Explanation of Ethics – Ethic of Self-Reliance

What are ethics?

Earlier: Ethic of Compassion and Sharing

Ethic of self-reliance

The poor and the deprived have a moral right to society’s compassion, the tradition reminds frequently. But Muslim ethic discourages a culture of dependency since it undermines one’s dignity. “Man shall have only that for which he labours,” says the Quran. From the time of the Prophet, the greater emphasis of the charitable effort has been to help the needy to become self-reliant.

AKDN An ethical Framework (IIS London)

“Enabling individuals to recover and maintain their dignity as befitting their statue as Allah’s greatest creation, is one of the main reasons for charitable action. There is dignity in the individual’s ability to manage his or her destiny…the best of charity, in Islamic terms, can go beyond material support alone. It can take the form of human or professional support such as the provision of education for those otherwise unable to obtain it, or the sharing of knowledge to help marginalized individuals build different and better futures for themselves.”

Mawlana Hazar Imam, Conference on Indigenous, Islamabad, Pakistan, October 17, 2000

“The voluntary sector represents, and can develop, all that is finest in the human potential…. The opportunity exists to create…. an enabling environment to bring out the very best of the human potential. And this sector has a tendency to follow a “charity” approach rather than directing itself to the major developments and changes needed for the future.”

Mawlana Hazar Imam, Keynote Address, International Development Conference, Washington, D.C., March 18, 1987

“Service is a means for each individual to actualize Islam’s ethics of inclusiveness, of compassion, of sharing, of the respect for life, and of personal responsibility for sustaining a healthy, physical, social and cultural environment. Fundamental to this concept is generosity of material resources, of time, of thought, and of knowledge. Thought helps others to help themselves. Knowledge enables the educated to provide technical information to the less educated on how to meet their own needs better and serve others.”

Princess Zahra
International Association for Volunteer Effort,
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
August 25, 1998

Next: Explanation of Ethics – Ethic of Respect for Life and Health Care


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