Title: La Morale du coran (Ethics in the Quran)
(A Doctoral Dissertation in the French Context- Paris-Sorbonne University, 1947)
Author: Muhammad Abdullah Draz (1894- 1958).
Place of Publication: Cairo
Publisher: Dar Al-Ma’aref
Date of Publication: 1951
Physical Description: 717 p., 24 cm.
About the Author
After receiving his BA degree from Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Draz was appointed to the teaching staff then became a lecturer in Tafsir at the Faculty of Usul-ul-Din (Theology). Receiving a scholarship from Sorbonne University in 1936, he stayed at France for twelve years; eager to learn more about the western culture and its original streams by reflection and comparison. At France, he sought knowledge under the supervision of the most prominent orientalists such as Lévi-Provençal and Louis Massignon. He, then, submitted his Thesis entitled “La Morale du coran” and rewarder for it the degree of PhD in the philosophy of religions with the highest distinction in 1947.
His Thesis tackles two subjects: First, introduction to the Noble Quran; a brief study about the history of the Quran. Secondly, the theory of Ethics in the Noble Quran; devoting approximately seven thousand pages for presenting a comprehensive vision of the theory of Ethics in the Quran in its theoretical and practical aspects. The Thesis mainly aims to deduce, for the first time, all the Quranic ethical legislation and present its principles and rules in an independent coherent theoretical form. Thus, the Quranic ethical legislation transferred from the field of preaching discourses, for prevailing good behaviors, into the field of knowledge.
Dr. Draz left a civilized ideological heritage of only fourteen writings including books and researches. Al-Naba’ Al-Azeem (The Great News) and Mabādi’ al-qānūn al-dawlī al-‘āmm (Principles of General International Law) are one of his significant books. He has also some researches on the history of religions and some other important researches such as Al-Riba Fee A’in Al-Qanoon (Usury in the Eyes of the Law). Despite his few researches, they form cognitive masterpieces that aim to fill the gaps in the field of Islamic philosophy, theology (I’lm Al-Kalam) and the history of religions.
Dr. Draz is “the son of Al-Azhar, and the son of Sorbonne.” Acquiring knowledge of both the Islamic and western culture from its origins that allowed him to build a unique compound analytical vision apart from naive superficiality; a feature spread among most of those who were affected by the outdated inherited culture or the imported western one . He devoted his studies to the Spirituality of Al-Ghazali, Al-Hakeem, Al-Tirmithi and Abi Taleb Al-Macci and was deeply affected by the philosophy of Descartes, Kant and Bergson. Thanks to his compound ideology, Dr. Draz was distinguished by his broad vision, deep analysis, accurate reasoning, with convincing arguments, and charming eloquence inspired by from the Eloquence of the Noble Quran.
This book is his Thesis which awarded him the PhD from the Sorbonne University. This book includes an introduction and five chapters arranged as follows: Obligation, Responsibility, Sanction, Intention and effort. Then, it includes two appendixes. The first appendix which contains five chapters is entitled “Practical Ethics“, and discusses five practical aspects of ethics by collecting the relevant Quranic verses with its French interpretation; adding the Original Verses as a footnote. The second appendix gathers ” Some Categories of Virtues by Which the Quran Defines the True Muslim” by mentioning the Quranic Verses which explain in detail the characters of the Believers.
The Book Review
Dr.Draz starts his Thesis by quoting a statement of a prominent Azhari scholar called Al-Shiehk Shams Ad-Deen Al-Ẓahaby which indicates that the main objective of any new work must be to “create something unexpected, complete something unfinished, clarify something confused…or rectify something erroneous..“* The author believes that any writer should have this skill and follow this charter.
From this perspective, the author starts his topic assuring the originality of his Thesis in presenting “Ethics in the Quran”.
The background of this topic
This topic grasped the attention of western researches but no one of them presented the general ethics of Islam or set applicable rules for it. Their efforts were devoted only to study some Quranic Verses for acts of worship or human behavior. Yet, their studies are weakened by some grave misunderstandings due to the inaccurate translation or their ignorance about the Arabic language and the core objective of Islam.
On the other hand, Arab researches were eager to highlight ethics in Islam but only in the light of Plato and other Greek philosophers; the concept of good and evil and ugliness and beauty. In addition, they presented the views of all authors concerned about Islam in general without focusing on the Quranic Ethics.
Thus, some writings failed to cover all aspects; the number of the Verses, the subjects of ethics or the applied approach.
The Thesis and its Approach
The author explains that the principle of ethics is divided into theories and applications. He also compares between the Quranic practical ethics and the philosophy of the ancient civilizations.
He explains that the Quranic Verses thoroughly tackle the theoretical aspect of Ethics. From a practical aspect, the Quran presents the ancient wisdom as a milestone of the established world of ethics; setting a coherent unit and be creative in completing the unfinished by (collecting, coordinating and verifying).
The approach adopted by the author differs from the previous studies as it depends on:
- Extracting some Verses discussing some codes of conduct, by avoiding redundancy
- Organizing the Verses according to the discussed issues not the Quranic Arrangement, and dividing them into sub-sections gathering the Verses of a specific practical aspect
Thus, the author sets a full system for the practical life: the personal, family and social actions in general, the relationship between the ruler and the ruled and the state and its people and how a believer can perform the acts of worship…all those matters are discussed in a clear and precise way.
The Quran forms similar sets for ethics but each one has a distinctive feature. Some may wonder: “why the Quran does not cover all the issues such as those associated with the rule (Hukm) or others?” The author states that there is a reason behind what was revealed in the Quran and what is not mentioned. We fail to know the purpose and the reason behind the unmentioned because it is the Will of Allah the Almighty (and He knows Best) to facilitate Muslims’ life and invite them to use their mental, physical and psychological skills.
It is obvious that there is a difference between theoretical ethics of the Noble Quran and the philosophical views, regarding the style and approaches. Philosophers adopt the approach of reflection and gradualism to reach their aim, while the Quran is the Divine Revelation which reclaims one’s heart with the truths simultaneously.
As for The objectives and purposes they are relevant as they both tackle the dilemma of human existence and the pursuit of happiness.
For example, it is obvious that the Quran urges us to depend on our reason, think, reflect and develop strong arguments. The Quran also assures reason’s ability in persuasion and influence, as the Quran does not encourage the philosophical thinking only but provide philosophers with arguments and ways of thinking. The Quran also includes the essence of the religious philosophy ; the origin of mankind and his fate, the origin of the universe, the general principles, reasons and causations and other concepts like the soul and the Creator…etc.
