Chapter 4 : Moral Bulding
The ideology serves as a solid foundation for morals because it creates the psychological motive in the human being to keep to high moral values in contrast with positive ideologies which keep peace with man’s lusts and grow the seeds of selfishness which are planted into his own self.
Morals have an exceptional importance in the Islamic ideology. The prophet (S.W.A.) says: “I have been sent to complete noble morals”[^1], He (S.W.A.) also said: “Noble manners are half of the religion”
It is said to Him: What is the best thing a Moslem was given? He said: “Good morals”. [^2]
Islam associates the right religion with morals, the lines of such a viewpoint are manifested through the truth that religion stimulates man to good morals, it purifies one’s moral constitutions and makes that a duty one has to perform it and it involves reward or punishment. Hence religion has not recommended its ideal moral directives in a manner devoided of responsibility it verily made morals half of religion because religion is a belief and a behavior and morals represent the behavioral side of the individual.
Imam Albaaqir said: “The believer with the most complete faith is him with the best morals” [^3]
A person came to the prophet (S.W.A.) from his front side and said: O the Prophet of Allah, what is religion? The Prophet (S.W.A.) said: “good morality” then he came to him from the right side and said: what is religion? He (S.W.A.) said: “good morality” then he came to him from his left side and said: what is religion? The prophet (S.W.A.) said: “good morality” then he came to him from the back wards and said: what is religion? The Prophet (S.W.A.) turned his face to him and said: don’t you understand religion? It is not to become angry” [^4]
Ameeralmu’amineen (A.S.) said: “The title of a believer’s page is his good morals.” [^5]
The Scholar Altabatabaaei says: “Morals do not meet the need of the society for happiness and do not urge man on good behavior unless they are founded on monotheism-which is the belief that there is a creator for this world- and man is a part of it- He is a single everlasting Creator, and nothing is out of his knowledge.
He can not be overcome in His omnipotence, He had created things in the best order not because of His need to them, He will return them to Him and call them to account rewarding the good-doer for his good deeds and punishing the bad-doer for his bad deeds then they will be immortalized either in happiness or in misery.
It is known that when the morals depend on this ideology there would remain no purpose for human being except observing Allah’s contentment in his deeds; and piety becomes an inner deterrent from committing crimes.
Were it not for the sucking of morals from the chest of this belief- the belief of monotheism- there would remain no aim for man in his important actions except enjoying the desires of this transient world and relishing the prleasures of material life” [^6]
The atheistic beliefs, by abolishing the feeling of association with the perfect Creator, the unlimited ideal, the feeling of His observation and calling to account, had abolished the basic foundation of morals; they couldn’t make up for it with another foundation like it in strength.
Morals are asocial necessity; it is like a safety valve against the trend of evil concealed in the human being, which motivates him to harm his brothers. So the social building without the system of morals is like building on a sand hill, Ameeralmu’amineen (A.S.) said: “If we did not hope a paradise and did not fear a Hell, nor reward or punishment we should have sought good morals, as they guide to the path of success”[^7]
THE MANNERS OF THE IDEOLOGY IN BUILDING MAN MORALLY:
As morals have an exceptional importance in the Islamic ideology we find that it has followed several manners and ways connected with each other like a building which form the protective fence which protects man from moral decline and collapse. We can sum up these manners through the following points:
Firstly: THE IDEOLOGY IS DEFINING THE HEREAFTER SEQUENCES OF MORALS:
So he who is qualified with good morals the ideology promised him with abundant reward and lofty degrees and he whose morals are bad and has released the reins of himself it promised him with painful chastisement.
