Rights and moral conducts of the Muslims

Dear original authors,

brothers-in-Islam,                                       

I had copied and taken down notes from various internet sites, books, articles from newspapers about Islam for about 20 years.  My greatest weakness is that I failed to record the references properly. 

So there may be numerous mistakes, omissions or failure to mention at all, in acknowledging or citing the original source and authors in this series of Islamic articles.  

Kindly forgive me that as I am not an expert in Islamic studies, all my articles are not my original research, translations nor presentations.

I am just trying to compile, edit into gist and is trying to present AGAIN some of my brothers-in-Islam’s good works. 

Dr Zafar Shah@ San Oo Aung 

Honesty in Monetary Dealings

Uprightness and honesty in monetary dealings forms a vital part of the fundamental teachings of Islam.

The Qur’an as well as the Traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) are emphatic that;

” a true Muslim is one who is honest and upright in business and other monetary transactions; keeps his word and fulfils his promises, shuns fraud and avoids deceit, encroaches not upon the rights of others and abstains from wrongful litigation, does not give false evidence and abstains from making dishonest money as from usury or graft.

In short, all manner of deceit and dishonesty in business is prohibited in Islam.  

 Social Conduct and Mutual Relations

 RIGHTS OF CITIZENS IN AN ISLAMIC STATE

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Social conduct, good manners and respect for the rights of each other, form an important part of Islamic teachings.

One can become a good and true Muslim when one observes the social code of Islam. The rules and regulations governing the modes and manners of behaviour between man and man and society, as laid down by Islam is very important for a Muslim.

1.Rights of neighbours:

The Qur’an calls upon us to be_

  1.  good and courteous to our neighbours.

  2. It has commanded us to maintain the best of conduct towards

  3. our parents,

  4. brothers

  5. and sisters

  6. and towards other near relatives.

A Tradition of the Prophet (pbuh) reads:

“He shall not go to Heaven for whose mischief his neighbours do not feel secure.”

Islam conferred special rights for_

  1. the weaker

  2. and the poorer sections of society

  3. and needy persons.

  4. It is the duty of all well-to-do people to look after those people, including non-Muslims.

Justice is an integral part of Islamic ethics.

2. Rights of parents:

       In Islam, the rights of parents have been described as next only to the rights of God, as clearly stated in the Qur’an.

3.  Rights of children:

      Islam has laid an equal stress on the rights of children on parents also.

Apart from the responsibility of parents_

  1. to feed

  2. and clothe their children,

  3. their moral

  4. and religious education

  5. and upbringing

are also very important in Islam.

4. Rights of husband and wife.     

The Prophet used to attach profound importance to the harmony of married life among Muslims.

He urged Muslim husbands and wives

  1. to keep each other happy
  2. and to attend to each other’s needs
  3. and interest with loving care.

5. Rights of relatives:

      In the Qur’an, we are told_

  1. to be kind to our kinsmen

  2. and whoever disregards

  3. and pays no heed to the bonds of kinship

has been condemned as a transgressor and sinner of the worst order.

The holy Prophet (pbuh) has said:

  1. “If a near relative treats you indifferently and ignores the bond of relationship,

  2. do not turn your back on him

  3. but keep on discharging, on your part, the obligations of relationship towards him.”

6.  Rights of the old on the young and of the young on the old:

      It is a general principle of Islamic social behaviour_

  1. that everyone should respect his elders.

  2. Those who are older are required to treat those who are younger to them

  • with kindness
  • and affection,
  • even if there be no relationship between them.

7.   Rights of Muslims on each other:

      Further, there is_

  1. a special claim of Muslims on each other,

  2. the common bond of Islam.

Says the Prophet (pbuh):

  1. “Every Muslim is a Muslim’s brother.

  2.  He should neither harm him himself

  3. nor leave him alone

  4. (help him and to protect him).

Whoever among you will fulfil the need of his brother, God will take it upon Himself to fulfil his needs, and a Muslim who will remove the distress of a Muslim brother will, in return, find a distress of his removed by God on the Day of Requital, and anyone who will hide the shame of a Muslim, his sins will be hidden by God on the Last Day.”

