By Dr. Mohsen Haredy
Worship in Islam is not about secret rituals. It is all about acts that benefit the individual and the society. These acts of worship are not limited to places of worship. The rituals performed in mosques are part of the wider concept of worship in Islam.
Muslims believe that good manners are like prayer, zakah, fasting and hajj. They also believe that good manners are equally rewarded like these acts of worship.
Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: “A believer will attain by his good behavior the rank of one who prays during the night and observes fasting during the day.” (Abu Dawud)
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah was asked about that for which people are admitted into Paradise the most, so he said: “Taqwa (piety) of Allah, and good character.”
And he was asked about that for which people are admitted into the Fire the most, and he said: ” The mouth and the private parts.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Abu Umamah Al-Bahili (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Prophet said, “I guarantee a house in Paradise for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Paradise for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Paradise for one who has good manners.” (Abu Dawud)
The Prophet said, “The dearest and the closest of you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be those who are the best in behavior; and the most hateful and the farthest from me on the Day of Resurrection will be the talkative and the most pretentious and the most rhetorical.” (At-Tirmidhi)
For whom Paradise is being prepared? The answer to this question is given in these verses:
And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous Who spend [in the cause of Allah ] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good. (Quran 3?133-134)
Because of the importance of good manners, when God wanted to praise Prophet Muhammad, He praised him for his good manners. God says:
And indeed, you are of a great moral character. (Quran 68:4)
We are told by Anas ibn Malik that the Prophet was the best of people, the most generous of people, and the most courageous of people. (Al-Bukhari)
He also said:
I served the Prophet for ten years. By Allah, he never even said to me: Uff! He never said harshly for anything: Why did you do that? Why did you not do that? (Al-Bukhari)
Relation between Faith and Manners
Muslims believe that faith is strongly connected to manners. If one has a sound faith, he will surely have good manners and vice versa. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah said, “The believers who show the most perfect Faith are those who have the best behavior, and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives”. (At-Tirmidhi)
There are many Quranic texts that call the people of faith to do good deeds and good manners.
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. (Quran 5:8)
O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true. (Quran 9:119)
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said, “Faith has over seventy branches – or over sixty branches – the uppermost of which is the declaration: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’; and the least of which is the removal of harmful object from the road, and modesty is a branch of faith.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my life! You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I inform you of something which, if you do, you will love one another? Promote greetings amongst yourselves.” (Muslim)
There is a clear contradiction between faith and bad manners. A good believer cannot think of doing bad things.
We read in the Quran:
O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. (Quran 49:11)
O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful. (Quran 49:12)
The Prophet said: “Three are the signs of a hypocrite: when he spoke he told a lie, when he made a promise he acted treacherously against it, when he was trusted he betrayed.” (Muslim)
The Prophet said, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day let him not harm his neighbor…” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
About the author: