The Moral Values of The Qur'an
(36 - 41)
36. No Dispute Among the Believers
One of the secrets of the believers’ success is the warm brotherhood and solidarity among them. The Qur’an emphasizes the importance of unity: “Truly, Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array as if they were a solid cemented structure.” (Surat as-Saff, 61:4)
Any statement or behaviour that may damage this close brotherhood would be an adversary act against religion itself. Allah warns the believers against this threat in the Qur'an:
“Obey Allah and His Messenger; and fall into no disputes, lest you lose heart and your power depart; and be patient and persevering: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” (Surat al-Anfal, 8:46)
Hence, the sincere believer must be extremely cautious of entering into such disputes, avoiding words or manners that may hurt his brothers. Moreover, he should behave in such as way as toincrease affection and confidence among them. In the Qur’an, we have the clear decree:
“Say to My servants that they should only say those things that are best: for Satan sows dissensions among them: Satan is to man an avowed enemy.” (Surat al-Isra, 17:53)
If a believer does not have the same opinion as his brother on some issue, he should nevertheless behave and talk in the most modest and humble way. Sharing ideas should remain on the basis of “consultation” and not “debate”. If a contention is observed among two other believers, then what one should do is indicated in the verse below:
“The believers are but a single Brotherhood. So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, so that you may receive His Mercy.” (Surat al-Hujraat, 49:10)
It should be noted that even a minor argument of any kind may have very negative effects on the Cause.
37. Seeking Allah’s Protection from Satan While Reading the Qur’an
The Qur’an is the divine book revealed by Allah to guide mankind. While it helps increase the faith of the believers, it exposes the denial of the unbelievers.
“He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: ‘We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord’, and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.” (Surat Aal-e-Imran, 3:7)
That means that some verses of the Qur’an have the capacity both to reveal the transgressions of “those whose hearts are flawed by perversity” and to increase the faith and submission of the believers.
It should be noted, however, that no one can guarantee that he will continue to preserve his faith. Believers may also lose the Qur’anic point of view with the effect of Satan’s temptations. Naturally they would not perceive the wisdom in the Qur’an if they read it while under the sway of Satan. That is why Allah commands believers to seek refuge in Him from the evil influence of Satan before reading the Qur’an:
“When you read the Qur’an, seek Allah’s protection from Satan, the rejected one.” (Surat an-Nahl, 16:98)
This command of Allah is important for it reminds believers of Satan's constant presence and unceasing activities. Indeed, Satan is ever at work, lying in wait for people on Allah’s straight path, and trying to assault them “from before and behind, from their right and from their left.” The strategies of Satan have been explained in many verses of the Qur'an. Thus salvation from the deceits of Satan can be achieved only through the Qur’an, which warns us against Satan’s tricks and tells us to avoid them. As expressed in the 42nd verse of Surat al-Hijr, “Satan has no authority over Allah's servants.” The solution is to accept the Qur’an as the only guide and to read it after seeking refuge in Allah from the rejected Satan.
38. Being Considerate
The members of a profane society are, in the main, rude, uncaring and inconsiderate. The reason for this is the egoism of the unbelievers. They all think of their own benefit. Others have no importance for them.
However, a real group of believers are completely different from such people, because one of the significant characteristics of the believers is their refusal to fall a prey to their own greed. Believers who overcome their vain desires, will naturally be caring and considerate towards other believers. The Qur’an tells of that kind of self-sacrificing relationship between the refugees who fled with Mohammed to Medina and the faithful people of Medina who helped them:
“And those who, before them, had homes (in Al-Madinah) and had adopted the Faith, love those who emigrate to them, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), and give them (emigrants) preference over themselves, even though they were in need of that. And those saved from the covetousness in their own souls, they are the ones that achieve prosperity. ” (Surat al-Hashr, 59:9)
As is also mentioned in this verse, the believers should give other believers preference over themselves. That is true faith, submission and brotherhood.
To give other believers preference is not confined only to offering them physical terms. Brotherhood is also imparted with thoughtfulness. A believer must consider the needs and problems of his brother more than those of himself.
