Morality in International Law

Nāser Qorbān-Nia


اَللّهُمَّ هَبْ لى مَكارِمَ الْأَخْلَاقِ

“O Lord, Grant me noble character.” Imam Sajjād (PBUH)

Purification of souls, refinement of characters, and guidance of humankind are the goals on which all divine prophets have concentrated their efforts. These are the same blessing God has mentioned in His Wise Words through the Qur’ān by which He has conferred mankind a great favor.


لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلالٍ مُّبِينٍ[1]

God did confer a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a messenger from among themselves, rehearsing onto them the signs of God, sanctifying them and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while, before that they had been in manifest error.


Promotion of the noble character as the ultimate goal of his Prophetic Mission, Prophet Muhammad (PBUHAHP) was to continue the same path all prophets before him had followed.

It is in pursuing such a goal and presenting strategies to achieve it that the tough legal rules and regulations are adorned with morality and ethics; thus, the very regulations which were initially aimed to ensure social security will find their ways to spiritual growth and purification.

What occupies the attention of legal scholars and philosophers of morality is the strong relation between morality and law. All through their analyses, they may highlight the distinctions between the two disciplines, delineating the limits of each, or they may conversely discuss their interlinked relationship, conflating them.

The present research is of the second type through which the researcher seeks to prove the prominent position of morality in international law. He is of the opinion that morality and ethics should be honored in all personal and social spheres. The issue is evident in domestic law; in international law, however, it may be ignored due to the fact that rules of international law govern international relations both in peace and conflicts. It is on the same premise that the researcher has, unlike others, focused on the intimate relationship between the two disciplines.

As a researcher in Qom Theological Center, and a university professor of international law, Dr Nāser Qorbān-Nīa endeavors to uncover the interlinked relationship between morality and law at the international level thus demonstrating the everlasting nobility and dignity of morality and ethics.

We wish to acknowledge his efforts and pray for his success in further promotion of science and knowledge, morality, ethics and law as well as for his commitment to appreciation of the genuine Islam of Prophet Muhammad (PBUHAHP).

[1] The Qur’ān, 3: 164