The Importance of Good Morals in Islam III

Musa Kazim GULCUR

January 17, 2023

You can listen to the article “The Importance of Good Morals in Islam IIIon Spotify by clicking the link below:


Tawhid and Good Morals 1

Good Deeds and Good Morals 3

To Talk Less (And Be Silent) 4

To Follow the Soul’s Desires 5

Happiness and Good Morals 6

Good Character and Ethics 9

Good Morals and Freedom of Belief 11

Conclusion 14

In our previous articles, we have tried to analyze the subject of good morality in connection with the topics of godliness, dignity, the smile feature, good morals, reason, avoiding, contentiousness, being good, and oppression. In this article, we will try to complete the subject with the other descriptions of the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) about good morals by analyzing them.

From the Islamic perspective, good moral rules are important for all societies because they provide a framework for determining right and wrong behaviors. Islam accepts that the good moral concept helps to promote social cohesion, as people are more likely to trust and cooperate with one another when they believe that others will act morally. Additionally, good morals help prevent harmful or destructive behavior, both on an individual and societal level. Good moral rules also serve as a guide for people to make good decisions and lead a meaningful and fulfilling life. Overall, good morals promote stability, well-being, and prosperity for all members of society.

If there are no Islamic good morals in societies, it can lead to a variety of negative consequences and there may be less trust and cooperation among members of society. This can lead to conflicts and a breakdown of social cohesion. Additionally, without the moral guidance of Islam, people may be more likely to engage in harmful or destructive behavior, both toward themselves and others, which can lead to increased crime, violence, and suffering.
Furthermore, without an Islamic moral framework, it can be challenging to make good decisions, as people may lack a sense of purpose and direction. This can lead to a lack of moral motivation, apathy for the needy, and a lack of spiritual improvement. Finally, without Islamic good morals, societies may be staring in the face with dangerous criminals, as there is no incentive for people to work for good deeds.

Now, we will try to explain the elements of good morality within the framework of certain titles.

Tawhid and Good Morals

Tawhid is the belief in the oneness of God Almighty in Islam. It is the certain belief that only one supreme being created and governs this universe. Islam has a very strong emphasis on the worship of one God and the belief in a personal relationship with God. Also, Islam has strong moral codes and takes care of responsibility and accountability to Allah Almighty.

This sense of responsibility and accountability manifests in the form of good moral codes and teachings that guide followers of Islam in how to live their lives in a way that is pleasing to God. For example, the Five Pillars of Islam are moral codes that play a very central role. Faith in tawhid also provides a sense of purpose and meaning to believers’ lives.

Tawhid is a supreme adjective of God Almighty that expresses the meanings of unity, being alone, not being similar, not multiplying, not being divided into parts, and not decreasing.

Almighty Allah is one in Himself and all His attributes. He has no partners, spouses, etc. It does not have the features of increase, decrease, separation into parts, or merging with other presences.

Unity is the most important of Allah’s lofty attributes. This is because this attribute expresses that Allah is unique and has no partners in His Essence, attributes, actions, sovereignty, and actions.

The oneness of Allah (Great is His Majesty) has been considered in four ways:

a. Tawhid in His Essence. The divine essence does not consist of parts and does not have the quality of a unified entity.

b. Tawhid in Its Adjectives. Allah’s attributes are complete and perfect, and each of His attributes covers every circumstance of its scope.

c. Tawhid in Being the Lord. This part of tawhid states that Allah is the only being worthy of worship.

d. Tawhid in His Deeds. It expresses Allah has no equivalent or similarity in his high attributes and wise actions.

Understanding the oneness of Allah (Great is His Majesty), the only being worthy of worship, and his uniqueness in His essence and attributes, through the mind and heart, is called the thought of tawhid or simply tawhid.

Al-Ghazali describes four stages of “tawhid”:

The first stage means “there is no god but Allah” with a heedless heart, and a person of this level declares only with his tongue the oneness of Allah (Great is His Majesty).

The second stage is to affirm the tawhid by heart, which is formed by confession with the tongue.

The third stage is observing the truth with the light of God. This is the state of the nearest persons.

In the fourth and highest stage of tawhid, the individual observes Allah, only one, and this is the witness of the rightest people. This is also called “be lost in tawhid” mode. A person in this position can no longer see himself, become immersed in tawhid, and cannot see other beings because he turns to Allah, who is the only one.[1]

In a narration from Anas (May Allah be pleased with him), we see the following:

إن لله – عز وجل – لوحا من زبرجدة خضراء تحت العرش ، كتب فيه : أنا الله لا إله إلا أنا أرحم الراحمين ، خلقت بضعة عشر وثلاثمائة خلق ، من جاء بخلق منها مع شهادة لا إله إلا الله أدخل الجنة ‏.