Rude and inconsiderate manners show the insufficiency of a person's faith. A person who is not able to consider how his acts will affect the other believers, and who acts only according to his own "wishes" and "as he likes", is far removed from the example of the believer depicted by Allah. The Qur'an emphasizes this subject with many examples of both considerate and inconsiderate actions. And the most important is surely to be gracious and respectful to Allah’s Messenger:
“O you who believe, do not put yourselves forward before Allah and His Messenger; but fear Allah: for Allah is He Who hears and knows all things.” (Surat al-Hujraat,49: 1)
“O you who believe, do not enter the Prophet’s houses-until leave is given you- for a meal (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation: But when you are invited, enter; and when you have taken your meal, disperse, withoutseeking familiar talk. Such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet: he is ashamed to dismiss you, but Allah is not ashamed (to tell you) the truth. When you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a curtain: that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. Nor is it right for you that you to cause annoyance to the messenger of Allah, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him. Truly, such a thing is in Allah’s sight an enormity.” (Surat al-Ahzab, 33:53)
People who are reared on the teachings of the Qur’an are noble, polite, upright and considerate. This is the natural attitude of the believer who gives preference to his brothers over himself and who feed for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan and the captive. Being considerate is a characteristic of the companions of Paradise. For instance; not disturbing a brother while he is on an important task, keeping silent when believers pray, making the believers as comfortable as possible, asking if they need something and serving them without being asked may be given as examples to kind behaviour. However, these are only a few examples, and these considerate manners may amount to hundreds and thousands according to changing conditions.
39. Turning away from the Ignorant
In the Qur’an, the believers are described as in the verses below:
“The servants of Allah (Most Gracious) are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, `Peace!’” (Surat al-Furqan, 25:63)
“And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: ‘To us our deed and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant.’ ” (Surat al-Qasas, 28:55)
Believers are innately peaceful, whereas those who disbelieve are extremely uneasy, restless and aggressive. It is as if their torment of hell had already started on earth. That is why they cause trouble and are also constantly faced with difficulties. However, believers do not even communicate with those people unless they attempt to give harm to the believers and Islam. They behave honorably, as the above verses describe. When intervention is necessary, they do notbehave rudely, but in the most civilized and law-abiding way.
40. Not Arguing About Things About Which One Knows Nothing
In the Qur’an, man is typified as being “contentious in most things.” (Surat al-Kahf, 18:54) In other verses, this criticism is levelled particularly at the unbelievers:
“When (Jesus) the son of Mary is held up as an example, behold, your people raise a clamour thereat (in ridicule)! And they say: 'Are our gods best or he?' This they set forth to you, only by way of disputation. Nay! they are a contentious people.” (Surat az-Zukhruf, 43:57-58)
The reason for this tendency to argue about everything is not to reveal and evaluate different opinions, but to satisfy the urge to quarrel. In the arguments of the ignorant, neither side tries to evaluate the others' ideas or find a correct solution. Beating the other is the one and only aim. This explains the loud voices and the tense attitude during such arguments, and the turning of what should merely be a discussion into a quarrel.
It is most abnormal surely, to argue over things about which neither disputant has any certain knowledge. The most obvious example of this is to be seen in discussions of religion, about which the arguers are generally exceedingly ignorant. The error of such conduct is pointed out in the verse below:
“Verily, you are those who have disputed about that of which you have knowledge. Why do you then dispute concerning that which you have no knowledge? It is Allah Who knows, and you know not.” (Surat Aal-e-Imran, 3:66)
41. No Mocking
The following verse clearly tells us that there should be no mockery among the believers:
“O you who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not repent are (indeed) doing wrong.” (Surat al-Hujraat, 49:11)
Allah tells people to refrain from mocking. Mockery can take many forms: open laughter at personal misadvantures, sly grins, verbal teasing under the pretence of joking, or sidelong glances to convey something which cannot be openly discussed. Such behaviour belongs to the culture of the ignorant and does not befit true believers. The Qur’an tells us that people who indulge in such behaviour will have tosuffer the Fire of Allah mounting on to their hearts.
“Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and backbiter, who piles up wealth and keeps on counting it, thinking that his wealth would make him last for ever. By no means! He will be sure to be thrown into the crushing Fire. And what will make you know what the crushing Fire is? It is the Fire of Allah kindled (to a blaze), which mounts to the hearts of men: Surely it shall be closed over upon them, (they will be punished) in columns outstretched.” (Surat al-Humaza, 104:1-9)
It is not possible for a believer to behave in any cynical manner after he knows this clear decree of Allah. Indeed, no believer behaves in that way deliberately. However, if ever a believer slips into that manner, he may be unaware of his wrong conduct and taking it as fun. But whenever he realizes that what he is doing is wrong, he should immediately stop and repent.