The more you keep silent, the more you are safe. (Tirmidhi)
Many people overlook two graces: health and leisure time. (Bukhari)
The dearest deed to Allah is that which is done regularly, though it is less. (Bukhari)
Wealth never decreases due to charity. (Muslim)
This world is ever-green and charming (but the Hereafter is far better). (Tirmidhi)
Spread Salam (greeting) so as to enter Paradise safely. (Tirmidhi)
Beware of miserliness because it caused destruction to those before you. (Muslim)
Charity in secrecy cools down Allah’s wrath (i.e. pleases Him). (Al-Jami)
A slanderer will not be allowed to enter Paradise. (Agreed upon)
Everything that intoxicates is Haram (forbidden). (Agreed upon)
Be honest in your gatherings (i.e., neither backbite others, nor disclose their secrets). (Al-Jami)
He, who neither shows mercy to the youngers nor respects the elders, is not one of us. (Al-Jami)
And do not spy (on brother Muslims). (Bukhari)
Worship the All-Gracious (Allah) and offer food (to the poor). (Ibn Majah)
A Muslim is never allowed to stay angry with his brother Muslim over three days, because he who does that, then dies, will go to Hell. (Abu Dawud)
Wealth is not the possession of many goods; rather, the (actual) wealth is the self-contentment. (Bukhari)
Do not eat with the left hand, for the Satan does so. (Muslim)
If you are humble for the sake of Allah, He will raise your position. (Muslim)
He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should either say something good or keep silent. (Agreed)
Live in this world as if you are a stranger or a passer-by. (Bukhari)
The World is like a prison for a believer, while it is paradise for a disbeliever. (Muslim)
The strong (Muslim) is not he who wrestles, but he who controls himself when angry. (Agreed upon)
He, who advises someone to do good, he will get equal in reward. (Al-Jami)
Verily, deeds depend upon the intentions. (Agreed upon)
A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands. (Agreed upon)
The severer of Kinship bonds will not enter Paradise. (Muslim)
Perform a good deed after an evil; this will cause to eliminate the evil. (Tirmidhi)
He, who cheats us, is not one of us (Muslims). (Muslim)
Save yourself from the Hell-Fire even if by half a date (in Charity). (Bukhari)
Verily, Muslims are brothers of one another. (Agreed upon)
O Allah, there is no life except the life of Hereafter. (Muslim)
Behave with people with good manners. (Tirmidhi)
A nice word is a charity (in reward). (Bukhari)
Verily, every good (deed) is a charity. (Bukhari)
Purity is a part of faith. (Muslim)
Fear Allah wherever you are. (Tirmidhi)
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: Allah revealed to my dear brother Uzair, “Oh Uzair! If a calamity befalls you, do not complain to my creation (to the people). How much wrong you have done to me and I never complained to my angels (about you). Oh Uzair! Disobey me as much as you can bear my punishment, and ask me your needs according to your good deeds towards me, and never feel secure of my decision (punishment) until you enter my paradise. Then Uzair started shaking and crying. So Allah revealed to him “if you disobey me out of ignorance, I forgive you out of my mercy, because I am generous and don’t wish to punish my creation, as I am the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” (Hadith Qudsi)
Allah has written down the good deeds and the bad ones. Then He explained it [by saying that] he who has intended a good deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds to seven hundred times, or many times over. But if he has intended a bad deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed. (Hadith Qudsi)
The first of his actions for which a servant of Allah will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayers. If they are in order, then he will have prospered and succeeded: and if they are wanting, then he will have failed and lost. If there is something defective in his obligatory prayers, the Lord (glorified and exalted be He) will say: See if My servant has any supererogatory prayers with which may be completed that which was defective in his obligatory prayers. Then the rest of his actions will be judged in like fashion. (Hadith Qudsi)
I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed. (Hadith Qudsi)
“The best charity is that given to a resentful relative.” (Bukhari)
“The best of you are those who live the longest and are the best in character.” (Ahmad)
“Faith has over seventy branches, the best of which the declaration that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah, and the simplest of which is removing a bone from the road. And modesty is a branch of faith.” (Bukhari)
“The best of you are those best to their women.” (Tirmidhi)
“It is not permissible for a Muslim to avoid his (Muslim) brother for more than three days so that when they meet, each turns away from the other. The better one of them is the person who greets the other first.” (Tirmidhi)
“The best of people is a believer in the service of two noble parents.” (Ahmad)
“The best properties are; a tongue which remembers Allah, a thankful heart and a believing wife who helps [to strengthen] one’s faith.” (Tirmidhi)
“The best of you is one who learns the Quran and teaches it.” (Bukhari)
“Shouldn’t I inform you of something more excellent in degree than fasting, prayer, and charity?” They said, “Certainly.” He said, “To reconcile people. Indeed, spoiling relations between people is [the basis for] destruction.” (Abu Dawoud)
“The best [part] of your religion is piety.” (Al-Haakim)
“Do what you can handle, for Allah will not tire of rewarding you until you tire[of doing good]. And the most beloved part of the religion in Allah’s sight is what is done regularly.” (Bukhari)
“The best (words of remembrance are: Laa ilaaha illal-laah [There is no god worthy of worship but Allah].” (Tirmidhi)
“The further one’s [journey] is to the mosque, the greater will be one’s reward.” (Abu Dawoud)
“The most beloved speech to me is that which is the most truthful.” (Bukhari)
“The best [aspect] of faith is patience and tolerance.” (Bukhari)
Our Lord (glorified and exalted be He) descends each night to the earth’s sky when there remains the final third of the night, and He says: Who is saying a prayer to Me that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me that I may give it to him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him? And thus He continues till [the light of] dawn shines. (Hadith Qudsi)
“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and you believe in Allah.” (Quran 3:110)
Morals and Good Manners
Truthfulness and Justice
The Holy Prophet Mohamed (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has said: “My Ummah will keep flourishing as long as it retains the following three characteristics – (1) they speak the truth when they talk; (2) they administer justice when they decide the affairs of the people; and (3) they are merciful on weaklings when request for a mercy is made.” (All agreed – Abu Ya’la)
The Holy Prophet Mohamed (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has said: “No deed of a man will be of any avail if he does not possess the following three characteristics – (1) he does not indulge in sexual immorality; (2) he forbears if some foolhard attacks him; (3) he deals with people gentlemanly.” (Tabarani)
Trustfulness, Trustworthiness vs. Falsehood, and Breach of Trust
Hadrat Abdullah bin Masud (رضي الله عنه) has reported the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying, “Adhere to truth, for truth leads to good deeds and good deeds lead to Paradise. If a man continues to speak the truth and makes truth his object, he will be recorded in The Almighty’s presence as eminently truthful. Avoid falsehood, for falsehood lead to wickedness and the wickedness leads to Hell; and if a man continues to speak falsehood and makes falsehood his object, he will be recorded in The Almighty’s presence as a great liar. (Bukhari – Muslim – Mishkat)
Hadrat Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) has reported the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as saying, “Shall I not guide you to something for which The Almighty blots out sins and raises men’s ranks?” When his hearers expressed their desire that he should tell them he said, “Performing complete ablution although circumstances make it difficult, traveling far to mosques, and looking expectantly to the next time of prayer after the prayers have been said. That is the defense of the frontier.”
Note: ‘Defense and the Frontier’ are meant in spiritual sense, as a defense against infidelity and wrongdoing. (Muslim – Tirmizi)
Hadrat Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه) has related that the Holy Prophet said, “There are four things such that if one gets them one gets the good of this world as well as of the hereafter. These things are: (1) a heart that is thankful, (2) a tongue that remembers The Almighty constantly, (3) a person who is patient in the face of hardships and (4) a wife who does not willingly misappropriate her husband’s trust and his belongings as well as her body. (Baihaqi – Hayatul Muslimin)
A human mind is never blank. Sometimes conditions are agreeable and at other times disagreeable. In the former case, he has been advised to be thankful, while in the latter, he should be patient. It means that thankfulness and patience are to be the regular features of a man’s everyday life. Never forget this aspect of human life and then see for yourself how peaceful your life becomes. (Hayatul Muslimin)
Hadrat Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) has reported the Holy Prophet as saying, “When one of you looks at someone who is superior to him in property and appearance, he should also look at someone who is inferior to him.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
A version by Muslim sates, “Look at those who are less fortunate than yourself and do not look at others whom you think are superior to you, for that is more liable to keep you from despising The Almighty’s favor to you.” Hadrat Suhaib (رضي الله عنه) has reported that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “It is remarkable that everything turns out well for a believer while that applies only to a believer. If happiness befalls him, he thanks and it turns out well for him; and if misfortune befalls him, he shows endurance and it turns out well for him.” (Muslim)
Contentment and Self Satisfaction
Hadrat Abu Said al-Khudri (رضي الله عنه) is reported to have said that some of the Ansar begged from the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and he gave them something. The later begged from him again and he gave them something so that what he had was exhausted. He then said, “What I have, I shall never store away from you, but The Almighty will strengthen the abstinence of him who abstains, will give a competence to him who is satisfied, and will strengthen the endurance of him who shows endurance. No one has been given a better or more ample gift than endurance.” (Mishkat)
Hadrat Anas (رضي الله عنه) and a few others have reported that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) had said, “Moderation in expenditure is half one’s livelihood” (this means that one should speak with caution and deliberation).
