Obstacles that Prevent One From Making Repentance, by Imam Ibn Taymiyyah


Introduction

The linguistic definition of at-Tawbah: Whoever sought repentance renounces a certain matter. Hence, is to return from a certain action.

The Divinely Legislated definition of at-Tawbah: The act of returning from the disobedience of Allah, the Most High, to His obedience.

The Scholars mentioned the act of seeking penitence is deemed obligatory for every sin committed. If the act of disobedience has occurred between the slave and Allah the Most High, and is not connected to the human rights, then the conditions are three:

[1] The First condition: The individual discontinues the disobedience.

[2] The Second Condition: The individual regrets his act.

[3] The Third Condition: The individual resolves never to return to the act.

If any of these three conditions are not fulfilled, the act at-Tawbah is not actualised. If the act of disobedience is connected to another individual, a the forth condition involved,

[4] The Forth Condition: The individual is obligated to absolve himself from the victim.

It is a most upon the individual to seek repentance for his sins. If the individual seeks repentance from a portion of them, his taw bah is considered correct according to the ‘ulama for those particular sins. However, that which he remains doing, continues to remain with him. Until him repents from the particular sin.

 

OBSTACLES THAT PREVENT YOU FROM MAKING REPENTANCE

 

DISREGARDING ONES SINS

From the things that prevent one from making Tawbah (repentance), is paying little concern with the sins one commits, belittling the sins one falls into, thinking one does not have to make repentance from them, considering they carry a light punishment. And this is a sign of one being mislead and astray, and we ask Allah for health and strength.

Anas said: “You indulge in (bad) actions, which are significant to you than a hair while we considered them at the time of the messenger to be great destroying sins”. [Bukhaari /6492) Musnad of Imam Ahmed 3/ 285 and Aboo Ya’laa 7/212(4207) 1213(4314) Al-Bayhaqi in Shu’bul-Eemaan 5/454(7208)]

So is it not befitting for the one who has belief in Allah and his messenger to underrate his sins, which he commits, but rather he should consider them to be great and this will enable him to make Tawbah (repentance) and become remorseful over whatever sin he commits.

Al-‘Awzaa’ee used to say: the major sins are the sins one commits then consider it to be small/underrates it. And also he used to say, a man persisting upon a sin is sign heconsiders it to be small sin. [Bayhaqi in Shu’bul-Eemaan, 5/429].

Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “any sin a person persists upon is a big sin, and no sin a person repents from is not a big sin”. [Bayhaqi in Shu’bul-Eemaan, 5/428]

Ka’ab said: “the slave commits a small sin and belittles it, feeling no remorse of neither repenting from it. And it becomes something considered great in Allah sight, and the slave can commit a sin and show great remorse for it and repents greatly from it and in Allah sight deems it to be small and by which he forgives him for it”. [Bayhaqi in Shu’bul-Eemaan, 5/428]

Fudayl bin ‘Iyyad said: “depending on how much one underrates a sin will depend how great it is with Allah. And any sin one deems to be great/a destroying sin, will be deemed in Allah’s sight be a small sin”. [Bayhaqi in Shu’bul-Eemaan, 5/428]

 

REASONS WHY ONE UNDERRATES HIS SINS

– Weak understanding of Allah’s Greatness Power and Lordship.

– Being Heedless of Allah and Punishment.

– Weak Eemaan and lack of Taqwa (consciousness) of Allah.

– Having a sick and corrupt heart.

– Forgetting ones sins and lack of Tawbah (repentance).

 

As’ sari said: true Tawbah (repentance), is not to forget your sins. [Bayhaqi in Shu’bul-Eemaan, 5/428]

One of the ways the lead to destruction is that one forgets his sins.

Bilaal ibn Sa’eed said: “Don’t look at any sin as being insignificant, rather, Look at the greatness of the one you disobeyed”. [Bayhaqi in Shu’bul-Eemaan, 5/430].

And this is the difference between a true believer and a weak sinner.

The true believer looks at his sins, as though they were mountain about to fall on top of him. But the weak Sinner looks at his sins as though they were a fly on his nose, and he just waves them off with his hand. [Bayhaqi in Shu’bul-Eemaan, 5/411].

So, if the slave underrates his sins and belittles them, he will never have remorse over what sins he commits. For a person to recognize the greatness of his sin, three thing must occur, Firstly, him knowing the greatness of the affair,

Secondly, knowing the greatness of the one who lays down the order and who he is disobeying, And lastly, belief one being held to account for what one does whether good or bad. [Ibn Qayyim in Madaarij-us-Saalikeen, 1/203].

 

HAVING MANY EXPECTATIONS*

(*Having many hopes, which will make one think he’ll have ample time to make tawbah and do righteous deeds)

Yahya ibn Mu’ath: “The thing that prevents the people from making Tawbah (repentance): many expectations”. [The Dispraise of Al-Hawaa (desires) by Ibn Qayyim 1/216-217].

Shaytaan always strives to discourage the believer by saying to him: take you time with regards to this, what is the rush, you have all the time in world, so Shaytaan, deceives and makes him procrastinate, so the slave dies while sinning. [Tablees Iblees, p.486 by Ibn Qayyim.].

It’s narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said with regards to this verse:

“The Hypocrites) will call to the believers:’’ were we not with you?’’ The believers will reply:’’ Yes! But you lead yourselves in to temptations; you looked forward for our destruction.” {Sooratul-Hadeed-14}

 

“But you lead yourselves in to temptations”

Said means: with desires.

Says, with regards to tawbah, the statement of Allah:

“And you were deceived by false desires.”

Means, you procrastinated, with regards to righteous deeds.

“Allah Till the Command of comes to pass”.

Says Means: till Death over took you.

“And the chief deceiver deceived you in respect of Allah.”

Means: Shaytaan. [Bayhaqi in Shu’bul-Eemaan, 5/462-463]

So the steadfast, upright believer should make good use of his time, and not procrastinate and turn away from living a life of longing and hoping and expecting so much in the future. Some of the salaf used to say: be weary or procrastinating always, delaying and putting off things, for indeed it is some thing from Shaytaan and his forces.

So this is the example of the steadfast believer who lives a life minimizing his expectations and hopes, and his example, is that of a group of traverses, upon there travels, and they arrive at a town, and settle to prepare, requiring what they need, then they move on to therenext destination. And this is the example of the believer in this world; he is only just passing through, so he only takes from it what he will need for his journey and has no time to do too much procrastinating and delaying ever opportunity that passes his way. [Tablees Ibless by Ibn Jawzi, p.486]

 

ALWAYS RELYING UPON THE MERCY OF ALLAH

Abu Ali Ru’thabaani said one of the things many are misled by, is relying solely upon the mercy of Allah. And by doing so, they leave off making Tawbah (repentance), due to the fact of them believing Allah will always have mercy upon them. [The Dispraise of Desire by Ibn Qayyim 1/187].

So the worse of the people are those who consider their sins not to be great and they are by this misled into believing Allah is Most Forgiving.

Umar ibn Thar’ra said: oh people who wrong themselves, by disobeying there Lord, don’t be misled in to believing Allah will always be merciful to you. Be weary of such a delusion, because Allah says:

“So when they angered us, we punished them, and drowned them all.” {Soorutul-Zukhruf-55}

 

Ibn Qayyim said: oh you who are misled into believing Allah is Always Merciful, Shaytaan was cursed for ever, and expelled from that which he was in, because of a simple order, to prostrate. And what was Adams sin? Was it not a small sin? Was it a big sin? By his sin was not Adam expelled to from the garden? Was it not because of a small morsel of food? Does it not show that a small sin can destroy one for ever, as did with the case with Iblees? [Al-Fawaa’id Ibn Qayyim, p.90].

So don’t think you can’t go to the hell fire for one sin you commit because Allah says:

“So he feared not the consequences thereof.” {Sooratul-Shams: 15}

 

Did not a woman go to the hell fire because of how she treated her cat?

A man might say a single word, and by it be thrown deep into the hell fire.

 

HEEDLESSNESS*
(*Remembering Allah very little/one being Heedless all the time of Allah)

One of the greatest reasons why one falls into sins is due to carelessness. Being heedless of Allah, being heedless of Allah’s punishment, and one not being preoccupied in these two, one will live a life of misery and destruction. The only way one can free himself from being heedless of Allah, is to be reminded, as Allah says:

“Therefore remind (man) in case the reminderprofits (them).” {Sooratudh-Dhariyaat: 55}

 

Muhammad ibn Yunus said: We were with Za’heer Al- Baani, when a man said to him: Advice us oh Aboo AbdurRahmaan? Who replied to them: be weary upon which state you die upon, and that you don’t die in a state of negligence.

 

THINKING ALLAH WILL NOT EXCEPT ONES (TAWBAH) REPENTENCE

Allah says;

“Oh (my Slaves) who transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins!)? Despair not of the mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, he Most Forgiving Most Merciful.” {Sooratul-Zumar 53}

So it is not befitting that a true believer distances himself from Tawba (making repentance). And do not despair and think Allah will not accept you (Tawbah) repentance. This is not a sign of a true believer, and leads to destruction.

Indeed Allah is the Most Merciful, who always forgives his repenting Slaves, and none despairs from the Mercy of Allah except the Disbelieving people. What one is ordered to do is have a good opinion of Allah in all his affairs, even in the last moments of his life.

And it is narrated from Nu’maan Ibn Baseer who said regarding the Statement of Allah:

“And do not throw yourselves into destruction”                     {Sooratul-Baqarah: 19}

 

If any of you sins, he shouldn’t throw him self into destruction, by saying Allah will not forgive me, Rather he should ask Allah for forgiveness, for Allah forgives all sins.

A man once asked Baraa’ Ibn Hazm, Oh Aboo ‘Ammaar, the statement of Allah:

“And do not throw your hands into destruction”                     {Sooratul-Baqarah: 190}

 

Is this referring to a man, who throws himself into destruction by meeting and fighting with his enemies until they kill him?

Nu’maan replied: No, this is not what is meant. Rather, what is meant, is that a man commits a sin, and then says, Allah will not forgive me. This is what it means. [Bayhaqi in Shu’bul-Eemaan, 5/407, For further reference go to Ihsaan’ul thun bil’la /Good opinions of Allah by Ibn Abi Dunya]

 

THINKING ONE IS SAVED DUE TO HIS MANY DEEDS*

(*Being misled due to the fact that one does many goods deeds)

The slave is misled in to believing due to the fact that he has many religious deeds, he will be saved, regardless of whatever sins he commits. So he understands from the statement of Allah, The Most High:

“Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds.” {Soorah Hood: 114}

 

So he gives up making (Tawbah) repentance altogether.

Ibn ‘Awn said: Don’t rely just on your many deeds, because you don’t know whether Allah will accept them or not.

 

And don’t feel you’re saved, by the mere fact, that you’ve made (Tawbah) repentance. Because, is there a guarantee, Allah will except your (Tawbah) repentance?

 

Because your actions are concealed from you, and you don’t know what Allah does with them, maybe they could be recorded amongst the successful or maybe they could be recorded amongst losers, doomed to the fire.

 

Taken from the Book “At-Tawbah” By Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah Translated by Taalib bin Tyson

 

As’ sari said: true Tawbah (repentance), is not to forget
your sins.16 One of the ways the lead to destruction is that
one forgets his sins. Bilaal ibn Sa’eed said: Don’t look at
any sin as being insignificant, rather, Look at the
greatness of the one you disobeyed.17 And this is the
difference between a true believer and a weak sinner.
The true believer looks at his sins, as though they were
mountain about to fall on top of him. But the weak Sinner
looks at his sins as though they were a fly on his nose,
and he just waves them off with his hand.18 So, if the slave
underrates his sins and belittles them, he will never have
remorse over what sins he commits. For a person to
recognize the greatness of his sin, three thing must
occur, Firstly, him knowing the greatness of the affair,
Secondly, knowing the greatness of the one who lays
down the order and who he is disobeying, And lastly,
belief one being held to account for what one does
whether good or bad.19
􀀃
HAVING MANY EXPECTATIONS20
Yahya ibn Mu’ath: The thing that prevents the people
from making Tawbah (repentance): many expectations.21
Shaytaan always strives to discourage the believer by
saying to him: take you time with regards to this, what is

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Part 2: A Code For Every Living (Al-Adab al-Mufrad) by Imam Al-Bukhari


X. Responsibility

 

108. A man is the shepherd of his family

212. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the people of his house and he is responsible. A woman is the shepherd of the house of her husband and she is responsible. Each of you is a shepherd and each is responsible for his flock.”

213. Abu Sulayman Malik ibn al-Huwayrith said, “We came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, being young men of a similar age. We spent twenty nights with him. He thought that we desired our own people and he asked us about those of our family we had left behind, and we told him. He was merciful and kind, and said, ‘Go back to your family. Instruct and command them. Pray as you have seen me praying. When it is time for the prayer, then let one of you give the adhan and let the oldest of you lead the payer.;:

 

109. A woman is a shepherd

214. Ibn ‘Umar reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of the house of her husband and she is responsible as is the servant in regard to his master’s property.”

He said, “I heard these words from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I reckoned that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “and the man regarding his father’s property.”

 

110. Someone for whom a favour is done and he repays the favour

215. Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al-Ansari reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Whoever has a favour done for him should repay it. If he cannot find anything he can use to repay it, he should praise the one who did it. When he praises him, he thanks him. If he is silent, he is ungrateful to him. If someone adorns himself with something he has not been given, it is as if he was wearing a false garment.”

216. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who seeks refuge in Allah will find refuge with Him. Anyone who asks from Allah will be receive. Anyone who does a favour should repay it. If you do not find anything, then make supplication for the doer of the favour so that he knows that you have repaid him.”

 

111. Someone who cannot repay someone should make supplication for him

217. Anas reported that the Muhajirun said, “Messenger of Allah, the Ansar have taken all the reward!” He said, “No, not as long as you make supplication for them and praise them for it.”

 

112. The one who does not thank people

218. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah does not thank the person who does not thank people.”

219. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah ta’ala said to the self, ‘Go forth.’ It replied, ‘I only go forth reluctantly.'”

 

113. A man’s maintenance of his brother

220. Abu Dharr reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, “What action is best?” He replied, “Belief in Allah and jihad in His way.” He was asked, “Which slaves are best?” He replied, “The highest in price and most precious to their people.” He said, “What do you think I should do if I am unable to fight?” He replied, “Help someone in trouble or work for someone who does not work.” He asked, “What do you think that I should do if I am too weak (to act accordingly)?” He replied, “Spare people your evil. That is a sadaqa which you bestow on yourself.”

 

XI. Correctness

 

114. The people of correctness in this world are the people of correctness in the Next World

221. Qabisa ibn Burma al-Asadi said, “I was with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I heard him say, ‘The people of correctness in this world are the people of correctness in the Next World. The people of the incorrect in this world are the people of the incorrect in the Next World.”

222. Harmala ibn ‘Abdullah went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and stayed with him until the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, until the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recognised him. He said, “When we set out, I told myself, ‘By Allah, I will go to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, so that I will have more knowledge. I went in the evening until I was in front of him. I asked, ‘What do you command me to do?’ He replied, ‘Harmala, do what is correct and avoid the incorrect.’ Then I went back to the caravan. Then I came back again until I was in my place near him. I asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, what do you command me to do?’ He replied, ‘Harmala, do what is correct and avoid the incorrect. Find out what you like to hear people tell you when you are with them. When you leave me, behave in that manner. Find out what you dislike for people to day to you. When you leave me, avoid that.’ When I returned, I thought that these two statements did not omit anything.”

223. Salman said, “The people of correctness in this world are the people of correctness in the Next World.”

Abu ‘Uthman said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said words to that effect.

 

115. Every correct action is sadaqa

224. Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Every correct action is sadaqa.”

225. Abu Musa reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Every Muslim must give sadaqa.” They said, “And if he does not find anything (to give)?” He replied, “Then he should work his hands, benefit himself and then give sadaqa.” They asked, “And if he is unable to or does not do it?” He replied, “Then he should help someone with a great need.” They said, “And if he does not do it?” He replied, “Then he should command the good or command the correct.” They said, “And if he does not do that?” They said, “He should refrain from evil. That is sadaqa for him.”

226. Same as 220.

227. Abu Dharr reported that it was said, “Messenger of Allah, the wealthy people have taken all the rewards. They pray as we pray. They fast as we fast, but they give sadaqa from their excess wealth.” He said, “Has Allah not given you something to give as sadaqa? Every time you praise or glorify Allah, that is sadaqa. There is sadaqa is sexual intercourse.” He was asked, “Is there sadaqa in satisfying one’s appetite?” He replied, “If he does it in a haram manner, is that not a wrong action? Similarly if he does it in a halal manner, he receives a reward.”

 

116. Removing harmful things

228. Abu Barza al-Aslami said, “I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, show me an action by which I will enter the Garden!” He said, ‘Remove harmful things from people’s path.'”

229. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A man came across a thorn in the road and said, ‘I will remove this thorn so that it does not harm a Muslim man.’ For that reason he was forgiven.”

230. Abu Dharr reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I was shown the actions of my Community both good and evil and I found that one of their good actions is removing harmful things from the road, I found that one of the evil actions was spit in the mosque which is not buried.”

 

117. Correct Words

231. ‘Abdullah ibn al-Khatami reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Every act of kindness is sadaqa.”

232. Anas said, “When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was given something, he used to say, ‘Take it to so-and-so. She was a friend of Khadija’s. Take it to the house of so-and-so. She loved Khadija.”

233. Same as 231, but from Hudhayfa.

 

118. Going out to a vegetable garden and carrying things in a sack on one’s shoulder to one’s family

234. ‘Amr ibn Qurra al-Kindi said, “My father offered his sister in marriage to Salman. He refused and then married a mawla of his called Buqayra. Abu Qurra heard that there were bad feelings between Hudhayfa and Salman. He went to talk to him (Salman) about this. He was told that he was in a vegetable garden which belonged to him and went and met him there. Salman had a sack of vegetables. He put his stick in the knot of the sack and put it on his shoulder. Abu Qurra asked, ‘Abu ‘Abdullah, what is the trouble between you and Hudhayfa?’ Salman replied, ‘Man is prone to be impetuous.’ (17:11)

“They went to Salman’s house. Salman went into his house and said, ‘Peace be upon you.’ Then he gave Abu Qurra permission to enter and he came in. There was a fibre mat placed over the doorway and there were some bricks by his head and a saddle. He said, ‘Sit on the rug of your mawla which she has put out for herself.’ Then he began to speak to him. He said, ‘Hudhayfa has related certain things which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said in anger to some people. I began to be questioned about them and I said, “Hudhayfa knows best what he says, but I dislike for there to be rancour between people.” Hudhayfa was brought and it was said to him, “Salman neither confirms nor denies what you say.”‘

“Salman said, ‘Hudhayfa came to me and said, “Salman, son of Salman’s mother!” I said, “Hudhayfa, son of Hudhayfa’s mother! You must stop this or I will write to ‘Umar about you!” After I had alarmed him by speaking of ‘Umar, he left me. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I am one of the children of Adam. Whatever salve of my community I curse or abuse when he does not deserve it, Make that a prayer a blessing for him.”‘”

235. Ibn ‘Abbas said, ” ‘Umar said, ‘Let us go forth to the land of our people.’ Ubayy ibn Ka’b and I were at the back of the people. A cloud gathered. Ubayy said, ‘O Allah, remove its harm from us!’ We met the people and their mounts were wet. They said, ‘What fell on us did not fall on you!’ I said, ‘He asked Allah Almighty to remove its harm from us.’ ‘Umar said, ‘Why didn’t you include us in your supplication?'”

 

119. Going out to an estate

236. Abu Salama said, “We went to Abu Sa’id al-Khudri with a friend. I said, ‘Will you go with us to the date palms?’ He went out wearing a black-bordered cloak of his.”

237. Umm Musa said, “I heard ‘Ali say that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commanded ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud to climb a tree and bring him something from it. His Companions looked at ‘Abdullah’s thigh and laughed at its thinness. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Why are you laughing? ‘Abdullah’s foot is heavier in the balance than the mountain of Uhud.'”

 

XII. Dealing with people cheerfully

 

120. A Muslim is the mirror of his brother

238. Abu Hurayra said, “A believer is the mirror of his brother. When he sees a fault in it, he should correct it.”

239. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A believer is the mirror of his brother. A believer is the brother of another believer. He protects him against loss and defends him behind his back.”

240. Al-Mustawrid reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “If anyone eats a meal at the expense of a Muslim’s honour, Allah will feed him a like amount of Hellfire. If anyone clothes himself with a garment at the expense of a Muslim’s honour, Allah will clothe him with a like amount of Hellfire. If anyone achieves a position of showing-off and hypocrisy at the expense of a Muslim’s honour, Allah will put him in a position of showing-off and hypocrisy on the Day of Rising.

 

121. Playing and joking which is not permitted

241. ‘Abdullah ibn as-Sa’ib reported that his grandfather said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘None of you should take the goods of his companion, either in jest or seriously. When one of you takes his companion’s staff, he should return it to him.'”

 

122. The person who guides to good

242. Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari said, “A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘My camel has become exhausted, so give me a mount.’ He replied, ‘I do not have any.But go to so-and-so and perhaps he will give you one.’ He went to that man and he gave him a mount. Then he went back to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and told him. He said, ‘Whoever guides to good has the like of the reward of the person who actually does it.'”

 

123. Excusing and pardoning people

243. Anas reported that a Jewish woman brought the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, poisoned sheep. He ate from it and she was brought. It was asked, “Should we not kill her?” “No,” he replied. He said, “I continued to recognise the poison in the sighs of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.”

244. ‘Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr said on the minbar, “Make allowances for people and command what is right and turn away from the ignorant.” (7:199) He said, “By Allah, we are only commanded by this ayat to accept people’s character. By Allah, I will accept people’s character as long as I am with them.”

245. Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Teach and make things easy and not difficult. When one of you is angry, he should be silent.”

 

124. Cheerfulness towards people

246. ‘Ata’ ibn Yasar said, “I met ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As and I said, ‘Tell me about the description of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in the Torah.’ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘By Allah, he is described in the Torah partly as he is described in the Qur’an: “O Prophet, We have sent you as a witness, a bearer of good news and a warner and a protection to the unlettered. You are My slave and Messenger. I have called you the trusty one who is neither coarse nor harsh nor loud in the markets. Allah Almighty will not take him until He has made the crooked community straight by him so that they say, “There is no god but Allah,” and by it they will open blind eyes, deaf ears and covered hearts.'”

247. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ata’ said, “This ayat which is in the Qur’an, ‘O Prophet, We have sent you as a witness, a bringer of good news and a warner’ (33:45) is found in the Torah in a similar form.”

248. Mu’awiya said, “I heard some words from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, by which Allah helped me.” Jubayr ibn Nufayr said, “I heard him say that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “If you openly show your suspicions of people, you will corrupt them.’ Therefore I do not show my suspicions of people openly so that I will not corrupt them.”

249. Abu Hurayra said, “These two wars of mine have heard and these two eyes of mine have seen the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, take the palms of al-Hasan or al-Husayn in both his hands. His feet were on the feet of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Climb up.’ The boy climbed until his feet reached the chest of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and hen the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Open your mouth.’ Then he kissed him and said, ‘O Allah, love him for I love him!'”

 

125. Smiling

250. Jarir said, “Since the time I became Muslim, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, never saw me without smiling at me.” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A man from the best of Dhu Yaman will enter by this door whose face has been touched by an angel.” Then Jarir came in.

251. ‘A’isha said, “I never saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, laugh until I could see his uvula. He used to smile, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.” She said, “When he saw a cloud or wind, distress could be seen in his face.” She said, “Messenger of Allah, when people see a cloud, they rejoice, hoping that there will be rain in it. Yet when you see it, I see distress in your face.” He replied, “‘A’isha, what will assure me that there is no painful punishment in it? People have been punished by wind. Some people saw the punishment and stated, ‘This is a rain cloud coming to us.'”

 

126. Laughter

252. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Laugh little. Much laughter kills the heart.”

253. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do not laugh a lot. Much laughter kills the heart.”

254. Abu Hurayra said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out to a group of his Companions who were laughing and talking. He said, ‘By the One in whose hand my soul is, if you knew what I knew, you would laugh little and weep much.’ Then he left and the people were weeping. Then Allah Almighty revealed to him, ‘Muhammad! Why did you make My slaves despair?’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Give good news, guide people and draw near to one another.'”

 

127.When he faced someone, he faced him completely, and when he turned away, he turned away completely

255. Abu Hurayra said, “When he faced someone, he faced him completely. When he turned away, he turned away completely. I have never seen anyone like him and I will never see anyone like them.”

 

XIII. Consulation

 

128. Someone who is consulted is in a position of trust

256. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked Abu’lHaytham, “Do you have a servant?” “No,” he replied. He said, “Come to us when we get some captives.” The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was brought only two captives.

Abu’l-Haytham came to him and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Choose between them.” “Choose for me, Messenger of Allah,” he replied. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The person who is consulted is in a position of trust. Take this one. I have seen him pray. Treat him well.” Abu’l-Haytham’s wife said, “You will not live up to the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about him until you set him free.” “He is free,” he stated.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah did not sent Prophet or kahlif but that he has two confidants: a confidant who commands him to do what is correct and forbids what is bad, and a confidant who will not fall short in corrupting you. Anyone who is protected from the evil confidant has been protected.”

 

129. Consultation

257. ‘Amir ibn Dinar said, “Ibn ‘Abbas recited (this ayat), ‘Consult with them about the matter.’ (3:159)”

258. Al-Hasan said, “People never seek advice without being guided to the best possibility available to them.” Then he recited, “and manage their affairs by mutual consultation.” (42:38)

 

130. The wrong action of someone who gives his brother misguided advice

259. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who attributes words to me which I did noy say should take his seat in the Fire. Anyone who gives his Muslim brother misguided advice when he consults has betrayed him. If anyone gives a fatwa which is not firm, the wrong action of that rests on the one who gave the fatwa.”

