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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.


6– HERETICAL BELIEFS (BID’ATS) Sixth of the maladies of the heart is to hold a bid’at, which means to hold a heretical, wrong or aberrant belief. Most Muslims suffer from this disastrous malady. The reason which leads one into this malady is one’s attempt to rationalize or reason in the matters which cannot be sensed through sense organs and which cannot be reached or comprehended through calculations and believing in matters wherein reason errs and makes mistakes. Every Muslim should follow the teachings of either one of the two Madhhabs with respect to faith, i.e., “Mâturîdî” or “Ash’arî”. Following the teachings of any one of them will protect or save a person from the malady of heresies. For, in matters beyond the reach of mind, the scholars of (the medial and therefore the only correct path called) Ahl as-sunnat followed only the Qur’ân al-kerîm and hadîth-i-sherîfs, thus utilizing their mental capacities in delving into these two sources and trying to understand their meanings. They wrote, in their books, what they learned from the Ashâb-i-kirâm, who in turn had acquired their religious learnings from the Messenger of Allah. [A person will become a disbeliever if he denies or doubts about something which is taught clearly in the Qur’ân al-kerîm or in hadîth-i-sherîfs. Giving wrong meanings to commandments that are not taught clearly and are therefore doubtful would be “bid’at.” A person becomes an ahl al-bid’at if he believes in his wrong interpretation or understanding. However, if a person rejects the commandments by saying, for instance, “How could this happen! This could not be! My mind does not accept that!”, he will become a disbeliever. If a person asserts that a prohibited (harâm) thing is permissible (halâl) and if his statement is based on an âyat of the Qur’ân or on a hadîth, he does not become a disbeliever but he becomes an “ahl al-bid’at.” Stating that the election of hadrat Abû Bakr and Hadrat ’Umar to the post of Caliphate was not right constitutes a bid’at. On the other hand, going further and stating that they did not have rights to the post of Caliphate constitutes disbelief (kufr). Muhammad Shihristânî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’ says in his book Milal wa Nihal that the scholars of the Hanafî Madhhab followed the teachings of imâm Abû Mansûr al-Mâturîdî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’ with respect to faith (i’tiqad). For, Abû Mansûr al-Mâturîdî applied the methodology (“usûl” and – 36 –

“furu”) of Imâm a’zam Abû Hanîfa ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’, the founder of the Hanafî Madhhab. “Usûl” means “i’tiqad” belief. “Furu” means “ahkâm-i-shar’iyya” or rules that are based on Islamic laws. The scholars of “Mâlikî”, “Shâfi’î” and “Hanbalî” Madhhabs followed the teachings of Imâm Abû Hasan al-Ash’arî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’ with respect to faith (i’tiqad). Abû Hasan al-Ash’arî followed the “Shâfi’î” Madhhab. Imâm al-Subkî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’ who was one of the famous “Shâfi’î” scholars said that he had studied the book of Abû Ja’far Tahâwî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’ who was one of the scholars of the Hanafî Madhhab, and noticed that it was almost the same as the teachings of the “Ash’arî Madhhab in faith. They differed from each other only in three points. Abdulwahhâb Tâj-ud-dîn al- Subkî, who was the son of imâm abûl Hasan Alî Subkî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’, said that he had studied the books of the scholars of “Hanafî” Madhhab in faith (i’tiqad) and noticed that they were in disagreement with “Shâfi’î” Madhhab in faith in thirteen points. But he said that their disagreements were on minor matters and that those differences did not mean that they had deviated from the correct path. They do not differ in essential matters. They both are in the correct (haqq) path. Muhammad Hadimî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’ states in the three hundred and seventeenth page of his book Berîqa that he has studied the teachings of both ‘Mâturîdî and Ash’arî Madhhabs in credal matters and estimated that the discrepancies between the two Madhhabs, including the very minor differences, added up to seventy-three.] 7– FOLLOWING THE DESIRES OF THE NAFS The seventh of the maladies of the heart is to indulge in the appetite (shahwat) or desires or pleasures of the nafs. Ugliness of these types of actions of the nafs is clearly communicated in the âyats of the Qur’ân. Furthermore, it is also communicated in the Qur’ân that following the desires of the nafs causes one to depart from the path of Allâhu ta’âlâ. For, the nafs always wants to deny the existence of Allâhu ta’âlâ and to be intransigent or to rebel against Him. Following the desires of the nafs in every matter culminates in worshipping the nafs. Anyone who follows their nafs either lapses into disbelief or deviates into a heresy or plunges into committing harâms (acts prohibited by Islam). Abû Bakr Tamistânî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’ says, “The fortune of not following the desires of the nafs is the biggest treasure of this – 37 –

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