Belief in an unseen and useable God and responsibility to Him is the main principle of the Islamic way of life. A believer’s worldly life revolves around this basic understanding. And whatever he does, he is aware that he will be rewarded or punished for it by God in the eternity of the Hereafter.
Thus Islamic worldview holistically integrates the life of this world with the life in the Hereafter. Therefore, in order to develop a right structure of mind and action, it is necessary to clearly understand the worldview and the image that Islam projects. in this assignment I will briefly describe Islamic worldview with supporting evidence from the Quran.
Islamic world view
According to the Islamic worldview, God created us humans as His Khulafa (plural of Khalifa), or His representatives on earth, and as such granted us a degree of independence – or will power and freedom to choose. In order that we could discharge this great responsibility of khilafah or representation, He gifted each of us appropriate abilities and a great potential to make use of these abilities. Thus we could progress development and achieve all that is good and beneficial for humankind.
However, this great responsibility is given as an Amana, a Trust, for the discharge of which each and every one of us is accountable and answerable to God.
This accountability and answerability will take place at our resurrection in the eternity of the Hereafter. Then if a person is judged good by the Lord Almighty, his reward will be the place of everlasting happiness, peace and calm – the Jannah or paradise. But if he fails in his responsibility, he will be sentenced to Hell and punished accordingly as he deserves. For these final consequences, none else but God will be the only Judge – the Qur’an calls God the Wisest of Judges (Al Tin 95:8)
The Islamic vision tells us that our work should be directed for our falah – that is, our success or wealth in this world as well as in the Hereafter. We will achieve this success by being obedient to our Lord and Creator – for who knows us better, and knows what is better for us, than the one who created, manages and rules this entire world.
Thus we should always seek the pleasure of God. For it is His pleasure that would turn the world we live in into a better place, and it is His pleasure that would ensure our place in Heaven in the eternity of the Hereafter.
All human problems result from man’s disobedience to God. This, because all parts of a human body, just as all other objects in nature, function according to the great orders and laws. And only when a man’s will functions in conform ity with the rest of his body, he is at peace and attains the desired tranquility. However, when he is disobedient, he, in effect, rebels against his very nature, and it results in conflict within and division without, leading to his failure.
Qur’anic Description of Islamic Worldview
As described earlier, the Qur’an states in several places that God created human as His Khalifa. For example: “Behold, your Lord said to the angels, I will create a Khalifa on earth” (Al-Baqarah 2: 30).
And He gave us the necessary faculties to discharge the responsibility of a khalifa. For example: “Say: “It is He who has created you (and made you grow), and made for you the faculties of hearing, seeing, feeling and understanding: Little thanks it is that you give” (Al Mulk 67:23).
To honor us, He blew some of His spirit into us: “But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit.” (As-Sajdah 32:9). And although created out of the baser elements of earth, that is what imparts us nobler qualities and makes us the best of God’s creation.
And He placed the nature at our disposal: “Do you not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made His bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, both seen and unseen?” (Luqman 31:20).
However the entire honor of representation and all of the faculties are given to us as a trust. “We did offer the Amana (Trust) to the Heavens, and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: But human undertook it – he was indeed unjust and foolish” (Al Ahzab 33:72).
We need to know that whatever we do during our worldly life is being recorded in detail by various means, and will all be presented on the judgment day in the Hereafter. Such as by two angels assigned to each and every one of us. (Angels are God’s creation performing specific functions assigned to them). These angels are: “Kind and honorable – writing down (your deeds): They know (and understand) all that you do” (Al Infitar 82:11-12). Even by our own body parts: “That day We shall set a seal on their mouths. But their hands will speak to Us, and their feet bear witness, to all they did” (Ya Sin 36:65).
And we will be judged solely by God, He may punish or forgive whoever He wills: “To God belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth. He forgives whom He pleases and punishes whom He pleases: but God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Al-Imran 3:129).
There are five elements of Islamic worldview. God, Religion , Man , Nature of life and Aim in life.
