Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Akhlaaq are Ahkaam Shar’iyah and not just moral attributes and characteristic alone

A translation from the archives:

Allah (swt) said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

Verily, Allah enjoins Al-Adl and Al-Ihsaan (perfection in good conduct) and giving (help) to relatives and He forbids Al-Fahshaa' (open evil deeds like Zinaa) and Al-Munkar (evil that Islaam has forbidden), and Al-Baghy (i.e. All kinds of oppression), He admonishes you do that you may take heed (An-Nahl 90).

And it has been verified as Saheeh that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

‘Verily Allah loves the high Akhlaaq and hates the low/inferior(characteristics)’.

And he (saw) said:

‘Verily I have been sent to (only) perfect the noble (virtues of) Akhlaaq’.

These texts guide to the Akhlaaq being from the Ahkaam (legal rulings) of Islaam. The Aayah guides to specific Ahkaam of Akhlaaq (morals) and these are that Allah has commanded justice, perfection, Sillat ur Rahm (maintain ties), and forbidding the Muharramaat, Munkaraat and aggressions against the people. The Ahaadeeth have guided to the Akhlaaq in a general manner. The Khulq (or Khuluq) represents an attribute or characteristic that becomes part of the person until it becomes like his nature (natural characteristic) and he habituates it.

Allah (swt) says:

إِنْ هَذَا إِلَّا خُلُقُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

Indeed this is none other than the customs of those who came a long time ago (Ash-Shu’araa 137).

This means that it was the nature, characteristic of those people and their norms. If this characteristic/attribute (Siffah) was good then it would be a good moral (Khuluq Hasanah) and if it was bad then be a bad moral (Khuluq Sayyi’ah.
Khuluq has also been used with the meaning of the Deen when Allah (swt) addressed the Messenger of Allah (saw) and said:

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ

And verily you are upon a great Khuluq (Al-Qalam 4).

The meaning of this is that you are upon a great Deen. This is because the context of the Aayah specifies that it is referring to the Deen as the Aayaat state:

ن وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ (1) مَا أَنْتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍ (2) وَإِنَّ لَكَ لَأَجْرًا غَيْرَ مَمْنُونٍ (3) وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ (4) فَسَتُبْصِرُ وَيُبْصِرُونَ (5) بِأَيِّيكُمُ الْمَفْتُونُ (6) إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

Nun. By the pen and what they inscribe. You are not, [O Muhammad], by the favour of your Lord, a madman. And verily, for you (O Muhammad SAW) will be an endless reward. And verily you are upon a great Khuluq. So you will see and they will see, which of you (truly) is afflicted with madness. Indeed, your Lord is most the most knowledgeable of who has gone astray from His way, and He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided (Al-Qalaam 1-7).

The subject here is that they said that he (saw) was mad in respect to the message that he had brought and therefore the subject is the Deen that he had come with and not his own characteristics. This is because they knew before his being sent forth that he was the best of them in character. For this reason the meaning of Khuluq in this Aayah is the meaning of the Deen and it was mentioned in the Tafseer of Al-Jalaalaini: ‘And verily you are upon a great Khuluq (Deen)’.

In regards to the Akhlaaq as mentioned in the Ahaadeeth have come encouraging the good (Hasan) from them in a general manner and forbidden the bad (Sayyi) from them in a general manner. However when the Nusoos (texts) of the Kitaab and the Sunnah came with the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah that are considered to be from the Akhlaaq like justice, perfection (in conduct), truthfulness, chastity and faithfulness amongst others, they did not come with them as being Akhlaaq alone and they did not describe them as being Akhlaaq alone in an explicit manner or by way of implication or indication and even if they represent good qualities/characteristics i.e. Akhlaaq. Rather they only came as Ahkaam Shar’iyah and then considered to be from the Akhlaaq.