 

XIV. Dealings with people and good character

 

131. Love between people

260. Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “By the One in whose hand my soul is, you will not enter the Garden until you submit. You will not submit until you love one another. Extend the greeting to one another and you will love one another. Beware of hatred, for it is the razor. I do not tell you that it shaves the hair, but it shaves away the deen.”

 

132. Friendship

261. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The souls of two believers should meet in the course of a day even if they do not actually see each other.”

262. ‘Umayr ibn Ishaq said, “We used to say that the first thing to be removed from people would be friendship.”

 

133. Joking

264. Anas ibn Malik said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came upon a group of women which included Umm Sulayman. He said, ‘Anjasha!* Be gentle when you drive the glass vessels!”

Abu Qilaba said about this, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used an expression which some of you use in jest. He said, ‘When you drive the glass vessels!'”

[*Anjasha was a singer of camel-songs who drove the camels along. ‘Glass vessels’ refers to the women on the camels.]

265. Abu Hurayra reported that the people said, “Messenger of Allah, you joke with us!” He replied, “But I only speak the truth.”

266. Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to throw melons at one another. He said, “If these were real, they would be men.”

267. Ibn Abi Mulayka said, “‘A’isha was joking with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Her slavegirl said, ‘Messenger of Allah, some of the women who make jokers in this quarter are from Kinana!’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Rather some of our jokesters in this quarter.'”

268. Anas ibn Malik said, “A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to ask him for a mount. He said, ‘I will give you a she-camel’s foal to ride.’ He exclaimed, ‘Messenger of Allah, what can I do with a she-camel’s foal?’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Are camels born from anything other than she-camels?'”

 

134. Joking with a child

269. Anas ibn Malik said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to mix with us to the extent of asking a younger brother of mine, ‘Abu ‘Umayr! What has happened to the little sparrow?'”

270. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took al-Hasan or al-Husayn by the hand and then put his feet on top of his own feet and said, “Climb up.”

 

135. Good character

270. (sic) Abu’d-Darda’ reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “There is nothing which weighs heavier in the balance than good character.”

271. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was neither coarse nor loud. He used to say, “The best of you is the one who has the best character.”

272. ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb reported from his grandfather that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Shall I tell you about who among you I love the most and the one who will be seated closest to me on the Day of Rising?” The people were silent, so he repeated that two or three times. Then the people said, “Yes, Messenger of Allah.” He said, “The one among you with the best character.”

273. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I was sent to perfect good character.”

274. ‘A’isha said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was never given a choice between two things but that he chose the easier of the two as long as it was not a wrong action. If it was a wrong action. then he was the last person to do it. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, never took revenge on his own behalf. But when the respect of Allah Almighty was violated, he would take revenge on behalf of Allah Almighty.”

275. ‘Abdullah said, “Allah Almighty shared out your character between you as He divided your provision between you. Allah Almighty bestows wealth on those He loves and those He does not love. He only gives faith to those He loves. Whoever is stingy about spending his wealth and fears to fight the enemy and is in terror of enduring the night should repeat frequently. ‘There is no god but Allah. Glory be to Allah. Praise be to Allah, and Allah is greater.”

 

136. The generosity of the self

276. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Wealth does not mean having a lot of property. Wealth means having self-contentment.”

277. Anas said, “I served the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, for twenty years. He never said ‘uff’ to me and he never said about anything I had not done, ‘Why didn’t you do it?’ or about something I had done. ‘Why did you do that?'”

278. Anas ibn Malik said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was merciful. No one came to him but that he promised himself something and carried out that promise if he had anything to give. The iqama for the prayer had been given when a bedouin came and took hold of his garment and stated, ‘I am still not satisfied.’ The Bedouin alarmed the Prophet’s wives. The Prophet went with him until the man had received what he wanted. Then he returned and prayed.”

279. Jabir said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was never asked for anything to which he said, ‘No.'”

280. ‘Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr said, “I have never seen two women more generous than ‘A’isha and Asma’. Their generosity was different. ‘A’isha used to gather things and after they had been collected together, she would share them out. Asma’ would not keep anything for the next day.”

 

137. Avarice

281. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The dust of the path of Allah and the smoke of Hellfire are never joined together in the heart of a slave. Belief and avarice are never joined together in the heart of a slave.”

282. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Two qualities are not found together in a believer: miserliness and ill-temper.”

283. ‘Abdullah ibn Rabi’a said, “We used to sit with ‘Abdullah and they mentioned a man together with aspects of his character. ‘Abdullah said, ‘What would you think if you cut off his head? Would you be able to put it back on again?’ ‘No,’ they replied. He said, ‘And his hand?’ ‘No,’ they said. ‘And his foot?’ they said. ‘No,’ he said. He said, ‘You cannot change his character until you change his physical form. The drop remains in the womb for forty nights and then the blood congeals and then it becomes a blood clot and then a lump of flesh and then Prophet sends an angles and he records his provision, his character, and whether or not he will be happy or miserable (in the Next World).'”

 

138. Good character when people have understanding

284. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A man who is known for his good character has the same degree as someone who stands at night in prayer.”

285. Abu Hurayra said, “I heard Abu’l-Qasim say, ‘The best of you in Islam is the best of you in character when they possess understanding (of the deen).”

286. Thabit ibn ‘Ubayd said, “I have not seen anyone more serious when he sits with the people nor more jocular in his house than Zayd ibn Thabit.”

287. Ibn ‘Abbas said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, ‘Which religion does Allah Almighty love the most?’ He replied, ‘The simple Hanifiyya one.'”

288. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said, “There are four qualities such that if you were to be given them, you will not be harmed even if the world were to be taken away from you. They are: good character, restraint in food, truthful words, and upholding a trust.”

289. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do you know what it is that makes most people enter the Fire?” “Allah and His Messenger know best,” they said. He said, “The two empty ones: the genitals and the mouth. Do you know what it is that makes most people enter the Garden? Taqwa of Allah and good character.”

290. Umm ad-Darda’ said, “Abu’d-Darda’ stood up in the night to pray. He was weeping and said, ‘O Allah! You made my physical form good, so make my character good!’ until morning. I said, ‘Abu’d- Darda’, your only supplication for the entire night was for good character!’ He replied, ‘Umm ad-Darda’, the Muslim makes his character good with the result that his good character takes him into the Garden. He makes his character bad with the result that his bad character takes him into the Fire. The Muslim is forgiven while he is asleep.’ I asked, ‘Abu’d-Darda’, how can be forgiven while he is asleep?’ He said, ‘His brother arises in the night and performs the night prayers and makes supplication to Allah Almighty and is answered. He makes supplication for Muslim brother and his request is answered.'”

291. Usama ibn Sharik said, “I was with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when some bedouins came. There were many people on all sides. The people were silent and no one spoke except them. They said, ‘Messenger of Allah! We experience difficulty in such-and-such and such-and-such’ and it was in things which are not harmful to people. He said, ‘Servants of Allah! Allah has removed difficulty except in a case where a man slanders someone unjustly that is the one who is in difficulty and destroyed.’ They said, ‘Messenger of Allah, can we make use of medical treatment?’ ‘Yes, servants of Allah,’ he replied, ‘you can make use of medical treatment. Allah Almighty did not create an illness but that He made a cure for it except for one disease.’ They asked, ‘And what is that, Messenger of Allah?’ ‘Old age,’ he replied. They said, ‘Messenger of Allah, what is the best thing that a man can be given?’ ‘Good character,’ he replied.'”

292. Ibn ‘Abbas said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was the most generous of people in giving charity. He was even more generous in Ramadan when Jibril, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to meet him. Every night of Ramadan Jibril used to come to him and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would read the Qur’an to him. When Jibril came to him, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was more generous in giving charity than the blowing wind.”

293. Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Before your time a man was called to account and it was found that the only good thing he had done was that he was easy in his business dealings with people. He used to order his slaves to go easy with people who were in difficulty. Allah Almighty said, ‘We are more entitled to do that than he is, so forgive him.'”

294. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “What is the most frequent reason for someone entering the Garden?” He said, “Taqwa and good character. He was asked, “What is the most frequent reason for people entering the Fire?” He replied, “The two empty ones: the mouth and the genitals.”

295. It is reported Nawwas ibn Sam’an asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about dutifulness and wrong action. He said, “Dutifulness is good character and wrong action is that which works on yourself and which you dislike for other people to become aware of.”

 

139. Miserliness

296. Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Who is your master, Banu Salama?” Jabir said, “We replied, ‘Judd ibn Qays, although we think that he is a miser.’ He said, ‘What illness is worse than miserliness? Your master is ‘Amr ibn al-Jamuh.'”

‘Amr had been in charge of their idols during the Jahiliyya. He gave a wedding feast for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he got married.

297. Warrad, the scribe of al-Mughira ibn Shu’ba, said, “Mu’awiya wrote to al-Mughira ibn Shu’ba, saying, ‘Write down for me something which you heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.’ Al-Mughira wrote to him, ‘ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to forbid gossip, wasting money, asking too many questions, refusing to give, disobedience to parents and burying daughters alive.”

298. Jabir said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was never asked for anything to which he said, ‘No,'”

 

140. Sound property for a sound man

299. ‘Amr ibn al-‘As said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent for me. He commanded me to put on my clothes and arms and come to him. I did that and came to him while he was doing wudu’. He looked at me and then lowered his eyes. then he said, ”Amr, I want to put you in charge of an army and Allah will give you booty. I will give you a correct portion of the spoils.’ I said, ‘I did not become Muslim out of the desire for property. I became Muslim out of the desire for Islam and so that I would be with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.’ He said, ”Amr! Sound property is very excellent for a sound man!'”

 

141. The person who is secure in his property

300. Mihsan al-Ansari reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When someone is secure in his property, healthy in his body and has his food for the day, it is as if he owned the entire world.”

 

142. Cheerfulness

301. Mu’adh ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Khubayb al-Juhani related from his father that his uncle said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came out to them with the traces of ghusl on him. He was cheerful. We thought that he was with his wives. We said, ‘Messenger of Allah, we see that you are cheerful.’ He said, ‘Yes, and praise be to Allah!’ Then wealth was mentioned that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘There is no harm in wealth for someone who has taqwa, but health for the person who has taqwa is even better than wealth. Cheerfulness is a blessing.'”

302. An-Nawwas ibn Sam’an al-Ansari reported that he asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about dutifulness and wrong action. He said, “Dutifulness is good character and wrong action is what works on yourself and which you dislike for other people to become aware of.”

303. Anas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was the best of people, the most generous of people and most courageous of people. One night the people of Madina were alarmed by a noise and the people went towards its source. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, met them, having already reached the source of the noise before them and he was saying, “Do not be alarmed. Do not be alarmed.” He was riding a horse belonging to Abu Talha without a saddle and a sword was hung around his neck. He said, “I found it (the horse) like a great river” or it was a great river (meaning its speed).

304. Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Every act of kindness is sadaqa. Part of kindness is that you offer your brother a cheerful face and you pour some of your bucket into his water vessel.”

 

143.What is necessary in helping someone in distress

305. Abu Dharr reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, “Which is the best action?” He replied, “Belief in Allah and jihad in His Way.” He was asked, “Which slaves are best?” He replied, “The highest in price and the most precious to their people.” He said, “What do you think I should do if I am unable to fight?” He said, “Help someone in trouble or work for someone who does not work.” He said, “What do you think that I should do if I am too weak (to

act accordingly)?” He said, “Spare people your evil. That is a sadaqa which you bestow on yourself.”

306. Sa’id ibn Abi Burda related from his grandfather that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Every Muslim owes sadaqa.” He said, “What do you think he should do if he cannot find anything to give?” He replied, “He should find work and thus benefit himself and be able to give

sadaqa.” He said, “What do you think he should do if he cannot or does not do that?” He said, “He should help someone with a great need.” He said, “What do you think he should do if he cannot or does not do that?” He replied, “He should command the good.” He asked, “What do you think he should do if he cannot or does not do that?” He replied, “He should refrain from evil. That is sadaqa for him.”

 

144. The person who makes supplication to Allah to make his character good

307. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to supplicate, “Oh Allah, I ask You for health, restraint, trustworthiness, good character and contentment with the decree.”

308. Yazid ibn Yabnus said, “We went to ‘A’isha and said, ‘Umm al-Mu’minin, what was the character of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, like?’ She replied, ‘His character was the Qur’an. Can you recite the sura entitled “The Believers”?’ She said, ‘Recite: “It is the believers who are successful: those who are humble in their prayer; those who turn away from worthless talk; those who actively pay zakat; those who guard their private parts.” (23:1-5)’ She said, ‘That was the character of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.'”

 

XV. Cursing and Defamation

 

245. The believer is not a defamer

309. Salim ibn ‘Abdullah said, “I never heard ‘Abdullah ever curse anything.” Salim mentioned that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said, “It is not fitting for a believer to be a curser.”

310. Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah does not love the loud and coarse nor the one who shouts in the markets.”

311. ‘A’isha reported that some Jews came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, “Poison (‘sam’ instead of ‘salam’) be upon you.” ‘A’isha said, “And upon you and may the curse of Allah and the anger of Allah be upon you!” The Prophet said, “Easy, ‘A’isha, you must be gentle. Beware of harshness and coarseness.” She asked, “Didn’t you hear what they said?” He said, “Didn’t you hear what I said? I repeated it to them and what I said about them will be accepted and what they said about me will not be accepted.”

312. ‘Abdullah reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A believer is not a defamer nor a curser nor coarse nor obscene.”

313. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A person who is two-faced cannot be trusted.”

314. ‘Abdullah said, “The most blameworthy thing in a believer’s character is coarseness.”

315. ‘Ubayd al-Kindi al-Kufi reported that he heard ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said, “The cursers are cursed.”

The transmitter, Marwan ibn Mu’awiya, said that he means those who curse other people.

 

246. Someone who curses

316. Abu’d-Darda’ reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Those who curse will be neither witnesses nor intercessors on the Day of Rising.”

317. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The true person must not be a curser.”

318. Hudhayfa said, “People do not cure one another without that curse coming true.”

 

247. The person who curses his slave and then frees him

319. ‘A’isha reported that Abu Bakr cursed one of his slaves and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Abu Bakr! The cursers and the true! No, by the Lord of the Ka’ba,” and he repeated that two or three times. That very same day Abu Bakr freed one of his slaves. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came and said, “Do not do that again (i.e. curse someone).”

 

248. Cursing one another with the curse of Allah, with the anger of Allah, and with the Fire

320. Samura reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do not curse one another with the curse of Allah, not the anger of Allah nor with the Fire.”

 

249. Cursing an unbeliever

321. Abu Hurayra said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, “Messenger of Allah, invoke a curse for us against the idolaters.’ He replied, ‘I was not sent as a curser. I was sent as a mercy.'”

 

250. Slander

322. Himam said, “We were with Hudhayfa when he was told, ‘A man has a hadith going back to ‘Uthman.’ Hudhayfa said, ‘I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “A mischief-maker will not enter the Garden.”‘”

323. Asma’ bint Yazid reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Shall I tell you who is the best of you?” “Yes,,” they replied. He said, “Those who remind you of Allah when you see them.” He went on to say, “Shall I tell you who is the worst of you?” “Yes,” they replied. He said, “Those who go about slandering, causing mischief between friends in order to separate them, and desiring to lead the innocent into wrong action.”

 

251. Someone who hears about an indecency and then spreads it about

324. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said, “The person who says something indecent and the person who makes it known are equal as far as the wrong action is concerned.”

325. Shubayl ibn ‘Awf said, “It is said, ‘Whoever hears something indecent and then spreads it is like the one who originated it.'”

326. ‘Ata thought that an exemplary punishment should be carried out on anyone who makes adultery known. He said, “He has made indecency known.”

 

252. The fault-finder

327. Hukaym ibn Sa’d heard ‘Ali say, “Do not be hasty, spreading and divulging secrets. Ahead of you lies a severe, distressing affliction and events which would take a long time explain namely oppressive conflicts.”

328. Ibn ‘Abbas said, “When you want to mention your companion’s faults, remember your own faults.”

329. Ibn ‘Abbas spoke about the words of Allah Almighty, “Do not find fault with one another” (49:11) and he said that these words mean, “Do not attack one another.”

330. Ad-Dahhak said, “It was about us (the Banu Salima) that these words were revealed, ‘Do not find fault with one another’ (49:11)” He went on to say, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to us and there was not a man among us who did not have two names. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, began to say, ‘O so-and-so!’ and they said, ‘Messenger of Allah! That will make him angry!'”

331. ‘Ikrima was heard to say, “I do not know which o f them, either Ibn ‘Abbas or Ibn ‘Umar, was giving his companions food, and a slavegirl was working in their presence. One of them said to her, ‘Harlot!’ He said, ‘Easy! If she does not exact the hadd punishment (i.e. for slander) from you in this world, she will take it from you in the Next World.’ The man said, ‘And what do you think if it (what I said) is the truth?’ He replied, ‘Allah does not love anyone who greatly exceeds the sounds in speaking of indecencies.”

332. ‘Abdullah reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said. “The believer is neither a defamer nor a curser nor outrageous nor obscene.”

 

XVI. Praising People

 

153.What has come about praising people

333. Abu Bakr reported that a man was mentioned in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and someone praised him. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Woe to you! You have cut off the head of your companion!” and he repeated that several times. He went on, “If one of you must praise someone, he should say, ‘I consider that so-and-so is such-and-such.’ Allah is the One who will take account of him if he thinks that he is indeed like that, No one can appropriate Allah’s right to attest to someone’s character.”

334. Abu Musa reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard a man praise another man and he was using exaggeration in his praise of him. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “You have destroyed or broken the man’s back.”

335. Ibrahim at-Taymi reported that his father said, “We were sitting with ‘Umar and one man praised another man to his face.” He said, “You have wounded the man. May Allah wound you.”

336. Zayd ibn Aslam reported that his father heard ‘Umar state, “Praise is slaughter.” The transmitter added, “He meant when it is accepted.”

 

154. Someone who praises his companion when he feels safe about him*

[* He is certain that his praise will nor produce pride or vanity.]

337. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The best of men is Abu Bakr. The best of men is ‘Umar. The best of men is Abu ‘Ubayda. The best of men is Usayd ibn Hudayr. The best of men is Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas. The best of men is Mu’adh ibn ‘Amr ibn al-Jamuh. The best of men is Mu’adh ibn Jabal.” Then he said, “The worst of men is so-andso. The worst of men is so-and-so,” until he had named seven men.

338. ‘A’isha said, “A man asked permission to come to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the Messenger of Allah said, ‘He is an evil son of his tribe.’ When the man came in, the Prophet was courteous and cheerful towards him. When that man left, another man asked permission to come in. He said, ‘He is an excellent son of his tribe.’ When he came in, he was not cheerful towards him as he had been cheerful towards the other man. When he left, I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, you said what you said about so-and-so and yet you were courteous to him. You said what you said about so-and-so and I did not see you do the same.’ He said, ”A’isha, the worst of people are those who are feared on account of their bad language.'”

 

155. Throwing dust in the faces of those who praise people

339. Abu Ma’mar said, “A man began to praise one of the amirs. Al-Miqdad began to throw dirt in his face and said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commanded us to throw dust into the faces of those who praise people.'”

340. ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah reported that a man was praising another man in the presence of Ibn ‘Umar. Ibn ‘Umar began to throw dust towards his mouth. He said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘When you see those who praise people, throw dust in their faces.'”

341. Raja’ said. “One day Mihjan and I went to the mosque of the people of Basra. Burayda al-Aslami was sitting there by one of the mosque doors. Inside the mosque there was a man called Sabka who used to make the prayers long. We came to the mosque door which had a fringed woollen cloth over it. Now Burayda was someone who made jokes.

He said, ‘Mihjan, don’t you pray as Sabka prays?’ Mihjan did not answer and went back. Mihjan said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, once took me by the hand and we went together to the top of Uhud. He looked down on Madina and said, “Woe to a town whose people will abandon it when it becomes very prosperous. Then the Dajjal will come to it and find two angels at each of its gates, so he will not enter it.” Then he went down until we reached the mosque and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw a man praying, prostrating and bowing. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked me, “Who is this?” and I began to praise him, saying, “Messenger of Allah, this is so-and-so and so-and-so.” “Stop!” he said, “Do not let him hear or you will destroy him.”‘”

Raja’ continued, “He began to walk until he reached his rooms and then he began to shake the dust off his hands and said, ‘The best part of your deen is the easiest of it.’ and he repeated that three times.”

 

156. The person who praises in poetry

342. Al-Aswad ibn Suray’ said, “I came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘Messenger of Allah, I have praised Allah and you in poems of praise and eulogies.’ He said, ‘As far as your Lord is concerned, He must be praised,’ and so I began to recite them. Then a tall bald man asked for permission to enter. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, told me, ‘Be silent.’ The man came in and spoke for a time and then left. Then I recited again. Then the other man came back and he made be silent again. Then the man left again. That happened two or three times. I asked, ‘Who is this man for whom I must be silent?’ He replied, ‘This is a man who does not like vain things.'”

[It is said that it was ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab]

 

157. Giving to a poet when you fear his evil

343. Abu Nujayd said, “A poet came to ‘Imran ibn Husayn and ‘Imran gave him something. ‘Imran was asked, ‘You give to a poet?’ He said, ‘I am preserving my reputation (from his satire).'”

 

XVII. Visiting and Guests

158. Do not honour your guest in a way which will be burdensome for him

344. Ibn ‘Awn reported, “They used to say, ‘Do not honour your guest in a way which will be burdensome for him.'”

 

159. Visiting

345. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When a man visits his brothers, Prophet tells him, ‘You have been good and your evening will be good and you can take your place in the Garden.'”

346. Umm ad-Darda’ said, “Salman came from al-Mada’in (Ctesiphon) to Syria to visit us on foot wearing a shirt (kisa’) and trousers.” Shawdhab said, “Salman was seen wearing a short with all his hair shaved off and his large ears showing. He was told, ‘You have made yourself ugly.’ He replied, “The real good is the good of the Next World.'”

 

160. Someone who visits people and eats with them

347. Anas ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, visited one of the houses of the Ansar and ate some food with them. When he left, he asked for a place in the house and some water was sprinkled on a carpet for him. He prayed on it and made supplication for them.

348. ‘Abdullah, the client of Asma’, said, “Asma’ sent me a black wool shirt which had a brocade border a span wide on its sleeves. She said, ‘This is the of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He used to wear it for delegations and on Jumu’a.”

349. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar said, “‘Umar found a silk robe and brought it to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘Buy this and wear it on Jumbo’s and when delegations come to you.’ The Prophet, peace be upon him, replied, ‘Only someone who has no portion in the Next World wears this.’ Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was brought some robes and sent one robe to ‘Umar, one to Usama, and one to ‘Ali. ‘Umar said, ‘Messenger of Allah! You have sent this to me when I heard you say what you said about it.’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘You can sell it or take care of your needs with it.'”

 

161. The Excellence of Visiting

350. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A man visited a brother of his in a village, so Allah put an angel in wait for him on the road. He asked, ‘Where are you going?’ He replied, ‘To a brother of mine in this village.’ He said, ‘Is he responsible for some blessing you have?’ He said, ‘No, I love him for Allah.’ He said, ‘I am a messenger of Allah to you. Allah loves you as you love him.'”

 

162.When a man loves people and cannot join them

351. Abu Dharr said, “I asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, what if a man loves a people but cannot join them?’ He replied, ‘Abu Dharr, you are with the one you love.’ I said, ‘I love Allah and His Messenger.’ He said, ‘Abu Dharr, you are with the one you love.'”

352. Anas reported that a man asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “Prophet of Allah, when will the Final Hour come?” He said, “Have you not made preparation for it?” He replied, ” I am not prepared for a terrible event , but I love Allah and His Messenger.” He said, “A man is with the one he loves.”

Anas remarked, “I never saw the Muslims rejoice, except for the day that they became Muslim, more than they rejoiced on that day.”

 

XVIII. The Elderly

163. The excellence of the older person

353. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who does not show mercy to our children nor acknowledge the right of our old people is not one of us.”

354. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As reported that it reached him that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who does not show mercy to our children nor acknowledge the right of our old people is not one of us.”

355. The same from ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb.

356. The same from Abu Umama.

 

164. Respect for the Old

357. Al-Ash’ari said, “Part of respect for Allah is to show respect to an old Muslim and to someone who knows the Qur’an, as long as he does not go to excess in it nor turn away from it, and to respect a just ruler.”

358. Same as 354.

 

165. The old person should be the first to speak and ask

359. Rafi’ ibn Khudayj and Sahl ibn Abi Hathama reported that ‘Abdullah ibn Sahl and Muhayyisa ibn Mas’ud came to Khaybar and parted when they were among the palm trees. ‘Abdullah ibn Sahl was murdered. ‘Abdu’r-Rahman ibn Sahl and Huwayyisa and Muhayyisa, the sons of Mas’ud came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and spoke to him about their (murdered) companion. ‘Abdu’r-Rahman, the youngest of those present, began to speak, but the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Let the oldest speak first.” (or “Exalt the eldest.”) They spoke about their companion and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked, “Will fifty of you take an oath that you are entitled to the blood-money of your murdered man?” They replied, “Messenger of Allah, this is something which we did not see.” He said, “Then will the Jews exonerate themselves by the oaths of fifty of them?” They protested, “Messenger of Allah, they are unbelievers!” So the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, himself paid his blood money.”

 

166.When an older person does not speak, can the youngest speak then?

360. Ibn ‘Umar said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Tell me which tree is like the Muslim? It gives fruits at all times by the permission of its Lord and its leaves do not fall.’ It occurred to me that it was the palm tree, but I did not want to speak as Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, were both present. When they did not speak, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘It is the palm tree.’ When I left with my father, I said, ‘Father, I thought that it was the palm,.’ He asked, ‘What kept you from saying that? If you had said so, I would have preferred that to such-and-such.’ I said, ‘What kept me from doing so was that I did not see you or Abu Bakr speak, so I did not like to speak out.'”

