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GOOD MANNERS IN ISLAM


Most people do not look at your level of faith or your acts of worship; rather, they consider your manners. If your manners are virtuous, people will benefit from your faith and knowledge and emulate your manner of worship and manners.  If your manners do not appeal to them due to your lack of good morals, then they will pay no attention to whatever knowledge you have. Thus, abiding by good manners is imperative for all believers.

 

Among the factors that help one acquire good manners are sincere determination and a gradual approach towards changing one's manners, as they will only change slowly, but surely. This is because it is impossible to directly replace bad behavior with good behavior. Some people think that they can easily acquire good manners, in spite of the fact that they will never be able to improve their conduct without striving for righteousness and calling their soul to account. Moreover, everyone needs those around them to direct them to good and show them their faults.

 

Table of Contents

 

Qur’an

Allah سبحانه و تعالىsays about good manners in several ayah of the Quran: "It is part of the Mercy of Allah سبحانه و تعالىthat thou dost deal gently with them.  Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you: so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah سبحانه و تعالى. For Allah سبحانه و تعالىloves those who put their trust (in Him).  (Quran.Surah Ali’ Imran 3:159)"

 

"Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men; for Allah سبحانه و تعالىloves those who do good.   (Quran.Surah Ali’ Imran 3:134)"

"Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant.  (Quran.Surah Araf 7:199)"

 

"Allah سبحانه و تعالىloves not that evil should be noised a broad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done; for Allah سبحانه و تعالىis He Who hears and knows all things.  (Quran.Surah Nisa 4:148)"

 

"Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan doth sow dissensions among them: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy.  (The Noble Quran, 17:53)"
 

"Who avoid vain talk;  (Quran.Surah Mu’minun 23:3)"


"And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: 'To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant.'   (Quran.Surah Qasas 28:55)"

 

Hadith

There is no doubt that good manners can be acquired and learnt; however, some of them are instinctive. Instinctive manners are those that Allah سبحانه و تعالىThe Almighty created a person with, as a part of their inborn character. An example for this is what the Prophet Muhammad , said to his Companion: "You have two characteristics which Allah سبحانه و تعالىlikes: tolerance anddeliberation."The Companion asked,"Have I acquired them or did

 

Allah سبحانه و تعالىcreate (them) in mynature?He, replied: "No, Allahسبحانه و تعالىhas created (them) in your nature."The Companion then said,"Praise be to Allah سبحانه و تعالىwho has created in my nature two characteristics which Allah and His Messenger like."   Sunan Abi Dawud 5206

 

Repel evil with Good

Allah سبحانه و تعالىsaid in Qur’an to reply in the best manners: "Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of their Lord; establish regular prayours; spend out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (Eternal) Home." Quran.Surah Rad 13:22

 

"Repel evil with that which is best:We are Well-acquainted with the things they say." Quran.Surah Muminun  23:96

 

"Nor can goodness and evil be equal.  Repel (evil) with that is better: Then will he between whom and you was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!." Quran.Surah Fussilat 41:34

 

"Twice will they be given their reward, for that they have persevered, that they avert evil with good, and that they spend (in charity) out of what We have given them." Quran.Surah Qasas 28:54

 

"The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) Loveth not those who do wrong." Quran.Surah Shura 42:40

 

Good manners and good character

Islam is a beautiful religion, full of wisdom and harmony.   If this wonderful religion is followed properly then a typical Muslim would only be a great example to follow.

 

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr(R): "The Prophet never used bad language neither a 'Fahish nor a Mutafahish. He used to say 'The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.' Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 4: 759

 

Narrated Masruq: "Abdullah bin 'Amr mentioned Allah's Apostle saying that he was neither a Fahish nor a Mutafahish. Abdullah bin 'Amr added, Allah's Apostle said, 'The best among you are those who have the best manners and character. Sahih Al Bukhari,Volume 8, 56

 

Allah Almighty orders Muslims to deal kindly and justly with non-Muslims

"Allah سبحانه و تعالىforbids you not, With regard to those who Fight you not for (your) Faith Nor drive you out Of your homes,From dealing kindly and justly With them: For Allah سبحانه و تعالىloveth Those who are just.  Quran.Surah Mumtahinah 60:8

 

Narrated Jarir bin 'Abdullah:  "Allah's Apostle said, 'Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind.'  Sahih Bukhari,

 

ONENESS, UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH سبحانه و تعالى(TAWHEED), Volume 9, 473

 

The Muslim needs to always be polite, humble, patient, loving and well mannered when he/she deals with others, whether they were Muslims or non-Muslims.  Allah سبحانه و تعالىAlmighty certainly doesn't love those who are offensive and rude to others.

 

Greetings in Islam

Allah سبحانه و تعالىAlmighty in the Noble Quran commands us to return a greeting with a better one or at least an equal one.  We must maintain the high standards in manners and always be the best examples.

 

"When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more  courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy.  Allah سبحانه و تعالىtakes careful account of all things." Quran.Surah Nisa 4:86

 

 We Muslims give kindness and courtesy without asking, and return it if possible in even better terms than we received, or at least in equally courteous terms.  For we are all creatures of One GOD i.e. Allah سبحانه و تعالى, and shall be brought together before Him.

