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Posts from the ‘Good Manners’ Category

16
Apr

Seriously Short Reminder No. 18: Remember to say “Assalamu Alaikum”…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

…or “Wa Alaikum Assalam” (depending on whether you initiated the salaam or returned it).

1) Why should we say it?

Well, here are some reasons.

2) To whom should we say it?

Well, to every Muslim as it is their right. However, if a man is greeting a woman whom he is not a mahram to, or vice-versa, then that has a special ruling.

A reminder: It doesn’t matter whether you know the person or not. One of the signs of the Last Day is that people will greet only those whom they know:

إن من أشراط الساعة إذا كانت التحية على المعرفة

The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Verily, from the signs of the Hour is that the greetings will (only) be extended to acquaintances.” [As-Silsilah As-Saheehah, No. 648. Shaikhs Al-Albani, Ahmad Shakir and Muqbil Al-Wadiee (rahimahumullah) all authenticated it. You may check the Dorar results here.]

Subhan Allah, how many of us are guilty of this?

Tip: Try and initiate the salaam to a Muslim stranger (man to a man and woman to a woman) and see the response. You’ll see why the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) suggested spreading the salaam as a way of loving one another.

Also, read this short article on why initiating the greeting is more rewarding than reply to it.

3) Don’t be stingy.

Huh, you say?

What I mean by that is: Please use this greeting liberally. Use it to start your emails, your SMS messages, your phone conversations (can we get rid of  “hello”?), etc. Oh and please remember to reply to it (in emails, SMS messages, comments on any of my posts, etc).

What I also mean by that is: Please type the whole thing and not “ASAK” or “As”. I’m sorry but that is not “Assalamu Alaikum”.

I have one question to the people who abbreviate this greeting: Do you think that you will get the same reward for typing “Asak” or “As” as someone who took the time and effort to type out the whole greeting? Just a thought…

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8
Apr

Seriously Short Reminder No. 17: Remember to tell the truth…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Why should we tell the truth? Well, because it leads to Paradise.

إن الصدق يهدي إلى البر ، وإن البر يهدي إلى الجنة ، وإن الرجل ليصدق حتى يكون صديقا ، وإن الكذب يهدي إلى الفجور ، وإن الفجور يهدي إلى النار ، وإن الرجل ليكذب ، حتى يكتب عند الله كذابا

Narrated Abdullah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fujur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fujur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies until he is written before Allah, a liar.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 116]

Lying is one of the signs of hypocrisy:

آية المنافق ثلاث : إذا حدث كذب ، وإذا وعد أخلف ، وإذا اؤتمن خان

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie; and whenever he promises, he breaks his promise; and whenever he is entrusted, he betrays (proves to be dishonest)”. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 117]

When should we tell the truth? Well, like always.

أنا زعيم ببيت في ربض الجنة لمن ترك المراء وإن كان محقا ، وببيت في وسط الجنة لمن ترك الكذب وإن كان مازحا ، وببيت في أعلى الجنة لمن حسن خلقه

It was narrated that Abu Umamah (radiallahu anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “I am the claimant* of a house on the outskirts of Paradise for the one who refrains from opinion based arguing, even if he were in the right, and a house in the middle of Paradise for the one who refrains from lying, even when he is joking, and a house in the highest part of Paradise for one makes his character good.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4800. Graded “hasan” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4800.]

[*He is guaranteeing this person a house in Paradise.]

[Note to parents: Those “little white lies” that you tell your children are just that – lies.]

Beware of lying in order to make others laugh:

ويل للذي يحدث فيكذب ليضحك به القوم ، ويل له ، ويل له

It was narrated that Bahz ibn Hakim said: “My father narrated to me that his father said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘Woe to the one who speaks and tells lies in order to make the people laugh; woe to them, woe to them.'”” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4990. Graded “hasan” by Al-Albani in Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4990.]

[You can read about the conditions of permissible joking here.]

Oh and it’s even worse to lie whilst one is fasting:

من لم يدع قول الزور والعمل به ، فليس لله حاجة في أن يدع طعامه وشرابه

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadeeth No. 127]

For those who are interested in reading more about this topic, here is a nice article on the importance of being truthful.

19
Mar

How to get the mercy of the Most Merciful…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

How, you ask?

Tres facile:

الراحمون يرحمهم الرحمن ، ارحموا أهل الأرض يرحمكم من في السماء

It was narrated from Abdullah ibn Amr (radiallahu anhu) and he attributed it to the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam): “Those who show mercy will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Show mercy to those who are on earth and the One who is above the heaven will show mercy to you.” [Sunan Abee Dawood. Hadeeth No. 4941. Al-Albani graded it “sahih” in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 4941.]

