FAQ in the category of Ethics

1 How can I get rid of jealousy?

Jealousy means being jealous of other people, envying and begrudging them. People with such feelings are called “jealous”.

Jealousy is one of the fatal illnesses of ethics which cannot be cured. A jealous person grieves upon any goodness and positivity in other people’s lives, and even desires them to lose them all, begrudging them. If they do not lose them, jealous person’s grief increases. It is said that “Jealousy is such an illness of soul that no doctor can find the cure for it. Yet only Allah can help it.” For this reason, jealousy is a disgusting moral quality which invalidates and exterminates a Muslim’s good deeds.

Jews and Christians are always jealous of Muslims. As they are not on the right way and cannot benefit from Allah’s kindness, their jealousy increases when they see Muslims’ good deeds which they do for the sake of Allah. They plan various tricks and plots for Muslims. However, Muslims do not deserve these evils of them; contrarily, they wish goodness for them. Eventually, they always fall into holes which they dig up for Muslims. However, they cause great controversies and conflicts amongst believers. Exact punishment for the most of them will be given by Allah, the Supreme, on the Day of Judgment.

A jealous person is never peaceful and at rest because he wants people to lose what Allah endowed upon them. It is not jealousy but protectiveness to want people to lose what is not useful for them but harmful. Wanting a religious functionary, who uses his knowledge in order to gain prosperity, high position and to commit sins, to lose his knowledge is a feeling of protectiveness. And it is not jealousy, either, to want those, who use their wealth for harams, cruelty, to destroy Islam and to spread bid’ahs and sins, to lose their wealth but it is protectiveness of religion. If someone has got jealousy in his heart and still grieves over it and wants to get rid of it, it is not a sin. Memories and thoughts that exist in heart are not considered to be sins. It is out of one’s control for memories and thoughts to come into one’s heart. If one does not grieve over jealousy in his heart or if he is jealous because he wants to be, it is a sin and haram. If he shows his jealousy with his words and actions, it is a greater sin. It is said in a hadith: “Humans cannot get rid of three things: negative suspicion, belief in bad luck and jealousy. When you are suspicious of something, do not act accordingly. When you think there is bad luck with something, do it trusting Allah. Never hurt someone you are jealous of!”

Belief in bad luck means that something can bring on bad luck and negative suspicion means suspecting something or someone to be bad. It is understood from this hadith that having jealousy in heart is not haram. What is haram is to consent to it and to want it to continue. As it is said in Hadiqa, “Thoughts in heart are in five degrees:

1- They do not stay in heart for long and they go away; they are called “hajis”.

2- They stay in heart for a short time and they are called “hatir.”

3- They cause hesitation whether to put them into practice or and they are called “hadithu’n-nafs.”

4- They are preferred to be put into practice and they are called “Hamm.”

5- They are strongly and determinedly preferred; they are called “azm” and “jazm”.

In the Quran, feeling of jealousy and possible outcomes of it are not underestimated. It is absolutely thought-provoking that the main reason of the first murder of humankind, which occurred between Adam’s two sons (1), and of Joseph’s being thrown into the well by his brothers (2) is the feeling of jealousy. The Prophet (pbuh) states “arrogance” which caused Iblis not to prostrate before Adam, “greediness” which caused Adam to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree and “jealousy” which caused Adam’s son Cain to fight and murder his brother and also caused Joseph’s brothers to throw him into a well as three things that are the sources of all sins. Therefore, jealousy is a bad characteristic, which is condemned.

It is essential to try to get rid of them by continuing invocation, supplication and worshipping. It is a duty to be aware of its evilness, paying attention to Allah’s warnings and advice, and to try to get over this illness. Prophet Jacob’s older sons planned a trap against their little brother Joseph all together and they put it into practice. Their aim was to destroy Joseph. However, Allah chose Joseph and blessed him with prophethood and sovereignty. He made his brothers submit to him and got them under his sovereignty. Because of their jealousy of Joseph, their trap worked against them. And this is an obvious evidence of Allah’s wisdom and might.

When the order to “seek refuge with Allah from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy” (3), which was sent down in surah al-Falaq, is taken into consideration, it is better comprehended how serious the destruction the feeling of jealousy and envy can cause to society is. It is also important that the incidents in question, that is to say, incidents told in the Quran, were experienced between brothers. That is to say, if the feeling of jealousy can cause one to murder his brother, what else can it not cause other people to do?

If we come to think of anarchy, moral corruption and cultural deterioration which are progressing in an increasing rate day by day and which turn this world into an uninhabitable place in the light of these verses, we can see the feelings of hatred and jealousy, which depend on various natural causes, between different groups of people due to various kinds of discrimination practiced by authority groups, who are directed to do so as a result of various thoughts and philosophies which came into our country from outside. To be clearer, today’s restlessness, theft, robbery and anarchy are outbursts of piled feelings of hatred, jealousy and revenge which have been formed in hearts as a result of discrimination such as reactionary-intellectual, revolutionist-bigot, progressive-retrogressive, fascist-revolutionist, Turk-non-Turk and Sunni-Shia and discriminations practiced by authority groups depending on these groupings, which have been imposed on our people for years.

Jealousy is the result of hatred and hatred is the result of anger. Therefore, behaving in a way which would decrease anger will decrease hatred and eventually will decrease jealousy as well. Jealousy means not consenting to Divine Decision. For this reason, a jealous person, first of all, risks his faith. Jealousy is an illness that kills the one who envies before the one who is envied.

It is usually jealousy that causes fights between people and conflicts and arguments between colleagues. Indeed, jealousy, as a result of excessive egoism, is the thought of “they must not have got what I have not.”

It is not jealousy to wish to have something which other people have got without wanting them to lose it. It is called longing (envy). Longing is a nice feeling. (It is explained in our other book titled “Güzel Ahlak Esasları ve Kazanma Yolları: Essentials of High Ethics and How to Earn Them”.)

Jealousy also sweeps away thawabs earned from worshipping one has practiced. A hadith says: “Avoid being jealous. Know that jealousy wipe out thawabs just like fire wipes woods out; it sweeps them away.” (4) Another hadith recorded by Ibn Majah says: “Jealousy eats up thawabs just like fire eats up woods. And charity (sadaqa) sweeps faults away just like water extinguishes fire.” Therefore, our religion expects believers to spend every moment of their lives in a way with which Allah would be pleased, as a requirement of their belief. This situation prohibits belief and jealousy to be together. The Prophet (pbuh) explains it in a hadith as follows: “An unbeliever and one who has killed him cannot come together in Hell; the fire of Hell and dust in a servant’s stomach which was swallowed on the way of Allah cannot come together; belief and jealousy cannot come together in a servant’s heart, either.” (5)

Being jealous of something/someone means, in a sense, considering Allah’s decision to be inappropriate. Whoever considers Allah’s decision to be inappropriate and does so consciously, becomes an unbeliever because he happens to deny Allah’s wisdom and justice by thinking so. This situation can lead to unbelief. For this reason, a jealous person is in conflict with Allah in five ways. These conflicts are as follows: A jealous person is angry because of the boons other people have got. He is angry with Allah’s way of sharing bounties to people. A person who is jealous of boons and bounties Allah has endowed upon other people sounds like saying to the Lord: “Why did you deliver these boons and bounties like that?” Although Allah gives freely from His bounties to anyone He likes, he wants to be stingy with Allah’s bounties. He wants to cause difficulties to the dear people of Allah upon whom He has endowed boons and bounties. By being jealous, he indeed helps Satan, who is the enemy of both him and Allah.

Avoiding jealousy means not begrudging people of their possessions, wealth, positions and prosperity. Whereas it is permissible to envy people (to desire to be like them) in religious matters, it is impermissible to be jealous of people in worldly matters. It is because jealousy causes the jealous person to backbite and try to destroy the one whom he is jealous of; thus, it causes him to be unfair and cruel. Backbiting, cruelty and unfairness cause one’s thawabs to go away. All of these result in the increase of boons and thawabs of the envied person and in the increase of damages and despair of the envious one. The situation of such people is expressed in the Quranic verse as follows: “they lose both this world and the Hereafter.” (6)

A jealous person also backbites someone whom he is jealous of and thus commits a second sin. And sometimes he attacks possessions of the person he is jealous of or even the person himself. On the Day of Judgment, thawabs of the jealous person are going to be taken away from him and given to the person whom he was jealous of, in return for hardships he gave to him. Ten folds of thawabs are given to the one who practices good deeds in the worldly life. Jealousy sweeps away nine of them, leaving only one of them back. No other sin other than unbelief can sweep away all good deeds of a Muslim.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says:

“You are infected by the illness of the previous people. It is jealousy and hatred. It shaves. Know that when I say it shaves, I do not mean it shaves off your hair. It shaves off the religion. I swear with the One who holds my soul in His hand of power that you cannot get into Heaven unless you believe. And unless you love each other, your belief is incomplete. Shall I tell you what can help you to love each other? Spread peace (salam) among you.” (7)

In another hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) says: “Ask for your needs from the wealthy ones in secret because wealthy ones are envied.” And you will be envied, too, when others find out that your needs have been met.

Being jealous does not change Allah’s decision. Therefore, a jealous person grieves and bothers in vain because of his jealousy. Besides, he earns sins which are a burden on him. Caliph Muawiyah advised his son as follows: “Avoid jealousy because it causes more damages to you than to one whom you are jealous of.”

Again, Caliph Muawiyah said: “I can please everyone, except for the jealous one because he wants people to lose their boons. (As long as I have got what he is jealous of, I cannot please him no matter what I give to him.)”

Jealous people have never reached their desires and they have never been respected by anyone. Jealousy causes despair and shortens lifespan.

One who is envied by others is not harmed by it, neither in this world nor in the otherworld. He even benefits from it. However, a jealous person wastes his life in despair. As he sees no decrease but even increase in the boons of the one whom he is jealous of, he becomes restless. One should give presents to the one whom he is jealous of and praise him in order to get rid of jealousy. He should be modest to him and pray for the increase of his boons. (8)

The Prophet, in his Farewell Sermon, wants us to avoid jealousy, which damages feeling of brotherhood and prevents the brotherhood of Ansar-Muhajir from being spread all over the world and which blocks awareness of being Ummah, emphatically.

“(O believers!) Do not be jealous of each other, do not hate each other, do not turn your backs to each other, and do not spoil each other’s trade. O servants of Allah! Be brothers! A Muslim is the brother of other Muslims (regardless of his color, language, place of birth, social statue and gender). So they cannot be cruel to each other, cannot betray them and cannot leave their call for help unanswered and cannot insult (humiliate) them either. Allah does not care about your bodies and wealth but cares about your hearts and deeds – he said taqwa is here, taqwa is here, taqwa is here; pointing his heart - . It is enough to humiliate his Muslim brother to be regarded as a bad person. A Muslim’s blood, possessions and honor are haram to other Muslims.” (9)

How to Get Over the Illness of Jealousy

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:

“It is impermissible to envy anyone, except for these two people: One is the wise person who makes judgments with the wisdom that Allah has given to him and who also teaches it to other people. The other is the wealthy person who spends his wealth, which Allah has given to him, on the way of Allah.” (10)

The word which we translated as “envy” in the hadith must be understood in this way: “It is permissible to desire to have what Allah has given to these two people.” It is fair to think “he has got that thing and I want that thing too.” Jealousy can be seen in all actions and feelings, even in worshipping. Its cure is to consent to the Divine Apportionment and to recite the surah of Yusuf a lot, to learn lessons through it.

The way of getting over jealousy is described as follows in another hadith:

“There are three things; nobody has ever managed to get over them: Bad luck, negative suspicion and jealousy.” When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was asked about the way of getting over them, he said: “When you think of bad luck, do not quit the thing you like. When you are suspicious of something/someone, do not investigate. When you are jealous, do not act accordingly.”

In this sense, it is possible to get over negative suspicion and jealousy by not going after them. Hasan al-Basri says: There is nobody who has no jealousy inside. Whoever gets over it and does not become cruel going after that feeling is not jealous.

What is appropriate for a believer is to hate it and to try to send it away when he feels jealousy inside; just like what he does when he feels the urge for committing harams. Badiuzzaman gives the following advices on how to get over this feeling:

“The cure for envy: Let the envious reflect on the ultimate fate of those things that arouse his enmity. Then he will understand that the beauty, strength, rank, and wealth possessed by his rival are transient and temporary. Their benefit is slight, and the anxiety they cause is great. If it is a question of advantages enjoyed with respect to the Hereafter, they cannot be an object of envy. But if one does envy another on account of them, then he is either himself a hypocrite, wishing to destroy the goods of the Hereafter while yet in this world, or he imagines the one whom he envies to be a hypocrite, thus being unjust towards him.”

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh), who addressed all times until the Day of Judgment, who offered solutions to the problems of all eras and described our day, expresses the hardships believers today experience so clearly: “When one of you looks at someone who is superior to you in terms of wealth and disposition, he should also look at someone who is inferior to him. It is necessary to do so as not to underrate the boons Allah has endowed upon you.” (11)

In another hadith similar to this one, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says: “Spend little time with the wealthy people. Otherwise, it helps you only to underrate Allah’s boons upon you.” There is the cure of an important illness in this hadith. Actually, when one looks at someone superior to him, he cannot be sure if he is not going to be jealous. And the cure of this illness called jealousy is to look at people inferior to you. This will help you to consent to what you have got.

Another hadith that is to complete our topic is as follows:

“There are two traits; whoever has got them, Allah records him as grateful and patient. Whoever looks at people inferior to him in terms of worldly matters gives thanks to Allah for the superiority he has got. Whoever looks at people superior to him in terms of religious matters begins to follow them. Whoever looks at people superior to him in terms of worldly matters grieves over what he has not got and thus he is not recorded as grateful and patient.”

As it is stated in the hadith above, a believer should always look at people who are inferior to him in terms of worldly matters so that he can be grateful. And he should look at people who are superior to him in terms of deeds, taqwa and faith so that he can realize his flaws and can try to correct them. When we think of this situation from the reverse angle, immorality and fornication would increase; people do not hesitate to kill each other in order to gain worldly wealth and position.

It depends on a good self-discipline for one to save himself from this trap. That is to say, if one can turn the projection onto himself and grows the habit of taking care of his own flaws, he decreases this risk. It is possible to get over all these traps by finding good examples for us and by trying to be like them. It is appropriate to wish to gain knowledge and wealth in order to use them appropriately.

One should supplicate saying “O Lord! Do not let me be jealous, let me be one of whom others are jealous!” It is because a jealous one sees a kind of perfection, which he has not got, in the person he is jealous of. And that is why, he is jealous of him. Be patient with the jealousy of the jealous one. Your patience kills him.

What are the disadvantages of jealousy?

Another way of getting over jealousy is to know what it is and to know its negative effects on our worldly and otherworldly lives.

Those who are not upset by their own losses but by other people’s gains set the most extreme example of commercial ignorance. They are little poor losers writhing in jealousy.

A man of wisdom says: “Jealousy is an ambition that makes one insane. It makes him roam from place to place, instead of keeping him at home.”

When people infected with this illness evaluate the boons such as faith, knowledge and wealth, they deal with it reversely. They desire wealth and high position first. Then they desire body health and lastly, knowledge and faith. However, can a small piece of faith be compared to an extra piece of knowledge? Can a little bit of superiority in knowledge be weighed together with body health? Can body health be compared to wealth?

This is a strange mystery and a great wisdom. With this mystery, greedy and jealous people spend their time being busy with wealthy people and so they leave scholars, dervishes and righteous people alone. However, they are the ones who have got the real wealth.

Badiuzzaman offers an advice in order to get over jealousy: “Let the envious reflect on the ultimate fate of those things that arouse his enmity. Then he will understand that the beauty, strength, rank, and wealth possessed by his rival are transient and temporary.” (The Letters)

It is the foolishness of thinking that the one of whom you are jealous and the worldly boons he has got are everlasting which cause the illness of jealousy. Rationally, everyone knows that it is impossible; however, once the feelings begin to rule, the poor mind can do nothing but just writhe in helplessness.

A century later, all jealous people and all people of whom they are jealous, and their positions and wealth as well, will be taken over by other people; they will stay with them for a while and then to be taken over by other people.

A man of heart likens this world to a beautiful lady who winks at everyone but never ever marries any of them.

Jealousy also means an objection to destiny. “Or do they envy mankind for what God hath given them of his bounty?” (an-Nisa, 4:54)

Let us imagine a person: He has done his best in order to gain a certain bounty, working within the lawful limits, and has begun to wait for his Lord’s mercy and help after having practiced his actual and verbal supplications. What a believer should do when he sees that a person is endowed upon by Divine kindness is to be happy as if he was the one who was endowed. This is what belief in destiny and Islamic brotherhood requires.

Master Badiuzzaman utters a warning statement for those who prefer jealousy and enmity: “Whoever criticizes Divine Determining is striking his head against an anvil on which it will break, and whoever objects to Divine Mercy will himself be deprived of it..” (The Letters)

There is a very wise sentence: “Allah has given from his bounty” in the Quranic verse. Acting upon this sentence, commentators of the Quran has stated that it is permissible to be jealous of unlawful gains and they said that “it is not jealousy but justice to want people to lose what they gained unlawfully.”

In this sense, if one became rich by stealing, it would not be jealousy to want his wealth to be taken away from him. Jealousy is when one begrudges lawful wealth or position which “Allah has given from his bounty.” and wanting these to be taken away from a believer means to criticize destiny and to object to mercy.

Fudayl bin Iyad’s statement “A believer desires; a hypocrite envies” is both a fine criterion and a great warning for us. One can desire to have a worldly or otherworldly boon others have got; this is not jealousy but longing. Jealousy is when one wants someone to lose what he has got. That is to say, the main aim of a man who is jealous of his rich neighbor is not to be like him, but to see his neighbor poor. And this is a vile and base thought befitting hypocrites only.

However, it is, of course, wrong to label jealous people as hypocrites right away, by misinterpreting this beautiful statement.

Definition of hypocrisy is clear: “Hypocrite is someone who pretends to believe but does not believe indeed.” Is it possible to call a believer, who is jealous, a hypocrite in this sense? So, it is necessary to understand it as “Never be jealous, because it is a vile attribution for hypocrites only.”

A person who loves himself and who knows what is good for him does not prefer to be jealous because jealousy causes one to destroy his own psychology due to not begrudging others’ happiness. It is like stabbing yourself when you are angry with someone else.

“Envy in the first place consumes and destroys the envier, and its harm for the one envied is either slight or nonexistent.” (The Letters)

One should keep in mind that having a worldly boon or superiority is not evidence of his perfection. If it was so, all rich people would be righteous and all poor people would be sinful.

It is not the reality. Worldly boons are a means of testing. Everyone is tested in a way. What matters is the end of this journey. Of course, it is nice to try to be rich through lawful ways or to gain high positions. However, destiny rules over incidents. We might not be able to get what we want no matter how much we work and our rivals can beat us.

We are supposed to trust Allah and to consent to Divine Decision, after doing what we should do and say “so this must be better for me.” Otherwise, we will destroy our spiritual world and we can run the risk of objecting to destiny, being tricked by Satan.

And this has got great negative consequences, which are everlasting.

Footnotes:

(1) surah al-Maidah, 5/27–30.
(2) surah Yusuf, 12/4–10.
(3) surah al-Falaq, 113/5.
(4) Abu Dawud, Adab 52,
(5) Muslim, Imarat, 130, 131; Abu Dawud, Jihad, 11; Nasai, Jihad 8; Ibn Majah, Jihad, 9.
(6) surah al Hajj, 22/11.
(7) Tirmidhi, Sifatu'l-Qiyamah, 57.
(8) İslâm Ahlâkı, M. Hadimî.
(9) Muslim, Birr, 32–34; Tirmidhi, Birr, 18,
(10) Bukhari, Ilm,15; Fadailu'l-Qur'ân, 20, Tawhid, 45; Muslim, Musafirin, 266; Tirmidhi, Birr, 24.
(11) Bukharî, Riqaq 30; Muslim, Zuhd, 8; Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 59.

2 Relation between nephew and his aunt.

The primary mahram (a very close relative that a person cannot marry) men for a woman are as follows: Her father, father-in-law, her husband’s son from a previous marriage, her brother, her brother’s or sister’s sons, her paternal and maternal uncle, her foster brother (breastfed from the same woman)…
The evaluation of the faqihs (scholars) about the issue is as follows: The head, hair, neck, breasts, ears, wrists, arms, shins and feet of a woman are her ziynahs. There is no drawback in terms of Islam for a woman to expose them when her mahram men are present. However, it is haram for her to expose her waist, abdomen, back and legs above her kneecaps even to her mahrams. The kneecap is included. (Al Mabsut – Shamsulaimma Sarahsi)
The permission for a man to look at the ziynah parts (mentioned above) of mahram women is valid for her permanent mahrams not for temporary mahrams. Therefore, it is haram for a man to look at the ziynah parts of his wife’s sister; and it is haram for his wife’s sister to expose those parts when he is present. It is because they are mahram temporarily. That is the sahih (sound) opinion. (Fatawayi Qadihan – Al Muhit – Radiyuddin Sarahsi)
A man is allowed to look at the ziynah parts of mahram women if he does not look at them lasciviously. If he feels lust when he looks at them, then it becomes haram for him to look at them. The same decree is valid for touching those places.
It is haram for a man both to look at and to touch the back, waist, abdomen, sides, and legs above the knees including knees of mahram women whether she is her mother, sister or any other close relative except when it is absolutely necessary. (Al Muhit – Radiyuddin Sarahsi – Fatawayi Hindiyya)
The son of a woman is allowed to rub her above-mentioned places over a dress when it is necessary because he is the closest person to his mother.

3 Nikah

Doing nikah twice with same girl is not problem, it can be done, but according to the Shafii sect it is not religiously allowed for a woman to marry without the permission of the parents. But according to Hanefi, a woman who is in her adolescence can marry without the permission of her parents. It is not compulsory for a woman in Hanefi sect to get permission for marrying, but it is better to have it. At least, she is supposed to try to have their consent. Their marriage is valid without the permission. She doesn’t become a sinner because of that.