Hadrat Imran bin Husain (رضي الله عنه) reported that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “It is most excellent in The Almighty’s sight for a man to maintain silence than to engage in worship for sixty years.” (Mishkat)
Kindness and Stone Heartedness
Hadrat Jarir bin Abdullah (رضي الله عنه) reported that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “The Almighty will not show mercy to him who does not show mercy to others.”
On Eating and Drinking
From Salman (رضي الله عنه): The Almighty’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The blessing of food is (received by) washing (the hands) before and washing (the hands) after (taking) it.” (Tirmidhi)
Aisha (رضي الله عنه) said that The Almighty’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “When anyone of you eats, he should invoke the name of Almighty, The Exalted. If he forgets to invoke the name of The Almighty, at the beginning, he should say (when he does remember): “In the name of The Almighty, in its beginning and its and end.” (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi)
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (رضي الله عنه) said that The Almighty’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), when he finished his meal, used to say: “Praise be to The Almighty, who gave us to eat and to drink and made us Muslims.” (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi)
Umar Abu bin Salama (رضي الله عنه) said: “I was under the care of The Almighty’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and my hand used to pick at random in the dish, so The Almighty’s Messenger said to me: ‘Invoke the name of The Almighty and eat with your right (hand) and eat what is near you.'” (Bukhari, Muslim)
From Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه): “The Almighty’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) never found fault with food. If he liked something, he ate it, but if he disliked it, he (just) abstained from it. (Bukhari, Muslim)
From ba Ka’b bin Malik, from his father: “The Almighty’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to eat with three fingers, and he licked his hand before he wiped it.” (Muslim)
From Anas (رضي الله عنه): “When The Almighty’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ate food, he used to lick his three fingers and he said: ‘When one of you drops a morsel, he should remove the dirt from it and eat it, and should not leave it for the Satan.’ And he ordered us to wipe the bowl. He said: ‘You do not know in which (part) of your food is the ‘Baraka’ (Blessing).” (Muslim)
From Ali Abbas (رضي الله عنه): “I heard The Almighty’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) say, ‘The believer is not he who eats his fill while his neighbor is hungry.'” (Bukhari, Muslim)
From Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه): “The Almighty’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘Food for two is sufficient for three, and the food for three is sufficient for four.'” (Bukhari, Muslim)
From Umar (رضي الله عنه): The Almighty’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Eat together, and do not separate, for the blessing is in the company.” (ar Maja)
From Ja’far bin Muhammed, from his father: Abu Karima al-Mikdad arma Ma’dikarib (رضي الله عنه) said that he heard The Almighty’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) say: “No man fills a vessel which is worse than his stomach. Sufficient for the son of Adam are a few mouthfuls to keep his back upright, but if it has to be more, then let one third (be left) for his breathing.” (Tirmidhi)
Hazrat Zaid bin Sabit (رضي الله عنه) says, “Once we ate ‘Sahri (breakfast before dawn during Ramadhan) with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and then stood up for the morning salat. He was asked as to what was the interval between the two. He said: ‘The time required for the recital of fifty verses (Of the Holy Quran). (Bukhari and Muslim)
Hazrat alad ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) had two Muezzins (Callers for prayers). One was Hazrat Bilal (رضي الله عنه) and the other was Hazrat ar Ume Maktum (رضي الله عنه) The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘Bilal (رضي الله عنه) calls the Azan (a bit earlier) when it is still night. Therefore, continue eating and drinking till Ibn Umm Maktum (رضي الله عنه) calls it.’ He said there was in fact only a brief interval between the two when one descended and the other ascended (the high platform). (Bukhari and Muslim)
Hazrat ‘Amr bin Al-Aas (رضي الله عنه) says that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The only distinguishing factor between our fasting and that of the other people of the Book is Sahri (i.e. Christians and Jews who do not eat pre-dawn breakfast).” (Muslim)
Hazrat Jabir (رضي الله عنه) relates that he heard the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) says: “If a person takes the name of The Almighty when he enters his house and when he eats, Satan tells his companions: ‘Let us go. There is no room for you to pass the night in this house without calling the name of The Almighty.’ Satan says to his companions: ‘You have at least secured lodging.’ Then if he does not remember The Almighty at the time of eating also, Satan says: ‘You have secured both lodging and food.’ (Muslim)
Hazrat Huzaifah (رضي الله عنه) says: Whenever we had the chance to be present with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) while eating, we would not start. On one such occasion when we were with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) a girl came in rushing, as if she was very hungry, and wanted to eat, but the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) caught hold of her hand. Then a villager came in and he too rushed for the food as if he was starving, but the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) held his hand too, and said: ‘Satan treats that food lawful for himself on which the name of The Almighty has not been pronounced. He brought this girl in order to make this food lawful for himself through her, but I seized his hand also. Now by The Almighty in whose hand’s is my life, I have Satan’s hand in my grip also along with their hands.’ Then he pronounced the name of The Almighty and started eating. (Muslim)
Hazrat Ayesha (R.A.) says that (once) the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was eating in the company of six of his companions when a villager joined them and ate up the food in two morsels. On seeing this, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) remarked: ‘If he had taken the name of The Almighty, the same would have sufficed for all of you.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)
Hazrat Abu Mus’ud Badri (رضي الله عنه) says: (Once) a man prepared some food specially for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Four other persons had been invited along with him. But an extra person, who had not been invited, also accompanied them. On arriving at the door of the host’s house, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to the host: ‘This man has accompanied us. If you like may be permitted, otherwise he will return. The host replied: ‘O Messenger, (I will not turn him back), I invite him’. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Hazrat Wahshi bin Harb (رضي الله عنه) relates that some of he companions of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to him: “O Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), we eat but don’t get satisfied. He said: ‘May be you eat individually.’ They said: ‘Yes, Sir.’ He told them: ‘Eat together and recite the name of The Almighty. The food will be blessed for you.'” (Abu Daud)
Visiting Persons and Choosing Friends
Hadrat Anas bin Malik (رضي الله عنه) relates that after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), Hadrat Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) said to Hadrat Umar (رضي الله عنه): ‘Let us visit Hadrat Umm Aiman as the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to do.’ Accordingly, when we came to her she started weeping. They asked her, ‘What makes you weep. Do you not know that God has better recompense for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) than what he had in this world?’ She said: ‘I know this well that what God has for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) with Him is the best recompense. I do not weep for this. I shed tears because Revelation has now stopped.’ This moved the two distinguished persons so much so that they too started weeping along with her.
Note: Hadrat Umm Aiman (رضي الله عنه) was a maid servant and foster mother of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Subsequently he had freed her and married her with Hadrat Zaid Bin Harisa (r.a.a). The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to respect her very much and frequently visited her, and would say that she was his mother.
Hadrat Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “If a person visits a sick person or a brother of his simply for the sake of The Almighty, a caller announces, ‘May you be happy, may your going be blessed and may you be awarded a pleasant residence in Paradise!'”
Hadrat Abu Musa Ash’ari (رضي الله عنه) relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The case of a good companion and that of a bad companion is like that of one who has musk (perfume) and of one who blows a furnace (or an iron smith). The owner of musk might give you some as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As regards the other, he might set your clothes on fire, or at least you will breathe fumes from the furnace.”
Hadrat Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “A man marries a woman for four reasons i.e. either for the sake of her wealth, her family chain, her charms, or her love of religion. Try to get one for the sake of her religiousness. May you be blessed.”
