بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I was looking for a hadeeth and just happened to stumble upon this eye-opener:
إذا أتى أحدكم خادمه بطعامه ، فإن لم يجلسه معه ، فليناوله أكلة أو أكلتين ، أو لقمة أو لقمتين ، فإنه ولي حره وعلاجه
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “When your servant brings your food to you, if you do not ask him to join you, then at least ask him to take one or two handfuls, for he has suffered from its heat (while cooking it) and has taken pains to cook it nicely.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 7, Hadeeth No. 370]
Subhan Allah, this is really something to think about.
For those of you who have servants (not uncommon in this part of the world), ask yourselves:
1) Do you do this? If not, then why not? Is the religion of Islam only about praying and fasting?
2) What’s it like in Ramadan? Is the poor servant just cooking and cooking? And does she at least get to eat the iftar that she cooked?
Oh and this hadeeth is also a great rebuttal of all those losers (i.e. many of the kuffar) out there who have nothing better to do than mock our beloved Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam).
When I read these kind of ahadeeth (i.e. those that point to his excellent character), all I can think is “He is just so sweet.”
And he is, isn’t it?
And if we obey Allah, we can meet this wonderful man on the Last Day at his cistern and drink the water of Kawthar from his hands.
Can it get better than that?
[Well, yes it can, as a matter of fact.]
…. 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.
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.]
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.
What two words, you ask?
Oops, wrong language.
One more time then:
Why should we learn to say this to others?
Because of the following hadeeth:
من لم يشكر الناس لم يشكر الله
Abu Saeed (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alahi wasallam) said: “Whoever does not thank the people, does not thank Allah.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 1955. Graded “saheeh” by Al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 1955.]
So, let us all learn these two simple words, insha-Allah!
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.]
…….Company does not like Misery. Not at all.
We often see many people who look like they are competing for “The Most Miserable Person in the Universe” award. They just want everyone to feel as miserable as them and want to spread gloom and doom wherever they go.
What happens when you walk around with this sort of attitude? I’ll tell you what happens: People will avoid you like the plague, you’ll be surrounded by miserable people and you’ll only end up feeling even more miserable.
On the other hand, when you look cheerful and try to help out others (even if you were going through a bad time), people will want to be around you, you’ll be surrounded by happy people and you’ll really feel much better.
Want an example? Look at the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) and see how cheerful he always was despite going through so many trials.
Misery may love Company, but Company loves Happiness and Cheer.
So, let’s be of those who try to spread happiness rather than those who try to spread misery.