Many of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) companions belonged to the poorest and weakest strata in society. In Makkah, some of them were slaves or individuals attaching themselves to tribes to which they did not belong. As such, they had no privileges. In Madinah, his companions included people of all social ranks, but the Muslim community was in the process of establishing its foundation in the midst of a very hostile environment. Armies were raised to crush it, and economic siege was imposed on it. Yet the Muslim community was a close-knit community, with a bond of brotherhood in faith uniting all its members. The Prophet was keen to nurture this bond and help it to replace old tribal and family loyalties.
The Prophet was fully aware that ideas should be translated into practical action, and ties based on faith should have practical manifestations. Hence, it is not enough for people to speak of the new bond of Islamic brotherhood without the practical manifestations that cement this bond so as it would be felt as a reality. Therefore, the new Muslim society must be exemplary in its manners and social values and traditions. None other than the Prophet could establish these. God states that the Prophet provided guidance in all matters. In matters of religion, his example must be followed. In the areas that pertain to ordinary human life, the Prophet’s practice is always good to follow.
The Prophet was exemplary in his politeness and social habits. At the time, people mostly sat on the ground. When he sat with his companions, or with others, in the mosque or anywhere else, he never put his legs forward. He turned with his full face towards anyone who spoke to him, so as to make the speaker feel that the Prophet was fully attentive to what he said. He was the first to greet anyone who met him on the road. If he passed by a group of boys playing in the street, he would greet them and may stop to speak to them.
We see in our world that despite all the refinements that human society has developed, when a leader or a ruler is with his people, his manner is that of the one who is always in command, always holding the initiative. If he is attending a function, he decides when he leaves, paying little attention to what might have been prepared or might have remained. If he is visiting others, he rises to signal the end of the visit. The Prophet never did this. He would not rise until he has taken leave of his host.
He took meticulous care of his cleanliness and hygiene, so as not to cause any offense. He never blew air over any food or drink. If it was too hot, he would wait a little until it has cooled down. If he needed to sneeze, he would cover his mouth. He always used perfume, and stated that the two things of the human world that he loved were perfume and women. This was in a society that had long abused women. By saying this, he stressed that women must be well treated by Muslims. He frequently used a toothbrush to keep his teeth clean and to ensure that his mouth smell was always pleasant. He recommended his companions to use a toothbrush after meals and on waking up. If he woke up during the night, the first thing he did was brush his teeth. Urging his companions to maintain cleanliness, he told them to have a bath at least once a week, preferably on Fridays before going to the mosque for their prayers. He said: “Take a bath on Friday, even if you have to buy the water at a dinar for a cup.”
– by Adil Salahi
[ALLAH’S Quran – 55:26-27] “All that is on earth will perish: But will abide (for ever) the Face of thy Lord- full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour”
THE PROPHET ( Peace Be Upon Him ) SAID :
[Bukhari, Book #58, Hadith #181] “Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “The most true words said by a poet was the words of Labid.” He said, Verily, Everything except Allah is perishable and Umaiya bin As-Salt was about to be a Muslim (but he did not embrace Islam).”
[Bukhari, Book #76, Hadith #496] “ Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “The truest poetic verse ever said by a poet, is: Indeed! Everything except Allah, is perishable.”
[55:26-27 – Commentary]
“The most magnificent works of man-such as they are-are but fleeting. Ships, Empires, the Wonders of Science and Art, the splendors of human glory or intellect, will all pass away. The most magnificent objects in outer Nature-the mountains and valleys, the sun and moon, the Constellation Orion and the star Sinus-will also pass away in their appointed time. But the only One that will endure forever is the “Face” of ALLAH. “Face” expresses Personality, Glory, Majesty, Inner Being, Essence, Self-all the noble qualities which we associate with the Beautiful Names of ALLAH.
Ikram: two ideas are prominent in the word. (1) the idea of generosity, as proceeding from the person whose attribute it is, and (2) the idea of honor, as given by others to the person whose attribute it is. Both these ideas are summed up in “nobility”. To make the meaning quite clear, I have employed in the translation the two words “Bounty and Honour” for the single word Ikram. The same attributes recur in the last verse of this Sura. In the Fact of ALLAH’S Eternity is the Hope of our Future.”
No material thing was too attractive for the Prophet (peace be upon him). He never coveted anything of the comforts or adornments of this life. His approach was that whatever served the purpose was good enough. People may like to surround themselves with things that give pleasure or add beauty to living conditions, but the Prophet did not attach much importance to these. He would welcome them when they were available, but would not miss them if they were scarce. To him this life is too short to attach much importance to its luxuries.
