The religion of Islam has a unique belief system and social, political and moral basic features built on this belief system. In this respect, the religion of Islam presents a perfect unity. Therefore, to be a Muslim means to fully fulfill the basic principles of Islamic belief, morality and life. Accordingly, every person who professes to be a Muslim must believe and behave in accordance with the principles of the religion of Islam. If these are not the case, that is, if the basic principles of Islam are not fully implemented, saying that I am a Muslim alone will not bring any benefit to oneself.

Ethics in Islam is not a part of it, on the contrary, it is the essence of Islam and its spirit that pervades its body. For this reason, Islam has imposed the orders and prohibitions that determine the behavior of people as a system in order to ensure worldly and otherworldly happiness. These orders and prohibitions are discussed in detail in the Qur'an and hadiths, and ethical principles are explained.

It is out of the question for a Muslim to adopt and believe the views of any moral philosopher. Because moral philosophers such as Socrates, Kant, Comte and Rousseau accept the elements that are dependent on the human being such as reason, society and conscience as moral sources. In this acceptance, some facts that exist in the nature of people are excluded. Because people direct their minds and consciences according to the internal and external environment, time and place, and the influence of their age. Under these influences, the mind can make wrong decisions. A person may not listen to the voice of his conscience in the face of situations that do not suit his interests. Therefore, reason and conscience alone cannot be the source of morality. In addition, social authority may not be sufficient to enforce moral rules. Because people can do things secretly that society will not accept and avoid punishment.

A Muslim who believes in the moral comprehensions of moral philosophers will be out of religion. For this reason, Muslims must learn the moral principles of the religion of Islam, implement them and stay away from other moral theories.

Some theologians, under the influence of the Philosophy of Rationalism, say the following in their books:

“The basis of religion is the principles of reason; the basis and foundation of faith is reason; In the religion of Islam, there is no secret that the mind cannot discover; The principles of the philosophy of rationalism are in line with the moral principles of Islam.”

These views are completely wrong. How can the mind know good and bad without another guide, when it cannot know what its nature is? The philosophy of rationalism claimed by putting the mind at the center of everything that the real knowledge would be obtained with the mind. This philosophy has been dealt with by philosophers for 2500 years, but a complete and consistent theory has not been established on this subject. Intellectual thought can never grasp the Essence of Allah. Rationalists cannot reach the real knowledge of the essence of every being in the world through reason. Because the necessity of the existence and non-existence of the possible is not based on rational evidence. The mind can never know the punishments and the sanctions  that correspond to good and evil. These can only be known by the Shari’a (Islamic Laws). Therefore, the principles of reason cannot form the basis of the religion of Islam. Faith has many secrets that cannot be discovered by the mind. What the soul is, what heaven and hell are, cannot be known through the mind. Nothing can be necessary upon man by reason. According to Islam the mind is a means. Through the mind, the beauty and ugliness of things, the necessity of faith and the necessity of thanking the Creator for his blessings are understood. In fact, He is Allah Who explains these matters and makes them necessary.

On this subject, Nureddin Es-Sabûnî states the following in his book titled “Mâtürîddiyye Akaidi”:

“The meaning of belief being obligatory  (wâjib) through reason does not mean that a person deserves a reward for doing it, or a punishment for abandoning it. Because reward and punishment can only be known through the Sharia. According to us, what this means is that the mind makes a kind of choice when it comes to accepting the existence of the Almighty Allah, not denying Him, it is more reasonable to unite with Allah, than to associate others with Him; so that the mind judges that these two things are not of the same value. Reason's need for gratitude consists in confessing the graciousness of Almighty Allah, who does not withhold His bounties; so that people think that with this grace, no one can be a partner to Allah.”

In our opinion, the philosophy of rationality is completely contrary to Islam, and those who adhere to and adopt its principles become disbelievers. Because being a Muslim means the full application of the principles of faith, morality and life in Islam. People who say that they are Muslims have to believe, think and act according to the principles of the religion of Islam.

The morality of Islam should prevail in all institutions of the society. Only in this way can all social institutions achieve unity, integrity and efficiency in accordance with the belief of affirming the unity of God.

In a society where gambling, fornication and interest are free, it is a dream to expect fruitful results of Islamic morality. It is inevitable that injustice, oppression, anarchy and disorder will increase in societies where Islamic moral values ​​are not applied. Because the rule set by Allah for social life is as follows:

“This is the reward for the deeds and works that you have done and put forward with your own hands. Allah never wrongs His servants.” (Surah Al-i Imran, verse 182)


Source of Islamic Ethics

The source of the moral understanding of the religion of Islam is the verses of the Qur'an that have been revealed, the hadiths that explain these verses, and the sunnahs that are their application. As a matter of fact, upon a question, Hz. Aisha (rah) stated that the morality of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is the Qur'an. In another hadith, our Prophet (pbuh) said, "I was sent to complete good morals." In this context, verses of the Qur'an and hadiths declared the basic rules of religious and worldly life and determined the rules of all actions and behaviors of people. These basic rules were later taken as a basis by Islamic scholars, and Islamic morality was revealed in all its details. For example, Imam Ghazali (ks) dedicated the 3rd volume of his 4-volume work called "Ihyau' ulûmi'd-din" to the moral understanding of Islam. In this volume, good morality is explained in detail.

