إن الحمد لله نحمده ونستعينه و نستغفره ونتوكله إليه ، ونعوز بالله من شرور أنفسنا و سيئات أعمالنا ، من يهده الله فلا مضل له و من يضلل فلا هادي له ، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له ، وأشهد أنّ محمد عبده و رسوله
Indeed all praises are due to Allah, we praise Him, we seek His help, we ask for His forgiveness, and we rely solely on Him. We seek His refuge from the evil in our souls and from our wicked deeds. Whoever Allah guides, no one can misguide. And whomever Allah misguides, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah, He is One, with no partners, and I testify that Mohammad1 (ﷺ) is His Messenger and His slave.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا
“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer”2.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا - يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا
“O People fear Allah, as he should be feared, and always speak the truth. He will direct you to righteous deeds and He will forgive you for your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed achieved a great achievement.”3
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: فإن خير الحديث كتاب الله وخير الهدى هدى محمد وشر الأمور محدثاتها وكل بدعة ضلالة - "The best speech is the Book of Allah and the best guidance and example is that of Muhammad (ﷺ). - And the worst of all things are the newly invented things (in religion), for every innovation is error and misguidance."4 and in another narration, فَإِنَّ كُلَّ مُحْدَثَةٍ بِدْعَةٌ وَكُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلَالَة "every newly invented matter (in religion) is a bid'ah and every bid'ah is a dalaalah (ضَلَالَة - misguidance) and every dalaalah is in the (hell) Fire."5
In another warning the Prophet (ﷺ) said: من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس فيه فهو رد - "Whoever introduces into this affair of ours something that we have not commanded, it is to be rejected."6 The Prophet (ﷺ) said: مَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلًا لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَد – “Whoever commits an act that does not conform with our matter (religion), then it will be rejected of him” 7.
Hence, Allah (swt) said: قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ - Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you...''8.
Allah (swt) further said: إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الإِسْلَـمُ – “The true religion with Allah is Islam”9. And then further explained it by saying: وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ ُ – “And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers”10.
Thus, the Prophet (ﷺ) and His followers submitted to this deen, and Allah (swt) commanded: فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِىَ للَّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ – “Say: "I have submitted myself to Allah (in Islam), and (so have) those who follow me''” 11.
Hence, Allah (swt) declared: كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ - “You are now the best people brought forth for (the guidance and reform of) mankind”12.
Allah (swt) said: تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ – “You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah”13 . The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "He among you who witnesses an evil, let him change it with his hand, if he cannot do that, then by his tongue, if he cannot do even that, then with his heart, and this is the weakest faith."14. And Allah (swt) said: وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الإثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ – “…And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression…” 15
And the Prophet (ﷺ) said: من كذب على متعمدا فليتبوا مقعده من النار - “Whoever intentionally lie on me he should find his place in hell fire”16. And Allah (swt) said: فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ – “So who is more unjust than he who invents a lie about Allah or denies His signs? Indeed, the criminals will not succeed”17 .
And the Prophet (ﷺ) said: يحمل هذا العلم من كل خلف عدوله، ينفون عنه تحريف الغالين، وانتحالَ المبطلين، وتأويلَ الجاهلين - “This knowledge will be carried by the trustworthy ones of every generation – they will expel from it the alterations made by those going beyond bounds, the false claims of the liars, and the false interpretations of the ignorant”18.
Thus Allah (swt) strongly commanded us not to alter it. فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ - “ So set you (O Muhammad) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allah Alone) Allahs Fitrah (i.e. Allahs Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalqillah (i.e. the Religion of Allah Islamic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not.” 19
When Allah (swt) gave prophet hood to Musa (as) and asked him to invite mankind to Tawheed and way of Allah (swt), he prayed to Allah (swt):
قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي، وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي، وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي، يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي
20:25 [Moses] said, "My Lord, expand for me my breast [with assurance]. 20:26 And ease for me my task. 20:27 And untie the knot from my tongue. 20:28 That they may understand my speech
And we ask Allah (swt) to grand us same. Amen.
