Muhammad.” His religion became the final religion. Thus, his shining religion included all the goodnesses and methods of training. Those who have wisdom and can distinguish good from evil should read the books of ethics which are derived from this religion and learn it. They should plan their business accordingly so that they may attain comfort, peace of mind, happiness and salvation in this world and the next and contribute to the order of family and social life. This is the most important duty of a human being. Everyone should read and learn this book, which we have entitled Ethics of Islam attentively because, with the help of Allâhu ta’âlâ, we have collected the information which will be helpful in the achievement of this ultimate goal. THIRD STAGE: We had divided “Ethics of Islam” into three parts. In order to understand them clearly, we will provide – 182 –

supplementary information. Every branch of knowledge and science has a number of ancillary branches. Sometimes all the branches concur on some points. At these points, all the branches of that science become one. This one point is the topic of that science. For example, the science of medicine has many branches but every branch unites at the study of illnesses and health of the body and this is the topic of medicine. In order to learn a science easily, first, we must understand its topic. The topic of the knowledge of ethics is the human soul. It teaches how to cleanse the evil qualities of the soul and how to fill it with virtues. First, we should learn about the soul and then evils and virtues. Imâm ash-Shâfi’î said the following couplet: I learned vices, not to become an evil one, who does not know what is vice, will fall into it, know for sure! We will explain the topic in three steps in order to recognize the heart and soul as much as possible and explain its apparent and hidden forces, as well as the things that will cause its happiness and those which will lead to perdition. FIRST STEP: WHAT ARE SPIRITUAL HEART (qalb) AND SOUL (rûh)? Greek philosophers and their imitators called these two entities nafs-i-nâtiqa, or, in short, nafs. [However, Imâm ar-Rabbânî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’, who was a great scholar and a specialist in the science of “Tasawwuf” and ethics, said that nafs, soul, and spiritual heart are different entities.] The eighty-fifth âyat-i-kerîma of Sûra Isrâ of the Qur’ân al-kerîm purports: “They ask you about the soul ‘rûh.’ Answer them that the soul is an entity among the other beings that Allâhu ta’âlâ has created.” This âyat-i-kerîma prohibits any attempt to define the soul. As a matter of fact, most of the shaikhs of the (celebrated path of tasawwuf called) turuq-i-’aliyya and Islamic scholars avoided talking about the soul. As is understood from the Qur’ân al-kerîm, what is prohibited to talk about is the essential nature of the soul, not its properties or qualities. In fact, most scholars explained to their disciples, as well as to other inquirers of the matter, that the heart and the soul were not material objects, and that they were (immaterial beings, which they termed) jawhar-i-basît. It is these two centers which grasp the information comprehensible to the human reason, and control and manipulate all the forces and activities within the body. This is the definition made by the great guides of tasawwuf – 183 –

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