Islam is a universal way of life and civilization

The Concept of Honour in Islam

Muslims live and die for honour. Allah does not look at your bodies or your forms, or your deeds, but He looks at your hearts. Honour is one of the things which Islam guarded, granted protection, and placed in its proper position that deserves protection and glorification because honour is one of the necessities in the life of a person. In Islam, man is God’s vicegerent on earth. It signified the pinnacle of God’s act of universe creation. Allah Says:

إِنَّمَا تُنذِرُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الذِّكْرَ وَخَشِيَ الرَّحْمَٰنَ بِالْغَيْبِ فَبَشِّرْهُ بِمَغْفِرَةٍ وَأَجْرٍ كَرِيمٍ

“Only you (can) warn (him) who follows the Reminder and fears the Most Gracious in the unseen. So give him glad tidings of forgiveness and a reward noble.” (Surah Ya-Sin 36:11)

The importance of honour expresses itself in the cultural virtues of hospitality, generosity, community, and relational loyalty. Islamic cultures highly esteem the Quran, Muhammad, ummah (community of believers). To say honour is important to Muslims is an understatement. God wants to honour you as his child. He created us with glory and honour to live in his family. Islam establishes that men and women are equal, it does recognize that they are not identical.  Allah Says:

فَلَمَّا جَاءَ سُلَيْمَانَ قَالَ أَتُمِدُّونَنِ بِمَالٍ فَمَا آتَانِيَ اللَّهُ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا آتَاكُم بَلْ أَنتُم بِهَدِيَّتِكُمْ تَفْرَحُونَ

“So when came (to) Sulaiman he said, “Will you provide me with wealth? But what Allah has given me (is) better than what He has given you. Nay, you in your gift rejoice.” (Surah An-Naml 27:36)

Islam establishes to guard and protect man’s honour, so we have to stick to Islam by words and actions, by worship and manners, and by sticking to the creed. Islam holds every soul in high esteem and does not allow any transgression upon it. It does not allow people to take the law into their own hands and administer justice, because doing so will be leading to chaos and lawlessness. Allah Says:

وَالَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ وَإِذَا مَا غَضِبُوا هُمْ يَغْفِرُونَ

“And those who avoid (the) greater sins and the immoralities, and when they are angry, they forgive.” (Surah Ash-Shuraa 42:37)

Islam is a religion that aims to ascertain, uplift and sustain the honour and dignity of man. Exposing the faults of others by casting suspicion, or spying on them, is wrong. Adultery slanders honours, cause lineages to be lost, as it leads to aggression against sanctities, demolition of families, and corruption of manners.

Here are some ways to honour in Islam:

  1. Honour show privacy and concealing each other’s mistakes
  2. Honour show respect and honour towards elders
  3. Honour show mercy and love towards everyone
  4. Honour shows a Muslim to accept their apology
  5. Honour is a universal way of life and civilization
  6. Honour in its originality is a religion of peace
  7. Honour never force a marriage with anyone
  8. Honour allows all humanity, rights are equal
  9. Honour is a complete way of life
  10. Honour show mercy and love towards young
  11. Honour show politeness and courtesy with all
  12. Honour show respect and dignity in themselves
  13. Honour is not a particular nation, colour or race
  14. Honour teaches us to be kind to our neighbours
  15. Honour never revile anyone, nor pursue their imperfections

Allah commanded His servant Muhammad (PBUH) to tell the believing servants of Allah to address each other in their conversations and discussions with the best and politest of words. For if they do not do so then Shaytan will sow discord among them, and words will lead to actions, resulting in the rise of evil and conflicts among them. Allah Says:

فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ أَنِّي لَا أُضِيعُ عَمَلَ عَامِلٍ مِّنكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ ۖ بَعْضُكُم مِّن بَعْضٍ

“Their Lord responded to them: Never will I cause to be lost the deeds of any among you, whether male or female; you are of one another.” (Surah Ali Imran 3:195)

Islam cannot be totally and thoroughly accomplished individually or in small groups. Islam is a religion of and thus aims at, society, life in its totality, and civilization. Islam is a religion of collectively inhabiting the earth and making together with the world a better place. Allah SWT will maintain good relations with those who are good to their families and he will cut off from those who cut off from their families. Allah Says:

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْأَزْوَاجَ كُلَّهَا مِمَّا تُنبِتُ الْأَرْضُ وَمِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَمِمَّا لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

“Glory to He who created all pairs, from what the earth grows and from themselves and from that which they do not know.” (Surah Yasin 36:36)

Islam is a religion of pragmatism and human nature. It is a simple and natural thing. It denounces everything unnatural, injurious and inhuman. It denounces everything that stands in the way of people’s individual spiritual and intellectual advancements, and collective civilizational affirmation and rise.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

  • “We have indeed created man in the best of moulds.” (Al-Tin, 4)
  • “Verily We have honoured the Children of Adam… ” (Al-Isra’, 70)
  • “Verily We have honoured the Children of Adam…” (Quran 17: 70)
  • “We have indeed created man in the best of moulds.” (Quran 95: 4)
  • “There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (Quran 42: 11)
  • “They constitute one Ummah or community. The best among them are only those who are most God-conscious, or most righteous.” (Al-Hujurat, 13)
  • “Do you not see that Allah has made subject to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth and amply bestowed upon you His favours, (both) apparent and unapparent?” (Luqman, 20)
  • “It is thus natural that at a collective level, believers are seen as brothers and sisters to each other.” (Al-Hujurat, 10)

Islam is as much a personal experience and struggle as it is a collective endeavour and mission. Everything on earth exists to make possible and then sustain a believer’s lofty position. All things and events play second fiddle to his status. Even holy messengers were sent and revelations revealed for the purpose. Allah Says:

وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَابًا عَظِيمًا 

“Whoever kills a believer intentionally, their reward will be Hell, to abide therein forever, and the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon them, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for them.” (Surah An-Nisa 4:93)

The best among them, furthermore, are those who are most beneficial to the Ummah as well as to the whole of mankind. In their unity, mutual compassion and cooperation, the similitude of believers are like a wall whose bricks enforce and rely on each other. Allah Says:

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا

“And (do) not kill your children (for) fear (of) poverty. We (We) provide for them and you. Indeed, their killing is a sin great.” (Surah Al-Isra 17:31)

A Muslim should accept the sincere apology of his fellow Muslims and not be harsh towards him. Tolerance and forgiveness are necessary conducts to encourage an atmosphere of brotherhood in our community. May Allah bless your efforts in pursuit of knowledge and may He keep us all firm on the straight path!