In terms of etymology, ethical value comes from the Greek word, ethos which means the character of morality or custom. In the Great Dictionary of Indonesian, it means knowledge of what is good and what is bad about moral rights and obligations (akhlaq), basic groups of moral values, values of right or wrong that belong to a group or society. From the understanding of linguistic knowledge, it is seen that ethics is related to the efforts to determine human behavior.
The ethical value in Islam is a tool of infinite and great value that not only contains the attitude, the normative behavior, that is in the form of human relationship with God (faith) but the manifestation of the human relationship to God, human with nature. Ethics and morals are recommended in the teachings of Islam contained in the Qur’an and Sunnah, following the example of Prophet Muhammad.
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Criteria of Ethical Value
The four criteria that make Islamic ethics unique:
1. Basic Principle
The fundamental ethics of Islam is derived from the divine (prophecy), namely the Qur’an and al-Hadith. Islam also recognizes humanity’s source (dalil ‘aqli’) which consists of human sense, instinct, emotion, and experience. However, this sense, instinct, emotion, and experience are also in line with the revelation of the Qur’an and al-Hadith itself. The combination of this divine source and human resource yields Islamic ethics that can underlie all human activity.
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Islamic ethics covers theoretical aspects (majal al-nazar) and practice (majal al-`amal). Islamic ethics is not only based on theoretical thinking of past scholars in various fields but is like the form of practices directly related to human deeds itself. Morals shown by Prophet Muhammad SAW are the most appropriate role models. Prophet Muhammad managed to practice the Islamic moral demands within the scope of self, household, community environment, even in the nation. Collaboration from this aspect of the theory and practice makes Islamic ethics very complete to be implemented in all aspects of life.
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The values in Islamic ethics include in various aspects and dimensions. In accordance with the nature of its Creator who has all the perfection, then the value He utters symbolizes His majesty. Something categorized as good or bad, true or false will remain and be adopted by humanity at any time. In terms of value categories, Islamic ethics includes positive values (ijabiyah) and negative values (salbiyah). Positive values refer to values that affect the human nature of human beings and must be practiced. Negative values leave a bad impression and should be avoided as it causes loss to many people.
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The basic Islamic obedience to Islamic ethics is also quite unique. In nature, nothing is considered good or bad (substance), but Allah SWT determines whether something is good or bad. Therefore, the factors that encourage obedience to Islamic ethics are obedience and adherence to the teachings of Islam itself. All values governed by Islam are done solely because of Allah SWT. It is based solely on confidence, commitment and willingness, not because of a rule of thumb or a boss’s direction.
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Types of Ethical Value
Ethical value based on Al-Quran has a humanistic and rationalistic nature. Humanistic in the sense of directing humanity to the highest achievement of the human nature and not contrary to human nature itself. Instead, it is rationalistic that all the messages taught by the Qur’an to human beings are in line with the achievement of human rationality set forth in the works of the philosophers.
Messages such as invocations to the truth, justice, honesty, hygiene, respect for parents, hard work, love of science are all in opposition to both of these abilities. This is more firmly when viewed from the depiction of the attitude and behavior of the Prophet Muhammad called the Qur’an as having a great character.
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Here are some types of ethical value:
1. Social Ethics
In social life, the process of communication and interaction between individuals and groups, even (often taking the form of conflicts and social tensions, conflicts, and social tensions arising from the plurality, both in the view of life, political ideology, ethnicity, culture, religious beliefs, and economic interests. Social ethics is among others built from the basic principles of mutual life as above, namely:
- Equality and Togetherness
The principle of equality and togetherness means that all social groups are essentially the same, without the need to eliminate the social stratification that has become a social reality, and each social group has the same rights and obligations. In Islamic philosophy, the reality of plurals is the nature of the life itself, can not be denied, it is even God’s own will, because if God does not want plurality, it is certainly easy for Him to make a mere single reality, but the reality exists is pluralism in various aspects of human life in the world.
“To each of you, We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so the race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.” (Surah Al-Mai’dah 5:48)
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- Social Justice
The principle of enforcement of social justice is minimizing social inequalities and diluting social tensions resulting from feelings of unjust treatment and will increase participation in the improvement of people’s living standards in various aspects. In the concept of Islamic philosophy, justice part of taqwa and the dignity of human determined by the taqwa and level of justice.
“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” (Surah Al-Mai’dah 5:8)
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- Openness and Deliberation
In a pluralist society, consisting of multi-ethnic, multi-religious and various political streams, it is necessary to have an open leadership and to develop a spirit of deliberation, especially with regard to public rights, and to keep the public space for public purposes, with open management. In the concept of Islamic philosophy, social ethics is the soul of an openly developed discussion.
“So because (of) Mercy from Allah you dealt gently with them. And if you had been rude (and) harsh (at) [the] heart, surely they (would have) dispersed from around you. Then pardon [from] them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. Then when you have decided, then put trust in Allah. Indeed, Allah loves the ones who put trust (in Him).” (Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:159)
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2. Economic Ethics
Economics is an activity directly related to the effort to meet the basic needs of human life, which is related to basic daily needs, so it is a big influence in the formation of behavior patterns of people in various aspects of life. Prophet Muhammad had said kadal—faqru an-yakuna kufran, almost certainly poverty brought the cause of kufr.