Islamic morality shows a different structure from other moral systems. He has resolved the problems and troubles that people have experienced before, in an indivisible harmony and integrity, and in the most beautiful way. The principles put forward by Islamic morality found a field of application that no moral philosophy could achieve, and quickly spread to all societies. The source of these practices is the life, words and actions of the Prophet (pbuh). These are the principles of practical ethics. The following is stated in verse 4 of the chapter of Al-Qalam: "You are certainly on a high moral character." The morality of the Prophet is the morality of the Qur'an itself, and this morality is the morality of Allah.

He (the Prophet) does not speak according to his own wishes and desires. His speech is nothing but what was revealed to him.” (Surah Najm, verse 3-4)

“… those who disobey His command should beware that a calamity befall them or a grievous pain befall them.” (Surah The Light, verse 63)


Features of Islamic Ethics

1) Islamic morality cleanses people and societies from polytheism and unbelief. There are flaws and deficiencies in the moral rules that various religions and sects that have fallen into blasphemy and polytheism try to apply. But since unbelief and polytheism are excluded in Islamic moral values, these defects and deficiencies are not seen in him.

2) In the moral understanding of moral philosophers, reality has been dealt in bits. Some emphasized pleasure, happiness and self-interest, while others emphasized duty and conscience. The morality of Islam, on the other hand, arranged all of these in a discipline and harmony, in accordance with each other. None of them are featured, but all of them are given some degree of entitlement.

3) The basis of Islamic morality is the rules that are revealed. These rules come from God and are supernatural. These rules are the issues determined by Allah, the Creator of humans, as the most appropriate for His servants. Allah, the Creator of man, knows best what the needs of His servants are. However, these rules are clear and can be reasoned with mind. In this context, the mind completes itself in faith, and faith is strengthened by reason.

4) Islamic morality is a broad and universal system that produces solutions to every problem in life. No moral system is as encompassing and realistic as it. Islamic morality meets both individual and social needs in a balanced way. While he has a liberal understanding on the one hand, he commands strict discipline on the other. Besides realist views, he also has an idealistic view. Very strict rules have been softened with some exceptions. While the individual is allowed to develop his or her personality, its compatibility with the general interest of society is taken into account. Society does not expect individuals to make sacrifices outside of their strength; He asks of everyone as much as he can. Setting a certain rate for alms is an example of this.

5) A basic feature of Islamic morality is that it is practical and applicable. By explaining the purpose and benefit of these practices, it is ensured that Muslims can comprehend them with the mind. It is clearly explained why the behaviors that do not comply with the Islamic belief should be abandoned. It is clearly expressed what moral behaviors gain and what immoral behaviors cause a person to lose. For example, while alcohol is prohibited, it is stated that it is the mother of all evils. Because alcohol numbs a person's brain and hinders him from thinking correctly. The Arabic word for alcohol is “hamr”. The meaning of this word is to cover. In this sense, alcohol obscures the functions of the human brain.

6) In Islamic morality, duties are limited to certain conditions. The conditions of being responsible are stated and it is stated that each responsible will be held accountable as much as his power requires. For example, it was given permission for the sick and travelers not to fast, and it was stated that they should be done later if the conditions were suitable, or that expiation should be paid under certain conditions.

7) Islamic morality states that the life in the hereafter is superior and important to Muslims than the life of this world, and demands that actions be taken accordingly. But this does not mean that the necessities of worldly life are neglected. Those who desire the Hereafter and act towards it will gain goodness both in the Hereafter and in their worldly lives. However, it is stated that those who only want the happiness of the worldly life and act accordingly will achieve what they want in the world, but that they will not have any share in the Hereafter.

“Whoever desires the gain of the Hereafter, We will increase his gain; Whoever wants the worldly earnings, we will give it to him, but he will have no share in the Hereafter. (Surah Al-Shura, verse 20)

8) Islamic morality holds a person responsible for his conscious and willful actions. For this, one must be reasonable and free. If it were the other way around, that is, if people were not held responsible for their actions of their own free will, there would be no meaning in establishing moral laws. It is stated in the following verse that all people, including the prophets, are responsible:

Then shall we question those to whom Our message was sent and those through whom We sent it.” (Surah Araf, verse 6)

In Islam, man is also held responsible for his secret intentions and purposes. If a person has an intention to do an act  and even if he fails to do it, he is held responsible for his intention. Because the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says in a hadith: "When two Muslims meet with their swords (to kill each other), both the one who kills and the one who dies are in Hell." The Companions said, O Messenger of Allah! The situation of the murderer is known, why is the murdered in Hell? When asked, He answers: “It is because the deceased had also purpose to kill his friend.”

