From the Quran, 6:151-153
Say, ‘Come I will tell you what your Lord has really forbidden you. Do not ascribe anything as partner to Him; be good to your parents; do not kill your children in fear of poverty’ – We will provide for you and for them – ‘stay well away from committing obscenities, whether openly or in secret; do not take the life Allah has made sacred, except by right. This is what He commands you to do; perhaps you will use your reason. Stay well away from the property of orphans, except in the way that is best, until they come of age; give full measure and weight, according to justice’ – We do not burden any soul with more than it can bear – ‘when you speak, be just, even if it concerns a relative; keep any promises you make in Allah's name.’ This is what He commands you to do, so that you may take heed. This is my path leading straight, so follow it, and do not follow other ways they will lead you away from it- ‘This is what He commands you to do, so that you may refrain from wrongdoing. ‘
‘Ubadah ibn Samit said that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to take pledge of Islam from the people in Makkah by reciting these verses. Some scholars call them as “al-Din al-Jami'” (the Universal and Comprehensive Teachings of Religion). These commandments include belief, worship, ethics, and laws pertaining to social, economic and civic matters. Similar teachings were also given in the Torah (Exodus 20:2-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21) to Israelites and are known among Jews and Christians as the Ten Commandments.
In the Quran these commandments are given in three verses. Each verse has a very appropriate ending. In the first verse there are five commands ending with the statement ‘so that you may understand.’ In the second verse there are four commands ending with the statement so that you may remember.’ In the third verse there is one command ending with the statement that you may become God-conscious.’ The obvious meaning is that when you use your reason, remember your responsibilities and follow the Divine Path then you can acquire righteous and pious character, Taqwa. This should be the final objective of your faith. Let us look at these three sets of commands:
- Thus He has instructed you so that you may use your reason:
- Do not associate anything with Him: There is only One God. To believe that there is anyone else who shares the Divinity with Allah is Shirk, a blasphemy and a major sin. Belief in Tawhid or in the Oneness of Allah is the true, most logical and reasonable principle. All other beliefs in duality or multiplicity of gods have no foundation in truth, reason or reality.
- Be kind to your parents: Ihsan towards parent means doing everything nice to them. This includes respect, honor, kindness and love. Reason demands that parents must be honored and thanked for all the sacrifices that they make for their children. The children who neglect or ignore the rights of their parents are deprived of their own reason and decency.
- Do not kill your children because of the fear of poverty: Just as parents have rights so also children have rights. Even the babies and unborn have rights. They
should not be killed for any reason even out of the fear of poverty. Allah provides for everyone. Another rule of reason is that all children should be protected. Just like aren’t should be honored, children should be protected.
- Do not indulge in shameful acts whether openly or secretly: It is not right to do shameful and indecent acts in public but it is also wrong to do them in private. Reasonable thing is that indecencies should be avoided everywhere. Also as there are open sins so there are hidden sins. Open sins are like theft, murder, fornication, bribery, forgery, mischief etc.; but the secret sins are hypocrisy, faithlessness, hate, greed, suspicion etc. All sins must be avoided.
- Do not kill any person whom God has forbidden except through due process of law: All killing is forbidden unless it is under due process of law and justice. When people lose their reason they start killing according to their own hate or anger. They exceed the boundaries of justice. Murderers go free while the innocent are punished or hundreds are made to suffer because of the murder of one or few. All these acts are against the dictates of reason and common sense.
- Thus He instructs you so that you may remember:
- Protect the orphans’ property: This means protect the rights of the weak. People remember the rights of the strong but of the weak they forget.
- Grant full measure and weight in all fairness: One should always be mindful of doing business in an honest way. People forget that honesty should be the policy in all business.
- Whenever you speak, be just even though it concerns a close relative: People tend to side with their close relatives; they forget that they have to be fair towards all people.
- Fulfill your promises: All promises should be fulfilled, but especially those that are made in the name of God. Do not forget your promises.
- Thus has He instructed you so that you may attain piety:
- Follow the straight path of God: Only God’s path is straight. Other paths are not straight and they shall not lead you to God.