May 26, 2012

Guest Post: Moral Islamic Values Society Would Love!

By Lotifa Begum
Original Source


As a Muslim I have come to resolve that the moral values taught in Islam rival anything any man made law could teach, it really is a sorry state of affairs when we look at how society treats people and the moral principles seem to have decayed significantly as politicians lie scandalously, neighbours fight each other til the roof comes down, and well, marriages are soon becoming a thing of the past the road we are going down. Perhaps what has motivated me to share this post more recently is the sheer breakdown of any moral and social values in the riots we see today across the UK - deep scenes of disturbance and chaos in society.

Islam on the other hand is such a beautiful street to walk down, it is a complete and compassionate way of living and more than anything I believe it offers us the solution to many deep political turmoils we see in our day to day lives, both on our doorsteps and those we hear and see on the media. For this reason, I wanted to handpick 20 small acts taught in the Qur'an and prophetic teachings, because living in society is really an art of learning to interact with others, and Islam provides the foundations for the best interaction and relationships to be forged as the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent to perfect our character and moral conduct, really in essence the following actions if implemented in society would foster those lasting social community unity we so often complain we don't have. It is suffice to say that when one submits to Islam, they automatically choose to be an positive member of their society spreading goodness- and who wouldn't love to live in a society where people have these moral obligations to live by?

1. Telling the truth It comes as a core principle that trust in individuals is built upon through telling the truth, you trust someone because they always tell the truth. For many Muslims, the most trustworthy character to learn from is the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon) him, a man who even his enemies could trust because of his truthfulness! This goes to show the importance of being individuals who tell the truth, if we had embedded this teaching into individuals lying would be seen as deviance in society. Telling the truth also ties into the fundamentals of faith for Muslims, therefore Muslims are to be truthful at all times.

2. Being kind to your neighbour Though many of us may be guilty of having spoken badly of our neighbours, Islam encourages us to treat our neighbours with great kindness and to stay away from speaking ill of them. Imagine how many fights implementing this wisdom would save us! The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said what means:
"Whoever believes in Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) and the Last Day, let him not harm or annoy his neighbour". [Bukhari]

3. Taking responsibility for your own actions Many times in the Quran we are reminded that every individual will have to account for their own deeds. It is then with the knowledge of this transcendent being to Whom we are accountable, a Muslim lives their life. As mentioned by the Creator: "Whosoever does a good deed, it is for his own self, and whosoever does evil, it is against (his own self). Then to your Lord you will be made to return..." (Quran 45:15)

4. Don't backbite or slander This is an issue widespread in our communities and generally the root of many issues between interaction of individuals, yet as Allah reminds us: "O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, for some suspicions are a sin. Do not spy on one another, nor backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would abhor it, [so similarly, avoid backbiting]. And fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Quran 49:12]

5. Honouring women Although we often read Muslim women are oppressed, it is contrary to the principles of gender equality that Islam is based upon. We have seen in many examples of the past, Muslim women were given the opportunity to excel in many fields from poetry to issuing legal rulings. Often we find that the Muslim woman's pivotal role is that of being the queen of her household, to which Islam elevates and raises her ranks as she is essentially shaping the future generation of her society. As taught by the Prophet Muhammad, women ought to be treated with honour, equality, respect as opposed to inferiority; therefore he (peace and blessings be upon him) advised us: "The most perfect of believers in belief is the best of them in character. The best of you are those who are the best to their women." [Tirmidhi]

6. Good treatment of parents I don't need to delve into this too much, but the rates at which parents are being left to nursing homes is a sad sign; though as is quite clear the good treatment of parents is like the training ground for interaction with other members or authorities beyond the home. Islam places huge emphasis on the role of parents and rewards the children who treat their parents with kindness, the best of reward being they ultimately attain Paradise - as mentioned in the Quranic verse: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.” (Quran 17:23)

7. Leave what does not concern you Many of us have poked our nose in where it's not wanted and at times that's led us to deep trouble, strained relations and even broken relationships where we've been told (perhaps with great anger!) to 'mind our own business!' Islam teaches that one should encourage good in others and therefore positive thoughts about others are important, and we should not busy ourselves with things that do not really concern us. As the hadith mentions: 'A sign of one's excellence in his Islam, is ignoring what does not concern him.'
[Ahmad and Tirmidhi]

8. Being thankful One of the first manners we are taught as young children is to say 'please' and 'thank you' out of appreciation and gratitude, it comes as no wonder then that this simple etiquette is a crucial charateristic that we must develop in our character. Whilst the directed gratitude for many Muslims is to their Creator for all His Bounties and Favours on them, our Creator also reminds us that we should not forget to thank the people whom kindness has been recieved from as failing to show gratitude would be ingratitude to Him. Out of courtesy and respect we often thank each other, yet in Islam there are many benefits including that one's blessings are increased should they be thankful for their gifts from Allah.

I hope the above introduction to this series on moral values society would love has given you insight into how the teachings of Islam are truly applicable in our day to day lives and treatment of others as social beings..

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


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