Doc.Dr. Halil ALTUNTAS
Member of the Religious Council
When we see someone in a difficult situation we feel distressed. Which heart would not ache to see one with no clothes, freezing in the cold, or to see an elderly or a mother struggling to feed their children. Who would not feel sympathy for a bird with a broken wing. Looking at todays world; can one act as if nothing is going on and close their eyes to people leaving their homes and seeking help from our country just to save their lives. Our inner self desires that these negative situations are dealt with, within ourselves or by the surrounding. And this is the feeling of goodness in humans. Goodness is the integration of “ma’ruf”, “ihsan” and “birr” which represent morality/religion. Due to this, it can be said that goodness is living life in a divine will in an appropriate way. With this point of view, faith sits at the base of the goodness hierarchy whilst morality is at the peak. Nevertheless, faith, sacrifice, worship and morality is the description of goodness in the Qur’an. The Qur’an also states that goodness is the piety of behaviour in a person. If we remind ourselves that piety is staying away from the orders and prohibitions the Allah has stated, we recognise that to be a good person is to be a good Muslim; and to do good is to live life as a Muslim.
Goodness is quality and doing good is an action. As in quality and action, goodness is the innate of Allah. His goodness is eternal blessings to humans which are reflected to others. Here, gratitude comes into action which is the key relationship between Allah and his worshiper and the Islamic consciousness. As gratitude is repaying the blessings given, the Islamic view to “why do we do good?” can be answered by: doing good is reaching out to others and serving them means that have been given to us by Allah (SWT) and being recognized by him as a “believer whom is giving good loans” and through this you will be portraying a conscious action in appreciating. The warrant of “do good like the good Allah has done to you” advises that the good accomplishments in life must be to the absolute good, and the measure of serving should be a response of commitment and should point to a sense of gratitude. In reality, the mechanism of gratitude has been established within us. Similarly, like good, bad is also found in our inner selves, it is our password. The explanation of the password is left for our will. Our actions, regardless of good or bad are made distinct in the following way, the direction of the will is used according to the preferences of individuals. Once the will of good is put aside and abandoned this will turn into a disaster of ungratefulness towards God. We can endorse that this action of negative ambition and self can be resolved through caring towards the hardship of people around us, sharing the pity with fellow man is the art of humanity. The fact that the self and devil have acquired evil as a profession requires people to stand against this and liven the good (emr bi’l-ma’rûf ve nehy anilmünker) through activities that are made to support it. As a result, good will be oriented in favor of institutional grounds: “From you, ensure a community that calls for charity, orders good and abandons from the evil. Those will prosper.” Prophet Lokman (alaihissalam), at the time of his presence echoes the following statement to his son “Order good, keep prevent the evil”. So the faithful person, must not leave his mechanism discarded from good through passive and selfish acts of kindness and on the other hand must reflect the same awareness to the community. Good, which is the source of happiness and the calmness of the spirit can be perceived as equal in line with the term “give”. Stroking the head of an orphan showing him care and consolation. Feeding a hungry animal that cannot confirm with you that he has only received two sips of water from you will definitely be able to feel this. Sparing time to give directions to a person whom is lost. However, speaking of the first association of ‘give’ would most of the time be tangible. Dressing a needy person, saving a person in debt, in other words benefitting others from your financial circumstances. These are all actions of good. Our joy from goodness, will in proportion to the contributions to the quality of our humanity. At this stage good should be stored from the heart and when giving the person who is concerned will be identified through the determinants. Thus doing good for show is nothing but discord. If it were you involved in taking something in contortion but then giving to someone else as a good deed will show that you do not put yourself in the place of those vulnerable. This is the nature of a shadow lowering the agents of good/favor. Thus “You cannot reach good unless you spend the things you love towards the path of Allah (SWT).” To reach good, the orientation of good must be kept active. In fact faculty should be the case. The person who succeeds this will not ask “a naked person ‘where is your clothes’ and to a homeless ‘what happened to your house’.” If there is pain and suffering his role will be to ease the falling. The reason or cause is nothing more than a