Below the Throne, on a green and shiny plate belonging to Allah the Almighty, the following is written: I am Allah, there no god but me. I am the most merciful. I have created three hundred and ten-odd morals. If a person comes with one of these three hundred and ten-odd morals and testifies that There is no God, but Allah will enter Paradise.[2]

Good Deeds and Good Morals

According to Islam, belief is an attestation of the heart. Allah Almighty created the earth in a luxuriant way to see who would do a better job (Al-Kahf the Cave, 18/7), and created societies one after the other for testing purposes (Yunus Jonah, 10/14). As a result of these tests, those who have done an iota of good deeds will be rewarded, and those who have done an iota of bad deeds will be punished (Az-Zalzalah the Earthquake, 99/7-8). Good deeds are called; “fard (obligatory), wajib (necessary), sunnah (an act done or liked by the Messenger of Allah peace be upon Him), mustahabb (desirable), or mandub (commendable)” according to their degrees in Islamic literature.

Usama b. Sharik narrates:

Which deed is more virtuous?” The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) answered this question:

(حسن الخلق) “Good morals.[3]

Good morality is an important aspect of human society. It helps to define and regulate behaviors and provides a spectacular framework for individuals and groups to make decisions and live in harmony with one another. Without a shared sense of Islamic morality, people would likely experience increased conflict and chaos. Additionally, good morality is an important aspect of being human, and living a moral life is essential for personal fulfillment and well-being.

Immorality, or behaving in ways that violate commonly held moral principles, has negative consequences for both individuals and society as a whole. Immoral behavior harms others, undermines trust and cooperation, and leads to social unrest and instability. People who engage in bad behaviors also experience feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing. Additionally, societies that tolerate or condone immoral behaviors also experience a decline in social cohesion and an increase in crime and other forms of social disorder. Individuals need to strive to live morally, and for societies to have effective mechanisms for addressing and preventing immoral behavior.

For the work done for the sake of Allah to be acceptable, it is necessary for a person to be in godliness, chaste, and have good morals.

We can see taqwa (godliness, piety) in three parts. Taqwa:

1. Trying to avoid mistakes as much as possible so that the worship performed for the sake of Allah is perfect,

2. Not having any worldly purpose in worshiping Allah,

3. To be protected from associating partners with Allah in worshiping Allah.

“Chastity” means to keep out of ugly and bad things. Chastity is to be within the limits of religious orders and prohibitions and to avoid mistakes.[4] While some have described chastity as preventing the domination of lust[5] others have described chastity as controlling oneself against animal impulses and abandoning all illegitimate desires. Therefore chastity means being honest, honorable, moral, and dignified. Being chaste means not stealing, avoiding harams, and being extraordinarily sensitive about not committing mistakes. Chastity means living by the orders and prohibitions of religion and not entering illegitimate issues.

Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates: The Companions asked the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) what made people enter Paradise the most. Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) said:

(تَقْوَى اللَّهِ وَحُسْنُ الْخُلُقِ) “Good morals and to turn to Allah with piety!

Then they asked, “Which put people in the fire the most?” Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) said:

(الْفَمُ وَالْفَرْجُ) “Mouth and the perineum![6]

To Talk Less (And Be Silent)

If silence is considered in two ways, the first is the silence of the tongue, and the second is the silence of the heart. For example, if a heart wholeheartedly consents to the division of sustenance and does not say anything with his inner voice to this division, it means he has remained silent. Or an enlightened who accepts that the events in the world occur within the infinite knowledge of Allah (Great is His Majesty) is deemed to have remained silent with his acceptance. Or, if a person keeps his secrets and does not tell everyone about his inner world, this means that he or she remains silent.

Our Prophet (Peace be upon Him) says in one of his hadiths, (مَنْ صَمَتَ نَجَا) “He who remains silent will be saved.[7]

Contrary to this situation, in talking, there may be moral dangers such as a hidden pleasure felt by the self, desire to be liked because of a good address, wanting to be prominent among others with good speech, and fondness for fame. But the goodness we call wisdom can generally be obtained by remaining silent. Although man has one tongue, he has two eyes, two ears, and a heart. This is like a sign that if he speaks once, with two observations, two listening, and one to think he should be silent five times.

