Dictionary Meaning of (Virtue)
Virtue means: “a quality of moral excellence, goodness, or ” moral goodness of character and behavior.” (1)
Virtue in Islam
Virtue in Islam means; “the moral that takes the position between two vices; that is moderation”. So Islam commands us; Muslims, to be moderate in all activities in worshipping our Lord; Allah, to be moderate when we talk, when we eat and drink, when we spend our money whether on ourselves, our families, kith and kin, or on the poor and the needy, when we work and when we get rest, when we pray whether alone or in congregational prayers, to be moderate in our emotions and finally when we look at our life here and that of the hereafter.
Now let’s discuss each one in detail:
Moderation in Worship:
The Muslim must be moderate in his worship to his Lord, Allah, the Almighty said in the Glorious Quran:
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.” [Qur’an, 2:286] (2)
So don’t go to extremes. Pray when you are quite active. When you feel tired and you need some rest, go to bed at once. The Prophet told his companions who looked at his worship as if they belittled it, saying that Allah has forgiven him what preceded and what came later. One of them said that he would fast every day, the second said that he would pray all night and not sleep at all. The third said that he would desert women; that is, not to marry at all.
Then the Prophet said quite clearly:
It was narrated from Anas that there was a group of the Companions of the Prophet, one of whom said: “I will not marry women.” Another said: “I will not eat meat.” Another said: “I will not sleep on a bed.” Another said: “I will fast and not break my fast.” News of that reached the Messenger of Allah and he praised Allah then said: “What is the matter with people who say such and such? But I pray and I sleep, I fast and I break my fast, and I marry women. Whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not of me.” [Hadith](3)
Moderation in Talking:
The Muslim should be moderate when he talks. Allah, the Almighty said in the Glorious Quran:
And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.” [Qur’an, 31:19] (4)
We should not speak loudly or even whisper.
Moderation in Walking:
We should be moderate when we walk as the previous verse said. Our Prophet used to walk, not slowly, or seeming lazy or sick, nor slouching along as if he had nothing to do. He always widened his pace. He never ran or walked slowly but in between. Running does not cope with the Muslim’s reverence and modesty. The Prophet used to walk as if he were after something, as if he were in a hurry to catch an appointment, but remember that he never ran or slouched along.
Moderation in Drinking:
We should be moderate when we eat and drink. The prophet’s Hadith illustrates this quality quite clearly. He said:
I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: “No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright are sufficient for him. If he has to, then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for his breathing” [Hadith] (5)
so don’t eat to the full of your stomach. We eat to live and the opposite is completely wrong. We don’t live to eat. So what you eat, not how much you eat, that matters. Eat what is good in its nutritional value. Allah commands us to enjoy our life, eat what He ordered us to eat and abstain from certain foods such as the dead, the blood and the pork and what is slaughtered without saying,” in the name of Allah, (Allah is great; “Allahuakbar” in Arabic). Wine and drugs are also forbidden in Islam because when the man gets drunk, he may hurt himself or even his family members. They are quite harmful to our health. We should not forget not to be extravagant. So, Allah, the Almighty said in the Glorious Qur’an:
O children of Adam, take your adornment [i.e., wear your clothing] at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.” [Qur’an, 7:31] (6)
However, we shouldn’t ignore food or we’ll become weak and die in the end. The faithful must be strong and honest.
Moderation in Spending Money:
Muslims should be moderate even when they spend money that they earned legally and according to Allah’s commands. When they spend money on themselves, their families, their kith and kin, they should be moderate, but how? Allah the Almighty said in the Glorious Qur’an:
And do not make your hand [as] chained to your neck or extend it completely and [thereby] become blamed and insolvent.” [Qur’an, 17:29] (7)
Moderation in Giving Money for God’s Sake:
We should also be moderate even when we give money, food and help to the needy and the poor, Allah the Almighty said in the Glorious Qur’an:
And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate.” [Qur’an, 25:67] (8)
Once one of the Prophet’s companions came to him to announce that he donated his garden as a charity in the cause of Allah. Narrated Sa`d:
The Prophet (ﷺ) visited me at Mecca while I was ill. I said (to him), “I have property; May I bequeath all my property in Allah’s Cause?” He said, “No.” I said, “Half of it?” He said, “No.” I said, “One third of it?” He said, “One-third (is alright), yet it is still too much, for you’d better leave your inheritors wealthy than leave them poor, begging of others. Whatever you spend will be considered a Sadaqa for you, even the mouthful of food you put in the mouth of your wife. Anyhow Allah may let you recover, so that some people may benefit by you and others be harmed by you.” [Hadith] (9)
So Allah commands the Moslem to give but a little of what he earns as a charity, but zakat is obligatory.
