Reinforcement of Certainty

The Virtues of Islam

The virtues of Islam are often discussed in theory, but those who are most aware of the merits of Islam for what they really are, and who feel and taste the sweetness of faith, are those who adhere by the teachings and morals of Islam in their lives and with their families and neighbors, in their dealings and their solitude. Islam instills infinite values in those who commit to its teachings; values that emanate from one’s conscience. These values are present even in the absence of preventive law. They are far nobler than mere convenience and are derived from a higher source than the theories of a philosopher, a wise man, or a group of legislators.

Adherence to these values in the absence of supervision earns believers a sense of total confidence and satisfaction with the beauty of this religion. They see its great effect in deterring them from committing oppression, injustice, treason, and obscenities. No matter what accusations or suspicions Islam is accused of afterwards, they are worthless to the believers as what they already know refutes any suspicion.

The Status of Moral and Behavioral Values in Islam

Faith is rendered a top value for a Muslim to protect. Yet, there are texts in Islamic law (Shariah) that strip a Muslim of his/her faith if he/she does not commit to certain morals, such as good neighborliness. Some texts define a Muslim by being harmless to other Muslims, both by words and actions. You can now imagine the status of morals and behavioral values in Islam.

Dr Mohammed Draz has collected the Quranic verses that establish moral values at the appendix of his book The Moral world of the Quran.

I have selected here a group of (authentic) prophetic sayings and teachings (hadith) that represent how the Sunnah (prophetic tradition) explains the effect of faith on “behaviour” and “values” and shows the virtues of Islam. I have preceded each saying with (We learn from the authentic saying).

And so,

  • We learn from the authentic saying that “A believer is the one from whom people’s wealth and lives are safe”.[1] This topples all the slogans held by some hypocrites, for true faith is measured by the believer’s integrity in the presence of gold and silver.
  • We learn from the authentic saying that the Prophet vowed three times that whoever harms his neighbour is not a believer. He said, “By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer!” He was asked, “Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “the one whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil.” [2] Is there any doubt now that faith shows in both actions and behaviour?
  • We learn from the authentic saying that “The worst people in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection will be the double faced people who appear to some people with one face and to other people with another face.”[3]
  • We learn from the authentic saying that modesty leads to sublimity and forgiveness leads to glory.[4]
  • We learn from the authentic saying that husbands should treat their beliving wives  fairly with a sense of balance, considering all her qualities, those they like, and those they dislike.[5]
  • We learn from the authentic saying that whoever dies in defence of his property is a martyr.[6]
  • We learn from the authentic saying that a believer should not be an easily deceived idiot. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) said, “A believer is not stung twice (by something) out of one and the same hole.”[7]
  • We learn from the authentic saying the responsibility of everyone towards excesses within the society, no matter who committed them. The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) said, “The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by Allah and that of the man who transgresses them is like the people who got on board a ship -on a river- after casting lots. Some of them are in the lower (deck and some of them are in its upper deck). Those who are in its lower (deck), when they require water, have to pass by the occupants of the upper deck. One day they said, ‘If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship -to get what we need of water-, we shall not harm those in the upper deck.’ If they (the occupants of the upper deck) leave them to carry out their design, they will all be drowned. But if they do not let them go ahead (with their plan), all of them will be saved.”[8]

The man who observes the limits prescribed by Allah is the one who instructs people to do good and avoid evil.

Casting lots here was meant to decide who would be at the upper deck and who would be at the lower.

This (hadith) compares the Muslim society to a ship that would not arrive at its destination unless all aboard cooperate to protect it and stop those with personal desires from stupidly drowning it for the sake of their own convenience regardless of the wellbeing of the whole society.

  • We learn from the authentic saying to take care of our appearance for, “Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty.”[9] We are also required to mind the smell of our breath for “The miswak (tooth-stick) cleanses and purifies the mouth and pleases God (Allah)”[10].
  • We learn from the authentic saying not to be doubtful of people for “Suspicion is the worst of false tale.”[11]
  • We learn from the authentic saying to judge people by what appears to us, and refrain from analysing their intentions. “Did you tear out his heart (to see if he is truthful)?”[12]
  • We learn from the authentic saying that Muslim women have such a status that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) would direct people in the largest congregation he had in his entire life during the farewell Hajj to “Act kindly towards women.”[13]
  • We learn from the authentic saying that we should observe those who are present at out gatherings. “When three persons are together, then no two of them should hold secret counsel excluding the third person.”[14]
  • We learn from the authentic saying to offer the sinner hope and a chance to repent and make up for his sin. When a man wrongfully kissed a woman, the prophet reminded him of Allah’s revelation (the good deeds efface the bad deeds)[15] )11:114)
  • We learn from the authentic saying the status of parents and the significance of relatives and the rights of the neighbour, and even kindness to a deceased father’s friends, as in the authentic saying, “The finest act of goodness is that a person should treat kindly the loved ones of his father.”[16]
  • We learn from the authentic saying that decency is among the best qualities a person could have although it should not stop its bearer from saying the truth and being frank and honest about it. The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) was “even shier than a virgin behind her vail.”[17] Yet he went up the Safa (a mountain in Mecca) before all the tribe of Quraish declaring the truth, saying “I am a plain warner to you of a coming severe punishment.”[18] He approached them at each of their gatherings to call upon them to follow the path of Allah.
  • We learn from the authentic saying that “The most evil qualities in a man are alarming niggardliness and unrestrained cowardice.”[19] Alarming niggardliness prevents him from spending his money, and should he spend of it, he would be despondent.