 

167. Making the old leaders

361. Hakim ibn Qays ibn ‘Asim reported that then his father was dying. he enjoined his sons: “Fear Allah and make the oldest among you your leaders. When people make the oldest among them their leaders, they follow their fathers. When they make the youngest among them their leaders, that lowers them in the sight of their peers. You must have wealth and use it well. It is an impetus for the generous and it will make you independent of critics. Beware of asking people. It is a man’s last source of earning. When I die, do not wail. There was no wailing for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. When I die, bury me in land where the Bakr ibn Wa’il will not know where I am died. I used to waylay on the roads in the time of the Jahiliyya.”

 

XIX. Children

168. Fruits are given to the youngest of children

362. Abu Hurayra said, “When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was brought new dates, he said, ‘O Allah! Bless us in our city and in our mudd and sa’, blessing upon blessing.’ Then he would give one to the youngest of the children with him.”

 

169. Mercy towards children

363. ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb reported from his grandfather that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who does not show mercy to our children nor acknowledge the right of our old people is not one of us.”

 

170. Embracing children

364. Ya’la ibn Murra said, “We went out with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and we were invited to eat. Husayn was playing in the road and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, raced the people and then spread out his arms. The boy began to run this way and that and the Prophet made him laugh until he caught hold of him. He put one of his hands under his chin and the other on his head and then embraced him. Then the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn. Allah loves anyone who loves Husayn. Al-Husayn is one of my distinguished descendants.'”

 

171. A man kissing a small girl

365. Bukayr reported that he saw ‘Abdullah ibn Ja’far kissing Zaynab, the daughter of ‘Umar ibn Abi Salama when she was about two years old.

366. Al-Hasan said, “If you avoid looking at the hair of anyone in your family except your wife or a little girl, then do so.”

 

172. Stroking a child’s head

367. Yusuf ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Sallam said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, named me Yusuf and let me sit in his room and stroked my head.”

368. ‘A’isha said, “I used to play with dolls in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and my friends would play with me. When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, entered, they would hide from him and he would call them to join me and they would play with me.”

 

173. A man saying, “My son” to a child

369. Abu’l-‘Ajlan al-Muharibi said, “While I was in the army of Ibn az-Zubayr, a cousin of mine died and bequeathed one of his camels to be used in the Cause of Allah. I told his son, ‘Give me the camel since I was in the army of Ibn az-Zubayr.’ He replied, ‘Let us go to Ibn ‘Umar and ask him about the matter.’ We went to Ibn ‘Umar and he said, ‘Abu ‘Abdu’r-Rahman, my father died and bequeathed one of his camels to be used in the Cause of Allah. This is my cousin who is in the army of Ibn az-Zubayr. Shall I give him the camel?’ Ibn ‘Umar replied, ‘My son, the Cause of Allah includes every good action. if you father left his camel to be devoted to the Cause of Allah, I see that there are Muslim people who are carrying out expeditions against the idolaters, so give the camel to them. This man (Abu’l-‘Ajlan) and his companions are sons of a people who wish to use the seal (i.e. the seal authority, meaning to rule the people.).'”

370. Jarir reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah Almighty will not show mercy to the person who does not show mercy to other people.”

371. ‘Umar was heard to say, “Anyone who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy. Anyone who does not forgive will not be forgiven. Anyone who does not pardon will not be pardoned or protected.”

 

XX. Mercy

 

174. The Most Merciful of those in the earth

372. ‘Umar was heard to say, “Anyone who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy. Anyone who does not forgive will not be forgiven. Anyone who does not turn in repentance will not be turned to nor will he be protected or guarded.”

373. Mu’awiya ibn Qurra reported that his father said, “A man said, ‘Messenger of Allah, I was going to slaughter a sheep and then I felt sorry for it (or ‘sorry for the sheep I was going to slaughter’).’ He said twice, ‘Since you showed mercy to the sheep, Allah will show mercy to you.'”

374. Abu Hurayra said, “I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the truthful confirmed one, Abu’l-Qasim, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘Mercy is only removed from the one who is destined for wretchedness.”

375. Jarir reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah will not show mercy to a person who does not show mercy to other people.”

 

175. Mercy towards the family

376. Anas ibn Malik said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was the most merciful of people towards members of his family. He had his son (Ibrahim) suckled in part of Madina and the husband of his wet-nurse was a blacksmith. We used to go to him and the house would be full of smoke from the bellows. He would kiss the child and take him in his lap.”

377. Abu Hurayra said, “A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with a child which he began to embrace. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said. ‘Do you show mercy towards me?’ ‘Yes,’ the man replied. He said, ‘Allah is more merciful towards you than you are towards this child. He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.;:

 

176. Mercy to animals

378. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “One day a man became very thirsty while walking down the road. He came across a well, went down into it, and drank and then climbed out. In front of him he found a dog panting, eating the dust out of thirst. The man said, ‘This dog is as thirsty as I was.’ He went back down into the well and filled his show, putting it into his mouth (in order to climb back up) and then gave the dog water. Therefore Allah thanked him and forgave him.” They said, “Messenger of Allah, will we have a reward on account of animals?” He said, “There is a reward on account of every living thing.”

379. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A woman punished her cat by imprisoning it until it died of hunger and because of it, she entered the Fire. It was said and Allah knows best: ‘You did not feed it nor give it water when you imprisoned it nor did you release it and let it eat from the plants of the earth.”

380. ‘Abdullah ibn al-‘As reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Show mercy and you will be shown mercy. Forgive and Allah will forgive you. Woe to the vessels that catch words (i.e. the ears). Woe to those who persist and consciously continue in what they are doing.”

381. Abu Umama that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who shows mercy, even to an animal meant for slaughtering, will be shown mercy by Allah on the Day of Rising.”

 

177. Taking an egg from a small bird

382. ‘Abdullah reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stopped in a place and then someone took a bird’s eggs and the bird began to beat its wings around the head of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He asked, “Which of you has taken its eggs?” A man said, “Messenger of Allah, I have taken its eggs.” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Return them out off mercy to the bird.”

 

178. Birds in cages

383. Hisham ibn ‘Urwa reported that Ibn az-Zubayr was in Makka and the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, were carrying birds in cages.

384. Anas said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came in and saw a son of Abu Talha’s called Abu ‘Umayr. He had a sparrow which he used to play with.” He said, “Abu ‘Umayr, what happened to (or where is) the little sparrow?'”

 

XXI. Social Behaviour

 

179. Relating good things between people

385. Umm Kulthum, the daughter of ‘Uqba ibn Abi Mu’ayt, reported that she heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “Someone who makes peace between people by saying something good or relates something good is not a liar.”

She said, “I did not hear him make an allowance for any lie that people utilise except in three cases: making peace between people, a man speaking to his wife, and a woman speaking to her husband.”

 

180. A liar is not behaving correctly

386. ‘Abdullah reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “You must be truthful. Truthfulness leads to dutifulness and dutifulness leads to the Garden. A man continues to tell the truth until he is written as a siddiq with Allah. Beware of lying. Lying leads to deviance and deviance leads to the Fire. A man continues to lie until he is written as a liar with Allah.”

387. ‘Abdullah said, “Lying is not correct, neither in seriousness nor in seriousness nor in jest. None of you should promise his child something and then not give it to him.”

 

181. Someone who is patient when people injure him

388. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The believer who mixes with people and endures their injury is better than the person who does not mix with people nor endure their injury.”

 

182. Enduring injury

389. Abu Musa reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “No one nothing is more patient in enduring an injury which he hears than Allah Almighty. They claim that He has a son, and yet He still cures them and provides for them.”

390. ‘Abdullah said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, swore an oath like one of the oaths that people swear and a man of the Ansar said, ‘By Allah, it is not an oath by which the Face of Allah Almighty is desired.” I said, ‘I will tell the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. I went to him while he was with his Companions and I spoke to him in confidence. It clearly affected him greatly, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and his face changed colour so that I wished that I had not told him. Then he said, ‘Musa was injured with greater than that and he endured it.'”

 

183. Improving a state of friendship

391. Abu’d-Darda’ reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Shall I tell you a degree better than prayer, fasting and sadaqa?” “Yes,” they replied. He went to say, Improving a state of friendship. Causing discord in a state of friendship is what shaves things away.”

392. Regarding the ayat, “Fear Allah and put things right between you,” (8:1), Ibn ‘Abbas said, “This is an injunction from Allah to the believers to fear Allah and to put things right between them.”

 

184. When you lie to a man and he believes you

393. Sufyan ibn Usayd al-Hadrami reported that he heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “It is great treachery to tell something to your brother so that he believes you when you are lying to him.”

 

185. Do not make a promise to your brother and then break it

394. Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do not dispute with your brother. Do not make dun of him. Do not make a promise to him and then break it.”

 

186. Attacking Lineage

395. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “There are two courses that my Community will not abandon: wailing and attacking a person’s lineage.”

 

187. A man’s love for his people

396. A woman called Fusayla said that she heard her father say, “I asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, is it part of disobedience for a man to help his people in something which is unjust?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied.”

XXII. Separation

 

188. Separating oneself from people

397. ‘Awf ibn al-Harith ibn at-Tufayl, the nephew of ‘A’isha, reported that ‘A’isha was told that ‘Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr had said about something which ‘A’isha was selling or giving away as a gift, “By Allah, if she does not stop, I will debar her from disposing of her property!” She asked, “Is that truly so?” “Yes,” they replied. ‘A’isha exclaimed, “I vow to Allah that I will never again speak a single word to Ibn az-Zubayr!”

Ibn az-Zubayr sought intercession through the Muhajirun with her when she had kept apart from him for a long a time. She stated, “By Allah, I will not let anyone intercede for him, and I will never break the vow which I have made!”

After that had been going on for a long time, Ibn az-Zubayr spoke to al-Miswar ibn Makhrama and ‘Abdu’r-Rahman ibn al-Aswad ibn Yaghuth who were from the Banu Zuhra. He told them, “I ask you by Allah to got to ‘A’isha, for it is not lawful for her to vow to cut me off.” Al-Miswar and ‘Abdu’r-Rahman took him along with their cloaks wrapped around him and asked ‘A’isha’s permission to enter and visit her. They said, “Peace be upon Allah and the mercy of Allah and His blessings! May we come in?” “Come in,” ‘A’isha replied. They asked, “All of us, Umm al-Mu’minin?” “Yes,” she answered, “you can all come in,” not realising that Ibn az-Zubayr was with them.

When they came in, Ibn az-Zubayr went into the screened-off section and embraced ‘A’isha and began to pleased with her in tears. Then al-Miswar and ‘Abdu’r-Rahman began to plead with ‘A’isha to speak to him and accept him. They said, “You know that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade cutting people off, as you know, and you know that it is not lawful for a Muslim to refuse to speak to his brother for more than three nights.” They continued to remind her and make things difficult for her until she began to remind them (of her vow) and weep, saying, “I have made a vow, and the vow is strong.” They kept at her until she spoke to Ibn az-Zubayr. Then she freed 40 slaves to atone for breaking her vow. After that whenever she remembered her vow, she would free forty slaves, and she wept until her tears made her veil wet.”

 

189. Separating oneself from Muslims

398. Anas ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do not hate one another nor envy one another nor shun one another. Slaves of Allah, be brothers! It is not lawful for a Muslim to refuse to speak to his brother (Muslim) for more than three nights.”

399. Abu Ayyub, the Companion of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “It is not lawful for anyone to cut himself off from his Muslim brother for more than three nights so that when they meet, one of them turns his face away in avoidance and the other one turns his face away as well. The better of them is the one who initiates the greeting.”

400. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do not hate one another nor contend with one another. Slaves of Allah, be brothers.”

401. Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Two people do not love each other in Allah Almighty or in Islam if the first wrong action that one of them does creates a split between them.”

402. Hisham ibn ‘Amir al-Ansari, the nephew of Anas ibn Malik whose father was killed in the Battle of Uhud, that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “It is not lawful for a Muslim to snub another Muslim for more than three nights. As long as they are cut off from each other, they are turning away from the Truth. The first of them to return to a proper state has his expiation for that inasmuch as he was the first to return to a proper state. if they die while they are cut off from each other, neither of them will ever enter the Garden. If one of them greets the other and he refuses to return the greeting or accept his greeting, then an angel returns the greeting to him and Shaytan answers the other.”

403. ‘A’isha mentioned that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, told her, “I can see you when you are angry or pleased.” She asked, “How do you see that, Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “When you are pleased, you say, ‘Yes, by the Lord of Muhammad.’ But when you are angry, you say, ‘No, by the Lord of Ibrahim.'” She said that she replied, “Yes, I only cut out your name.”

 

190. A person who cuts himself off from his brother for a year

404. Abu Khirash al-Aslami reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “Whoever snubs his brother for a year has split his blood.”

405. ‘Imran ibn Abi Anas reported from a man of Aslam who was one of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Snubbing a believer for a year is like spilling his blood.”

 

191. Those who refuse to speak to one another

406. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “It is not lawful for a Muslim to refuse to speak to his (Muslim) brother for more than three days so that when they meet, one goes this way and the goes that way. The better of the two is the one who initiates the greeting.”

407. Hisham ibn ‘Amir heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “It is not lawful for a Muslim to snub another Muslim for more than three nights. As long as they are cut off from each other, they are turning away from the Truth. The first of them to return to a proper state has his expiation for that in asmuch as he was the first to return to a proper state. If they die while they are cut off from one another, neither of them will ever enter the Garden.”

 

192. Generosity

408. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do not hate one another and do not envy one another. Let the slaves of Allah be brothers.”

409. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “You will find that the worst of people in the sight of Allah on the Day of Rising will be the two-faced person who presents one face to a group of people and another face to a different group of people.”

410. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Beware of opinion. Opinion is the most lying form of speech. Do not try to ensnare one another (in sales) nor envy one another nor hate one another nor shun one another. Rather be the slaves of Allah and brothers.”

411. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The gates of the Garden are opened on Mondays and Thursdays. Every person who does not associate anything with Allah is forgiven except for someone who has enmity between existing between him and another man. It is said, ‘Leave these two until they make peace.'”

412. Abu’d-Darda’ said, “Shall I tell you about something better for you than sadaqa and fasting? Improving the state of friendship. Hatred is what shaves things away.”

413. Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Three things are not concealed and He forgives everything else to whomever He wills: the one who dies and has not associated anything with Allah, the one who was not a sorcerer nor a follower of the sorcerers, and the one who did not have rancour towards his brother.”

 

193. The salam makes up for shunning

414. Abu Hurayra reported that he heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “It is not lawful for a Muslim man to refuse to speak to a believer for more than three days. When three days have passed, he should meet him and greet him. If he returns the greeting, they share in the reward. If he does not return the greeting, the one who gives the greeting is innocent of having severed relations.”

 

XXII. Advice

 

194. Separating young people

415. Salim ibn ‘Abdullah reported from his father that ‘Umar used to say to his sons, “Separate in the morning and do not meet together in the same house. I fear that you might split up or that some evil may take place between you.”

 

195. Someone giving advice to his brother when he has not been asked for advice

416. Ibn ‘Umar saw a shepherd with some sheep in a bad place and saw a place which was better than it. He told him, “Woe to you, shepherd! Move them! I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘Every shepherd is responsible for his flock.'”

 

196. The person who dislikes bad

417. Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “We do not give a bad example. The one who takes back his gift is like the dog who returns to his own vomit.”

 

197.What was mentioned about tricks and deception

418. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The believer is guileless and generous while the corrupt is a swindler and miserly.”

 

XXIII. Defamation

 

198. Defamation

419. Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Two men defamed one another in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. One of them reviled the other who remained silent. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, remained seated. Then the other man answered him back and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, got up. He was asked, “You got up?” He said, “The angels left, so I left with them. While this man was silent, the angels were answering the one who cursed him. When he answered, the angels left.”

420. Umm ad-Darda’ reported that a man came up to her and said, “A man has said bad things about you in the presence of ‘Abdu’l-Malik.’ She said, “We are suspected of something which we did not do. How often we have been praised for what we did not do!”

421. ‘Abdullah said, “When a man says to his companion, ‘You are my enemy,’ then one of them has left Islam or he is innocent of what his companion said.'” Abu Juhayfa reported that ‘Abdullah added, “Except the one who repents.”

 

199. Giving water

422. Ibn ‘Abbas said, “There are 360 joints and each of them owes sadaqa every single day. Every good word is sadaqa. A man’s helping his brother is sadaqa. A drink of water which he gives is sadaqa. Removing something harmful from the road is sadaqa.”

 

200.When two people revile one another, the responsibility for what they say rests on the first to speak

423. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When two people revile each other, the responsibility for what they say rests on the first to speak as long as the one who wronged does not become excessive.”

424. As 423, but from Anas.

425. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do you know what calumny is?” They said, “No, Prophet and His Messenger know best.” He said, “Telling people what other people have said in order to create dissension between them.”

426. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah Almighty revealed to me that you should be humble and that you should not wrong one another.”

 

201. Those who revile one another are two shaytans who accuse one another and deny one another

427. ‘Iyad ibn Himar said, “I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, there is someone who reviles me.’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Those who revile one another are two shaytans who accuse one another and deny one another.'”

428. ‘Iyad ibn Himar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah has revealed to me that you should be humble so that none of you will oppress anyone else and none of you will disdain another.’ I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, what do you think I should do when a man reviles me in a low assembly and then I answer him back? Do I incur any wrong action in doing that?’ He replied, ‘Two men who revile one another are two shaytans who accuse one another and deny one another.'”

428. (sic) ‘Iyad said, “I was at war with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I gave him a she-camel before I became Muslim. He said, “I dislike the froth of the idolaters.”

 

202. Reviling a Muslim is deviant behaviour

429. Sa’id ibn Malik reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Reviling a Muslim is deviant behaviour.”

430. Anas said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was neither coarse nor a curser nor a reviler, He used to say when he wanted to censure someone, ‘What is wrong with him? May his brow be dusty!'”

431. ‘Abdullah reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Reviling a Muslim is deviant behaviour and killing him is disbelief.”

432. Abu Dharr is reported as saying that he heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “If a man accuses another man of deviance or accuses him of disbelief, that accusation will come back on him if his companion is not as he said.”

433. Abu Dharr states that he heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “A person who knowingly claims a father other than his own has disbelieved. A person who claims to be from a people when he is not one of them will take his place in the Fire. A person who calls a man an unbeliever or says, ‘Enemy of Allah,’ when that is not the case will have that come back on him.”

434. Sulayman ibn Surad, one of the Companions of the Prophet, said, “Two men reviled one another in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and one of them became angry. He became so angry that his face puffed out and changed colour. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘I know some words which will make what he feels depart if he says them.’ The man came to him and told him what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had said, He said, ‘Seek refuge with Allah from the Accursed Shaytan.’ He said, ‘Do you think that there is something wrong with me? Am I mad? Leave!'”

435. ‘Abdullah said, “There is a veil from Allah Almighty between every two Muslims. When one of them says ugly words to his companion, he has rent the veil of Allah. When one of them tells the other, ‘You are an unbeliever,’ then one of them has disbelieved.”

 

203. Someone who does not say things directly to people

436. ‘A’isha said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did something and thereby created a dispensation for doing it. Some people still refrained from doing. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard about that and he gave a speech and praised Allah. Then he said, ‘What is wrong with people who restrain themselves from doing something which I do? By Allah, I know Allah better than they do and I fear Him more than they do!'”

437. Anas said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, rarely told a man something to his face which he disliked. One day a man came to him with a trace of yellowish scent on him. When he stood up, he said to his Companions, ‘If only he would change or remove this yellow!'”

 

204.When someone calls someone else a hypocrite without meaning it literally

438. ‘Ali said. “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent for me and az-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwam while we were both on horseback and said, ‘Go to such-and-such a meadow. There is a woman there who has a letter with her from Hatib to the idolaters. Bring her to me.’ We found her rising along on one of her camels as the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had described her. We said, ‘[Give us] the letter you have with you.’ ‘I do not have any letter,’ she replied.

We searched and her camel. My companion said, ‘I do not see it.’ I said, ‘The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, does not lie. By the One in whose hand my soul is, I will strip her unless she produces it!’ She put her hand in the knot of her shawl as she was wearing a black shawl and brought it out. We went back to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. ‘Umar exclaimed, ‘He (i.e. Hatim) has betrayed Allah, His Messenger, and the believers! Let me strike off his head!’ He asked, ‘What made you do it?’ Hatim said, ‘I believe in Allah, but I want to have some authority with the people.’ He said, ;He has spoken the truth, ‘Umar. Was he not present at Badr? Perhaps Allah has looked on them and said, “Do whatever you like. The Garden is guaranteed for you.”‘ ‘Umar wept and said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.””

 

205. Someone says calls his brother an unbeliever

439. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “If a man says to his brother, ‘You are an unbeliever,’ it is true for one or the other of them.”

440. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When someone says to another, ‘Unbeliever!’ then one of them is an unbeliever. If the one to whom he says it is an unbeliever, he has spoke the truth. If that is not the case, then the one who said it has brought down disbelief on himself.”

 

206. The gloating of enemies

441. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to seek refuge from an evil end and the glaoting of enemies.

 

XXIV. Extravagance in Building

207. Extravagance in Property

442. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah is pleased with you about three things and He is angry with you about three things. He is pleased that you worship Him, not associating anything with Him, that you all take hold of the rope of Allah and that you give good counsel to those that Allah has put in authority over you. He dislikes you engaging in chitchat, asking a lot of questions and squandering wealth.”

443. In commenting on the words of Allah Almighty, “Anything you spend will be replaced by Him. and He is the best of Providers,” (34:39) Ibn ‘Abbas said, “without extravagance or parsimony.”

 

208. Those who squander

444. Abu’l-‘Ubaydayn said, “I asked ‘Abdullah about those who squander and he said, ‘They are those who spend incorrectly.'”

445. Ibn ‘Abbas said that he said that “the squanderers” were those who wasted money incorrectly.

 

209. Improving Houses

446. Zayd ibn Aslam reported from his father that ‘Umar used to say on the minbar, “O people! Improve your homes but be careful about these house snakes [which are a form of jinn] before they make you afraid. Those among them which are Muslim will not be clear to you and, by Allah, we have not made peace with them since the time when we treated them as an enemy.”

 

210. Building expenses

447. Khabbab said, “A man is rewarded for everything except building.”

 

211. A man working with his workers

448. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr was heard to say to a nephew of his who had left al-Waht, “Are your workers at work?” “I don’t know,” he replied. He said, “If you were clever, you would work as your workers work.” Then he turned towards us and said, “When a man works with his workers in his house (and Abu ‘Asim once said, ‘in his property’), he is one of the workers of Allah Almighty.”

 

212. Making buildings tall

449. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The Final Hour will not come until people compete with one another in the height of their buildings.”

450. Al-Hasan said, “I used to go into the houses of the wives of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, during the khalifate of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, and I could touch their ceilings with my own hand.”

451. Da’ud ibn Qays said, “I saw that the rooms were made from the stumps of palm trees covered on the outside with smoothed hair. I think that the width of the house from the door of the room to the door of the house was about six or seven spans. The width of the room inside was ten spans. I think that the ceiling was between seven and right, or there about. I stopped at the door of ‘A’isha, which was facing the west.”

452. ‘Abdullah ar-Rumi said, “I visited Umm Talq and exclaimed, ‘How low the ceiling of your room is!’ ‘My son,’ she replied, ‘the Amir al-Mu’minin, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, wrote to his workers telling them: “Do not make your buildings tall. That will come about in the worst of your days.”‘”

 

213. The person who builds

453. It is reported that Habba ibn Khalid and Sawa’ ibn Khalid came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, while he was repairing a wall or a building of his, and they helped him.

454. Qays ibn Abi Hazm said, “We went to visit Khubbab after he had been cauterised seven times. He said, ‘Our Companions who came before us have gone and this world did not cause the, loss. We have been struck by an affliction for which we find no place to put it down except the earth. If it were no that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade us to pray for death, we would pray for it.'”

455. He continued, “Then we came to him another time while he was building a wall and his and he said, ‘The Muslim is rewarded for everything on which he spends money except for what he spends on dust.’

456. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went by while I was repairing a hut I owned. He said, ‘What is this?’ I replied, ‘I am mending my hut, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.’ He said, ‘The business is too swift for that.'”

 

214. A spacious dwelling

457. Nafi’ ibn al-Harith reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Part of a man’s happiness is a spacious dwelling, a good neighbour, and a good mount.”

 

215. A person who has upper rooms

458. Thabit reported that he was with Anas in a corner above one of his rooms. He said, “We heard the adhan and he came down and I came down as well. He took short stops and said, ‘I was with Zayd ibn Thabit and I walked with him in this fashion. He said, “Do you know why I did it to you? The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, walked in this manner and he said, ‘Do you know why I walked with you?’ I replied, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘So that there would be a greater number of steps in search of the prayer.'”‘”

 

216. Painting buildings

459. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The Final Hour will not come until people build houses which are like coloured garments.”

460. Warrad, the scribe of al-Mughira ibn Shu’ba, said, “Mu’awiya wrote to al-Mughira, saying, ‘Write down for me what you heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say.’

So he wrote to him, ‘The Prophet of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to say at the end of every prayer, “There is no god but Allah alone with no partner. His is the Kingdom and His is the praise and He has power over everything. O Allah, none can withhold what You give nor can anyone give what You withhold. Nor will the wealth of someone with wealth help him against You.’ He also write to him, ‘He forbade gossip, asking too many questions, and wasting money. He forbade disobeying mothers, burying daughters alive, and he forbade asking people (without real need).'”

461. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “None of you will be saved by his actions?” “Not even you, Messenger of Allah?” they asked. “Not even me,” he replied, “unless Allah covers me with mercy from Him. But act correctly and wisely and worship in the morning and evening and during part of the night. Keep to a middle path and you will arrive.”

