ISLAAMIC ETHICS
VICES AND METHODS OF CLEANSING
ONE’S SELF FROM THEM
Things that harm men in this world and in the next are due to
vices. The essence of man’s spiritual loss is his having vices.

Man’s avoidance of vices is called Taqwâ
Taqwâ is the most precious of all worships. Decorating something requires that the thing first should be cleansed from all dirt and stain. Similarly, neither any reward [sawwab] will be given nor any benefit will occur for the worships unless the man who does those worships cleanses himself from the sin.
THE WORST OF ALL VICES IS DISBELIEF [KUFR].

The good deeds of a person who does not have belief will not bear any fruit for him in the Hereafter.
[A disbeliever who is killed unjustly does not become a martyr and will not go to Paradise.]

The foundation of all virtues is Taqwâ. One should try hard to obtain Taqwâ and advise others to do the same. Living in this world peacefully with others and obtaining the best of eternal blessings could only be accomplished by having Taqwâ.

Vices cause disease in the heart or soul. Any increase in this
disease will cause the death of the soul.
Some people who do not have belief claim:

“My heart [spiritual] is clean. You should look at my heart.”

Their claim is no more than empty words. A dead heart cannot be clean.
A person who dies without making sincere tauba [Asking for forgiveness] for allowable or grave sins other than disbelief may be forgiven by Allâahu ta’âalâa either through intercession [Shafâ’at] or directly by His Mercy.

Sins that involve violating rights of other human beings will not be forgiven easily. Most likely, people who commit them will be punished more severely.

Rasoolal Laah stated as follows:

“A time will come when people will not care whether they earn the money by permissible [halâal] means or not,”
and

“A time will come when practicing Islaam will be as difficult as holding a fire flames with bare hands.”

Therefore, to avoid committing all
prohibited actions [harâms] people who do not carry out commandments of Islaam with respect to Belief, Ethics, and Deeds[’amal] will be punished.

Logically, one must avoid doing things that will cause
punishment. 

For example, not performing five daily “salâats” is a grave sin.
The spiritual heart [Qalb] is a spiritual grace
blown upon the material heart of human beings. 

It is incorporeal, not made of matter, like the soul. These organs themselves do not commit the sin. The sensing power of these organs commits the sin. Anyone who wants to attain happiness in this world and the next must prevent these organs from committing sins. 

The spiritual heart has to be developed into a state wherein not committing sins will be its natural habit [malaka]. Anyone who can achieve this state is called Allaah-fearing [muttaqî] or pious [sâlih] person. He has now attained Allâahu ta’âlâ’s love and approval and become Walî to Him. It would also be piety [taqwâ] to avoid sins by exerting yourself without its becoming the heart’s natural habit.

Yet being a Walî requires its being a natural habit not to commit sins, which in turn requires purifying
the heart. And to purify the heart requires obedience to the rules of Islaam.

Islaam consists of three parts: knowledge[’Ilm], practice[’Amal],and sincerity [Ikhlâs].

To learn the knowledge teaching the commandments, i.e., Farz, Wâajibs, Sunnats, and forbidden actions [harâms and makrûhs]

To practice them in accordance with this knowledge, and to do them only for the sake of Allâahu Ta’aâlaâ. The Qur’ân al-kareem commands and praises all these three parts.

In this book, we will only communicate those sins that are to be abstained from in order to cleanse the heart. They are called vices, unethical behavior, or immoral acts.

UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR OR IMMORALITY
AND IT’S REMEDY
A Muslim as a first priority should strive to cleanse his
[Spiritual] heart because heart is the leader of the body and all organs are under its command. Our Prophet Muhammad ‘’ once said:
 
“There is a piece of flesh in
the human body. If this is good, all the organs will be good.

This piece of flesh is the heart.”
What is described in this hadees is not the physical heart but the spiritual heart which is located in the physical heart. The goodness of the flesh, as explained above, means it’s being cleansed from vices and its assimilation of good morals [virtues]. The physical appearance of a human being is called [khalq]
The power or state that exists in the heart is called habits
[khulq]
Vices in the heart are called “maladies of the heart” or unacceptable morals.

Their cure is a very difficult task. Correct treatment
requires extremely sophisticated knowledge about the maladies
and correct methodology to apply this knowledge. Habits are the faculties or states or desires in the heart.
It is this power in the spiritual heart which generates man’s belief, words, actions.
His optional behavior also is the work of [this power which is
called his] khulq.
Changing or transforming the state of the heart from
undesirable, unwanted, unacceptable morals or habits to
desirable, good habits is possible.

Our Prophet ‘ once said,
“Improve your morals [habits or character].”
Islaam does not contain commandments that cannot
be accomplished. 