The following is stated in the Qur’an:

وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهٖ عِلْمٌ اِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ اُولٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُلًا

And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the day of reckoning).” (Al-Isra the Night Journey, 17/36)

Being too talkative can be a problem in certain situations. For example, it can be seen as a sign of insecurity, or it can interrupt or distract others from the task at hand. Additionally, talkative people might have trouble listening and taking in new information, which can be a disadvantage in certain roles.

According to the narration from Anas (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) met Abu Zer (May Allah be pleased with him) one day and asked him this question:

يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ أَلَا أَدُلُّكَ عَلَى خَصْلَتَيْنِ هُمَا أَخَفُّ عَلَى الظَّهْرِ وَأَثْقَلُ فِي الْمِيزَانِ؟

O Ebâ Zer, shall I tell you about two traits that are easy for man but more valuable in the balance than other traits?

Ebû Zer: “Please tell me, O Messenger of Allah”, our Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

عليك بحُسْن الْخُلُقِ ، و طُول الصَّمْتِ ، فوالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا عَمِلَ الْخَلَائق بمثلهما ‏.‏

I advise you to be of good moral character and to remain silent. I swear by Allah, who holds my soul in His hand that people have not been adorned with better than these two traits.[8]

The alternative to remaining silent is to speak. Speech produces one of two outcomes. Either the content is full of beauty, or the content is empty. Null talks will not benefit the person or the environment.

Being talkative too much can have several consequences, including:

Interrupting or talking over others can be seen as disrespectful or rude. Dominating conversations make it difficult for others to contribute or share their own thoughts and ideas. Talking excessively about oneself can make others feel unimportant or uninterested in the conversation. Wasting time, if the conversation is not productive or relevant to the task at hand. Revealing too much information about oneself, which can be dangerous in certain situations. Being perceived as less credible, if the individual is seen as lacking the ability to listen and respond thoughtfully.

According to the narration of Abu Huraira, the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

 مَنْ سَاءَ خُلُقُهُ عَذَّبَ نَفْسَهُ ، وَأَكْثَرَ هَمَّهُ ، وَأَسْقَمَ بَدَنَهُ ، وَمَنْ لَاحَى الرِّجَالَ ذَهَبَتْ كَرَامَتُهُ ، وَسَقَطَتْ مُرُوءَتُهُ ‏.‏

Whoever makes his morals worse has tormented himself, increased his sadness, and made his body sick. Whoever engages in empty talk with people, his greatness will be gone, and his generosity will have fallen.[9]

To Follow the Soul’s Desires

The inclination of the human self to evils that are prohibited by reason and religion, deviating from righteousness and virtue, and turning to pleasures is called following the soul’s desire. In the Qur’an, compliance with the desires of the soul has been used in a completely negative sense and has been accepted as one of the main causes of perversion. Bad and wrong behaviors in some individuals arise from the inability to interiorize good morals spiritually and mentally. As a result of not turning to the holy source, people who go out of control and who only accept the desires of the soul and the devil begin to exhibit bad behaviors over time. The only solution to get out of this vicious circle is to take refuge in Allah Almighty and pray to be included in His holy protection.

Many different desires are negative or “bad” for the soul. Greed, or an excessive desire for wealth or material possessions. Envy, or a desire to have what others have and feeling resentful or unhappy because of it. Gluttony, or an excessive desire for food or drink. Sloth, or a lack of desire to be productive or to engage in activities that are beneficial for oneself or others. Anger, or an excessive desire for revenge or to harm others. Pride, or an excessive desire for admiration or to be seen as superior to others. These desires can be harmful to oneself and others and can lead to negative feelings such as guilt, shame, and regrets. Islamic morality requests people for moderation and self-control to overcome these desires and lead a more fulfilling life.

When a person follows his or her desires, it’s important to consider the ethical implications of those desires and ensure that they align with religious values and do not harm oneself or others. Following one’s “bad” desires, or desires that are harmful to oneself or others can lead to negative consequences such as feelings of guilt, shame, or regret. It can also cause harm to oneself and others in the form of addiction, criminal activity, or other destructive behaviors.

One must be aware of what is motivating his or her desires and understand that some desires may be influenced by negative emotions such as fear, anger, or frustration. Understanding the origins of these negative desires can help to address the underlying issues and find more positive ways to meet those needs.

It’s also important to develop the ability to regulate and control one’s impulses, by developing good morals, self-awareness, mindfulness, and self-discipline. Practicing these habits can help to minimize the negative effects of bad desires and to overcome harmful habits or addictions.