In fact, the Quran establishes the theoretical ethics and explains the norm of Obligation as being an innate nature of mankind by which he can distinguish between true and false. The Quran also states that both mind and Revelation seek one goal. Thus, the stipulations of the duty and its limits and conditions are universal, so man’s responsibility is to seek and achieve virtue.
A Comparative study
The author compares between ethics in Quran, the Islamic thinking schools and the contemporary western theories impartiality depending only on comprehensiveness and proofs.
Then, Dr. Abdullah Draz ends his introduction to start his first chapter in his dissertation.
THE ETHICAL THEORY THAT EMERGES FROM THE QU’RAN AND A COMPARISON WITH OTHER THEORIES, ANCIENT AND MODERN
Chapter (1): Obligation
Obligation is the milestone of any ethical system, so the author rejects any other systems that do not differentiate between obligation and aesthetics. The author states that the Noble Quran distinguishes between the commands, the prescribed and the obligatory by verbal expression.
The author sets the following analogy:
1. Obligation sources: Bergson’s theory discovers two sources:
- the force of the social pressure: “to play the role that is assigned to us by society” which imitates the system applied in the beehive or in other words, being restricted to the social duty.
- The force of human attraction towards the right: one’s eagerness towards perfection and leading the society to achieve this perfection instead of being a blind imitator.
The author refutes this theory due to its obvious contradiction, as duty which is performed unwillingly cannot be regarded as a moral principle originated from a soul with a free will and choice. On the other hand, he mentions that the Quran elevates man above himself to avoid following his whim and his predecessors.
Then, the author presents the theory of Kant and shows that there is an analogy between this theory and the Quranic ethics. According to this theory, reason is essential in distinguishing between true and false. According to the Quran, the established Divine Path prescribed for Allah’s servants is to inspire the mind to distinguish between good and evil as Allah the Almighty says, “And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness.”)91:8), “And have shown him the two ways?“(90:10). The Quran is concerned mainly with the intellectual faculties and the noble emotions and urge them to act under the control of the reason.
Then, the author presents the theories of the scholars of theology like the Mu’tazilites, the Ash’arites and others. They have different views about whether to follow the command of our reason and the way of thinking alone or not. Some argue that the reason has the capacity to distinguish all the issues and others argue that it has no power. According to this argument, a question is raised: is there a domain or more in which we cannot depend on our reason? The author believes that the first domain is the acts of worship; as their rituals are determined by Allah the Creator the Exalted.
Yet, when people have different convictions, they face intellectual quarrels and arguments and their refutations, so which one is worthy to be followed? The author answers that the Divine Will, Law and Revelation determine human intellect, his actions and inclinations. They also complement what is the reason fail to imagine or reach. Does this mean that we have two sources of obligation; Revelation and Reason? According to Dr. Draz, the answer is No, as they are derived from the same source; the reason guides us towards the Divine Light.
The author speaks about the sources of Islamic legislation which are four, according to some thinkers: the Quran, Sunnah, Ijma’ (Consensus) and Qiyas (Analogical deduction). The author wonders if there is another view. To answer his question, he begins to explain these sources.
First: The Noble Quran
The Speech of Allah the Almighty and the Revelation conveyed by his Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him (ﷺ), is the source of obligation which is indisputable.
Second: The Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition)
The collection of Prophetic Sayings (Hadiths) and his Biography including a interpretation, elaboration and explanation of the Quranic Rulings. Allah the Almighty in his Scripture orders the believers to follow and obey the Prophet (ﷺ), as “who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah.”
Thrid: Ijma’ (Consensus)
In this regard, the author highlights more than one issue. Firstly, a qualified scholar is the one who meet the main stipulations. Secondly, the Quranic absolute commands cannot be subjected to Ijma’, as Ijma’ can be applied only on the new issues regarding morals, legal matters or the explanation of some specific conditions especially in the acts of worship. Thirdly, the scholars do not have to dedicate specific seminars to discuss a certain issue, as they are not nominated or assigned. Each issue is submitted to each one of them separately away from any influence. Then, what is agreed upon by the majority is the preponderant and is regarded as an unanimous decision of the community, given that this resulted opinion should depend on a clear evidence and an authentic reference deduced from both the Quran and the Sunnah.
Fourth: Qiyas (Analogical deduction)
Some schools of Islamic jurisprudence reject Qiyas as one of the legislation sources. For example, Al-Ẓāhirīyyah (Zahirism) and Al-Tafseryah have included only the three previous sources in the Principles of Islamic jurisprudence (Usul-ul Fiqh). On the other hand, other schools depend on Qiyas following the footsteps of the predecessors and the successors. In fact, Qiyas is to associate a known issue with another issue under study depending only on Quran, Sunnah and Ijma’.
Answering the raised question, the author states that the sources of Islamic legislation are originated from one spring; the Noble Quran.
Then, he returns to the moral obligation in the Noble Quran mentioning the beauty of the Quranic Eloquence in showing the reason behind every obligatory command with the supporting examples. For examples, in Ayat Ad-Dayn (The Verse of debt) of Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow), Allah the Almighty shows the reason behind this Divine Command (recording a debt) that governs earthy matters. The reason behind recording the debt is that: “…That is more just in the sight of Allah and stronger as evidence and more likely to prevent doubt between you…” (2:282). Thus, this Quranic obligation is originated from focusing on the essence of the moral action and its intrinsic value.
2. The features of Moral Obligation
Laws have obligatory nature, treat all people equally and are applicable in all situations. Also, the law of Quranic moral obligation is general, universal and mandatory.
In fact, all Quranic commands are directed to all mankind with different expressions such as “O People“, “that he may be to the worlds a warner.” Generalization does not only mean that it is obligatory for every individual anywhere and at any time. Yet, it refers to its applicability for everyone at any similar circumstances.
Following his approach in this Thesis, the author applies the western theory of Kant about obligation. He emphasizes the points of agreement and disagreement and differentiates, in this context, between two concepts: the reasonable necessity and the moral necessity. The reasonable necessity aims to the consistency of all parts of the norm while the moral necessity aims to upgrade and apply this norm in the reality. For Kant, the obligation law is based on freedom, reasonable thinking and the actual value of the deeds. While obligation in the Quran based on: 1) human nature, 2) the actual reality of life and 3) the degrees of accomplishing deeds.
The Characteristics of moral Obligation in the Noble Quran competence for religious duties
First: the incompetence has no obligation
Second: all thoughts and feelings are not regarded in the scope of obligation. A man has no control over his thoughts; he is only responsible for the consequences of his own actions or statements. In this regard, the author refutes some views of the Ash’arites and the Mu’tazilites regarding freedom and obligation (the free will and predestination).
