Debates on morality have continued throughout human history. These discussions have generally been seen as a mutual comparison of two separate ideas. People either adopted the moral understanding and principles determined by the monotheistic religions, or people were subject to the moral principles they created with their own minds and desires of their real selves.

Since Adam (pbuh), Allah Almighty has informed people about the divine moral understanding, what is good and bad, what should be done and what should be abandoned. Some of these moral principles did not please the people who did not believe in them (who did not believe) and they defined good and bad according to their own minds and desires, and decided whether their behavior was moral or not with these definitions. The moral principles laid down by the monotheistic religions are clear. These are basically the same, although they differ more or less in detail with the coming of different divine religions over time. The final form of these moral principles is determined by the religion of Islam, the last divine religion. These moral principles will remain valid until the end of time. People will be judged on whether they abide by these moral principles, and in the end, their life in the hereafter will result in happiness or torment.

When people did not believe in divine orders and prohibitions, they formed their own moral principles and thought to follow them. However, moral principles created by reason or according to their own whims did not establish a unity among the philosophers who studied this subject. Each philosopher has put forward an understanding of morality in his own way and has often rejected the moral principles of others. This conflict has lasted for centuries and people have never been happy with these moral theories.

It is natural that people cannot be happy with moral theories produced by reason. Because it is impossible for man to know his true nature and what he needs with his mind. Only the creator knows what man really needs. Allah Almighty created man and knows best what he needs to be happy in both worlds. Therefore, moral principles were revealed through revelation to enable them to turn to good and abandon evil. With the information sent to the prophets, people were guided to goodness and happiness. Because he who knows man best is the one who created him. It is a mistake to think otherwise and to say that man knows himself absolutely and grasps this truth with reason. These erroneous thoughts have led people to form other moral understandings, but no definite result has ever been achieved.

Three views on the origin of morality are known:

1) The source of morality is revelation. Being moral is in human nature. Revelation brings measures against deviations from nature. It guides people. It teaches him the way to stay within the limits of morality.

2) Morality is a philosophical doctrine. It consists of suggestions put forward by thinkers, philosophers and clergy.

3) Morality consists of some rules developed by itself against the problems faced by the society.

In line with these three views, three understandings came to the fore in the relationship between religion and morality in the West:

1) The materialist understanding, which sees morality as a set of principles put forward by the rulers and clergy to exploit society, and therefore sees morality not as a necessity for society, but as a source of oppression for society, advocates the isolation of social life from morality. According to materialism, morality is freedom-restricting nonsense. We don't need morality. We progress as we become immoral. Immorality is the basic condition of being modern and being considered progressive.

2) According to the liberal understanding, everyone's morality is for himself and is worthy of respect.

3) Ethics based on religion is just one of the morals. Ethics based on religion can exist as a moral understanding in societies. However, this morality is not allowed to shape the social order. Just as religion cannot interfere with the state, morality based on religion cannot interfere with the social order.

As a result, all three understandings or the synthesis of these three understandings have reduced the link between religion and morality in the West, and religion has moved away from being the determinant of the social moral system. However, over time, it has become clear that society cannot be immoral. It has been understood that morality is an essential element of the social system. It has been seen that the rules of law alone are not enough to maintain the social order. In the absence of morality, there is a great void in social life, and the social system did not accept this void, just as nature does not accept it.

This gap created by secularism in the social system was noticed as early as the 19th century. Philosophers like Kant sought to bridge this gap. In this period, the concept of ethics, which means moral philosophy, was used instead of the concept of morality. While Western secularists initially claimed to rule only the state, they tried to intervene in the soul of the people over time. They even took the job to the despotism of regulating even the most private aspects of human beings. Man said, "If you need morality, I will produce it."

They claimed to be the Deity of world in their own way. However, just as the legal system they produced disrupted the world order, the morality they produced also disrupted the order of society.

Kant's (1724-1804) understanding of morality was not enough to build social morality, as the principles such as "Do not do to others what you do not want done to you", "The real goodness is the good that is not expected in return" are got out from religion understanding of society. This morality, which is based on the understanding that "where there is consent, there is no cruelty or immorality", "If most of the society consents to cruelty, it is not cruelty. If there is consent, there is no immorality.”


