The Islamic Ethical System
23 Dec 2011 06:29 GMT
Ethics in Islam are based entirely on the divine scriptures and the example of the life of the Prophet Muhammad. There are two concepts that permeate every aspect of Islamic ethics, the concept of Tawhid (that is, the oneness of God) and the very meaning of the word Muslims (to submit to God.) Muslims believe in the existence of good and evil, and Muslims seek to do good in every aspect of their lives. Muslims also believe in free will, the fact that each person has the ability to seek out God for himself. However, men stray from the path to God. In the Qur'an it is taught that men stray from God because of their need for material comforts. This is why Islam, agreeing with the teachings of Jesus, considers that focusing on amassing wealth and attaining power is to stray from the straight path to God. At its most basic level, Islam teaches that there is only one God and that to give any other thing a higher importance than God in one's life is to stray from the true path.

Islamic ethics make a lot of sense as a way to solve the problems of the Arab people in the time the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Arabs were a tribal society with a patriarchal rule. The idea of Ummah, that of all Muslims being united as a community helped transform this society. Islam's strict monotheism also helped undo the many barbarous practices that were commonplace as part of worship of idols and animist gods. Islamic ethics are also against an exaggerated chauvinism or muruwwa (translated as manliness, or as being macho.) Islam is not about violence, swagger, and boisterousness, but about being humble, compassionate, and seeking peace.

One of the most important elements of Islamic ethics is that of personal responsibility. Islam teaches that every single person follows his own path to God. In Islam, there are no intermediaries between man and God. There are no associated deities or holy people that intercede before God. There is no coercion to follow the path to God. Islam is completely about the moral, ethical choice that each man must make in his heart, and following through with this choice. Islam teaches that the fate of each person in the afterlife is a direct result of one's own choices. There is no question about it, the basis of an Islamic ethical system is directly related to the teachings of the Qur'an and the prophet Muhammad. Islam is a way of life, the practice of submitting oneself to the will of God in every aspect of one's life. One's ethics are absolutely no exception.

-- Al Arabiya Digital