ARTICLES


 

MANNERS

Author’s Introduction

All praise and thanks are due to Allaah. We praise and give thanks to Him. We seek His aid and ask for His forgiveness, and we seek Allaah’s refuge from the evil of ourselves and from our evil actions. Whomsoever Allaah guides then none can misguide him, and whomsoever He misguides then none can guide him. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, having no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger – to proceed:

This is a concise book which contains forty authentic ahadeeth from the fine sayings of the Chosen Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) which I gathered as a reminder for myself and my brothers. They contain guidance for cultivation of souls, purification of the hearts and refinement of character. I myself have added nothing except a few words to explain and clarify anything unclear, to provide chapter headings showing the connection between the ahadeeth, and further brief notes.

 

 

It will not be unknown to any of the people that the noble Religion of Islaam has given great importance, and directed full attention in many of the texts of the Book and the Sunnah, to building the personality of the Muslim and directing it in accordance with the essential teachings of Islaam and its fundamentals and requirements.

 

The major incentive which led me to compile and compose this work was that I saw that many of those who attach themselves to Islaam, and call to Allaah, are actually far removed from the Islamic personality in both essence and outward manner and appearance. We ask Allaah to protect and grant us safety. This being the case I thought it was essential to compile this treatise so that it could be a firm and strong nucleus for the Muslim to initiate his Islamic life, to know the true way, follow it and call to it. Particularly since the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) has indicated this reality with his saying: For every action there is a period of enthusiasm / activity, and for every period of enthusiasm / activity there is a period of rest / inactivity. So he whose period of rest / inactivity is in accordance with my Sunnah then he is rightly guided, but he whose period of rest / inactivity accords with other than this, then he is destroyed.[2]

 

So I write this book for the enthusiastic Muslim youth who does not find, whilst swimming in the ocean of enthusiasm and excitement, the helping hand of one who knows the poison and is aware of the cure, one who can guide him to the correct way and correct thinking so that these youths can be with their minds and thoughts like the Companions of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) since they were also youths, but: They were youths, yet mature youths, their eyes fresh and free of evil, their feet refrained from approaching falsehood and futility. They sacrificed and expended themselves in worship and in withholding themselves from sleep. They sold their souls which were to pass away for souls which would never die. Allaah saw them in the latter part of the night, bending their backs, reciting the Qur’aan. Whenever one of them came to an Ayah mentioning Paradise, he would weep, longing for it. Whenever he came upon an Ayah mentioning the fire he would groan out of fear, as if the Hell-fire were directly in front of him. The earth devoured their knees their hands and their foreheads. They joined exhaustion in the night with exhaustion in the day. Their colour becoming yellowed and their bodies emaciated through standing long in prayer and frequent fasting – whilst they regarded their own actions to be negligible before Allaah. They fulfilled their covenant with Allaah and attained Allaah’s promise. [3] So let us all hasten to be like them, and to resemble them since the affair is as it was said: We are not in comparison to those who came before except like small herbs growing beside the trunks of tall palm trees. [4] And as Ibn ul Mubarak said: Do not mention us whilst mentioning them, the fit and healthy when he walks is not like the crippled. [5]

I have sought in choosing these ahadeeth to gather those which are the most comprehensive, but the Islamic Personality will not be completed until the person follows and implements the Religion (Deen) of Allah the One free of all imperfections, and the Most High says:

 

“O you who believe! Enter into Islaam perfectly (completely).”[6]

 

I have strived to mention the source references for each hadeeth along with a statement about its authenticity, as demanded by the science of hadeeth whilst avoiding unnecessarily going into great length or falling short of what is necessary. So I tried to be as brief as is fitting for a book of this size, and only rarely speaking at more length when it was essential.

So if Allah guides me to and grants me that which is correct in what I intended then that is from the completeness of His blessings, but if the result is otherwise and I hope it is not the case, then I ask Allah for His forgiveness and His Mercy. Indeed He is the One who hears and responds, and our final call is that all praise and thanks are for Allaah, Lord of all the worlds.

‘Alee Hasan ‘Alee-Hameed al-Halabee al-Atharee

11th Rajab 1408H, az-Zarqa (Jordan)

28 February 1988

Purity and Sincerity of Intention

 

From ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


Actions are but by intentions and there is for every person only that which he intended. So he whose migration was for Allaah and His Messenger, then his migration was for Allaah and His Messenger, and he whose migration was to attain some worldly goal or to take a woman in marriage, then his migration was for that which he migrated.
[7]

So the pillar of actions is pure and sincere intention, and through purity of intention the hearts become upright and at rest, and through it the person comes to know the right way in his Religion, thus he does everything in the proper manner. Through purity of intention alone will he come to know of the obligations upon him and the rights due to him. Through it he will behave justly in all affairs and will give everything its due right, not going beyond bounds or falling short of the mark.

So this hadeeth is one of the ahadeeth which are the pillars of correct understanding of our upright and true religion.[8]

So when the Muslim servant clearly realises what he has preceded then it becomes obligatory upon him that he should, without any hesitation, surround his sincere intention with the protective barrier for the Islamic Personality which is:

 

Distinctness

 

From Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said that Allah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


I have been sent before the Hour so that Allaah alone should be worshipped without any partner for Him, and my provision has been placed beneath the shade of my spear, and subservience and humiliation have been placed upon those who disobey my orders, and whoever imitates a people then he is one of them.
[9]

The Muslim has a distinct personality with it’s own special nature and particular outlook and manner. It is distinct in its appearance, its nature, its creed (‘aqeedah), its orientation and direction faced in Prayer, and in all its affairs.

By being distinct as Muslims we preserve our Islaam and our call in a clear and pure form, free from any adulteration and mistakes. However the Muslim whilst being distinct does not depart from:

Justice and Being Justly Balanced

 

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:

Love the one whom you love to a certain degree (moderately), perhaps one day he will be someone for whom you have hatred, and hate the one for whom you have hatred to a certain degree (moderately), perhaps one day he will be one whom you love.[10]

 

The Muslim is justly balanced in his loving and his hating. He is just both when giving and when taking and is moderate in all of that. His being justly balanced is one of the signs of his Religion and the Sharee’ah. So he is not one who goes beyond the limits, nor one who falls short of what is required. Furthermore the Muslim does not derive this quality of being justly balanced from his intellect and desires, nor from his own opinion or other than this, rather he takes it from the Book of Allaah, the One free of all imperfections.

 

“Thus we have made you a justly balanced nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam)) be a witness over you.”[11]

 

Being justly balanced is not an easy matter, indeed many of those who call out and declare it, desire only to water matters down and compromise. So for a person to be truly justly balanced as ordered by Allaah is not, as I have said, easy, rather it requires:

Striving Against One’s Desires

 

From al-‘Alaa ibn Ziyaad who said:


A man asked ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas, saying: Which of the Believers is best in his Islaam? He replied: He from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe. He asked: Then what is the best Jihaad? He replied: He who strives against his own self and desires for Allaah. He asked: Then which of those who migrates (performs hijrah) is best? He replied: He who strives against his own self and desires for Allaah. He asked: Is it something you have said O ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, or Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam)? He said: Rather Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said it.
[12]

So striving against ones own self is one of the highest and most valuable means of increasing ones eemaan and causing the servant to draw closer to his Lord, the One free of all imperfections. Concerning this He the Blessed and Most High says:

 

“As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allaah’s Religion)”[13]

 

So a Muslim’s striving against his own self and his desires causes his spirit to rise higher, his eemaan to increase and his soul to become purified. Furthermore this striving crowns the Muslim with a very great crown worn in his life, which is:

Gentleness

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:

 

 

 

Indeed Allaah is gentle and loves gentleness, and gives due to gentleness that which He does not give to harshness.[14]

 

So through gentleness hearts become united in friendship and love, and good becomes widespread. Whereas through its opposite ill feelings and distrust prevails and people forsake one another. But gentleness facilitates:

Returning to the Truth

 

From Ibn ‘Abbaas (radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said: There is no believing servant except that he has a sin which he commits from time to time, or a sin in which he persists in and does not abandon until he leaves this world. Indeed the Believer was created as one who is frequently tried and tested, who often repents (then) forgets. When he is admonished he accepts the admonition.[15]