A man doesn’t have to have the permission from his parents for marriage. But the consent of the family is an important issue. It is better when he gains their consent. But when he marries without permission, he doesn’t become a sinner.
Is it religiously allowed to marry without the permission of Parents?
According to the Islamic laws, there are some conditions for the validity of the marriage. One of the conditions is that the couple should have the consent of the woman’s parent. This rule is accepted by three sects except Hanefi. The permission of the parents for the marriage is a “rukn” and condition for Hanbeli. According to all three sects, the marriage done without the permission of woman’s parents is invalid.
According to the sect Hanefi, the girls who didn’t reach adolescence, who are very immature that they can’t live on their own and those who are senile can’t marry without permission. People apart from those can marry without permissions of their parents, because, the word of the woman is binding in the marriage.
This is a rule of fiqh but, it is an Islamic tradition and family customs, it is the best decision to have the permission of the parents. Normally, people take permission of parents in marriage; they are first consulted and talked apart from some exceptions. When they have the opinion and the consent of the girl, they begin preparations for the marriage.
According to the three sects out of Hanefi, the parents, which are rukn of the marriage, are in a position of “compelling parents”. In order; father, grandfather, mom-dad, brother become “compelling parents”. Actually these people can make a virgin girl marry without the permission of her.
This rule may seem absolute, but it has some exceptions and conditions. For example, when these five conditions occur, a woman can marry without permission on her own decisions. These conditions are:
1-When there is any kind of enmity between the woman and the parents of the men.
2-When there is any kind of enmity between the woman and the men.
3-When the man is so poor that he can’t give “mihr” (livelihood)
4- When the man is so poor that he can’t give “mehri misil” (similar to mihr)
5-When the man is blind or very old.
In such situations, even if the parents use their authority, the marriage can’t be valid. Because it is clear that the woman will be in a difficult position, that she will have unrest and bad times. The main aim of the marriage is living in happiness and the family’s being the house of bliss.
According to the sect of Shafii, when a man wishes to marry a woman and the girl accepts but the parent objects to it and tries to hinder the marriage, they will be responsible and loses their position of parenthood. And again a proper man wishes to marry a woman but the father demands a very high “başlık” (money paid by the bridegroom to the bride’s family) as it happens in eastern parts of our country, he cant be compelling parent, his parenthood is ignored. The permission of him is not necessary anymore. If possible, people help them marry. If the parent tries to hinder it he gets into a great responsibility.  These bad events happen in places where “başlık” is common and parents bring about some sins and unrest by using their position of parenthood.
It depends on the sect that the permission of parents is included in the conditions of the marriage. But it is important in the respect of traditions and family’s own conditions. Sometimes a woman marries a man and can’t see some facts and can’t think clearly because she is inexperienced, she insists on marrying an improper man. But some time later, she realizes that her husband is improper for her and a continuous unrest begins to occur.
In such situations, the permission of the parents is an Islamic necessity and is suitable for respect to elders. But sometimes, as we mentioned above, the man and the woman who want to marry may be in harmony in respect of interest, idea and character. And the father objects to the marriage by having some prejudices about the man, in this situation it will be better to ignore him. According to the sect Hanefi the marriage is valid, so no need to have permission of him.
1. Hukuk-i islâmiye ve Istılâhat-ı Fıkhiyye Kamusu, 2: 55-8.
2. el-Ümm, 5: 20; Şafiî ilmihali, s. 443.

4 Is it religiously allowed to marry without the permission of Parents?

According to the Islamic laws, there are some conditions for the validity of the marriage. One of the conditions is that the couple should have the consent of the woman’s parent. This rule is accepted by three sects except Hanefi. The permission of the parents for the marriage is a “rukn” and condition (şart) for Hanbeli. According to all three sects, the marriage done without the permission of woman’s parents is invalid.
According to the sect Hanefi, the girls who didn’t reach adolescence, who are very immature that they can’t live on their own and those who are senile can’t marry without permission. People apart from those can marry without permissions of their parents, because, the word of the woman is binding in the marriage.
This is a rule of fiqh but, it is an Islamic tradition and family customs, it is the best decision to have the permission of the parents. Normally, people take permission of parents in marriage; they are first consulted and talked apart from some exceptions. When they have the opinion and the consent of the girl, they begin preparations for the marriage.
According to the three sects except Hanefi, the parents, which are rukn of the marriage, are in a position of “compelling parents”. In order; father, grandfather, mom-dad, brother become “compelling parents”. Actually these people can make a virgin girl marry without the permission of her.
This rule may seem absolute, but it has some exceptions and conditions. For example, when these five conditions occur, a woman can marry without permission on her own decisions. These conditions are:
1-When there is any kind of enmity between the parents of men and woman.
2-When there is any kind of enmity between the woman and the men' s ancestors
3-When the man is so poor that he can’t give “mihr” (livelihood)
4- When the man is so poor that he can’t give “mehri misil” (similar to mihr)
5-When the man is blind or very old.
In such situations, even if the parents use their authority, the marriage can’t be valid. Because it is clear that the woman will be in a difficult position, that she will have unrest and bad times. The main aim of the marriage is living in happiness and the family’s being the house of bliss.
According to the sect of Shafii, when a man wishes to marry a woman and the girl accepts but the parent objects to it and tries to hinder the marriage, they will be responsible and loses their position of parenthood. And again a proper man wishes to marry a woman but the father demands a very high “başlık” (money paid by the bridegroom to the bride’s family) as it happens in eastern parts of our country, he cant be compelling parent, his parenthood is ignored. The permission of him is not necessary anymore. If possible, people help them marry. If the parent tries to hinder it he gets into a great responsibility.  These bad events happen in places where “başlık” is common and parents bring about some sins and unrest by using their position of parenthood.
It depends on the sect that the permission of parents is included in the conditions of the marriage. But it is important in the respect of traditions and family’s own conditions. Sometimes a woman marries a man and can’t see some facts and can’t think clearly because she is inexperienced, she insists on marrying an improper man. But some time later, she realizes that her husband is improper for her and a continuous unrest begins to occur.
In such situations, the permission of the parents is an Islamic necessity and is suitable for respect to elders. But sometimes, as we mentioned above, the man and the woman who want to marry may be in harmony in respect of interest, idea and character. And the father objects to the marriage by having some prejudices about the man, in this situation it will be better to ignore him. According to the sect Hanefi the marriage is valid, so no need to have permission of him.
1. Hukuk-i islâmiye ve Istılâhat-ı Fıkhiyye Kamusu, 2: 55-8.
2. el-Ümm, 5: 20; Şafiî ilmihali, s. 443.

5 Could you give information on stinginess?

In this article, we are going to try to explain stinginess and characteristics of stinginess rather than stingy people. 

1. Definition of Stinginess 

a) Literally, the word “stingy” means “miserly, who does not want to spend his money whatsoever, mean, parsimonious. (1) It is expressed with the words “bukhl” and “shuh” in the Quran and sunnah generally. (2) A stingy person is called “bakhil”. A bakhil likes keeping his money and gives it only when he is asked. The opposite of stinginess is generousness. A generous person gives money without being asked first and likes giving it. 

b) As a term, stinginess means “Refraining from spending something which is supposed to be spent and refraining from giving freely to someone else because of excessive love for money and property.” According to Ghazali, stinginess is to keep property or money endowed upon one by Allah, refraining from spending it on the reason of creation; wastefulness is using something for a reason except the reason of creation, and it is generousness to use and spend something in accordance with the reason of creation. (3) 

2. Notion of Stinginess in the Quran 

The word “bukhl” is used in three verses related to stinginess and verbs derived from this word are used other nine verses in the Quran. (4) Also, the word “shuh” is used in three verses and the word “ashihhah” which means stinginess is used in one verse. We also see that words “qatr” and “man” are used in some verses to mean stinginess in the Quran. The word “qatur” means “stingy, mean” in English. It is used in the Quran as the opposite of wastefulness which means spending everything wastefully. And the word “man” is used in verb form as “yamnauna” in a verse, as “manu” in another and as “manna” in two other verses. (5) 

About the situation of unbelievers who deny the truth, the Quran generally says: “Those who (want but) to be seen (of men), but refuse (to supply) (even) neighborly needs.” (al-Maun, 107:6-7). That is to say; in addition to being very stingy, they prevent others from giving freely too. Now, we would like to analyze the notion of stinginess in the light of the Quranic verses here:

- Stinginess means saving money and property and not using them to help others. Stinginess, in the Quran, means saving property and money endowed upon one by Allah and not using them for help as Allah orders us to.

“Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and backbiter, who pileth up wealth and layeth it by.” (al-Humazah, 104:1-2).

“And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of God: announce unto them a most grievous penalty.” (at-Tawbah, 9:34)

One of the main essentials of the Quran is justice. Money, gold and silver are not supposed to be saved and piled up but to be delivered to the public and used. If these assets circulate amongst people they are beneficial. If these assets are kept by certain people, only a few people can benefit from them and a large part of the society is left poor and hungry. And this is against the justice of Allah. Everybody has got the right to benefit from boons created by Allah. The disease of stinginess one has got hinders available boons to be spent for the poor and needy.

-Human beings are stingy.

“Truly man was created very impatient; fretful when evil touches him; and niggardly when good reaches him.” (al-Ma’arijj, 70:19-21).

“Men's souls are swayed by greed.” (They are inclined to be stingy by nature). (an-Nisa, 4:128)

Allah the Glorious states in these verses that stinginess is a feeling that stems from one’s creation/nature and that this feeling was placed in their nature by Him. However, one should use this feeling in a positive way. If this feeling controls one’s all actions, it hinders him from doing good things. (6) Stinginess was placed in human beings’ nature in order to test them and for various reasons. One advances and develops by fighting against it. The religion of Islam emerged in order to earn a second nature.

- Satan directs people to stinginess by frightening them with poverty.

“The Evil One threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly. God promiseth you His forgiveness and bounties. And God careth for all and He knoweth all things.” (al-Baqarah, 2:268)

Charity and alms given freely from one’s property does not decrease the amount of the property, but makes it even more abundant because alms-giving purifies property from non-physical dirtiness and makes it halal and clean. That pessimistic Satan, who has lost his hopes of Allah’s mercy, instills hopelessness in people secretly or illicitly, directs people to stinginess, to niggardliness by spreading around false and deceptive ideas and feelings. He encourages people to spend their money/property on evil, nonsensical things and sins. However, Allah guarantees people’s eternal happiness by forgiving their sins because of alms and charities they have given, and by endowing upon them thawabs and benefits in return for their charity, both in the worldly life and in the otherworldly life. (7)

- A stingy person thinks that his property will make him eternal. He thinketh that his wealth will render him immortal.” (al-Humazah, 104:3) Man tries to save money ambitiously, due to his love for property. Moreover, he thinks that the money he has saved will give him the power to do anything he wants. Therefore, he never thinks of death, thinking that death will not come for him and he will stay alive forever because of his property. However, property, money and fortune are all temporary. When the time of death comes for him and when his soul leaves his body, all the property and money he has saved ambitiously so far will be left behind and if he did not use them on the way of Allah, he would not be able to save himself from the wrath of hellfire. 

- Stinginess is a selfish passion of the soul. This passion prevents one from spending his money freely on the way of Allah and prevents people from being purified. This feeling prevents people from using their assets on the way of Allah. Thus, if one cannot defeat this selfish feeling and stinginess in his lower-self, it is impossible for him to purify his lower-self because true salvation is possible when one purifies his soul from evil desires. (8) The following Quranic verse expresses this selfish feeling in people’s lower-selves in a very astonishing way:

“Say (unto them): If ye possessed the treasures of the mercy of my Lord, ye would surely hold them back for fear of spending, for man was ever grudging.” (al-Isra, 17:100) 

It is not stinginess to give freely as alms and charity from property which Allah has endowed on people. One who does not give alms and charity from their property is stingy.

- One who protects himself from selfish ambitions finds happiness and success. One can be a good and decent person only by spending bounties, which Allah endowed upon him, generously for others. Actually, Allah says: “By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love; and whatever ye give, of a truth God knoweth it well.” (Aal-i Imran, 3:92). A greedy stingy person, who always wants to take and never to give, cannot be expected to be useful for others. One who is protected from lower-self’s selfish passions has overcome this obstacle in front of the good and has begun to run towards the good and give abundantly from his property. This is what the true salvation is. (9)

- Believers are not stingy. Characteristics of believers are mentioned in various places in the Quran. One of these characteristics of believers told in the Quran is that they are not stingy and that when they spend, they do it moderately. This is expressed in the 67th verse of surah al-Furqan as follows:

“Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes).” True believers should not be stingy.

- Wrath awaits those who are stingy and who bids others to be stingy. Allah the Glorious always warns human beings in different verses with different styles in order to protect people from this disease called stinginess.

“(Nor) those who are niggardly or enjoin niggardliness on others, or hide the bounties which God hath bestowed on them; for We have prepared, for those who resist Faith, a punishment that steeps them in contempt” (an-Nisa, 4:37)

“On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, their flanks, and their backs.- "This is the (treasure) which ye buried for yourselves: taste ye, then, the (treasures) ye buried!"” (at-Tawbah, 9:35)

The Quran often suggests people to get rid of this selfish feeling and develop the feeling of generousness instead of it and do good deeds in every possibility.

“And let not those who covetously withhold of the gifts which God Hath given them of His Grace, think that it is good for them: Nay, it will be the worse for them: soon shall the things which they covetously withheld be tied to their necks Like a twisted collar, on the Day of Judgment. To God belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and God is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” (Aal-i Imran, 3:180)

In this verse, Allah criticizes those who do not use their money for the sake of Allah, fearing that it will decrease, and states that it is wrong of them to think that this is good for them and that it is not good for them at all. All the property they have saved and have not spent for Allah will be hanged around their necks in the form of a fire-collar on the Day of Judgment. Allah the Supreme calls them to give up stinginess, by threatening them with this terrible wrath. Actually, man comes to this world, having nothing. Allah, with His great generousness, endows upon them property and enriches them. And eventually, when Allah wants them to help others with the property which He gave to them, they refuse to help, forgetting that it was all given to them by Allah, and claiming that they are the real owners of them. However, it is necessary to use not only the property, but also all kinds of boons such as abilities, skills and knowledge, which Allah endowed upon us helping the way of Allah.

They think that their property will decrease if they give alms and charity from them and that it is better for them to save their money instead of using it for helping others. However, it is bad for them to do so. One day they will depart from this world and all the money they have saved will be left behind. The true owner of all property is only Allah the Supreme. On the Day of Judgment, one will find with him only the property which he spent for helping others. That is what will be useful to him. (10)

3. The Result of Stinginess

In fact, feelings which Allah the Glorious has placed in humankind’s disposition are not evil by themselves. What is evil is to make improper use of them. If the feeling of stinginess is used for not giving any from boons which Allah has endowed on one, with the passion for saving money for the worldly life, and thus hindering social aid, it is wrong and impropriety. Actually, Islam which prohibits wastefulness also prohibits stinginess.

Allah the Glorious states: “Who hoard their wealth and enjoin avarice on others, and hide that which Allah hath bestowed upon them of His bounty. For disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom.” (an-Nisa, 4:37)

Stingy people think that bounties which Allah has endowed generously are only for them and do not admit that poor people have got the right for a share from them. Those who do not know that property and treasures are means of testing direct others to be stingy too. Actually, this reality is expressed in the following verse as follows:

Say (unto them): If ye possessed the treasures of the mercy of my Lord, ye would surely hold them back for fear of spending, for man was ever grudging.” (al-Isra, 17:100)

Those who have not failed to give the shares of the poor people from their property are blissful personalities. Allah’s bounties are different for every person. “One should give alms from the bounties endowed upon him, as if he were a trustee and a servant.”

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says: “Refrain from stinginess because stinginess destroyed those who lived before you and tempted them to shed each other’s blood and to consider harams to be halal…” (Muslim, Birr 56) Once, the Prophet said to his companions: “Shall I tell you the people of Hell?” The companions said: “Yes, o the Messenger of Allah!” The Prophet said: “They are those who are rude, stingy and arrogant.” (Bukhari, Adab 61; Ayman 9). Stinginess is one of the roads that lead to the wrath of Hell. Therefore, believing people should seriously avoid stinginess.

4. Reasons of Stinginess

It is possible to categorize factors resulting in stinginess under two titles:

a) Excessive love for property holdings and ambition of saving money: The leading reason of stinginess, which is one of the negative ways of human beings, is excessive love for property holdings and ambition of saving money because the desire for richness and ambition for saving money are present in humankind’s disposition. For this reason, they always work for this world and save money. As a matter of fact, the verse, which says, And lo! In the love of wealth he is violent” (al-Adiyat, 100:8) points out to this aspect of the humankind. 

As it is stated in this verse, there is so much love for richness and so much ambition for saving money in human beings’ heart that they always care for themselves only. And they care about others so little or not at all. Even if they had everything in the world and even if the treasures of Allah’s mercy belonged to them, they would still hesitate to use them for helping others fearing that they would decrease in amount. In their narrow hearts do reasons form which enchain their hands with cuffs of stinginess.

As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) puts into words humankind’s love and ambition for richness in a nice way and states that this love and ambition will end with death only, by saying “If humankind had two valleys full of property, he would desire for the third valley. Only earth (death, being buried) can satisfy him. Allah accepts the repentance of those who repent.” (Muslim, Zakat 116).

Islam explains to people that their excessive love for richness will lead them to their own destruction, in nice and persuasive ways. If one thinks of the end of property, he will understand that it is better for him to be generous. In fact, one has got no other possessions on the earth than what he eats up, he wears and what he spends for the sake of Allah and saves for his otherworldly life.  It is really astonishing that one struggles with all his power for saving money and property which he will leave to his inheritors in the end and receives Allah’s wrath for this reason. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) explained this reality as follows:

One day, the Prophet asked: “Which one of you loves his inheritors’ property more than his own?” The Companions answered: “O the Messenger of Allah! All of us love our own property more than those of our inheritors.” Upon this, the Messenger of Allah said: “The true property of one is what he has sacrificed for the sake of Allah all his life. And what he has saved and put aside instead of spending is the property of his inheritors.” (Bukhari, Riqaq 12)

b) Greed and thinking of children’s future: There is a feeling in the humankind’s disposition as if they would live forever. However, man is mortal. As it is impossible for them to live forever, they try to satisfy this feeling by having children who will continue their lineage. This is one of the reasons of sexual intercourse. Parents having children prefer to save their property to spending them, with the aim of providing their children with enough livelihood and a nice future. Therefore, they behave stingily.

Saving the bounties stingily which Allah has endowed upon us rather than spending them means turning those bounties that are for us to against us. Hawla binti Hakim reports: “One day, the Messenger of Allah hugged one of his grandchildren and said:

“You are those for the sake of whom stinginess, frightfulness and ignorance exist. You are one of the nice bounties that Allah has endowed upon people.” (11) If one’s children cause one to be frightful, stingy and heedless, he is doubtlessly disappointed. And whoever respects the law of the Lord and the rights of His servants above all, he is saved. Actually, being stingy in order to realize domestic rights and piling up possessions does not prevent poverty; it does not guarantee richness, either.

It is nice that a Muslim thinks of meeting the needs of the generation that he will leave behind in order to protect them. Actually, people generally try to hand down property to their children so that they can endure troubles and problems that can occur after they die. In fact, this is a good will. It is expressed in a hadith as follows:

“It is better that you leave your inheritors rich enough than you leave them so poor that they will need others’ help.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, 1/172). However, guaranteeing children’s future and leaving them a comfortable life should not be done by making concessions on religion and ethics. It should not sound so reasonable that one hands down property to his children by being stingy and sacrificing his soul, generousness and Allah’s pleasure.

Islam considers one’s property and children a means of testing just like other boons and bounties. If one behaves lazily and avoids doing the necessary things and sacrificing, all these boons and bounties turn out to be troubles and even the greatest enemies for him. Islam orders people to be good to their own selves first, and then to his families, then to relatives and finally to all other people.

Being good to oneself: Meeting your needs in halal ways, protecting yourself from harams, avoiding behaviors which will humiliate yourself in front of people and protecting yourself from the kind of poverty which puts Muslims in a situation which does not fit Muslim dignity. And this is possible only through a moderate lifestyle which excludes cruelty and wastefulness. A Muslim can keep property which will allow him to reach his lawful goal. If he cannot have it, he is considered poor.

5. Disadvantages of Stinginess

While generousness is praised in Islam, stinginess is excoriated. One should refrain from stinginess to the utmost degree because stinginess is one of the reasons which destroyed previous civilizations. As a matter of fact, stinginess led them to shed blood and consider harams to be halal, as it is stated in the hadith.

“There are two characteristics which cannot exist in a believer. They are stinginess and low ethics.” (Tirmidhi, Zuhd 8)

This characteristic can be likened to selfishness that is the source of many evils. Actually, a selfish person spoils many social relationships by using all opportunities, whether be material or spiritual, to satisfy his caprices. He breaks off social links. For instance, it prevents visiting relatives, caring for friends and relatives, giving gifts to each other and helping the needy people.

Stinginess causes unhappiness. The public criticizes stingy people and a stingy person cannot receive respect from people. Shortly, stinginess is a disease that prevents all kinds of good deeds and charities; because charities can be done giving the boons, which Allah has endowed upon one in various ways, generously to needy people. And stinginess prevents one from giving freely to other people for the sake of Allah.

Stinginess has got many disadvantages related both to individuals and to society. Stinginess neither allows the possessor of property to benefit from it nor the society to benefit from it, by encaging the property. So, stinginess causes many significant problems in society and in finance. Keeping property because of stinginess causes financial crisis. It causes the ethics to degenerate and hearts to become seditious. (12)

6. Ways to Escape Stinginess

Islamic scholars consider stinginess a disease of the heart and state that this disease can be cured only with knowledge and practice. Service to God is the job of earning a secondary disposition by putting Islam’s orders into practice. One can escape stinginess by being generous. One should believe that boons come only if Allah endows them and one should learn to be generous and get accustomed to be generous by supplicating beginning from the childhood.

a) Treatment through knowledge: It is possible to get over the disease of stinginess only by learning its harms related to ethics, religion and social aspects and the ways of getting rid of it. A person who knows dangers of stinginess refrains from it. For instance, would a person who knows how dangerous a snake is play with it? Would he let that snake sleep with him in his bed? Similarly, a person who knows how dangerous stinginess is quits this negative characteristic.

b) Treatment through practice: This treatment is possible by dealing with people’s problems. The Prophet (pbuh) said in one of his hadiths: “Whoever does not share the problems of believers is not one of us.” (Suyuti, al-Jamiu’s-Saghir, 2/164). Therefore, we should care about people’s problems in the society that we are a part of. Although we may find it difficult, we have to help the poor and needy people in our society. If we get ourselves accustomed to generousness and save ourselves from stinginess, we can help the poor and needy people in our society.

There are the rich and the poor in every society. They should help each other; especially the rich should help the poor. If the rich are stingy and the poor are impatient, the balance and orderliness of the society will decline. Theft, extortion, conflicts and shedding blood will start in the society; as it has been seen in all stages of history. And this will result in the destruction of that society. People will start shedding blood and considering harams to be halal. The larger the gap between the poor and the rich grows, the more we see unfairness and cruelty in the society and all kinds of injustice start to spread over in the society. Increase and spread of injustice is considered an indication of proximity of destruction. In this sense, stinginess is one of the reasons of injustice. We can say that this is the reason why stinginess is mentioned together with injustice.

In a hadith, the Prophet explains the way of getting over stinginess as follows:

“One who gives zakat, who entertains his guests and who helps others in time of calamities is saved from stinginess.” (Bukhari, Mazalim 8)

Ibn Muzir reported that Hazrat Ali had said: “Whoever gives zakat for his property is saved from stinginess.” (13) Actually, people are often ordered to give zakat both in Quran and hadiths in order to prevent the ambition for saving money that exists in human disposition from turning into stinginess. For this reason, one of the ways to escape stinginess is, for those who can afford, to give zakat for their property.

Ghazali states the following about the cure of stinginess:

“One of the ways to get rid of stinginess, fear of poverty and greed is to think about the situation of stingy people and think that everybody hates them. Even a stingy person does not like other stingy people. There is not a stingy person who likes stingy people. If a stingy person thinks about it, he will understand that he is considered gloomy and terrible, and is disliked by other people, like other stingy people, too.” (14)

Moreover, it is possible to get over the psychological disease of stinginess by thinking about the aim of gaining property. As a matter of fact, property is for meeting needs. After taking the amount of what we need, we should spend the rest for saving our otherworldly life. If a believer can comprehend that it is better to spend for otherworldly life than keeping property, the desire for spending on the way of Allah will predominate in his heart. (15)

Remembering death often, thinking about friends or relatives who tired themselves to death while struggling for saving money and gaining property and that all they had were in vain after their death can help people quit stinginess, too.

