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Bad Morals to Stay Away From (part 2 of 2)

Description: Two lessons will explain a variety of bad morals in Islamic ethics to stay away from in order to be better human beings. The second part.

By Imam Kamil Mufti (© 2016 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 01 Feb 2016 - Last modified on 10 Aug 2016

Printed: 24 - Emailed: 0 - Viewed: 1959 (daily average: 4)

Category: Lessons > Islamic Lifestyle, Morals and Practices > General Morals and Practices


Objectives:

·       To learn about another 10 bad morals according to Islamic teachings.

Arabic Terms:

·       Ameer – leader.

·       Sunnah - The word Sunnah has several meanings depending on the area of study however the meaning is generally accepted to be, whatever was reported that the Prophet said, did, or approved.

1.   Doubting the intention of others

Allah, the Exalted, says,

“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, for some suspicion is a Bad Morals to Stay Away From (part 2 of 2).jpggrave sin.” (Quran 49:12)

As a Muslim, we give people the benefit of the doubt and assume the best intentions.  When you give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they have the best intentions, you will be rewarded with a healthier outlook and more positive and productive interactions.

Suspicion could ruin relations between people, particularly when it is based on flimsy evidence or hearsay.  When we doubt the intention of others on no firm basis, we soon become guilty of a worse offense, which is suspicion without evidence.

2.   Taking undue advantage of others

Taking advantage of others is a result of betraying the trust.  Carrying out one’s duties to public office is a trust and taking advantage by taking bribe is forbidden.  Trust demands that if a man is appointed to a certain high office that he should not use it for self-aggrandizement or for the benefit of his relatives, for the use of public funds for personal purposes is a crime.  Not performing one’s duty for which one is paid is also taking undue advantage of others.  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“There will be a flag near the head of every deceiver which he will raise in proportion to his deceit.  Undoubtedly, the worst deceiver is an Ameer who deceives the public.”[1]

3.   Being deceptive and treacherous

Betrayal or treachery is the opposite of trustworthiness and loyalty.  If trustworthiness and loyalty are the qualities of faith and piety, then betrayal and treachery are the qualities of hypocrisy and evil. 

The Messenger of Allah said: “There are four characteristics, whoever has them all is a pure hypocrite: when he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, when he makes a covenant he betrays it, and when he disputes he resorts to obscene speech.  Whoever has one of them has one of the characteristics of hypocrisy, until he gives it up.” [2]

4.   Envy

Envy refers to the desire that a person feels for the destruction or removal of a blessing that another person has.  Allah orders the believers to seek refuge from the evil of the envious person and envy in general. Allah, the Exalted, says: "And from the evil of the envier when he envies." (Quran 113:5)

The Messenger of Allah also said:

“Indeed envy eats up good deeds just as fire consumes firewood.”[3]

There are many stories in the Quran that highlight the dangers and evils of envy like the story of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) in Chapter 12 and the story of Cain and Abel in Chapter 5.

5.   Being cold and unfriendly

Friendship and companionship are important in Islam.  Humans are social creatures by nature; they are in need of friends and companions.  The success of a community depends upon interaction with others.  Strong individuals are the core of a strong community, which is something that Muslims should always strive to achieve.

A good friend is one who accepts your shortcomings, but at the same time guides and supports you.  Believers must never embarrass or publicly harass one another.  They must never expose each other’s faults.  Kindness and mercy must be evident in all dealings.  At the same time, while Muslims must be caring to everyone, one should not develop a close friendship with someone of the opposite gender or get into a relationship.  That type of close proximity is reserved for spouses.

6.   Uncaring and unhelpful

One of the central principles of Islam is helping others.  The Quran and especially the Sunnah highlight how helping another human being is a fundamental aspect of Islam.  A Muslim’s primary goal is to worship Allah; this is not only achieved through rituals like prayer and fasting but also through the treatment of other people.  Allah loves it so much when we help others that He forgives us our sins.

7.   Miserliness

Miserliness is a relative term.  If one pays all of his monetary dues according to Islam, and at the same time he leads a very simple life, then this is a case of simple living and not a case of miserliness.  On the other hand, if one fails to pay his monetary dues and lives the life of a miser, this form of behavior is unwanted in Islam.  It is tantamount to selfishness, and selfishness according to Islam, is an abhorrent, prohibited behavior.

8.   Being unjust and unfair

There are three broad types of injustice:

1.     To be unjust towards Allah.  This is the most heinous type and can be in the form of disbelief, polytheism, or hypocrisy.  Allah says: 

“Indeed, the curse of Allah is upon the unjust.” (Quran 11:18)

2.     To be unjust towards other people.  Allah says:

“Blame falls only on those who wrong men and transgress on this earth without justification, such will have a painful punishment.” (Quran 42:42)

3.     To be unjust towards oneself.  Allah says:

“Then we caused to inherit the Book those We have chosen of Our servants; and among them is he who wrongs himself.” (Quran 35:32)

9.   Intolerance

Tolerance is an important trait of a Muslim’s good character.  Muslims should be kind and gentle, patient with people, forgiving of bad character, and lenient whenever possible.  The Prophet commanded the Muslims to avoid causing unnecessary difficulty and hardship in people’s lives and to inspire people with graceful speech,

“Make things easy and do not make things difficult.  Give glad tidings and do not repel people.  Cooperate with each other and do not become divided.”[4]

Intolerance and harshness repels hearts and promotes disunity.  Intolerance breeds hatred and can lead to killing and violence.

10.    Being arrogant and proud

Prophet Muhammad warned that a person having even an iota of it in his heart will not enter Paradise.

An arrogant individual is abhorred by all; whereas, one who is humble, polite, and easy to talk to is beloved.  We love people who give us respect and honor.  Thus if we follow the principle of treating others the way we like to be treated, most of the problems that ail our communities would be solved.



Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh Muslim

[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[3] Musnad

[4] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

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