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40 Hadîth on the Islâmic Personality

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40 Hadîth on the Islâmic Personality

 

Shaykh 'Alee Hasan 'Alee 'Abdul Hameed

 

Author's Introduction

 

All praise and thanks are due to Allâh. We praise and give thanks to Him. We seek His aid and ask for His forgiveness, and we seek Allâh's refuge from the evil of ourselves and from our evil actions. Whomsoever Allâh guides then none can misguide him, and whomsoever He misguides then none can guide him. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allâh, alone, having no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger – to proceed:

 

This is a concise book which contains forty authentic ahadîth (1) from the fine sayings of the Chosen Prophet (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) which I gathered as a reminder for myself and my brothers. They contain guidance for cultivation of souls, purification of the hearts and refinement of character. I myself have added nothing except a few words to explain and clarify anything unclear, to provide chapter headings showing the connection between the ahadîth, and further brief notes.

 

It will not be unknown to any of the people that the noble Religion of Islâm has given great importance, and directed full attention in many of the texts of the Book and the Sunnah, to building the personality of the Muslim and directing it in accordance with the essential teachings of Islâm and its fundamentals and requirements.

 

The major incentive which led me to compile and compose this work was that I saw that many of those who attach themselves to Islâm, and call to Allâh, are actually far removed from the Islâmic personality in both essence and outward manner and appearance. We ask Allâh to protect and grant us safety. This being the case I thought it was essential to compile this treatise so that it could be a firm and strong nucleus for the Muslim to initiate his Islâmic life, to know the true way, follow it and call to it. Particularly since the Prophet (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) has indicated this reality with his saying:

 

"For every action there is a period of enthusiasm / activity, and for every period of enthusiasm / activity there is a period of rest / inactivity. So he whose period of rest / inactivity is in accordance with my Sunnah then he is rightly guided, but he whose period of rest / inactivity accords with other than this, then he is destroyed." (2)

 

So I write this book for the enthusiastic Muslim youth who does not find, whilst swimming in the ocean of enthusiasm and excitement, the helping hand of one who knows the poison and is aware of the cure, one who can guide him to the correct way and correct thinking so that these youths can be with their minds and thoughts like the Companions of the Prophet (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) since they were also youths, but:

 

"They were youths, yet mature youths, their eyes fresh and free of evil, their feet refrained from approaching falsehood and futility. They sacrificed and expended themselves in worship and in withholding themselves from sleep. They sold their souls which were to pass away for souls which would never die. Allâh saw them in the latter part of the night, bending their backs, reciting the Qur'ân. Whenever one of them came to an Ayah mentioning Paradise, he would weep, longing for it. Whenever he came upon an Ayah mentioning the fire he would groan out of fear, as if the Hell-fire were directly in front of him. The earth devoured their knees their hands and their foreheads. They joined exhaustion in the night with exhaustion in the day. Their colour becoming yellowed and their bodies emaciated through standing long in prayer and frequent fasting – whilst they regarded their own actions to be negligible before Allâh. They fulfilled their covenant with Allâh and attained Allâh's promise." (3)

 

So let us all hasten to be like them, and to resemble them since the affair is as it was said:

 

"We are not in comparison to those who came before except like small herbs growing beside the trunks of tall palm trees." (4)

 

And as Ibn ul Mubarak said:

 

"Do not mention us whilst mentioning them, the fit and healthy when he walks is not like the crippled." (5)

 

I have sought in choosing these ahadîth to gather those which are the most comprehensive, but the Islâmic Personality will not be completed until the person follows and implements the Religion (Dîn) of Allâh the One free of all imperfections, and the Most High says:

 

"O you who believe! Enter into Islâm perfectly (completely)." (6)

 

I have strived to mention the source references for each hadîth along with a statement about its authenticity, as demanded by the science of hadîth whilst avoiding unnecessarily going into great length or falling short of what is necessary. So I tried to be as brief as is fitting for a book of this size, and only rarely speaking at more length when it was essential.

 

So if Allâh guides me to and grants me that which is correct in what I intended then that is from the completeness of His blessings, but if the result is otherwise and I hope it is not the case, then I ask Allâh for His forgiveness and His Mercy. Indeed He is the One who hears and responds, and our final call is that all praise and thanks are for Allâh, Lord of all the worlds.

