Types of Knowledge Then the Prophet, may God's benedictions be upon him and his family, declared, 'Verily knowledge consists of these three: the firm sign, the just duty and the established sunnah. All else is superfluous.’” Al-Kulayni: al-Kafi, i, "kitab fadl al-'ilm", "bab sifat al-'ilm wa fadluh", hadith no. 1.
Three Sciences The firm signBeliefs The just dutyPractices The established sunnahEthics
Why Study Ethics? The Holy Prophet (SA) said: On the Day of Judgement, nothing more weighty than good conduct is placed in the Balance of every man. Imam Baqir (AS) said: Indeed the most complete believers in faith are the ones best of conduct.
Self-Recognition The Qur’an says: We will show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own selves, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth. Qur’an: 41: 53. The Hadith by the Prophet (SA) says: He who knows his self knows his Lord. Bihar al-Anwar: vol. 2 hadith 23.
Knowledge & Purification Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil. Qur’an: 29: 45. Lest a soul should say: O woe to me! for what I fell short of my duty to Allah. Qur’an: 39: 56. Angels do not enter a house that has a dog. Al-Faqih: vol. 1 hadith 744.
Humans and Animals Both Eat & Drink. Both have offspring. Both have Emotions. Both Move About with Free-will. Both have Five Senses. Or do you think that most of them do hear or understand? They are nothing but as cattle; nay, they are straying farther off from the path. Qur’an: 25: 44.
Difference of Intellect However, Human Beings have the power to reason, while the animals do not. And surely We have honoured the children of Adam, and We carry them in the land and the sea, and We have given them of the good things, and We have made them to excel by an appropriate excellence over most of those whom We have created. Qur’an: 17: 70.
The Base of all Sins Imam Hasan (AS) said: “The people are destroyed in three things: pride, greed and jealousy.” Imam ‘Ali (AS) said: “He who gets married has saved half of his faith.” In another tradition he says: ‘two thirds of his faith’.
Pride تکبر Its root is Self-admiration. Types of Pride: Pride over the Creator: Surely those who are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased. Qur’an: 40: 60. Pride over the creation. Pride over having Knowledge. Pride over good actions. Pride over one’s cast or race. Pride over one’s appearance/ looks. Pride over all other things; wealth, power etc.
Solution to the Pride It is due to ignorance, so one must educate himself. Supplication; one who asks Allah destroys his ego. To eat sitting on the floor. To dress humbly; Salman (RA) was asked why don’t you wear new clothes? He replied: “I am a servant (‘abd), the day I am freed (from this world) I’ll wear new dress. To pray recommended prayers. To accept our mistake when it seems difficult. To give priority to our peers over ourselves.
Greedحرص Its root is the love for this world (dunya). The Holy Prophet (SA) says: “Nothing fills the stomach of a greedy person, except dust.” “Human beings become old, but two things grow younger in them; greed and long hopes.” Mahajjat al-Bayda’: vol. 6 pp. 50. Imam ‘Ali (AS) says in Nahjul Balaghah: “Two seekers are never satisfied; the seeker of knowledge and the seeker of this world.” The Greedy want to live longer. He does not like to spend anything, even on himself and things he likes.
Solutions to Greed It is due to lack of contentment, so one must strengthen contentment. Remembrance of death. Firm belief in Allah’s mercy. Generosity, to start giving little amounts to the deserving and then building on it. To think of the less fortunate than oneself. Disassociate with the worldly.
Jealousyحسد Its root is grudge and grudge is due to anger. Imam Baqir (AS) says: Indeed, jealousy eats up faith (good deeds) like fire burns dry wood. Stages of Jealousy: 1. To envy a thing or quality others possess. 2. To speak against the one you envy. 3. To do something against the one envied. The first stage is forgivable, but not the other two.
Solutions to Jealousy Intellectual solutions: 1. To keep in mind that it destroys both this world and the hereafter. 2. To bear in mind that jealousy does not cause any harm to the envied. 3. To bear in mind that it punishes no one but the one suffering from it. Practical solution: 1. Do not backbite the envied, instead praise him. 2. Do not physically harm the envied.
Four Human Faculties Intellectual Faculty Faculty of Desire Faculty of Anger Faculty of Imagination
Intellectual Faculty قوه عاقله Refinement of this power results in Wisdom. The two extreme ends of this are craftiness and stupidity.
Faculty of Desire قوه شهویه Refinement of this power results in chastity. The two extreme ends of this are gluttony and immobility.
Faculty of Anger قوه غضبیه Refinement of this power results in courageousness. The two extreme ends of this are audaciousness and cowardice.
Faculty of Imagination قوه وهمیه Refinement of this power results in justice. The two extreme ends of this are tyranny and bearing tyranny.
Balance in Life Wisdom Courageousness Chastity Justice