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Ethics & Values New Muslims

The Muslim: The True, The Best & The Ideal

`Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him), said, “The Muslim is he from whose tongue and hands Muslims are safe. And the Muhajir (immigrant) is he who abandons all what Allah has forbidden.” (Al-Bukhari)

muslim

The best Muslim is defined as he who offers food to the needy and greet every one with peace.

The hadith implies that the perfect Muslim is he who refrains from abusing people physically, verbally, and mentally. In return, people will trust him and feel secure and comfortable when dealing with him.

The Basic Islam

The basic Muslim as mentioned in other traditions is he who fulfills the five pillars of Islam: testifying that there is no God but Allah and Mohammad is His messenger, offering prayers in time, gave obligatory charity (zakah), fasting the month of Ramadan, and performing pilgrimage to Mecca if one has the means to afford it.

The True Islam

The above hadith defines the Muslim as he from whose tongue and hands Muslims are safe. Scholar of Islam say that hadith refers to the perfect or true Muslim.

The true Muslim is he who, in addition to believing and performing all the pillars of Islam, refrains from harming anybody either by words or actions.

It stresses that the real Muslim avoids causing any kind of harm to people. In other words, one cannot be a true Muslim unless his religious practices of Islam are reflected in his dealings with people in real life.

The true Muslim does not only meet the basic requirements but also is always striving to be a peaceful person who respects the rights of people and refrains from causing any sort of harm, damage, or injury to them either by words or actions.

But he who practices the pillars of Islam and various acts of worship, but at the same time, he treats people with bad manners and pays no respect to their rights, is unable to understand the reality of Islam. Such a person has indeed failed to realize the significance of the acts of worship and the wisdom and spirit behind them.

The Best Islam

Moreover, according to other traditions, the best Muslim is defined as he who offers food to the needy and greet every one with peace.

`Abdullah ibn `Umar said that a person asked Allah’s Messenger, “Which Islam is the best?” He replied, “To offer food and greet with peace those whom you know and those whom you don’t know.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

Offering food symbolizes benefiting people by actions; food is mentioned here because it is easy and available, everyone can donate some food. Greeting people with peace symbolizes benefiting them by nice, encouraging, and supporting words; peaceful greeting is mentioned because it is simple and no one has an excuse not to do it.

Accordingly, the best Muslim is he who does not only abstain from harming people but also is doing his best to be beneficent to people as much as he can by words and actions.

The Ideal Muslim

The ideal Muslim not only acts with people with kind, pleasant, peaceful, and respectful manners; and is beneficent to them but also keeps himself away from nonsense and useless words and actions. He does not waste his time and/or efforts in vain actions and purposeless speeches. The

Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Part of someone’s being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The True Muhajir

The Prophet gave orders to his Companions to migrate to Madinah to escape the persecution of Quraish. They migrated to Madinah gradually and secretly; they left behind their houses, wealth, and possessions for supporting Allah and his Messenger.

The immigrant was honored for his great sacrifices and given the title of “Muhajir”. And he was promised a great reward from Allah. The immigration had stopped after the conquest of Makkah.

The hadith defines the true Muhajer as the one who, in addition to migrating from his homeland to the land of Islam, keeps himself away from all sorts of evil practices; and abandons whatever Allah has forbidden.

But he who migrated from his homeland to the land of Islam, and but does not refrain from indulging in sins and misconduct, has indeed failed to achieve the purpose behind his migration.

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The article is excerpted from the author’s  “The True Muslim” , published by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.

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For an Ideal Personality: The Prophet’s Moral Teachings

The Prophet’s moral teachings show that Islam had come to illuminate the lives of the people with the light of virtue and good manners, to create in them brightness of character, and to fill their laps with the pearls of good conduct. It made the stages that came in the process of achieving this great objective as an important part of the prophethood.

Prophet's Moral Teachings

Morality is the name of the principles of life which the religion must adopt for the respect of its standard-bearers.

Similarly, such moral teachings declared all attempts to create disruption in these stages as an expulsion from the religion and equivalent to throwing away the yoke of faith from one’s neck.

The position of morality is not like that of the means of pleasures and luxuries, from which indifference may be possible. But morality is the name of the principles of life which the religion must adopt and must care for the respect of its standard-bearers.

Islam has enumerated all these virtues and principles and has encouraged its followers to make them parts of their lives, one after another.

If we collect all the sayings of the Prophet about the importance of good moral character, then a voluminous book will be prepared, about which many of the great reformers will be ignorant.