 

Respect and honor your guests

Prophet Muhammad said: Narrated Abu Shuraih Al-Khuza'i:  "My ears heard and my heart grasped (the statement which) the Prophet Muhammad said, "The period for keeping one's guest is three days (and don't forget) his reward." It was asked, "What is his reward?" He said, "In the first night and the day he should be given a high class quality of meals; and whoever believes in Allah سبحانه و تعالىand the Last Day, should entertain his guest generously; and whoever believes in Allah سبحانه و تعالىand the Last Day should talk what is good (sense) or keep quiet."  Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 8, 483

 

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-'As(R):  "Once Allah's Apostle came to me," and then he narrated the whole narration, i.e. your guest has a right on you, and your wife has a right on you. I then asked about the fasting of David (Peace be upon him). The Prophet replied, "Half of the yours," (i.e. he used to fast on every alternate day).  Sahih Al Bukhari, Book of Fasting, Vol 3:195

 

Respecting others' properties

Allah سبحسبحانه و تعالىAlmighty commands us to respect people's properties and not to be transgressors.

 

"27. O you believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and saluted those in them:  that is best for you, in order that you may heed (what is seemly).

 

28. If you find no one in the house, enter not until permission is given to you: if you are asked to go back, go back: That makes for greater purity for yourselves: and Allah سبحانه و تعالىKnows well all that you do." Quran.Surah Nur 24:27-28

 

The conventions of propriety and privacy are essential to a refined life of goodness and purity.  The English saying that an Englishman's home is his castle, suggests a certain amount of exclusiveness and defiance.  The Muslim principle of asking respectful permission and exchanging salutations ensures privacy without exclusiveness and friendliness without undue familiarity.

 

That is, if no one replies: there may be people in the house not in a presentable state.  Or, even if the house is empty, you have no right to enter it until you obtain the owner's permission, wherever he may be.  The fact of your not receiving a reply does not entitle you to enter without permission.  You should wait, or knock twice or three times, and withdraw in case no permission is received.  If you are actually asked to withdraw, as the inmates are not in a condition to receive you, you should a fortiori withdraw, either for a time, or altogether, as the inmates may wish you to do.  Even if they are your friends, you have no right to take them by surprise or enter against their wishes.  You own purity of life and conduct as well as of motives is thus tested.

 

"They ask you Concerning the New Moons.  Say:   They are but signs To mark fixed periods of time In (the affairs of) men, And for Pilgrimage.  It is no virtue if you enter Your houses from the back:  It is virtue if you fear Allah سبحانه و تعالى.  Enter houses Through the proper doors:  And fear Allah سبحانه و تعالى:  That you may prosper.  (Quran.Surah Baqarah 2:189)"

 

According to this ayath, Muslims are not allowed to sneak up on people from their back yards or back doors.  Since back doors and back yards are strictly for private use and not public, then it would be inappropriate for a Muslim to enter anyone's house from the back, because it would be a form of an invasion of privacy and rudeness. Those who deliberately violate this law from Allah سبحانه و تعالىAlmighty will be punished, because Allah سبحانه و تعالىAlmighty said: "It is virtue if you fear Allah....." and "And fear Allah:  That you may prosper."

 

Be down to earth

"Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for thou cannot rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height." Qur’an.Surah Isra 17:37

 

"And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for God loveth not any arrogant boaster.”  Quran.Surah Luqman 31:18

 

Insolence, or arrogance, or undue elation at our powers or capacities, is the first step to many evils.  Besides, it is unjustified.  All our gifts are from Allah  سبحانه و تعالىthe Almighty.

 

No offensive name calling is allowed! And do not look down on others!

"O you 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.  (Quran.Surah Hujurat 49:11)"

 

If you are loved by people, then Allah Almighty loves you

Narrated Abu Huraira(R): "Allah's Apostle said, 'If Allah سبحانه و تعالىloves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying, 'Allah loves so and so, O Gabriel love him' So Gabriel would love him and then would make an announcement in the Heavens: 'Allah سبحانه و تعالىhas loved so and-so therefore you should love him also.' So all the dwellers of the Heavens would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.'   (Translation of Sahih Al Bukhari, ONENESS, UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH (TAWHEED), Volume 9,  Number 577)"

 

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.’

 

How to be a "Strong Muslim" in Islam

"Abu Huraira (R) reported Allah's Messenger Prophet Muhammad as saying: The strong-man is not one who wrestles well but the strong man is one who controls himself when he is in a fit of rage.  (Sahih Al Muslim, 6313)"

 

"Abu Huraira (R)reported: I heard Allah's Messenger Prophet Muhammad as saying: One is not strong because of one's wrestling skillfully. They said: Allah's Messenger, then who is strong? He said: He who controls his anger when he is in a fit of rage.  (Sahih Al Muslim, Number 6314)"

 

"Anas b. Malik (R) reported Allah's Messenger Prophet Muhammad as saying: Neither nurse mutual hatred, nor jealousy, nor enmity, and become as fellow brothers and servants of Allah سبحانه و تعالى. It is not lawful for a Muslim that he should keep his relations estranged with his brother beyond three days.  (Sahih Al Muslim, 6205)"

 

References

http://www.islamweb.net/prophet/index.php?page=showarticle&id=175405

 

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