LESSON FROM RAMADHAN : CULTIVATING GOOD MANNERS


The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whosoever does not abandon falsehood in speech and action, then Allaah the Mighty and Majestic has no need that he should leave his food and drink.”
He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said: “Fasting is not merely abstaining from eating and drinking. Rather, it is also abstaining from ignorant and indecent speech. So if anyone abuses or behaves ignorantly with you, then say: I am fasting, I am fasting.”
These narrations point towards the importance of truthfulness and good manners. Thus, this blessed month teaches us not only to abstain from food and drink, but to also abstain from such statements and actions that may be the cause of harming people and violating their rights – since the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said whilst describing the true Believer: “A Muslim is one from whom other Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand.” Thus it is upon us as individuals, to examine the shortcomings in our character, and to then seek to improve them – modeling ourselves upon the character of the last of the Prophets and Messengers, and their leader, Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – aspiring also for the excellence which he mentioned in his saying: “I am a guarantor for a house on the outskirts of Paradise (or whosoever leaves off arguing, even if he is in the right; and a house in the centre of Paradise (or whosoever abandons falsehood, even when joking; and a house in the upper-most part of Paradise for whosoever makes his character good.” So by shunning oppression, shamelessness, harbouring hatred towards Muslims, back-biting, slandering, tale-carrying, and other types of falsehood, we can be saved from nullifying the rewards of our fasting – as Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “It may be that a fasting person, receives nothing from his fast, except hunger and thirst.”
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DEVELOPMENT OF GOOD MANNERS
MAKING ONE’S OPINION GOOD:
From the manners of companionship is behaving well regarding the faults that he sees of his companions, since Ibn Maazin said, ‘The Believer seeks excuses for his brothers, whilst the hypocrite seeks out their faults.’ And Hamdoon al-Qassaar said, ‘If one of your brothers commits an error, then seek ninety excuses for him, and if not, then you are the blameworthy one.’
COMPANIONSHIP WITH THE BELIEVERS:
To keep companionship with one whose Religion you trust and who is trustworthy, both inwardly and outwardly. Allaah the – Most High – says,
‘‘You will not find anyone who believes in Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers, sons, brothers or their relatives. For such He has written eemaan (faith) in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit (proofs, light and guidance) from Himself. And We will admit them into gardens underneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. Allaah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. They are the Party of Allaah, indeed it is the Party of Allaah that will be successful.’’ [Sooratul-Mujaadilah 58:22]
FORMS OF COMPANIONSHIP:
For the Shaykhs and elders: with respect to service and to carry out their needs. For those of the same peer group and those of the ‘middle rank’: with sincere advice, giving what you have and being prepared to carry out their wishes. For the students and younger ones: by guidance, teaching of manners, carrying out what knowledge demands, guidance to the manners of the Sunnah, rulings concerning the matters of the heart, and to guide them to develop good manners.
OVERLOOKING MISTAKES:
From the manners of companionship is overlooking mistakes of the brothers and not reprimanding them. So al-Fudayl Ibn ’Iyaad (d.187H) said, ‘Chivalry is to overlook the mistakes of the brothers.’ Ibnul-A’raabee (d.231H) said, ‘Forgetting the harms caused by the brothers, causes you love of them to persist.’ So it is binding upon the Believer, that he avoids seekers of this world, since they will bring him down to the level of seeking it, and this will distance him from his salvation and it will distance him from remaining alert and being aware of it. Rather, he must strive hard in attaining the companionship of the good and the seekers of the Hereafter. Therefore, Dhun-Noon (d.245H) said to the one whom he advised, ‘Accompany the one whom you will be safe from outwardly, and whom – when you see him – it helps you in doing good and reminds you of your Lord.’
AGREEMENT WITH THE BROTHERS/SISTERS:
And from them is: not to differ much with the brothers, but continue agreeing with the brothers in those things allowed by knowledge and the Sharee’ah. Aboo ’Uthmaan said, ‘Agreeing with the brothers is better than showing compassion for them.’
LEAVING OF ENVY:
That he does not envy the signs of Allaah’s bounty upon them. Rather, he should be happy for that and praise Allaah for it, just as he would praise Allaah if it were seen upon him. Allaah – the Most High – censures the envious one,
‘‘Or do they envy men for what Allaah has given them from His bounty.’’ [Sooratun-Nisaa‘ 4:94]
The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘‘Do not envy one another.’’
TO KEEP A FEELING OF MODESTY:
That he has hayaa‘ (modesty and shame) at all times, as he – ’alayhis-salaam – said, ‘‘Faith (eemaan) has sixty or seventy odd branches, the most excellent of them is witnessing that none has the right to be worshipped besides Allaah, and the lowest branch is removing something harmful from the road, and hayaa‘ is from eemaan.’’ He – ’alayhis-salaam – also said, ‘‘Hayaa‘ is from eemaan, and eemaan is from Paradise. Speaking obscenely is from coarseness and coarseness is from the Fire.’’
COMPANIONSHIP OF THE DIGNIFIED:
To accompany the one who he has a feeling of respect for, so that this prevents from acting contrary to the Sharee’ah. ’Alee (radiyallaahu ’anhu) said, ‘‘Enliven your feeling of hayaa‘ (shame), by sitting before those whom you feel shame. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d.241H) – rahimahullaah – said, ‘‘I have not been led into calamity except by accompanying those before whom I do not feel shame.’’
SHOWING HAPPINESS:
To have cheerfulness of the face, kindness of the tongue, largeness of the heart, outspreading the hands, withholding anger, leaving off pride, keeping people’s honour in mind and showing happiness at their companionship and brotherhood.
COMPANIONSHIP OF THE WISE SCHOLAR:
From good companionship is that he does not accompany except a Scholar, of a person who is mild, intelligent and has knowledge. Dhun-Noon – rahimahullaah – said, ‘Allaah has not disrobed any one of His servants or a robe better than intellect, and has not adorned him with a necklace better than knowledge, nor adorned him with anything better than mildness. And the completeness of that is taqwaa (fear of Allaah).’
GIVING SINCERE ADVICE:
Having a clean heart with regards to the brothers and advising them, as Allaah – the Most High – said,
‘‘Except he who comes to Allaah with a clean heart.’’ [Sooratush-Shu’araa 26:89]
Saree as-Saqatee (d.257H) – rahimahullaah – said, ‘One of the best manners of righteousness is having a good heart as regards the brothers and to give them sincere advice.’
NOT BREAKING PROMISES:
Since this is from hypocrisy, and he – ’alayhis-salaatu was-salaam – said, ‘‘The signs of the hypocrite are three: When he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it and when he is entrusted he acts deceptively.’’ Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d.164H) – rahimahullaah – said, ‘‘Do not make a promise to your brother and then break it, so that love turns to hate.’
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Let us reflect, in shaa Allah, on the development of good manners as we prepare for the coming of Ramadan in shaa Allah.
Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)
That which does not nullify the fast
Characteristics of the Prophet(sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) by Yasir Qadhi
Filed under: Ramadan | Tagged: hayaa, manners, Ramadan

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