simple detail. He will know that the good deed he has done is recognized and seen by Allah (SWT). Besides, only Allah knowing the deed will not require any other reason for good to be done. “He knows, he will give the reward, and will not need anyone else to indulge on the action one has done” this specific understanding of religion describes this act as “sincerity” and underlines it as the fruit of the case. Here, regardless of – the give- it is not from the giver but is Allah (SWT), he is only the trustee. “ What the right hand gives, the left hand would not see”, for this the good doer is no privileged against someone who he has provided for. His will not taunt the action of good and too will not expect any acknowledgements. As he is aware that such action will only deprive him from the divine compliments. Happiness in result of doing good is the mark of the sacrifice shown. While giving from your goods if you have learned to give from the valuables you have lowered your passion and have not become the adherent of your materials. The fruit from this success is the freedom of your inner world of pleasure living the atmosphere of high pleasure and liberty feeding on a soul devoted to doing good. In order to reach the social phenomenon of experiencing individual goodness and freeing yourself from the passive position it is essential to engage in corporative activities. The following verse gives us this message, “Cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not corporate in sin and and aggression. Initiating righteousness can also be experienced in the verbal format too. It states in the Quran that the believers “command good, and keeps you away from evil” thus this is therefore the qualifying mark of the shape. However they should keep in mind that in Islam any word said if not supported by action is nothing but only ‘sayings’. The true one is whom recommends good will own the license. By license we refer to, those inspiring and recommending others to be pious and good must be carrying stated qualities. In the Quran, for the Jews of Medina at the time it was said “Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Then will you not reason?” and for the Muslims there was a simple but important warning “Do not be like them”. The ability to disable goodness leads to evil and abuse. Negativity that is loaded by evil in ones self will build and open discomfort and remorse. The only way to get rid of this feeling will be through actions of good deed. This is the ultimate truth of ones soul. There are several charity services that are sensitive hearted, they do not sin and yet they are still not recognized in society. As a result of mistakes and sins the damage that has been done to the truth can be compensated by good intentions and efforts. Thus our Prophet (SAW) has stated that humans cannot be sinless. Too it is indicated in the Quran that a sin can be redeemed through an act of goodness that follows it. In fact this is an act of a keen believer and is certified by the following ayah “No doubt, goodness will replace evil”. Similarly our Prophet (SAW) expresses the meaning further as follows “Wherever you are, prevent yourself from going against Allah (SWT) and do a righteous deed after committing a sin so that it is removed”. Another interpretation of “destroy evil with good” will be to act righteous against anything unfair and evil. Yes, this is a difficult position. However our crude hearts will see the evil and respond rebelliously and say “return to the fold”. Yet this is nothing but surrendering a blind impulse. Instead of acting like “everyone” and doing the easy it is more beneficial to respond in a righteous way. In life this is the most effective technique to exquisite the soul. Acting like this will diminish the rivalry feelings between people. Thus the Quran raises this in the following verse 34 of Surah Fussilat “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” But for those who respond to this as “I tried but the outcome was still evil”, should review the degree of their sincerity in religion. While doing this could man have been overseeing the sake of Allah? Or has he acted like a hunter who has fed birds? Lets say our goal was to favor Allah (SWT), but we still saw evil; we will still be the accomplishers; because the ultimate purpose of our whole being is for the sake of Allah (SWT) and we will be taking more concrete steps in this cause. A famous proverb of ours is as follows “Do good and throw it into the sea, if the fish does not know the creator will.” There’s more to it which is as “Goodness for goodness is from everyone, but goodness against evil is a mans accomplishment.”. We have fortified our marriage; is this something little? Postponing good while having opportunity is a risky attitude morally. Before everything the feeling of goodness will become blunt and will deteriorate until it vanishes. Ore importantly the opportunity of doing good will actually fade away. While the opportunity is there it is important to take advantage of it and use it. Opportunities to do good will not always come in hand. “I will do it later” will only contrite you. We have the right to be happy as much as our good actions.