We see this in the articles the Prophet used in his daily life. People like to have fine articles for their food and drink when they can afford them. They use a collection of plates, cups and glasses for their daily meals, keep a beautiful dinner set for their guests and surround themselves with articles that add beauty to their homes. They may replace these with better or more beautiful ones when they have the means to do so. There is nothing wrong with that. God says in the Qur’an: “Say, ‘Who is there to forbid the beauty which God has produced for His servants, and the wholesome means of sustenance?’ Say, ‘They are (lawful) in the life of this world, to all who believe – to be theirs alone on the Day of Resurrection.'” (7: 32) However, when people compete in stocking what they do not use, only because they want to be on the same level as their friends or neighbours, then such luxuries are given too much importance. The Prophet has taught us, by practical example, that such an approach is wrong. He showed us that life can be just as comfortable without material luxury.
If we look at what the Prophet used for his food and drink, we find that he was satisfied with what was simple, inexpensive and served the purpose. We must always remember that this was a matter of choice, not imposed by his poverty. He could have whatever he wished, if he only showed a desire for it. Asim ibn Al-Ahwal, who belonged to the Tabieen generation that followed the Prophet’s companions, says : “I saw the Prophet’s cup at Anas ibn Malik’s house. It had a crack and Anas pulled it together with a chain of silver. It was a good, wide cup made of fine, thin wood. Anas said to us: ‘I gave the Prophet to drink out of this cup so many times.’ Ibn Seereen says: ‘The cup had a ring of iron and Anas wanted to replace it with one made of gold or silver, but Abu Talhah, (Anas’ stepfather), told him not to change anything the Prophet had or did. Therefore, Anas left it as it was.'” (Related by Ahmad and Al-Bukhari.)
We may find it strange that wooden articles were used for such a frequent purpose as drinking. Yet in our homes we may use some wooden articles that are finely made. It is rare, however, that a wooden cup is used for drinking. However, when the Prophet had something better, he used it. Ibn Abbas reports : “The governor of Alexandria sent a cup made of glass to the Prophet and he used it to drink.” (Related by Ibn Saad and Abu al-Shaykh.) This was part of the gift the ruler of Egypt sent to the Prophet in reply to his message calling on him to believe in Islam. The Egyptian ruler recognized the Prophet but decided to remain Christian and hoped to have friendly relations with the Prophet. Therefore, he sent him a gift to demonstrate his good will.
The Prophet also used other articles for his drink. Jabir reports : “The Prophet’s drink was left for him to ferment in a large water skin. If none is found, they would put the drink in a stoneware beaker to ferment.” (Related by Al-Shafie, Muslim and Al-Darimi.) We mentioned that the Prophet did not allow his drink to ferment for long. He would leave it over night and drink of it the following day, so that it would have some sweetness, but no trace of alcohol.
If the Prophet’s household had an article, it was used until it no longer served the purpose for which it was made. Lady Sawdah, the Prophet’s wife, reported : “We had a sheep, but she died. We dyed its skin and used it for fermenting drinks, until it became too dry.” (Related by Ahmad, Al-Bukhari and Al-Tirmidhi.) This Hadith makes it clear that when an animal dies of natural causes, it is not permissible to eat. However, its skin could be used after it is dyed. When it is dyed it is considered to be free of impurity. In this case, when the sheep died, its skin was put to good use, until it was too dry and became unsuitable for use.
All this gives us a picture of very simple life. The Prophet was keen that this remained the main characteristic of his life, so that people would look up to him for practical guidance in all respects. We can still do so when we study his life pattern very closely. We may add here a few Hadiths that confirm this picture. They hardly need any comment from us.
Lady Ayesha reports : “The Prophet and I used to bathe, drawing water from the same vessel, using a large one called Al-Faraq.” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.) This is a large container that held enough water for two people to wash all their bodies, without being excessive. Ayesha reports: “We had this vessel of water which was filled for us. We both drew water out of it.” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Al-Nassaie.)
Abdullah ibn Zayd reports: “The Prophet once came to us and we brought him water in a beaker made of brass. He performed ablutions, washing his face three times and his hands twice. He then wiped his head from front to back and back to front, then he washed his feet.” (Related by Al-Shafie, Al-Bukhari and Al-Nassaie.)
