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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

British and Islamic values

What are values?

According to Mind tools website, "Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they're probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to."

According to Ofsted, British values are: "democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith."

These are very interesting in the times we live in. Islam and Muslims have become the poster boys for hate mongering and false news across the world. Therefore, respect or tolerance for Islam is something that needs a lot of work to achieve. 

According to the Oxford dictionary website, "Values: Principles or standards of behaviour; one's judgement of what is important in life."

There are many meanings to the term value and this meaning is narrowed down to the word value.

Its origin, "Middle English: from Old French, feminine past participle of valoir ‘be worth’, from Latin valere." (Ibid)

Our values give us worth, not only in the eyes of the world but ourselves.

British values in religion

British Values are remnants of the religious values of biblical texts. These values were based upon the high moral conduct of biblical narratives. These include: honesty, trustworthiness, helping people, hard work, generous, forgiveness, humility and working for the greater good, and so forth.

Forgiveness was a particular trait learned from the conduct of Isa (upon him peace). These values were present before Islam came.

Islamic Values?

There is no such thing as 'Islamic values' rather there is conduct based upon the character of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him).

The core characteristics that he (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) has are: honesty and trustworthiness. These are things that he (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) was known for before the calling of Islam. He said, 'I was only sent to complete noble character."

Noble character was present but there was no example, to follow, who embodied these characteristics. As often we need to see them put into practice, so we can understand how to do them. Books can teach us some things but the heart is truly affected by what the eyes see.

So that actions have a greater impact that words alone.


In terms of character most religions have common ground of honorable conduct to roam. Our beliefs do differ with each other but our values and actions are the same or very similar.

We are not living in a bubble where we where we do not see the other or that someone else is persona non grata. Rather we live in an interdependent world where we all rely on each other. The common ground is that we have more things similar than are different. We live in a divisive world full of hate mongering for the other.

Each claiming we cannot 'get along' with the other is a false idea that war mongers have force fed us. Do not succumb to the hatred.

"O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, with Allah, is the best in conduct." Quran: 49:13.

We were made different for a reason, to know each other and not to hate, despise, sow discord with each other. It does not matter where or who you come from the thing that matters is conduct. Then the one with the best conduct is the noblest with Allah the Exalted.

Our values

Our values join us and do not separate us. True our beliefs, that we hold, in our hearts are different but that should not stop us from transacting with our fellow human being with nobility. Our hands should be out to help our fellow man.

Islam is probably the only religion that has helped humankind immeasurably in areas of: science, mathematics, astronomy, glasses, literature, law, all have a trace of Islam in them.

Due to effect of civilisation, the renaissance started in Baghdad and that came to Europe and then the world. Islam gave rights to their other by placing them as citizens of a state who had their own rights. This was unprecedented in history in many places of the Muslim world. Islam is not about helping humanity alone rather it is built into Islam. Helping others is part of Islam, that is your religiousness.

Core values

The code of conduct of Islam and British values, in my terms, are based on high moral conduct. It is true that we live in a world were high moral conduct is becoming more rare. But it is still present so do not let them distract to you.

I have benefited from the moral conduct of many of my co-workers and teachers who were non-Muslim. I do owe them that and maybe more. The greatest example of leadership that I have seen in a person was a non-Muslim female. Whose leadership skills were based on the Sunnah without her even knowing it. I have yet to find a similar example in a Muslim. I am not joking.

Shared ground

The Islamic code of conduct is acceptable to every country in the world because it is based on high moral conduct. High moral conduct is what every country in the world has and holds in high esteem. We have this strong connection built in.

When we live without rules, and this code of conduct, do we go astray. So let us come back to what we know is right.

All nations share common traits of high moral conduct and this is nothing that we should simply neglect. We should revive it and realise we are part of the same tapestry.

Humankind is one and eventually we have to come to that realisation. There is another person who has every right to live a peaceful right as any of us do. These are the shared values of respects that Islam and British values contain. This is our common ground that we should freely roam, the ground of high moral conduct.  

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