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Home » Columns » Muslim manners and duties

Muslim manners and duties

Publishing Date : 19 June, 2017

IQBAL EBRAHIM
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

There are universal values and basic commitments for Muslims as individuals and as a people but some of us are a bit lax about them. When these are followed, they bring justice, peace, and happiness in this world and they will indeed bring success and salvation in the Hereafter.


These principles are:
To worship Allah alone: “Thy Lord hath decreed, that ye worship none save Him.” (Quran 17:23)  This means to recognize Allah as the Lord, with no partners, to worship Him with all sincerity and to submit to Him in every aspect of life. A Muslim’s life is nothing but total commitment to Allah as He is the centre of our life and our total and ultimate concern. A Muslim turns to Allah for all His blessings and the praise and glory belongs to Allah.




To be respectful and kind to the parents: (And (that ye show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not a word of contempt nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness and humility say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both as they did care for me when I was little. (Quran 17:23-24)


This is to acknowledge the compassion and kindness of our parents, and to be grateful to them by doing our utmost to reciprocate that love, compassion and devotion the showed to us. Respect and kindness to parents is not just a social duty for Muslims; but our religious duty and obligation.

To be good to your relatives, to the poor and the travellers: “Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer.” (Quran 17:26)


Our responsibilities are not only towards ourselves and our immediate families, but also to other relatives and to the society at large. We are all in need of each other and we are all fellow travellers in this path of life. Muslims must live a socially responsible life. Social responsibility begins with the family, other relatives and it includes all those who are in need.

To be careful with your money and not to waste your resources: “And squander not (thy wealth) in wantonness.


Lo! The squanderers were ever brothers of the devils, and the devil was ever an ingrate to his Lord … And let not thy hand be chained (like a misers) to thy neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest thou become blameworthy and destitute. Your Lord provides sustenance to whom He pleases, and He provides in just measure, He Knows, and regards all of His servants.” (Quran 17:26-27, 29-30)


One should neither be too stingy / tight with one’s money nor too lose with it. Extravagance is not right, but also one should not become stingy and miserly. A Muslim is committed to the balanced life style. Money should be earned in Halaal (lawful) ways and it should be spent in a rightful manner. This principle can be applied to all resources that Allah has given us. Wise use of nature’s resources is also an important commitment of Muslims.

To steer clear of adultery and illicit relations: “And come not near unto adultery / fornication: for it is a shameful deed and an opening the road to other evils.” (Quran17: 32)


Islam teaches that one should not come close to adultery or fornication. Sexual perversions bring the greatest harm to us as individuals and societies, by observing the proper rules regarding this matter lead to a happier and moral society. Muslims must be committed to a pure, clean and socially responsible life style. 

To respect every life and not to kill anyone unless in the pursuit of justice: “Nor take a life – which Allah has made sacred except for a just cause”.( Quran 17:33)


This means that one should recognize the sanctity of all life and should not do anything that may jeopardize life. One should avoid aggression and violence, because these things lead to murder. Every Muslim must be committed to peaceful ways. Conflicts should be resolved by dialogue and negotiations, not by killings and murders. However, justice (law) must be maintained, because just punishment brings safety and protects life.
 To take care of the orphans: “It is righteousness …..to spend of your substance ……for orphans” (Quran 2: 177)


Orphans and all those who are vulnerable must be taken care of. Their rights must be recognized and they should be protected from all harms. A Muslim must be committed to assist the young, poor, infirm and handicapped. Kindness and compassion must be the basic commitment of a Muslim. This includes even animals.

To fulfil the promises and your commitments: (Those who faithfully observe their trusts and covenants… will be the heirs who will inherit Paradise” (Quran 23: 8-10)


Promises and contracts are an important part of our human interaction and daily lives. When promises are not kept, people lose trust in each other and the whole society becomes weak. Muslims have to be true to their words. Our commitment must be to speak the truth, to be honest and when we make a pledge we do our best to fulfil it.

To be honest in business dealings and not to cheat in weight or measurement: “Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the end.” (Quran 17:35)


Honesty in all our dealings brings progress, success and blessings. All dealings whether it is commercial, social or political must be done with a sense of justice and fairness. A Muslim is committed to honesty and fair dealing in everything and with everyone. Dealing with a Muslim should give a person confidence. A Muslim businessman should be the most truthful businessman.

 

A Muslim worker should be an honest worker. A Muslim in any profession should bring honour to that profession.

To do things with knowledge and not to follow the hearsay or act on half- knowledge: “follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. Lo! the hearing and the sight and the heart—of each of these it will be asked.” (Quran 17:36)


When we hear some gossip and stories and we spread them around; we may be doing harm to people because we are not sure if the information is true or not. We should keep away from these types of stories because we should be committed to verifying the truth in our information to ensure that it is a trustworthy report. We should also be careful with our actions and reactions.

 

We should not react on hearsay or without proper evidence against anyone because if we act on wrong information it is very difficult to put things right thereafter because we may have done untold damage to others.

To be humble and have no arrogance: “And do not swell thy cheek with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth, for Allah does not love any arrogant boaster” (Quran 31: 18)


Moderation and balance should be in our behaviour and in our attitudes toward others. A Muslim should be dignified and humble. We must avoid being boastful, arrogant or conceited. 
These are some of the basic values, principles and commitments for a Muslim, as individuals and as people. These should form the basis of our character, outlook, behaviour and interaction both in our private and in public life.


Finally the ‘golden median’ in the words of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh): “My Sustainer has given me nine commands: to remain conscious of Allah, whether in private or in public; to speak justly, whether angry or pleased; to show moderation both when poor and when rich; to reunite family relations with those who have broken off with me; to give to him who refuses me; forgive those wrong me and oppress me; that my silence should be occupied with thought; my speech be full of Allah’s remembrance; that my looking should be an admonition and that I should command what is right.”

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