What are morals?

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Promised Messiah

Now, one should reflect over what things are worth asking for? Firstly, morals, which raise a person to the status of a human being. One should not surmise that gentle behaviour alone is what constitutes good morals. Creation (khalq) and morals (khulq) are two Arabic words which give corresponding meanings. The word khalq refers to physical birth i.e. the creation of one’s ears, nose, hair, etc., whereas khulq refers to inner, spiritual birth. As such, inner faculties which are the distinguishing factor between a human and non-human are all encompassed in the term khulq. Even a person’s intellect and thoughts etc. and all their other faculties are a part of khulq.

Through khulq, a person reforms their human character. If a person had no responsibilities, one would have to ask whether they were a human, a donkey or something else. When a person’s khulq becomes corrupted, nothing is left but their physical form. For example, if one loses one’s senses, they are deemed mad, and are considered to be a human only by virtue of their apparent figure. Hence, morals are to attain the pleasure of God Almighty (which is personified in the practical life of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). For this reason, it is necessary for us to mould our own lives in accordance with the life of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. These morals are a foundation and if this foundation is weak, an edifice cannot be built upon it. Morals are to place one brick over another. If one brick is misaligned, the entire wall shall be crooked. Someone has rightly stated:

خشت اول چوں نہد معمار کج

تا ثریا مے رود دیوار کج

“When the builder lays crooked the very first brick; The wall will remain crooked even if it reaches the heaven.”

One ought to pay close attention to these matters. I have seen many men and analysed them closely to find that some are generous, but are also prone to anger and they are easily irritated. There are some who show forbearance, but they are also miserly. There are some who are so bold that they will wound a person, striking them with bats in a state of anger and fury, but have no traces of humility and modesty in them. Then, I have observed some who are humble and modest to the utmost extent, but are bereft of the quality of bravery, to the extent that they become petrified by even hearing about plague or cholera. I do not say that those who suffer a lack of bravery are devoid of faith. There were some from among the companions of the Holy Prophetsa who did not have the strength and courage for battle. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, would consider them excused. There are numerous aspects of morality. In my address at the Conference of Great Religions, I have described all of these aspects clearly and at length. All people neither possess every moral quality, nor are they completely deprived either.

(Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Malfuzat, Vol. 1, pp. 128-129)

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