Islamic Civilization (Ma'ashrat)
- Human beings are mostly used to living together rather than live alone. Every person has varying traits and conditions. When they interact and live together, then a community or a society is formed. In other words a society is an organized group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, scientific, cultural, political, patriotic or other purposes. A society can be good or bad. To ensure goodness in a community, principals and rules have be laid down which are based on experience and vision. When guidance from Islam is sought, a better society is formed as compared to other experimental models because Allah Almighty knows His creations the best. In the succeeding paragraphs, contours of an Islamic Society based on the Divine injunctions are enumerated.
- TREATISE BY HAZRAT ASHRAF ALI THANVI'S(RA)
- Generally the masses, out of the five main facets of religion, consider only two as part of it i.e. Beliefs and the rituals of worship. The religious scholars also include human dealings (Ma'amalat) in this list. Rectification of latent virtues and morality is considered as part of it by the saints and spiritual guides. One major aspect, which is not included in this list of religious obligations, is the etiquettes of living in a Muslim society. Not withstanding its exclusion, this part is covered in preaching and sermons but seldom voiced as an essential obligation; which is causing its extinction. This is, in my reckoning the reason for the growing lack of unity, tolerance and mutual affinity in the communities. Lacks of correct manners, breed irritations and intolerance which hamper the joys of living together and mutual respect, which is the cardinal binding force of living in a society. These ill founded perceptions are, however, negated by Quran, hadiths and words of the eminent scholars. Some examples are enumerated as under:-
- Allah Almighty says," Oh the faithful, when asked to create space in a gathering, do so. When asked to stand, do get up. Do not enter a house especially the private quarters without permission; even it may be a bachelor's abode." This undoubtedly is a vivid indication of the mutual respect and care advocated by Islam.
- Our beloved Prophet (SAW) had said," In a meal do not pick up two dried dates at a time unless permission from the others has been sought." Apparently a trivial issue, it has been forbidden as being bad manner which may offend other. The holy Prophet (SAW) had urged those eating garlic and onions to stay away from a gathering in order to avoid discomfort to others. The Prophet (SAW) has exhorted, not to prolong staying as a guest, to obviate discomfort to the host. This too indicates care that must be observed for others. He (SAW) had also urged Muslims not to stop eating (even if no longer hungry) till others had stopped eating less someone is compelled to stop eating despite the need to continue. Anything causing embarrassment to others has been forbidden. Some people, despite a need, are temperamentally averse to being asked or offered something publicly and feel embarrassed.
- Hazrat Jabbar (RH) once knocked at the door of Prophet's (SAW) residence. On being asked as to who he was, he replied, "its me, its me". The Prophet (SAW) annoyingly replied "It's me too". This indicates that one should be explicit in what he/she says rather being ambiguous and cause distress to others.
- Hazrat Ans (RH) narrates that no one was dearer to the Companions than the Prophet (SAW), yet they didn't get up on his (SAW) arrival in order not to displease him (SAW) as he (SAW) did not like put others into discomfort. So it is prudent not to extend special respects and courtesy to someone who does not approve of it despite an earnest desires to do so. The Prophet (SAW) had proclaimed that to sit between two persons without their permission is not allowed. The holy Prophet (SAW) used to cover his mouth with a cloth or his hand before sneezing and would also lower the sound. See how important it is not to offend or scare your companions. Hazrat Jabar (RH) narrates that no one crossed over or jumped places to get near the Prophet (SAW). They sat wherever space was available. This is indicative of the etiquettes of sitting in a gathering.
- Hazrat Saeed bin Al Museeb (RH) has quoted that the Prophet (SAW) had advised them to only sit for a short while with a patient and then depart quickly. This Hadith professes a very subtle point of care and consideration for a sick person; who may find it difficult to lie down casually or talk. This restriction, however, absolves those, whose company is adored by the patient.
- Hazrat Ibn e Abbas (RH) has narrated that it was in consideration for others that bathing for the Jummah congregation was made obligatory (wajib). This was done because the early Muslims being poor and from the working class, would smell of sweat. Later it was cancelled but an effort to do so was maintained
- It is narrated in Sunan Nisai, the book of Hadith that once on ?Shab e Barat', the holy Prophet (SAW) quietly got up from his bed and tip toed to the door, locked it and left for the grave yard. He (SAW) ensured care not to disturb Hazrat Aisha (RH) who was asleep. How considerate was he; not to create any sounds not to scare or wake her up abruptly.
- Bin Aswad has narrated a long story, about lodging with the Prophet (SAW) as his guest (in Shae Muslim it mentioned that they were living with Hazrat Miqdad RH). The Prophet (SAW) entering the house late would wish them in very low tone, only to be heard only if they were awake and not to disturb them in their sleep. Here too care and consideration for other is pronounced. There are many narrations in the books of Hadiths to amplify the emphasis placed on caring for others.
In the Islamic Jurisprudence, it has been forbidden to wish a person who is either busy teaching or delivering a lecture/talk or any other similar activity in order not to distract his attention. An insane person has similarly been forbidden from entering a mosque. This is to ensure that distress is avoided. The above narrations amply demonstrate the special emphasis placed in Sharia that no gesture or act of anybody becomes a cause of disturbance, trouble, distress or grief for others. The Messenger (AS) not only ensured it through his own words and deeds but also made it a point that his servants corrected their slack attitude and mistakes.
A companion (RH) who had brought a gift, walked into the presence of the Prophet (SAW) without permission and greetings. He was told to go back, greet first and then seek permissions to come in. Actually the essence of etiquettes and good manners lies in care for others and avoiding inconveniences to them. The Prophet (SAW) has expressed it concise terms:-
"اَلْمُسْلِمُ مَنْ سِلمَ الْمُسْلِمُوْنَ مِنْ لِسَانِہ وَ یَدِہ"․
Any act which apparently may look like a service, be it financial, physical or expression of respect and gratitude (commonly seen as good gestures) but causing grief to the recipient is bad. Pleasure and joy are more important than one ended care.
Civilization and culture are listed lower in ranking than faith and worship. The harm of relegating faith and worship is personal but lack of civility causes harm to others. To harm others is even worse then harming one’s self (naf’s). It is for this reason that Allah Almighty has placed civility at a higher pedestal in Sura Al Fuqan:-
اَلَّذِیْنَ یَمْشُوْنَ عَلَی الأرْضِ ھوْنًا و اِذَا خَاطَبَھُمُ الْجَاھِلُوْنَ قَالُوْا سَلامً
(Al Furqan - 63)
Civility may be listed lower in order to the obligatory worships; it certainly enjoys a higher priority over the optional acts of worship (nawafil). It is narrated in the books of Hadith, that two women were mentioned to the Prophet (SAW); one who fulfilled all obligations of worship like praying and fasting but was cruel to the her neighbors. The other woman, though not very regular in worship, was kind to her neighbors. The Prophet (SAW) declared the first going to hell and the second to be blessed in heavens. Civility is certainly not more important than human dealings but both are mutually interlinked. An error in one can harm the other. Though the masses do not consider human dealings as a part of their religious obligation, some dignitaries do, however, take it as a religious diktat. Unfortunately civility is taken as a religious obligation by a very few; who also treat it casually. Soundness of ethics and morality is as important as obligatory worship being an important part of the religion, despite its prevalent insignificance. It is essential not to only to practice it but also guide and teach others to adapt it.
- MARITAL LIFE
- This is the first and primary bondage of Islamic civilization. Very little effort is required to give an Islamic hue to the civilization provided it is functioning correctly. The devil is all out to disturb the marital life. His top priority is to create difference between a husband and wife. Allah Almighty approves the performance of Islamic bondage (Nikkah) and is displeased when a divorce takes place. Our holy Prophet (SAW) took utmost care of his (SAW) wives. He (SAW) had declared that a person is as good before Allah Almighty as he is perceived in his family. The Prophet (SAW) also added that if it was permissible to prostrate other than Allah Almighty, he (SAW) would have allowed a wife to prostrate before her husband. Since prostration is only permissible for Allah Almighty, it has not been allowed for others. Another Hadith to remember here is the one which proclaims that submission to someone impinging on disobedience of Allah Almighty is not right. A course which ensures obedience of Allah Almighty and mutual understanding is the best option. Good marital life ensures better training of the siblings; which is an important responsibility after reformation of the self (naf’s).
- CUSTOMS & TRADITIONS
- In our culture,certain practises are blindly accepted and followed. These have emerged over generations as a result of living together. These are called the customs and traditions. Conforming to the Sharia laws these practises yield harmony and ease otherwise mischief and dissent is caused. Most people who are otherwise good in their worship and dealings become helpless to challenge these un Islamic practises. It is said for this very reason, that stronger faith is needed to reform customs than perform worship (Ibidaat) and deal (Maamalat) with others. Mostly the customs pertain to marriage, funerals, fashion, eating habits and family affairs. Focus is on what the others will think and say rather than abide by the Divine commands. An act to please others will lead one apart from Allah Almighty. These days’ men find it difficult to grow a beard and women to fail to observe ‘Pardah’ (veil). Customs entail extravagance and formality whereas simplicity is professed in Islam. To meet demands of these customs, extra money is needed which is generally beyond one’s income, so recourse to corruption is sought. One must always live within means. Only those things should be done which are affordable. Some major customs in vogue are:-
- Wedding Customs
- slam has made it easy to enter into wedlock with a simple and inexpensive procedure. This is in order to discourage adultery, which is morally reprehensible. The devil and his compatriots make marriages expensive because of customary pomp and show; encouraging immodesty and impudence. Essentially a marriage only needs two rituals i.e. formal proclamation (Nikkah) and an affordable feast. Beside these, all other prevalent ceremonies are frivolous and absurd. People have reached abhor able limits, which definitely are an invitation to the wrath of Allah Almighty. The shamelessness exhibited in some ceremonies and loud music played and dances are a menace for the neighbourhood. We must remember the weddings of the Prophet’s SAW daughters and his companions (RHs), which shall help us avoid sins and ensure a peaceful and tranquil wedded life.
- Customs of Funerals & Death
- In case of a death, Islam focuses on sympathy and condolences with the bereaved, meeting the basic needs and avoidance of frill and frolic. The prevalent customs are just the opposite; which cause a loss in this world and the life hereafter. Islam professes an early burial and recommends not delaying it unnecessarily. Neighbours are expected to feed the bereaved for three days. A necessary caution to observe is that inheritance of the deceased should not be wasted on customary practises; which is right of the descendents. It is forbidden to spend out of inheritance unless all the heirs have allowed it. In case of minors amongst the heirs, it is totally disallowed. Inheritance has to be distributed without delay and ensured that every heir is in possession of his/her share. Sharia does not allow customary rituals like ‘Qul’, Thursdays and ‘Chelum’ etc. However it is permitted to do ‘eisal e sawab’ with own money and in one’s own time. Deceased male and female have to be placed in the respective part of the house. To morn deeply or lamenting is not right. Locals and neighbours should console the bereaved family only for three days. Outsiders can condole the first time even after three days. Condolences should be extended to pacify grief ensuring that the Divine rewards of patience are not lost.
