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The Concept of Birr (Virtue)
Transcript of The Concept of Birr (Virtue)
The Concept of Birr (Virtue)
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
Virtue is what the soul is pleased with, and sin is what kindles doubt in yourself and indecision in your chest when you give your decision.
The Concept of Ithm (Vice/Evil)
any belief, act or saying that is harmful to mankind and against the principle of the divine law
Allah created good things and bad things
He left it for human free will to use its power of choice to make its way between the two paths, and be responsible for the choice
The Al-Quran, As-Sunnah and the human inner conscience provide us with the knowledge of good and evil, as well as giving us information on how to attain good and prevent evil.
A clear understanding of good and evil, a conduct of life that is directed toward the achievement of good for all humanity, and “enjoining good and forbidding evil” are the goals of a person of faith.
good deed will be the one which leads to Paradise
, whereas the
bad is what leads to Hell
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From an Islamic perspective, can be defined as :
a belief, act or saying that is useful and beneficial to mankind and in compliance with the divine law
al-birr = al-khayr =
Categories of virtues in Islam
Observing the obligations enjoined by Allah SWT and those acts recommended by Him to be performed.
Refraining from those acts and sayings that are prohibited by Allah SWT.
All acts which are helpful and beneficial to oneself, his family, relatives, human beings and animals.
Good is any act which is consistent with the concepts of values, virtues, ideals, justice, and welfare, whereas bad is the opposite.
Islam enjoins righteousness and prohibits wrong and evil deeds.
Virtuous of Islamic teachings - to guide all mankind with the right religion and complete way of life, Allah has commanded Muslims to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong:
Islam encourages Muslim to be righteous and, at the same time, to invite Non-Muslims to righteousness. Righteousness is one of the keys to Paradise.
“Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good (i.e., Islam), enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: they are the ones to attain felicity.” (Al Imran 3:104)
This importance of "
" and "
" deeds makes God mention them in the Quran — in contexts of both inviting to the good and warning of the bad —
more than 360 times
, while the Prophet's sayings on it are beyond number.
"He who created death and life, that He may try which of you is best in deed." (Al-Mulk 67:2)
"For those who believe and work righteous deeds is a reward that will never fail." (Fussilat 41:8)
"Taste the penalty of eternity for your evil deeds."
"If any does evil, the doers of evil are only punished to the extent of their deeds." (Al-Qasas 28:84)
Although there are always shared values amongst all cultures that are known to be good, such as honesty, truth and charity, and common acts that are agreed upon to be bad among all cultures, such as cheating, stealing, and lying, yet
there are some values which will remain controversial amongst different value systems
. What is considered a virtue or an ideal in one moral system may not be so in another.
, although it could be good in some cultures, as a source of happiness and psychological relief, it is considered bad in the Islamic context because of the mental confusion which takes away the drinker's self-respect.
, or even
, which could be regarded as good signs of romanticism and personal freedom in some cultures, whereas in Islam they are looked down upon as signs of moral chaos which lead to the destruction of societies.
, it is considered bad in Western societies as a sign of oppressing women, but it is considered good in Islam as it is a sign of women's chastity, self-respect, and so on.
What is amazing in the Islamic moral system is that when the doers of bad deeds become aware of their evil and regret doing it, there is always a chance for them to go back by making repentance at the right time. Then they may be forgiven.
The Quran says what means:
No matter how severe the sin, Islam teaches that individuals can receive forgiveness from God with sincere repentance.
Evil is the result of human choices, but forgiveness is a virtue of Allah and therefore much greater.
"Allah accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them, Allah turns in mercy."
al-ithm = al-sharr =
Categories of vices/sins in Islam
Neglect of obligations and duties without legal justification.
Commission of prohibited acts and sayings.
Abuse the rights of others and causing undue harm to them.
Taking the property of someone without his consent.
“The blood, property and honour of a Muslim must be sacred (forbidden) to every other Muslim.” (
Ithm( sharr) towards
family and relatives
community members and humanity
the Creator of this universe.
Allah’s Messeger (SAW) said:
Never does a Muslim plant trees or cultivate land and birds or a man or a beast eat out of them but that is a charity on his behalf.
Who are actual Righteous person ?
“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces (in prayer) towards East or West…” (2:177)
Avoid superficial concepts and rituals, lifeless formalities and non-effective beliefs.
“… It is no virtue if you enter your houses from the back: it is virtue if you fear Allah. Enter houses through the proper doors: and fear Allah: that you may prosper.” (2:189)
“but it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels and the Book, and the Messengers…”(2:177)
One's Iman (faith) should be true and sincere.
“…to spend of your wealth– inspite of your love for it– for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves…” (2:177)
One must be prepared to show this Iman (faith) in deeds of charity and kindness to the relatives and fellow men.
“…to be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity;”
To fulfil religious obligations.
“…to fulfill the contracts which you have made;”
Respect other's rights and honour one's words.
“…and to be firm and patient,in pain and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic...” (2:177)
One must be patient and unshakable in all circumstances.