Channel: Jamal Badawi
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In the Name of God, the benevolent the Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe,
peace and blessings forever upon his servant and messenger Muhammad. I mean, I bear witness that there is no god but the one true God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger and servant of God. I extend to you the viewers of the Islamic focus program, the universal greeting of peace, greeting that has been used by all of the profits from Abraham to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. Assalamu Aleikum, which means peace beyond to you? I'm your host Hama Rashid. Today we have our seventh program in our series on the moral teachings of Islam. More specifically, we'll be looking at prohibitions or unlawful acts in Islam. I have joining me on the
program as usual Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University, brother, Jamal Assalamualaikum.
I wonder if perhaps before we go into today's program, looking at the question of prohibitions or unlawful acts, if you might just take a few minutes to go back to our program last week, when we were talking about the characteristics of the moral code, and perhaps just summarize the main points that we touched upon. Okay. Now, last program, there were five basic points we discussed last time, first of all, was the question about the extent of coverage of the moral code of Islam. And we said that, in Islam, there's no distinction between secular and religious on all aspects of life come under the same jurisdiction. And as such, the moral code in Islam is not a separate compartment, but
something that's fused in the whole spectrum of human activities. That's one. The second main point was the extent of specificity how specific is the moral code in Islam, and we said that in Islam, it does not only say to people be good, or be righteous, but shows in detail with lots of examples also have to be righteous. Another aspect that we had on the chart also last time with respect to the how specific the moral code is, is that in Islam, also there is division between different
types of acts starting from the permissible, which is the best line, anything that's not specified as prohibited or mandatory is regarded as permissible. And then, if you go up one step, there are certain acts which are called Mr. harbor commendable.
If you go further, then there are acts which are mandatory on everyone who claims to be a Muslim, going down the line that are certain acts, which is not, which are not very strictly prohibited, but are detestable or discouraged. Democracy. And then the lowest, of course, are the unlawful acts. So that's another aspect of specific specificity, whereby the there are specifications of the categories of acts positive or negative. The third point was the discussion of the main philosophy of the unlawfulness. And we said it's not kind of taboo. It's not by way of punishment. It is not simply a kind of deprivation of mankind from enjoying certain good things, but rather, it is based
on the basic role that whatever is permissible, is wholesome and good. And whatever is forbidden or unlawful. It is because of good reason. There must be some harm to the person harm physically, mentally or spiritually to the individual. The fourth was the methodology, how do we find out and then we discussed again, that, as a basic rule,
anything that is regarded as unlawful must have some evidence to that effect from the Quran, the Word of God or the prophetic tradition, which is another type of Revelation, or any analogy or interpretation based on these two sources. And finally, the last main point, was the fact that to make things which are lawful or unlawful, that's the other way around. It is just as bad as making things which are unlawful, lawful, because the right to say what is right and what's wrong is not you and you or any other human being, but rather, it is the right that's given to God and if God has specified something in the Scripture,
and defined that as right or wrong, nobody
has the right to put it differently or interpreted one way or that it has to be followed as it is in the person sincerely believing.
Now in order to facilitate our discussion today of the unlawful acts, according to the moral code of Islam, I'm wondering if you could suggest a method of classifying classified? Well, I could think about that and appears to me that there could be a number of ways that you could classify lawful and unlawful acts in Islam. You can divide them or subdivide them on the basis of personal social, economic and political aspects of life. However, I found that this particular classification seemed to be
more logical and more easy to follow.
I just get the title for that main criteria for lawful and unlawful in Islam.
The idea behind it is that Muslim jurists agree that there are five basic objectives behind Islamic law, which relates also to the moral code that is to safeguard
a dean or faith and neffs life, Alex, mind alert owners and men property. In other words, they say that virtually any regulation with respect to lawful and unlawful relate in some way or the other to the protection or safeguarding of these five basic things. So the the table here is designed in a way to relate or correlate both of those factors. That is, in order to safeguard
face for example, it is necessary to avoid and or fight
things like shark sorcery, and turning
this around the examples This is not a complete list, but just to show the flow
to protect or safeguard life.
We find that the moral code of Islam involves
fighting, killing, or prohibition of killing suicide, social injustice is and other things that relate to the protection of life, dietary laws, problems with within that
to protect the mind.
The moral code involves prohibition
of all types of intoxicants. There are certain exceptions of course, like medication this we can discuss later, to protect honor.
