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Social and Moral Code of Islam

By Dr. Muhammad Sharif Chaudhry



  1. Model of Conduct

  2. Elements of Good Conduct

  3. Who is the Most Excellent?

  4. Taqwa (Piety or Fear of God)

  5. TawaKKal (Trust in God)

  6. Tazkia (Purification of Self)

Dictionary meanings of conduct are: to lead or guide; to convey; to direct; to manage; to behave; to carry or transmit. But here we are taking this word in the meaning of manner of conducting; mode of treatment; personal behaviour or deportment; character consisting of one’s virtues and vices. Synonyms of conduct are: attitude, bearing, behaviour, demeanour, deportment.

In general sense conduct is one’s behaviour, character, deeds and actions. It comprises good actions and bad actions, good qualities and bad qualities, virtues and vices, strengths and weaknesses. But we would use the word in good sense here.

Having defined the terms, we would now present code of conduct prescribed by Islam.

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I – Model of Conduct

The Qur’an, the revealed book of Islam, sets up the conduct of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the conduct of Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) as models of an ideal conduct for the Muslims. The Muslims have been enjoined upon to follow the pattern of behaviour of these great Prophets of Allah and to emulate their example for building their own conduct and character.

The conduct of a great woman, Mary, the mother of Prophet Jesus, and that of another woman, the wife of Pharaoh is also to be followed by the believers specially by the believing women. Even the examples of good character setup by the companions of the Prophet of Islam and other great Muslims should inspire the ordinary believers who can derive immense benefit from them.

Particularly the conduct of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is a model for a Muslim. Muhammad was the most perfect man endowed with each and every virtue which goes to make up good conduct. The Qur’an calls his conduct very sublime and great. Even before the call to prophethood, he had been given the titles of al-Sadiq (the truthful) and al-Ameen (The trustworthy) by his compatriots. The Holy Qur’an and Hadith literature provide numerous instances of excellent conduct of the Prophet of Islam which was a great factor in winning the hearts of the people to Islam.

Following Verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) provide a model of an ideal conduct for a Muslim:

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   Verily in the Messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembereth Allah much.   ––33: Al-Ahzab: 21

2.   There is a goodly pattern for you in Abraham and those with him, when they told their folk: Lo! We are guiltless of you and all that ye worship beside Allah. We have done with you. And there hath arisen between us and you hostility and hate for ever until ye believe in Allah only……   ––60: Al-Mumtahanah: 4

3.   And Allah citeth an example for those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh when she said: My Lord! Build for me a home with Thee in the Garden, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his work, and deliver me from evildoing folk; And Mary, daughter of ‘Imran, whose body was chaste, therefore We breathed therein something of Our Spirit. And she put faith in the words of her Lord and His Scriptures, and was of the obedient.  
   ––66: Al-Tahrim: 11-12

4.   And surely thou hast sublime morals.   ––68: Al-Qalm: 4

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.   Malik told that he heard God’s messenger had said, “I have been sent to perfect good character.”.    (Malik, Ahmed)

2.   Anas reported: The Apostle of Allah was the best of men, the most generous of men and the bravest of men……  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

3.   Abu Hurairah reported: He was questioned: O Apostle of Allah! invoke against the polytheists. He replied: Verily I have not been sent as a great curser, but I have been sent as a mercy.   (Muslim)

4.   Ayesha reported: The Prophet was not accustomed to talk hastily as you do. He was accustomed to talk in such a way that if a counter counted, he could have certainly numbered it.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

5.   Ayesha reported: The Apostle of Allah was never asked to choose between two things except that he choose the easier of the two so long as it was not sinful. If it was sinful, he used to keep farther from it than all the people. The Apostle of Allah did never take revenge for any wrong done to him personally except to vindicate the honour of Allah: he used then to take revenge for Allah.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

6.   Ayesha reported: The Apostle of Allah was neither indecent by nature, nor indecent by compulsion, nor a wanderer in the markets, nor did he return evil for evil, but he forgave and pardoned.   (Tirmizi)

7.   Anas narrated about the Holy Prophet that he used to visit the sick, follow the bier, respond to the invitation of a slave and ride upon mules. I have indeed seen him on the Day of Khaiber upon mule with a rein of date refuge.  
   (Ibn Majah, Baihaqi)

8.   Ayesha reported that the Holy Prophet used to mend his shoes, sew his cloth and work in his household just as one of you works in his own house. She also reported that he was a man among men who used to patch his clothes, milk his goats and engage himself in work.   (Tirmizi)

