Beginning of Islamic Morality

Where does Islamic morality begin with?

Normally, we think of how morality is treated on people. We treat people in a moral way.

But actually, morality begins with our relationship with Allah. This is where morality begins – that there is a moral way by which we should worship Allah that we should conceive of Allah, we should know Allah and this is what Islam came with, to correct. What happened in the world is that the belief/understanding/comprehension of Allah had become immoral. It was corrupted. People did not know who Allah was. Even the earlier message which was the last before the final message (message brought by Prophet Jesus (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ)), that message was corrupted within 100 years of his life. When Allah lifted him up, the process of corruption of his message by Paul of Tarsus, began to effectively change the essence of his message, so much so that within another 300 years, it was lost. He had become god – the son of god who had become god to be worshipped and that human salvation depended on the worship of Jesus (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ).

How immoral can one possibly get – that is the height of immorality with regards to Allah – to turning Him into a human being and to worship that human being instead of worshipping Allah whom Jesus (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ) worshipped, is the ultimate in immorality.

It is the part of the ultimate sin and much of the world find this difficult to grasp. People always ask why so and so are going to Hell? Mother Teresa: she has done so much good, helped out so many people, sacrificed her life and yet, just because of her belief, you Muslims hold that if she died with that belief, she is going to Hell eternally.  How could that be?  All of the works that she did, you put it on one scale and that little difference in belief now over weighs all of that? Yes, because it is not a little difference.

In your eyes, you might see it as a little difference but in the sight of Allah, it is huge. It is the biggest sin that a person can possibly commit – to worship others besides Allah. The height of immorality with regards to Allah is to worship others besides Him. (Shirk: the greatest unforgivable sin if one dies without having repented from).

The moral message of Islam about which Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) spoke, began, first and foremost, with man’s relationship to Allah – that he should recognize the Creator as the only true God, the only One deserving worship and as such, is the only One who should be worshipped.

The beginning statement of faith in Islam is “Laa ilaaha illallaah”, that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah. From this point, morality begins.

Our relationship with Allah and much of the world today is still in that state. The message has spread to 1/5 or ¼ (almost ¼) of humankind and has reached that understanding but the message also has to reach to the remainder of mankind. We, as Muslims, have the responsibility to carry that message to them and this responsibility falls on each and every Muslim. When Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said that you should convey whatever you learnt from me even if it is only a single verse of the Qur’an, the most important part of that message is in one of the smallest chapters of the Qur’an known as Surah at Tawheed/al Ikhlaas:

“Say He (Allah) is uniquely One”. [1]

This is the beginning of morality - the moral message of Islam.  Allah is uniquely One.  He is Waahid in the general sense but His Oneness is to the level of unique Oneness and that there is no other one like Him because simply being one, for example, I can say I have one pen in my pocket but you can also say you have one pen. But that is not unique one. Unique one means when I say I have one, nobody else can say that he has one. This is the Ahadiyyah of Allah, that is, Allah is Ahad and different from Waahid.

But this is the essential message, that Allah is uniquely One and the rest of the Surah explains about how His unique Oneness is to be perceived. Part of that unique Oneness is that everything depends on Him. He is as-Samad and He does not depend on anything else.

Also, it is that He does not give birth nor was He born. This is part of the unique Oneness. Everything else is born and gives birth and there is nothing similar to Him. This is the essence of the moral message of Islam that Allah is uniquely One.  And this is why, as Muslims, we would never accept the idea that some Christians may put forth in defense of the 3 in 1 concept that while Allah is One, He is 3 in 1. It is explained that He is like water (na’oozubillah) which may be a solid or liquid or gas or is like an egg or like a tree. We say no, this is not Allah. This is not unique. Your god is a tree god and this is where the practice of ‘knock on wood’ come from, believing that it is not going to happen if you knock on the wood. ‘Knock on wood’ concept came from the Scandinavian belief in the gods of the trees; that gods reside in the trees and when you wanted to speak to the god, you came up to the tree, knock on the tree and then you tell the tree what you needed. This kind of belief, where Allah is compared to His creation and is made similar to His creation, is immoral. We consider this to be the height of immorality.

Allah is unique. He is One and there is absolutely nothing similar to Him.  So, He alone deserves our worship. We should worship Him alone. This is all about morality with regards to Allah.

Reference:

[1] [Qur’an 112:1]

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