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Archive for the ‘akhlaaq’ Category

Begin with Kindness

Poppies-SunWhen you desire to counsel or advise someone, it is befitting that you are personable with them by using kind statements and nice speech that will allow your speech to enter and open their heart to your speech. Notice that while Luqman was advising his son, he used beautiful speech, an effective method, and words that would enter his heart. Look at the words he used with his son while advising him. You will find that the phrase “Oh my dear son” is repeated throughout the advice because this phrase has an enormous impression on the son; it affects his soul and it aids him in being attentive [so that he may] completely benefit.

Speech will have the greatest impact if it is accompanied by affability. As for the speech that is devoid of affability – for example: if a person said, while counseling or warning, “oh boy!” or, as it has been mentioned about some of them when they speak to their son or prohibit him from something, they call him by the names of some animals. So how will the heart of the one being advised be opened with the likes of this type of speech that insults them? No doubt this will close and alienate the mind. Therefore, there is a far cry between using this method and warning by implementing kindness as Luqman did in his statement to his son: “Oh my dear son” – [stated] with compassion and fatherliness, and sympathy and mercy so the heart would open.

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Beauty of Character

Indeed a time has long passed upon the Ummah of Islām when people used to enter the religion of Allāh (i.e. Islām) in crowds and groups on the part of what they saw of the people of the religion (i.e. Muslims) from the completeness of their morals, the beauty of their social graces, and the goodness of their social interaction in all aspects.

I read a statement of the great scholar, ‘Abdul ‘Azeez Ibn Baaz, may Allāh have mercy upon him and give him a place in paradise, in which he swore by Allāh and said:

The Muslims today, rather the entire world, are in more intense need of a clarification of Allāh’s religion (i.e. Islām), a demonstration of its good qualities, and an explanation of its reality. I swear by Allāh, if the people and the world truly knew its reality today, indeed they would have entered it in multitudes, just like they entered it in multitudes after Allāh had granted victory to His Prophet salAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam over Makkah. 1

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The Fruits of Patience

Discontentment is a trait of an impatient individual whose very own intolerant disposition prevents them from receiving rewards from Allah. Moreover, their sinful behavior leads them to being overwhelmed by their difficulties. Consequently, they are besieged by two afflictions: problems in their religion caused by their unhappiness and the weight of the hardship that befell them in the first place.

To the contrary, the truly patient believer controls him or herself at the onset of their difficulty. Yes, they do not like that this calamity has happened to them, but they patiently control themselves. He or she refrains from uttering anything or doing anything that would anger Allah. Nor does this believer harbor ill-feelings in their heart towards the Most Wise. In spite of their trials and mishaps, this person is patient. The contented one is at ease and totally calm during their adversity as though nothing has occurred.

Patient and grateful believers express their gratitude to Allah for whatever befalls them. This was they way of the Messenger of Allah. Whenever he saw something that displeased him, he would say, “Praise belongs to Allah.”

Hence, displaying gratitude to Allah results in Allah giving this person a reward greater than the misery they suffered. Case in point, once there was a devout believing woman who possessed a serious ailment in her fingers. Despite the pain, she constantly praised Allah. “How is it that you praise Allah and you’re suffering great pain in your fingers?” she was asked.  She replied, “The sweetness of its reward causes me to disregard the bitterness of patience.” Allah is the One who grants success.

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Confidence is tranquility, and it increases with time and intuition. The heart attaches itself to one whom it trusts, thus it becomes reliant upon him. Similarly, if the heart reaches Allaah, it becomes lovingly subservient to him. Consequently, he will be the only source of aid for this heart.

As for delusion, it is produced by Shaytaan and the soul, and it is to trust one who is not trustworthy, and to depend upon a source which yields nothing beneficial. The Most High said:

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاء حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا وَوَجَدَ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ فَوَفَّاهُ حِسَابَهُ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

“The work of those who disbelieve is like a mirage which appears to be water to a thirsty man. Though once he reaches it, he finds nothing. Allaah finds him there and concludes his account, and he is expeditious in this regard.” (An-Nur 24:39)

قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِالْأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَالًا
الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا


 

“Say: Shall we inform you of those who have suffered the greatest loss? They are those who have deviated on earth while thinking that they have done well.” (Al-Kahf 18:103-104)

Once the veil has been removed and reality becomes apparent, they will realize that they were lost.

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One who is cautious resembles one who travels with his wealth and riding animal while being mindful of thieves. He resembles one who has prepared himself with armor and weapons to meet his enemy.

As for suspicion, it is a heart filled with bad thoughts of others, and backbiting, slander, and hatred is the result. One who is cautious intermingles with people while protecting himself, though one who is suspicious harms them while avoiding them. The former advises them while the latter despises them.

  • Transcribed from: The Soul | Imaam Ibn Al Qayyim

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Advising One Another

From the morals and manners of the Salaf was that they would advise one another sincerely. Remarkably the elder person would not be offended if advised by the young one. The young people would know how to advise the elders with good manners, humbly and respectfully while the elders would accept such advice in the best way and with thanks.

This is the opposite to the situation we see from the light-headed people we have today. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah honour him and grant him blessed peace) said, “The Religion (deen) is advice/sincerity (naseeha).” They asked, “To whom O Messenger of Allah?” He (may Allah honour him and grant him blessed peace) said, “To Allah, to His Book, to His Messenger, to the leaders of the Muslims and their public.” 1

They used to accept advice and thank the adviser. One of them would not think that he had repaid his adviser fully even if he was benevolent to him all his life. That is because the matters related to the Afterlife cannot be compared to the vain and temporary things of this world.

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From the moral and manners of the Salaf was that they would testify against themselves that they had not really thanked Allah. That is because they would see all their praise for Him as another of Allah’s favours upon them; the favours of Allah remaining and unending, impossible for anyone to catch up with.

Abu Bakr ibn Abdullah al-Muzani (rahimahullaah) said, “Never does a slave say alhamdulillaah (Praise be to Allah) without more thanks becoming required for him!”

Wahb ibn Munabbih (rahimahullaah) would say, “If your thanking Allah the Most High is a favour to you from the favours of Allah then in reality there is no such thing as true thankfulness. All your thanks mean that you have realized Allah’s abundant favours upon you, and that you cannot praise Allah enough for them.”

Sahl at-Tustari (rahimahullah) said, “Showing thankfulness to Allah is not to disobey Him with His favours. The whole body is from the favours of  Allah and His gift, so do not disobey Him with any of it.”

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