The Qatari Forum for Authors, in the “Reflections” session, hosted the writer Mukhtar Khawaja, who talked about his book “The Question of Ethics between Text and Life” issued by Dar Al-Usul in Istanbul 2018.
Mukhtar Khawaja explained that the book deals with a group of different ethical issues, which were originally articles, some of which were published in the Qatari Al-Arab newspaper and some on other sites.
The importance of the book is due to the fact that it tries to transcend frameworks that have alienated from the text in favor of other philosophies or trends. Therefore, it is necessary to return to the text and understand its foundation for ethics.
The book is divided into two parts, the first is related to to the individual and the second is with regard to the group through the Qur’anic stories. In the first part the book discusses aspects related to the source of morality, where it finds that the false people resorted to customs and traditions and the previous conditions of the people in the past to establish their outlook on life and morals, and in return the Holy Qur’an calls for instinct and not to change them, but refining it to do its work for the benefit of man.
Khawaja touched on the distinction between instincts, moods and ethics, where instinct becomes a motivating energy for basic needs, but moods practice control over instincts, and if the mood has become devoted, then it has become a creation, and with this concept, the scholars’ talk about essential ethics can be understood as a mood that has been established and has become a morality by strengthening the environment.
The author also touched on the importance of distinguishing between life styles based on the fact that the worldly life is not the current life, but a pattern of life that is satisfied with the present and does not pay attention to the future. Therefore, it is a consumer life, and the desired life is the good life that is based on faith and righteous deeds, in which fear and sadness are excluded, so that the energies of man are released for urbanization.
In the topic of collective ethics, the writer dealt with the foundations of the first divine call to the sons of Adam, peace be upon him, where they were ordered to take adornment at every mosque and eat and drink without extravagance, and this indicates the establishment of civilizations around religious centers and the importance of following the prophets and adhering to piety and reform and the verses monitoring the shift towards the system of immorality, which includes sin and oppression without truth includes lying about God, and to control that, God Almighty orders His Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, to establish the justice and go to religious centers and pay attention to resurrection as a belief.
The book also dealt with the story of Noah, peace be upon him, and his founding of thanksgiving as an antidote to arrogance, the problem of the people of return, the civilization of oppressive power, Thamud, the civilization of extravagance and corruption, Ibraheem, peace be upon him, and the moral basis as a reinforcer of the religious idea and that if societies possess a distorted religious idea, they can act successfully and reach a generally acceptable civilized success.
In his speech, the writer also dealt with the cultural data in the story of Yusuf (Joseph), peace be upon him, the characteristics of the society of his time, Musa (Moses), peace be upon him, the characteristics of the community of Pharaoh’s people, the social connotations that the story of the righteous servant and the story of the people of the Cave bear, and concluded by addressing the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, containing the hypocrites with dialogue and advice until their influence ended.