Ask Ghamidi

A Community Driven Discussion Portal
To Ask, Answer, Share And Learn

Forums Forums Epistemology and Philosophy Innate Sense Of Good And Bad

Tagged: ,

  • Innate Sense Of Good And Bad

    Posted by Mohammad Ali Soomro on February 14, 2024 at 3:01 am

    Hello there Assallam u alaikum.

    my question is about morality, good and bad. we know that what are the good things morally ie. helping a person, talking politely, feeding an animal. giving someone a thing which would be useful for them like food or money or clothes.

    and there are bad things morally. like slapping someone, telling a lie, hurting some animal or a person.

    Ghamidi Sahab in his lecture, at about 27:15

    Discussion 37158 • Reply 37160

    first he said that a person innately keeps doing good and avoiding bad because of his innate sense that good results in good and bad results in bad. Then he said that once a person knows about Allah then according to Quran, his main motive for doing good and avoiding evil SHOULD ONLY BE ALLAH (seeking his pleasure or going far from his displeasure). now this thing made me feel a concept that if at any particular instance a person does an action of doing good/avoiding evil and if his intention or main motive at that time doing that action is something other than Allah then it’s like going against Quran and sin (maybe like he also meant that it’s shirkiya behavior like Riya). now if this thing is true as I have understood it here, then this raises a plethora of questions and big confusions in mind.

    many of the times a person does good deeds at times, his main motive is something else but we dont see Islamically scholars objecting to it. for example ; a farmer feeds his cattle and takes care of them with main aim of getting a good supply of meat and milk. a doctor treating patients with the main aim that if he treats them then they would pay me for my efforts (had they said they won’t give money in return for this efforts, he would have not treated them in the first place, this entails the main motive for treating the sick {morally good} was for money). a man selling meat gives meat to eat to someone only in return for money. a man speaking politely to his friend so that the love in friends heart grows deeper for him and this would result in many worldly benefits that this friend would do.

    about avoiding a bad thing ; a person was thinking to throw a stone at a stray dog but he stopped as he realized the dog might attack him. a person was about to slap another man due to argument but he stopped himself as this would get himself beaten up in return. a person who was about to lie to his friend, stopped because he feared that if his lie gets caught then the friend would go far from him.

    Discussion 93280?action=bbp_mark_read&topic_id=93280&reply_id=93318&_wpnonce=2da68187a0#post-93302

    Dr İrfan Sahab also said about these that if sin is avoided in this way then it may not be ideal as person should have done it for fear of Allah but avoiding a sin in this way, isn’t gonna get him sin.

    Please help me clear this confusion if I have understood Ghamidi Sahab right or wrong, this confusion has broken my mind.

    Dr. Irfan Shahzad replied 1 week, 2 days ago 4 Members · 35 Replies
  • 35 Replies
  • Innate Sense Of Good And Bad

  • Saad Aamir

    Member February 14, 2024 at 9:13 am

    I asked a similar question before long ago. Maybe it might help:

    Discussion 71476

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member February 14, 2024 at 11:12 am

      this was a similar question but not quite the thing that I wanted to ask. I’m not saying a person innately doing a good as a sudden reflex and not remembering God while doing. my question was that the way Ghamidi Sahab said in that lesson that according to Quran, the real aim of doing any action which is considered as good or refraining from bad, should only be Allah’s pleasure and displeasure.

      now this gave me a notion in my mind (maybe I understood wrong) that if some good deed action is done for any other reason primarily then it’s sinful. as Ghamidi Sahab further explains that any other aim is ‘Alaish/Impurity’.

      if this thing is just talking about what is ideal and what is less ideal but not sinful then it’s understandable but if it means that it’s sinful (as mentioned above) then all actions mentioned below are sinful but we don’t see any condemnation of it in religion.

      – a farmer feeding and taking care of his animals, with intention to get a good supply of meat and milk or a good price for it

      – a man refraining from telling lie to a boss as his boss of discovers it would kick hin out of company

      – any professional service we give for other’s benefit but primarily for earning money ie doctor that treats a wealthy patient only if he agrees to pay, else he refuses.

      – a person avoiding punching a man while arguing because of fear of getting multiple on his own face

      – a man avoids sin because of the innate harm in that action. he avoids opium because of health harms.