 

'Alî Hasan 'Alî-Hamîd al-Halabî al-Atharî

 

11th Rajab 1408H, az-Zarqa (Jordan)

 

28 February 1988

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Purity and Sincerity of Intention

 

From 'Umar ibn al-Khattâb (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"Actions are but by intentions and there is for every person only that which he intended. So he whose migration was for Allâh and His Messenger, then his migration was for Allâh and His Messenger, and he whose migration was to attain some worldly goal or to take a woman in marriage, then his migration was for that which he migrated." (7)

 

So the pillar of actions is pure and sincere intention, and through purity of intention the hearts become upright and at rest, and through it the person comes to know the right way in his Religion, thus he does everything in the proper manner. Through purity of intention alone will he come to know of the obligations upon him and the rights due to him. Through it he will behave justly in all affairs and will give everything its due right, not going beyond bounds or falling short of the mark.

 

So this hadîth is one of the ahadîth which are the pillars of correct understanding of our upright and true religion. (8)

 

So when the Muslim servant clearly realises what he has preceded then it becomes obligatory upon him that he should, without any hesitation, surround his sincere intention with the protective barrier for the Islâmic Personality which is:

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Distinctness

 

From Ibn 'Umar (radiyAllâhu 'anhumaa) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"I have been sent before the Hour so that Allâh alone should be worshipped without any partner for Him, and my provision has been placed beneath the shade of my spear, and subservience and humiliation have been placed upon those who disobey my orders, and whoever imitates a people then he is one of them." (9)

 

The Muslim has a distinct personality with it's own special nature and particular outlook and manner. It is distinct in its appearance, its nature, its creed ('aqîdah), its orientation and direction faced in Prayer, and in all its affairs.

 

By being distinct as Muslims we preserve our Islâm and our call in a clear and pure form, free from any adulteration and mistakes. However the Muslim whilst being distinct does not depart from:

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Justice and Being Justly Balanced

 

From Abû Hurayrah (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"Love the one whom you love to a certain degree (moderately), perhaps one day he will be someone for whom you have hatred, and hate the one for whom you have hatred to a certain degree (moderately), perhaps one day he will be one whom you love." (10)

 

The Muslim is justly balanced in his loving and his hating. He is just both when giving and when taking and is moderate in all of that. His being justly balanced is one of the signs of his Religion and the Sharî'ah. So he is not one who goes beyond the limits, nor one who falls short of what is required. Furthermore the Muslim does not derive this quality of being justly balanced from his intellect and desires, nor from his own opinion or other than this, rather he takes it from the Book of Allâh, the One free of all imperfections.

 

"Thus we have made you a justly balanced nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) be a witness over you." (11)

 

Being justly balanced is not an easy matter, indeed many of those who call out and declare it, desire only to water matters down and compromise. So for a person to be truly justly balanced as ordered by Allâh is not, as I have said, easy, rather it requires:

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Striving Against One's Desires

 

From al-'Alâ ibn Ziyâd who said:

 

"A man asked 'Abdullâh ibn 'Amr ibn al-'Aas, saying: Which of the Believers is best in his Islâm? He replied: "He from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe." He asked: Then what is the best Jihâd? He replied: "He who strives against his own self and desires for Allâh." He asked: Then which of those who migrates (performs hijrah) is best? He replied: "He who strives against his own self and desires for Allâh." He asked: Is it something you have said O 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr, or Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam)? He said: Rather Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said it." (12)

 

So striving against ones own self is one of the highest and most valuable means of increasing ones eemaan and causing the servant to draw closer to his Lord, the One free of all imperfections. Concerning this He the Blessed and Most High says:

 

"As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allâh's Religion)." (13)

 

So a Muslim's striving against his own self and his desires causes his spirit to rise higher, his îmân to increase and his soul to become purified. Furthermore this striving crowns the Muslim with a very great crown worn in his life, which is:

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Gentleness

 

From Abû Hurayrah (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"Indeed Allâh is gentle and loves gentleness, and gives due to gentleness that which He does not give to harshness." (14)

 

So through gentleness hearts become united in friendship and love, and good becomes widespread. Whereas through its opposite ill feelings and distrust prevails and people forsake one another. But gentleness facilitates:

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Returning to the Truth

 

From Ibn 'Abbâs (radiyAllâhu 'anhumaa) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"There is no believing servant except that he has a sin which he commits from time to time, or a sin in which he persists in and does not abandon until he leaves this world. Indeed the Believer was created as one who is frequently tried and tested, who often repents (then) forgets. When he is admonished he accepts the admonition." (15)

 