- Anniversaries & Birth Days
- These are borrowed customs which have no place in the Sharia. Many frivolous and pretentious acts are especially performed in birthday celebrations. An anniversary arranged for seeking benevolence of Allah Almighty are a ‘Bida’t otherwise it is meaningless.
- Congregating to celebrate a circumcision has no religious connotations. Once Hazrat Usman (RH) was invited to such a function. He refused to go for it was never done during the life of the holy Prophet SAW.
- ADHERENCE TO RULE OF LAW
- A civilized society needs to have a functional rule of law. Basically to ensure that collective benefits are accrued rather than individuals being looked after. The experts and learned together frame rules/laws for collective benefits. Non adherence to laws e.g. traffic rules causes accidents. To avoid an accident every driver is expected to observe these rules in the larger benefit of the society. Islam being the Divine religion cares for everyone. Islamic social laws ensure that peace and tranquillity prevails in the society notwithstanding hardship faced by the culprits. Qisas (The Law of Retaliation) is an effective deterrence to discourage crime.
- Laws should be so framed that fair and impartial justice is meted out across the board. Hazrat Ali (RH) had said:
الملک یبقیٰ مع الکفر و لا یبقیٰ مع الظلم
A country may survive because of infidelity but it will cease to exist if cruelty prevails. The Jews were cursed because they had separate laws for the rich and different ones for the poor. The judicial system should be simple and easily accessible to ensure prompt justice. Islamic Hadud laws (Islamic Penal Laws) are effective because these are executed publically and serve as an meaningful deterrence.
- Fiscal Justice
- It means that all and sundry have access to fiscal opportunities. Jobs are provided on merit. Rights of a farmer to till lands and a labourer to work must be guaranteed. Everyone must work hard to avoid loss to the national resources.
- Justice for the Government Functionaries
- Lucrative appointments in the government are not given on merit but on graft and mala fide recommendations. It is easy to return money usurped from individuals, but loot at the national level is irrecoverable.
- Equitable Distribution and Utilization of Resources
- Custodian of the national resources is duty bound to spend them for welfare of the nation as these are entrusted to his custody. Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah has listed some golden principals in his book ‘ NejatUllah al Balgha’:-
- Profit earned on the resources of a certain area should be equally distributed amongst its dwellers as was done by the first Caliph Hazrat Abu Bakr (RH).
- Public should be allowed possession of wealth to ensure better living.
- Any effort to accumulate wealth in few hands must be discouraged.
- Above should be so arranged and implemented that advantage is provided to the community.
He had also added that food, clothing, shelter and enough to solemnized marriage being the birth rights of an individual have to be ensured by the Government.
- DUTIES & RIGHTS
- Infra structure of a civilization is based on the concept of duties and rights. An individual has following duties:-
- Duties Towards Allah Almighty
- To have faith in oneness /unity of Allah Almighty, obey and love Him are the cardinal duties of a true Muslim. Everything should be done to seek His pleasure and blessings. He must be remembered profusely.
- Duties Towards The Prophet (SAW)
- A Muslim is duty bound to have faith in his (SAW) being a messenger of Allah Almighty and to emulate and love him (SAW) with all his associations. Recite benedictions (Darud) frequently. Protect his (SAW) honour and reputation at all cost and spread his (SAW) words to everyone near or far.
- Duties Towards The Companions (RHs)
- Companions (RHs) of the Prophet (SAW) must be loved and revered. One must try to follow in their foot steps. Never ever ridicule or curse them. Have no relations with their adversaries. Companions include all the ordinary males and females, wives and children of the Prophet (SAW).
- They should be obeyed and respected. Seek knowledge and learn from them. Look after them considering them to be the heirs of the prophets (AS).
- Duties To The Parents
- Obey their commands provided these do not defy the Divine orders. Love them and take care of them. Pray for them after their demise. Be respectful to their friends.
- Duties Towards The Siblings
- Give them a good name on birth. Providing security and education and bring them up well. Never differentiate in your love. Marry them at respectable places and possibly leave behind legitimate (hilal) inheritance for them.
- Duties To The Spouse
- Special Rights Of A Wife
- A wife has some monetary rights which include the dower (Meh’r), residence and sustenance. Her other rights include being fair to them in case of more than one wife, civility and good lodging. Never torture or trouble them.
- Financial Rights
Timely Payment of Dower
Dower is the marital right of a wife which should be paid on solemnization of the wedlock. It is an honour being given to the woman, a protective mechanism and acceptance of her stature. Allah Almighty has ordained it to be paid:-
Give women their dower in good cheer. Then, if they forego some of it, of their own will, you may have it as pleasant and joyful.
Islamic scholars are unanimous that alimony is a bonafide compulsory (Wajib) right of a wife provide she is not disobedient and allows herself to the husband. After Nikkah, a woman is confined to her home and is forbidden to go out without the permission of her husband. Therefore the husband is duty bound to provide for her food and living. A woman with adequate financial resources of her own has also to be provided sustenance by her husband. Allah Almighty says:-
It is the obligation of the one to whom the child belongs that he provides food and clothing for them (the mothers) with fairness.(Al Baqra – 233)
At another place Allah Almighty has also said:-
Let the man of means expend according to his means; and whosoever is stinted in his subsistence let him expend of that which Allah hath given him.(At Talaq –7)
This is also the right of a wife.
Lodge them lodge where so ever ye lodge yourselves; according to your means; and hurt them not so as to straiten them.(At Talaq – 6)
This is also the right of a wife.
Lodge them lodge where so ever ye lodge yourselves; according to your means; and hurt them not so as to straiten them.(At Talaq – 6)
- Non Financial Rights
Justice Amongst Wives
A husband with more than one wife is expected to ensure fair distribution of his time, alimony and residence between them.
A husband is bound to treat his spouse/s decently with love and care. He should give her/them things that enhance love and affection provided he can afford them. Allah Almighty has ordained:-
O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them, ― except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them, it may be that ye dislike a thing and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.(Al Nisa-19)
It is narrated in Sahe Bukhari that the Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Take my advice and treat your women decently.’
Not to Torture wife/wives
Hazrat Jabbar (RH) has narrated that the Prophet (SAW) in his last sermon on the eve of Hajj tul Widda exhorted the Muslims, ‘Fear Allah Almighty in dealing with your wives. You have been wedded to them with the blessings of Allah Almighty and permitted conjugal pleasures. You have the right to expect them not to let into the home, a person you dislike. In case they disobey, beat them but not so harshly to inflict injury or cause pain. It is their right to be well fed and well kept.’ Sahee Muslim.
- Rights of a Husband
- A husband enjoys greater rights than a wife. Allah Almighty says:-
Women have rights similar to what they owe in recognized manner though for men there is a step above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Al Baqra- 228)
Allah Almighty has placed man over women as a master. He has to guide them, take care of them and rule over them like a sovereign. To do so, Allah Almighty has bestowed men with special physical and mental attributes. At the same time, he is supposed to take care of the monetary affairs. It is said in the holy Quran:-
Men are caretakers of women, since Allah has made some of them excel the others, and because of the wealth they have spent.(Al Nisa- 34)
A man has conjugal rights over his wife after the wedlock has been solemnized. It is obligatory for a woman to allow her husband to copulate, when he so desires. It is a major sin to resist unless there is a reason allowed by Sharia like menstrual cycle, obligatory fast and sickness.
Abu Huraira(RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said, "If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him and the husband spends the night displeased, then the angels send their curses on her till morning."
(Sahe Bukhari- 3065, Sahe Muslim- 1436)
Entry of Unwanted Person in Home
A husband has a right to expect his wife, not to allow a person who he dislikes into their home.
Narrated by Abu Huraira(RH): the Prophet (SAW) said,” A woman is not allowed an optional fast provided allowed by her husband. Not to allow a person into their home unless permitted by her husband.”
(Sahe Bukhari -4899, Sahe Muslim-1026)
Moving out of the Home
A wife can not leave her home and go out unless permitted by her husband.
In case of disobedience by a wife, husband is expected to teach her manners pleasantly and not harshly without contempt. Allah Almighty has only allowed temporary separation and light punishment to a wife for disobedience. Scholars of the Hanaf have allowed four occasions for admonishing a wife with physical punishment. A wife quits make up when her husband desires it. Secondly, in a state of purity, refuse to sleep with her husband. Thirdly does not offer prayers and lastly goes out of home without permission. Allah Almighty says:-
As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their, beds (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): for Allah is Most High, Great (above you all).(Al Nisa-34)
Serving the Husband
Sheikh ul Islam Ibn e Tamya (RA) had said,’ A wife is bound to take care of her husband nicely. This service may vary according to the conditions. Service by a city dweller will be different from a village wife. A weak woman can not match a strong one.’
(AlFitawa AlKubra – 561/4)
- Rights Of the Relatives
- Sharia emphasises on treating the humanity with courtesy and politeness and avoids maltreatment to any one. Allah Almighty says:-
Fear Allah in whose name you ask each other (for your rights)(An Nisa- 1)
In explanation of this verse, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani (RA) has written,” Emphasis not to maltreat relatives is based on the fact that normally they are closer and enjoy special affinity. Their rights are greater than anyone else. It is said in Quran:-
Give the relative his right, and the needy and the wayfarer.(Al Isra- 26)
Maulana Abdul Majid Dryaabadi dwelling on the verse writes, “Islam does not prohibit accumulation and earning of money. The only restrictions applied are that it is earned legitimately (Hilal). Then conditions have been laid to spend it. Relatives, poor and destitute, travellers and strangers have a right in the wealth of a Muslim. Rights include both the monetary and social rights. Here only monetary rights are being discussed. It is obligatory to help relatives and poor being their right to expect help from the rich. The rich should help them not as a favour but as an obligation. This the true form of socialism and not the one where poor are agitated against the rich. This above cited verse was preceded by rights of parents. Immediately following it indicates that rights are not restricted to parents only. After parents come the relations and other associates etc.”
In Sura Rum, Allah Almighty says:-
So give to the kinsman his right, and to the needy and the wayfarer. That is better for those who seek Allah’s pleasure, and it is they who will be successful.(Al Rum- 38)
In its explanation, Maulana Abdul Majid Daryaabadi writes,” Islamic Monetary system lays down the shares of relatives and the needy. Word ‘Right’ is worth considering. Shares have been fixed in the property of a well to do person. It is for their own good that these shares are regularly paid without much ado. Charity is not a favour to anyone. It shall benefit the giver individually and collectively in this world and the life hereafter, because they contributed to run the financial systems in accordance with the Divine commands.
"یریدون وجہ اللہ"
has elaborated the point further i.e. to seek the Divine acceptance; anything spent is primarily to please Allah Almighty. Forcible donations and donations meant for self publicity are not included in the acceptable category.”
