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This is the second part of my previous blog post “Morals”. In the last blog post, we were discussing the interchangeability of ethics and morals and their differences. Additionally, we discussed how societies agree on a certain code of ethics, and while well intended, remain unachieved. In this blog post I’d like to stress that our choice should be “morals” rather than “ethics” going forward, as we can follow a universal consensus.
So long as we seek a universal consensus from mankind, whose cultures and beliefs are not the same, we will continue to run into the same problems. We should look to a supreme power to dictate this consensus, a power that understands all cultures and seeks nothing but good for all mankind, including the poor and weak, to achieve prosperity in all segments of life. God’s revelations call for morality amongst mankind. Not so long ago slavery was a widely accepted practice in many cultures. The practice suited only the rich and strong who used the abilities of the weak to serve their own self-interests, depriving the poor of even their basic human rights. Slavery has since been abolished in most of the world.
Or has it not?
Today we are faced with slavery in a different form. The corporate and banking structure and its widespread debt have borrowers at the mercy of their lenders.
Debt (bank loans, commercial papers, time deposits, certificate of deposits, derivatives, credit cards, etc…) which require the repayment in excess of the loan amount, are sins in both the Bible and Qur’an, as they have negative consequences on others. These teachings demand that we abandon usury and debt if we’re to be moral, respect others, and be true servants to The Creator. Despite these commandments, the whole world is involved in different forms of usury!
People have credit card debt because often times they’re discontent, or they lack discipline, they’re searching for security and significance. Mortgages help people own homes years before they can afford them. There are loans for education and some universities charge exorbitant prices causing students to begin their careers with years of debt and interest ahead of them. In short, loans make worldly things come to people faster; however, there is a hefty price to pay as they also come with stress and fear of default. We must not rush to fulfill our desires and violate the commandments, we need to trust and have faith in our Creator, everything will happen in due course.
On the other side, consider this excerpt from The Holy Qur’an; God revealed “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty”. (5:2)
Examine your conscience. Do you feel that you’re acting morally when faced with members of society and our Creator? One thing each of us can do before going to sleep is to recall the events and deeds of your day. Assess whether you’ve said improper words to anyone, or whether you regret any actions toward people. If you believe you’ve crossed the line in any way, make amends for your actions, apologize the next day or trying to do good for the person you’ve wronged without them knowing.
This would help in getting things right in our societies, as we must all revert to the rules of morality given to us by the Creator of this world, before meeting him in the hereafter.
I believe to agree on a universal understanding of morals, we need to revert to the last message from the Creator and abandon debt. We must enrich the finance community with permissible financing tools, and agree on different business model for corporations and banks to achieve equitable distribution of wealth, risk-sharing, fulfilment of obligations, and sanctity of contracts.
Morality should precede anything in our lives. It should precede our intellectuality, innovation and ultimately help us have a positive impact on our societies and on the ones we love.
Hence the tagline:
Morals, Innovation, and Economic Value Creation