Differences between islam and other religions
All religions are originally one religion revealed by Allah through His Prophets and Messengers. They are different in legislation and laws and agree in content and objectives. The main message of Islam is the same basic message in all revealed religions, as they are all are from the same source: to guide people to worship Allah alone, to do righteous deeds that entail entering Paradise and to refrain from vices and sins entailing entering the Hellfire. However, Allah has distinguished the religion of Islam from other religions with some characteristics that made it the only religion worthy to be followed and the only religion lasting to the Day of Resurrection. Here are the most prominent differences between Islam and other religions:
1- Islamic faith is compatible with rationality. It is free from superstitions and irrational beliefs, and its principals are simple and clear. Allah is the Only God, the Eternal Refuge, He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent. He created this life for testing, and it does not end at death, but it entails immortality in the Paradise or the Hellfire according to one’s faith and deeds. The Holy Quran is a miracle book. It’s the perfect words of Allah revealed through His angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad to guide all people to truth.
2- The direct connection to Allah Almighty without mediation or religious priesthood; the Muslim Scholar, no matter how much pious or righteous he is. He does not forgive sins, listen to confessions. nor sell lands in Paradise to people as does the monk in Christianity. Rather, he prays and asks for forgiveness, and performs the obligatory duties as other Muslims do.
3- Islam is a universal religion. It is valid for all kinds of people at all times and places. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us that there is no preference for an Arab on a non-Muslim or a white person on a black one except in terms of piety. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“??? ???????? ???????? ?????? ???????????? ???? ?????? ????????? ??????????????? ???????? ??????????? ????????????? ? ????? ???????????? ????? ??????? ??????????? ? ????? ??????? ??????? ???????” (???????: 13)
(interpretation of the meaning): “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted” (49: 13)
4- Unlike other sacred scriptures, which have been distorted according to human whims, the Quran is the only scripture that has been perfectly preserved in both its words and meaning over thousands of years. Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an:
” ?????? ?????? ?????????? ????????? ???????? ???? ????????????” (?????:9)
Interpretation: ” Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, we will be its guardian” (15:9)
5 – Islam does not admit any separation between material and moral aspects. Islamic law guarantees satisfaction of the emotional and material needs of the human being, without negligence or exaggeration. One the other hand, the West was divided between two cultures: Christian culture denied the physical needs and followed the monastic order, and a secular culture born as a reaction to the dominance of the first culture in Europe. It separated between body and spirit and turned man into individual parts.
6 – Islam is a comprehensive religion. It’s not just a religion, rather it is a comprehensive lifestyle. Islam is the only religion that offers humans solutions to their problems, from the largest to the smallest and in all fields (politics, economy, education, ethics, administration, hygiene …etc.) The Islamic system represents an integrated approach that ensures continuity of life on a sound approach, unlike other religions and ideologies which are limited to one aspect of human life, whether spiritual, political or economic.
7- Islam is a practical religion. Its message is not just about theorizing and calling for good. All religions and principles of the world call for human virtues, ideals and values, but they do not offer practical ways and means to achieve those virtues and values in practical life. Although some of these religions propose some practical methods and apply them, these methods have not proved effective as Islam did.
For example, almost all religions (except Judaism and others) renounce racism and believe equality of all human beings before their Creator, and that the distinction between them is in piety, not in terms of race or nationality… etc. Everyone agrees on that, as well as the statutes of some countries. Nevertheless, has any religion or legislation succeeded in eliminating racial discrimination radically in all its forms? The answer is, of course, no, racial discrimination still exists even in the twenty-first century. However, Islam has offered a practical solution for each problem in two aspects:
1- The cognitive aspect: through the texts of revelation that most Muslims know from the Quran and the Sunnah.
2 – The practical aspect: as for racism, the practical solution is reflected in performing the pilgrimage of Muslims to Makkah, where Muslims come from the five continents of the world and of all races and ethnicities: Africans, Asians, Indians, Europeans, Arabs…etc. All wear the same clothes and perform the same rituals.