So it is as is said: Returning to the truth is a virtue whereas continuing in falsehood is despicable. Returning to the truth elevates a person and raises his rank, both with Allaah and the people. Indeed it is only Satan who makes it appear to the people that returning to the truth is a defect and a slight to one’s honour. This is one of the deceptions and tricks employed by Iblees. A person returning to the truth and not being too proud to accept it places him in an ideal position to appreciate:

Responsibility

 

From ‘Umar (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:

 

 

Each of you is a guardian and is responsible for those whom he is in charge of. So the ruler is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects; a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for those under his care; a woman is a guardian of her husband’s home and is responsible for those under her care; a servant is the guardian of his master’s wealth and is responsible for that which he is entrusted with; and a man is the guardian of his father’s wealth and is responsible fore what is under his care. So each one of you is a guardian and is responsible for what he is entrusted with.[16]

 

So if everyone from this Ummah knew his own position and worth, and realised the responsibility upon him and did not seek to overstep it and take on the responsibilities of others and he carried out the obligations which this placed upon him, then that would be a comprehensive and universal good and a very great treasure through which safety and security would become widespread. Along with this something that is a feature of the Islamic Personality is:

The Muslim Seeks to Make Excuses for Other Muslims

 

From Sa’d ibn ‘Ubaadah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:

 

 

…and there is no one who loves to accept an excuse more than Allaah, and because of this he sent the bringers of good news and the warners….[17]

 

So a Muslim seeking to make an excuse for his brother and those whom he loves will cause good will to spread instead of antagonism, and will bring about ties of relationship instead of estrangement. Since if Allaah, He who is free of all imperfections, grants excuse, and He is the Creator and the Most Great, then how can you O servant of Allaah, a weak creation of his, not seek to make excuse for others? Rather as is said: Seek an excuse for your brother.18 Likewise there is the saying: the believers seek to make excuses for others, whereas the hypocrites hope for the downfall of others. So the fact that the Muslim seeks to excuse his brothers emphasises that:

The Muslim does not Harbour Envy

 

From Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:

 

 

There is to be no envy except with regard to two[19]: A man whom Allaah has given wealth which he strives to spend righteously, and a man to whom Allaah has given the Wisdom (i.e. the Qur’aan) and he acts according to it and teaches it to others.[20]

 

If he were to have envy of the people he would hope for their downfall in order to satisfy the pride that he has in himself, his vanity and the conceitedness of his mind. So he (the Muslim) knows that envy is a dangerous disease and a harmful evil and therefore keeps away from it.

 

As for the envy which is accepted from that which is sinful, then it is envy which does not cause the person to be afflicted by the sickness of wishing for that blessing to leave the other person. Rather he supplicates to his Lord, the One free of all imperfections, for his brother; that Allaah should protect him, and for himself; that Allaah should make him like him. As for that which is at variance with this, then it is blameworthy and to be condemned.[21] So this emphasises that fact that the Muslim is one who is:

 

Following and Applying Divine Guidance

 

 

From Umm ud-Darda (radiyallaahu ‘anhaa) who said: I said to Aboo Dardaa (radiyallaahu ‘anhu): Will you not seek for things to entertain your guests just as others seek for things for their guests? So he replied: I heard Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) say:

“Ahead of you is a steep mountain which will not be surmounted by those who are overburdened.” So I wish to lighten my load for that ascent![22]

 

So the Muslim follows and applies divine guidance in all his affairs. This world to him is merely a passage to the hereafter and he has no attachment to it except for that which is essential in order to meet his needs and preserve himself. But as for this world diverting most of his attention and being the goal which he seeks after, thinking that what he is doing is good, then this is not from the character or characteristics of the Muslim. So how strange is the case of the people who waste the prime of their lives and expend their youth submerged in worldly actions, thinking they are doing good. This is indeed something from Satan, made alluring by him. So how are there people able to do this when it is the case that:

The Muslim Has No Free Time

 

From Ibn ‘Abbaas (radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


There are two blessings which many people lose: health and free time.
[23]

So how can one who has no free time preoccupy himself with this world? How can one whose time is filled experience free time? So consider, may Allaah have Mercy upon you, what one of the scholars said about one of the Imaams: ‘I was a neighbour of his at the school in Cairo, my house was above his house. For twelve years, I did not awake on any night, at any hour of the night except

 

that I noticed candle light in his house and he was occupied with knowledge. Even when he was eating, his books would be with him and he was occupied with them.[24] From those things upon which the Muslim personality is built is:

The Muslim’s Piety and Self Restraint

 

 

The Muslim’s Piety and Self Restraint From an-Nu’maan ibn Basheer (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that I heard Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) say:

That which is lawful is clear, and that which is forbidden is clear, and between them are doubtful matters about which many of the people have no knowledge. So whoever avoids doubtful matters saves his Religion and his honour, and whoever falls into doubtful matters falls into what is forbidden. Just like a shepherd who grazes (his sheep) near to a private pasture (of another), he will soon stray on to it. Indeed for every king there is a private preserve. Indeed the preserve of Allaah are those things which He has forbidden. Indeed there is a piece of flesh in the body which if it is good, then the whole body is good, but if it is corrupt then the whole body is corrupt. Indeed it is the heart. [25]

 

 

So the Muslim with regard to whatever situation arises in his life will have to face each of them with one of the following three stances:

Completely refraining from it: That is with regards to that which is doubtful.  Accepting without constraint: That is with regard to which is clearly permissible. To abstain from it: This is with regards to things which are not clearly permissible nor clearly forbidden. If the last stance indicates something it is an indication of a Muslim’s piety and fear of falling into that which is forbidden and of entering into something evil.

 

The Muslim therefore abstains from it, and distances himself from it in order to please Allaah and to ensure that His commands are followed. It is not to be said, as some people say: ‘That is not forbidden, so do it.’ No, since it is not permissible to do everything other than which has been forbidden. So those things which are doubtful matters are closer to that which is forbidden, as occurs in the hadeeth itself: ‘Whoever falls into the doubtful matters falls into what is forbidden….’ So this fear and piety confirms that:

 

 

 

The Muslim is Honest and Truthful in All His Affairs

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


Three things are the sign of the hypocrite: when he speaks he tells lies, when he promises he breaks it and when he is trusted he proves to be dishonest.
[26]

So he is truthful and honest in his speech, faithful to his promise, trustworthy in carrying out that which he has been entrusted with. He does not deceive or defraud, he does not tell lies and is not guilty of hypocrisy. So truthfulness and honesty is one of the chief good qualities, whereas falsehood is the head of corruption and evil. So his honesty keeps him far away from evil and foul deeds and sickness of the heart. Therefore whatever action he does, he does it for Allaah, the One free and far removed from all defects, not to attain some worldly position, fame or repute. So his motto is:

Knowledge for Knowledge

 

From Jaabir (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘aliahi wa’sallam) said:


Do not acquire knowledge in order to compete with the scholars, nor to argue with the ignorant, nor to gain mastery over the gatherings. Since whoever does that, then: The Fire! The Fire!
[27]

 

Consider, May Allaah have mercy on you, the admonition and the lesson contained in what Ibn Abee Haatim ar-Raazee narrates, he said: I entered into Damascus upon the students of hadeeth and I passed by the circle of Qaasim al-Joo’ee. I found a group sitting around him and he was speaking. Their appearance amazed me and I heard him saying: ‘Seize the benefit of five things from the people of your time: when you are present you are not known; when you are absent you are not missed; when you are seen your advice is not sought; when you say something your saying is not accepted; and when you have some knowledge you are not given anything for it. I also advise you with five things: when you are treated unjustly then do not behave unjustly; when you are praised then do not become happy; when you are criticised do not be upset; when you are not believed then do not become angry; and if they act deceitfully towards you do not act deceitfully towards them.’ Ibn Abee Haatim said: So I took that as my benefit from Damascus.