You find the moral code involved things that deals with prohibition of adultery, fornication, slanders of other people
to protect property.
There are prohibition of thefts, cheating, usually, and so on. In other words, you can combine or show how each of these five main objectives of Islamic law can be met through certain aspects of the moral code, particularly prohibition. This is just a kind of, I'd say an overall summary. Okay, can we go back then, and perhaps look at the deal with the first category, that is with the protection of faith? What is meant by by shirk,
as immoral sin,
when shirk and Arabic literally means to associate,
or to assign partners. In the legislative sense, it means that a person associates others with God and His powers.
I should emphasize here that this does not necessarily mean only to believe that there are other gods beside God, which is a form of, you know, polytheism. But even Islam regard attributing any of God's divine attributes to any of his creatures, is another form also of association associationism if you are associating others with God and his absolute powers and absolute, divine attributes,
the Quran, for example, responds to people who invoke names other than the name of God, believing that those they invoke the names have any power beside God, in a very simple term in chapter seven, for example, in verse 194, it says, Those whom you call beside God, are servants like you. There is nothing between creatures and gods, there's no demigods or half God, half men or anything of that sort. Everything is the creation of
Similar statements is made in chapter 39 verse 38, again that only God is able to remove difficulty when you have difficulty he is the only one who has the control in the universe. Islam is very particular about keeping monotheism, pure and simple, and not to mix it with any mystical or philosophical ideas. In fact,
in the normal day to day practice of the Muslim, the term La Ilaha Illa, Allah or eyeshadow Allah, Allah, Allah Allah is repeating how many times
75 to 100 depending of course on the number of prayers, right. It's always repeated constantly is defeated in the call for prayer in the invocation of the prayer in
the Quran is full of citations, emphasizing that the cornerstone of Islam is not associate others with the power of divine attributes of God.
In fact, according to the Quran, it shows that the only sin the only mortal sin which cannot be forgiven is to associate others regard let me get you the the petition directly. In chapter four, verse 116. In the Quran, it says in the law for unusual copy, while
God forgives not the sin of joining other gods with him, but he forgives whom he pleases other sins than this. One who joins other gods with God has strayed far, far away from the right. There was almost an identical or very similar or verse in the same chapter in verse 48, which regard this act as if man or woman that is a person who devise a sin, which is most grievous or most heinous indeed.
And even his dramatic description, just to show
how fatal the this kind of mortal sin could be, is in chapter 22, verse 31.
Woman you should be learning the kanima feminism it says, If anyone assigns partners to God, he is as if he had fallen from heavens and been snatched up by birds, or the wind had sweep swooped like a bird on its tree and thrown him into a far distant place. So the
emphasis and in this question has been really very, very clear in the Quran. For example, in the addressing Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and God commands him in the Quran says, a broad view and I wish he could be he had let's say, I only invoke the name of God, but I've not invoke any other false god with him. That's in chapter 72, verse 20. And in chapter 18, verse 43, it shows that people who associate others with God would regret it and the Day of Judgment. In one verse in this particular verse, it says, when they come up for accountability in the Day of Judgment, they say, Why are called we had a tiny Lambo. Shakira, says I wish I had not associated others with Gods so in
that sense, it's
it's a serious problem. Well, I'd be curious to know whether or not the shark was regarded as a moral sin and other revelations that preceded the Quran. Yes, it has been infected, that is not unique and that Islam really culminates this eternal truth that God has given to his prophet. Just for shortness of time, I'll give you the chapter number in chapter seven called an era in the Quran.
You find there a number of stories about different prophets in the past, Noah, hood, Salah, Jacob, Shai, Moses and others. And each of them is quoted as saying identically the same statement. And our Buddha law hammered a committee.
That is, every prophet has an essence of his message toward these people, worship god alone, you have no other God, deity or Lord, but but him.
For example, in chapter 21, verse 25, it says very clearly, that any messenger was sent in the past, God has revealed to him that there is no god but me so worship me alone. In chapter 36, verse 61, in the Quran, God Himself speaks and says what an Abu dooney had a Serato Mr. Him and worship me alone. This is the straight on the right.
the not only all the prophets, but sometimes even you find the Quran specifies quotation from some measures of prophets as repeating and emphasizing this particular teaching of God. For example, in chapter two, verse 130, on it quotes, Prophet Jacob when he was at his deathbed, when he told his children, who are you going to worship after my death, and they responded, we worship your God and the God of your parents or your grandparents, Isaac, Ishmael, Abraham and so on.
