Morals Defined

Of human actions, those that relate to human beings and are inter-human in character are called moral. The same actions, when they relate to God, are called spiritual and form part of the spiritual life of man. A man who lies to other men is a liar; he commits the immorality of lying. If he lies to God, it means he is dead spiritually. To be pious and religious, a man has to be right on both counts. Moral actions which obey the Law of Shariah become spiritual actions and a part of religious faith and life. The same actions without reference to the spiritual part, when carried out as part of social tradition or culture are called moral. A person who is mindful in respect of such actions is called a moral human being.

Thus the moral and spiritual states are closely connected. The only difference between the two is that when our activities are directed towards man, they are called moral activities; when they are directed towards God, they become spiritual. Hence when I speak about morals, I should also be understood to be speaking about the spiritual side of man. The difference is obvious. One kind relates to man, the other to God. I shall observe this difference wherever necessary.

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