 

XXV. Compassion

 

217. Compassion

462. ‘A’isha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A group of Jews came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, “Poison (‘sam’ instead of ‘salam’) be upon you.” ‘A’isha said, “I understood it and said, ‘And poison be upon you and the curse of Allah!’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ‘Easy, ‘A’isha! Allah loves compassion in everything.’ I said, ‘Didn’t you hear what they said?’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, replied, ‘I already said, “and upon you”.'”

463. Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Whoever is denied compassion is denied good.”

464. Abu’d-Darda’ reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Whoever has been given his portion of compassion has been given his portion of good. Whoever is denied given his portion of compassion has been denied his portion of good. Good character will be the weightiest thing in the believer’s balance on the Day of Rising. Allah hates a coarse, foul-mouthed person.”

465. ‘A’isha reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Forgive rightacting people their slips.”

466. Anas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “If there is roughness in anything it is bound to disgrace it. Allah is compassionate and loves compassion.”

467. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was more modest than a virgin in her tent. When he disliked something, we recognised that in his face.”

468. Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Right guidance, good behaviour and aiming for what is just and correct is a seventieth part of prophethood.”

469. ‘A’isha, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “I was on a camel which was somewhat intractable and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, remarked, ‘You must be compassionate. Whenever there is compassion in something, it adorns it, and when it is removed from something it disgraces it.”

470. Sa’id al-Maqburi reported from his father that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Beware of avarice. It destroyed those before you. They shed one another’s blood and broke off relations with their relatives. Injustice will appear as darkness on the Day of Rising.”

 

218. Compassion in livelihood

471. Kathir ibn ‘Ubayd said, “I visited ‘A’isha, the Umm al-Mu’minin, may Allah be pleased with her. She said, ‘Wait until I sew up my garment.’ So I waited and said, ‘Umm al-Mu’minin, when I go out, I will tell them that your enemy is miserliness.’ She said, ‘Look to your own business. There are no new clothes for anyone who does not wear shabby clothes.'”

 

219.What a slave is given for compassion

472. ‘Abdullah ibn Mughaffal reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah is compassionate and loves compassion. He gives for compassion what He goes not give for harshness.”

 

220. Calming

473. Anas ibn Malik reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Make things easy and do not make things difficult. Calm people and do not arouse their aversion.”

474. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said, “A guest stayed among the tribe of Israel and there was a dog in the house. They said, ‘Dog, do not bark at our guest. The puppies were suckling from it. They mentioned it to one of their Prophets who said, ‘This is like a community which will come after you and whose fools will overcome its men of knowledge.”

 

221. Harshness

475. ‘A’isha said, “I was on a camel that was somewhat intractable and I began to beat it. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘You must be compassionate. Whenever there is compassion in something, it adorns it, and whenever it is removed from something it disgraces it.”

 

XXVI. Attending to this world

476. Abu Nadra said, “One of our men called Jabir or Jubayr said, ‘I went to ‘Umar while he was Khalif to ask for something which I needed. I reached Madina during the night and went straight to him. I am someone with intelligence and a ready tongue or he said speech (meaning eloquence). I had looked at this world and thought little of it. I had abandoned it as not being worth anything. At ‘Umar’s side there was a man with white hair and white clothes. When I had finished speaking, he said, “All that you have said is correct except for your attack on this world. Do you know what this world is?

This world is that in which we reach (or he said, ‘where our provision is’) the Next World. It contains our actions for which we will be rewarded in the Next World.” He said, “A man who knows this world better than I do worked in it.” I asked, “Amir al-Mu’minin, who is this man at our side?” He replied, ‘The master of the Muslims, Ubayy ibn Ka’b.'”

 

222. Putting Property in Order

478. Hanash ibn al-Harith reported that his father said, “One of our men had a mare which became pregnant which he then slaughtered, saying, ‘Will I live long enough to ride this horse?’ Then we received ‘Umar’s letter telling us to attend to the provision that Allah has given us in order to make it thrive since there is still time in the business.”

479. Anas ibn Malik reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “If the Final Hour comes while you have a palm-cutting in your hands and it is possible to plant it before the Hour comes, you should plant it.”

480. Dawud ibn Dawud said, “‘Abdullah ibn Sallam said to me, ‘If you hear that the Dajjal has come out while you are planting young palm trees, it is not too soon to put it in order, for people will still have livelihood after that.”

 

223. The supplication of the one who is wronged

481. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “There are three supplications which are answered: the supplication of the person who is wronged, the supplication of the traveller, and the supplication of a parent for his child.

 

224. Asking Allah for provision because of His words, “Provide for us and You are Best of Providers.”

482. Jabir reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on the minbar. He looked towards the Yemen and said, “O Allah, bring their hearts,” and he looked towards Iraq and said something similar. He looked towards every horizon and said the like of that. He said, ‘O Allah, provide for us out of the legacy of the earth and bless us in our mudd and our sa’.”

 

XXVII. Injustice

 

225. Injustice is Darkness

483. Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Fear injustice. Injustice will appear as darkness on the Day of Rising. Fear avarice. Avarice destroyed people before you and led them to shed one another’s blood and to make lawful what was unlawful for them.”

484. Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “During the final days of my community there will be distortion, slander and tyranny, and it will begin with people who commit injustices.”

485. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Injustice will appear as darkness on the Day of Rising.”

486. Abu Sa’id reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When the believers are saved from the Fire, they will be stopped on a bridge between the Garden and the Fire. They were be interrogated concerning the injustices which occurred between them in this

world. When they have been cleansed and they have been disciplined, then they will be given

permission to enter the Garden. By the One who holds the soul of Muhammad in His hand, one of

them is better guided in his position than he was in this world.”

487. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Beware of injustice. Injustice will appear as darkness on the Day of Rising. Beware of coarseness. Allah does not love those who are coarse and foul mouthed. Beware of avarice for it destroyed those before you. They cut off their relatives. Allah summoned them and they made lawful what was unlawful.”

488. Jabir reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Beware of injustice. Injustice will appear as darkness on the Day of Rising. Fear avarice. It destroyed those before you and caused them to shed one another’s blood and to make lawful what was unlawful.”

489. Abu’d-Duha said, “Masruq and Shutayr ibn Shakal met in the mosque. The people sitting in circles in the mosque moved towards them. Masruq said, ‘I can only think that these people are gathering around us in order to hear good from us. If you relate from ‘Abdullah, I will confirm you. If I relate from ‘Abdullah, you can confirm me.’ He said, ‘Abu ‘A’isha, relate!’ He said, ‘Did you heart ‘Abdullah say, “The eyes commit fornication. The hands commit fornication. The feet commit fornication, and then the genitals either confirm or deny that”?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘I have heard it.’ He said, ‘Did you hear ‘Abdullah say, “There is no ayat in the Qur’an which is greater in combining the halal and the haram and the command the prohibition than this ayat: ‘Allah commands to justice and doing good and giving to relatives’ (16.90)?”‘ ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘I have heard it.’ He said, ‘Did you hear ‘Abdullah say, “There is no ayat in the Qur’an swifter in bringing relief than His words, “Whoever has taqwa of Allah He will give him a way out” (65:20?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘I have heard it.’ He said, ‘Did you hear ‘Abdullah say, “There is no ayat in the Qur’an stronger in entrusting things to Allah than His words, “My slaves, you have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah” (39:53)?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘I heard that.'”

490. Abu Dharr reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, reported that Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, said: “My slaves! I have forbidden injustice for Myself and I have made it forbidden among you, so do not wrong one another.

“My slaves! You err by night and day and I forgive wrong actions and do not care. Ask me for forgiveness and I will forgive you.

“My slaves! All of you are hungry unless I have fed you, so ask Me to feed you, and I will feed you.

All of you are naked unless I have clothed you, so ask Me to clothe you and I will clothe you.

“My slaves! If all of you, the first of you and the last of you, the jinn among you and the men among you, were to be as godfearing as the most godfearing heart of any one of you, that would not add anything to My kingdom. If they were to be as corrupt as the most corrupt heart of any one of you, that would not decrease anything in My kingdom. If they were to join together in one place and then ask of Me, and I gave every man among them what he asked for that, that would not reduce My kingdom at all, except as the sea is decreased if a needle is dipped into it.

“My slaves! It is only your actions which I have appointed for you. Whoever finds good should praise Allah. Whoever finds other than that should only blame himself.'”

Continue to Part 3,

Source: Book of Imam Al-Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrad

The Garden of Abu Talhah


All perfect praise is due to Allaah; I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger; may Allaah send salutations and exalt his mention, as well as that of his family and all his companions.

Anas ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated: “When the verse:

لن تنالوا البر حتى تنفقوا مما تحبون

which means: “Never will you attain the good reward [or righteousness] until you spend [in the way of Allaah] from that which you love” was revealed, Abu Talhah, may Allaah be pleased with him, went to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah! Allaah has revealed this, and the dearest of my wealth is Bayr-Haa’, (which was a garden that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam liked to visit, sit in the shade of its trees and drink from its well) I am giving it up for the sake of Allaah and His Messenger hoping for its reward in the Hereafter, so use it in whichever way Allaah likes.” Thereupon, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “O Abu Talhah! Bakhin, Bakh, (an expression used to denote surprise and approval) this indeed is a profitable trade, your charity is accepted, and I see that you should give it to your relatives.” So he, may Allaah be pleased with him, distributed it amongst his relatives.”

Another narration of this story states: “He gave it to his paternal relatives.” Two of these relatives were Hassaan and Ubayy, may Allaah be pleased with them both; Hassaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, sold his share to Mu’aawiyah, may Allaah be pleased with him, who later built on it the castle of Banu Huthaylah.

This narration was reported in the books of the great Imaams Bukhaari and Muslim, may Allaah have mercy upon them both, and it informs us of how the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, would respond to the Qur’aan and how their hearts would receive the revelation with belief and full submission, as well as their immediate practical implementation by acting in accordance with the implications of the revealed verses.

When this verse was revealed, the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, knew that this great rank of righteousness and its huge reward cannot be attained unless one spends the dearest of what he possesses; it is mentioned in one of the narrations of this story that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recited the aforementioned verse whilst on the pulpit, and that Abu Talhah, may Allaah be pleased with him, immediately stood up as soon as he heard the verse – as soon as the words of his Lord were recited before him – he stood up without thinking for long or delaying his reaction; he stood up and offered the best of his wealth; he immediately spent it and then said words that reflected his sincerity, he said that the reason for him doing this was that he hoped for its reward with Allaah. After that, he gave authority to the most knowledgeable person to make use of it as he saw fit. Also, the great suggestion of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was so because spending on relatives acquires a double reward: it entails the reward of charity as well as the reward for maintaining good ties with kinsfolk.

Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “Abu Talhah was one of the richest people amongst the Ansaar (i.e., residents of Madeenah).”

In another narration, it is stated that his wealth consisted of palm trees, and he had other gardens, but this one which he gave in charity was the best of them all.

The following are benefits derived from the narration:

  • The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to go looking for fresh water, which is proof that seeking it is permissible. In one narration, ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: “The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to get fresh water from an area that was a distance of two days’ travel.” [Abu Daawood]

Thus, seeking fresh water does not contradict asceticism, nor can it be considered as an exaggerated means of seeking worldly pleasures, because the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the most knowledgeable person regarding what pleases Allaah. Additionally, there is no virtue in drinking salty water, contrary to what some Soofi sects believe, thinking that drinking fresh water contradicts asceticism and that drinking salty water brings them closer to Allaah, whilst the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sought fresh water and Allaah says:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تحرموا طيبات ما أحل الله لكم

which means: “O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allaah has made lawful to you.” [Al-Maa’idah: 87]

It is important to know that this verse was revealed regarding some people who wished to refrain from certain types of Halaal food. The Soofis claim that one gets closer to Allaah by depriving himself of certain foods, but this is not something that Allaah has legislated.

Now the question arises: where and how do people err regarding permissible pleasures and food? The answer to this is that the problem begins when people waste their time and money in obtaining such things in excess; it happens when people go to the other extreme and eat so much that they are unable to worship Allaah, and this is disliked, but there is nothing wrong with people eating and enjoying permissible matters within limits and without exaggeration.

  • No matter how inexpensive food is, or how little one eats, one will never be able to thank Allaah enough for it.
  • It is permissible for one to enter a garden and drink from its water free of charge, if he knows that the owner will not mind him doing so, or if it is known that he normally forgives one who does so, even if the owner did not grant him prior permission, as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did likewise.
  • Abu Talhah, may Allaah be pleased with him, gave the best of his wealth in charity and this is contrary to what some people do when they give the worst of what they have in Allaah’s cause, as Allaah says:

ولستم بآخذيه إلا أن تغمضوا فيه

which means: “You would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes…” [Al-Baqarah: 267] Meaning, that the person who gives out such charity would never wish to accept the same from anyone else, unless he was in great need and distressed, so why do some people spend in charity that which they would refuse to receive?

For this reason, a sign of true belief is that one spends in charity from the best of what he possesses of food, drink and clothing. When some are encouraged to spend, they give away torn clothes and this does not reflect righteousness. Thus, only those who spend the best of what they have are those who reach this state of righteousness and will attain the promised fine reward. Some people give away clothes that they have never worn when they wish to give in charity, which is an excellent quality that reflects their response to the aforementioned verse, and it is an indication that their hearts are overwhelmed with faith.

When a person gives in charity, it is a hard struggle; the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “When one spends in charity, he does so after releasing (himself) from seventy devils.” Each one of these devils persists to encourage one to hold on to it, not wanting this wealth to be spent. So when one does spend, it is a great act of worship.

That is why when Abu Talhah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reacted in the way he did, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised him by saying: “Bakhin, Bakh” which is a word used by the Arabs to express how remarkable and great something is.

  • One must consult with the people of knowledge before distributing charity, because they are better acquainted about ways of spending that can result in a greater reward, or which way could be more beneficial to other Muslims.

This is why Abu Talhah, may Allaah be pleased with him, did not dispense his charity but rather offered it to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to spend it any a way he saw fit. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam accepted it, but then returned it to him, instructing him to spend it on his relatives, because this way he would receive double the reward – one for charity and the other for keeping good ties with his kinfolk.

  • It is lawful to spend more than a third of one’s wealth whilst alive and healthy.

Because the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not ask Abu Talhah, may Allaah be pleased with him, whether this was a third or less or more than that of his total wealth, rather, he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam accepted it immediately from him, which is an indication that one can spend as much of his wealth in charity, whilst he is alive, as he wishes – even if it is his entire wealth. Limiting it to a third should only be done if one is on his deathbed, or in one’s will.

  • One should give preference to his relatives when giving charity.
  • It is permissible to own a garden.

It is also permissible for scholars and other honourable people to enter such gardens to rest in or enjoy themselves, because enjoying lawful matters does not contradict being devout in any way. So, just asthe Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would pray the optional night prayeruntil his feet cracked, he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would also go to thisgarden to enjoy its shade and water. The problem lies not in enjoying oneself,but in the excessive amount of time people spend in doing such things.

On the other hand, this cannot be compared to taking one’s family to amusement parks, which are usually sinful environments which involve many prohibitions such as intermixing between men and women.

  • It is permissible to trade in real estate, as was done by Abu Talha’s relative who sold his share of the garden.
  • It is permissible to drink at a friend’s house, even if he is not present, if one knows that the friend would not mind.
  • It is acceptable to announce the giving of one’s charity, and the wealth announced as spent is no longer the property of the donor. If the donor makes the charity general, without specifying the beneficiary, then the person authorised to distribute it is free to spend it as he sees best, otherwise it must be spent as designated by the donor.
  • It is permissible for the donor to distribute his donation personally.
  • It is recommended to give charity money to righteous and trustworthy people for distribution.
  • The garden was given out as charity and not as an endowment, otherwise Hassaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, could not have sold it later, because endowments cannot be sold, ever. In the case of an endowment, the item itself remains untouched and whatever revenue comes from it is distributed in the  way specified by the owner, and this is the charity which the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was referring to when he said: “When a servant (of Allaah) dies, his (good) deeds will cease, except for three (kinds of deeds): A charity with continuous effect, knowledge from which people draw benefit, and a good son who prays to Allaah for him.” Due to the great virtue of endowments, almost all of the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, who could afford an endowment, had one. An endowment may be designated for certain people, such as when the donor states that it should go to specific named people, or, it may remain general, such as when the donor states that it should go to any benevolent field.

Written by Shaikh Muhammad Saleh al-Munajjid

 

Part 1: A Code For Everyday Living (Al-Adab al-Mufrad) by Imam Al-Bukhari


I. PARENTS

1. Honouring Parents: The Words of Allah Almighty: “We have instructed man to honour his parents.” (29:8)

1. Abu ‘Amr ash-Shaybani said, “The owner of this house (and he pointed at the house of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud) said, “I asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, which action Allah loves best. He replied, ‘Prayer at its proper time.’ ‘Then what?’ I asked. He said, ‘Then kindness to parents.” I asked, ‘Then what?’ He replied, ‘Then jihad in the Way of Allah.'” He added, “He told me about these things. If I had asked him to tell me more, he would have told me more.”

2. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar said, “The pleasure of the Lord lies in the pleasure of the parent. The anger ofthe Lord lies in the anger of the parent.”

2. Dutifulness to One’s Mother

3. Bahz ibn Hakim’s grandfather said, “I asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, to whom should I be dutiful?’ ‘Your mother,’ he replied. I asked, ‘Then whom?’ ‘Your mother,’ he replied. I asked, ‘Then whom?’ ‘Your mother,’ he replied. I asked, ‘Then whom?’ ‘Your mother,’ he replied. I asked, ‘Then to whom should I be dutiful?’ ‘Your father,’ he replied, ‘and then the next closest relative and then the next.'”

4. ‘Ata’ ibn Yasar said that a man came to Ibn ‘Abbas and said, “I asked a woman to marry me and she refused to marry me. Another man asked her and she agreed to marry him. I became jealous and killed her. Is there any way for me to repent?” He asked, “Is your mother alive?” “No,” he replied. He said, “repent to Allah Almighty and try to draw near Him as much as you can.” ‘Ata’ said, “I went to Ibn ‘Abbas and asked him, ‘Why did you ask him whether his mother was alive?’ He replied, ‘I do not know of any action better for bringing a person near to Allah than dutifulness to his mother.'”

3. Dutifulness to One’s Father

5. Abu Hurayra said, “The Prophet was asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, to whom should I be dutiful?’ ‘Your mother,’ he replied. He was asked, ‘Then whom?’ ‘Your mother,’ he replied. He was asked, ‘Then whom?’ ‘Your mother,’ he replied. He was asked, ‘Then whom?’ ‘Your mother,’ he replied. He was asked, ‘Then whom?’ He replied, ‘Your father.'”

6. Abu Hurayra reported: “A man came to the Prophet of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked, ‘What do you command me to do?’ He replied, ‘Be dutiful towards your mother.’ Then he asked him the same question again and he replied, ‘Be dutiful towards your mother.’ He repeated it yet again and the Prophet replied, ‘Be dutiful towards your mother.’ He repeated the question a fourth time and the reply was, ‘Be dutiful towards your mother.’ Then he put the question a fifth time and the Prophet said, ‘Be dutiful towards your father.'”

4. Dutifulness to Parents, even if they are unjust

7. Ibn ‘Abbas said, “If any Muslim obeys Allah regarding his parents, Allah will open two gates of the Garden for him. If there is only one parent, then one gate will be opened. If one of them is angry, then Allah will not be pleased with him until that parent is pleased with him.” He was asked, “Even if they wrong him?” “Even if they wrong him” he replied.

5. Gentle words to Parents

8. Taysala ibn Mayyas said, “I was with the Najadites [Kharijites] when I committed wrong actions which I supposed were major wrong actions. I mentioned that to Ibn ‘Umar. He inquired, ‘What are they?” I replied, ‘Such-and-such.’ He stated, ‘These are not major wrong actions. There are nine major wrong actions. They are: associating others with Allah, killing someone, desertion from the army when it is advancing, slandering a chaste woman, usury, consuming an orphan’s property, heresy in the mosque, scoffing, and causing one’s parents to weep through disobedience.’ Ibn ‘Umar then said to me, ‘Do you wish to separate yourself from the Fire? Do you want to enter the Fire?’ ‘By Allah, yes!’ I replied. He asked, ‘Are your parents still alive?’ I replied, ‘My mother is.’ He said, ‘By Allah, if you speak gently to her and feed her, then you will enter the Garden as long as you avoid the major wrong actions.'”

9. Hisham ibn ‘Urwa related this ayat from his father, “Take them under your wing, out of mercy, with due humility.” (17:24)

6. Repaying Parents

10. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A child cannot repay his father unless he finds him as a slave and the buys him and sets him free.”

11. Sa’id ibn Abi Burda said, “I heard my father sat that Ibn ‘Umar saw a Yamani man going around the House while carrying his mother on his back, saying, ‘I am your humble camel. If her mount is frightened, I am not frightened.’ Then he asked, ‘Ibn ‘Umar? Do you think that I have repaid her?’ He replied, ‘No, not even for a single groan.’

“Ibn ‘Umar did tawaf and came to the Maqam and prayed two rak’ats. He said, ‘Ibn Abi Musa, every two rak’ats make up for everything that has happened between them.'”

12. Marwan used to make Abu Hurayra his agent and he used to be located in Dhu’l-Hulayfa. His mother was in one house and he was in another. When he wanted to go out, he would stop at her door and say, “Peace be upon you, mother, and the mercy of Allah and His blessing.” She would reply, “And peace be upon you, my son, and the mercy of Allah and His blessing.” Then he said, “May Allah have mercy on you as you raised me when I was a child.” She answered, “May Allah have mercy on you as you were dutiful to me when I was old.” Whenever he wanted to go inside, he would do something similar.

13. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said, “A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and made a pledge to him that he would do hijra. He left his parents who were in tears. The Prophet said, ‘Go back to them and make them laugh as you made them weep.'”

14. Abu Hazim reported that Abu Murra, the mawla of Umm Hani’ bint Abi Talib had told him that he rode with Abu Hurayra to his land in al-‘Aqiq. When he entered his land, he shouted out in his loudest voice, “Peace be upon you, mother, and the mercy of Allah and His blessing!” She replied, “And peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessing.” He said, “May Allah have mercy on you as you raised me when I was a child.” She replied, “My son, may Allah repay you well and be pleased with you as you were dutiful towards me when I was old.”

7. Disobedience to Parents

15. Abu Bakra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,”Shall I tell you which is the worst of the major wrong actions?” “Yes, Messenger of Allah,” they replied. He said, “Associating something else with Allah and disobeying parents.” he had been reclining, but then he said up and said, “And false witness.” Abu Bakr said, “He continued to repeat it until I said, ‘Is he never going to stop?'”

16. Warrad, the scribe of al-Mughira ibn Shu’ba, said, “Mu’awiya wrote to al-Mughira, saying, ‘Write down for me what you heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say.'”

Warrad said, “He dictated to me and I wrote out, ‘I heard him forbid asking too many questions, wasting money and chit-chat.'”

8. “Allah curses whoever curses his parents”

17. Abu’t-Tufayl said, “‘Ali was asked, ‘Did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, give you something special which he did not give to anyone else?’ He replied, ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not give me anything special which he did not give to everyone else except for what I have in my sword scabbard.’ He brought out a piece of paper. Written on that paper was: ‘Allah curses anyone who sacrifices an animal to something other than Allah. Allah curses anyone who steals a milestone. Allah curses anyone who curses his parents. Allah curses anyone who gives shelter to an innovator.'”

9. Being Dutiful to Parents as long as that does not entail disobedience to Allah

18. Abu’d-Darda’ said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recommended nine things to me: ‘Do not associate anything with Allah, even if you are cut to pieces or burned. Do not abandon a prescribed prayer deliberately. Anyone who abandons it will forfeit Allah’s protection. Do not drink wine – it is the key to every evil. Obey your parents. If they command you to abandon your worldly possessions, then leave them for them. Do not contend with those in power, even if you think that you are in the right. Do not run away from the army when it is advances, even if you are killed while your companions run away. Spend on your wife out of your means. Do not raise a stick against your wife. Cause your family to fear Allah, the Almighty and Exalted.'”

19. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said, “A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘I have come to make you a pledge that will do hijra although I have left my parents in tears.”

The Prophet said, ‘Go back to them and make them laugh as you made them cry.'”

20. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said, “A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wanting to do jihad. The Prophet asked, ‘Are your parents alive?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied. he said, ‘Then exert yourself on their behalf.'”

10. The One who Fails his Parents will not enter the Garden

21. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Disgrace! Disgrace! Disgrace!” They said, “Messenger of Allah, who?” He said, “The one who fails his parents or one of them when they are old will enter the Fire.”

11. Allah prolongs the life of someone who is dutiful towards his parents

22. Mu’adh said, “Bliss belongs to someone who is dutiful towards his parents. Allah Almighty will prolong his life.”

12. One does not ask forgiveness for his father if he is an idolater

23. Ibn ‘Abbas mentioned the words of the Almighty, “When one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say ‘Ugh!’ to them out of irritation and do not be harsh with them but speak to them with gentleness and generosity. Take them under your wing, out of mercy, with due humility and say: ‘Lord, show mercy to them as they did in looking after me when I was small.” (17:23-24) He said, “This was abrogated in Surat at-Tawba: ‘It is not right for the Prophet and those who have iman to ask forgiveness for the mushrikun even if they are close relatives after it has become clear to them that they are the Companions of the Blazing Fire.’ (9:113)”

13. Dutifulness towards a parent who is an idolater

24. Sa’id ibn Abi Waqqas said: “Four ayats were revealed about me. The first was when my mother swore she would neither eat nor drink until I left Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Allah Almighty revealed, ‘But if they try to make you associate something with Me about which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. Keep company with them correctly and courteously in this world’ (31:15) The second was when I took a sword that I admired and said, ‘Messenger of Allah, give me this!’ Then the ayat was revealed: ‘They will ask you about booty.’ (8:1) The third was when I was ill and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to me and I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, I want to divide my property. Can I will away a half?’ He said, ‘No.’ ‘A third?’ I asked. He was silent and so after that it was allowed to will away a third. The fourth was when I had been drinking wine with some of the Ansar. One of them hit my nose with the jawbone of a camel. I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Allah Almighty revealed the prohibition of wine.”

