Quran’s Rules to Live By

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This page from the Quran annotated in Chinese illustrates the universality of Quranic guidance and law. Featured image above from a wall at Harvard University.

The list below of most of the Quran’s basic rules to live by strikes me as one of the best in its clarity, each with a Quranic reference. Found on the Quora website in an answer to a troll-type question: “if Islam is a good religion, why does it say kill kafirs (non-Muslims)?” Of course this is the lie promoted by the Islamophobia industry, which is used to torture, kill, and defame Muslims or to eradicate their freedom of mind. Those who work for such an industry often do the same with other groups they want to scapegoat as well. It is often used as a tactic to divert attention away from their own crimes and oppression to a boogeyman in other people whom they neither know nor were harmed by, so they can continue their evil deeds without being held accountable. But maybe they also hate the list below from the Quran. 

In response, here is the list that clarifies the meanings, not exactly direct translation but true to the original in English paraphrase that people can easily understand:

Righteous Behavior

Respect and honour all human beings irrespective of their religion, colour, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, profession/job and so on [al-Isra’ 17:70]

Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception [al-Ahzab 33:70]

Choose best words to speak and say them in the best possible way [al-Baqarah 2:83]

Do not shout. Speak politely keeping your voice low. [Luqman 31:19]

Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and ostentatious [al-Hajj 22:30]

Do not confound truth with falsehood [al-Baqarah 2:42]

Say with your mouth what is in your heart [al-Imran 3:167]

Speak in a civilised manner in a language that is recognised by the society around you and is commonly used [An-Nisa’ 4:5]

When you voice an opinion, be just, even if it is against a relative [al-An’am 6:152]

Do not be a bragging boaster [Luqman 31:18]

Do not talk, listen or do anything vain [al-Mu’mineen 23:3, al-Qasas 28:55]

Do not participate in any paltry behavior. If you pass near a futile play, then pass by with dignity [al-Furqan 25:72]

Do not verge upon any immodesty or lewdness whether surreptitious or overt [al-An’am 6:151]

If, unintentionally, any misconduct occurs by you, then correct yourself expeditiously [al-Imran 3:134]

Do not be contemptuous or arrogant with people [Luqman 31:18]

Do not walk haughtily or with conceit [al-Isra’ 17:37, Luqman 31:18]

Be moderate in thy pace [Luqman 31:19]

Walk with humility and sedateness [al-Furqan 25:63]

Keep your gazes lowered devoid of any lecherous leers and salacious stares [an-Nur 24:30-31, Ghafir 40:19]

If you do not have complete knowledge about anything, better keep your mouth shut. You might think that speaking about something without full knowledge is a trivial matter. But it might have grave consequences [an-Nur 24:14-16]

When you hear something malicious about someone, keep a favourable view about him/her until you attain full knowledge about the matter. Consider others innocent until they are proven guilty with solid and truthful evidence [an-Nur 24:12-13]

Ascertain the truth of any news, lest you smite someone in ignorance and afterwards repent of what you did [Al-Hujurat 49:6]

Do not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and conception) you must verify it for yourself. In the Court of your Lord, you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning [al-Isra’ 17:36]

Never think that you have reached the final stage of knowledge and nobody knows more than yourself. Remember! Above everyone endowed with knowledge is another endowed with more knowledge [al-Isra’ 17:26]. Even the Prophet (pbuh) was asked to keep praying, “O My sustainer! Advance me in knowledge.” [Ta Ha 20:114]

The believers are but a single Brotherhood. Live like members of one family, brothers and sisters unto one another [Al-Hujurat 49:10]

Do not make mockery of others or ridicule others [Al-Hujurat 49:11]

Do not defame others [Al-Hujurat 49:11]

Do not insult others by nicknames [Al-Hujurat 49:11]

Avoid suspicion and guesswork. Suspicion and guesswork might deplete your communal energy [Al-Hujurat 49:12]

