The meaning of ethics has become so clear to people that it need not be explained even to the most simple-minded persons. However, the level of ethics in the view of the masses is such that it needs a lot of elucidation according to experts of ethical philosophy. It is possible that limits may overlap with the merits of ethics, but in the view of a philosopher they are not included in the perfections of the human soul.
A major portion of the detailed discussions in books of philosophy is beyond the understanding of ordinary people. They are not presented to guide people on the path of virtues but their intention is to confuse the people to an extent that they are not even able to do what they would do in the normal course, thus the dream of the philosophers is fulfilled. Maybe a student scholar would spend a lot of precious time in explaining these things but the result would be nothing. Thinkers have formulated numerous theories regarding abstract things because they are beyond perception. Those who intend to falsify them cannot unveil the truth. We do not desire to delve into such farfetched theories and waste the precious time of our readers.
Rather than discuss the reality of the soul and its composition in detail we shall study the effects of ethical values in the practical life of man, so that readers may gain something useful. In spite of the elaborate explanations presented by philosophers of ethics it is necessary for us to say that the true meaning of ethics is least understood by common people.
If a good-natured person speaks to us with a smile, he is considered perfect in manners.
If we go to meet someone and he serves us a cup of tea, we take him to be of exemplary morals.
A person we know takes care of his family and we think he has very good morals.
If one is sympathetic to us in our difficult times, he is having perfect morals.
These are some prevalent notions in our society. Though these are some of the elements of ethics, we intend to explain to our readers true morals and ethical values that make a perfect human being. However, to explain such a vast subject is beyond the scope of this book and not its actual aim.
* Akhlaq e-A’imma, Morals & Manners of the Holy Imams by Maulana Sayyid Zafar Hasan Amrohi. Published by: Ansariyan Publications P.O. Box 187 22 Shohada St., Qum. Islamic Republic of Iran. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.ansariyan.org & www.ansariyan.net.