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ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVES

Topics Outline

Moral Theories
Akhlaq Theories
Islamic Theories

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Moral Theories

Morals
What is moral?

set of beliefs and practices about how to lead a


good life (making choices with reasons)
The word moral is from Greek Mores
defined as the way of life that has become a norm
A common practice acceptable by that community

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Moral Islamic perspectives


From an Islamic perspectives, moral represents a set
of beliefs and practices about how to lead a good
life
making choices with reasons
values attributed to a system of beliefs (typically a
religious system, but it could be a political system or
some other set of beliefs)
these values get their authority from something outside
the individual- a higher being or higher authority (e.g.
family, society)

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Moral judgment
Asking yourself:
What is good?
What is right?
What is ought to be done?

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Moral values from Islamic perspectives


Humans generally do not have a common consensus
on good, right and ought
But there is some general understanding

The disagreement stems from what would be the


outcome of good, right and ought
Does it bring happiness? (a hedonist view)
Does it bring perfection? (a positivist view)
Does it fulfil a certain role/task/responsibilities?
(a pragmatist or functionalist view)

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Moral values from Islamic perspectives


Still, the criteria for happiness, perfection and roles
also differ among humans
Religion background
Cultures and norms
The present belief system may be different from the past
(what is good, right and ought then may not be the
case now)

Hence, some group perceive good, right and


ought as something that is relative (changeable)

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Moral values from Islamic perspectives


In Islam, the questions of good, right and
ought comes later.
Instead, Muslims should be asking, first and
foremost, the following:
What is our role in this world?
What is our relationship with this world and
other beings here?

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Moral values from Islamic perspectives


As Muslims, we believe that we have been created
for two main reasons:
As Abdullah; the servant of God of which we must
abide to all rules set by Allah
As Khalifatullah; the messenger of God where we
execute the rules set by Allah for the common good
(ourselves, society in general, living things, mother
nature)

In Islam, the ability to fulfill those roles would imply


that we are an individual with moral and ethical
values
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Akhlaq Theories

Akhlaq
The term akhlaq originated from Arabic alakhlak which is compiled from al-khuluq
It concerns with our character, habits and
discretion
Akhlaq encompasses the underlying meaning
of moral and ethics
Emulates good, right and ought behavior with

oneself and everyone


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Akhlaq
However, a persons akhlaq becomes far
superior when the above behavior is done for
Allahs pleasure alone
Not to get credit
Not to be praised

Both values for moral and akhlaq refers to our


fundamental beliefs
the principles used to define which is right or
good
provide guidance to determine the right versus
the wrong, the good versus the bad - our
standards
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Moral and Akhlaq values


Our values shape our attitudes and determines our behavior in certain
situations.
Honesty test results calculated as higher than real value
Fairness the treatment towards your family and strangers asking for
help
Integrity reporting a misdeed when the guilty party is a family
member, friend
Compassion the readiness to help an asnaf and war refugee
Courage the ability to tell the truth even though you will be
reprimanded
Responsibility doing your part for your family vs the ummah
Patriotism serving the country when in need or when it is convenient?
Respect respecting the elderlies even when they are poorer or less
educated than you
Very personal because they are learned and internalized through many
different influences
family, social status, peer groups
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Ethics
The study of morality
(HOW the choices are made)
Concerns with our actions and decisions

When one acts in ways which are consistent


with our beliefs, we characterize that as
acting ethically and vice versa.

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Ethical values vs non-ethical values


Ethical Values
relate to our beliefs concerning our moral duty as
opposed to what is correct, effective, or desirable.
values that drive our principles.

Non-Ethical Values
concerned with things that we like or find
personally satisfying and/or important, with no
regard to the moral content.

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Values, Ethics and Ethical Behaviour


Value systems

systems of beliefs that affect what the individual


defines as right, good, and fair

Ethics

reflects the way values are acted out

Ethical behavior

acting in ways consistent with ones personal values


and the commonly held values of the organization and
society.
Influenced by person, organization and environment
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Sources of ethical beliefs


Basic human values
Altruism

When a person acts in anothers benefit, as a cost to him /


herself
Feelings and behaviour that show a desire to help each others
and a lack of selfishness

Attitude

a strong belief or feeling toward people, things, and


situations
They are not quick judgments we change easily but we
can change our attitudes
People interpret our attitudes by our behavior
Attitudes are primarily developed through experiences
Example: Employers place great emphasis on attitude
Employee attitudes affect customer attitudes
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Sources of ethical beliefs


Institutional sources

Philosophy

Ethics as human nature

goodness as something natural to humans.


Doing good is what we naturally do if we are brought up properly
by our parents (many interpretation of properly)
Socrates, posited that people will naturally do what is good, if they
know what is right.
Evil or bad actions, are the result of ignorance.
Correlated knowledge with virtue which equals to happiness

Ethics as living good

ethical virtues (justice, courage, temperance and so on) is a complex


rational, emotional and social skills.
to live well we need proper appreciation of the way in which such
goods as friendship, pleasure, virtue, honor and wealth fit together as
a whole.
we must acquire, through proper upbringing and habits, the ability to
see, on each occasion, which course of action is best supported by
reasons it is not just about applying general rules

Religion

The environment

Historical setting
Cultural values

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The Golden Rule


Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love,

respect for others, sharing other people's suffering. On


these lines every religion had more or less the same
viewpoint and the same goal.

