By Ejaz Naqvi
July 24, 2018
Jews and Christians are very familiar with the Ten Commandments. I had
published a post as to why Muslims believe the Ten Commandments are very
Islamic as well as a set of Ten powerful lessons in one chapter in the Qur’an.
Recently I came across another set of ten verses that have been dubbed ‘The Ten
Moral Commandments” in the Qur’an by Solomon Nigosian, a historian and a
research associate at the Victoria College, University of Toronto, that revolve
around theology, moral and ethical values.
The Ten Commandments appear twice in the
Torah-in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. It is important to point out that
there are no universally accepted parallels in Islam to the Ten Commandments
and this is but one view of a set of Commandments in the Qur’an. Just like the
Hebrew Bible, the Qur’an does not limit the Commandments to ten. Like the
Hebrew Bible, there are numerous additional Commandments that are spread
throughout the Qur’an.
Though not as widely known (or accepted),
Solomon Nigosian in his book, Islam: Its History, Teachings and Practices,
makes a reference to a set of ten moral commandments in the 17th chapter (Surah Isra) of the Qur’an which may be
regarded as the “Islamic Commandments”, though I have modified them slightly.
The chapter starts with references to
Prophet Muhammad’s night journey (Isra/Miraj) to the heaven during his life
time, and then quickly turn to a set of commands.
Worship only God:
Just like the Hebrew Bible, the set of
commands starts with worshipping One God and no one else. Do not associate with
God any other god, lest you sit down despised, neglected. 17:22
Be Kind to Your Parents:
As is the case elsewhere in the Bible,
respect for the parents is mentioned side by side with the command to make no
partners with One God, thus highlighting the importance of kindness to the
parents. Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be
kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say
not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of
honour. And, out of kindness, lower to
them the wing of humility, and say:
“My Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy even as
they cherished me in childhood.” 17:23-24.
The last part of verse 24 is part of my own
daily prayers that I ask for my deceased parents.
Be Charitable, Be Kind And Don’t Be
Not only charitable giving is a command,
but if you cannot help, turn away with kindness. And give to the near of kin
his due and (to) the needy and the wayfarer, and do not squander wastefully.
Surely the squanderers are the fellows of the evil ones and the evil one is
ever ungrateful to his Lord. And if you turn away from them to seek mercy from
your Lord, which you hope for, speak to them a gentle word. 17:26-28
Do not kill your children fearing poverty:
Killing the children was not an uncommon tradition in the age of ignorance or
Jahiliah-the period of time in Arabia before the dawn of Islam. And do not kill
your children for fear of poverty;
We give them
sustenance and yourselves (too); surely to kill them is a great sin. 17:31
Do not commit adultery; do not even think
about it: Just like the Ten Commandments, adultery is prohibited but the
believers are not to even get close to it. And come not near unto adultery. Lo!
it is an abomination and an evil way. 17:32
Do Not Kill Unjustly:
This is another commandment that is shared
with the ‘Ten Commandments’. It does not mean that an individual could take it
upon himself/herself to kill for “just reasons”. Islam allows capital
punishment and this “killing” implies capital punishment by the judiciary, as
well as during wars. And do not kill any
one whom God has forbidden, except for a just cause (in the course of justice),
and whoever is slain unjustly, We have indeed given to his heir authority, so
let him not exceed the just limits in slaying; surely he is aided. 17:33
Caring For the Orphans- Do Not Steal Their Property:
Care for the orphans is repeatedly
emphasized and if one is a guardian of an orphan, their property is to be
handled with utmost honesty. And draw not near to the property of the orphan
except in a goodly way till he attains his maturity and fulfil the promise;
surely (every) promise shall be questioned about. 17:34
Be Honest In Business:
The verbiage refers to the old times when
the marketplace used to have measures and weights (and is still applicable in
many situations). Give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance
that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the
final determination. 17:35
Do Not Be Arrogant- Be Humble:
This is in line with repeated commands to
be humble and not be boastful. And do not go about in the land exultingly, for
you cannot cut through the earth nor reach the mountains in height. 17:37
Worship God only:
The set of commandments end how it started-
by reminding of the grave sin to associate partners with God. These are among
the (precepts of) wisdom, which your Lord has revealed to you. Do not associate
with God any other god. 17:39
If they seem redundant, the Qur’an
acknowledges this right after this set of verses:
We have repeated (warnings) in this Qur’an that they may be mindful… 17:41
How many of these commandments do you find
in common with the 613 Jewish Mitzvot?
is good to check the similarities and dissimalarities between the Quran and
Bible in order to reach the right understanding of God Almighty. To study this
one needs to be honest in his approach and enlightenment-seeking effort.
were intellectual individuals who devoted their life to studying these two
books in their academic arena but now focus is given more on irrelevant topics
which make us think that there is actually no effort to reach truth but an
effort to use abusive words for each other, and to show inbuilt habit of hatred
towards each other. Such efforts of studies should be restricted purely to the
ground of intellectual difference, which creates the beauty in knowledge.
are the groups of Christians who believe the creed of trinity is false and was
a result of alteration. They even declare those who belive in the creed of
trinity to be heretics.
popular debate taking place between Dr. Anis Shorrosh Vs Sheikh Ahmed Deedat is
brainstorming and fruitful to initiate the study of similarities and
dissimilarities between the Quran and the Bible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXIBBCcJfRc