The Association of Muslim Chaplains (AMC) hereby affirms that all persons who wish to be members of this association should follow a code of ethics that is firmly rooted in Qur’an-based principles and ideas as reflected in the life example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). We draw inspiration from what Allah says in the Qur’an, here rendered into English:
“Let there arise out of you a band of people, inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; They are the successful ones (Qur’an, Al `Imran, 3:104)
Further, in an authenticated report transmitted on the authority of Abu Ruqayyah Tamin ibn Anas ad-Dari (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“The din (religion) is nasiha (good counsel). We asked, “To whom?” He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “To Allah and his Book and his Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and the common folk.” (Reported by Muslim).
The Association of Muslim Chaplains (AMC) publishes this code of ethics for the express purpose of making explicit to members of the Association that they should conduct themselves in a way that is firmly rooted in ideals that reflect deep Islamic principles. In addition, AMC also abides by the Common Code of Ethics for Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Pastoral Educators and Students (for more about this Common Code, see link).
In addition, AMC hereby adopts the following revised version of the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA)’s Covenant and Code of Ethics as part of its operational practice:
The AMC Pledge
I, as a Muslim chaplain, pledge to serve Allah (God) in accordance with sound Islamic principles: service to humanity, sincere advice, equity, respect for human dignity, and justice. I will obey the Islamic teachings, love the Compassionate God with all my heart and soul, and serve the people who seek my help, counsel, and advice with compassion, sincerity, and integrity.
To affirm this commitment, I will abide by the AMC Pledge and Code of Ethics for Chaplains by faithfully supporting its principles and purposes. As further affirmation of my commitment, I pledge to hold myself and my fellow Muslim Chaplains accountable to this Code of Ethics in all public actions.
AMC Code of Ethics for Chaplains
Competency and Learning
- I look to the Qur’an, the Prophetic model, authentic traditions, and established scholarly opinions to promote spirituality, goodness, compassion and justice. I will do my best to relate Islamic values and teachings to my daily round of life.
- I recognize that I have a responsibility to read, understand, and follow the AMC Pledge and Code of Ethics as established by the AMC Executive Committee.
- I am committed to continue my Islamic and professional education to be better equipped to serve people and to perform my duties. I will maintain high standards of educational and professional competence, and will actively strive to develop my knowledge and skills as a Muslim chaplain.
- I recognize the boundaries of my competence, and will refer questions and matters that fall outside my religious and professional competency to others. I will seek the advice of the AMC Executive Committee in matters that have implications for the larger Muslim American community.
Personal Integrity, Development, and Trust
- My lifestyle and work ethic will reflect my Islamic faith.
- I will actively pursue my Islamic faith development and enrichment.
- I will maintain self-discipline as a Muslim in such ways as establishing regular prayers and practicing required acts of worship, endeavoring to maintain wholesome family relationships, and engaging in educational and recreational activities that promote professional and personal development. I will seek to maintain good health habits.
- I will hold in trust Islamic traditions and practices, and pledge not to exploit my authority and position to advance my own interests at the expense of others.
- I will reflect personal love for God and fear of God in my life and work as I strive together with my colleagues to preserve the dignity, maintain the discipline, and promote the integrity of the chaplaincy profession.
- I recognize the special authority granted to me as a chaplain. I will never use that authority granted to me in ways that violate the personhood of another human being, religiously, emotionally, or sexually. I will only use my office to promote the best interests of those under my care.
- I will accurately report my professional qualifications and affiliations.
General Attitude and Relationships
- I understand as a Muslim chaplain, in a multi-religious society, that I must work alongside chaplains of other faith traditions, promoting a fair and pluralistic environment. I will seek to ensure equity of treatment and wellbeing for all those entrusted to my care.
- I will promote dialogue rather than monologue in my teaching and counsel, understanding that the nature of counsel and advice is interactive, done with people rather than to people. I will invite engagement with others in my care, rather than their passive receptivity, by asking for and listening to feedback.
- I will strive to understand and recognize the diverse cultural backgrounds of the people soliciting or receiving my counsel and advice. I will not condone or engage in discrimination based on age, color, culture, disability, ethnic group, gender, race, religion, marital, or socio-economic status.
- I recognize my Islamic obligation to refrain from any sexual relationship outside the institution of marriage, and will not engage in sexual intimacies with persons seeking my counsel and assistance or with their family members. I will avoid situations that might lead to a sexual relationship or result in sexual harassment.
- I will work collegially with chaplains of other faiths, respecting their beliefs and traditions as I respect those of the people whom I counsel and serve.
- As a supervisor I will respect the practices and beliefs of each chaplain under my supervision. In recognition of their right to believe and practice their religion I will exercise care not to require of them any service or practice in violation of their faith tradition.
- I will seek to support all colleagues in ministry by building constructive relationships wherever I serve, both with the staff where I work and with colleagues throughout the institution where I work.
- I will defend my colleagues against unfair discrimination on the basis of age, color, culture, disability, ethnic group, gender, race, religion, marital, or socio-economic status.
Confidentiality and Privileged Information
- I will adhere to the federal and state mandated policies in place at the institutions where I serve.
- I will follow the policies of my employing institution regarding confidentiality and sharing private information about those whom I serve.
Handling of Complaints
- I will report any corrupt or unethical behaviors that I personally witness to both AMC, and to the appropriate institutional authorities.
- I further understand that in accordance with Qur’anic injunctions, AMC will not entertain an accusation or complaint against a chaplain on the basis of hearsay. All formal complaints must be supported by testimony or written evidence.
- I understand that in the event a formal complaint supported by written or verbal evidence is filed with AMC, a task force will be appointed to verify the information, interview the chaplain against whom the complaint is made, and report its finding to the AMC Executive Committee.
- I will maintain professional integrity with my colleagues, AMC, and the agency I work for in handling formal complaints through the duly established process for addressing complaints within AMC or the agency.
- I realize and agree that AMC has the right to withhold or revoke the membership of any person who has violated this code of ethics.
- Should AMC find that a chaplain has violated this Code of Ethics and his or membership is therefore revoked, the institution or agency where that chaplain works shall be informed of such action by AMC.
AMC Membership Maintenance
- I am responsible to communicate any change in my address, telephone number, email address and all other contact information to AMC.
- I am also responsible to communicate any change in my personal, marital, professional, legal, and immigration status to AMC.
- I will communicate any professional and academic achievements such as certificates, degrees, continuing education, promotions, civic and community involvement to AMC.
- I will advise AMC of my involvement in any political organization.
The Association of Muslim Chaplains (AMC) Code of Ethics is based upon a revised version of The Muslim Endorsement Council of Connecticut Inc.’s Code of Ethics, which is itself derived from the Islamic Society of North America’s Covenant and Code of Ethics.