I just mean the terms by which they are referred by; the obvious terms seem to be halal and haram.

But whereas in English, one can say that Rafiq is a good man, and that Rezaq is an evil man; it doesn't seem or sound appropriate to say Rafiq is halal, and Rezaq is haram.

I'm asking to be clear, how does Islam and in Arabic does one talk about ethical and moral character of a person or action; as opposed to their legal status.


1 Answer 1


Taqwa - often translated as fear of Allah or just righteousness. Muttaqi would be one who possesses Taqwa.

۔۔۔ Verily the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God-fearing of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (49:13)

Taqwa entails much more than just ethical and moral character, as righteousness covers all aspect of character, including but not limited to dutifulness towards God and justness. In fact, skimming through Muslim thought over the centuries, it seems that the only other coveted character trait not covered by Taqwa is Zuhd (asceticism).

It should however be kept in mind that someone's Taqwa can hardly be discerned by us mere mortals, for it involves the purity of intention and sincerity. It is therefore rare to find expressions like such and such is a Muttaqi. For practical purposes, we can simply resort to the commonly used dichotomy of good and evil, while believing that the inner righteousness radiates to the exterior.

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