Allah the Glorious teaches us how we can compensate for our shortcomings and weaknesses via His attributes and how we can reach the sublime ones and wants us to develop our characters in accordance with divine ethics. Allah has got beautiful names and attributes, one of which is generousness. That is to say, Allah is generous and likes those who are generous. So, if people follow this attribute of Allah and become generous, they are thus saved from stinginess which Allah dislikes and also please Allah. Actually, Ghazali states that the cure of stinginess is possible by doing the opposite of stinginess that is generousness; that is to say, spending property on the way of Allah. (16)

In addition to all of these, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) suggests supplication in order to get rid of stinginess. In a hadith, he says: “I seek refuge with You from frightfulness and stinginess.” In another hadith, he says: “Every morning, two angels come down from the skies. One of them supplicates by saying ‘O Allah, may You make the property of those who help others with their own property abundant’ and the other one curses by saying ‘Destroy the property of stingy ones who keep their property.’”  (17) The Prophet (pbuh) encourages people to break their habit of stinginess by helping others financially, with this hadith. 

Human beings were created as stingy and impatient. That means these traits come from their disposition. Moreover, they have got both negative traits such as hatred, grudge and enmity and positive traits such as love, affection and kindness. Each of these is a corridor leading to either good or evil. In this sense, human beings should close the doors opening to evils and control their negative feelings and passions with the help of religious thoughts and feelings, which is called in religion “secondary disposition.” One should develop this disposition so that he can comprehend the perfection that is destined for him, that is, he can turn his disposition, which can turn into anything, to be something good, that is, into a believer.

FOOTNOTES
1. Olgun, İbrahim; Dravşan, Cemşit, Türkçe Farsça Sözlük, İran 1350, p. 40; Şükün, Ziya, Farsça Türkçe Lügat, (Ferhengi Ziya), M.E.B., İst, 1984, I, 659.
2. Raghib al-Isfahani, Mufradat, Beirut 1992, p. 109; 446; Ibn Manzur, Lisanu’l-Arab, Beirut 1990, II, 496; XI, 47.
3. Ghazali, Ihyau Ulumiddin, Beirut, nd., III, 63.
4. Çağrıcı, Mustafa, “Cimrilik Mad.”, T.D.V.İ. Ans, İst, 1993, VIII, 4.
5. See, al-Maun, 107/6-7; al-Ma’ârijj, 70/21; Qaf, 50/25; al-Qalam, 68/12.
6. Qurtubî, al-Jamiu Liahkami’l-Qur’an, V, 406.
7. Yazır, Hak Dini, Kur’ân Dili, II, 203.
8. See, ash-Shams, 91/9.
9. Sayyid Qutb, Fi Zilali’l-Qur’ân, XIV, 385.
10. Sayyid Qutb, ibid., II, 582,583.
11. Canan, İbrahim, Hadis Ansiklopedisi, (Kütüb-i Sitte), Akçağ Yay., İst, trs., XVII, 487.
12. Sayyid Qutb, ibid., X, 565.
13. Suyuti, ad-Durru’l-Mansur, Beirut, trs.VIII, 110.
14. Ghazali, ibid., III, 578.
15. Ateş, Süleyman, İslâm Tasavvufu, p.323.
16. Ghazali, ibid., III, 578.
17. Bukhari, Zakat 27.

(Prof. Dr. Mehmet Soysaldı)

6 What are the effects of ethics on society?

It is impossible to distinguish ethics, faith and worshipping from each other with precise definitions in our religion. Ethics is discussed in many places in the Quran and hadiths. High ethics is praised and people are told to avoid any kind of unethical manner. The fact that when Hazrat Aisha was asked about the Prophet’s ethics, she said “The Honorable Messenger’s ethics consisted of the Quran” (Muslim, Salatu’l-Musafirin, 139) can be an indication of the scope of ethics. As a matter of fact, Allah extols His Messenger (pbuh) in the Quran saying “And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character.” (al-Qalam, 68:4). 

Islam attaches much importance to ethics and considers it “the envelope of the religion.” The Prophet points out to the importance of ethics in Islam saying, “I have been sent in order to complete the high ethics.” (Muwatta, Husnu’l-Khuluq, 8). 

The religion has got orders related to ethics in almost all fields; in other words, it is possible to find all ethical rules which are valid for all people in the religion. Actually, religion is, in a sense, a system of ethics the source of which is from Allah. (Gungor, 1995, 17). 

Religion is the greatest support for ethical merits one has got. Ethical rules such as employee loyalty, uprightness, justice, affection, respect and helping people can endure only if they are supported by the beliefs in Allah and in the Day of Judgment. One who believes that he will be punished if he violates rights of other people will refrain from violating people’s rights, will follow social rules and avoid unfairness. Unless the idea of divinity of the source is not accepted, the power of ethical rules will decrease. Therefore, the firmest foundation of ethics is religion and it must be religion. (Pazarli, 1987, 39). 

Laws cannot control individuals when they are in privacy, away from other people. Since laws are inadequate for disciplining and raising people, and enabling harmony in social life, it is necessary to take people under control by a spiritual authority. And this authority can only be religion. Religion has placed in our hearts a supervisor that supervises all our behaviors at all times. When we are about to do something unethical somewhere far from the police and eyes of other people, the religion which tells us that Allah sees us and He will not leave this behavior unpunished stops us. (Kandemir, 1986, 34, 49). 

Crime and Religion 

Certainly, reasons of committing crimes and of increase in crimes are various and not criminals are of the same character. Therefore, it is essential to get to know criminals with all their characteristics in the first place. One of the characteristics that should be found out is the religious belief of criminals because the religious belief, or faith, has got a determining role in one’s social behaviors. “Religion is an institution that affects both the individual and the society”, and it is a factor that shapes one’s behaviors in daily life. (Peker, 1990, 95). Certain religious beliefs and attitudes can shape one’s relations with others, ethical behavior and judgments to some extent as religion addresses one’s all abilities and tendencies such as thoughts, feelings, self-control, consciousness and manners. Therefore, the relationship between the level of religiousness and crime has been discussed and researched. Normally, as religion considers committing a crime a sin, one who believes in Allah and that he will be either punished or rewarded after death and fulfills his worshipping is not supposed to commit a crime.

The religion of Islam tells believers to be good and to prevent others from committing evil. We see it in this verse clearly: “They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous. (Aal-i Imran, 3:114). Allah the Glorious also states that blasphemy and evilness are not for believers’ hearts: “But God has endeared the Faith to you, and has made it beautiful in your hearts, and He has made hateful to you unbelief, wickedness, and rebellion.” (al-Hujurat, 49:7). Requirements of faith and good deeds must be performed with free will, not under pressure, which will please Allah and Allah will reward those behaviors. No matter how many hardships believers may experience in social life, their religious belief prevents them from committing crimes. 

Religion is the leading one amongst factors which can control and prevent immorality and crime witnessed within the society. Considering crime not only a crime but also a sin would be a double-preventive reason against committing crimes. According to researches conducted on young people, they have said that religion made their souls peaceful and provided them with a feeling of safety that the religion was the only reality that they could count on and that they would lose their everything if they lost their religion. (Hokelekli, 1993, 115). Feeling of guiltiness results in restlessness in people. And restlessness directs one to return back to his roots. Therefore, getting over restlessness is directly proportional to being closely connected with religious beliefs. (ibid, 114-115). 

Once religious belief in society has weakened, ethical and legal crimes follow, because without religion, ethics do not have an enforcing power. When beliefs of halal-haram and punishment-reward in the hereafter are taken away, the order in the society weakens, crimes and anarchy emerge and thus various problems begin. However, one who believes in the Ruling Being who supervises him everywhere always behaves accordingly and prefers goodness to evil. Social dissolutions begin in societies where religion has lost its influence. It is possible to see the most remarkable examples of it especially in western societies. The decline of the family institution, dissolutions of parent-children relationships, regarding sexual deviation as normal, individual and social crises resulting from them, even physical illnesses, abnormal increase in rate of committing crime, over-egoism and over-individualism, absence of feelings of helping and charity in society are enough to show us the importance of the issue. 

The negative factors that result from urbanization due to the same reasons in modern societies today are also added to the negative factors that we have mentioned above. Western sociologists find a direct proportion between urbanization and crime. Compared to small towns and villages, more crimes are being committed in large cities and, however, most of the criminals are immigrants, who were not born in those large cities but moved there later. Relation between urbanization and crime, and social dissolution resulting from urbanization are thought to be linked to the dissolution of social relations. (Bilgin, 1997, 137). Powerful control mechanisms in societies in which religious factors are strongly influential prevent violence and crime to a large extent. After all, religion attaches great importance to family and responsibilities of family members for each other. (ibid)

Religion is also a powerful control mechanism in societies in which it is influential. With the help of this mechanism, social values are protected and enabled to prevail. One of the principles of Islam on this issue is to block the roads leading to crime. Islam does not evaluate moral values as abstract values isolated from life. On the one hand, Islam tries to enable individuals to develop and to enable the social control mechanism to function; and on the other hand, with its social and financial principles, it tries to eliminate external factors that lead to crime, at least to minimize them. Crime does not occur all of a sudden. It takes place in the focal point of a large circle which we can call “circle of attraction”, surrounded by psychological, socio-cultural and economical factors. Of course, it does not mean that anyone who gets in this circle will commit a crime but it means that they are potentially ready to do it. The religion of Islam tries to prevent people from getting in this circle. It is possible to liken this circle to a marsh. The marsh must be eliminated in order to cure diseases. The fact that social problems are failed to be solved in secular societies results from overlooking this principle. For instance, although it is known that programs including violence on media encourage people to commit crimes and violence, they are not being restricted anyhow. Similarly, although prostitution is considered a crime and sexual crimes record an increase each year, daily life factors that cause sexual arousal are not prohibited; perversity caused by those factors are overlooked and no control mechanism is employed. However, religion objects to this situation which causes deep damages especially to the ethical structure. After all, allowing factors that cause sexual arousal to roam around leads to not only sexual crimes but also increases other crimes of violence. According to the large-scale research conducted by the Ministry of National Education on high school students, students who watch erotic movies tend towards violence much more than the ones who watch adventure-action movies. (ibid, 138-139). 

Many researches have been conducted in order to determine the differences in morals, moral values and the likes between religious and unreligious people and the effects of religion on unreligious behavior. According to the results of these researches, religious people show a better course of conduct compared to unreligious people. For instance, religious people are friendlier towards strangers and foreigners, more generous to charity institutions and far more honest and kinder. (Argyle, 5-6). 

Religion and Mental Health-Religion and Depression 

Religiousness can affect depression from at least three aspects. First, according to the hypothesis of “social bonding”, religion provides social support from religious society. Such a support earns one some traits, both sensual and intellectual, which decrease the risk of depression. Second, according to the hypothesis of “consistency”, religion decreases depression by giving one hope and optimism. Third, according to the hypothesis of “wisdom”, religion changes the potential of comprehending sorrows and troubles negatively for positive comprehension (Stack, 8). That is to say, it causes people to believe that there is Divine Wisdom, a destinal reason in everything and enables them to approach incidents with a more reasonable and more optimistic point of view. In fact, these three hypotheses are not entirely different from each other and all of them can occur at the same time. 

Troubles and the Feeling of Religious Safety 

Human beings seek for a support in maelstroms of both “natural” and social lives. Modern philosophy assumed that human beings could defeat nature with the help of science and that they could be saved from the fear caused by “natural events”; however, this philosophy has not earned human beings anything positive, and contrarily, it has caused them to feel lonelier, more isolated and weaker in a meaningless life and a cruel environment, with continuing fear of death. However, religion earns people a different point of view which enables them to trust a merciful and omnipotent Being, who is the Owner of all beings, to feel strong by turning to Him when encountering all kinds of difficulties in life. It also enables them to see the whole universe as an environment of brotherhood and fraternity, and death as a higher degree of life, as a break or retirement from the duty. Human beings find exact peace through faith, through loyalty to Allah and evaluating everything from this window of loyalty. Although they also like this worldly life, which they consider to be a stairway to the eternal life, they are freed from the trap of greediness and jealousy which are the results of considering the worldly life the main aim, and from sensual desires which cause more thirst and greediness once they have been thought to be satisfied. 

Faith and Psychological Disorders 

The following factors are the leading reasons of psychological disorders: 

1- Neglecting the spirit and the needs of the spirit,

2- Losing faith or weakening of faith,

3- Being helpless or feeling helpless about troubles of life,

4- Having contradictions in life,

5- Having guilty conscience because of the people one murdered,

6- Losing the mood of peace safety and getting into a terrible and pessimistic mood,

7- Various disorders caused by some sexual diseases. (Yalcin, 1997, 33). 

American psychiatrist Henry Link found out that the main reason for psychological disorders was faithlessness; he returned to faith and invited his patients to return to faith as well. Henry Link, in his book named “Return to Religion”, says, “At first, science caused me to alienate from religion and then it made me return to religion again.” He states that religion helped his patients recover and he encouraged his patients to visit places of worshipping and religious institutions. Explaining the psychological advantages of religion for people, Link says: “Therefore, I would like to say that what matters is not my return to religion, as an individual of the society. What matters is that the science of psychology has discovered the reasons of such return. Various sciences might have earned humankind a lot of values. However, the only factor that provides individuals and the society with eternal peace, relieves the sick by giving them hope of recovering and pours down lights of happiness onto families is faith.” (ibid, 33-34). 

A German philosopher Leibniz says: “One should believe in God through reasoning in order to get over psychological disorder or restlessness. Actually, this disorder stems from suspicion firstly and suspicion causes hearts to be destroyed.” 

Alexis Carrel states the following on the same subject: “If we are in a terrible situation today, the only and the most important reason for it is that modern society is too much addicted to material values and neglects spiritual values. Addiction to material values failed to prevent humankind from destruction, let alone giving them happiness, because losing real faith has taken people to the edge of a terrible cliff.” (ibid, 34)

If one has got a strong belief in Allah, various beliefs and ideologies cannot conflict in his heart. Thus, he is saved from destructive restlessness caused by these conflicts. It is this destructive restlessness that scholars of psychology want to protect people from. Faithless people or people with weak faith can have psychological chaos because especially such people experience very violent ideological conflicts. As a result of this, they can have various psychological disorders. For this reason, some educators state that it is essential for people to have a strong faith in order to be protected from such terrible consequences in the future. And faithful people are not liable to “psychological disorders”, which are the results of lack of spirituality (religion) since they have got spirituality in their lives as the main element. (ibid, 35) 

We can summarize the vital importance of faith as follows: 

1- It saves man from dilemmas and conflicts by canalizing the desires and instincts, which were placed in human disposition for certain aims, to the way of Allah.

2- It gives people enthusiasm and freshness in order to advance in the sight of Allah, and thus, they begin enjoying struggle in life.

3- It gives people a feeling of responsibility towards Allah and thus enables them to follow the right path and avoid perversity.

4- It makes people avoid the wrong path, murder and unlawfulness.

5- It enables people to be righteous and to avoid hypocrisy.

6- It gives people endurance against difficulties by directing them to seek refuge with Allah, the Omnipotent.

7- It protects people from “psychological disorders.”

8- It saves people from eternal Hell.

9- It teaches people the meaning and reason of existence.

10- It saves people from the thought of eternal absence. (ibid, 36) 

In short, with Badiuzzaman’s evaluation, faith is a seed of Heaven in the heart and faithlessness is a seed of Hell. Faith is the source of courage, and of all kinds of virtues. A believing person can challenge the universe and gets over all kinds of groundless fears. 

Uniting Function of Religion 

Religious people are more resistant to the depressions of daily life. Religious people have got a spiritual haven they can seek refuge in against difficulties. They have got a stronger self-control. They think that life is full of tests and they have got to be patient. Religion also symbolizes stability in our constantly changing society. Therefore, religious people in changing societies feel the psychological effects of changes more slightly. This is important because Durkheim considers that the main reason of the increase in suicide cases is changing the structure of the society. According to Durkheim, it does not matter whether the change is useful or harmful for the society. Changes in social structure turn individuals’ life conditions and spiritual values upside down. And the real reason of suicide is this situation of chaos. (Bilgin, 140-141).

According to the report presented in the Doctors of Psychology Congress that was held in Istanbul, 1st October 1967, it was recorded that a substantial number of people in our country suffered from psychological disorders. It is the same in the United States. Doctor Link states that 47 % of patients in hospitals which he visited suffered from psychological disorders. The American doctor states that the only way of getting over these individual and social problems, which are constantly spreading, is to return to religion, at the end of many researches. And actually, he wrote his book in order to prove this opinion. (Pazarli, 37). 

Henry Link writes the following in his book: 

“Like many of my colleagues, I did not care about religion and religious matters at first and I was always busy with my daily works and my patients. In a period of 15 years, I examined and treated about 4000 patients. The majority of my patients used to complain about problems at home, failures in jobs, not getting well with people around and that religious teachings and rules which they had learnt in churches did not comply with scientific and technological developments. These illnesses are psychological disorders which can be witnessed everywhere and within any group of people. Nevertheless, I noticed that most of my advice to these patients was about religion. And actually, they understood and put into practice these religious and moral advices rather than scientific explanations. This is how I began to be interested in religious matters, due to my professional obligation.” 

Later, Doctor Henry Link worked in New York Center for Psychological Studies for a few years and conducted 15.226 psychological tests. Eventually, these tests came up with this result: “Personality and character of people who are followers of a religion and who visit a place of worshipping regularly are stronger than and superior to those of people who have got no interest in religion and do not visit any places of worshipping.” (Link, 1949, 22). 

Although psychological disorders can be witnessed in people from all professions and all personalities without any discrimination, only people who continue their lives in accordance with religion are an exception. 

Dr. Mehmet Tevfik Ozcan, in his book named “Ruhi Bunalımlar ve İslam Ruhiyatı (Psychological Problems and Islamic Spirituality)”, says: “Depending on thousands of examinations and medical notions that I carried out in Bakirkoy Mental Institution, I stated in International Neuropsychiatry Congress on 7th May 1970 that psychological disorders were not witnessed in faithful people who followed the path of religion and they will not. Neurotic problems stemming from mental illnesses and all kinds of depression, loads of psycho-somatic organic illnesses and behavioral disorders happen only when one is away from the path of religion.” (Ozcan, 1985, 117). 

Clinic Studies and Examinations on the Role of Lack of Faith in the Emergence of Psychological Disorders 

“In 19th century and at the beginning of 20th century, the science of medicine was entirely materialistic. Through the end of 20th century, “esprit medical” (psychology-psychiatry) was on the agenda again. And now religion has become a subject for study and research in psychiatry because, it is accepted that lack of spiritual and religious conscience lies in the origin of psychological disorders. And this lacking is the main reason of many psychological disorders from melancholia and hebephrenia to schizophrenia. (ibid, 119). Prof. Jung and his students stress that it is essential to strive for the development and advancement of religious in disposition in order to cure mental disorders. On the same subject, H. Sing says, in one of his articles that was published in “Magazine of Psychology” in India in the year of 1965: “I suggest and hope that the importance and value of a treatment based on religion and morals would be appreciated and we would reach this level.” (ibid, 119). 

Consequently, both in protection from psychological disorders and in the treatment of psychological disorders - as Arlette Bouruer says - many authorities agree on the importance of religious discipline and religious treatment. (ibid, 120). 

Suicide and Religion

Suicide is prohibited in religions and it is stated that those who commit suicide will be exposed to eternal punishment in the Hereafter. In parallel to this, cases of suicide are seen less in the societies which are more attentive in the practice of religious rules and which have got a strict attitude towards suicide. For instance, statistics show that more cases of suicide are seen in Protestant countries than Catholic countries. (Bilgin, 1997, 141). 

On this subject, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever kills himself with a piece of iron (commits suicide) he will keep stabbing his own stomach with that piece of iron in his hands in Hell. Whoever kills himself by taking poison in, he will keep drinking that poison in Hell. Whoever kills himself by jumping off somewhere high, he will keep throwing himself off high places in Hell.” (Bukhari, “Medicine”, 56; Muslim, “Faith”, 175). 

When we look at cases of suicide committed in developed countries, we will see that the rate is quite high. For instance, the rate of suicide cases amongst young people in the United States has tripled in recent years. Suicide is the third death reason amongst young people of this country, following accidents and murders as first and second death reasons, and it is likely to be the second one soon. The situation in other developed countries is not different from the States. The fact that young people in countries such as Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary and Japan have chosen suicide as the solution of their problems is a terrible reality that those countries have to deal with. (McCullough, 1987, 107).

Why do people commit suicide, ending their lives, the most precious thing they have got? What are the reasons that make people commit suicide? What do they think ending their lives will solve? Many questions like these can be asked. And in response to them, the following can be said: lots of money, lots of alcohol, lots of wealth, lots of chemicals and inadequate love provided by parents. It is necessary to add boredom, nervousness, fear, obstacles, hopelessness, low self-esteem and feeling of guiltiness to them. (ibid) 

Therefore, it is seen that cases of suicide are increasing in number day by day in faithless societies. It is possible to deduce that to what extent the number of suicide cases has increased from statistics uttered by scientists while discussing social problems. Thousands of people commit suicide every year, ending their lives with their own hands. Apart from those thousands of people, many other people commit a different suicide: This suicide is an internal suicide. Their lives do not end all of a sudden. They die slowly. They are first defeated by feelings of defeat, dissatisfaction, hopelessness and despair. (Yalçın, 27-28). 

The most significant and the most effective way of preventing suicide is a firm faith and religious life. Actually, one who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment is patient with and resistant to troubles and difficulties of life. Religion enables individuals to develop in terms of ethics and to have a strong personality. What matters is not one’s following social norms only, but also following religious and moral rules in his private life and inner world. We see that almost all religions have got practices related to “self-control training”. For instance, excluding some extremist practices of some religious philosophies, five times daily prayers of Islam performed within certain time-spans and Ramadan fasting are practices which are quite simple but which discipline and enable self-control. In addition to this, behaviors such as avoiding lying and backbiting while speaking, refraining from unfairness and cruelty in relationships with other people help one to develop a strong self-control and a strong personality. Religious people are resistant to daily life’s troubles. They have got a stronger self-control. Religion also symbolizes stability in the rapidly changing society. (Bilgin, 134-135). 

Two important aspects of religious life are “faith” and “regular worshipping”. The stronger these two aspects are, the more positive one’s harmony with society and life is and the less the possibility of committing suicide is. (Stack, 2).
 
Stack determined the main theses of his theory, in which he showed the relation between religiousness, religious belief and suicide, as follows: First, as the otherworldly life promises happiness, it can balance troubles of people, who are stressed by - for instance - unemployment, divorce, poverty and so on, in a positive way. If people consider this stress as a temporary phenomenon, with the help of the notion of eternality stemming from belief in the Hereafter, their resistance to stress increases. Second, sorrows and troubles may have a meaning. One meaning of troubles encountered is to show the importance of patience against sorrows and troubles. Third, believing that God supervises us and knows people’s troubles makes people more patient. Fourth, religion offers a holy rank or system of classification in alternation to the system of classification based on the materialistic understanding of the society. Therefore, one can develop his self-esteem and personality by aiming at success in spirituality and religion, especially if he failed in the hierarchic order of society. Fifth, belief in a God who hears and responds to wishes can enable some people to get over problems of life conditions. Sixth, religion usually talks of poverty by praising it. Seventh, belief in the existence of Satan directs one to struggle against evil. Eighth and the last, religions offer ideal models (ideal type of person). For instance, Prophet Job (Ayyub) is one of them. This kind of people endured sorrows and troubles and did not attempt to commit suicide because of difficulties in life. These eight items of course should not be considered a list of life-saving beliefs. Nevertheless, it must be seen as a list of examples which show how a few basic elements of faith decrease the risk of suicide. (Stack, 5). 