When we look at them in respect to learning and acting we must regard them as being Ahkaam Shar’iyah where the one who is characterised by them is someone who possesses good Khuluq (characteristics) if they are from that which Allah (swt) has commanded, whilst he would posses bad Khuluq if they are from that which Allah (swt) has forbidden. It is not permissible to look at them as just being moral characteristics and attributes alone because the Muslim has been addressed with the Ahkmaa Ash-Shar’iyah and even if these are Ahkaam are related to the Akhlaaq. He has not only been addressed with characteristics in their description as Akhlaaq alone. And because there being good or bad is tied to the Shar’a, i.e. to a Shar’iy Nass (text) that it came with, and not tied to the description in and by itself.

Allah (swt) has commanded truthfulness and forbidden lying in its description as being a Hukm Shar’iy that must be adhered to and not due to it being a good characteristic or attribute that one must be characterised with i.e. not in its consideration as being a Khuluq alone. He has been commanded with Rahmah (to display mercy) in its consideration as a Hukm Shar’iy and not in its consideration as being a good characteristic alone i.e. not in its consideration as being a Khuluq alone. The evidence for this is that it (the Shar’a) has permitted lying in war as a Hukm Shar’iy and it is due to the evidence that it has commanded severity with the Kuffaar:

أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ
Severe upon the Kuffaar (Al-Fat’h 29).

And it has forbidden mercy in respect to the punishment of Zinaa:

وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُمْ بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ

And do not show them mercy in respect to the Deen of Allah (i.e. the punishments He has set) (An-Noor 2).

Had the command to be truthful, the forbiddance of lying and the command to be merciful represented a command to have characteristics alone, i.e. a command to possess Akhlaaq alone, then it would not be permitted to lie under any circumstance or to permit severity and approve of that under any circumstances because the characteristic had not changed. However when it is a Hukm Shar’iy for a specific action then it relates to the action in accordance to the Shar’iy text. For this reason lying in some circumstances is Haraam whilst in others it is permissible (Mubaah), and in some circumstances mercy has been commanded whilst in others it has been forbidden. For this reason it is not allowed to make the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah as Akhlaaq alone and to believe in them as Akhlaaq alone. Rather it is obligatory for them to remain as Ahkaam Shar’iyah as they have come and to believ in them as Ahkaam Shar’iyah in their consideration as Akhlaaq and not as Akhlaaq alone. If they had been commanded as Akhlaaq alone and not as Ahkaam Shar’iyah then it would not be a command by way of the Shar’a but rather just a command to be characterised by Akhlaaq alone. There is no difference in regards to this between the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah related to the personal conduct like chastity or related to the behaviour with others like faithfulness as all of them must be commanded with as Ahkaam Shar’iyah and it is not valid to command them as Akhlaaq alone i.e. as good characteristics alone. Similarly they are forbidden as Ahkaam Shar’iyah and not as bad Akhlaaq alone.

Even if a Muslim was a truthful whilst considering truthfulness as a good characteristic alone and not as a Hukm Shar’iy then he will not be rewarded for his truthfulness. This is because he did not act by the Hukm (ruling) of Allah (swt) but rather he only acted in accordance to what he viewed to be a good characteristic or attribute. This is different to the case in which he was truthful because Allah (swt) had commanded truthfulness whilst considering it as being a Hukm Shar’iy as he would then be rewarded for adhering to the Hukn Ash-Shar’iy.

Muslims should therefore take all warning in respect to undertaking their actions upon the consideration that they are only Akhlaaq or to undertake Da’wah calling to the noble moral characteristics whilst considering them as being Akhlaaq alone. If they were to do this then they would not have in accordance to the Hukm Ash-Shar’iy or called to the Ahkaam of Allah. On top of that this would make their action and that of the disbelievers one and the same and it would make their Da’wah and the Da’wah of the Kuffaar one and the same. This is because the Kuffaar glorify the good Khuluq because it is a good characteristic, they call to it because it is a good characteristic and they undertake it to have a god reputation or for the benefit that it entails whilst they do not undertake it because Allah had commanded it.

As for the Muslim then it is not Halaal for him to do this but rather he must be characterised with the noble and virtuous characteristics because Allah had commanded them in their consideration as Ahkmaa Shar’iyah and with no other consideration. It is not permitted for the case to be other than this because the Akhlaaq in Islaam are Ahkaam Shar’iyah and not Akhlaaqi (moral) characteristics alone.

Beirut 26th Ramadhaan 1380

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