و صلي الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله و آصحابه و سلم - أما بعد :
The paper is divided into five parts:
- Part 1 - Introduction: Pillars of Islam & Ethics (1)
- Part 2 – Deen ul Islam & Foundation of Ethical code: Pillars of Islam & Ethics (2)
- Discusses fundamental principles behind Islamic civilization and understand ultimate goal of human being in light of Islamic principles. It then discusses that status of human in this universe to establish the link between Ethical code and our ultimate goal and purpose. It discusses the purpose of our existence, and our relationship with Universe and the creator of Universe, namely Allah (swt). It provides the historical background and purpose of our creation, and provides high level guideline of our objective and goals on this earth.
- Part 3 – Muslim Character Building through faith: Pillars of Islam & Ethics (3)
- Discusses the aids, the helps and the means provided by Allah (swt) to meet those objectives and goals. It discusses the four stages of Human character development in Islam. It discuss the Fitra of human being, it discusses Islam as Deen of human nature (دين الفطرة), the Prophet Mohammad’s high moral standards, and concept of Purification of inner self (تزكية النفس) in Islam.
- Part 4 – Pillars of Islam, Morals & Character Building: Pillars of Islam & Ethics (4)
- Establishes strong links of high moral standards and ethics to the Deen (System) of Islam. Briefly discusses main pillars of Islam. Including Tawheed (Believe in Oneness of Allah), Salah (prayers), Zakat (Charity), Sawn (Fasting), Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah) and their relationship with building good ethics, moral standards and character building. It explains the meaning of uttering words “la illah illa allah” and the responsibilities after a person proclaims shahada. It then further creates a clear connection between every pillar of Islam and its impact on our character, and how slowly these pillars transforms an ignorant person to highly personified and civilized human being.
- Part 5 – How to attain high morals standards: Pillars of Islam & Ethics (5)
- We all know five Pillars of Islam, and now we have learned their importance and benefits. But how can we acquire these morals? What do we need to do to adapt to this way of living and attain same standard of ethics as our beloved Prophet (ﷺ). This section takes a look at structured methodology of achieving that goal. define a step by step path that can be followed to attain these high moral standards, and join a very elite club of remarkable people
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PILLARS OF ISLAM & DEVELOPMENT OF EXCELLENT MORALS & CHARACTER
PART I. INTRODUCTION
The importance of Moral and Ethics in Islamic Shariah can be understood by the fact that there is so much text in Quran and Sunnah that if we were to collect all of it, it will create many voluminous books. Islam is a religion that came to guide the high standard of morality to human race. The Prophet Mohammad (ﷺ) repeatedly said that the best Muslim is the one who has the best Moral character.
Usama bin Sharik reported: “We were sitting in the company of the Prophet (ﷺ) so quietly as if the birds were sitting on our heads. None of us had the courage to speak. In the meantime some people came and asked The Prophet (ﷺ): “Who among His slaves is dearest to Allah?” He replied: “One who has the best moral character” [Tabarani]
The Prophet (ﷺ) was asked: “Which Muslim has the perfect faith?” He answered: “One who has the best moral character.” [Tabarani]
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “On judgment day there will be no deed weightier in the scale of the believer than his noble character. Allah (swt) does not like an obscene and rude talker, and the person who has a good character achieves the status of a person who prays and fasts” [Imam Ahmed]
Islam is the religion that heavily focuses on character building and doesn’t grant the place in paradise by merely admitting into Islam. In fact, it teaches that sins can be washed not just by accepting commands of Allah but by physically doing these commands in Actions, and that bad deed can be washed away by doing good deeds. The person who acts on Allah’s commands and perform good deed invariably attain good character.
There is strong relationship between Strong Iman (faith) and good character. A person cannot attain full or perfect faith without attaining good character. In fact, a person with bad character is likely to find a place in hell then in paradise.
Anas reported Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: “A person can reach a high status in the hereafter by his good conduct though he may be weak in matters of worship, and he can also go down to the lowest part of Hell by his wicked character” [Abu Dawood]
The person with good character elevates himself to the status of those who are pious in their prayers and worships.
