Morality or the propagation of moral values is a major aspect of Islam. People of today think of Quran as only a Book that contains guidelines that are pertinent to performing of religious rituals only and there is nothing else in it. The fact of the matter is that in Quran Allah Almighty has given the complete guidelines and told humanity about whatever they want to know about this universe in general and the way of living life in particular.
Islam puts great emphasis on the height of characters and for this purpose it encourages the followers to adopt good moral qualities in their lives. In this regard, the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stands as an evident and clear example for Muslims and from him they can learn what the height of moral is like. In Quran, there are mentions of numerous moral values that a Muslim should incorporate in his or her character. The lines below discuss a few of such major moral values.
“(They are) those who are patient, those who are true, and obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allah and those who spend (their wealth as Zakat and alms) and those who pray and beg Allah’s Pardon in the last hours of night.” (3:17)
This ayah highlights the multiple characteristics of a believer. These characteristics are:
- First comes patient. A believer is to have the quality of patience in his character because it is the quality that comes in handy in almost every aspect of life. When one is patient, only then he endures the hardships of life without losing faith, it is with patience that he develops good relations with others and it is with patience that he bears the ease and comfort of others before himself.
- Second comes the moral value of sincere and obedient worship of Allah. Being a Muslim a person ought to worship Allah Almighty and the five times a day prayers are an obligation as well, however, people consider prayers or any form of worship as a duty and perform it mechanically. Whereas, the ayah focuses on worshiping Allah with sincerity and obedience, therefore, one needs to incorporate this spirit of devotion in the worshiping of Allah.
- Third is the moral value of spending from the wealth in the name of Allah. Zakat is an obligation upon Muslims who are wealthy, however, charity or alms giving is something which everyone can do, especially the ones who have enough to give but not enough to offer in Zakat. Therefore, being charitable is a moral value that Muslims need to merge in their character.
- Fourth comes the praying to Allah in the late hours of night. It is called the Tahajud prayer. The reason why it is one of the moral values that a Muslim should adopt is the fact that firstly, this prayer is in addition to the obligatory prayer, therefore, it shows the additional love of a Muslim to Allah. secondly, this prayer is done in the later part of night in isolation, which takes away all the aspect boastfulness or showiness that can be present in offering of obligatory prayers.
In the same Surah at another place, Allah Almighty mentions a few other moral qualities in the following way:
“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious. Those who spend (in the cause of Allah) in prosperity and adversity, who restrain anger and who pardon the people, and Allah loves doers of good. And those who, when they commit any sexual immorality or wrong themselves (by transgression) remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins and who can forgive sins except Allah? And (those who) do not persist in what they have done while they know.” (3:133-135)
Multiple moral attributes are highlighted in these ayahs as well. The moral values that can be inferred from these ayahs are as follows:
- Spending in the name of Allah in the condition of adversity as well as in the condition of prosperity is something that a Muslim should develop in his character. There are people who spend in the name of Allah when they are experiencing prosperity, but they cease to do so as soon as they face even the slightest of adverse situations. Therefore, a Muslim must try to be charitable in every situation.
- Rage or anger is something that eats up a person as well as his character. Anger is a great vice because it clouds the judgment of a person making him unable to differentiate between right and wrong. Therefore, a Muslim must try to control his temper and rage is a quality that should not be a part of the character of a Muslim.
- Forgiving people is another personality attribute that a Muslim must possess. Islam gives the message of being good and kind towards people – forgiving them is one of such acts of kindness. Therefore, keeping grudges and not forgiving people for their mistakes is not something which a Muslim should breed in his character, rather he should be forgiving towards the people.
- Besides the other moral qualities, a Muslim needs to be a good-doer on a generic level. The constituent of a good-doer could be numerous, but in simple terms it is the inclination towards doing good things. Therefore, the believer needs to have a mindset that is inclined towards goodness, which produces thoughts of goodness that then trigger acts of goodness.
- All humans are fallable and among the different mistakes we commit, the mistakes or sins of sexual nature are more common. The ayah shows that if a person commits some act of sexual nature, then he or she should immediately repent upon it in front of Allah Almighty. Therefore, repentance upon sins is another moral value that a Muslim needs to ensure in his character.
Lastly, the realization that what one has done is wrong is another moral value that should be appreciated in a Muslim. Usually, if people commit some sin, they start to justify it or remain persistent in doing it instead of realizing that they have committed something wrong. A Muslim needs to have a character in which he acknowledges whenever he commits any mistake.
In short, a Muslim has to work upon his moral character. The better values a Muslim incorporates in his character, a better and practicing Muslim he becomes and it is on the basis of this moralist practice of Islam that he will be among the blessed ones, both in this world and in the world Hereafter.