The science of Islamic morality, which in Arabic is called ‘ilm al-akhlāq al-Islami, is a very broad area of study. In the present work we are only able to touch upon certain issues in this field. It is not possible to do justice to this important topic, particularly in view of its central role in Islam. Nonetheless, this should not prevent us from studying it to some degree.
Before studying the issues and problems discussed in any science, it is necessary to understand some things about the science itself; for example, we need to know the definition of the science, its purpose, its goal, the methods of approaching its problems, and the benefits of studying it. Accordingly, before advancing any further in our study of ‘ilm al-akhlāq‘, we must define the term. Even before that, however, we ought to have a clear definition of the word akhlāq itself, a word that has been used for centuries by Muslim scholars to refer to ethics.