Aisha (ra) reported Prophet (ﷺ) saying: “A believer with his noble manners achieves the rank of one who prays late night and fast during the day” [Abu Dawood]
Similarly, Ibn Omar related that he heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying: “A Muslim who worships in moderation reaches by means of his good manners and noble nature the rank of a person who fasts and recites the holy Quran in the night prayers.” [Imam Ahmed]
Islam has five main pillars, namely i) Tawheed ii) Prayers iii) Charity iv) Fasting v) Pilgrimage to Makkah. These are various acts of worship and obedience to Allah. All of these pillars are attributes directly towards character building and bestowing high morals and ethics into Muslims. For instance:
- Tawheed (oneness of Allah) is to believe in Allah as one God with unmatched power and attributes, and admit to these unmatched powers of Allah by submitting to commands of Allah (swt) unconditionally. Tawheed teaches humbleness, human nature, humility, philanthropy, piousness, righteousness and doing the right thing and abstaining from all evil and sinful activities.
- Salah (prayers) are five daily prayers evenly distributed throughout the day. Allah (swt) said in Quran that prayer protect from sins and unlawful activities: “… and perform As-Salat (وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ). Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha (الْفَحْشَاء - i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (الْمُنكَرِ - i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) ...” [al-Ankaboot 29:45]
- Zakat (charity) is due on all Muslim (based on financial ability). Zakat not only serves the purpose of welfare of citizens, but it also establishes relationship of kindness and love amongst various classes of the society. It reduces the love of material wealth in heart and increases the sense of helping other people in need.
- Sawm (fasting) is compulsory for Muslim in month of Ramadan. Fasting brings piousness and tawqa to Muslims. It not only teaches self control and abstinence from worldly desires but it also teaches the pain of others (who do not get enough food to eat).
- Haj (pilgrim to Makkah) is a ritually obligatory on Muslims who can afford it (financially and physically). The Haj teaches attributes of self control, high morals, humility, modesty, brotherhood, kindness and caring.
All these pillars teaches disciple, self-control, piousness, humility, humbleness, modesty, high morals, caring and love, and purify Muslims so much so that they attain moral perfection both inner and outward, while people see it and when no one is watching them, from their tongue and what they have in their heart. They complete eliminate hypocrisy and Riya (show off), and instill real character and noble qualities.
END OF PART 1
PART 2: DEEN UL ISLAM AND FOUNDATION OF MORAL CODE. Pillars of Islam & Ethics (2)
- (pbuh) is commonly used abbreviation for peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
- Quran, Chapter 4:1 An-Nisa (The Women)
- Quran, Chapter 33:70-71 Al-Ahzab (The Confederates)
- Reported by al-Muslim
- Reported by At-Tirmithi
- Reported by Al-Bukhari and al-Muslim
- Sahih – Tafsir Ibn Khatir
- Quran, Chapter 3:31 Al-Imran (The Family of Imran)
- Quran, Chapter 3:19 Al-Imran (The Family of Imran)
- Quran, Chapter 3:85 Al-Imran (The Family of Imran)
- Quran, Chapter 3:20 Al-Imran (The Family of Imran)
- Quran, Chapter 3:110 Al-Imran (The Family of Imran)
- Quran, Chapter 3:10 Al-Imran (The Family of Imran)
- Reported by Muslim
- Quran, Chapter 5:3 Al-Ma'idah (The Table Spread)
- Reported by Bukhari and Muslim
- Quran, Chapter 10:17 Yunus (Jonah)
- Recorded by Ibn ‘Adiyy, al-Khatib al-Bhaghdadi, Ibn Asakir, and others. It is reported from number of sahabah including Abu Hurairah, Ibn Masud, and Anas (ra). All of its reports have various levels of weakness, but they add up collectively to make this hadith hasan, as is indicated by al-Albani in Mishkat ul-Masabih (#248), and as expressed by al-Halabi in al-Hittah (p. 70).
- Quran, Chapter 30:30 Ar-Rum (The Romans)