25. Asma’ bint Abi Bakr said, “In the time of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, my mother came to me hoping (I would be dutiful). I asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ‘Do I have to treat her well?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied.”

Ibn ‘Uyayna said, “Then Allah revealed about her, ‘Allah does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you in the deen.’ (60:8)”

26. Ibn ‘Umar said, “‘Umar saw a silk robe for sale. He said, ‘Messenger of Allah, would you buy this robe and wear it on Jumu’a and when delegations visit you?’ He replied, ‘Only a person who has no portion in the Next World could wear this.’ Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was given some robes made of the same material. He sent one of the robes to ‘Umar.

‘Umar exclaimed, ‘How can I wear it when you said what you said about it?’ The Prophet replied, ‘I did not give it to you so that you could wear it. You can sell it or give it to someone.’ ‘Umar sent it to a brother of his in Makka who had not yet become Muslim.”

14. A person should not revile his parents

27. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Reviling one’s parents is one of the great wrong actions.” They asked, “How could he revile them?” He said, “He reviles a man who then in turn reviles his mother and father.”

28. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said, “A man’s reviling his father is one of the major wrong actions in the sight of Allah Almighty.”

15. The punishment for disobeying parents

29. Abu Bakra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “There is no wrong action more likely to bring punishment in this world in addition to what is stored up in the Next World than oppression and severing ties of kinship.”

30. ‘Imran ibn Husayn said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘What do you say about fornication, drinking wine and theft?’ ‘Allah and His Messenger know best,’ we replied. He stated, ‘They are acts of outrage and there is punishment for them, but shall I tell you which is the greatest of the great wrong actions? Associating with Allah Almighty and disobeying parents.’ He had been reclining, but then he sat up and said, ‘and lying.'”

16. Making Parents weep

31. Ibn ‘Umar said, “Making parents weep is part of disobedience and one of the major wrong actions.”

17. The Supplication of Parents

32. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Three supplications are answered without a doubt: the supplication of someone who is oppressed, the supplication of someone on a journey, and the supplication of parents for their children.”

33. Abu Hurayra reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “No human child has ever spoken in the cradle except for ‘Isa ibn Maryam, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the companion of Jurayj.” Abu Hurayra asked, “Prophet of Allah, who was the companion of Jurayj?” The Prophet replied, “Jurayj was a monk who lived in a hermitage. There was a cowherd who used to come to the foot of his hermitage and a woman from the village used to come to the cowherd. “One day his mother came while he was praying and called out, ‘Jurayj!’ He asked himself, ‘My mother or my prayer?’ He concluded that he should prefer the prayer. She shouted to him a second time and he again asked himself, ‘My mother or my prayer?’ He thought that he should prefer the prayer. She shouted a third time and yet again he asked himself, ‘My mother or my prayer?’ He again concluded that he should prefer the prayer. When he did not answer her, she said, ‘Jurayj, may Allah not let you die until you have looked at the faces of the beautiful women.’ Then she left.

“Then the village woman was brought before the king after she had given birth to a child. He asked, ‘Whose is it?’ ‘Jurayj’s,’ she replied. He asked, ‘The man in the hermitage?’ ‘Yes,’ she answered. He ordered, ‘Destroy his hermitage and bring him to me.’ They hacked at his hermitage with axes until it collapsed. They bound his hand to his neck with a rope and took him along to the king. When he passed by the beautiful women, he saw them and smiled. They were looking at him along with the people.

“The king asked, ‘Do you know what this woman claims?’ ‘What does she claim?’ he asked. He replied, ‘She claims that you are the father of her child.’ He asked her, ‘Where is the child?’ They replied, ‘It is in her room.’ He went to the child and said, ‘Who is your father?’ ‘The cowherd,’ he replied. The king said, ‘Shall we build your hermitage out of gold?’ ‘No,’ he replied. He asked, ‘Of silver?’ ‘No,’ he replied. The king asked, ‘What shall we build it with?’ He said, ‘Put it back the way you found it.’ Then the king asked, ‘What made you smile.’ ‘Something I recognised,’ he replied, ‘The supplication of my mother overtook me.’ Then he told him about it.”

18. Offering Islam to a Christian mother

34. Abu Hurayra said, “Neither Jew nor Christian has heard me and then not loved me. I wanted my mother to become Muslim, but she refused. I told her about it and she still refused. I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘Pray to Allah for me.’ He did so and I went to her. She was inside the door of the house and said, ‘Abu Hurayra, I have become Muslim.’ I told the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I asked, ‘Make supplication to Allah for me and my mother.’ He said, ‘O Allah, make people love Abu Hurayra and his mother.'”

19. Dutifulness towards Parents after their Death

35. Abu Usayd said, “We were with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when a man asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, is there any act of dutifulness which I can do for my parents after their death?’ He replied, ‘Yes. There are four things: Supplication for them, asking forgiveness for them, fulfilling their pledges, and being generous to friends of theirs. You only have ties of kinship through your parents.”

36. Abu Hurayra said, “The dead person can be raised a degree after his death. He said, ‘My Lord, how is this?’ He was told, ‘Your child can ask for forgiveness for you.'”

37. Ibn Sirin said, “We were with Abu Hurayra one night and he said, ‘O Allah, forgive Abu Hurayra and his mother and whoever asks for forgiveness for both of them.'” Muhammad said, “We used to ask for forgiveness for them so that we would be included in Abu Hurayra’s supplication.”

38. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When a person dies, all action is cut off for him with the exception of three things: sadaqa which continues, knowledge which benefits, or a righteous child who makes supplication for him.”

39. Ibn ‘Abbas reported that a man said, “Messenger of Allah, my mother died without a will. Will it help her if I give sadaqa on her behalf?” “Yes,” he replied.

20. The Dutifulness of someone who maintains what his father loved

40. ‘Abdullah ibn Dinar reported that Ibn ‘Umar passed by a bedouin during a journey. The bedouin’s father had been a friend of ‘Umar’s. The bedouin said, “Am I not the son of so-and-so?” He said, “Yes, indeed.” Ibn ‘Umar ordered that he be given a donkey which was following him. He also took off his turban and gave it to him, One of the men with him said, “Wouldn’t two dirhams be enough for him?”

He replied, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Maintain what your father loved. Do not cut it off so that Allah puts out your light.”

41. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The strongest form of dutifulness is when a man maintains relations with the people his father loved.”

21. Do not cut off someone with whom your father maintained ties

42. Sa’d ibn ‘Ubada az-Zurqi reported that his father said, “I was sitting in the mosque in Madina with ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman when ‘Abdullah ibn Salam walked by, leaning on his nephew. ‘Amr left the assembly and showed his concern for him.” Then Ibn Salam returned to them and said, “Do what you like, ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman,” (and he said it two or three times) By the One who sent Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with the Truth, it is in the Book of Allah Almighty (and he said it twice), ‘Do not cut off those your father has joined so that that extinguishes your light.'”

22. Love is inherited

43. Abu Bakr ibn Hazm reported that one of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “It is enough that I tell you that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Love is inherited.'”

23. A man should not call his father by his name nor sit down before him nor walk in front of him

44. Abu Hurayra saw two men and said to one of them, “Who is this man in relation to you?” He is my father,” he replied. He said, “Do not call him by his own name nor walk in front of him nor sit down before him.”

24. Can a man call his father by his kunya?

45. Shahr ibn Hawshab said, “We went out with Ibn ‘Umar and Salim said to him, ‘Peace, Abu ‘Abdu’r-Rahman.'”

46. ‘Abdullah ibn Dinar said reported that Ibn ‘Umar said, “But Abu Hafs ‘Umar decided…”

II. TIES OF KINSHIP

25. The Duty of maintaining ties of kinship

47. Kulayb ibn Manfa’a reported that his grandfather asked, “Messenger of Allah, towards whom should I be dutiful?” He replied, “Your mother, your father, your sister and your brother. Then your mawla (client) has the next right against you and then your relatives who are connected.”

48. Abu Hurayra said, “When the following ayat was revealed (‘Warn your near relatives’ (26:214)), the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up and called out, saying, ‘Banu Ka’b ibn Lu’ayy! Save yourselves from the Fire! Banu ‘Abdu Manaf! Save yourselves from the Fire! Banu Hashim! Save yourselves from the Fire! Banu ‘Abdu’l-Muttalib! Save yourselves from the Fire!

Fatima, daughter of Muhammad! Save yourselves from the Fire! I do not have anything for you in respect to Allah except for the fact that you have ties of kinship.'”

26. Maintaining ties of kinship

49. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari told him that a bedouin came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, while he was travelling. He asked, “Tell me what will bring me near to the Garden and keep me far from the Fire.” He replied, “Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him, perform the prayer, pay zakat, and maintain ties of kinship.”

50. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah Almighty created creation. When He had finished it, ties of kinship rose up. Allah said, ‘Stop!’

They said, ‘This is the place for anyone seeking refuge with You from being cut off’ Allah said, ‘Are you not content that I should maintain connections with the one who maintains connection with you and I should cut off the one who cuts you off?’ It replied, ‘Yes indeed, my Lord.’ He said, ‘You have that.'”

Then Abu Hurayra said, “If you wish, you can recite, ‘Is it not likely that, if you did turn away, you would cause corruption in the earth and sever your ties of kinship?’ (47:22)”

51. Ibn ‘Abbas spoke about the ayat, “Give your relatives their due, and the very poor and travellers” (17:26), and said, “He begins by commanding the most pressing of the obligatory dues and He directs us to the best action if we have any money. He says: ‘Give your relatives their due, and the very poor and travellers.’ He also teaches us what we can say if we have nothing. He says, ‘But if you do turn away from them, seeking the mercy you hope for from your Lord, then speak to them with words that bring them ease’ (17:28) in the form of an excellent promise. Things are as they are, but they might change if Allah wills. ‘Do not keep your hand chained to your neck’ and not give anything, ‘but do not extend it either to its full extent’ and give all you have, ‘so that you sit there blamed’ as those who come to you later and find you have nothing will blame you, ‘and destitute.’ (17:29)” He said, “The person to whom you have given everything has made you destitute.”

27. The excellence of maintaining ties of kinship

52. Abu Hurayra said, “A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘Messenger of Allah! I have relatives with whom I maintain ties while they cut me off. I am good to them while they are bad to me. They behave foolishly towards me while I am forbearing towards them.’ The Prophet said, ‘If things are as you said, it is as if you were putting hot ashes on them and you will not lack a supporter against them from Allah as long as you continue to do that.'”

53. ‘Abdu’r-Rahman ibn ‘Awf heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “Allah, the Almighty and Exalted, said, ‘I am the Merciful (ar-Rahman). I have created ties of kinship and derives a name for it from My Name. If anyone maintains ties of kinship, I maintain connection with him, and I shall cut off anyone who cuts them off.'”

54. Abu’l-‘Anbas said, “I visited ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr at al-Waht (some land of his in Ta’if). He said, ‘The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, pointed his finger towards us and said, “Kinship (rahim) us derived from the All-Merciful (Rahman). When someone maintains the connections of ties of kinship, they maintain connection with him. If someone cuts them off, they cut him off. They will have an unfettered, eloquent tongue on the Day of Rising.”‘”

55. ‘A’isha reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Kinship (rahim) is derived from Allah. If anyone maintains ties of kinship Allah maintains ties with him. If anyone cuts them off, Allah cuts him off.”

28. Maintaining ties of kinship will prolong life

56. Anas ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who wants to have his provision expanded and his term of life prolonged should maintain ties of kinship.”

57. Abu Hurayra heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “Anyone who wants to have his provision expanded and his term of life lengthened should maintain ties of kinship.”

29. Allah loves the one who maintains ties of kinship

58. Ibn ‘Umar said, “If someone fears his Lord and maintains ties of kinship, his term of life will be prolonged, he will have abundant wealth and his people will love him.”

59. Ibn ‘Umar said, “If someone his Lord and maintains ties of kinship, his term of life will be prolonged, his wealth will be abundant and his family will love him.”

30. Being dutiful to the closest relative and then the next closest

60. It is reported that al-Miqdam ibn Ma’dikarib heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “Allah enjoins you to be dutiful to your mothers. Then He enjoins you to be dutiful to your mothers. Then He enjoins you to be dutiful to your fathers. Then He enjoins you to be dutiful to your next closest relative and then to your next closest relative.”

61. Abu Ayyub Sulayman, the mawla of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, said, “Abu Hurayra came to us on a Thursday evening, the night before Jumu’a. He said, ‘Every individual who severs ties of kinship is constricted when he leaves us. No one left until he had said that three times. Then a young man went to one of his paternal aunts with whom he had severed ties two years previously. He went to her and she asked him, ‘Nephew! What has brought you?’ He replied, ‘I heard Abu Hurayra say such-andsuch.’

She said, ‘Go back to him and ask him why he said that.’ Abu Hurayra said, ‘I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “The actions of the children of Adam are presented before Allah Almighty on Thursday evening, the night before Jumu’a. He does not accept the actions of someone who has severed ties of kinship.”‘”

62. Ibn ‘Umar said, “Nothing that a man spends on himself and his family, anticipating a reward from Allah, will fail to be rewarded by Allah Almighty. He should begin with those whose support is his responsibility. If there is something left over, he should spend it on his next nearest relative and then  the next nearest. If there is still something left over, he can give it away.”

31. Mercy will not descend on people when there is someone among them who severs ties of kinship

63. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Awfa reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Mercy does not descend on a people when there is someone among them who severs ties of kinship.”

32. The wrong action of someone who severs ties of kinship

64. Jubayr ibn Mu’tim reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “The one who severs ties of kinship will not enter the Garden.”

65. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Ties of kinship (rahim) is derived from the All-Merciful (ar-Rahman). They say. ‘My Lord! I havebeen wronged! My Lord! I have been cut off! My Lord! I haveÉ! I have!’ Allah answers them, ‘Are you not content that I cut off the one who cuts you off and I maintain connections with the one who maintains connections with you?'”

66. Sa’id ibn Sam’an heard Abu Hurayra seeking refuge from the power of children and fools. Sa’id said, “Ibn Hasana al-Juhani told me that he asked Abu Hurayra, ‘What is the token of that?’ He replied, ‘That he severs ties of kinship, obeys someone who is in error, and disobeys the correct guide.'”

33. The punishment of someone who cuts off ties of kinship in this world

67. Abu Bakra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “There is no wrong action which Allah is swifter to punish in this world – in addition to the punishment which He has stored up for the wrongdoer in the Next World – than cutting off ties of kinship and injustice.”

34. The one who maintains ties of kinship is not the one who reciprocates

68. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Theone who maintains ties of kinship is not the one who reciprocates. The one who maintains ties of kinship is the one who, when his relatives cut him off, maintains ties of kinship.”

35. The excellence of someone who maintains relations with relatives who are unjust

69. Al-Bara’ said, “A bedouin came and said, ‘Prophet of Allah! Teach me an action which will enable me to enter the Garden.’ He said, “The question is a broad one, even though you have asked it in only a few words. Free someone. Set a slave free.’ He said, ‘Are they not the same thing?’ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘Freeing someone is setting someone free yourself. Setting a slave free is to contribute to the price of setting him free. Lend an animal for milking which has a lot of milk and treat your relatives kindly. If you cannot do that, then command the good and forbid the bad. If you cannot do that, then restrain your tongue from everything except what is good.”

36. Those who maintained ties of kinship in the Jahiliyya and then became Muslim

70. Hakim ibn Hizam said to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “Do you think that the acts of worship which I used to do in the time of the Jahiliyya – maintaining relations with relatives, setting slaves free and sadaqa – will bring me a reward?” Hakim said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When you become Muslim, you keep the good actions you have already done.”

37. Maintaining ties of kinship with the idolater and giving gifts

71. Ibn ‘Umar said, “‘Umar saw a silk robe for sale. He said, ‘Messenger of Allah, would you buy this robe and wear it on Jumu’a and when delegations visit you?’ He replied, ‘Only a person who has no portion in the Next World could wear this.’ Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was given some robes made of the same material. He sent one of the robes to ‘Umar. ‘Umar exclaimed, ‘How can I wear it when you said what you said about it?’ The Prophet replied, ‘I did not give it to you so that you could wear it. You can sell it or give it to someone.’ ‘Umar sent it to one of his half-brothers by his mother who was still an idolater.” (see 26)

38. Learn your lineages so that you can maintain ties of kinship

72. Jubayr ibn Mut’im said that he heard ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab say on the minbar, “Learn your lineages so that you can maintain ties of kinship. By Allah, if there are some bad feelings between a man and his brother and he knows that there is kinship between him and that man, that will prevent him from breaking with him.”

73. Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Keep a record of your lines of descent so that you can maintain ties of kinship. He will not make his relatives distant when they are close relatives, even if they live far away. He will not consider them to be close relatives if they are distant ones, even if they live near to him. Every time of kinship will come on the Day of Rising in front of each individual and testify on his behalf that he has maintained that tie of kinship if he did indeed maintain it. It will testify against him that he cut if off if he cut it off.”

III. MAWLAS

39. Can a mawla say, “I am from so-and-so”?

74. ‘Abdu’r-Rahman ibn Habib said, “‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar asked me, ‘Which clan are you from?’ I replied, ‘From Taym of Tamim.’ He asked, ‘One of themselves or one of their mawlas?’ ‘One of their mawlas,’ I replied. He said, ‘So why did you not say, ‘One of their mawlas’?”

40. The mawla of a people is one of them

75. Rifa’a ibn Rafi’ reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to ‘Umar, “Gather your people [the Muhajirun] for me.” He did so. When they reached the door of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ‘Umar came to him and said, “I have gathered my people for you.” The Ansar heard that and said, “Revelation has been revealed about Quraysh.” People came to see and hear what would be said to them [the Muhajirun]. The Prophet, may Allah bless him andgrant him peace, came out and stood in the midst of them. He said, “Are there those among you who are not of you?” They replied, “Yes, there are those among us with whom we have made treaties as well as our nephews and our mawlas.” The Prophet said, “Our ally is one of us. Our nephew is one of us. Our mawla is one of us.” You who are listening: our friends among you are those who have taqwa of Allah. If you are one of them, then that is good. If that is not the case, then look out. People will bring their actions on the Day of Rising and you will come with burdens and you will be shunned.”

Then he called out, “O people!” He raised his hands and put them on the heads of Quraysh. “O people! Quraysh are the people of trustworthiness. If anyone who oppresses them (and one of the transmitters thought that he said, ‘faults them’), Allah will overturn him.” He repeated that three times.

IV. LOOKING AFTER GIRLS

41. Someone who looks after three or two daughters

76. ‘Uqba ibn ‘Amir reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “If someone has three daughters and is patient with them and clothes them from his wealth,they will be a shield against the Fire for him.”

77. Ibn ‘Abbas reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “There is no Muslim who has two daughters and takes good care of them but that he will enter the Garden.”

78. Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who has three daughters and provides for them, clothes them and shows mercy to them will definitely enter the Garden.” A man from the people said, “And two daughters, Messenger of Allah?” He said, “And two.”

42. Someone who looks after three sisters

79. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “No one has three daughters or three sisters and is good to them but that he will enter the Garden.”

43. The excellence of someone who looks after his daughter after she has been sent back home

80. Musa ibn ‘Ali reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Shall I show you the greatest sadaqa (or one of the greatest forms of sadaqa)?” He replied, “Yes, indeed, Messenger of Allah!” He went on, “To provide for your daughter when she is returned to you and you are her sole source of provision.”

81. Suraqa ibn Ju’shum reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said the like of previous hadith.

82. Al-Miqdam ibn Ma’dikarib heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “What you feed yourself is sadaqa for you. What you feed your child is sadaqa for you. What you feed your wife is sadaqa is for you. What you feed your servant is sadaqa for you.”

44. Disliking for someone to hope for the death of daughters

83. It is reported that there was a man who had daughters who was with Ibn ‘Umar when he wished that his daughters were dead. Ibn ‘Umar became angry and said, “While you are providing for them!”

V. LOOKING AFTER CHILDREN

45. A child is a source of both honour and cowardice

84. ‘A’isha said, “Abu Bakr said, ‘By Allah, there is no man on the face of the earth that I love better than ‘Umar.’ Then he went out and came back and said, ‘How did I swear, daughter?’ I told him what he had said. Then he said, ‘He is dearer to me although one’s child is closer (to one’s heart).'”

85. Ibn Abi Nu’m said, “I was with Ibn ‘Umar when a man asked him about the blood of gnats. He asked, ‘Where are you from?’ ‘From the people of Iraq,’ he replied. He said, ‘Look at this man! He asks about the blood of gnats when they murdered the grandson of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace! I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘They are my sweet basil in this world.'”

46. Carrying a child on one’s shoulders

86. Al-Bara’ said, “I saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when al-Hasan was on his shoulder. He was saying, ‘O Allah, I love him, so love him.'”

47. A child is a source of joy

87. Jubayr ibn Nufayr said, “One day we were sitting when al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad when a man passed us. The man said, ‘Blessing be to those two eyes which saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. By Allah, I wish that I had seen what you have seen and witnessed what you have witnessed!’ This angered al-Miqdad and that surprised me as the man had said nothing but good things. Then he turned to them and said, ‘What made the man desire to summon back what Allah has taken away? Does he not realise what his situation would be if he had seen him? By Allah, if certain people had been with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, Allah would have thrown them on their faces into Hellfire since they would neither have answered nor confirmed him? Do you not praise Allah Almighty since He brought you forth and you only know your Lord and confirm what your Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, brought? You see enough affliction in other people. By Allah, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was sent in the harshest state in which any Prophet was ever sent – in a gap (in the line of prophethood) and the time of Ignorance. They did not believe that the deen was better than worshipping idols. He brought the Discrimination by which it is possible to discriminate between the true and false, and which can part a father from his child. Then a man will think of his father, child or brother as an unbeliever. Allah has loosened the locks of his heart by faith and he knows that the other person will be destroyed in the Fire. Therefore his eye is not cool since he knows that the one he loves will be in the Fire. It is what Allah says, “Those who say, ‘Our Lord, give us joy in our wives and children.” (25:74)'”

48. A person who makes supplication that his friend will have a lot of money and many children

88. Anas said, “One day I visited the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and there was only myself, my mother and my aunt, Umm Hiram. When he came to us, he asked us, ‘Shall I pray with you?’ It was not the time of an obligatory prayer.” One of those listening to the person relating this asked, “Where did he put in Anas in relation to him?” The reply was, “He put him to his right.”

The report from Anas continues, “Then he prayed with us and made supplication for us, the people of the house, that we would have the best of the blessings of this world and the Next. My mother said, ‘Messenger of Allah, make supplication to Allah for your little servant,’ and he asked Allah to grant me every blessing. At the end of his supplication, he said, ‘O Allah, grant him a lot of money and many children and bless him!'”

49. Mothers are merciful

89. Anas ibn Malik said, “A woman came to ‘A’isha and ‘A’isha gave her three dates. She gave each of her two children a date and kept one date for herself. The children ate the two dates and then looked at their mother. She took her date and split in it two and gave each child half of it. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came and ‘A’isha told him about it. He said, ‘Are you surprised at that? Allah will show her mercy because of her mercy towards her child.'”

50. Kissing Children

90. ‘A’isha said, “A bedouin came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked, “Do you kiss your children? We do not kiss them.’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Can I put mercy in your hearts after Allah has removed it from them?'”

91. Abu Hurayra said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, kissed Hasan ibn ‘Ali while al-Aqra’ ibn Habis at-Tamimi was sitting with him. Al-Aqra’ observed, ‘I have ten children and I have kissed any of them.’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, looked at him and said, ‘Whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.'”

51. The parent teaching adab and his duty towards his child

92. Numayr ibn Aws said, “They used to say, ‘Correct action is a gift from Allah, but adab comes from the parents.”

93. An-Nu’man ibn Bashir said that his father had carried him to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He said, ‘Messenger of Allah, I testify to you that I have given an-Nu’man such-and-such. (It was a slave). The Prophet asked, “Have you given each of your children the same”?” “No,” he replied. He said, “Then testify to someone other than me.” Then the Prophet asked, “Do you not want to show equal kindness to all of them?” “Indeed I do,” he replied. He said, “Then do not do it.”

52. The dutifulness of a father to his child

94. Ibn ‘Umar said, “Allah has called them the ‘dutiful’ (al-Abrar) because they are dutiful (birr) to

their parents and children. Just as you have a duty which you owe your parent, so you have a duty which you owe your child.”

53. Someone who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy

95. Abu Sa’id that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Someone who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.”

96. Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Allah will not show mercy to someone who does not show mercy to people.”

97. Same as 96.

98. ‘A’isha said, “Some bedouins came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. One of their men said to him, ‘Messenger of Allah, do you kiss children? By Allah, we do not kiss them.’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Can I put mercy in your hearts after Allah has removed it from them?'”

99. Abu ‘Uthman reported that ‘Umar wanted to appoint a man as governor. The governor said, “I have such-and-such a number of children and I have never kissed any of them.” ‘Umar said, “Allah Almighty will only show mercy to the kindest of His slaves.”

54. Mercy consists of a hundred parts

100. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah Almighty has divided mercy into one hundred parts. He kept ninety-nine parts and sent down one part to earth. Because of that one single part, creatures are merciful to one another so that even the mare will lift its hooves away from its foal so that it does not trample on it.”

VI. NEIGHBOURS

55. The recommendation to be kind to neighbours

101. ‘A’isha reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Jibril, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, kept on recommending that I treat neighbours well until I thought that he would order me to treat them as my heirs.”

102. Abu Shurayh al-Khuza’i reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should be good to his neighbours. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should be generous to his guest. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should be say what is good or be silent.”

