Ethics In Islam
After parents, near relatives and other relatives come in the list of recipients of the kindness and good treatment. The doing of good and kind treatment to them is known as 'Sila-i-Ranmi' (Loving and good treatment) in Islamic Shariah. In the religion of Muhammad (Sal-lal-la-hu 'alai-hi wa-sal-lam), the act of kind and loving treatment to relatives is very important. It is this religion alone which has so much stressed on people the offering of good and kind treatment to their relatives. In face of human weakness of greed for wealth and property, the doing of good and meeting of the wants of the relatives and needy, to gain the Pleasure of Allaah, is a true virtuous act. The Qur'aanic Verse says:
"But it is righteousness - to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin... (S. 2: 177)
The Prophets and Messengers of Allaah had also enjoined on their people to be kind and do good to their relatives. The Kind Prophet was also commanded to instruct his people to love and treat well their relatives. In the Qur'aan, Allaah commands the Prophet as under:
"Say, No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin."
(S. 42: 23)
These Verses reveal that the acts of doing good and being kind to relatives, and toleration of their hard and bitter words, are great virtues. People who practise these virtues will be greeted at every door of the Paradise by the Angels of Divine Blessing with the message of peace and prosperity. The Qur'aan states:
"And angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation): 'Peace unto you for that you persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final Home'." (S. 13: 23-24)
After parents and relatives, the next in the series for receiving our loving care and kind attention are the orphans who are left without parents or one of them, especially the father. The orphans are deprived of the parental love and care. Islam commands the rich and prosperous people to look after these orphans, give them shelter and protection and extend financial help. It is also the duty of every member of the society to protect them and their wealth and make proper arrangements for their education. A related orphan deserves comparatively more attention and care than a non-related orphan. However, the doing of good to orphans is a means, according to the Command of Allaah, to cross over the Hell and establish the claim for Paradise. The Qur'aan says:
"But he has made no haste on the path that is steep. And what will explain to you the path that is steep? (It is) freeing the bondsman, or the giving of food in a day of privation to the orphans with claims of relationship..." (S. 90: 11-15)
The Kind Prophet joining his two fingers, and indicating towards it, stated:
I and the fosterer of an orphan will be together in the Paradise as these fingers are."
Before the advent of Islam, the inhabitants of Arabia were cruel and uncivilized. Murder, looting, pillage, devastation etc. were common. Cruelty and tyranny were rampant. They fought among themselves and waged night attacks on each other's villages. They indulged in cruel treatment to the prisoners and their sons and daughters and let loose inhuman atrocities on them. They auctioned them in the market as slaves. They were so uncivilized that they buried alive their daughters so that no one should be their son-in-law. They also killed their sons for the fear that their feeding might deplete the stock of their food. These ferocious, militant, cruel and uncultured people were reformed and prevented from these evils and ills in a miraculous way by the wise and sagacious teachings of the Qur'aan. About the killing of daughters, the Prophet warned them of the consequences by quoting the following Qur'aanic Verse:
"When the female (infant) buried alive is questioned - for what crime she was killed... (then) shall each soul know what it has put forward." (S. 81: 89-14)
Thus the Kind Prophet prevented them from indulgence in female infanticide. To prevent them from killing their sons for fear of sustenance, he conveyed the Divine consolation and the condemnation of the act, revealed in the following Qur'aanic Verse:
"Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin."
By teaching them these Messages of the Qur'aan, the Kind Prophet reformed the ignoramus. He not only taught the killers of the children to love their children but made them protector of orphans who were neglected and unattended.
People who, in obedience to the sagacious teaching of the Qur'aan, do good and offer kind treatment to indigents, orphans, poor etc., have been admired by the Qur'aan in the following words:
"And they feed, for the love of Allaah; the indigent, the orphan and the captive."
(S. 76: 8).
These kind and virtuous people have not only been admired but given the following tiding:
"But Allaah will deliver them from the evil of that Day and will shed over them a Light of Beauty and a (blissful) Joy. And because they were patient and constant, He will reward them with a Garden and (garments of) silk." (S. 76: 11-12)
The next in the series for receiving our kindness, sympathy and help are our neighbours. The Kind Prophet instructed people to treat well, with kindness and sympathy, their neighbours because the very foundation of human society was laid on mutual co-operation, human relation and friendship. Every man requires the help and co-operation of others in his worldly affairs; and in every need and difficulty the neighbour is the first among others who come to his rescue. Besides the neighbour, companions, friends; fellow-workers, students of a class or a school, labourers and craftsmen of a factory and such other group of persons have been instructed to be good, kind and sympathetic with each other. About the neighbour, the Kind Prophet had stated:
"One who believes in Allaah and the Messenger he should honour his neighbour."
Once the Prophet told Ayesha (Razi-yal-laa-hu an-ha):
" Hazrat Jibreel ('alai-his-salaam) so much insisted on the rights of neighbours that I feared he might give them a share in the heritage."
At many places in the Qur'aan it has been made clear that there is no reservation of any kind for presenting a humble offer in the sacred Court of Allaah Almighty or doing good to any one in the way of Allaah. Whatever one can offer to any one according to his strength and capacity will be accepted in the Court of the Master. The kindness and good done to parents, relatives, traveller, etc., irrespective of their measure, is known to Allaah. The Qur'aan states.
"Whatever you spend that is good is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever you do that is good. Allaah knows it well." (S. 2: 215)
This Verse makes it clear that whatever good is done to any one is never wasted. Allaah knows it and will give the best reward for it. In this as well as many other Verses of the Qur'aan, and also in many traditions of the Prophet, man have been assured of great recompense for fulfilling the rights of people. The Kind Prophet had given the tiding of good reward, as one gets from 'Sadqa', for every morsel of food that one feeds to his children and wife.
(Continued) Kindness III, Kindness IV
Continuation from: Kindness I,