Hadrat Abu Sa’id Khudri relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Keep company with a believer only, and let your food be eaten only by the righteous.” (Abu Daud and Tirmizi)
Hadrat Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you be friend.” (Abu Daud and Tirmizi)
Hadrat Anan Bin Malik (رضي الله عنه) relates that a villager asked the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “When will the Day of Judgment come?” He asked the questioner: “What preparations have you made for it?” The man said: “(Only) the love of The Almighty and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم).” The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “You will be with those you love.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Hazrat Abu Musa Ash’ari (رضي الله عنه) relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “A person will be considered to be with one whom he loves.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Hadrat lbn Mas’ud (رضي الله عنه) relates that a man came to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and said: “O Messenger of God! What would you say about a person who loves people but does not associate with them?” He said: “A person will be with those he loves.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
God the Exalted, has said: “And pilgrimage to the House of God is a duty unto God for mankind, for him who can find a way thither. As for him who disbelieveth (let him know that) lo! God is independent of (all) creatures.” (Quran 3:97)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) says: “The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) once delivered a sermon and addressing us said: ‘O people! God has made it obligatory for you to perform Hajj (the pilgrimage), and as such you should perform it.’ A man asked: ‘O Messenger of God, should we perform Hajj every year?’ The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) kept quiet, till the man repeated his question thrice. Then the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘Had I said ‘yes’, then this Hajj would have become a yearly obligatory duty, and this you could not have afforded.’ The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) further said: ‘Leave me when I omit something for you (i.e.) don’t pester me with such questions, when I am not imposing anything on you. Some people who lived before you, used to ask too many unnecessary questions, and would disagree with their prophets. On this account they were destroyed. As such when I call you to do something, you must obey and carry out my direction as far as it may be within your capacity, and when I forbid you to refrain from anything then avoid it.'” (Muslim)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) says that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was once asked: ‘Which action is the best of all?’ He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘To believe in God and his Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم).’ He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was further asked: ‘And what next?’ He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘Jihad (fighting) in the cause of God.’ He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was asked again. ‘And what after that?’ He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) answered: ‘The Pilgrimage free from vices and defects.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)
It is also reported by Hazrat Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘Umrah followed by another Umrah atones for the sins committed between the two. The recompense for a pilgrimage (free from vice) is nothing but the paradise.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)
Hazrat Ayesha (رضي الله عنه) relates: ‘I once requested the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) 0’ Messenger of God, we (the women folk) consider that Jihad (fighting) in the cause of God is the best deed, then may we not go forth fighting in the cause of God? He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: The best form of Jihad in the cause of God for you is the pilgrimage, free from all vices and defects. (Bukhari)
Hazrat Ayesha (رضي الله عنه) relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘There is no other day on which God frees the largest number of his bondsmen from the fire of Hell than the Day of Arafat.’ (Muslim)
Hazrat Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه) says that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘Umrah performed during the month of Ramadan is equivalent to a pilgrimage or equals to the pilgrimage performed in my company.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)
Hazrat Laqit bin ‘Aamir (رضي الله عنه) says that once he visited the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and submitted: ‘My father has grown very old and is not strong enough to undertake the journey to perform the pilgrimage or Umrah.’ The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘You perform the Hajj and Umrah on behalf of your father.’ (Abu Daud and Tirmizi)
On Good Manners
Cleanliness – Were it not for fear of troubling my disciples, verily I would order them to clean their teeth before every prayer. The Almighty is Pure and loves purity and cleanliness.
Compassion – There is the reward of Paradise for a Muslim who suffers with patience when the soul of his affectionate friend is taken away.
Contentment – When you see a person who has been given more than you in money and beauty, then look at those who have been given less. Look at those inferior to yourselves, it is best for you, so that you may not hold The Almighty’s benefits in contempt.
Courtesy – No father has given his child anything better than good manners. Respect people according to their eminence.
Envy – If envy were justifiable, two people would be the proper objects for it; one, a man whom The Almighty has given riches, and command him to bestow in charity; the other, one to whom The Almighty has granted the knowledge of religion, and who acts thereon himself and imparts instruction to others. Keep yourselves far from envy; because it eats up and takes away good actions as fire eats up and burns wood.
Gentleness – Verily, The Almighty is mild, and is fond of mildness, and gives to the mild what He does not to the harsh. The Almighty is gentle and loves gentleness.
Hospitality – It is not right for a guest to stay as long as to cause inconvenience to the host.
Humility – The servants of The Almighty are they who walk on Earth in humbleness. Humility and courtesy are acts of piety. Whoever is humble to men for the Almighty’s sake, may The Almighty exalt his eminence.
Kindness – He from whom the greatest good comes to The Almighty’s creatures is the most favored of The Almighty. Whoever is kind to The Almighty’s creatures, God is kind to him; therefore be kind to the man on Earth, whether good or bad, since being kind to the bad is to withhold them from evil. Kindness is a mark of faith; and whosoever has no kindness has no faith.
Modesty – True modesty is the source of all virtues.
Peace – Shall I not inform you of better acts than fasting, giving alms and performing prayers? Make peace between one another, enmity and malice tear up rewards by the roots.
Pride – Poverty is my pride. The haughty will not enter Paradise, nor a violent speaker.
Purity – “There is a polish for everything, that takes away rust; and the polish for the heart is the remembrance of The Almighty,” said the Holy Prophet. Someone asked the Holy Prophet: “Teach me a work such that when I perform it both The Almighty and the man will love me.” The Prophet replied: “Desire not the world and The Almighty will love you, and desire not what other men have and they will love you.”
Reason – The Almighty has not created anything better than Reason, or anything more perfect or more beautiful than Reason; the benefits which The Almighty bestows are on its account; and understanding is by it, and The Almighty’s wrath is caused by it, and by it are the rewards and punishments.
The Importance of Obedience to Your Parents
Parents are to be treated well at all times, and The Almighty’s blessings in having enabled you to do this virtuous act, be considered as a great asset in this world as well as in the Hereafter. The respect we ought to pay our parents has been time and again emphasized in the Holy Qur’an. In one of the verses it is stated:
“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and ye be kind to your parents.” (Qur’an 17:23)
Showing Gratitude towards Parents
Be grateful to your parents. It is one of the cardinal principles of good manners and the acknowledgement of debt. One should be grateful to the parents for all the kindness, extraordinary love, and unparalleled sacrifices hey undergo in bringing us up. The Almighty has decreed that when we render thanks to Him, we should express gratitude to our parents as well.
“And we have enjoined on man (To be good) to his parents: In travail upon travail did his mother bear him. And in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), ‘Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal.'” (Qur’an 31:14)
On the authority of Hazrat Abu Ayub Khalid Ibun Zaid Al-Ansari(R.A.), who said: A man requested; “Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)! Tell me the action which will get me admitted to Paradise and keep me away from the Hell.” He answered: “Worship Almighty and do not associate anybody with Him: establish Prayer; pay Zakat and join the ties of kinship.” -(Bukhari and Muslim)
On the authority of Abu Sufian Sakhr Harb (R.A.), who said: During his meeting with Hercules, the Roman Ruler, the latter asked him; ‘What does your Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ask you to do?’ I said: ‘He asked us to worship only One God, and not to associate anybody with him; not to follow the habits and practices of our ancestors; he further asks us to perform prayers (Salat), tell the truth, keep chaste, and to treat our blood relations well.’ -(Bukhari and Muslim)
Note: “Not to follow the habits and practices of our ancestors” means that in previous times, people used to follow what their parents did; such as, worshiping idols, stealing, killing, and committing other sins Because their ancestors sinned, people assumed it was justified. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) commanded them to change their behavior and become more righteous.
On the authority of Ibn ‘Umar (R.A.), who said: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “He who just returns the visits of his relatives does not completely fulfill the obligation of relationship. But he who ignores the mistakes of his relatives, forgives them, and visits them in order to bind the ties of relationship when they are broken does fulfill the obligations of relationship.’ -(Bukhari)
On the authority of Jubair bin Mut’im (R.A.), who said: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “He who breaks off the ties of blood will not enter Paradise.” -(Bukhari and Muslim)
Note: This Hadith preaches the person who breaks off relations with his family by not visiting them or helping them will not go to Paradise.
On the authority of Abu Usaid Malik Ibn Rubia Al-Saedi (R.A), who said: While we were sitting with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) a man of the Bani Salamah tribe came and said: “O Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)! Is there anything, I can now do in benevolence towards my parents after their death? The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) answered: “Yes, by praying for them and soliciting mercy and forgiveness towards them, fulfilling their promises and undertakings, doing kindness to those who may be related to you through them, and respecting their friends.” -(Abu Daoud)
Note: “Benevolence” means kindness.
Showing Tolerance towards Parents
You should always try to please your parents and avoid deeds that may hurt their feelings, especially when they get old and short-tempered.
In old age people do tend to make unusual demands and claims but it should be tolerated cheerfully without any retort in anger or frustration. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them but address them, in terms of honor.” (Qur’an 17:23)
Service of Parents
Parents should be served earnestly and with sincerity; always keeping in mind the unparalleled kindness and affection shown by them. It is the service of our parents that would lead to our redemption and earn for us The Almighty’s blessings.