The prophet (S.W.A.) said, “The servant can reach by his good morals the lofty great degrees in the hereafter and honorable places although his worship is little” [^8]
He also said: “Good morals reach the degree of him who always fasts and prays” [^9]
He also said advising: “O sons of Abdulmuttalib’ spread out salutations, associate with your relatives, offer food for others, use pleasant speech, then You would enter Paradise peacefully”[^10]
He also said: “Good morals dissolves sins as the sun dissolves ice…” [^11]
In this sense Imam AlSaadiq (A.S.) says: “Allah (be exalted) gives His servant for his good morals just as what He gives the struggler in His way who continues his struggle” [^12]
Then there is a correlation between the acceptance of one’s actions in general, and the ritual worships in specially, and the morals. It is narrated that the prophet (S.W.A.) heard a fasting woman abusing her neighboring woman, he called for food and asked the woman to eat she said: I am fasting, He (S.W.A.) said: how can you fast while you have abused your neighboring woman..? [^13]
SECONDLY: THE IDEOLOGY’S MANIFESTATING OF THE ADVANTAGES OF GOOD MORALS IN THIS WORLD:
He, who is qualified with good morals can conform to his brothers, live a happy life, with a tranquil heart, and relaxed. But he, who breaks away from the fetters of moral values and dogmas will be lost in darkness, live anxious and confused; so he tortures himself and be hated by his brothers in humanity, he enters into mazes whose disadvantages are countless.
The prophet (S.W.A.) says: “Good morals stabilize love” [^14]
Ameeralmu’amineen (A.S.) says: “The Treasures of sustenance are in good morals” [^15]Imam Alsadiq (A.S.) says ‘if you want to be respected you should be gentle and if you want to be despised be coarse”[^16], He also said: “charity and good morals populate countries and add to ages” [^17]
On the opposite side, bad morals have very disadvantageous effects which man can find in this world.
Imam Alsaadiq (A.S.) says: “He whose morals become bad he tortures himself”[^18], He (A.S.) said to suffian AlThawri who asked him for advise him: “A liar has no chivalry, a jealous man has no comfort, aboard man has no brotherhood, an arrogant man no friendship, an ill-disciplined man has no dignity.” [^19]
Therefore it became clear that the Islamic ideology urges man to adorn himself with good morals by showing the advantages of them in this world and in the hereafter. He can obtain these benefits when he follows the course of chastening. From the other side it deters him from bad morals by showing the bad disadvantages which result from them in this world and in the hereafter.
THIRDLY: INTRODUCING RECOMMENDATIONS AND ADVICES:
The Islamic ideology introduces- through its knowledge sources- precious recommendations in this concern which implant in man the burgeons of good morals and uproot from him the corrupted values and morals.
It is narrated in the book of “Alnobowwah” from Ibna abbaas from the prophet (S.W.A.) that he said: “I have been educated by Allah and Ali has been educated by me, my Lord Has ordered me to have generosity and be nevolience and interdicted me from stinginess and rudeness, nothing is more hateful to Allah than stinginess and bad morals, it corrupts work such as vinegar corrupts honey”[^20]
His executor Imam Ali (A.S.) said; “…Train yourself for good morals because the Moslem servant can reach by his good morals the degree of the fasting and praying man” [^21]
He also said recommending: “…Accustom yourself to forgiveness and chose for her the best of every manner as goodness is habit” [^22]
He said: “Adhere to good morals because they are a sublimity guard against bad morals as they humiliate the noble man and destroy glory”[^23]
For these selected examples we can say that the Islamic ideology introduces its advices and valuable recommendations supported with their fruits and advantages in order to form a fence of power which protects man from falling into the hell of bad morals.
FOERTHLY: THE MANNER OF GOOD EXAMPLE:
It is one of the educational manners of the Islamic ideology; it connects its followers with its ideal leaders, as they are the complete and ideal incarnations of its aims.
They are the lights and which spreads out its lights; so it urges individuals to follow their examples in order to be influenced by their morals and be provided with their pieces of knowledge.
Allah (be exalted) said: “Certainly you have in the Apostle of Allah an excellent exemplar..”[^24]
Because the prophet’s conduct is the complete practical incarnation of the mission; since the prophet- as Qur’an describes him- represents a top in good morals- (And most surely you have sublime morality)[^25], it is Moslem’s duty to study his morals and be guided by his laws as much as they can.
The Prophet (S.W.A.) has been taking his morals from Allah (be exalted) and His Holy Book. Allah said: “Take to forgiveness and enjoin well and turn aside from the ignorant”[^26]
It is narrated that when this verse which contains all good moralities- was revealed the prophet (S.W.A.) asked Gibrael (A.S.) about that he said: “I don’t know till I will ask the omniscient, then he came to him and said:
“O Muhammad’ Allah orders you to forgive him who has done ill to you, to give him who has deprived you and to associate with him who has broken up with you” [^27]
The prophet calls to be characterized by good moralities such as humbleness, generosity, trustworthiness, shyness, loyalty… and the like. He also forbids bad moralities such as stinginess, greediness, treachery, betrayal, lying, jealousy, backbiting…etc.
