The Impact of Islamic Values on Social Behavior.

The Impact of Islamic Values on Social Behavior.

Any student of Deen would be familiar with the reiterated statement that Islam is a complete code of life. This is an oft-repeated truth and acknowledgement of this universal religion that has been sent to all peoples of all times. Needless to say, where it covers teachings pertaining to all fields of life, society and social behavior are among the chief subjects the religion discusses in detail. Being a religion promoting truth, veracity and justice above all, Islam and its moral values can ultimately lead to the establishment of a healthy and cordial social environment once they are fully embraced.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of how Islamic values can impact social behavior, it is prudent to first get an overview of the core values that form the foundation of the Islamic faith. These values are derived from the primary sources of Islamic Law; the Quran, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and those following his example. These values thus become the guiding principles that can help mold the characters of those abiding by the religion.

Tawhid (Monotheism)

Belief in Oneness of God forms the backbone of the Islamic faith. The acknowledgement and the belief in the Supreme Power of Allah SWT and that there is no one worthy of worship except Him. This is not merely to be spoken or believed but it is a concept that should form the groundwork for all worship and prayers and even everyday matters. Putting Allah above all and knowing that He is cognizant of all your actions can instill a humility in Man that will affect his social interactions as well.

Ikhlas (Sincerity)

Whether one is engaged in a form of worship or a business or social interaction, his motives and resultant actions should be guided by Sincerity (Ikhlas). Ikhlas refers to performing actions purely for the sake of pleasing Allah SWT without any expectation of seeking recognition or any material gain. Embracing this core value of Islam would mean purifying the heart of all greed and avarice and opening it up to positive feelings for the pleasure of Allah SWT. This ultimately leads to improvement in social interactions and gives rise to feelings of genuine love and cordiality between people for the sake of Allah SWT.

Taqwa (God-Consciousness)

Having the consciousness of Allah’s SWT presence and letting it guide one towards being mindful of His commands is a spiritual state that is referred to as Taqwa. Obtaining this degree of piety involves the ultimate striving towards living a righteous life and abstaining from all wrongdoings that Allah has forbidden while making it a priority to seek Allah’s pleasure above all. Taqwa catalysts ethical standards and motivates a believer to uphold moral standards.

Adl (Justice)

Islam strongly emphasizes fairness and justice in all actions pertaining to all fields of life, not merely in matters of the court. It becomes the duty of a Muslim to be just in the social circle he interacts and to disapprove of any form of injustice and oppression. Inculcating the values of fairness in our personal conduct and societal relationships ultimately assists in contributing to a just and harmonious society.

Akhlaq (Good Character)

Having an unimpeachable character and good ethics is something Islam lays great stress upon. A believing Muslim should endeavor to incorporate the ability to be kind, honest, humble, patient, just and forgiving. These qualities essentially form good Ikhlaq and motivate one to treat others with compassion and respect, leading to social cohesion and harmonious social relationships.

The Importance of Islamic Values

Maintaining a social life and playing a role in the society around him is integral in Man’s emotional and psychological well-being. From a religious perspective, it is important ensure that one’s social activities and relationships are grounded in the values Islam has laid down that provide a detailed framework for spiritual growth and moral conduct. Following these values will guide one towards living a righteous yet fulfilling life in which the ultimate goal is attaining the pleasure of Allah SWT.

Moral Compass and Ethical Framework

Islamic values are significantly important in providing a moral compass and an ethical framework to live upon for Muslims. They ensure clear transparency in relationships and establish clear demarcations between right and wrong while guiding Muslims towards a distinctive path that encourages embodying virtues such as kindness, integrity, fairness, honesty and compassion. Additionally, the knowledge of being answerable to Allah for his actions makes man more conscious of his actions and drives him towards a sense of responsibility and self-discipline.

When it comes to the formation of a community, Islamic values lay the foundation for the building of unity and brotherhood based on equality that transcends the differences of race, nationality or social status. Building characters based on these values can help Muslim foster harmonious relationships in their social circles, whether they are in schools, universities or in workplaces. Many Muslim-led Businesses today uphold business and social ethics according to the primary Islamic values. DEENIN is among those endeavoring to imbue the spirit of Islamic values not just within its work ethics but in its social interactions as well, in order to play its part in the establishment of a healthy Muslim entrepreneurial community.

Islamic Social Practices

Islam enjoins love, respect and harmony when it comes to social behavior. The Quran and the Hadith contain numerous examples and advice about the importance of and how to maintain cordial relationships.

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr RA:

The Prophet (ﷺ) never used bad language neither a Fahish nor a Mutafahish. He used to say “The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character. (Al-Bukhari 3559)

Surah Hujarat in the Quran in particular, has subject matter pertaining to social interactions. Some of the important practices that Islam strongly encourages are:

Treating others with respect

Islam calls for respect for all, regardless of caste, creed or social status. All men and women have been created equal and one does not have seniority over other. By default, every person should be treated with respect and kindness. This message has been reiterated in the Quran as well. Surah Al-Hujarat emphasizes respect and kindness in our treatment of others because all individuals are equal in the eyes of Allah SWT:

O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into races and tribes, so that you may identify one another. Surely the noblest of you, in Allah’s sight, is the one who is most pious of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (49:13)

Saying Salaam

Saying the words of Salaam upon meeting one another is not just a means of greeting but a heartfelt prayer one Muslim gives to another. The word Salaam is from the Arabic language meaning ‘peace’. It also encompasses protection from evils and faults as well as harmlessness.

Muslims are required to greet each other by saying Assalaamu Alaikum, and the response of the other person should be Wa Alaikum us Salaam. The response of Salaam has the similar reward as of saying salaam. Salaam helps in developing love and brotherhood between people and improve relationships while removing hostility.

Abu Huraira RA reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

Six are the rights of a Muslim over another Muslim. It was said to him: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ, what are these? Thereupon he said: When you meet him, offer him greetings; when he invites you to a feast accept it. When he seeks your council give him, and when he sneezes and says: “All praise is due to Allah,” you say Yarhamuk Allah (may Allah show mercy to you); and when he falls ill visit him; and when he dies, follow his bier. (Muslim: 2162b).

Bibliography (2023, July 20). 5 core Islamic values: A guiding light for spiritual growth. AlQuranClasses.

Sayings and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم). — Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم). (n.d.).

Zarairfan. (2019, May 9). Importance of saying salaam: Benefits of “As-salaamu alaikum.” Islamic Articles.

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