“Do not bear a grudge or enmity against each other, do not be jealous of each other, and do not indulge in backbiting.” “Live like brothers and the servants of One God. It is not allowed for a Muslim to cease to be on talking terms with another Muslim for more than three days.” “The life, honour and property of a Muslim are sacred for another.”  

 8. Good Manners and Noble Qualities

Good manners and noble qualities of mind and character enjoy a place of crucial importance in the structure of Islamic teachings. Moral evolution and uplift was one of the main objects for which the sacred Prophet (pbuh) was raised up. The Prophet himself has said:

“I have been sent down by God to teach moral virtues and to evolve them to highest perfection.”  (1) “The best of your are those who possess the best of manners.” (2) “No sin is more detestable to God than bad manners.”

Some More Important Virtues to cultivate all good and noble moral and social qualities and to avoid everything that is mean or wicked.

1) Truthfulness

Truthfulness is a matter of such supreme consequence in Islam that, in addition to speaking the truth always, a Muslim is exhorted also to keep company only with those that are truthful.

Says the Prophet (pbuh):

“He who wishes to love God and His Apostle, or wishes God and His Apostle to love him, must take care to speak nothing but the truth whenever he speaks.”

2) Fulfilling Promises

It is also a part of truthfulness that when a promise is made, it should be fulfilled. The Qur’an and the Traditions are very clear on this point. Our faith demands of us never to go back on our pledged word.

3) Trustworthiness

Closely allied to truthfulness is the quality of trustworthiness.

Here is a Tradition of the holy Prophet (pbuh) on this point:

“Look not alone at anyone’s prayers and fasts to decide about his spiritual excellence .

You should also see that he is truthful when he speaks, restores honestly what he has received in trust to whom it is due, and remains righteous in times of adversity and suffering.”

4) Justice

Justice is an integral part of Islamic ethics. In Islam, we are commanded to be just and fair not only towards our own people or co-religionists, but also towards others even if they be the enemies of our life, property or faith.

5) Compassion and Forgiveness

To feel pity on a fellow human being in distress, to be compassionately drawn towards him, to bring him succour, and to pardon the guilty and the defaulter are virtues that are valued very highly in Islam. Take this Tradition, for instance:

“God will have mercy upon them that are merciful. Treat kindly the dwellers of the earth, He who dwells in the heavens will treat you kindly.” We ought to be kind and compassionate towards friend and foe alike and to all the creatures that exist on the earth.

It is reported from the Prophet (pbuh) that once a person who was travelling by road saw a dog licking wet earth in the agony of thirst. The traveller was moved by the spectacle and gave water to the dog to drink. This simple service of the man to the thirsting dog pleased God so much that He blessed him with salvation.

6) Tenderness

Tenderness in monetary dealings, and in all other fields of one’s activity, and the readiness to oblige and put others at ease are all virtues of the highest order in the Islamic pattern of morality.

7) Self Restraint

Tolerance, affability, self-restraint, and the ability to control one’s temper and overlook what is unpleasant and disagreeable, are qualities that Islam wants everyone to cultivate.

8 ) Gentleness of Speech

Gentleness of speech is a religious virtue in Islam and rudeness a sin. The Qur’an declares : “Speak fair to the people.”

We have it from the Prophet:

“To speak politely is piety and a kind of charity.” “To indulge in intemperate language and in harsh behaviour is to perpetuate an injustice and the house of injustice is Hell.”

In Islam, we are commanded to be just and fair not only towards our own people or co-religionists, but also towards our enemies.

Tolerance, affability, self-restraint, and the ability to control one’s temper and overlook what is unpleasant and disagreeable, are qualities of good Muslims.

Humility is a virtue, a distinguishing feature of the moral and spiritual proof of courage and firmness.

 

 Courage and Fortitude

The Muslim must be meek and humble but firm like a rock and allows neither fear nor weakness to come near him where faith or truth or justice is at stake.

There occur periods of hardship and adversity, sometimes there is want, disease, enemies harass us, and so forth. In spite of those thousand trials and calamities we should bear them with courage and fortitude, remain firm and should not waver from our principles.

There is the assurance of the Qur’an for them:

“For God loves those who are patient and persevering” (11:153). The holy Prophet (pbuh) has said:

“Patience is one half of Faith.”

