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Islam and Social Behavior

Islam and Social Behavior

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All Muslims are brothers of one another on account of sharing the same set of beliefs, though they may differ greatly from one another in outward features.

The believers are brothers in faith. So make peace and reconciliation between your brethren. And fear Allah so that you may receive His mercy. O Believers! Let not some men among you laugh at others. It may be that the latter are better than the former. Let not some women laugh at others. It may be that the latter are better than the former. And do not criticize one another, nor call them by offensive nicknames. It is bad to commit sin after professing belief. And those who do not repent are wrongdoers. O Believers! Avoid suspicion as much as possible. For in some cases suspicion is a sin. And do not spy on and backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of your dead brother? You would abhor it. And fear Allah. Allah accepts repentance and is Most Merciful. O mankind! We have created you from a single pair of a male and female. And We have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. The most honored of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most pious of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted with all things. (Al-Hujurat 49:10-13)

Avoiding any harm to fellow human beings is the main concern of this code of conduct for social life. The passage opens on a note of human fraternity and unity. Equally significant is the point that the passage concludes with the same message of mankind’s unity.

Declaration of Unity

While discarding all notions of kinship based on ethnicity, language, color or caste, the Qur’an asserts the bond of faith as the unifying force. All Muslims are brothers of one another on account of sharing the same set of beliefs, though they may differ greatly from one another in outward features. This characteristic of Islam prompts an Orientalist to concede the point:

‘A Muslim is Muslim first and a Turk, an Afghan, or an Arab afterwards, and this is no mere formula or figure of speech.’

Instead the vast assemblage of peoples and of tongues to whom the Prophet of Arabia, by teaching them to worship the One True God, has given a bond of union stronger than any tie of blood or nation.

Equality of Mankind

History bears testimony to the fact that Muslims as a community have demonstrated numerous instances of solidarity, cutting across barriers of race, color or language. In so doing, Muslims act on the following hadiths regarding the bond of unity to be found in Islam: The Prophet said, “None of you has faith until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) In the same vein is his other observation: “To abuse a Muslim is an evil deed, and to fight him, an act of unbelief.” (Al-Bukhari)

That Islam inculcated this ideal of the equality and unity of all Muslims among its immediate addressees –the Arabs– is all the more striking in view of the fact that the Arabs of the day were very particular about their clan identity, tribal pride and ancestral fame.

The ideal of social equality, as professed and practiced by early Muslims, was the key to the phenomenal spread of Islam across all parts of the world. The exploited and the deprived reeling under yokes of bondage saw Islam with its teachings and practice of equality and fraternity as their champion and warmly embraced it in large numbers.

On the import of the opening verse of the passage M. Manazir Ahsan makes this perceptive comment:

The basic idea which Islam wants to bring home is the equality of mankind and the establishment of all relationships on the basis of faith; a relationship which stands above that of blood.

If a blood relationship stands in the way of Islam, it is to be rejected in favor of faith. The Qur’an does not turn a blind eye to the human weakness of quarrel, dispute and even war.

Accordingly, it exhorts Muslims to make peace among hostile individuals or groups. Of special note in this context is the Qur’anic use of the expressions “brothers in faith” and “fear of Allah”. Even while mutual relations among some Muslims are strained, they should not forget that they are essentially brothers of one another.

They should sort out their differences in a brotherly manner, characterized by affection, love and sincerity. Moreover, they should realize all along that Allah, their supreme Lord, constantly watches them. Any injustice done by either party cannot escape His notice. It will, however, provoke His anger and punishment which will destroy them wholly.

They should therefore desist from doing any wrong to fellow Muslims and behave only in such a way as may earn them His mercy. The main idea of Muslim brotherhood adumbrated in the verse is elucidated in several hadiths, of which the following are cited as instances in point:

“Believers are to one another like the bricks in a building, in which every brick is supported and strengthened by another.” (Al-Bukhari)

Believers represent a single body in terms of their mutual love, kindness and affection. If one part of the body is hurt, the entire body feels its pain. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The life, property and honor of one Muslim are sacred for other Muslims.

Perfect Code of Living

This declaration of the unity and equality of mankind is interlinked with the above cited prohibition against mocking, reproaching and nicknaming others and of suspicion, slander and backbiting. For one indulges in the above out of one’s own false pride and sense of superiority.

