How does an individual uphold the values of morality as a true civil citizen in today’s day and age?
Morality! A human characteristic that is difficult to understand. Philosophers have been attempting to provide answers to what morality actually is for thousands of years! Scholars from all world religions initiated discussions with regards to moral ontology, such as, does the moral sense deserve degradation? Are good morals related to the heart or the intellect? Are good morals earned or gifted?
Although these are good questions to be asking, are they really questions vital in solving international discrepancies, increased crime, inequality, injustice, etc. If we contemplate for a while and look at the atrocities of today then the most important questions we should be asking are, who establishes society’s moral judgement? Do those whom we follow hold virtue; and not just promote it, and who has the highest form of morality? If we truly are sincere in asking these questions, only then we will see the importance of knowing the answers.
The Moral Compass
Morality has become a complicated issue in the multicultural world we live in today. We are people that have genuine disagreements about moral issues, consequently, we have made huge mistakes in our moral beliefs; and we see that society and conditioning inform our moral judgments. With that being said, how could we ever know for sure what is exactly morally right from wrong?
The fact is, without guidance we are out of our depth in truly knowing moral objectivism, and from ever reaching our moral potential. Only such a complete intellectual and moral ascendancy can lead the way – These are the vicegerents of God, also known as the proofs of God. The vicegerents of God are complete and infallible human beings upon who carry knowledge, wisdom, valour, chastity, and justice.
The Morality of God’s Messengers
Not only are they the proof of God but they are the face of God, as they themselves emulate divine attributes – God’s attributes, rendering them the face of God in creation. Their virtues derive from a divine source, it can neither be changed nor manipulated. Thus, they are the epitome of the highest form of spiritual enlightenment and as such, are sent to humanity as guides to lead mankind into reforming the world’s moral code through establishing justice, equality and implementing a system of values and principles of conduct in dealing with our own selves and fellow neighbours.
“It is He who has sent amongst the unlettered people a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to purify them, and to instruct them in the scripture and wisdom,- although they had been, before, in manifest error.” – Quran 62:2
The disease of Immorality
Unfortunately, in today’s world, being selfish is erroneously associated with becoming more successful, and being arrogant/vain is considered to be a form of self confidence; there are many examples of negative or immoral qualities that have been accepted in today’s era as being the norm or even the blueprint of ideal. When in fact, immorality lays waste to what is best about us: to love, to loyalty, to compassion, to hope. etc. It violates the very bonds that hold together our families, our communities, and the all-important relationship that should exist between us and our Creator. As a result, immorality shuts hope up in a box, leaving us lonely and depressed, unable to find any meaning in life.
“That you put of, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22–24
When we ponder upon the words of Imam Ahmad al Hassan PBUH, and truly take in what is meant to love your brother more than your own self, then you will find that there is no room for selfishness, and what you truly want for yourself is what you would truly want for your brother and sister in humanity. Principally, The believers strive for spiritual refinement through being selfless and combating their own nafs (ego) by increasing in good morals and self discipline and suppressing negative attributes such as, greed, dishonesty, selfishness, envy, pride, etc.
the magic formula
In fact, the magic formula of establishing a Divine Just State lies upon whether or not mankind follows and imitates those of divine objective morality; – emulating their virtues, such as love, mercy, compassion, honesty, fairness, generosity, self-control, etc. This is not only spiritually cleansing for the self, but also spiritually cleansing for the establishment of society’s collective morality which ensures harmonious living. We leave you more beautiful lifechanging quotes from our master Imam Ahmad al Hassan PBUH:
“Discipline is more important than knowledge, morals and manners are above everything, knowledge can be given anytime, but if the human being is not disciplined correctly, then it is very difficult to fix him, like a tree if it grows crooked it is very difficult to straighten.”
(From the new book “Sayings of Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (FHIP), P. 38, Hadith No. 80)