56. The neighbour’s due

103. Al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked his Companions about fornication and they said, “It is unlawful. Allah and His Messenger have made it unlawful.” He said, “It is less serious for a man to fornicate with ten women than for him to fornicate with his neighbour’s wife.” Then he asked them about stealing. They replied, “It is unlawful. Allah and His Messenger have made it unlawful.” He said, “It is less serious for a man to steal from ten houses than it is for him to steal from his neighbour’s house.”

57. Begin with the neighbour

104. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Jibril kept on recommending that I treat my neighbours well until I thought that he would order me to treat them as my heirs.”

105. Mujahid reported that a sheep was slaughtered for ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr. He asked his slave, ‘Have you given any to our Jewish neighbour? Have you given any to our Jewish neighbour? I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘Jibril kept on recommending that I treat my neighbours well until I thought that he would order me to treat them as my heirs.'”

106. Same as 101.

58. You give to the neighbour whose door is the nearest to you

107. ‘A’isha said, “I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, I have two neighbours. To whom should I give my gifts?’ He replied, ‘To the one whose door is nearer to you.'”

108. same as 108 with a different isnad.

59. The nearest and then next nearest neighbour

109. Al-Hasan was asked about the neighbour and said, “The term ‘neighbour’ includes the forty houses in front a person, the forty houses behind him, the forty houses on his right and the forty houses on his left.”

110. Abu Hurayra said, “Do not begin with your more distant neighbours before the closer ones. Rather begin with your nearest neighbours before the most distant ones.”

60. The person who shuts his door against his neighbour

111. Ibn ‘Umar said, “There was a time when no one was more entitled to a person’s money than his Muslim brother. Now people love their dirhams and dinars more than their Muslim brother. I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘How many a neighbour will be brought together with his neighbour on the Day of Rising! He will say, “Lord, this man closed his door to me and refused to show me common kindness!”‘”

61. A person should not eat his fill without seeing to his neighbour

112. Ibn ‘Abbas told Ibn az-Zubayr, “I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbour is hungry.'”

62. When there is a lot of stew, it is divided between the neighbours

113. It is reported that Abu Dharr said, “My dear friend, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, enjoined three things on me: ‘Hear and obey, even if the ruler is a slave with his limbs amputated. When you cook a stew, put a lot of water in it and then go and see the people of a neighbouring houseand give them a reasonable amount of it. Pray the prayers at their proper  prayers. Then if you find that the imam has already prayed, you have guarded your prayer (by already having performed it). If not, it is a supererogatory prayer (since you have done it again).”

114. Abu Dharr reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Abu Dharr! If you cook some stew, make a lot of it and fulfil your duty to your neighbours (or divide it among your neighbours).”

63. The best neighbour

115. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The best of companions in the sight of Allah Almighty is the best of them towards his companion, and the best of neighbours in the sight of Allah is the best of them towards his neighbour.”

64. The righteous neighbour

116. Nafi’ ibn ‘Abdu’l-Harith reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Part of the happiness of the Muslim man includes a spacious dwelling, righteous neighbour and a good mount”

65. The bad neighbour

117. Abu Hurayra said, “Part of the supplication of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was, “Oh Allah, I seek refuge with you from an evil neighbour in the Eternal World. A neighbour in this world can be changed.

118. Abu Musa reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The Final Hour will not come until a man kills his neighbour, his brother and his father.”

66. A person should not injure his neighbour

119. Abu Hurayra said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, ‘Messenger of Allah! A certain woman prays in the night, fasts in the day, acts and gives sadaqa, but injures her neighbours with her tongue.’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘There is no good in her. She is one of the people of the Fire.’ They said, ‘Another woman prays the prescribed prayers and gives bits of curd as sadaqa and does not injure anyone.’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘She is one of the people of the Garden.'”

120. ‘Umara ibn Ghurab reported that an aunt of his told him that she asked ‘A’isha, Umm al-Mu’minin, “If a woman’s husband desires her and she refuses to give herself to him either because she is angry or not eager, is there anything wrong in that?” “Yes,” she replied. “Part of his right over you is that if he desires you when you are on a saddle, you must not refuse him.” She said, “I also asked her, ‘If one of us is menstruating and she and her husband only have a single cover, what should she do?’ She replied, ‘She should wrap her wrapper around her and sleep with him. He can have what is above it. I will tell you what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did on one of his nights with me. I had cooked some barley and made loaf for him. He came in, stopped at the door, and then went into the mosque. When he wanted to sleep, he closed the door, tied up the waterskin, turned the cup over and put out the light. I waited for him and he ate the loaf. He did not go until I fell asleep. Later he felt the cold and came and got me up. “Warm me! Warm me!” he said. I said, “I am menstruating.” He said, “Then uncover your thighs,” so I uncovered my thighs and he put his cheek and head on my thighs until he was warm. Then a pet sheep belonging to our neighbour came in. I went and took the load away. I disturbed the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he woke up, so I chased the sheep to the door. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Take what you got of your loaf and do not injure your neighbour’s sheep.”‘”

121. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A person whose neighbours are not safe from his evil will not enter the Garden.”

67. A woman should not disdain anything which her female neighbour gives her, even if it is only the hooves of a sheep

122. ‘Amr ibn Mu’adh al-Ashhali reported that his grandmother said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Believing women! Do not let any of you women disdain her female neighbour’s gift, even if it is only a burnt sheep’s hoof.'”

123. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Muslim women! Muslim women! A woman should not disdain her female neighbour’s gift, even if it is only a sheep’s hoof.”

68. The neighbour’s complaint

124. Abu Hurayra said, “A man said, ‘Messenger of Allah, I have a neighbour who does me harm.’ He said, ‘Go and take your things out into the road.’ He took his things out into the road. People gathered around him and asked, ‘What’s the matter?’ He replied, ‘A neighbour of mine injures me and I mentioned it to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He told me, “Take your things out into the road.”‘ They began to say, ‘O Allah, curse him! O Allah, disgrace him!’ When the man heard that, he came out to him and said, ‘Go back to your home. By Allah, I will not harm you.'”

125. Abu Juhayfa said, “A man complained to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about his neighbour. The Prophet said, ‘Take your bags and put them in the road and whoever passes them will curse him.’ Everyone who passed him began to curse that neighbour. Then he went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘How many people I met!’ He said, ‘The curse of Allah is on top of their curse!’ Then he told the one who had complained, ‘You have enough,’ or words to that effect.”

126. Jabir said, “A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to complain to him about the enmity of his neighbour. While he was sitting between the Corner and the Maqam, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, approached with a man who was wearing a white garment. They went to the Maqam where they were praying for the dead. He went up to the Prophet may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘May my mother and my father be your ransom, Messenger of Allah! Who is this man I see with you wearing the white garment?’ ‘You saw him?’ he asked. ‘Yes,’ the man replied. He said, ‘Then you have seen much good. That was Jibril, may Allahbless him and grant him peace, the Messenger of my Lord. He kept on recommending that I treat myneighbours  well until I thought that he would order me to make them my heirs.'”

69. Someone who harms his neighbour until he forces him to leave

127. Thawban said, “When two men cut each other off for more than three days and one of them dies, then they both die while relations between them are severed and both of them are destroyed. There is no man who wrongs his neighbour to the extent that he forces him until he makes him leave his home who is not destroyed.”

70. A Jewish neighbour

128. Mujahid said, “I was with ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr while his slave was skinning a sheep. He said, ‘Boy! When you finish, start with the Jewish neighbour.’ A man there exclaimed, ‘Jewish? May Allah correct you!’ He replied, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recommend that we treat our neighbours well until we feared (or we thought) that he would order us to make them our heirs.'”

VII. GENEROSITY AND ORPHANS

71. Generosity

129. Abu Hurayra said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, ‘Which people are the most generous?” He replied, ‘The most generous of them in the sight of Allah are those with the most taqwa.’ They said, ‘That is not what we are asking about.’ He said, ‘The most generous of people was Yusuf, the Prophet of Allah, son of the Prophet of Allah, who was the son of the Intimate Friend of Allah (Ibrahim).’ They said, ‘That is not what we are asking about.’ He said, ‘Are you asking about those of Arab origin?’ ‘Yes,’ they replied. He said, ‘The best of you in the Jahiliyya is the best of you in Islam when you have understanding from Allah).”

72. Kindness to both the pious and the deviant

130. Mundhir at-Tawri reported what Muhammad ibn ‘Ali (ibn al-Hanafiyya) said about, “Is the repayment of kindness anything except kindness?” He said, “It is not denied to either the pious or the deviant.”

73. The excellence of someone who provides for an orphan

131. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The person who strives on behalf of the widows and poor is like those who strive in the way of Allah and like those who fast in the day and pray at night.”

74. The excellence of someone who provides for his orphan

132. ‘A’isha said, “A woman came to me who had two of her daughters with her. She asked me for something, but I could not find anything except for a single date which I gave her. She divided it between her daughters and then got up and left. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came in and I told him what had happened. He said, ‘Whoever looks after these girls in any way and is good to them will have them as a veil from the Fire.'”

75. The excellence of someone who provides for an orphan in the company of his parents

133. Umm Sa’id bint Murra al-Fihri related from her father that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I and the guardian of an orphan will be in the Garden like these two.” (His two fingers)

134. Al-Hasan reported that an orphan used to eat with Ibn ‘Umar. One day he called for food and looked for this orphan but could not find him. He arrived after Ibn ‘Umar had finished. Ibn ‘Umar called for more food to be brought to him but they did not have any. So he was brought sawiq and honey. He said, “Here, have this! By Allah, you have not been cheated!” Al-Hasan said, “By Allah, Ibn ‘Umar was not cheated!”

135. Sahl ibn Sa’d reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I and the guardian of the orphan will be in the Garden like that,” indicating his forefinger and middle finger.

136. Abu Bakr ibn Hafs reported that ‘Abdullah would not eat unless an orphan was at his table.

76. The best house is a house in which orphans are well treated

137. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The best house among the Muslims is the house in which orphans are well treated. The worst house among the Muslims is the house in which orphans are ill treated. I and the guardian of the orphan will be in the Garden like that,” indicating his two fingers.

77. Be like a merciful father to orphans

138. Dawud said, “Be like a merciful father towards the orphan. Know that you will reap as you sow. How ugly poverty is after wealth! More than that: how ugly is misguidance after guidance! When you make a promise to your friend, fulfil your promise. If you do not, it will bring about enmity between you and him. Seek refuge in Allah from a companion who, when you mention something to him, does not help you and who does not remind you when you forget.”

139. Al-Hasan said, “I remember a time among the Muslims when their men would shout (to remind their families), ‘O family! O family! (Look after) your orphan! Your orphan! O family! O family! (Look after) your orphan! Your poor person! Your poor person! O family! O family! (Look after) your neighbour! Your neighbour!’ Time has been swift in taking the best of you while every day you become baser.”

Hamza ibn Nujayh said that he heard al-Hasan say, “If you wish, you can see a deviant going 30,000 times deeper into the Fire. What is wrong with him? May Allah fight him! He has sold his portion from Allah for a price of a goat. If you like, you can see him constricted and desirous of the path of Shaytan. There is no one to warn him – neither himself nor anyone else.”

140. Asma’ bint ‘Ubayd said, “I said to Ibn Sirin, ‘I have an orphan in my care.’ He said, ‘Treat him as you would treat your own child. Beat him as you would beat your own child.'”

78. The excellence of a woman who perseveres with her child and does not re-marry

141. ‘Awf ibn Malik reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I and a woman who is widowed and is patient with her child will be like these two fingers in the Garden.”

79. Disciplining an orphan

142. Shumaysa al-‘Atakiyya said, “The disciplining of orphans was mentioned in the presence of ‘A’isha and she said, ‘I would beat an orphan until he submits.'”

VIII. CHILDREN DYING

80. The excellence of someone whose child has died

143. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “No Muslim who has had three of his children die young will enter the Fire, except to expiate an unfulfilled oath.”

144. Abu Hurayra reported that a woman came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with a child. She said, “Make supplication for him. I have buried three children.” He said, “You have built a strong barrier against the Fire.”

145. Khalid al-‘Absi said, “A son of mine died and I felt intense grief over his loss. I said, ‘Abu Hurayra, have you heard anything from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to cheer us regarding our dead?’ He replied, ‘I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him  peace, say, “Your children are roaming freely in the Garden.”‘”

146. Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘If anyone has three of his children die young and resigns them to Allah, he will enter the Garden.’ We said, ‘Messenger of Allah, what about two?’ ‘And two,’ he said.” Mahmud ibn Labid said to Jabir, “By Allah, I think that if you had asked, ‘And one?’ he would have given a similar answer.” He said, “By Allah, I think so too.”

147. same as 144, different isnad.

148. Abu Hurayra reported, “A woman came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘Messenger of Allah! We cannot come to sit with you, so set aside a day when we can come.’ He said, ‘Your appointed place is the house of so-and-so.’ He came to the women at that time. Part of what he said to them was, ‘There is no woman among you who has three children die, resigning them to Allah, who will not enter the Garden.’ A woman said, ‘And if it is two?’ He replied, ‘And if it is two.'”

149. Umm Salim said, “While I was with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, he said, ‘Umm Salim! There is no Muslim couple who have three of their children die without Allah admitting them to the Garden by virtue of His mercy to them.’ I said, ‘And if there are two?’ He said, ‘And if there are two.'”

150. Al-Hasan reported that Sa’sa’a ibn Mu’awiya told him that he met Abu Dharr finding him alone without any relatives and asked, “Don’t you have any children, Abu Dharr?” He said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘There is no Muslim who has three of his children die before they reach puberty without Allah admitting him to the Garden by virtue of His mercy to them. There is no man who frees a Muslim with Allah Almighty making each of the limbs of the one who is freed a ransom for each of the emancipator’s limbs.'”

151. Anas ibn Malik reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “If someone has three children die before they reach puberty, Allah will admit him and them to the Garden by virtue of His mercy.”

81. Someone whose miscarried child dies

152. Sahl ibn al-Hanzala, who had no children, said, “I would prefer to have a miscarried child while I am a Muslim and resign that child to Allah than to have the entire world and what it contains.”

153. ‘Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Which of you prefers the money of heirs to his own money?” “Messenger of Allah,” they replied, “there is none of us who does not prefer his own wealth to that of his heirs.” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Know that there is not one of you who does not prefer his heirs’ money to his own. Your wealth is what you have spent (for Allah) and the wealth of your heirs is what you leave.”

154. He said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Who do you reckon to be the childless among you?” They said, “They are those who do not have any children.” No,” he said, “The childless are those who have not sent any of their children ahead (i.e. none of their children have died).”

155. He reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Who do you reckon to be the one who most often throws people down (in a fight)?” They replied, “The one whom men do not throw down.” He said, “No the one who throws people down is the person whocontrols himself when he is angry.”

IX. BEING A MASTER

82. Being a good master

156. ‘Ali ibn Talib reported that when the illness of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, deepened, he said, “‘Ali! Bring me a page on which I can write something for my community after which they will not go astray.” ‘Ali said, “I feared that he would die before I could do that, so Isaid, ‘I will remember better than the paper.’ His head was between my forearm and my leg. He recommended the prayer, zakat and kind treatment of slaves. he spoke like that until he died.” He commanded him to testify, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. Anyone who testifies to that is saved from the Fire.”

157. ‘Abdullah reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Respond to invitations. Do not reject gifts. Do not beat Muslims.”

158. ‘Ali reported that the last words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, were: “The prayer! The prayer! Fear Allah concerning your slaves!”

83. Being a bad owner

159. Abu’d-Darda’ used to say to people. “We know you better than the veterinarian knows his animals. We recognise the best of you from the worst of you. The best of you is the one whose good is hoped for and the one whose evil you are safe from. As for the worst of you, that is the person whose good is not hoped for and whose evil you are not safe from and he does not free slaves.”

160. Abu Umama said, “Ingratitude is typified by someone who refuses to give, lives alone, and beats his slave.”

161. Al-Hasan reported that a man ordered one of his slaves to draw water using one of his camels and the man fell asleep. The master came with a torch and put it in his face and the slave fell into the well. In the morning, the slave went to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab and ‘Umar saw what had happened to his slave and therefore ‘Umar set him free.”

84. Selling a slave among the Bedouins

162. ‘Amra reported that ‘A’isha had made one of her slavegirls a mudabbar (one who would be set free after her death). Then ‘A’isha became ill and her nephews consulted a gypsy doctor. He said, “You are asking me for information about a bewitched woman. A slavegirl of hers has bewitched her.” ‘A’isha was told and asked the girl, “Have you put a spell on me?” “Yes,” she replied. “Why?’ she asked. “Because you will never free me,” she answered. Then ‘A’isha said, “Sell her to the worst masters among the Arabs.”

85. Forgiving a slave

163. Abu Umama said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came with two slaves and gave one of them to ‘Ali and said, ‘Do not beat him. I have forbidden beating the people of the prayer and I saw him praying before we came.’ He gave Abu Dharr a slave and said, “I recommend that you treat him well,’ so Abu Dharr set him free. He said, ‘What have you done?’ He replied, ‘You commanded me to treat him well, so I set him free.'”

164. Anas said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to Madina without any servant. Abu Talha took my hand and brought me to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, ‘Prophet of Allah!’ This is Anas, a clever and intelligent boy. Let him serve him.'”

Anas said, “I served him when he was at home and on journeys from the time he came to Madina until he died, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He never said to me about anything I had done,

‘Why did you do this?’ nor did he say to me about something I had not done, ‘Why did you not do such-and-such?'”

86. When a slave steals

165. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When a slave steals, sell him, even for a half an awqiya.”

87. A slave who commits wrong actions

166. Laqit ibn Sabira reported that his father said, “I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when a shepherd had driven a lamp into the evening pasture. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Do not suppose that we have a hundred sheep and do not want to give you more than only a lamb. When the shepherd brought the lamb, we sacrificed a sheep in its place.'”

Laqit said, “Part of what he said is, ‘Do not beat your wife as you would beat your slavegirl. When you wash your nose, snuff up water freely unless you are fasting.'”

88. Someone who finishes something for his slave, fearing people’s bad opinion

167. Abu’l-‘Aliyya said, “We were ordered to finish off things for the servant and to measure andcount because we did not want to allow them to  accustom themselves to bad habits nor for anyone to think evil of us.”

80. Someone who counts things for his slave fearing people’s opinion

168. Salman said, “I count the soup bones for my slave, fearing people’s opinion.”

169. same as 168.

90. Disciplining the servant

170. Yazid ibn ‘Abdullah said, “‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar sent a slave of his with some gold or silver – and he changed it and deferred the exchange (i.e. he changed gold into silver or vice versa and did not take the money straightaway. This is haram.) Then he went back to Ibn ‘Umar who gave him a painful beating. He said, ‘Go and take what is mine and do not exchange it!'”

171. Abu Mas’ud said, “I was beating a slave of mine when I heard a voice behind me, ‘Know, Abu Mas’ud, that Allah is able to call you to account for this slave.’ I turned around and there was the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, he is free for the sake of Allah!’ He said, ‘If you had not done that, the Fire would have touched you (or the Fire would have burned you).'”

91. Do not say, “May Allah make your face ugly”

172. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do not say, ‘May Allah make your face ugly.'”

173. Abu Hurayra said, “Do not say, ‘May Allah make your face ugly and any face like your face.’ Allah Almighty created Adam, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in the form that He ordained.”

92. Avoid striking the face

174. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When one of you strikes his servant, let him avoid his face.”

175. Jabir said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, passed by an animal which had been branded and its nostrils were smoking. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Allah curses any person who does this. No one should mark the face nor strike it.'”

93. Someone who slaps his slave should free him even though he is under no obligation to do so

176. Hilal ibn Yasaf said, “We used to sell linen in the house of Suwayd ibn Muqarrin. A slavegirl came out and said something to one of the men and that man slapped her. Suwayd ibn Muqarrin asked him, ‘Did you slap her face? We were seven and we only had a single servant. Then one of us slapped her and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ordered him to set her free.'”

177. Ibn ‘Umar said, “I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘The expiation for someone who slaps his slave or beats him more than he deserves is to set him free.'”

178. Mu’awiya ibn Muqarrin said, “I slapped a mawla of mine and he fled. Then my father called me and said, ‘I will tell you a story. We, the sons of Muqarrin, were seven, and we had one servant. Then one of us slapped her and that was mentioned to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He said, ‘Order them to set her free.’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was told. ‘She is the only servant they have.’ He said, ‘Then let them hire her and when they no longer need her, let her go on her way.'”

179. Shu’ba said, “Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir said to me, ‘What is your name?’ I replied, ‘Shu’ba.’ He said, ‘Abu Shu’ba related to me that when Suwayd ibn Muqarrin al-Muzani saw a man strike his slave, he said. ‘Do you not know that the face is forbidden? In the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, we were seven brothers and we only had one servant. Then one of us slapped him (sic.) and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commanded that we set him free.'”

180. Abu ‘Umar Zadhan said, “We were with Ibn ‘Umar when he summoned a slave of his whom he had beaten and he uncovered his back. ‘Does it hurt?’ he asked. ‘No,’ he replied. Then he set him free.

He picked up a stick from the ground and then said, ‘I do not have a reward (for him) worth as much as this stick.’ I asked, ‘Abu ‘Abdu’r-Rahman, why do you say this?’ He replied, ‘I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “The expiation of someone who beats a slave more than he deserves or slaps his face is that he must set him free.”‘”

94. The qisas (retaliation) of the slave

181. ‘Ammar ibn Yasir said, “None of you beats his slave unjustly without the slave receiving retaliation from him on the Day of Rising.”

182. Abu Layla said, “Salman went out and when his animal fodder fell from the manger, he told his servant, ‘If it were not that I fear retaliation, I would make you hurt (i.e. by beating you).”

183. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Give people their rights. Even the hornless sheep will take retaliation from the horned sheep.”

184. Umm Salama reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was in his house and called for a slave of his (or hers) and she was slow in coming. The anger showed in his face. Umm Salama went to the curtain and found the slavegirl playing. He had a siwak-stick with him and said, ‘”Were it not that I fear retaliation on the Day of Rising with this siwak.”

Muhammad ibn al-Haytham added: She was playing with an animal. He said, “When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, brought her, Umm Salama said, ‘Messenger of Allah! Let her swear that she did not hear you!’ She said, ‘He had a siwak stick in his hand.'”

185. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “On the Day of Rising, retaliation will be taken from anyone who gives a beating.”

186. same as 185.

95. “Clothe them from the clothes you yourself wear.”

187. ‘Ubada ibn al-Walid said, “My father and I went out to seek knowledge from the Ansar in this area before they died. The first one we met was Abu’l-Yasar, the Companion of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who had been one of his salves. Abu’l-Yasar was wearing one striped robe and one mu’afiri robe and his slave was also wearing one striped robe and one mu’afiri robe. I said to him, ‘Uncle! Why don’t you take your slave’s striped robe and give him your mu’afiri robe, or take his mu’afiri robe and give him your striped robe? Then he would have a complete outfit and you would have a complete outfit.’ He wiped his head and said, ‘O Allah, bless him in it! Nephew, these two eyes of mine have seen and these two ears of mine have heart and my heart has retained,’ and he pointed towards his heart, ‘that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Feed them from what you yourself eat and clothe them from the clothes you yourself wear.” It is easier for me to give him the goods of this world than to have my good actions taken away from me on the Day of Rising.'”

188. Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, advised that slaves should be well-treated. He said, ‘Feed them from what you eat and clothe them from what you wear. Do not punish what Allah has created.'”

96. Insulting slaves

189. Al-Ma’rur ibn Suwayd said, “I saw Abu Dharr wearing a robe and his slave was also wearing a robe. We asked him about that and he said, ‘I insulted a man and he complained about me to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me, ‘Did you insult him by his mother?’ ‘Yes,’ I replied. He said, ‘Your brothers are your property. Allah has put them under your authority. If someone has his brother under his authority, he should feed him from what he eats and clothe him from what he wears and not burden him with anything that will be too much for him. If you burden him with what will be too much for him, then help him.'”

97. Should a person help his slave?

190. Sallam ibn ‘Amr reported from one of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Your slaves are your brothers, so treat him well. Ask for their help in what is too much for you and help them in what is too much for them.”

191. Abu Hurayra said, ‘Help the worker in his work. The one who works for Allah will not be disappointed,” i.e. the servant.

98. Do not burden a slave with work which he is incapable of doing

192. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The slave has his food and clothing. Do not burden a slave with work which he is incapable of doing.”

193. Same as 192.

194. Ma’rur said, “We passed by Abu Dharr and he was wearing a garment and his slave had a robe on. We said, ‘Why do you not take this and give this man something else instead of the robe?’ He replied that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Allah has put your brothers under your authority. If someone has his brother under his authority, he should feed him from what he eats and clothe him from what he wears and not burden him with what will be too much for him. If he burdens him with what will be too much for him, he should help him.'”

99. A man’s maintenance of his slave and servant is sadaqa

195. Al-Miqdam heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “What you feed yourself is sadaqa. What you feed your child, your wife and your servant is sadaqa.”

196. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The best sadaqa is that which leaves you free of want. The upper hand is better than the lower hand. Begin with those you look after. Your wife says, ‘Spend on me or divorce me.’ Your slave says, ‘Spend on me or sell me.’ Your child asks, ‘On whom can we rely?'”

197. Abu Hurayra said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commanded sadaqa. A man said, ‘I have a dinar.’ He said, ‘Spend it on yourself.’ He said, ‘I have another.’ He said, ‘Spend it on your wife.’ He said, ‘I have another.’ He said, ‘Spend it on your servant and then on whomever you see fit.'”

100.When someone dislikes eating with his slave

198. Ibn Jurayj related that Abu’z-Zubayr heard him ask Jabir about when a man’s servant has finished his work and heat (i.e. cooking). Did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, command that the servant be invited to eat? “Yes,” he replied. If one of you dislikes to have his servant eat with him, he should give him his food by his own hand.'”

101. A slave should eat from what his master eats

199. Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, advised that slaves be well treated. He said, ‘Feed them from what you eat and clothe them from what you wear and do not punish Allah’s creation.'”

