do i need religion to be moral?

The necessity of religion is often questioned due to the amount of people who believe that one can be ethical without any religion providing them with a moral system. However, that is not entirely true. Religion has three main parts:

  1. beliefs,
  2. values, and
  3. character.
In our religion, character is primary and supported by our beliefs and values. 

“I was sent to perfect honorable morals.” Prophet Muhammed

what if a person has good morals but wrong beliefs? 

To many, morality is simply following the Golden Rule; do unto others as you would have them do unto you. However, this definition is overly simplistic and means different things to different people. For example, not every  single person wishes to be treated exactly the same way.

Imam Al-Sajjad has written a work known as the Treatise on Rights. It includes four examples of things that have a right on us:

  1. God,
  2. the soul & body,
  3. our actions, and
  4. the people who surround us.

When you define someone as having good morality, it means that they have performed all the rights that they are obligated to perform.

However, according to The Treatise of Rights, the right of the soul is that we employ it in the obedience of God.
When we do not utilize the soul for its intended purpose, we are not truly behaving morally.

Truth also plays a big role in our ethics. The first step to morality is living truthfully. Whenever you recognize something as the truth, you should accept it. If we recognize something to be true, but at the same time choose to reject it because it may be inconvenient, we are committing an act of immorality. 

 “And when Luqman said to his son while he admonished him: O my son! Do not associate aught with Allah; most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity” (31:13) 

The Quran doesn’t describe polytheism merely as a sin, but rather as an immense injustice towards God. A person who is ungrateful towards God is also engaging in immorality.