Moral Teachings of Islam 15 – Prohibitions To Protect Honor General
Channel: Jamal Badawi
File Size: 7.13MB
In the Name of God, the beneficence, the Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever. I mean, I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except the one true God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger and servant of God, I greet you all with the universal greetings of peace. The greetings that have been used by all the prophets from Prophet Abraham through to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. Assalamu alaikum, which means peace be unto you. I'm your host Hamlet Rashid. Today we have our 15th program in our series on the moral teachings of Islam. If they would begin a
new topic, we'll be looking at the protection of honor in Islam. I have joining me on the program as usual Dr. Jamal battery of St. Mary's University, or the Jamal Assalamualaikum, Anakin sidama. When we began our current series of 15 programs, the goal now we had a very useful chart, which set out two main criteria between things acts, which are lawful, and those acts which are unlawful. We talked about the safeguards against faith, life, mind and so on. Could you take us back to that chart and show us how our topic today relating to honor fits into the overall context of the series? Okay. Basically, what you were talking about is the five broad objectives of Islamic Sharia or
Islamic law, which are in themselves the criteria for indicating what is lawful and unlawful acts in Islam. And some of the earlier programs in the series we talked about safeguarding faith, which involves avoiding things like
sharing or associating others with Gods sorcery, magic, tyranny that suppresses people's religious freedom and so on. Secondly, we touched on the protection of life. And we said, in order to protect life, Islam provided certain prohibitions, such as killing, committing suicide, abortion, except to save the life of the mother, euthanasia, social injustice also, because that threatens people's well being and survival. And we spent quite a bit of time did on the question of impure diet that might be hot might be harmful to the individual that we discussed in the especially the hog and its products.
The third was the protection or safeguarding of the mind by prohibiting all kinds of intoxicants, whether they are wines, drugs, or anything that D clouds, the human mind. So today, really, we're getting into the fourth
objective, and that is to safeguard honor, and these are the various measures provided in Islam,
or prohibitions in order to provide for this kind of safeguarding or protection. Now then use the term honor, or you're using the term then in a relatively relatively more specific sense. And that might arise, you could say that it's applicable to other things, but the main emphasis really, within that particular frame of reference, his honor, in essence of sexual morality, if you will.
That's why it relates to things that protect the chastity and
reputation of individual believers.
Now, when we get into this topic of sexual morality,
some people suggest that we're living in a space age, to use some some of the jargon of the day we have to go with the flow, this kind of thing.
They sometimes ask the question, you know, how can we how can a moral code be viable that was developed over 1400 years ago? How can we be expected and followed every society to follow traditions about human sexuality which were developed so long ago? How would you respond to an individual make that kind of assertion, you see the men mix up? At least and I'm talking from the Islamic standpoint, I'm sure some other core religions might have similar explanation and feeling also about it.
From the Islamic point of view,
a believer is not required just to follow, quote unquote, traditions.
nor is he required to follow laws that were developed by human beings or by individuals in some remote past history.
When you talk about sexual marriage in Islamic context, we're talking about divine commands or divine laws that has not been developed by any human being, or evolved by society, but rather, something that supersedes those traditions, whether these traditions were all are known.
Now, the throughout human history, this kind of argument has been repeated. Many people think that this is the argument of the space age, people. But indeed, it reflects human weakness throughout history. In previous civilizations 1000s of years back, still, whenever people felt that they want to remove themselves from the needed self control or restraint in matters of sex or others, they start making some justification by saying, Well, you know, it's a new civilization, we have changed. And that was said, 1000s of years back by different people.
So the Muslim, then when he follows this code, he's following an ultimate moral code, a code that determines the ultimate knowledge of what is right and what is wrong.
And in Muslim belief, as we indicated, then very early in the series, Muslim does not believe in relative morality, that is something that should go with the flow or change with the changing places and times or else, you get human bias introduced into this ultimate laws, and everybody starts interpreting things the way he or she likes. So once we realize that this moral code is not something that
evolved gradually or imposed by some particular social traditions, it's coming directly from God, then we know that God has no reason to be biased, or has no
reason to be unaware of anything that will develop further in the space age or beyond. I mean, his knowledge is total and comprehensive, in that sense. Well, I'd like to just pursue this point a little bit more, in addition to the arguments on traditions, some people argue that, you know, people have changed over over time. And they wonder how, you know, peoples of people whose outlooks are constantly changing how people are constantly changing, how can they? How can they be expected to follow a permanent and unchangeable moral code, I guess, perhaps, is just another sort of look at the question.