So consider, May Allaah protect us and you from the evils of the soul, how sincere desire for knowledge and benefit led him to listen to one who certainly possessed less knowledge than himself in order to benefit his understanding and to acquire some knowledge. Another matter that must be mentioned here is that:

 

The Believer is a Mirror for His Brother

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


The believer is a mirror for the believer, and the believer is the brother of the believer. He safeguards his property for him and defends him from behind.
[28]

So the description of his being a ‘mirror’ is very precise and profound showing the culmination of brotherhood and solidarity. So your brother, O servant of Allaah, is an image of you yourself. Sao if he behaves badly it is as if you are the one who has behaved badly, and if he makes a mistake, it is as if you have made a mistake. So he is a mirror for you and then an image of you yourself! So do not treat him except with mildness and gentleness. If you do not behave with your brother in this manner, then this will be something which weakens:

The Muslim’s Struggle and His Devil

 

From Iyaad ibn Himaar al Mujaashi’ee (radiyallaahu ;anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said: Indeed my Lord ordered me to teach you that which you do not know, from that which He taught me this day, (instructing me): ‘The wealth which I confer upon a servant is all lawful for him, and I created all My servants having natural inclination to the true way but the devils came to them and turned them away from their (true) Religion, and they forbade for them that which I made lawful for them, and they ordered them to associate in worship with Me that for which I sent down no authority.’ Allaah looked upon the people of the earth and hated them, the Arabs and the non-Arabs, except for some remnants of the People of the Book, and He said: ‘I sent you only to put you to the test and to tests others through you, and I sent down to you a Book which cannot be washed away by water, which you will retain and recite whilst asleep and whilst awake.’ Allaah ordered me to destroy the Quraysh so I said: ‘O my Lord they would break my head just as bread is broken.’ So He said: ‘Turn them out just as they turned you out, and fight them and We shall aid you, and spend and We shall provide for you. Send an army and We will send five more like it. Fight along with those who disobey you. The people of paradise are three: The ruler who is just, who spends in charity and is guided to do good; and a man who is merciful and kind hearted towards every relative and Muslim; and the chaste one who does not beg despite having a family to support. The people of the fire are five: The weak who does not have the will to avoid evil, those amongst you who are merely followers (of others), they do not seek after family or wealth; and the dishonest whose greed cannot be concealed even in the case of minor things; and a man who will betray you morning and evening with regard to your family and your wealth (He also mentioned miserliness or telling lies) and the person of evil manners and foul speech.’[29]

So this is very ancient conflict, continuing since the time when Allaah, the One free and far removed from all defects, created Aadam, ‘alaihis-salaam, and what occurred between him and Satan is well known. This conflict will be intensified or diminished depending on the servant’s closeness to or distance away from his Lord. Consider also his (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) saying: Satan has despaired that those who pray should worship him, but he seeks to provoke animosity between them.[30] So let this be a warning for us, and its opposite be glad tidings. We must not leave any way for Satan to enter upon our hearts through our actions, granting him neither full nor partial access. Indeed his deceptions are many and his traps abundant.[31]

So beware of this, O servant of Allaah, and do not let Satan trap you with his snares and his tricks, and your impregnable fortress against him is:

Remembrance of Allah

 

 

From Nu’maan ibn Basheer (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger said:

Supplication (ad-Du’aa) is worship, your Lord the Mighty and Majestic said: “Call upon Me – I will respond to your ionvocation.”[32],[33]

 

Supplication is the head of remembrance of Allaah. Indeed he (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said: …and I order you to make mention to Allaah much, and the like of that is a man being chased by the enemy who are hastening after him until he comes to a protected fortress and so he protects himself in it. Likewise is the servant, for he does not protect himself from Satan except through remembrance of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.[34]

So a Muslim remembering his Lord, the One free and far removed from all defects, places him in a position of safety and protection which Satan is unable to overcome. So this prevents him from many sins and numerous negative traits pertaining to the tongue, the limbs and the heart. Therefore:

The Muslim Does Not Fall Into Backbiting

 

From Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


Whoever intercedes and prevents one of the punishments prescribed by Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, then he has opposed Allaah regarding His orders. Whoever dies with a debt due on him then it will not be repaid by deenaars and dirhams but rather by good and bad deeds. Whoever disputes for something which he knows is false then he remains in Allaah’s anger until he desists. Whoever accuses a believer of something that is untrue then Allaah will make him dwell in the pus flowing from the inhabitants of the Fire and he will not leaver until he retracts from what he said.
[35]

So the lethal plague of backbiting destroys one’s good deeds, destroys brotherhood and destroys one’s reward. So the true Muslim does not backbite, nor does he allow backbiting to take place in his presence. So let those people fear Allaah, those whose bodies do not develop and those whose spirit is not fed except upon spreading rumours and inventing lies against the servants of Allaah claiming that ‘this is for the benefit of da’wah!’


How strange! What benefit to the da’wah will be achieved through slandering, backbiting and mentioning bad manners to others? Do you think, O you who backbites the people, that you are far removed form defect? O you who can only see the deficiencies of others, do you think that you are free from any mistakes? ‘…rather you are full of deficiencies and the people have tongues!’ Also from those things which must be known is that:

The Muslim Does Not Pry into the Matters that do not Concern Him

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger said:


From the perfection of a person’s Islaam is that he leaves alone that which does not concern him.
[36]

So he halts at his limits and does not exceed and pass beyond them. He knows that prying into that which does not concern him and asking about it is not fitting for him. Rather it is forbidden for him and something he has to avoid. So he complies with Allaah’s orders and keeps away from what he has forbidden, since:

All of His Actions are for Allah

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger said:


Whoever loves for Allaah and hates for Allaah, gives for Allaah and withholds for Allaah, then he has completed eemaan
[37].[38]

So this hadeeth clearly shows the manner in which the believer conducts all his affairs and behaves in all his dealings, all of them are for Allaah and he does not give a share in any of them to other than Him, the One free and far removed from all imperfections. In all his affairs he distances himself from seeking after personal gain and enjoyment. In his loving and hating, giving and withholding he seeks only Allaah’s pleasure and His Paradise. He does not seek after the worldly positions, wealth or reputation! Then if he falls into the like of this he repents and turns back (to his Lord), so:

The Muslim Repents and Turns Back to Allah

 

From Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger said:


The example of the believer with regards to eemaan is like the example of a horse with regards to its tethering stake; it roams around and then returns to its tethering stake, and the believer is negligent and then he turns to his eemaan. So feed the pious with your food and treat the believers well.
[39]

 

So he does not persist upon sin, or treat it lightly. Rather like the rest of the children of Aadam he commits many sins. However he is frequent in turning back in repentance to his Lord.

So what has preceded will clearly show us:

 

The Essential Characteristics of His Personality

 

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger said:

Two characteristics are not found together in a hypocrite: good manners and understanding of the Religion.[40]

 

So his manners are the manners of the righteous people, and his behaviour that of the servants of the Lord of the worlds. He emulates the pious and follows in the footsteps of the sincere. His heart and his behaviour agree, he is not like the weak who take pains to put on a good appearance whereas their hearts are empty! His knowledge and understanding of the Religion is deep and springs from a good and sensitive heart, and precise memory. However his good manners and knowledge and understanding of the Religion do not prevent him from:

Honest Jesting

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said: We said: O Messenger of Allaah! You jest with us? He said (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam):


Yes except that I do not say except what is true.
[41]

So falsehood has no share of this, and lies cannot approach it. So his jesting is with words that are true. Nor does this mean that he is to expend all his time in lightheartedness and jesting. Rather in this and in all matters he follows the footsteps of the Companions, May Allaah be pleased with them all, and their way in this regard was:

A Time for This and a Time for That

 

From Hanzalah al-Usayyidee who said:

Abu Bakr met me and asked: How are you O Hanzalah? I Replied: Hanzalah is guilty of hypocrisy! He said: Free is Allaah and far removed from all defects! What are you saying? I said: When we are with Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) and he reminds us of the Fire and Paradise it is as if we were seeing it with our own eyes. Then when we depart from Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) and attend our wives, our children and our business, then much of this slips from our mind. Abu Bakr said: By Allaah we also experience the same. So I went with Abu Bakr until we entered upon Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam). I said: Hanzalah is guilty of hypocrisy O Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam). So Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said: And how is that? I said When we are with you, you remind us of the Fire and of Paradise and it is as if we are seeing it with our own eyes. Then when we depart from you and attend our wives, our children and our business then much of this slips from our minds. So Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam said: By Him in whose hand is my soul if you remained continually as you are when you are with me and in remembering (Allaah) then the angels would shake hands with you upon your beds and upon your roads. But O Hanzalah, (there is) a time for this and a time for that, (there is) a time for this and a time for that, (there is) a time for this and a time for that.[42]

 

So both of these times are regulated by the orders of Allaah, as has preceded. His time for serious matters is regulated according to the Book and the Sunnah, and his jesting is kept free of anything forbidden and accompanied only by that which Allaah has prescribed.

