Praise belongs to Allah Almighty. May His peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, his pure family, his companions, and upon all his followers.
Dear believers, at this Masjid, every night after the Isha prayer, except on Sundays and Tuesdays, we hold a brief session of five to ten minutes. In these sessions, we read one or two Hadith (prophetic sayings) which are accompanied by a commentary. A few nights ago, we have started a new chapter about morality, which is found in the summary of the Hadith collection of Imam Bukhari, and it is called, “The Book of Muslim Morals and Manners.” In it, we find a Hadith in which our Friday Khutbah will be based on today.
قال عمرو بن الله عبد عن
الدنيا من عنك عزل ما يضرك فلا اعطيتهن اذا خلال اربع
أمانة وحفظ حديث وصدق طعمة وعفاف خليقة حسن
It is narrated from Abdullah Ibn Umar that he said, “There are four characteristics that, if you possess them, will prevent you from being affected if you are deprived of certain worldly benefits. They are good character, chaste outlook, honesty in speaking, and trustworthiness.” A slightly different version of Hadith is narrated by Ahmad.
These were the teachings of the Messenger of Allah who taught his friends, and today we will talk briefly about these four qualities.
Since childhood, God (SWT) has blessed me with the opportunity to stay close to the scholars and wise men. People always appreciated and listened more to those scholars who possessed the highest of virtues.
Most of the time, the external behavior of the human shows the inner character. In many cases, the human is evaluated according to his character. For this, it is said that children often do not behave according to the orders of parents, but according to their behavior.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), in one of his expressions has compared the possessor of good morals to the one who performs the night prayer (Tahajjud). He who wakes up at night, disturbing his own sleep, for no other reason except to remember Him who has blessed the human with sleep indeed makes a great sacrifice and shows great sincerity. Well then, the Prophet (PBUH) has compared this man with the believer who has great morals.
It is also reported from Abu Hurayrah that the blessed Prophet (pbuh) said:
فقهوا إذا خلاقا أ أحاسنكم إسلاما خيركم
“The best of you in Islam are those who possess the best morals, as long as they develop a sense of understanding.” (Bukhari)
The sense of understanding is mentioned because virtue is a quality that is taught like many other qualities. People, even though they are born free from mistakes, are not born with high virtues, but over their lifetime they study and adopt them.
One day, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) asked his surrounding companions, “What is most likely to send people to Paradise?” He said: “Being conscious about Allah and good manners.” (Bukhari)
Islam requires the human to be virtuous in his vision, his hearing, etc.. The Zina (adultery) of the eye can be considered when one looks at what is prohibited. Also, adultery of hearing is considered when the human hears what is prohibited. Those who walk and touch what is forbidden are also included in the same categories.
It is narrated by Abdullah Ibn Umar (r.a.) that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “A Muslim is the one from whose hands and tongue other Muslims are safe.” (Tirmidhi, Agreed upon).
A student of the great Indian scholar Mavlana Ashref Ali Nadvi says, “You are required to be a good human before becoming a devoted believer.”
A student of knowledge appears in front of his Shaykh and says: “My Shaykh! When I pray, I feel like I’m in the presence of Allah.” Shaykh said: “This is excellent, but do you feel the same way in relations with people?”
Honesty in Speaking
Honesty in words and action comes from sincerity. This quality removes hypocrisy from one’s heart and certainly to Allah reaches only those deeds which are performed with sincerity and honesty. Since he was young, before the revelation came down to our best example, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was known from all the people of Mecca as an honest and faithful man in words and deeds.
A well known Islamic scholar, Fudayl, defines sincerity in these words: “To stop performing good deeds for the sake of men is hypocrisy. Performing them for the sake of others is polytheism, and sincerity is that God save you from both.”
The one who lies never wins, but only he who is honest. In the Holy Quran, God talks about sincerity in more than one hundred places.
Keeping the Promise
Keeping the promise is regarded as a sacred deed in Islam. It begins with the fulfillment of the religious obligations, which are entrusted to us, and it is a part of the relation of the believer with the people who surround him/her.
In the first verses of Surat Muminun, Allah (SWT) explains the categories of believers, where He includes those who keep the promise. He congratulates them by calling them, “Inheritors of Firdaws”, which is the highest Paradise.
وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ لِأَمَـٰنَـٰتِهِمۡ وَعَهۡدِهِمۡ رَٲعُونَ (٨) وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ عَلَىٰ صَلَوَٲتِہِمۡ يُحَافِظُونَ (٩) أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡوَٲرِثُونَ (١٠) ٱلَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ ٱلۡفِرۡدَوۡسَ هُمۡ فِيہَا خَـٰلِدُونَ (١١)
Those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants; And who (strictly) guard their prayers. Those will be the heirs. Who will inherit Paradise: they will dwell therein (forever). (verses 8-11)
O Lord, make us the possessors of high morality, virtuous outlook, honesty and reliability in our words, first with you and then with those around us.
(Friday Khutbah delivered at Greenway Masjid by Imam Didmar Faja – January 21st, 2011)