Stack also proved that the rate of suicide cases was low in regions where the rate of religiousness was high, in his study that included 25 industrialized countries. This discovery is valid especially for women. (Stack, 6).

Dissolution in Families, Divorce and Religion 

The family is, probably, the most important basic element of the society, as a sociological reality. The family is a small model of the society and a strong family institution is the base of a strong nation and state. The religion of Islam considers the family an indispensable element of social life. (Kostaş, 1995, 76-78). 

The family is the leading one of the matters which religion attaches great importance to. The stronger is the structure of the family, the stronger is the structure of the society. Therefore, not only governments as political authorities but also religions deem family very important and take it under their protection. For this reason, divorce is not favored in religions. The religion of Islam does not prohibit divorce but considers it a permissible option under some certain conditions. However, it is stressed that it is not favored by Allah. 

Religion has got deep and permanent effects on health and happiness of the families and the society. Cases of divorce is seen less with religious people and they maintain their marriages more successfully. Religion certainly rejects some factors that threaten the family. The leading one of them is fornication. The religion of Islam prohibits fornication certainly. Therefore, we can easily say that as religiousness in a society increases, the number of unmarried relationships can decrease in that society. (Aktaş Y, Köktaş M, 1998, 115). 

One of the most remarkable indications of dissolution in a family is the increase in divorce rates. Today, societies with the highest rate of divorce are Western civilizations, and United States and Russia are the leading ones amongst them. (Arıkan, 1996, 21). 

It is seen that Turkey is one of the countries with the lowest rate of divorce when the rates of divorce in some countries and in Turkey are investigated according to the Annual of Demography 1992 by United Nations. (ibid, 21). Although the rate of divorce is quite low when compared to Western countries, it shows a constantly increasing graphic and it is increasing year by year in parallel to the increase of religious and moral degeneration. While the rate of divorce in Turkey was 0,37 per mille, it was 0,46 per mille in 1994. According to the regions in Turkey, the rate of divorce is higher in the Aegean and Marmara regions by 0,63 per mille and it is 0,13 per mille in the East and South-East regions. As it can be deduced, in regions where traditions based on religion prevail, the cases of divorce are less. (Aktaş, Köktaş, 118). 

Harmful Habits and Religion 

The religion of Islam adopts an obvious attitude against harmful habits that cause deep damages to social life and lead to individual and social problems; and Islam wants believers to follow its rules about them. 

There are many Quranic verses and hadiths related to this subject. For instance: 

“O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of God, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?” (al-Maidah, 5:90-91).

The Prophet (pbuh) says in one of his hadiths: “A fornicator is an unbeliever while s/he fornicates. A thief is an unbeliever while s/he steals. An alcohol drinker is an unbeliever while s/he drinks.” (Muslim, “Faith”, 24).

Religious Belief and Hope

People want to get over difficulties of daily life, weakness, fear, awe and bewilderment they feel due to problems which they cannot get over and situations they cannot solve, to eliminate their worries about their future and their end and to find a continuous inner peace. (Ünal, 1998, 88).

Religion eases one’s pains and sorrows and consoles him. One can find peace by getting over his hopelessness with the help of his faith. Religion also protects people from hopelessness as a power which eases their pains by strengthening feelings of self-renunciation, self-sacrifice, patience, struggle and hope. (Uysal, 1996, 123). Religion gives people information, trust and confidence about life and after-death. It also places a feeling of safety – which is not temporary - in people’s spirits. Therefore, religion is the source of basic feeling of safety. Actually, one happens to find safety, which does not exist in the world he lives in, by believing in a sublime Might and following Him. A faithful person can get over the crises of hopelessness, which unfaithful people often fall into, with the help of his trust in Allah. (Ünal, 1998, 88)

Man struggles to get over difficulties he encounters from his birth to death and to adjust himself to constantly changing conditions. One’s endurance and resistance increase with the help of his belief and he becomes free from dependence on others and he can find in himself the power to deal with problems of life. For this reason, it helps develop a strong personality structure. Absence of belief in Allah means the absence of a strong personality. Such a person is quite weak in his personality and is likely to be depressed and to lose his hopes easily when he encounters small problems and difficulties. (ibid, 89)

Moreover, belief in the Hereafter is quite effective on making people hopeful by helping them find response to their desire of immortality, to justice and happiness which they cannot find in this world, by helping them to get over their disappointments and enabling them to get rewards for their good deeds and making them hopeful. (ibid., 93-94).

Social Dissolution and Religion

Western civilization, and the whole world influenced by it, have experienced a great change in the process of industrialization and urbanization. People’s style of settlement, life-styles, socio-cultural and economical values, which went through little change for hundreds of years, have gone through changes. And religious beliefs have also had their share from these changes. (Bilgin, 75)

With the emergence of industrialization, inequality between people reached its highest level; social classes emerged, with large gaps between them. Even women and children started to work for livelihood. As industrialization developed and cities enlarged, communities of solidarity diminished. (ibid, 78). Urbanization resulting from industrialization has emerged as a different problem., People experienced depressions especially due to difficulties of migration to cities and of adjustment to new environment.

Religion emphasizes helping each other and cooperation instead of relations based on interest. It is the source of spiritual values that keep one standing. It protects one from loneliness, as an individual who gets lost in cities and in modern society, with its rules and institutions that provide congregation. It never leaves individuals alone. It provides them with a spiritual shield, which is relatives, and it guarantees their livelihood in a sense. It also attaches great importance to relations with neighbors and relatives. Religion also creates a mutual culture and nobody feels left out in the atmosphere of this culture. Religion is, after all, the sum of rules determined by the Creator who knows mankind and its nature. The more effective is religion in social life, the less cultural conflicts there are between social groups. (ibid, 79). It is seen that urbanization, distorted city life, and some practices which are based on imitating the West only in Turkey do not cause as much depression as they cause in Western civilizations. This is because people have got opportunities of cooperation, helping each other and reuniting with society, self-realization and expressing themselves especially with the help of congregations.

References

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Abdurrahman KAYMAK

7 Can we gain thawabs by imagining good things?

Yes, you will gain thawabs because of imagining good things sincerely because, the intention of a believer is more important than his actions. He gains thawabs for his good thoughts that he cannot perform.

8 repentance

Allah forgives the past sins of those who convert to Islam and repent sincerly. We advise you to make amends for all that has past if you have rightful due.

9 Abortion in Islamic Law

People are encouraged to have children in the hadiths having the meaning “The auspicious of your women is the one who is capable to have children”. “ The child’s odour is from the Heaven’s odour” and “Favourable child is heavenly light in the world, and joy in the hereafter.”
Giving so much importance to this subject, our religion protects the child in the uterus till the child is born and burdens some responsibilities to the parents. It doesn’t’ permit to terminate the existence of the child in the uterus called “fetus” by propounding arbitrary and fictitious reasons although there is no real reason. It considers the ones performing such a crime as “murderers”. Because, “the fetus” is counted as a human being.  
As a fetus is considered as a human being after it is animated; having a miscarriage, that is, having an “abortion” in medicine terminology is like killing an adult person. If the fetus isn’t animate yet, since having an abortion in this case is deemed as preventing an innocent from coming into the world, then again it implies a serious responsibility. The late Umar Nasuhi describes the women making such a mistake to maintain their beauties like that:
“The women commiting such a murder for the desire to protect the beauty and freshness granted to them in the pure youth age are the ones with a brutish-nature. Doesn’t such a hardhearted mother have a lower essence than a wild beast eating her infant while it is alive?
Sentencing the ones committing abortion to the punishment of “reproving”, the Islamic Law takes preventive measures as far as possible. However, it also points out the permissible aspect of abortion and the course of action when abortion relies on a real reason.

We can summarize the matter in this way by taking the Dictionary of the Islamic Jurisprudence Terminology  (Istılahat-ı Fikhiyye Kamusu) as a basis:
Aborting a fetus isn’t counted as a murder and it doesn’t entail any physical or spiritual responsibilities if there is a certain excuse or necessity. That is:
Because of a sanitary reason that affects his mother’s health, a fetus whose limbs can not be recognized yet can be aborted as a result of a medical inspection, examination and diagnosis.
There is also such an explanation:
If a woman becomes pregnant while she has a sucking baby, and meanwhile if her suck lessens gradually and her baby gets hungry because of the deficiency of suck, and if the family doesn’t have the opportunity to employ a foster mother and the baby will become sick and will die, then it is permissible to have a miscarriage. Because, in this case, the fetus isn’t counted as a formed human being but a bit of flesh or a blood-clot. However, the born baby in arms is a living human. In this respect, there is no drawback in having an abortion to protect the living baby. (Dictionary of the Islamic Jurisprudence Terminology, 3: 145-149.) 
Applying any kinds of methods to prevent pregnancy without giving any harm to the woman is permissible. But this method mustn’t terminate the insemination evermore. But if a fetus has come into existence, it is not the same case. According to Ghazali and many of the Maliki scholars, committing abortion without a serious excuse is religiously forbidden (haram) even if occurs in the first days of the fetus.
According to some Islamic jurists, abortion is permissible before 42 days pass over the fetus. We say 42 days because according to the rumor of Muslim, after 42 days pass over the sperm (nutfe), Almighty Allah sends an angel to it, He gives a shape to it and He begins to form its ears and eyes. In short, after 42 days pass over the fetus, it gets into a shaping progress and so interfering in it isn’t permitted. (Halil Gönenç, Fatwas for The Current Matters II. 326.)
After that period, having an abortion isn’t permitted. Because, a fetus having partially recognizable limbs is counted as a human being. To abort such a fetus is the same as killing a living person.
Besides the permission discussed above, especially now, children can be nourished without being in the need of suck. Therefore, if the child can eat baby food and his family is able to afford these expenses, it is convenient not to commit an abortion. But if the child gets sick and becomes thinner and also has a vital danger when he is weaned, then the permission discussed above can be used of. But every family must take into account its own opportunities and conditions before making use of the judgment above.
Moreover, parents can take less dangerous precautions like removal and birth control methods till their child is weaned so that there will be no need to unwanted methods like abortion.

10 How must be the way of dressing of a Muslim woman?

For the answer, please click on the link given below.

How must be the way of dressing of a Muslim woman?

11 Unintentionally passing a disease that kills someone else

He is not considered as a killer in respect of the penalty provisions, but he commits sin and becomes responsible.

12 What are the rights of a Muslim over other Muslims?

The bond that connects believing hearts in the strongest and deepest way is the bond of brotherhood originating from the principle of belief and taqwa. This is one of the best bounties granted to believers by Allah. This state is expressed as follows in a verse:
"And hold fast, all together by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favor on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make his signs clear to you: that ye may be guided." (Aal-i Imran, 3/103)

In Islam, brotherhood is based on the basis of faith; therefore, all kinds of artificial discrimination and boasting that will destroy friendship among believers are regarded as haram. The criterion of taqwa replaced all kinds of values based on Jahiliyya like race, lineage and pedigree; thus, social brotherhood and harmony were ensured. The verse regarding the issue has the property to end all kinds of discussion:    
"... Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you..." (al-Hujurat, 49/13).

The solidarity of believing men and women based on faith and taqwa is mentioned as a necessity of brotherhood. This solidarity is deemed necessary in order to make the principle of belief and taqwa dominant in individual and social life. As a matter of fact, it is stated that Allah will help the people who come together with this aim: 
"The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger..." (at-Tawba, 9/71).

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in a hadith:
"None of you will have belief till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself." (Bukhari, Iman, 7)
Hz. Ali (r.a) states the following: "Your real brother is the one that is together with you, that agrees to harm his own self just to avail you and that tries to help you when you are in trouble even if it is harmful for him."

Believers are like a perfect and sound building whose parts are interlocked in terms of friendship or like a single body whose elements and atoms are interconnected. When one organ of the body becomes ill, the whole body feels the same pain; similarly, when a believer, even if he is in a very remote part of the world, suffers, his other believing brothers feel it. The Prophet (pbuh) expresses this commitment of believers to one another as follows: "The commitment of a believer to another believer is like a building whose parts complement one another." It is stated that when Abu Musa al-Ash'ari narrated the hadith above, he clasped his hands with the fingers interlaced to describe it: "You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness and fever with it." (see Bukhari, Salat, 88) 
It is necessary for a believer to help his believing brother in any situation. The Prophet stated the following in a hadith:"Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one." When he was asked how to help whenhe is an oppressor, the Prophet said,"By preventing him from oppressing others. This is how to help him then." (Bukhari, Mazalim, 4; Muslim, Birr, 62)

According to what is reported from Hz. Ali (r.a.), the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated the following:
"A Muslim has six rights over another Muslim. When he meets a Muslim, he greets him; when a Muslim invites him, he accepts his invitation; when a Muslim sneezes and says, 'alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah)', he says, 'yarhamukallah (may Allah have mercy on you)'; when a Muslim becomes ill, he visits him; when a Muslim dies, he takes part in his funeral; he loves for his Muslim brother what he loves for himself." (Darimi, Istidhan: 5; Ibn Majah, Janaiz: 43)

Note: We advise you to read the detailed explanations below regarding the issue:

 Some verses regarding the issue and their explanations:

1. "…Whoever honors the sacred rites of Allah, for him it is good in the sight of his Lord…"  (al-Hajj, 22/30)

What Allah orders us to honor are His decrees, orders and prohibitions He declares in the Quran. What is especially meant in the verse above are the essentials to be followed during hajj. They may be fard, wajib and sunnah. Those who learn, know and fulfill these essentials and who do them as a sign of respect to Allah will receive their rewards in the hereafter.  

2. "…And whoever holds in honor the Symbols of Allah, (in the sacrifice of animals), such (honor) should come truly from piety of heart." (al-Hajj, 22/32)

What are meant by the symbols of Allah are the signs of the religion in general and in this verse in particular; they are the fards of hajj, the animals sacrificed during hajj and the places that need to be respected during hajj. They are the signs of Allah and the essentials that He wants to be respected. For, taqwa is respect to Allah; it is related to one's heart and its manifestations are seen in our life. The source of all kinds of good and bad deeds is primarily the heart. 

3. "…Lower thy wing (in gentleness) to the Believers."  (al-Hijr, 15/88)

The beginning of the verse is as follows: "Strain not thine eyes (wistfully) at what We have bestowed on certain classes of them, nor grieve over them." Worldly possessions are a means of boasting and pride for some people. However, it is quite a wrong attitude. For, the worldly possessions are temporal; they do not give man honor and superiority. It is the instruction of Allah to our Prophet (pbuh) to show compassion and mercy to believers and to act humbly. Believers are asked to show compassion and mercy to one another and to act humbly. The Quran and the Sunnah always encourage believers to do so.    

4. "…If anyone slew a person―unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land― it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people...” (al-Maida, 5/32)

A person who kills another person unjustly violates the most sacred right of a person, the right of living, and ignores the prohibition of shedding blood and inviolability of life. Thus, he causes blood to shed unjustly, blazes a bad trail, paves the way for others to shed blood and encourages others to do so. Therefore, a person who kills another person unjustly deserves Allah's wrath and punishment; he is not allowed to live and is executed. If it is not done, blood feuds increase in the community and everybody starts to realize his own justice. Consequently, the community is drifted into sedition and mischief; killings and taking revenge become widespread. Blazing such a trail leads the community to chaos and anarchy.

If a person lets another person live, forgives him or saves him from death, he is regarded to have saved everybody. Therefore, the religion of Islam gives great importance to human life and takes all measures to ensure it.

Some hadiths regarding the issue and their short explanations:

1. "A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other." The Prophet then clasped his hands with the fingers interlaced while saying that. (Bukhari, Salat 88, Mazalim 5; Muslim, Birr 65)

As we see in many hadiths, the Prophet (pbuh) draws analogies to explain some issues. In this hadiths, he likens the mutual assistance and solidarity of believers to the enforcement of the parts of a building. Such a building is sound and durable. Otherwise, it cannot stand; it collapses. If Muslims do not help one another, do not act together and are not tightly-knit, they will lose their strength, cannot stand and will collapse. As a matter of fact, the history of Islam is full of positive and negative examples of it. 
It is not appropriate to deal with the concept of solidarity among believers in material aspect only. The material aspect is only one of the elements of solidarity. Spiritual brotherhood, friendship and sincerity, loving one another, showing mutual respect, showing respect to rights and law are basic elements that bring about material solidarity. The orders and prohibitions of the religion of Islam, worship, fards, certain prohibitions and harams are principles that enable this brotherhood and solidarity. 

Muslims should go to all lengths in order to realize the structure whose properties we have mentioned above, establish organizations in accordance with the conditions of the time and place they live in and be like a strong building. Otherwise, it is impossible to practice Islam alone and to stand.

2. "When any one of you happens to go to the mosque or market with an arrow in his hand, he must grasp its pointed head so as not to hurt others." (Bukhari, Salat 66, Fitan 7; Muslim, Birr 120-124)

This hadith, which is reported with different words but the same meaning, teaches one of the rules of ethics and good manners to obey in places like mosques, markets and streets, where people are abundant. Accordingly, a Muslim should take necessary measures so as not to harm others, not to be harmed by others and not to disturb the peace in the community. Doing so is a necessity of showing respect to the rights of Muslims and not causing mischief and sedition. 

The arrow was one of the weapons of that period. It has been replaced by pistols or rifles today. The reason why they are not allowed in certain places is because they may hurt people.  

3. "As regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind,  believers resemble one body When any part of the body is not well, the whole body shares the sleeplessness and fever with it."  (Bukhari, Adab 27; Muslim, Birr 66)

From this hadith, we learn that believers need to help one another regarding high quality attributes like love, mercy and protecting one another. Accordingly, believers should love one another, show mercy and compassion to one another and help one another. For, Muslims and the ummah can attain salvation only through the people whose hearts and heads are filled with these feelings of virtue and who act upon these feelings. It is necessary to get rid of the disorders of lovelessness, mercilessness, cold-heartedness and coolness, which are contrary to those virtuous feelings. Believers are ordered to display a fully humanistic approach to not only believers but also the members of other religions or those who do not believe in any religion.    

As the Prophet (pbuh) states in his wonderful analogy, the reason for sleeplessness is the pain felt in an organ of the body. Fever increases along with sleeplessness. Lack of love, mercy and compassion are like an illness that inflicts pain and burns man with fever. The word fever can also be used for malaria and all kinds of inflammatory diseases. Malaria is the hardest inflammatory disease and it hurts the body a lot. Therefore, the analogy of the Prophet (pbuh) is remarkable. A tiny wart on the finger gives pain to the whole body; similarly, the pain and agony of a believer anywhere in the world interests and disturbs us.

4 "Allah does not show mercy on a person who does not show mercy on others." (Bukhari, Adab 18, Tawhid 2; Muslim, Fadail 66)

This hadith includes all human beings. That is, to treat everybody, whether a believer or an unbeliever, justly and to show mercy to them are among the basic principles of our religion. For, man is the perfect and most superior living being that Allah created. He becomes lofty as he believes in Allah and loses his value as he disbelieves. Nevertheless, he needs to be treated humanely. A Muslim cannot be full of grudge, hatred and enmity against anybody. He treats everybody justly and keeps away from injustice. What lead him to this attitude are his belief and the values he gains through this belief. Our primary characteristic when we convey the universal message of Islam to others is having those values. The meaning expressed by mercy includes all living beings. On the Day of Judgment, when mercy is needed the most, Allah will not show mercy on those who do not show mercy on others by not acting in accordance with that hadith. Then, this hadith leads us to universal mercy.

5. "A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim; so, he does not oppress him, nor does he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his Muslim brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection." (Bukhari, Mazalim 3; Muslim, Birr 58)

The following is stated in the Quran: "The Believers are but a single Brotherhood..." (al-Hujurat, 49/10) Muslims are brothers in terms of religion. Brotherhood of religion comes before the biological brotherhood.

It is not a wish but an order for a Muslim not to oppress his Muslim brother. For, oppression is haram. All kinds of injustice are oppression. It is also valid for dhimmis and members of various religions living under the guarantee of the Islamic state. In fact, the religion of Islam does not regard it permissible to inflict any oppression or injustice on anybody. However, the measures taken against those who oppress themselves and others and the penalties given to them cannot be regarded as oppression or injustice. Polytheism and unbelief are regarded as oppression. Islam does not allow people to remain in polytheism and unbelief to show polytheism and unbelief as legitimate and to spread them. Islam acts in accordance with the criteria ordered and imposed by Allah against them. It does not violate justice while doing so.  

Not oppressing one's Muslim brother, which is especially mentioned here, is the order to obey the law of religious brotherhood and to fulfill the legal and ethical duties toward his Muslim brother and not to commit any injustice.

A Muslim does not hand his Muslim brother over to an enemy; does not abandon or endanger him. Ibn Battal, who explains hadiths, says it is fard al-kifayah to help an oppressed person for Muslims and fard al-ayn for the president of the state. A Muslim is a person who gives confidence and who is trusted. It is not permissible for him to sacrifice his Muslim brother for his personal interest or lustful desires and to do things against him. For, "A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands."  (Bukhari, Iman 4, 5) "None of you will have belief till he wishes for his Muslim brother what he likes for himself." (Bukhari, Iman 7)
Muslims do what is necessary in order to meet the needs of one another. For, people are in need of one another. These needs do not necessarily have to be material needs. Spiritual solidarity is as important as material solidarity.

The fact that Allah promises to meet the needs of a person who meets the needs of a Muslim proves that this deed is very meritorious. The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Allah helps a person as long as he helps his Muslim brother." (Muslim, Dhikr 37-38)


A person may encounter various problems, big or small, in daily life. Everything that distresses man is a problem. Muslims help one another to overcome their problems. They receive reward from Allah when they eliminate the problems of their brothers just like when they meet their needs. This reward is deserving the help of Allah on the Day of Judgment, when there will be no friend and helper except Allah. There cannot be greater happiness than this one for a Muslim. For, on that day, everybody will be in need of Allah's endless mercy. Those who do good deeds in the world will receive their reward on the Day of Judgment.

To screen the fault and mistake of a Muslim, to cover his body if he is needy, that is to clothe him, are among the greatest deeds in the eye of Allah. To screen the fault and mistake of a Muslim should not prevent one from advising and warning his Muslim brother in due form and secretly. Besides, this decree is related to the people who do not commit sins openly and in public. Those who commit sins and crimes openly and in public are excluded from this decree. For, to mention the crimes and sins of such people is not regarded as backbiting that is haram. Imam Nawawi states that those whose mistakes need to be screened are good people who are not notorious with their bad deeds. He says it is mustahab (recommended) to complain about the people who commit sins openly to the authorities if there is no risk of being harmed by them. To screen the crimes of such people will encourage them and they will commit more crimes. These decrees are related to a crime that was completed. It is wajib for a person to prevent a crime if he can when he sees a crime being committed.