Third: the ease in obligation after excluding and alleviating all hardship directly and indirectly which all religions and the human reason agree upon. For example, Allah the Almighty says: “Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship (1:185)” “And Allah wants to lighten for you [your difficulties] (4:28).” The author emphasizes that this grace is not for Muslims alone but aims to also relive the previous nations from their “burden” imposed on them by their injustice or the “shackles which were upon them” by forbidding the permissible. Thus, Islam aims to alleviate this hardship and spread mercy through its Teachings. There is another fact regarding hardship alleviation which is lessening the obligatory commandments during hard conditions. Sometimes, the commandment can be abrogated, lessened, postponed or cancelled. This is the Grace and Mercy of the Divine Legislation.
In addition, gradualism in prohibiting some common deeds before Islam is also an example of this grace. For example, such as the prohibition of khamr (intoxicants) was introduced in four stages. The first three stages aim to prepare Muslims and strengthen their faith to accept the legislation of prohibition which was revealed at the fourth and final stage.
Avoiding imposing the legislations all at once reflects the Divine Wisdom in the Obligations and the exemptions; aiming to prepare the believers to accept those legislations. In fact, the Meccan phase aimed to strengthen the creed in the hearts, and was followed by the Medinan phase which witnessed the gradual Revelation of the obligations to alleviate any difficulty.
3. The delimitation and grading of duties
Human, indeed, cannot agree upon the limitations of one’s duty and its fulfillment. Thus, Islamic legislation sets two degrees of good deeds, the prescribed duty (known as the obligatory) and the supererogatory which is the Fadl (Sunnah) that can be performed with no difficulty or exaggeration. Regarding the worship acts, for instance, there are obligatory pillars such as the five prayers, Zakah (alms-giving), fasting Ramadan and others, while Al-Fadl is the supererogatory (Sunnah); the degree of Ihasn (excellence), like Sunan Rawaatib (the Confirmed regular Sunnah prayers), Sadaqah (Charity), Voluntary fasting and others. On the other hand, the prohibited actions are divided into many degrees also starting from the forbidden till the disliked including two degrees of the allowed actions which are the permissible and the allowable. It should be noted that the allowable actions do not aim to abrogate the obligatory but to facilitate its application; taking into consideration the urgent condition faced by mankind and aiming to alleviate hardship.
Is human reason, with its high levels of insight and accuracy, capable of setting such concepts?
The Antinomies of some objectives in the concept of moral obligation form a practical level
1. Unity and Diversity
This dichotomy refers to
the difficulty of achieving the unity of law along with its applicable diverse nature. the difficulty of Keeping a rule simple along with its complex applicatiions in the real life…etc.
2. Authority and Liberty
The term “obligation” requires mainly the presence of a ruler and a liberty to be limited. So, to what extent obligations control liberty? Can we call it a dictatorial power that paralyses the conscious? Or can we call it an absolute freedom that allows the individual to evaluate the significance of each obligation? To answer those questions, the author thoroughly set an analogy between the philosophical views of Kant and Rauh, from one side, and the Quranic perspective, from another side; showing the limitations of liberty and the cause of obligation.
Conclusion of Chapter one
After refuting the philosophical views of Kant, Rauh and others regarding avoiding the absolute laws in setting all the moral humanitarian principles, Dr. Draz demonstrates the Divine Laws extracted from the Noble Quran and the Prophetic Traditions. Briefly, the Legislator the Almighty sets general legislations for a believer to follow its orders and avoid its prohibitions. The believer is able to do so depending on his conscious which Allah the Almighty grant him and according to his special conditions and his rank of pious and power. In another words, the individual freedom, in the frame of believing that Allah is the Most Watchful any time and at any place and that He the Almighty knows what is declared and what is hidden.
The author, here, was succeeded in delivering his message about the paradox between authority and liberty setting a very inspiring analogy which is the game of chess. This game depends on certain laws which all the players respect and follow with keeping their free will in moving the pieces of the game. Thus, each player enjoys a free progression pursuant to certain laws to achieve his goal.
Chapter Two: Responsibility
The concept of obligation is followed by other two main concepts which are responsibility and sanction.
1. An analysis of the general idea of responsibility
There are three aspects of responsibility, the religious, the social and the moral responsibility. Some believe that those three types depend on the moral responsibility itself which represents in the conscience. The Quran refers to the conscience in various contexts as being the restraint of the behavior, as Allah the Almighty says, “…do not betray Allah and the Messenger or betray your trusts..(8:27).” Others believe that those three types depends on the religious responsibility, as one’s faith in Allah is accompanied by witnessing that He the Almighty is worthy of worshipping and His Commands is worthy to be obeyed by fulfilling one’s responsibilities.
2. Conditions of moral and religious responsibility
A. Individual Responsibility
The author proves that the Quranic Verses assure that each individual is responsible of his own actions. Allah the Almighty says: “And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives.” (53:39) except in two situations: the evil and good. Regarding evil, for their false guides and evil counsellors will be blamed for misleading those innocent people who go astray. Regarding good, the righteous are followed by the descendants if they are righteous too. This does not contradict the individual responsibility.
At this context, The author explains the concept of intercession and its relationship with the individual responsibility. He wonders: “Does intercession change the fate of an individual and grant him a reward that he does not deserve or prevent a sanction that he deserve ? He strengthens his view by footnoting some Quranic Verses showing that intercession is a degree granted by Allah the Almighty only. The intercessor can only intervene for those who are pleasing to Allah the Almighty by His permission. Thus, the intercessor is just a defense witness or a defense attorney who mentions the good deeds of that person who needs intercession at the Resurrection Day. Intercession cannot be accepted for those who don’t deserve it even if the intercessor is the Prophet himself (ﷺ). In this regard, the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “It will be said, ‘You do not know what they innovated (new things) in the religion after you left’. I will say, ‘Far removed, far removed (from mercy), those who changed (their religion) after me.”(Sahih al-Bukhari).
B. Awareness: a Principle stipulation for a fair judgment (Legal Foundation)
According to the author, the second condition is the awareness of the consequences of one’s action. There are two sources to determine the consequences of any action: internal which are conscience, reason and heart and external which are Revealed by Allah the Almighty to his Messengers as “…He makes clear to them what they should avoid….” (9:115).” Allah the Almighty is the Just as He, the Almighty, does not account people except for what they are aware of.
