By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
The modern world is characterized by what can be called a ‘survey culture’. These days, surveys are conducted to find out people’s opinions on almost every conceivable issue. The New Delhi edition of the Times of India recently (24th April 2013) published a report that a survey carried out in England reveals that saying ‘sorry’ is really hard for many people.
In Islam, some things are considered as ‘declared Haram’, or explicitly forbidden. But, besides these, there are other things that are not declared to be Haram in the language of the Shariah but are extremely undesirable. Among these is for a person not to openly admit his mistakes. According to Islamic teachings, a person might be characterised by a weakness for ‘undeclared Haram’ at the same time as he refrains from declared Haram, while another person may indulge in ‘declared Haram’. The difference between the two is only legal. In reality, there is no difference at all.
Similarly, things like superficiality, lack of principles and lack of seriousness all come under the category of ‘un-declared Haram’. These sorts of traits lead one to develop a personality that is not the sort that is fit for entry into heaven. The real thing for people to do is to develop a purified personality, for that leads, in the Hereafter, to a place in heaven. This purified personality does not come about only by abstaining from forbidden or haram things. Rather, it emerges when one cultivates such a degree of awareness that one strictly refrains even from things that are ‘undeclared Haram’.
A truly pious person leaves things that are ‘undeclared Haram’ for fear of otherwise falling prey to ‘declared Haram’.