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Between Faith and Morals in Islam

By Editorial Staff
Between Faith and Morals in Islam

The Prophet Muhammad said, “I was sent to perfect good manners.”

The relationship between faith and ethics in Islam is represented in the fact that good manners are a sign of strong faith which produces and intensifies them. In other words, a Muslim with strong faith in Allah and His divine book and the Prophet and his statements, will always develop sublime ethics and noble manners and will be able to refine and rectify his soul and characters.

However, the bad manners are on the opposite side and indicate lack or weakness of faith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has declared that the purpose of his message is perfecting and completing good manners. He (peace be upon him) said, “I was sent to perfect good manners.”  (Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad) The strength or weakness of faith is thus the measure of the person’s morals. The man with good manners is undoubtedly of true and pure faith in Allah and his Messenger, and the other one with evil manners is of course of bad and weak belief.

The Qur’an shows us that faith protects against vileness and drives to high morals. For this reason, Allah always uses the call “O you who believe” before giving orders of a good character or forbidding a bad one. This instills good manners in the souls and hearts of the believers and connects faith with high morals.

Moreover, many of the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) illustrate that the strong faith generates high morals inevitably, and that the collapse of morality is ascribed to the weakness or loss of faith, depending on the level of evil. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has made modesty, which is a noble character, a part of faith. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Faith has over seventy branches – or over sixty branches – the uppermost of which is the declaration: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’; and the least of which is the removal of harmful object from the road, and modesty is a branch of faith.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) In another hadith narrated by Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them), the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Modesty is a part of faith.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The one who causes harm to his neighbors and accuses them with bad things is indeed of weak or lost faith. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer.” It was asked, “Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “One whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil”. In another narration, we read: The Messenger of Allah said, “He will not enter Paradise whose neighbor is not secure from his wrongful conduct”.  (Al-Bukahri and Muslim)

Also, the Messenger (peace be upon him) teaches us some noble characters and links them to faith as he commands us to be generous to others, dutiful to kinship and avoid nonsense and prattle. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him show hospitality to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain good relation with kins; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

By then, we find the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) kept instilling virtues and sustaining them until they give their fruits, relying on the sincerity, pureness and perfection of faith. He did not only clarify in his answers to the questions of his companions by making that deep link between faith and noble manners, sincere worship, righteousness in this life and salvation in the hereafter but also he made it an unbroken connection that raises up and down depending on the level of faith. He continued his guidance and tips to implant in the hearts and thoughts that faith, righteousness and morality are a coherent system that cannot be torn apart.

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Source: Translated and adapted from an article entitled “Manifestations of the Connection between Faith and Morals in Islam” by Dr. Mustafa Musallam on Al-Alukah.net

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