The author explains the type of this awareness, asks whether it is social or individual and shows the different views of the scholars in this regard. Then, the author determines those who are exempted totally or partially from bearing the responsibility, throughout their life or during some specific conditions; as the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeper till he awakes, an idiot till he is restored to reason, and a boy till he reaches puberty.” (Sunan Abi Dawud). According to this Hadith, the (immature) boy is included to alleviate the hardship. This proves that Islam protects the Children’s rights and assure their position in the society. Islam gives a special care to the child and prepare him/her to bear the responsibility through a somehow gradual training including:
- The etiquettes of seeking permission to enter
- Command the children to perform Salat (prayer) when they are seven years old, and beat them for (not offering) it when they are ten; the age before obligation, as Allah the Almighty is the One who will account for their prayers once reaching the age of maturity
- Teach general etiquettes by mentioning the Hadith in which the prophet (ﷺ) orders his grandson Al-Hassan to throw the date of Sadaqah and not to eat it because charity is not allocated for Ahl ul-bayt, the family of the prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
C. free will: a significant element for responsibility
The unintentional actions (mistakes) are not considered in the scope of responsibility. An action is the cause of responsibility and requires an intention, awareness and free will to be regarded as a real action, as mentioned in the Holy Quran: “…And there is no blame upon you for that in which you have erred but [only for] what your hearts intended…” (33:5). Then, the author distinguishes the degrees of a certain action according to the intention or the absolute awareness. Intention is divided into a’md bishubha (intentional action in bad faith), a’md bi-ta’wil, (intentional action with a certain interpretation), a’md bi-ghayr shubha (intentianl action in good faith) and ta’wil, near and far interpretation. Dr. Draz compares the theory of Kant about duty regarding the similarities and differences.
D. Freedom in the Noble Quran
The author raises the following question: if an action meets the condition of awareness (knowledge), intention and purpose, but this action is resulted from certain conditions, does this action originate from a free will?
The author discusses the idea of inevitability and the absolute freedom and refutes the views of some western philosophers such as Schopenhauer, Spinoza, Kant, Hume, Descartes and also some Islamic scholars. According to Dr. Draz, man’s choice is that choice which has both positive and negative aspects at the same time; to choose or reject a certain action, and is originated from a free will and independent choice without the influence of other circumstances or any kind of pressure. Then, the author expands his scope by highlighting other philosophical hypotheses and views of different scholarships and philosophers with different tendencies. For example, he highlights the norm of the free will, the free choice and man’s nature by adding various examples to clarify his idea till reaching the principles of Freedom in the Noble Quran.
1- The impossibility of foreseeing our future actions, “…And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow…” (31:34).
2- man’s ability to improve or degrade his inner being, “He has succeeded who purifies it. And he has failed who instills it [with corruption].” (91:9-10)
3- The powerlessness of any external influencer to exercise a real influence over our decisions, “…But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me…” (14:22)
4- The severe condemnation of actions resulting from one’s whim or blind imitation, “Indeed they found their fathers astray. So they hastened [to follow] in their footsteps.” (37:69-70)
5- a wide mercy when facing an actual aggression like threat from an enemy or other irresistible compulsion such as facing famine or compelling slave girls to prostitution although they desire chastity. He explicitly clarifies the reasons of Divine Mercy when facing an external irresistible compulsion and also explains the accurate surveillance of the intention behind one’s action that is the cause of responsibility, ” …except for one who is forced [to renounce his religion] while his heart is secure in faith…” (16:106).
Furthermore, Dr. Draz highlights the concept of exemptions (Rukhas) prescribed by Allah the Almighty for man in certain circumstances.
After proving the free will of man, the author highlights the concept of predestination and its different philosophical views by mentioning one of his writings Al-Mukhtar min Kunuz as-Sunnah which includes an explicit explanation for this concept. He discusses the views of the Mu’tazilites, the Jabriyah, the Qadarites and Sunnis about the Divine Will and man’s will; to know which one precedes the other and understand the argument raised among all those schools. At the end of his Thesis, he states his opinion in this regard quoting some Quranic Verses and their explanations. For him, predestination does not mean compulsion as understood by some thinkers, but it is simply the Divine Foreknowledge.
3. social responsibility
In this regard, the author discusses the Roman and Greek philosophy then Judaism and Christianity doctrines, the Foucault’s theory and its shortcomings as well as the Islamic concept. He emphasizes that the conditions of responsibility change when they have to do with the individuals of the society and demonstrates the contrast between the moral, penal and civil responsibilities.
One’s responsibility of his faults has positive effects, as man as a sane mature Muslim is financially responsible for causing damage to other properties by mistake but will not be subjected to a penal punishment unless he did it intentionally.
The obligatory responsibility is a sort of justice because it is applied for every sane mature Muslim who is fully aware of his obligations and the consequences of his actions. Man is responsible of his own actions that are originated from his free will and bears only his individual responsibility; without bearing the consequences of the previous generations or any collective decision; [“That no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another” (53:38)]. Similarly, man only bears the legal responsibility if he is free and mature.
Chapter three: sanctions
The author defines recompense as “the reaction of the law” towards the liable responsible individuals.
1. Moral sanctions
The sanction must be known in advance, clear and prescribed for each violation of a specific matter, if not, the obligation will lose its essence.
The first fact of the moral sanction is the feeling of regret followed by repentance. Repentance is achieved by avoiding procrastination and performing two positive actions; reforming the past and pursuing excellence in the future.
If a person failed to reform the damages caused by his previous actions, he can at least try to counterbalance the bad deed with good ones, as Allah the Almighty says: “…Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds..” (11:114). “All human errors can be pardoned by divine mercy, except for those that are committed against our fellow human beings.”* If a person violates the rights of others, he should repent and ask for forgiveness (whether for minor or major sins: starting from defamation to murder). If the sinful person does not repent during his life, his Hasanat (the rewards for the good deeds) will be lessened in the Day of Judgment or otherwise Say’at of the offended party (the punishments of the bad deeds) will be added to his Balance of deeds.
2. Legal Sanction
Islam specified sanctions for certain violations and named it Hudood, while other violations are accounted by Ta’zir (discretionary punishment). The author draws an important point in this regard; explaining the philosophy of applying those punishments. Although some argue that the application of Hudud refers to intolerance, they assert that its application allows the whole society to enjoy security and mercy. For example, the more the punishment for the sin is a deterrent, the fewer the chances of it occurring, and then the application of Hudud becomes less.
