In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
One of the most important and salient features of the holy religion of Islam is that, in its teachings, it has paid attention to all aspects of human life. Contrary to single dimensional schools of thought, Islam has taken all dimensions of human existence into consideration; moreover, it has equally met the material and spiritual needs of man.
On the one hand, Islam encourages its followers to provide the means for welfare in life and for earning a living in the following ways:
• Worship is of seven kinds, the best of which is to obtain subsistence in a manner permitted by religion.
• Whoever has water and soil at his disposal, but does not cultivate the land, thus remaining hungry is devoid of the blessing of Allah.1
• One of the best deeds is such cultivation where the farmer, engages in cultivation, and both good and evil people avail themselves of the products.2
• Whoever earns no subsistence will not have a future life.
• Whoever toils to provide the expenses of his family resembles a struggler who combats for a divine cause.3
On the other hand, Islam believes that property and wealth, agriculture and industry, welfare and comfort, in isolation and without the accompaniment of spiritual virtues, such as belief in Allah and his prophets, faith in the day of Judgment, reward, and punishment, and without the possession of moral and humane virtues, such as mercy good deeds, generosity, forgiveness, etc cannot provide man with prosperity.
In the Holy Quran, Allah Almighty states the following:
وَالْعَصْرِ إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ
"I swear by the Asr, Most surely man is in loss, except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience ( 103: 1-3) "
Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) often stated:
"If there is any asset in the world, it is that of good morality. If all people are to die, the best death is martyrdom for the cause of Allah. "
Thus, according to Islam, material advancements in isolation fail to guarantee the prosperity of an individual and society. These should rather be accompanied with humane qualities and spiritual matters.
Today, we have found, through experience, that material progress, devoid of spirituality and morality not only fails to render prosperity, but also tends to create catastrophe for man. We therefore, see that despite all their scientific and industrial progress, the colonisers of the East and the West commit innumerable crimes against the weak nations just because they lack in spiritual qualities, humane ethics, and divine beliefs.
We have also witnessed their brutality in pillaging the resources of the oppressed nations. We have moreover seen the massacres and the bloodshed of the innocent people for the sole reason of selling their weapons.
Even in their own society, too, there is a shameful class difference. Due to moral degeneration, their society is on the verge of a collapse, they have sunk in the mire of corruption and destruction.
All these are the consequences of science devoid of belief and ethics plaguing contemporary man.
As long as man does not revert to morality, spirituality, and the teachings of the prophets, crimes continue to escalate and catastrophes will become more dreadful.
For this very reason, the holy religion of Islam wants man to possess divine morality, attain spiritual perfection in life and sacrifice material things for the sake of acquiring the most sublime status of humanity.
In many verses while using different modes of expression, the Holy Quran has recommended moral issues to us and, praised the prophets for possessing such merits as patience, adherence to promises, forgiveness, modesty, and good manners.
To further acquaint our readers with Islamic ethics, we will now discuss one of the moral issues having a prominent position in Islam. Allah willing, in other publications of the present series, we will set forth other discussions.