The Prophet’s Moral Teachings

To enumerate these virtues we quote some examples of how strongly and emphatically Islam has called upon the people to adopt good moral character.

Usamah ibn Sharik says:

“We were sitting in the presence of the Messenger of Allah so quietly as if birds were perched on our heads. Nobody had the courage to open his mouth. In the meanwhile some people came and asked: “Amongst the slaves of God who is the dearest to Him.” The Prophet replied: “One who has the best moral character.” (lbn Habban)

Another tradition has it:

“They asked what is the best thing given to man ?” He replied: “Best moral character.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked: “Which Muslim has the perfect faith ?” He answered: “He who has the best moral character.” (At-Tabarani)

`Abdullah ibn `Ammar has reported:

“I have heard the Prophet as saying: ‘Should I not tell you who amongst you is the most likeable person to me And who will be the nearest to me on the Day of the Judgment l’ He repeated this question twice or thrice. The people requested him to tell them about such a person. He said ‘He who amongst you has the best moral character.’” (Ahmad)

In another hadith, he has said:

“On the Day of Judgment there will be nothing weightier in the balance of a momin than the goodness of character. Allah dislikes an obscene and a rude talker and the bearer of a good moral character reaches to the level of the observer of the prayer and fasting, on account of his character.” (Ahmad)

There would be nothing surprising if such teachings were to come from a philosopher who was busy in his campaign of moral-reform. But the great surprise is that these teachings come from a man who strived for establishing a great new faith, when all other religions turn their attention first only towards the performance of worship and such other religious rites.

Between Belief and Morality

The last Prophet gave a call for the performance of various forms of worship and for the establishment of such a government that was involved in a long-drawn war with its large number of enemies.

In spite of the expansion of his religion and the immense increase in the various tasks of his followers, the Prophet informs them of the fact that on the Day of the Judgment there will be nothing weightier in their balance than their good moral character, then definitely this reality is not hidden from him that in Islam the value of morality is very high.

The fact is that if religion is the name of good conduct between man and man, then on the other hand in its spiritual sense it is also the name of the best relationship between man and his God, and in both these aspects there is the same reality.

There are many religions which give this glad tiding that you may embrace any belief, your sins will be washed away and offering fixed prayers of any religion will cancel your mistakes.

But Islam does not believe in this. According to it, these benefits will be available only when the axis and centre of belief is a conscious step towards virtue and payment of the compulsory dues, and when the proposed worship can become the real source of washing away the sins and generating the real perfection. In other words evil can be removed by those virtues which man makes his own and by which he is able to reach high and lofty standards.

Goodness of Character

The Prophet (peace be upon him) has very forcefully emphasized these valuable principles so that the Ummah may understand it very clearly that the value of morality may not go down in its eyes and the importance of mere forms and shapes may not increase.

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) has reported:

“Allah’s Messenger has said: ‘A slave achieves, by means of the goodness of his character, great position and high honour in the Hereafter, though he may be weak in matters of worship; but on account of his wickedness of character he is thrown in the lowest recesses of the Hell.” (At-Tabarani)

`A’ishah narrates: “I have heard the Prophet as saying: ‘mu’min (believer), by goodness of his character, achieves the high position of the one who observes fast and offers prayers.” (Abu Dawud)

Ibn `Umar is reported to have narrated: “I have heard the Prophet as saying :

“A Muslim who observes moderation in matter of worship, on account of the goodness of his character and decency achieves the position of that man who observes fast and recites Allah’s verses during prayers in the night.” (Ahmad)

Abu Hurairah has quoted the Prophet as saying: “A mu’min‘s (believer) nobility is his religiousness, his tolerance is his intelligence, and his lineage is his goodness of character.” (Al-Hakim)

Abu Dharr has narrated: “Successful is the man who had purified his heart for faith, kept his heart on the right lines, his tongue was truthful, his self was content, and his nature was on the right path.” (Ibn Hibban)

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The article is excerpted from the book  “Muslim Character” , an American-English translation of Muhammad Al-Ghazali’s Khuluq Al-Muslim

published by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.

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There’s No Belief Without Truth

Allah has created this whole universe on the basis of love, and has demanded of the people that they should build up their life on the foundation of truth, to make truth and straight dealing a practice of their life, and should give place to truth only in their talks and dealings.

When this clear sense is lost sight of by people, and false stories, superstitions and absurd beliefs rule their self, ideas and thoughts, then hardness and harshness are generated in them they move away from the right path, and they totally give up those realities the adoption of which was necessary.