It’s worth noting that even if one has bad desires, it is always possible to positively change one’s actions and thoughts. It may also be helpful to enhance good habits in eliminating harmful desires.

It is stated that our Prophet (Peace be upon Him) took refuge in Allah as follows:

 اللَّهُمَّ جَنِّبْنِي مُنْكَرَاتِ اَلْأَخْلَاقِ، وَالْأَهْوَاءِ، وَالْأَعْمَالِ، وَالْأَدْوَاءِ ‏.‏

O Allah, keep me away from bad morals, bad desires, bad deeds, and diseases.[10]

Happiness and Good Morals

Normally happiness is a state, not a trait. In other words, it is not a long-term, permanent personality trait, but a shorter-term and changeable state. However, it is possible to turn happiness into a permanent collection of multiple emotional responses over time. Because happiness is a state characterized by general satisfaction with one’s current state. If this current situation is in the form of good morals, it means that the happiness of the person has also been realized. Humans may resemble many other creatures in their activities, but the pursuit of good morals is a key part of the character that makes us human and unique. The purpose and meaning of life, the pursuit of being a perfect individual, can be realized when the person reaches his full potential with good morals and fulfills his functionality fully.

The mind is adept at understanding what is happening in the outside world. However, he fails to manage how to turn his gaze inward and see what is inside. Since the source of unhappiness is inside, even if we feel that we need to solve the problem with our mind’s eye and heart, we still try to find an external cause. Fears, lack of discipline, lack of self-confidence, and the habit of looking outside cause us to ignore the inner source of the problems. Thus, with our outward gaze, we look for excuses to blame others. Blaming our environment and external elements provides instant relief. Thus, we develop the habit of looking for the source of all kinds of problems in the outside world. This situation, as will be appreciated, becomes the main factor in the formation of bad morals and ultimately unhappiness. The only way to overcome such spiritual and mental misery is to make the heart, soul, and mind peaceful, and by this means to reach happiness.

According to what is reported from Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

مِنْ سَعَادَةِ اَلْمَرْءِ حُسْنُ اَلْخُلُقِ وَ مِنْ شَقَاوَتِهِ سُوءُ اَلْخُلُقِ ‏.‏

Good morals lead to one’s happiness, and bad morals cause one’s unhappiness.[11]

The freedom to choose his actions manifests itself in man in the form of good or bad morality. At one end of the moral compass, there are noble qualities such as self-sacrifice, honesty, and generosity that we define as good. On the other pole, there are bad and ugly impulses such as selfishness, violence, and destructiveness.

Kindness is any kind of good attitude and behavior. Good deeds are behaviors that are right and beneficial and that are considered religiously good deeds. Goodness is a concept that encompasses all the beautiful characteristics of faith, worship, and morality. Islamic morality makes people engage in critical thinking and self-reflection and strive to treat others with compassion and respect. The importance and necessity of goodness, the harms, and the wrongness of bad morality are issues on which almost everyone agrees.

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) said:

حُسْنُ الْمَلَكَةِ نَمَاءٌ ، وَسُوءُ الْخُلُقِ شُؤْمٌ ، وَالْبِرُّ زِيَادَةٌ فِي الْعُمْرِ ، وَالصَّدَقَةُ تَمْنَعُ مِيتَةَ السُّوءِ ‏.‏

Good morals are abundance. Immorality is misfortune. Good deeds increase life expectancy. The alms given are to prevent a bad death.[12]

From the Islamic point of view, the purpose of human life is to live this earthly life by the Divine Will, to worship the Creator, and to attain happiness in this world and in the hereafter. Integrity and piety are first and foremost based on genuine and sincere faith. The key to good morals and good behavior is a sincere and strong relationship with the Supreme Creator, who always and everywhere sees everything, and knows the secrets of the hearts and the hidden and implicit intentions behind all actions. Therefore, while Islam raises the pursuit of morality to the level of worship, it directly addresses the human mind, heart, and soul.

