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The Moral Aspect of Islam (Part 1/2)

The Moral Aspect of Islam (Part 1/2)

The Islamic Message introduced a social revolution unprecedented in the East or West in ancient or modern times. One of the most important aspects of this revolution was the moral and spiritual transformation which Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) exemplified in his deeds and personality and in the principles he advocated in accordance with the letter and spirit of his Message.

This transformation is at the root of the precepts aimed at social amelioration, for the reformation of the individual is the basis for the reform of society.

In His description of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Allah the Almighty declares, {And lo! thou art of sublime morals.} (Al-Qalam 68:4)

And Prophet Muhammad says, “I was sent in order to complete the virtues of character,” and “My Lord has made me upright and has surely done so.”

Noble qualities abounded in his fine character; truthfulness, beneficence, recognition and fulfillment of duties, forbearance, meekness, fortitude, courage, profundity, humbleness, forgiveness, and loyalty were a few of the outstanding traits that endeared him to the hearts of men.

His followers became so attached to him that they did not hesitate to renounce their unbelief and even forsake their fathers and sons.

Centuries have gone by, but the character of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has remained so distinctive and forceful that not even those skeptical of his Message can ignore it. The words of Allah are a testimony to that:

{…in truth they give not thee [Muhammad] the lie, but evil-doers give the lie to the revelations of Allah.} (Al-An`am 6:33)

His exemplary conduct had the greatest influence on the spiritual and moral transformation which was accomplished both in his day and following his death. The faith he espoused and the religious tenets he preached have had similar consequences.

The principles of equality, brotherhood, justice, and freedom which he defined as integral elements of faith have accomplished their task by engendering a righteous character and a noble spirit in society.

Of greatest effect has been the belief in the one supreme Allah, to Whom belongs all power and authority, in Whose hands lies the power to reward and punish, to grant and withhold, and in Whose Kingdom and worship people become equal.

This belief perfects the human spirit, liberates it, and directs it toward the common welfare and the all-powerful Allah Who controls the destiny of all things and judges acts by the intention that motivates them, of which He is aware. With this belief Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) pointed out the path to virtue.

He who has attained a virtuous character does not deceive, for he cannot conceal his deception from Allah or derive any benefit there from. Truthfulness, therefore, has become one of the mainstays of moral character in Muhammad’s Message. Lying and deceiving draw one away from Allah and bring only ruin to one’s undertakings. Thus, it is impossible for the truly believing Muslim to be a liar or a deceiver.

The believer possesses a brave heart, and has the courage to express his views. He fears not death because he is possessed only by Allah. His soul is exalted, and he is propelled forward, even to martyrdom if necessary, in order to defend the truth and to protect himself and his brethren in bondage to Allah against tyranny and disdain.

He who is faithful to this belief cannot be a yielding coward. He lives to defend himself and his fellow man against the evils of life, and endeavors to repel them with his own life.

The believer holds that Allah is the One Who gives and withholds, granting freely to whoever pleases Him without account; he is therefore not miserly with his possessions, but is a generous giver. Thus does he please the Supreme Giver; he seeks His bounty and favor by living generously with his brethren, Allah’s bondsmen.

The believer cannot then be selfish; his belief prevents him from occupying himself with possessions, for he knows he would thereby deprive the children of Allah from sharing in His bounty. He seeks to express his humanitarian inclinations by being charitable to others and by leading a life of contentment with himself, his relations, his neighbors, and his nation-with all people.

He is well-mannered, sociable, faithful, and sincere because such traits are essential for the perfection of his faith through his submission to the Supreme Being, Who has elevated him and appointed him as His representative on earth, His Khalifah.

The Islamic doctrine which Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) preached and firmly established in the hearts of his Companions and other followers is in itself the greatest pillar of social righteousness. This doctrine has given birth and organization to a spiritual, moral, and virtuous life for the Muslim, and thus occupies the supreme position in his heart. A substance has value and importance only to the extent that it leads to righteousness, that it glorifies and solidifies this spirit.

In the Islamic society which enjoys true faith, the spirit of materialism cannot dominate a man’s character and behavior in the way it has dominated much of the world in recent times.


References

Taken with slight editorial modifications from the Book: The Eternal Message of Muhammad.


About Abd al-Rahman Azzam

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