For this reason, the strong and firm pillar of a Muslim’s character is straight dealing. It is his duty to be attached to truth in every matter and to see every problem and affair through the glasses of truth, to keep it before him in every decision is the clearest manifestation of his dealing and treatment.

Similarly, the construction of the society in Islam is made on this foundation that mere conjectures and superstitions should be opposed baseless things and imaginary stories should be thrown outs doubts and misgivings should not be encouraged, because strong and firm realities only deserve to be manifested; they should have their imprint on the society s and their help should be taken in strengthening various relations.

What the Prophet Taught about Truth

Allah’s Messenger has said:

“Keep away from ill-thinking, because ill-thinking is the greatest falsehood.” (Al-Bukhari)

Another hadith says:

“Leave alone doubtful things, follow those matters in which there is no doubts for truth is a means of satisfaction and falsehood is the cause of doubts and misgivings.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The Qur’an has expressed condemnation of those communities who follow conjectures and superstitions that have filled their brains with absurdities and has staked their present and future, with the help of the false stories, on the gamble of corruption and disruption:

They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire, even though there has already come to them Guidance from their Lord. (An-Najm 53:23)

But they have no knowledge therein. They follow nothing but conjecture and conjecture avails nothing against Truth. (An-Najm 53:28)

Liars in Islam

Since Islam respects truth most strongly, it turns away liars very harshly. It admonishes them very severely. `A’ishah narrates:

“Allah’s Messenger did not hate anything as strongly as he hated falsehood, If he received information that a particular man has told a lie, he used to throwaway that man’s respect and honour from his heart till the time he was not informed that he has repented for it.” (Ahmad)

Another narration by her states:

“For the Messenger of Allah falsehood was the worst habit in a person, If any man told a lie in his presence, that man’s thought always troubled him until the time he was informed that he has repented.” (Ibn Habban)

This habit of the Prophet is not at all surprising. This was the policy of our forefathers. Their relations were formed on the basis of righteousness and good moral character. They knew each other.

If anyone had blemishes in his character, and if he could be singled out on account of his misdeeds, then his position in that society would be like the position of a man suffering from an infectious itching disease in a healthy society, and he was not considered deserving of any respect until he was not cured of that defect.

The distinctive characteristic of the Muslim society in its first period was truth, disciplines, tolerance and cautious manner of speaking, Falsehood, breaking of promises, false accusations, and baseless things are the signs of disruption or of breaking away relation from religion. Or if they are to be termed as having relation with the religion, then it would be caused the religious business of the false accusers, deceivers and tricksters, or the religiosity of liars and promise breakers.

Falsehood… A Great Curse

Falsehood is such an evil that discloses the internal corruption and wickedness of the liar; and this is a name of the wrong dealing which only acts in spreading evil. so much so that even without the needs that are troublesome or the forcing inclinations it leads persons to committing sins.

Some evils are such that a man is involved in them totally. They are like diseases which require a very long –drawn treatment; they are like fright and cowardice, which always hinder the progress of a coward and a frightened man, or like greed which makes men miserly and stingy.

When some people come out for jihad to accompany the soldiers. they are shivering in their boots. Or some other people who are terrified when they work out the amount of Zakat that they have to pay. What is the comparison of these coward and miserly natures with those brave and generous natures which rush towards death laughing and which spend their wealth in the cause of Allah most willingly!

Here some excuse can be found for such person as they become a prey of their fears and doubts when called upon to offer sacrifices

But there can be absolutely no excuse for those who make lying their habit and who for the whole of their life go on deceiving people by their falsehoods.

Allah’s Messenger said:

“All the evils can be found in a mu’min (believer), except dishonesty and falsehood.” (Ahmad)

The Messenger of Allah was asked whether any Muslim could be a coward. He answered : “Yes.” He was asked:

“Can a mu’min (believer) be a miser ?’ He said that yes, he could be a miser. He was again asked: “Can a mu’min be a liar?” He replied: “No !” (Malik)

The replies of the Prophet show that these factors of deficiency and weakness enter some persons’ nature and when they are called upon to do their duty or pay the dues of Arab and His slaves, then these factors adversely influence them. But this does not mean that miserliness is tolerated and cowardice is a lesser evil.

How is “ possible when non-payment of zakat and running away from jihad are acts which touch the borderline of infidel (kufr)”!

