By Dr. Ahmad Al-Khalidi
The following verse clearly highlights the social diseases that cause societal problems among people of the same community. Such diseases are so dangerous that they can weaken the strong relationship between people and corrupt the life of any social establishment.
That is why Allah prohibits offensive suspicion, spying as well as backbiting and portrays the backbiter in a disgusting image where he sits by his dead brother and snaps his flesh.
O you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would abhor it…But fear Allah: For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. (Al-Hujurat 49:12)
Allah addresses believers and calls them to avoid the bad manners mentioned in the above verse. Let us consider each of these social diseases one by one, starting with suspicion:
First of all, this verse enjoins believers not to suspect innocent people; evil suspicion of good people is considered sinful; but they can suspect wicked people who are known of their wickedness. However, believers should not speak out of such suspicion, otherwise they would be sinful.
There is another kind of harmful suspicion which its danger mainly refers to the person himself who may keep saying to himself, “Allah will not forgive me”. Being desperate of Allah’s mercy and His forgiveness may lead him to follow the footsteps of the Satan which eventually may lead him to Hell. To cite Sahih International. com, “The example of unlawful assumption is to keep saying to himself that Allah will definitely punish or torture me and lose total hope in the forgiveness and mercy of Allah”.
However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) says: “You should have good hope with Allah till your death-bed.” (Muslim)
Besides, Allah says in a hadith Qudsi: “I treat my servant the way he feels about me.”
Moreover, Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Messenger of Allah said, “Allah the Exalted says: ‘I am as my slave expects me to be.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Kinds of Suspicions
Imam Abu Bakr Al-Jassas divided suspicion into four categories as described in his book Ahkam Al-Qur’an. These four categories are: 1- Unlawful (haram), 2- Mandatory (wajib), 3- Permissible (mustahab), and Acceptable (mubah).
The example of unlawful suspicion is to keep saying to himself that Allah will definitely punish or torture me and lose total hope in the forgiveness and mercy of Allah; while the example of mustahab suspicion is to keep good feelings about every Muslim. It is, however, permissible to use precautions in daily dealings without considering someone a thief or a traitor without a just cause.
The example of wajib suspicion is that if, for example, you do not know the direction of Qiblah and there is nobody to guide you, it is permissible to use your best judgment. And the example of acceptable suspicion is that if one is not sure of completing three or four rak`ahs in salah, it is acceptable to use the most prevalent assumption in mind.
Spying is also one of the worst social manners. It is not allowed and it is shameful to snoop at people’s own life or private works or tasks and disclose their secrets. However, to quote Sahih International website, ” if there is a possibility of another party harming you or harming another Muslim, then such spying is allowed”
Let us now think about backbiting. It is narrated that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Backbiting is talking about somebody which if he heard, would grieve him.” (Muslim)
Hence, to cite Sahih International.com, “it is not allowed to talk about somebody in his absence, even if what was narrated was true. If it was not true, then it would be a bigger sin and it is called buhtan.
Moreover, backbiting violates the rights of Allah and the rights of people simultaneously. Hence, it is necessary to ask for forgiveness from the victim first, since Allah will not forgive until the victim forgives. If the victim has died or is untraceable or, if something worse may happen if the victim is asked for forgiveness, then ransom has to be done.
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah said, “The ransom for backbiting is to pray to Allah for forgiveness by saying, “O Allah! Forgive my sins and his too.”
Al Sa`di (1995) sees that the person who injured his brother (with backbiting) should repent to Allah, apologize to his brother, ask Allah forgiveness for him and praise his brother instead of dispraising him.
Al-Baz (2007) recommends the Islamic society “to make sure of the news they receive lest the haste and uncertainty in getting them should cause bad results and harmful effects on individuals and societies.”
On the other hand, Al-Baz includes that believers should believe a trustworthy Muslim when he brings news and sayings to them if they have not experienced any lies on his part. It is prohibited for any Muslim to satire or ridicule any person because of being inferior to him in property, body, or social rank. Al-Saboni (1981) points out that the ideal society indisposes backbiting, spying and offensive suspicion.