9.   Abdullah-b-Hares reported: I did not see anybody smiling more than the Apostle of Allah.   (Tirmizi)

10.   Anas reported that whenever the Prophet handshook with a man, he used not to take away his hand from his hand till the latter took away his hand, nor did he turn away his face from him till the latter turned away his face from him. He was not seen to take steps in front of his friend.   (Tirmizi)

11.   Once khadija the wife of the Prophet consold him by saying “Allah will never humiliate you. Certainly you observe the tie of kinship, speak the truth and bear the burden of others and help the destitute and entertain the guests and help others in genuine distress.”   (Ibn Hasham)

12.   When asked by a person about the conduct (Khuluq) of the prophet many years after his death, Ayesha said “Have you not read the Qur’an? – His khuluq was the Qur’an”  
    (Muslim, Abu Daud)

13.   Ayesha reported that a party of the Jews sought permission to see the Messenger Allah and said: Death be on you! I replied: Rather death and curse be on you! He said: O Ayesha! Allah is compassionate and loves compassion in all His affairs. I said: Have you not heard what they said? He replied: I have said “And upon you too.” In a narration of Bukhari, she said that some Jews came to the Holy Prophet and said: Death be on you. He said: And upon you too. Ayesha then said: Death be upon you, may Allah curse you and His wrath be upon you! The Messenger of Allah said: Stop, O Ayesha! You should take to compassion and avoid harsh treatment and indecency. She said: Have you not heard what they said? He said: Have you not heard what I replied? I returned (it) upon them.

14.   Anas (Allah be pleased with him) has reported: I have never felt any piece of velvet or silk softer than the palm of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), nor have I smelt any fragrance more agreeable than the smell of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him). I rendered services to him for ten years. He never said to me: Fie. He Never said: Why did you do that work? If I had not done any work, he would never say: Why had you not done such and such (work)?   (Bukhari and Muslim)

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II – Elements of Good Conduct

Good Conduct is virtually good behaviour and good character. If comprises good actions and good deeds. Islam prescribes code of conduct for its followers which is a sort of list of good actions and good deeds which should be performed in order to earn pleasure of Allah and rewards from Him. To follow this code also helps one to win goodwill of his fellow beings.

Following are some of the Verses of al-Qur’an and Traditions of Muhammad (PBUH) which bring in focus the characteristics and elements of what is called good conduct:

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   And serve Allah. Ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbour who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbour who is not if kin, and the fellow-traveller and the wayfarer and (the slaves) whom your right hands possess. Lo! Allah loveth not such as are proud and boastful:   ––4: An-Nisa: 36

2.   Allah loveth not the utterance of harsh speech save by one who hath been wronged. Allah is ever Hearer, knower. If ye do good openly or keep it secret, or forgive evil, lo! Allah is Forgiving, Powerful.   ––4: An-Nisa: 148-149

3.   Say: Come, I will recite unto you that which your Lord hath made a sacred duty for you: that ye ascribe nothing as partner unto Him and that ye do good to parents and that ye slay not your children because of penury. We provide for you and for them – and that ye draw not nigh to lewd things whether open or concealed. And that ye slay not the life which Allah hath made sacred, save in the course of justice. This he hath commanded you, in order that ye may discern. And approach not the wealth of the orphan save with that which is better, till he reach maturity – Give full measure and full weight, in justice. We task not any soul beyond its scope. And if ye give your word, do justice thereunto even though it be (against) a kinsman; and fulfill the Covenant of Allah. This he commandeth you that haply ye may remember.  
   ––6: Al-An’am: 151-152

4.   Lo! Allah enjoineth justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbiddeth lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorteth you in order that ye may take heed. Fulfill the covenant of Allah when ye have covenanted, and break not your oaths after the asseveration of them, and after ye have made Allah surety over you. Lo! Allah knoweth what ye do.   ––16: An-Nahl: 90-91

5.   Give the kinsman his due, and the needy, and the wayfarer, 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. But if thou turn away from them, seeking mercy from thy Lord, for which thou hopest, then speak unto them a reasonable word. And let not thy hand be chained to thy neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest thou sit down rebuked, denuded. Lo! Thy lord enlargeth the provision for whom He will, and straiteneth it (for whom He will). Lo, He was ever knower, Seer of His slaves. Slay not your children fearing a fall to poverty, We shall provide for them and for you. Lo! The slaying of them is great sin. And come not near unto adultery. Lo! It is an abomination and an evil way. And slay not the life which Allah hath forbidden save with right. Whoso is slain wrongfully, We have given power unto his heir, but let him not commit excess in slaying. Lo! He will be helped. Come not near the wealth of the orphan save with that which is better till he come to strength; and keep the covenant. Lo! Of the covenant it will be asked. Fill the measure when ye measure and weigh with a right balance; that is meet, and better in the end. (O man), follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. Lo! The hearing and the sight and the heart – of these it will be asked. And walk not in the earth exultant. Lo! Thou canst not rend the earth, not canst thou stretch to the height of the hills. The evil of all that is hateful in the sight of thy Lord.   ––17: Bani Isra’il: 26-38