What we learn from this hadeeth:

1) What goes around comes around. Let’s try to remember that the next time we scold someone for their mistakes.

2) Reading the translation is nothing like reading the Arabic itself (especially with this hadeeth).

3) Allah is not “everywhere”, as many Muslims seem to think, rather He is above the heavens.

And this hadeeth isn’t the only proof for this. There are so many other proofs. [Want a post dedicated to this, insha-Allah? Just say the word.]

4) The mercy of Allah is vast.

So, let’s be soft-hearted and not be hard-hearted.

17
Mar

Seriously Short Reminder No. 15: Make things easy for people…

Assalamu Alaikum.

…. and don’t make things difficult.

أن أبا هريرة قال : قام أعرابي فبال في المسجد ، فتناوله الناس ، فقال لهم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : دعوه وهريقوا على بوله سجلا من ماء ، أو ذنوبا من ماء ، فإنما بعثتم ميسرين ، ولم تبعثوا معسرين .

Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): A Bedouin stood up and started urinating in the masjid. The people caught him but the Prophet  (salallahu alaihi wasallam) ordered them to leave him and to pour a bucket or a tumbler of water over the place where he had passed the urine. The Prophet then said, “You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 219]

[Subhan Allah, just reflect over the noble character of our Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) and how kindly he dealt with a man who urinated in his masjid!]

يسروا ولا تعسروا ، وسكنوا ولا تنفروا

Narrated Anas bin Malik (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them, and make them calm (with glad tidings) and do not repulse (them ).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 146]

أن رجلا مات فدخل الجنة . فقيل له : ما كنت تعمل ؟ ( قال فإما ذكر وإما ذكر ) فقال : إني كنت أبايع الناس . فكنت أنظر المعسر وأتجوز في السكة أو في النقد . فغفر له

Hudhaifa (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “A person died and he entered Paradise. It was said to him: What (act) did you do? (Either he recalled it himself or he was made to recall), he said I used to enter into transactions with people and I gave respite to the insolvent and did not show any strictness in case of accepting a coin or demanding cash payment. (For these acts of his) he was granted pardon.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 3790]

من نفس عن مؤمن كربة من كرب الدنيا ، نفس الله عنه كربة من كرب يوم القيامة . ومن يسر على معسر ، يسر الله عليه في الدنيا والآخرة . ومن ستر مسلما ، ستره الله في الدنيا والآخرة . والله في عون العبد ما كان العبد في عون أخيه . ومن سلك طريقا يلتمس فيه علما ، سهل الله له به طريقا إلى الجنة . وما اجتمع قوم في بيت من بيوت الله ، يتلون كتاب الله ، ويتدارسونه بينهم ، إلا نزلت عليهم السكينة ، وغشيتهم الرحمة وحفتهم الملائكة ، وذكرهم الله فيمن عنده . ومن بطأ به عمله ، لم يسرع به نسبه

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: “He who alleviates the suffering of a brother out of the sufferings of the world, Allah would alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah would make things easy for him in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah is at the back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother, and he who treads the path in search of knowledge, Allah would make that path easy, leading to Paradise for him and those persons who assemble in the house among the houses of Allah (masjids) and recite the Book of Allah and they learn and teach the Quran (among themselves) there would descend upon them the tranquillity and mercy would cover them and the angels would surround them and Allah makes a mention of them in the presence of those near Him, and he who is slow-paced in doing good deeds, his (high) descent does not make him go ahead.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6518]

Sadly, this is something that we have lost in today’s time. We want things to be easy for us but most of us don’t seem to care if things are easy for others or not.

On the contrary, you will see many people going out of their way to make things difficult for other people.

Let me give you two simple examples:

1) A sister has been married for many years but has no children.

Do you think that she feels bad about not having any children? I’m going to take a wild guess and say “yes”.

Now, what happens when people keep saying things like “Any good news?” or “Why don’t you get some treatment?”

Yes, yes, I know. They’re trying to be helpful – but they really aren’t. All they’re doing is depressing the sister further and making things difficult for her.

And so what if a person doesn’t have any children? Aishah (radiallahu anha), the wife of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam), did not have any children. This is something that is solely in the hands of Allah.

لِلَّـهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ يَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ إِنَاثًا وَيَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ الذُّكُورَ

أَوْ يُزَوِّجُهُمْ ذُكْرَانًا وَإِنَاثًا ۖ وَيَجْعَلُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ عَقِيمًا ۚ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ قَدِيرٌ

“To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills. Or He bestows both males and females, and He renders barren whom He wills. Verily, He is the All-Knower and is Able to do all things.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 49-50]

However, the fools of today make it sound like being childless is a crime.