At another place Allah Almighty says:-
Worship Allah, and do not associate with Him anything, and be good to parents and to kinsmen and orphans and the needy and the close neighbour and the distant neighbour and the companion at your side and the wayfarer and to those (slaves who are) owned by you. Surely, Allah does not like those who are arrogant, proud.(An Nisa -36)
In Sura An Nahl Allah Almighty says:-
Allah enjoins to do justice and to adopt good behaviour and to give relatives (their due rights), and forbids shameful acts, evil deeds and oppressive attitude. He exhorts you, so that you may be mindful.(An Nahl- 90)
At many places in the holy Book, Allah Almighty has exhorted Muslims to fulfill obligations towards their relatives. This vividly shows the importance of being kind to the relatives. Our Prophet (SAW) has emphasized the need of being kind to relations. He (SAW) had explained to his followers the worldly benefits and those in the life hereafter. He (SAW) also cautioned them about its pitfalls.
Hazrat Abu Hurira (RH) narrates, the Prophet SAW said,” Allah Almighty in the His Divine wisdom, created all things in accordance with their planned destiny. Then sympathy (relationships) stood up. On being asked as to what did he want? He replied, I beg and seek Your protection from fear of being sapped or abandoned. Allah Almighty said that will you be happy, that I shall reward a person with my bounties and forgiveness who upholds you and shall sap My rewards to a person who abandons his relations and shuns their rights. Mercy replied in affirmative and the Lord Almighty said that I shall uphold my promise with you.”(Mishkat- 490)
Hazrat Abdul Rahman bin Auaf (RH) narrates that the Prophet (SAW) said.” Allah Almighty says I am Allah, the Merciful; I created mercy and relationships and gave it a name from one of my own names. Anyone who associates with it and fulfils obligations towards the relatives, I shall be associated to him/her and a person sapping relations and not fulfilling obligations, shall be denied my mercy. (Abu Daud, Mishkat 420)
- Worldly Gains of Compassion
- Hazrat Ans (RH) has narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said,” Anyone desiring growth in sustenance and delay in death (longer life) should be compassionate and benevolent to relatives.” (Mishkat – 419)
This proves that growth in sustenance and longer life are beside the other blessings that are accrued with compassion and fulfilling rights of relatives.
- Punishment of Being Harsh To Relatives
- Hazrat Jubair bin Mutaam (RH) narrates that the Prophet SAW said, “A person harsh with relatives will not be allowed into the Heavens.” (Mishkat- 419)
Hazrat Abu Bakr (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” No sin is great enough that Allah Almighty shall choose to punish the doer, here and in the life hereafter except two, one is to assist and cooperate with xxx and other is to sap relationships.” (Abu Daud, Trimzi & Mishkat – 420).
In the spirit of guidance towards betterment, verses of the holy Quran and extracts from Hadith were stated. If instructions given therein are truly followed and relatives are treated with mercy and compassion, it will bring back happiness, love and tolerance which were prevalent among Muslims during the time of the Prophet’s (SAW). It was a different type of love which is unimaginable today. Alas! Having digressed from the Islamic norms, today we are left with cribs and complaints only. Love has been replaced with animosity, hatred, disintegration and disunity.
It is appropriate to end with a few words of Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah (RA) recorded by Maulana Manazer Hussain Gilani, in the side line of his book ‘Maqalat e Ehsani’. Criticizing the un Islamic life of the Muslims of his time, Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah wrote, “There is no rich person of means who doesn’t have poor and destitute in his relations who deserve to be fed and sympathized with. Rich get opportunities to help their relations. What needs to be done is, to simply intend to obey the Divine commands and pay the obligatory alms. This should suffice for them.” In his commentary Maulana Gilani writes, ‘these were the comments of a great Jurist and Mohadis, how good it will be if the rich of today are blessed with the intent (To please Allah Almighty) mentioned by Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah (RA), because most of them in any case do help their poor relatives.’
Tenure of the Second Caliph, Hazrat Omer bin Al khitab is considered exemplary. He issued a directive to his Governors, produced by Imam Ghazali in his book ‘Ahya e Aloom’, “Relatives of government functionaries should meet each other but not live in each other’s neighborhood or close vicinity. Living close can create a clash of interest and rights, leading to friction, hatred and ultimately in sapping of relationship.”
- Rights Of Neighbours
- Hazrat Maulana Taqi Usmani has narrated a personal episode, “I had gone to Saudi Arabia in 1963. A shop keeper there told me this story. In a cloth shop after a laborious selection, he asked the shopkeeper to cut a piece of the selected cloth. Declaring the price of the cloth, shopkeeper asked me if I really liked it and also thought its price to be right. On my affirmation, he asked me to go to the next shop and buy the cloth from there, in the same price. Astonishingly I asked him the reason and also inquired if that shop was also his property. He urged me not to get into a discussion, but go and get the cloth of my choice from there. I refused to budge and told him, that unless I was told the reason of doing so, I would not go. With some irritation, he answered that since morning he had received many customers and earned sufficiently for the day; while his neighbor had been sitting idle. So he wanted him to also earn.” This was a glimpse of the Islamic civilization, where success and joy are not attributed to money alone. It is the satisfaction of the conscious and heart which is gained by helping others and bringing joy in their lives. Islam repeatedly exhorts to treat the neighbors well and respect their rights. Even the temporary neighbours are included in it like fellow travelers, colleagues in a factory, business partners and teacher and student. Their association may not be permanent but is very pertinent. In the holy Quran, they have been specially mentioned:-
And be good to parents and to kinsmen and orphans and the needy and the close neighbour and the distant neighbour and the companion at your side and the wayfarer and to those (slaves who are) owned by you. Surely, Allah does not like those who are arrogant, proud. (An Nisa -36)
Normally temporary companions are ignored and not cared for, because after separation they may not meet again and maltreatment will not result in loss of reputation or create ill will. People travelling in trains, buses, aircraft and ships usually ignore being compassionate and nice. Indecency and foul language have been strictly forbidden in Islam.
Explaining the above verses Hazrat Mufti Shafi (RA) writes, “Islamic Sharia has laid down the rights of the temporary companions and wayfarers like those laid down for permanent neighbours. This includes Muslims and non Muslims, relation and strangers alike. They all have to be treated decently. One should not cause any physical or verbal hurt like foul language, smoking, eating a paa’n (Beatle nut) and spitting near them; sit in a way to squeeze or push others. If these Quranic verses are obeyed all squabbles will vanish.
Hazrat Qazi Sanna Ulllah Panipati (RA) in his book ‘Tafseer e Mazheri’has quoted the Companions (RHs) and those after them. Hazrat Ibn Abbas, Hazrat Mujahid, Qitada and Akrama (RAs) have interpreted the term صاحب بالجنب as a travelling companion. Hazrat Jareej and Abn Zaid (RAs) have included a student and another fellow student; those who associate to seek a benefit. Hazrat Ali (RH) and Hazrat Ibrahim Nakhi (RA) consider it to be the wife who stays with the husband. Hazrat Imam Bukhari (RA) considers it to be a fellow traveler. Some writers of Quranic exegesis include any professional colleague, fellow traveler, a mate in a procession or get together in the category. In short, anyone in close proximity qualifies to be” صاحب بالجنب “. Depth of Quranic verses is sufficient to engulf all of them. Holy Quran has specifically instructed that strangers and temporary companions should be treated decently. A person is generally decent to those known to him/her but one’s true self is revealed when a stranger is met. Mostly people display total lack of manners and decency when dealing with strangers even to the extent of being selfish. Hazrat Omar Farooq (RH) once said,” Never vouch for the goodness of a person unless you have entered into a deal with him/her and found him/her to be honest or travelled with him and found him be courteous and well mannered”. Test of goodness/kindness of a person is how his/her near ones describe him/her.
One day Companions (RHs) inquired from the Prophet (SAW), how to know if one was doing good or bad. The Prophet (SAW) in reply said, “When you hear your neighbours say good things about you, think that you are doing well. Otherwise think it otherwise.” (Ibn e Maja)
In the hadiths, it has been narrated, ‘A person using indecent or foul language commits cruelty.’ Bad language is certainly an act of cruelty to others and oneself. It can lead to abandonment of friends and well wishers. Being nice and polite can turn strangers into friends. Allah Almighty likes human beings to be treated with compassion and decency. Not being merciful in time of need can invite wrath of Allah Almighty.
”مَنْ لاَ یَرْحَمْ لاَ یُرْحَمْ“
. A person not kind to others should not expect any mercy for himself. (Bukkari & Muslim). In another hadiths, it has been narrated,
”لاَ یَرْحَمُ اللّٰہُ مَنْ لاَّ یَرْحَمُ النَّاسَ“
Allah Almighty is not merciful to a person who does not show mercy to others. Islam strictly forbids torturing and hurting someone. Even the animals have not to be tortured unnecessarily. Mannerism or ethics displayed to avoid criticism or disrepute is not a virtue but hypocrisy. Decency and manners should only be exhibited to please Allah Almighty and not for personal aggrandizement. Such a virtue repeatedly displayed will become a part of one’s nature. It will ensure that correct behavior is exhibited at all time and under all circumstances; only fearing Allah Almighty.
- Rights Of Ordinary Muslims
- It has been narrates in An Nisai, “A Momin (true Muslim) has six rights over another one. To be visited when sick. To be wished when met. To accept when invited for a meal. His/her funeral to be attended. To be mentioned in good words in his/her absence. On sneezing, to be wished (May Allah Almighty have mercy on you) یرحمک اللہ.
- Human Rights
- In Islam, life, property and honour of every member of a society are considered inviolable and sacrosanct. To kill an innocent person is considered to be a major sin. It has been termed to equal murder of the whole of humanity. Allah Almighty has given so much of importance to a single life. Similarly to save a person is like saving the humanity. Allah Almighty says:-
For this reason, We decreed for the children of Isra’il that whoever kills a person not in retaliation for a person killed, nor (as a punishment) for spreading disorder on the earth, is as if he has killed the whole of humankind, and whoever saves the life of a person is as if he has saved the life of the whole of humankind. (Al Maeda-32)
The Prophet (SAW) said,” A true believer is the one from whom others are not fearfulof their life and property.” (Sunan Nisai – 2836)
Hazrat Ans bin Malik (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Beginning with the name of Allah Almighty and seeking His protection, emulate the dictates of the followers of the Prophet (SAW) of Allah Almighty; never kill an old person, a child, an infant or a woman. Do no pilferage in the bounty of war but collect it, do reform yourself and conduct everything decently. Allah Almighty certainly likes those who extend favours to others.” (Sunan Abu Daud – 2616).
- Islamic Message Of Peace Is Universal
- A Slave of the holy Prophet (SAW) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Anyone who kills an elderly person or a child, burns a date orchard or cuts a fruit tree or slaughters a goat of the locals is certainly going to be seized and held responsible.” (Masnad Imam Ahmad-23029).