The extent to which a liar and a defiant person may spread falsehood and however wide this extent may be his sin before Allah will be to the same extent. Journalists, who misguide the people by false news, politicians who misrepresent important public problems and slaves of selfishness who cast aspersions against eminent persons and ladies of good character-all these sections commit terrible crimes and their punishment is very severe.

Allah’s Messenger said:

“One night I saw two men. They came to me and said: ‘Any man whom you see talking by widening his jaws, consider him a liar, He tells a lie which is copied through his medium, till it is talked of in the whole world. He goes on doing this till the Doomsday.” (Fathul Bari)

Making false promises to their subjects by the rulers also comes in this category, because the falsehood spoken from the pulpit spreads to the four corners of the world.

It is in the Tradition that “Three persons can never enter Paradise. First the old man who commits illegal sex, second the man who tells lies and third that poor man who indulges in pride.” (AI Bazzar)

Falsehood against the Religion

To invent lies against Allah’s religion is the worst evil. One who has the slightest relation with Allah and His Messenger will never indulge in this kind of activity.

This is the worst kind of liar, and the consequences which he will have to face are terrible.

The Prophet has said: “The consequence of inventing falsehood against me is not as bad as it is for inventing falsehood against anybody. Let the man who purposely and wittingly makes a false statement about me make his destination Hell.” (Al-Bukhari)

In the list of false charges and accusations are included all those inventions and absurdities which the uneducated have fabricated against Allah’s religion, which have no place in the faith. The general public has taken them to be the religion though they have nothing to do with it. In fact they are nothing but mere pastime and plaything.

Allah’s Messenger has warned his followers against the sources of these invented absurdities, has admonished them to be wary of adopting other ways than those directed by the Qur’an and the Sunnah. He has said:

“In the last period of my Ummah there will come people who will be deceitful, liars. They will tell you things which you would never have heard, nor have your forefathers heard them. Be wary of them; let them not misguide you and let them not involve you in corruptions.” (Muslim)

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The article is excerpted from the book  “Muslim Character” , an American-English translation of Muhammad Al-Ghazali’s Khuluq Al-Muslim, published by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.

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Speak a Good Word or Remain Silent

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent.” (Muslim)

Learn more from the video below…

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Source: edc.org.kw

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The True Muslim: How to Apply it to Your Life?

By Zeinab Hassan Ashry

`Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him), said, “The Muslim is he from whose tongue and hands Muslims are safe. And the Muhajir (immigrant) is he who abandons all what Allah has forbidden.” (Al-Bukhari)

The hadith warns Muslims not to rely only upon their declaration of Islam, acts of worship, and their good deeds such as Hijrah -migration from the land where one cannot practice his faith freely to a land where he can- and urges them to continue fulfilling their duties toward Allah and toward people in order to perfect their Islam.

It reminds them that they could not be true Muslims unless their deeds and sayings are free from all sorts of defects and imperfections. And they could not be true Muhajirs (migrating for Allah’s sake) unless they abstain fully from all sorts of evil.

Respect People’s Rights and Feelings

Islam guards the life, money, property, religion, mind, dignity, and honor of every human being whether he is a Muslim or a Non-Muslim. The Prophet said in his farewell pilgrimage sermon:

“Your lives, your honor, and your properties are sacred to each other as the sacredness of this, your day, in this, your month, and in this, your year.” (Muslim)

It is not permissible to say or do anything, no matter how little it is, that might hurt others’ feelings such as laughing at someone’s physical handicap, deformity, or poverty.

It is reported that Abdullah ibn Mas`ud had thin legs. Once his leg was uncovered and upon seeing his leg some people laughed. The Prophet said, ”Are you laughing at his leg? By Him in whose hand is my soul, his leg in the scale of Allah is heavier than the mountain of Uhud.”

Think Good about People

In Islam, every person is innocent unless there is a strong evidence against him. The relationships amongst Muslims should be based upon mutual trust not upon mistrust, doubts, and bad suspicion. Allah (Exalted be He) enjoined Muslims to avoid suspicion as much as they can so that they would not commit something wrong:

O you who believe! Avoid indulging in much suspicion as much as possible for suspicion in some cases is a sin and spy not on each other. (Al-Hujurat 49:11)

It is not permissible for Muslims to indulge in baseless and unjustified suspicion, for this kind of suspicion is a sin that would lead to many other evils such as severing good relationship between people, accusing people of defects which are not in them and maybe entangling them in baseless charges.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ”Avoid suspicion, for spreading suspicion is the most dishonest form of speech.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, ”If you have suspicion, do not pursue it.” (At-Tabarani)

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The article is excerpted from the author’s  The True Muslim, published by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.