In the concept of Islamic Philosophy, the ownership of wealth by individuals or society is not absolute because the real wealth is obtained only by utilizing natural wealth and cooperation with other fellow human beings. The absolute owner who controls the heavens and the earth is only God Himself, not human, either by any person or society.
“And if you ask them, “Who created the heavens and the earth?” They will surely say, “Allah.” Say, “All praises (are) for Allah.” But most of them (do) not know. To Allah (belongs) whatever (is) in the heavens and the earth. Indeed, Allah, He (is) Free of need, the Praiseworthy.” (Surah Luqman 31:25-26)
“And in their wealth (was the) right (of) those who asked and the deprived.” (Surah Adh-Dhariyat 51:19)
“Take from their wealth a charity, purifying them and cause them increase by it, and bless [upon] them. Indeed, your blessings are a reassurance for them. And Allah (is) All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (Surah At-Tawbah 9:123)
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3. Political Ethics
Political activity is an activity that seeks to seize and gain power because with power considered a person or community group will have great access to participate in formulating and establishing public policies that benefit himself or his group. In the concept of Islamic philosophy, the form of state and government is not absolute, the absolute is the morality of humanity or akhlakulkarimah which should be the basis of the implementation of state power, where deliberation, justice, equality, and freedom of thought become the pillars of government and state power.
The concept of khalifah in the political context must be understood as a concept of political power based on the laws of God, both written in his words and contained in human and nature, namely the law of religion and morality, the law of common sense and nature.
“And when said your Lord to the angels, “Indeed, I (am) going to place in the earth a vicegerent, they said, “Will You place in it (one) who will spread corruption in it and will shed [the] blood[s], while we, [we] glorify (You) with Your praises and we sanctify [to] He said, “Indeed, [I] know what not you know.” And He taught Adam the names – all of them. Then He displayed them to the angels, then He said, “Inform of (the) names (of) these if you are truthful.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:30-31)
“O Daud! Indeed, We [We] have made you a vicegerent in the earth, so judge between [the] men in truth and (do) not follow the desire, for it will lead you astray from (the) way (of) Allah. Indeed, those who go astray from (the) way (of) Allah, for them (is) a punishment severe because they forgot (the) Day (of) Account.” (Surah Sad 38:26)
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4. Cultural Ethics
Culture in the context of ethics is culture in the sense of a verb or culture as a process, not as a noun or product. Thus, culture as a noun or product can be understood as value-free, even though its presence often forces one to adapt to it, the presence of industry in an area, has forced the surrounding population to adjust to the rhythm of industrialization. In the concept of Islamic philosophy, in fact, the process of culture from the beginning should not be released from the ethical values because culture is the existence of human life itself is framed in ethical values.
“Have you seen (he) who takes (as) his god his desire and Allah let him go astray knowingly, and upon his hearing and his heart and puts over his vision a veil? Then who will guide him after Allah? Then will not you receive admonition?” (Surah Al-Jathiyah 45:23)
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5. Religious Ethics
Religion is a source of ethical values because religion sees the nature of man in his good deeds. In the concept of Islamic philosophy, there are four main points that are discussed religion, namely God, human, nature, and culture. Religious ethics basically governs human relationships with God, human with others and with himself, human relationships with nature around him and human relationships with culture.
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- Ethics of Human Relations with God
Religious ethics affirms that the human’s relationship with God is the relationship between creation and his Creator, the relationship between makhluq and al-Khaliq. Therefore, religious ethics dictates the necessity of human to submit and obey the Lord, because the human was created by God to worship and serve Him, through his creative work for humanity.
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Surah Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)
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- Ethics of Human Relations with Others
In essence, the position of a human with others is the same and equal, equally as the creation (makhluq) of Allah, and therefore in the presence of Allah are all the same, which distinguishes him only the deeds and taqwa. Therefore, individually, human relationships with other human beings, each having the same right, each individual with other individuals should not coerce each other and deprive someone’s right. Therefore, there is no compulsion in religion, each religion has the right to live and each of the followers of a religion should tolerate the differences of their respective religions.
“(There is) no compulsion in the religion. Surely has become distinct the right (path) from the wrong. Then whoever disbelieves in false deities and believes in Allah, then surely he grasped the handhold – [the] firm, (which) not (will) break [for it]. And Allah (is) All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:256)
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- Ethics of Human Relations with His Creation
In the face of creation or culture, the man basically holds full authority, meaning that man is fully responsible for what he does to His creation, and it is totally dependent on the human. The ethical religion views all human creation as a means to simplify and make life more comfortable, and to accelerate the achievement of its purpose, as a tool, it should not be turned into a goal.
“And the grazing livestock He has created for you; in them is warmth and [numerous] benefits, and from them, you eat.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:5)
That’s it for the ethical values of Islam. Hope this article will make us better in staying on Allah’s side.