The Qur’an therefore, stresses the truth that all men and women are equal. Piety alone makes one superior to others. Given this, one should refrain all the more from hurting and harming others. The same note of social justice, and human equality and fraternity is to the fore in the Prophet’s sermon at his farewell pilgrimage when he addressed a huge congregation of Muslims at `Arafat: “No Arab is superior to a non-Arab and no non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab. No black has any superiority over a white person and no white over a black one. Piety alone confers superiority on one. All men are from Adam and Adam was made of clay.”

In the Qur’anic passage above the emphasis is on building cordial, happy social relations among men and women, regardless of their affiliations. The directives aim at forging and sustaining a mutually helpful and trustworthy community life, ensuring peaceful coexistence among all members of society.

Social justice is the distinct message of the passage. It seeks to infuse such virtues which guarantee a happy, peaceful life for everyone. It resounds with a strong plea for a tension free society, without social, emotional and psychological strains. The lesson of tolerance, forgiveness and cordial social relations is unmissable.

If these directives are followed sincerely, we may construct a happy and peaceful society, free from public disorder and the resultant tendencies of violence and revenge.

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 The article is an excerpt from Abdur Raheem Kidwai’s book “The Qur’an: Essential Teachings”, published by the Islamic Foundation, 2005/1426 H.

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The Commandments of Islam (2/3)

The Commandments of Islam (2/3)

In the first part, we covered 10 commandments of Islam. In this part, we are going to cover more 14 commandments.

roots-nature-islam

Islam commands truthfulness, trustworthiness, and that one fulfills his oaths.

11- Islam commands that one fulfills one’s oaths and forbids that one intentionally lies in one’s oath, especially if it was in order to deprive another’s right. Allah (Exalted be He) says:

Verily, those who purchase a small gain at the cost of Allah’s Covenant and their oaths, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter (Paradise). Neither will Allah speak to them, nor look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful torment. (Aal `Imran 3:77)

12- Islam commands humans to take care of themselves and forbids causing harm to oneself, whether directly or indirectly, such as by dealing with intoxicants, drugs, cigarettes, and other things that modern medicine has proven to be causes of destructive diseases. Allah says:

And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you. And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire, and that is easy for Allah. (An-Nisaa’ 4:29, 30)

13- Islam commands truthfulness, trustworthiness, and that one fulfills his oaths; and it forbids lying, deception and treachery. Allah says:

O you who believe! Betray not Allah and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly your trusts (things entrusted to you, and all the duties which Allah has ordained for you). (Al-Anfal 8:27)

14- Islam commands love and unity, and forbids that one disassociates from others as well as all other things which lead to hate and enmity, such as bearing grudges, hatred, and envy. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “To not hate each other, do not envy each other, and do not turn your backs on each other (cut off), but rather be true slaves of Allah as brothers. It is impermissible for a Muslim to cut off from his brother more than three days.” (Al-Bukhari)

15- Islam commands generosity and forbids greed and stinginess. The Prophet said: “There are two manners that Allah loves: good manners and generosity, and there are two manners that Allah hates, bad manners and stinginess. When Allah desires good for someone, he uses him to fulfill the needs of others.” (Abu Nu`aym and Al-`Iraqi)

16- Islam commands providence and forbids wastefulness and squandering money uselessly. Allah says:

And give to the kindred his due and to the poor and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the devils, and the Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord. (Al-Israa’ 17:26, 27)

17- Islam commands moderateness and forbids strictness and extremism in religion. Allah says:

Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (All-Baqarah 2:185)

The Prophet said: “Be aware and stay away from extremism in religion, for indeed the only thing which destroyed those before you was extremism in religion.” (Ibn Hibban)

18- Islam commands humility and forbids pride and arrogance. Allah says:

‘And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the ass.’ (Luqman 31:19)

About pride, the Prophet said: “He who has even a mustard seed’s worth of pride in his heart will not enter Jannah (Paradise).” A person asked, “O Messenger of Allah, people like to wear nice clothes and sandals.” He said, “Indeed Allah is Beautiful and He loves beauty. Pride is that one rejects the truth and sees others to be lower than himself.” (Muslim)