Another great prophet also was quoted in the Quran that Prophet Jesus peace be upon him. And that's in chapter five, verse 75. And it quotes him as telling the Israelites, all children of Israel, worship God, My Lord, and your Lord, whoever joins other gods with God, God will forbid him, the garden or the paradise, and the fire will be his abode, there will be for the wrong doors.
There will be for the wrong tours be no one to help.
So that's again, emphasizing the same kind of teaching. Another person who was regarded as a model of wisdom by the name of Lockman is quoted in the Quran in chapter 31, verse 13, advising his son, he says yagoona Yella to chick fil a in a circle of Omaha theme, my son, don't you associate others with the divine attributes of God? For certainly, sure. All this kind of association is call it zolman housing which means a great sin are a great
Not only this, the Quran also addresses Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as the last of the prophets of Islam, the way we define Islam as the message of all the prophets. It says line Ashoka waka la la cocina, Latina and complicated in Latin America, let's say it has been revealed to you and to the people before you that if you associate others with God, your deeds would be of no avail of no flute you and you will be among the loser that's in chapter 39 verse 65, as a command in the Quran. For example, in chapter six, verse 151, when it talks about the basics of moral code, it addresses Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him a saying to people say, Come I recite you what God has
for you and number one comes and Leticia COVID-19. And he could be saying that you should not associate others with with God and His divine attributes. So in other words, to come to your, at the essence of your question.
shirk or associating others with God has been regarded also as the the worst of moral sense, according to the teachings of all the prophets from Adam to Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and finally, the last one Prophet Muhammad vcops, universal message of God to all profits industry, according to
one thing, which I find to be interesting in the Islamic approach to ethics is the close connection between beliefs which a lot of people regard as just being merely dogma, and the more practical aspects of moral behavior. This is very interesting, when in fact, you might, right it's, it's interesting to me, because you see, when you think of Shrek the way, we explained it as to shaping others with God in some form or other, once you avoid that fatal sin or morals and according to Islam, once you admit the absolute oneness of God, including one is also these attributes.
Then this would lead the person to willingly lovingly
and consciously submit to the Word of God, he would submit to Him in spirit, mind and body, this entire living would be dedicated in obedience to God.
Once one, admit this, and remove this mistake from his thinking, then it means also that the person would know his priority his or her priorities. A person would be clear that the injunctions of God and His commands must take priority over every other thing. Whether those are pressures of other individuals, social norms, indoctrination of institutions, that one realizes that God comes first and foremost. So in
No way. Not only this, I could even add here that it teaches the individual once you admit or you remove this shirt, that he would not put his or her own opinion or tastes about the command of God. Like you find, for example, I'm in chapter 49, the first verse, it says, Do not put your opinions or your liking and disliking ahead of the commands of of God and the teaching of his of his messengers. So you're quite right on this, it's, it ties very clearly, between an act which is mainly an act of belief, and the implication in terms of philosophy of life, clarity of one's objective and direction in life and how one goes about fulfilling his responsibility as a human being.
Going back down to the, to the classification, and
I'd like to get you to comment on both the other prohibitions that are related to the safeguarding of faith, of sorcery and tyranny, and so on. Okay, a couple of them here that I included, but perhaps you can add a couple of more also
sorcery that we discussed in some detail in the previous series on Islamic beliefs. But basically, Islam make it unlawful for a person to use sorcery, to hurt others, even to learn sorcery, or even to seek the help of sorcerers. This is totally relating to that, of course, this prohibition of divination and believing that anybody can tell you the future and all that this is, again, out.
Protection of faith also requires protection of religious freedom and fighting tyranny, especially tyranny which results in religious oppression. And this is one of the reasons of the concept of jihad in Islam, which is mistakenly translated holy war, which doesn't mean that very, very, very much on the production meaning of it, but fighting tyranny or using jihad is also to stop religious persecution or oppression, whether for yourself or even for others. There are a couple of other things also that are not necessarily good in that they prohibition, for example, of the use or adoration of statues, which carries some kind of
touch of idolatry,
prohibition of eating animals, which are slaughtered and dedicated in the name of an item, or in the name of any person other than the name of God at the time when the animals
were killed. So this is all supplementary to the basic first objective of Santa Claus to protect faith. Okay, can we then focus on the second category of prohibition?