A Believer is another Believer’s mirror. Self-diagnosis of
one’s faults is a difficult task. 

A recommendable way of knowing your own faults, therefore, would be to consult with a dependable friend. A faithful friend is one who will protect you against dangers and fearful situations. Such a friend is hard to come by.
 
It is to this effect that Hazrat Imâam Shâafi’î 

‘[Rahmatul Laah Alaieh] stated:

A staunch friend and true medicine,
Are hard to find, waste not your time.

And Hazrat ’Umar ‘[Radiyal Laahu Anhu] stated:
My friend’s warned me about my fault,
This is the true essence of brotherhood.

Since your adversaries will always be seeking ways for
criticizing you, they will fling your shortcomings to your teeth
once they find them. Such inimical comments therefore can be exploited as efficient references to learn about your faults.

 Good friends, by contrast, will mostly be inclined to overlook your faults.
 One day, someone begged Hazrat Ibrâheem Ad-ham, [a
great Islaamic scholar and a Walî,] to tell him about his faults and shortcomings.
“I have made a friend of you. So, all your manners
and ways appear nice to me.

Ask someone else about your faults,” was the great scholar’s reply. Another way of recognizing your shortcomings is to observe others’ faults. When you observe
others’ faults, you should try and see if you have the same
fault[s], and, if you see that you do, you should try to get rid of them.
This way of identifying vices is another method for curing
the vices and is the meaning of the following hadees,

“A Believer[Mu’min] is a mirror of another Believer.”
 
In other words, you identify your own faults in others’ faults.

 When Jesus [ Hazrat Îeesâa
‘Alaiehis Salaam] was asked who he had learned his virtues from, he answered:
“I did not learn them from anyone. I looked at
others, observed the things I did not like and I avoided doing the
same, copying and imitating the things I liked.”
Reading about the Biographies and episodes of Islaamic luminaries, such as the [blessed people called the Sahâaba, and Saints and righteous people is another way of forming good habits.

One should associate with pious and good-natured people in order to be a good-natured person or to protect one’s virtues. A person’s Akhlâq will be like his companion’s habits. Akhlâq is contagious like a disease. One should not make friends with ill-humoured people. It is stated as follows in a Hadees-i-shareef: “

A person’s faith will be like his companion’s
” One should shun from useless occupations and games, harmful jokes, and quarrels. 

One should learn knowledge
and do useful deeds. One should not read books that undermine one’s morals or which promotes immorality and should not watch television programs or listen to radio programs destructive of moral values or which arouse desires. 

One should constantly remind oneself of the benefits of virtues and harmful effects of Islaam’s prohibitions and the punishment they will incur in Hell. None of the pursuers of wealth and position has attained his wish. 

However, those who have wanted rank and worldly possessions to do good deeds with them have lived comfortably and happily. Worldly ranks and possessions should not be one’s goals but instead they should be vehicles to do goodness to others.
Worldly ranks and possessions are like an ocean and many people are drowned in that ocean. Fear of Allâahu ta’âlâ is the ship which one needs to survive in that ocean. Our Prophet ‘’ once said,

“One should live in the world not like a permanent resident but like a traveler, and should never forget that he will die!”
Human beings will not live in this world
forever. When one is absorbed in worldly pleasures, one’s
troubles, worries and distress will increase.
The following Hadees should never be forgotten:

 “The easiest and the most useful worship is to talk little and
to be a good-natured person.”
“A good-natured person will attain both worldly and next
worldly happiness.”
A person with virtues performs his
obligations toward Allâahu ta’aâlâ and His creatures.
 “To be good-natured means to keep close to
[and to be in good terms with] those who keep away from you, to forgive those who have hurt you, and to be generous to those who have been miserly toward you.”
A good-natured person will do goodness to
those who keep cross with him or he will forgive those who harm his honor or hurt him physically or materially.
 “Allaâhu ta’âalaâ will fill the heart of a person with belief and
trustworthiness if he treats others with soft manners angry as he may be.”
He will have no fears or anxieties. The best of all virtues
is to do goodness to people who treat you improperly. This
behavior is a sign of maturity and it converts your enemies into friends.
FIRST CHAPTER
Source
The first chapter of the book explains forty of the most important vices and their remedies. All of the following information is translated from the first chapter of the famous
Islaamic book
Berîqawritten by Abû Sa’id Muhammad Hâdimî
[Rahmatul Laah Alaieh]. This book, originally written in two
volumes in Arabic, was published in 1284 Hijrî [1868 A.D.] in
Istanbul and was reproduced in 1411 Hijrî [1991 A.D.] by Hakîkat
Bookstore.
Presenting edit version here so we can remove the maladies if we have any..so we can read and learn and practice.


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