What is Islamic Ethics?

Islamic morality is the lifestyle revealed by the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic morality arises from the relationship between God and man. Thus, it regulates the attitudes and behaviors between God and man, between man and man, and between man and the universe. The moral values of Islam are the reflection of all kinds of attitudes and behaviors of the relationship that people establish with Allah through belief and worship.

The moral values of Islam are people's putting the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), the most perfect practitioner of the Qur'an, at the center of their thoughts and behaviors. In the verse "You are of course on a high morality" (Pen, 68/4), it is stated that the morality of the Prophet (pbuh) is the highest morality and that this morality is a goal that must be attained by believers. As a matter of fact, the Qur'an describes the life of our Prophet (pbuh) as the best example for believers:

You have indeed in the Prophet of God a good example for those of you who look to God and the Last Day, and remember God always.” (Al-Ahzab, 33/21)

According to this verse, the realization of all the messages of the Qur'an are the words and practices of the Prophet (pbuh). As the people asked the wife of Prophet, Hz. Ayţe (rah), “How was the morality of our Prophet?” She answered as follows, “Do you ever read the Qur'an? His morals were the Qur'an." This shows that the morality ordered by the Qur'an was brought to life by the words and actions of our Prophet. Accordingly, Islamic moral values are the basic principles of the Qur'an regarding life, and it is our beloved Prophet who announced and applied them.

Islamic moral theory is based on two assumptions. These:

1) Recognition of the moral character of man. Accordingly, there are no immoral people. Good morals are certain qualities in which honorable meanings and lofty values are essential. Man has humanity to the extent that he realizes these understandings and values. If these meanings and values increase, they increase in this quality, and if they decrease, it decreases. This point is expressed in Ibn Khaldun's book Muqaddimah as follows: “If man is corrupted in terms of morality and his power over religion, his humanity will also deteriorate and he will truly turn into an animal and be considered an animal.” Accordingly, man has essentially a moral nature and it has not a single degree but many degrees.

2) Recognition of the religious nature of morality. Accordingly, there can be no morality without religion. Some people do not agree with this acceptance. We can classify people who do not agree with this acceptance as follows:

a) Secularists who accept no other than the authority of abstract reason and therefore do not give place to revelation.

b) Humanists who do not accept anything other than the worth of human beings and therefore do not give place to divinity.

c) Naturalists who accept only natural causation for beings and therefore do not give place to the unseen.

d) Materialists who accept only the material basis for everything and therefore leave no room for the soul.

e) Historicists who accept only historical change for human phenomena and therefore do not accept the absoluteness.

The theory of Islamic morality adopts the following three principles:

1) Islamic morality is not local but universal. Because this morality is not rootless, it is established. It's not short-term, it's long-term. It is not limited, it is comprehensive. Thus, this morality is the most suitable morality for the universal horizon of man. Because it is about cooperation of reason-shariah.

2) Islamic morality is not superficial, but deep. Because it's not the ethics of beauty, it's the ethics of cleanliness. It is the morality of empowerment, not prevention. It's not imitation, it's a renewal ethic. Because of these characteristics, Islamic morality is the morality that best meets the needs of human life. This feature is related to the mind-heart unity.

3) Islamic morality is not static but dynamic. Because it is not expression, it is sign morality. It's not a closing, it's an opening ethic. It is the morality of union, not rupture. This feature is related to the mind-sense unity.

Because of these characteristics, Islamic morality is the morality that can best guide people. A person's morality with these characteristics can only be good morals.


What is Secular/Modern Ethics?

Secularism, which is defined in different ways, is generally defined as the liberation of human mind and thought from religious and metaphysical control. Secularism is based on the exclusion of all thoughts arising from belief. Accordingly, secularism pushes all values and principles that are religious or attributed to religiousness out of individual and social life. It is a human-centered way of thinking and living, based on accepting only this world as livable and severing its relationship from the other world.