Islam’s message of peace and tranquility is universal and not restricted to the Muslims only. Respect to the life of every individual is preached. What to talk of killing someone even hurting a person is forbidden. In an era, when shedding human blood was considered a matter of pride, the holy Prophet (SAW) even forbid to slaughter a goat from the captured territory. Where else can guarantee of peace be found but in Islam which disallows burning of the enemy orchards or cutting fruit trees. Islam not only advocates peace for human beings but also protects trees and orchards. It is imperative to check and restrain those who create mischief and disorder. To ensure that peace and tranquility prevails, culprits have to be resisted and punished to curtail their strength. This tough attitude is basically defensive in nature and not aggressive. Neither is it a revenge of any kind but an arrangement to ensure peace and security. No concocted solutions or undue harsh actions have been permitted against them rather they too have been allowed some rights.
Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. (Al Baqra- 190)
It has been forbidden to launch a surprise attack without formal declaration of war. Enemies should not be tied and killed or burnt alive.
Punishment of fire is not permitted but to Allah Almighty who is the Lord of fire.(Sunan Abu Daud – 2675)
- Universality Of The Islamic message
- Rights and privileges of a citizen, in a Muslim state are not based on caste, creed, colour, religion or tribe. Everyone is entitled to them without any discrimination. Non Muslims are granted the same rights and privileges without any preference or prejudice. They enjoy total religious, cultural and financial independence. Muslims are responsible to protect them and ensure that they enjoy serene environments. The Prophet (SAW) said,” Protection of rights of non Muslims is my responsibility.” (Sunan Kibra – 8/31)
Hazrat Abdullah bin Omar (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Any Muslim who kills a non Muslim (from the minority tribe with whom a pact is in vogue), shall not smell the fragrance of the Heaven; which is otherwise spread as far as forty years of distance.” (Sahi Bukhari –3166)
There is another hadiths narrated in Sunan Abu Daud. The Prophet (SAW) said,” Beware! On the day of judgment, I will personally present the case of a person who usurps the rights of a non Muslim under pact or tortures him or forces him to work beyond capacity or snatches something forcibly from him.” (Sunan Abu Daud – 3054)
Non Muslims in an Islamic State are absolved of the defense duties. In the eventuality of a foreign aggression or an internal strife, Muslims are responsible to safeguard their lives, estate and honour. In return they are expected to pay a capitation or poll tax (Jazia). However women, children, blind and incapacitated are exempted to pay this tax.
Imam Abu Yousaf (RA) in his book ‘Al kharaj’ writes, “Hazrat Aslam (RH) who was a slave of Hazrat Omar Farooq (RH) narrates that the Caliph wrote to the Governors, not the levy the capitation tax on women and children and charge it only from male adults.”
In the same book at page 150 it is narrated,” Hazrat Omar Farooq (RH) passing by a house saw an elderly blind man begging. On inquiring as to what had forced him to beg, the Caliph (RH) was told that he was needy because Jazia (tax) had to be paid. The Caliph (RH) brought him home and gave him gave him essential things. A prompt message was sent to the custodian of the treasury that it was unjust to neglect such old non Muslims who had been paying the tax in their youth. The old beggar and other like him were exempted from paying Jazia (tax). Jazia is charged to protect life, property and honour of non Muslims. Any time the Muslim worriers felt that the responsibility could not be shouldered, they returned the taxed amount. In the battle of Yarmuk, when the Muslim commander Hazrat Abu Ubaida (RH) felt that he had to pull out of Hamas for tactical reasons, he ordered the taxed amount to be returned, because their protection could not be ensured. The locals were so impressed from this gesture that they cried in gratitude and prayed for the return of the Muslim Army as the Romans would not have given them back anything. (Fatuh Albaldan – page 162).
- Rights Of The Country/Nation
- One should always be loyal to his/her nation and country. Should never participate in a treacherous act or scheming to harm the country. Service to country should be directed for its betterment; always being fair and rising above parochial trivialities of cast, creed and religion.
- مَن کان یُومن باللہ و الیوم الآخر فلیُکرم ضیفَہ ۔
This verse exhorts those who believe in Allah Almighty and the life hereafter to treat their guests well. Hospitality had been a tradition of the prophets (AS). It is a manifestation of etiquettes and high manners extended to the relatives and friends. A host must welcome the guests wholeheartedly in order to seek pleasure of Allah Almighty. A guest on the first day may be treated and fed formally but on the remaining days food cooked in routine should be served. A guest should not stay for more than three days, so as not to become a financial or administrative burden. The Prophet (SAW) said, “It is not appropriate for a guest to stay so long that he turns into a burden.”
- TRUST WORTHINESS
- The Prophet SAW had said,” Faith of a person is not firm; who is not trust worthy.” This hadiths enjoins that a Muslim should never embezzle in things trusted into his/her custody. A position of authority is a national trust which shall be questioned. A secret is also a trust. During the duty hours, Islam forbids to do personal work even to offer voluntary worship because that time is a trust of the owner. Where a person is forbidden from performance of obligatory worship (Fa’riaz and Wajabat), that job should be quit or deduction of salary and emoluments be negotiated to compensate for the spent time. It has been narrated in the Hadith that things discussed in gathering should be guarded as trust except three things which affect others i.e. unlawful bloodshed, adultery and theft/robbery.
- BROTHERHOOD/ FRATERNITY
- “A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim.” The hadiths goes on to say,” A Muslim should not be cruel to another one nor should he be left alone in trouble. Allah Almighty has said that He shall help the one who helps another in need. On the Day of Judgment, Allah Almighty shall curtail one of the troubles from those who help others in grief and also keep confidentiality of those who keep secrets of others.” On arrival in Madinah, the holy Prophet (SAW) successfully built brotherly relations between the locals (Ansar) and the migrants (Mohajirs). The locals truly lived up to expectations. In a Muslim society many of the problems can be solved through the spirit of brotherhood. Today, if implementation of the system of obligatory alms (Zaka’t) is regulated properly, it can solve many of our problems.
- AVOID MOLESTATION/HURT
- A Hadith Narrates, “A true Muslim is the one who causes no verbal or physical hurt to another Muslim.” A Muslim should ideally be beneficent and not a molester. The cynics should be mindful of their life hereafter. A good Muslim will not cause harm to the majority for personal gains like adulteration and addicting the youth to the drugs etc. The Prophet (SAW) had said,” Allah Almighty shall not show mercy to the one, who is not kind to others.”
- SERVICE TO HUMANITY
- The Prophet (SAW) said, “Folks! Inculcate wishing (Salam), feed the needy and be sympathetic. Pray at the time when others are asleep (offer thajud prayers) and you shall enter the paradise.”
He (SAW) also said,” A person caring for widows and destitute is like the one fighting in the way of Allah Almighty.”
A deed performed to seek benevolence of Allah Almighty results in of Divine rewards and blessings. Service to humanity is one such act. Selfless service to the humanity is the epitome of virtue and passion. A person who loves others and cares for them without personal interests is held in high esteem by Allah Almighty. To look after the destitute, feed the hungry, cloth the poor, treat the sick and patronize the orphans are, indeed, deeds of great standing. It is only those who reach the highest pedestal of Divine acceptance who are pious Muslims and have firm faith in Allah Almighty. Service of faithless is not accepted because they do not abide by the commands of Allah Almighty. A person disloyal to his/her father but looking after his brothers and sisters cannot please the father because of his/her vested interests.
Hazrat Maulana Shah Hakim Muhammad Akhtar said,’’ Services rendered by the prophets (AS) and their message was solely for Allah Almighty. They only expected to be rewarded by Allah Almighty. Non Muslims distributing free food and clothing, do so to enhance their influence, seek their acceptance and promote their business, nation and country. Certainly these acts are based on vested interests and not to please Allah Almighty. Distribution of free items does not always make it right. Had it only been said in the holy Quran,
اتبعوا من لا یسئلکم اجرا
(Emulate those who don’t desire a return from you), the Christians and the Jews would claim that they too give without expecting a return by distributing free food, milk and medicines through their missionaries. As such their work is right and selfless. Quran being explicit and concise further lays down,
(those who are faithful and righteous). It is only them with strong faith who have to be emulated and not every philanthropist. Those not endowed with faith are
مغضوب علیہم اور ضآلین
and not to be followed irrespective of their claims.” (Khazian Shariat o Triqat – Page 711)
Service to humanity has to conform to the bounds laid down by Allah Almighty. It has to be ensured that it does not lead to immodesty and corruption. Life of the Prophet (SAW) is the best example of the character of a Muslim and it has been ordained to be emulated.
There was an old woman carrying a heavy load who could barely walk. She was being ridiculed, in a street of Makkah. The Prophet (SAW) quickly came to her rescue and physically carried the luggage to her home. Precisely it was such deeds of compassion that spread Islam from the deserts of Arabia to rest of the world. The Quran has laid down:
And seek the (betterment of) the Ultimate Abode with what Allah has given to you, and do not neglect your share from this world, and do good as Allah did good to you, and do not seek to make mischief in the land. Surely, Allah does not like the mischief-makers.” (Al Qasas -77)
- EXCHANGE OF GIFTS
- The Prophet (SAW) encouraged exchange gifts because it increases affinity and love. A gift is an expression of love and affection. It should not be given as a charity or to seek blessings but an expression of care and love. Nothing compares with love for Allah Almighty. It is narrated in a hadiths, “The best act is the one done in the love of Allah Almighty.” (Abu Daud – 4599)
- Gift Is Not A Loan
- When a gift is given it is not for return. It should not be treated as a loan or else rules of interest/ usury will apply. Wedding gifts given these days are expected to be returned, which turns them into a loan.
- VISITING OF A SICK PERSON
- Hazrat Ans (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Anyone who does the ablution correctly taking care of the essentials and the one who visits a sick brother; is bestowed with many rewards from Allah Almighty.”
- Hazrat Abu Musa Ashari (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Feed the hungry, visit a sick person and get an innocent prisoner released.”
- At another occasion the Prophet (SAW) said,” A Muslim has five rights over another Muslim, to return his wish, visit a sick person, walk with a funeral, accept an invitation and pray on sneezing.”
- Visiting a sick brother Muslim is a must for another Muslim irrespective of the fact that the other does not reciprocates it, especially when purpose of the visit is only to please Allah Almighty and not get a worldly reward. In ‘Beyeqai’, the holy Prophet (SAW) is quoted,” Visit a sick person even if he doesn’t do so and give a gift to a person who has never given you one.” One wrong doesn’t justify another wrong. There is no need to break relations but adopt a conciliatory attitude; which fosters affinity and brotherhood.
- The Prophet (SAW) said, “A Muslim visiting another Muslim is in the Heavens till he/she returns.” And,” When a sick person is visited, a voice calls out that a right deed was done. Be blessed for making a place for yourself in the Heavens.” (Ibn e Maja)
- Prayer of Angels When A Sick Is Visited
- Hazrat Ali (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” When a Muslim visits a sick Muslim in the morning, seventy thousand angels pray for his/her forgiveness till the evening. If done in the evening, they pray till the morning.”