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Patience: A Tower of Light for the Muslim

The Prophet said: “ Patience is a light.” (Muslim)

In the intricate paths of life when difficulties and hardships confront a man, and the darkness of adversities an suffering becomes long, it is patience only that acts like a light for a Muslim, that keeps him safe from wandering here and there, and saves him from the muddy mire of disappointment, desperation and frustration.

Patience is such a basic quality that a Muslim needs it to shape his life in this world and in the next. On this basis only he should attend to all his work. He should make it a torchlight for guiding his way, else he will be defeated in the field of life. He should prepare his self to tolerate the hardships and difficulties, and should not holler or raise hell. He should not sit waiting for the results, however late that may take. He should not run away from responsibilities, whatever they may be.

No doubts and misgivings, no hardship of trouble should prompt his intellect to indulge in violence. He should have plenty of self-confidence. He should not be frightened by the dark clouds appearing on the horizon of life, even if they may be appearing continually, nay, he should be fully sure that these clouds of adversities and hardships will disappear, and the clear and bright atmosphere of success and glory will appear again.

Therefore, the demand of wisdom and farsightedness is that its coming should be awaited with patience, peace and conviction.

The Almighty God has stressed this point sufficiently that no man can escape tests and trials, so that man may be alert and ready at the time when these hardship and difficulties descend on him, and he should not be frightened by these heavenly and earthly tribulations, and need not be disappointed and disheartened.

And verily We shall try you ill till We know those of you who still hard (in the cause of Allah) and the steadfast, and till We test your record. (Muhammad 47:31)

The poet has expressed the same idea in these words:

“We had anticipated the hardships of the night before their coming. So when they descended, there was no addition to our knowledge.”

Undoubtedly if accidents and debacles are faced with a clear sight and full preparations, it will prove advantageous for man and this will help in stabilizing and consolidating his position.

The Two Pillars of Patience

Patience relies on two important realities. The first reality is concerned with the nature of this worldly life. Its details are: Allah has not made this world a house of peace and satisfaction or of rewards and recompense, but He has made it a house of trials.

The time that a man spends in this world is really a time for unending experiences. He comes out of one trial in order to undergo another trial which is harder and different from the one through which he has already passed, that is man is tested once by one thing and again by its opposite, as iron is first heated in the fire and then it is put in the water. Similarly man is tested by favorable as well as opposing means.

When Allah blessed Prophet Sulayman (Solomon) with a grand and magnificent empire, he knew about these natural laws of the world. He had said:

This is of the bounty of my Lord, that He may try me whether I give thanks or I am ungrateful. Whoever gives thanks, he only gives thanks for (the good of) his Own soul,’ and whoever is ungrateful (is ungrateful only to his own soul’s hurt). For surely, my Lord is Absolute in independence, Bountiful. (An-Nahl 16:40)

The causes of trial through sadness and hardships are vague and unfixed. However, we can understand them properly by the example of the soldiers fighting in the battlefield. In the battlefield some groups are made to fight till they have to lose their valuable lives, so that the lives of other groups may be saved. The security of other sections is dependent on the remaining groups being made to fight in new battles.

This strategy is followed in the wider interest of the country and for- greater advantages, by the great leadership of the army In this fighting the life of a man has no importance, because the problem is much wider.

Same is the position of luck or fate. A certain man is put to different kinds of trials, till he falls down defeated, as there is no other way for him, except that he should greet the hardship that has arrived with patience and submission. Since this life is a testing ground, we should strive hard for success in it.

What is the trial or examination of life? It is not words that they can be written, or talks to which attention may be paid.

The questions of the examination are these hardships and difficulties which confront a man, and which open before him the path of fright, terror, and frustration. Examination is the name of the anti-reality defects which prompt a man to be jealous and nourisher of rancor against his sincere friend; examination is the name of the tyrannies for which a nation occupies the place of god and the other people offer their blood as sacrifice for retrieving their usurped rights.

The history of life on this earth from the first day tin today is very sorrowful. The right thing is that man should himself make his own way in this life, and he should be sure that the way to his destination is fun of thorns and filth.

The second reality is concerned with the nature and temperament of faith.

Faith is the name of the relationship between man and his Lord. As in the relationship of men, the true friendship and sincerity can only be judged when it is confronted with unfavorable and bitter conditions, when they have to deal with the hardships brought about by the vagaries of time, and when they are surrounded by various kinds of problems.