Well, first of all, it's, it's fair to say that, yes, people do change. But what kind of change?
If you mean, or if we mean by change that people, for example,
change in terms of the level of education, scientific knowledge,
economic and other development, change and the way they perceive or see things, then there's no dispute about that? Yes, people do change, and God created the universe, complete,
dynamic form, there is no problem with that. But if we mean by change, the change of the basic innate nature of human beings, then I think we have to stop on that. Let me give you an example of this. Nobody, for example, say that the sun is reactionary,
the sun is traditional or rigid, because it follows the very same cycle for 1000s of years without the slightest change. Nobody says that, right? Why they don't say that. They don't say that. Because we all know that there are certain eternal, permanent laws that are
regulating or ruling the movement of the sun. So it doesn't have the sound itself moves. So there's continuous and dynamic change, but still within the boundaries of specific law that rules these kind of changes. So it's not as if you can say that the sun is worthless, it's visit. By the same token, as there are permanent laws in nature,
are in physical in the physical universe, there are also permanent and unchangeable laws, not too many, but basic ones that rule and judge the moral behaviors of human beings as ordained by their Creator who knows what is best for them. Once the person believes in God, then he knows that there must be something permanent also stable. So yes, they could be dynamic change in details. They might be dynamic change in knowledge, or as
Things, scientific developments, yes. But there is no basic change in the main laws of good and evil of right and wrong. The main laws that rule on the rises Rise and Fall of nations are some of the reasons behind that. And above all, the basic human nature, you might change knowledge, but your basic innate human nature as human being the basic moral qualities inculcated in us by God. This does not necessarily have to change from year to year or sometimes these days from day to day even. Okay, then let's look at the question of sexual morality. I wonder perhaps if you could give us the, the essence of the teachings of Islam on sexual morality what, what is the essence
when in essence, when we talk about
social morality in Islam or sexual morality,
we're talking about a positive and clears
of the satisfaction of the sexual urge which is recognized in Islam in any other way other than through legitimate and recognized marriage, which rules out rule out
premarital sex past marital sex extramarital so karma, whatever you call it,
you know, it has to be exclusively within recognized natural, heterogeneous marriage I should say as male female type of relationship which is then a natural and instinctive know, of God.
I think a number of people who would hear this explanation might consider that
this is kind of a pure physical, I would lock her attitude.
Would you think I know the answer to this, of course, but what would you love you? How would you respond to a person? That's pretty puritanical? Right. I did those allegations.
But I think it's a very mistaken designation. He said, there's a big difference between purity
and pure Puritanism or puritanical.
If you mean by, by purity, freedom of sin, a freedom of evil, innocence chestatee, then yes, Islam, Islam, etc. Morality emphasizes those, because anything outside of manage is sinful in terms of sexual satisfaction.
But in the meantime, when you look at the definition of Puritanism or pure authentic, actually spoke about a doctrine and practice by the Puritans grew up in England
and British colonies, sorry, an American colonies and colonies in the 16th and 17th century. And it says the Puritans are described as extreme and excessive
strictness in the matters of morals, and religion.
So in that, within that definition, then Islam has nothing to do with Puritanism in that sense, because Islam does not have anything to do with excesses.
One way or the other, in terms of either suppressing the sexual urge or opening the door wide, or it's
in sexual satisfaction. So in that sense, then Islam is not pure authentic.
And the way good atomism is described it is
characterized by more of realism and balance.
one fraction one level little more on explain what you mean, when you say that it's, it's more balanced and has more realism. Could you explain this a little more in terms of Islam's attitudes towards sex, how what you mean by saying that it's more balanced, okay.
In order to have to shift the standard point of view on this, one can compare it with the exchange that existed in history and we find many philosophers that have written on this subject.
For example, they have been the attitude of going to the one extreme of
from security and just opening the door wide looseness in the matters of morals. There are some philosophers for example, who used to say that pleasures, even sexual pleasure is the basis of morals, you know, whatever pleases us moral
is some even called for having
or removing any privacy of sex that it should become something common for everybody, just communism in respect of matters of sex. So this is one extreme that is totally rejected, of course in Islam, and by any
Divine, the divine revealed face for that matter.
