Social values

The Golden Rule – The Ultimate form of Tabligh

The writer, Mohamedarif Mohamed Suleman (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) is a digital marketing specialist and an Educator-cum-Trainer. He has involved himself in community organisations and matters from a young age, and through his writings, continues to speak of social and cultural reform to this day. He is also the founding moderator of this forum.

Social values:

T

he golden rule is a moral precept that says you should treat other people the way you want to be treated (Social values). The golden rule, for instance, asserts that you must treat others with respect if you want them to approach you with respect.

The Golden Rule’s most popular interpretation is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Despite its recognition in common sense ethics, the golden rule has received very little attention in moral philosophy.

This message is clearly egalitarian. When first presented, it appeared to be rather a radical message considering the inequitable social circumstances of the ancient Hebrews.
However, it’s questionable because it arises in the Bible as a confusing piece of guidance alongside dozens of ordinances which have been given far more importance and seem to have greater aim and stricture.
Most likely, the rule also imagined that rivals would relate with neighbours, coworkers, acquaintances, and siblings per the established peer protocols.
The rule confirmed a mood like “We’re all Jews here,” or “all of sect Y,” regardless of the circumstances.
Only after Jesus or Yeshua and also other John-the-Baptist disciples made this rule the focal point of social interaction did it pass Judaism’s boundaries of class, clan, and tribe to become a more radical message.

The rule’s application to outlaws and people below one’s rank, including the needy, lepers, Samaritans, and some heathens, is striking (goyem).
According to Yeshua, the commandment is now simply second in significance to “the Father’s” First Commandment (Hashem).
This includes loving God unreservedly, followed by comforting one’s neighbour as oneself, which considerably elevated the rule’s prestige.
It changed the perspective of Jewish ethics more broadly by placing positive discrimination front and center.
But in terms of moral norms, the “love thy neighbour” adage goes much deeper than the golden rule.
In contrast to the golden rule, which always advocates equal treatment, it emphasizes loving identification with others.

Here are some principal examples of the golden rule:

  • Positive/directive form. The golden rule is a moral code that states that you should treat people as you desire to be treated in return. This follows, for instance, that you should treat others with respect if you want them to treat you with respect.
  • Negative/prohibitive form. The golden rule’s reverse is that you shouldn’t treat individuals in such a way that you wouldn’t want to be treated. This entails, for instance, that you shouldn’t say hurtful items to others if you don’t want them to say hurtful things to you.
  • Empathic/responsive form. When you intend something upon others, you also wish it upon yourself, according to the golden rule because it is expressed emphatically. This suggests, for instance, that if you wish someone rotten experiences, you are equally requesting bad luck for yourself.

in discussing the issue of how we can use global ethical standards, paired with Islamic codes of conduct, advocated by the Holy Qur’an and the messenger of Allah (SWT), we must first accept that the world around us is in chaos. The level of chaos is certainly very high, and this is evident by the routine justification of wrong acts against others using the right reasons. And this is true of individuals as much as it holds for nations. Faced with crises of depleting natural resources, countries are abandoning slogans of friendship and instead arming against each other.

The Holy Qur’an is filled with injunctions about doing good unto others, and how this translates to salvation for eternity. Today, we see the amplified results of neglect of the environment because everyone thought they had to be self-serving only, oblivious of the far-reaching effects on penguins, for instance in the North. The filthy waters that have lost their ability to sustain the planet, the breathing Amazon which has fallen prey to the corporatisation of forests. At the community level, we may also be guilty of not thinking beyond ourselves. The loud-talking friends in the masjid when others are still in prayer, or trying to attune to majlis and the contained teachings.

It is no breaking news ladies and gentlemen, that this life is fleeting before our eyes and unless we consciously purport to leave a positive mark after our departures, we will be guilty of leaving behind norms and practices, contrary to all manner of teachings and setting up new and abominable cultures, that will come to haunt us again and again.

In a strife-torn world, the least we can do is not be part of that strife, but instead follow in the path of a very cultured, very polite and exemplary prophet Muhammad (SAW), to show to the rest of the world that neither Muslims, not Islam, and certainly not the Messenger were savage or archaic, but in fact promoted beautiful universal social values. This would be Tabligh of the highest order, and with time, it could just restore the golden rule we all so much harp about, especially when we are on the receiving end.

In explaining the Islamic version of the Golden Rule in the context of social values, The Holy Prophet (SAW), says “None of you (truly) believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”. In another hadith, he says “Whoever is kind, God will be kind to him; therefore be kind to man on earth. He Who is in heaven will then show mercy to you.”, and ultimately “If you guarantee me six things on your part, I shall guarantee you Paradise: Speak the truth when you talk, keep a promise when you make it, when you are trusted with something fulfil your trust, avoid sexual immorality, lower your gaze (out of modesty) and prevent your hands and tongue from committing injustice.”

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