- Allah Almighty Is Sought
- When sick person is visited to please Allah Almighty, surely His consent and pleasure is granted. The Prophet (SAW) said, “On the Day of Judgment, Allah Almighty shall inquire, ‘Oh! The son of Adam (AS), when you found me sick, why did you not visit me? The man will reply that how can You fall sick, Lord of the Universe. Allah Almighty shall reply that did you not know when my servant (name) fell sick. Had you visited him, you would have found Me.’” (Muslim)
- What To Say To A Patient
- Hazrat Abu Abbas (RH) narrates that the holy Prophet (SAW) visiting a sick villager said,” Do not worry, Allah Almighty willing (In Sha Allah) you will be cured.”
Hazrat Saeed Bin Al Musaib (RH) quotes the Prophet (SAW), not to sit long with a patient. Alight after a while. This Hadith points to a very subtle point i.e. not be a burden on a patient, because he may feel uncomfortable in talking or changing postures. Those desired by the patient are absolved of this restriction.
- FULFILLMENT OF PROMISES
- To fulfill a promise, a transaction, agreement, vow, bargain, appointment or an assurance is mandatory. A promise with Allah Almighty or human beings has to be fulfilled. It is one of the dictates of piety and a social responsibility. In the Holy Quran, the Jews have mentioned for breaking their promises:-
Those with whom you have entered into a treaty, then they break their treaty each time, and they do not fear Allah. (Al Anfal – 56)
The Prophet (SAW) has been asked to keep his promises with the disbelievers:-
How can the Mushriks have a treaty with Allah and His Messenger? Except those with whom you made a treaty near Al-Masjid-ul-Haram . Then, as long as they remain straight with you, you too remain straight with them. Surely, Allah loves the God-fearing. (Tauba – 7)
In Sura Al Maeda, Allah Almighty has urged, “Oh! The believers, Fulfil your promises”. At another place in the Quran it is stated, “You shall be questioned about your promises.” The Holy Prophet (SAW) always kept his promises and exhorted his followers to fulfil them too. He (SAW) said,” One who does not keep his/her promise is without religion.” Camping for the battle of Badr, despite being short of manpower, he turned back two of the Companions, Hazrat Huzifa (RH) and Hazrat Husail (RH) who had promised the non believers not to participate in the battle. Keeping a promise is the virtue and symbol of pious people. While making a promise, care must be exercised not say something which is against the spirit of Islam. Words that cannot be fulfilled must never be uttered. Allah Almighty has censured the Muslims:-
O you who believe, why do you say what you do not do?(As Saff – 2)
- UNITY IN FAITH
- Hazrat Ans Bin Mali (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said, “The sons of Israel were divided into seventy one sects. My followers will be divided into seventy two sects and all shall land in the Hell except one; those are the Umma.” (Sunan Ibne Majja – 3991-93)
Hazrat Abdullah Bin Omar (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Allah Almighty shall not allow my Umma to gather on dissoluteness and depravity. Allah Almighty is our protector. Anyone parting shall be led to fire of the Hell.” (Sunan Al Trimizi -2167)
Hazrat Al Haris Al Ashri (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Allah Almighty ordered me five things, to stay united with the Group, listen to advice, be obedient, migrate if needed and fight in the way of Allah Almighty. Anyone deviating even one span of a hand shall be detached from Islam unless he returns. (Sunan AlKubra- 157/8)
Hazrat Abdulah Bin Omar (RH) narrates that Hazrat Omar (RH) addressed them at Jabia and said, “I am standing at a place where the holy Prophet (SAW) stood amongst us. Stay united and keep away from dissention because the Devil (Satan) is always with a loner and stays away from two. A person desiring the centre of the Heaven must stay with the Group. Anyone happy with virtues and abhorring misdeeds is a true Muslim. (Sunan Al Kubra-9225)
Hazrat Ans Bin Malik (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said, “My followers shall never unite on depravity. So where you find dissentions, join the largest group.” (Sunan Ibne Majja – 3950)
Hazrat Abu Zarr (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Two persons are better than a single one, three are better than two and four are better than three persons. So stay together. Certainly Allah Almighty shall never gather my followers in consensus, on any thing but the true path of guidance.” (Ahmad Bin Hanbal 145/5)
The above cited hadiths clearly indicate that Allah Almighty doesn’t like dissension. He is only pleased with those who stay together. Staying together in the group doesn’t mean that even the wrongs be ignored/condoned. To improve things, eradicate mistakes collectively.
- MODESTY IS ESSENTIAL
- Modesty is an essential part of the faith. This is the virtue that separates humans from animals. Immodesty spreads rapidly and ultimately terminates in adultery. Allah Almighty has forbidden going near fornication. It is stated in the Holy Quran:-
Do not even go close to fornication. It is indeed a shameful act, and an evil way to follow. (Al Isra – 32)
Briefly explained, it means not to indulge in adultery at any cost and also stay away from its ramifications. In itself, it is an act of immodesty and shame leading many other ills and consequences. Adultery has been forbidden in Islam for two reasons. Firstly it is the ultimate form of immodesty. An immodest person is not considered a human being for he/she fails to differentiate between right and wrong. The Prophet (SAW) declaring modesty as an important part of the faith (emaan) said, “When you let go your modesty, the restraint to sin is eliminated, then you can indulge in vices at will.” Secondly, are the serious consequences which can lead to useless brawls and disturbances; destroying the entire tribes and nations. Investigation of thefts, robbery and murder will show that more than half are attributable to fornication. The crime may not directly violate human rights but leads to their violation.
Hazrat Bruida (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said, “The seven skies and earths lament over and curse a married fornicator. When in hell, their private body parts shall emit such foul odour that the others there will be perturbed. So beside, burning in the fire they will also be insulted and defamed.”
Hazrat Abu Hurira (RH) narrates, the Prophet ((SAW) said, “A fornicator during the act is not a Muslim; a thief while stealing is not a Muslim and a person drinking alcoholic beverages is not a Muslim when drinking.” This hadith is narrated in Bukhari and Muslim. In Abu Daud, it has been explained that when these crimes are being committed, the faith ((emaa’n) evaporates from the heart. It only returns when repentance is sought.
Hazrat Abdullah Bin Masood (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Display modesty towards Allah Almighty, as it behoves Him.” The Companions replied that Oh! The Prophet (SAW) of Allah Almighty we do. The Prophet (SAW) replied,” The modesty is to hide and guard the body parts ordained to be covered (sat’r) by Allah Almighty.” (Jamae Trimizi)
- Superiority Of Truthfulness
- As for the one who has come with the truth and believed it to be true, then such people are the ones who are God-fearing.(Az Zumar -33)
Truthfulness is one of the Divine traits. Amongst the human beings, it is also held in high esteem as a great virtue. A society can only survive on truth, without it no one will be considered reliable for day to day dealings. It is imperative to ensure that truth is allowed to flourish. Truth signifies unison of heart and words and is the single path to virtuous deeds. Islam preaches not only to be truthful but also keep the company of upright which is a prerequisite for piety.
O you who believe, fear Allah, and be in the company of the truthful.(AlTauba119)
Truthfulness will come handy on the Day of Judgment.
This is a day on which the truth of the truthful shall benefit them.(Al Maeda-119)
Allah Almighty has bestowed humanity with unlimited blessings and bounties. The pious and those close to Allah Almighty are blessed with His compassion, forgiveness and high rewards, every moment of their lives. Humans are separately categorized and are rewarded or punished accordingly.
That Allah may reward the men of Truth, for their Truth and punish the Hypocrites if that be His Will, or turn to them in Mercy: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.(Al Ahzab-24)
Two things vividly emerge in this verse. Firstly, that truth is the foundation of faith and hypocrisy is based on lies and falsehood. Secondly that hypocrisy will bring punishment in the life hereafter whereas truth being a virtue will help in deliverance.
For them there are gardens beneath which rivers flow, where they will live forever. Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him. That is the great achievement.(Al Maeda - 119)
Truthfulness is generally perceived to be restricted to speaking only. Actually it is a comprehensive notion which means that words and deeds, outside and the inner self of a person whether alone or in company should never be contradictory. Sincerity is an essential ingredient of the faith and it is always based on truth. A truthful person is always sincere but a sincere person may not be always truthful.
- Recognition Of Truth
- Truth is normally explained in three tiers. It can be said about a person that he/she is truthful (Sadiq) or very truthful(Saduq) or one is referred to as ’Sidique’ ( extremely truthful). This is the highest state of truthfulness. Allah Almighty rewards them with love and company of the faithful in this world. Quran states:-
Those who obey Allah and the Messenger are with those whom Allah has blessed, namely, the prophets, the Siddiqin, the Shuhada’ and the righteous. And excellent are they as companions.(An Nisa-69)
Allah Almighty being cognizant that some people will not be able to tolerate the stature of Hazrat Abu Bake (RH) has explicitly warned of the punishment for those who malign and slander him:-
That grace is from Allah; and Allah is sufficient as being the One who knows.(An Nisa-70)
The term ‘Siddique’ refers to the companions of the Prophets (AS). They are only second to them in order of precedence. They have been defined as, ‘the best amongst the companions or chosen by the prophets (AS) themselves.
O you who believe, fear Allah, and be in the company of the truthful.(AlTauba119)
Those were the people who followed the Prophet (SAW) and not the hypocrites. The first amongst them are the Companions of the Prophet (SAW). The first two Caliphs Hazrat Abu Bakr (RH) and Hazrat Omar (RH) are included in this category.
- Sources Of Truth
- Parental Acts
- Parents can teach their children anything which may be right or wrong through their personal example and training. When children see their parent always speaking the truth they automatically learn to do so. They can be later taught the informative material on truth. Those parents, who are used to telling lies, unfortunately transfer the same habit to their children. It is our collective responsibility that we must encourage truthfulness amongst our coming generations.
- Recognize Allah Almighty, His Traits And His Powers
- These feelings act as a boaster to keep away from lies and traverse the path of truth.
- Belief In The Life Hereafter
- To recognize the importance of the life hereafter and temporary nature of this world can lead one the truth.
- The Prophet (SAW) said, “Love of this world is the root cause of all vices.” One this is understood, then one tends to refrain from lies, deceit and hypocrisy. So any method applied to eradicate/ dilute love of this world will foster truthfulness. Spiritualism is one such method used to extricate love of the world and make the seeker a truthful person (Sadiqeen).