6.   Successful indeed are the believers.
Who are humble in their prayers,
And who shun vain conversation,
And who are payers of the poor-due,
And who guard their modesty -

   Save from their wives or the (slave) that their right hands possess, for then they are not blameworthy, But whoso craveth beyond that, such are transgressors – And who are shepherds of their pledge and their covenant, And who pay heed to their prayers. These are the heirs, who will inherit Paradise. There they will abide.   ––23: Al-Mu’minun: 1-11

7.   O My dear son! Establish worship and enjoin kindness and forbid iniquity, and persevere whatever may befall thee. Lo! That is of the steadfast heart of things. Turn not thy cheek in scorn toward folk, nor walk with pertness in the land. Lo! Allah loveth not any braggart boaster. Be modest in thy bearing and subdue thy voice. Lo! The harshest of all voices is the voice of the ass.   ––31: Luqman: 17-19

8.   And who is better in speech than him who prayeth unto his Lord and doeth right, and saith: Lo! I am of those who surrender (unto Him). The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! He, between whom and thee there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend. But none is granted it save those who are steadfast, and none is granted it save the owner of great happiness.  
   ––41: Ha’Mim As-Sajdah: 33-35

9.   And those who shun the worst of sins and indecencies and, when they are wroth forgive, And those who answer the call of their Lord and establish worship, and whose affairs are a matter of counsel, and who spend of what We have bestowed on them. And those who, when great wrong is done to them, defend themselves. The guerdon of an ill-deed is an ill the like thereof. But whosoever pardoneth and amendeth, his wage is the affair of Allah. Lo! He loveth not the wrong-doers. And whoso defendeth himself after he hath suffered wrong-for such, there is no way (of blame) against them. The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress mankind, and wrongfully rebel in the earth. For such there is a painful doom. And verily whoso is patient and forgiveth – lo! That, verily, is (of) the steadfast heart of things.   (42: Shura: 37-43)

10.   O ye who believe! Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they (are) nor let women (deride) women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the name of lewdness after faith. And whoso turneth not in repentance, such are evil-doers. O ye who believe! Shun much suspicion; for lo! Some suspicion is a crime. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you  love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Ye abhor that (so abhor the other)! And keep your duty (to Allah). Lo! Allah is Relenting, Merciful.  
   ––49: Al-Hujurat: 11-12

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.   Abdullah-b-Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The dearest to me among you is he who is the best of you in conduct.   (Bukhari)

2.   Abu Darda’a reported from the Messenger of Allah who said: The heaviest thing which will be placed in the balance of a believer on the Resurrection Day will be good conduct, and Allah hates the profigate and the useless talker.   (Tirmizi)

3.   Abdullah-b-Mas’ud reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Shall I not inform you about one who is prohibited for the Fire, and about one for whom the Fire is prohibited – every meek, modest, accessible, plain man.  
   (Ahmad, Tirmizi (Approved Rare))

4.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Do you know what will stand foremost to lead men to Paradise? Fear of Allah and good conduct. Do you know what will stand (foremost) to lead men to the Fire: Two hollow things, mouth and sexual organ.   (Tirmizi)

5.   Abdullah-b-Sarjes reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Good conduct, delay and moderation are a 24th part of prophethood.   (Tirmizi)

6.   Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Good guidance, good manners and moderation form one part out of 25 parts of prophethood.   (Abu Daud)

7.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah asked: who has to-day got up fasting at dawn among you? Abu Bar replied: I. He enquired: Who has followed today the bier of a dead man among you? Abu Bakr replied: I. He enquired: Who has fed today a poor man among you? Abu Bakr replied: I. He asked? Who among you has today visited a sick man? Abu Bakr replied I. Then the Holy Prophet remarked these do not combine in a man but to admit him in Paradise.   (Muslim)

8.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Who will take from me these sayings and act according to them or teach these who will act accordingly? I said: I, O Messenger of Allah! Then he caught me by my hand and counted five (saying). He said: Fear the forbidden things, you will then become the holiest of men; be pleased with what Allah apportioned to you, you will then be the most contented of men; be good to your neighbour, you will then be a (true) believer; love for men what you love for yourself, you will then become a (true) Muslim; and laugh not much, for excessive laughter makes the heart dead.  
   (Ahmad, Tirmizi (Rare))

