Page 34 - Islam In Focus

Basic HTML Version

compassion for the young, care for the sick and support for the needy, sympathy for
the grieved and cheer for the depressed, joy with the blessed and patience with the
misguided, tolerance toward the ignorant and forgiveness of the helpless, disapproval
of the wrong and rise above the trivial. Moreover, he must respect the legitimate
rights of others as much he does his own. His mind must be occupied with
constructive ideas and serious pursuits; his heart must beat with compassionate
feelings and good will; his soul must radiate with peace and serenity; his counsel must
be sincere and courteous.
The Muslim’ s moral obligation is to be a vivid example of honesty and perfection,
fulfill his commitments and perform his tasks well, seek knowledge and virtue by all
possible means, correct his mistakes and repent his sins, develop a good sense of
social consciousness and nourish a feeling of human response, provide for his
dependents generously without extravagance and meet their legitimate needs. Nature
and the world are the field of exploration and the object of enjoyment for the Muslim.
He must utilize their elements and ponder their marvels, read them as signs of God’ s
greatness and preserve their beauty, explore their wonders and discover their secrets.
But whether he uses them for utility or for sheer enjoyment, he must avoid waste and
excess. As a responsible agent of God and a conscientious trustee, he must always be
mindful of others who share the world with him and who will succeed him in the
The moral principles of Islam are sometimes stated as positive commitments which
must be fulfilled and sometimes as negative prescriptions which must be avoided.
Whether they are stated positively or negatively, they are designed to build in the
human being a sound mind, a peaceful soul, a strong personality, and a healthy body.
There is no doubt that these are necessary requirements of the general welfare and
prosperity of mankind. And to help man to satisfy these requirements Islam has,
among other things, laid down the following regulations:
1. To bear witness to the Oneness of God and the Messengership of Muhammad in a
meaningful commital way;
2. To observe the daily prayers regularly;
3. To pay the religious tax which is known as alms or the poor-due (zakah);
4. To keep the fast of the Holy Month of Ramadan;
5. To make a pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca at least once in his lifetime.
The moral and social implications of these regulations will be discussed later in detail.
Besides these positive measures, there are others which may be called preventive and
precautionary ones. To protect man from insanity and degeneration, from weakness
and indulgence, from indecency and temptation, Islam has prohibited certain things
pertaining to food, drinking, recreation and sex. Among these are the following:
1. All kinds of intoxicating wines, liquors, and spirits (Qur’ an, 2:219; 4:43; 5:93-94);
2. The meat and products of swine (pork, bacon, ham, lard), of wild animals that use
claws or teeth to kill their victims (tigers, wolves, leopards, etc.), of all birds of prey