SECOND MEANS: NOURISHMENT OF MORAL VIRTUES
One of the ways taking to gradual nourishment, self-perfection, spiritual migration and attaining God’s Nearness is to excel in moral virtues deeply rooted within human primordial nature. Moral ethics are values incorporated within human Celestial Spirit, and with their gradual nourishment, humanity attains perfection and ascends towards the exalted sublime position of God’s Nearness. The Holy Essence of the Lord is the fountainhead of all perfections since a human being also belongs to the Upper Heavens. Through his pure, upright and uncontaminated nature, he recognizes the human perfection which are in proportion to Heavenly Kingdom and naturally feels attraction towards them. Thus, man at all times is being in agreement with the high moral virtues, such as justice, sacrifice, righteousness, trust, benevolence, bravery, patience and perseverance, knowledge, defense of the deprived, thankfulness, generosity, loyalty, reliance upon God, hospatability, pardon and forgiveness, politeness and social service. Almighty God in the Holy Qur’an says:
وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا. فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا. قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا. وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ دَسَّاهَا.
“And a soul and Him Who perfected it; And inspired it (with conscience of) what is wrong for it and (what is) right for it. He is indeed successful who causeth it to grow. And he is indeed a failure who stunteth it. 91:7‑10”
Moral virtues when repeated plant themselves firmly within human self and like a habit become a part of human existence. It influences self‑building, what to become and how to become. Hence, special attention has been paid to ethics in Islam constituting a great portion of the Islamic teachings. Thousands of traditions have dealt with ethics and the majority of the Qur’anic verses and stories have referred to and pursued ethical commands and objectives so much that it can be called a book of ethics.
In principle, one of the great aims of the Prophets is self-purification and nourishment of moral excellence. The Prophet of Islam too had clearly announced the objective behind his Mission as perfection and nourishment of ethics:
عَلَيكُم بِمَكارِمِ الأخْلاقِ فإنَّ اللهَ بَعَثَنِي بِها.
“Adhere yourselves to the high moral standards for Almighty God has sent me for spreading them.” (Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 69 pp. 375)
إنَّما بُعِثْتُ لأُتَمِّمَ مَكارِمَ الأخْلاقِ.
“I have been appointed for the prophethood for sake of completing the hight moral standards.” (al-Mustadrak, vol. 2 pp. 282)