Your Love and Obligation towards Your Parents
Love your parents and this love should be regarded as an honor and means of recompense and redemption in the Hereafter. Hadrat Ibn Abbas narrates the following Hadith of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم):
“Dutiful and good natured children who cast one loving and affectionate look at their parents, receive from The Almighty blessing equivalent to one approved Hajj (pilgrimage).” -(Muslim)
When the Parents are Non-Muslims
Even if the parents are non-Muslims, they are to be treated well and all courtesy be shown to them. But obedience in matters of religion should be refused and they are not to be followed if they ask you to commit a sin or an act of associating somebody with The Almighty. It is stated in the Holy Qur’an:
“We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not, ye have (all) to return to Me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.” (Qur’an 29:8)
Prayers for Parents
Always pray for your parents, recalling their kindness and beg for their weal from The Almighty and His Mercies for them. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Thy mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” (Qur’an 17:24)
Special Treatment of the Mother
One should have special regard for his/her mother. It is the mother that carries the fetus in her womb for nine months and then nourishes the child with her milk. It is stated in the Holy Qur’an:
“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.” (Qur’an 46:15)
On the authority of Asma’a bint Abu Bakr Al- Siddiq (R.A.), who said; “My mother came to Medina from Mecca to see me, while she was still an unbeliever. She had come to demand something from me. I inquired with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): ‘My mother has come to see me and she is expecting something from me. May I oblige her?’ He said: ‘Yes, be kind to your mother.'” -(Bukhari and Muslim)
Note: This Hadith has two main points:
- Be kind to your parents, no matter what their religion is.
- A Muslim must be kind to other people no matter what their religion is. For example: The Prophet Mohammed (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to visit his Jewish neighbors in Medina. Also the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to give charity to his poor Jewish neighbor.
On the Authority of Abu Hurairah (R.A.),who said: A man asked the Messenger of God (صلى الله عليه وسلم) who amongst his near ones had the greatest right over him, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied: “Your mother”. He asked, “Then who is next?” The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied: “Your mother”. He again asked, “Then who is next?” The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied: “Your mother”. He asked: “Then who is next?” The Prophet replied: “Your father.” -(Bukhari and Muslim)
On the authority of Al-Mughirah (R.A.), who said: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “God forbids all of you to disobey your mothers.” -(Bukhari and Muslim)
Note: It is very important to obey and respect one’s mother in the Islamic religion for the following reasons:
- A mother carried her baby for nine months in her womb.
- During pregnancy, the mother experiences great hardship. Then during delivery of the child, the mother suffers extreme pain. Many woman die in childbirth.
- The mother is the one who feeds and nurtures the baby.
- It is an innate instinct for mothers to care more for their children than fathers do.
On the authority of Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه) who said: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), said: “Look upon one who is below you in status. In this way you will not look down upon the grace of that God bestowed upon you.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Note: The messages of this Hadith are:
- Count your Blessings.
- Compare yourself with people who have less than you, rather than those who have more. This is the best way to be happy, and to appreciate what God has done for you.
On the authority of Abu Abbas Sahl Bin Sa’ad Al-Sa’idi (رضي الله عنه) who said: ‘A man came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and requested him: “Messenger of God (صلى الله عليه وسلم), tell me something by which I could win the love of The Almighty and the people.” The Prophet told him, “Do not love the world, and The Almighty will love you; and do not have a longing for that which people have, and they will love you.”‘ (Ibn-Majah)
Note: Do not love the world means: Do not love the materials in this world. Don’t be anxious to have money, properties, fame, leadership, etc. Just live a simple life and God will love you.
On the authority of An-Nu’man bin Bashir (رضي الله عنه) who said: The messenger of God (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The lawful is clear and the unlawful is clear, and between them are doubtful things, which are not known to most of the people. He who keeps away from the doubtful things protects his faith and honor; and he who indulges in doubtful acts, commits unlawful deeds.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Note: The main point of this hadith is “to stay on the safe side” because many times you will not know about certain things and will not be quite sure if they are right or wrong.
On the authority of Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) who said: The Messenger of God (صلى الله عليه وسلم) caught my shoulder and said: “Be in the world as if you are a stranger or a traveler.” (Bukhari)
Note: The message of this Hadith is that life is a temporary state because we live for a few years and then we die. We should consider ourselves as strangers passing through and should not worry about acquiring material possessions and luxury.
On the authority of Anas Bin Malik (رضي الله عنه) who said: The Messenger of God (صلى الله عليه وسلم), said: “Three things follow a dead person: members, his belongings, and his deeds- The first two come back and the third remains with him.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Note: This Hadith explains that the three things that follow a person’s funeral — family members and deeds — only a person’s deeds will be able to help him in the next life. Good deeds will stay with him and be beneficial.
TRUST – Trust in God – but tie your camel first.
THE WORLD – Treat this world as I do, like a wayfarer, like a horseman who stops in the shade of a tree for a time, and then moves on.
OBJECTS – It is your attachment to objects which make you blind and deaf.
SLEEP – Sleep is the brother of death.
REFLECTION – The faithful are mirrors, one to the other.
WOMEN – Women are the twin-halves of men.
PRIVACY – Whoever invades people’s privacy corrupts them.
WIVES – A virtuous wife is the best treasure any man can have.
OPPRESSION – When oppression exists, even the bird dies in its nest.
LOVE – Do you think you love your Creator? Love your fellow-creature first.
DISTRIBUTION – God it is who gives: I am only a distributor.
HELPING OTHERS – I order you to assist any oppressed person, whether he is a Muslim or not.
MONKISHNESS – No Monkery in Islam.
THE PIOUS – My back has been broken by ‘pious’ men.
CURSING – You ask me to curse unbelievers. But I was not sent to curse.
TEACHING – One hour’s teaching is better than a whole night of prayer.
DAY AND NIGHT – The night is long: do not shorten it by sleep. The day is fair: do not darken it with wrongdoing.
HUMILITY – Humility and courtesy are themselves a part of piety.
ENVY – Envy devours good deeds, as a fire devours fuel.
THE LEARNED – Whoever honors the learned, honors me.
POVERTY – My poverty is my pride.
DEATH – Die before your death.
THE TONGUE – A man slips with his tongue more than with his feet.
DESIRE – Desire not the world, and God will love you. Desire not what others have, and they will love you.
PRIDE AND GENEROSITY – Pride in ancestry is really a property -interest. Generosity is a variety of piety.
PRACTICE – Who are the learned? Those who put into practice what they know.
KINDNESS – Whoever has no kindness has no faith.
PRINCES AND SCHOLARS – The best of princes is one who visits the wise. The worst of scholars is one who visits princes.
ANGER – You ask for a piece of advice. I tell you: “Do not get angry.” He is strong who can withhold anger.
THE JUDGE – A man appointed to be a judge has been killed without a knife.
STRUGGLE – The holy warrior is him who struggles with himself.
INK AND BLOOD – The ink of the learned is holier than the blood of the martyr.
CONTEMPLATION – An hour’s contemplation is better than a year’s worship.
UNDERSTANDING – Speak to everyone in accordance with his degree of understanding.
FOOD – Nobody has eaten better food than that won by his own labor.
WORK – I am a worker.
ACCUSATIONS – Anyone reviling a brother for a sin will not himself die before committing it.
PARADISE – I will stand surety for Paradise if you save yourselves from six things: telling untruths, violating promises, dishonoring trust, being unchaste in thought and act, striking the first blow, taking what is bad and unlawful.
TASKS – Whoever makes all his tasks one task (i.e. the Hereafter), God will help him in his other concerns.
POETRY – In some poetry there is wisdom.
LIES, PROMISES, TRUST – He is not of mine who lies, breaks a promise or fails in his trust.
THOUGHTS – Good thoughts are a part of worship.
VISION OF THE FAITHFUL – The Faithful see with the light of God.
SOME BEHAVIOR – I am like a man who has lighted a fire, and all the creeping things have rushed to burn themselves in it.
THE QUR’AN – The Qur’an has been revealed in seven forms. Each verse has inner and outer meaning.
OBLIGATION TO LEARN – The pursuit of knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim.
THE YOUNG IN PARADISE – Old women will not enter Paradise: they will be young and beautiful first.
A JOURNEY – On a journey, the lord of a people is their servant.
RECOGNITION – Souls which recognize one another congregate together; those which do not, argue with one another.
TRUTH – Speaking the truth to the unjust is the best of holy wars.
KNOWLEDGE – Journey even as far as China seeking knowledge.
THE TIME WILL COME – The time will come when you are divided into 72 sects. A group among you will be my people, the people of Salvation.
THE BEQUEST – I have nothing to leave you except my family.
Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “He has no faith who does not keep trust, and he has no prayer who is impure, and he has no religion who does not offer prayer. Verily the place of prayer in the religion is just as the position in the body.” (Al-Mu’jam Al-Saghir)
Abu Musa Ash’ari (رضي الله عنه) said, “A person, who comes to offer prayer from a long distance, gets the highest reward; and he who waits so that he might say his prayer along with the Imam (in congregation) has higher recompense than the one who prays all alone, and thereafter goes to sleep.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Abu Saeed Khudri (رضي الله عنه) relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “When you notice a person regularly visiting a mosque, testify to his faith (his being a believer) for Allah, the Master of Honor and Glory said: “The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in Allah and the Last Day.” (S.9 V.18) (Tirmizi)
Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: When a person goes under sound sleep the Satan ties three knots at the nape of his neck (where it touches the head) reciting some spell over each of these knots i.e. there is enough of the night go on sleeping. If he wakes up and remembers Allah, one of these knots is untied. Then if he gets up and makes ablution, another one is loosened. If he offers his prayer, then the remaining third knot is loosened. Thus he faces his morning quite fresh and is in a cheerful mood. Otherwise he gets up in an unpleasant, dull and lethargic mood. (Bukhari and Muslim)
When you are among your goats in the desert and call the Adhan, raise your voice for whoever of the jinn and men; and whatever hears the farthest sound of the voice of the muezzin shall bear witness to it on the Day of Judgment. (Bukhari)
If people realized the beneficence of calling the Adhan and standing in the first row for Prayer, and they could secure these privileges only through drawing lots they would draw lots for them; and if they knew the merit of coming early to Prayer they would vie with each other in hastening to it; and if they appreciated the value of the dawn and evening Prayers they would come to them even if they had to crawl on all fours. (Bukhari and Muslim)
When you hear the Adhan, repeat after the muezzin what he says. (Bukhari and Muslim)
A supplication made between Adhan and Iqamah is not rejected. (Abu Daud and Tirmidhi)
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Tell me if one of you had a stream running at his door and he should take a bath in it five times every day would any dirt be left upon him?” He was answered: “No dirt would be left on him.” The Holy Prophet observed: “This is the case of the five Prayers. Allah wipes out all faults in consequence of them.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
He who is constant in the dawn and afternoon Prayers will enter Paradise. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Usman Bin Affan (رضي الله عنه) says that he heard the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) say: “A person who offers night (Isha) prayer in congregation is deemed to have spent half the night in optional prayer and one who joins the dawn (Fajr) prayer in congregation, is considered to have spent the whole night in optional prayer.” (Muslim)
Prayer with the congregation is twenty seven times more beneficent than Prayer performed by oneself. (Bukhari and Muslim)
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has said: “The servant of Allah is closest to Him when he prostrates himself before Him. Therefore, when you prostrate yourself, pray fervently.” (Muslim)
Between Adhan and Iqamah there is a Prayer, for him who so wishes. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Offer your Prayers in your homes for, with the exception of the prescribed Prayers, the best Prayer is that which is offered at home. (Bukhari and Muslim)
When you have finished your Prayer in the mosque you should offer the rest of your Prayer at home, for Allah will bless your home because of your Prayer. (Muslim)
When any of you enters the mosque he should not sit down till he has offered two rakaats. (Bukhari and Muslim)
If a man awakens his wife at night and they offer Prayer (or offer two rakaats) they are both recorded among those who remember Allah. (Muslim)
Virtues of Fasting
Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of God (صلى الله عليه وسلم), saying:
“Allah said ‘Every action of the son of Adam is for him except fasting, for that is solely for Me. I give the reward for it. The fast is a shield.”
“If one is fasting, he should not use foul language, raise his voice, or behave foolishly. If someone reviles him or fights with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting,’ twice.”
“By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the [bad] breath of the one who is fasting is better in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection than the smell of musk.”
“The one who is fasting is happy at two times: when he breaks his fast he is happy with it, and when he meets his Lord he will be happy that he has fasted.”
This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and an-Nasa’i.
A similar version was recorded by al-Bukhari and Abu Dawud, but with the following addition:
“He leaves his food, drink, and desires for My sake. His fasting is for Me …I will give the reward for it, and for every good deed, he will receive ten similar to it.”
Abdullah ibn Amr reported that the Messenger of God (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“The fast and the Qur’an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.’ The Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted.” Ahmad related this hadith with a sahih chain.
Abu Umamah reported: “I came to the Messenger of God and said: ‘Order me to do a deed that will allow me to enter Paradise.’ He said: ‘Stick to fasting, as there is no equivalent to it.’ Then I came to him again and he said: ‘Stick to fasting’.”
Abu Said al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of God said: “No servant fasts on a day in the path of Allah except that Allah removes the hellfire seventy years further away from his face.”
Sahl ibn Sa’d reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “There is a gate to Paradise that is called ar-Rayyan. On the Day of Resurrection it will say: ‘Where are those who fasted?’ When the last [one] has passed through the gate, it will be locked.” This is related by al- Bukhari and Muslim.
Types of Fasting
There are two types of fasting: obligatory and voluntary. Obligatory can be further subdivided into the fast of Ramadan, the fast of expiation and the fast of fulfilling a vow. In this issue we shall only discuss the Fast of Ramadan.
The fast of Ramadan according to the Qur’an and Sunnah is obligatory. The evidence from the Qur’an consists of the following two verses:
‘O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for the people before you in order for you to gain God-consciousness…”
“…The month of Ramadan, during which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance and the criterion; and whoever of you is resident, let him fast the month.” (Qur’an 2:185)
From the Sunnah we have the following statements of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Islam is built upon [the following] five pillars: testifying that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, the establishment of the prayer, the giving of zakah, the fast of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Makkah.”
Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah reported that a man came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, tell me what Allah requires of me as regards fasting.” He answered, ‘The month of Ramadan.’ The man asked: “Is there any other [fast]?” The Prophet answered: “No, unless you do so voluntarily.”
The Virtues of Ramadan
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The blessed month has come to you. Allah has opened the gates of paradise and closed the gates of hellfire, and the devils are chained. There is a night [during this month] which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived [of something great].”
Abu Sa’id al Khudri reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan, obeying all of its limitations and guarding himself against what is forbidden, has in fact atoned for any sins he committed before it.”
The Arrival of Ramadan
This event is confirmed by sighting the new moon, even if it is seen by only one just person, or by the passage of thirty days in the immediately preceding month of Shaban. Ibn ‘Umar said: “The people were looking for the new moon and when I reported to the Messenger of Allah that I had seen it, he fasted and ordered the people to fast.”
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) instructed: “Fast after you have seen it [the new crescent] and end the fast [at the end of the month] when you see it. If it is hidden from you, then wait until the thirty days of Sha’ban have passed.” This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Contemplation of Death and Preparation for It by Good Deeds
Allah and His Messenger, peace be upon him, encourage us to contemplate death and be ready for it with good deeds. This is regarded as a sign of goodness.
Ibn ‘Umar reports: “I came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and I was the tenth of the first ten people (who embraced Islam). A man from among the Ansar got up and said: “O Prophet of Allah, who is the most sagacious and the most prudent among the people?” He replied: “Those who are most aware of death and prepare themselves for it. They are the wisest of people and will have honor in this world and a generous reward in the Hereafter.”
Ibn ‘Umar also said that Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “You should remember the reality that brings an end to all worldly joys and pleasures, namely, death.”
Ibn Mas’ud narrated that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) explained the following words of Allah, the Exalted: “The hearts of those whom Allah wills to guide, He opens to Islam.” This means, the Messenger explained, that, “When the light (of truth) enters the heart it expands and opens up.” The Companions asked: “Is there any evidence of this (in the life of a Muslim)?” He replied: “Being ever mindful of the eternal life of the Hereafter, and remaining at guard in this life of delusion, and preparing oneself for death before it comes.” (This is reported by Ibn Jarir through different chains each of which strengthens the other.)
Excellence of a Long Life Enriched with Good Deeds
It is reported by Abdurrahman ibn Abu Bakrah on the authority of his father that a man asked:
“O Messenger of Allah! Who is the best of all people?” He replied, “He who lives long and does good deeds.” The man asked, “And who is the worst of men?” The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied: “He who lives long but commits evil.” (Narrated by Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi)
Abu S’aeed Al Khudri (رضي الله عنه) relates that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The world is green and sweet (i.e. it is full of riches and captivation) and Allah will appoint (as His) vicegerent in it, and will see how you behave. Then beware of this world and the women (i.e. shun indulgence in the world and sexual misbehavior and licentiousness).” (Narrated by Muslim)
Manners of the Prophet
Do not delay helping the weak, the destitute, and women, and walk with them without haughtiness nor pride.
Have mercy on people and animals so that Allah will have mercy on you.
Love for people what you love for yourself.
Be neat in your appearance and clothing.
Be courageous and say the truth, even to your detriment.
Be patient when people hurt you and forgive them so that Allah will forgive you.
Leave indecency, which is all that is ugly and evil of word and deed.
Do not speak with arrogance nor dryness, and do not use indecent language even in jest.
Always speak peacefully, and make your speech sweet.
Sleep early and wake up early for worship and diligent work.
Read the Qur’an with measure and understanding, and listen to it if someone else reads it.
Do not be late at the congregational prayer in the mosque.
Modesty is part of faith.
One who tries to help the widow and the poor is like the warrior in the way of Allah.
The seeking of knowledge is a must for every Muslim man and woman.