9.   Amr-b-Shuab from his father who from his grandfather reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoso has got two traits of character in him, Allah will enroll him as grateful and patient; whoso looks to one in his religious acts who is superior to him and then follows him, and whoso looks in his wordly affairs towards one who is inferrer to him, and then gives thanks to Allah for gifts bestowed upon him, Allah enrolls him as patient and grateful; and whoever looks in his religious matters towards one who is inferior to him, and looks in his wordly affairs towards one who is superior to him, and becomes aggrieved for what has escaped from him Allah will enroll him neither patient, nor grateful.   (Tirmizi)

10.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: There are seven whom Allah will give shade under His shade on the day on which there will be no shade except His shade; a just leader; a young man who strives hard in the worship of Allah; a man whose heart is attached to the mosque when he comes out of it till he returns to it; two men who love each other for Allah, they come together for Him and separate for Him; a man who remembers Allah sincerely and whose two eyes are filled up with tears; a man whom a young girl of accomplishment and beauty calls (for sexual intercourse) and who says: “Certainly I fear. Allah”, and a man who gives away alms and then keeps it concealed till his left hand knows not what his right hand spends.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

11.   Abu Musa reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Feed the hungry, visit the sick and free the captive.   (Bukhari)

12.   Bara’a-b-A zeb reported: The Messenger of Allah enjoined us seven things and forbade us seven. He bade us to visit the sick, to follow the biers, to respond to the sneezer, to return greeting, to respond to the inviter, to prove true to one given oath and to help the oppressed; and he forbade us rings of gold, thick brocade, embroidered silk, red saddle, Qasi silk and utensils of silver; and in a narration-drink in cups, for he who drinks therein in this world will not drink therein the Hereafter.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

13.   Ayesha reported the Prophet as saying, “He who is given his share of gentleness is given his share of the good of this world and the next, but he who is deprived of his share of gentleness is deprived of his share of the good of this world and the next. ”(Sharh as- Sunna).

14.   Ibn ‘Umar reported the Prophet as saying, “He who mixes with people and endures the harm they do is better than he who does not mix with them or endure the harm they do.”  
   (Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah).

15.   Abu Dharr said: I went in to visit God’s messenger. He then mentioned the tradition at length till he came to the following: I asked God’s messenger to give me some instruction and he replied, “I enjoin you to fear God, for that will be the best adornment for everything that concerns you.” I asked him to tell me more, and he said, “Engage in recitation of the Qur’an and remembrance of God Who is Great and Glorious, for it will be a means of your being mentioned in heaven and will be a light for you in the earth.” I asked him to tell me more, and he said, “Observe long silence, for it is a means of driving away the devil and is a help to you in your religion.” I asked him to tell me more, and he said, “Avoid much laughter, for it slays the heart and removes the light of the face.” I asked him to tell me more, and he said, “Speak the truth, even if it is bitter.” I asked him to tell me more, and he said, “Do not fear anyone’s blame when you are serving God.” I asked him to tell me more, and he said, “Let what you know of yourself keep you from blaming other people.”   (Mishkat)

16.   Ubada b. as-Samit reported the Prophet as saying, “If you guarantee me six things on your part I shall guarantee you paradise. Speak the truth when you talk, keep a promise when you make it, when you are trusted with something fulfill your trust, avoid sexual immorality, lower your eyes, and restrain your hands from injustice.”   (Mishkat)

17.   Ayesha reported God’s messenger as saying, “God is gentle and likes gentleness. He gives for gentleness what He does not give for harshness and what He does not give for anything else.”   (Muslim)

18.   A man of Muzaina told that God’s messenger was asked what was the best a human being was given and replied, “A good character.”   (Baihaqi).

19.   Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: O Abu Zarr: shall I not point out you two traits  of character which are very light on the back but very heavy on the scale? ‘Yes’ I said. He said: Prolonged silence and good conduct. By Him in whose hand there is my life, mankind can act nothing as compared to them.   (Baihaqi)

20.   Abu Zarr reported that the Messenger of Allah said; O Abu Zarr! There is no wisdom like efforts, no piety like self-denial and no goodness like good conduct.   (Baihaqi)

21.   Haresha-b-Wahab reported that the Messenger of Allah said: He whose conduct is bad and harsh shall not enter Paradise.  
   (Abu Daud)

22.   Ayesha reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: The believer reaches by his good conduct the position of one who stands up (praying) the night and fasts the  day.   (Abu Daud)

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III – Who is the Most Excellent?

Basis of honour in Islam is not birth, tribe, race, colour, wealth, blood or country. Islam recognizes that by birth everyone is equal in honour and respect as everyone is born of Adam and Adam was created of dust. The most excellent among the sons of Adam, according to Islam, is the person who is most excellent in conduct. Thus a person who is best in taqwa (peity), in good behaviour, in good character and in good manners is the best in the sight of God. Even blood relationship with a very pious person cannot make one a best person or a favourite of God unless one’s conduct and character is the most excellent. Following verses of the Qur’an and traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) tells us who are the most excellent persons among the followers of Islam.