So it is as is said: Returning to the truth is a virtue whereas continuing in falsehood is despicable. Returning to the truth elevates a person and raises his rank, both with Allâh and the people. Indeed it is only Satan who makes it appear to the people that returning to the truth is a defect and a slight to one's honour. This is one of the deceptions and tricks employed by Iblees. A person returning to the truth and not being too proud to accept it places him in an ideal position to appreciate:

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Responsibility

 

From 'Umar (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"Each of you is a guardian and is responsible for those whom he is in charge of. So the ruler is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects; a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for those under his care; a woman is a guardian of her husband's home and is responsible for those under her care; a servant is the guardian of his master's wealth and is responsible for that which he is entrusted with; and a man is the guardian of his father's wealth and is responsible fore what is under his care. So each one of you is a guardian and is responsible for what he is entrusted with." (16)

 

So if everyone from this Ummah knew his own position and worth, and realised the responsibility upon him and did not seek to overstep it and take on the responsibilities of others and he carried out the obligations which this placed upon him, then that would be a comprehensive and universal good and a very great treasure through which safety and security would become widespread. Along with this something that is a feature of the Islâmic Personality is:

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The Muslim Seeks to Make Excuses for Other Muslims

 

From Sa'd ibn 'Ubaadah (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"…and there is no one who loves to accept an excuse more than Allâh, and because of this he sent the bringers of good news and the warners…." (17)

 

So a Muslim seeking to make an excuse for his brother and those whom he loves will cause good will to spread instead of antagonism, and will bring about ties of relationship instead of estrangement. Since if Allâh, He who is free of all imperfections, grants excuse, and He is the Creator and the Most Great, then how can you O servant of Allâh, a weak creation of his, not seek to make excuse for others? Rather as is said: Seek an excuse for your brother (18). Likewise there is the saying: the believers seek to make excuses for others, whereas the hypocrites hope for the downfall of others. So the fact that the Muslim seeks to excuse his brothers emphasises that:

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The Muslim does not Harbour Envy

 

From Ibn Mas'ood (radiyAllâhu 'anhumaa) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"There is to be no envy except with regard to two (19): A man whom Allâh has given wealth which he strives to spend righteously, and a man to whom Allâh has given the Wisdom (i.e. the Qur'aan) and he acts according to it and teaches it to others." (20)

 

If he were to have envy of the people he would hope for their downfall in order to satisfy the pride that he has in himself, his vanity and the conceitedness of his mind. So he (the Muslim) knows that envy is a dangerous disease and a harmful evil and therefore keeps away from it.

 

As for the envy which is accepted from that which is sinful, then it is envy which does not cause the person to be afflicted by the sickness of wishing for that blessing to leave the other person. Rather he supplicates to his Lord, the One free of all imperfections, for his brother; that Allâh should protect him, and for himself; that Allâh should make him like him. As for that which is at variance with this, then it is blameworthy and to be condemned (21). So this emphasises that fact that the Muslim is one who is:

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Following and Applying Divine Guidance

 

From Umm ud-Dardâ (radiyAllâhu 'anhaa) who said: I said to Abû Dardâ (radiyAllâhu 'anhu): Will you not seek for things to entertain your guests just as others seek for things for their guests? So he replied: I heard Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) say:

 

"Ahead of you is a steep mountain which will not be surmounted by those who are overburdened." So I wish to lighten my load for that ascent! (22)

 

So the Muslim follows and applies divine guidance in all his affairs. This world to him is merely a passage to the hereafter and he has no attachment to it except for that which is essential in order to meet his needs and preserve himself.

 

But as for this world diverting most of his attention and being the goal which he seeks after, thinking that what he is doing is good, then this is not from the character or characteristics of the Muslim. So how strange is the case of the people who waste the prime of their lives and expend their youth submerged in worldly actions, thinking they are doing good. This is indeed something from Satan, made alluring by him. So how are there people able to do this when it is the case that:

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The Muslim Has No Free Time

 

From Ibn 'Abbaas (radiyAllâhu 'anhumaa) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"There are two blessings which many people lose: health and free time." (23)

 

So how can one who has no free time preoccupy himself with this world? How can one whose time is filled experience free time? So consider, may Allâh have Mercy upon you, what one of the scholars said about one of the Imaams: 'I was a neighbour of his at the school in Cairo, my house was above his house. For twelve years, I did not awake on any night, at any hour of the night except that I noticed candle light in his house and he was occupied with knowledge. Even when he was eating, his books would be with him and he was occupied with them (24). From those things upon which the Muslim personality is built is:

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The Muslim's Piety and Self Restraint

 

From an-Nu'maan ibn Basheer (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that I heard Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) say:

 

"That which is lawful is clear, and that which is forbidden is clear, and between them are doubtful matters about which many of the people have no knowledge. So whoever avoids doubtful matters saves his Religion and his honour, and whoever falls into doubtful matters falls into what is forbidden. Just like a shepherd who grazes (his sheep) near to a private pasture (of another), he will soon stray on to it. Indeed for every king there is a private preserve. Indeed the preserve of Allâh are those things which He has forbidden. Indeed there is a piece of flesh in the body which if it is good, then the whole body is good, but if it is corrupt then the whole body is corrupt. Indeed it is the heart." (25)

 

So the Muslim with regard to whatever situation arises in his life will have to face each of them with one of the following three stances:

 

1. Completely refraining from it: That is with regards to that which is doubtful

 

2. Accepting without constraint: That is with regard to which is clearly permissible

 

3. To abstain from it: This is with regards to things which are not clearly permissible nor clearly forbidden.

 

 

If the last stance indicates something it is an indication of a Muslim's piety and fear of falling into that which is forbidden and of entering into something evil.

 

The Muslim therefore abstains from it, and distances himself from it in order to please Allâh and to ensure that His commands are followed. It is not to be said, as some people say: 'That is not forbidden, so do it.' No, since it is not permissible to do everything other than which has been forbidden. So those things which are doubtful matters are closer to that which is forbidden, as occurs in the hadîth itself: 'Whoever falls into the doubtful matters falls into what is forbidden….' So this fear and piety confirms that:

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The Muslim is Honest and Truthful in All his Affairs

 

From Abû Hurayrah (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"Three things are the sign of the hypocrite: when he speaks he tells lies, when he promises he breaks it and when he is trusted he proves to be dishonest." (26)

 

So he is truthful and honest in his speech, faithful to his promise, trustworthy in carrying out that which he has been entrusted with. He does not deceive or defraud, he does not tell lies and is not guilty of hypocrisy. So truthfulness and honesty is one of the chief good qualities, whereas falsehood is the head of corruption and evil. So his honesty keeps him far away from evil and foul deeds and sickness of the heart. Therefore whatever action he does, he does it for Allâh, the One free and far removed from all defects, not to attain some worldly position, fame or repute. So his motto is:

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Knowledge for Knowledge

 

From Jaabir (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'aliahi wa'sallam) said:

 

"Do not acquire knowledge in order to compete with the scholars, nor to argue with the ignorant, nor to gain mastery over the gatherings. Since whoever does that, then: The Fire! The Fire!" (27)

 

Consider, May Allâh have mercy on you, the admonition and the lesson contained in what Ibn Abee Haatim ar-Raazee narrates, he said: I entered into Damascus upon the students of hadîth and I passed by the circle of Qaasim al-Joo'ee. I found a group sitting around him and he was speaking. Their appearance amazed me and I heard him saying: 'Seize the benefit of five things from the people of your time: when you are present you are not known; when you are absent you are not missed; when you are seen your advice is not sought; when you say something your saying is not accepted; and when you have some knowledge you are not given anything for it. I also advise you with five things: when you are treated unjustly then do not behave unjustly; when you are praised then do not become happy; when you are criticised do not be upset; when you are not believed then do not become angry; and if they act deceitfully towards you do not act deceitfully towards them.' Ibn Abee Haatim said: So I took that as my benefit from Damascus.

 

So consider, May Allâh protect us and you from the evils of the soul, how sincere desire for knowledge and benefit led him to listen to one who certainly possessed less knowledge than himself in order to benefit his understanding and to acquire some knowledge. Another matter that must be mentioned here is that:

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The Believer is a Mirror for His Brother

 

From Abû Hurayrah (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"The believer is a mirror for the believer, and the believer is the brother of the believer. He safeguards his property for him and defends him from behind." (28)

 

So the description of his being a 'mirror' is very precise and profound showing the culmination of brotherhood and solidarity. So your brother, O servant of Allâh, is an image of you yourself. Sao if he behaves badly it is as if you are the one who has behaved badly, and if he makes a mistake, it is as if you have made a mistake. So he is a mirror for you and then an image of you yourself! So do not treat him except with mildness and gentleness. If you do not behave with your brother in this manner, then this will be something which weakens:

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The Muslim's Struggle and his Devil

