Degradation of moral values in our society is a favourite topic of daily conversation these days. Every thinking soul seems to lament the state of our collective moral fiber. Being honest, truthful, just and compassionate seem to be attributes of bye-gone days, not to be seen in contemporary society, at least in this country named Pakistan (Land of the pure).
An analytical look at the causes of this degradation brings out one very crucial point. A turning point in our cultural history, when enemies of Islam decided to weaken it by segregating morality from religious practices. When did this begin cannot be exactly determined, but those of age would remember in one of the movies in the early 60’s where the Hero of the movie who is a dacoit by profession, immediately responds to the Azan (call of prayers) and when the Heroine asks him why is he robbing and praying at the same time, he replies “chori mera paisha, namaz mera farz” (robbery is my profession while prayers is my obligation).
The importance of moral values in Islam can well be highlighted by recounting the fact that the Prophet of Islam established himself as ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Amin’ (Truthful and Trustworthy) for forty years, before he declared he was the prophet of Allah and the people believed him because of his record of being truthful and trust- worthy throughout his life. Now, unfortunately, we are neither truthful nor trustworthy -thanks to those who have successfully maneuvered to deliver these basic attributes of the Prophet, redundant in Muslims.
It is a tragic truth that neither in the Mosque sermons nor Tablighi congregations, adequate mention is made about the two core attributes of our Prophet. In fact, honesty, truthfulness, trustworthiness, justice, compassion, mean little to our religious preachers, while drinking, dancing, watching TV etc seem to be their prime targets of concern. The fact that drinking alcohol and taking/giving bribe are both haram (prohibited) in Islam and the later is prohibited more vehemently, but whereas drinking is admonished in almost every sermon, bribery is hardly ever mentioned. In fact the curse of bribery has become so common in our society that the preachers think it ‘prudent’ to turn a blind eye to it.
Now, that, because of our laxity in observing the golden principles of Islam and corrupting our priorities, money has become the winner and has become more powerful than life for Muslims. It is the need of the hour that a Jehad be waged against telling lies, cheating, untrustworthiness, callousness, injustice, discompassion, bribery and all money related weaknesses that encompass us. This will also be a natural detente to terrorism
and extremism- bi-product of the aforementioned ills.