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   Those of the believers who sit still, other than those who have a (disabling) hurt, are not on an equality with those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives. Allah hath conferred on those who strive with their wealth and lives a rank above the sedentary. Unto each Allah hath promised good, but He hath bestowed on those who strive a great reward above the sedentary;   ––4: An-Nisa: 95

2.   O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! The noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.  
   ––49: Al-Hujurat: 13

3.   (And) lo! Those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings.   ––98: Al-Bayyinah: 7

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.   Abudullah-b-Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The best of you is he who is the best of you in conduct.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

2.   Abdullah bin Amr bin al. As (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was neither a profligate nor did he like to listen it. He used to say: The best of you is he who is the best of you in conduct.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

3.   It is narrated on the authority of Abu Darda (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: The heaviest thing which will be placed in the balance of believing servant on the Day of Judgment will be a good behaviour. Allah hates one who is a useless talker.   (Tirmidhi)

4.   Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: The most perfect man of the believers in their faith is he whose behaviour is the most excellent and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives.   (Tirmidhi)

5.   The Messenger of Allah said: You are in no way better than the Red one or the Black one except that you surprass him on account of piety.   (Ahmad)

6.   Abu Bakrah reported that a man enquired: O Messenger of Allah! Who among men is best? He said: He whose age is long and whose actions are good. He enquired: Who among men is worst? He said: He whose age is long and whose actions are bad.   (Ahmad, Tirmizi)

7.   Umar reported God’s messenger as saying, “Among God’s servants there are people who are neither prophets nor martyrs whose position in relation to God will be an object of desire by the prophets and martyrs on the day of resurrection.” The people said, “Messenger of God, tell us who they are,” and he replied, “They are people who have loved one another by reason of God’s spirit, and were giving gifts to one another without being related or having (common) property. I swear by God that their faces will be light and that they will be placed upon light, neither fearing when men fear nor grieving when men grieve.” And he recited this verse, “The friends of God will have no fear and will not grieve.”   (Abu Daud)

8.   Abu Hurairah reported God’s messenger as saying, “Shall I not inform you who are the best among you?” On receiving the reply “Certainly,” he said, “Those who are best among you are the ones who live longest and have the best character.”   (Ahmad)

9.   Abu Hurairah reported God’s messenger as saying, “The believers whose faith is most perfect are those who have the best character.”   (Abu Daud and Darimi)

10.   Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be one who is the best of you in conduct; and the most abhorrent among you to me and the farthest of you from me will be the boastful talkatives and the prouds. The companions submitted: O’ Messenger of Allah! We have come to know who are the pompous and boastful talkatives but who are the mutafayhiqun? He replied: The arrogant.  

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IV – Taqwa (Piety or Fear of God)

The root of the world Taqwa is waqa which stands for saving or saving or guarding i.e., the guarding of a thing from that which harms it. The verb is Ittaqa which means he saved or guarded himself properly. Muttaqi is the nominative for this verb and it means one who guards himself against evil or one who is careful and keeps his duty well. Taqwa, and the verb and nouns connected with the root, according to Abdullah Yusuf Ali, signify: (1) fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom; (2) restraint, or guarding one’s tongue, hand, and heart from evil; hence righteousness, piety, good conduct. Muttaqi, according to Muhammad Asad, is God – conscious who has awareness of Allah’s all-presence and has the desire to mould his existence in the light of this awareness. In brief Taqwa means fear of God, restraint from evil, keeping duty to God; Muttaqi is the person who is fearful of God; who guards his tongue, his hand and his heart from evil; who is pious, righteous and possesses good conduct.

Taqwa (righteousness) can be inculcated in mind through these means: One must have knowledge of God as the Almighty and All-Powerful Being, one must have fear of violation of God’s law and resultant punishment and keep company with the pious and religious people. Thus knowledge of God is the first step to attain piety. The Qur’an says: “Those truly fear Allah, among His servants, who have knowledge….” (35:28) In order to achieve true fear of Allah, one has to give up fear of men. As for one who fears Allah, all in the world fear him; and he who does not fear Allah fears all in the world. Fear of Allah burns the animal passions in us and restrains us from committing sins and evils. Fear of God and good conduct lead to paradise. The most honourable of the people in the sight of God is the person who is the most pious among them.