For a Powerful Sound Society
Actually, all this teaches us lots of practical ethical rules of paramount importance and necessity for building up a powerful sound society; such rules are so effective that they contribute a lot in educating and building up the Islamic personality that enjoys pure heart, clean feelings, chaste tongue and righteous manners.
Not only this, these codes are so effective that they combine the society with strong bonds and firm ties; ties of honesty and purity, belief and piety, honour and respect, as well as mercy and kindness. On the other hand, this society denounces envy and suspicion, slander and dishonor along with mockery and satire. Besides, this society has its own capability to live and continue through its own spiritual moral system. It is actually a real ideal world.
Young Muslims should avoid the following ill manners:
– believing the news or sayings coming from a wicked person,
– mocking or laughing at others because of being inferior to them,
– calling others with their offensive nick names,
– suspecting innocent people,
-spying at others, and backbiting them.
Warning learners against the results of bad manners, leaving many things to avoid something evil among them, keeping the honour of persons in their presence as well as in their absence, employing the interrogation technique as a means of reproach in the educational situation, employing rebuke technique in reforming the deviant manners, portraying disgusting imagery to disincline learner from evil manners, and manipulating the preaching technique in education.
Why do Muslim women wear the hijab? How should it look like? Why was the hijab prescribed for women? Do we, Muslim women, nowadays, wear the real hijab?
Allah says in the Qur’an:
And tell the believing women to reduce (some) of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which (necessarily) appears thereof and to wrap (a portion of) their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed. (An-Nur 24:31)
Nouman Ali Khan speaks about that in the video below…
Source: Da`wah Islam Channel
You ask him why he lied. He says to you: ‘It’s April Fool’s Day’.
Your best friend comes up to you and tells you news that makes you jump for joy. No sooner have you expressed your happiness than he quickly tells you it is untrue. You stare at him blankly and ask him why he lied. He says to you: ‘It’s April Fool’s Day’.
Does Islam sanction such behavior? Can it regard such behavior as a harmless custom? Can we concoct lies containing happy or sad news, as long as we quickly inform the other person that it is a lie or cry out ‘April Fools!’?
To start with, we must know that a lie is defined as giving information about something, where that information is at variance with the truth. A lie is forbidden in Islam.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Be truthful, for indeed truth guides us to righteousness, and righteousness leads us to Paradise. A man remains honest and steadfast in ascertaining the truth until he is recorded with Allah as a truthful person. A lie guides us to wickedness, and wickedness leads us to Hell. A man keeps lying and seeking out lies until he is recorded with Allah as a liar.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Safwan ibn Salim relates the following:
We asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Can a believer be a coward?”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Yes.”
We asked: “Can he be stingy?”
He said: “Yes.”
We then asked: “Can he be a liar?”
The Prophet said: “No.”
Lying is one of the traits of a hypocrite. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The signs of the hypocrite are three: If he speaks, he lies. If he makes a promise, he breaks it. And if he is given a trust, he betrays it.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Islam gives a severe warning against lying. The Prophet said to his Companions:
“Tonight, I was visited by two. They bid me forth, saying: ‘Go’.
I went with them until we came upon a man lying on his back. Someone else was standing over him, wielding an iron hook. He came to one side of his face, and pulled his lower lip to the back of his neck. Then he pulled his nose and then his eyes to the back of his head. Then he went over to the other side of the man’s face and did the same. Then the man’s features returned to their original place and the same thing happened again.
A Muslim should be ever vigilant to safeguard his tongue from lies and warn others against lying.
It was then said: “This was a man who would come out of his home and utter a lie that could fill the world to the horizons.” (Al-Bukhari)
It is even sinful to tell a lie to a child. `Abdullah ibn `Amir recounted the following from his childhood:
My mother called for me one day when the Prophet peace be upon him) was sitting in our house. She said: “Come here and I’ll give you something.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) then asked her: “What is it that you wish to give him?”
She said: “A date.”