The Prophet said about self-conceit: “Whoever drags his clothes on the ground out of self-conceit, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Al-Bukhari)

19- Islam commands people to console others and not feel happy about others’ grief. The Prophet said: “Do not feel happy about your brother’s grief, it might be that Allah will show mercy to him and put you through a trial.” (At-Tirmidhi)

20- Islam forbids Muslims from interfering into affairs which do not concern them. The Prophet said: “Indeed from the good traits of a true Muslim is that he leaves that which does not concern him.” (At-Tirmidhi)

21- Islam commands respecting people and forbids debasing them and holding them in contempt. Allah says:

O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. And do not defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. (AL-Hujurat 49:11)

22- Islam commands one to jealously protect and guard one’s mahrams, and it forbids cuckoldry.

And the mahrams are those relatives who are forbidden for a person to marry due to their closeness in blood, marriage, or due to wet-nursing, such as mothers, mothers in law, wet-nurses, sisters, aunts, etc. About that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Three will not enter Paradise: one who maltreats his parents, a cuckold, and women who act like men.” (Al Hakim)

23- Islam prohibits resembling members of the opposite sex. Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Messenger of Allah cursed those men who make themselves to resemble women and those women make themselves to resemble men.” (Al-Bukhari)

24- Islam commands that people exert efforts in doing good to others, and it forbids that they remind them of their favors. The Prophet said: “Be warned and stay away from reminding people of your favors to them, for indeed it causes ungratefulness, in the one to whom the favor was shown, and extinguishes the reward, he would have received for that deed.” Then he recited Allah’s saying,

O you who believe! Do not render in vain your sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury. (Al-Baqarah 2:264)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           To be continued…

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “How to Become a Muslim”. 

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The Commandments of Islam (3/3)

The Commandments of Islam (3/3)

 

Ethics-Islam

Islam orders that one forgive, pardon, and turn away from one who does evil to him.

Part 1, Part 2

25- Islam commands thinking good about others, and it forbids spying and backbiting. Allah (Exalted be He) says:

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicion is sin. And spy not, nor backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. (Al-Hujurat 49:12)

26- Islam commands that one guard his tongue from all evil talk, and that he use it in that which leads to good, whether to the individual or the society, such as mentioning Allah and reform. It forbids us from letting our tongues loose without any benefit. The Prophet (peace be upon them) said:

“May your mother bereave you O Mu`adh! – an Arabic expression of condemnation in which the literal meaning is not intended. Are people thrown into the Hellfire on their faces or nostrils except for what their tongues reaped?” (At-Tirmidhi)

27- Islam commands with well-treatment of the neighbor and forbids showing them harm. The Prophet said:

“By Allah he is not a true believer! By Allah he is not a true believer! By Allah he is not a true believer!” It was said, “And who is he, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Him whose neighbor is not safe from his evil.” (Al-Bukhari)

28- Islam commands that one seek company with the righteous and forbids that one seek company with the evil. The Prophet said:

“The example of a righteous and evil companion is like one who carries perfume and another who is a blacksmith. As for the one who carries perfume, he will either give you some perfume, you might buy some, or [at least] you will find a pleasing scent with him. As for the blacksmith, either he (the blacksmith) will burn his clothes, or he will find a hideous odor from him.” (Al-Bukhari)

29- Islam orders people to strive to bring harmony to any disunity amongst people, and it prohibits anything which leads to enmity and hatred. Allah says:

There is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders sadaqah (charity in Allah’s cause), or ma`ruf (Islamic Monotheism and all the good and righteous deeds which Allah has ordained), or conciliation between mankind, and he who does this, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall give him a great reward. (An-Nisaa’ 4:114)

30- Islam orders that people be sincere to each other (by advising them) and forbids that advice be withheld when it is sought. The Prophet said:

“The religion is sincerity.” We asked, “To whom?” He replied, “To Allah, to His Book, to His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their general folk.” (Muslim)

31- Islam orders people to help relieve worries of Muslims, to give them respite (in paying back debts), and to conceal their faults. The Prophet said:

“Whoever relieves some worry of a believer, Allah will relieve a worry of his on the Day of Judgment. Whoever makes things easy for one in times of hardship (by giving respite to one who is not able to pay back a debt), Allah will makes things easy upon him in this life and the next. And whoever conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his fault in this life and the Hereafter. Allah helps his servant as long as he helps his brother.” (Muslim)

