original Torah has been summed up in verses 22-38 of Surah Al-Isra. (Mazhari)
Since the teachings in these verses are now a part of the Quran, Muslims must follow them just like the followers of Prophet Musa (AS) were supposed to do. The same, one God sent instructions through different Prophets. Hence there is uniformity and consistency in the underlying message of revelations received through all the Prophets.
Good deeds of the people are acceptable to Allah (SWT) only if people have proper belief and their deeds are in accordance with the guidance provided by their respective Prophets. The above verses describe those deeds which are acceptable to Allah (SWT) and, of course there is a generous reward for them. Any form of disobedience will be punished by Allah (SWT).
First and the foremost is the firm belief in the unity of Allah. It is immediately followed by the respect for parents. Al-Isra # 22-25
Set not up with Allah any other ilah (god), (O man)!, or you will sit down reproved, forsaken (in the Hell-fire). And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.” Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance.
Hence among the rights of people , the most important right is that of the parents. (More details about the respect for parents are given in a separate article in this book).
Next we are asked to fulfil the rights of relatives, the poor and the wayfarer.
Al-Isra # 26-27
And give to the kinsman his due and to the poor and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin (devils), and the Shaitan (Devil-Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
Explanation of the verse # 26 is given in At-Taubah # 60
As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara’ (poor), and Al-Masakin (the needy) and those employed to collect (the funds), and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam), and to free the captives, and for those in debt, and for Allah’s Cause (i.e. for Mujahidun – those fighting in a holy battle), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.
Note, by helping the relatives, the poor and the wayfarer we are not doing any favour to them. We are only fulfilling our duty to them.
So far the various instructions regarding the rights of people are:
1. Rights of parents.
2. Rights of relatives.
3. Rights of general public.
The following verse cultivates a high standard of human relations. Al-Isra # 28
And if you (O Mohammad (SAS)) turn away from them (kindred, poor, wayfarer whom We have ordered you to give their rights, but if you have no money at the time they ask you for it) and you are awaiting a mercy from your Lord for which you hope, then, speak unto them a soft, kind word (i.e. Allah will give me and I shall give you).
4. If you do not have something to give to the people, you should not be rude to them. Rather talk to them kindly with sincerity. Obviously, if you show this behavior, great love bonds can be built among all the people.
The next two verses teach us to follow the middle path in spending. Al-Isra # 29,30
And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty. Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves.
5. Hence do not be a miser and do not spend more than you can handle since it will cause you hardship. You cannot fulfil the needs of all the world around you. Only Allah (SWT) can. Hence do what you can without causing hardship and misery to yourself.
Jabber (RU) narrated that once a boy came to Prophet Mohammad (SAS) and said, “My mother requests you to send her a shirt.” Mohammad (SAS) said, “Please come another time when I have more to give you.” The boy returned from his home and said, “My mother requests you to give the shirt you have on your body now.” Prophet (SAS) took off his shirt and gave it to the boy. The Prophet was left with no shirt to cover his body. Meanwhile the call for prayer was made and people were waiting for the Prophet (SAS) in the mosque. People got worried when the Prophet (SAS) did not come out of his house. They went to his house and found him sitting without shirt on his body. This verse was revealed to instruct us not to cause extreme hardship to ourselves. Do what is humanly possible for you.
The next verse prohibits the killing of children for the fear of poverty. Al-Isra # 31
And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.
6. It is interesting to note that in this verse Allah (SWT) is telling the people that He will provide sustenance for the children and then for them. In other words, parents get their provisions because of their good behaviour toward the weak and poor. Furthermore don’t forget that Allah (SWT) is the provider and not the parents. Hence there is no sense in killing the children for the fear of poverty.
Next verse says not to commit adultery, since it is an evil act.
Al-Isra # 32
And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a shameful deed and evil way (that leads one to Hell).
7. Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “Modesty is an integral part of belief’’ (Bukhari)
Once this modesty is compromised, it results in moral and social degradation.
Verse # 33 instructs us not to kill others wrongfully. Isra # 33
And do not kill anyone whose killing Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause. And whoever is killed wrongfully, We have given his heir the authority [to demand Qisas, – Law of Equality in punishment – or to forgive, or to take Diyah (blood-money)]. But let him not exceed limits in the matter of taking life (i.e he should not kill except the killer). Verily, he is helped (by the law).
8. Abdullah Ibn Masud (RU) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “You are not allowed to kill any Muslim who believes in oneness of Allah (SWT) and Mohammad (SAS) as his prophet except in the following three cases.
(i) A married person found guilty of adultery.
(ii) A person who has killed someone unjustly. The relatives of the deceased person may seek justice through governmental agencies.
(iii) When one reverts to ignorance after accepting Islam.
9. We noticed in the earlier part of the article that it is not allowed to be extravagant. You should definitely not spend money of an orphan wastefully who does not has the ability even to claim his own rights. Hence wasting orphan’s money is worse than wasting your own money.
10. The biggest promise we make is the declaration of allegiance to Allah (SWT) namely,
“I stand witness that there is no other God worth worshiping except Allah and I stand witness that Mohammad (SAS) is his messenger.”
We must live with the full spirit of this allegiance. Furthermore the promises between the people must also be fulfilled since there will be accountability of each promise on the Day of Judgement.
Next verse advises to measure and weigh correctly. Al-Isra # 35
And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight. That is good (advantageous) and better in the end.
11. The last part of this verse reminds us that weighing and measuring correctly is not only good religiously but is also good for worldly reasons. What else should you expect from a gentleman? Furthermore, the end result of correct measuring and weighing is good for two reasons:
(i) It establishes good public relation and promotes the trade.
(ii) It will enable the trader to enter paradise with the mercy of Allah (SWT).
A chapter of the Quran is named Al-Mutaffifin (those who give less in measure and weight) to draw attention to this important topic.
Al-Mutaffifin # 1-3
Woe to Al-Mutaffifun (those who give less in measure and weight). Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, demand full measure, and when they have to give by measure or weight to (other) men, give less than due.
Giving less in measure and weight truly means fraudulently depriving others of their rights. People of Prophet Shoab (AS) did this and this was one of the major reasons for their punishment by Allah (SWT).
Next three verses are about social interactions. Al-Isra # 36
And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not) that
of which you have no knowledge. Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those one will be questioned (by Allah).
12. Hence do not believe in or act on something till you are sure of its correctness. If you follow something blindly without due investigation, then your ears, eyes or heart, whichever is involved, will be questioned about it on the day of judgement. These organs will act as witness, Ya-Sin # 65.
This Day, We shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn.
The next verse instructs us not to be arrogant. Al-Isra # 37
And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth, nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height.
13. Abdullah Ibn Masud (RU) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “A person will not be able to enter paradise if he has even a tiny bit of arrogance.” (Muslim)
Ayyad bin Hammad narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “Allah has ordered us to be humble and modest. In no way should you be arrogant or cruel to others.” (Muslim)
Allah (SWT) hates the violations of above instructions. Al-Isra # 38
All the bad aspects of these (the above mentioned things) are hateful to your Lord.
May Allah enable us and the Jews to follow this guidance. Ameen