He said: “If you had not intended to give him something, a lie would have been recorded against you.” (Abu Dawud)
The sinfulness of lying includes lies told jokingly. The Prophet said: “I will guarantee a house in the center of Paradise for one who abandons the telling of lies, even in jest.” (Abu Dawud with an authentic chain of transmission)
There are only a few exceptions to the general prohibition against lying. One is the lie that is uttered to bring peace between two people. Another is the lie used as a stratagem in war. The third is the white lie spoken by a husband to his wife or by a wife to her husband. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
April Fool’s Day is truly a foolish and banal custom followed in some societies on the arrival of April First. The custom calls upon people to concoct a special lie for the occasion. Some people try to see how far their lie can spread.
We should not have any doubt that this custom of concocting lies on April Fool’s Day is contrary to Islamic manners. Indeed, it is contrary to Islamic Law. Whoever concocts a lie falls into sin for doing so.
A Muslim should be ever vigilant to safeguard his tongue from lies and warn others against lying.
By Dr. Ahmad Al-Khalidi
To found a strong sound society, the Qur’an guides Muslims to avoid social maladies such as believing wicked persons, laughing at others, calling others with their nick names, suspecting good people, backbiting and spying at others; as they certainly lead to the weakness of the societal bonds and corruption to its bases.
Such evil social manners are criticized in the Qur’anic speech dialogue in Surat Al-Hujurat, hence believers are commanded to evade such bad traits.
The Qur’anic speech dialogue is abundant with real ethical lessons which are very helpful for young Muslims to keep their good relationship with others. It is of extreme importance for parents at home and tutors at educational institutions to guide young Muslims to such kind of moral education which contributes a lot in building up a sound Islamic character.
Besides, they have to be aware of good conduct within their own Muslim community so as to lead a warm friendly relationship with the members of the group they live with.
Dr. Hazimi, (who is this gentleman?) states that Islamic ethics occupy a high position and a great rank, in the human civilization, which are derived from the Creator of Mankind and personified in the character of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in such a way that Allah praises him in the Qur’an in this way:
And you are on an exalted standard Of character. (Al-Qalam 68:4)
Besides, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) praises the Muslims who enjoy good manners.
On the authority of Jabir ibn `Abdullah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Of the most beloved among you to me and the nearest session of you to me in the Garden are those of the best of manners among you, and of the most detested among you to me and the farthest sitting from me are the chatters, the boasters and the mutafayhiqun (those who are arrogant when they speak)”. They (the Prophet’s Companions) said, “we know the chatters and boasters but who are the “mutafaihiqoon”? He said, “the arrogant.” (At-Tirmidhi)
The Islamic society is a world that has its own procedures in ascertaining words and actions and making sure of their source before judging on people; it is a world that has its own psychological etiquette in feelings towards one another; at the same time it has its own behavioral etiquette in dealing with one another and it is a world of clean feelings, ensured and protected honour in presence and absence. Nobody is judged by suspicion nor the safety or honour of people are exposed to harm.
Ascertaining the truth
Believers should not believe a wicked person when he tells them any news until they ascertain the truth lest they should do harm to other people who may be their relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors or others.
To cite (Ali 1934:1404 what is this?), “All tittle-tattle or reports emanating from persons you do not know- are to be tested, and the truth ascertained, if believed and passed on, much harm may be done, of which you may have cause afterwards to repent heartily. Scandal or slander of all kinds is here condemned. That about women is specially denounced.”
O you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest you harm people unwittingly. (Al-Hujurat 49:6)
Laughing at Others is a Part of Bad Manners
Likewise, another verse in Surat Al-Hujurat prohibits believing men to ridicule one another that they may be better than them. It also prohibits believing women to ridicule one another that they may be better than them, nor defame each other nor call one another by offensive nicknames unless one is known with a nick name and he does not worry if he is called with such nickname.
O you who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong. (AL-Hujurat 49:11)
`Ali, (1934:1405) points out that “mutual ridicule cease to be fun when there is arrogance or selfishness or malice behind it.