What should they have done? Well, keeping silent would have been a good option. They could also have encouraged her to look at the positive side  and suggest that she use her time for good things like dawah, social work, etc.

This way, things are made easier for her.

2) A brother has been recently laid off from work.

What do people do? They nag him about it all the time!

“Hey, did you get another job yet?”

“What are you doing at present?”

“What will you do if you don’t find one soon?”

Because of this, the brother gets even more worried and starts to become a recluse.

What could the people have done? Well, they could have reminded him that Allah is the Provider and encouraged him to use his free time in pursuing knowledge or helping the needy.

This way, they’d be making life easy for him and not making things difficult.

Those were just two simple examples to show you that sometimes we make things difficult for people with our incessant questioning. We need to just mind our own business*.

[*This topic needs a post of its own.]

So, let’s strive to make things easy for people and not make things difficult. Hopefully, this can be something that causes Allah to forgive our sins on the Day of Judgment.

6
Mar

Lecture: Anger Management

Assalamu Alaikum.

Didn’t we do this yesterday, you ask?

Erm no. That was an article on anger management. Today, we have a lecture on that topic.

[Please excuse me for sounding like a KG teacher.]

This is a really important topic as anger is a major cause of so many of our problems.

So, here’s a lecture for those who wish to improve their temperament:

Anger Management by Muhammad Alshareef (Download)

I haven’t listened to the lecture yet so I can’t comment on it.

However, I would like to point out two things to those who are trying to work on this issue:

1) Find the root cause of your anger.

You need to solve the problem and not the symptoms.

WHY do you get angry?

2) Remember that Islam is the cure for all emotional and psychological diseases.

Islam was what cured me of my dreadful temper. It was like I had a fire within me and Islam just extinguished it. There’s no fire now, alhamdulillah, just peace.

5
Mar

Article: Anger Management

Assalamu Alaikum.

Ah, yes. Anger.

One of the things that keeps getting in the way of the “new” us.

As a former raving lunatic*, I know exactly how much damage anger can do – both to yourself and to others.

[*Let’s just say that I had severe anger management issues. It’s much, much, much better now, alhamdulillah.]

So, what can we do to control our anger?

Well, one can write a few volumes on this topic alone. However, a simple article will do for now.

I would like to point out one thing though: all the remedies in the world will NOT work if one cannot admit that he/she has a problem.

So, if you have a temper, you need to first ADMIT it to yourself.

So, here’s a short but comprehensive article about this topic:

____________________________________________________________

http://www.subulassalaam.com/articles/article.cfm?article_id=147

Anger Management

Reference: Al Afnaan an Nadiyyah 7/328

Author: Shaykh Zayd al Madkhalee

A Warning from Anger- no matter the Reason.

This is because anger lures its victim into practicing acts that necessitate punishment such as murder, speaking negatively of others, destroying property, abstaining from being good to others and similar issues that anger entices a person to fall into and drives them to accomplish, regressing into sin due to having no patience and forbearance. Anger is the key to the doors of evil, a man approached the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم – seeking advice that would benefit him in his religion, rather in all his affairs, he advised him saying:

“Do not get angry.”

The man repeated the question and the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم – repeated the response saying; “Do not get angry.”

This was reported by al Bukhaaree in the Hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah – may Allaah be pleased with him – that a man approached the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم – saying;

“Advise me.”

The Messenger responded: “Do not get angry.”

The man continued to repeat the question and the Messenger kept repeating:

“Do not become angry.”

There are methods for anger management in the noble legislated texts:

  1. What was authentically reported in the two Saheehs on the authority of Salmaan ibn Sard – may Allaah be pleased with him – who said: “Two men starting insulting each other in the presence of the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم – while we were seated; one of them was insulting the other angrily while his face was red, so the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم – said:“I seek refuge from the accursed Shaytaan.”Others said to him: “Do you not hear what the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم – is saying?”He responded: “I am not a madman!”
  2. Al Imaam Ahmad and at Tirmidhee reported a Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Sa’eed that the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم – said in his Khutbah: “Indeed anger is a scorching coal seated in the hearts of the children of Adam, do you not see the redness of his eyes and the swelling of his cheeks? So whoever senses any of these symptoms should attach himself to the earth.”
  3. The wording is for at Tirmidhee.

  4. Al Imaam Ahmad and Abu Dawood reported the Hadeeth of Abu Waa-il who said: “We were sitting with ‘Urwah ibn Muhammad when a man entered and said things to him that angered him. When he became angry he stood up and left, he returned having performed ablution and said:‘My father narrated to me that my grandfather (who was a Companion) narrated to him that the Messenger of Allaah – صلى الله عليه وسلم – said:“Indeed anger is from the Shaytaan, and indeed Shaytaan was created from fire, and indeed fire is put out with water. So if any of you were to become angry, perform ablution.”

