Bad Morals to Stay Away From (part 1 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.

By Imam Mufti (© 2016 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 25 Jan 2016 - Last modified on 25 Jun 2019

Printed: 135 - Emailed: 0 - Viewed: 15,331 (daily average: 5)


·To learn about 10 bad morals according to the teachings of Islam


Bad-Morals-to-Stay-Away-From-(part-1-of-2).jpgAs we know there are many reports from Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, stressing the excellence of having good manners.  Part of good manners is knowing and giving up bad morals like:


Cheating and deception are despicable characteristics that are beneath a decent person.  The Prophet said:

“Whoever bears arms against us is not one of us, and whoever cheats us is not one of us.”[1]

Islam views cheating and deception as heinous sins; they are considered a source of shame to the one guilty of committing them, both in this world and in the next.  The Prophet did not merely denounce them by excluding them from the Muslim community in this world; he also announced that on the Day of Judgment:

“Every traitor will have a banner on the Day of Resurrection and it will be said: This is the betrayer of so-and-so.”[2]


Bribery means giving money to someone through whom a person takes something that he has no right to.  For example, bribing a judge to get a verdict in your favor, or bribing an official to give you preference over others or to get other favors like allotment of a contract etc.

Bribery is a big sin in Islam.  Allah, the Exalted, says:

“And eat up not one another’s property unjustly, nor give bribery to the rulers that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.” (Quran 2:188)

Allah’s Messenger cursed the one who bribes and the one who takes bribe.[3]


Jealousy is among the most destructive emotions which a man may have towards his fellow human being.  It causes him to wish evil for others and to be happy when misfortune befalls them.  The Prophet warned against envy by comparing it to fire that completely burns wood.

Jealousy is a disease and it causes impurity to the heart.  When Allah’s Messenger was asked: “Who are the best of people?” He replied: “The one with a clean heart and truthful tongue.” They asked: “We understand a truthful tongue, but what does a clean heart mean?“ He answered: “It is the heart of one that is pious, pure, and is free of sin, transgressions, hatred and jealousy.”[4]

4.Backbiting and slander

Allah says:

“And spy not, neither backbite one another.  Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting).” (Quran 49:12)

Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, once asked Prophet Muhammad, “O Messenger of Allah, what is backbiting?” He replied,  “It is to mention about your brother that which he detests.” Abu Dharr said, “O Messenger of Allah, what if what is mentioned is a trait that he possesses?” He replied, “Know that when you mention that which is in him, you have backbitten him, and when you mention that which is not in him, then you have slandered him.”


Gossip is dangerous and harmful; it can destroy the fabric and morality of a society.  People spread gossip for many reasons such as to feel superior (they feel better if someone is worse off than they are), out of jealousy, to fit in the group, for attention (they become center of attention for a few moments), out of revenge and even out of sheer boredom (an idle mind is a devil’s workshop).

We need to remind ourselves repeatedly that we are accountable for our deeds before Allah.  Allah says:

“O you who believe, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.” (Quran 49:6)


Lying is so abhorrent that all human beings reject it.  The Prophet said:

“A person lies and lies, until he is written with God as a habitual liar.”[5]

The Prophet’s closest friend and immediate successor, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“Beware of lying, for lying opposes (true) faith.”[6]

And the daughter of Abu Bakr, Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, who was the beloved wife of the Prophet, mentioned that:

“There was no trait more abhorrent to the Messenger of God, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, than lying.”[7]

7.Being suspicious

“Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the greatest falsehood.  Do not try to find fault with one another, do not spy on one another, do not vie with one another, do not envy one another, do not be angry with one another, do not turn away from one another, and be servants of Allah, brothers to one another, as you have been commanded.”[8]

Evils such as suspicion, faultfinding, envy and abandonment are evils that destroy a community with harms greater than any enemy could inflict.

8.Finding fault in others

Some people have an argumentative personality.  “I object”, “It’s your fault” and “You are to blame” are some of their favorite phrases.

One of the greatest behavioral weaknesses of man is the ignorance of his own faults.  Many a time we tend to focus our efforts in finding faults in others, but we forget our own self.  The Prophet said,

“A believer is not a fault-finder and is not abusive, obscene, or course.”[9]

9.Verbally or physically harming others

The Prophet defined the true Muslim as one who avoids harming other Muslims with his tongue (words) and hand (actions).  A Companion said,

‘I asked the Messenger of Allah: “Who is the most excellent among the Muslims?” He said, “One from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure.”‘[10]

As a general rule, Muslims should not harm other people.  The Prophet Muhammad said,

“There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm”.[11]

We should be particularly careful to protect those within our own community, but the principle is not restricted only to Muslims.  Rather, it applies to all humanity and even the animals.

10.Being boastful

The Prophet said: “Allah has revealed to me that you are all to be humble towards each other such that no one transgresses against or exalts himself above another.”[12]

Unfortunately, we now consider it a mark of confidence to boast about ourselves.  Whatever you have, is because Allah gave it to you or allowed you to have it; whether it is intelligence, looks, wealth, lineage, faith, character or anything else.

If someone thinks that they worked hard and achieved something by their own merit, they should look at all those who also work hard but do not reach their goals.  If you studied hard and excelled, who made it possible for you to have the time to study and excel?


[1] Saheeh Muslim

[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

[3] Tirmidhi

[4] Ibn Majah

[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

[6] Bayhaqi

[7] Musnad

[8] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[9] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

[10] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[11] Ibn Majah, Al-Daraqutni, Muwatta’

[12] Saheeh Muslim

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