The Qur’an is the book of guidance for whole mankind. It explains the creation scheme of the Creator regarding man. Man can understand the aim of his life through the Qur’ān. The Last Prophet Muhammad was the embodiment of Qur’ānic teachings. The message of the Qur’an is the morality of the Prophet, which is relevant for every period and time, even in the 21st century, too.
Moral means “principles of right and wrong” and morality implies “a particular system of moral principles” while the Prophetic morality denotes “a particular system of Prophetic moral principles, which is absolutely based on the Qur’ān.”
The Prophetic Morality is Divine and religion-based. It is not the result of experience, observation and research. It is purely God-gifted and God-oriented, which prepares man for leading a God-centred life. It completely harmonises with human nature. The Creator of man and the Giver of morality is God. So no contradiction is found here.
The morality for the sake of morality is not the type of Prophetic morality. It is in fact the morality based on religion (Islam). It doesn’t mind to keep expectations only from God and not from man. As a result, the frustration in case of not returning the reward of good deeds cannot make man its victim. Because the return is confirmed from God Almighty. The follower of Prophetic morality never loses his heart.
The Prophetic Morality adopts a holistic approach to life. It declares that everything is related with each other. The moral aspect of life affects the social aspect; social aspect influences economic aspect; economic aspect changes psychological aspects of life, so forth and so on. Man is treated a single unit and every part of man’s life is inter-related and inter-mingled.
It is universal morality. It gives the concept of blood-based between mankind. Adam was the father of all mankind, so no difference is found on the basis of colour, caste or creed. The only one thing, which can bring distinction between different people, is taqwa (piety). A pious person is more superior to a non-pious, in the eyes of God. No other criterion is accepted, appreciated or considered valuable by God.
The claim of tongue is worthless without the deed. Contradiction between saying and deed is hypocrisy. The Prophetic teachings point out that Iman is the combination of these three things: acceptance of the tongue, conviction of the heart and action by the body.
The Prophetic Morality is single-track-morality. What others do is not the behaviour-moulder of a man. Everyone is writing his own examination paper. No one will be asked about other’s deeds. A person should do good if others do good to him; but he should not do injustice if others don’t do justice to him. To repel evil with good is the formula of this system.
When a person follows the above-mentioned system, the self-corrective-mechanism starts automatically. Because it wants to bring reform in man from inner-self to outer-self. The beliefs are the driving force behind actions. The beliefs of oneness and uniqueness of God (Tawheed) and life-hereafter (Akhirah) change the world-view of man. The mental canvas of man enlarges, as a result the broad-heartedness and broad-mindedness appears in behaviour of the followers.
Another feature of this system is “Downward-Comparison” in worldly affairs, but with utmost efforts. When a person accepts the result of his efforts, he not only saves him from depression, frustration and pessimism but also maintains the balance in the society.
This Prophetic Morality not only discusses the rights and duties of a person, but also highlights the fundamental prohibitions. The clear concept of permissible and prohibited is given in it. This prohibited list is not very large. It is very easy to escape from it.
Obedience can be conditional and unconditional. The unconditional obedience is only and exclusive right of God. All other types of obedience must be conditional. There is no obedience in evil; only good act will be obeyed.
There is no difference between worldly and religious life. The proper utilisation of worldly life is Deen (religion). The Prophetic Morality favours material prosperity in comparison with materialism. As well as spiritual life is also the part of social life. Full socialisation develops spirituality in man, but the condition is it must be God-oriented. It must be absolutely anti-monastic in its approach and attitude.
The Prophetic Morality fulfils all necessities and trains man to control his desires. The control over the body parts is stressed in this system. The body is considered a precious gift of God and the life is an examination, with the help of the body and its faculties; man has to clear this worldly test and trial. The anti-body attitude of man corrupts all the aim; so suicide is absolutely prohibited.
According to this morality, the combination of moral power and material power brings justice in the society. This time the balance of the world has been disturbed. On who has moral power does not own sufficient material power, and whoever has material power does not have moral power. So, some weak and honest and the other are strong and corrupt.
This morality adopts universal approach. Each good thing (wisdom) is everyone’s property. Human experience is separated from religious commandments. To clear all barriers in the way of development. Only the Prophet is the recommended model of God, all others are teachers. Man can learn good things from everyone. In conclusion, the Prophetic Morality is the solution of all contemporary problems. Because all other religious moralities give the slogan, e.g., justice and peace should be in the society and world, but how? No one gives the complete formula, except the Prophetic Morality, i.e. Islam.
[The writer is Associate Professor, Department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, and receives his e-mails at email@example.com.]