The ideology of severing ties with the celestial can be explained as a philosophy of self-sufficient acceptance of human . Secularism has a special place in religion in general, and in Christianity in particular, based on ongoing debates. The most important reason for secularism is that Christianity was poured into the Hellenistic mold in its first years of emergence.

Secular morality is a morality that excludes religion. This moral theory proposes to break the link between morality and religion. He claims that the society can be moral even if it is irreligious, in other words, there is no need for a religious basis to meet the moral needs of the society.

Secularism (worldliness) is an attempt to build social life, social relations and social morality by rejecting belief in the hereafter, by closing the doors of the world to the hereafter and ignoring the hereafter. It is an effort to establish the world without the love and fear of Allah. With the rebellious expressions of the defenders of secular thought, secularism is the claim not to involve God in worldly affairs.

Secularism is considered the religious source of liberalism. The development of the West by excluding all kinds of sacred has brought with it extremely negative developments. The global collapse has created problems such as individualism, the dominance of instrumental reason, excessive profanation, the destruction of the ecosystem, the institutionalization and spread of exploitation and racism. In Islam there has been no religious resistance in areas such as the inter-sectarian conflicts that have found a serious ceiling in history, the prohibitions of Christians and Jews that prevent them from living their faith, scientific development and technological innovation. For these reasons, in our opinion, secularization in the sense of Western experience is far from finding a reflex point in Islam, both conceptually and factually.

Secular/modern moral theories begin by identifying what is good and bad. However, their definition has been expressed differently according to each philosopher. By giving examples below, we express how they exclude and contradict each other.

According to Hobbes (1588-1679), “good is what you desire”, according to Hume (1711-1776) “good is defined as something approved by most people”, whereas according to Stevenson (1908-1979), goodness is defined as three different things:

1) The good must be a matter of reasonable disagreement,

2) It must be something attractive,

3) It should not be discoverable only by scientific methods.

The three definitions above are mutually exclusive. According to Stevenson, ethics (moral philosophy) should not be psychology, because good is not something that can be verified using the scientific method alone. Stevenson argues that the empirical or factual method of ethics is not a criterion in itself. Thus, he differs from some philosophers such as Wittgenstein (1889-1957) and Ayer (1910-1989).

Immanuel Kant, one of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, mentioned that it is possible to establish a moral order completely based on the human mind, independent of religion, in his work called “Religion within the Limits of Pure Reason”, and stated that the mind can also be used in the field of ethics. It is claimed that Kant showed that he could do scientific method studies on a subject beyond physics. Behaviors evaluated in the world of immaterial images emerge as practical applications. Human behavior is the product of an evaluation process. It results from the free will of people to do or not to do, to want or not to do. For Kant, ethics is the morality of duty. According to Kant, virtue is a moral intention that struggles with all kinds of moral situations and various moral situations in which a person may be.

However, since Hegel (1770-1831), Kantian moral philosophy has been criticized and it has been argued that it lacks content. Therefore, it does not guide the solution of concrete moral problems especially conflicting moral dilemmas. Elizabeth Anscombe (1919-2001) argues that all modern moral philosophies are based on a hollow notion of obligation. All moral responsibilities such as duty and obligation presuppose the existence of laws made by a certain authority.

According to A. MacIntyre (1929-…), modernism broke the moral rules from the tradition in which it was born. Therefore, discussion of morality is a futile pursuit. We continue to use many of the basic phrases, but we actually have the image of morality. Unfortunately, we have largely lost our understanding or moral intelligence, both theoretically and practically. According to MacIntyre, the main reason for this destruction is the Enlightenment movement, which was developed against the tradition of Aristotelian moral philosophy. The Enlightenment movement failed to show a rational and objective basis for moral judgment, so an emotive moral philosophy current tried to fill this gap. However, this current, according to the modern "I" understanding, has resulted in disproportionateness in moral judgments, depending on the perspective of the individual.

In realty, the assumption of objective moral rules in Western thought plays the role of a mask of personal choices. Modern morality guarantees no compromise on moral questions. Because the fans have completely different methods and approaches from each other. Each party presents concepts and basic propositions that cannot be translated into the concepts of the other party.