We may laugh with people to share in the happiness of life; we must never laugh at people in contempt or ridicule. In many things they may be better than ourselves.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent.” (Muslim)
Learn more from the video below…
Just a few days remaining from the current (Hijri) year and a new one will start, and such is the course of life. Once man is born, he or she uses up their predestined age. Allah (Glory be to Him) precisely determined everyone’s lifetime. When the life comes to the end, none can prolong it even a second. Allah says:
When their time has come, then they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede (it). (Yunus 10:49)
That limited and exactly determined period of time, one should make use of it and never waste even a second. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stressed on the importance of making use of life before death strikes. He said:
“Make the most of five things before five others: life before death, health before sickness, free time before becoming busy, youth before old age, and wealth before poverty.” (Al-Hakim)
So, it is most required to be keen on utilizing it in good things and not to waste any part of it in what displeases Allah. The Prophet notified of the significance of time and indicated that it is a favor from Allah but most of people are unaware of it. He said: “There are two blessings which many people do not make the most of and thus lose out: good health and free time.” (Al-Bukhari)
On the Day of Judgment, one will be called to account about his life and how he spent it. The Prophet said:
“The son of Adam will not be dismissed from before his Lord on the Day of Resurrection until he has been questioned about five things: his life and how he spent it, his youth and how he used it, his wealth and how he earned it and how he disposed of it, and how he acted upon what he acquired of knowledge.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Undoubtedly, one will be called to account about the passing year and will be questioned about everything he did in it. He will be asked about bad deeds, negligence, imperfect worship, the major and minor sins, etc.
Likewise, one will be praised and rewarded for the good deeds and acts of worship.
Before this moment of reckoning comes, is not better to ask yourself and call it to account before you?
Is not better to review this year and think a while about what you did in it?
I suggest you the following stances to think about to have a good end of this year:
One should constantly express gratitude and thanks to Allah, as He helps and gives us the ability and time to accomplish things. At the year-end, one should be grateful to Allah Who prolonged his life and gave him the time to carry out what he wanted.
A lot of good things, hopes and success of course happened, and one certainly got new friends, achievements and positions. Does not all of this require thankfulness? Just being alive until reading these lines is a blessing that you should thank Allah for. So, you should show gratefulness to Allah for that year.
By the end of year, a businessman usually checks his business to know if he loses or wins. The same should Muslim do. He should review his deed and whether they will make him win or lose Paradise. Ask yourself, “Will your deeds during this year open the doors of paradise or the Hellfire for you?” Allah talks in Surat Al-Mutaffifin about the description of Paradise and after mentioning a number of its attributes and the characteristics of its people He said:
So for this let the competitors compete. (Al-Mutaffifin 83:26)
So, did you win this competition in this year? Will you win the race of Paradise?
determine to lead the coming year with success. Try to avoid the mistakes and get rid of unavailing things that waste your time.
A full year has now elapsed, but still many things undone. Now, think deeply about the reasons that impeded you from accomplishing them. It would have been better if you already achieved these things.
So, determine to lead the coming year with success. You might have been occupied with fruitless things or pointless reasons. Try to avoid the mistakes and get rid of unavailing things that waste your time. Get prepared for your goals and hopes and do not miss your priorities.
Allah Almighty says:
And say, “My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” (Taha 20:114)
The most favored people are the people of knowledge:
Are those who know equal to those who do not know? (Al-Zumar 39:9)
By the end of year, one should review one’s knowledge and whether one have learned new things or not. How many verses of the Qur’an did one memorize? How many hadiths did one learn?
Knowledge is of utmost importance. So, do not miss it.
During the past year, you might have got weak and overwhelmed by desires. Then, you wronged yourself and fell into that which Allah has forbidden. However, Allah’s mercy encompasses all things. Whoever repents after doing wrong, Allah will accept his repentance, for Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, indeed, Allah will turn to him in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (Al-Ma’idah 5:39)
The gate of repentance is open and will continue to be open until the sun rises from the west.
So, finish your year with good repentance.
May Allah forgive me and you and grant us success!