So he does not, through negligence, allow his jesting to become a way in which he falls into sin. Indeed how could he do this when:

 

He Does Not Take Sins Lightly

 

From Sahl ibn Sa’d (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


Beware of sins which are treated as being minor, just like a people who encamp in the centre of a valley, so someone brings a stick of firewood and someone else brings a stick until they are therefore able to bake their bread. Likewise sins which are treated as being minor and for which the person is taken to account will destroy him.
[43]

So it is just as the noble companion ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood said: The believer sees his sins as if he were sitting beneath a mountain which he feared was about to fall upon him, whereas the wicked sees his sins like a man who finds a fly settle upon his nose, so he does this (one of the narrators said: He brushes it away from his nose).[44]

The Muslim should realise the greatness of hid Lord, the One free and far from all imperfections, and His tremendous Power and Might, and he should not think of the sin as being great or small! Rather he should think of it with regard to the One he is disobeying.

Those sins which are ignored by the weak hearted cause their destruction by removing eemaan and fear of Allaah from their hearts.

When a person regards sins and acts of disobedience as something slight the he is one who is oppressing his own soul, and that should never occur, since:

 

The Muslim Does not Commit Oppression

 

From Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:

 

 

Beware of committing oppression for on the Day of Resurrection oppression will be darkness, and beware of avarice for avarice destroyed those who came before you, it led them into shedding blood and into making lawful that which was forbidden for them.[45]

 

 

Oppression is of two types: (i) A person oppressing his own soul and (ii) his oppressing others. Both of these have been forbidden by Allaah, the One free and far from all imperfections. So a person oppressing his own soul causes him to feel at home with his sins and to commit them, and causes him to abandon acts of obedience to Allaah.

The true Muslim is far removed from all of this and furthermore:

 

He is not a carrier of Malicious Reports

 

From Anas ibn Maalik (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said: Do you know what calumny (al-‘Adh) is? They said: Allaah and his Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) know best. He said:


Conveying the words of some people to others in order to create mischief between them.
[46]

Tale-carrying is a foul disease; when it enters the heart it corrupts it, and when the heart is corrupt the rest of the body becomes corrupt and ones actions are destroyed.

The sickness of tale-carrying only finds a place in hearts which are filled with love of this world, the hearts of those who use the Religion for lowly and despicable ends, and we seek Allaah’s refuge from that! However, as for the sincere Muslim who strives to follow and apply the guidance sent by his Lord, then:

He is not Attached to This World

 

From Sahl ibn Aa’d (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:

Jibreel came to me and said: O Muhammad! Live as you will for you must certainly die; love whom you will since you must certainly leave him; act as you will since you shall certainly be given due reward for it; know that the believers eminence is his standing in prayer during the night, and his honour is having sufficiency without dependency upon the people.[47]

The person who lives attached to this world is poor with regard to his Religion and intellect, he does not realise that this worlds, for the one having no Religion is the road to degradation, the path to corruption and the key to evil and foul deeds. Whereas the Muslim who is sincere to his Lord and his own soul and with his brothers should be an excellent example to those who thirst after this world and the few dirhams and deenaars.

He should be a lesson for them that there is no good in that, and that good lies only in taking this world as a means of increasing one’s rank with regard to the Religion and seeking to purify one’s heart. However these two will not be achieved except through:

Disassociation from this World

 

From Aboo Umaamah Iyaas ibn Tha’labah who said:

The Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) mentioned this world one day in his presence, so Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said: Will you not listen, will you not listen! Wearing old clothes is part if eemaan, wearing old clothes is part of eemaan![48]

Zuhd (abstemiousness) is to have little regard for this world, to manifest ones poverty and need before Allaah, to treat the servants of Allaah kindly and gently, to avoid spending lavishly upon clothing, food and drink, and to avoid fame.

Zuhd is not the rejection of the favours of Allaah, the One free and far removed from all defects, bestows upon some of His servants, rather it is as Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullaah, said: Keep away from that which does not bring benefit, either because it contains no benefit at all, or because something other than it is more beneficial, so that by doing the first he would be missing greater benefit, or because it will produce something whose harm will grow to outweigh its benefit. But as regards things which are purely beneficial or predominantly, then avoidance of them is stupidity.[49] Therefore there is to be no abstemiousness with regard to:

Good Actions

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


Charity (sadaqah) is due upon every joint of a person on every day that the sun rises. Administering justice between two people is an act of charity; and to help a man concerning his riding beast by helping him on to it or lifting his luggage on to it is an act of charity; a good word is charity; and every step which you take to prayer is charity; and removing that which is harmful from the road is charity.
[50]

 

 

So if the servant is able to spend all his days and nights in obedience to Allaah, and in doing actions pleasing to Him, then let him do so!

 

[Author’s text abridged hereafter]

 

Even though abstemiousness is to be given special attention by the rich due to their ability to spend and their wealth, as opposed to the poor, then this will not prevent the Muslim, rich or poor, from having a contented and rich soul, since:

The Muslim is Contented and Satisfied

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


Richness is not having many belongings, but richness is the richness of the soul (contentment).
[51]

So the greatest of riches you can attain, O servant of Allaah, is contentment of ones soul, and having a contented heart and this will not be achieved except through humbling oneself before Allaah, the One free from and far removed from all defects, and calling upon Him in supplication and in placing reliance upon Him. So he whose soul is contented and rich will increase in his:

Devotion to the Religion of Islaam

 

 

From Ka’b ibn Maalik al-Ansaaree (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:

Two hungry wolves let loose amongst sheep will not cause more harm to them than a persons craving after wealth and status will do to his Religion.[52]

 

So flee, May Allaah have mercy upon you, from this mad craving after this world and its finery, and there is no salvation from that which has been destined for a person.

[Author’s text abridged hereafter]

So he who wishes for salvation then let it be the case that his desire for his Religion is his foundation and guiding principle, if this is so then Allaah will protect him and protect his religion. Then from the comprehensive matters that should be known is:

How the Muslim Deals With People

 

From Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu ‘anhaa) who said that a man sought permission to enter upon the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam), so he said:


Give permission to him and what a bad son of his people (or: what a bad man of his people). Then when he entered he spoke politely to him. Aa’ishah said: So I said: O Messenger of Allaah, you said about him what you said and then you spoke politely to him? He said: O Aa’ishah the worst people in station before Allaah on the Day of Resurrection are those whom the people desert, or abandon, in order to save themselves from their evil speech.
[54]


[Author’s text abridged hereafter]

It will also not be hidden that one of the best ways of cementing ties and improving relations is:

 

Visiting Brothers

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


A man went out to visit a brother of his in a different village, so Allaah, the Most High, put an angel in wait for him in the road. So when the angel came to him he said: Where are you going? He said: I am going to visit a brother in this village. He said: Is it that you have done something for him for which you seek repayment? He said: No, it is just that I love him for Allaah’s sake. He said: Then I am one sent by Allaah to you (to inform you) that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, loves you, just as you have loved for His sake.
[55]

[Author’s text abridged hereafter]

(Paradise) cannot be attained unless the incentive for it is:

The Muslim’s Character

 

From Abu Darda (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


There is nothing which is heavier upon the balance than the good character.
[56]

So by his character the Muslim turns enemies into friends, opponents into companions, and harsh people into those who are mild. Character is a commodity which is almost something rare amongst the people today, except amongst those who sincerely worship Allaah alone, Who are honest and true in the worship of the Lord of the Worlds. So good character refines the soul and enables that:

The Muslim Knows His Own Worth

 

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:


There will come upon the people years of deceit in which the liar will be believed, the truthful disbelieved, the treacherous will be trusted and the trustworthy held to be treacherous, and the despicable (ar-Ruwaybidah) will speak out. It was said: Who are the despicable ones (ar-Ruwaybidah)? He said: The lowly, ignoble man who speaks out about the public affairs.
[57]

[Author’s text abridged hereafter]

So it is binding upon the obedient servant that he should:

He Hopes for good for Himself and His Brothers

 

From Jundub (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) narrated:


That a man said: By Allaah, Allaah will not forgive so and so. Whereas Allaah, the Most High said: Who is it who swears by Me that I will not forgive so and so, for I have forgiven so and so, and have rendered your actions futile.
[59]

[Author’s text abridged hereafter]

The fear and hope that a Muslim has for his brothers does not prevent him from carrying out what Allaah has established with regard to:

Ordering Good and Forbidding Evil

 

 

From Aboo Sa’eed al-Khudree (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said:

Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) stood amongst us to deliver an address, and from his address was that he said: Indeed it is about to occur that I will be called and will respond. Then after me will follow rulers over you who say what they have knowledge of, and act upon what they know. Obedience to them is obedience to me, and you remain like that for a time. Then there will follow rulers over you after them who say what they do not have knowledge of and act according to what they do not have knowledge of. So whoever is sincere to them and assists them, or strengthens them then they are destroyed and have caused destruction. Accompany them with your bodies and differ with them by your actions, and bear witness for the doer of good from them that he is a doer of good, and for the doer of evil that he is a doer of evil.[63]

 

[Author’s text abridged hereafter]

In ordering good and forbidding evil, the Muslim is careful of:

Being Cautious to Avoid Animosity and Dissention

 

From Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger said:


Indeed Satan has despaired that those who pray should worship (him) in the Arabian peninsular, however (he seeks) to provoke animosity between them.
[65]

So perhaps a word which one does not realise allows to escape from his tongue and it falls upon one of the servants of Allaah, or a mistake he makes, perhaps this will cause a great fire to blaze in the hearts of the brothers.