According to what was narrated from Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

الْخُلُقُ الْحَسَنُ يُذِيبُ الْخَطَايَا كَمَا يُذِيبُ الْمَاءُ الْجليدَ ، وَالْخُلُقُ السَّوْءُ يُفْسِدُ الْعَمَلَ كَمَا يُفْسِدُ الْخَلُّ الْعَسَلَ ‏.‏

Good morals dissolve mistakes just as water melts hoarfrost. Bad morals spoil good deeds like vinegar spoils honey.[13]

Another narration of this hadîth-i-sherîf from Ibn Abbas is as follows:

حسن الخلق يذيب الخطايا كما تذيب الشمس الجليد ‏.‏

Like the sun melting the hoarfrost, good morality melts the individual’s mistakes.[14]

Some of the most basic character traits expected from Muslims are piety, humility, and a sense of accountability to Allah. Islam warns against arrogance and excessive attachment to the fleeting pleasures of this world. Although it is easy to let the material world fill our hearts, the important thing is to seek the Lord’s pleasure and to use the material world by Allah’s will and guidance. While Islam wants the individual to be equipped with good morals, it is also closely interested in the development of the moral health of society. In this respect, it is necessary not to have morally healthy individuals only but also to care about the moral health of society as well. According to Islam, everything that leads to the well-being of the individual and society is morally good, and anything harmful is morally bad.

According to what is narrated from Anas (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

الخُلق وعاء الدين ‏.‏

Morality is the vessel of religion.[15]

In another narration from Anas (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

حُسْنُ الخُلُق نصف الدين ‏.‏

Good morals are half of the religion.[16]

Good Character and Ethics

Ethics are the principles and values that govern how we ought to behave in each situation. They help us to distinguish right from wrong and to make decisions about how to act in a morally responsible way.

The concept of ethics is important in both personal and professional life. In personal life, it helps to guide the decision-making process to make choices that align with one’s values and are fair to oneself and others. In professional life, it can be even more crucial, as the decisions made can have a bigger impact on a larger number of people. Islam has codes of conduct and good ethics that guide the behaviors of individuals and ensures it aligns with society’s values and laws.

Islam teaches us to follow the line of principles characterized by good moral virtues and to avoid wrongdoing. A person with a bad character harms not only himself but also society. Anyone who lies does injustice, cheats, and betrays will certainly lose the trust and respect of others. A person with bad morals exposes himself to the anger of God and the hatred of people. One of the important aspects of a Muslim’s life is to have high moral standards. The moral system of Islam is very detailed and complete. Islam appeals to almost every aspect of moral life. Therefore, the main purpose of Islam regarding high moral values, attitudes, behaviors, worship, and teachings is to build a character based on good morals in individuals. If a person has good character or high moral values, he or she also has an excellent personality.

According to what is reported from Usama b. Shurayk (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

أَحَبُّ عِبَادِ اللَّهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ أَحْسَنُهُمْ خُلُقًا ‏.‏

The most beloved servants to Allah are those with the most beautiful morals.[17]

Islam is a complete set of moral teachings that guide individuals and societies. Good morality is a set of high values that includes standards regarding the behavior and lifestyle of the individual. Starting from the family at home, Islam advocates a responsibility centered on compassion, kindness, and good morals. Good morals are manifested in acts such as kalima-i shahada, prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, and zakat, which are the essentials of Islam and are in a very basic position. For example, belief in the oneness (tawhid) of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as God’s messenger is directly related to honesty. Prayer, like other worship, is related to the consciousness of servitude to Allah. Zakat is a consciousness about helping the needy. Hajj is a sign of devotion to the sense of the Ummah. Fasting is a form of worship that creates awareness about self-control, poor people, and the needy. These actions reveal both the importance of good behavior towards others and the importance of fulfilling one’s duties towards oneself. Individuals with good morals consider that they are always under the supervision of Allah in all their activities.

According to what is narrated from Anas (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

إِنَّ الْعَبْدَ لَيَبْلُغُ بِحُسْنِ خُلُقِهِ عَظِيمَ دَرَجَاتِ الْآخِرَةِ وَشَرَفَ الْمَنَازِلِ وَإِنَّهُ لَضَعِيفُ الْعِبَادَةِ وَإِنَّهُ لَيَبْلُغُ بِسُوءِ خُلُقِهِ أَسْفَلَ دَرْكِ جَهَنَّمَ وَهُوَ عَابِدٌ ‏.‏

Even if a person is weak in his worship, with his good morals, he will reach great degrees and very honorable places in the hereafter. However, even if a person worships a lot, he falls into the deepest pits of Hell due to his bad morals.[18]

Good morals are a divine gift. Good morals are to treat others with the generosity and benevolence that Allah Almighty has shown to all people. Islamic morality adopts the consideration of moral characteristics such as sincerity, honesty, humility, justice, patience, keeping one’s word, and courtesy. An important and illuminating feature of the moral teachings of Islam is that it proposes to treat all humanity with compassion, sympathy, and gentleness. All of Islam’s recommendations regarding good morals have been created by considering the responsibility that people can bear. If a person is perfect in morals, he or she is also perfect in faith. High moral qualities are a real guiding and enlightening main road for those who want to reach these values.