Spy not upon one another [Al-Hujurat 49:12]

Do not backbite one another [Al-Hujurat 49:12]

When you meet each other, offer good wishes and blessings for safety. One who conveys to you a message of safety and security and also when a courteous greeting is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous or (at least) of equal courtesy [An Nisa 4:86]

When you enter your own home or the home of somebody else, compliment those within [an-Nur 24:61]

Do not enter houses other than your own until you have sought permission; and then greet those within and wish them a life of blessing, purity and pleasure [an-Nur 24:27]

Significant Ethics

Treat kindly without reservation:

  • Your parents
  • Relatives
  • The orphans
  • And those who have been left alone in the society[An-Nisa’ 4:36]

Take care of:

  • The needy 
  • The disabled 
  • Those whose hard earned income is insufficient to meet their needs 
  • And those whose businesses have stalled 
  • And those who have lost their jobs. [An-Nisa’ 4:36]

Treat kindly:

  • Your related neighbours, and unrelated neighbours 
  • Companions by your side in public gatherings, or public transportation [An-Nisa’ 4:36]
  • People who work under your care. [An-Nisa’ 4:36]

Be generous to:

  • the needy wayfarer 
  • the homeless son of the street 
  • and the one who reaches you in a destitute condition [An-Nisa’ 4:36]

Do Not Negate Good Behavior with Bad

Do not follow up what you have given to others to afflict them with reminders of your generosity [al-Baqarah 2:262]

Do not expect a return for your good behaviour, not even thanks [al-Insan 76:9]

Cooperate with one another in good deeds and do not cooperate with others in evil and bad matters [al-Ma’ida 5:2]

Do not try to impress people on account of self-proclaimed virtues [an-Najm 53:32]

You should enjoin right conduct on others but mend your own ways first. Actions speak louder than words. You must first practice good deeds yourself, then preach [al-Baqarah 2:44]

Correct yourself and your families first [before trying to correct others] [at-Tahrim 66:6]

Pardon gracefully anyone among you who commits a bad deed out of ignorance, and then repents and amends [al-An’am 6:54, al-Imran 3:134]

Divert and sublimate your anger and potentially virulent emotions to creative energy, and become a source of tranquillity and comfort to people [al-Imran 3:134]

Call people to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation. Reason with them most decently [an-Nahl 16:125]

Leave to themselves those who do not give any importance to the Divine code and have adopted and consider it as mere play and amusement [al-An’am 6:70]

Sit not in the company of those who ridicule Divine Law unless they engage in some other conversation [an-Nisa’ 4:140, al An’am 6:68]

Do not be jealous of those who are blessed [An-Nisa’ 4:54]

In your collective life, make room for others [al-Mujadilah 58:11]

When invited to dine, Go at the appointed time. Do not arrive too early to wait for the preparation of meal or linger after eating to engage in bootless babble. Such things may cause inconvenience to the host [al-Ahzab 33:53]

Eat and drink [what is lawful] in moderation [al-Ar’af 7:31]

Do not squander your wealth senselessly [al-Isra’ 17:26]

Fulfil your promises and commitments [al-Isra’ 17:34]

Keep yourself clean, pure [at-Taubah 9:108, An-Nisa’ 4:43, al-Ma’ida 5:6]

Dress-up in agreeable attire and adorn yourself with exquisite character from inside out [al-Ar’af 7:26]

Seek your provision only by fair endeavour [al-‘Ankabut 29:17, al-Baqarah 2:188]

Do not devour the wealth and property of others unjustly, nor bribe the officials or the judges to deprive others of their possessions [al-Baqarah 2:188]

Credit for list of Quran’s rules to live by: Gregory Waleed Kavalec, founder of IslamAwakened which has the best online Quran index including almost every translation in English ever written (well organized also describing the point of view of the translator) plus the Quran in transliteration as well as Arabic. List posted on Quora.

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