Jan
15
2016

Adherence to Islamic morals and values

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Adherence to Islamic morals and ethics:

Dear brothers, we should not behave in an exaggerated way when we want to know whether something is Halal (lawful) or Haram (unlawful). To illustrate this point, consider the following examples:
If you sell plates to someone, you shouldn’t inquire whether he will use them for Halal or Haram food, it is none of your business .
If you enter a Masjid (mosque) and see the Imam leading people in prayer, you should not inquire, before praying behind him, whether he is pious or not, that is also none of your business. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

Pray behind every righteous person or wicked sinner

However, if you already know that he is a wicked person then do not pray behind him. But generally speaking, when you enter a Masjid you should pray behind the Imam in order to maintain Muslims’ unity.
Moreover, if someone serves you a plate of food, you should not ask yourself whether he makes his money in Halal or Haram way, and you should not ask him that question because he will get extremely annoyed at you. Just leave him alone, as he will never ask you to eat that food again!
The prophet, peace be upon him, used to treat people kindly, he said :

I have not been commanded to pierce through the hearts of people, nor to split their bellies (insides)

[Agreed upon]

While caliph Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was travelling in the desert with some of his companions, they found a pool of water and they wanted to make Wudu (ablution), so one of them asked the pool owner: do wild animals drink from this water (so that it is impure)? But Umar, may Allah have be pleased with him, interrupted them saying: ” O owner of the pool, do not inform us!” because since it was clean water, our master Umar considered it pure because basically everything is pure.
If you keep on behaving in an exaggerated way while trying to find out whether something is lawful or not, it things with be intolerable.
Actually, one should adhere to the Islamic values and morals. But unfortunately, some Muslims behave in a rough or rude way in the name of Islam, claiming that they only want to reassure themselves that something is Halal, while they should do that in a kind way without bothering others, lest people would hate Islam.
Consider the example of a Muslim who has to shake hands with a polytheist, so he covers his hand with his cloak (to make it as a barrier) and shakes hands with him, claiming that the polytheist is impure! He completely lacks courtesy and tactfulness. The impurity of a polytheist is not material but moral; it is not related to his body as he may care a lot about his personal hygiene, but rather it is related to his actions (he ascribes partners to Allah, commits major sins, and so on…). Allah the Almighty says:

(Verily, the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, and in the Message of Muhammad PBUH) are Najasun (impure))

[Repentance: 28]

Thus, shaking hands with disbeliever men behind a barrier would make others hate Islam.
Once a Christian person entrusted me with something, so I wrote on it: this is for Mr. so and so. But someone (an extremist) objected to writing the word ” Mr.”, saying: How do you show him respect? He was about to cause a problem to me, I told him that the word Saeed (Mr.) in Arabic also has other meanings such as “wolf” in order to avoid him. That person may commit evil deeds more than that Christian. So, the real Muslim should be pious, righteous, and should not make such false claims (that Muslims should not treat non-Muslims courteously).
Let’s move on to another point;a Muslim should never shake hands with non-Mahram women (women other that his wife, sister, mother…, or women whom he could marry). The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

I do not shake hands with (non -mahram) women

[An-Nasaai, Ibn Majah, Ahmad and Malik]

Nevertheless, you may find a Muslim who shakes hands with women warmly and with a happy smiling face in order to show them affection even if they are strangers (non- Mahram) women, while the real Muslim should adhere to the Prophet’s instruction which is mentioned in the following Noble Hadith:

I do not shake hands with (non-mahram) women

He should not shake hands with stranger women even if people accuse him of being rude or of lacking courtesy and tactfulness, because he will be honored in the Sight of Allah the Almighty.
Now, let’s consider the following Noble Hadith which is about the Islamic ruling on accepting a gift from a polytheist: the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