According to MacIntyre, modern moral philosophy has three essential features: its appeal to intuition, its handling of the concept of reason, and its failure to resolve the problem of priority among competing moral claims. Modern moral codes, in addition to being far from providing a unity of tradition, present moral arguments that cannot be compared or commensurate with each other. Because uncultured common patterns of moral discourse are graveyards of fragments of culturally large-scale dead philosophical systems.

Bernard Williams (1929-2003) is skeptical of the possibility of justifying universal and absolutely binding moral judgments. According to Gilbert Harman (1938-…), there is no single true morality, there is more than one true morality, that is, morality is relative. Something may be right, good and just according to one moral framework, and wrong, bad or unjust according to another framework. Nothing is simple, right, good, or unfair.

Taha Abdurrahman (1944-…) states the following in his book “The Problem of Morals”:

“The issue of morality is complex in contemporary philosophy. What has moral value in the eyes of some philosophers may not be moral in others. For example, desiring reward and avoiding punishment. Some philosophers regard it as a good quality, in an absolute or conditional sense, while others consider it bad. While some see violence as an absolute bad, others consider it good as a form of self-expression. Even if philosophers agree that there is morality in an act or person, they cannot agree on a definition that distinguishes it from others. Some believe that morality is related to cultural and historical factors, so what is considered moral for a particular society may not be moral for another society with a different culture and history than that society.”

Western moralists have made a great mistake about the meaning of the word “love”, because their minds are full of the Christian faith in which they grew up. This has two important aspects: The first is to confuse physical love with spiritual love. The desire for sexual intercourse in spouses is a purely bodily desire despite the halal (lawful) paint on it. This has led western philosophers to exalt the love between husband and wife to the point where they attribute immaterial qualities such as sincerity, worship, eternity and holiness. He has made such love the principle of mental health in people. Second, they confuse human love with divine love. They see man's love for God in terms of man's love for man. As it is known, man's love for God is a result of fulfilling the obedience and worship that God has set for man. On the other hand, the love that people have for people is the result of mutual respect and services that people put for themselves. According to them, God's love for man is of the type of man's love for God. However, the love of God, the love for His creation, is one of the perfection attributes of the Creator. The other love is the love of the creature towards the Creator. This love takes place to the extent of missing attributes, in a way that manifests the servitude of the creature. This love of servitude cannot be compared with a love with a divine characteristic.

In the book titled “Handbook of Islamic Ethics and Philosophy”, edited by Müfit Selim Saruhan, it is stated:

“In the western world, especially in the enlightenment period following the Cartesian philosophy of Descartes, and with positivistic approaches that can be considered as an extension of this period to the present, rational thought is desired to be the only criterion of all knowledge. This has led to a total questioning of morality. The reason for this is that what is called moral truth or falsity does not comply with any scientific content. Scientific or rational thinking first assumes an object standing in front of someone and investigates whether it meets the logical and experimental criteria of rational thought. The definition of an event as good or bad is not made in terms of rational thought, but in terms of individual or social habits, perspectives, or judgments.”

Accordingly, in terms of the positivistic approach, there is no morality that can be compatible with rational thought. Morality is simply the name of a subjective system of values or judgments. There is no ontology behind morality because it does not refer to any reality.

Imam Ghazali (1058-1111) says the following on this subject: “The mind can find the right path only with religion. In our life, we are faced with neither a pure mind nor a pure transmission. The connection of mind with transmission and transmission with mind accompany all our lives and decisions

There is a reciprocal relationship between religion and morality as well as between religion and reason. Separating morality from religion or religion from morality means separating the inner world of man from himself. There is no other resource that can contribute to the contribution of religion to the possession of good moral qualities and the purification of bad morals.”