Give gifts to one another, for gifts take away malice.
Allah is polite and likes politeness.
The young should say ‘Salam’ to the old, the passerby to the one sitting, and the small group to the large.
No one has ever eaten better food than what he eats from the work done by his own hands.
Beware of envy, for envy devours good deeds like fire devours dry wood.
He who truly believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good or keep silen.
When someone has had good done to him and says to the doer ‘May Allah reward you’, he has done the utmost in praise.
You must speak the truth, for truth leads to virtue and virtue leads to Paradise.
He who does not thank people does not thank Allah.
Removing from the road what causes harm is a charity.
The best amongst you is he who is most kind to his wife.
The deeds most loved by Allah (are those) done regularly, even if they are small.
Allah is pleased with His servant who, when he eats a morsel, praises Him for it, or drinks a sip, praises Him for it.
Prayer in congregation is twenty-seven times better than prayer performed alone.
Powerful is not he who knocks the other down. Indeed powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger.
The world is a prison for the believer, and a Paradise for the unbeliever.
Charity does not diminish wealth.
In America there are many days set aside to honor and appreciate special people in our lives. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Grandmother’s and Grandfather’s Day, etc. We do realize the significance of these occasions and the ideals and philosophies of setting aside certain days to recognize and appreciate these people. As for the appreciation of parents, it should be a daily recognition rather than a special occasion according to the Holy Qur’an and Hadith.
We are taught that a Muslim should respect and appreciate his or her parents every day throughout the year. In the Qur’an, appreciation and treatment of parents is described beautifully in Surah Al-Isra in which Allah (swt) says, “Your Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness lower to them the wing of humility and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.'” (Quran 17:23-24)
Recognition and respect of parents is mentioned eleven times in the Qur’an. In every instance, Allah reminds children to appreciate the care and love they received from their parents. In one aspect, Allah demands that children honor their parents by saying, “We have enjoined on man kindness to parents.” (Quran 29:8 & 46:15)
This is stated again in Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) with, “And (remember) when We made a covenant with the children of Israel, (saying): worship none save Allah (only), and be good to parents…” (Quran 2:83)
…and in Surah Al-Nisaa (the Women), “And serve Allah. Ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) Kindness unto parents…” (Quran 4:36)
…and in Surah Al An’Am (The Cattle), Allah (swt) reiterates that people should honor and be kind to parents, “Say: Come. I will recite unto you that which your Lord has made a sacred duty for you; that you ascribe nothing as partner unto Him and that you do good to parents…” (Quran 6:151)
It has been related that a person came to the Holy Prophet to take part in the Emigration (Hijrah) against the will of his weeping parents. The Holy Prophet told him to go back to his parents and come back only after pleasing them as he had made them cry. (Abu Dawood)
In fact, Islam teaches us that respect for parents comes immediately after praying to Allah and before Jihad (struggle and striving in the way of Allah) …this would indeed make it a very powerful and important injunction. This implies that we should take it not only as a worldly affair but as a religious duty also. Almighty Allah and His Holy Prophet have both laid much emphasis on obeying, serving and pleasing our parents.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) when asked “Which deed is most liked by Allah?” replied, “Prayers on time.” Then asked, “Which one next?” said, “Goodliness to parents”, then asked again, which next, replied, “jihad in the way of Allah”.
Although Islam recognizes both parents, mothers are given particular gratitude and respect. This attitude of Islam is better understood if we realize the hardships and suffering that mothers experience in their lives. It was narrated by Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) that a man came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and asked him, “Who amongst his near one had the greatest right over him?” The Prophet replied, “Your mother”. The man then asked, “Who after that?” to which the Prophet replied again, “Your mother”. Asked who is next, the Prophet again replied, “Your mother”. When the man asked who after that, the Prophet said, “Your father”.
In another narration the Prophet Mohammed (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Paradise lies at the feet of mothers”…emphasizing that each of us should cherish and respect his/her mother and that pleasing them will serve well in the hereafter also.
As a matter of fact, the importance of one’s mother is exemplified by the following hadith: Once, when the Holy Prophet was talking to his companions a man came and addressed him, “O Messenger of Allah! A young man is dying. People are asking him to recite Shadada but he is unable to do so.” The Holy Prophet asked, “Did this man offer his prayers,” and got the answer in the affirmative. Then he went to the house of the dying man. The Messenger of Allah advised him to offer the kalimah. The man indicated that he was unable to do so as the words could not come out of his mouth. He then called the mother of the dying man whom he had disobeyed persistently throughout his life. When his aged mother approached the scene, the Holy Prophet asked, “Respected lady, is he your son?” She replied in the affirmative. He then put to her a question, “O respected lady, if we threaten to throw your son in a raging fire, will you recommend him to be forgiven?” The Lady replied that she would definitely do so at that time. The Holy Prophet then said to her, “If so, declare, making Allah and me your witnesses, that you are now pleased with him!” The old woman readily declared, “O ‘ Allah, You and your Messenger be my witness that I am pleased with this beloved son of mine.”
The Holy Prophet turned to the dying man and asked him to recite, “There is no god but Allah. He is One and has no partners and I witness that Mohammed is His Servant and His Messenger.” By the virtue of the forgiveness of his mother he found the words flowing out of his mouth and he recited the Kalimah. Seeing this, the Holy Prophet praised Almighty Allah and thanked Him saying, “Thanks to Almighty Allah that He saved this man from the fearful fire of Hell through me.” (Tabarani, Ahmad)
A man once came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and sought his advice about taking part in the Holy War (Jihad) with him. The Holy Prophet asked him whether his mother was alive? He answered in the affirmative. The Holy Prophet then told him. “Go back home and serve her as if heaven was under her feet.” (Ibn-e-Majah, Nasai)
Thus the fact comes to light that a mother deserves service, love, submission, obedience and gratitude from the children more than the father. This is because a mother generally makes more sacrifices and endures greater hardships than a father while bringing up the children. She feeds them and takes care of them by sacrificing her comforts in the day and her sleep in the night without any greed or compulsion but only out of sheer love and affection. This devotion is lifelong. This is the reason why the Holy Qur’an has given more importance to the mother and stressed upon the children to be more considerate and submissive to her in comparison with the father.
A person came to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and complained that his mother was ill tempered. The Holy Messenger said, “She was not ill tempered when she kept you in her womb for nine months.” The person insisted, “Sir, I am telling you the truth that she is ill-tempered.” The Holy Prophet said, “She was not ill-tempered when she used to keep awake the whole night for your sake and feed you.” “I have recompensed all these favors of my mother”, boasted the complainant. The Prophet then asked, “How have you recompensed her?” “I have helped her perform hajj by putting her on my shoulders,” he replied. The Holy Prophet then stated, “Can you also recompense the painful pangs which your mother bore at the time of your birth?”
The right of the mother to be served and treated nicely is three times greater than that of the father, for she renders three such services to her children which cannot even be imagined by the father. The mother bears the burden of the child during pregnancy, stands the pains of delivery, and then feeds the child from her breasts.” These three important services are also mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. As afterwards both father and mother play equal parts in training and bringing up the children, emphasis has been laid on the fair treatment for both of them by their children.
Of course both the parents play their parts in bringing up the children at the cost of their own comforts and pleasures. The father feels happy to spend his hard earned money upon them while the mother feeds them from her own blood (milk). Thus the children are brought up by the joint toil, love and affection of both their parents. Consequently the best treatment from the children is stressed in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah for them.
If we go through these verses of the Holy Qur’an the following points will be evident:
(1) Parent’s rights are next to those of Almighty Allah in Islam. This is authenticated by the fact that, after the description of the Unity of Almighty Allah, the Holy Quran has repeatedly ordered for the most pleasant and submissive behavior with the parents.
(2) When parents become old their temperament changes. They usually become easily irritable and short tempered due to their age. Their children should take these changes for granted and show considerable patience and magnanimity for their aging parents.
(3) Parents should be respected and revered throughout their lifetimes.
(4) The children should adopt attitudes of humbleness, politeness, and obedience for the parents. They should readily carry out the orders of parents and also feel comforted by doing so. In old age when parents are invalid and naturally depend upon their children, the children should serve them like an obedient servant. While doing so, they should feel exalted and thank Almighty Allah for having the opportunity of serving their parents in their old age.
(5) We should recall those days of infancy when we were totally dependent on our parents. During that period we were weak and in need of help from the parents to survive. In those days our parents nourished us with love and affection bearing all sorts of hardships. They felt happy when we were happy and became restless when we were even slightly disturbed. The children should always have these memories fresh in mind and pray to Almighty Allah to be merciful and kind to their parents in their old age as they had been considerate and kind to them in their hour of need.