At such a time a man’s real worth and sincerity is known. Exactly similar is the case of faith. To find out the truth and sincerity about faith it is necessary that a Muslim be tried, he should be put in the crucible of fire to see whether he comes out glowing like the gold or whether he will be burnt away with the impurities.

Do men imagine that they will be left (at ease) because they say, We believe, and will not be tested with affliction?

Verily, We tested those who were before you. Thus Allah knows those who are sincere, and knows those who feign. (Al-`Ankabut 29:2,3)

Undoubtedly, Allah’s knowledge covers all manifest and concealed matters, and from this examination there will be no addition to His knowledge, because He knows all the conditions from the beginning till the end.

The Divine knowledge cannot be made a basis for man’s reckoning. His reckoning will be on the basis of his own personal deeds. If some criminals deny their crimes, then on the Day of Judgment in what way proof can be brought against them except by putting them to trial in this world and man’s own parts of the body may give evidence against him?

About such people the Qur’an has to say this:

And on the Day We gather them together.. We shall say to those who ascribed partners (to Allah).. Where are (now) those partners of your make-believe ? Then they will have no contention except that they will say.. By Allah, our Lord, we never were idolaters. See how they lie against themselves, and (how) the thing which they devised has failed them. (Al-An`am 6:22-24)

How can the reckoning of such criminals be taken in the light of the Divine knowledge? Their justifiable retribution will be proper only when all their misdeeds are placed before them. Their efforts and striving to create corruption and mischief among others and all their misdeeds will be repeated before them.

On these two bases the foundation of patience has been kept. And for this reason religion demands it, but he who shuts his eyes from realities by force of his nature is dumbfounded when he has to face hardships and his hands and feet become inactive when he has to fight difficulties. His rashness dislikes waiting and patience and he is unable to tolerate it.

Therefore, when anything untoward happens, or he has to suffer some kind of failure, or when he meets with an accident, the earth with all its great vastness becomes narrow for him, and the conditions become exasperating for him.

He wants to come out of these conditions in the twinkling of an eye, but it is obvious that in this effort he will not ; be successful for it is against the temperament of the world and the religion, It is proper for a Muslim to learn to be patient and to wait and to wait for long.

Man is made of haste. I shall show’ you my signs, but ask Me not to hasten. (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:31)

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The article is excerpted from the book  “Muslim Character” , an American-English translation of Muhammad Al-Ghazali’s Khuluq Al-Muslim published by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.

 

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Morals and Faith in Islam: How Interlinked Are They?

Imperfect Faith 

Faith is such a power that it keeps men away from low attributes and mean acts, and encourages him to achieve high attributes and clean morals. That is why whenever Allah called his slaves towards virtue or whenever He wanted them to hate evil, He declared it as an essential requirement of the faith in their hearts. For example when He commands men to adopt righteousness and to speak truth, He addresses them as

O you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful. (At-Tawbah 9:119)

Allah’s Messenger has nicely explained it that when faith is firm and belief is strong, then strong and lasting moral will be developed, and if the moral character is low then faith will accordingly be weak. Read more

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How to Raise Truthful Children

By Muhammad Al-Ghazali

Islam commands that in the hearts of the children the seeds of the greatness and importance of truth be sown, so that they may grow up and develop on truth and may become young in its lap; and they may give it its due place in their talks.

How to Raise Truthful Children

Adoption of straight dealing and telling the truth has been very strictly insisted upon in Islam.

`Abdullah ibn `Aamir said: “once my mother called me when the Prophet was present in my house. My mother asked me to come and said that she would give me a certain thing. He asked what did she want to give? She said that she wanted to give me a date (fruit). The Prophet said: “If you had not given him this date, then the committing of a falsehood would have been entered into your record of deeds”. (Abu Dawud)

Abu Hurayrah says that the Prophet has said:

“Anybody who called a child saying that he would give him a certain thing, and did not give it, then it is a lie.” (Ahmad)

It is worth noting that in what a wise way the Prophet has instructed his followers to train their children in such a manner that they should consider truth and straight dealing respectable things and should avoid telling lies. Had the Prophet ignored these things and had not emphatically reminded about them, then there was a danger that the children on growing up would not have considered telling lies as sin.

Adoption of straight dealing and telling the truth has been very strictly insisted upon, so much so that it has been enjoined upon to take care about this in even small household matters.

Asmaa’ bint Yazid narrates that she once asked the Messenger of Allah:

“If someone of us women stated that she had no desire to have a certain thing even though she had that desire, then would it be considered a lie?”