In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Pray to God, then, sincere in your faith in Him alone, however hateful this may be to the unbelievers. High above all orders (of being) is He, the Lord of the Throne. By His own will does He bestow revelation on whomever He wills of His servants, so as to warn of the Day when all shall meet Him; the Day when they shall come forth, with nothing about them concealed from God. With whom does sovereignty rest today? With God, the One who holds absolute sway over all that exists. This day each soul will be requited for what it has earned: no injustice will be done today. God is swift in reckoning. Warn them of the Day that is ever drawing near, when people’s hearts will chokingly come up to the throats. The wrongdoers will have neither intimate friend nor intercessor to be heeded. God is well aware of the stealthiest glance, and of everything the heart would conceal. God will judge in accordance with truth and justice, whereas those whom they invoke besides Him cannot judge at all. God alone hears all and sees all. (The Forgiving, Ghafir; 40: 14-20)
In connection with turning to God, the believers are instructed to pray to God alone and to be sincere in their faith, paying little heed to what the unbelievers feel or say: “Pray to God, then, sincere in your faith in Him alone, however hateful this may be to the unbelievers.” The unbelievers will never accept that the believers should hold on sincerely to their faith in God alone and their worship of none but Him. There is no way they will accept this, no matter how much the believers try to appease them. Therefore, the believers should stay their course, praying to God alone, completely sincere and devoted. They should pay no heed to whether the unbelievers are happy with them or not, because they will never be satisfied.
The surah adds at this point the following attributes of God: “High above all orders (of being) is He, the Lord of the Throne. By His own will does He bestow revelation on whomever He wills of His servants.” It is God alone who is exalted in His position, high above all orders of being, the Lord of the Throne who controls everything. It is He who gives His orders, which give life to hearts and souls, to those whom He chooses from among His servants. This expression refers to the revelation of the divine message, and it highlights here the fact that God’s revelations bring life to humanity. It further states that revelation is bestowed from on high to those chosen elite among God’s servants. All these facts are in harmony with God’s attributes mentioned earlier in the surah, stating that He is “the Exalted, the Supreme One.”
The main task undertaken by a servant of God chosen to receive such a message is to deliver a warning: “So as to warn of the Day when all shall meet Him.” That is the day when people will meet together, and they will also stand face to face with the deeds they did during their lives on earth, and they will meet other creatures such as the jinn, the angels and other types of God’s creation. All of them will meet their Lord at the time of reckoning. Hence the day is described as “the day of the meeting.” Furthermore, it is the day when they all stand without any cover to screen their reality. Hence, no one can put up a false image: “The Day when they shall come forth, with nothing about them concealed from God.” In fact, nothing about them is concealed from God at any time. However, at all times other than that day, they may imagine that they are covered or screened by something or another, or that what they do or say may remain secret. On that day, however, they will be truly exposed, unable to enjoy even an imaginary cover.
Therefore, on that day the arrogant and the mighty are made to face their humble reality. The whole universe stands in awe, and all creatures demonstrate their submission. Sovereignty belongs completely to God, the One who overpowers all. In fact this is true at all times. However, on that day, this fact becomes clear to all and sundry. Every tyrant of old and every conceited person will come to know and feel it. Then every sound dies down and every movement stops. A majestic voice asks a question and replies to it, as there is no one else to ask or reply: “With whom does sovereignty rest today?”… “With God, the One who holds absolute sway over all that exists.
“This day each soul will be requited for what it has earned: No injustice will be done today. God is swift in reckoning.”
An air of awe, heightened by silence spreads. All creatures listen and realize; everything is settled, the reckoning is over. This is in harmony with what the surah said at the outset about those who dispute God’s revelations: “Let it not deceive you that they seem to be able to do as they please on earth.”
This is the end of unjustified arrogance, tyranny and injustice, as well as of wealth and affluence. The surah instructs the Prophet (peace be upon him) to warn his people about this day. The instruction is given against a backdrop of an image of the Day of Resurrection when God sits alone for judgment. Up till now the surah has not addressed people directly; instead it used a reporting style.
