Moral and Ethical Values in Islam
Human beings are blessed with wisdom and free will and are given a status above that of all the other living beings. On the basis of these blessings, humans are expected to live a life conforming to moral and ethical values. If everyone follows morality in its best form, the world will become a much better place to live.
Since Islam is a complete lifestyle, it provides a comprehensive set of ethics for its believers. Allah’s Prophet (P.B.U.H)’s personality was an embodiment of perfect moral values and is an example for all the Muslims of all the times to come. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah says:
“And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” [Quran, 68:4]
Righteousness is the most appreciated aspect of a believer. Under this one word, comes all the important obligations and a person’s steadfastness in all the times, good or bad. Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala defines righteousness in Quran in the following words:
“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness (the quality of ) the one who believes in God and the Last Day and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; who spends of his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, to the needy, to the wayfarer, to those who ask and for the freeing of slaves; and who is steadfast in prayers, and gives Zakah (Alms); and those who fulfill their covenants which they made; and who are patient and perseverant in poverty and ailment and throughout all periods of fighting. Such are the people of truth, the pious.” [Qur’an, 2:177]
The overall conduct of an individual is one of the foremost things which need to be worked on. The way one talks to and treats other people speaks volumes about his personality and values. Our conduct reflects our beliefs. The Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) emphasized the importance of good behavior in these words:
“The heaviest thing to be placed in the balance of a believing slave on the Day of Judgment will be good behavior. And Allah hates the one who uses bad language.” [Al-Bayhaqi]
Also, the Lord of the worlds is the only One and the Most Powerful. He dislikes vanity in His followers. A true Muslim is a humble person who submits his will to his Creator’s wishes. Allah’s disapproval on such behavior is evident from this verse:
“And turn not your face away from people (with pride), nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, God likes not each arrogant boaster. 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.” [Quran, 31:18-19]
Allah sent his messengers to guide the mankind and Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was the last link in this chain of messengers. Muslims have to follow in his footsteps. The Last Prophet of Allah (P.B.U.H) was known for his honesty all over Mecca. Even his enemies would testify it. Therefore, Muslims must be honest in ALL their dealings. Whether it is a household matter or a business deal, truthfulness is important.
"Woe to those that deal in fraud, - those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure, but when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due. Do they not think that they will be called to account- on a Mighty Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds." [Qur’an, 133: 1-6]
Allah’s Apostle (P.B.U.H) said:
“You must be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man will keep speaking the truth and striving to speak the truth until he will be recorded with Allaah as a siddeeq (speaker of the truth). Beware of telling lies, for lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to Hellfire. A man will keep telling lies and striving to tell lies until he is recorded with Allaah as a liar.” [Muslim]
Apart from these, Muslims are required to be kind to all the people around them. The emphasis on gentle treatment of parents, relatives, orphans, women, children, elderly, sick, and animals has been evident from various hadith traditions and Qur’anic verses.
“God is kind and likes kindness in all things.” [Bukhari]
Muslims must have upright and strong moral and ethical values because Islam is not only about worshipping Allah but also about treating His creations well and living an exemplary life in this world.