The Islamic Garden
The question of morality
The question remains, what is 'morality'? The modern world will deny its existence and say that all behavior is natural and therefore should be acceptable. In the Qur'an however, Allah turns our attention to the wonders of nature; its harmony, the fact that night and day turn upon each other in order; animals act according to their instincts, rain descends on the earth as ordained and birth and death occur regardless of human effort, while planets orbit and the sun exists for an appointed time . So also, in the life of the Muslim, there must be harmony with nature and all that exists and application of laws and ways that ensure the rights of all - not just the rights of an elite few.
Human beings, when left with no guidance; no light to guide them through the travesties of life, will devour the rights of all within their grasp and seek to usurp legitimate authority and wisdom. Mankind has been granted 'freedom' by Allah, something that was not given to the other elements of creation. The freedom to either obey or disobey Allah. Within each soul lies the basic knowledge of what is right and wrong; a conscience, an inner voice that warns the soul of danger and reminds it of its nature. If ignored and disobeyed this voice becomes weaker and becomes just as if a light is turned off and the person walks in spiritual darkness. However, the moment that the soul turns towards its Creator, sincerely seeking guidance and goodness, a light will flicker and the soul will be guided to truth, wisdom, knowledge and innate understanding.
Allah tells us in the Qur'an,
"Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as (if there were ) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in a glass, the glass is as if it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e. neither it gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e. not it gets sun-rays only in the afternoon, - but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything."
(Sura An Nur 24:35)
This is not only an individual phenomenon, but this guidance comes in the form of Books, which were revealed by the All Merciful throughout time.
All the books of Allah were originally in The Book (Al Lauh al Mahfuz) which was with Allah before the creation of the universe. It is the word of Allah, which He chose to reveal throughout time, by the Angel Gibreel (peace be upon him) piece by piece. Many of the Prophets received the revelation of The Book including Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) who received the revelation of the Taurat, Prophet David (peace be upon him) who received the revelation of the Zabur (The Psalms), Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) who received the revelation of the Injeel (the Gospel) and finally Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who received the final revelation; the Qur'an. There were other Prophets and Messengers throughout time but these books are the only ones that exist in any form today. All, except the Qur'an have been tampered with by human hands. By the Mercy of Allah, the Qur'an remains intact and it is a promise from Allah that the Qur'an will remain so until the end of time.
Allah says in the Qu'ran,
"That this is indeed an honourable recital (the Noble Qur'an).
In a Book well-guarded (with Allah in the heaven i.e. Al Lauh Al Mahfuz)."
(Sura Al Waqi'a 56:77-78)
"And verily, it (the Qur'an and its revelation to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) is announced in the scriptures (the Torah and the Gospel) of former people."
(Sura Ash Shu'ara 26:196)
The message of Muhammad (peace be upon him) was different to the other prophets inasmuch as it is for all mankind, not just a specific group of people, and will last until the end of time (the Day of Judgment). Along with the Qur'an as the source of guidance for mankind, there is also the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him). The Sunnah is the record of the sayings, practices and the things, which the Prophet consented to during his lifetime. Allah orders mankind to obey Him and His Prophet and obedience to the Prophet (peace be upon him) is achieved by following the sunnah.
Allah says in the Qur'an,
"And obey Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad, peace be upon him) that you may obtain Mercy!"
(Sura Al Imran 3:132)
With the Qur'an and the Sunnah, all problems that are faced by mankind can be solved, all disputes can be quieted and all fears can be alleviated. The people who lived at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were excellent examples of good character. They had the best example to follow, which is the Prophet himself. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) remains the example for all mankind to follow. He said, "I did not come except to teach good character (Akhlaq)."
What is the moral behavior expected of a Muslim? The moral behavior enjoined on Muslims, is the same behavior which is pleasing to the Creator of all, and likewise the behavior that displeases Him, is forbidden to the Muslim.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Righteousness is good morality, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in your soul and which you dislike people finding out about."
The moral behavior of a Muslim, is that which develops, protects and raises the dignity of the individual and society. All things which protect the child, the woman, the man, and the society have been prescribed and likewise all things that harm the child, the woman, the man and the society have been declared unlawful. So things like gambling, extravagance, miserliness, greed, fornication, adultery, consuming alcohol and intoxicants, taking drugs and all things which control the mind, theft, murder, usury, cheating, lying, deception and so on have been forbidden. All things which harm are not allowed, despite the desire of those among men who would love to indulge in these things to make money out of people or simply to satisfy their desires at the cost of others.
Basics of Islam