By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam
29 Oct 2012
Showcasing the value of ‘manners’ an Islamic tradition says: “He whose manners are bad tortures himself.” (22)
And in order to save ourselves inflicting tortures on ourselves we have to make good manners our way of life and follow the rightful path shown by Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Thus narrated Abu Huraira:
· "Allah's Apostle said, 'If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying, 'Allah loves so and so, O Gabriel love him' So Gabriel would love him and then would make an announcement in the Heavens: 'Allah has loved so and-so therefore you should love him also.' So all the dwellers of the Heavens would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.' (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Oneness, Uniqueness of Allah (Tawheed), Volume 9, Book 93, Number 577)"
In the light of the above mentioned ‘narration’ it is clear that to be loved by Allah Kareem we will have to be loved by His servants. It is difficult to claim that society, which consists of His servants irrespective of religion, is happy with our dealings with them.
We all know the importance of the rights of humanity ‘(Huquq al-Ibad)’. Coming true to the demands of Huquq al-Ibad is a big thing. Pleasing God is not difficult. He is the most Merciful and the most Benevolent so He forgives our sins for no better reason than ‘the pleasure of the people on the earth’. Mind you ‘people of the earth’ do not ever expect from you more than ‘a sweet smile’, a gentle Assalam o Alaikum (Hello), ‘use of gentleman’s manners while talking to them and extending them a helping hand in case of mishaps.
After looking after your parents and kin you are supposed to be cultured, civilised and mannered in the society with the strangers as well. Islam exhorts the believers to practice good manners as it takes them on to the righteous path. To be cultured, civilised and mannered one has to win over his feelings of superiority, jealousy and anger. These negative emotions are the biggest hurdles in one’s getting respect and love in the society. Perfection in these humane qualities is a guarantee of having forgiveness of God. Highlighting the value of ‘greeting’ people in a gentleman like manner the Holy Quran says:
· When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things. (4:86)
Some of us, in our pride of health, wealth and wisdom just do not care to reciprocate ‘the greetings’ in a polite and suitable manner if it is from the people we take to be lesser ones. This has become a norm in every society, more so in our Islamic centres of education from where the society is supposed to get a perfect cultural environment. Visit any madrasa, watch for some time and you will find a big gap between a Maulvi Sb and a student and a junior and a senior. ‘Assalam o Alaikum of ‘lesser beings’ are just not thought necessary to be answered in a manner; it should be, in the light of the teachings of Islam. These ‘lesser beings’ one day become the ‘superior beings’ and the culture continues, continues to poison the society with ill manners.
To make the followers of Islamic tenets feel more assured of their reward, there are various Ayahs which stress the importance of social manners. In furtherance to the above Ayah, Allah Kareem promises to guide, in Surah 26, Ayah 69, the people who strive to achieve others respect and love.
· And those who strive for Us - We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.
A very common ill of the society is of ridiculing and insulting others by calling them with offensive names not caring how bad it must be feeling to the one being called names. Many of us may argue in their defence that it is just a show of love and friendship that they do it but they are consciously expressing their ignorance of various brutal occurrences based on race, colour, disability, age, height and weight etc, which take place in our world every day. The Holy Quran in Surah 49, Ayah 11 guides the humanity to stop people ridiculing and insulting others so that the society we live in gets rid of such bad manners.
· O you, who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one's] faith. And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the wrongdoers. (49:11)
Exhorting his Ummah Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says:
· “Certainly, patience, truthfulness, clemency and good manners are among the prophets’ characteristics. On the Day of Resurrection, nothing better than good manners will be put in one’s scales.”
· “Certainly, Allah, be He blessed and Exalted, will give the slave a reward as He will give the Mujahid (warrior) in the way of Allah.” “I have been sent to complete good manners.”
Empty mind is a devils workshop is a famous saying. Muslims in our part of the world have virtually nothing to do and this has made their minds a devil’s workshop. What they keep doing all day long, nothing but vain talks. This vain talk is the mother of many ill manners. In this regard Allah Kareem in the Holy Quran promises ‘success’ for them who turn away from dirty, false and evil vain talk:
· Certainly will the believers have succeeded (23:1)
· And those who turn away from al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil, vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden). (23:3)
What the Muslim world needs today is the preaching of above mentioned teachings of the Holy Quran and the Ahadith rather than the misinterpretations of the Ayahs referring to blasphemy, Hijabs and gender equality. These misinterpretations have made Islam an object of negative discussions. Let us follow the teachings of the Holy Quran and spread its message along with the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which teaches us to answer all the Islam haters’ blasphemers with a smile on the face as did our beloved Prophet (pbuh) all through his life. Let us show them what Islamic society is. Islamic, cultured, civilised and smiling society is going to be the most powerful answer to all the hate speeches, Insha Allah.
والله أعلم بالصواب (And God knows the best what is right)