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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.

the body

the body of a human being and brightness of the mirror is similar to the nafs. The origin of the nafs is nonexistence or Adam, and it has no relationship to the soul or to the spiritual heart.” A person who indulges in the desires of his nafs always steps out of the bounds of Islam. Since animals do not possess wisdom and nafs, they always use things that they need when they find them. They only shy away from things that hurt them physically. Islam neither prohibits utilization of vehicles that provide a comfortable and peaceful living, nor dissuades from enjoying useful worldly pleasures. Islam commands Muslims to follow the guidelines set out by the religion and wisdom for acquiring and utilizing these things. The goal of Islam is the comfortable and peaceful living of human beings in this world and in the next. Accomplishing this goal rests with following the wisdom and abstaining from the desires of the nafs. If wisdom had not been created, human beings would always follow the desires of the nafs and fall into disasters. If the nafs did not exist, human beings could not multiply and lead a civilized life. Also, without the nafs, human beings could not obtain rewards for struggle against the nafs. Furthermore, without the nafs, human beings could not rise above the grades of angels. Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ said, “If animals had known the knowledge you possess about the things that would happen in the life after death, you could not be able to find any meat to consume!” Animals would not be able to eat or drink, therefore, lose weight and perish because of their fear of the punishments in the Hereafter. If human beings did not possess nafs, similar to animals, they, too, would be unable to eat or drink because of the fear of the punishment, and thus would be unable to live. Continuation of daily lives of human beings depends on the oblivious nature (ghaflat) of their nafs and its fondness for worldly flavours. The nafs is like a sword with double blades, or a medicine which possesses strong poisonous properties. Anyone who uses this medicine in accordance with the prescription given by the doctor benefits from the useful properties of the medicine. Inversely, anyone who uses this medicine in an extreme fashion will perish because of the poisonous properties of the medicine. Islam does not prescribe destruction of the nafs. On the contrary, it recommends the nafs be tamed so that it should be utilized for doing useful deeds.] Two types of struggle (jihâd) against the nafs is employed in order to prevent the nafs from transgressing against the – 40 –

guidelines set by Islam. The first one is called “riyâzat”. “Riyâzat” is a person’s resistance against the temptations of his nafs. This is accomplished by utilizing two means: wara’ and taqwâ. “Taqwâ” means not doing forbidden actions, or in other words, it is a way of living wherein one does not commit forbidden actions in one’s daily affairs. Wara’ means abstinence not only from harâms (forbidden acts) but also from a superfluity in the mubâhs (acts, enjoyments and flavours which Islam permits). The second type of struggle (jihâd) against the nafs requires performing things that the nafs dislikes. This is called mujâhada. All the acts of worship are mujâhada because the nafs does not like to perform worship. These two types of struggles tame the nafs and mature human beings and strengthen their souls and lead them to the way of Siddîqs (people who have attained the highest degree of piety), martyrs (Shahîds) and pious (Sâlih) Muslims. Allâhu ta’âlâ is not in need of the worships of His creatures. Transgression of His creatures will by no means harm Him. He commanded these aforementioned things in order to tame the nafs and in order to make a struggle against the nafs. If human beings did not possess nafs, they would not be humans and they would possess the quality of angelhood. As a matter of fact, the human body has a variety of needs. For example, it is necessary to eat, drink, sleep, and rest. There is no doubt that a horseman cannot survive without a horse. Therefore, he takes good care of his horse. Similarly, a human being cannot function without a body. So, he must also take care of his body. Acts of worship are performed with the body. Once, they reported to our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ that a certain person was performing worship continuously throughout the night without sleeping. He replied, “Most precious worships are the ones which are done on a continuous basis even if they are not much in quantity.” Worships which are done on a continuous basis cause a person to become a steady worshipper. Performing worships means intending and following the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ. The commandments and prohibitions enjoined by Allâhu ta’âlâ are called “Sharî’at” or “Ahkâm al-ilâhiyya” or divine rules. Commandments are called “farz” and prohibitions are called “harâm”. It is reported that our Prophet said, “Perform worships as much as you can endure. – 41 –

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