The Roots of Good Manners in Islam
In the name of Allaah the most Beneficent the most Merciful
The Muslim students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Ondo state invited our teacher Abu Muhammad Habeebullaah Al-Edewee to deliver a lecture on the manners of a Muslim. The lecture was very unique in its approach to the topic. I have read a number of books so also I have attended and listened to a number of lectures about the manners of a Muslim and similar topics but Ustadh Al-Edewee discussed the manners of a Muslim from a unique angle.
The common way is that the lecturer or writer mentions the good manners which Islam has urged mankind to imbibe in our daily lives then he provides evidences from the Qur’aan and sunnah of the messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him). Many times they bring examples from our daily lives and experiences to further clarify the negative impacts of these acts on the individual and his society.
For example the lecturer might say to the people: “stay away from lying, stick to the truth and say it at all times” then he might quote the following verse of the Qur’aan:
And mix not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth [i.e. Muhammad Peace be upon him is God’s Messenger and his qualities are written in your Scriptures, the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] while you know (the truth).
He might also quote one hadeeth or two to such as:
Narrated Hakim bin Hizaam: Allah’s Apostle said:
“The seller and the buyer have the right to keep or return goods as long as they have not parted or till they part; and if both the parties spoke the truth and described the defects and qualities (of the goods), then they would be blessed in their transaction, and if they told lies or hid something, then the blessings of their transaction would be lost.”
However, Ustadh Al-Edewee did not follow the conventional way of discussing the manners of a Muslim rather he followed a unique way, he discussed the roots of the problem. If these roots are well planted in the heart, body and daily life of the believer it will be easy for him to imbibe the good manners of Islam and shun the prohibited acts.
If you take a look at our society today you will find a big difference between Muslim societies and non-Muslim societies in good manners and courtesy. For example in America statistics show that for every ten women at least five have been rape and/or sexually assaulted. This is not found in any Muslim country in the world. So, what is responsible for this high level of good manners found in Islamic societies?
The Roots of Good Manners in Islam
The roots of good manners as mentioned by Ustadh Al-Edewiyy are three. In shaa Allaah we will list them and give some of the explanations given by Ustadh to them.
Tawheed (Creed of Islamic monotheism):
The poor knowledge of tawheed in our society is the reason why many find it convenient to cheat and lie. A person who does not give his creator His due right will definitely not give his fellow creatures their right.
The pristine creed of Islamic monotheism is what makes it easy to avoid bad manners and acts even if he is alone and in seclusion. Ustadh mentioned the Hadith of three men who were stuck in a cave, each of them invoked Allaah with a good act which he had done for the sake and Allaah saved them from their distressed and lifted the rock which blocked the entrance of the cave. In reality, only a person who has the creed of tawheed well planted in his heart can do these acts because there was no worldly or material gain they expected from the deed except the pleasure of Allaah.
Sunnah [way of the Messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him)]
One of the primary reasons why Allaah sent our noble messenger Muhammad the son of AbduLLaah mankind and Jinn is topurify them from all bad acts and manners. Those who follow his ways will be purified from acts of immoralities but those who deny him will remain in their error and misguidance. Allaah the Sublime and Exalted says about His messenger:
Similarly (to complete My Blessings on you) We have sent among you a Messenger (Muhammad) of your own, reciting to you Our Verses (the Qur’ân) and sanctifying you, and teaching you the Book (the Qur’ân) and the Hikmah (i.e. Sunnah, Islâmic laws and Fiqh – jurisprudence), and teaching you that which you used not to know.
The messenger of Allaah is the epitome of good manner as Allaah said about him:
And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character.
The one who does not follow the messenger in every aspect of his life will definitely not be on an exalted standard of character. The way of pre-Islamic Arabs and present day non-Muslim societies bear witness to this fact.
Hawaa (Following One’s Desires)
The one who is always bent on satisfying the desires of his heart will never have good manners. This is because he will not care if his desires go against the commandments of Allaah or the sunnah of Allaah’s messenger, he will care little if satisfying his desires will lead to harming others or depriving them of their right.
He [Shaitan (Satan)] makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Shaitan‘s (Satan) promises are nothing but deceptions.
The urge to always satisfy one’s desires is the reason why many will not mind to shed the blood of as many people as needed to reach a certain post of authority or become wealthy.
Rather the muslim should always subdue his desires to the obedience of Allaah and His messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him), he should be ready to follow the Quran and sunnah unconditionally even if they go against his desires. The messenger of Allaah (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him says):
None of you (truly) believes till his desire desires
This is what I have been able to note and summarize from the lecture delivered by our noble Ustadh Abu Muhammad Al-Edewiyy. We ask Allaah to grant him (and all our teachers) long life upon worship and to make him end on the obedience of Allaah and His messenger (commendations and peace of Allaah be upon him).
We beseech the commendations and peace of Allaah be upon the last of the prophets and leader of the messengers, his household, companions and all those who follow his path till the day of reckoning. Aameen.
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