102. Does a man’s servant sit with him when he eats?

200. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When one of your servants brings you food, he should sit with him. If you do not accept that, then you should give it to him.'”

201. Abu Mahdhura said, “I was sitting with ‘Umar when Safwan ibn Umayya brought him a bowl which some people were carrying in a robe. They set it down in front of ‘Umar. ‘Umar then invited some poor people and some slaves belonging to the people around him and they ate with him. Then he aid, ‘Allah will do a people or else he said, ‘Allah will curse a people’ who dislike having their slaves eat with them.’ Safwan said, ‘By Allah, we do not dislike them, but we prefer ourselves to them, and by Allah, we do not find good food which we can eat and feed it to them as well.'”

103.When a slave advises his master

202. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When the slave advises his master and is assiduous in the worship of his Lord, he receives a double reward.”

203. Salih ibn Hayy reported that a man said to ‘Amir ash-Shu’bi, “Abu ‘Amr! We say that when a man frees his umm walad and then marries her, he is like the one who rides his camel.” ‘Amir said, “Abu Burda related to me from his father that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to them: ‘Three have a double reward: one of the People of the Book who believes in his Prophet and then believes in Muhammad has two rewards. When a slave carries out the due of Allah and the due of his master, he has a double reward. And (the third is) a man who has a slavegirl with whom he has intercourse and teaches her well and instructs her well and then sets her free and marries her. He has two rewards.'” ‘Amir said, “We have given it to you for nothing. He was on his way to Madina.

204. Abu Musa reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The slave who is excellent in the worship of his Lord and fulfils the duties of obedience and counsel which he owes to his master, has two rewards.”

205. Abu Burda reported from his father that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “The slave has two rewards when he carries out Allah’s due in worship (or he said that he is excellent in his worship) and the right of his owner who owns him.”

104. The slave is a guardian

206. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. The amir of a people is a shepherd and he is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the people of his house and he is responsible for his flock. A man’s slave is the shepherd of his master’s property and he is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.”

207. Abu Hurayra said, “When a slave obeys his master, he has obeyed Allah Almighty. When he rebels against his master, he rebels against Allah Almighty.”

105. The person who wished he were a slave

208. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When the Muslim slave performs the due of Allah and the due of his master, he will have two rewards.”

Abu Hurayra said, “By the One who has the soul of Abu Hurayra in His hand! If it had not been for jihad in the Way of Allah, the hajj, and dutifulness to my mother, I would wish to die a slave!”

106. Do not say “‘abdî” (my slave)

209. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “None of you should say, ‘My slave (‘abdi)’ or ‘my slavegirl (amati)’ All of you are slaves of Allah and all of your women are slaves of Allah. Rather you should say, ‘My boy (ghulami)’, my slavegirl (jariyyati)’, ‘my lad (fatayi)’ or ‘my girl (fatati).'”

107. Does one say “my master (sayyidi)”?

210. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “None of you should say ‘my slave (‘abdi or amati)’ and a slave should not say, ‘my lord (rabbi or rabbati)’. They should say, ‘my boy’ or ‘my girl’ (fatayi and fatati) and ‘my master’ or ‘mistress’ (sayyidi and sayyidati)’. All of you are slaves, and the Lord is Allah, Almighty and Exalted.”

211. Mutarrif reported that his father said, “I went in the delegation of the Banu ‘Amir to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. They said, ‘You are our master.’ He said, ‘The Master is Allah.’ They said, ‘The best of us in excellence and the greatest of us in generosity.’ He said, ‘Say what you like, but do not let Shaytan provoke you.'”

to be continue to Part 2

Source : Book “Al-Adab al-Mufrad” Imam Al-Bukhari

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Stress Management


HOW TO REDUCE, PREVENT, AND COPE WITH STRESS

It may seem that there’s nothing you can do about your stress level. The bills aren’t going to stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day for all your errands, and your career or family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of stress management.

Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun – plus the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.

Identify the sources of stress in your life

Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines. But maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.

To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:

  • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”).
  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.

Start a stress journal

A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes. Write down:

  • What caused your stress (make a guess if you’re unsure).
  • How you felt, both physically and emotionally.
  • How you acted in response.
  • What you did to make yourself feel better.

Look at how you currently cope with stress

Think about the ways you currently manage and cope with stress in your life. Your stress journal can help you identify them. Are your coping strategies healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unproductive? Unfortunately, many people cope with stress in ways that compound the problem.

Unhealthy ways of coping with stress

These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
  • Using pills or drugs to relax
  • Sleeping too much
  • Procrastinating
  • Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems
  • Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)

Learning healthier ways to manage stress

If your methods of coping with stress aren’t contributing to your greater emotional and physical health, it’s time to find healthier ones. There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change. You can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose, it’s helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.

Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.

Dealing with Stressful Situations: The Four A’s

Change the situation:

  • Avoid the stressor.
  • Alter the stressor.
Change your reaction:

  • Adapt to the stressor.
  • Accept the stressor.

Stress management strategy #1: Avoid unnecessary stress

Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.

  • Learn how to say “no” – Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, refuse to accept added responsibilities when you’re close to reaching them. Taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.
  • Avoid people who stress you out – If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely.
  • Take control of your environment – If the evening news makes you anxious, turn the TV off. If traffic’s got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.
  • Avoid hot-button topics – If you get upset over religion or politics, cross them off your conversation list. If you repeatedly argue about the same subject with the same people, stop bringing it up or excuse yourself when it’s the topic of discussion.
  • Pare down your to-do list – Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.

Stress management strategy #2: Alter the situation

If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Figure out what you can do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life.

  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment will build and the situation will likely remain the same.
  • Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same. If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you’ll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.
  • Be more assertive. Don’t take a backseat in your own life. Deal with problems head on, doing your best to anticipate and prevent them. If you’ve got an exam to study for and your chatty roommate just got home, say up front that you only have five minutes to talk.
  • Manage your time better. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused. But if you plan ahead and make sure you don’t overextend yourself, you can alter the amount of stress you’re under.

Stress management strategy #3: Adapt to the stressor

If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.

  • Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.
  • Look at the big picture. Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
  • Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”
  • Focus on the positive. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.

Adjusting Your Attitude

How you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate words such as “always,” “never,” “should,” and “must.” These are telltale marks of self-defeating thoughts.

Stress management strategy #4: Accept the things you can’t change

Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.

  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
  • Look for the upside. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.
  • Share your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist. Expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic, even if there’s nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation.
  • Learn to forgive. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

Stress management strategy #5: Make time for fun and relaxation

Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come.

Healthy ways to relax and recharge

  • Go for a walk.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Call a good friend.
  • Sweat out tension with a good workout.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Take a long bath.
  • Light scented candles.
  • Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Work in your garden.
  • Get a massage.
  • Curl up with a good book.

Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.

  • Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
  • Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.
  • Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, gardening, or working on your bike.
  • Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.

Stress management strategy #6: Adopt a healthy lifestyle

You can increase your resistance to stress by strengthening your physical health.

  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week. Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary “highs” caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.
  • Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.

Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A. and Robert Segal, M.A.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief


FINDING THE RELAXATION EXERCISES THAT WORK FOR YOU

For many of us with hectic, stressful lives, relaxation means zoning out in front of the TV at the end of the day or snatching some extra sleep at the weekend. Unfortunately, this does little to help reduce the damaging effects of stress on the mind and body.

To effectively combat stress, we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. You can do this by practicing relaxation techniques including deep breathing, visualization, meditation, and yoga, or by performing rhythmic exercise, such as running, cycling, or mindful walking. Finding ways to fit these activities into your life can help reduce everyday stress and boost your energy and mood. They’ll also help you to stay calm in the face of life’s unexpected events.

The relaxation response: bringing your nervous system back into balance

Stress is necessary for life. You need stress for creativity, learning, and your very survival. Stress is only harmful when it becomes overwhelming and interrupts the healthy state of equilibrium that your nervous system needs to remain in balance. Unfortunately, overwhelming stress has become an increasingly common characteristic of contemporary life. When stressors throw your nervous system out of balance, relaxation techniques can bring it back into a balanced state by producing the relaxation response, a state of deep calmness that is the polar opposite of the stress response.

When stress overwhelms your nervous system your body is flooded with chemicals that prepare you for “fight or flight”. While the stress response can be lifesaving in emergency situations where you need to act quickly, it wears your body down when constantly activated by the stresses of everyday life. The relaxation response puts the brakes on this heightened state of readiness and brings your body and mind back into a state of equilibrium.

Producing the relaxation response

A variety of different relaxation techniques can help you bring your nervous system back into balance by producing the relaxation response. The relaxation response is not lying on the couch or sleeping but a mentally active process that leaves the body relaxed, calm, and focused.

Learning the basics of these relaxation techniques isn’t difficult, but it does take practice. Most stress experts recommend setting aside at least 10 to 20 minutes a day for your relaxation practice. If you’d like to get even more stress relief, aim for 30 minutes to an hour. If that sounds like a daunting commitment, remember that many of these techniques can be incorporated into your existing daily schedule—practiced at your desk over lunch or on the bus during your morning commute.

Finding the relaxation technique that’s best for you

There is no single relaxation technique that is best for everyone. When choosing a relaxation technique, consider your specific needs, preferences, fitness level, and the way you tend to react to stress. The right relaxation technique is the one that resonates with you, fits your lifestyle, and is able to focus your mind and interrupt your everyday thoughts in order to elicit the relaxation response. In many cases, you may find that alternating or combining different techniques will keep you motivated and provide you with the best results.

How do you react to stress?

How you react to stress may influence the relaxation technique that works best for you:

Stress Response Symptoms Relaxation Technique
Overexcited You tend to become angry, agitated, or keyed up under stress You may respond best to relaxation techniques that quiet you down, such as meditation, deep breathing, or guided imagery
Under excited You tend to become depressed, withdrawn, or spaced out under stress You may respond best to relaxation techniques that are stimulating and that energize your nervous system, such as rhythmic exercise
Frozen (both overexcited and under excited at the same time – like pressing on the brakes and gas simultaneously) You tend to freeze: speeding up in some ways while slowing down in others Your challenge is to identify relaxation techniques that provide both safety and stimulation to help you “reboot” your system. Techniques such as mindfulness walking or power yoga might work well for you

Do you need alone time or social stimulation?

If you crave solitude, solo relaxation techniques such as meditation or progressive muscle relaxation will give you the space to quiet your mind and recharge your batteries. If you crave social interaction, a class setting will give you the stimulation and support you’re looking for. Practicing with others may also help you stay motivated.

Relaxation technique 1: Breathing meditation for stress relief

With its focus on full, cleansing breaths, deep breathing is a simple, yet powerful, relaxation technique. It’s easy to learn, can be practiced almost anywhere, and provides a quick way to get your stress levels in check. Deep breathing is the cornerstone of many other relaxation practices, too, and can be combined with other relaxing elements such as aromatherapy. All you really need is a few minutes and a place to stretch out.

Practicing deep breathing meditation

The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. When you take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest, you inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious you feel.

  • Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
  • Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
  • Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
  • Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.

If you find it difficult breathing from your abdomen while sitting up, try lying on the floor. Put a small book on your stomach, and try to breathe so that the book rises as you inhale and falls as you exhale.

Relaxation technique 2: Progressive muscle relaxation for stress relief

Progressive muscle relaxation involves a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body.

With regular practice, progressive muscle relaxation gives you an intimate familiarity with what tension—as well as complete relaxation—feels like in different parts of the body. This awareness helps you spot and counteract the first signs of the muscular tension that accompanies stress. And as your body relaxes, so will your mind. You can combine deep breathing with progressive muscle relaxation for an additional level of stress relief.

Practicing progressive muscle relaxation

Before practicing Progressive Muscle Relaxation, consult with your doctor if you have a history of muscle spasms, back problems, or other serious injuries that may be aggravated by tensing muscles.

Most progressive muscle relaxation practitioners start at the feet and work their way up to the face. For a sequence of muscle groups to follow, see the box below.

  • Loosen your clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.
  • Take a few minutes to relax, breathing in and out in slow, deep breaths.
  • When you’re relaxed and ready to start, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.
  • Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10.
  • Relax your right foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and the way your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.
  • Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.
  • When you’re ready, shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.
  • Move slowly up through your body, contracting and relaxing the muscle groups as you go.
  • It may take some practice at first, but try not to tense muscles other than those intended.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Sequence

The most popular sequence runs as follows:

  1. Right foot*
  2. Left foot
  3. Right calf
  4. Left calf
  5. Right thigh
  1. Left thigh
  2. Hips and buttocks
  3. Stomach
  4. Chest
  5. Back
  1. Right arm and hand
  2. Left arm and hand
  3. Neck and shoulders
  4. Face

* If you are left-handed you may want to begin with your left foot instead.

Relaxation technique 3: Body scan meditation for stress relief

A body scan is similar to progressive muscle relaxation except, instead of tensing and relaxing muscles, you simply focus on the sensations in each part of your body.

Practicing body scan meditation

  • Lie on your back, legs uncrossed, arms relaxed at your sides, eyes open or closed. Focus on your breathing , allowing your stomach to rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. Breathe deeply for about two minutes, until you start to feel comfortable and relaxed.
  • Turn your focus to the toes of your right foot. Notice any sensations you feel while continuing to also focus on your breathing. Imagine each deep breath flowing to your toes. Remain focused on this area for one to two minutes.
  • Move your focus to the sole of your right foot. Tune in to any sensations you feel in that part of your body and imagine each breath flowing from the sole of your foot. After one or two minutes, move your focus to your right ankle and repeat. Move to your calf, knee, thigh, hip, and then repeat the sequence for your left leg. From there, move up the torso, through the lower back and abdomen, the upper back and chest, and the shoulders. Pay close attention to any area of the body that causes you pain or discomfort.
  • Move your focus to the fingers on your right hand and then move up to the wrist,  forearm, elbow, upper arm, and shoulder. Repeat for your left arm. Then move through the neck and throat, and finally all the regions of your face, the back of the head, and the top of the head. Pay close attention to your jaw, chin, lips, tongue, nose, cheeks, eyes, forehead, temples and scalp. When you reach the very top of your head, let your breath reach out beyond your body and imagine yourself hovering above yourself.
  • After completing the body scan, relax for a while in silence and stillness, noting how your body feels. Then open your eyes slowly. Take a moment to stretch, if necessary.

Relaxation technique 4: Mindfulness for stress relief

Mindfulness is the ability to remain aware of how you’re feeling right now, your “moment-to-moment” experience—both internal and external. Thinking about the past—blaming and judging yourself—or worrying about the future can often lead to a degree of stress that is overwhelming. But by staying calm and focused in the present moment, you can bring your nervous system back into balance. Mindfulness can be applied to activities such as walking, exercising, eating, or meditation.

Meditations that cultivate mindfulness have long been used to reduce overwhelming stress. Some of these meditations bring you into the present by focusing your attention on a single repetitive action, such as your breathing, a few repeated words, or flickering light from a candle. Other forms of mindfulness meditation encourage you to follow and then release internal thoughts or sensations.

Practicing mindfulness meditation

Key points in mindfulness mediation are:

  • A quiet environment. Choose a secluded place in your home, office, garden, place of worship, or in the great outdoors where you can relax without distractions or interruptions.
  • A comfortable position. Get comfortable, but avoid lying down as this may lead to you falling asleep. Sit up with your spine straight, either in a chair or on the floor. You can also try a cross-legged or lotus position.
  • A point of focus. This point can be internal – a feeling or imaginary scene – or something external – a flame or meaningful word or phrase that you repeat it throughout your session. You may meditate with eyes open or closed. Also choose to focus on an object in your surroundings to enhance your concentration, or alternately, you can close your eyes.
  • An observant, noncritical attitude. Don’t worry about distracting thoughts that go through your mind or about how well you’re doing. If thoughts intrude during your relaxation session, don’t fight them. Instead, gently turn your attention back to your point of focus.

Relaxation technique 5: Visualization meditation for stress relief

Visualization, or guided imagery, is a variation on traditional meditation that requires you to employ not only your visual sense, but also your sense of taste, touch, smell, and sound. When used as a relaxation technique, visualization involves imagining a scene in which you feel at peace, free to let go of all tension and anxiety.

Choose whatever setting is most calming to you, whether it’s a tropical beach, a favorite childhood spot, or a quiet wooded glen. You can do this visualization exercise on your own in silence, while listening to a therapist (an audio recording of a therapist) guiding you through the imagery. To help you employ your sense of hearing you can use a sound machine or download sounds that match your chosen setting—the sound of ocean waves if you’ve chosen a beach, for example.

Practicing visualization

Find a quiet, relaxed place. Beginners sometimes fall asleep during a visualization meditation, so you might try sitting up or standing.

Close your eyes and let your worries drift away. Imagine your restful place. Picture it as vividly as you can—everything you can see, hear, smell, and feel. Visualization works best if you incorporate as many sensory details as possible, using at least three of your senses. When visualizing, choose imagery that appeals to you; don’t select images because someone else suggests them, or because you think they should be appealing. Let your own images come up and work for you.

If you are thinking about a dock on a quiet lake, for example:

  • Walk slowly around the dock and notice the colors and textures around you.
  • Spend some time exploring each of your senses.
  • See the sun setting over the water.
  • Hear the birds singing.
  • Smell the pine trees.
  • Feel the cool water on your bare feet.
  • Taste the fresh, clean air.

Enjoy the feeling of deep relaxation that envelopes you as you slowly explore your restful place. When you are ready, gently open your eyes and come back to the present.

Don’t worry if you sometimes zone out or lose track of where you are during a guided imagery session.  This is normal. You may also experience feelings of stiffness or heaviness in your limbs, minor, involuntary muscle-movements, or even cough or yawn. Again, these are normal responses.

Relaxation technique 6: Yoga and tai chi for stress relief

Yoga involves a series of both moving and stationary poses, combined with deep breathing. As well as reducing anxiety and stress, yoga can also improve flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina. Practiced regularly, it can also strengthen the relaxation response in your daily life. Since injuries can happen when yoga is practiced incorrectly, it’s best to learn by attending group classes, hiring a private teacher, or at least following video instructions.

What type of yoga is best for stress?

Although almost all yoga classes end in a relaxation pose, classes that emphasize slow, steady movement, deep breathing, and gentle stretching are best for stress relief.

  • Satyananda is a traditional form of yoga. It features gentle poses, deep relaxation, and meditation, making it suitable for beginners as well as anyone primarily looking for stress reduction.
  • Hatha yoga is also reasonably gentle way to relieve stress and is suitable for beginners. Alternately, look for labels like gentle, for stress relief, or for beginners when selecting a yoga class.
  • Power yoga, with its intense poses and focus on fitness, is better suited to those looking for stimulation as well as relaxation.

If you’re unsure whether a specific yoga class is appropriate for stress relief, call the studio or ask the teacher.

Tai chi

If you’ve ever seen a group of people in the park slowly moving in synch, you’ve probably witnessed tai chi. Tai chi is a self-paced, non-competitive series of slow, flowing body movements. These movements emphasize concentration, relaxation, and the conscious circulation of vital energy throughout the body. Though tai chi has its roots in martial arts, today it is primarily practiced as a way of calming the mind, conditioning the body, and reducing stress. As in meditation, tai chi practitioners focus on their breathing and keeping their attention in the present moment.

Tai chi is a safe, low-impact option for people of all ages and levels of fitness, including older adults and those recovering from injuries. Like yoga, once you’ve learned the basics of tai chi or qi gong, you can practice alone or with others, tailoring your sessions as you see fit.

Making relaxation techniques a part of your life

The best way to start and maintain a relaxation practice is to incorporate it into your daily routine. Between work, family, school, and other commitments, though, it can be tough for many people to find the time. Fortunately, many of the techniques can be practiced while you’re doing other things.

Rhythmic exercise as a mindfulness relaxation technique

Rhythmic exercise—such as running, walking, rowing, or cycling—is most effective at relieving stress when performed with relaxation in mind. As with meditation, mindfulness requires being fully engaged in the present moment, focusing your mind on how your body feels right now. As you exercise, focus on the physicality of your body’s movement and how your breathing complements that movement. If your mind wanders to other thoughts, gently return to focusing on your breathing and movement.

If walking or running, for example, focus on each step—the sensation of your feet touching the ground, the rhythm of your breath while moving, and the feeling of the wind against your face.

Tips for fitting relaxation techniques into your life

  • If possible, schedule a set time to practice each day. Set aside one or two periods each day. You may find that it’s easier to stick with your practice if you do it first thing in the morning, before other tasks and responsibilities get in the way.
  • Practice relaxation techniques while you’re doing other things. Meditate while commuting to work on a bus or train, or waiting for a dentist appointment. Try deep breathing while you’re doing housework or mowing the lawn. Mindfulness walking can be done while walking to your car, or climbing the stairs at work instead of using the elevator. Once you’ve learned techniques such as tai chi, you can practice them in your office or in the park at lunchtime.
  • If you exercise, improve the relaxation benefits by adopting mindfulness. Instead of zoning out or staring at a TV as you exercise, try focusing your attention on your body. If you’re resistance training, for example, focus on coordinating your breathing with your movements and pay attention to how your body feels as you raise and lower the weights.
  • Avoid practicing when you’re sleepy. These techniques can relax you so much that they can make you very sleepy, especially if it’s close to bedtime. You will get the most benefit if you practice when you’re fully awake and alert. Do not practice after eating a heavy meal or while using drugs.
  • Expect ups and downs. Don’t be discouraged if you skip a few days or even a few weeks. It happens. Just get started again and slowly build up to your old momentum.

Authors: Lawrence Robinson, Robert Segal, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Quick Stress Relief


FAST AND EFFECTIVE WAYS TO RAPIDLY REDUCE STRESS

Ever wish a stress superhero could save you from traffic jams, chaotic meetings, or a toddler’s tantrums?

Guess what? You can be your own stress-busting superhero. Everybody has the power to reduce the impact of stress as it’s happening in that moment. With practice, you can learn to spot stressors and stay in control when the pressure builds.

Learning quick stress relief won’t happen overnight. Like any skill, it takes time, self-exploration and above all, practice. But think of it as an education with a huge payoff.

Learn to recognize stress

Recognizing stress is the first step in lessening its impact. Many of us spend so much time in a stressed state, we have forgotten what it feels like to be fully relaxed and alert. Being stressed out feels normal.

What does it feel like to be calm and stress-free? You can see that “just right” inner balance in the smile of a happy baby—a face so full of joy it reminds adults of the balanced emotional state that most of us have misplaced. In adulthood, being balanced means maintaining a calm state of energy, alertness, and focus. Calmness is more than just feeling relaxed; being alert is an equally important aspect of finding the balance needed to withstand stress.

If you don’t feel calm, alert, productive, and focused most of the time in your daily life, then too much stress may be a problem for you.

Tips for recognizing when you’re stressed

Hush the voice that’s telling you, ‘Oh, I’m fine.” Notice how you’re breathing has changed. Are your muscles tense? Awareness of your physical response to stress will help regulate the tension when it occurs.

When you’re tired, your eyes feel heavy and you might rest your head on your hand. When you’re happy, you laugh easily. And when you are stressed, your body lets you know that too. Try to get in the habit of paying attention to your body’s clues.

  • Observe your muscles and insides. Are your muscles tight/sore? Is your stomach tight or sore? Are your hands clenched?
  • Observe your breath. Is your breath shallow? Place one hand on your belly, the other on your chest. Watch your hands rise and fall with each breath. Notice when you breathe fully or when you “forget” to breathe.

Identify your body’s stress response

Internally, we all respond to stress the same: our blood pressure rises, our heart pumps faster, and our muscles constrict. When stressed, our bodies work hard and drain our immune system. Externally, however, people tend to respond to stress in three different ways: some become angry and agitated, others space out or withdraw, and still others freeze up.

The best way to quickly relieve stress may relate to your specific stress response. Read on to find out where you fit in.

How do you act when stressed?

When it comes to managing and reducing stress quickly in the middle of a heated situation, it’s important to be familiar with your specific stress response.

  • Overexcited stress response – If you tend to become angry, agitated, or keyed up under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that quiet you down.
  • Under excited stress response – If you tend to become depressed, withdrawn, or spaced out under stress, you will respond best to stress relief activities that are stimulating and that energize your nervous system.
  • Frozen stress response (both overexcited and under excited) – If you tend to freeze: speeding up in some ways while slowing down in others, your challenge is to identify stress relief activities that provide both safety and stimulation to help you “reboot” your system.

The basics of quick stress relief

There are countless techniques for preventing stress. Yoga and meditation work wonders for improving our coping skills. But who can take a moment to chant or meditate during a job interview or a disagreement with your spouse? For these situations, you need something more immediate and accessible. That’s when quick stress relief comes to the rescue.

The speediest way to stamp out stress is by engaging one or more of your senses—your sense of sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, or movement—to rapidly calm and energize yourself.

The key to practicing quick stress relief is learning what kind of sensory input helps your particular nervous system find calm and focus quickly. Everyone responds to sensory input a little differently, so an awareness of your preferences is essential for reducing stress.

Talking to someone who listens: a rapid stress reducer

Want to know a quick social stress reliever? Talk to someone! It’s true, talking about your stress with a calm and balanced listener will make you feel better instantly. Although it’s not always realistic to have a pal close by to lean on, building and maintaining a friendship network is ultimately good for your mental health. Between quick stress relief techniques and good listeners, you’ll have all your bases covered.

Bring your senses to the rescue

Here comes the fun part. Remember exploring your senses in elementary school? Grownups can take a tip from grade school lessons by revisiting the senses and learning how they can help us prevent stress overload. Use the following exercises to identify the types of stress-busting sensory experiences that work quickly and effectively for you.

As you experiment, be as precise as possible. What is the most perfect image, the specific kind of sound, or type of movement that affects you the most?

The examples listed below are intended to be a jumping off point. It’s up to you to hone in on them and come up with additional things to try.

