Islamic View on Good and Evil
When looking at the Islamic view on good and evil, it is important to first note that various religious groups teach different kinds of lessons about the two. According to the Islamic Holy Book, the Quran, the philosophy of good and evil is based on the nature of man. The Quran asserts that it has provided knowledge and guidance for all moral virtues and beliefs that Muslims should abide by. It has cautioned man to always be virtuous and avoid vices, the knowledge of both being inherent in him and not imposed from outside his personality.
According to Islam, the highest good is the belief in the unity and providence of Allah. This belief is the pre-requisite of Islamic commandments that advocate for good conduct and morality. It is the divine sanctuary of all good without which no good or virtue is safe and incorruptible. When the Holy Prophet Muhammad was asked which act is the best, his reply was that the belief in Allah is the only act that can be described as good. On the other hand, when asked about the most heinous sin in the eyes of Allah, he replied that it is the act of setting up another god beside Allah.
The highest good has so thoroughly permeated man’s nature that the Holy Quran points out that Allah created the souls of the sons of Adam and got a solemn pledge from them that they would accept Allah alone to be their Lord. A quote from Surah Aa’raf 7: 172 of the Holy Quran reads, ‘’and when your Lord took from the children of Adam, from their loins, their seed, and made them testify upon themselves, ‘Am I not your Lord’? They said, ‘Yes, we testify lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘As for us, we were unaware of this.’
All good emanates from this highest good. Evil is an opposite and independent permanent fact. In human nature, the Almighty has endowed the knowledge of good and evil. The Holy Quran says, ‘’by the human mind and that which perfect it and inspired in it lewdness and God fearing.’’ Islam teaches that the environment is all made up of man’s right or wrong actions. Only good, justice and righteousness spring from the real source of his nature. Evil, cruelty and falsehood are as a result of man’s submission to his immodest desires and everyone holds them to be undesirable.
The knowledge of good and evil are among the capabilities bestowed by the Almighty on man to enable him to face the ordeals of life. God has, thus, mentioned this knowledge as his special bounty. The Holy Quran better puts it this way, ‘’Have we not blessed him with two eyes and tongues, and two lips and guided him on the two highways of right and wrong.’’ (90:8-10) Allah granted man the knowledge of good and evil to follow the righteous path.
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