- Concealment Of Truth
- Islam is the chosen religion of Allah Almighty which has been made easy for the true faithful. Allah Almighty has proclaimed in Sura Baqra’ “Ease and not hard ship is desired by Him.” So in keeping with the spirit of this verse, Allah Almighty in His compassion and wisdom has allowed being tactful and granted concessions in speaking the plain truth or its concealment on some occasions. These have been communicated through our beloved Prophet (SAW). In the Arabic language, matter explained in a different grab, while concealing the real thing is, is called''' التوریۃٌ ‘. It is an expression with dual meanings. Visible sense is conceals the true meanings which are not discernible easily. As an example, Hazrat Ibraheen (AS) sensing danger is quoted to have said about his wife, “She is my sister”. What he (AS) implied was she was his sister in religion. Another example is, when Hazrat Abu Bakr (RH) during the journey of migration to Madinah, fearing Qureh being informed, would introduce the Prophet (SAW), “He (SAW) is my guide, showing me the path. Hazrat Abu Bakr ((RH), while speaking a truth was actually concealing a fact. A listener would mistake him to be referring to a guide hired to show the route to Yasrib, but Hazrat Abu Bakr (RH) had implied that the Prophet (SAW) was his guide to lead him onto the path to Allah Almighty and Divine glory. Actually Abdullah Bin Auriq had been hired as a route guide but people mistook the Prophet (SAW) to be the route guide from what Hazrat Abu Bakr (RH) said. Apparently it looks to be a lie, but was spoken in expediency for a permissible (according to Sharia) and useful act that is allowed in Islam. This is what is referred to as ‘Altuaiat’ and also ‘Al Maariz’. It is a concealment of a statement or action done to camouflage the real. Mind you, it should not be mixed up with ‘Taqiyya’ (a form of religious dissimulation, or a legal dispensation whereby a believing individual can deny his faith or commit otherwise illegal or blasphemous acts while they are at risk of significant persecution.) which is not done in good faith but to conceal deceit and hide words and deeds which are harmful to the Muslims. A dual meaning concealment is only allowed if done for the good of Islam and the Muslims. Taqiyya is an opposite notion totally; so it is not permitted. True believers do not hesitate to lay their lives for safeguarding truth. It distinguishes them from hypocrites and infidels. This is the path which separates the people of the heaven from those of the hell. A renowned Sufi scholar, Abu AlQasim Bin Muhammad AlQurari wrote, “To follow the course of truth is like lifting a mountain. Only strong people can do it. Under this load, they live like a pregnant woman who spends her time in labour and difficulty. Lies and deceit are light like a feather, which not a burden at all. It can be easily carried anywhere.
- Types Of Truth Explained By Imam Ghazali (RA)
- Truth Of Word: Always speak the truth.
- Truth Of Intention: Do a work with positive intentions.
- Truth Of Determination: Have faith in your beliefs and show determination.
- Truth Of Act: All acts should be commensurate with intention and determination.
- Truth Of Religious Conviction: One hadiths is sufficient to explain it. A person asked the Prophet (SAW) that out of his four vices, which one he should quit? The Prophet (SAW) suggested him to quit lying. Anyone who stops lying, Allah Almighty in His infinite mercy shall rid him of all other vices.
- EXQUISITENESS, CLEANLINESS AND PURITY
- In it there are people who like to observe purity; and Allah loves those observing purity(Al Tauba – 108)
In this verse, a trait of the Companions (RHs) has been praised and glad tidings of Allah Almighty stated that He loves purity. Every Muslim should yearn to observe purity so as to be amongst those loved by Allah Almighty.
The Prophet ((SAW) had said, “Cleanliness is part of the faith (ema’an).
- Difference Between Cleanliness And Purity
- A glean into teachings and worships of Islam shows that a lot of stress is placed on purity, cleanliness and ablution. Purity and cleanliness are two different things. Islamic jurisprudence lays down rules for ablution and cleanliness. A clean place, clothes and body are necessary to perform prayers (salah). Some steps of cleanliness are obligatory for praying (without which prayers are not formalized) while others are preferred steps to yield blessings of Allah Almighty. An unclean person with ablution can offer prayers but it is not liked. Allah Almighty does not like an unclean body. (Trimzi)
Bathing every day is good for health and to feel fresh. In case of scarcity of water, at least, one must take bath on every Friday. Brushing of teeth is essential hygienically as it prevents decay of teeth and many dieses of the stomach. The Prophet (SAW) said,” If it was not to trouble them, I would have declared brushing of teeth (miswak) obligatory for every Muslim”. Extravagance, spend thriftiness and undue formality are shunned in Islam whereas cleanliness of clothes and dress are desired. A clean and well kept look is advocated. An unkempt and untidy person is disliked. Long uncut nails are a source of germs and bacteria which can cause many ailments. Amongst ten things described as his (SAW) Sunnah, trimming of nails is one of them. Besides the cleanliness of body and soul, Islam also emphasizes on clean environments. Not only must the homes inside but outside be kept tidy and clean. Throwing of garbage, spitting or urinating in open places is considered inappropriate and uncivilized as it pollutes the environments. Good health is a blessing of Allah Almighty. He must be praised and thanked by refraining from unhealthy practices. In order to lead a healthy life, principals of hygiene must be learnt and followed. Muslims have been declared as ‘Khair ul Ummat’ in the holy Quran. They have been asked to ensure that good is done and bad avoided. How can a group which is weak and unhealthy implement the Divine Order? So if the Muslims really want to come up to the Divine expectations; they must become strong and healthy.
Muslims of Spain introduced the Europeans to a new culture and civilization. Unending heaps of garbage were scattered all around in their countries. Sewerage system was nonexistent with dirty water flowing in the streets and markets. Bathing was done once a month mostly. Clean drinking water was scarce. There were no hospitals and people were treated through witchcraft and rituals. Exquisiteness in dress and cuisine was totally missing. Education, health services, culture, etiquettes were not developed at all. All in all, it was a bad mess. Muslims were the ones who showed the Europeans a way of proper living; introducing them to sophistication and culture. Unfortunately today we have become what the Europeans were at one time. Anyone trying to be clean is ridiculed to under the European influence. Wearing of perfume was a favourite Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW). Why cannot we use perfumes to emulate a Sunnah and keep others away from bad odours? Similarly keeping a nicely trimmed beard is a Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (SAW). Purity of clothes is obligatory and to keep them tidy and clean is the way of our Prophet (SAW). While ensuring cleanliness things done in orderly fashion are what are called finesse and exquisiteness.
- COMMANDS AND PROHIBITIONS
- There has to be a group of people from among you who call towards the good, and bid the Fair and forbid the Unfair. And it is these who are successful.(Ale Imran-104)
Muslims have been commanded to have a group of people amongst them who invite others to the Divine path and guide them onto it. It may include the religious teachers, preachers (who invite non Muslims to embrace Islam), those fighting in the way of Allah Almighty, religious police and the saints who cleanse the hearts and rectify self (naf’s) to enable them to follow the Quran and Sunnah wholeheartedly.
You are the best ‘Ummah ever raised for mankind. You bid the fair and forbid the Unfair, and you believe in Allah.(Ale Imran-110)
Praising the Muslim Ummah, Allah Almighty declared it to be the best of all the communities. It is precisely for this reason that they perfect themselves and are in total obedience. They ensure that others obey the Divine commands and refrain from prohibitions. They ensure that other become obedient to Allah Almighty; even it is through jehad. That is why they have been declared the best ummah.
In most of their secret talks there is no good: but if one exhorts to a deed of charity or justice or conciliation between men, (secrecy is permissible): to him who does this, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall soon give a reward of the highest (value).(Al Nisa-114)
The Prophet (SAW) had declared, “A Muslim urging another Muslim to goodness is granted the same reward as the doer receives.” This is undoubtedly a big incentive to invite people towards virtuous deeds. A person, who has successfully convinced ten persons to pray regularly, shall receive the cumulative reward of all ten of them. This is indeed a great blessing of Allah Almighty. Prohibitions have their negative fallout which can harm the entire community. So it is essential to discourage people from vices and malpractices.
HAZRAT Ibn e Masud (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Ummah of the prophets (AS) who came before me had sincere followers who obeyed their commands. Later some amongst them would say things which they did not do and instead did things which they were never asked to do. Anyone who fights them with his hands is a Momin (True believer). A person who opposes them with his tongue is also a Momin. Thereafter the faith dwindles to a speck of hay only.” (Muslim)
Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Don’t sit in the way” The Companions (RHs) replied, “Messenger of Allah Almighty! We are constrained to sit as we discuss our affairs there.” The Prophet (SAW) said, “In that case serve its right.” “What is it?” Inquired the Companions (RHs). The Prophet (SAW) replied,” Keep your eyes low, remove impediments and obstructions, reply a wish (Salam) and ensure commands of Allah Almighty are obeyed and prohibitions stopped.” (Unanimous)
Hazrat Ayyesha (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Every person is born with 360 joints. Anyone who says ‘Allah O Akbar’, Alhamad O Lillah, Laillaha il Allah, Subhan Allah, removes a stone, thorn, a bone from the way or orders virtuous acts and prohibits vices in a such a way that he/she completes 360 such deeds by the evening, he/she has saved him/her self from fire of the hell. (Unanimous)
Hazrat Abu Zarr (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Every one of you is to dedicate charity (sadqa) every morning. To recite ‘Allah O Akbar’, Alhamad O Lillah, Laillaha il Allah, Subhan Allah is a such charity. To preach virtue and prohibit vices is also a charity. More than this, are the two rakkah of prayers offered at Chasht (a little before mid day). (Muslim)
On the day of the Battle of Khyber, the Prophet (SAW) while handing over the battle flag to Hazrat Ali (RH) said,” I swear by Allah Almighty, a single person guided onto the path of truth by you is better than the red camels. (Bukhari)
Hazrat Jabbar (RH) narrates that on the occasion of Bait e Uqba Thani, the Prophet (SAW) was asked that on what the oath should be based. He (SAW) replied, “That you shall hear and obey me at leisure or being alert. You shall spend when poor or rich, promote virtues and prohibit vices, rise to fight in the way of Allah Almighty not bothering about criticism, you shall help me when I come to you for it, and you shall defend me with what you defend yourself and your children. Then the paradise is for you.” (Rawa e Ahmad Basand Hasan)
Hazrat Abu Raqya Tamim Bin Auisdari (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Religion is for goodwill and benevolence.” On being asked, for whom? he (SAW) replied,” Goodwill for Allah Almighty, His Book, His Messenger (SAW), Muslim rulers and the common Muslim citizens.” (Muslim)
- Truth Of Preaching
- Preaching being a Divine orders is compulsory (wajib) and applicable across the board. It, however, has two types. On is a general preaching and the other is specialized invitation to Islam. The special preaching is applicable to everyone but generalized preaching is compulsory for the religious scholars. Muslims have to bear all its expenditures. Specialized preaching is a blessing of Allah Almighty based on the capacity granted by Him. It is obligatory for parents to teach children about praying, fasting and other basic rituals of Islam. It is obligatory for a husband to ensure that his wife follows the Sharia. It is also obligatory that servants and subordinates obey the Divine commands. It is stated in Hadith,” When your children are of seven years of age order them to pray. At ten, ensure that they do so, even if you have to beat them.”