The surah describes the Day of Judgment as ever drawing near, and we perceive it to be hastening toward us. Souls are in distress, pressing against people’s throats. They try to suppress their worries and fears, and the effort is difficult. Nevertheless, they can find no one to support or protect them. No one can put up a word of intercession that finds response from anyone. They stand in full view; nothing can conceal their reality. Even a stealthy glance and a heart’s secret is brought into the open: “God is well aware of the most stealthy glance, and of everything the heart would conceal.” An eye looking stealthily will try hard to conceal its stealthy gaze, but God is well aware of it. A secret may be hidden safely in one’s soul, but it is not hidden from God who knows it all. On that day, it is God only who passes judgment in fairness. Their alleged deities have nothing to do with such judgment: “God will judge in accordance with truth and justice, whereas those whom they invoke besides Him cannot judge at all.” His judgment is based on perfect knowledge and full awareness. He will not entertain any injustice for anyone, and He forgets nothing: “God alone hears all and sees all.”
– By Naushad Shamim Al-Haq
Do you hate someone? Do you really hate someone? You haven’t spoken to him for a while? You’ve been blaming him?
You’re not the only one; the Muslim Ummah today is diseased with this to the extent that almost every Muslim knows another Muslim who he hates.
The Ummah is like a building with the Muslims as it’s bricks, brotherhood is the cement. Without forgiveness you cannot have brotherhood.
OK then, he wronged you. He deceived you. He backbited you. He lied to you. But even in these extreme situations the Qur’an and the Hadith teach us that we have to forgive others (especially those who hurt us the most) if we wish to earn the forgiveness of Allah on the day of judgment.
We have all committed many sins, made many mistakes and no doubt we have wronged others, we have deceived others, we have backbited others and no doubt we have lied to others.
So what makes us focus onto brothers’ and sisters’ errors while we remain unconscious of our own. Not to forgive is like to live in arrogance, and ignorance of our own shortcomings.
Forgiveness is linked with piety and God-consciousness, is there anybody who is not without sin? Is there anybody who can be arrogant enough to say that he does not need to forgive?
Do we not know that Allah forgives those who forgive others? Therefore, we should realize the difficulties of others and forgive them. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Be quick in the forgiveness from your Lord, and pardon (all) men – for Allah loves those who do good.”
[Surah ali Imran; 3:133-134]
And we know that Allah Himself is Ar-Rahmaan (the Most Compassionate) and Ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful) and that His Mercy is infinite, and that no matter the sin (except shirk)
Allah is always willing to answer the person’s call for forgiveness. In fact Allah loves the tear drop that falls from the eye of one who sincerely seeks the forgiveness of his Lord.
And Allah loves us to have hearts that are ready to forgive.
The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) once asked his companions;
“Do you know what will cause you to have high walled palaces in Paradise (as a symbol of great reward) and will cause you to be raised by God?”
When they replied in the negative, he said,
“To be forgiving and to control yourself in the face of provocation, to give justice to the person who was unfair and unjust to you, to give to someone even though he did not give to you when you were in need and to keep connection with someone who may not have reciprocated your concern.”
Similarly the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that:
“the best of people are those who are slow to get angry and quick to forgive. On the other hand the worst of people are those, he said who get angry quickly but are slow to forgive”.
The characteristic that makes a person most likely to forgive is the purity of his or her heart. Apologies must be accepted,
The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that:
“Whoever apologises to his brother and that apology is not accepted, then the person who refuses to accept the apology bears the sin of one who takes the property of another unjustly.”
And the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said that:
“The doors of the Garden are open on Monday and Thursday. Every Muslim slave who does not associate anything with Allah is forgiven except for the man who has enmity between him and his brother.
It is said, ‘Leave those two until they have made a reconciliation. Leave those two until they have made a reconciliation” .
If we look at the example and the character of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) we can see that he was always forgiving and never showed enmity to anyone except those who waged war against him.
This is the example of the man whom we claim to follow. Thumamah, as the chief of his tribe had killed many Muslims. On his travels, he was caught by the Muslim soldiers and was taken to the Prophet’s masjid and tied to one of the pillars.
The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) commanded his companions to untie him and give him the best food. The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was indeed a mercy for the worlds.
We should similarly be merciful with each other. First of all, we ourselves should not do anything to upset our brothers and sisters (because this is in itself a part of mercy) and then we should forgive those who have upset us or made us angry. We will never be a strong ummah if we are not able to forgive.
Some might say that to forgive is a sign of weakness and humiliation, and for them it is better to be strong and preserve their honor. But honor in the eyes of Allah lies in forgiveness.
“But indeed if any shows patience and forgives that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.”
If we are to be really strong then we have to be strong against Shaytaan and forgive our brothers and sisters, and in this way maybe Allah will decide insha Allah to forgive ourselves for our many mistakes.