Sights

Sights If you’re a visual person, try to manage and relieve stress by surrounding yourself with soothing and uplifting images. You can also try closing your eyes and imagining the soothing images. Here are a few visually-based activities that may work as quick stress relievers:
  • Bring the outside indoors; buy a plant or some flowers to enliven your space.
  • Enjoy the beauty of nature–a garden, the beach, a park, or your own backyard.
  • Surround yourself with colors that lift your spirits.
  • Close your eyes and picture a situation or place that feels peaceful and rejuvenating.

Sound

Sound Are you sensitive to sounds and noises? If so, stress-relieving exercises that focus on your auditory sense may work particularly well. Experiment with the following sounds, noting how quickly your stress levels drop as you listen.
  • Tune in to the soundtrack of nature-crashing waves, the wind rustling the trees, birds singing.
  • Buy a small fountain, so you can enjoy the soothing sound of running water in your home or office.
  • Hang wind chimes near an open window.

Smell & Scents

Smell & Scents If you tend to zone out or freeze when stressed, surround yourself with smells that are energizing and invigorating. If you tend to become overly agitated under stress, look for scents that are comforting and calming.
  • Light a scented candle or burn some incense.
  • Lie down in sheets scented with lavender.
  • Smell the roses-or another type of flower.
  • Enjoy the clean, fresh air in the great outdoors.

Touch

Touch Experiment with your sense of touch, playing with different tactile sensations. Focus on things you can feel that are relaxing and renewing. Use the following suggestions as a jumping off point:
  • Wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
  • Pet a cat or else.
  • Hold a comforting object (a stuffed animal, a favorite memento).
  • Soak in a hot bath.
  • Give yourself a hand or neck massage.
  • Wear clothing that feels soft against your skin.

Taste

Taste Slowly savoring a favorite treat can be very relaxing, but mindless stress eating will only add to your stress and your waistline. The key is to indulge your sense of taste mindfully and in moderation. Eat slowly, focusing on the feel of the food in your mouth and the taste on your tongue:
  • Chew a piece of sugarless gum.
  • Indulge in a small piece of dark chocolate.
  • Sip a steaming cup of coffee or tea or a refreshing cold drink.
  • Eat a perfectly ripe piece of fruit.
  • Enjoy a healthy, crunchy snack (celery, carrots, or trail mix).

Movement

Movement If you tend to shut down when you’re under stress, stress-relieving activities that get you moving may be particularly helpful. Anything that engages the muscles or gets you up and active can work. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Run in place or jump up and down.
  • Stretch or roll your head in circles.
  • Go for a short walk.
  • Squeeze a rubbery stress ball.

The power of imagination

Sensory rich memories can also quickly reduce stress. After drawing upon your sensory toolbox becomes habit, another approach is to learn to simply imagine vivid sensations when stress strikes. Believe it or not, the sheer memory of your baby’s face will have the same calming or energizing effects on your brain as seeing her photo. So if you can recall a strong sensation, you’ll never be without access to your quick stress relief toolbox.

Tips for finding sensory inspiration

Inspiration is everywhere, from sights you see on your way to work to smells and objects around your home. Explore a variety of sensations so that no matter where you are you’ll always have something you can do to relax yourself. Here a few ideas to get you started.

  • Memories. Think back to what you did as a child to calm down. If you had a blanket or stuffed toy, you might benefit from tactile stimulation. Try tying a textured scarf around your neck before an appointment or keeping a piece of soft suede in your pocket.
  • Watch others. Observing how others deal with stress can give you valuable insight. Baseball players often pop gum in their mouth before going up to bat. Ask around about what people you know do to stay focused under pressure—it could work for you too.
  • Parents. Think back to what your parents did to blow off steam. Did your mother feel more relaxed after a long walk? Did your father do yard work after a hard day? Try some of the things they did to unwind; they might work for you too.

Take a break from technology

Taking a short hiatus from computer, cell phone, and iPod will give you insight on what your senses respond to best. Here are some “unplugging” tips:

  • Try riding in silence for 10 minutes.
  • Stuck in a long line at the grocery store? Instead of talking on your cell phone, take a moment to people watch. Pay attention to what you hear and see.
  • Instead of checking e-mail while waiting for a meeting to begin, take a few deep breaths, look out the window, or sip some aromatic tea.
  • While waiting for an appointment, resist the urge to text and give yourself a hand massage instead.

Make quick stress relief a habit

Let’s get real. It’s not easy to remember to use our senses in the middle of a mini—or not so mini—crisis. At first, it will feel easier to just give into pressure and tense up. The truth is, quick stress relief takes practice, practice, and more practice. But with time, calling upon your senses will become second nature. Here’s how to make it habit.

Learning to use your senses to quickly manage stress is a little like learning to drive or to play golf. You don’t master the skill in one lesson you have to practice until it becomes second nature. Once you have a variety of sensory tools you can depend on and use, you’ll be able to handle even the toughest of situations.

  • Start small. Instead of testing your quick stress relief tools on a source of major stress, start with a predictable low-level source of stress, like cooking dinner at the end of the day or sitting down to balance your checkbook.
  • Identify and target. Think of just one low-level stressor that you know will occur several times a week, such as commuting. Vow to target that particular stressor with quick stress relief every time. After a few weeks, target a second stressor. After a few weeks more, target a third stressor and so on.
  • Test-drive sensory input. Experiment with as much sensory input as possible. If you are practicing quick stress relief on your commute to work, bring a scented handkerchief with you one day, and try a movement the next day.
  • Make “have fun” your motto. If something doesn’t work, don’t force it. Move on until you find your best fit.
  • Talk about it. Verbalizing your quick stress relief work will help integrate it into your life. It’s bound to start a fascinating conversation—everyone relates to the topic of stress.

Quick acting stress-busting tips

The best part of quick stress relief is the awareness that you have control over your surroundings. Even if you share a work area, you can personalize your space to serve as a “stress prevention zone” or to put quick stress relief within arm’s reach. We all have our stress hotspots. Where are yours?

Quick stress relief at home

  • Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by lighting candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident instead of stiff and uncomfortable.
  • Kitchen. Cool the kitchen commotion by breathing in the scent of every ingredient you use—even if you’re just opening cans. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.
  • Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by breathing and squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler tantrums, rub lotion into your hands then breathe in the scent.
  • Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.
  • Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy and organize. Paint the walls with a fresh coat of your favorite calming color. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light whenever possible.

Quick stress relief at work

  • Meetings. During stressful sessions, stay connected to your breath. Massage the tips of your fingers. Wiggle your toes. Sip coffee.
  • On the phone. Inhale something energizing, like lemon, ginger, peppermint or coffee beans. While talking, stand up or pace back and forth to burn off excess energy. Conduct phone business outside when possible.
  • On the computer. Work standing up. Do knee-bends in 10-minute intervals. Wrap a soft scarf around your neck. Suck on a peppermint.
  • Lunch breaks. Take a walk around the block or in the parking lot. Listen to soothing music while eating. Have a quick chat with someone you love.

Authors: Lawrence Robinson, Robert Segal, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Improving Conflict Resolution Skills


BUILDING THE SKILLS THAT CAN TURN CONFLICTS INTO OPPORTUNITIES

Conflict is a normal and necessary part of healthy relationships. After all, two people can’t be expected to agree on everything at all times. Therefore, learning how to deal with conflict—rather than avoiding it—is crucial.

When conflict is mismanaged, it can harm the relationship. But when handled in a respectful and positive way, conflict provides an opportunity for growth, ultimately strengthening the bond between two people. By learning the skills you need for successful conflict resolution, you can face disagreements with confidence and keep your personal and professional relationships strong and growing.

Understanding conflict in relationships

Conflict arises from differences. It occurs whenever people disagree over their values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, or desires. Sometimes these differences look trivial, but when a conflict triggers strong feelings, a deep personal need is at the core of the problem, such as a need to feel safe and secure, a need to feel respected and valued, or a need for greater closeness and intimacy.

Conflicts arise from differing needs

Everyone needs to feel understood, nurtured, and supported, but the ways in which these needs are met vary widely. Differing needs for feeling comfortable and safe create some of the most severe challenges in our personal and professional relationships.

Think about the conflicting need for safety and continuity versus the need to explore and take risks. You frequently see this conflict between toddlers and their parents. The child’s need is to explore, so the street or the cliff meets a need. But the parents’ need is to protect the child’s safety, so limiting exploration becomes a bone of contention between them.

It is important to acknowledge that both parties’ needs play important roles in the long-term success of most relationships, and each deserves respect and consideration. In personal relationships, a lack of understanding about differing needs can result in distance, arguments, and break-ups. In workplace conflicts, differing needs are often at the heart of bitter disputes. When you can recognize the legitimacy of conflicting needs and become willing to examine them in an environment of compassionate understanding, it opens pathways to creative problem solving, team building, and improved relationships.

Conflict 101

  • A conflict is more than just a disagreement. It is a situation in which one or both parties perceive a threat (whether or not the threat is real).
  • Conflicts continue to fester when ignored. Because conflicts involve perceived threats to our well-being and survival, they stay with us until we face and resolve them.
  • We respond to conflicts based on our perceptions of the situation, not necessarily to an objective review of the facts. Our perceptions are influenced by our life experiences, culture, values, and beliefs.
  • Conflicts trigger strong emotions. If you aren’t comfortable with your emotions or able to manage them in times of stress, you won’t be able to resolve conflict successfully.
  • Conflicts are an opportunity for growth. When you’re able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust. You can feel secure, knowing your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements.

Conflict may feel more threatening to you than it really is

Do you fear conflict or avoid it at all costs? If your perception of conflict comes from frightening or painful memories from previous unhealthy relationships or your early childhood, you may expect all present-day disagreements to end badly. You may view conflict in relationships as demoralizing, humiliating, dangerous, and something to fear. If your early life experiences also left you feeling out of control and powerless, conflict may even be traumatizing for you.

If you view conflict as dangerous, it tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you go into a conflict situation already feeling extremely threatened, it’s tough to deal with the problem at hand in a healthy way. Instead, you are more likely to shut down or blow up in anger.

Healthy and unhealthy ways of managing and resolving conflict
Unhealthy responses to conflict: Healthy responses to conflict
  • An inability to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person
  • Explosive, angry, hurtful, and resentful reactions
  • The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment
  • An inability to compromise or see the other person’s side
  • The fear and avoidance of conflict; the expectation of bad outcomes
  • The capacity to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person
  • Calm, non-defensive, and respectful reactions
  • A readiness to forgive and forget, and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger
  • The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing
  • A belief that facing conflict head is the best thing for both sides

Successful conflict resolution depends on your ability to regulate stress and your emotions

Conflict triggers strong emotions and can lead to hurt feelings, disappointment, and discomfort. When handled in an unhealthy manner, it can cause irreparable rifts, resentments, and break-ups. But when conflict is resolved in a healthy way, it increases our understanding of one another, builds trust, and strengthens our relationship bonds.

If you are out of touch with your feelings or so stressed that you can only pay attention to a limited number of emotions, you won’t be able to understand your own needs. If you don’t understand your needs, you will have a hard time communicating with others and staying in touch with what is really troubling you. For example, couples often argue about petty differences—the way she hangs the towels, the way he parts his hair—rather than what is really bothering them.

The ability to successfully resolve conflict depends on your ability to:

  • Manage stress quickly while remaining alert and calm. By staying calm, you can accurately read and interpret verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • Control your emotions and behavior. When you’re in control of your emotions, you can communicate your needs without threatening, frightening, or punishing others.
  • Pay attention to the feelings being expressed as well as the spoken words of others.
  • Be aware of and respectful of differences. By avoiding disrespectful words and actions, you can resolve the problem faster.

In order to do this you will need to learn and practice two core skills: the ability to quickly reduce stress in the moment and the ability to remain comfortable enough with your emotions to react in constructive ways even in the midst of an argument or a perceived attack.

Quick stress relief: The first core conflict resolution skill

Being able to manage and relieve stress in the moment is the key to staying balanced, focused, and in control, no matter what challenges you face. If you don’t know how to stay centered and in control of yourself, you will become overwhelmed in conflict situations and unable to respond in healthy ways.

Psychologist Connie Lillas uses a driving analogy to describe the three most common ways people respond when they’re overwhelmed by stress:

  • Foot on the gas. An angry or agitated stress response. You’re heated, keyed up, overly emotional, and unable to sit still.
  • Foot on the brake. A withdrawn or depressed stress response. You shut down, space out, and show very little energy or emotion.
  • Foot on both gas and brake. A tense and frozen stress response. You “freeze” under pressure and can’t do anything. You look paralyzed, but under the surface you’re extremely agitated.

Stress interferes with the ability to resolve conflict by limiting your ability to:

  • Accurately read another person’s nonverbal communication.
  • Hear what someone is really saying.
  • Be aware of your own feelings.
  • Be in touch with your deep-rooted needs.
  • Communicate your needs clearly.


Is stress a problem or you?

You may be so used to being stressed that you’re not even aware you are stressed. Stress may be a problem in your life if you identify with the following:

  • You often feel tense or tight somewhere in your body.
  • You’re not aware of movement in your chest or stomach when you breathe.
  • Conflict absorbs your time and attention.

Emotional awareness: The second core conflict resolution skill

Emotional awareness is the key to understanding yourself and others. If you don’t know how you feel or why you feel that way, you won’t be able to communicate effectively or smooth over disagreements.

Although knowing your own feelings may seem simple, many people ignore or try to sedate strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear. But your ability to handle conflict depends on being connected to these feelings. If you’re afraid of strong emotions or if you insist on finding solutions that are strictly rational, your ability to face and resolve differences will be impaired.

Why emotional awareness is a key factor in resolving conflict 

Emotional awareness—consciousness of your moment-to-moment emotional experience—and the ability to manage all of your feelings appropriately is the basis of a communication process that can resolve conflict.

Emotional awareness helps you:

  • Understand what is really troubling other people
  • Understand yourself, including what is really troubling you
  • Stay motivated until the conflict is resolved
  • Communicate clearly and effectively
  • Attract and influence others

Assessing your ability to recognize and manage emotions

The following quiz helps you assess your level of emotional awareness. Answer the following questions with: almost never, occasionally, often, very frequently, or almost always. There are no right or wrong responses, only the opportunity to become better acquainted with your emotional responses.

What kind of relationship do I have with my emotions?

  • Do I experience feelings that flow, encountering one emotion after another as your experiences change from moment to moment?
  • Are my emotions accompanied by physical sensations that you experience in places like your stomach or chest?
  • Do I experience discrete feelings and emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, joy, each of which is evident in subtle facial expressions?
  • Can I experience intense feelings that are strong enough to capture both your attention and that of others?
  • Do I pay attention to your emotions? Do they factor into your decision making?

If any of these experiences are unfamiliar, your emotions may be turned down or turned off. In either case, you may need help developing your emotional awareness.

Nonverbal communication plays a big role in conflict resolution

The most important information exchanged during conflicts and arguments is often communicated nonverbally. Nonverbal communication is conveyed by emotionally-driven facial expressions, posture, gesture, pace, tone and intensity of voice.

The most important communication is wordless

When people are upset, the words they use rarely convey the issues and needs at the heart of the problem. When we listen for what is felt as well as said, we connect more deeply to our own needs and emotions, and to those of other people. Listening in this way also strengthens us, informs us, and makes it easier for others to hear us.

When you’re in the middle of a conflict, paying close attention to the other person’s nonverbal signals may help you figure out what the other person is really saying, respond in a way that builds trust, and get to the root of the problem. Simple nonverbal signals such as a calm tone of voice, a reassuring touch, or an interested or concerned facial expression can go a long way toward relaxing a tense exchange.

Your ability to accurately read another person depends on your own emotional awareness. The more aware you are of your own emotions, the easier it will be for you to pick up on the wordless clues that reveal what others are feeling.

Humor, judiciously used, can effectively defuse conflict

Once stress and emotion are brought into balance your capacity for joy, pleasure and playfulness is unleashed. Joy is a deceptively powerful resource. Studies show that you can surmount adversity, as long as you continue to have moments of joy. Humor plays a similar role when the challenge you’re facing is conflict.

You can avoid many confrontations and resolve arguments and disagreements by communicating in a playful or humorous way. Humor can help you say things that might otherwise be difficult to express without creating a flap. However, it’s important that you laugh with the other person, not at them. When humor and play is used to reduce tension and anger, reframe problems, and put the situation into perspective, the conflict can actually become an opportunity for greater connection and intimacy.

Tips for managing and resolving conflict 

Managing and resolving conflict requires the ability to quickly reduce stress and bring your emotions into balance. You can ensure that the process is as positive as possible by sticking to the following conflict resolution guidelines:

  • Listen for what is felt as well as said. When we listen we connect more deeply to our own needs and emotions, and to those of other people. Listening in this way also strengthens us, informs us, and makes it easier for others to hear us.
  • Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning or “being right.” Maintaining and strengthening the relationship, rather than “winning” the argument, should always be your first priority. Be respectful of the other person and his or her viewpoint.
  • Focus on the present. If you’re holding on to old hurts and resentments, your ability to see the reality of the current situation will be impaired. Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here-and-now to solve the problem.
  • Pick your battles. Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy. Maybe you don’t want to surrender a parking space if you’ve been circling for 15 minutes. But if there are dozens of spots, arguing over a single space isn’t worth it.
  • Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can never compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by further depleting and draining our lives.
  • Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.

Authors: Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A.

The Etiquettes of Slaughtering Animal


There are certain etiquettes one must abide by when slaughtering an animal for a sacrificial offering.

However, these etiquettes are not conditional for the validity of a sacrifice. So the sacrifice is still valid even in their absence. Among these etiquettes are:

1. He should face the Qiblah with the animal at the time of slaughtering.

2. He must slaughter the animal in a good manner, which is by quickly and firmly passing a sharpened blade over the neck area.

Some scholars hold the view that this etiquette is obligatory based on the implication found in the Prophet’s saying:

“Verily Allaah has prescribed proficiency in everything. So when you kill, kill proficiently. And when you sacrifice, sacrifice proficiently. Each of you should sharpen his blade and lessen the pain inflicted on his sacrificial offering.” [Reported by Muslim]

This opinion is the correct view.

3. The slaughter of a camel must be done by cutting the area just below the neck and above the chest. This is known as nahr. As for all other types of animals, their necks should be sliced.

A camel should be slaughtered while standing and with its (front) left leg tied. If it is difficult to do it this way, the camel can be slaughtered while kneeling.

As for all of the other animals, they are to be slaughtered while lying flat on their left side. However, if the one slaughtering is a lefty, he may use his left hand and lay the animal down on its right side. This is so long as doing it this way is easier upon the animal and more convenient for the one slaughtering.

It is also prescribed for him to place his foot on the collar of the animal to give him better control. As for making the animal kneel and tying its legs together, there is no basis for this in the Sunnah. Some scholars mentioned that one of the reasons why the legs should not be tied is so that the outflow of blood can increase as a result of the animal’s constant motion and instability.

4. The throat and esophagus of the animal should be cut in addition to its jugular veins. For more on this, refer to the discussion on this under the eighth condition of slaughtering.

5. The blade should be concealed from the view of the animal when sharpening it. This means that the animal should not see the blade until the time of the actual slaughter.

6. One should glorify Allaah (by saying Allaahu Akbar) after mentioning His Name (by saying Bismillaah) when slaughtering.

7. One should name the person whom the sacrificial offering (udhiyah) or ‘aqeeqah is being performed for after mentioning Allaah’s Name and glorifying Him. He should also ask Allaah to accept it from him.

So for example, he should say: “In the Name of Allaah, Allaah is the Greatest. O Allaah, this is from You and for You on behalf of me” if he is performing the slaughter for himself or “…on behalf of so and so” if the slaughter is being done on behalf of someone else. And he should say: “O Allaah, accept this from me” if he is performing the slaughter for himself or “…accept this from so and so” if the slaughter is being done on behalf of someone else.

 

SOURCE: Talkhees Ahkaam-ul-Udhiyah wadh-Dhakaat, Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen

The First Ten Days of Dhulhijjah


There are tons of reasons why you wouldn’t want to pass up this opportunity. Do you know which one? The first ten days ofDhu’l-Ḥijjah.

It’s that time of the year again, the last month of the lunar calendar for the year 1431 after the Hijrah of the Prophet Muḥammad, ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is the time when more than two million people from all around the globe will be meeting together for at least five days in the plains of Makkah, Mina, ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah to perform their sacred journey to Makkah, known to us as al-Hajj, the pilgrimage. What bonds them together? One thing: al-Islam.

If you are already reading this, most likely you are not going to Hajj. And if you’re there already, then what on earth are you doing wasting your time online? Go to the Haram and enjoy your ṭawāf.

There are two chances in life: the one which you have already missed and the one which you don’t want to miss. What you already have is no longer a chance, its reality.

Therefore, for those of us who were unable to be there in Makkah, why should we value these special days of the year? Here are my top five reasons.

Allah subahanahu wa ta’ala valued these days so much that he swore by them in the Qur’an. And If Allah swore by something, then it is definitely profound and of the greatest value. Allah says:

والفجر وليال عشر
“by the dawn, and by ten nights” AlFajr 89:1-2

Ibn Kathīr rahimahullah, in his tafsir, referred to these ten days as the ten days of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah. He also attributed this opinion to Ibn ʿAbbās, Ibn Az-Zubayr and others of the righteous predecessors.

The good deeds performed during these ten days are most rewarded, more than any other time of the year.
Ibn Abbas narrated the Messenger salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam said:

(مَا مِنْ أيَّامٍ العَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ فِيهِنَّ أحَبُّ إلى الله مِنْ هَذهِ الأيَّامِ العَشْرِ) ، فقالُوا يا رسولُ الله: ولا الجِهَادُ في سَبِيلِ الله؟ فقالَ رسولُ الله : ( ولا الجِهَادُ في سَبِيلِ الله، إلاّ رَجُلٌ خَرجَ بِنَفْسِهِ ومَالِهِ، فَلَمْ يَرْجِعْ من ذَلِكَ بِشَيْءٍ).

“There are no days during which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days. The companions asked: not even jihad in the cause of Allah? The Messenger of Allah replied: Not even jihad in the cause of Allah except for the one who went to fight taking himself and his wealth but did not return with either of them.” (Bukhari and Tirmidhi.)

The Blessings of the Days of  ‘Arafah

These ten days host one special day in which there are so many blessings. It is the day of ‘Arafah, the ninth day of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah and the day preceding the ‘Id day. Some of the blessings of ‘Arafah are:

  • Fasting that day expiates the sins of two years, the previous one and the coming year. (Muslim)
  • It is a day in which Allah completed the revelation of the religion, perfected this bounty bestowed upon us and was satisfied with Islam as our religion. This was mentioned in Sūrat’l-Mā’idah 5:3. (Bukhari and Muslim)
  • It is the day when Allah AlMighty descends, in a manner that suits His Majesty, to the closest heaven and shows his pride to the angels about the presence of the pilgrims. (Muslim)
  • In this day Allah promises the pilgrims to bestow his mercy on them and forgive their sins so that when they return home they return free of sins just like the day when their mothers gave birth to them. (Bukhari and Muslim)
  • It is a day when many people will be emancipated from the fire of Hell.

The season of the ten days of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah is a festivity of worship. No other days of the year hold so many diverse acts of worship as done in such a short time, not even in Ramadan. And here is a list of some of what good deeds are done during these days in Makkah and elsewhere around the globe:

  • Hajj and multiple Umrahs by millions of people.
  • The sacrifice of the dunya and this world for the sake of attending the Hajj.
  • The display of humility, humbleness and devotion in the actual rituals of Hajj.
  • Tawaaf around the Ka’bah and Sai’ between the two hills of Safa and Marwa.
  • Abundance of Dhikr, the praise of Allah especially takbeer and tahleel and what other pilgrims say the most, Talbiyah.
  • Fasting for the non-pilgrims.
  • Being extra charitable.
  • Offering the hadi’y and udhiyah or qur’ban the sacrifice of livestock and feeding the poor.
  • The inclination towards repentance.
  • The engagement in long du’a or supplications as a sign of humility and humbleness.
  • Maintaining the prayers in the sacred sites al-Haram in Makkah and the Masjid of the Prophet in Madinah.
  • The recitation of the Qur’an.

The ten days of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah also host the greatest day of the year, Yum-an-Nahr the day of the sacrifice, the 10th which is the actual day of ‘Id. The Messenger of Allah said:

(إنَّ أَعْظَمَ اْلأيَّامِ عِنْدَ الله تبارك وتعالى يَوْمُ النَّحْرِ ثُمَّ يَوْمُ الْقَرِّ)

“The best day with Allah is yum-an-Nahr, the day of sacrifice and then yum-al-qarr (the day that follows, when the pilgrims reside in the camps of Mina for worship).” (Ahmad, Abu Dawood and an-Nasa’iee).

So, now that you know the significance of this season, what do you need to do?

Some suggestions to make the Best of the Ten Days:

  • Increase your level of worship during the day and during the night.
  • Try to achieve one khatma of the Qur’an (reading it from cover to cover).
  • Keep your tongue moist with dhikr and praise of Allah wherever you are.
  • Maintain a state of ṭahārah and wuḍū’ at all times.
  • Make most of your dhikr Takbīr (like the one you recite on ‘Id day).
  • Fast a few days while the days are short and cold, particularly the 9th, the day of ‘Arafah.
  • If you haven’t paid for the qurban (sacrificial animal) yet, make sure to do so. Perhaps you should donate one to those who are most in need of it in areas such as Pakistan and Gaza.
  • Wake up before Fajr time and pray Qiyam-ul-Layl.
  • Pray your Fardh salat on time.
  • Make sure you don’t miss any of the Nafl and Sunnah prayers.
  • Give charity and help those who are less fortunate prepare for the Eid day.
  • Share the spirit of the season and be cheerful with all people.

There is so much you can do for the ten days of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah, but you are the one who knows your schedule better than any one else. Make sure to make this season a priority and may Allah grant you all Jannatul Firdous.

Remember, there are two chances in life: the one you already missed, and the one you don’t want to miss. So don’t miss out on the ten days of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah.

 

By Yaser Birjas (al-Maghrib Institute)