 

From Iyaad ibn Himaar al Mujaashi'ee (radiyAllâhu ;anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"Indeed my Lord ordered me to teach you that which you do not know, from that which He taught me this day, (instructing me): 'The wealth which I confer upon a servant is all lawful for him, and I created all My servants having natural inclination to the true way but the devils came to them and turned them away from their (true) Religion, and they forbade for them that which I made lawful for them, and they ordered them to associate in worship with Me that for which I sent down no authority.' Allâh looked upon the people of the earth and hated them, the Arabs and the non-Arabs, except for some remnants of the People of the Book, and He said: 'I sent you only to put you to the test and to tests others through you, and I sent down to you a Book which cannot be washed away by water, which you will retain and recite whilst asleep and whilst awake.' Allâh ordered me to destroy the Quraysh so I said: 'O my Lord they would break my head just as bread is broken.' So He said: 'Turn them out just as they turned you out, and fight them and We shall aid you, and spend and We shall provide for you. Send an army and We will send five more like it. Fight along with those who disobey you. The people of paradise are three: The ruler who is just, who spends in charity and is guided to do good; and a man who is merciful and kind hearted towards every relative and Muslim; and the chaste one who does not beg despite having a family to support. The people of the fire are five: The weak who does not have the will to avoid evil, those amongst you who are merely followers (of others), they do not seek after family or wealth; and the dishonest whose greed cannot be concealed even in the case of minor things; and a man who will betray you morning and evening with regard to your family and your wealth (He also mentioned miserliness or telling lies) and the person of evil manners and foul speech.' " (29)

 

So this is very ancient conflict, continuing since the time when Allâh, the One free and far removed from all defects, created Aadam, 'alaihis-salaam, and what occurred between him and Satan is well known. This conflict will be intensified or diminished depending on the servant's closeness to or distance away from his Lord. Consider also his (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) saying: Satan has despaired that those who pray should worship him, but he seeks to provoke animosity between them. (30)

 

So let this be a warning for us, and its opposite be glad tidings. We must not leave any way for Satan to enter upon our hearts through our actions, granting him neither full nor partial access. Indeed his deceptions are many and his traps abundant. (31)

 

So beware of this, O servant of Allâh, and do not let Satan trap you with his snares and his tricks, and your impregnable fortress against him is:

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Remembrance of Allâh

 

From Nu'maan ibn Basheer (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger said:

 

"Supplication (ad-Du'aa) is worship, your Lord the Mighty and Majestic said: 'Call upon Me – I will respond to your invocation.' (32) " (33)

 

Supplication is the head of remembrance of Allâh. Indeed he (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said: …and I order you to make mention to Allâh much, and the like of that is a man being chased by the enemy who are hastening after him until he comes to a protected fortress and so he protects himself in it. Likewise is the servant, for he does not protect himself from Satan except through remembrance of Allâh, the Mighty and Majestic. (34)

 

So a Muslim remembering his Lord, the One free and far removed from all defects, places him in a position of safety and protection which Satan is unable to overcome. So this prevents him from many sins and numerous negative traits pertaining to the tongue, the limbs and the heart. Therefore:

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The Muslim Does Not Fall Into Backbiting

 

From Ibn 'Umar (radiyAllâhu 'anhumaa) who said that Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said:

 

"Whoever intercedes and prevents one of the punishments prescribed by Allâh, the Mighty and Majestic, then he has opposed Allâh regarding His orders. Whoever dies with a debt due on him then it will not be repaid by deenaars and dirhams but rather by good and bad deeds. Whoever disputes for something which he knows is false then he remains in Allâh's anger until he desists. Whoever accuses a believer of something that is untrue then Allâh will make him dwell in the pus flowing from the inhabitants of the Fire and he will not leaver until he retracts from what he said." (35)

 

So the lethal plague of backbiting destroys one's good deeds, destroys brotherhood and destroys one's reward. So the true Muslim does not backbite, nor does he allow backbiting to take place in his presence. So let those people fear Allâh, those whose bodies do not develop and those whose spirit is not fed except upon spreading rumours and inventing lies against the servants of Allâh claiming that 'this is for the benefit of da'wah!'

