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The virtues as stated in Colossians 3:18-25 from an Islamic perspective.
The stated verses {Colossians 3:18-25} are quite comprehensive in that they enlist not only rights and obligations of the slaves of God but also highlight the very important point viz., all good deeds are of no avail if done to please other than God.

In what follows I will elaborate the stated virtues from an Islamic perspective. The religion Islam is not only set of rites and rituals but a complete code of life. The word – Islam is an Arabic word which means “surrender to the will of Almighty God thereby attaining peace.”

Rights and obligations of Husband and wife:

Men have been instructed to earn and feed their wives and children. Between husband and wife earning livelihood for the family is primarily husband’s responsibility. Out of what he earns he has to spend on himself, his wife and family. Wife is not obliged to work and earn. She is a homemaker – she is responsible for the education and upbringing of her wards. However, a point to be noted here is that if the wife does earn, all her earnings belong to her. She is not obliged to spend on husband or family though she may if she so desires.

In return to this great responsibility that is placed on man, the wife is instructed to be devoutly obedient to the husband and to guard her chastity and husbands property when he is absent.

Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [husband’s] absence what they are ordered to guard (their chastity and husbands property). As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly if it is useful); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great. {Quran 4:34}

Rights and obligations of Parents and children:

Parents are held in very high regard in an Islamic society in adherence to Allah’s command – “…And we have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents.”(Al Quran 29:8). Disobedience and ill treatment of parents is a major sin which calls for severe punishment in the hereafter life. When ones parents are old one is supposed to be very kind to them and not say even a word of disrespect. Allah commands us to pray for them in the following words – “My Lord! Bestow on them your mercy as they did bring me up when I was young”(Al Quran 17:24) .

On the other hand parents are ordered to feed and clothe their wards according to their means. Allah’s last Prophet – Muhammad(peace be upon him) has said that the most excellent Dinar (money) is the one that is spent on his family. Allah promises Paradise for the parents if they bring up one daughter in proper Islamic manner.

Rights and obligation of Neighbors:

The importance of nice treatment of neighbors that Islam preaches is referred to in the following verse of the Noble Quran (4:36):
Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good to parents, kinfolk, orphans, poor, the neighbour who is near of kin, neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.

The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said, “….Whenever you prepare a broth, put plenty of water in it, and have in your mind the members of the household of your neighbours.”

As can be seen that even petty things like when we prepare a dish at home to eat we are commanded not to ignore our poor neighbors. We have to share some part to them – in the least we have to add more water when preparing so that we can share.

The foregoing was in brief as to what is required under Islam from the slaves of Allah towards each other, particularly in reference to the stated verses of Colossians. For a society to grow and develop peacefully weaker sections of the society should not be overlooked. Rich and strong should give a helping hand to the poor and the poor in turn are supposed not to become parasites.

Where Allah has given authority he has also placed responsibility alongside. Man – in Islam is the master of his family. He has complete authority over his wards. But with this authority comes the responsibility. He has to clothe and feed them. His dealings with them should be just.

Where God has instructed a household not to ignore its neighbors in day to day simple things like preparation of food, He has also placed a duty on neighbors to accept however small a gift which an another neighbor gives.

The basic point, however is that in whatever we do we should seek the pleasure of Allah. If we desire reward from the Almighty then we should be sincere in our deeds. Deeds done to show off among the people or deeds done to please human beings will be of no avail in the tribunal of the Almighty. When this principle is embedded in our hearts and we act accordingly then our every day-to-day activity however, insignificant it might be becomes an act of worship to the Almighty.

Read and reflect on the following words spoken by the second caliph of Islam Abu Bakr As-Siddique:

“Verily, Allah does not accept deeds except those which were performed for the sake of His Face only. Therefore, seek Allah’s Face by your actions. Know that whatever action you do with sincerity to Allah is an act of obedience that you performed, a good share that you earned, a duty that you fulfilled, and a reserve that you keep from perishable days to everlasting days. At that time you will be most in need and in anticipation (for these good deeds).”

Thus far I have presented to you Islamic view point of those virtues which were enlisted in the given set of verses of Bible. I have brought evidences by way of quotes from Al-Quran and the saying of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to whatever I stated. However, I shall be doing great injustice to the subject if I fail to present the most important and unique message of Islam - the message upon which the entire edifice of Islam is based. It is simply to deny worship of everything except that of Allah. It is to free humans from the worship of created to worship one and only God – the creator. The one God who is most merciful to his slaves, who forgives sins of the repentant, who rewards many manifolds the good deeds that we do and who will admit to his paradise those who deserve.

I close my article with a chapter of Quran (112:1-4) which is the definition of God under Islam:

Chapter of Unity (of God)
Say: “He is Allah, (the) One.
Allah the self-sufficient Master,
Whom all creatures need,
He begets not, nor was he begotten
And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him”

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