Monday, 11 February 2013

Adab of Islam

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is taken from Adab of Islam.

As recorded in Swahih Muslim, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “When two vituperate each other, what they say is borne by the one who first began, as long as the one wronged does not transgress.”  When a group of Jews covertly cursed the Prophet (s.a.w.) by using a play on the words ‘as-Salaamu'Alaykum,’ ‘Aishah (r.a.) noticed it and gave them a rounding, but he said, “Enough, ‘Aishah; for Allah does not like vulgarity or making a display of it.”  In another version from Swahih al-Bukhari, he said, “O ‘Aishah, always have gentleness, and always shun harsh words and vulgarity.”  This is the adab of Islam with hardened enemies, so how should it not apply to our fellow Muslims, let alone family and loved ones?

It is of the adab of the high path of Islam to be honest when one speaks.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Honesty certainly leads to goodness, and goodness leads to paradise.  Truly, a man keeps speaking the truth until he is inscribed as being true through and through.  And lying leads to going wrong, and going wrong leads to hell.  Truly, a man lies and lies until he is inscribed as being a liar through and through.”  This is from Swahih Muslim.

It is of the adab of the high path of Islam to completely abandon and shun guile, deceit, scornfulness, or sarcasm because these are unlawful.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:


O ye who believe!  Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong. (Surah al-Hujraat:11)

And Allah (s.w.t.) Says:


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and backbiter, (Surah al-Humazah:1)

As recorded by Imam Hakim al-Nishaburi (r.a.), the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Let there be no harming another, or harming him back.  Whoever harms another, Allah shall Harm, and whoever gives trouble to another, Allah shall Give trouble to.”

It is of the adab of the high path of Islam to abandon lying, for it is unlawful.  Allah (s.w.t.) Curses liars by Saying:


Woe to the falsehood-mongers ― (Surah adz-Dzariyat:10)

The Qur’anic exegete, Imam al-Khazin (r.a.) noted that, “May liars be cursed,” originally referred to those who sat on the various roads outside Makkah warning people against the words of the Prophet (s.a.w.) to keep them from becoming Muslim.  The verse, however, like other Qur’anic verses, is not limited to the original circumstances in which it was Revealed, but applies universally, to the end of time.  Those who lie, except in circumstances in which shari’ah permits it, are Cursed by Allah (s.w.t.).  It is unlawful to lie, except when making up between two people, or lying to an enemy in war.  It is also unlawful to praise or blame another with an untruth.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Lying is wrong, except in three things: the lie of a man to his wife to make her content with him; a lie in war, for war is deception; or a lie to settle trouble between people.”  This is recorded in the Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) has said, “The criterion for it is that every praiseworthy objective in Sacred Law that cannot be brought about without lying is permissible to lie for if the objective is permissible, and obligatory to lie for if the objective is obligatory.”  When lying is the only way to attain one's right, one may lie about oneself or another, provided it does not harm the other.  And it is obligatory to lie to if necessary to protect a Muslim from being murdered.  But whenever one can accomplish the objective by words that merely give a misleading impression with actually being false, it is unlawful to tell an outright lie, because it is unnecessary.

If one needs to swear a false oath in order to save a person whose life is unlawful to take from being killed, then one must swear it, for saving such a person's life is obligatory, and if doing so depends on an oath, it is obligatory.  Suwayd ibn Hanzhalah (r.a.) said, “We set out to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and Wa’il ibn Hajr was with us, and he was captured by an enemy.  The group was forced to swear an oath, so I swore that he was my brother, and they released him.  We reached the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and I told him that the group had been forced to swear, and that I had sworn he was my brother, and he said, ‘You told the truth: the Muslim is the brother of the Muslim.’”  This is recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud.

Imam ‘Atha’ ibn Abi Rabah (r.a.), Mufti of Makkah, of the generation that followed that of the swahabah said of them, “They used to dislike talking more than necessary, and considered ‘more than necessary’ to mean more than your reciting the Qur’an, enjoining the right, forbidding the wrong, or speaking about making a living, in the amount strictly necessary.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say something good or else be quiet.”  This is from Swahih al-Bukhari.  He also said, “Whoever is silent is saved.”  This is from Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal.  And the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Verily the slave will say a word he thinks nothing of that Allah Loves, for which Allah Raises him whole degrees.  And verily the slave will say a word he thinks nothing of that Allah Detests, for which he plummets into Hell.”  This is also recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari.

It is of the adab of Islam to know the value of one’s word, not to give unless one intends to keep it, and to keep it once it has been given.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three: when he speaks he lies, when he promises he breaks it, and when entrusted with something he betrays it.”  This is found in Swahih al-Bukhari.

When Abu Bakr (r.a.) was dying, he sent for ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.), and said to him, “O ‘Umar, if you are given authority over the people, fear Allah and hold fast to what is right.  For the balance of those whose scale pans are heavy on Resurrection Day shall only be heavy for their having followed what is right and its heaviness upon them; and it befits the balance scale when what is right is placed in it tomorrow to be heavy.  And the balance of those whose scale pans are light on Resurrection Day shall only be light for their having followed what is wrong and its ease upon them; and it befits the balance scale when what is wrong is placed in it tomorrow to be light.  And know that there are works for Allah at night that He does not accept during the day, and that there are works during the day that He does not accept at night.  And that He does not accept a supererogatory work of worship until the obligatory has been done.”

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