I do not accept a gift from a polytheist

Nevertheless, some Muslims accept any gift no matter who presents it. In general, the polytheist’s gift may be considered a bribe or something like that, therefore it should not be accepted except under certain conditions; when the polytheist has good intentions, when there is a hope that he may be guided, therefore you accept his present in order to attract his heart to Islam, like when the Prophet, peace be upon him, accepted Maria the Copt; an Egyptian Coptic Christian slave who was sent to him as a gift from Muqawqis, a Byzantine official. However, it is not permissible for individuals to accept polytheists’ presents because it will be considered an act of disobedience to the command of the Prophet, peace be upon him, mentioned in that Noble Hadith. Thus, that is only allowed for Prophets or Islamic leaders, because when one accepts the polytheist’s gift, it may be considered a bribe or he may have deep affection for that polytheist, and accordingly he will imitate his bad habits, desires, deeds, and tendencies unintentionally. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

Man will be together with those he loves on the Day of Resurrection

Thus, whoever is deeply attached to disbelievers will be with them on the Day of Resurrection and he will not benefit from his Islamic knowledge.
Now let’s move on to another Noble Hadith which is about the conditions for joking to be permissible. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

I joke, but I speak nothing but the truth

[At-Tirmidhi]

Some people make so harmful jokes that they may cause harm to others or may lead to divorce. Consider the following story which is an example of such harmful jokes: once a man got engaged to a woman, but someone told him that he should not marry her because they are not suitable for each other, so he divorced her the next day. Two weeks later, that man told him that he was only kidding! Verily, this joke had a very devastative effect since they got divorced and everything was over. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

I joke, but I speak nothing but the truth

[At-Tirmidhi]

It means that it is permissible for a Muslim to joke and make fun with others provided that he does not insult them or hurt their feelings. In other words, there are many conditions for the permissible jokes, while the unrestrained jokes are completely unacceptable.
Furthermore, One should not laugh or make jokes too much because we will lose the respect of others. It was narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

If a person laughs excessively it makes his heart hard

However, some gentle joking may relieve the tension, cheer people, create a friendly atmosphere, and people will have a feeling of affection towards the speaker.

Using humor in teaching:

As for teaching with humor, sometimes the teacher feels that his students get a little bored, and there are still 20 minutes remaining to the end of the lesson, so he can tell a polite joke in order to refresh their minds and restore their vitality so that they can listen for an hour more. However, he should adhere to the conditions for the permissible joking. In other words, making joke about a certain student or about his father’s career is not permissible. The successful teacher should know the careers of all of his student’s fathers, accordingly he should avoid any joke about the career of anyone of them, even if it is a really funny joke, lest he hurts his feeling.
Thus, the permissible joke is that which does not do harm to anyone, offend him, or put him down, and which is not related to anyone in particular, such as linguistic jokes, jokes about a certain idea, a paradox, and so on…
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

I joke, but I speak nothing but the truth

[At-Tirmidhi]

Following and imitating the Prophet’ high morals:

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

The one who makes the Adhan (the call to prayer) should be the same one who makes the Iqamah (the call for the actual standing for the prayers in rows)

[Kanz Al-Ummal]

The one who makes Adhan should be the one who makes Iqamah, lest another person makes Iqamah and people start the prayer before the Muezzin goes down the minaret. Verily, this is a great social system.
Also, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

The one who serves water to others should be the last one to drink from it

[Sunan Ibn Majah]

To clarify the meaning of the above-mentioned Hadith, consider the example of someone who has a pitcher of lemon and wants to serve it to ten guests. If he drinks first, he may drink more than one glass until the pitcher becomes empty! Therefore, according to the Islamic etiquettes of serving drinks to others, he should be the last one to drink so that he will keep in his mind that he should serve all guests equally and keep something for himself.
Similarly, the one who makes the Adhan should be the one who makes Iqamah so that the prayer will not start until the Muezzin comes down the minaret.
As for the etiquettes of visiting the sick, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

The time of visiting the sick should be not longer than the time of milking a she-camel

A sick person may need to have an injection, or may need to go to the toilet, and so on… So if you stay with him for a long time, like for three hours, you will put him in a difficult situation.
When visiting the sick, the length of the visit should be as short as the time of milking a she-camel; it should be no more than ten minutes.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds

Translation : Rana Saraqbi
Auditing : Maha Sulieman

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