Man will see the recompense of his responsibility due to his actions partially in this world and fully in the hereafter. Because in the life of this world, the reaction of both one's own conscience and society is a questioning of one's actions. But in the Hereafter, this question will be fully realized. The verses and hadiths related to this issue are as follows:

“On that day, every soul, whatever good or evil he has done, will find them ready before him. He wants a long distance between himself and his evil deeds. Allah commands you to be afraid of Him. Undoubtedly, Allah is very merciful to His servants.” (Surah Al-i Imran, verse 30)

“We have wrapped the bird (of what he did, the book of his deeds) around his neck, and on the Day of Judgment we will bring out a book that will be opened for him to be placed before him. “Read your book! Today, we say, "Your soul is enough for you as an accountant".“ (Surah Isra, verse 13,14)

Warn them on the Day of Resurrection, when people will regret it and the matter will be finished. They are still in heedlessness, they do not believe.” (Surah Maryam, verse 39)

On the Day of Judgment, human beings will not be able to leave the presence of their Lord even enough to take a step until they are taken into account for five things: how he spent his life, how he spent his youth, where he earned and where he spent his wealth, what he did with the knowledge he learned.” (Tirmidhi)

The bankrupt of my ummah is the one who will be brought on the Day of Judgment with his prayer, fasting and zakat; At the same time, the sins he committed, the sins that he abused, accused of adultery, ate property unjustly, shed blood unjustly will also be revealed. And so that person will give an account of what he has done, and his good deeds will be exchanged for his evil deeds. When his good deeds are over, the exchange will continue with the exchanging of the sins of others with his rewards. Eventually, he will be thrown into Hell to serve his sentence. That's what bankruptcy is." (Muslim, Tirmidhi)

9) According to Islam, moral principles are the orders and prohibitions of Allah. Muslims are obliged to obey them. Just as acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, zakat and pilgrimage are obligatory and religious duties. Also not to lie, to help the needy, to be kind to parents, not to drink alcohol, not to commit adultery, not backbiting etc. are religious duties. Moral duties constitute an important part of the verses of decree. Therefore, the duty of a Muslim is to obey the orders of religion and avoid its prohibitions. These duties are not arbitrary and Muslims cannot give up on them because they do not like them or do not feel like it. These moral rules bind the Muslim in all respects.

10) Islam imposes a sanction system against the compliance of moral rules or non-compliance. These sanctions are a kind of sanctioning power of religion. This power of sanction is not something that is at the level of human conscience or social laws. If a person ignores the condemnation of his conscience, he will not be punished. When he does not obey the laws of the society, he can sometimes be successful in avoiding their punishment. But it is not possible to escape from the sanctions imposed by Islam.

The basis of divine sanction power is the fear of Allah (taqwa) and belief in the Hereafter. A Muslim knows with certainty that he will not be able to escape this reckoning in the hereafter. For this reason, he regulates his behavior according to the moral rules of Allah. This moral understanding of Islam provides a sanction power that none of the other moral understandings can provide. This is the dimension of faith in morality. Thanks to this belief, people make an effort to improve their morals. We can cite the following verse and hadith regarding this issue:

O you who believe! obey Allah. Obey the prophet and obey the ruler among you. If you have a disagreement about anything, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. It is better and more beautiful in terms of results.” (Surat an-Nisa, verse 59)

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbour. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should serve his guest. Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should either speak good words or keep quiet!” (Bukhari, Muslim)

11) Justice is the basis of Islamic morality. Here, justice is provided by rewarding those who fulfill their duties and punishing those who do not. No human being can escape this justice of God. In the Qur'an, the depiction of Paradise as the end of those who do good and Hell as the end of those who do evil is an important sanction power in this context. The aim here is to ensure that people reach the highest levels in the hereafter. Allah's mercy and Paradise are wide enough to fit all human beings in it. Therefore, Allah never wills His servants to go to Hell. However, in accordance with Allah's attribute of being just, people will be rewarded for what they have done with their own hands. Therefore, the fact that people are punished in Hell is entirely a result of their own doings.

The ethical rules of Islam aim to ensure that people live in peace and well-being in the world. However, the works that a person does in accordance with his self and passions deprive him of this peace and well-being. This is a manifestation of Allah's attribute of being just.