Contrarily, impatience and cowardice are the most lamentable of evils against which the Prophet (pbuh) used to beg God for refuge in his prayers. “God is not regardful of your fine visages or your wealth. He is regardful only of your hearts and intentions.” The idea of the above tradition is that God will judge and requite solely on the basis of our motives and intentions.”

11) Sincerity

Sincerity is the life and soul of the entire moral edifice of Islam.

All our deeds and actions should solely be for the sake of God. Apart form it, there must be no other desire, motive or intention behind whatever we do.

States the Prophet (pbuh):

“He who loves or hates, offers favours or withholds them, and whatever he does, does so for the sake of God, he perfects his faith.” The Gist of Islam: The Heart of the Matter

Ch 4: Rights of enemy soldiers and non-combatants at war

Ch 4: Rights of enemy soldiers

and non-combatants at war

RIGHTS OF ENEMIES AT WAR

The actual codification of the ‘international law’ in war began in the middle of the nineteenth century.

  1. All forms of barbarity
  2. and savagery were perpetrated in war,
  3. and the rights of those at war were-
  • not even recognized,
  • let alone respected, before that period.

Law of War and Peace in Islam:

The rules which have been framed by Islam to make war civilized and humane, are in the nature of law, because_

  1. they are the injunctions of God
  2. and His Prophet
  3. which are followed by Muslims in all circumstances,
  4. irrespective of the behaviour of the enemy. 

 The Rights of the Non-Combatants:

Islam has first drawn a clear line of distinction between

  1. the combatants
  2. and the non-combatants of the enemy country.
  3. As far as the non-combatant population is concerned such as
  • women,

  • children,

  • the old

  • and the infirm, etc.,

the instructions of the Prophet are as follows:

“Do not kill any old person, any child or any woman” (Abu Dawud).

“Do not kill the monks in monasteries” or “Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship” (Musnad of Ibn Hanbal).

The Rights of the Combatants:

1. Torture with Fire

In the hadith there is a saying of the Prophet that: “Punishment by fire does not behove anyone except the Master of the Fire” (Abu Dawud). No one should be burnt alive.

2. Protection of the Wounded

“Do not attack a wounded person”-thus said the Prophet. This means that_

  • the wounded soldiers who are not fit to fight,

  • nor actually fighting,

  • ]should not be attacked.

3. The Prisoner of War Should not be Slain

No prisoner should be put to the sword”, a very clear and unequivocal instruction given by the Prophet (S).

4. No one Should be Tied to be Killed

“The Prophet has prohibited the killing of anyone_

  •  who is tied

  • or is in captivity.”

5. No Looting and Destruction in the Enemy’s Country

Muslims have also been instructed by the Prophet that_

  1. if they should enter the enemy’s territory,

  2. they should not indulge in_

  • pillage

  • or plunder

  • nor destroy the residential areas,

  • nor touch the property of anyone

  • except those who are fighting with them.

It has been narrated in the hadith: “The Prophet has prohibited the believers from loot and plunder” (al-Bukhari; Abu Dawud). His injunction is:

“The loot is no more lawful than the carrion” (Abu Dawud).

Abu Bakr al-Siddiq used to instruct the soldiers while sending them to war,

“Do not destroy_

  1. the villages
  2. and towns,
  3. do not spoil the cultivated fields
  4. and gardens,
  5. and do not slaughter the cattle.”

6. Sanctity of Property

The Muslims have also been prohibited from_

  • taking anything,

  • without paying for it,

from the general public of a conquered country.

If in a war the Muslim army_

  • occupies an area of the enemy country,

  • and is encamped there,

it does not have the right to use the things belonging to the people without their consent.

7. Sanctity of a Dead Body

Islam has categorically prohibited its followers from_

  • disgracing
  • or mutilating the corpses

of their enemies as was practised in Arabia before the advent of Islam.

It has been said in the hadith:

“The Prophet has prohibited us from mutilating the corpses of the enemies”

(al- Bukhari; AbC Dawud).

8. Return of Corpses of the Enemy

In the Battle of Ahzab_

  • a very renowned
  • and redoubtable warrior of the enemy was killed
  • and his body fell down in the trench which the Muslims had dug for the defence of Medina.
  1. The unbelievers presented ten thousand dinars to the Prophet
  2. and requested that the dead body of their fallen warrior may be handed over to them.

The Prophet replied_
“I do not sell dead bodies. You can take away the corpse of your fallen comrade.”