This is the most Satan desires and it causes him to be joyful and happy. So what we have indicated certainly occurs and is bound to occur and it leads to widespread evil and great danger, so since this is the case, then what is:

The Means To Escape the Trial which Befalls the People

 

 

From Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said:

How will you be when you are covered by a trial in which the young grow up and the old become infirm. If anything of it is abandoned it is said: The Sunnah has been abandoned. It was said: When will that occur, O Aboo Abdur Rahman? He said: When your scholars pass away, and those ignorant amongst you become many; when those who recite amongst you are many, but those who have understanding of the religion are few; when your leaders are many, but those who are trustworthy are few; when this world is sought with actions of the Hereafter; and when knowledge is sought for other than the Religion.[66]

 

 

So the means of escape is to follow the example provided for us! Indeed obeying and following Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) is the greatest escape from the trials which envelop us.

So for Allaah, for Allaah, O servants of Allaah, learn, and act, and fear Allaah and obey Him that you may be shown mercy.

 

Epilogue

 

The Islamic Personality is a clear and distinct personality. Its fabric is the Book of Allaah, and its thread is the Sunnah and these two are inseparable from it.

It is a sincere and determined personality educated and refined upon precise methodology which does not contain even the slightest deficiency, and how could it since it is the Religion of Allaah, Lord of all the worlds?!

 

 

So what I have written is knowledge which is the path to action, a reminder which leads one to obey and follow, and advice which is essential for the attainment of benefit.

 

So I ask Allaah to grant success to myself and all of the Muslims, and that He establishes us upon the way and methodology of His Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam). He is the best One to ask and the greatest One who responds, and our final call is all praise is for Allaah, Lord of all the worlds.

18th Ramadan 1408H

 

 

az-Zarqa

 

Jordan

 

Footnotes

1.There are some ahadeeth reported about the excellence of gathering forty ahadeeth, however all of them are unauthentic as I briefly explained in my introduction to Forty Hadeeth on the Call To Islam and the Caller (Published by Al-Hidaayah, 1994)
2.It is the twentieth hadeeth of Forty Hadeeth on the Call to Islam and the Caller, its source and explanation are quoted there.
3.Jamarah Khutabil ‘Arab (2/475) of Ahmad Zakiyy Safwat
4.Al-Muwaddih li Awhaamil-Jam’ wat-Tafreeq (1/5) of al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee
5.Ibn Rajab quotes it from him in Fadl ‘Ilmus Salaf’alal Khalaf (page 59 of the edition with my checking).
6.Soorah al-Baqarah (2):208
7.Reported by al-Bukhari (English Translation Volume 1 Page 1 No. 1) and Muslim (Eng. Trans. Vol. 3, page 1056, no. 4692)
8.At-Taqyeed (2/6-7) of Ibn Nuqtah
9.Reported by Ahmad (no. 5114) and others with hasan (good) isnaad (chain of narration). I have spoken about it in more detail in my footnotes to al-Hikamul Jadeerah bil Idhaa’ah (pg. 1-3) of Ibn Rajab
10.Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no. 1997) and others by way of Suwayd ibn ‘Amr al-Kalbee: Hammad ibn Salamah narrated to us from Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyanee from Muhammad ibn Seereen from him. This isnaad is Saheeh (authentic) if Allaah wills, it does not contain anyone needing examination except for Suwayd and he is declared reliable by a group of the scholars and this is the preferred view of al-Haafidh Ib Hajr. The hadeeth is also declared authentic by a group of scholars such as al-Haafidh al-Iraaqee in Takhreejul Ihyaa (2/186), al-Munaawee in al-Fayd (1/177), az-Zubaydee in al-Ittihaf (6/233) and others, and is further clarified in Ghaayatul Maraam (no. 472) of Shaikh al-Albaanee.
11.Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 143
12.Reported by Ibn Nasr al-Marwazee in Ta’zeem Qadris Salaat (no. 639)
13.Soorah al-Ankaboot (29):69
14.Reported by Ibn Majah (no. 3688) and Ibn Hibaan (no. 549)
15.Reported by at-Tabaraanee in al-Mu’jamul Kabeer (no. 11,810) its chain of narration is hasan.
16.Reported by al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans. 9/189/no.252) and Muslim (Eng. Trans. 3/1017/no.4496)
17.Reported by al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans. 9/378/no.512) and Muslim (Eng. Trans. 2/782/no. 3572)
18.Some people quote this as being a hadeeth but it has no basis as such
19.See Fath ul Bari (1/167)
20.Reported by al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans. 1/62/no.73)
21.Refer to the treatise Dhammul Hasad wa Ahlihi of Ibn ul Qayyim with my footnotes and checking
22.It is reported by al-Haakim (4/574), al-Baihaqee in Shu’abul Eemaan and others and its chain of narration is saheeh
23.Reported by al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans. 8/282/no.421)
24.Bustaanul ‘Aarifeen (p.79) of an-Nawawee
25.Reported by al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans. 1/44/no.49) and Muslim (Eng. Trans. 3/840/no.3882)
26.Reported by al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans. 1/31/no.32) and Muslim (Eng. Trans. 1/40/no.112)
28.Reported by al-Bukharee in al-Adabul Mufrad (no. 239), Aboo Dawood (Eng. Trans. 3/1370/no.4900) and others. Its chain of narration is hasan.
29.Reported by Muslim (Eng. Trans. 4/1488/no.6853)
30.See Hadeeth Number 39
31.Refer to my book al-Muntaqan Nafees min Talbees Iblees and Mawridul Amaan min Masaayidish Shaitan and May Allaah through His grace and favour make easy its completion
32.Soorah Ghaafir (40):60
33.Saheeh – reported by Ahmad (4/267, 271, 276) and others
34.Hadeeth 40 in Forty Hadeeth on the Call to Islam and the Caller
35.Reported by Ahmad (no. 5385) and others
36.Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no.2318) and others
38.Reported by Aboo Dawood (Eng. Trans. Vol.3/p.1312/no.3664) and others, with chain of narration being hasan
39.Reported by Ahmad (3/38,55)
40.Reported by At-Tirmidhee (no.2685)
41.Reported by at-Tirmidhee in as-Sunan (no.1991)
42.Reported by Muslim (Eng. Trans. Vol.4, p.1436, no.6223)
43.Reported by Ahmad (5/331) and others
44.Reported by al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans. 8/214/no.320)
45.Reported by Muslim (Eng. Trans. 4/1366/no.6248)
46.Reported by al-Bukharee, al-Baihaqee and others
47.Reported by al-Haakim (4/324) and others.
48.Reported by Aboo Dawood (Eng. Trans. 3/1158/no.4149) and its chain of narration is hasan
49.Majmoo’ul Fataawaa (10/615)
50.Reported by al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans. 4/146/no.232)
51.Reported by Muslim (Eng. Trans. 2/501/no.2287)
52.Reported by Ahmad and others
53.From Ibn Rajab’s explanation (sharh) of this hadeeth
54.Reported by al-Bukharee (8/50/80)
55.Reported by Muslim (4/1362/no.6226)
56.Reported by Ahmad (6/446 and 448)
57.Reported by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and others, with weak chain of narration.
58.Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd in at-Ta’aalam wa Atharuhu ‘alal Fikr wwal Kitaab (p.7)
59.Reported by Muslim (4/1381/no.6350)
60.Sharul ‘Aqeedatit Tahaawiyyah (p.379)
61.Soorah al-Israa (17):36
62.Sharul ‘Aqeedatit Tahaawiyyah (p.325)
63..Reported by al-Baihaqee in az-Zuhdul Kabeer (no.191)
64.Reported by Ahmad and others. See Hadeeth 22 of 40 hadeeth on the call to islam and the caller
65.Muslim (Eng. Trans. 4/1471/no.6752)
66.Reported by ad-Daarimee (1/64), al-Laalikaa’ee (no.123), al-Haakim(4/514) and others, with saheeh chain of narration

Important Notice

 

 

This Internet edition has been prepared without any of the Arabic quotes. Further, the footnotes of the authentication and source references of each hadeeth have been abridged and edited to allow accessibility to all readers. You are therefore strongly recommended to buy the actual copy in Arabic or in English.