6. "A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He does not betray his brother, lie to him and leave him unassisted. The chastity, property and blood of a Muslim are haram for another Muslim. This is where taqwa lies. It is enough as evil for a Muslim to despise his Muslim brother."  (Tirmidhi, Birr 18)

This hadith is similar to the previous hadith in terms of its content. However, there are some additions to the characteristics that necessitate being brothers. 

Betrayal is the opposite of trustworthiness. Betrayal means all kinds of injustice contrary to trust; it also means lack of trust and confidence. In fact, a Muslim is a person who does not betray what is entrusted to him. For, betraying something entrusted is a sign of hypocrisy (being a munafiq). A Muslim must not have a property of a hypocrite and must not lose his respectability due to it.   

Telling lies is one of the bad characteristics forbidden by Islam. Our religion gives great importance to honesty and elevates honest people. Telling lies is an attribute of unbelievers and hypocrites (munafiqs).  

It is haram for a Muslim to abandon his Muslim brother and not to help him. A Muslim cannot stop helping an oppressed person and preventing the oppression of an oppressor. For, they are the deeds that have to be done by Muslims to the extent that they can. Allah states the following: "…Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancor..." (al-Maida, 5/2) Sins and enmity are regarded as oppression. When a person commits a sin, he oppresses himself; enmity eliminates friendship.

Islam guarantees man's security of life and property and the protection of his chastity and honor. These guarantees are ensured among Muslims first. However, the holiness of these rights for all human beings is accepted. In addition to them, Islam regards protecting the freedom of belief and minds of people as an essential. Therefore, it may be necessary to fight for the sake of protecting the life, property, chastity, honor, religion and mind. Those who are killed due to them are regarded as martyrs.  For, they are all basic rights indispensable for individuals.  
The reason why chastity, property and life are mentioned is the fact that they are essential and that the others come after them. For, the prohibition of violation of chastity, property and life is certain based on the Quran, the Sunnah and the consensus of scholars.

To despise and to look down on is one of the bad characteristics that do not fit a Muslim. For, it is pride and conceitedness. Conceitedness is one of the biggest sins in our religion.  The Prophet (pbuh) said, "He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise." (Muslim, Iman 149) For, "Pride means denying the truth and violating people's rights." (Muslim, Iman 147)

A person who looks down on people and despises them cannot convey any message to them. For, a person who despises others loses his own respectability. Those who have no respectability cannot convey any message to people. A person who does not respect others is not respected. It is necessary for those who convey the religious message to have superior qualities. In a society where people who have no quality of conveying the message of the religion and who do not have proper relationships with others are in abundance, brotherhood and friendship decrease, the feeling of solidarity weakens, the concepts that are regarded as sacred start to disappear and it becomes almost impossible to see people who have taqwa.

7. "Do not hate one another, nor be jealous of one another; do not enter into a transaction when the other has already entered. Do not nurse enmity to one another; do not desert one another.) O servants of Allah! Be brothers. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He does not wrong and oppress him; he does not stop helping him; he does not despise him. -The Prophet pointed at his chest three times and said, - Taqwa is here. It is enough for a Muslim as evil to despise his Muslim brother. The blood, property and honor of a Muslim are haram for another Muslim." (Muslim, Birr 32; see Bukhari, Adab 57; Abu Dawud, Adab 47; Tirmidhi, Birr 24)

The Prophet explained some of the bad characteristics that prevent being a good Muslim, religious brotherhood and friendship in this hadith. We also saw some of them in the previous hadiths. 
Jealousy means to envy a bounty, rank or position, a superior quality that someone has and to wish that it will be removed from his Muslim brother. Jealousy is regarded as one of the primary evil and ugly characteristics in Islamic ethics and manners. The opposite of jealousy is admiration, which is a praised deed. It means to want to have the good deeds, bounties and virtues that a person has along with him. He does not want the other person to lose them or not to have them.

The reason why jealousy is rendered haram and is regarded as bad is because the objection and opposition of the jealous person is actually to Allah. For, it is Allah who gives man all kinds of bounties, ranks, positions, superiority and goodness. Then, to be jealous of and to envy the bounties a person has means to intervene in Allah's will. It will harm only the jealous person. The Prophet (pbuh) said envy and belief will not exist together in a person's heart. (Nasai, Jihad 8). Accordingly, envy cannot be an attribute of real believers. When the heart has such a spiritual illness, the value and reward of the other good deeds and charities will decrease or disappear. As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Doubtlessly, envy devours good deeds just as fire devours wood. (Abu Dawud, Adab 44; Ibn Majah, Zuhd 22)

Buying and selling, and commercial life are things that everybody has to be involved in somehow. For, man cannot produce all of his needs on his own. The things that man needs are produced by many people. Consequently, markets and bazaars are established. The religion of Islam has made arrangements that are beneficial for man in trade and business as it has done in all fields. The Prophet (pbuh) prohibited bidding for something that one would not buy and that he does not need just to increase the price of something in favor of the dealer or the customer and harming people by doing so. It is haram to cheat and deceive people. The Prophet states that the one who swindles is in Hell. (Bukhari, Buyu’ 60) In another hadith, he says, “He who deceives us is not one of us.” (Muslim, Iman 164; Abu Dawud, Buyu’ 50; Tirmidhi, Buyu’ 72) They are the basic rules that need to be obeyed in trade.
The word bughd means disliking, nurturing enmity through one's heart secretly against someone and hating. Bughd is one of the bad traits that prevent brotherhood and friendship among Muslims and that are not desired. A community whose individuals dislike one another and nurture enmity against one another, which is full of the feelings of hatred and grudge, will lose its business system, display unreliability and cannot serve as a model. However, the religion of Islam aims to form a community that consists of individuals with sound characteristics and high ethics. Lovelessness, grudge and hatred are among the primary causes that prevent the community that is aimed to be established from being formed. Therefore, it was disliked, condemned and forbidden by Allah and His Messenger.

If bughd is used for the consent of Allah, it is not objectionable. The Prophet (pbuh) says a person who loves something for Allah and dislikes something for Allah will make his belief perfect. (Abu Dawud, Sunnah 15; Tirmidhi, Qiyamah 60) It is a necessity of the love of Allah to dislike and hate those who commit harams, sins and things that Allah dislikes. Then, man has been given the free will to use the feelings and faculties granted to him in a good or bad way. That is why we are held responsible. Islam teaches us to develop our feelings and faculties and use them properly and trains us in this way; it does not teach us to weaken them.

One of the bad characteristics that our Prophet (pbuh) wants us to keep away from is to break the connection with other believers and to abandon them. Our religion forbids believers from drifting away from, abandoning and keeping away from one another in terms of talking, helping and taking care of one another. On the contrary, he always advises us to greet when we meet other believers, to see and talk to them frequently to continue going to the mosque and to empathize with them; he describes them as the most superior and valuable deeds. The Prophet (pbuh) does not regard it legitimate to be cross with somebody for more than three days unless there is a religiously valid excuse. They show that it is not permissible for believers to keep away from one another for random reasons and unjustifiable excuses.

It is not legitimate for a person to sell something to another person after promising to sell it to someone. It is not permissible for a dealer to offer to sell a customer something cheaper than another dealer after he has agreed to buy it by saying, "Give up that deal, I will sell the same thing cheaper to you.” For, deeds like that causes disagreements, arguments, resentment, offence, hatred and grudge among people.   

8. “A person cannot be a real believer if he does not want for his believing brother what he wants for himself.” (Bukhari, Iman 7; Muslim, Iman 71-72; Tirmidhi, Qiyamah 59; Nasai, Iman 19, 33)

Belief is the product of love, love of Allah. To believe means to love the one that is believed in. For a believer, the one that deserves the most superior love is the most Supreme One. The most supreme one is Allah. All of the other loves of the believers depend on the love of Allah. A person who loves someone fulfills the wishes of his beloved one fully. If he does not do so, his love will not be sincere and convincing. A person who loves Allah obeys His orders and prohibitions fully. 

This hadith shows how far away a real believer should be from egoism, the ambition to collect worldly goods and selfishness, how full he should be of altruism, sacrifice, charity, compassion and mercy. It is the cornerstone of forming a community of love towant for his believing brother what a person wants for himself. Another cornerstone for believers is to love one another. As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) confirmed this fact by saying, “You are not regarded to be real believers unless you love one another.”  (Muslim, Iman 93)

9. “Five are the rights of a Muslim over his brother: responding to salutation, visiting the sick, joining the funeral, accepting his invitation, saying yarhamukallah when he sneezes.” (Bukhari, Janaiz 2; Muslim, Salam 4; Ibn Majah Janaiz 1)

Another narration is as follows: “Six are the rights of a Muslim over another Muslim. When you meet him, offer him greetings; when he invites you to a feast accept it; when he seeks your council give him; when he sneezes and says,"all praise be to Allah," you say yarhamukallah (may Allah show mercy on you); when he falls ill, visit him; and when he dies, take part in his funeral.” (Muslim, Salam 5 )

There are certain rights and duties of Muslims toward one another. These rights and duties can be related to material and spiritual fields. A person who has belief in the hereafter and believes that Allah knows everything he does and that he will be reckoned on the Day of Judgment for them will not wrong anybody and will not commit any crimes no matter where he is. Thus, the religion of Islam teaches its followers that they will be rewarded and punished in the hereafter for all of the good and bad deeds they do in the world; it tells us that a person who does not accept it cannot be a believer.

The rights mentioned here are primarily related to the spiritual dynamics of the community. For, none of them necessitates worldly penalties or sanctions if they are not done. However, the material dynamics of the Islamic community are also based on spiritual sensitivities. Each one mentioned here is one of the basic elements of being a good man, a good Muslim, keeping human relationships at the highest level, brotherhood, solidarity, sharing joy and sorrow and being a community of compassion and mercy. 

Salam (greeting, salutation) is virtually a password for Muslims. The first word they utter when they meet one another is salam. The proverb “First greeting, then speaking” expresses this principle. It is sunnah to greet (to say as-salamu alaykum) and it is fard to respond to the greeting (to say wa alaykum as-salam). Allah states the following: “When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, (at least) of equal courtesy...” (an-Nisa, 4/86)

The shortest greeting is, “assalamu alaykum”. A better one is “assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah” dır. It can be lengthened by adding “wa barakatuh”. However, it is enough to say“salamun alaykum”.

A person who is greeted responds by saying “wa alaykumussalam”. This is the shortest way of responding to greeting. It is possible to lengthen it when one responds. In that case, the following can be uttered: “wa alaykumussalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh” However, it is enough to respond as “alaykumsalam”. If a person is alone, it is fard for him to respond to the salutation. When a group of people is greeted, it is fard al-kifayah for one or some of them to respond to the salutation. Thus, the others will be relieved of the responsibility. 

Greeting is the prayer and good wishes of believers to one another. It means “May you be under the protection of Allah” or “May peace be upon you and never leave you.”

Human beings can be ill and healthy. Not all humans are the same. Our religion gives great importance to health. However, man cannot always be healthy; he can be ill. Even prophets were exposed to various diseases. Therefore, Muslims regard illness as a test of Allah. There are various illnesses and every illness has various degrees. 

When an ill person sees the people who were with him when he was fine, he becomes happy and cheers up; he understands that he has not been abandoned,  that there is not a dangerous situation and that he will recover. Besides, his Muslim brothers pray for him and he prays together with them. Those who visit an ill person express their good wishes, advise him to be patient and utter words that will cheer him up. It is not appropriate to utter unsuitable words when one visits an ill person and to stay there for a long time

Death is the end that he will encounter in this world. It is not possible to escape and to get rid of death. The last duty of a Muslims toward one another is to join the funeral of a believer, to perform the janazah prayer and to go to the graveyard to bury him.  This is the last duty toward the dead person and a righteous deed for his relatives. Muslims need to be together not only when they are happy but also when they are sad. Funeral is one of the most painful and exemplary moments. Death is the greatest advice and lesson. Therefore, joining the funeral is one of our duties toward our believing brothers. The duty of joining the funeral ends when one performs the janazah prayer but it is more virtuous to go to the grave and wait there until the dead body is buried.

To accept the invitation of one's Muslim brother and to go to the place where one is invited is one of the most important duties of Muslims. Islamic scholars agree unanimously that it is necessary and wajib to go to the marriage ceremonies when one is invited. It is sunnah or mustahab to join the invitations other than marriage ceremonies. However, it is not religiously permissible to go to the receptions, places, etc where harams and sins are committed.  

The Prophet (pbuh) joined all of the invitations of the Companions. He did not make a discrimination based on the social status, richness and poverty. He did not like the invitations where the poor were not invited and he condemned the invitations where only the rich were invited. For, invitations need to bring together all of the believers, the rich and the poor, the young and the old; they are the places where acquaintanceship, love, compassion and mercy become manifest. That is probably why it is necessary to join the legitimate invitations. 

The Prophet (pbuh) said:“To sneeze is of Allah and to yawn is of the devil.” (Tirmidhi, Adab 7) Sneezing is beneficial in terms of health because it makes the body fit and keeps the mind awake. On the other hand, yawning is regarded to be a sign of latency and laziness. Then, like all of the other bounties, it comes from Allah. To thank Allah for all of His bounties is one of the duties of a Muslim. Therefore, a person who sneezes says,“alhamdulillah (all praise be to Allah)”. A Muslim who hears that the person who has sneezed has praised Allah, he says “yarhamukallah”. It means “May Allah show mercy on you.”  The person who has sneezed says to his Muslim brother who prayed for him, “yahdina wa yahdikumullah = May Allah guide us and you”. They all show that Muslims have certain rights and responsibilities toward one another even regarding small details. The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following:

“Allah likes the one who sneezes; He does not like the one who yawns. When one of you sneezes and says, “alhamdulillah", it is a religious necessity for the one who hears it to say, “yarhamukallah”. As for yawning, when you yawn, try to stop it as much as you can and not to say, "aah" by opening your mouth. For, it is of the devil and the devil laughs at the situation of this person.” (Tirmidhi, Adab 7)

That it is stated“A Muslim has six rights over another Muslim...” in a narration reported by Muslim does not indicate that there is a contradiction or disagreement among hadiths; it indicates that these rights are not only five or six. For, there are some other hadiths regarding rights and duties. The only difference in the second narration is the duty of “giving advice to a person who wants advice”.  Advice is a term that includes all of the words and deeds that are beneficial for a person and that becomes a means of salvation for him.

In another narration, the right of “announcing when somebody finds something" is mentioned. Accordingly, it is necessary to announce in public in a way that everybody can hear and understand when somebody finds something; if the owner cannot be found, it is necessary to hand it over to the authorities.

Some decrees inferred from the verses, hadiths and explanations:

- Believers need to help one another materially and spiritually; they need to form togetherness like the stones and bricks of a building that are interlocked.

- It is not possible to practice Islam individually and to make others practice it. Individuals cannot resist external pressures inflicted on them. It is necessary to act together and in unity in order to resist pressure and violence. 

- It is necessary not to go to the places where there are a lot of people with guns and similar weapons that can kill and wound others; if people come with weapons, it is necessary to take necessary measures. 

- It is necessary to do things that will give Muslims peace and to show them compassion and mercy. 

- It is necessary to avoid deeds that will cause sedition and mischief among Muslims. 

- The Islamic community is like one single body; when one organ of the body gets ill, the whole body feels ill; similarly, the misfortune that hits a Muslim should make all Muslims worried.  

- In the hereafter, Allah will not show mercy on those who do not show mercy on other people.

- Oppression and all kinds of wrongs are haram.

- A Muslim must not surrender his Muslim brother to the enemy; he must not endanger his Muslim brother.

- It is a duty of brotherhood to meet the needs of one another and to screen their faults and mistakes. Allah will reward those who do so. 

- The life, property and chastity of a Muslim are haram for other Muslims; it is haram to violate them.

- It is among major sins to despise and contempt others.

- It is haram to be jealous of others. A person who is jealous of others is regarded to object to Allah because it is Allah who gives the bounties that are envied. 

- It is haram to increase the price of something by pretending to be willing to buy it. Such an act means increasing prices, cheating and oppressing people.

- If Bughd, grudge, hatred and being cross with a person are not for the sake of Allah, they are haram.  

- It is not permissible for Muslims to keep away from one another, to stop helping one another and to break relationships. 

- It is haram for a dealer to annul the sale of another dealer by saying that he will sell the same thing cheaper or something better for the same price. 

- A person cannot be a real believer if he does not want for others what he wants for himself. 

- What a person wants for his believing brother should be nice and good things.

- Each right necessitates a responsibility. Those who do not fulfill their responsibilities are held responsible. This responsibility can be related to both this world and the hereafter.

- It is sunnah to greet (to say as-salamu alaykum) and it is fard to respond to the greeting (to say wa alaykum as-salam).

- It is sunnah to visit ill people. It is necessary to act in accordance with the manners of visiting ill people.

- In a funeral, it is fard al-kifayah to perform the janazah prayer and to go to the graveyard for the burial; the other deeds and services are sunnah. 

- It is wajib to go to a wedding ceremony held within legitimate boundaries; it is sunnah or mustahab to go to other legitimate receptions.

- It is a religious necessity to say “yarhamukallah” when someone sneezes and says “alhamdulillah". 

- It is a religious duty to give advice to a person who wants and who needs for those who can.  

Reference: Summarized from the book “Riyâzü’s-Sâlihîn: Peygamberimizden Hayat Ölçüleri” Translation and Explanation Vol 2, Erkam Publications.

13 Why does Allah command people

Here is the painful scream of an eighteen-year-old boy: “Dear brother. I am writing this mail with my eyes full of tears. One of my teachers used to tell me to take Joseph (pbuh) as a model. However, I could not be as obedient as he was to God. I betrayed my eyes. I made them dirty. I regret so much. Now I am trying to clean this dirt with my tears. I request you to pray for me. May God save today’s Josephs for the sake of Joseph (pbuh).”

The Qur’an reminds us that the creator of the universe and the creator of man in this universe and the one who bestows “eyes to see” is Allah and It calls to us: ”They should restrain their gaze” ( the Qur’an, an-Nur, 24:30). The One Who gives this command is the creator of man with this nature. Who else can know better than Allah, the most natural and suitable state for man? Who can speak a word over the One Who bestows this nature?

The Sublime Creator invites us to the state which is the necessity of our nature, with this command of His. Not restraining the gaze from forbidden, gazing at whatever one sees is something that conflicts with the nature the Divine wisdom deemed appropriate because it makes one single emotion rule over the infinite emotions bestowed upon man. It leaves the will inoperative. It causes personalities which focus their world and their thought on a single point.

Gazing at haram is caused by a weakness of belief and it feeds this weakness; besides, it has a feature which degrades people in humanity. It is because it makes people who are equipped with emotions and abilities whereby they can surround the universe slaves for lustful desires and emotions; and it shows the opposite sex as if they were only sexual objects. It reduces the description of man to this simple and absurd state.

In addition, a meaningful side of the command “restrain the gaze from haram” is its commanding an internal endeavor. The first word for both believing men and women is not “destroy harams which you may gaze at” but “restrain your gaze”.

This is a meaningful reflection of the general approach of the Qur’an which gives the priority to man and which undoes the tie in individuals because, the root of the problem is not in the outer world but inside us. A person whose inner world and whose fortress of belief is strong does not deviate even if the whole world is full of forbidden images and scenes.

As a matter of fact, the parable of Joseph (pbuh) is an example for this. Against a very beautiful woman who offered herself with all the charms she had, Joseph’s reaction was to turn his gaze away. Joseph (pbuh) gives this lesson to humanity: If people know the Owner of their eyes and His commands correctly, they are not tempted by the most tempting scenes.

As eyes see…

The most critical point in all the lustful things is approaching it. Once the threshold is passed, the rest comes easily and quickly. For example, eyes which gaze at bare legs are not satisfied with that and they seek for more because in thresholds like not restraining the gaze from haram, there is an evil gravity which inactivates the will and which pulls man to the lowest level of sin even if he does not want it in his heart and conscience.

Generalization of a specific shame comes into existence by means of seeing. With eyes seeing, the wrong becomes the rule and what is abnormal becomes normal. This command of restraining the gaze addressing both men and women ceases this general degeneration right from the beginning.( Metin Karabasoglu)

The 30th and 31st verses of the surah an-Nur in the Qur’an, presents us an enlightened way based on conscious believing against the delusion of obscenity which damages many believing hearts. Our Lord commands: 

“(O, My Messenger), Tell the believing men that they should restrain their gaze (from looking at the women whom it is lawful for them to marry, and from others' private parts), and guard their private parts and chastity. This is what is purer for them. God is fully aware of all that they do. And tell the believing women that they (also) should restrain their gaze (from looking at the men whom it is lawful for them to marry, and from others' private parts), and guard their private parts, and that they should not display their charms except that which is revealed of itself; and let them draw their veils over their bosoms.” ( the Qur’an, an-Nur, 24:30-31)

The verses above informs all Muslims either men or women that unlawful sexual relationship is forbidden. Also, both men and women are commanded to restrain from actions which may lead them to an unlawful sexual relationship. Furthermore, we learn that one of the most important things that lead people to unlawful relationships is gazing at haram. Stating in a hadith “the fornication of the eyes is gazing lustfully”(Bukhari, Istizan,12), the Prophet (pbuh), describes gazing at haram as the fornication of the eyes.

Depending on the verses mentioned above and hadiths regarding the issue, scholars of Islam are in an agreement on the matter that lustful gazing of both men and women at haram save for their husbands and wives is forbidden. Necessary gazing in situations like medical treatment, witnessing or marital purposes is permitted within the conditions and measures stated in the Islamic Jurisprudence. 

It all begins with a “gaze”

Gazing at haram is the beginning of fornication. For this reason, it is important to restrain our gazes. Those who are careless by saying “What could happen with a single gaze?” end up with great destruction.

People are not held responsible for the first indeliberate gaze. However, repeating the gaze is forbidden. The Prophet says to Ali “ O, Ali! Do not add another gaze over a gaze. The first is for you but the second is against you.” ( Tirmidhi, Manners, 28)

However, we should state this right away : This first gaze is the one which a person needs to look when in marketplace or on a street, which his eyes encounter unwillingly. Since man cannot walk with his eyes shut, gazing for necessary issues, indeliberate but necessary situations and situations in which he is unwillingly need to look at is considered to be the first gaze. This case, is especially in question in the Era of Bliss.

However, gazing with consideration that “ the first gaze is permissible” like monitoring all around is wrong because, today a case like encountering suddenly and unawarely is not in question; we may encounter forbidden scenes anywhere anytime. For this reason, we should take control of our gaze.

God commands “ do not draw near to any unlawful sexual intercourse”, not “ do not commit it”

In Islam, there are prohibiting decrees regarding weaknesses and habits which lead people to evil deeds. Those who obey these decrees can save their life in the hereafter as well as in the world. They protect themselves and their children against the negative habits which are getting commoner. We should listen to the warning of our Lord: “Do not draw near to any unlawful sexual intercourse; surely it is a shameful, indecent thing, and an evil way (leading to individual and social corruption).” (the Qur’an, al-Isra’, 17:32)

God commands “ do not draw near to any unlawful sexual intercourse”, not “ do not commit it”. For this reason, gazing at tempting and stimulating scenes which might be a leading or and invitation to an illicit relationship is not permissible in our religion because the main issue is not to draw near. If you do not approach it, it will be easier for you to be saved from it. It becomes difficult to endure the stages after approaching; a person who approaches the fire may fall into it. 