Western civilization, is divided into two sides: mental and verbal, and into two parts epistemological and technological. Although these two fronts and two divisions aim to meet the various and increasing needs of man, they harm humanity's morality to the extent that it threatens humanity. The mental aspect of this civilization eliminates the reasons and ways of ascending to moral degrees from human beings, the verbal aspect narrows the field of morality, dulls its movement and lowers its level. The epistemological aspect removes morality from scientific practice and cuts it off from the spiritual realms. The technological part seeks to remove and seize morality and at the same time try to replace it with something else. This is because this civilization is mentally deficient, verbally cruel, epistemologically in crisis and technologically authoritarian.


The Moral of Capitalism

One of the sources that feed the capitalist mentality is philosophy. Capitalism is the bourgeois worldview and its main meaning is utilitarianism. Utilitarianism has been produced by all authors as a system. Capitalist virtues and a significant part of the rules of the capitalist economy are based on utilitarianism. The first capitalists used to say, "Be virtuous so you can be happy". This is their basic idea. Being virtuous means managing their affairs well for them. If you ask what is useful for you, they say that the way to learn what works for you is to listen to the voice of your mind. The only thing that determines life is the mind. The purpose of knowledge is to take life completely under the domination of reason and economy. They were particularly interested in a natural moral law that placed the natural instincts under the control and direction of reason. This law was based on the idea of bringing all areas of life under the control of the mind. They set wealth as their goal and saw it as moral. For them, wealth offers an infinite number of possibilities to be measured, generous, participatory, conspicuous, and useful. For them, wealth is as joyful as a sailboat ride on the sea with the sails blown by the wind, a beautiful day, or a sunny winter's day. It is your right to have as much wealth as you want.

Even in ancient ages, all moralists without exception shared these ideas. For example, the Roman statesman Cicero (106 BC-43 BC) said, “Man loves money not just because it has money or attraction, but because of the advantages it can provide.”

These ideas were dominant in the first period of capitalism. The teachings of the Catholic sect have had an impact on the development of the capitalist mentality. The basic idea of the priest St. Thomas (1225-1274) in the moral law is to give a rational dimension to life. In other words, the natural and earthly market of the mind, which has infinite and divine features, commands us to pass rational purposes to the emotional and passionate side of our being and to organize our emotions according to these purposes.

The idea of gain and economic rationality is in fact the application of the rules he proposes about religious life in general to economic life. It is necessary for the development of capitalism the disappearance of the man who obeys his instincts, and all that is natural and free in life is replaced by a spiritual mechanism that is absolutely rational. The destruction and transformation of values has led to the emergence of this artificial and creative entity called homo economicus.

While the ecclesiastical moral understanding remains under the influence of the economic world, economic rationality can never take a rigid form and be internalized without a rational system of rules established down to the smallest details based on the supreme authority of the church. In scripture, Jews were allowed to lend money for interest. During the Middle Ages, the Jews lived without the obstacle of the prohibition of usury imposed on the Christians. Jewish rabbis forbade lending money to their own citizens for interest, but gave orders that you must give it to a foreigner. Therefore, throughout the Middle Ages, religion did its part by encouraging Jews to usury with the support of Christians in this regard. Lending money for interest contributed to the development of the capitalist mentality.

After competing with moral forces in the first period of capitalism, it started to take their place from the end of the 15th century. The taste of material gains causes people to abandon moral rules. If he does not really have faith, he cannot prevent it. Since the Western world has gone beyond the divine provisions of religious beliefs, this is easily achieved. Heads of religion, the clergy and churches gained great fortunes during this period and encouraged capitalism.

It is seen in capitalist societies that as the social structure becomes more complex, the signs of "immoral morality" appear as a new morality. For example, spending the money collected to help the orphans and the powerless for their own advertisements and not giving any aid to those in need, building schools and hospitals for demonstration purposes, but not paying the tax debts to the state, which is tens of times the money they spend, especially in case of disasters the campaigns organized in the press and media organs. Participating with a small amount of money and then not fulfilling its responsibilities, gaining unjust and unlawful earnings and then trying to ease one's own conscience by doing charity with a very small amount of this money and trying to gain prestige in the face of society, making many political promises and not fulfilling any of these promises later, or even not remember. It is possible to multiply these examples.