"الذین ان مکنّٰھم فی الارض اقاموا الصلوٰۃ واتوا الزکوٰۃ و امرو ا بالمعروف ونھو ا عن المنکر”
Such are the people who when granted rule in the world, pray and pay obligatory alms and make others do virtuous deeds and prohibit them from vices.
A person of authority, who is sure that no harm will come to him, when he ensures implementation of the Divine Commands and Prohibitions; has to implement them, whether these are obligatory (Faraz) or preferential (Mosta’hib). It is not compulsory for an individual to preach who is unable or constrained to do so. The least one should do is to condemn those abhor able acts in heart.
- Preaching With Hand
- Rulers are only allowed to preach with hand and not the masses because it can lead to mischief and turmoil. Purpose of preaching is reformation and not chaos and disorder. This rule has its variants too i.e. a father rules over his son and a husband over his wife. In such a situation, preaching with force is allowed. It is narrated in the books of hadiths that a time shall come when people despite being able to stop sinners, will fail to do so because of lethargy and compalcency. They will be the people inviting the wrath and punishment of Allah Almighty. Hazrat Ayyesha Siddiqa (RH) described a village under the Divine punishment where eighteen thousand pious Muslims lived. Although their deeds were like the prophets (AS) but they failed to ensure implementation of the Divine Commands and check prohibitions. They were all killed. To ignore a sin is as bad as sin itself and one cannot be absolved of the responsibility to curb it.
- Verbal Preaching
- Teacher has to preach good deeds and restraint from sins. Preaching should be so done that it is convincing and useful. It is better to learn its techniques and do it with consultation. Local environments must be known or learnt. Use of effective modern tools of communication like pen, radio and internet is important.
- Etiquettes And Protocol Of Preaching
- Have complete knowledge of the subject.
- Aim should be to please Allah Almighty and not self appeasement.
- Be kind and affectionate when preaching.
- While preaching just focus on its delivery and not the results.
- Be generalized in approach and do not pin point individuals.
- Take no emoluments or other benefits in kind. Deliver it free of to ensure Divine blessings.
- Do not embarrass a person by reforming him publically.
- Avoid harshness and abrasion. Be soft and kind.
- Method Of Preaching
- Allah Almighty addressing the Prophet (SAW) says in the holy Quran, “Oh the Messenger! Call people onto the path of their Lord with tact and decent sermons. Then, if need be, do indulge in a debate (Mujadla) with them but do it politely.”
There is only one Divine way and that is Islam. The Prophet (SAW) was commanded to invite people to follow its true path. Three aspects have been mentioned i.e. a tactful invitation, invitation through decent sermons and a modest debate in good taste. A dialogue has two facets; one is to prove the point with solid arguments. The other is to counter arguments of the opponent logically. The first can be termed as a tactful invitation and the other a modest debate. One is merely like a town crier who only announces proclamation of the king, with no concern or responsibility whether it is obeyed/acted upon or not. The other form is like a father who is trying to persuade his son with affection and concern. A father will go to any extent to ensure no harm comes to the son. An articulate preacher shall address the audience so eloquently that the message sinks in and even the opponents are compelled to accept it. This is the method of the prophets (AS). Our holy Prophet (SAW) followed the same technique all his life.
- Prohibitions Are Not Always Pardonable
- Two Israelis prophets, Hazrat Daud (AS) and Hazrat Eisa (AS) have been cited in the holy Quran to have cursed a group of their nation for not forbidding each other from evil doings and sins.
Curses were pronounced on those among the Children of Israel who rejected Faith by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary: because they disobeyed and persisted in Excesses.
Nor did they (usually) forbid one another the iniquities which they committed: evil indeed were the deeds which they did. (Almaeada 78-79)
This shows that Divine prohibitions are not pardoned, all the time. The above verses clearly show how those with authority, using it only for worldly gains and not to prohibiting vices are cursed and admonished. At another place the Prophet (SAW) is instructed by Allah Almighty:-
O Prophet! Take forgiveness (as your habit), enjoin virtue, and ignore the ignorant.(Al Araf – 199)
This is that Divine duty that the prophets (AS) performed and revealed in the holy Books. The last Prophet (SAW) did it exceptionally well:-
Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (Scriptures); ― in the Law and the Gospel; ― for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil: he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him honour, him, help him, and follow the Light which is sent down with him― it is they who will prosper."(Al Araf – 157)
- Point To Ponder
- Allah Almighty says:-
The hypocrites, males and females, are all alike. They bid vice and forbid virtue and withhold their hands (from spending in Allah’s way). They forgot Allah, so He forgot them. Surely, the hypocrites are the sinners (Al Tauba -67)
Quran has also revealed:-
The believers, male and female, are friends to each other. They bid virtue and forbid vice and establish Salah and pay Zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those are the ones whom Allah will bless with mercy. Surely, Allah is Powerful, Wise. (Al Tauba -71)
The first verse describes traits of the hypocrites. Qualities of the vitreous Muslims are expressed in the second verse. Now it is up to the Muslims to choose as to where want to be? To indulge in the Divine prohibitions is not allowed. The Prophet (SAW) said, “Anyone of you observing an evil deed should obliterate it with his own hands. If he/she lacks the power then it should be condemned verbally. The lowest ebb of faith is to at least condemn it in the heart if sufficient power is not possessed.” (Muslim)
The Prophet (SAW) also said,” Order virtue and prohibit sins, otherwise Divine Punishment shall befall you. You shall then beg for mercy and will not be forgiven.” (Muslim)
Hazrat Ans (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” Help your brother whether he is a victim or a tyrant.” A man asked, “Oh! The Messenger of Allah Almighty. How do I help him, if he is a tormentor?” The Prophet (SAW) replied,” Stop him from tyranny. This is the help that you can render.” (Bukhari)
- Survival Of The Civilization Is In Obeying The Divine Commands And Refrains From Prohibitions
- This has been beautifully explained in the following hadith. The Prophet (SAW) said,” Those who break the Divine bounds or lax in them are like a tribe who drew lots to travel in a twin decked ship. Some got a place in the upper deck while the others occupied the lower one. Those at the upper deck felt offended when others came to fetch water. So the people of lower deck decided to make a hole in the bottom of the ship to fetch water directly from the sea. On hearing the sound, those of upper deck rushed down. If they stop them from making the hole they would save both the parties otherwise both shall sink with the ship.” (Bukhari)
Another hadith narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” A nation is liable for Divine punishment if the powerful and those with authority do not prohibit them from sins and vices.”
- Duties Of Muslim Rulers
- Allah Almighty mentioning the pious says in Quran:-
The ones who help Allah are) those who, when We give them power in the land, establish Salah, pay Zakah, bid what is Fair and forbid what is Unfair. And with Allah lies the fate of all matters. (Al Hajj- 41)
Advice given to his son by Hazrat Luqman (AS) is cited in the holy Quran:-
My dear son, establish Salah, and bid the Fair and forbid the Unfair, and observe patience on what befalls you. Surely, this is among the matters of determination. (Luqman – 17)
This advice is so liked by Allah Almighty that it has been cited in the holy Quran for the posterity and shall remain valid till the Doom’s day.
- Cause of Allah Almighty’s Wrath
- When a civilization reaches a stage, where sins are being committed openly and no one bothers to check them physically or verbally or condemn them quietly; it is the beginning of their end. Natural calamities and hazards are surely going to befall this lot. The Prophet (SAW) said,” Allah Almighty normally does not punish the masses because of the virtuous deeds of the selected few unless sins are openly committed and those with authority do not stop them. Wrath of Allah Almighty then engulfs all including the pious.” (Masnad Imam Al Ahmad)
The holy Prophet (SAW) addressing his companions said,” How shall you feel when your youth turn immoral and the women and girls cross all limits?” The Companions (RHs) asked, “Oh! The Messenger of Allah Almighty, will it happen?” The Prophet (SAW) replying in affirmative said, “It shall be more than that. You shall then be constrained to order virtues and prohibit sins.” On their asking again that would such a thing happen, the Prophet (SAW),” Worse things shall happen. Sins will be treated as virtues and good deeds shall be condemned as vices.” Masnad Abe Ali)
Hazrat Ibne Masud (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” The first wrong that started in Bani Israel was that a person seeing the other doing a wrong, warned him to fear Allah Almighty and desist from it, not being allowed. The next day when he found the person committing the same wrong, he would join him and become like him. Allah Almighty then turned their hearts and made them alike.” The Prophet (SAW) then recited the Quranic verse, “Curses were pronounced on those among the Children of Israel who rejected Faith by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary: because they disobeyed and persisted in Excesses.” Having recited up to the word (فاسِقون) He (SAW) went on to say,” Swearing by Allah Almighty, I hope that you shall surely order virtue and prohibit vices. Stop the wicked hands and force them to goodness, compel them to do right and ensure that they stay good or else Allah Almighty shall turn your hearts alike and curse you like He cursed them.” (Abu Daud, Trimizi)
The Prophet (SAW) exhorted Hazrat Salba (RH), “Oh! Salba, order virtue and prohibit vices. When you see misery spreads and everyone is sticking to his opinion, not budging, then save yourself and move away from the masses. The evil will chase you like the dark patches of the night. Then anyone adhering to faith and good deeds shall be rewarded equivalent to fifty persons.” On being asked as to which fifty? The Prophet (SAW) replied, “Fifty amongst them, as unlike you, they shall have no guide to urge them to perform good deeds.” (Sunan Abu Daud, Sunan Ibne Maja, Sunan Trimizi)
- A Tale In Quran
- Ask them about the town situated by the sea, when they used to transgress in the matter of Sabbath, when their fish came to them openly on their Sabbath, and did not come to them when they did not have Sabbath. In this way, We put them to a test, because they used to act sinfully.
Then a group of them said, “Why do you exhort a people whom Allah is going to destroy or chastise with a severe punishment?” They said, “To absolve ourselves before your Lord, and in order that they may fear Allah.”
So, when they forgot the advice they were given, We saved those who used to forbid evil and seized those who transgressed with a bitter punishment, because they had been disobeying.
When they persisted in doing what they were forbidden from, We said to them, “Become apes debased. (Al Araf -163 to166)
When they persisted in doing what they were forbidden from, We said to them, “Become apes debased. (Al Araf -163 to166)
- How To Prevent Divine Punishment
- Allah Almighty has declared:-
Your Lord is not such that He would destroy the towns unjustly while their people are good in their ways. (Hud -117)
Till the time, the Divine Commands are implemented and Prohibitions enforced, wrath of Allah Almighty is prevented. As elucidated in the Quran and hadiths, those who forbid their people indulging in collective sins were saved while rest were destroyed and obliterated. Enforcement of Prohibitions is the only way to avoid the Divine punishment.