But in addition to that there are also those who go to the far end, by having anger about sex, by regarding the sexual urge or desire as unclean, dirty, satanic or evil in itself. So what I meant by the earlier statement I made that Islam approaches the matter of six, in balance and realism is that it provides both
for the recognition of the basic human instincts without making the person feel that it's dirty or feel guilty when it's satisfied. But in the meantime, it provides also some constraints or limitations as to how this could be satisfied. Let me address the second aspect first, in terms of
the restrictions provided, we read in the Quran, for example, in chapter 17,
verse 32, it says, Do not get knees, adultery and fornication, for certainly it is an even and a big abomination.
So it talks about prohibition, first of all, of any sexual relationships out outside of the confines of marriage.
And not only this, we find also the Quran in describing the behavior and the characteristics of believers. In chapter 25, for example, verses 16 through 17.
those believers, who invoke not with God, any other God, nor slay such life, as God has made second, except for just cause more commit fornication, that's fornication or adultery. And any that does this not only meets punishment, that's in the Day of Judgment, but the penalty on the day of judgment will be doubled to him, and he will dwell there, there in economics, he, unless he repents, he or she depends, believes and works righteous deeds, for God will change the evil of such persons into good and God is oft forgiving, Most Merciful. So the incidence of the strict prohibition of fornication and adultery, there's no question about that it's very, very clearly stipulated in the
Quran. But on the other hand, what I meant also by violent violence in realism is that it does not cause the individual to feel guilty. When there is that natural instinctive feeling to satisfy the, the sexual desire. For example, we read in the Quran in chapter three, verse 14, the United NASA fukushi, how it made me sad when Penny says, fish in the eyes of men, is a lot of things they covet. Women, and sons hate that words of gold and silver, horses, branded, and once of cattle, and well tilled land. And then it does not contain all of this desires that God created in the in humans. It simply says, such are positions of this words life, but in the newness to God is the best of the
goals to turn to. And then it goes on in the following verse indicating that there's something better actually than all this worldly pleasures, and that is the pleasures of God. But you'll notice here that it did not condemn. It says God created people with the instinctive desire to have property, children, sexual desire, as reflected in men wanting women, of course, the reverse would be applicable there. So that in itself is no sin. It's not satanic. It's not even. All the Quran says, rather than condemned and say that this is inevitable, even and you better avoid it unless you have to or anything of that sort. It's fine, but you should not keep your eyes only on this, you
keep your eyes also on the life hereafter and living a righteous life.
Not only this, the desire for marriage also has been explained very succinctly in the Quran, as something not to be regarded as
inevitable evil, but a desirable thing in itself. In chapter 30, verse 21, and this we can come to perhaps in discussion of the family system, Islam,
it says, and among His Signs, that's the sign of the grace and boundaries of God, that He created for you mates from among yourselves or from the same human nature as you are, and that you that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and he has put love and mercy between your hearts verily in that
are Signs for those who reflect. So the method of blessing of matter of marriage or having spouses is regarded as a blessing of God not, you know something to be ashamed of or hide
another verse in the Quran also it says that one of the boundaries of Allah that He created for your children and grandchildren, so the love of children and having families is a commendable act in itself. There is no virtue, as we mentioned in a previous program, and monasticism or celibacy, according to Islam, its basic human nature, nothing to be ashamed of.
Not only this, I'll give you another very fascinating example, about the healthy attitude towards sex that Islam teaches.
The Prophet, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was sitting with his companions. And then he told them about the various things that they could be rewarded for by God. And he said, and when one of you goes to his wife and his private relationship with her, he gets rewarded for that. So they raised eyebrows, they set standards. They said, Oh, prophet of God, do we do things that we derive pleasure from the physical pleasure? And then still we get divine rewards from God for?
He said, Okay, if the person does not fulfill
that basic need, in legitimate, wholesome marriage, wouldn't he be tempted to she'd be tempted to do that outside in fornication and adultery? They said, Yes. He said, then wouldn't he be punished
for this infection? They said, Yes. He said, All right. He's also rewarded when he was
in the clean,
you know, atmosphere of marriage. In a similar occasion, also, it was said that some people went to the household of the Prophet peace be upon him to ask about, what kind of worship does he do? Being the closest to God? What does he do?
So when they got the information that the prophet SAW Selim, peace be upon him, just living a normal life, we worship God, but he's also doing other things and enjoying the legitimate things within the boundaries, God has said, it appears that some of them were a little bit wondering. So some one of them said, as to me, I pray always all night and don't sleep. In other words, keep night prayers. Because after all, the prophet is holy, but we have to do much more. He said, I will pray without sleeping. Most of the nights are all nights. The other person said, All right, to me, I have to cleanse myself by fasting all the time. Because not continuously, but like fasting every day, let's
say from dawn to sunset,
the third person said, All right, in order for me to cleanse myself, I will not get married, and just keep away from women altogether.