12) The principles of Islamic morality are valid and binding for every human society in every period of time and everywhere in the world. In this respect, Islamic moral laws are universal and absolute. Because these laws were set by God. Allah has created humans with the ability to understand and evaluate these moral laws. Prophets and divine books were sent so that people could see the right path. The religion of Islam will be valid until the Day of Judgment. Therefore, the moral rules he put forward are valid until the end of the world. These provisions cannot be changed by any human mind and power or any social decision. No one can afford that.

But today, with the laws made by human beings, drinking alcohol, committing adultery and using interest are allowed. Such laws do not change God's justice. Even if people and societies allow laws and practices contrary to the moral rules set by Allah, Allah's sunnah will definitely be applied on them. In other words, people who drink alcohol, commit adultery, and eat interest will be punished partially in this world and fully in the hereafter. These acts will disrupt the order in the lives of both people and societies, and the acts of non-compliance with Allah's laws will drag people and societies into an atmosphere of unrest and anarchy. No human or society can escape these consequences. Their punishment in the hereafter will be more severe.

13) The morality of Islam is general and comprehensive, encompassing all people and societies. It has taken into account the concerns and expectations of every society and people in every society, and has been arranged in such a way as to ensure that they live in the best and most beautiful way, both in this world and in the hereafter. Man's relations with himself and with society are arranged with such an ethical system that it can be ensured that all people can live happily and comfortably. This is the characteristic of Islamic morality that covers everything. This feature is not found in any other moral understanding.

14) Islamic morality requires that human behavior be done only in order to comply with Allah's orders. In a way, this is the attainment of Allah's consent. This is the moral of duty for the Muslim. Because a Muslim perceives moral orders and prohibitions as religious duties. He believes that as a result of fulfilling this duty, he will bring goodness in this world and in the hereafter.

Say: I have been commanded to worship Allah, making religion purely for Himself.” (Surah Az-Zumar, verse 11)

Say: My prayer, my worship, my life and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the realms. He has no partner. This is how I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.” (Surah An'am, verse 162, 163)

“Allah only accepts acts of worship performed with a sincere intention, seeking His own consent.” (Muvatta)

15) What is essential in Islamic morality is the combination of action and intention. What is important in human action is what intention a person has in his heart. Behaviours gain value according to the aimed intention. In this respect, the religion of Islam demands that people have the right intention and act accordingly.

The flesh and blood of your sacrifices do not reach Allah, but your taqwa reaches Him.” (Surah Hajj, verse 37)

Actions are based on intentions, for each person there is a reward for what he intends. Allah does not look at your bodies and faces, but at your hearts.” (Bukhari, Muslim)



Throughout history, Muslims have lived in peace and tranquility both among themselves and with other societies as long as they have followed the rules of Islamic morality. When Islamic moral rules were not applied, they could not get rid of social turmoil and unrest. For this reason, Islamic moral rules are the guarantee for people to live in peace and harmony. Allah Almighty has revealed these moral rules to ensure that people are happy both in this world and in the hereafter. However, the moral rules of Islam, which is the source of peace for people, are tried to be corrupted by some people because they do not find it suitable for their own purposes and interests. For example, acts such as lying, drinking, committing adultery and taking interest are made cute and attractive by various media. Those who are under the influence of these publications harm both themselves and the society by doing these acts that do not comply with the moral values ​​of Islam. As a result, the social order is heading towards deterioration. We see these results in all societies in the world. But people are far from seeing the fact that the basis of this social deterioration is the abandonment of Islamic moral rules. Social and economic interments taken outside of Islam will never prevent the deterioration of societies. Some people can gain financially from this deterioration. But in the end, these people will also suffer from the deterioration of the social structure. The damage they will see will be more than the material benefit they get. Therefore, every segment of society will suffer from this trend. Wars, anarchy and terror are the natural consequences of this course.

The only way to get rid of this negative trend is to ensure that the moral rules of Islam are implemented in societies. If this is not done, much greater unrest and wars will engulf the world. This will ultimately be what people earn with their own hands, as stated in the Qur'an. History is full of examples of this.

Our hope is in Islam. For this, we must learn the true Islam, live it and teach it around us. Let's pray to Allah for success.



Basic Features of Islamic Ethics”, Yusuf Güneþ, Ekev Academy Journal, Issue 49, 93-104

Ihyau ulûmid-din”, Imam Ghazali, Bedir Publishing House, Istanbul, 1974

Islamic Ethics with Examples”, M. Yaþar Kandemir, Nesil Publications, Istanbul, 2005

Mâturîdiyye Akaidi”, Nûreddin Es-Sâbûnî, Presidency of Religious Affairs, Ankara 2005

“Morality”, Hilmi Ziya Ülken, Ülken Publications, Istanbul, 2001

Moral Science and Islamic Ethics”, Ahmet Hamdi Akseki, Sistem Printing, Istanbul, 2006


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Basic Features of Islamic Ethics

Publishing Date :  23.04.2022