One of the most obvious examples of immorality is the so-called food aid of Western human rights organizations, instead of stopping the conflicts, which are largely supported by their own states. Especially in recent years, the countries that are responsible for the images revealed by the conflicts in the Middle East hold various meetings to end the conflicts, but on the other hand, they support the conflicts and send some of the Hollywood stars to the United Nations as peace ambassadors, the Pope visited the refugees in the Greek islands and sent 12 refugees to the Vatican. It is an important example that western states try to hide their cruel intentions towards refugees. Instead of solving the problems it causes, the West continues to seize an opportunity from the crisis, to advertise itself, and to use the whole world as an ideological propaganda stage. In the examples given above, it is not possible to accept the works of aid organizations and other organizations as good intentions.

Westerners, who remove the obstacles to free enterprise and raise entrepreneurial individuals in a social order where competition is intense, also offer prescriptions for underdeveloped or developing countries. According to the Western-type progressive development doctrines, it is stated that the development of a country is not possible unless production is made for the world market. For this, it is assumed that development will be possible by producing products suitable for mass consumption of societies and finding markets willing to consume the produced goods. According to them, it is foreseen that the countries in which studies including structural arrangements, transparency, establishment of production-based industry are formed will be able to reach a high level of welfare and living conditions in western standards. Although this determination is partially correct, it also brings with it a big problem posed by the West. First of all, the effort to make the rest of the world its own market serves imperialism in a way, and it is known that very few international companies in the world economy provide goods and services to the world. How will it be possible for underdeveloped countries to create a market for themselves in such an environment? In other words, the development paths suggested by the West are not realistic and practicable. It shows how the capitalist moral and imperialist aims cause an immoral applications.

In modern society, values exist in name. Traditional values are uncertain in these societies and they have ceased to be modern. They are taken seriously only when it suits the interests of the people. Although some values are flagged according to him, they are aimed at abstract and distant purposes, not concrete and directly towards the environment. For example, purposes such as restructuring society and helping third world people are of this type. However, these values are toys that provide intellectual and emotional satisfaction of modern people. Playing with toys is not an expensive business. Because modern values do not require traditional, corporate obligations and responsibilities. In the long run, they have exhausted their sanction power. Accordingly, the only thing that modern man truly believes in is personal satisfaction. Considering individual satisfactions alone is not enough for a person to survive happily. Because man is a social being and it can survive in a society only. In this respect, the deterioration of the social structure will certainly affect the lives of individuals. In a society where morality is corrupted, that is, immoral morality prevails, it is not possible for individuals to be happy. On the other hand, the dizzying speed of communication and transportation as a result of scientific and technological developments drags all people living in the world towards a common destiny. In this respect, the policies and practices of developed countries for the benefit of their own people but at the damage  of the rights of underdeveloped countries will also return to their own harm in the long run. In this respect, it emerges as a necessity for both intellectuals and those who govern the society to rethink social morality and work with a new roadmap.


The Superiority of Islamic Ethics over The Secular/Modern Moral

1) The moral values of Islam aim to make people happy not only in the worldly life, but also in the hereafter. For this reason, the moral rules determined by the Qur'an and the Sunnah are the basis of all people's happiness in this world and in the hereafter. Secular/modern morality, on the other hand, aims only the worldly happiness of people. There is no such thing as happiness in the hereafter for them. For this reason, the moral rules they recommend to people exist to satisfy their egos, selves and whims.

According to them, when man dies, he will become soil and thus disappear. What kind of mistake is this? Was this perfectly designed universe created for humans to perish after living for three or five years and enjoying life on earth? How do their minds accept this? They talk about science and see that the phenomena in the structure of the universe are unlimited in the micro and macro worlds. They do not realize the perfect functioning in their own souls and bodies. Seeing all this, they interpret the creation of this realm as "three days of life, then disappearance". As long as they live, they create artificial gods for themselves and their souls. Even though these deities have no logical or scientific explanation, they continue to worship them. Worldly pleasures have blinded people's eyes and thinking. The moral understandings created by man with his limited mind and soul have always chased each other with contradictions and inconsistencies, and these have never brought happiness to man. Wars, disasters, anarchy, diseases, epidemics have always harmed people and prevented the happiness of the world they dreamed of.