The merits of taqwa (righteousness) and the qualifications of the Muttaqin (righteous persons) and the rewards promised to them have been highlighted by some of the verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which are as under:

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   This is the book; in it is guidance, sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah;  
Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out what We have provided for them;  
And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (In their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereinafter.
They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper.   ––2: Al-Baqarah: 2-5

2.   It is not righteousness that ye 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 Messenger; 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 ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practise regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have 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 Allah-fearing.   ––2: Al-Baqarah: 177

3.   And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct, so fear Me, O ye that are wise!  
   ––2: Al-Baqarah: 197

4.   Say: Shall I inform you of something better than that? For those who keep from evil, with their Lord are Gardens under-neath which rivers flow, and pure companions, and contentment from Allah, Allah is Seer of His bondmen.   ––3: Al-Imran: 15

5.   Nay, but (the chosen of Allah is) he who fulfilleth his pledge and wardeth off (evil); for lo! Allah loveth those who ward off (evil).   ––3: Al-Imran: 76

6.   O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame, and splendid vesture, but the raiment of restraint from evil, that is best. This is of the revelations of Allah, that they may remember.   ––7: Al-A’raf: 26

7.   O ye who believe! If ye fear Allah, He will grant you a criterion (to judge between right and wrong), remove from you (all) evil (that may afflict) you, and forgive you: for Allah is the Lord of grace unbounded.   ––8: Al-Anfal: 29

8.   O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are truthful.   ––9: At-Taubah: 119

9.   For Allah is with who restrain themselves, and those who do good.   ––16: An-Nahl: 128

10.   O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).   ––49: Al-Hujurat: 13

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.   Abdullah bin Amr reported God’s Messenger as saying: Among those of you who are dearest to me are those who have the best character.   (Bukhari)

2.   Abu Dharr said: I asked God’s Messenger to give me some instructions and he replied: I enjoin you to fear God, for that will be the best adornment for everything that concerns you…  

3.   Abu Zarr reported: The Messenger of Allah said to me: Fear Allah wherever you are, and make evil (action) to be followed by good which will efface it; and behave the people with good manners.   (Ahmad, Tirmizi)

4.   Abu Hurairah (All be pleased with him) has reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) was asked: What is that pursuit which will stand foremost to lead a man to Paradise? He replied: Fear of Allah and good conduct. Then he was asked: What is that indulgence which will admit a man to Hell (Fire)? He answered: The mouth and sexual organ.   (Tirmidhi)

5.   In his famous sermon delivered on the occasion of farewell pilgrimage, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) addressed the people as under: “O People be aware: Your God is one. No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, and non-Arab superiority over an Arab, and no white one has any superiority over a black one, and no black one any superiority over a white one, except on the basis of taqwa (piety). The most honourable among you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most pious and righteous of you”.   (Mishkat)

6.   Abu Omamah reported that the Prophet said: nothing is dearer to Allah than two drops ….: One drop of tears out of fear of Allah, and drop of blood shed in the way of Allah….   (Tirmizi)

7.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The fire shall not touch one who weeps out of fear of Allah till milk would return to its udder, nor dust and vapour of hell will surround a man in the way of Allah.   (Tirmizi)

8.   Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Two eyes – the fire shall not touch them; one eye which wept out of fear of Allah, and one which passed the night as a guard in the way of Allah.   (Tirmizi)

9.   Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, “There are three things which save and three which destroy. Those which save are fear of God in secret and in public, speaking the truth both when pleased and displeased, and moderation both when wealthy and when poor. Those which destroy are passion which is followed, niggardliness which is obeyed, and self-conceit which is the worst of them.”   (Baihaqi)

10.   Abu Zarr reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Surely I know a verse. If people would have followed it, it would have sufficed them – “And whoso fears Allah. He will find out a way for him and He will give him provision from where he will not know – 65: 3Q.

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V – Tawakkal (Trust in God)

Tawakkal comes from wakl which means to resign or to rely or to trust. Another derivative of this word is wakil which means a pleader to whom a legal suit is entrusted as an agent for pursuing in a court of law. So Tawakkal – al – Allah means to rely on Allah and entrust Him in all the affairs. A true Muslim absolutely submits himself to Allah and entrusts all his affairs to the will of Allah believing that “My prayer, my sacrifice, and my life, and my death are all for Allah, the Lords of the worlds.”   (Al-Qur'an 6:162)

But reliance on Allah does not mean that one should not take any action, do any work and sit idle entrusting all affairs to Allah believing that Allah would provide him every thing without any efforts or action on his part. This is rather sluggishness and not trust in Allah. At least Islam does not support this passive attitude to life. True reliance on Allah means that a person toils hard and makes his best efforts to achieve a goal and then he entrusts the results thereof to Allah with the belief that Allah would accept his efforts and would bless him with success. The Qur’an says: “There is nothing for man but what he strives for (53:39). Therefore a Muslim is expected to set himself wholeheartedly to action and then rely on Allah for good results.