Islam also offered humanity practical remedies for all its problems, for example, Zakat fights poverty, Shura (consultation) fights injustice and tyranny, prayer prevents indecency and evil, and fasting protects oneself from incest and infidelity, and many more.
Similarities of Islam With Other Religions
Both Judaism and Islam share a belief that Abraham or Ibrahim in Islam is the father of their people. In the Muslim faith, Ibrahim struggled to understand God, and through his studies came to befriend him. Both Jews and Muslims believe that Ibrahim is the progenitor of their people, and according to the Islamic faith, all the prophets of their religion, including Muhammad come from him. Although some of the stories about Ibrahim in the Quran differ from those of the Bible, Muslims, like Jews and Christians, learn the story of God testing Ibrahim’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his son only to stop him at the last moment.
Much of Islamic morality is similar to that of other religions. Islam, like most major religions including Buddhism and Hinduism, teaches compassion and charity toward people in need as a virtue. Similar to Judaism, Muslims believe in the moral imperative of humbling themselves before God in order to worship him and receive his blessings. Muslims also believe that Jesus was one of the God’s prophets, though not the messiah, and respect his moral teachings such as following a path of peace.
Monotheism and Creation
Like many religions, including Christianity and Judaism, Islam is a monotheistic religion where followers worship one supreme omnipotent God. In Islam, Allah created the Earth and all life on it. Like Christianity and Judaism, the Muslim God is a kind and merciful one who wants humanity to live moral lives and help each other. Islam also shares a similar creation story where God created Adam. However, the Quran does not mention some other details such as the name of Eve.
A number of religious rites and methods of worship are common to Islam and other religions. Muslims pray to God for help and as a sign of religious devotion, just as Jews, Christians and other religious followers do. However, unlike other religions, Muslims believe that individuals should pray five times a day. Muslims can pray anywhere, but like churches in Christianity and synagogues in Judaism, special religious sites called mosques serve as the center of communal worship.
Why islam is a complete and comprehensive way of life
To understand the essence of Islam is to understand the very essence of humanity. More than a religion, Islam is a complete and comprehensive way of life leading to a balanced way of living. Islam brings civilization and happiness to man. Islamic principles and teachings can provide realistic, fair and objective solutions to the prevention of individual, familial, social and international problems which are threatening the existence of human communities throughout the world.
A spiritual belief that does not deal with social behavior, economic relations and international organizations is as erroneous as the social doctrine that does not consider spiritual belief, morality and behavior. Such social doctrines are abortive attempts, incapable of total human guidance or of achieving any coherence or accord among human beings.
Both the individual and the society are in dire need of a belief that accommodates and directs all their vital activities towards construction and growth. When the individual and society adopt such a belief and apply it to life, humanity can accomplish seemingly miraculous achievements which can only occur when man unites himself with the Eternal Power that channels his personality -potential in the right direction.
History has shown that Islam is unique in its ability to provide guidance for the entire range of human activity. It does not separate spiritual and secular life as unrelated entities.
Islam integrates all domains of human life, just like the different systems in the human body integrate to provide a complete human being. If one system does not work properly, it has got to affect the whole body. Likewise, Islam proposes systems of laws that integrate all parts of human society to bring happiness and peace to all its members. There is no other way or system that urges the active worship of Allah in its general and most comprehensive sense other than Islam. Fox example, Islam teaches that Muslims should fast for a month every year (i.e. Ramadan) in order to acquire piety and self-discipline and to develop awareness of the needs and problems of others who are starving or are in desperate need of food. Such an awareness of the needs of others is not enough on its own. Therefore, Zakah (obligatory charity) is prescribed to be distributed among the segments of society that are in need of individual and communal assistance.
A very important universal concept in Islam is “Ummah” (Nation). Ummah transcends all limitations implied by the term ‘nation’ by encompassing all people regardless of race, color, or sex. Allah emphasized this great Islamic principle in the verse (which means);
“Mankind was of one religion before their deviation; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over it i.e. Scripture except those who were given it-after the clear proofs came to them-out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.” Quran 2:2 13
Moreover, Islam has a unique understanding for the concept of Ummah. Ummah is the field for knowledge, ethics, government and positivism. Ummah in Islam is a system in which people integrate, even if they belong to different belief systems. It is a system of universal justice and peace that accommodates everyone who believes in freedom of thinking and in calling people to the truth-whether they are individuals or communities.
