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What does Islam tell us?

God says in the Holy Quran:

Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. (Holy Quran 16:90)

The teachings of Islam are all related to good morals and virtues, and this is clear through the teachings of the Quran and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as will be shown below in the next sections.

Islam and Equality between All People

Islam teaches us that all people are equal before God. Allah tells in the Quran:

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah  is Knowing and Acquainted. (Holy Quran 49:13)

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ says:

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white – except by piety and good action.(Narrated by Ahmed)

Islam and Mercy

God ordered us to be merciful, treat people well, help people, be meek and clement. This is shown in different situations.

Mercy with Parents

God recommended us to treat our parents well, and to keep always on helping them as He ordered us in the Holy Quran saying:

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. 24. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.” (Holy Quran 17:23-24)

Even if they were not Muslims we must treat them well but we don’t obey them if they ordered us to disobey God.

But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do. (Holy Quran 31:14-15)

Morals of Islam

Islam and Relatives

God ordered us to keep always in contact with our relatives God said:

And worship ALLAH and associate naught with HIM, and show kindness to parents, and to kindred and orphans (Holy Quran 4:36)

Also the Prophet ﷺ said:

” He/She who believes in Allah , the Almighty and Day of Judgment , must communicate , be good, courteous and kind to his kith and kin or relatives.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

Islam and Neighbor

Also we are also recommended to treat the neighbors well, even if they were not Muslims and even if they treated us badly as God said:

And to the neighbor who is a kinsman and the neighbor who is a stranger (Holy Quran 4:36)

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) says:

“The best of neighbor s in the sight of Allah, the Almighty, is the one who is best to his neighbor“(Narrated by Tirmithee)

Abudllah ibn Amr; one of the disciples of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) shows an example of the way a Muslim should treat his neighbor even if this neighbor is not a Muslim:

Mujahid said, “I was with ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr while his slave was skinning a sheep. He said,‘Boy! When you finish, start with the Jewish neighbour.’ A man there exclaimed, ‘Jewish? May Allah correct you!’ He replied, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ recommend that we treat our neighbours well until we feared (or we thought) that he would order us to make them our heirs.‘” [Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari]

Islam and Orphans

God also told us to take care of orphans as in the previous verse:

And worship ALLAH and associate nothing with HIM, and show kindness to parents, and to kindred and orphans (Holy Quran 4:36)

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“The one who cares for an orphan and myself will be together in Paradise like this,” (Bukhari)

There was a very severe punishment to those who take money of orphans as God said:

Indeed, those who devour the property of orphans unjustly are only consuming into their bellies fire. And they will be burned in a Blaze. (Holy Quran 4:10)

Islam and Justice

God ordered us to be completely fair with people even if we saw two people having a problem, one of them is Muslim, the other is non-Muslim, and we found that the non-Muslim is the one who has the right, we must judge for the non-Muslim. God says in the Quran:

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (Holy Quran 4:135)

Once, a dispute arose between Ali bin Ali Talib, when he was the Caliph, and a Jewish man who went to Judge Shuray al-Kindi.  Shuray tells the details of what happened:

“Ali found he was missing a suit of mail, so he went back to Kufa and found it in the hands of a Jewish man who was selling it in the market.  He said, ‘O Jew! That suit of mail is mine!  I did not give it away or sell it!’

The Jew responded ‘It is mine.  It is in my possession.’

Ali said, ‘We will have the judge rule on this for us.’

So they came to me and Ali sat next to me and said, ‘That suit of mail is mine; I did not give it away or sell it.’

The Jew sat in front of me and said, ‘That is my suit of mail.  It is in my possession.’

I asked, ‘O Commander of the Faithful, do you have any proof?’

‘Yes,’ Ali said. ‘My son Hasan and Qanbar can testify that it is my suit of mail.’

I said, ‘Commander of the Faithful, the testimony of a son in his father’s favor is not admissible in court.’

Ali exclaimed, ‘How Perfect is God!  You cannot accept the testimony of a man who has been promised Paradise?  I heard the Messenger of God saying that Hasan and Husain are the princes of the youth in Paradise.’

The judge says: “Still this is not a proof, Commander of the Faithful”

Ali says:”You are right”

The Jewish man said:

‘The Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abi Taleb) takes me before his own judge and the judge rules in my favor against him!  I bear witness that no one deserves worship except God and that Muhammad is His Messenger [the Jewish man accepted Islam], and that the suit of armor is yours, Commander of the Faithful.  You dropped it at night and I found it.’ (Abu Bakr Hayyan, Tarikh al-Qudat, Volume 2, p. 200)

Islam and Chastity

God ordered us also not to commit adultery or fornication, because it destroys the society and makes people deviate and spoil. That’s why God commanded to take all the reasons to close all the doors leading to it. Allah said in the Quran:

And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. (Holy Quran 17:32)

Allah tells us not just to avoid adultery, but even not to approach it. That’s why Allah ordered men not to look at women, because this arises their sexual desire, and may lead them to adultery, or at least may drive them away from their duties in this life. More details are shown in in the article talking about the importance of veil.

Truthfulness and Honesty in Islam

God ordered us not to lie or to promise with something and don’t do, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said that this is a sign of hypocrisy. Allah says in the Quran:

O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are truthful. (Holy Quran 9:119)

And fulfill the covenant; for the covenant shall be questioned about.

And fulfill [every] commitment. Indeed, the commitment is ever [that about which one will be] questioned. (Holy Quran 17:34)

O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. 71. He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment. (Holy Quran 33:70-71)

God ordered us to say good words and avoid bad words and emphasized much on this because the slip of the tongue may cause many problems:

Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches are [high] in the sky? 25. It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. 26. and the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. (Holy Quran 14:24-26)

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

Pay the deposit to him who deposited it with you, and do not betray him who betrays you. (Abi Dawood)

Islam and Modesty

God ordered us not to be arrogant but to be modest as the holy Quran says:.

And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.(Holy Quran 31:18)

And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth humbly, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace, (Holy Quran 25:63)

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ clarifies the meaning of arrogance and its danger saying:

He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise. A person (amongst his hearers) said: Verily a person loves that his dress should be fine, and his shoes should be fine. He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is to disdain the truth (out of self-conceit) and to contempt for the people. (Sahih Muslim)