Eyes should restrain the gaze from the obscenity so that imagination will remain clean and minds will be protected from being polluted. Great scholars: “ People should not only shut their eyes of their minds and only avoid but they should also not let forbidden images into their minds; imagination should be protected as well.” 

Why is “not gazing at haram” insisted so much?

Because all the sins and moral corruption begin with gazing at the obscenity, develop due to insisting on it and turn to active sins.

Moreover, eyes take the picture of what they see and they store it in their archives of imagination. No matter where they go and where they are, these pictures they have taken are in front of the eyes of their minds.

The student becomes unable to study his lesson, workers cannot do their jobs and intellectual people cannot come to their minds to think clearly; and in every matter people can have a drawback and a decrease. In order to protect people from this state, religion has prescribed rules against obscenity and saves the believers from such degradation.

According to Islam, taking photos or filming a video which exceeds the bounds of nudity whether they aim at temptation or not, is forbidden. Looking at such images or videos and marketing them is forbidden as well.

They are forbidden because direct nudity and nudity by means of images and videos fundamentally aims at the same illicit purpose. It only differs in effect. Direct nudity is more effective than indirect one. However, indirect nudity has continuality and commonness.

We should not limit nude pictures to only those of women. There is not such a thing that looking at the nude images of a woman is sin whereas looking at those of a man is not. Displaying private parts and gazing at them is forbidden and sin whoever is in the picture. However, being forbidden and sins increase and become strong by getting close to the most private parts.

Is gazing at the beauty rightful or a betrayal of the eyes?

What is beautiful, who is the beautiful, according to whom is it beautiful and for whom is it beautiful? Is the beauty the object that the soul like? Or, is beauty the thing the heart acquires through a pure mind and knowledge? We should deal with the question in the title in accordance with these questions.

The first one of them is the beauty according to the soul which suggests evilness and the second is the one according to the heart. In the first one, the soul looks at the beauty it sees on its own behalf and uglifies it. And in the second one, the heart looks at it on the behalf of Allah and makes it more beautiful.

In the first one, the starting point of the soul is its own view; its intentions and sight are its own pleasures and infinite desires. Here, the eyes are reduced to an instrument of temptation. There is no goodness in this look. This look is thankless and ungrateful and that is why it is forbidden. No matter if non-mahram is covered or uncovered, beautiful or ugly; looking at it on the behalf of the soul is forbidden.

In the second one, the starting point of the heart, its intention and sight is to reach Allah’s infinite beauty; the deed it does is knowledge, skill and thanking. Its purpose is to gain Allah’s consent. According to Badiuzzaman, if people sell the eye to your All-Seeing Maker, and employ it on His behalf and within limits traced out by Him, then your eye will rise to the rank of a reader of the Great Book of Being, a witness to the miracles of Dominical art, a blessed bee sucking on the blossoms of Mercy in the garden of this globe.(Words, 6th Word)

In this second approach, everything is beautiful. In this sight, blessing is nice as well as grief. Peace is fine as well as trouble. The eye says “He makes excellent everything He creates” (he Qur’an, as-Sajdah, 32:7) like the Qur’an and it seeks His manifestation in everything and finds beauty. He observes Allah’s holy names and attributions in happiness and peace.

In this sight, the heart says like Badiuzzaman “In respect of reality and the face that looks to their Creator, everything is transparent and beautiful” (Words, 22nd Word), and it collects the honey of knowledge, talent and thankfulness from the manifestations of Allah’s names. The heart, in this sight says “Let us see what God does, whatever He does, He does it beautifully” like Ibrahim Hakki and surrenders to God’s deeds.

Gazing at non-mahram on behalf of the soul is not rightful but sin. Looking at the beauty of one’s spouse or looking at the beauties of creation, inborn nature and nature which is not forbidden to look at on behalf of the Creator is rightful.

The Qur’an describes this forbidden gaze as “treacheries of the eyes”. God says: “God knows the treacheries of the eyes and all that the bosoms conceal.” (the Qur’an, al-Mumin, 40:19)

The expression of “treacheries of eyes” means slipping of the eyes to haram secretly, in the Qur’an’s unique language. Here, the despotic soul uses eyes which are divine miracles on its behalf, leading these two pearls to haram.

However, Allah sees the slipping of the eyes to haram. The despotic soul does not consider that or it forgets that Allah sees what the eyes see. The Qur’an describes it as “ treacheries of the eyes”. 

What does the religion say about gazing at the obscenity?

Gazing at obscene images, watching obscene movies and entering the sites which contain such content is forbidden. The Qur’an states clearly that prostitution and fornication are forbidden, using the expression of “indecent, shameful deeds” in two places and using clearly the expression of “illicit sexual relationship”,.

“Say: "Come, let me recite what your Lord has made unlawful for you: that you associate nothing with Him; and (do not offend against but, rather) treat your parents in the best way possible; and that you do not kill your children for fear of poverty – it is We Who provide for you as well as for them; and that you do not draw near to any shameful thing (like fornication, fornication, and homosexuality), whether committed openly or secretly; and that you do not kill any soul, which God has made sacred and forbidden, except in just cause. All this He has enjoined upon you, that you may use your reason (and so believe, know right from wrong, and follow His way).” (the Qur’an, al-An’am, 6:151)

“Say: "My Lord has made unlawful only indecent, shameful deeds (like fornication, fornication, prostitution, and homosexuality), whether those of them that are apparent and committed openly or those that are committed secretly; and any act explicitly sinful; and insolence and offenses (against the Religion, life, personal property, others' chastity, and mental and bodily health), which is openly unjustified; and (it is also forbidden) that you associate partners with God, for which He has sent no authority at all, and that you speak against God the things about which you have no sure knowledge.” ( the Qur’an, al-A’raf, 7:33)

Indecent, shameful deeds mentioned in the verse, are fornication whether they are houses of ill-fame, mistress, secret bedmate, etc. Such secret deeds are the name for all of the things which lead people to unlawful relationships. Both fornication and things that lead people to such relationships, and things which stimulate lustful emotions illicitly are forbidden.

As a matter of fact, numerous scholars of Islamic Jurisprudence since the beginning of Islamic history have dealt this issue in this way. The usage of the plural form of the word fuhush (prostitution) as fawahish (indecent, shameful deeds) shows that there are plenty of ways which lead to illicit relationships.

And the third verse is : “Do not draw near to any unlawful sexual intercourse; surely it is a shameful, indecent thing, and an evil way (leading to individual and social corruption). ( the Qur’an, al-Isra’, 17:32)

Considering it carefully, the assumption anyone can make is the fact that not only unlawful sexual intercourse but also drawing near to it is forbidden. This is to emphasize once more the fact that things that lead to such intercourse are also forbidden along with the intercourse itself.

When we examine the hadiths, we see that the Messenger of Allah indicates that gazing at the obscene images is forbidden and even if people are not held responsible for the first gaze since it is unwilling, the second gaze and the next gazes are forbidden. (Tirmidhi, Manners, 28)

In a sacred hadith, it is stated that gazing at the forbidden is like a poisonous arrow of satan; if people avoid this, God will make them taste the belief in the depths of their heart due to their attitude. (Munziri, at-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, III:63)

Another hadith is more general: “There is no doubt that Allah has written for man his share of fornication which he will commit inevitably. The fornication of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the fornication of the tongue is the talk, and of the soul wishes and desires; and the private parts testify or deny it." (Bukhari, Asking Permission, VIII:74:260)

There are the following additions in a different narration of this hadith : “The fornication of the hand is holding and touching,  the fornication of the feet is to walk (to the place) where he intends to commit fornication the fornication of the tongue is, kissing the fornication of the ears is listening.” ( Muslim, Destiny, Book 33, 6422)

Why is gazing at the obscene fornication?

Acting upon what has been told thus far, people who weaknesses regarding sexuality and who seek different forms of satisfaction may ask “What is wrong with such gazing unless an illicit sexual intercourse is committed; what is the point of these harsh commands?”. Or, they might ask “ Why is the Qur’anic approach to fornication and sexuality so harsh?”

The answer is this: First of all, the family is, as a common expression says, the base of the community. If the base moves, it means the complete building is to quake. It is not possible for a family and a community live in peace and happiness if either spouse has an apparent or secret illicit relationship; the secrecy will be apparent sooner or later.

Secondly, as is or should be known, if Islam states a decree about whether an action should or should not be done, it also provides decrees and regulations which support and set the ground for it or to preserve it.

Thus, on the matter of encouraging people to get married, Islam provides direct commands and prohibitions regarding the issues of equality of the couples who are to get married, their meeting before marriage, their compliance with all sorts of cleansing, not doing things which the spouse dislikes, not allowing strangers in the house without the permission of the husband and so on. Islam has forbidden things that will lead to fornication when it has forbidden fornication.

For instance, Islam forbids men and women from dressing in a form which displays their sexual attractiveness, their adornment and from going out in public in this state, obscenity, immodesty, lustful touching and gazing of people who are not married couples and so forth.

It deals this issue in such a detailed way that women are limited in their adornment, wearing scent, tempting gazing and speech and levity since they all contribute to other people’s seduction. Watching obscene movies, surfing through the websites which address human’s sense of lust are also forbidden. 

Thirdly, judging the issue with respect to social aspects, it is the duty of a government to establish social order in accordance with principles of public morality; it is also the right of a community which asks for a healthy life.

It is certain that fornication, opinions and executions which stimulate all sorts of lustful emotions, notably obscenity which lead people to fornication and which permit such emotions describing them as sexual liberty despite human nature and without setting limitations are against the principles of public morality and they will definitely damage public order.

If the input and output of these excessive things ranging from homosexuality to extramarital children and from houses of ill-fame to obscene publications bring to a community are compared, it will be clearer to understand what we want to say.

This is the very reason why Islam sets such harsh decrees on the issues of sexual deviation and intemperance in question. Actually, it would be more appropriate to say “those decrees help people on the surface which is slippery to the utmost and where slipping is always inevitable, hold their hands and provide them with a destination” than to say “they are harsh and they leave no liberty and limit freedom.”

Why does a married person look at indecent pictures?

After dealing with the religious aspect of the issue above, we should deal with the issue with respect to another perspective. Why does a believing heart that knows it will called to account in the hereafter for all that he committed here attempt such things?

It is a widely-known fact that lustful emotions are natural and because of the creation and nature for anyone who is a human. It is certain that the satisfaction for such emotions is a legal marriage. The reason why a married and believing man attempts such a thing might be his dissatisfaction with his wife or not finding what he has sought.

Since he considers it to be an embarrassing issue, he might not be able to tell anybody about it and perhaps he might not even talk to his wife. He might satisfy this feeling of his with obscene movies just because of the fact that he believes fornication is forbidden.

Please do not underestimate this possibility because today, there are a number of couples who end up in court due to sexual dissatisfaction. Polls and statistics conducted among people who have secret mates despite being married, and who have adulterous relationships and who go to houses of ill-fame proves that this matter is not a hypothesis or a prediction.

Naturally, addiction to such a case is not a disease which is only particular to men. Though comparatively less than men, women may also be addicted to looking at obscene images.

However, the result does not change. If such a reason lays beneath attempting to satisfy in a sense with obscene images, the thing that should be done is that spouses should be honest and bold to each other as much as possible. They should tell each other about their expectations and desires, and they should meet their expectations within legal bounds. 

Obscene images cause addiction

However, if there is not such a problem, there is another possibility left : This person is psychologically ill and has a deviation in his sexual emotions. Although gazing at such indecent images begins as a temporary pleasure when they are young and when sexual emotions for the opposite sex come into existence or when they have been stupefied by lustful emotions, it later may have resulted in addiction.

This case might have caused a sexual deviation in a person who has lived long years open to obscenity and might have turned him into a person who becomes satisfied with only gazing at and seeing the obscenity. As a matter of fact, today, the number of such cases in our community is not low.

What should a person who suffers such kind of a disease do? In deed, in such a case, the thing they must do is to go through a psychological treatment. According to the Prophet’s indication, “sense of bashfulness which is a branch of belief” (Bukhari, Belief, 16) should not prevent this either because this is really a serious disease which is particular to our century and which needs to be treated.

Is belief not sufficient in this issue? It should certainly be and it should leave no need for a psychologist. This is the very reason for us why we have reminded you of the Qur’an and the Prophetic values and why we have constantly emphasized on them, so far.

Belief in Allah and in the Day of Resurrection should be integrated with mind and will and this problem should be overcome by applying all the commands and prohibitions that Islam introduces with no unclear point left. Such kind of sexuality which the West and Western values made become a commercial sector should not be promoted and exploitation of sexual emotions by others should be prevented. (Ahmet Kurucan)

Thus, we should have an honorable life style as a Muslim individual and we should not attempt things which we cannot account for in the hereafter and which will make us embarrassed when reports of our deeds are to open in the presence of our Lord.

 Furthermore, by doing so, we might prevent awful pleasures, sexual deviations, illicit relationships, children born out of wedlock, psychological depressions, and divorcement and sucide etc caused by them, which today threaten humanity more than ever.

M. Ali Seyhan

14 What are the limits for an engaged girl and boy to tell each other their desires?

Engagement is not a marriage agreement, but it is a marriage promise. For this reason, those who are engaged are regarded as namahram (not a close relative) for each other and they cannot be together unless there is a mahram (so closely related by blood that marriage with him/her is forbidden) person with them. For this reason, even if they are engaged, it is not permissible for them to be together, to look at the parts of their bodies which are haram (forbidden) to look at and touch each other. And they should pay attention to their talk.
The engaged people have to be careful when they talk to each other on the phone, through msn etc...
For example, if they talk about love, affection, backbiting, lies, and about anything that arouses sexual desires, it is definitely not right.
However, if it is about religious matters that remind Allah, death, hereafter and religious feelings and thoughts, certainly it cannot be said that it is forbidden. The criterion should be as mentioned. When you act in accordance with those criteria, we can say that you do not commit sins and you protect yourselves. Also, we advise you to ask your conscience about what you do. If your conscience is not comfortable, give up what you are doing. 

15 Parent-Child Relations

First of all, You should express your wish to your dad in a polite and respectful way. Because he is your father. Quran urges children to be soft-spoken towards parents and show respect and kindness in their behaviour towards parents. so at first obey what the God orders then ask him if he can send you Mecca. But don't forget to be polite even his answer is negative.                         

16 Tesettur - The coverage of private parts

The body parts of a man, which must be covered, are from the navel to the lower end of the kneecap. Majority of scholar are unanimous that the kneecap is from the thighbone and must be covered too. The evidences to this are the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) given below;

“The private parts (body parts which must be covered) of a man is between the navel end the kneecap.” (Ahmad b. Hambel, II, 187). “Kneecap is included to the private parts.” (Zaylai, Nasbu’r-Raye, I, 297).

17 How should we struggle against the wrongdoings done to us?

A person should prevent others from doing a wrongdoing and should prevent himself/herself from making an injustice to anyone. This is a duty. However, there are some Islamic rules regarding eliminating injustice made to us or others. They must be observed.

It is the order of our prophet (PBUH) to prevent any injustice or mischief through actions if not, verbally or otherwise from the heart. Our scholars explained this hadith as follows: it is the duty of the government or other officials to prohibit any “munkar” (mischief, bad deed) through actions. It is the duty of scholars or other officials who have knowledge to prevent that mischief verbally, and people who have no authority or power of knowledge should dislike it with their hearts; that is, they should disaffirm that mischief in their inner world.    

According to this, when a person is faced with an injustice, he/she should apply to officials to get rid of it and let the people who have authority to remove that mischief informed about it. After all, when all these efforts yield no result, then that person will have his right on the Day of Judgment in the Gathering Place.  

As for giving one’s blessing, it is a virtue; an individual may forgive indecent assaults that are made against him. People who do not retaliate equally or more against the injustices but choose the way of forgiving will definitely get the big reward in the hereafter. however, their rights are reserved. The choice is up to that person.   

One day, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) mentioned about a mansion while talking about Paradise. “There is a mansion in Paradise that stands on the air. There is neither a pillar on its ground nor a rope tied to the sky. “The companions asked in amazement. “O Messenger of Allah, if there is neither any pillar under that mansion nor any tie on it, how will the inhabitants of that mansion enter there?”

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) smiled and said: “Just like birds perch on trees, the owners of that mansion will come by flying and enter it through its door; they will not need any stairs to enter.”

This beautiful mansion caught the attention of the companions. So they asked: “O, Messenger of Allah for whom is that mansion for?”

Prophet Muhammad (BPUH) said: “Those mansions are for the people who showed patience to the calamities they faced in the world.

18 sign to imam

Without official marriage, we don’t recommend religious marriage ceremony. Especially for woman’s religious and worldly rights we do not regard it to be true. Firstly we advise you to make an official marriage beforehand.

According to Islam, when a man and a woman, with the permission of their family or not, marry in the presence of their witnesses, they are accepted as wife and husband. And unless man divorces his wife, woman can not marry someone else. In this respect it is very dangerous. As a matter of fact we receive so many questions such as: “I have made a religious marriage with someone and he does not divorce me, so what shall I do?”, “Without divorcing my past religious marriage I married someone else. Is it regarded as adultery?" We come across such problems so much. That is why we do not approve religious marriage without official marriage.

In religious marriage (nikah) ceremony there is no paper to be signed. But for a marriage to be acceptable, there are some conditions that must be complied. Nikah is a contract, an arrangement and a marriage agreement. Therefore it requires some conditions. If one of these conditions doesn’t occru then the nikah is invalid;

1. Ones who are going to marry or their agents must be present.

2. The declaration of the acceptance of the parts. The spouses must declare their acceptances of marriage by saying “I accept”.
3. Nikah must be announced, not be kept secret. This condition is according to some of the sects.
4. The permission of the parent of the girl. This rule is according to all sects except Hanafi sect.
5. Testifiers must be present. Such testifiers must be whether two males or one male two females who are sensible and at least in their adolescence. So there must be at least one male testifier.

19 Lying

Firstly, it will not be true to make a certain decision on such a subject since we don’t know all the details of the subject. But to enlighten the subject we will specify some points below:  

1- First of all a believer should cover up one’s fault. S/he doesn’t have to give information to someone who is not directly related and in charged with the event.

2- The essence for the sins is to keep secret. That is to say, it is not true to expose and to spread the sins.  

3- Only to the courts, you have to tell the truth for such the subject. To prevent a harm, an injustice or a wrong in an event that concerning the public and if our testimony will be beneficial for both the person and public then the fault is explained, otherwise we should act in accordance with the benefits of the person and the public. If saying the truth will be harmful we shall keep silent.

20 Do we have the right to hurt people? How should we react against the insults and bad deeds that we are exposed to?

The religion of Islam is against all kind bad deeds and hurting. For, Islam tries to make man real man. It elevates man to the rank of real humanity. Therefore, Islam gives orders that lead man to all kinds of perfection and beauty; and it forbids deeds that will lead man to all kinds of disgrace and ugliness.  

Acting upon these general rules, we can say that all kinds of deeds that will hurt and disturb other people are sins and haram. For, it is haram to hurt Muslims and it makes a person a sinner. In the religion of Islam, it is forbidden to disturb even an unbeliever if he is innocent. For, the Prophet (pbuh) said,

“I am the enemy of a person who oppresses a dhimmi."(al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, IV / 618; al-Jamiu’s-Saghir, I / 1210)

It is not permissible to hurt them in any case.

We should show patience to the insults to us and regard them as addressing our evil-commanding soul. For, mentioning the faults of the soul will improve it and atone for our sins. It will enable us to have sincerity and to eliminate the feelings aiming to gain people's liking.

Patience is a faculty of the spirit; it is a nice character. One can put up with the things that are hard to endure and that are difficult for the soul only through patience. Perseverance shown to defend and maintain a right is possible only through patience. It is necessary to be patient and to get used to being patient in order to fulfill Allah's orders, to resist the requests and desires of the soul that are not liked by the mind and religion and that are illegitimate, to endure the troubles and misfortunes that inflict great pain and grief upon man and to overcome them.

This trait is the mother of all virtues and the secret behind being successful in life and attaining perfection. Patience is superior to all virtues.

"For,Allah is with those who patiently persevere." (al-Baqara, 2/153, 155)

Patience leads to salvation and success. Patience is bitter but its result is sweet. Hz. Prophet (pbuh) stated the following to inform us about the virtue of patience:

"He who shows patience succeeds." 

"Patience is the key to success."

"Patience is a light."

"Patience is a treasure among the treasures of Paradise."

"There are a lot of good things in showing patience to the things that trouble you."


Hz. Prophet (pbuh) emphasized the importance of patience shown as soon as a misfortune hits as follows: 

"True patience is patience shown at the time the misfortune hits."(Bukhari, Janaiz, 32)

To show patience does not mean to accept condemnation, poverty and humiliation, to put up with unjust violations and the attacks that harm human dignity and to keep silent when they take place. For, it is not permissible to show patience to illegitimate things. It is necessary to feel disturbed and to struggle against them. It is weakness and laziness for a man to put up with the bad deeds that he can overcome through his own power and will or to take things easy when he can do something. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) prayed as follows:

"O Lord! I take refuge in you from weakness and laziness."(Bukhari, Jihad, 25)  

There are some troubles that a person cannot overcome with his own power and will. When misfortunes like that happen to a believer, he needs to show patience to divine predestination without panicking and complaining; it is one of the characteristics of believers. As a matter of fact, Allah orders comely patience in the Quran. (Yusuf, 12/18). The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"Comely patience is patience that does not make a person complain."

In fact, it is of no use and unnecessary to show patience when one can do something and to show impatience when one cannot do anything. 

Patience, which is mentioned in more than seventy verses of the Quran, means to act in accordance with the compulsory situations that are contrary to human nature and to resist difficulties. The aim of patience is not to feel uneasy, not to panic and to endure when unexpected things happen and difficulties arise. Allah gives glad tidings that He will reward endlessly those who show patience and praises them.

Believers are often exposed to the oppression and bad deeds of the enemies of Allah, are tortured and are forced to fight them just because they believe in Allah. At that time, patience is the source of power for a believer and the protector of his belief. When the Pharaoh wanted to torture those who believed in Hz. Musa (Moses), they prayed Allah as follows:

"Our Lord! Pour out on us patience and constancy, and Take our souls unto Thee as Muslims (who bow to Thy will)."(al-Araf, 7/126)

It is very well known how our beloved Prophet (pbuh) and the first Muslims showed patience and endurance to the tortures and torments inflicted upon them.

The aspects of the worshipping that our souls find difficult get easier with patience. Thus, we perform prayers five times a day in peace and perform fasting on hot summer days without any difficulties. The same thing is valid for the other kinds of worshipping and ethical deeds:

"But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs."(ash-Shura, 42/43);

"And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their utmost and persevere in patience; and We shall try your reported (mettle)."(Muhammad, 47/31).

Man often obeys his soul; he finds it difficult to obey Allah's orders and to avoid what He forbids; he wants to meet the bad desires of his soul and avoids good deeds and virtues. For instance, he finds it nicer to spend his money for entertainment and his pleasure than giving it to the poor. Playing games is more attractive for a child than studying. People prefer wandering about to working and earning money. 

In that case, it is a nice attitude for man to choose the good and useful alternative even if he finds it difficult and to try to do it by showing patience and endurance.