Abdullah b. Amr narrates that the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) asked the following question and repeated this question three times:

ألا أخبركم بأحبكم إلي وأقربكم مني مجالس يوم القيامة؟‏

Shall I inform you of those dearest to me and those closest to me on the Day of Judgment?

When we said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah, inform us”, our Prophet (Peace be upon Him) continued as follows:

أحسنكم أخلاقا ‏.‏

The one among you with the best morals.[19]

If human nature and the notion of morality in it, which Allah Almighty created perfectly, are misdirected or educated incorrectly, the ground for immoral attitudes and behaviors will be prepared with the negative impact of many internal and external factors. If the emotions hidden in the human personality are used correctly, the consciousness of good morals will be developed. If a negative defect is noticed in attitudes and behaviors, it is because the moral consciousness of the person has not been sufficiently developed. Good morals are an important gift bestowed on our souls and hearts by Allah Almighty. To the extent that this ability is strengthened through willpower and training, it will protect individuals against mistakes and inaccuracies. Tolerance, honesty, truthfulness, courage, and chastity are important qualities related to good morals, and these qualities develop and become beautiful only with education.

According to what is reported from Usama, one day the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) was asked the following question:

O Messenger of Allah, what is the best thing given to a person?” The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) replied as follows:

حسن الخلق ‏.‏

Good morals.[20]

Again, according to what is reported from Usama b. Shurayk, the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

إن الناس لم يعطوا شيئا خيرًا من حسن الخلق ‏.‏

The best thing that Allah has bestowed upon people is good morals.[21]

Good Morals and Freedom of Belief

Islam has basic moral principles. The most prominent of these basic moral principles are honesty, justice, and the effectuation of what is good for people. The essence of Islam is the preservation of faith, preservation of life, preservation of reason, preservation of generation, and preservation of property. The main emphasis of the Qur’an is peace, compassion, and mercy. These important duties can only be achieved with good morals.

In a narration from Ala b. Kathir, the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

إنّ محاسن الأخلاق مخزونة عند الله تعالى، فإذا أحبّ الله عبدًا منحهُ خلقًا حسنًا ‏.‏

Surely, good morals are a hidden treasure in the sight of Allah. When Allah Glory to Him loves a servant, He bestows good morals on him.[22]

There are various currents of ideas about the source of morality. Some of these are as follows:

1. One perspective is that morality is innate or “hardwired” into human nature. This view, often called “moral intuitionism,” argues that people have an innate sense of right and wrong and that this sense is independent of culture or personal experience.

2. Another perspective is that morality is learned through socialization and culture. This view, often called “moral relativism,” argues that what is considered right or wrong varies between cultures and changes over time.

3. A third perspective is that morality is based on reason and reflection, this view is often called “moral rationalism,” which argues that people can use reason and logic to determine what is right and wrong and that this can be independent of culture and intuition.

4. A fourth perspective is that morality is the result of evolutionary processes, this perspective called “evolutionary ethics” argues that moral behavior is an adaptation that has evolved to serve the survival and reproduction of the human species.

5. But, our perspective and what we learned from our Prophet (Peace be upon Him) is that good morals have been bestowed upon human beings by Allah Almighty. As narrated from Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

إن هذه الأخلاق من الله تعالى فمن أراد الله به خيرا منحه خلقا حسنا، ومن أراد به سوءا منحه سيئا ‏.‏

Surely, the habits that make up good morals are from Allah. Whomever Allah wishes good for He bestows good morals on him. But whomever Allah wishes evil He bestows bad morals.[23]

Freedom of belief refers to the idea that individuals should have the right to practice their religion, or no religion at all, free from government interference or coercion. This includes the freedom to worship, participate in religious ceremonies and rituals, express one’s religious beliefs, and raise one’s children by those beliefs.

Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and is protected by many national and international laws and agreements, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and expression.”

It’s important for all societies to have laws and policies that protect the rights of all individuals, including the right to religious freedom, and to ensure that these rights are respected and upheld by all citizens, institutions, and the government.