Then, the author determines the stipulations of applying the Hudood; limiting its chances. For example, the Enforcement of Hudood should be applied after bringing four eyewitnesses to give evidence of the act of adultery, which is hard to be found. In addition, the one who accuse the free Muslim adult women (Muhsanat) shall be punished by flogging if there are no eyewitnesses. At the era of the prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), when a man confessed of his sin the prophet (ﷺ) gave him a chance to repent; assuring the concept of that concealment is better.
Except for those who are fixed rigorously by Hudood, each violation of the moral or social law, known as Ta’zirat, are left to the discretion of the judge to determine the appropriate sanction.
3. The Qur’anic system of exhortations, and the statue of the Divine Recompense
The author demonstrates an idea discussed by orientalists stating that the Message of Islam is adopted by many followers due to the promise of rewarding them gardens and rivers (in paradise) which they lack due to their surrounding environment of dry desserts. In fact, this promise motivates them to convert to Islam to win this reward. The author criticizes this theory because the Message of the previous prophets carries the same reward for its followers without considering the difference in their environment and lifestyles.
Regarding the Quranic system of exhortations, and the statue of the Divine Recompense in the Noble Quran, believing in Allah is important to surrender to all His Commands. Yet, evidence-based persuasion is the followed approach in the Quran as follows:
A. Internal Justification
The internal justification is the reference to a moral value inherent in a particular obligation, the value may be positive when it concerns a command or its enactment, or may be negative when it concerns a prohibition or an act of disobedience; the value is objective, like truth and falsehood, justice and injustice, or it is subjective, like insight or blindness, or the purity or impurity of heart.”
B. Consideration of the surrounding Circumstances
This reflects others’ impression of us and their appreciation of our behaviors. Yet, if man knows for sure that no one will know his secret and if he faces an irresistible temptation and about to commit a sin, what prevents him from committing it? Under these circumstances, the Quran assures that Allah the Almighty observes everything “…He (the Almighty) knows the secret and what is [even] more hidden” (20:7), “…and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.” (50:16); without awakening in us the hope of reward (Paradise) or the fear of punishment (hellfire).
Thus, the system of exhortations is divided into four categories according to the nature of the human characters:
The first category: the one who accepts all the Divine commands, with unconditional submission is subjected to “a simple, beneficial piece of advice” to remember the Blessings and Mercy of Allah the Almighty, and obey the commands of his Creator with his obeying soul.
The second category: the one who is considered to be a law-abiding person without excluding the possibility of sin. Therefore, the discourse to be addressed becomes further serious; reminding him that Allah the Almighty observes all his deeds and watches him everywhere and that the prescribed command is obligatory.
The third category: the one who listens to the command, but he is affected by the surrounding circumstances which may tempt him to abandon the Divine Commands. The tone of the discourse changes to be severe; reminding him of the obligatory deeds and warning against leaving it.
Finally, the fourth category: those who disobey the commands; the disbelievers and unfaithful who reject the law in all its aspects, are subjected to a more preaching discourse with referring to the ugliness and horror of committing sins.
C. Consideration of Consequences
We notice that relatively few passages mention what are commonly called direct sanctions of obeying or abandoning a command like its influence on wellness and illness and other material matters. On the other hand, the moral sanctions are applied on both the individual and social levels. One of the applied approaches to persuade someone is to evaluate human nature, its inclination and flaws as well as referring to the reward of obeying the Commands of Allah the Almighty.
Non-natural Consequences (or Divine Retribution): the author shows the different views of philosophers and thinkers till reaching the Quranic discourse in this regard. We can see the justice of the Divine judgment in not regarding Muslims and Those who were lost in sin equal in retribution whether in the earthy life and the Hereafter. Then, the author explains the Divine Recompense:
The Nature and Modalities of Divine Recompense: Whereas the Torah limits the recompense to this earthly world, and the Gospel almost limits it to the hereafter, the Quran embraces and conciliates both concepts, the recompense in this earthly world and the hereafter.
a-The Material Aspect: few Quranic Verses simply and briefly discuss this aspect, thanks to the eloquence of the Quranic Style. Allah the Almighty says: ” …And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect…” (65:2-3).
As for the direct Divine sanction for the one who disobeys Allah, the Quran mentions some individual examples, such as the owner of two gardens [a story in Surat Al Kahf (The Cave)] or the owners of the garden [a story in Surat Al-Qalam (The Pen)], and other examples of perished nations who received a collective punishment like the people of A’ad and Thamud.
b- The Civic Aspect: Allah the Almighty soothes the hearts of believers assuring His Protection and Guidance throughout their life. On the other hand, Allah the Almighty threatens the disbelievers indicating His bitter enmity towards them in both this earthly life and the Hereafter. However, there is another element or condition which is that the believers must obey Allah the Almighty and follow His Legislation and Commands. If not, Allah the Almighty will abandon them. Although the disbelievers deserve the torture in the hereafter because of their disbelief, Allah, the Most Just, allows them to have the upper hand in this world if they follow and apply ethics and justice.
c- The Intellectual and Moral aspect: is the third aspect of the Divine Recompense that is related to the guidance of both reason and heart, “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways…“(29:69), while who follows his own desires disobeying the law and the creed, Allah will harden his heart and make him go astray, as well as those whom their hearts inclined to doubt after guidance.
d- The Spiritual Aspect: is to win the Love and Pleasure of Allah the Almighty as a grace from Him and by good deeds. For example, Some Quranic Verses state that Allah the Almighty loves the good doers, those who act justly, the patient one, the righteous, those who turn in repentance and those who purify themselves. Whoever deeply honors the Divine Commands, Allah the Almighty will raise him by being among those who win Allah’s Pleasure and Love. On the other hand, whoever disparages the Divine Commands will incur His Wrath and Abandonment. For example, some Quranic Verses state that Allah the Almighty does not love the corrupters and corruption.
The Divine Recompense in the Hereafter
The author divides the Quranic Verses which state the Recompense in the Hereafter into groups:
– Verses state the recompense generally without mentioning Hellfire or Paradise.
– Verses do not mention the name of the recompense directly but as a metaphor explaining the (victory and good tidings) or (great punishment and woe) for both groups.
– Verses denote a spiritual and material description by affirmative and negative form. The affirmative form is appeared in depicting the delight of the Paradise prepared by Allah the Almighty to the believers, while the negative form is used to assure that Allah saves them from being punished. In addition, the affirmative form is used to assure that the disbelievers will endure different kinds of punishments, while the negation form assures that they are deprived of any kind of bliss.