The English copy is available from Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution, PO Box 3332, Birmingham, UK, B10 9AW – Telephone: 0121 753 1889

 

 

=============================================

 

WORSHIP OF GOD

Ibadah (worship) is an Arabic word derived from abd (a slave) and it means submission.  It portrays that God is your Master and you are His slave, and whatever a slave does in obedience to and for the pleasure of his Master is Ibadah.  The Islamic concept of Ibadah is very wide.  If you free your speech from filth, falsehood, malice, and abuse and speak the truth and talk goodly things and do all these only because God has so ordained to do, they constitute Ibadah, however secular they may look in semblance.  If you obey the law of God in letter and spirit in your commercial and economic affairs and abide by it in your dealings with your parents, relatives, friends, and all those who come in contact with you, verily all these activities of yours are Ibadah.  If you help the poor and the destitute, give food to the hungry, and serve the ailing and the afflicted persons, and do all this not for any personal gain of yours but only to seek the pleasure of God, they are nothing short of Ibadah.  Even your economic activities, the activities you undertake to earn your living and to feed your dependants, are Ibadah if you remain honest and truthful in them and observe the law of God.  In short, all your activities and your entire life are Ibadah if they are in accordance with the law of God, and your heart is filled with His awe, and your ultimate objective in undertaking all theses activities is to seek the pleasure of God.

Thus, whenever you do good or avoid evil for fear of God, in whatever sphere of life and field of activity, you are discharging your Islamic obligations.  This is the true significance of Ibadah, namely total submission to the pleasure of Allah; the molding into the patterns of Islam your entire life, leaving out not even the most insignificant part thereof.  To help achieve this aim, a set of formal `ibadat (acts of worship) has been constituted, which serves as a course of training.  These `ibadat are thus the pillars on which the edifice of Islam rests.

Salah (Prayer) is the most primary and the most important of these obligations.  And what is salah?  It is the prescribed daily Prayers which consist in repeating and refreshing, five times a day, the belief in which you repose your faith.  You get up early in the morning, cleanse yourself and present yourself before your Lord for Prayer.  The various poses that you assume during your Prayers are the very embodiment of the spirit of submission; the various recitals remind you of your commitments to your God.  You seek His guidance and ask Him again and again to enable you to avoid His wrath and follow His chosen path.  You read out from the Book of the Lord and express witness to the truth of the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, and also refresh your belief in the Day of Judgment and enliven in your memory the fact that you have to appear before your Lord and give an account of your entire life.  This is how your day starts.

Then, after a few hours the muezzin (caller to prayer) calls you to Prayer, and you again submit to your God and renew your covenant with Him.  You dissociate yourself from your worldly engagements for a few moments and seek audience with God.  This once again brings to the fore of your mind your real role in life.  After this rededication you revert to your occupations and again present yourself to the Lord after a few hours.  This again acts as a reminder to you, and you once more refocus your attention on the stipulations of your faith.  When the sun sets and the darkness of the night begins to shroud you, you again submit yourself to God in Prayer so that you may not forget your duties and obligations in the midst of the approaching shadows of the night.  And then after a few hours you again appear before your Lord, and this is your last Prayer of the day.  Thus before going to bed you once again renew your faith and prostrate before your God.  And this is how you complete your day.  The frequency and timings of the Prayers never let the object and mission of life be lost sight of in the maze of worldly activities.

It is but easy to understand how the daily Prayers strengthen the foundations of your faith, prepare you for the observance of a life of virtue and obedience to God, and refresh that belief from which spring courage, sincerity, purposefulness, purity of heart, advancement of the soul, and enrichment of morals.

Now see how this is achieved: One performs ablution in the way prescribed by the Prophet.  One also says their Prayers according to the instructions of the Prophet.  Why do they do so?  Simply because they believe in the prophethood of Muhammad and deem it their bounden duty to follow him ungrudgingly.  Why do they not intentionally misrecite the Quran?  Isn’t it so because they regard the Book as the Word of God and deem it a sin to deviate from its letter?  In the Prayers they recite many things quietly, and if they do not recite them or make any deviation from them, there is no one to check them.  But they never do so intentionally.  Why?  Because they believe that God is Ever Watchful and that He listens to all that you recite and is aware of things open and hidden.

 


 

What makes a Muslim say their Prayers at places where there is no one to ask them to offer them or even to see them offering them?  Isn’t it so because of their belief that God is ever looking at you?  What makes them leave their important business and other occupations and rush towards the mosque for Prayers?  What makes them terminate your sweet sleep in the early hours of the morning, to go to the mosque in the heat of the noon, and to leave their evening entertainments for the sake of Prayers?  Is it anything other than sense of duty—their realization that they must fulfill your responsibility to the Lord, come what may?  And why are they afraid of any mistake in Prayer?  Because their heart is filled with the fear of God and they know that they have to appear before Him on the Day of Judgment and give an account of their entire life.

Now look!  Can there be a better course of moral and spiritual training than Prayer?  It is this training which makes a man a perfect Muslim.  It reminds him of his covenant with God, refreshes his faith in Him, and keeps the belief in the Day of Judgment alive and ever present before his mind’s eye.  It makes him follow the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, and trains him in the observance of his duties.

This is indeed a strict training for conforming one’s practice to one’s ideals.  Obviously if a man’s consciousness of his duties towards his Creator is so acute that he prizes it above all worldly gains and keeps refreshing it through Prayers, he would certainly not be inviting the displeasure of God hat he all along has striven to avoid.  He will abide by the law of God in the entire gamut of life in the same way as he follows it in the five Prayers every day.  This man can be relied upon in other fields of activity as well, for if the shadows of sin or deceit approach him, he will try to avoid them for fear of the Lord that would be ever present in his heart.  And if even after such a vital training a man misbehaves himself in other fields of life and disobeys the law of God, it can only be because of some intrinsic depravity of his self.

Then again, a Muslim should say their Prayers in congregation and especially so the Friday Prayer.  This creates among the Muslims a bond of love and mutual understanding.  This arouses in them the sense of their collective unity and fosters among them national fraternity.  All of them say their Prayers in one congregation and this inculcates in them a deep feeling of brotherhood.  Prayers are also a symbol of equality, for the poor and the rich, the low and the high, the rulers and the ruled, the educated and the unlettered, the black and the white all stand in one row and prostrate before their Lord.  Prayers also inculcate in Muslims a strong sense of discipline and obedience to the elected leader.  In short, Prayers train them in all those virtues that make possible the development of a rich individual and collective life.

These are a few of the myriad of benefits Muslims derive from the daily Prayers.  If we refuse to avail ourselves of them we, and only we, are the losers.  If you see that some Muslims shirk the prayers, this can only mean one of two things: Either they do not recognize Prayers as our duty or they recognize them.  In the first case, their claim to faith shall be a shameless lie, for if they refuse to take orders from Allah they no longer acknowledge His authority.  In the second case, if they recognize Allah’s authority and still flout His commands, then they are the most unreliable of creatures that ever trod the earth.  For if they can do this to the highest authority in the universe, what guarantee is there that they shall not do the same in their dealings with other human beings?  And if duplicity overwhelms a society, what a hell of discord it is bound to become!