He replied: “Falsehood is written as falsehood, and a small falsehood is written as a small falsehood.” (Muslim)

Not to Tell a Lie Even in a Joke

The establisher of the Shari`ah (peace be upon him) has warned of all the occasions where falsehood can be used and the adverse consequences of the same, so much so that it is not possible for even an ordinary enforcer to misguide the people about the reality or to lessen its importance.

A man tends to make false statements in cutting jokes, thinking that on the occasions of entertaining people there is nothing wrong if baseless information is given or false and imaginary events are related. But Islam, which considers providing relief to hearts as permissible, has fixed only those methods proper and permissible which are within that: limits of truth, because halal is much broader than haram and that truth is independent of falsehood. Allah’s Messenger has said:

“Death for the man who indulges in story-telling in order to make some people laugh and for that he relies on falsehood. There is death for him, there is destruction for him.” (At-Tirmidhi)

In another hadith it is stated:

“I give guarantee of a house in the middle of Paradise for the man who has given up falsehood, though he was required to indulge in humor.” (Al-Bayhaqi)

The Prophet has said:

“A believer cannot have complete faith unless he gives up falsehood in his jokes and debates though in all other matters he speaks the truth.” (Ahmad)

This is our daily observation that people give full rein to their tongues in the matter of humorous talks to make others laugh, and do not hesitate to spread the tales and stories invented by friends or foes only for the purpose of getting some pleasure or for pulling some one’s leg, when the world has absolutely prohibited such a wrong policy, and this is a fact that this kind of entertainment and amusements and false acts create enmities and rivalries,

Avoid Exaggeration in Praise

Some peoples when they praise somebody, go to the extent of exaggerating and making false statements. For a Muslim it is necessary that when he praises somebody he should do it to the extent to which he knows about that man, he should avoid exaggeration and falsehood in showering praises of the praised one, although he may be deserving of the praises, for exaggeration is a kind of falsehood which has been forbidden,

To a person who was praising the Prophet, he said: “Do not indulge in exaggeration while praising me, as the Christians did in the case of Ibn Maryam (Christ). I am only a slave. So only say that he is a slave of Allah and His Messenger.” (Al-Bukhari)

A group of such people is always found who lick the boots of the leaders and rulers of the country and praise them to heaven. The main purpose of their lives is to compose very lengthy panegyric poems or to write long-drawn essays in praise of their benefactors.

Thus, they try to make a mountain of the molehill and place an unknown person in the palace of fame. Sometimes they do not even hesitate to call the tyrant rulers as standard bearers of justice and coward and chicken hearted soldiers as brave and lion-hearted fighters. Their only purpose in this is to earn wealth.

This is the worst kind of falsehood. Allah’s Messenger has counseled us to totally reject them and expose them till they give up their wrong practices.

Abu Hurayrah says that the Prophet has commanded us that we should throw dust in the face of those who indulge in exaggeration in their praises. (At-Tirmidhi)

The commentators have pointed out that the persons mentioned here are those who make exaggeration as their habit and through this try to earn gifts and presents from the praised ones but those persons who praise the performers of good acts with a view to encouraging them and to inciting others to follow their example are not meant.

The limits where a Muslim stops and which keep him distinct from the bootlickers and the exaggerators are: that he praises his benefactor or a good person, but he does not let him indulge in vanity and pride. These limits have been clarified by the Prophet.

Abu Bakr narrates that a man praised someone in the presence of Allah’s Messenger and the Prophet told him:

“Fie on you, you have separated the head of your companion,” He repeated these words and then said: “If someone wants to praise his brothers then if he is aware of the facts then he should say that I think he is such and such and Allah is the real Knower, and there is none purer and innocent than Allah; I consider him bearer of these qualities.” (Al-Bukhari)

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The article is excerpted from the book  “Muslim Character” , an American-English translation of Muhammad Al-Ghazali’s Khuluq Al-Muslim

 

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Islam and the Right of Privacy

By Zeinab Hassan Ashry

In Islam, the right of privacy for every individual is highly respected.

Prying into people’s private affairs and spying on their secrets are not permitted even if they are engaged in sins as long as they do it privately and not openly.