In this way He strove to straighten every bad moral, and the examples are plenty, there is no room to mention all of them.
Imam Ali (A.S.) says: “He- the prophet (S.W.A.)- was eating on the ground, sitting like a servant’s, he mends his sandals with his hand and patches his garment with his hand” [^28]
The prophet (S.W.A.) –as he is the most excellent embodiment of the Islamic ideology- is devoted to show people the right way because the operation of building man culturally becomes vain without the process of direction and guidance. Ahlilbait (A.S.) are the stars of the eternal guidance of this nation. Ameeralmu’amineen (A.S.) said:
“A’alimohammad (A.S.) are like the stars of sky when a star of them sets another star rises..”[^29]
It is doubtless that guidance involves salvation is the aim for Moslem and here we can understand the deep meaning and significant similarity of the prophetic Hadeeth: “My Ahlilbait (A.S.) are similar to the ship of Noah, He, who rides on it is rescued and he, who leaves it sinks. The parallel of my Ahlilbait (A.S.) with you is the “door of Hittah” with the sons of Israel: he, who enters it is forgiven”[^30]
The cream of saying is that Ahlilbait (A.S.) have a big role in building the Moslem rescuing him from different kinds of going astray and decline in order to reach the shore of salvation.
Ameeralmu’amineen (A.S.) says: “Notice the Ahlilbait of your prophet, follow their path, tread on their heels, as they will not take you out of a right path and they will not reconvert you to a mischief..”[^31], He (A.S.) also said: “We are the middle party the late has accede to it and that he who advanced much has to return to it” [^32]
The purified Imams had followed the prophet’s conduct so they played a noticeable civilizational role in propagating and settling good morals and deterring from bad morals. They emphasize the essence instead of the appearance. They consider adorning the soul with good morals better and properer than adorning the parts of the body with splendid clothes. So their behavior has become an example for us and their attitudes had become an exemplar.
It is narrated from Imam Alsaadiq (A.S.) that he said:
“Ali (A.S.) delivered a sermon to people, putting on a wrapper of a coarse clothe patched with woolen pieces, he was asked about that, and he said: the heart feels humiliated and believer takes it as an example”[^33]
A researcher finds that the matter of morals had occupied an immense space in the traditions of “Ahlilbait” such as “Nehjil balagha” and “Alsaheefa Alsajjaadeiah” and the other traditions because this essential issue plays an important in the educational construction of the Moslem.
It is narrated from Jarrah almadaaenni that he said:
Abuabdulah (A.S.) said to me: “Do you want me to tell you of god morals? They are pardoning people, man’s helping his brother out of his money and reciting Allah so much” [^34]
At the time, which Ahlilbait deter from every moral deviation, they veil peoples’ defects; they do not use their vices as an allegation to defame them.
It is stated in a letter of Ameeralmu’amimneen (A.S.) to Maalik Alashtar when he made him governor of Egypt “Let the farthest from you, of your people and the worst to you is him who searches for others’ defects as people have defects the governor is more entitled to veil. So do not uncover what is concealed from you of them, your duty is to purify what appears to you…so veil defect as much as you can…” [^35]
They (A.S.) follow the manner of wisdom and good preaching. It is narrated that a person backbite another at Imam Hussain’s presence, Imam said to him:
“O you’ abstain from backbiting as it is the food of the Hell’s dogs” [^36]
A person said: to Imam Ali bin Alhussain: “Mr. So’ attributes you to be a heretic and going a stray; Imam said: “You haven’t observed the right of sitting with the man, as you have related to us what he said, nor have you discharged to me my right as you have told me of my brother what I do not know…Know that who speaks so much of peoples’ defects, this augmentation is a witness that he seeks these defects to the limit that he suffers from them”[^37]
A part of his supplication was “O my Lord’ I seek refugee with you from the agitation of stinginess and the out burst of anger, be overcoming with jealously, weakness of patience, paucity of contentedness and fractiousness of morals..” [^38]