Commandments or Prohibitions in Islam
Ayatullah Muhammad Jawad Chirri
Wilson: Both Christianity and Judaism preach the Ten Commandments which were revealed to Moses and recorded in the Old Testament. Does Islam have any commandments, and are they the same or similar?
Chirri: The Ten Commandments are only a portion of the Qur'anic commandments.
Islam commands its followers to avoid many things. Some of them are prohibited because they contradict some of the doctrines in which a Moslem is supposed to believe. Some of them are prohibited because they are immoral or unethical or unhealthy or because they represent disobedience to the devotional duties. These prohibitions may be regarded as Islamic commandments, the violation of which may constitute a major sin. A Muslim is prohibited:
1. To ascribe to God a partner or associate:
"Associate not any other god with the Almighty, lest thou sit down despised forsaken." 17:22
2. To deny revelation of God to His prophets.
3. To deny any of the prophets who are recognized by the Qur'an, such as Jesus, Moses, Abraham, and Noah. The denial of the revelation or any of the recognized prophets is a denial of Islam.
4. To feel safe in opposition to God:
"Are they secure against the plan of God? But none feels secure against the plan of God except the losing people. " 7:99
5. To lose hope in mercy of God:
"...And despair not of the mercy of God. Surely none despairs of the mercy of God except the disbelieving people." 12:87
6. To swear in the name of God falsely:
"Hast thou not seen those who take for friends a people with whom God is wrathful? They are neither of you nor of them, and they swear falsely, while they know. God has prepared for them a severe chastisement. Evil indeed is what they do!" 58:14-15
7. To break a covenant deliberately:
"And fulfill the covenant of God when you have made a covenant, and break not the oaths after making them fast, and you have, indeed, made God your surety. Surely God knows what you do." 16:91
8. To kill a human being premeditative.
"And slay not the soul which God has forbidden except for the just cause.... " 17:33
"Your lives and properties are sacred and inviolable amongst you, until you appear before your Lord.... "said the Prophet.
9. To be traitor to the right cause of one's own nation.
10. To help defeat it militarily by retreating at the battlefield when the nation is defending itself against aggression:
"And whoso turns his back to them (the aggressors) on that day (of fight), unless maneuvering for battle or turning to join a company, he indeed incurs God's wrath and his refuge is hell, and an evil destination it is." 8:16
11. To steal.
12. To cheat in measuring or weighing in selling or purchasing:
"Woe to the cheaters. Who when they take the measure (of their dues) from the people, take it fully, and when they measure out to others or weigh out for them they give less than is due." 83:1-3
13. To use an orphan's fund in a way that is not in his interest:
"And draw not nigh to the orphan's fund, except in a goodly way, till he attains his maturity, and fulfill the covenant; surely the covenant will be inquired to!" 17:34
14. To insult one's own parent:
"And thy Lord has decreed that ye worship none but Him, and do good to the parents. If one of them or both of them reach old age with thee, say not "Fie" to them, nor chide them, and speak to them kind words. And lower to them the wing of humility of mercy, and say: My Lord, have mercy on them as they brought me up (when I was) little." 17:23-24
15. To commit adultery:
"And go not nigh to fornication; surely it is an obscenity. And evil is the way." 17:32
16. To scandalize people, especially women:
"Those who love to see that scandal should circulate concerning the believers, will have a grievous chastisement in this world and the Hereafter, and God knows, while you know not." 24:19
"Those who scandalize virtuous, believing women (who are) careless, cursed are they in this world and the Hereafter. Theirs will be an awful doom, on the day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet testify against them as to what they used to do. On that day God will pay them their just dues and they will know that God is the Manifest Truth." 24:23-25
17. To spy on others for no purpose of protecting your nation or yourself.
18. To backbite others, exposing to those who do not know, some shameful doing:
". . . And spy not nor backbite each other. . ." 49:12
19. To gamble.
20. To drink intoxicants:
"O you who believe, intoxicants and games of chance. . .are only an abomination, the devil's work; so shun it, that you may succeed. The devil desires only to create enmity and hatred among you by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to prevent you from the remembrance of God and from prayer. So will you obey this prohibition?" 5:93-94
21. To eat pork or any swine's products.
22. To eat or drink blood. (This does not include transfusion of blood for necessity.)
23. To eat meat of an animal that dies by itself, or the meat of an animal on which the name of other than God is invoked when it is slain:
"He has forbidden you only what dies of itself, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that over which (a name) other than the name of God is invoked (when it is slaughtered) . . . " 2:173
24. To lie deliberately or testify falsely or falsify the word of God willingly:
"Only they forge lies who believe not in the messages of God, and they are the liars." 16:105
25. To conceal a testimony when called to testify in litigation:
". . . And conceal not testimony. And whoever conceals it, his heart is surely sinful. And God knows what you do." 2:283
26. To deliberately hinder a good cause.
27. To spread hatred by conveying to a person a bad word about him spoken by another person:
"And obey not any mean swearer, defamer, going about with slander, hinderer of good, transgressing beyond the limits, sinful, ignoble, besides all that, notoriously mischievous. . ." 68:10-13
28. To violate the terms of a dead man's will:
"Then whoever changes it (the will) after he heard it, the sin of it is only upon those who change it. Surely God is Hearing, Knowing." 2:181
29. To oppress the people.
30. To aid an oppressor.
"...And let not hatred of a people because they hindered you from the Sacred Mosque incite you to make aggression. And help one another in righteousness and piety, and help not one another in sin and aggression. Surely God is severe in requiting (evil)." 5:9
31. To be proud, looking down on the people:
"And turn not thy cheek in scorn towards people, nor go about in the land in insolence. Surely God loves not any self-conceited boaster. "31:18
32. To be envious, wishing People ill:
"Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn, From the evil of things created,. . . And from the evil of the envious when he envies. "113
33. To antagonize a relative for no right cause:
"Will you be making mischief in the land and cut off the ties of kinship if you come to power?" 47:22
34. To neglect any of the five daily prayers.
35. To break fasting in the days of Ramadan without a legitimate excuse.
36. To withhold the "Zakah" this is the share of the poor in the self-supporting person's wealth.
37. To neglect the duty of pilgrimage to Mecca this has to be done once in a life-time by every person who is physically and financially able to make it.
38. To neglect the duty of advising the people to do good and avoid evil when such an advice is needed and likely to be effective.
The last five are regarded as major sins, because the prayer, fasting, paying Zakah, making pilgrimage and enjoining good and prohibiting evil are Qur'anic duties.