According to a well known tradition, some companion asked the Prophet “Should I not leave my camel free and rely on God for its safety?” The Prophet replied:” You must tie the camel and then trust in Allah.” An absolute belief in the will of God, His omnipotence and His ability to do everything is essential but a true believer is not supposed to resign himself to idle life and expect from God that He would do every thing for him.

Following are the verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which highlight Islamic view-point about trust in Allah:

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   ………… And when thou art resolved, then put thy trust in Allah. Lo! Allah loveth those who put their trust (in Him).  
   ––3: Al-Imran: 59

2.   If Allah is your helper none can overcome you, and if He withdraw His help form you, who is there who can help you? In Allah let believes put their trust.   ––3: Al-Imran: 160

3.   They only are the (true) believers whose hearts feel fear when Allah is mentioned and when the revelations of Allah are recited unto them they increase their faith, and who trust in their Lord;   ––8: Al-Anfal: 2

4.   ………Whoso putteth his trust in Allah (will find that lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise.   ––8: Al-Anfal: 49

5.   And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He is the Hearer, the Knower.   ––8: Al-Anfal: 61

6.   Say: Naught befalleth us save that which Allah hath decreed for us. He is our Protecting Friend. In Allah let believers put their trust!   ––9: At-Taubah: 51

7.   Now, if they turn away (O Muhammad) say: Allah sufficeth me. There is no God save Him. In Him have I put my trust and He is Lord of the Tremendous Throne.   ––9: At-Taubah: 129

8.   If Allah afflicteth thee with some hurt, there is none who can remove it save Him; and if He desireth good for thee, there is none who can repel His bounty………   ––10: Yunus: 107

9.   And when thou recitest the Qur’an, seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast. Lo! He hath no power over those who believe and put trust in their Lord.   ––16: An-Nahl: 98-99

10.   And incline not to the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Disregard their noxious talk, and put thy trust in Allah. Allah is sufficient as Trustee.   ––33: Al-Ahzab: 48

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.   Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: 70,000 of my followers shall enter Paradise without account. They are those who do not seek charms, nor consider bad omens; but on their Lord, do they rely.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

2.   Omar-bin-Khattab reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: If you all had relied on Allah with due reliance, He would have certainly given you provision as He supplies provisions to birds who get up hungry in the morning and return with full belly at dusk.   (Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)

3.   Ibn Abbas reported: One day I was behind the Messenger of Allah. He said: O boy! Protect Allah and Allah will protect you. Protect Allah and you will find Him turning to you. When you beg, beg of Allah; when you seek help, seek help from Allah; and know that if all the people gather together to do benefit to you with anything, they will not be able to do benefit to you except with a thing which Allah ordained for you. Pens have been raised up, and papers have been soaked up.   (Ahmad, Tirmizi)

4.   Sa’ad reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Of the fortunes of the son of Adam, there is his contentment with what Allah decreed for him; and of the misfortunes of the son of Adam, there is his giving up of seeking good from Allah, and of the misfortunes of the son of Adam, there is his discontentment with what Allah decreed for him.  
   (Ahmad, Tirmizi (Rare))

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VI – Tazkia (Purification of Self)

Tazkia is actually Tazkia Nafs which means purification of self. It is internal purity as well as external purity. In other words it is purification of body as well as of mind and soul. But in religious and spiritual sense we generally understand from Tazkia nafs the purification of one’s self i.e., one’s mind and soul of evils and vices. Since mind and soul cannot be purified or cleansed without cleanliness of body, so internal and external purity becomes interconnected as body and mind are connected inseparably. If both body and mind are clean then the man is healthy. But if any of them is unclean, then the man is unhealthy and impure. Since cleanliness of body and mind is not possible without cleanliness of house, place of worship, place of work and physical environment around the people, so cleanliness of these things is also essential.

Islam emphasizes cleanliness of its followers as well as everything around them so that they should be physically and mentally healthy with healthy soul. And in this way should be able to make God’s name higher than any other name and establish Divine rule on earth. Therefore, the followers of Islam have been enjoined upon to keep their bodies, minds and souls clean and also to keep their houses, places of worship and work, their clothes, their physical environments including roads and streets, and even their wealth and goods clean. For cleanliness of their bodies, ablution and bath have been prescribed; for cleanliness of their minds and souls, avoidance of evils and forbidden things, and establishment of prayers, Zakat, fasting and Hajj have been prescribed; for cleanliness of their goods and wealth, Zakat, Sadaqat and charity have been recommended.

