Allah Almighty has given man a place among the noblest of creatures and has given him the status of the noblest from day one. Only those who follow the moral system can join the ranks of the noble creatures and be considered worthy of praise. Truth, justice, fidelity have always been admired in morality and lies, oppression, dishonesty have always been disliked. Selfishness, hard-heartedness, miserliness and narrow-mindedness have never been honoured. Man always likes to include himself among people who are respected; in other words, man does not like to go where there is a danger of feeling inferior. The religion of Islam stands by the side of those who are steadfast in the observance of morals.
Morality is in fact the universal reality that all human beings know and have always known. Good and evil are not hidden things but are in the consciousness and nature of man. The Qur’an describes this fact in other words: فَالَهَمَهَا فُجورَھا وَتقواهاَ, i.e., the human soul has been inspired by God to know good and evil.
On the moral system, Maulana Syed Abu A’la Maududi writes that if the good and bad are known and the world has always agreed on some virtues being good and some being bad, then how is there a different moral system in the world? Umm Al-Kitab is the book that gives us moral guidance in every age and the noble ways of the author of the Qur’an guide us in every ups and downs of life. Islam is universal in its concept, its standard of good and evil, its source of moral knowledge.
Some time ago, while going to work as usual in the early hours of the morning, there was a collision between a Scooty and a Toyota car, but there was no loss of life or property. There were three young men on the Scooty. As soon as the three youths stood up after falling from the scooter, they attacked the driver of the car in such a way that if the driver had not shown wisdom, then Allah was the only one who could have saved him. The driver kept saying that it was his fault, and when the youths heard this confession of guilt, they calmed down in an instant.
It is human nature to go astray on a trivial matter, consciously or unconsciously. If you know that you often live unconsciously, you should always be prepared in advance to awaken the positive thinking within you so that you can overcome the negative thinking. In Islamic law, it is called superior morality over low morality and it is also interpreted as good morals. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: I have been sent to fulfil good morals. There are three things in the sight of Allah that make for high morals: Forgive him who wrongs you; Give to him who keeps you from giving; and whatever you forsake, stick to it. In a nutshell, it means that you should not consider the other as competition, but should understand that he is also a human being like you. It should be remembered that a person’s morals should be positive and not retaliatory.
We have many responsibilities in the development of positive morals. These responsibilities are both collective and individual. Individual responsibilities are first and foremost the responsibility of the parents. Parents should equip their children with the light of moral education as well as conventional education so that they can move forward with moral awareness and join the ranks of the righteous. In collective responsibility, we need a society where it is imperative to lay the foundation for an environment free from immorality, shamelessness, oppression, murder, unjust bloodshed, bribery and wrongdoing. The influence of the environment on morality was well understood by Maulana Rumi.
Man learns good and man learns evil in the company of bad people, so we have a responsibility to choose a society or to provide our future generations with a society that is a mirror of high moral values. We find an example of this from the Companions with whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) worked for three and a half years, and when they became mature in faith and morals, they played a great role in the triumph of Islam.
The concept of self, the concept of selflessness, the concept of perfect man, the concept of Shaheen and the concept of Faqr is the concept of Islamic morality.
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Almighty says:
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ (Al-Hashr: 1)
‘And do not be like those who forgot Allah, then Allah forgot their own souls with them (that they may pass on some good for their own souls).’
The concept of knowledge is connected with the concept of morality. The knowledge you seek should be humane, moral, character-building. The moral system of Islam provides us with a system free from discrimination. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The most perfect believer is the one who is good in morals and is kind to his family.
Today’s era is the era of moral demolition. We take the name of shame without any shame. This era is dark. Today, the effect of modern science is tearing the veil of modesty. Morality is the best ornament of man. Protect this ornament and represent the true religion in the true sense.