32- Islam orders that one have patience and fortitude in times of hardship, and forbids that one become worried and discontent. Allah says:

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient ones. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.’ They are those on whom are the Blessings (etc.) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones. (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)

33- Islam orders that one forgive, pardon, and turn away from one who does evil to him, and forbids that one seek revenge and retribution. Allah says:

And hurry to (that which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for the Muttaqoon (the pious, Allah-fearing). * Those who spend [in Allah’s Cause – deeds of charity, alms, etc.] in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves the muhsinoon (the good doers). (Aal `Imran 3:133, 134)

34- Islam commands mercy and it forbids cold-heartedness. The Prophet said:

“Allah shows mercy to those who show mercy. Show mercy to those on earth, He Who is above the heavens will show mercy to you.” (At-Tirmidhi)

35- Islam commands kindness and softness, and it forbids harshness and strictness. The Prophet said:

“Nothing is done with kindness except that it is beautified, and nothing is devoid of kindness except that it is disfigured.” (Muslim)

36- It commands that one return evil with good, and forbids that one reciprocate evil with the same. Allah says:

And the good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly): then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. (Fussilat 41:34)

37- Islam commands the spreading of knowledge and forbids hiding it. The Prophet said:

“Whoever was asked about knowledge but conceals it, he will be brought on the Day of Resurrection leashed with the muzzles of Hellfire.” (Al-Hakim)

38- Islam commands that Muslims enjoin virtue and righteousness and prevent evil and vice, each according to his ability. The Prophet said:

“Whoever of you sees an evil act, let him change it with his hand, if he is not able, then with his tongue, and if he is not able, then with his heart, and that is the lowest of iman (faith).” (Muslim)

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “How to Become a Muslim”. 

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Biodiversity in the Qur’an

Biodiversity in the Qur’an

Biodiversity in the Qur'an

The verses of the Qur’an paid the living beings on the earth so special attention

By: Prof. Dr. Nazmy Khalil Abu Al-Ata Musa

Biodiversity is the disparity, difference and multiplicity of the living beings on the earth. There is a variety of plans, animals, and bacterial, fungal and viral microorganisms as well as protista. Under such parities and disparities, genres, kinds, categories and subcategories are subsumed. Within such genres, there are genes, genetic molecules, and nitrogenous bases, including adenine, guanine, thiamin, and cytosine which are connected together by nitrogen bonds and ordered by such reconciliations and alterations which guarantee demonstrating diversity and difference resulting in multiplicity.

Therefore, we will deal with the genres, categories, forms, functions and constructions of the animal and botanical living beings as well as the microorganisms cited in the Qur’an.

While the genetic bases of all living beings are the same, which decisively indicates that the Creator is also the same, the differences in the genetic structure and the external, internal and functional characteristics indicate that God, Glorified and Exalted be He, is Most-Creative, Almighty and Most-Gracious.

The Holy Qur’an is the Book of God, Glorified and Exalted be He, and His final miracle which concludes the heavenly messages. It was revealed to distract people from the material and physical miracles to such a scholarly, educational and learning miracle.

The verses of the Qur’an paid the living beings on the earth so special attention that many chapters of the Qur’an are named after them (e.g. Al-Baqarah (Cow), Al-An`am (Cattle), An-Nahl (Bees), An-Naml (Ants), Al-`Ankabut (Spider), Al-`Adiyat (Horses), Al-Fil (Elephant), Al-Insan (Man), Al-Tin (Fig), and An-Nas (Mankind)).

In the animal field, the verses of the Qur’an make mention of the following animals: camels, mosquitoes, spiders, bees, snakes, locusts, horses, mules, donkeys, serpents, pigs, mounts, the beast of the earth, birds, sheep, frogs, cattle, crows, monkeys, lice, dogs, pearls, molars, hoopoes etc.

In the botanical field, the verses of the Qur’an make mention of the following plants: grass, tamarisk, onions, legumes, figs, mustard, pomegranate, nabk, ears, trees, sheaths, spathes, lentils, clusters, husks, grapes, fruits, garlics, cucumbers, pellicles, camphor, date stones, pumpkins etc.