 

How strange! What benefit to the da'wah will be achieved through slandering, backbiting and mentioning bad manners to others? Do you think, O you who backbites the people, that you are far removed form defect? O you who can only see the deficiencies of others, do you think that you are free from any mistakes? '…rather you are full of deficiencies and the people have tongues!' Also from those things which must be known is that:

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The Muslim Does Not Pry into the Matters that do not Concern Him

 

From Abû Hurayrah (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger said:

 

"From the perfection of a person's Islâm is that he leaves alone that which does not concern him." (36)

 

So he halts at his limits and does not exceed and pass beyond them. He knows that prying into that which does not concern him and asking about it is not fitting for him. Rather it is forbidden for him and something he has to avoid. So he complies with Allâh's orders and keeps away from what he has forbidden, since:

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All of His Actions are for Allâh

 

From Abû Hurayrah (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger said:

 

"Whoever loves for Allâh and hates for Allâh, gives for Allâh and withholds for Allâh, then he has completed eemaan." (37,38)

 

So this hadîth clearly shows the manner in which the believer conducts all his affairs and behaves in all his dealings, all of them are for Allâh and he does not give a share in any of them to other than Him, the One free and far removed from all imperfections. In all his affairs he distances himself from seeking after personal gain and enjoyment. In his loving and hating, giving and withholding he seeks only Allâh's pleasure and His Paradise. He does not seek after the worldly positions, wealth or reputation! Then if he falls into the like of this he repents and turns back (to his Lord), so:

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The Muslim Repents and Turns Back to Allâh

 

From Abû Sa'îd al-Khudrî (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger said:

 

"The example of the believer with regards to eemaan is like the example of a horse with regards to its tethering stake; it roams around and then returns to its tethering stake, and the believer is negligent and then he turns to his eemaan. So feed the pious with your food and treat the believers well." [(39)

 

So he does not persist upon sin, or treat it lightly. Rather like the rest of the children of Aadam he commits many sins. However he is frequent in turning back in repentance to his Lord.

 

So what has preceded will clearly show us:

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The Essential Characteristics of His Personality

 

From Abû Hurayrah (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said that Allâh's Messenger said:

 

"Two characteristics are not found together in a hypocrite: good manners and understanding of the Religion." (40)

 

So his manners are the manners of the righteous people, and his behaviour that of the servants of the Lord of the worlds. He emulates the pious and follows in the footsteps of the sincere. His heart and his behaviour agree, he is not like the weak who take pains to put on a good appearance whereas their hearts are empty! His knowledge and understanding of the Religion is deep and springs from a good and sensitive heart, and precise memory. However his good manners and knowledge and understanding of the Religion do not prevent him from:

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Honest Jesting

 

From Abû Hurayrah (radiyAllâhu 'anhu) who said: We said: O Messenger of Allâh! You jest with us? He said (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam):

 

"Yes except that I do not say except what is true." (41)

 

So falsehood has no share of this, and lies cannot approach it. So his jesting is with words that are true. Nor does this mean that he is to expend all his time in lightheartedness and jesting. Rather in this and in all matters he follows the footsteps of the Companions, May Allâh be pleased with them all, and their way in this regard was:

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A Time for This and a Time for That

 

From Hanzalah al-Usayyidee who said:

 

"Abu Bakr met me and asked: How are you O Hanzalah? I Replied: Hanzalah is guilty of hypocrisy! He said: Free is Allâh and far removed from all defects! What are you saying? I said: When we are with Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) and he reminds us of the Fire and Paradise it is as if we were seeing it with our own eyes. Then when we depart from Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) and attend our wives, our children and our business, then much of this slips from our mind. Abu Bakr said: By Allâh we also experience the same. So I went with Abu Bakr until we entered upon Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam). I said: Hanzalah is guilty of hypocrisy O Messenger of Allâh (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam). So Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam) said: And how is that? I said When we are with you, you remind us of the Fire and of Paradise and it is as if we are seeing it with our own eyes. Then when we depart from you and attend our wives, our children and our business then much of this slips from our minds. So Allâh's Messenger (salAllâhu 'alaihi wa'sallam said: By Him in whose hand is my soul if you remained continually as you are when you are with me and in remembering (Allâh) then the angels would shake hands with you upon your beds and upon your roads. But O Hanzalah, (there is) a time for this and a time for that, (there is) a time for this and a time for that, (there is) a time for this and a time for that." (42)

 

So both of these times are regulated by the orders of Allâh, as has preceded. His time for serious matters is regulated according to the Book and the Sunnah, and his jesting is kept free of anything forbidden and accompanied only by that which Allâh has prescribed.

 

So he does not, through negligence, allow his jesting to become a way in which he falls into sin. Indeed how could he do this when:

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