      The example of farmer is a very strong one as every farmer primary is doing it for this purpose and cattle farming is very old. I would like @Irfan76 or @UmerQureshi to clear my confusion if I’m understanding wrong.

    • Saad Aamir

      Member February 14, 2024 at 11:32 am

      Good deed by sudden reflex was only part of my question, I also mentioned doing good just because I want to do good, God not being the focus when doing the good deed.

      Dr. Irfan response as you read it in that discussion is that a good Muslims’ actions, even if inspired by his desires to help others and do good, do count as serving Allah because He is the one who inspires goodness in Muslims and He is the one who inspires Muslims to avoid harming others, his own body/soul and avoiding evil.

      But this only counts for the one who believes in Allah and accepts the truth. If he is not a true Muslim then yes, any thing he does for worldly benefit is only for worldly benefit, because he neither believes in Allah nor dedicates his any actions to Him. But he has some belief in Allah, then perhaps Allah may accept his actions out of generosity even if he doesn’t intentionally dedicate them to Him.

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member February 14, 2024 at 12:20 pm

      if he doing it out of his desire (which was engrained by Allah) wouldnt it then be counted as satisfaction for his own desire. like maybe we can say mental peace he would feel for doing good deed.

      as once Ghamidi Sahab answered a question about an atheist doing moral good without any hope for reward in hereafter and just for sake of help. he being morally more strong than a man doing good for reward in hereafter. To this question Ghamidi Sahab said to him his reward is his state of satisfaction and a person cannot alleviate himself out of want for reward.

      (This case is for someone doing a good deed only for his desire. I’m not talking about a person who intends Allah’s pleasure but at the time of doing action didn’t think about it)

      My concern was about Ghamidi sahab’s statement that if I’m understanding it wrong or not. and if I’m understanding it right (that it’s not just mere less ideal but sinful or shirk) then what about the examines I cited above.

    • Saad Aamir

      Member February 14, 2024 at 12:25 pm

      That depends on the belief of the person.

      Atheist declared that he does only things for himself. So every good he does is for himself.

      But a true Muslim declares it (in fact he declares it 5 times everyday in form of his Salah) that every good deed of his is for Allah alone.

      So every good done by a good Muslim automatically counts as action for Allah. That’s where you notice my question overlapped with yours. Focus on God 24/7 isn’t possible, just acceptance of the reality that all actions are for Allah alone is enough and that’s what a Muslim does when he accepts Islam, that for now on, all my sacrifices, my life and my actions is for Allah alone (6:162). So belief is what gives meaning to our actions, it marks every good deed for Allah. But if the Muslims refuses to accept this reality, then every action of his may not count for Allah.

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member February 14, 2024 at 1:39 pm

      Then isn’t the farmer who is raising a cattle farm doing this for his own sake of benefit? like good supply of milk and meat plus good price. he takes care of animals, feeds them, cleanses them. maybe his intention for pleasing Allah also be there but we can’t deny that his main motive for this is his own benefit.

      same is the case for a doctor who treats a wealthy patient only on a condition that I’ll receive some money in return. every other worldly service and exchange of beneficial service and items can be made analogous to this example.

      and lastly comes the matter of avoiding bad or sin. sometimes it’s being done because of fear that it will cause harm to myself ie if I hit someone when arguing, or some innate harm in the action.

      if these intentions are sinful (if I understood right) then what about these examples where clearly the primary aim is something other than Allah.

      PS. not remembering Allah while doing an act and doing it reflex is not the argument. it’s these example when there’s a valid, solid, aim other than Allah present.

  • Saad Aamir

    Member February 14, 2024 at 1:54 pm

    If the intention is slightly there for Allah, then it is good enough.

    Also fitrah created by Allah (30:30) is in reality, His commandments. If you listen to Ghamidi Sahab’s commentary on Shariah on intimacy where a man commits anal sex with his wife, Ghamidi Sahab states that the man violates his nature by doing so which in turn is a violation of Allah’s command that He has put in his nature (2:222).

    So fitrah is part of Deen. The point is, Islam explains why you have urges to do good, it is ultimately to earn Allah’s pleasure and enter His Jannah. Islam explains the meaning of good actions, why we do them and all that. So it is natural for a Muslim who learns this, to accept that all his good deeds including fulfilling the rights and responsibilities are part of our duty to Allah. This does not mean you will stop following your fitrah, in fact you must follow the urge to do good, except after Islam, you know why you do it and the reality behind it which every Muslim must accept.

