Seriously Short Reminder No. 12: Remember to have good manners…
Why should we have good manners?
Well, I think that the following two ahadeeth will suffice as an explanation:
Abu Ad-Darda (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said:
ما شيء أثقل في ميزان المؤمن يوم القيامة من خلق حسن فإن الله تعالى ليبغض الفاحش البذيء
“Nothing is heavier on the believer’s Scale* on the Day of Judgement than good character. For indeed Allah, the Most High, is angered by the shameless obscene person.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2002. Graded “saheeh” by Al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2002.]
[*The scale which weighs the deeds on the Last Day.]
Abu Ad-Darda (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said:
ما من شيء يوضع في الميزان أثقل من حسن الخلق ، وإن صاحب حسن الخلق ليبلغ به درجة صاحب الصوم والصلاة
“Nothing is placed on the Scale that is heavier than good character. Indeed, the person with good character will have attained the rank of the person of fasting and prayer. [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2003. Graded “saheeh” by Al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2003.]
[Note: The “person of fasting and prayer” refers to the person who prays the night prayer and fasts a lot (i.e. outside of Ramadan).]
So many of us keep yowling about how we want to be better worshippers of Allah but have difficulty doing a lot of the hard core acts of worship like praying throughout the night and fasting a lot.
Well okay, what about improving our manners then? According to this hadeeth, this is one way in which we can come closer to Allah.
[Of course, the best thing would be to be a person who prays throughout the night, fasts a lot AND has good manners…]
Important note: The person with good character obviously has to be a person who does their obligatory prayers and fasts properly otherwise they are not going to supersede the one who prays and fasts a lot!
Sadly, far too many people, who do not pray five times a day but have good character, have fooled themselves into thinking that they are better than those who pray but have bad character.
Actually, that’s not the case. The one who prays is better than the one who does not pray, even if the latter is more well-mannered than the former. It’s as simple as that. The well-mannered one who does not pray is not fulfilling the rights of Allah whereas the one who prays but is ill-mannered is not fulfilling the rights of creation.
Obviously, the rights of Allah are more important than the rights of creation.
These two ahadeeth are referring to additional worship. They are also a refutation of those people who do loads of ibaadah (worship) but can’t manage to let ONE nice word come out of their mouths.]
Someone might ask: what is good character exactly?
Well, that would need a detailed explanation. However, there’s a nice narration that summarises it for us:
Abu Wahb narrated that Abdullah ibn Mubarak* explained good characterand then he said:
هو بسط الوجه ، وبذل المعروف ، وكف الأذى
“It is a smiling face, doing one’s best in good and refraining from harm.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2005. Graded “saheehul isnaad” by Al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2005.]
[*He was one of the greatest scholars of Islam. You may read a bit of his life story from this nice compilation.]
Want more information on this topic?
1. Some ahadeeth pertaining to manners, righteousness and keeping good relations taken from Silsilah Ahadeeth As-Saheehah of Shaikh Al-Albani (rahimahullah).
2. Islam and good character by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Uthman Al-Anjaree
3. Perfecting one’s character by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah)
4. How to acquire good manners by Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullah)
May Allah make us of those who have excellent manners (and also manage to pray in the night and fast a lot). Ameen.
[Yes, yes, I know. This Seriously Short Reminder was Seriously Long.]