Likewise, there are texts praising the person who is able to control himself, represses his anger and forgive whoever angered him. Allah the Elevated said:

{and when they are angry, they forgive}

The Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم – said:

“The strong one is not the one who can wrestle others, rather it is the one who can control himself when angry.”

‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez stated:

“Successful indeed is one who safeguards himself from desires, anger and greed.”

Al Hasan stated:

“If there are four things present in a person, he would be protected from Shaytaan and the fire would be prohibited from touching him; A person who controls himself during;

     

  1. Raghbah (longing),
  2. Rahbah (fear),
  3. Shahwah (lust/desire),
  4. Ghadab (anger)”

To have Raghbah for something is to want it and believe that it is beneficial for you. So whoever has a need for something, this need may drive him to attain it through any means possible, a lot of which could be impermissible, and the object that is longed for itself may be prohibited.

Rahbah is to fear something. If a person fears something he would try to repel it by any means necessary, a lot of which may be impermissible.

Shahwah is to desire something which you take pleasure in. A person may desire a lot of things that are prohibited such as fornication, theft, alcohol, disbelief, magic, hypocrisy and innovations.

Ghadab – Anger: It is the boiling of the hearts blood to repel a harm fearing would take place, or to take revenge from someone who has previously caused harm. A lot of impermissible things take place as a consequence of anger, such as fighting, hitting as well as other types of oppression and transgression. A lot of impermissible forms of speech also take place, such as defamation, verbal abuse, and evil words. This may even reach the level of disbelief.”

It is incumbent upon the believer that his desires are limited to what Allaah has permitted for him. It may be that a person may engage in something [permissible] with a good intention and be rewarded for it, or that his anger is due to harm being caused to his or someone else’s deen, such as taking revenge from someone who disobeys Allah and His Messenger, as Allah said:

{Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people, and remove the anger of their (believers’) hearts} [At Tawbah 14-15]

And this was the state of the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم -, indeed he never took revenge for himself, but if any of the prohibitions of Allah were contravened, nothing was able to stand up to his anger.”

I say [Shaykh Zayd]: After you have come to know, O Muslim, of what anger, for other than Allah, entices, then it is binding upon you to avoid what causes anger. If one of its causes comes upon you, then it is upon you to cure it with what the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم -directed; to:

  1. Seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytaan,
  2. Perform ablution,
  3. Have tranquility
  4. Thinking about the consequences of what will happen if you follow your anger such as regret, or rather a close punishment as well as postponed one.
5
Feb

Article: The believer is friendly and likeable

Assalamu Alaikum.

Who said that the believer is friendly and likeable?

Well, the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) himself.

المؤمن يألف و يؤلف ، و لا خير فيمن لا يألف و لا يؤلف ، و خيرهم أنفعهم للناس

The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The believer is friendly and likeable* and there is no good in the one who is not friendly nor likeable, and the best of them are the most beneficial to people.” [Saheeh Al-Jaami, Hadeeth No. 6662. Graded “hasan” by Al-Albani. You may check the results from Dorar here.]

[*This can also be translated as “The believer is loving and lovable.”]

So, we need to ask ourselves: “Are we friendly to others? And do we attract others? Or repel them?”

Here’s an article that discusses this hadeeth:

[A little warning: One should not strive to be friendly and likeable for the sake of people, rather it should be done because it will bring us closer to Allah.

And yes, that is difficult to remember which is why we need to keep renewing our intentions.]

____________________________________________________________

http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=560

The Muslim Is Friendly And Likeable

Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi

The Ideal Muslim
© 1999 IIPH

The Muslim who truly understands the teachings of his religion is gentle, friendly and likeable. He mixes with people and gets along with them. This is something which should be a characteristic of the Muslim who understands that keeping in touch with people and earning their trust is one of the most important duties of the Muslim. It is an effective means of conveying the message of truth to them, and exposing them to its moral values, because people only listen to those whom they like, trust and accept. Hence there are many hadiths which commend the type of person who is friendly and liked by others. Such a person is one of those chosen ones who are beloved by the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and will be closest to him on the Day of Resurrection:

“Shall I not tell you who among you is most beloved to me and will be closest to me on the Day of Resurrection?” He repeated it two or three times, and they said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam).”  He said: “Those of you who are the best in attitude and character.” [Reported by Ahmad and its isnad is jayyid] Some reports add: “Those who are down to earth and humble, who get along with others and with whom others feel comfortable.”

