Societies all over the world have different social structures and values. As a result of their specific ideologies, traditions, and cultures, dissimilar and even contrasting opinions and behaviors, inevitably arise. Hence, what is accepted as true and right for one person might well be wrong for another.
However, beyond these cultural and ideological differences, there exists one distinction that is far more important and fundamental than the others. As the Qur'an informs us, humanity is divided into two groups: believers and unbelievers. The distinction between these two groups is so broad that, when compared to other differences, the ideological and cultural differences are insignificant.
Believers are fully aware of Allah's existence. They realize that Allah created them and everything surrounding them, that He controls everything in the universe, and that He possesses all wealth. They also are conscious of the facts that this world is transient and that Allah will hold them accountable for their actions. But unbelievers are totally unaware of these facts. According to their erroneous beliefs, all of the affairs in this world are random, and the world is its own master. In this setting, unbelievers seek to maintain their existence and pursue their interests. Thus, they may readily resort to fraud or dishonesty, for they are heedless of Allah's existence and their accountability to Him.
The outlook, and thereby the characteristics, moral values, and behaviors of these two groups of people, are mutually exclusive. The Qur'an provides detailed examples of these differences.
According to the Qur'an, an unbelieving society is made up of people who are unaware of Allah, who "made Him into something to cast disdainfully behind their backs" (Surah Hud, 92) and "do not measure Allah with His true measure." (Surat al-An'am, 91) The Qur'an refers to such a society as the "society of ignorance." A society may consider itself contemporary and civilized, but as long as its members fail to give Allah all of the respect due to Him and remain unaware of the Hereafter and the purpose of their existence, its people are, in actuality, ignorant (of religion).
In all societies ignorant of religion, believers are always in minority. As the accounts of the Prophets' lives related in the Qur'an indicate, throughout history, believers have always emerged within such societies but have been purified from the dirt of the ignorance, and gained sincerity and wisdom.
However, just because believers have their own unique structure does not mean that they never associate with those who do not know Allah. On the contrary, in compliance with Allah's orders, believers maintain their bonds with unbelievers so that they can summon them to live by the values of the Qur'an, for every unbelieving society contains people of intelligence and conscience who have remained ignorant because they have not yet received Allah's message of morals. For this reason, believers communicate the values of the Qur'an to these people with compassion and courtesy. This is also a recommendation of Allah's Messenger (pbuh) who said, "The best of you is he who has learnt the Qur'an and then taught it." (Bukhari)
When such unbelievers encounter Muslims for the first time, they are likely to have many questions, because devoted believers, who possess the morality of the Qur'an, are unlike all other people they have ever known. Being used to living among selfish, conceited, remorseless, and arrogant people, they may well feel amazed when meeting conscientious, self-sacrificing, modest, reliable, self-possessed, and tolerant people.
Nevertheless, believers are sincere and honest people, for they follow Allah's guidance, which is the unique true guidance. How could it not be, since it was determined by humanity's Creator? All of the doubts and questions belonging to those who have only recently been introduced to the Qur'an's morality stem from the ignorant beliefs and concepts upon which they were raised.
This book seeks to clarify the probable questions likely to occur to people who are new to the Qur'an's morality.