Those who try to be happy with the love of the world can never reach the happiness they desire, both individually and socially, by ignoring the structure in their creation. Because not accepting the spiritual side of a person and pursuing only material pleasures will disappoint people. They could not understand the purpose and wisdom of the life of this world. They perceive life as just eating, drinking and enjoying. In order to ensure this, they practice all kinds of immorality by going beyond rights and justice. The Qur'an informs us that these people are in frustration:

I swear by the passage of time, that man is surely in a state of loss, except for those who believe and do good deeds and exhort one another to hold fast to the Truth, and who exhort one another to steadfastness.” (Al-Asr, 103/1,2,3)

In this case, the only salvation for people is to convert to the religion of Islam and to be moralized with the morality commanded by it. Only in this way will it be possible for them to be happy in this world and hereafter. This shows the superiority of Islamic morality over other secular moral values.

2) Islam defines the morality before the mind. According to secular morality, the mind is ahead of everything. It is the Islamic thought that prevails here. Because, contrary to the thought that has been settled in their minds for centuries, human beings are human not by virtue of intelligence, but by virtue of morality. For this reason, morality must emerge in every action a person does. In Islamic thought, there is no doubt that when good and right deeds are done, people benefit for the life of this world and the hereafter, and cause harm when abandoned. Therefore, according to Islam, morality is the principles of demanding goodness itself.

The boundary that separates man from animal is morality. The animal tries to reach its sustenance by using its mind in its own life. But it does not work to achieve good. In this context, the mind is divided into two major parts. There is a type of intelligence called the mind, which is abstracted from morality, which man possesses together with animals. The second mind is wisdom guided by morality. This is human-specific. The mistake of modernism is that it takes the mind in the first sense and says that people become special with it.

3) Secular morality is based on utilitarianism. This is not in Islamic morality. The view of utilitarianism in secular morality is reflected in almost all experiences about human morality. But morality cannot be subjected to the criteria of usefulness. Moral behavior can sometimes be beneficial and sometimes not. For example, the care of the elderly, the weak, the care of the incurable does not bring people any profit, but it is moral. In this sense of morality, it is essential not to be useful to people, but to have the understanding of being human and serving to keep people alive. This can only be found in Islamic morality. It is absent in other modern moral theories. This is a superiority of Islamic morality. We witnessed this superiority of Islamic moral values during the Corona epidemic. We have seen how old people are left to die in the West. But these did not happen in Islamic countries.


Secular Ethics in Turkey

Secular moral understanding in Turkey started with the Tanzimat edict. However, after the republic, the secular understanding was tried to be put into practice with orders and laws. There was no intellectual persuasion. There is no concern about how this attitude will harm social morality and how the social order will meet the moral needs. Even before 1945, no one had the courage to express such a concern. At that time, there was a utopian approach to the West. This approach said, "We will become Westernized and achieve world happiness," while denying the happiness of the Hereafter. At that time, suggestions were made only under the title of culture, and these suggestions about morality were taking shape within the framework of Turkish culture. However, the elite wanted to understand pre-Islamic culture as Turkish culture. At the later time, a significant part of the elite did not even want to believe in the need for morality. During this period, an understanding developed that psychology could take the place of religion. Even today, in television series, psychologists are presented as a kind of secular priest for any individual crisis. This, of course, was a copy of the practices in the West.

In this period, secular morality was put forward as an antithesis to the defense of Islam, which developed against westernization in Istanbul and Anatolia after the Tanzimat. Before the Tanzimat period, Muslims were in a heavy financial loss. The Tanzimat edict, which was declared to ensure the worldly development of the society, was a non-Islamic progressive project brought for the Muslim society. However, this progressive project caused Islamic scholars to emphasize the worldly benefit aspect of Islam while defending Islam.

The fact that Islam was the factor that enabled the Turks to come from Central Asia to the gates of Vienna, facilitated the work of Islamic scholars addressing the Turkish society in this direction. When the society looked to the past with their warning, it maintained the belief that it was strengthened with Islam, that they could not get stronger without Islam, and reacted to those who wanted to distance itself from Islam.