There are verses in the Qur’an that support freedom of religion. Probably for this reason, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and Sabians lived freely in their own religious beliefs during the first Islamic state headed by our Prophet (Peace be upon Him) and the period of the rightly guided caliphs. Similarly, Hindus, Buddhists, and those who worship idols other than Arabia were not forced to accept Islam during the era of bliss. The Muslim conquerors of Iran, India, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, when confronted with different religions, gave them the freedom to practice their religion comfortably and to believe. Similarly, the Muslims who conquered Egypt, North Africa, and Sudan did not hesitate to grant all these different communities freedom of belief and even the freedom to enforce their own laws. For example, the Jews in Baghdad freely practiced their religious practices in every Muslim capital. While the Patriarch of Alexandria maintained his control over the Egyptian Copts, the Patriarch of Antioch did not encounter any difficulties in his dominance over the Syrian Christians. This is one of the most apparent examples of Islam’s tolerant approach even to non-believers when necessary.

It was narrated from Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

أوحى الله تعالى إلى إبراهيم: يا خليلي حسن خلقك ولو مع الكفار تدخل مداخل الأبرار، فإن كلمتي سبقت لمن حسن خلقه أن أظله في عرشي. وأن أسكنه حظيرة قدسي، وأن أدنيه من جواري ‏.‏

Allah revealed to Prophet Abraham: O, my friend! Behave with good morals, even towards those who do not believe. Thus, you enter the place where the most righteous people enter. I make shade the one who beautifies his or her morals in the ninth heaven. I place them in my sacred space, and I take them near me. This is a judgment I have given definitively.[24]

A lack of Islamic good morals in society leads to several negative consequences. Without a shared understanding of what is right and wrong, it will be difficult to build trust and cooperation among members of the community. It will also lead to social unrest, as people compete for resources or power without regard for the rights of others.

When Islamic good moral values are ignored or considered worthless in a society, it creates a sense of chaos and uncertainty, with individuals acting in their own self-interest and disregarding the welfare of others. This also leads to an increase in crime, corruption, and other forms of injustice.

A lack of Islamic good moral values leads to a breakdown in family structures and social cohesion. This is particularly detrimental for children who grow up without positive role models and guidance, leading to a lack of trust and a sense of insecurity in the community.

Additionally, when good moral values are not upheld, the most vulnerable members of society – such as the poor, the elderly, and minorities – may suffer the most. Without a sense of good morality, it is easy for individuals to disregard their obligations to others, leading to neglect, abuse, or other forms of harm.

In a broader scope, a lack of Islamic good morality in a society can be detrimental to the functioning of the society and to the relationships among the individuals and groups in it, leading to instability, and to a general sense of mistrust and dissatisfaction.

It’s worth noting that a lack of good Islamic morality does necessarily mean that there are no moral values or principles in society.

According to the narration of one of the Companions, the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

خَيْرُ مَا أُعْطِيَ الرَّجُلُ الْمُؤْمِنُ خُلُقٌ حَسَنٌ ، وَشَرُّ مَا أُعْطِيَ الرَّجُلُ قَلْبُ سُوءٍ فِي صُورَةٍ حَسَنَةٍ ‏.‏

The best thing given to a believer is good morals. The evilest thing given to man is that he has a bad heart despite his beautiful appearance.[25]

The following hadith sharīf, which shows the high degree that a person can reach with good morals, almost seems to summarize our subject.

According to what is reported from Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

دخل رجلان الجنة، صلاتهما وصيامهما وحجهما وجهادهما واصطناعهما للخير واحد، ويفضل أحدهما على صاحبه بحسن الخلق كما بين المشرق والمغرب ‏.‏

Two people entered Paradise. Their prayers, fasts, pilgrimages, and good deeds were the same in both. However, one of these two people was favored over the other in the degree of separation between east and west because of his good morals.[26]


So far, we have tried to look at reasonable moral regulations from the perspective of Islam. The basic principle in all moral matters in Islam is mercy, compassion, and service to humanity. Our Prophet (Peace be upon Him) is the highest representative of high moral character. Islam and its supreme book, the Qur’an, is a sacred source that has established meta-ethical norms regarding good morals. The Qur’an is a powerful guide that appeals to the mind, heart, and soul, is valid until the end of the day, and reinforces the life of the individual with good moral principles. The moral standards that came through the Qur’an and our Prophet (Peace be upon Him) became concrete as objective moral truths.

Islam has a unique capacity to translate high moral principles and values into practice. According to Islam, human beings’ manners, nobility, and greatness are can only with good morals. Our Prophet (Peace be upon Him) showed with his own life how to realize peace, love, respect, and tolerance, and he emphasized the importance of good morals by describing almost every aspect of it. It also clarified the methods on how to protect moral values. In his call to good morals and high values, our Prophet (Peace be upon Him) clearly stated the precision of the meaning, the clarity of the purpose, and the compatibility of the message with the emotional content, by combining it with strong evidence.

