The following is article-format of a timeless khutbah given by Amjad Rafiq perhaps 15 years ago. It is a khutbah that keeps giving, may Allah make this a source of great reward for the brother.The advice contained therein continues to be relevant and important, more so today than ever before. Before criticism was a bit harder because you didn’t have the internet to log on and jump right away. So, without further ado:
As we know there are many ahadith stressing the excellence of having good manners, the very high status they give in the sight of Allah to the one who possesses them and how the one who possesses them reaches the level of the prophets and the martyrs and how even some of the Prophets and martyrs will envy such people.
And this is not surprising as the Prophet (saws) is authentically reported to have said “Indeed I was sent in order to complete/perfect the righteous manners or characteristics”. In another narration the Prophet (saws) said
“Indeed I was sent to complete/perfect the noble manners/qualities”
So the Messenger (saws) has linked the whole of his message to the perfection of peoples manners. The whole deen, the religion of Islam has been linked to the completion of peoples manners.
And in another hadeeth the Prophet (saws) said
“The Deen is dealing with other people”.
Everyone of us needs to interact with other people in order to get by. To survive from day to day. Otherwise life would be very difficult.
So Allah and His Messenger, the Qur’an and the Sunnah, enjoin and call to everything which nurtures and brings about the best characteristics, manners and qualities.
This so that peoples everyday living is facilitated, made easy, enjoyable so that good feelings are made to develop and toleration of each other increases. (Qur’an 48:29)
There is one characteristic which if it exists within the Muslims then the society will have a support, a backbone and so it will continue to exist and which if it is removed then it will crumble, fall and hatred, envy, ill-feeling and dissension (divisions) will arise.
This quality is BEING TOLERANT OF THE FAULTS OF THE PEOPLE or TURNING AWAY FROM THEIR FAULTS.
To understand this quality so that we can practically bring it about and gain some benefit from it we can look at it from four aspects:
ONE: The first point is that there does not exist on this earth any person who is complete and perfect in every single respect and is free from defects. The Prophet (saws) said
“Indeed people are like camels, out of a hundred you will hardly find a single one suitable to ride.”
So this is clear indication from the Prophet (saws) that completeness is something very rare. If we have a hundred people and tried to select one of them for a particular task say leadership or giving a religious verdict then we would hardly find any one who would perform it in the most complete way.
The Prophet (saws) also said
“Let not a believing man hate a believing woman, if he dislikes one quality in her then he will be pleased with another.”
So in this hadeeth is a very important realization. That there is no Muslim who is completely wicked and evil and there is no Muslim who is perfect. In fact every one of us has some good characteristics even if they are scarce and every one of us has some bad or evil characteristics even if they only small in number.
And a poet he said in a couple of lines:
“And who is that person with whose every single quality/inherent characteristic you are pleased with?”
(where is that person? can you find one?)
It is enough to make a man noble that his defects can be counted/listed.
(the fact that a persons shortcomings can actually be listed shows his excellence)
You wish that he should be perfect without any fault.
(How many times do we say regarding our Muslim brother “Oh why is he like that? Can’t he be like this? Why doesn’t he do it this way? Anas bin Maalik (ra) said “I served the Messenger of Allah for ten years and he never said to me ‘uff’. Whenever I did something he never said to me ‘Why did you do that?’, and whenever I did not do anything he never said to me Why haven’t you done that?’.”)
And does an incense stick give off a scent/fragrance without any smoke.
(That is even an incense stick, although it gives off something good something which is pleasing that is the fragrance, it also gives of smoke which is like a defect.)
So the first point every Muslim should teach himself is that no one is perfect and people: within them there is some good and some evil.
The one who realizes this will be the most patient in his dealings with the people and the least worried and annoyed. Whoever meets his brother realizing this point and fully understanding it will be the most patient of people in his dealings with others. He will be the least harmed and worried and annoyed. His heart will be firm and stable and calm.
The one who does not realise this point he will be the most annoyed the most anxious and worried person. His heart will always be moving here and there. He will always see peoples faults and never see their good points and this will annoy him and he will always be worried when he deals with other people.
The second and third point we will look at together as they are related and they are:
TWO: How should a Muslim view himself. i.e look at his own self and to see what he is worth?
THREE: How should a Muslim look at others?
The best place to look for these two points is the companions and the people of the past because they possess an excellence which none other than them have.
The Prophet (saws) said:
“The best generation is my generation, then those that follow them, then those that follow them”.
So this is an indication from the Prophet (saws) that the best people to turn to in order to see Eemaan and Islam being practised is the first three generations.
It is reported that Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood said
“If you knew what I know about myself then you would have thrown dust over my face”.
This is a sign of extreme sincerity to himself and lack of pride and arrogance. It shows his acknowledgment of his faults and shortcomings. How many of us could admit such a thing to even one to one of his friends let alone a group of them? Which one of us would have enough courage and truthfulness to admit that?
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