Salaam and Greetings of Peace:
It has been said that everything in the Old Testament can be found in the New Testament, and that everything in the Old and New Testament can be found in the Qur’an. And the Qur’an defines and sets the standards of social and moral values for Muslims.
In the 17th chapter, “Al-Israa” (“The Night Journey”), verses 17:22, the Qur’an provides a set of moral stipulations which are “among the (precepts of) wisdom, which thy Lord has revealed to thee” that can be reasonably categorized as ten in number. These resemble the Ten Commandments handed down by God to Moses, and represents the fullest statement of the code of behavior every Muslim must follow. However, these verses are not regarded by Islamic scholars as set apart from any other moral stipulations in the Qur’an, nor are they regarded as a substitute, replacement, or abrogation of some other set of commandments as found in the previous revelations.
Both sets of commandments are below, their similarities expressing the common origin of the three religions, all descendant from the Prophet Abraham, the “People of the Book.” And because they have become standards of social and moral conduct for almost half the population of the earth, are worth remembering.
The Ten Commandments (Qur’an 17:22-37)
1. Worship only God: Take not with Allah another object of worship; or thou (O man!) wilt sit in disgrace and destitution. (Qur’an 17:22)
2. Be kind, honorable and humble to one’s parents: Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. (Qur’an 17:23) And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” (Qur’an 17:24)
3. Be neither miserly nor wasteful in one’s expenditure: And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. (Qur’an 17:26) Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Evil Ones; and the Evil One is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful. (Qur’an 17:27) And even if thou hast to turn away from them in pursuit of the Mercy from thy Lord which thou dost expect, yet speak to them a word of easy kindness. (Qur’an 17:28) Make not thy hand tied (like a niggard’s) to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that thou become blameworthy and destitute. (Qur;an 17:29
4. Do not engage in ‘mercy killings’ for fear of starvation: Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin. (Qur’an 17:31)
5. Do not commit adultery: Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils). (Qur’an 17:32)
6. Do not kill unjustly: Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law). (Qur’an 17:33)
7. Care for orphaned children: Come not nigh to the orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength… (Qur’an 17:34)
8. Keep one’s promises: …fulfill (every) engagement [i.e. promise/covenant], for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). (Qur’an 17:34)
9. Be honest and fair in one’s interactions: Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination. (Qur’an 17:35)
10. Do not be arrogant in one’s claims or beliefs: And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). (Qur’an 17:36) Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for thou canst not rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height. (Qu’ran 17:37)
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17)
1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.
5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
6 “You shall not murder.
7 “You shall not commit adultery.
8 “You shall not steal.
9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”