Microorganisms are implied in the Holy Qur’an. We read:

“I swear by whatever you see and by whatever you do not see that this Qur’an is not the word of a poet or a soothsayer, but it is a Revelation from the lord of the worlds, which is being presented by the Messenger who is noble and gentle.” (Al-Haqqah 69:38-40)

The verses of the Qur’an refer to the animal, botanical and human variations like wools, fibers and hairs. We read:

“And out of their wool, and their soft fibres (between wool and hair), and their hair, rich stuff and articles of convenience (to serve you) for a time.” (An-Nahl 16:80)

The verses of the Quran also handle their manners of walking. We read:

“Allah has created every [living] creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies, and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.” (An-Nur 24:45)

The verses of the Qur’an also highlight the variations of plants. We read:

“And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.” (Al-An`am 6:141)

We also read:

“Allah has created every [living] creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies, and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.” (An-Nur 24:45)

Classification of Creatures by Movement

Allah makes animal classification by movement. He says:

“Allah has created every [living] creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies, and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.” (An-Nur 24:45)

“And of them are those that move on their bellies”

Some animals, like serpents, vermiform lizards and apodal vermiform amphibians, depend on their body muscles and skeletal system for movement on bellies. (Biodiversity of Animals in Kuwait, (Field Study), Sharon L. Jaman, Robin Meakins, Center for Research and Studies on Kuwait, p. 140, 1998 A.D.)

Apodal vertebrates move in the following manners: serpentine movement, concertina movement, side winding movement and rectilinear movement. The various types of snakes uses one or more of the above four movements. As far as the apodal and vermiform lizards and vermiform amphibians are concerned, they use the serpentine movement. Fossorial vertebrates use the rectilinear movement during digging their holes and tunnels. (The Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an, Animal Section, Abdul-Hafiz Helmy Muhammad, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, Kuwait, ed. 1, p. 389, 1999 A.D.)

As for Allolobophora, it is a species of (phylum: analida) which lives in the soil, build holes and moves in the soil in a vermiform movement using their body muscles.

As to the larva of Musca domestica vicina, its body consists of 12 muscles. It has no limbs, but have thorny locomotory pads which help it move in the nutrient medium in which it lives.

The larvae of pulex irritans have no limbs but they move on their bellies using spicules (Practical Animal Biology, Ahmad Hammad Al-Hussaini and Emile Shenouda Demian, Dar Al-Ma`arif, Egypt, ed. 4, vol. 2, p. 182 and 174.

“And of them are those that walk on two legs”

Birds and humans walk on two legs. Some monkeys can walk on two legs for a short distance.

“And of them are those that walk on four”

There are animals which walk on four legs like sheep, ewes, cows, donkeys, horses, mules, gazelles and other animals. There are also some reptiles which walk on four legs.

Such a distinguished classification involves biological diversity when it comes to animals.

Birds, flies, butterflies, bees and, at some stages, some ants move using wings. We read:

“Do they not see the birds controlled in the atmosphere of the sky? None holds them up except Allah . Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.” (An-Nahl 16:79)

We also read:

“Do they not see the birds above them with wings outspread and [sometimes] folded in? None holds them [aloft] except the Most Merciful. Indeed He is, of all things, Seeing.” (Al-Mulk 67:19)

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Source: Akhbar Al-Khalij, Ma`a Al-Sa’imin, ed. 12182, Sunday, Ramadan 1st 1431 A.H., corresponding to August 1st 2011 A.D.

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The Commandments of Islam (1/3)

The Commandments of Islam (1/3)

 

light-road-nature

In the goal of Islam in its decrees and prohibitions is the formulation of a well-knit society .