What does the Quran say about the sanctity of human life? Well, let me give you a couple of quotations from the Quran. Again, this would make the picture a little bit clearer.
First of all,
the prohibition of killing is clear and put in unmistakable terms and as
well, that's up to the nuts and bolts you had Ramallah who elaborate Huck, the Quran says that's in chapter 17, verse 33, covers on that subject, it says, No, that's part of the verse effect, nor take life, which God has made sacred, except for adjust cause, like capital punishment, as we can talk about later, but the life of the human is sanctified, it's sacred, it should be protected. Not only this, we find that the Quran after describing the story of the two children of, of Adam, Cain and Abel, that one of them killed others, as you know, in chapter five, for example, verse 35, after talking about that story, it speaks with confirmation and approval of laws, or the law that has been
revealed to Prophet Moses peace be upon him. And he says that God has written there, that whoever
on that account, we ordained that the children, for the children of Israel, that if any one flew or killed a person, unless it be for murders, or for spreading mischief, in the end, it would be as if he slew the whole people. So if you can one person, it's as if you can the entire humanity. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole world.
In order to provide concrete protection, you don't just keep saying Yeah, my life is sanctified human life. The second you have to provide also concrete rules. To make sure that this life would be respected. We find that Islam has
As legislated capital punishment for deliberate murder. In fact, this is a subject by itself. And perhaps we can get into greater detail when we deal with the social structure of Islam and Penal Law and Islam. But at this point, at least we can say that for deliberate, premeditated, cold blooded type of of murders.
The presence or the existence of capital punishment could act
as a deterrent, and as such protect the life of the community people should not have over or misplace sympathy with the life of murderers and not the life of several people whom he killed or has the potential to condemn or repeat his, his crime. That's why the Quran puts it very clearly no apology. In chapter two, verse 179, it says, Welcome, Phil kasasa. heighten Yeah,
that is in the law of equality, or retribution, there is saving of life to you, or you persons of understanding that you may restrain yourself that there is a straining or possible restraining
of the crime of murder. If the punishment is serious, rather than somebody who spent a couple of years, gets out on parole and then commit the crime. second, and third time I know the topic is quite controversial. But I just mentioned that he is by way of how it relates to the moral code, but we can discuss it in further detail, of course, with the
penal system, right. So far, you and I talking about this area, the sanctity of life, you only touched on deliberate killing. What about the position of Islam in respect to other forms of interference with life like mercy killing, suicide, abortion, that kind of thing? Okay, well, I can at least mentioned four areas, which some of which might, yeah, some of which I think I included here already, in the
likes was suicide on the table.
First of all, there's specific legislation also for involuntary manslaughter, for example, a person like an accident, there are certain laws also that deal with it. It's not capital punishment in this case, but perhaps there is some kind of constellation of financial composition to the family of the deceased. I don't like the western term used for that as blood money. It's not money for blood. It's a kind of constellation of paying for one's mistake to help the family of the disease.
The second one is the question of euthanasia, or mercy killing and as you might recall, in a previous program, we discussed that under belief, but as I said, at that time, there is no mercy in killing, to give a person a shot or something to deliberately or an overdose is some aspect of killing also, which is prohibited in Islam.
Another thing would be related here is abortion,
to abort a human life, even in its early stages, or at least potential human life and the early stages is
emergence or killing of an unborn, helpless, innocent elephant. There are some details of course, we can get into that issue in some other context also. But that's again, prohibited except on the one case where it is absolutely necessary to have abortion in order to save the life of the mother. But otherwise, it's not something to play with on just use it under the
pretext of freedom, personal freedom, because personal freedom is limited also by the freedom of others, including the life of the fetus.
suicide. We mentioned in different contexts also on previous program, that it's forbidden in Islam. The Quran says clearly in chapter four, verse 28, do not kill yourself, for God has been compassionate with you. Suicide is regarded also as a mortal sin. So it's not just the matter of killing or suicide, but rather,
other aspects that, like you said, interferes with the sanctity, sacred human life that God has gave as a gift to mankind. We'll have to leave it at that for today.
I would like to invite you all to come back next week when we will continue our discussion of the prohibitions under the moral code of Islam or acts that are prohibited. That's our program for today. Salaam Alaikum Peace be around you.