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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.

such as birth, growth,

such as birth, growth, feeding, excretion of waste matter, reproduction and death. These functions are carried out in human beings, animals as well as in plants. Details of these functions and how they are performed are taught in biology classes. Growth in these living beings is not continuous throughout their life spans. It stops after reaching a predetermined level. This level in humans on average is twentyfour years. Becoming obese is not growth. Feeding is continuous throughout life span, since life cannot be sustained without getting necessary nutrition. In addition to a plant soul, humans and animals also have an animal soul. Its location is the chest. This animal soul is the source of voluntary movements. In human beings, it does this under the control of the spiritual heart. Humans have yet another soul. When we refer to soul in humans, we automatically refer to spiritual heart and soul. This soul does things like reasoning, thinking, and laughing. Animal soul has two types of power. The power of comprehension and the power of movement. The power of comprehension is a force which understands things. This understanding manifests itself in two ways. The first is comprehension through physical sense organs. The second is comprehension through unseen organs or inner faculties. There are five physical sense organs. The first physical sense organ is the skin. Through skin, warmth, coldness, wetness, dryness, softness and hardness are sensed. When an object touches the skin, the animal soul senses whether this object is warm. This tactile sense is stronger on the inside of the hand (palm). The second sense is smell, done through the nose. The third is taste, accomplished through the nerve system on the tongue. The fourth is hearing, which is done through the nerves in the ears, and last, the fifth is sight, and it is done through the nerves in the eyes. There are also five unseen internal sense organs: 1– Common sense (hiss al-mushtarak): It is located in the front part of the brain. The external perceptions, coming from sense organs to their respective parts of the brain, gather in this part. 2– Imagination (hayâl): Its location is the front of the first space of the brain. Perceptions that are realized and – 190 –

comprehended are stored in imagination. When one looks at an object, that object causes sensation in the common sense part of the brain. When the object is removed from the eye sight, the sensation also leaves the common sense but its image is transported to imagination, where it maintains its impression for a long time. If imagination did not exist, people would forget one another and no one would recognize anyone. 3– Intuitive perception (wâhima): It senses meanings which cannot be perceived with sense organs and which can be deduced from facts experienced by way of perception. For instance, concepts such as enmity and integrity are beyond the perception of any sense organ. Yet you feel a person’s friendliness or enmity. The inner power which helps you to feel this friendliness or enmity is termed wâhima. Were it not for this power of intuition, the sheep would not avoid the wolf because it would not feel its voracity. Nor would it try to protect its young. 4– Memory (hâfiza): It stores what is understood through perception. 5– (Mutasarrifa): It is a faculty of mind which compares the received sensations and perceptions and generates new mixtures. For example, it can conceive of an emerald mountain. Poets enjoy a copious share from this faculty. There are two types also of the power of movement, which is the second power of the animal soul: The first one is appetite or carnal power (shahawî). With this carnal power humans and beasts crave for their natural needs and whatsoever else appeals to their nature. This power is also called behimî (bestial) force. The second type is called ghadabî (of wrath, pertaining to wrath) force. Through this power, they defend themselves against things that present danger to them. These two types of power are also called “beastly powers.” The forces which activate movements need the forces of comprehension. Things should be sensed first through sense organs so that they can be judged to be good or evil and then accepted or rejected depending on the judgement. All this process of sensing and acting accordingly is performed by the central nervous system. The human heart and soul exist only in human beings. This soul also has two powers. It is these two powers whereby the human being differs from beasts. The first one of – 191 –

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