One of the attributes of the believer is that he gets along with others and others feel comfortable with him. He likes people and they like him. If he is not like this, then he will not be able to convey the message or achieve anything of significance. Whoever is like that has no goodness in him, as in the hadith:

“The believer gets along with people and they feel comfortable with him. There is no goodness in the one who does not get along with people and with whom they do not feel comfortable. ” [Reported by Ahmad and al-Bazar; the men of Ahmad’s isnad are rijal as-sahih]

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) set the highest example of good behaviour towards people. He was skilful in softening their hearts and called them to follow him in word and deed. He demonstrated how to reach people’s hearts and win their love and admiration.

He was always cheerful and easy-going, never harsh. When he came to any gathering, he would sit wherever there was a free space, and he told others to do likewise. He treated everyone equally, so that no one who was present in a gathering would feel that anyone else was receiving preferential treatment. If anyone came to him and asked for something, he would give it to them, or at least respond with kind words. His good attitude extended to everyone and he was like a father to them. The people gathered around him were truly equal, distinguished only by their level of taqwa.  They were humble, respecting their elders, showing compassion to young ones, giving priority to those in need and taking care of strangers.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) never used to disappoint anyone who came to ask from him. There are three characteristics that he did not possess: he was not argumentative, he did not talk too much, and he did not concern himself with matters that were not his business. There are three things that he never did to people: he never criticized any one, he never said “Shame on you!” to anyone, and he never looked for anyone’s faults. He never said anything but that for which he hoped to earn reward. When he spoke, the people around him would listen earnestly, sitting still as if there were birds on their heads. When he was silent, then they would speak. They never argued with one another in his presence. They would smile at whatever he smiled at, and would be impressed by whatever impressed him. He would be patient with a stranger who might be harsh in his requests or questions, and his Companions would ask the stranger to speak gently. He said, “If you see someone in need, then help him.” He never accepted praise except from someone who was thanking him for a favour, and he never cut off anyone who was speaking; he would wait until the person indicated that he had finished, or stood up.

`A’ishah tells us that he used to be cautious of the worst type of people, and he would speak gently to them and treat them well. A man sought permission to enter upon him and he said, “Let him in, what a bad brother of his tribe he is!” When the man came in, he spoke gently to him. `A’ishah said: “O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), you said what you said, then you spoke gently to him.” He (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “O `A’ishah, the worst of people is the one whom people avoid (or are gentle towards) because they fear his slander.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The true Muslim follows in the footsteps of his Prophet in his dealings with all people, whether they are good or bad, so that he is liked and accepted by all people.

24
Jan

Six months to go…

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, Ramadan is a little over six months away.

So, we need to ask ourselves two main questions:

1) How much progress have we made since the end of Ramadan 2010?

2) What are our goals for the end of Ramadan 2011 and how much progress do we need to make before we reach them?

Some of the questions that we could ask ourselves before we make a list of goals for the next Ramadan are:

a) Tawheed (worshipping Allah alone)

Has our knowledge and application of tawheed increased?

What else do we need to do to strengthen our aqeedah (creed)?

b) Salah (prayers)

How is the quality of our prayers?

Have we started doing any new prayers (e.g. Dhuha  or Tahajjud) on a regular basis?

c) Arabic

Has our Arabic improved?

Will we be able to understand the Taraweeh prayers come Ramadan?

d) The Quran

Has our relationship with the Book of Allah improved?

Do we recite it daily? And with tajweed (rules of recitation)?

How much can we understand without the use of a translation?

Have we memorised any new surahs? How much do we plan on memorising before next Ramadan?

Have we read the tafsir?

How much of the Quran do we apply?

e) Charity

Do we spend more on charity now?

Do we help the needy on a regular basis?

f) Adhkar (remembrance)

Have we increased in the remembrance of Allah?

Have we memorised any new adhkar?

g) Fasting

Have we made up our missed fasts from previous Ramadans?

Do we do any of the optional fasts?

h) Seeking knowledge and doing dawah (calling to Islam)

Do we regularly attend Islamic lectures/classes?

Do we read beneficial books?

Do we spread this knowledge to others?

i) Akhlaq (Character)

Has our character improved?

Are our tongues more restrained?

j) Health

Has our health improved?

Are we better equipped to handle the long qiyam al-layl prayers next Ramadan?

 

We don’t need to wait for Ramadan to make a change, nor should we wait for it. Rather, we should always be eager to improve no matter what time of year it is.

16
Jan

Seriously Short Reminder No. 12: Remember to have good manners…

Assalamu Alaikum.

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?

Here goes:

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.]