    Doctor, farmer and all that example still require you to answer the question whether they are Muslims that accept the reality of their existence (to serve Allah). Because if they are conscious Muslims then they must accept that their properties (including jobs and cattles) are from Allah, so they must be grateful to Allah (by maintaining them). The prayer of asking good of this world and the next (2:201) is that I have the benefit of this world as well as the benefit of it in the Hereafter. But again, this is a prayer, it is an acceptance of reality, if a Muslim accept this reality then indeed, he has remembered his purpose, to please Allah and so He will accept all the good that Muslim has done no matter how weak his intention may have been because He is generous.

    If the intentions is sinful then you have answered your question. The action will be counted as a sin.
    If a Muslim has little to no belief in Allah, has no desire to ever please Him and has no solid aim to please Him then he may as well not be a Muslim. He’s more of an atheist at this point.

    Discussion 85201
    Discussion 63872

  • Mohammad Ali Soomro

    Member February 14, 2024 at 8:24 pm

    So according to you, if a person’s primary aim of doing a particular act at a particular time is even something other than pleasure of Allah then still it’s okay as long as there’s an intention of pleasing Allah as well present. the reason for me saying that the primary aim of doing actions mentioned above is something other than Allah is because if that factor/benefit (money, milk and meat) was not present then at that particular instance the person wouldn’t have done it. like the doctor and farmer. just as İrfan Sahab told one day that the measure to check for primary aim is if that benefit is taken out then the particular act wouldn’t happen, and if we even ask that farmer for the motive for his cattle farm, he would link it to some material gain (money, milk, meat, skin) and then his happiness that results from using or consuming that material gain. what I understood from Ghamidi Sahab excerpt was that if at a particular act at a particular instance is done with primary aim of something other than Allah then it’s sin (maybe I understood wrong)

    let’s see what @Irfan76 says about this and whether I understood right what Ghamidi Sahab said or I misunderstood.

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar February 15, 2024 at 12:26 am

    The rituals which are done only for Allah like worship rituals must not contain anyone to please. On the other hand the practices like ordinary good deeds are not done exclusively for God like to cure a disease by a doctor. In such cases to have the idea to please God is recommended. If one takes benefit from it is ok. If he doesn’t have the intention to please God even then it is not a sin.

    These are two different things.

    A third one is a practice which is done both for God and for some other benefit like jihad. In such cases primary goal is should be God Ans secondary goal can be kept like getting share in the spoils of war by a mujahid or having trade during the occasion of Hajj.

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member February 15, 2024 at 12:47 am

      @Irfan76 okay sir so I understand this answer of yours but then why did Ghamidi Sahab said it like this? or is it like I understood Ghamidi Sahab wrong? can you please explain me what he meant?

      did he mean that while doing good action (which is not a worship ritual) there should be aim of only Allah’s pleasure, and this is ideally best. but if something else is aim then it’s still permissible but it would result in deduction of reward in hereafter. so the reason why Quran emphasizes on this thing is because Allah wants us to get the most fruitful result of our efforts. Am I right? can you please explain?

  • Mohammad Ali Soomro

    Member February 15, 2024 at 2:29 am

    @Irfan76 why did he use the words ‘alaish’ and further like ‘gumrahi’. in what context was he saying these?

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar February 15, 2024 at 10:19 pm

    This is in the cases where there is no room for having an intention to please someone other than God.

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member February 16, 2024 at 11:35 am

      @Irfan76 and sir what did he mean when said “ab Quran yeh kehta hai, ke abb (after accepting faith) acche ikhlaq ki pabandi aur Bure akhlaq se ijtinab Ka asal muharriq sırf Allah ki Raza or uski naaraazgi Ka khouf hona chaiye”

      he meant that this is what is an ideal thing to do? but if he does for something else then it’s not a ideal (but still not sin)? did he meant it like this is what Quran says should be our ideal situation? (but not obligatory) did I understood right?

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar February 19, 2024 at 4:27 am

    Asl muharrik, This is what every Muslim has in his intention that every good act pleases God. it is not ruled out that other intentions cannot be adopted for the things or acts where there are secondary intentions, as is the case of jihad where to get the share in the spoils of war is an intention one has in his heart, but it must not be the primary intention, the same goes for Hajj where one is allowed to do trade on this occasion along with Hajj. These are the pure worship rituals where secondary intentions are accommodated, now you can imagine how relaxed the matter of other worldly good acts that are initiated to please or benefit someone. In such good acts too we have the intention to ultimately please God along with the pleasure of others.