Fasting

What the prayers seek to serve five times a day, fasting in the month of Ramadan (ninth month of the lunar year) does once a year.  During this period from dawn to dusk, Muslims eat not a grain of food nor drink a drop of water, no matter how delicious the dish or how hungry or thirsty they feel.  What is it that makes them voluntarily undergo such rigors?  It is nothing but faith in God and the fear of Him and of the Day of Judgment.  Each and every moment during the fast, Muslims suppress their passions and desires, and proclaim by their doing so the supremacy of the Law of God.  This consciousness of duty and the spirit of patience that incessant fasting for full one month inculcates in Muslims help them to strengthen their faith.  Rigor and discipline during this month bring us face to face with the realities of life, and help them make their life during the rest of the year a life of true subservience to His will.

From yet another point of view, fasting has an immense impact on society, for all Muslims, irrespective of their status, must observe fasting during the same month.  This brings to prominence the essential equality of men, and thus goes a long way towards creating in them sentiments of love and brotherhood.  During Ramadan evil conceals itself while good comes to the fore, and the whole atmosphere is filled with piety and purity.  This discipline has been imposed on Muslims to their own advantage.  Those who do not fulfill this cannot be relied upon in the discharge of their duties.  But the worst are those who, during this holy month, do not hesitate to eat or drink in public.  They are the people who by their conduct show that they care not a trifle for the commands of Allah, in Whom they profess their belief as their Creator and Sustainer.  Not only this, they also show that they are not loyal members of the Muslim community; rather, they have nothing to do with it.  It is evident that in so far as obedience to law and regard for a trust reposed in them goes, only the worst could be expected of such hypocrites.

 

 


 

Zakah

The third obligation is zakah.  Every Muslim whose financial condition is above a certain specified minimum must pay annually 2.5 percent of his or her cash balance to a deserving fellow being.  This is the minimum.  The more you pay, the greater the reward that God shall bestow on you.

The money that we pay as zakah is not something God needs or receives.  He is above any want and need.  He, in His benign mercy, promises us rewards manifold if we help our brethren.  But there is one basic condition for being thus rewarded.  And it is this: that when we pay in the name of God, we shall not expect nor demand any worldly gains from the beneficiaries nor aim at making our names as philanthropists.

Zakah is as basic to Islam as other forms of worship: salah (prayers) and saum (fasting).  The fundamental importance of zakah lies in the fact that it fosters in us the qualities of sacrifice and rids us of selfishness and plutolatry.  Islam accepts within its fold only those who are ready to give away in God’s way from their hard earned wealth willingly and without any temporal or personal gain.  It has nothing to do with misers.  A true Muslim will, when the call comes, sacrifice all his belongings in the way of God, for zakah has already trained him for such sacrifice.

There are immense gains to the society in the institution of zakah.  It is the bounden duty of every well-to-do Muslim to help his lowly placed poor brethren.  His wealth is not to be spent solely for his own comfort and luxury, as there are rightful claimants on his wealth, and they are the nation’s widows and orphans; the poor and the invalid; and those who have ability but lack the means by which they could seek useful employment; those who have the faculties and brilliance but not the money with which they could acquire knowledge and become useful members of the community.  He who does not recognize the right on his wealth of such members of his own community is indeed cruel.  For there could be no greater cruelty than to fill one’s own coffers while thousands die of hunger or suffer the agonies of unemployment.  Islam is a sworn enemy of such selfishness, greed, and acquisitiveness.  People not ingrained with these morals, devoid of sentiments of universal love, know only to preserve wealth and to add to it by lending it out on interest.  Islam’s teachings are the very antithesis of this attitude.  Here one shares one’s wealth with others and helps them stand on their own legs and become productive members of the society.

Hajj

Hajj, or the pilgrimage to Mecca, is the fourth basic act of worship.  It is obligatory once in a lifetime only for those who can afford it.  When Muslims undertake the pilgrimage, they are required to suppress our passions, refrain from bloodshed, and be pure in word and deed.  God promises rewards for our sincerity and submissiveness.

The Hajj is, in a way, the biggest of all acts of worship.  This is so because unless people really loved God, then they would never undertake such a long journey, leaving all their near and dear ones behind them.  It may seem easy now with the appearance of airplanes and vehicles, but imagine in the past when Muslims had to take a long arduous journey, facing fatigue, hunger and death, often taking more than a year!

This pilgrimage is unlike any other journey.  Here, pilgrims’ thoughts are concentrated on God, their very beings vibrate with the spirit of intense devotion.  When they reach the holy places, they find the atmosphere laden with piety and godliness; they visit places which bear witness to the glory of Islam, and all this leaves an indelible impression on their minds, which they carry to their last breath.

In addition, there are in Hajj, as in any other act of worship, many benefits that Muslims can gain.  Mecca is the center towards which the Muslims must converge once a year and discuss topics of common interest.  Hajj refreshes in them the faith that all Muslims are equal and deserve the love and sympathy irrespective of their geographical or cultural origin.  Thus, Hajj unites Muslims from around the world into one international brotherhood.

 

THE OUTER

 

 

Throughout history, certain religions, due to their tampering, have placed more emphasis on the inner format of worship, wholly or partially dismissing the importance of the outer, while others have placed more emphasis on apparent and visible acts of rituals, diminishing the value of belief.  As mentioned earlier, in Islam, there is no absolute separation between the inner and outer – the inner state produces and ought to produce outer manifestations, and outer conditions and actions have inner consequences.  There is certainly a correspondence between the inner and outer state, and each tends to modify the other.  All inner intentions lead to equivalent postures and actions.  One can often judge a person’s inner state by his outer.  A person in despair or fear, for instance, has a certain posture and expression on his face.  Conversely, if certain activities or postures are adopted then the equivalent inner state will result.

Visible acts of worship offered to God are fruits of the Muslim’s belief.  For this reason, not only does Islam demand that a person believe in the ultimate truths laid out in its doctrine, but it also demands that belief in God produce visible action.  It is not enough for one to maintain certain beliefs for salvation, but rather deeds are essential in order for one to be successful in this life and the next.
God has commanded that Muslims fulfill certain commandments throughout the course of their lives, exemplified in the five pillars of Islam.  These have been prescribed daily, such as the prayer, and annually, such as the compulsory charity and the fast of Ramadan, or as little as once in a person’s life, such as the Hajj.  There are many other acts of worship prescribed in Islam other than the five pillars, some of which are obligatory and others of which are voluntary, their performance left to a Muslim’s discretion.
Though there is a ritual connected with these acts of worship, they should not be mistaken for ritualism or regimentation.  Acts of worship must be done with full awareness of what one is doing and awareness of the presence of God.  Actions performed mechanically or as habits produce only automatons and do not facilitate spiritual growth.
“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces toward the East or the West, but righteous is he who believes in God and the Last Day and the Angels and the Book and the Prophets, and gives his beloved money to his relatives and the orphans and the needy and for the ransoming of captives and who observes prayer and pays the poor-due; and those who fulfill their promises when they have made one, and the patient in poverty and affliction and the steadfast in time of war; it is those who have proved truthful and it is those who are the God-fearing.” (Quran 2:177)
The Purpose and Benefit of Worship
God is not in need of our worship.  Worship has been legislated in Islam and all other previous religions for the benefit of humanity, both in the individual and societal sense.  Worship is essential for the maintenance of spirituality in the life of Muslims and its growth.  Formal worship trains the individual to love his Creator and to develop constant awareness of God.  God says:
“O people!  Worship your Lord Who has created you and those before you in order that you may be of the God-conscious.” (Quran 2:21)
God also said to Moses:
“…And establish the prayer in order to remember Me.” (Quran 20:14)
Acts of worship serve as a means through which one remembers God and maintains a relationship with Him.  Muslims perform prayer a minimum of five times daily in order to maintain this relationship.  When a one supplicates, implores, praises God, recites verses from His revelation, which has been called “the Reminder”[1], along with other forms of worship throughout the day, they will gain the sense that the Power and Knowledge of God is present with them at all times, leading them to this sense of God-consciousness.
Worship also creates a strong sense within a Muslim to remove the evil within himself and in the community and environment and to establish the word of God throughout the world.  God says:
“…Indeed the prayer prevents one from committing licentious and evil deeds…” (Quran 29:45)
Again, when a person spends his day performing specific acts of worship, they are constantly reminded of the purpose of life and their final end, and this in turn helps them to accord their lives to the Will of God, doing what He is pleased with and avoiding what He dislikes.
One can clearly see the impact worship has on a collective level.  Society is merely a conglomeration of individuals, and when individuals are spiritually and morally upright, the society itself will also be upright.  Ideally, the society will be one which feels that God is ever-watching over them; one to which beneficent acts of kindness will be an inseparable adjective, and sin and vice will be confined and limited.
Although it may seem to some that worship and obedience to God is similar to imprisonment and slavery, the worship of God and servitude to Him actually liberates humans from all types of subjugation.  A person break frees from the chains of society, peers, and family, and liberates him to please His One True Lord.  This is true freedom that brings about security and contentment.  Servitude to God is ultimate source of freedom.
 