Indeed, Ummah in Islam is an apparatus which is more advanced than that developed by the West, the UN., or those apparatuses established by the American-European block merely to bring about a “new world order,” but which in reality often are geared only to maintain Western control over Third World human and material resources.
The Prophet Muhammad proposed a constitution for the city of Madeenah during the first days of his emigration from Makkah. He included the rights of both Jews and Christians, thereby safeguarding their freedom and beliefs. History has never known a constitution that represented minorities as this constitution of the Islamic state did. Ummah as an Islamic concept will, Allah willing, bring the advent of universal peace as well as an internal social system. Ummah is the field-ground for civilization to take place. Such an Ummah can be integrated and united, if it derives its doctrines, constitutions, morals, values and the whole perspective of life from the same united source: belief in the only true Allah. This is known as the concept of Tawheed (Monotheism).
The value systems of Western societies will continue to collapse, since they are built on shifting grounds. The Sunday Times of London, in its September 1994 issue, reported about a revolt by women against the values prevailing in Britain: ”British women seek new morality in its religious affairs” correspondent Lesley Thomas stated.
According to the report, this is not the case of British women who are favoring Islam. “Thousands of British women are becoming Muslims in a trend that baffles feminists and causes concern to Christians.” The report continues that “of the estimated 10,000 British converts to Islam over the past decade, most are single, educated women, doctors, college lecturers and lawyers.” The educated in the west are beginning to see that the “full” life is found only in Islam, the universal religion.
And what about the present day Muslim world? Unfortunately, some “educated” Muslims now pay only “lip-service” to Islam. They think that Islam is a slogan to be raised or a word to be uttered. Islam is the way of life that should be implemented in all spheres of life. These hypocrites have forgottenthat Allah dislikes those who brag about things that they do not practice. When man’s deeds are not commensurate with their words, their conduct is odious in the sight of Allah.
“O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do? Great is hatred in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do.”Quran 61:2-3
May Allah let the Muslim World never forget that Islam provides a complete and comprehensive way of life. Islam creates harmony in the mind, the soul and the body in a marvelous way. The need for Islam emerges from the humanity’s search for a constitution that provides guidance and satisfaction in all spheres of life. It is a code of life that is not limited to partial needs, but rather a way of life that penetrates all barriers to interact with people’s needs in this life and beyond. It is a way of life where there is no discrimination between what is sacred and what is secular.
Islam is unique among the religions and civilizations the world has known. In contrast to the other religions of the world, Islam defines religion itself as the very business of life, the very matter of space-time, the very process of history, and the gift of Allah. Therefore, all these work together to constitute them.
Islam is a divine guidance wherein humans of all nations, colors and tongues feel linked to a Supreme Power and Justice. Its teachings are kept intact and authentic. It is the only way to happiness, dignity, and universal peace. Islam is so unique in its method for solving the problems of humanity. I can say with confidence that the twenty first century will be the century of Islam. The everlasting miracle of Islam, THE QURAN, is a standing challenge to the intellect of all peoples at all times. In Islam’s four abiding principles – equality, tolerance, promotion of science, and solution to the world’s problems – its universality asserts itself. It calls to all mankind, if only mankind will listen.
“Then do they not reflect upon the Quran? If it had been from any other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction.” Quran 4:82
What are the values, principles and rules of ethics and morality in islam?
What is Ethics?
The literal meaning of “Ethics” is character and nature of the community, people or system. If we look into the technical meaning of “Ethics” then it means “Science of Morals” or if want to simplify it we can say that Ethics is a certain set of rules which are being provided by a society or a religion. But we have to talk about Islamic Ethics which we can describe as “Islamic Ethics is a set of rules which are guiding a Muslim so that he/she can live good and ideal life while being civilized.”
