Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|07/30/01 at 04:39:22|
|Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh|
Good manners are the mark of good people. They indicate an awareness of one's duties toward others. They enhance a feeling of belonging to the community. It is a well-recognized fact that man is a social creature who cannot survive on his own. The more civilized a community is, the more refined sense of duty its members have. That sense translates itself in practice into good manners. It is not surprising, therefore, that religions lay strong emphasis on the need to maintain good manners. Everything that is conducive to strengthening the love and feeling of unity among the members of the community is encouraged. Selfishness and individualism are, generally speaking, discouraged.
There are a number of characteristics and attitudes which are highly praised by all religions, philosophies, and societies. In whichever society you live, courage is admired, cowardice despised; generosity is endearing; self-restraint is commendable, losing temper criticized; humility respectable, conceit contemptible; taking care of others rewarding; selfishness repugnant. The list of these virtues and their opposite vices is perhaps inexhaustible. The attitude toward each of them is universal. This is due to the fact that the virtues are indicative of good upbringing, noble character and a generous heart. They help to set relationships within the community on a sound basis. They strengthen the community feeling and promote the well being of the society. The opposite can be said of the vices. Because of this universality of feeling toward these characteristics and attitudes, they are generally grouped together as good manners. When a person is said to be good mannered, you expect him to have as many of these good qualities as possible or, at least, to work for acquiring what he lacks of them.
Forgiveness is one of the universally admired virtues. Sometimes, a person is deeply hurt by some wrong treatment he receives from another, without any justification. His initial reaction is not to forgive that person at all, especially when the relationship between the two makes this ill treatment totally unwarranted. It may so happen that a friend of both parties tries to mediate in order to clear the air between them. When he speaks to the aggrieved party, he finds him initially unwilling to listen to any suggestion of forgiveness. After a few reminders of how forgiveness is viewed in Islam and by society, he may relent. He knows that to forgive is part of the good manners which earn reward from God.
In this connection we have the great example of Abu Bakr who used to give regular financial support to a distant relative of his. In spite of that, that relative was involved in spreading a rumor about Abu Bakr's own daughter, Aisha, who was also the Prophet's wife. For a month, Abu Bakr's household experienced untold misery and worry, lest the rumor be true. Aisha was too ill to speak about it. Then the fallacy of the rumour was declared by God Himself. He revealed a passage in the Qur'an, declaring Aisha's innocence, and warning those who spread false rumors about Muslims. When Abu Bakr reflected on the whole affair, after he had the consolation of an irrefutable declaration of the innocence of his daughter, the action of his relative seemed to be exceedingly painful. Abu Bakr declared that he would stop all financial aid to his relative. Shortly afterwards, God revealed another passage of the same surah, encouraging Muslims to give generously to their poor relatives. God then puts to them the rhetoric question: "Do you not wish that God forgives you?" When Abu Bakr heard this verse, he declared: "I certainly wish that God forgives me." He reinstated his regular allowance to his relative. Abu Bakr's attitude was laudable by all human standards.
Because such virtues are universal, they are referred to in general terms. When we say, "good manners," people associate with this term all universal virtues such as forbearance, forgiveness, truthfulness, sincerity, generosity, bravery, humbleness, self-respect, fidelity, etc. The more a person has of these, the better he is.
Since Islam, by definition, promotes every good, it encourages the adoption of all these virtues, and promises reward for them. The Prophet speaks about good manners in no ambiguous terms. Indeed, he takes every opportunity to stress the fact that good manners earn high reward. Abud-Dardaa quotes the Prophet as saying: "Nothing is weightier in God's scales than good manners." (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, At-Tirmithi and Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad).
Abdullah ibn Amr describes the manners of the Prophet saying that he never uttered or did an indecency, either casually or deliberately. He used to say: "The best among you are the best mannered." (Related by Al-Bukhari, Muslim and At-Tirmithi.)
All Muslims agree that the highest place in heaven belongs to the Prophet himself. What we should strive for is to gain as near a position to the Prophet as possible. That could only be earned through hard work. The Prophet, however, tells us that good manners, when refined and placed on a high standard, are the surest way to gain such an advantage. The Prophet once asked those who were attending him: "Shall I tell you who of you is dearest to me and have the nearest position to me on the Day of Judgement?" They remained silent. The Prophet repeated the question twice or three times, and the people said: "Please do, Messenger of God." He said: "They are the best mannered among you." (Related by Ahmad, Ibn Hibban and Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad.)
The Prophet defines his mission as one designed to add perfection to good manners. Abu Hurairah quotes the Prophet as saying: "I am sent in order to perfect good and noble manners." The Prophet provides the best example of a good-mannered person. He always practised what he preached.
[i]By Adil Salahi - Arab News[/i]
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Haniff (with 2 f's)
|Re: Universal virtues|
|08/07/01 at 11:57:52|
|Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,|
Thought I'd bring this article back up, since it's really good, masha'Allah!
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