Good morals, the essence of virtues, the opening door to Heaven, being close to the Most Gracious and Merciful Allah (Great is His Majesty). Bad morals are dangerous diseases of the heart and soul. Bad morality is a poison that kills people’s afterlife. Good morals are the most fundamental factor that determines the happiness of people both in this world and in the hereafter. A person can activate the hidden potentials bestowed upon him by the Almighty only through his good morals. With good morals, a person turns into a perfect mirror that reflects Allah’s (Great is His Majesty) beautiful names and his high attributes.

I conclude the subject with the prayer of good morals narrated by Ibn Masud from the Prophet (Peace be upon Him):

اللَّهُمَّ كَمَا حَسَّنْتَ خلقي فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقِي .

Dear my God! Make my morals good as you have made my creation beautiful.[27]

سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا اِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْعَلٖيمُ الْحَكٖيمُ

Glory be to You; we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.” (Al-Baqarah The Cow, 2/32)

[1] Ebu Hamid el-Gazali, İhyau Ulumi’d-Din, (Translation: Ahmet Serdaroğlu), Bedir Yayınevi, İstanbul-2011, C. 4, s. 451.

[2] Ali ibn Abi Bakr al-Haysami, Al-Majma az-Zawaid, vol. 1, p. 53 (Hadith number: 100); Al-Tabarani, Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, vol. 2, p. 20 (Hadith number: 1093).

[3] Al-Tabarani, Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir, vol. 1, pp. 180-181 (Hadith number: 468).

[4] Al-Sharif al-Jurjani, Ta’rīfāt (Definitions), pp. 156-157, Mektebetu Lubnan-Beirut.

[5] Abi al-Qasim al-Husayn bin Muhammad al-Raghib al-Asfahani, Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran, p. 242-243, Egypt, 1961.

[6] Jami’ at-Tirmidhi, Chapters on Righteousness And Maintaining Good Relations With Relatives, 62 (Hadith number: 2004).

[7] Jami’ at-Tirmidhi, Chapters on the description of the Day of Judgement, 50 (Hadith number: 2501).

[8] Ebû Ya’lâ al-Mushalî, Musnad Abi Ya’lâ, vol. 3, p. 334 (Hadith number: 3298), Dār al-Kıbla li al-Sakafah al-Islamıyyah, Jeddah -1988.

[9] Nur al-Din al-Haythamî, Bughyat al-Bâhith a Zavâid al-Harith, vol. 2, p. 819 (Hadith number: 853), Markaz Khidmat al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyah, Madinah-1992.

[10] al-Hakim al-Nishapuri, Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 1, p. 532 (Hadith number: 1949); Al-Tabarani, Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir, vol. 19, p. 19 (Hadith number: 36); İbni Hibbân, Al-Musnad al-Ṣaḥīḥ ala al-Takasim wa al-Anwa, vol. 3, p. 240 (Hadith number: 960); Tirmizi, Daavât, 127 (3591).

[11] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 12 (Hadith number: 5193), Muassasa ar-Risāle, Beirut-1985.

[12] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, pp. 3-4 (Hadith number: 5142).

[13] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 2 (Hadith number: 5132).

[14] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 3 (Hadith number: 5133).

[15] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 3 (Hadith number: 5137).

[16] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 3 (Hadith number: 5141).

[17] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 3 (Hadith number: 5138).

[18] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 5 (Hadith number: 5149).

[19] İbni Hibbân, Al-Musnad al-Ṣaḥīḥ ala al-Takasim wa al-Anwa, vol. 2, p. 235 (Hadith number: 485); Ahmed b. Hanbel, Musnad, 2/185 (Hadith number: 6735); 2/217-218 (Hadith number: 7035); Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrad, p. 143 (Hadith number: 272).

[20] İbni Hibbân, Al-Musnad al-Ṣaḥīḥ ala al-Takasim wa al-Anwa, vol. 2, p. 226 (Hadith number: 478).

[21] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 5 (Hadith number: 5151).

[22] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 5 (Hadith number: 5153).

[23] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 6 (Hadith number: 5156).

[24] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 7 (Hadith number: 5159).

[25] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 8 (Hadith number: 5170).

[26] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 17 (Hadith number: 5232).

[27] Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 12 (Hadith number: 5197).

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