- Stature Of Those Enforcing Divine Commands And Prohibitions
- It is narrated in Tafseer Ibne Kaseer that Hazrat Abu Obaida Bin Al Jirah (RH) inquired from the Prophet (SAW) as to who would receive the maximum punishment on the Day of Judgment? In reply, the Prophet (SAW) said,” A person who killed a prophet or a person who orders virtue and prohibits vices” Then the Prophet (SAW) recited the following verses:-
Surely, those who reject the verses of Allah and slay the prophets unjustly, and slay those of the people who bid justice, give them ‘the good news’ of a painful punishment.
Those are the ones whose deeds have gone to waste in this world and in the Hereafter. For them there are no helpers.(Ale Imran – 21, 22)
Justice here means to enforce virtue and prohibit vices. Mention of such people along with the prophets is a manifestation of their high stature. The Prophet (SAW) was asked as to who the most pious person was? He (SAW) replied,” The one who orders virtue, prohibit vices and is kind to relatives.” (Kitab ul Adaab by Ibne Abi Shiba)
- Some Logical Arguments
- It is a proven fact that a disease not checked in time spreads into the body and becomes incurable. Vices when allowed to grow in a society are impossible to eradicate and ultimately they are punished. This is a Divine law which remains unchanged:-
According to the consistent practice of Allah that went on since before and you will never find a change in Allah’s consistent practice. (Al Fateh – 23)
It has been observed that if a house in not cleaned regularly, it becomes unlivable after some time. The air gets polluted and bacteria spread all around. Similarly if vices become rampant in a Muslim society and virtues are not practiced, the people turn evil and mischievous losing their right to exist. Conditions get created and they are then destroyed.
The seizure of your Lord is severe indeed! (Al Baruj – 12)
Earlier to give guidance to mankind, and has sent down the Furqan (the Criterion of right and wrong). Surely, those who have rejected the verses of Allah, for them there is severe punishment. Allah is Mighty, the Lord of Retribution. (Ale Imran – 4)
Vices and misdeeds become attractive when people get used to them. When Divine Commands and Prohibitions are quit, virtue is forgotten and people start indulging in corruption till it becomes so common that its gravity is ignored and these are generally liked. This is when foresight and prudence are lost. Divine Commands and Prohibitions have been made compulsory by Allah Almighty and His Messenger (SAW) for adoption in a Muslim society. It is only through practicing them that sanctity and virtue are ensured and safeguarded.
(Above arguments were taken from ‘Mihaj ul Muslim compiled by Sheikh Abu Bakr Aljizari)
- Etiquettes Of Divine Commands And Prohibitions
- The preacher must be sure that what he is advocating is an established virtue in Sharia. At the same time, he must be cognizant of the nature of the ill (sin) that he is attempting to eradicate. It must be a declared sin by Sharia. He should himself practice what he is preaching. It is said in the holy Quran:-
O you who believe, why do you say what you do not do? It is severely hateful in Allah’s sight that you say what you do not do. (Al Saf – 2, 3)
Allah Almighty has said:-
Do you enjoin righteousness upon others while you ignore your own selves, although you keep reciting the Book? Have you then no sense. (Al Baqra- 44)
A preacher should possess good manners, who should softly order prohibition of vices. He should tolerate personal inconveniences/discomfort suffered in enforcement of the Divine Commands and Prohibitions. He should also desist from expressing anger. The Quran advocates:-
My dear son, establish Salah, and bid the Fair and forbid the Unfair, and observe patience on what befalls you. Surely, this is among the matters of determination. (Luqman – 17)
A preacher should not spy around to detect vices. It is in appropriate to peep into houses to find prohibitions or body search to discover hidden items or open utensils to check their contents. Islamic Sharia advocates that vices should be concealed. It is said in the holy Quran:-
O you, who believe, abstain from many of the suspicions. Some suspicions are sins. And do not be curious (to find out faults of others), and do not backbite one another. Does one of you like that he eats the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor it. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is Most-Relenting, Very-Merciful.(Al Hujrat – 12)
The holy Prophet (SAW) said,” Don’t spy around. Anyone who hides vices of a Muslim, Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgment shall conceal his ills.” (Bukhari)
A preacher should ensure that virtue and vices are well understood by his audience. He must explain these explicitly.
A person, who despite being advised does not act on it, should be urged to do so again. He should be firmly and harshly handled if he persists in disobedience. Help from the government or the community may be sought if he remains incorrigible.
A preacher who is not powerful enough to physically or verbally eliminate vices, the least he should do is to condemn them in his heart. The Prophet (SAW) said,” One amongst you who sees sin being done, should try to stop it physically with hands, failing which he should condemn it verbally. The weakest degree of faith is to condemn it in his heart.” (Muslim) (Minhaj ul Muslim pages 122 & 123).
- Censure On Advising Others But Not Acting Himself
- Allah Almighty says:-
Do you enjoin righteousness upon others while you ignore your own selves, although you keep reciting the Book? Have you then no sense.(Al Baqra- 44)
At another place the Quran urges:-
O you who believe, why do you say what you do not do? It is severely hateful in Allah’s sight that you say what you do not do. (Al Saf – 2, 3)
The statement of Hazrat Shoaib (AS) is recorded in the holy Quran:-
He said, “O my people, tell me, if I am on a clear path from my Lord and He has provided me with a good provision from Himself, (should I still leave you unguided?) I do not want to do in your absence what I forbid you from. I want nothing but to set things right as far as I can. My ability to do any thing comes from none but Allah. In Him alone I have placed my trust and to Him alone I turn in humbleness. (Hud -88)
When the word will come to fall upon them, We will bring forth for them a beast from the earth who will speak to them that the human beings (i.e the infidels) did not believe in Our signs.(Al Naml – 82)
Hazrat Abdullah Bin Umar (RH) in explanation of the verse wrote,” Till virtues are ordered, vices cannot be prohibited.
Hazrat Usama Bin Zaid (RH) narrates, the Prophet (SAW) said,” On the Day of Judgment a man would be thrown into fire of the hell. He will go round and rounds like a donkey with his intestines hanging. On inquiry from the other inmates he would tell them that he preached virtue, but did not practice it himself and forbid others from vices but indulged in them himself.”
- Structure For Implementing Divine Commands And Prohibitions
- Notwithstanding individual efforts, an organization/ structure to implement them legally are obligatory (Farz e Kafia). Allah Almighty says:-
There has to be a group of people from among you who call towards the good, and bid the Fair and forbid the Unfair. And it is these who are successful. (Ale Imran-104)
Muslims have been ordained to organize a group to preach and guide people onto the path of Islam. Such arrangements are required for implementing both the Divine Commands and Prohibitions. Tabligi Jamat, founded by Hazrat Maulana Ilyas (RA) and Hazrat Maulan Zakria (RA) is the most famous amongst such movements. This Movement came into existence because of the efforts of pious people and payers of the people. Full cooperation must be extended to them. Those presently at the helm of affairs must abide by the principals and rules framed by the pioneers. If they fail to do so, there is likely hood that blessings of Allah Almighty are no longer with them. Like in the past, when followers of the prophets (AS) did not abide by their teachings, they were led astray.
- To Save And Avoid Mischief
- وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ یُّعْجِبُکَ قَوْلُہ‘ فِی الْحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنْیَا وَیُشْھِدُاللّٰہَ عَلٰی مَا فِی قَلْبِہٰ وَھُوَ اَ لَدُّالْخِصَامِ﴿۴۰۲﴾ وَاِذَا تَوَلّٰی سَعٰی فِی الْاَرْضِ لِیُفْسِدَ فِیْھَا وَیُھْلِکَ الْحَرْثَ وَالنَّسْلَ۔ وَاللّٰہُ لَا یُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ ﴿۵۰۲﴾ وَاِذَاقِیْلَ لَہُ اتَّقِ اللّٰہَ اَخَذَتْہُ الْعِزَّۃُ بِالْاِثْمِ فَحَسْبُہ‘ جَھَنَّمُ۔ وَلَبِئْسَ الْمِھَادُ
There are some whose discourse despite being purely for worldly reasons, appealed to the Prophet (SAW). They make Allah Almighty as their witness in order to add credibility (actually a liar). He is extremely hostile to the Prophet (SAW) and goes all out to torture Muslims. As soon as, he is away from the company of the Prophet (SAW), endeavours to cause mischief and disorder by damaging crops and killing the animals. Such are the ones who are not liked by Allah Almighty.
It is evident from this verse that mischief and discord are social crimes as these damage the peace and tranquility in a society. Therefore it is the responsibility of the influential people and rulers to take stern action against the culprits and curb their nefarious activities. It has been mentioned in Hadith that back biting and whispering are social ills which lead to mischief and discord in a society. Severe punishments have been cited for people who indulge in these vices. It has been said that a back biter shall never enter the paradise. To avoid mischief the best way is to discourage rumour mongering and not to pay any heed to it. A gossip must be investigated to arrive at the truth.
O you who believe, if a sinful person brings you a report, verify its correctness, lest you should harm a people out of ignorance, and then become remorseful on what you did (Hujrat – 6)
- Allah Almighty has declared the human beings and Jinns have been created for His worship.
I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except for the purpose that they should worship Me. (Adh Dhariyat – 56)
All other things are means to facilitate worship, being the primary task. Therefore it is obligatory in a Muslim society that arrangement for the worship are facilitated mosques be constructed with provision of essential seasonal services. In the month of Ramdhan, working hours should be regulated to facilitate fasting. A system should be established for collection and distribution of Zakat (Obligatory Alms). Adequate arrangements should be made for the annual pilgrimage. For more details consult section of Jurisprudence reserved to cover essential details of the Islamic worships.
- EDUCATION & BRIBGIBG UP
- To view an object two lights are needed. One is the external light e.g. the Sun light and or any artificial light like a domestic lamps etc. The other is the internal light i.e. vision of an eye or eye sight. Absence of any one of them will make visibility impossible. Similarly two lights are required for seek righteousness and guidance. The outside sources are the Quran and Sunnah and the internal light is provided by insight and prudence. Religious schools provide education of Quran, Sunnah and Islamic jurisprudence. To educate the masses it is essential to provide the basic knowledge of obligatory rituals in the mosques. Schools and colleges must also impart the basic religious knowledge.
This can become effective only when adequate internal light is also arranged. Towards this end, cleansing of the heart (Qal’b) and rectification of self (naf’s) are essential for a healthy Muslim society. Otherwise educated rascals and vagabonds will be produced who can tear apart the basic fabric of society in a systematic way.
Two impart this training two things are needed. One is remembrance of Allah Almighty (In a hadiths it has been declared to be the remedy for removing the rust from a heart). The other is the effort and restraint (Mujahida) to control self (naf’s) and passions. Till the time self is controlled, nothing works. Both these acts are performed under the supervision and guidance of teacher called ‘Sheikh’. The place where these actions are practiced is called a ‘khanqa’. It is, therefore, essential to have a suitable number of khanqas in a society. Necessary details are available in the section earmarked for ‘Tasawuf’.