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member February 21, 2024 at 10:25 am

      @Irfan76 so sir if a person while doing other worldly good acts for example has a primary intention of some other worldly benefit, and not of Allah (the intention of Allah is either not present or is there but at a secondary or tertiary level)

      and I’m saying that the worldly benefit is primary because if that benefit was not present at that time the person wouldn’t perform that worldly good act.

      so to conclude sir I want to ask 2 things. a worldly good act of taking care of animals for good supply of milk and meat

      1) such worldly good act can be done with a primary intention of worldly benefit, even if pleasing Allah is secondary intention. This is okay.

      2) such worldly good is done at a particular time with ONLY intention of worldly benefit. there’s no intention of pleasing Allah even at a secondary level. This thing is okay too and permissible.

      so these both cases 1 and 2 are allowed because it’s not worship ritual. the worldly good act can be like the taking care of animal or like treating a friend good in order to have strong relationship with him, aiming for more worldly benefit that would come when the bond is strong (example when in difficulty, that friend would come and help me). these both cases 1 and 2 (even the one without pleasure of Allah intention) are allowed right sir?

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member February 27, 2024 at 12:39 am

      @Irfan76 and sir while talking about asl muharrik, he said “Quran kehta hai mutalba karta hai, Asl muharrik sırf Allah ki Raza or uski naaraazgi Ka dar hona chahiye”

      Why did he used the word ‘sirf’? and if a person does otherwise of what is said above (in matters of worldly good act), will he be blame worthy according Ghamidi Sahab? like a person helping a friend so that the friend thinks that “this man helped me with intention to relieve my pain”, and this thing would cause the love to develop in his mind, after this his friend would give him a worldly benefit someday by helping him in return for this favor/help.

      like by this action, he wants his friend to know that he did this action of helping with intention to relieve his pain or problem. this knowledge would ultimately cause his friend to help him in return someday too. so according to Ghamidi Sahab when he said “sırf”, would doing this would be a violation of Quran’s directive, if it’s the primary aim?

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar February 21, 2024 at 11:32 pm

    I’m worldly good acts one may have primary intention to please or benefit anyone. It may be a primary intention. To get reward from God can be held along with it. There is nothing wrong with it.

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member February 22, 2024 at 8:07 am

      @Irfan76 and sir in worldly good acts the primary intention can be ones own worldly benefit as well, like good supply of meat and milk, right sir?

    • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

      Scholar February 22, 2024 at 10:46 pm

      Yes one can have the primary intention to benefit someone. This is not a worship ritual that requires to have primary intention to please God.

      However, a Muslim has at the back of his mind that all his good act will please his God too.

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member February 22, 2024 at 11:43 pm

      @Irfan76 i meant primary intention of action being benefiting his own self. his own happiness. that’s okay too, right sir?

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar February 26, 2024 at 4:21 am

    yes it is ok. it is not a worship ritual which is exclusive to God.

  • Nadia Khan

    Member February 26, 2024 at 7:08 am

    I had the same question which I asked my teacher in Al-mawrid and in his detailed explanation (which I can’t do as well as he did obviously) he helped me understand an underlying concept which made sense. The teacher said only Allah is Ghani, meaning the blessing he bestows on us is free of His need for anything in return. By contrast, human beings are never in a position of being ghani because by default we are dependent on Allah’s continuous generosity without which we could do nothing. Therefore as long as we are aware that the good that I am doing, (whether instinctively or out of a need for a worldly or personal benefit like material mutual benefit or just self satisfaction) is only possible because Allah allows it, then you get rewarded. The basic concept is to understand that anything good we do is possible because of Allah’s generosity. And only Allah is the All-generous without needing anyone or anything.

    This helped me relax so I don’t constantly have to repeat “Allah I’m doing it for you” in my head but generally to understand all good that stems from me is due to Allah even if I am doing a good deed unthinkingly.