9. Prohibition of Breach of Treaties

Islam has strictly prohibited treachery.

One of the instructions that the Prophet used to give to the Muslim warriors while sending them to the battlefront was:

“Do not be guilty of breach of faith.”

This order has been repeated_

  • in the Holy Quran
  • and the hadith again and again,
  1. that if the enemy acts treacherously let him do so,
  2. you should never go back on your promise.
  3. The Prophet declared that:
  4. “We cannot break the agreement”.

10. Rules About Declaration of War

It has been laid down in the Holy Quran: Muslims have been prohibited from_

  1. opening hostilities against their enemies
  2. without properly declaring war against them,
  3. unless of course, the adversary has already started aggression against them.

Otherwise the Quran has clearly given the injunction to Muslims that_

  1. they should intimate to their enemies that no treaty exists between them,
  2. and they are at war with them.
Conclusion:
This is a brief sketch of those rights which fourteen hundred years ago Islam gave to man, to those who were at war with each other and to the citizens of its state.
Acknowledgment: This article was down-loaded from_ http://www.islamworld.net/hr.txt, make a gist and reformatted.

Ch 3:11. The Right to Basic Necessities of Life

Ch 3:11. The Right to Basic Necessities of Life  

Islam has recognised the right of the needy people that help and assistance will be provided for them.

“And in their wealth there is acknowledged right for the needy and the destitute” (51:19).

In this verse,

  1. the Quran has not only conferred a right on every man who asks for assistance in the wealth of the Muslims,
  2. but has also laid down that if a Muslim comes to know that a certain man is without the basic necessities of life,
  3. then irrespective of the fact whether he asks for assistance or not,
  4. it is his duty to reach him and give all the help that he can extend.
  5. For this purpose Islam has not depended only on the help and charity that is given voluntarily,
  6. but has made compulsory charity, zakat
  • as the third pillar of Islam,
  • next only to profession of faith
  • and worship of God through holding regular prayers.

The Prophet has clearly instructed in this respect that:

“It will be taken from their rich and given to those in the community in need”

(al-Bukhari and Muslim).

 

 

In addition to this, it has also been declared that the Islamic State should support those who have nobody to support them.

The Prophet has said:

“The Head of state is the guardian of him, who has nobody to support him”

 

(Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi).

The word wali which has been used by the Prophet is a very comprehensive word and has a wide range of meanings.

  1. If there is an orphan
  2. or an aged man,
  3. if there is a crippled
  4. or unemployed person,
  5. if one is invalid
  6. or poor
  7. and has no one else to support him
  8. or help him,
  • then it is the duty
  • and the responsibility of the state
  • to support
  • and assist him.

If a dead man has no guardian or heir, then it is the duty of the state to arrange for his proper burial.

In short the state has been entrusted with the duty and responsibility of looking after all those who need help and assistance.

A truly Islamic State is therefore

  • a truly welfare state
  • which will be the guardian
  • and protector of all those in need.

 

 

 

Charity:

the third pillar of Islam

Excerpt from Islam in a Nutshell by Dr. M. Hamidullah

Zakat, almsgiving, is the third pillar of Islam. The term zakat was used in the Qur’an in a number of verses. It means “growth” and “purifying”. [123]

In other words, one must purify one’s wealth by giving away something from the surplus for the benefit of society. Zakat was levied as a tax on the Muslims. Zakat is to be used for certain purposes which are determined by the Qur’an.

Alms are for the poor (al-fuqara) and the needy (al-masakin) and those employed to administer the funds; for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled to the Truth; for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of God; and for the wayfarer. (Thus it is) ordained by God, and God is full of knowledge and wisdom. [124]This tax was considered a right– a right of the poor and an obligation of the wealthy. Islam not only calls on the rich to pay this tax, from their hoarded income, but it also prohibits usury–in fact, interest of any kind. [126]

One should also add that the second caliph, ‘Umar, ruled that the poor among the non-Muslims also have a right to receive zakat. [127]

Zakat must be paid sincerely and in a spirit of selflessness. If one’s motives are mixed or worldly, then one’s charity is useless in the eyes of God. In this regard, the Qur’an gives a stern warning:

O ye who believe! Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury–like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in God nor the Last Day. [128]