The purification of self particularly of mind and soul from evil and vices is very difficult as it is not possible without fight and struggle against oneself, therefore this struggle has been called by the Prophet of Islam as Jehad-e-Akbar (The greatest war).

Following are the verses of al-Qur’an and Ahadith of Muhammad (PBUH) which enjoin purification and cleanliness and also highlight their good consequences:

Verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1.   ……………And we imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ismael, (saying): Purify My house for those who go around and those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship).   ––2: Al-Baqarah: 125

2.   O ye who believe! Draw not near unto Prayer when ye are drunken, till ye know that which ye utter, nor when ye are polluted, save when journeying upon the road, till ye have bathed…   ––4:43

3.   O ye who believe! When ye rise up for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows, and lightly rub your feet upto the ankles. And if ye are unclean, purify yourselves………..   ––5: Al-Maidah: 6

4.   Take alms of their wealth, wherewith thou mayst purify them and mayst make them grow and pray for them……  
   ––9: Al-Taubah: 103

5.   ……………A place of worship which was founded upon duty (to Allah) from the first day is more worthy that thou shouldst stand (to pray) therein, wherein are men who love to purify themselves. Allah loveth the purifiers.   ––9: At-Taubah: 108

6.   Which none toucheth save the purified,   ––56: Al-Waqi’ah: 79

7.   O thou enveloped in thy cloak,
Arise and warn!
Thy Lord magnify,
Thy raiment purify,
Pollution shun!   ––74: Al-Muddaththir: 1-5

8.   But those will prosper who purity themselves.   ––87: Al-Ala:14

9.   By the soul, and the proportion and order given to it; And its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right; - Truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it.  
   ––91: Ash-Shams: 7-10

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

1.   Abu Malik al-Ash’ari reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Cleanliness is half of faith.   (Mishkat-ul-Masabih)

2.   Jaber reported that the Messenger of Allah said: The key to Paradise is prayer, and the key to prayer is cleanliness.   (Ahmed)

3.   Jaber reported: The Prophet came to see us and found a man of dishevilled hairs and his hairs were not arranged. Then he said: This man is not finding with what he should comb his head! And he saw a man with dirty clothes on. So he said: This man is not finding with what thing he should wash his clothes!   (Ahmed, Nisai)

4.   Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah said: Verily Allah is pure. He does not accept but what is pure. And verily Allah ordered the believers with which he ordered the Prophets. He said: O prophet! Eat of the pure things and do good deeds. And He said: Eat of the pure things with which we provided you. Then he mentioned about a man disheveled in hair and laden with dust, making his journey long and extending his hand towards heaven: O Lord! while his food was unlawful, his drink unlawful, his dress unlawful and he was nourished with unlawful things. How can he be responded to for that?   (Muslim)

5.   Nu’man-b-Bashir reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Lawful things are manifest and unlawful things are also manifest, and between the two are the doubtful things which many people do not know. Whoso guards against the doubtful things, he makes his religion and honour pure; and whoso falls in the doubtful things, falls in unlawful things like a shepherd who grazes his flock round a reserved pasture ground and doubts grazing therein, Behold! There is a reserved meadow for everything. Behold! The reserved meadow of Allah is His forbidden things.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

6.   Osman reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoso makes ablution and makes ablution well, his sins come out of his body, till they come out even from under his nails.  
   (Bukhari and Muslim)

7.   Ayesha reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Tooth stick is a means of purifying the mouth and a means of pleasing the Lord.   (Shafeyi, Ahmad, Darimi, Nisai)

8.   Ayesha reported that the Messenger of Allah said: the superiority of the prayer for which teeth have been cleansed over the prayer for which teeth have not been cleansed is seventy times.   (Baihaqi)

9.   Mu’az reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Guard three causes of curse: Passing impurities in places of water, and in the middle of a path, and shade.   (Abu Daud, Ibn Majah)

10.   Abu Ayyub, Jaber and Anas reported that when the following verse was revealed: There are men therein who love to remain pure and Allah loves the pure ones-9: 108Q, the Messenger of Allah said: O congregation of the Ansars! Allah praised you for cleanliness. Then what is your cleanliness? They replied: We make ablution for prayer and take bath from seminal emissions and cleanse ourselves with water. He said: It is that, so keep on doing it.   (Ibn Majah)

11.   Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Had I not thought it hard for my people I would have directed them to delay the night prayer and use the tooth stick at the time of each prayer.   (Bukhari and Muslim)

12.   Jaber reported the Messenger of Allah said to a people who returned from holy war; Welcome to you all, you have come from little fight to the greatest fight. It was questioned: O Messenger of Allah! what is the greatest fight? He said: Fighting with passion.   (Baihaqi)

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