The Interval Between Death and Resurrection (“Al-Barzakh” or the life in the grave)
After the soul comes out of a body, the first part of punishment or reward starts. The angels of mercy with glad tidings gently take out the souls of the believers, while the angels of wrath with harshness and warnings of punishment pull out the souls of the disbelievers. Each group, then, sees his last abode at the grave.
Through the conclusion of this chapter, Dr. Abdullah Draz precisely compares between the depictions of the bliss in the Paradise and the torment in the Hell; spiritual pleasure and psychological torment; an eternal materialistic bliss and a full description of the life of the dwellers of Paradise and a physical torment, a psychological disgrace for the dwellers of the hell and a descriptive explanation of kinds of ceaseless torment they endure.
In conclusion, this chapter demonstrates all relevant Quranic Verses for each topic discussed; showing that all those Verses assures the diversity of the Qur’anic system of exhortations. For instance, Quran encourages to follow the Commands of Allah the Almighty sometimes by persuasive means and sometimes by invitation and intimidation.
Chapter Four: Intention and Motives
The author starts this chapter by explaining that each action is originated from an intention which has a cause or motive and tends towards a purpose or an objective.
First: The Intention as a condition of validity for any action
Any action is regarded as voluntary with the presence of intention which is derived from knowledge and will (mental elements). The author differentiates between many situations by mentioning various examples that proves that intention precedes the deeds or those actions or reactions in response to external influences.
Second: The Intention and Nature of the Moral Action
The author asks is it possible that a good intention may lead to a bad voluntary action? in other terms, is it possible that “an evil deed made with a good intention acquires moral value and therefore becomes a virtuous deed?”* And what is the result of a bad intention in performing any legal action? The author assures that the good intention can never justify any mistake. Any utterance or actions are only worth, or exist, according to their intentions. Any utterance or action which does not conform to the Sunnah is rejected.
Third: The Prevalence of the Intention Over the Action
The author divides duties into two categories; duties towards ourselves (our relationship with Allah the Almighty because it benefits us as Allah is Self Sufficient) and duties towards others. This does not mean that personal duties are just spiritual actions or limited to acts of worship because there are obligatory executions such as self-protection and spending money “neither extravagant nor niggardly“. On the other hand, social relationship depends on intentions such as goodness towards parents and relatives.
Then, he differs between two stages for each action. The first stage is the decision of (intention) to perform a permissible action according to the Islamic Law (Sharia’h), while the second stage is the execution of this decision. The author repeats his question: does the intention justify the mistakes of one’s action? To answer this question, he quotes a Prophetic Sayings which he describes to be a weak (according to its authenticity) but relevant to this topic, “The intention of the believer is more worthy than his action; the action of the hypocrite is more worthy than his intention…” he depends on the interpretation of Imam Al-Ghazali which indicates that the value of an action depends on the internal intention behind it and the bodily action itself.
Fourth: Can Intention Be Enough by Itself?
Is intention a form of a will or it is just a mere hesitation or desire? The author declares the first state which is when someone has a desire to do a right action appropriate with one’s duty and the law but facing a conflict between his whim and desire. The second state is that the negative thought which may pop inside one’s mind. Although each thought is followed by an execution, a man is not responsible for his own thoughts.
Thus, can we assume that intention is the same if the action is done or not? The author argues that both states are not equal and declares that there are different degrees of intention:
The Motives of an Action
The author believes that the motive is a fixed intention for one’s action, which is known as the indirect intention. Then, he discusses the following:
A) Its role and nature determine the objectives behind one’s action, as the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “(The value of) an action depends on the intention behind it. A man will be rewarded only for what he intended. The emigration of one who emigrates for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) is for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) ; and the emigration of one who emigrates for gaining a worldly advantage or for marrying a woman is for what he has emigrated.” In this Hadith, the prophet (ﷺ) mentions the reason behind the immigration, as the action is fixed but the indirect intention or the objective is unfixed. The author concludes that a person may fail to know the objective or the motive behind his own action. Al-Ghazali said that each person is born with such intention or inclination which he cannot control. He, then, evaluates such deep intention according to the reasonable and religious principles.
B) Classification of the Motives
The author starts this part by defining the good intention as being the avoidance of the obeying will of any internal or external desire or commitment to totally surrender to the Commands of Allah the Almighty.
Then, he explains that one’s self has an innate eagerness to pursuit wellbeing. There are six kinds of souls and each kind has its own way in fulfilling such desire:
1. to follow his blind desire in leading a prosperous life by both legal and illegal means.
2. to avoid violating the law only because of some external restrictions (out of a bad intention).
3. to avoid racketeering just because it is contrary to his temperament or habit, and not because he considers it to be morally reprehensible.
4. pursuit of wellbeing by a legal mean to fulfill the motive of a person in seeking perfection in the frame of the permissible.
5. the pursuit of wellbeing by a legal mean with a legal intention or objective such as providing the breadwinner with a decent life, earning money to give needy, or for a high objective which is to devote one’s self to carry the mission assigned to man by Allah the Almighty; construction of the earth.
6. deprive himself of wellbeing; following asceticism and living in a total surrender to the Commands to Allah the Almighty and obeying Him.
Furthermore, the author raises a question: why do we apply laws? Does we do so to just fulfill our duty or to obey Allah the Almighty? Another question can be raised about the ranks of the believers in obedience: Is their obedience is due to the hope of winning His Love or out of fear of His punishment or hope of His Reward? Do they do so to be law-abiding or to just follow the obligatory command without even thinking about the reason behind it?
These psychological degrees of the believers are discussed by Al-Maki and Al-Tirmithi. Yet, Al-Shatibi devoted his book Al-Muafaqat to thoroughly study this issue: Do we fulfill our duty because of its main objective? Or to obey Allah and put our trust on Him? Al-Shatibi adopts both views and sets their evidences. The author, thus, comments on this also before stating the two facts of the objective intention. The First is the intention which follows the Divine abstract Commands; obeying Allah the Almighty.The second is a trial to grasp the hidden wisdom or objective of a certain Command with a total obedience. He emphasizes the significance of the prevalence of the intention over the absolute obedience. For example, good deeds like justice or charities can be done by non-Muslims to fulfill a humanitarian duty and not to obey Allah; this means that the action cannot attain its objective.
Moreover, the author tackles the dilemma of the personal intention or interest. This personal intention has two forms: to be a response to a law and goodness or to one’s own interests. This bilateral form is classified into three categories: the noble deed, ignoble deed and legitimate deed as well as the tripartite of the obligatory, forbidden and permissible deeds.