Social democrats at that time cited the economic happiness in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, which are called Scandinavian countries, as examples. According to them, they thought that when the society reached economic happiness, there would be no theft or cruelty in that society. For this reason, they said, "There is no need for Islam for economic development and social peace." They believed that the social democracy of the Scandinavian countries would be the cure-all. But this did not happen. They could not explain the reasons why it did not happen.

However, our society finds peace in Islam, families break up when individuals move away from religion, and material development was not enough for the peace of individuals. Again at that time, non-Islamic moral understandings of Indian society were offered to the society. The suggestion of being moral without following the orders of the religion of Islam, without worshiping, without making dhikr has spread in the society. The Far East morality was blindly tried to be explained to our society through various publications and personal development books, and they hoped that the need for worship and dhikr would be met with activities such as music, sports and yoga. In this period, translations from Indian philosophers were made and presented to our society as a new moral alternative. Muslims were advised to look for answers in self-help books, rather than looking at the Qur'an and hadiths, when faced with difficulties in a moral issue. Suggestions like doing yoga when you got depressed were all over the place. They found a response, albeit partially, among the religious and among the elite of society.

Materialists and social democrats who were close to them saw this moral understanding as a way of salvation, and described objections and obstructions against them as reactionary. The society was becoming unfamiliar with non-wedding marriage, adultery was not considered a crime. It was believed that we would thus become a modern society, a western society.

However, these were not morals, but immorality. Because it is not possible for human nature to acquire a moral qualification with such impositions. Because man is a creature created by God, and it is certain that abandoning the moral understanding recommended by Almighty God, as One who knows him best, will make society and individuals lose their happiness in this world and in the hereafter. The effects of these understandings, which have lasted until today, have emerged as unrest, violence and poverty in our society.

These social upheavals in our society have led our people to return to Islam and become moralized with its moral values. Because the only way to get out and get rid of this negative environment is to return to Islamic moral values. Today, this view has been proven to be justified. For this reason, Muslims need to return to their own moral understanding and try to live the moral understanding that is fundamental in the Qur'an of Allah Almighty and the Sunnah of our Prophet. This is the only way to happiness in this world and the hereafter.

Indeed, believers will attain salvation. They are those who are in awe in their prayers, they turn away from empty and meaningless words and deeds, they give their zakat in full, they protect their chastity from everyone except their wives and concubines, and they are not blamed for their relations with their wives. In that case, whoever wants to go beyond this, violates the religiously legitimate boundaries. Those believers abide by the trusts and the promises they make. They continue their prayers. These will inherit the paradises of Firdevs and will stay there forever.” (The Believers, 23/1-11)



Moral debates have been present throughout human history. While some of the people believed in the moral principles revealed by divine revelation, some of them denied it and accepted the moral rules they created with their own reason and desires. However, the non-revelation moral theories created by philosophers, scientists and some clergy have always contradicted each other. In this way, an understanding of morality that is always valid and universal has not been brought up. This is a natural result. Because the human mind cannot grasp the absolute truth. Therefore, there is definitely a missing and wrong side of every theory put forward.

The moral values of Islam aim to make people happy both in this world and in the hereafter. The basis of Islamic moral values is determined by the Qur'an and the Sunnah. The best example and application of Islamic morality is applied by the Prophet (pbuh). Muslims are ordered to imitate this moral understanding and practices.

The secular/modern sense of morality is only an application of the human mind. Therefore, of course, it is partially incomplete and wrong. In recent centuries, people's excessive love of the world and matter has led them to follow this moral understanding. However, this understanding of morality was not sufficient to solve people's material and spiritual problems. On the contrary, injustice, exploitation and wars among people have reached their highest point.

This departure could destroy anyone one day. For this reason, it is imperative for all humanity to return to the moral values of Islam. Happiness in this world and in the hereafter can only be achieved with the principles of Islamic morality.



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Islamic Ethics Superior

over Secular Morality

Publication Date : 10.06.2023