Besides, people can live in abundance or poverty, live healthily or become ill, be exposed to disasters like flood, earthquake and fire; then, the biggest support and assistance for man is patience. Doing the opposite will lead man to rebellion and ingratitude. God Almighty states the following regarding the issue:

"…Behold, he that is righteous and patient, never will Allah suffer the reward to be lost, of those who do right."(Yusuf, 12/90).

Prophets are the greatest examples of patience. For, they showed patience to all kinds of difficulties. We hope that Allah will make us among the people who are "firmly patient and constant― grateful and appreciative". (Ibrahim, 14/5)

Patience leads to salvation. Patience is the beginning of belief, worshipping, knowledge and wisdom, in short, all virtues. A patient person is a good person. Allah states that those who do righteous deeds, and join together in the mutual teaching of the truth and patience will attain salvation. Patience is the way that leads to victory. (al-Asr, 103/1-3)

The Prophet (pbuh) said,

"Allah gives patience to a person who perseveres and endures. Nobody has been given a better and bigger bounty than patience."(Tirmidhi, Birr, 76)

"It will be very useful for you if you show patience to what you do not like."(Ahmad b. Hanbal, Müsned, I, 307)

Furthermore, God Almighty states the following regarding the issue:

"Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives and the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere."(al-Baqara, 2/ 155).

We learn from the verse above and similar ones that Allah tests man through various troubles and that those who patiently persevere pass this test.

All of the problems are settled and obstacles are overcome through patience. As the saying goes, "Everything comes to him who waits."

Hz. Prophet (pbuh) says,

"Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks God; thus, it is good for him; and if he gets into trouble, he endures it patiently; thus, it is good for him."(Riyadus-Salihin, 1, 54)

Patience, which we believe to be definitely good for us, is a common attribute of all prophets. All prophets were exposed to various troubles, were tortured and expelled from their hometowns while they were conveying the religion of Allah to people. They were put to prison by kings but they always showed patience. There are many verses in the Quran mentioning the patience of prophets. The life of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is full of examples of comely patience. Therefore, the duty of every Muslim is to ask for patience from Allah and to be patient by thinking that patience leads to salvation.

21 Is it necessary to apologize after breaking somebody's heart?

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) emphasized the importance of asking for pardon by saying,

"Whoever has wronged his brother should ask for his pardon (before his death), as (in the Hereafter) there will be neither a dinar nor a dirham. (He should secure pardon in this life) before some of his good deeds are taken and paid to his brother, or, if he has done no good deeds, some of the bad deeds of his brother are taken to be loaded on him (in the Hereafter)."(Tajrid Sarih Translation, hadith numbered VII/375, 376, 1090 hadith numbered)

We learn from a hadith reported by Bukhari that the rights will be settled in the hereafter if it is not done in the world:

"After being saved from Hell, the believers will be stopped at a bridge between Paradise and Hell and mutual retaliation will be established among them regarding wrongs they have committed in the world against one another. After they are cleansed and purified (through the retaliation), they will be admitted into Paradise."(Tajrid Sarih Translation, hadith numbered VII/353-354, 1085)

"On the Day of Judgment, all of the rights will be given to their owners. The hornless sheep would get its claim from the horned sheep." (Tirmidhi, Sifatu'l Qiyama, I)

The hadith above shows the importance of the rights of individuals and the importance of asking for pardon.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) informs us about the importance of the rights of individuals and asking for pardon and settling claims as follows:

"All of the sins of martyrs are forgiven except the rights of individuals." (Tajrid Sarih Translation, hadith numbered VII/349, 1084)

The Messenger of Allah defined those who need to ask for pardon from others as "bankrupt" and described their situation as follows:

"The bankrupt is a person from my nation who comes on the Day of Judgment with prayer, fasting, and charity, but also with insulting, slandering, consuming wealth, shedding blood, and beating others. They will each be given from his good deeds; if his good deeds run out before the score is settled, their bad deeds will be cast upon him, then he will be thrown into Hell."(Muslim, Birr, 59)

Asking for pardon and settling claims with people is the only way of getting rid of debts in order to be saved from bankruptcy in the hereafter.

22 How can we forgive the people who have harmed us?

Man needs to avoid wronging others; similarly, he needs to prevent others from doing wrong. This is a duty. However, there are some Islamic criteria about eliminating the wrongs inflicted upon us or others. It is necessary to comply with them.

For instance, it is the order of the Prophet (pbuh) to prevent an evil, an unfair deed through hands, if not possible through the tongue and if not possible, to dislike it through the heart. This hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) has been explained as follows by our scholars:

To prevent an evil through the handis the duty of the state and the other authorized people. To prevent an evil through the tongue is the duty of the scholars and the people who have enough knowledge about the issue. Those who have no authority and knowledge need to dislike that evil through their hearts.

Accordingly, it is necessary to apply to the authorities when one is wronged in order to eliminate that wrong treatment and to make the people who have power to interfere. If all of these ways are used and if the evil cannot be prevented, it means that person will receive his right in the hereafter on the day of reckoning in the Gathering Place.

As for the issue of waiving one's rights and forgiving,it is a virtue; a person can forgive the transgressions committed against his own rights if he wishes. Those who do not retaliate against the bad deeds committed by their believing brothers and forgive them will definitely receive their great rewards in the hereafter. They can demand their rights if they wish. It is up to them to decide.

"He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do."(ash-Shura, 42/25)

As it is stated in the verse above, Allah is the most forgiving. As people who comply with the ethics that Allah likes, we, believers, prefer to forgive the other people when we are wronged by them and do good deeds in return for bad deeds. It is the characteristic of the people who have taqwa to show patience when they are wronged, to forgive a person who does a bad deed, not to nurture revenge and to overcome one's fury. The expression of this attitude is the consent and love of Allah. Allah states the following in the Quran:

"Those who spend (freely) whether in prosperity or in adversity; who restrain anger and pardon (all) men; for Allah loves those who do good."(Aal-i Imran, 3/134)

A person who does a good deed in return for a bad deed and forgives the person who does a bad deed becomes a means of a peaceful life both for himself and the people around him. It is definitely a very easy, peaceful and comfortable life that cannot be compared to a hard life that is full of the feelings of grudge, hatred, enmity and revenge all the time. Man will have to show patience and make an effort for a while in order to get rid of the feelings of fury and grudge that he has at the beginning; however, he will lead a life full of love, respect and peace thanks to this ethics he nurtures. Allah addresses believers as follows: in the Quran:

"Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate! And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint none but persons of the greatest good fortune." (Fussilat, 41/34-35)

Allah presents people a nice and easy life in return for high ethics. Around a person who is not forgiving are people who nurture grudge and hatred against him; however, a person who is forgiving finds a life full of peace and sincere friends in the world. In the hereafter, he will be rewarded for this high ethics in the best way; The following is stated in a verse in the Quran:

"Their Lord doth give them glad tidings of a Mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure, and of Gardens for them wherein are delights that endure."(at-Tawba, 9/21)

23 Is it sin to dislike dishes cooked for us and to be picky about dishes?

It is not sin to like some dishes better than others or not to eat some dishes. However, it is not appropriate to disdain or speak ill of any food or dish. 

The Prophet (pbuh) did not ever disdain any food or dish that he disliked publicly and also prohibited others disdain. He emphasized that it is necessary that people behave respectful to other people’s choices and prevented foods from being wasted away by saying “Leave what you dislike. Do not make it haram for others.” 

What the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) looked for in a dish or food primarily was halal-ness and cleanliness and whether it was beneficial to body or not. He never had the habit of being picky about food and disdaining them. 

Abu Huraira says: 

“The Prophet never criticized any food. He would eat food given to him if he was hungry or leave it if he was not. Especially, when he was guest in someone’s house, he would compliment the host about the food offered and express that he liked the food offered a lot.”

24 Is it permissible for a Muslim to swear at, curse or damn another Muslim? How should a person react to those who swear at him?

Answer 1:

The religion of Islam is against all kinds of bad deeds and hurting others. For, Islam tries to make humans real humans. It elevates man to the level of real humanity. Therefore, Islam gives orders that will lead man to perfection and good deeds; on the other hand, it prohibits the deeds that lead man to disgrace and disgusting things.  

Acting upon this general rule, we can say that swearing, cursing and damning that will offend and disturb others are regarded as haram and sins. For, it is haram to offend a Muslim; it makes a Muslim a sinner. In the religion of Islam, it is forbidden to disturb even an unbeliever if he is innocent because the Prophet (pbuh) said,

“I am the enemy of the one who torments a dhimmi.” (Abu Yusuf, Kharaj, Matbaatu's Salafiyya 1397 h. Cairo, p. 135)

Answer 2:

Hadiths related to swearing at and cursing Muslims:

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "To swear at a Muslim is fisq (transgression, sin) and to fight him is unbelief (kufr)." (Bukhari, Iman 36; Muslim, Iman 116)

"Do not call a person fasiq (transgressor, sinner) or kafir (unbeliever). If the person that is accused is not a fasiq or kafir, the person who utters that word becomes a fasiq or kafir." (Bukhari, Adab 44)

To curse, swear at, speak in a way to offend the person one is addressing means to assault verbally a person's honor, chastity, religion and faith, in short, his human and Islamic values.

In the first hadith, two deeds are dealt with two different terms: "To swear at a Muslim is fisq and to fight him is unbelief." Fisq means to deviate from the true path. This meaning is seen in the following verse clearly: "…and he (Satan) broke the Command of his Lord." (al-Kahf, 18/50) Therefore, deviation from the right path and transgression is expressed by the word fisq. Fasiq means a person who deviated from the right path and a sinner. To fight a Muslim, to try to kill him and to kill him is unbelief.

It is possible to understand and interpret the hadith as follows: "To curse Muslims is the act of sinners and to fight Muslims is the act of unbelievers. Therefore, it is possible for the Muslims who do so to become sinners and unbelievers."

The second hadith draws attention to the danger of accusing others of fisq and unbelief and calling them fasiqs (sinners) and unbelievers. If the person who is accused is really a fasiq or an unbeliever, there is no problem However, if the person who is accused is not really a fasiq or an unbeliever, the one who calls that person a fasiq or an unbeliever becomes a fasiq or an unbeliever.     

Both hadiths point out clearly that it is a major sin to criticize a Muslim unjustly about his religion and belief and to accuse him, by disturbing him; and they ask Muslims to keep away from such deeds that are very dangerous and sinful.

Accordingly, the following issues are in question:

1. To swear at and curse a Muslim, to try to kill a Muslim are deeds of fasiqs and unbelievers.

2. To accuse a Muslim of fisq and unbelief can cause the person who accuses to become a fasiq and an unbeliever.

3. It is haram to hurt and distress a Muslim by words, deeds or any other way.

4. It is necessary for Muslims for their own interests to obey the warnings of the hadiths as much as possible. 

Answer 3:

What is the decree about damning a Muslim?

"The Believers are but a single Brotherhood." (al-Hujurat, 49/10)

As the verse decrees, Muslims are brothers; therefore, let alone, swearing at one another, it was rendered haram for them not to be on speaking terms for more than three days, to backbite, to mock, to give bad names and even to have bad thoughts about one another by verses and hadiths. (See the translation and interpretation of the chapter of al-Hujurat for more information.)

The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following:

"Do not curse or damn one another by asking the wrath of Allah and Hell." (Abu Dawud, Adab 53, (4906); Tirmidhi, Birr 48, (1977)

"A believer neither curses nor damns; he is neither rude nor shameless." (Tirmidhi, Birr 48)

"Those who damn people a lot cannot intercede on the Day of Judgment; nor can they be martyrs." (Muslim, Birr 85, (2598); Abu Dawud, Adab 53, (4907)

If a person damns another person who does not deserve to be damned, he himself will be damned. The Prophet said,

"Know it very well that if a person damns another person unjustly, he himself will be damned." (Abu Dawud, Adab 53, (4908); Tirmidhi, Birr 48, (1979)

We can understand from the following statement of the Prophet (pbuh) that swearing at and cursing a person is such a disgusting thing and that it is necessary for Muslims to protect one another, not to leave one another under oppression and to cover one another's mistakes:

"Do not have bad thoughts about others. For bad thoughts are the biggest lies. Do not seek other people's sins and mistakes; do not compete against one another; do not be jealous of one another; do not hate one another; do not turn your backs on one another. O slaves of Allah! Be brothers as Allah orders."

A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He does not betray, oppress, deprive or despise him.

It is enough as evil for a person to despise his Muslim brother." (Bukhari, Nikah 45, Adab 57, 58, Faraiz 2; Muslim, Birr 28-34, (2563 - 2564); Abu Dawud, Adab 40, 56, (4882, 4917); Tirmidhi, Birr 18, (1928).

Since damning and cursing are stated to be so dangerous by the Prophet, those that are beyond damning and cursing are more dangerous and they attract Allah's wrath.

A believer does not wish anything but guidance.

Let alone damning a Muslim, the Prophet did not damn or curse a polytheist without any reason. Abu Hurayra narrates: "I said to the Messenger of Allah,

' O Messenger of Allah! Will you curse and damn the polytheists?'

The Messenger of Allah answered, 'I was sent as mercy not as curse.'" (Muslim, Birr 87, (2597)

Answer 4:

How should we react to those who curse and insult us?

It becomes evident that we experience things for the Day of Judgment. Everything man does from bad words to evil deeds, from insulting to injustice, from kindness to respect produces data for the Day of Judgment.

It is haram for a Muslim to swear at another Muslim. It is haram to swear whether a person starts the swearing or swears in response to another person's swearing. If he starts the swearing, he commits a major sin. The Prophet defines a Muslim as follows:

“A Muslim is a person from whose hand and tongue other Muslims are safe.” (Riyadu’s-Salihin, 211)

In a hadith of the Prophet, swearing at a Muslim is included among the social mistakes that lead a Muslim who performed prayers, fasting and zakah but who had bad relationships with others to bankruptcy on the Day of Judgment. (Riyadu’s-Salihin, 218)

The Messenger of Allah states the following regarding the issue:

* “If a person insults you and blames you for something that you do not do, do not insult or blame him even if he has a bad characteristic and commits sins. Leave him with his sins and get rewards from Allah. Do not ever curse anybody.” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 1/66)

* “A person who believes in Allah does not oppress people when he gets angry. He does not commit a sin for a person he loves. He does not lose or harm anything that is entrusted to him. He is not jealous of anybody. He does not tarnish anybody. He does not curse or damn the people around him. He accepts if he is wrong even if there are no witnesses. He does not call people by bad names.” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 2/1375)

* “Be careful! To kill a believer is a property of unbelievers. To swear at a believer is a property of unbelievers. It is not permissible for a believer not to be on speaking terms with his believing brother for more than three days.” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 2/1435)

* “To kill a Muslim fits an unbeliever. It is a sin to swear at a Muslim. (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 3/2912)

* “It is among major sins to defame a Muslim's honor. It is among major sins to swear at a person twice when that person swears at him once.” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 3/3491)

* “The sin between two persons who swear at each other belongs to the one who starts swearing unless the other person transgresses the boundaries.” (Muslim, Birr, 68)

So, we should not transgress the boundaries. Accordingly, the following points are important:

1- You should not start swearing or cursing.

2- If the other party starts swearing at you, you should show patience if it is possible and you should not fall down to his level. You should refer him to Allah. You should not forget that Allah's justice is absolute.

3- It should be taken into consideration that the person swearing at you may regret and apologize if you do not respond. In that case, his situation will depend on you. If you forgive him, he will be saved from being accounted in the hereafter. If you do not forgive him, you will get your due even if he apologizes. Or, Allah will get your due even if you do not know. Allah will reward you for controlling your temper and maintaining peace.

4- If you cannot keep your temper, you should not respond him by swearing more than he did, which is regarded as oppression.

5- You will hear severe delusions of Satan when you lose your temper. Satan will make you see red. You should take refuge in Allah from being cruel.

6- Unfortunately, the delusions of Satan and the provocations of people coincide. Never heed them.

If the other party starts swearing at you, you can respond him in the same way. However, if you do so, you will not get any rewards in the hereafter since you lose your right by responding him in the same way.

25 What should we do if we cannot leave a place where people talk about others behind their backs and we have to listen to them?

When you see that you cannot prevent people from backbiting, read the following prayer and leave that place if it is possible:

"Allahummaghfirli wa liman ightabnahu"

"O Allah! Forgive us and the person we backbit.”(Suyuti, al-Fathu’l-Kabir, I/87)

 If you cannot leave that place, you will not be held responsible for the statements including backbiting that you hear involuntarily.

26 Why does greed cause loss and failure? What are the worldly and otherworldly harms of greed?

Greed causes the failure of the attempts and enterprises since the feeling of haste is inherent in it. For, a greedy person is not satisfied with small achievements and gives way to despair; he does not follow up his tasks, gives up what he is doing in a short time and does not achieve even what he can achieve. 

On the other hand, if a contented person does whatever he is to do properly, he will not feel sorry because of the outcomes. He might not be successful at times but he will be successful at other times due to follow up and perseverance.   

The most terrible disease of social life is greed. If you love money and property a lot, demand it with abstinence, not with greed, so that they will come to you in abundance. 

The cause of the poverty of Muslims is not hating the worldly things but approaching the worldly things with greed.

27 Will you give information about not keeping one's promise and breach of faith?

The religion of Islam introduced many principles like the consciousness of Islamic responsibility, altruism, generosity, sincerity, loyalty, keeping promises, chastity and decency, which will make a person act sensitively to his environment and think of others before himself. On the other hand, it prohibits attributes like egoism, stinginess, keeping silent in the face of injustice and being indifferent, which would cause him to act indifferently to his environment and even to harm his environment.

If a person breaks his promise though he is in a position to keep it and attributes it do qadar, he is regarded to have committed a sin and to have violated other people's rights. Therefore, he needs to repent and ask for forgiveness from those people.

28 Can you explain the statement "Religion is high ethics (good manners)"?

It is not possible to separate ethics from belief in Islam. For, it is the necessity of belief to obey all orders of the Quran. The highest ethics is achieved by obeying those orders.  The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"The best among the believers are those who have the best manners and character." (Bukhari, Adab, 39)

Accordingly, a person who does not have a perfect understanding and behavior in terms of ethics cannot attain perfection in belief. The Prophet states the following in another hadith:

"Faith has over seventy branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no god but Allah, and the humblest of which is the removal of a bone from the road. And modesty is a branch of faith." (Abu Dawud, Sunnah, 14)

"None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself." (Bukhari, Iman, 7; Muslim, Iman, 71-72)

"I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good." (Abu Dawud, Adab, 7)

"Nothing is placed on the Scale (Mizan) that is heavier than good character. Indeed the person with good character will have attained the rank of the person of fasting and prayer." (Tirmidhi, Birr, 62 )

The Prophet mentioned the superiority of high ethics in the hadiths above and similar ones. He described a good Muslim as follows:

"A Muslim is he from whose hand and tongue the Muslims are safe." (Muslim, Iman, 14)

"The best person among people is the one with a long life and good deeds."

A Companion asks the Messenger of Allah,

- What is the best deed in Islam? The Prophet answered him as follows:

"Giving people food, greeting the people you know and you do not know."

When Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud, one of the notables of Companions, asked the Messenger of Allah a similar question, he said,  

"Prayer at its proper time, kindness (birr) to parents, jihad in the Way of Allah."

A community that does only the deeds mentioned above as the basic principles of Islamic ethics and acts in accordance with those principles can always stand upright. 

It is necessary to treat people mildly, to remind them their mistakes by using soft words and a style that will not offend them. It should be a principle of a Muslim to warn people by using the same style. The practical ethics of Islam seen in the life of people includes all of the duties of man toward himself, other people, his environment and Allah.  When all of them are viewed, it is seen that Islamic ethics are based on respect, service, mercy, good manners, modesty, controlling one's soul, humbleness, justice and similar traits.

In addition, Islam states that it definitely prohibits feelings and deeds like telling lies, swearing, cursing, mocking, arrogance, tale-bearing, backbiting, hypocrisy, stinginess and jealousy, telling Muslims that they must avoid these feelings and deeds. 

(Ahmed AĞIRAKÇA)

29 How can we be saved from the sin of slandering?

Yes, buhtan is a kind of slandering.

In Arabic, the word "buhtan" means a lie a person tells to his friend by feeling conceited. The real meaning of the word is based on a phrase uttered by Arabs when a person is astonished.

Accordingly,"buhtan" is a big lie that astonishes a person. In addition, anything wrong that astonishes a person is called buhtan because it is unreal and false. The following hadith is related to the same issue: "If you say something to your brother’s face that is wrong about him, it means you commit buhtan." (see Razi, Mafatih, interpretation of verse 20 of an-Nisa)

In daily speech, the word iftira is common but in law and ethics the words ifk and buhtan are used more commonly; the word qazf is used for a slander of fornication.

In the Quran, the word buhtan is used in the sense of “slander, groundless slander”.(see. an-Nisa 4/20, 112, 156; an-Nur 24/16)

Fakhruddin ar-Razi explains the word buhtan mentioned in verse 112 of the chapter of an-Nisa, “But if any one earns a fault or a sin and throws it on to one that is innocent, He carries (on himself) (Both) a falsehood and a flagrant sin” as “accusing your believing brother of a mistake or bad deed that is fake.” (Mafatihul-Ghayb, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

Bad words never fit a Muslim. Therefore, it is necessary to repent to Allah due to insulting, slandering and cursing whether it is related to a person’s honor or something else. For, something that Allah has forbidden has been committed. In addition, it is necessary to ask for forgiveness from the people one slandered, insulted or cursed. For, the rights of a person have been violated.

The statements against a person’s honor can vary based on the intention of the person uttering it and the way it is perceived in the community. If it is uttered with the intention of slander or if it is perceived like that in the community, it is a slander. If it is uttered with the intention of insult or if it is perceived like that in the community, it is an insult.

In short, a person who utters those words, which are not appropriate to utter in any case, becomes a sinner.

for more information, please click on the link given below;

"A person who slanders another person remains in Hell until he is forgiven by that person." Is there a hadith like that?

30 Does to cry with the fear of Allah mean to cry by shedding tears or to feel sad in the heart?

To cry with the fear of Allah can be by shedding tears or feeling sad in the heart.

We attribute most of the crimes and sins that are committed to the lack of fear of Allah in the people who commit them. We say, “If those people had feared Allah and avoided His penalty, they would not have done so.” How should fear from Allah be? How can we associate a discipline based on terror and fear only with the tolerance of Islam and the endless mercy of Allah Almighty?

Believers are described as follows in the Quran:

“For, Believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His signs rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put (all) their trust in their Lord.”1

As it is understood from the verse above, there is a close relationship and connection between the strengthening of the faith and the settlement of the fear of Allah in the hearts. What does strengthening of the faith as the verses of Allah are read mean? Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır explains the issue as follows:

“As evidences from ilm (knowledge) and deeds increase, investigative belief develops. Close knowledge and belief increase.”2

Investigative belief has levels. The level ofilm al-yaqin (knowledge of certainty) opposes doubts by evidences. Imitative belief, that is, belief that is transferred from parents and that is not based on deep research, can sometimes be defeated by a slight doubt but a belief that is obtained by evidences will not be harmed even by numerous doubts.  