C) Neutral Intention: when one refrains from the pursuit of ignoble deeds and does not elevate himself “to claim the nobility of impartial devotion” but allow himself to be guided by life necessities. This person has a neutral position when speaking about the level of moral values; meriting neither reward nor punishment. The author introduces the arguments of both the strict and moderate moralists in this regard. The strict scholars believe that man was created to worship and obey Allah the Almighty, so if he devotes himself to the earthly objectives, he won’t fulfill the main purpose of his existence. On the other hand, moderate moralists argue that fulfilling the Divine Purpose as well as seeking the objectives merit no punishment or blame. In fact, the author compares between both theories and supports at the end the theory of the moderate moralists.
D) The evil intention: Any conscious, voluntary divergence from the Divine Path. The evil intention is divided into:
1-The intention to do harm
When one pretends that he accepts the Commands of Allah the Almighty, but, in fact, he has a bad intention or seeks to twist the purpose of the Legislation. For example, Qur’an urges both spouses to maintain and consolidate the sacred bond of marriage, and, at the same time, warns man against any maliciousness intention in continuing this marriage to hurt his wife psychologically and physically. The author differentiates between such intention and hypocrisy.
2- The intention to avoid one’s duty
It has nothing to do with the intention to harm others but the intention to manipulate the law for one’s own interest. Such intention has two kinds: one’s effort to preserve his possessions and the other kind is one’s attempts to earn more by all means possible.
3-The intention to gain illicit profit
When someone pretends to follow the law but, in fact, he is violating it such as fraud in trade.
4-The intention to please people (ostentation)
To do one’s duty to Allah with the intention of being admired by people in order to win their praises and admiration. This intention makes their deeds rejected and worthless as mentioned in the Holy Quran and the Prophetic Sayings.
Purity of intention and mixed motives
The author differentiates between various forms of acts of devotion, such as those which may be affected by the inclination to be famous or to win people’s admiration with a pure and sound intention to follow the Divine Commands. The author, then, clarifies the degrees classified by Al-Ghazali and warns of the danger of the hidden polytheism declared also by Al-Ghazali.
In his conclusion, the author states that the first stipulation to regard the action as a moral one is to be driven from a law-abiding will. This will is divided into intention and motive. He also notices that the Holy Quran emphasizes the importance of making this abiding will sincere to Allah the Almighty.
Chapter Five: Effort
Dr. Draz elucidates that the intention is followed by the action which needs a physical (endeavor) or spiritual (Struggle) effort to be accomplished. In order to recognize any one of them as a moral effort, a person should exert his effort in trying to acquire virtue following the Divine Commands.
First: Effort and Spontaneity
Exerting effort or making a sacrifice in trying to acquire goodness is an innate human inclination. Thus, this effort cannot be regarded as a moral unless it is exerted for the sake of goodness. The author introduces two philosophical views and the stand of Muslim scholars towards them. He, then, quotes the Quranic Verses which are dedicated for this value and classify it into:
Eliminatory Effort: when someone resists his whim or bad inclinations to the extent that he may sometimes abandon the permissible blisses for the sake of Allah, like fasting to win the Divine Guidance. Avoiding yielding to the earthly temptations does not aim to abandon life but to obey Allah the Almighty voluntary and totally surrender to His Commands; seeking his Love and approaching Him, “But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (2:165), till naturally and spontaneously rejecting evil with a gentle and effortless action. This degree is a blessing from Allah for whom He Wills; “…their Lord will guide them because of their faith…” (10:9). In fact, a long utmost effort is the way towards this degree.
Creative Effort: “Having taken out the weeds, we must sow new seeds.”* After resisting the evil forbidden inclinations, a person should avoid being neutral in this regard; avoiding taking “an anti-moral position“*. he should make his decision to do good deeds; away from passivity and indifference. Thus, this person should avoid being motivated only by his own natural inclination towards good as a general concept, but he should have a will to achieve a “precise, particular good” by the legitimate means and objectives.
Energic action is the creative effort as the Holy Quran asserts the significance of energic action such as by stating, “…and excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers.” (3:136). lazy fatalism is the first enemy facing the Islamic ethics. In order to succeed, the action should precede our dependence of Allah the Almighty. For example, Allah the Almighty says: “As for he who gives and fears Allah, (5) And believes in the best [reward], (6) We will ease him toward ease.(7)” (92:5-6-7). In this regard, the author discusses the arguments evolving around the concept of resistance for the sinless Prophets and their degrees as well as the degrees of the saints.
Second: Physical Effort
In general, the author emphasizes the idea of that Islam rejects any view which considers the physical pain as a target in itself because it is against ethics. Allah the Almighty and His Prophet (ﷺ) urge us to exert the required physical effort to achieve a duty or Divine Command, such as praying on time, fasting during long or short daytime or striving in the cause of Allah under any circumstances even with “..a word of truth spoken before an unjust rulers.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 4209) which lead to a physical harm.
The author states three examples to clarify the relationship between the effort and the ethics: The effort exerted to guide those who have lost their way proves that ethics resides in the effort itself. On the contrary, the effort of performing prayers on time, ethics is not achieved by the physical movement in prayers (physical effort has no value in Islam if it is devoid of meaning) as Allah the Almighty prescribes a concession to those who are sick, frightened and strive for the cause of Allah. Obviously, fasting is an example which clarifies the previous two examples, as the physical effort for a fasting person cannot be, in its very nature, the object of obligation but it is a form of training our own will to obey its Creator. Allah the Almighty grants us concession to alleviate the hardship of fasting for the sick, traveler and “those who can afford it.”
The author summarizes the value of effort. He states that effort is not the objective in its nature and at the same time it is inevitable to perform a duty.
In addition, the author highlights another issue, in the light of this definition, which is endurance and generosity. This issue is discussed by Islamic moralists to determine which of these two virtues is worth more: endurance in adversity or generosity in prosperity? The author believes that it is not allowed to set a comparison between them; preferring one over the other as both of them are morally equal. For instance, a rich benevolent believer is equal in position to a patient poor.
In addition, he raises another question about which is better isolation or sociability. In this regard, the equation is different. Those who abandon challenges (temptations) and those who face them under any circumstances are not equal. Isolation is not the best refuge unless at the time of afflictions.
Third: Effort and gentleness: Islam is the religion of mercy (and moderation) as no soul is charged except [within] its capacity. In fact, each action depends on its circumstances. There are two limits a person should not violate (with neither excessiveness nor negligence). The author states his opinion in this regard by stating that this value depends on determination and firm will without excessiveness by quoting the Words of Allah the Almighty,” And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty…” (22:78) and other Quranic Verses.
