3 - Values in Islam:
The word ‘Al-Qimah’ (value) has been used in Islamic thought within the limits of its connotations in Arabic language, denoting the value of something and its importance, whether in a material thing or in an immaterial meaning. The value of a thing means its worth, and the value of the goods refers to its price. In Arabic, it is said: ‘Ma Li Fulanin Qimah’ (So and so has no value) i.e. he has no stability and durability on matter. (1)
There are some examples of its usage, such as the words of Allah (Glory be to Him) who said in the Glorious Qur’an: “And that is (Deen Al-Qayyimah) the correct religion.” (2) The word Al-Qayyimah in this A’yah denotes the straight religion. And the blessed words of Allah (Glory be to Him) in the Glorious Qur’an: “A Messenger from Allah, reciting purified scriptures within which are (Kutubun Qayyimah) correct writings.” (3) The word Qayyimah means fair, straight and firm. (4) Furthermore, Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the Fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is (Ad-Deen Al-Qayyim) the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.” (5) Moreover, Allah (Glory be to Him) said: “All praise is [due] to Allah, who has sent down upon His Servant the Book and has not made therein any deviance. [He has made it] (Qayyiman) straight, to warn of severe punishment from Him and to give good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a good reward.” (6)
The word ‘Qiyam’ and its derivatives have been used in the Glorious Qur’an frequently, as Allah (Glory be to Him) has described with this word His religion and His book, demonstrating their values, drawing attention to the guidance, goodness, instruction of His religion and His book and to the principles that safeguard the interests of the people and rectify their affairs.
Afterwards, the word has been used in the recent writings to refer to Islamic ideals and principles. Some of them have defined the values with following words: “The criteria or scales that reveal the value of the acts, individuals or doctrines.” (7)
However, this definition is open to some doubts because it has used the same word to define its meaning, where the word ‘value’ has been used to define the value. Thus the defined and defining became same, while the defining words must be more distinct than the defined, so that, it can explain the meaning of the word.
It seems that the values are intrinsic in the nature of the words, deeds and things that are recommend or condemned by human instinct, mind and Shari`ah.
(1) Majm`a Al-Lughah Al-`Arabiyyah (Arabic Language Academy), Al-Mu`ajam Al-Wasit, Al-Maktabah Al-Islamiyyah, Turkey, vol. 2, p.768.
(2) Al-Bayyinah: 5.
(3) Al-Bayyinah: 2, 3.
(4) At-Tabari, Jami`a Al-Bayan Fi Tafseer Al-Qur’an, vol.12, p. 169, and Al-Qurtubi, Al-Jami`a Li Ahkam Al-Qur’an, vol. 20, pp. 143, 144.
(5) Ar-Rum: 30.
(6) Al-Kahaf: 1, 2.
(7) Dr. Ahmad `Abdur-Rahman Ibrahim, the Idea of the Development in Moral Values and Islamic Opinion about it. (Arabic), lectures of the Department of the Islamic Culture at the Islamic University of Imam Muhammad ibn Sa`ud for the year 1402 A.H. p. 9.