So the Prophet peace be upon him knew of this kind of argument and discussion, and he came to me said,
but in the name of God, I am the most pious of you, and the closest and most fearful of God among you.
And the most, who knows about God, then you people do however,
I pray, and I sleep. The question I mentioned before balance and realism, I pray, and I get rest, sleep. And I fast, then I break my fast, I don't fast all the time. And he said, also, I get married.
And whoever deviates from my path, he is not of me.
That should again that one should not look down on the matters of sex. In that sense, the only thing like I said, is to direct it in the proper, proper channel that God has provided. In fact, in one of his saying, he said, the best enjoyment in this life is a pious and good wife.
And, of course, that would be applicable also in reverse, the best enjoyment for a woman would be a pious and
nothing wrong with that.
I wonder if perhaps I could get you to comment on some of the additional measures which are provided by Islam to safeguard sexual morality. Okay, I think this is a very good second point, because
sometimes people tend to think that what Islam really provide is just laws, those laws regulation, punishment, Penal Law, even though we haven't touched on penal law that could come in a different issue,
which I think is a mistake, and a lack of understanding of what the main purpose of Islamic law and establishing society that when there is anything that's prohibited or restricted for a good cause. There's also a whole process
within society, within the thinking, or in an orientation of the individual to support this kind of change, that's what some people call today, for example, the system's approach, you don't just look at some patching aspect here or there, but you look as to how the entire system supports a given direction. Just like we were talking in an earlier program about wine or intoxicants, you can say people don't, or Thou shalt not issue laws like prohibition laws, which is in the States, but you have to go through a process of education, you change the structure of economy, you change people's attitude, their religious model, once this is these changes take place, then the entire process of
reformation moves in a certain and unsure way. By the same token, it is very difficult, and sometimes next to impossible, not impossible, next impossible for many people
within the context of the present civilization, to be able to maintain chestatee, even though they are required to despite of this, just make it doubly difficult and hard. When you get a an atmosphere or culture where there is constant stimulation, for sex and everything, even advertisements for products, as I mentioned, once, once before, sex is being used to advertise everything from big cars to space, and anything, food, cakes, whatever sex is always being used, the woman's body is being abused, not used really, to promote products and neck fast back. And when you get all this indecency and pornography and all this type of things. It is very difficult for a
person who wants to be righteous to be able to maintain this. So this measures within the context of Islamic law involve a number of things. You might have noticed in the verse I cited before, when I was in, in calefaction, do not get me adultery and fornication. You notice here that this verse does not use the term, do not commit adultery, fornication, it says don't get me, which means that because the social, the sorry, the sexual urge is very powerful, very strong. One should not get close or get entangled in a way that he feels very tempted and then loses control. unsettled, unsaid. So it's better to keep away from the beginning not to tempt oneself, or put himself in a
position that he may jeopardize his on moral convictions.
But this also could mean a number of additional measures and precautions, as you can just list them because I understand perhaps the time may not allow us to discuss them in details.
But one of these is to avoid the lusty looks. To start with, and this is consistent with the teaching of all the prophets are called Prophet Jesus peace be upon him was quoted also as saying that a person does not only commit adultery, physically, but adultery in his heart also by converting other women who are not lawful unto him. So this is one thing to avoid that
temptation. But in our in order to avoid the nasty looks, also, you must work on what causes this last election to take place by requiring certain dress code, not only of women, but men also are supposed to observe certain things. So that might be another precaution has certainly not to encourage three answers unrestricted, the next thing and privacy people are going along in different places, male and millisievert, that again, could give a chance for even an inspiration to commit something which is not appropriate.
These are some of the measures that taking together
would provide a virtuous society fighting indecency, for example in society if you have a truly Islamic Society. And I can say that so far, I haven't seen a perfect example, at least in our modern age, because of the decay in which many Muslims are here to have a truly
pious Islamic Society. You wouldn't find the magazines like you find here Scan Type of magazines or movies or TV programs that are really spoiling the attitudes of,
of young people and virtually encouraging them to commit all kinds of
indecent acts or things that has to be taken into account. Okay, well, then we'll stop at that point for today's program. We want to invite you back next week we will continue our next program in the series on the moral teachings of Islam and we'll continue our discussion of the protection of honor. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you