Hazrat Abu Osaid narrated that once, while he was sitting with the Holy Prophet, someone asked the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) whether there were any steps which he could take to benefit his parents even after their death. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied, “Yes”, there are four such things: (1) to pray for their deliverance and forgiveness, (2) to accomplish their promises and carry out the proper wills, (3) to respect and treat their friends well, (4) and to be nice and kind to those who are related to you through your parents.” (Al Adab Al-Mufrad)
Apart from service, submission and obedience to the parents, the Holy Qur’an also stresses upon the children not to be miserly towards them; rather they should give first preference to their parents in spending their money. They are even entitled to take money from their own children by compulsion in their parents hour of need. Obedience to the parents includes financial help also.
Once a man complained to the Holy Prophet about his father who took away his belongings whenever he liked. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) called for the man’s father, who was a very old man, and asked him the details of the matter. He said, “O’ Messenger of Allah, there was a time when he (the son) was weak and helpless and barehanded while I had strength and wealth. I never hesitated to give him my belongings whenever he needed them. Today I am weak and barehanded while he is rich and now he keeps his belongings from me.” Hearing this, tears came to the eyes of the Prophet, and he said to the son, “You and your belongings belong to your father. You and your belongings belon to your father. There is good news for them who behaved well with their parents. Allah will increase the period of their lives.”
Islam has endorsed respect for parents by their children even if the parents are non-Muslims. They are still parents and gave birth to them and cherished them bearing the same pains and hardships which are faced by Muslim parents. Consequently, in spite of the religious differences, it is the duty of Muslim children to serve and treat them with kindness, respect and devotion. All parents should also be helped financially and should not be given a chance to complain in worldly affairs. If non-Muslim parents strive to convert their children to non-Islamic beliefs, the children are not to follow them, but they are still to be good to the parents. In this regard Allah (swt) says in Surah Luqman:
“And we have enjoined upon man concerning his parents…his mother bore him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Give thanks unto Me and unto your parents. Unto me is the journeying. But if they strive with you to make you ascribe unto Me as partner that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Consort with them in the world kindly, and follow the part of him who repents unto Me. Then unto Me will you return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.” (Quran 31:14-15)
We all hope to show the respect and consideration asked of us by Allah to our parents while they are with us in this life. For those of us that have lost one or both parents there are still actions that can be taken to honor them. Make daily Du’a’ for them, give charity on their behalf or in their name, institute a perpetual charity on their behalf such as a Masjid, Islamic Library, Islamic materials for dahwa, read Qur’an on their behalf, distribute Islamic literature in their name.
Let us pray that we will all do our best to respect our parents, honor them, be kind to them, help them, and please them for the love of Allah.
Any amongst you who sees something evil should correct it with his own hands. If he is unable to do so he should correct it with his tongue. If he is unable even to do that, he should at least consider it as bad in his heart. This is the lowest degree of faith.
A Harvest of Charity
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “If any Muslim plants a tree or sows a crop, and then a bird, a human being, or an animal eats of it, then it is a sacred charity to his credit.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “A Muslim is brother to a Muslim; let one not oppress another or betray him. And whoever sees to the need of his brother, Allah sees to his need. And whoever relieves a Muslim from distress will be relieved by Allah from distress on the Day of Resurrection. And whoever protects a Muslim will be protected by Allah on the Day of Resurrection.”
Every Living Being
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) related, “While a man was walking, he became extremely thirsty, so he went down into a well and drank from it. Then he came out, only to find a panting dog eating moist earth in its thirst. The man said, ‘The same thing has happened to this creature as happened to me.’ So he filled his shoe, climbed out holding it in his teeth, and thus gave the dog water to drink. Then Allah thanked the man and forgave him.” The people asked, “O Messenger of God, are we rewarded for our treatment of animals?” And the Prophet said, “There is a reward for your treatment of every living thing.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Be prompt with funerals, because if the deceased was righteous, then you are sending them on to good; and if they were bad, then you are getting evil off your necks.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “One who reconciles people by attributing good or saying something good is not a liar.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “A hypocrite has three distinguishing signs; first when he speaks, he tells a lie; second when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and third when something is entrusted to him, he misappropriates it.”
A Time Is Coming
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “A time is coming to humankind when the individual does not care whether his gains are ethical or ill-gotten.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Charity does not diminish wealth: Allah enhances the honor of one who forgives, and one who humbles himself for the sake of Allah, Allah exalts him in rank.”
Virtue and Sin
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Virtue is good conduct, and sin fills your mind with guilt and makes you fear that other people know your sins.”
Truth and Lie
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “You must speak the truth for the truth leads to virtue and virtue leads to Paradise. A man who always speaks the truth and means the truth, is recorded as truthful with Allah. Keep away from the lie for the lie leads to evil and evil leads to the Hell fire and a man who continually tells a lie and intends to lie is recorded with Allah as a liar.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Gabriel advised me to do good to the neighbor to the point I almost thought he would eventually advise me to make my neighbor my heir.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Avoid suspicion, for suspicion is the greatest lie. Do not be inquisitive about one another, or spy one another. Do not outbid one another with a view of raising the price. Do not feel jealous and do not hold grudges against one another. Do not backbite, but be the servants of Allah like brothers amongst yourselves.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “What destroyed those before you was that whenever an aristocrat among them stole, they would let him be, but when one of the powerless among them stole, they would inflict the legal punishment on him.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Anybody amongst you who notices something evil should correct with his own hands. If he is unable to do so, he should correct with his tongue. If he is unable to do this, he should at least consider it as bad in his heart for this is the lowest degree of faith.”
A Gubernatorial Mandate
When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) sent two representatives to govern Yemen he told them, “Bring ease, not hardship. Bring good news, not horror. And cooperate willingly with each other.”
The Behavior of Believers
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not wrong his neighbor. And whoever believes in Allah, and the Last Day should treat his guest generously. And whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak of good or keep silent.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “A man adopts a way of life according to that of his friend, so one should be careful about whom he chooses to be friends with.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “God Most High says, ‘Fasting is for Me, and I reward it, for one leaves one’s desire, food, and drink on My account; so fasting is a protective shield. And one who fasts has two joys: joy upon breaking the fast and joy on meeting God.'”
Wisdom of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
Halal or Haram…How Do You Earn Your Living?
The Message of the Prophet Shu’ayb (عليه السلام)
The people of Madyan were from the early Arab tribes that had settled in the area between Hijaz and Palestine. They were known for their prominence in business activities, and their town was a commercial center for passing caravans.
This community, lacking faith in Allah and in the reckoning of the Hereafter, had fallen into sin, especially as might be expected, into cheating and injustice in their business dealings. So widespread was this that it was considered the norm in society. No one questioned this apparently successful and prosperous way of life.
So to the Madyan people Allah sent their brother, Shu’ayb (عليه السلام). He said, “Oh my people, worship Allah. You have no god but Him. And do not subtract from the measure and the scale. Certainly I see you in prosperity, and I fear for you the punishment of an all-encompassing day.” (Qur’an 11:84)
Shu’ayb (عليه السلام) also pleaded, “Oh my people, fulfill the measure and weight with justice and do not deprive people of their due, nor spread evil on the earth intending corruption. That which Allah has left (lawful) is best for you, if you were believers.” (Qur’an 11:85-86)
Shu’ayb (عليه السلام) ‘s message was straight to the point. He not only condemned the obvious sin of cheating in business, but he also warned against depriving people of things that were theirs by right. This had a wider and more general meaning, including not only measurement, price and estimate, but also non-material concepts such as appreciation and respect. Shu’ayb (عليه السلام) emphasized an order from Allah including all that is just and good, anything due to a person for any reason should not be withheld. He stressed that failure to give anyone his due would result in bad feelings which would harm personal and social relationships.
Because of their rejection of Allah, the order was given for the destruction of the transgressors. They were taken by the punishment of a black cloud, a violent blast and a final earthquake. (These three things have been said to have occurred simultaneously and perhaps indicated a volcanic eruption, but Allah knows best). Turning away from the terrible spectacle of devastation before him, Shu’ayb could only say, “O my people, truly did I deliver to you the messages of my Lord and advise you, so how could I grieve for a disbelieving people?” (Qur’an 7:93)
The Message of Prophet
Muhammad Prophet Mohammed (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was also entrusted with messages concerning fairness in business, halal earnings, and honesty towards our brothers. “May Allah have mercy upon the man who is generous while selling, and also generous in buying and demanding his balance from people.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “No one has ever any food which is better than which he had earned through working with his hands. And verily Allah’s Nabi (prophets) Dawood (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to eat that which he earned with his hands.”
In today’s world of high technology, electronic commerce, and the fast pace and open life style of the westernized countries, it can be a temptation difficult to avoid when confronted with the opportunity to earn a living in a haram way. We see much the same problems in the course of business as did the Prophet Shu’aib and Prophet Mohammed (pbut). Everyone desires economic security for themselves and their families, but at what price?