Moderation in Work and Rest:
You are to be moderate when you work and get rest, how? The true Muslim should divide his day between his work, his prayers, his duties to his family and relatives. He should not ignore his body and his health, either. If he overburdens himself in work, he may get bored and ill. Surely he will neglect his health, his family and relatives. Furthermore, he will neglect his religious duties and obligations. He must give everything its due time. Work but give space to getting rest and some exercise so that you get refreshed and be active to go on. Give some of your time every day to your family; your wife, children and your parents. Those who are workaholics are failures in their homes. They are only bankers but know nothing about their families’ sufferings.
Yet Islam never requests us to be lazy and spend the day worshipping Allah in the mosque. Work in itself is worship as long as you give it its due time, then do your other duties the rest of the day. Allah’s Prophet; David (peace of Allah be upon him) worked as an ironsmith although he had much money and wealth as all kings do have. Allah’s Prophet Zakariya (PBUH ) was a carpenter. Our prophet Mohamed (PBUH) worked as a shepherd and as a trader before the revelation. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
…You owe a duty to your Rubb, you owe a duty to your body; you owe a duty to your family; so you should give to every one his due…” [Hadith] (10)
Moderation in Reciting the Qur’an in Prayers:
When the Muslim prays alone or even in congregational prayers, he should recite al-Fatiha and the verses from the Glorious Quran neither loudly nor whispering. He should recite them in a voice he only hears and not to be heard by the other prayers. The Glorious Quran said:
Say, “Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful [ar-Raḥmān]. Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the best names.” And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way” [Qur’an, 17:110] (11)
Moderation in Emotions:
We should be moderate in our emotions, between enmity and love. Allah the Almighty said in the Glorious Quran:
Perhaps Allah will put, between you and those to whom you have been enemies among them, affection. And Allah is competent, and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an, 60:7] (12)
Moderation in Our Approach to This World Life and that of the Hereafter:
Allah, the Almighty, said in the Glorious Qur’an:
But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.” [Qur’an, 28:77] (13)
Finally, let’s talk about being well mannered in Islam, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,
The dearest and the closest of you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be those who are the best in behaviour; and the most hateful and the farthest from me on the Day of Resurrection will be the talkative and the most pretentious and the most rhetorical” [Hadith] (14)
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,
Allah does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts and accomplishments” [Hadith] (15)
Moslems should be characterized by certain good morals such as modesty, bashfulness and timidity, thankfulness, forbearance, kindness and tenderness, truth, patience, and never be envious, jealous, or dishonest. The most important thing is that he should be firm and remains so all his life. In this way, he will be wise, as Allah the Almighty said in the Glorious Qur’an:
He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding.” [Qur’an, 2:269] (16)
The best wisdom is to succeed in this life and to be content and secure, then you are moderate.
Allah the Almighty Said in the Glorious Qur’an:
And thus We have made you a median [i.e., just] community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith [i.e., your previous prayers]. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful.” [Qur’an, 2:143] (17)
Islam is the religion of moderation that will lead us and all the people on earth to peace and happiness now and paradise on the Day of Judgment. So let’s stick to the teachings of Islam as contained in the Glorious Quran and the Glorious Sunnah to prosper in this life we live and that of the hereafter after death.
The ideas of the above essay are best expressed briefly in the following.
When you walk and talk, when you eat and drink,
When you love and hate, and when you think,
When you spend money, on yourself, your family, your kith and kin,
When you give charity, to the poor and those who need it,
When you pray, when you supplicate to your lord for help,
When you work and when you go for rest, when you look at this life and that of the hereafter,
When you plan your daily life between work and worship.