What is Morality?
Morality generally refers to a code of conduct, that an individual, group or society hold as authoritative, in distinguishing right from wrong. Islam as a complete way of life encompasses a complete moral system that is an important aspect of its world-view. We live in an era where good and evil are often looked at as related concepts. Islam, however, defines a universal standard by which actions may be suspect moral or immoral.
As Islam is a complete code of life that describes each and everything we required to live an ideal life according to the teachings of Quran. Islam describes Moral Values and Ethics in a proper way because Muslims should live their life according to these values which are prescribed by Almighty Allah. As we know the existence of man is a creation of All-Wise and The Most Merciful Creator. After the creation of man, Almighty Allah gave him an authority to live his life according to his own choice whether its good or bad choice. Allah has given this freedom to the man because it is basically his test how he will live his life that is according to the way that Allah described or the other that is evil.
Islam has set some universal fundamental rights for humanity as a whole, which are to be noticed and respected under all situations. To achieve these rights Islam provides not only legal safeguards but also a very effective moral system. So whatever point to the interest of the individual or the society is morally good in Islam and whatever is injurious is morally bad. In Quran Allah says: “It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in God and the Last Day and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask; and for the freeing of captives; to be steadfast in prayers, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which you made; and to be firm and patient in pain (or suffering) and adversity and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-conscious.” (Quran, 2:177)
From above verse, we can conclude that Almighty Allah has set some rules that we should follow to live a life according to the teachings of Almighty Allah.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the great example for all humankind if anyone wants to know about the Ethics and Morality of religion Islam. When Prophet (SAW) started preaching Islam He (SAW) was more focused on disciplining Muslims to have the best manners and personal characteristics. His personal life and behavior were reflective of his teachings, which were revealed to him by Allah Almighty. In the Noble Quran, Allah describes Prophet Muhammad (SAW) saying: “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” (Quran, 68:4)
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the great model of setting high standards of Ethics and Morality. The Prophet (SAW) used to emphasize how important good manners are for Muslims. He (SAW) has said: “The best of you is the best among you in conduct” (Bukhari). So if someone wants to be the best he/she should have to make his conduct best.
From an Islamic perspective, the purpose of human life is to worship Almighty Allah, by leading this worldly life in consistency with the Divine Will, and thereby achieve peace in this world and success in the life of the hereafter that will not be going to an end forever. Muslims look to the Noble Quran and the Traditions of the Prophet (SAW) as their moral guides.
Unlike other systems, the ethical system in Islam derives from a divine source which is the revelation from Allah. Hence, this system cannot be changed or shaped to fit our desires. This system has not been changed for thousands of years, it cannot be changed today, and it will never change until the Day of Judgment. No one has the authority to change or alter this system, even if the whole world wants to do so. What was considered good morals in the past will remain as good morals throughout time. The system of ethics is not affected by cultural norms because Allah is the One who resolved what is acceptable and what is not for all mankind and for those who are living in this world.
Good Acts of Morality in Quran
In Holy Quran Almighty Allah has mentioned several acts of good morality that we all should follow in our lives, some of them are listed below:
o Worship only Almighty Allah
o Dealing with parents in the best manner
o Do not commit adultery
o Fulfill promises
o Taking care of orphans and the poor
o Being honest in all matters of life
o Treat all people in a fair manner
o Fear Allah and always speak truth
o Be kind and good towards relatives and neighbors
o Remain away from gambling and intoxicants
o Do not kill anyone unjustly
Almighty Allah with His great wisdom could have made such a system that teaches humans how to deal with every aspect of their lives. Almighty Allah made complete and integrated system.
If you want a successful and happy life, then simply apply Islam to it, and you will have wonderful results. On the basic moral characteristics, Islam builds a higher system of morality. Islam generates kindness, generosity, mercy, sympathy, peace, and truthfulness towards all creation in all situations. We have to implement these Moral values and Ethics in our life. May Allah give us the strength to live our lives according to the teachings of Almighty Allah.