Basis of Morality
Question asked by .
Answered by Jhangeer Hanif

It is generally said that without God, the cognizance of morals found within every person cannot be explained. Please shed some more light on this.


According to religious scriptures, the creation of man is not accidental or spontaneous. He has, indeed, been created by His Master to abide in this world, for a term appointed in which he would be tried and tested. In this trial, he is required to follow what is good and avoid what is bad. As regards the good and the evil, the Qur’ān maintains that man is inherently aware of both (91:8). In other words, he has inborn knowledge of all that is good and evil. The scriptures further go on to assert that those who lead a good life will be rewarded by their Creator in the Hereafter and those who live a life of sin will be punished in various degrees.

These premises when linked with our ‘being’ bring a striking connection to our mind. Had we been the outcome of some chemical action and reaction we would not have been blessed with innate knowledge of good and bad. In other words, our inborn awareness about what is good and what is evil bears witness to the fact that ‘someone’ has inculcated these values within us. This awareness is so pronounced that it is acknowledged by all of mankind without any distinction. Hence, every one of us regards justice, veracity, and honesty as virtues; and oppression, lying, dishonesty as wicked crimes. So much so, that we feel guilty and ashamed in case we don’t comply with our inborn concept of right and wrong. Thus, the testimony of our conscience, and the fact, that we are aware of the good that we must follow; and the blemishes we must get rid of, leads to only one conclusion: that a Wise and Sagacious Creator very wisely has instilled them into His creation, human beings.

Conversely, when it comes to the viewpoint of atheists, we find that they may provide us with a hypothesis regarding the first cause of man’s creation, but their theory never explains how we have acquired a universally accepted knowledge of right and wrong, and why we feel ashamed when following the wrong path. In other words, without going into the absurd details of chemical action and reaction, the facts that negate the very possibility of such hypotheses are our inborn awareness of what is good and what is evil and the exhortation that we feel from inside to follow the right path and avoid the wrong one. In addition, we are also intellectually convinced on the basis of our idea of good and evil that a Day should come when justice, in its ultimate form, must be dispensed. Therefore, I dare say, a connection between God and our knowledge is evident; and without establishing this connection, it is not possible to comprehend and understand the moral aspect of humanity.

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