Noble brothers and sisters, let the path you tread in your relationship with society and others around you be guided by the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Avoid the prohibited and you will be the best worshipper, be pleased with the sustenance Allah has provided for you and you will be the richest of people, be good to your neighbor and you will be a true believer, desire for others what you desire for yourself and you will be a true Muslim, and do not laugh much, for indeed laughing much causes the heart to die.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Also, he (peace be upon him) said: “A true Muslim is he whom other Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand, and a true muhajir (emigrant) is one who has left what Allah has forbidden.” (Al-Bukhari)

In the goal of Islam in its decrees and prohibitions is the formulation of a well-knit society in which the individuals show mutual mercy and love, exemplifying the saying of the Prophet Muhammad: “The believers in their love, mercy and their feeling for each other are like one body: if one part feels pains, all the other parts feel pain by fever and sleeplessness.” (Muslim)

There is no good value or manner except that Islam commands and encourages it, and there is no baseness or lewdness in speech or deed except that Islam warns against it and commands that it be avoided. Of the things Islam commands are the following:

1- It commands one to believe in the Tawhid (Oneness of Allah) and forbids associating partners with Him (shirk). Allah (Exalted be He) says:

Verily! Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom he pleases sins other than that. (An-Nisaa’ 4:116)

The Prophet said: “Avoid the seven deadly sins.” They asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what are they?’ He replied, “Associating partners (shirk) with Allah, magic, killing someone who Allah has forbidden without right, taking interest, consuming the wealth of orphans, fleeing upon confronting the enemy in battle, and accusing chaste women believers who are far removed from committing any licentious acts.” (Al-Bukhari)

2- Islam commands treating others well and forbids false consummation of wealth, such as interest, theft, deception, usurpation of property, and the like. Allah says:

O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. (An-Nisaa’ 4:29)

3- Islam commands justice and equity and forbids all types of oppression and transgression against others. Allah says:

An-Nahl 16:90

4- Islam commands that people cooperate in righteousness, and it forbids that they cooperate in evil. Allah says:

Help you one another in righteousness and piety; and do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. (Al-Ma’idah 5:2)

5- It commands safeguarding life, and forbids killing and participating in it by any means, except with due right. Allah says:

Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidences, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits (e.g. by doing oppression unjustly and exceeding beyond the limits set by Allah by committing the major sins) in the land! (Al-Ma’idah 5:32)

Allah also said:

And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein, and the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him.  (An-Nisaa’ 4:93)

6- Islam commands well-treatment of one’s parents and forbids that one disobeys them. Allah (Glory be to Him) says:

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 honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.’  (Al-Israa’ 17:23, 24)

7- It commands joining ties of relation and forbids cutting them. Allah, the Almighty, says:

Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship? Such are they whom Allah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight. (Muhammad 47:22, 23)

The Prophet said: “One who cuts ties of relations will not enter Paradise.” (Muslim)

8- Islam commands and encourages marriage. The Prophet said: “O youngsters! Whoever is able to get married let him do so, for it lowers one’s gaze and keeps one chaste. Whoever is not able, then let him fast, for indeed it acts like a shield for him.” (Al-Bukhari)

It forbids fornication and homosexuality and all things which lead to it. Allah, the Almighty, says:

Say (O Muhammad): ‘(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are the indecencies (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.’  (Al-A`raf 7:33)

9- Islam orders the protection of the wealth of orphans and their well-treatment, and it forbids consuming their wealth without right. Allah says:

Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only a fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire! (An-Nisaa’ 4:10)

It forbids grieving and ill-treating them. Allah says:

Therefore, treat not the orphan with oppression. (Ad-Duha 93:9)

10- Islam orders that one be truthful in his testimony and forbids that one bear false witness. The Prophet said: “Shall I not tell you the three greatest sins?” They said. “Indeed O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “Associating partners with Allah (shirk) and ill-treatment of parents.” He was leaning (while he mentioned that), but then he sat up straight (as if he was alarmed) and said, “…and bearing false witness.” The narrator said, “He continued to repeat this until we wished that he would stop.” (Al-Bukhari)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To be continued…

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “How to Become a Muslim”. 

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Altruism and Regard for Others

Altruism and Regard for Others

If you give to others even though you are in need, then you have reached altruism.

Altruism is when a person cares for others’ needs more than his own despite his need. He might stay hungry to feed others and stay thirsty to let others drink.

`A’ishah, the Mother of the Believers said: “Never did Allah’s Messenger fill his stomach for three consecutive days till he passed away. If we wanted, we would have eaten till we felt full, but we prioritize others over ourselves.” (Al-Bayhaqy)

Allah praised the altruistic people, saying:

“They give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.” (Al-Hashr 59-9)

Watch this video to know more about altruism in Islam!

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