With Allah’s name The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer.
Religion Should Cultivate Moral Qualities
By Imam Omar Hazim
The gift of reasoning is one of the greatest gifts God has given to human beings. The ability to think and ponder, then initiate action based upon those thoughts is what has elevated humans above other creatures. It is in accepting moral and social responsibilities that leads us to moral excellence.
Islamic views on social responsibilities are based on kindness and consideration of others, not only to one’s immediate family, parents, relatives and neighbors, but to all of mankind, and the animal’s birds, trees and plants.
The Arabic word Jihad is greatly misunderstood. It is not synonymous with war. Jihad means struggle against a visible enemy, against Satan, and against self. The greatest struggle we may ever have is within self, or good vs. evil.
We all need to concern ourselves with ethics and upright conduct as exemplified by the prophets and messengers of God for human guidance. Racism is not the biggest problem anymore. Other kinds of problems caused by human behavior are.
These include ignorance, neglect of family, immorality, spiritual blindness, violence, senseless murder, greed, fraud, sexual perversion, dishonesty, injustice, white collar crime, corruption, drugs, babies having babies, etc. They are the product of faithlessness in God and the lack of fear of accountability for one’s actions.
We have the potential to be much better than we are. The human being is born the weakest creature on the Earth, but he grows to become the strongest mentally and the most wise. In Islam we believe God has given man and woman the potential to achieve human excellence. The real human being is within. The body is only the vehicle for certain physical needs and goals.
We must take care of the body and the mind to achieve our goals of excellence and we must use our best reasoning for sincere self evaluations this should lead to self improvement, self discipline, self management, self control and an improve morality for ourselves, family and community.
We cannot blame society or our mothers or fathers for our shortcomings. In Islam we do not believe man and woman was born in sin; we believe the human being was born free of it and is responsible for his or her deeds after the age of discretion (puberty) if and when a sin is committed.
We believe the family structure that begins with male and female is the cornerstone of society and should be protected. Muslims accept the tree that the Bible and Quran speak of as being the tree of immorality. We do not accept that the woman tempted man to eat fruit from it and thus began immorality for the world. We believe men and women are equal in the sight of God and will be judged on their intentions and actions and not their gender.
The moral qualities which are latent within us remain in a dormant condition unless they are called into action. The role of religion is to bring out the best moral qualities in us and guide the human being to the practical affairs of life. Religion should free our minds so we can advance our thinking and purpose on this Earth. Our intellect must grow spiritually to overcome the moral dilemmas of our times, and education should be a priority for our young.
Islam is a systematic way of life, which includes worship to God and service to humanity, Islamic laws, social life and an economic and political system that ensures justice and equality for all. It does not recognize any discrimination on the basis of language, color, country, sex or heritage. Islam stresses that being fair and just is next to piety.
The Islamic Center of Topeka is willing to work with others in our community for the solution of the problems that affect us all. Let’s strive for moral excellence.