    I hope this helps. (And just to add that if I said something incorrect then it is due to my limited understanding and not my teacher’s)

  • Mohammad Ali Soomro

    Member February 26, 2024 at 11:37 pm

    He feels that the very existence of the perception of good being good and evil being evil entails that the result of good should be good and that of evil should be evil. It becomes evident from this that a person will not be left unaccountable for his deeds; he will definitely be rewarded or punished as a result of his deeds

    @Irfan76 sir this excerpt here says that a human who hasn’t been exposed to religion, innately knows that good will result in good and bad results in punishment. my question is that who does it relate to? when such a person does a good deed to someone like helping he does this thing knowing that if I do this action (helping his friend) , this would cause something (love to develop in friend’s heart), which would yield it’s result (the friend helping him in return someday or taking care). does that person relate the result of good as good in such a way? or he thinks that there is some metaphysical results that would happen and those results would yield their effect. for example a person who hasn’t been exposed to religion, he thinks that if I steal someone’s money. then one day my money would be stolen too by someone else, like in a way of karma. such metaphysically related effects? so what the excerpt meant was that such a person thinks former or latter?

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar February 28, 2024 at 11:13 pm

    The excerpt tells our conscience tells that the result of bad should be bad like punishment and the result of good should be good like reward, no matter here or in the hereafter. This notion leads to the acceptance of the concept of the hereafter where good and bad deeds will be awarded their results.

  • Mohammad Ali Soomro

    Member March 17, 2024 at 11:23 pm

    @Irfan76 Sir in surah baqarah 272 it says

    “Not upon you, [O Muḥammad], is [responsibility for] their guidance, but Allāh guides whom He wills. And whatever good you [believers] spend is for yourselves, and you do not spend except seeking the face [i.e., approval] of Allāh. And whatever you spend of good1 – it will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.”

    Sir can this passage be used to say that here Allah tells us that even the things that are worldly good acts, like helping someone etc, should not be done except seeking face of Allah? And that having some other primary intention in doing good acts, is violation of this ayah? As here helping someone through spending money is mentioned, so it can be easily extended to helping in any form etc, will this understanding be correct?

  • Mohammad Ali Soomro

    Member March 17, 2024 at 11:35 pm

    @Irfan76 as Amin Ahsan ıslahı also translated this ayah, in fashion where it was being said as a sort of command…

    “Aur Na kharch kijiyo magar Allah ki Raza Joi hi ke Liye…”

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar March 19, 2024 at 1:29 am

    This has been much debated. The ultimate goal is the pleasure of God. While other side benefits are not against it or rival to it.

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member March 19, 2024 at 2:47 am

      @Irfan76 okay sir I just wanted to know what does the ayah mean in the context above? and what would be an example where there’s a violation of directive mentioned in the part of ayah?

      “..and you do not spend except seeking the face [i.e., approval] of Allāh..”

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar March 20, 2024 at 10:18 pm

    That I’m doing charity our primary goal is God’s pleasure. The pleasure of God lies in the pleasure of the needy. It is conducive to the pleasure of God not against it or rival to it.

    • Mohammad Ali Soomro

      Member March 21, 2024 at 2:23 am

      @Irfan76 sir does it negate the notion that we first argued?

      “that worldly good moral good things if are done even with a primary intention of something other than Allah (without intention of Allah). like my friend asks me for a help, I help him so that he becomes close to me and becomes a source of many other worldly benefits (that comes with friendship) for me. all such moral good acts with primary intention of other than Allah, are still halal.”

      if we take this ayah as a command, (as many Quran teachers have taken it), will it negate the notion above?

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar March 21, 2024 at 3:21 am

    As told earlier, if by doing charity or any other worldly act to please someone and there is no intention to please God, then deprives himself of the reward he could get from God.

    and if he pretends it to be for God but it is not, then he will be punished for this deception.

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar March 22, 2024 at 11:37 pm


  • Mohammad Ali Soomro

    Member April 4, 2024 at 2:05 am

    @Irfan76 sir I’m asking this just to clear one point of confusion that popped in my mind.

    ordinary morally good like a doctor curing disease of a patient.

    if his intention of doing good is money only. in the sense that when he’ll treat the patient, the patient will see that he tried to treat his disease to get the patient relief. so the patient will then give me money. even if his intention to benefit the person (by curing disease) is only to receive his money (self benefit), still this is totally fine and okay, he might be not receiving reward in hereafter for his intention but it’s still no sin, right sir?

  • Dr. Irfan Shahzad

    Scholar April 5, 2024 at 3:06 am


You must be logged in to reply.
Login | Register