Respect People’s Privacy

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ”Whosoever listens to people’s conversation against their wishes will have molten lead poured into his ears on the Day of Resurrection.” (Abu Dawud and others)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said:

“Beware of suspicion (about others), as suspicion is the most dishonest talk, and do not spy upon each other, and do not listen to the evil talk of the people about others’ affairs, and do not have enmity with one another, but be brothers. And none should ask for the hand of a girl who is already engaged to his (Muslim) brother, but one should wait till the first suitor marries her or leaves her.” (Al-Bukhari)

Be a Big Brother/Sister

Islam builds its community on mutual love, brother-hood co-operation. Muslims are but brothers and sisters. The Qur’an states:

The believers are but a single Brotherhood. So make peace and reconciliation between your brothers. And fear Allah so that you may receive Mercy.

A Muslim should guard the rights of brotherhood. He should do his best to show sympathy toward people and remove their difficulties.

He must strive to overcome his pride, anger, hatred, ill feelings, and jealousy toward people and humble himself toward them.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever covered a Muslim, Allah will cover him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet also said:

“Do not envy one another, and do not inflate prices one to another, and do not turn away from one another, and do not undercut one another, but be you, O servants of Allah, brothers. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim: he neither lies to him nor does he hold him in contempt.

Piety is right here,” and he pointed to his breast three times. “It is evil enough for a man to hold his Muslim brother in contempt. The whole of a Muslim for another Muslim is inviolable: his blood, his property, and his honor.” (Muslim)

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The article is excerpted from the author’s  The True Muslim, published by Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.

 

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Moral Teachings of Muhammad: Lessons from the Sunnah

By Editorial Staff

Prophet Muhammad had possessed an exceptionally moral character among his people from the very beginning of his life. God selected such a man to convey the message of Islam.

morals sunrays

The Prophet’s life mirrored the due harmony between faith and actions.

Muhammad perfectly fulfilled his message of responsibility of leading Arabia from the darkness and ignorance of Jahiliyyah to the light of Islam and its moral teachings which are actually offered to all humanity.

It was by the mercy of Allah that you deal gently with them (O Muhammad), for if you had been severe or harsh-hearted, they would have dispersed from round about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs. And when you are resolved, then put your trust in Allah. Lo! Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). (Aal `Imran 3:159)

The Prophet’s life mirrored the due harmony between faith and actions. He is the exemplary and the prime model of conduct for all Muslims to follow.

The Qur’an emphasizes the exalted moral character of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

Nun. By the pen and by what you write, (Muhammad), you are not insane, thanks to the bounty of your Lord. You will certainly receive a never-ending reward. You have a sublime morality. (Al-Qalam 68:1-4)

Lessons from the Sunnah

The Prophet’s hadiths about righteousness, tolerance and moral conduct are the embodiment of his noble character.

Morality and moral conduct constitute a basic principle of Islam and one cannot be a true Muslims without good moral qualities.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“There are two characteristics which are not combined in a believer; miserliness and bad morals.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Abu Ad-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“The heaviest thing which will be put on the believer’s scale (on the Day of Resurrection) will be good morals.” (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)

Also, Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah  said: “The fear of Allah and good morals (akhlaq) are the two major characteristics which lead to Paradise.” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim)

The Best Believer

Allah’s Messenger also said: “The best amongst you are those who are best in morals.”  (Muslim)

An-Nawwas ibn Sam`an narrated, ‘I asked the Messenger of Allah about virtue and sin and he replied:

“The essence of virtue is (manifested in) good morals (akhlaq) whereas sinful conduct is that which turns in your heart (making you feel uncomfortable) and you dislike that it would be disclosed to other people.” (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

“You (people) cannot satisfy people with your wealth, but satisfy them with your cheerful faces and good morals.” (Abu Ya`la and Al-Hakim)

Moral Conduct in Daily Life

Once the Prophet passed by an Ansari who was scolding his brother about his immodesty. The Prophet advised him to let him go as modesty was a branch of faith.

A man who harasses his neighbor and makes him suffer any kind of damage is called cruel and stonehearted by the religion. In this connection the decision of the Prophet is:

“By God, he cannot be a believer; by God, he cannot be a believer; by God, he cannot be a believer. He was asked: ‘who’, He answered: ‘He from whose misdeeds his neighbor is not safe’.“ (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet advises his companions to keep away from the talk that is trash, the acts that are wicked, and the deeds that are senseless. He says:

“A person who believes in Allah and the Hereafter should speak about good things or else should keep quiet.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet’s Du`aa’ for Perfect Morality

Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “O Allah You have made my creation perfect, so make my moral characteristics also be the best.” (Ahmad)

Also, Qutbah bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to say:

“O Allah, I seek refuge in you from evil morals, deeds, passions and diseases.” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim)

 

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