In a beautiful passage (Surah Al-Isra', 17:23-29), the Qur'an gives twelve commandments to the Muslim community, and says:
(i) “Thy Lord hath decreed, that ye worship none save Him.
(ii) And that (ye show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them were to attain old age with thee, say not 'Fie' unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word. And lower unto them the wing of tenderness through mercy, and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both, as they did care for me when I was little. Your Lord is best aware of what is in your minds. If ye are righteous, then lo! He is ever Forgiving unto those who turn (unto Him) in repentance.
(iii) Give the kinsman his due, and the poor, and the wayfarer, and squander not (thy wealth) in wantonness. Lo! the squanderers are ever brothers of the devils, and the Devil was an ingrate to his Lord. But if thou hast to turn away from them, waiting mercy from thy Lord, for which thou hopest, then speak unto them a gentle word.
(iv) And let not thy hand be chained to thy neck nor open it with a complete opening, lest thou sit down rebuked, denuded. Lo! thy Lord enlargeth the provision for whom He will, and straineth (it from whom He will). Lo! He is ever Knower, Seer of His slaves.
(v) Slay not your children, fearing a fall to penury; we shall provide for them and for you. Lo! the slaying of them is a great sin.
(vi) And come not near unto fornication. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way.
(vii) And slay not the life which God hath forbidden save with right. Whoso is slain wrongfully, we have given power unto his rightful representative, but let him not commit excess in slaying. Lo! he will be helped.
(viii) Come not near the property of the orphan save with that which is better till he come to strength;
(ix) And keep the covenant. Lo! of the covenant it will be asked.
(x) Fill the measure when ye measure, and weigh with a right balance; this is meet, and best refuge.
(xi) Follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. Lo! the hearing and the sight and the heart - of each of these it will be asked.
(xii) And walk not in the earth exultant. Lo! thou canst not rend the earth, nor canst thou stretch to the height of the hills. The evil of all that is hateful in the sight of thy Lord. This is part of the wisdom wherewith thy Lord hath inspired thee (O Muhammad). And set not up with God any other god, lest thou be cast into hell, reproved, abandoned.”
These commandments, comparable to and more comprehensive than those given to Moses, were revealed to the Prophet during the Mi'raj.
It would be too lengthy to cite here all the Quranic exhortations. However, we may quote a passage (Surah An-Nisa’, 4:36-8), in which it speaks of the social behaviour of the average man:
"And serve God; ascribe nothing as partner unto Him: (show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbour who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbour who is not of kin, and the fellow-traveller and the wayfarer, and (the slaves) whom your right hands possess; lo! God loveth not such as are proud and boastful, who hoard their wealth and enjoin avarice on others, and hide that which God hath bestowed upon them of His bounty; for disbelievers. We prepare a shameful doom. And (also) for those who spend their wealth in order to be seen of men, and believe not in God nor the Last Day; whoso taketh Satan for a comrade, a bad comrade hath he."
In another passage (Surah Al-Hujuraat, 49:10-12), the Qur'an describes the characteristics of Muslim society:
"The believers are naught else than brethren; therefore make peace between your brethren and observe your duty to God, that haply ye may obtain mercy. O ye who believe! Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they are, nor let women (deride) women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the name of lewdness after embracing the faith. And whoso turneth not in repentance, such are evil-doers. O ye who believe! Shun much suspicion. For lo! Some suspicion is a crime. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother (by backbiting)? Ye abhor that (so abhor the other) and keep your duty to God. Lo! God is Relenting, Merciful."
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