Alarming: causing despondency.

 Unrestrained cowardice: is that which causes weakness and prevents a person from carrying out his duty of directing others to do good and preventing them from doing bad.

This brief article is not even a tenth of what we, both as nations and individuals, could learn from the prophetic sayings, which include methods of thought, concepts, laws, ethics and manners, all of which reveal the greatness and beauty of this religion.

A lot of literature was written on this issue. There are even lengthystudies that have specified seperate chapters under each topic of Islamic law (e.g. the topic of warfare) to describe the beauty and virtues of Islam. I have mentioned several books and studies on the beauty and virtues of Islam and categorized them according to their method of  writing and their subjects.  You can refer to that at the beginning of my book Natharat Manhajeyeh fi Mahasen al-Islam (A Methodical Study of the Virtues of Islam.)

Before moving on to the next subject, I wish to quote some parts of Natharat Manhajeyeh fi Mahasen al-Islam (A Methodical Study of the Virtues of Islam.) These quotes are related to methodical subjects that were not among the issues mentioned above, but they would supplement and strengthen them.

  • “Islam stands out among other religions for the clarity of its doctrine on Deity in terms of God’s perfections. Therefore, it is not difficult for the human mind to accept the Islamic doctrine on God, unlike the conceptions found in myths and legends. This is Islam’s most outstanding issue, and proof of it is present and simple. Quran, from beginning to end, is filled with verses that glorify God. The chapter (Surah) that was described by the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) to be the greatest (the opening chapter), starts with glorifying Allah, admitting His mastery over all creation, his dominance on the day of judgement and describing the relationship between man and his Creator, that man should approach his Creator with the reverence that He deserves, and not worship or seek support from another. This is the greatest Chapter (Surah).

The same concept applies to the greatest verse (Ayah) in the Quran, the one that is mainly about the attributes of God. It is the throne verse which surpasses any texts of other religious nations in glorifying God.

The Prophet was authentically quoted to say that there is a chapter in Quran that is equal to a third of all the Quran, Surat al-Ikhlas. Studying this chapter reveals the amount of glorifying Allah that it holds.

Comparing the description of God in Islam and the description of the Deity in other religions clearly reveals the difference. In fact, the comparison would be totally unfair.

The beauty and perfection of the Islamic conception of Allah does not only result from the perfect description, but from the worship and submission to Allah that it leads to. Farid al-Ansari (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “Lordship, for those who truly know, brings about love. For if Deity is a belief connected to love, hope and fear, as previously explained, so are the qualities of godliness attracting the hearts and bringing about adoration.”[20]

Therefore, the beauty, clarity, and glory of the Islamic doctrine on God Almighty becomes even more beautiful as it necessitates worship for this great Deity.

It is well known among scholars of the Islamic doctrine that a great Quranic proof on the oneness of God (that only Allah deserves to be obeyed and worshiped) is through the oneness of Allah in Lordship and Attributes (that only Allah is the source of all blessings)”[21]

  • “What clearly indicates and confirms the virtues of Islam is a close study of life prior to and at the beginning of Islam. This would clearly show the great reform that the Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon Him) brought about to transform the beliefs, behaviour and traditions that were deeply engraved in the hearts and minds of Arabs.

This transformation is  not similar to the results of a common reform movement of the past or the present. Rather, it is a result of an exceptional unique case in history, as described by the famous historian of modern history Will Durant, although Durant did not believe in the prophethood of Mohammed (Peace and Blessings be upon Him). He even raised suspicions about him, but the truth about him was so powerful that he could not help stating in his book The Story of Civilization, that “If greatness is measured by the influence of the great person on people, then we would say that Mohammed was the greatest hero of all times. He was committed to raising the spiritual and moral levels of a nation doomed to barbarism by the sizzling heat and barren deserts. He succeeded in achieving what no other reformer in the world could come close to. It is rare to find another who has fulfilled his dream as he had.”[22]” [23]

[1] Narrated by Tirmidhi (2627. Good and sound hadith.

[2] Sahih al-Bukhari (6016)

[3] Sahih al-Bukhari (6058), Sahih Muslim (2526)

[4] Sahih Muslim (2588) of similar meaning.

[5] Sahih Muslim (1468)

[6] Sahih al-Bukhari (2480), Sahih Muslim (2998)

[7] Sahih al-Bukhari (6133), Sahih Muslim (2998)

[8] Sahih al-Bukhari (2439)

[9] Sahih Muslim (91)

[10] Sunan an-Nasa’I (5)

[11] Sahih el-Bukhari (5143)

[12] Sahih Muslim (96)

[13] Sahih Muslim (1218)

[14] Sahih el-Bukhari (6290)

[15] Sahih el-Bukhari (4687)

[16] Sahih Muslim (2552)

[17] Sahih el-Bukhari (3562)

[18] Sahih el-Bukhari (4770)

[19] Sunan Abi Dawud (2511)

[20] جمالية الدين، معارج القلب إلى حياة الروح، لفريد الأنصاري (45). (the Beauty of Religion) Farid al-Ansari

[21] My book نظرات منهحية في محاسن الإسلام Methodical Study of the Virtues of Islam

[22] The Story of Civilization (13/47)

[23] My book نظرات منهحية في محاسن الإسلام Methodical Study of the Virtues of Islam

Written by: Ahmed Alsayed

Translated by: Ghadah Shaher

Revised by: Dr.Antar abdellah

Designed by: Nada Alashram

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