-- The Dalai Lama

we are to treat other people as we would wish


to be treated ourselves

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Subjective
- Different people have
different values
- There is no way to argue or
reason about the evaluative
assumptions that lie behind
different ethical judgments
or choices.

Relative
- Different people make
different judgments
- Judgments made are
wholly relative to the values
that they hold.

Are Ethical Judgments


Relative, Subjective, and
Incomparable?
BUT
If these were the case, then
talking about ethics would be
useless.
BUT
Because we have many values
in common, discussions in ethics
often involve appeals to
commonly shared values.

Incomparable
- There is no way to compare
the judgments of different
people
- No one's evaluative
judgments are any better
than the evaluative
judgments of anyone else
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Islamic Theories

Is the Golden Rule Enough?


It doesnt tell us what is right and wrong, just
that our actions toward others be what we
would want ourselves

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Islamic Ethics
Muslims derive their Islamic ethics from Quran
and Hadith
Quran: contains several commands Muhammads
follower must obey
Hadith: presents Muhammad as the exemplary
human Muslims must imitate in all aspects
On the day of judgment, the
honest Muslim merchant will
stand side by side with the
martyrs
- The Prophet Mohammed
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The 5 pillars of Islam

SHAHADAH
(The Creed)

SALAT
(Prayer)

HAJJ
SAWM
(Fasting) (Pilgrimage)

ZAKAT
(Almsgiving)

The Pillars of Islam & Moral Conduct

Shahadah

Good moral conduct is the


outcome

Salaat

Forbids lewdness & bad conducts

Zakaat

Teaches compassion and


sympathy

Sawm

Drives towards Taqwa

Hajj

Guides us towards moral


upbringing
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The Cause and Remedy of Bad Conduct


Deceit

Love of Wealth

Self-Conciet

Backbiting
Breaking
promise
Skepticism
Tattling
Duplicity
False oath

Greed
Stealing
Usurping
Cheating
Embezzlement
Overstatement

Jealousy
Pride
Vanity
Boastfulness
Rashness
Oppression
Maliciousness

REMEDY:
ZAKAAT

REMEDY:
SALAAT

REMEDY:
SAWM

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Ethics in Islam
Islam places the highest emphasis on ethical
values in all aspects of human life.
Islam emphasizes on all aspects of ethics e.g.
ethics in society, ethics in trading, banking, etc.
Moral principles and codes of ethics are
repeatedly stressed throughout the Holy
Quran and Al-Hadith.

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Discussion and decision making in Islam


In our discussions and debates we must follow all of the
Islamic Adab or etiquettes laid down in the Qur'an and
the Sunnah.
must listen respectfully, attentively, patiently, and
sincerely to the views of each other.
respond gently and politely, even to those who oppose
us.
Islam provides a comprehensive system of life
lays down certain basic principles to guide us in all of
our activities
Shura (consultation)- must take place in all situations in our homes and all other areas of our society
its deficiency has led to multiple problems in our
society
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The holy Qur'an tells us:

"Invite all to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly
advice. And argue with them in a most becoming manner.
Verily your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path
and who receive guidance" (Al Nahl, 16:125).
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Should restore Shura in all of our collective


affairs in the society for the welfare and
improvement. It is clearly laid down in the
blessed Qur'an:

"Their affairs are decided by consultation between them" (Al


Shura, 42:38).
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Even the Prophet Muhammad , who was the


recipient of direct guidance from Allah , was
commanded:

"Consult them in affairs (of moment)" (Al Imran, 3:159).


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Conclusion
Islam places the highest emphasis on ethical
values in all aspects of human life.
Islamic teaching strongly stress the observance
of ethical and moral code in human behavior.
Moral principle and codes of ethics are
repeatedly stressed throughout the Holy
Quran.
The ethical standards published for computing
field also coincide with Islamic ethics.
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Conclusion
You are the best nation that has been raised up for
mankind; You enjoin right conduct, forbid evil and
believe in Allah (Quran, 3:110)
The Prophet Nabi Muhammad s.a.w also says:
I have been sent to perfect noble character.
It is clear that one of the reasons behind the
Prophets Mission was to elevate and perfect the
moral character of the individual and society at
larger.
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Lecture Ends

Class Activity 2 - a
Divide the class into 6 groups
Identify 2 relevant Quranic verses and 2
relevant Hadiths (with tafsir in English) that
emphasize on social, ethical or professional
issues and explain how it can be applied in
our daily lives from the view point of
individual and society.

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Class Activity 2 - b
Divide the class into 6 groups
Identify ethical issues regarding one of the
following context and discuss in the light of
Islamic principles and/or conventional ethics.
Use of time
honesty and integrity
Privacy
Security
Intellectual property right
Computer Crime, privacy, security, intellectual
property right, and etc.
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Slide no more than 10 pages


Presentation no more than 15 minutes!
Q & A no more than 5 minutes!
First slide

Question number
Group members name
Date

*font size all slides: MIN 26pt!


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