Footnotes:

[1]
This may be found in many verses, such as 15:9, 36:11, and others.
 
As mentioned earlier, the definition of worship in Islam is one which is comprehensive, including everything a person perceives, thinks, intends, feels, says and does.  It refers to everything that God requires, external, internal or interactive.  This includes rituals as well as beliefs, work, social activities, and personal behavior.
There is a distinction between that which is good, that which is evil and that which is neutral.  A good thing is that which is according to the purposes and nature made by God.  It leads to harmony and is, therefore, a reward in itself because it removes conflict and suffering.  It follows that anything that accords with this must be a form of worship.
This Islamic understanding of worship allows the whole of one’s life to be an act of worship, as long as the objective of that life is the pleasure of God, which is achieved by doing good and refraining from evil.  A person can turn everyday activities into acts of worship by purifying his or her intention and sincerely seeking God’s pleasure through these activities.  God’s Messenger, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said:
“Helping a person or his belongings onto his mount is an act of charity.  A good word is charity.  Every step taken on the way to performing prayers is charity.  Removing an obstacle from the road is charity.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
Earning a living can be a form of worship The Companions saw a man and were astonished by his hard work and industry.  They lamented: “If he were only doing this much work for the sake of God…”
God’s Messenger said:
“If he is working to support his small children, then it is for the sake of God.  If he is working to support his elderly parents, then it is for the sake of God.  If he is working to occupy himself and keep his desires in check, then it is for the sake of God.  If, on the other hand, he is doing so to show off and earn fame, then he is working for the sake of Satan.” (al-Mundhiri, as-Suyuti)
Even the most natural acts can become acts of worship if they are accompanied by the proper intention: God’s Messenger said:
“When one of you approaches his wife, it is an act of charity.” (Saheeh Muslim)
The same can be said for of eating, sleeping, working and traits of good character, such as truthfulness, honesty, generosity, courage, and humbleness, can become worship through sincere intention and deliberate obedience to God.
In order for these otherwise mundane actions to be counted as acts of worship deserving of divine reward, the following conditions must be met:
A.    The action must be accompanied by the proper intention.  God’s Messenger said:
“Actions are but by intentions, and a person gets only what he intended.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
B.    The action must be lawful in and of itself.  If the action is something prohibited, its perpetrator deserves punishment.  God’s Messenger said:
“God is pure and good, and He accepts only what is pure and good.” (Saheeh Muslim)
C.    The dictates of Islamic Law must be completely observed.  Deception, oppression, and iniquity must be avoided.  God’s Messenger said:
“He who deceives us is not one of us.” (Saheeh Muslim)
D.    The activity should not keep the person from performing his or her religious obligations.  God says:
“O you who believe, do not let your wealth and children distract you from the remembrance of God…” (Quran 63:9)
As we see here, the concept of worship in Islam is not restricted to mere monasticism, meditation, or acknowledging the reality in which God has created us, nor is it one based upon mere ritualism and performance of certain actions with no apparent meanings.  Rather Islam has combined the inner and the outer and has defined righteousness and placed for it a reward.  It is this comprehensiveness of the concept of worship through which humans may fulfill the purpose for which they have been created.  God says:
“And I have neither created jinn nor humans, except for My worship.” (Quran 51:56)
Humans are required to live not according to their subjective desires, automatisms, mental conditioning or according to the dictates of social, political or academic authorities, but in accordance with their cosmic purpose inherent in us: the worship God.
“So set you your face towards the straight religion, the nature (framed by) God with which He has created humankind.  No change let there be in the creation of God, that is the straight religion, but most people do not know.” (Quran 30:30)
When one lives their life fulfilling those aspects which God has commanded, leaving those things which God has forbidden, and according each of their actions to the Will of God, their life, from morning until evening, from the time of birth until death, is turned into worship for which they will be rewarded.  This was the state of the Prophets, as God says:
“Indeed, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for God, the Lord of the all that exists.” (Quran 6:162)
When one achieves this state, they come into harmony with the rest of creation and return to their natural state of being, as all others of the creations of God are unconsciously in constant worship of God, as He has said:
“Do you not see that unto God bow down in worship (or submit in service and adoration) whosoever is in the heavens and whosoever is in the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the beasts, and many among mankind…” (Quran 22:18)
 
link: http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/222/viewall/
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A Few Kind Words.

Have you ever had the opportunity to change a person’s mood with a kind gesture? It is the greatest feeling in the world. Not only because you know you made the person happy, but you know that inshallah you will be rewarded by Allah SWT for doing an act of kindness.

Ahmed and I had a tray of baklava from Masri Sweets that was given to us from a friend. We didn’t want to keep it in the house because we knew we would demolish it in a matter of days! So I started thinking of what I could do with it. And I thought it would be a great thing to give to my neighbors and at the same time do a little dawah.

I wrote each neighbor a note that said the following…

Thanks for being a great neighbor!

Here is a small sweet treat for being a great neighbor. Our religion of Islam holds the neighbor in a special status. The following is a saying of the Prophet Muhammad regarding neighbors…

“The finest in the sight of God is the person who is best to his friends. And the finest in the sight of God is the person who is best to his neighbor.”

Enjoy the baklava!

Your neighbors,

Farah, Ahmed, & Isra

Apt #206

For more information on Islam visit http://islamtomorrow.com

I made two plates with a variety of baklava and attached the note on top. It was about midnight when I had Ahmed go put the sweets by their doors. I was so happy that we took the initiative to do something like this, but at the same time I was nervous to find out how they would react to my note.

The next morning we woke up and saw that the neighbors received their gifts and when we looked on our door we had a note from one of them. It said the following…

Farah, Ahmed, & Isra,

Thank you so much for the baklava and especially the very kind and sweet thoughts. Its been a pleasure being your neighbor and I look forward to our friendship. If I could bake, I would return the kindness!! Instead…maybe coffee/tea and good conversation.

Thank you so much!!!

Joe

That evening Joe stopped by and said when he woke up that morning he was in a really bad mood, but as he stepped outside to see a little surprise and a kind note he said it totally made his day!

A few days later we received a special little package in front of our door with a note from our other neighbor. It said the following…

Dear Farah, Ahmed, and Baby Isra,

I thank you and honor the respect you show for your neighbor through you religion, Islam. I am a better person for having shared this with you. I will be moving on Saturday and will carry forth the saying of the Prophet Muhammad and show respect to my new neighbor as well.With this mind please accept my ‘Haystacks,’ a sweet chocolate treat!

Thank you again to you and your little family!

Toni

It took a total of about 15 minutes to do this small act of dawah. When Muslims to things like this, non-Muslims will see the true nature of a Muslim, that they are not what is portrayed on T.V. It is our duty as Muslims to invite others to our deen, we will be asked on the day of judgment of whether or not we invited our neighbors and informed them about Islam. So don’t wait any longer, take the next opportunity you get and do a random act of kindness with your neighbors because,

“The finest in the sight of Allah is the person who is best to his friend, and the finest in the sight of Allah is the person who is best to his neighbor.”

May Allah give our Non-Muslim neighbors the taufiq to accept Islam. Ameen!

link:  http://themuslimhousewife.com/category/share-islam

 

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17 Responses to ARTICLES

  1. Nazeer says:

    Alhamdulillah

    Allahu akbar
    Allahu akbar

  2. A O A.
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  10. A O A.
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  11. I hope these same folks who spurn muslims without knowing them don’t claim to be Christian too….. Their attitude is anything but Christian.So much fear and anger preached to control votes and enact agendas leads to a populace that is paranoid and hostile (xenophobic). Great – that’s what happened during WWII when we locked up US Citizens who had Japanese ancestry.People who fear are the most volatile, and the least likely to think before they act….

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