The second level of investigative belief is ayn al-yaqin (vision of certainty); it also have levels in it.It has as many levels as the beautiful names of Allah that are manifest in the universe and their levels. A believer will have a sound and steadfast belief based on his ability to see and read those manifestations. In the highest levels of this stage, man reaches a degree that can read the universe like the Quran. That is, for instance, he can read Allah Almighty’s names like al-Khaliq (the Creator), al-Musawwir (theShaper of Beauty) , al-Muzayyin (the Adorner), al-Mulawwin (the Giver of Color), al-Jamil (the Beautiful) andar-Rahim (the All-Merciful) on a flower. He watches the manifestation of the names of the Creator that creates, shapes, adorns, colors, beautifies them and shows them compassion and mercy.

The third level is named as haqq al-yaqin (absolute certainty). A person who reaches this level has passed the veils that surround the realms of beings and has attained a belief that will not be shaken in the face of the attacks by armies of doubts.3

The belief of prophets and spiritual guides have this depth. The belief of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), who was the addressee of Allah Almighty’s beauty and speech in Miraj (Ascension), and Abdulqadir Ghaylani, who followed his trace and improved his spirit so much as to observe the High Throne from the earth, can be given as examples of belief at this level. 

This belief, which is like the ocean, can be attained only through ilm. That ilm definitely has to be an ilm that leads man to belief. Is it possible to describe the fear and shivering felt by those who ascend to those levels of belief with ilm as if they are in the presence of Allah Almighty?

“Those truly fear Allah, among His Servants, who have knowledge.”4

The verse above expresses this reality. This respect and fear becomes manifest in every believer based on the degree of their belief.

For, as man knows his Lord through ilm, his love and respect to Him increases. For, the endless perfection above all those levels of perfection definitely deserves endless respect. A shivering mixed with joy encompasses you in the presence of a spiritually great person who has an unreachable degree with his superior solemnity and unique personality; think of the mood in which you will in the presence of Allah Almighty, who has a perfection endless times superior to that person.

Allah has endless compassion and mercy as well as endless jealousy and dignity/might. As it is repeated in many verses of the Quran, Allah is both Rahim (all-Merciful) and Aziz (Mighty). He embraces the whole realm of beings with His endless compassion and mercy as a necessity of his name ar-Rahim; on the other hand, He punishes those who rebel against His laws and touch His dignity with their rebellion. 

Therefore, a person who is in the presence of Allah Almighty is overwhelmed by the attraction of that endless mercy on the one hand and his heart shivers at the thought of the terror of His wrath on the other hand. Is it possible for such a person to rebel against Allah’s orders and to violate His prohibitions?

This fear leads man to Allah just like love. As Badiuzzaman Said Nursi puts it,

“To fear the Glorious Creator means finding a way to His compassionate mercy, and taking refuge in it. Fear is a whip; it drives you into the embrace of His mercy. It is well-known that a mother gently scares her infant, for example, and draws it to her breast. The fear is most pleasurable for the child, because it drives him to her tender embrace.Whereas the tenderness of all mothers is but a flash of Divine mercy. That means there is a supreme pleasure in fear of Allah.”5

Thus, the reason why man was given the feeling of fear is to lead him to Allah. Therefore, if we use this feeling in other places by driving it away from its real purpose, we will incur great losses. When we use our love in wrong places, that love becomes a feeling that suffocates us in agonies by being rejected by the people we love, by being insulted by them and by being forced to leave them though we love them. Similarly, using the feeling of fear in wrong places transforms man’s life into a dungeon. For, the beings that are not worth fearing but that we fear can do nothing to us but cause us to live in derogation. They can neither help us nor soothe our fear. On the contrary, they destroy us by turning away from us by an insensitive mercilessness or increasing their attacks. 

The relationship of the feeling of fear with belief and tawakkul (trust in Allah) is explained as follows in Sözler (Words):

“In fact, for a worshipper with a truly illuminated heart, it is possible that even if the globe of the earth became a bomb and exploded, it would not frighten him. He would watch it with pleasurable wonder as a marvel of the Eternally Besought One’s power. But when a famous degenerate philosopher with a so-called enlightened mind but no heart saw a comet in the sky, he trembled on the ground, and exclaimed anxiously: ‘Isn’t that comet going to hit the earth?’ (On one occasion, America was quaking with fear at such a comet, and many people left their homes in the middle of the night.)”6

Footnotes:

1. al-Anfal, 2.
2. Hak Dini Kur'ân Dili, 3:2367
3. Bediüzzaman Said Nursi. Emirdağ Lahikası-I, p.102, 103.
4. Fatir, 28
5. Sözler (Words), p. 331
6. ibid.

(Mehmed Paksu, Çağın Getirdiği Sorular)

31 Is it permissible to talk behind an unbeliever’s back (to backbite him)?

It is definitely haram to talk behind a Muslim’s back. However, as for a non-Muslim, it is divided into two:

1. A non-Muslim who is in a state of war with Muslims.

2. A non-Muslim who is in a state of peace with Muslims. (Like the Christians and Jews of today.)

It is not haram to backbite non-Muslims who are in a state of war with Muslims. It is necessary to speak ill of them so that the state of the war will be favorable for us. There is no sin in doing it.

However, the state of the non-Muslims who are in a state of peace with Muslims is not the same. It can be permissible to backbite them (only by separating a person and his attributes). It is permissible to backbite such a person not as a perfect being that Allah created but the unbelief added to that perfect being by that person in a sense that will alienate people from unbelief.  

It means it is permissible to backbite the attributes of a person, not the person himself.

We learn from the fatwas of Ghazali that the aim is not to backbite people but to state the evil of the wrong things in their faith and life, and hence it is permissible.

As for the minorities living among Muslims, they are under the guarantee of Islam like Muslims in all aspects. Islam does not regard it permissible to backbite these people, whom it has taken under its protection; Islam does not allow its guarantee to be violated. If they are backbitten, it is necessery to ask forgiveness from them.

32 The importance of high ethics... The following is stated in a hadith: "The first thing to be placed on the Scale (Mizan) on the Day of Judgment is high ethics." What is the meaning of a deed being placed on the Scale first or later?

In the hadith, that expression is used in order to state the importance of high ethics. High ethics is also a means for other deeds of worshipping. No matter how much clean food you put in a dirty bowl, it will still be dirty; similarly, no matter how much a person who is deprived of high ethics worships, his deeds of worship may be eliminated due to his bad ethics. Therefore, high ethics must be the most important characteristic of a believer.

There are a lot of hadiths about high ethics:

(1675)- Hz. Abud-Darda narrates: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"Nothing is heavier on the believer's Scale on the Day of Judgment than good character. For indeed Allah, Most High, is angered by the shameless obscene person." [Tirmidhi, Birr 62, (2003, 2004); Abu Dawud, Adab 8, (4799) The following is stated in a narration by Tirmidhi:

"A person with high ethics reaches the level of a person with prayers and fasting thanks to his high ethics."]

EXPLANATION:

1. Both hadiths mention the importance of high ethics in the religion of Islam. Belief, which is the most valuable possession of a believer, becomes perfect only with high ethics. Then, he who wants to attain a higher degree in belief, which is the only means of eternal salvation, and to approach perfection should try to make his ethics higher.

2. Both hadiths show that the religion gives importance to our relationships with people. To express the principles of belief with the tongue is not enough in order to be a real believer. It is necessary to strengthen belief with high ethics, which becomes manifest in the form of treating people well.

3. We need to treat the closest people to us in the best way: our family. For, their rights on us are the most and we always see them. If we try to smile, show patience to, tolerate and say nice words to the people we always meet and force ourselves to act like that, it will be a habit of us. Thus, we can treat others in the same way. If a person is used to treating his family badly, it means his acts has become habitually bad. Such a person will naturally and automatically react in a bad way in various cases; even if he treats a person well willingly, it will not be sincere and natural and he cannot always act in the same way.

When it is considered that the family is a hearth of education, that the best education is given in a peaceful environment where love and respect are dominant and that those who are treated well will treat others well, the importance of treating one’s family well will be understood better. Thus, the statement of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) "The best one among you is the one who treats his family in the best way" expresses a natural fact.

4. That high ethics is the heaviest deed on the Scale on the Day of Judgment expresses a natural state and an important fact. For, high ethics completes a believer’s belief and makes it perfect. Belief at the level of perfection affects all deeds of a person and leads him. Such a person tries to do all of his deeds for Allah’s sake and in accordance with the Sunnah.

5. (1676) Hz. Jabir narrates: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"Indeed the most beloved among you to me, and the nearest to sit with me on the Day of Judgment is the best of you in character. And indeed, the most disliked among you to me, and the one sitting furthest from me on the Day of Judgement are the Thartharun, and the Mutashaddiqun and the Muthafayhiqun."

(Some people who were there asked): "O Messenger of Allah! Who are Muthafayhiqun?"

"They are arrogant (conceited) ones." [Rawi: Jabir, Tirmidhi, Birr 77, (2019)]

EXPLANATION:

1. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) often asked people to control their tongues in his talks. For instance, he said, "Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs, I guarantee Paradise for him." "He who believes in Allah and the hereafter should say good things or keep silent."

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not exaggerate in those insistent warnings. For, it is definite by repeated verses of the Quran that a person will be called to account for his every moment, every deed and hence every word on the Day of Judgment. If a word that a person uttered with his tongue is not in favor of him, it will be against him in the hereafter.

The hadith we are analyzing warns those who speak a lot.Thartharun, mutashaddiqun and muthafayhiqun are words that describe people who speak a lot heedlessly and randomly. There are other words like chatterbox, babbler, chatterer, jabberer, gasbag, windbag and rattlebrain that express the same meaning.

A person who speaks a lot and who is used to speaking a lot cannot always say good things; therefore, he will inevitably talk idly, backbite, tell lies, speak slang and tell nasty stories while talking. They will all be placed on the left scale (scale of sins) on the Day of Judgment. It is significant that the hadith preventing speaking a lot is general.

To sum up, those hadiths teach us that when high ethics is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is controlling one’s tongue.

2. Taking into consideration the nuances, that is, small differences, between those words, some scholars attracted attention to what is forbidden in speaking styles. They say what is meant by thartharun is the talkative people who speak more than necessary, what is meant by mutashaddiqun is those who use a pompous language to show their forced eloquence and to show that they are superior to others and even to mock others. As a matter of fact, shidq means cheek pocket; so, mutashaddiq means a person who speaks pompously by filling his cheek pocket.

Muthafayhiqun means people who speak by widening and opening their mouths more than necessary; it is close to mutashaddiq in meaning. It is stated that this attitude originates from conceit and despising others.

In that case, the hadith attracts attention to the issue of speaking, stating that this is an issue that a believer has to give primary importance whether the hadith is interpreted as expressing speaking a lot, which is generally emphasized, or speaking in a way that is different from the majority of the people.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states the following:

"The most complete of the believers in faith, is the one with the best character among them. And the best of you are those who are best to your women." [Rawi: Abu Hurayra, Tirmidhi, Rada 11, (1162); Abu Dawud, Sunnah 16, (4682)]

Khulq (or khuluq) is explained as religion, nature and character (moral quality) in the book an-Nihaya. It is the equivalent of temper. Sometimes, the word nature is also used in this sense.

The word khulq expresses the inner appearance and qualities of man, which is man’s soul, in a sense. His outer appearance and qualities are called khalq. The soul has good and bad qualities. Thawab (reward) and iqab (punishment) are related to the qualities of the inner appearance rather than the outer appearance.    

According to the following hadith, khulq is an inborn and natural quality:

"Allah shared your ethics among you as He shared your sustenance."

Another hadith stating that temper is inborn is the following sentence the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to al-Ashajj:

"There are two characteristics that Allah loves in you: mildness and modesty." Ashajj asked,

"O Messenger of Allah! Do I have them since the beginning or did they occur afterwards (after I became a Muslim)?"

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) gave the following answer, which has a separate importance regarding our issue:

"You have them from the beginning." Thereupon, the following statement of gratitude by Ashajj, who was from the tribe of Abdul-Qays, sheds light on our issue:

"Praise be to Allah, who created me with two characteristics that He loves!"

That Ashajj asked whether thosetwo characteristics were old or new and that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated that they existed from the beginning in the hadith show that somecharacteristics are inborn.

However, it cannot be denied that some characteristics are obtained later and that it is possible to own good characteristics through will and effort. In fact, ethicists all over the world have discussed throughout history whether character is inborn or obtained later.

Not only the philosophers in the East but also the philosophers in the West took part in this discussion. There are observations and evidences that are based on dogma and nass that support both views. Some philosophers and pedagogues like Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau and Erasmus liken human spirit to a blank tablet, wax and an empty field ready to be sown while Goethe, Schopenhauer and others state that character is inborn and that the education and training given later will not change anything.

"O ye who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones..." (at-Tahrim, 66/6).

"Truly he succeeds that purifies it (soul), And he fails that corrupts it." (ash-Shams, 91/9, 10)

The verses above and the hadiths below,

"I have been sent as a teacher",

"Good deeds is a habit",

"Give food and drinks to your children; give them good education",

which attract attention to and encourage pedagogical activities, state that good characteristics that will lead man to salvation will be obtained by education. What would be the meaning of the institution of prophethood, heavenly books, calling people to Islam and guidance if this belief were not essential?

Evaluating the issue in both aspects, Islamic scholars decree that the good characteristics that are inborn need to be supported by willing efforts and be transformed into habits and that bad characteristics need to suppressed. For instance, Hz. Umar said,

"There are ten inborn characteristics in man; nine of them are good, one of them is bad. If the bad one is left unattended, it will harm the others."

Ibnul-Arabi states the following:

"... The number of people created with high ethics is very small. The people created with bad ethics form the majority. For, what is dominant in human nature is evil. Therefore, if man lets himself free to the course of nature without using his thought, power of discrimination, sense of shame and the ability to protect himself, his animal traits will be dominant. For, man is separated from animals with his qualities of thought and discrimination. If he does not use them, he will act like them in their customs; the power of lust with all kinds will invade him; sense of shame will leave him and disappear..."

Holding the same view, Mawardi attracts attention to the fact that it is necessary to be busy with the education of the soul all the time without trusting the intellect, etc., and adds,

"For, good manners are obtained through experience."

)1673) Muadh Ibn Jabal narrates:

"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to me,

"O Muadh! Be good-mannered toward people." [Muwatta, Husnul-Khulq 1.]

EXPLANATION:

1. In the origin of the hadith, Muadh describes this advice as the last sentence that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says to him while sending him to Yemen. The version of the hadith in Tirmidhi is as follows: I said, "O Messenger of Allah! Teach me what will be useful for me." He gave me the following advice: "Fear Allah no matter where you are. Do good deeds in return for bad deeds so that you will eliminate bad deeds. Treat people with high ethics."

2. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) sent Hz. Muadh to Yemen as a qadi (judge), tax collector and teacher and with several other authorities and duties. There are other statements and instructions of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) gave to Muadh during this appointment. Thus, the warning mentioned above about treating people well is the last word and instruction of the Prophet to Muadh.

3. The explainers of hadith understand showing a smiling face, lenience and mercy to the people who visit one and sit with him, to show patience while teaching and to show love to everybody – who deserves it – whether young or old when treating people well is mentioned. We say who deserves it because there are also people who are unbelievers, who insist on committing major sins and who oppress others. They might not be influenced by being treated well and it might even cause them to act worse. It is necessary to treat such people justly and authoritatively.

That "doing good deeds" in return for bad deeds is shown as the way of eliminating bad deeds in the hadith is a principle of the understanding of Islamic ethics that should not be forgotten.

(Prof. Dr. İbrahim CANAN, Kutub as-Sittah Translation and Explanation)

33 What will be the otherworldly benefits of believers’ loving one another?

According to what is reported from Numan Ibn Bashir, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"Believers resemble one body as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind. If any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness and fever with it."

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) sheds light on the Islamic community of that time and guides us with the light emitting from his unique words. He never spoke out of his own desire. He always acted in accordance with the order of Lord. He never uttered useless words.

He integrated and combined a community whose individuals were so bad-tempered and stern, and who were enemies of one another in such a nice way that humanity never saw and will never see such a self-sacrificing community that declared one another brothers.

There was a great change. Those brutal, vindictive and stern people became very lofty after they met the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) thanks to his guidance. The guidance and education given by the Messenger of Allah made Umar, who came to kill him with his sword, the symbol of justice. He eliminated the wars between tribes, feuds and other similar bad practices that prevented the members of the community from trusting one another.

We understand from the hadith that believers should help one another regarding very important issues like loving, mercy and protection. In that case, believers should definitely love, forgive, pity and help one another, and show mercy to one another. For, the establishment of a community with healthy individuals, the salvation of the ummah and the wellbeing of the hearts can be possible only when such people come together.   

As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) laid the foundations of the most magnificent community in the world by establishing brotherhood between Makkan muhajirs (migrants) and Ansar (helpers) of Madinah after the Migration. People were united so much that they competed one another to share the things they possessed like their houses, fields and orchards with their new brothers. Consequently, this community began something perfect that the generations after them would follow with pride. 

As the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) expresses in his nice simile, the cause of sleeplessness is the pain felt in any organ. When a person is sleepless, the severity of inflammatory diseases increases. A disorder that occurs in an organ, even if it is small, will definitely affect and disturb the other organs. Those organs, whose names are different, are parts that form the body. It is not possible for them to be independent from one another, or rather, to exist without one another. To think them as separate organs is nonsense like to think that a body can exist without a head or a heart. Therefore, it is necessary to think of the body as a whole rather than as independent organs. Similarly, instead of regarding believers as separate individuals, is it not necessary to regard the Islamic world as a whole, to act like that and to evaluate the favorable and unfavorable incidents through that viewpoint? Is it not necessary to treat the disorders at once?

It does not fit a real believer not to show mercy and compassion to his believing brother, not to think about his problem by ignoring the problems of others, to watch the incidents that take place nearby and that affect all Muslims badly without doing anything. According to the hadith above, if a Muslim anywhere in the world suffers and is in agony, we have to share his feelings and look for cures to eliminate his problems. 

A real believer cannot live lazily and insensitively when his brothers are in pain and agony. He cannot have fun when his brothers shed tears and suffer. He cannot eat and drink abundantly and wear various clothes while his brothers go hungry for days. He cannot sleep comfortably in his cozy bed as if nothing has happened while his brothers are deprived of all of them. 

Allah tests us and states in His book that one cannot enter Paradise without being tested. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says,

"The best of the deeds is to love for Allah and to hate for Allah."

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) also states the following:

"A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim; he does not oppress him; he does not leave him alone. Whoever fulfills the need of his brother, Allah will fulfill his need in the hereafter. Whoever relieves a Muslim of hardship, Allah will relieve him of hardship on the Day of Judgment. Whoever screens the sin of a Muslim, Allah will screen his sin on the Day of Resurrection.”

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not educate only the people living in his age. He educates us every day with his timeless statements and deeds. Nowadays, we need the education of the Messenger of Allah more than any other time. The negative incidents taking place in the Islamic world recently shows us how much we have moved away from this divine education.   

How can a believer who reads, understands and practices the hadith above pull a gun on his believing brother, hate him and bomb his mosque? The Messenger of Allah likened believers to a bodyas regards love, being merciful among themselves and protecting one another. Where is that unity? We are in agony because of breaking into pieces. The doors we knock on in order to be treated deteriorate our wounds. In fact, there is no need to look for a treatment because the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) declares loudly the treatment from fifteen centuries ago.  

The Islamic world is a big body, a body with diseases in its various parts. Those who caused the disease offered various treatments to solve it. The treatments they apply aim to eliminate the diseased parts. 

The diagnosis is clear. The Islamic world is in the throes of death due to the blows from inside and outside. An urgent treatment is necessary without losing any time. A true treatment can be done only by a real and true doctor. It is a great blessing that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), who is the greatest doctor, educator and who made the greatest change in the world and moved the universe so to speak, gave us the prescription centuries ago. He personally showed us how to unite, integrate and get well, in short, everything that we need and the only way of treatment:  

“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration..." (al-Fath, 48/29)

Our Lord virtually states something similar in the chapter of al-Maida:

"They are lowly, modest with the believers, mighty and honorable against the rejecters. If you give up belief in and obedience to Allah and His Messenger and practicing the religion and lifestyle shown by them, know it very well that Allah will eliminate you and produce people who arelowly with the believers, mighty against the rejecters, fighting in the way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault.  He will love them as they will love Him.”

Thus, having those characteristics, the brave Muslims around the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) were adherent to Allah and His Messenger with the most sincere feelings and they were very merciful to one another, sacrificing their possessions for one another; on the other hand, they were very mighty and honorable against the unbelievers, resisting them firmly. They did not allow anyone to defame the dignity and honor of Islam. Our Lord wanted exactly this from them.  

Salvation for both individuals and the community is possible only through Islam. There is no need to look for treatment anywhere else and in wrong ways. We have already lost a lot of time regarding the issue. The ummah has to use the prescription that it has as soon as possible. There is a need for conscious associations formed by individuals who are adherent and loyal to one another. 

The Islamic world has been wounded in the very important organs like the head and the heart and has been suffering a lot for a long time. We are like a big body in which the connection among the organs has weakened due to lack of reactions or delayed reactions or has almost been lost. For, we present it as if it is a skill or strategic policy to the believers to ask for permission of the enemies outside the body for medical and humanitarian aid.

34 Will you mention the explanations of hadiths and verses about bad traits and attitudes?

Abu Bakra narrates:

"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

‘Shall I inform you about the biggest of the big sins?’ He repeated it three times. We said, "Yes!" He said,

‘To join others in worship with Allah, to be undutiful to one's parents and to kill a person.’ The Prophet was reclining at that time; then, he sat down and said,

‘And I warn you against giving a false witness.’ He kept on repeating it so many times that we thought, ‘We wish he would stop.’"[Bukhari, Shahadat 10, Adab 6, Isti'dhan 35, Istitaba 1; Muslim, Iman 143, (87); Tirmidhi, Shahadat 3, (2302)]

Ubayd Ibn Umayr narrates from his father:

"Somebody asked the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) about major sins. He answered as follows:

"They are nine." Then, he listed them: "To assign partners to Allah, magic, to kill a man, to take usury, to consume the property of an orphan, to retreat on the day of the battle, to slander chaste women, disobedience to the Muslim parents, and to regard committing sins in the sacred house, your qiblah,  in your life and after death." [Abu Dawud, Wasaya 10, (2875); Nasai, Tahrim 3, (7, 89)]

5194 - Ibn Mas'ud narrates:

"I said,

‘O Messenger of Allah! What is the biggest sin in the eye of Allah?’

‘To associate partners with Allah, who created you,’he said,

‘Then, what?’ I asked.

‘To kill your child fearing that he will eat your food,’ he said,

‘Then, what?’ I asked.

‘To commit adultery with the wife of your neighbor.’" [Bukhari, Tafsir, al-Baqara 3, al-Furqan 3, Adab 20, Muharibin 20, Diyat 1, Tawhid 40, 46; Muslim, Iman 141, (3181, 3182), Tafsir, al-Furqan; Nasai, Tahrim 4, (7, 89, 90); Abu Dawud, Talaq 50, (2310)]

5195 - Ibnu Amr Ibnil-As narrates:

"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"It is one of the biggest sins that a man should curse his parents!" The people there asked:

"How does a man curse his parents?" He answered:

"The man abuses the father of another man and the latter abuses the father of the former and abuses his mother." [Bukhari, Adab 4; Muslim, Iman 146, (90); Tirmidhi, Birr 4, (1903); Abu Dawud, Adab 129, (5141)]