Then, he compares the external circumstances that may prevent someone from performing his duty and push him to suffer and resist to achieve this act of devotion with personal challenges; like illness, travelling without stating the degree of its severity, as everyone is responsible for evaluating its degree according to his conscious and eagerness to perform the obligatory rituals.
In conclusion, he also refutes Aristotle’s theory “The Golden Mean or The Golden Middle Way”; stating that virtue is the middle path between two vices and compares it with the concept of moderation in the Holy Quran. According to the Holy Quran, the “Middle Way”, regarding the effort, is the ambition towards perfection as possible; following the Prophetic Saying: “…So, follow a middle course (in worship); if you can’t do this, do something near to it and give glad tidings…” [Al-Bukhari].
In his general conclusion, the author emphasizes that the Message of the Quran is revealed for all mankind, as it conveys Universal Teachings about the material duties and their appropriate ways to be achieved pursuant to ethics. Ethics depends on five pillars which are: obligation, responsibility, recompense, intention and effort. All those pillars are discussed by setting analogies between Islamic values and both ancient and modern philosophical theories and also by raising questions and giving answers through evidence and argument.
Thus, the author deduces the following:
Quranic values are religious not because they can be applied only on acts of worships but because they are ruling principle that inspire the Muslim in his behavior and his entire life. For instance, when a Muslim believes that Allah the Almighty is his Observer, he will obey Allah in all his deeds not because of his personal interest but to satisfy his conscience. Of course, his intention is not to win others’ admiration but only to obey and follow Allah; seeking his Pleasure.
Dr. Draz chooses the word “Taqwah” which means piety to describe all Islamic ethics as it collects love and fear; the motive and the restraint.
Then, Dr. Draz presents his first appendix as follows:
Dr. Draz adds an introduction about the practical ethics by collecting and classifying the relevant Quranic Verses of each moral value. He sets groups to collect the Verses of one topic together not according to the Chapters order but in a reasonable way.
It should be noted that he does not regard this section as the sixth chapter but an independent part; starting a new section [Chapter (1)] entitled “Personal Ethics.”
1. Chapter (1): Personal Ethics
This chapter is divided also into several examples of duties such as seeking knowledge, suppressing anger, humbleness, restraining desires and others. This chapter also states the prohibited or forbidden acts such as lying, suicide, viciousness, hypocrisy, stinginess, prodigality, ostentation, pride and vanity, attachment to the earthly life, deviation, drinking intoxicants … etc.
Finally, the chapter states the Authorizations (the permissible) such as moderate use of good things and derogation in times of necessity. Each topic includes its relevant Quranic Verses.
2. Chapter (2): Family Ethics
This chapter is divided into the following sections:
A. Duties towards forebears and offspring: benevolence, humility and obedience to one’s parents and respect for the lives of children.
B. Duties towards one’s spouse: stating prohibited unions, required or recommended qualities for choosing good wives, conditions for polygamy (adding a precise commentary in this regard to explain the relevant Verses and understand the Divine Wisdom) and others. It also highlights marriage life and its aims such as affection and compassion, propagation of the species, equity of rights and duties, Divorce statuses and inheritances. Each topic includes its relevant Quranic Verses.
3. Chapter Three: Social Ethics
Prohibitions: Homicide, theft, injustice, betrayal or abuse of trust spying…etc.
Commands: to return deposits, record debts, fulfil undertakings and promises, give fair testimony, establish peace between people, emancipate slaves, manage orphans’ estates, disseminate knowledge, prevent evil with good, spiritual excellence, justice and charity…etc.
Etiquettes: to ask permission before entering someone’s house, reply to a greeting, lower the voice, choose decent subjects for conversation, utter the kindest words, ask permission before leaving an assembly.
4. Chapter Four: State Ethics
The relationship between the head of state and the people as follows:
A. Duties of the head of state: to consult with the people and apply wholeheartedly the decision that has been taken in accordance with the rule of justice, establish order, safeguard public properties, avoid injustice, avoid preferring the rich, allow other Jewish and Christians to enjoy their judicial freedom.
B. Duties of the people: discipline, unity before the ideal, deliberation over public affairs, obey the Prophet (ﷺ), avoid corruption, prepare a mutual defense forces, ethical censorship, avoid collusion and alliance with the enemy…etc.
During peace times: to spread peace, promulgate the doctrine of salvation without compulsion, abstain from seeking hegemony, good neighborliness…etc.
During War times: to abstain from initiating armed conflict, abstain from fighting during the sacred months or the sacred precincts, cases in which war is legitimate (Self-defense and protect the weak), fight only combatants, avoid fleeing before the aggressor, Steadfastness and patience, not to fear death, not to capitulate, Compliance with agreed treaties, not to attack the surrendered, fulfill pledges, Divine Criterion for merit …etc.
5. Chapter Five: Religious Ethics
Duties to Allah the Almighty: to believe in Him and His Revealed Truths, unconditional obedience, reflect on Allah’s Words and Creatures, acknowledge His blessings, bear His trials with patience, trust in Him, neither to despair of His grace, fulfill the vows made to Allah, maintain one’s faith, remember Allah constantly, perform acts of worship and rituals for the sake of Allah, perform Haj (pilgrimage); visiting his Sacred House, invoke Him frequently, in fear and hope..etc..
The author adds a new part at the end of those five chapters entitled: Some Categories of Virtues by Which the Quran Defines the True Muslim.
This part includes a set of Quranic Verses about righteousness and faith, fearing Allah, caring for the orphans, trust in Allah and remember Him and other virtues of true believers.
Finally, he lists the Arabic and English references, an index of the proper names, an Alphabetic arrangement and then an analytical index for the whole doctoral dissertation.
At the end of this review, we have nothing to say but to ask Allah the Almighty to benefit others with Dr. Draz’s Thesis. In fact, it contains incomparable richness, scientific and spiritual knowledge. It is a new vision towards the tolerant Shari’ah in its best form, without clamor or pretense, but with a strong and compelling argument. It stands as a bridge between cultures and civilizations and ideas and beliefs, and a merge between knowledge and practices and advocacy and application.
Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Draz
Translated into Arabic& Presented by:
Ms. Amira Mokhtar
Translated into English by:
Ms. Rehab Jamal Bakri
 M.A. Draz’s The Moral World of the Quran, Translated by DANIELLE ROBINSON AND REBECCA MASTERTON. Check the link:
https://hayshaffay.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/the-moral-world-of-the-quran-by-muhammad-abdullah-diraz.pdf (*A note by the translator)
 (*A note by the translator) The Moral World of the Quran, see link