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said “Both legal and illegal things are obvious, and in between them are (suspicious) doubtful matters. So whoever forsakes those doubtful things lest he may commit a sin, will definitely avoid what is clearly illegal; and whoever indulges in these (suspicious) doubtful things bravely, is likely to commit what is clearly illegal. Sins are Allah’s Hima (i.e. private pasture) and whoever pastures (his sheep) near it, is likely to get in it at any moment.”
Can we say that we never cheat anyone in business? Do we sell items that have been forbidden to us? Do we lie to make a sale? Do we give fair weight and measure to our employers by working to the best of our ability?
Indeed it is challenging to see those around us with the wealth of this world while perhaps we struggle to make ends meet, but this has been addressed numerous times in the Qur’an and Hadith as a guide for us.
The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said the following:
“Richness does not lie in the abundance of worldly goods, but richness is the richness of the soul (heart, self).”
“Allah’s Mercy be upon that person who acts generously when he sells, generously when he buys, and generously when he reclaims a debt due to him.”
“Refrain from swearing oaths excessively when selling.”
“Indeed, the trader who is both honest and trustworthy in both word and deed will, on the day of Qiyammah (Day Of Judgement), arise with the Prophets of Allah and the righteous elders and the martyrs.”
“May Allah keep safely that believer who is a hardworking tradesman, who cares not what clothes he wears.”
“For every person who earns anything halaal, which he either eats himself or whereby he clothes himself or clothes anyone else of Allah’s creation, that shall be written as a deed of charity.”
“To earn a halaal livelihood is compulsory after the completion of other obligatory acts.”
“Whosoever, in the evening, is exhausted through his work, he has all his sins forgiven by that evening” (assuming his work is halaal).”
“If you people should put your trust in Allah (tawakkul) as you should, He will grant you sustenance in the same manner as He grants the birds who go out in the morning with empty bellies and return in the evening with bellies full of food.”
“Whomsoever cares not how his earnings are, Allah will not care through which door he enters Hell.”
“That body will never enter paradise which had been nourished with foods from haram sources.”
“It is more acceptable for me to return (to its owner) one dirham which is of doubtful origin that to give one hundred thousand dirhams in charity.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but he says: ‘I fear Allah’, a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears. (Bukhari, Muslim)
In this beautiful Hadeeth, the Prophet spoke about small acts of worship which result in such a huge reward: shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade. This may not seem like much at first but then reflect upon the following Hadeeth: ‘On the Day of Resurrection, the sun would draw so close to the people that there would be left a distance of only one mile. The people will be submerged in perspiration according to their deeds. So who would want more then, on this Day, than to be under the Shade and protection of Allah Azza wa Jal. Let us examine now the characteristics and virtues of these seven categories of people who will be worthy of such an exalted position on the Day of Gathering.
- ‘A Just Ruler…’
The concept of Justice in Islam is very important and it is something which the Muslim – Ruler and the ruled – must apply in all matters without exception. Justice means to give each the right he deserves: Muslim or non-Muslim, relative or stranger, friend or enemy. Allah says: ‘…And do not let hatred cause you to act unjustly, that is nearer to piety’ (Quran Surat Al-Maa’idah 5:8). Unfortunately, even if we admit this in theory, we quickly forget it in practice. So we find that when we speak about our friends and loved ones, we praise them beyond reason and when we speak about those whom we hold difference with, we can find no good in them and we just capitalise on their bad points. The concept of justice is most important for the Ruler, since he is in charge of his people and the primary disposer of justice in the land. For this reason, the Ruler is given special mention as one of the seven who will be honoured with Allah’s Shade.
- ‘A youth who grew up in the worship of Allah…’
Indeed, it is a great blessing from Allah for a youth h be guided towards worship and be befriended by the righteous, since it is in youth that a person is most vulnerable to the temptations of life and liable to drift away from the Islamic Path. This becomes apparent when we look at society around us and we see that most of the worldly distractions, such as music, games, clubs, fashion, facebook etc. are all specifically targeted at the young. ‘You’re only young once!’ they are told, which is why many Muslims nowadays waste their youth thinking that they will pray, wear hijaab and go on Hajj, etc. when they are old, as if they have a guarantee of longevity from Allah! How well we would do to heed the Prophet’s advice when he said: ‘Take benefit of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied and your life before your death.’
- ‘A man whose heart is attached to the mosques…’
There is great encouragement in the Sunnah for men to pray in the mosques and the reward associated with it is tremendous. Not only does it make the person eligible for Allah’s Shade on the day of Judgement, but, ‘he does not take a step [towards the mosque except that because of it, he is raised by one rank and one sin is removed from him. Then when he prays, the Angels do not cease supplicating for him [for] as long as he remains at his place of Prayer [sayings]: O Allah send blessings upon him, O Allah have mercy upon him… (Bukhari).
- ‘Two men who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that….’
Having mutual love for the sake of Allah is one of the great doors leading to the good of the Hereafter and a cause of tasting the sweetness of Iman in this world. Loving one another for Allah’s sake means that the Muslim does not love another except for the correctness of his Deen. So it does not matter what the person looks like, what he wears, how rich or poor he is, where he comes from, or what the colour of his skin is – perhaps you dislike everything about him, but you love him for his Eman: this is loving for Allah’s sake.
‘Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent says: ‘ “Those who have mutual love for the sake of My Glory will have pillars of light and will be envied the Prophets and martyrs.” (Tirmidhee, Ahmed). SubhanAllah! Imagine being envied by Allah’s chosen Messengers and those who were slain in His Path! Such is the reward of those who love one another for Allah’s sake.
- ‘A man who is called by a woman of beauty and position but he says: “I fear Allah…”‘
This world is full of temptations which lead to burning in the Fire and amongst them is that which comes from women. Many a man has led his soul into destruction on account of the lure of a woman which is why the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)warned his Ummah specifically about this. He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “The world is sweet and green and verily Allah is going to install you as successors upon it in order to see how you act. So avoid the allurement of women: verily the first trial for the Children of Israel was caused by women.” (Muslim)
The most important provision which we need to protect ourselves from this and all other temptations in life is the fear (khawf) of Allah. This fact is alluded to in the following Qur’anic Aayah: “And as for him who feared standing before his Lord and restrained himself from impure evil desires, verily Paradise will be his abode.”(Quran Surat Naazi’at 79:40)
- ‘A man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity…’
This describes the type of person who goes to great lengths to protect himself from ar-Riyaa. Ar-Riyaa means to do deeds in order to earn the praise and recognition of people. This sin destroys all the benefits that lie in righteous deeds and brings on a serious punishment for the one who commits it. It is particularly dangerous because it is in man’s nature to desire and enjoy the praise of others. Thus, great care has to be token to ensure that one’s intentions begin and remain pure whenever good actions (such as charity) are being done. Not like what we see today where we have mosque notice boards announcing who gave what to whom, why and when! Allah warns: “O you who believe! Do not render vain your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men and he does not believe in Allah nor in the Last Day”‘ (Quran Surat Al -Baqarah 2:264). May Allah preserve us from this.
- ‘A man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.’
Our noble Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) informed us: “If you knew what l knew, you would laugh little and weep much.” (Bukhari) Crying is not a sissy thing to do. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), who was the best of all creation, would weep as would all of his Companions. Tears are a genuine expression of fear of Allah’s Punishment and of our sincere love and awe of Him. But how often do we remember Allah in seclusion and are then moved to tears? How much do we laugh and how little do we weep? Alhamdulillaah, through these seven types of people mentioned in the Hadeeth, we have been given clear signposts of the way to attain Allah’s pleasure and satisfaction. So dear brothers and sisters in Iman, devote yourself to being one amongst those seven, for indeed fortunate will be those who are granted Allah’s Shade on the Day when there will be no shade but His.
“The best of people are those with the most excellent character.” (Tabarani, Sahih)
“The best of people are those who are best to their wives.” (Tirmidhi, Sahih)
“The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.” (Darimi, Sahih)
“The best of which man can leave behind for himself are three: a righteous child who supplicates for him, an ongoing charity whose reward continues to reach him and knowledge which others benefit from after him.” (Ibn Hibban, Hasan)
“The best of people are those who live longest and excel in their deeds, whereas the worst of people are those who live longest and corrupt their deeds.”(Tirmidhi, Sahih)
“The best of all deeds is the Prayer at its earliest time.” (Tirmidhi, Sahih)
“The best prayer is the prayer of the man in his home except for the obligatory prayer.” (Nasa’i,Sahih)
“The best of deeds according to Allah are the continuous ones, even if they are little.” (Agreed upon)
“The best of all charity is that which is given to the relative that harbours enmity against you.” (Ahmad, Sahih)
“The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind.” (Daraqutni, Hasan)
“The best of places are the Mosques and the worst of places are the markets.” (Tabarani, Hasan)