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"Praise be to Allah Who has saved him from Hell-fire." [Riyaddusaaliheen, Book 7, Hadith 900]

Improve Your Manners Series – Hadith Quickie 2

Manners in Islam - Hadith 2

Bismillah 

Narrated Asma’ bint Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu):
My mother came to me, hoping (for my favor) during the lifetime of the Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam). I asked the Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam), “May I treat her kindly?” He replied, “Yes.” Ibn ‘Uyaina said, “Then Allah revealed: ‘Allah forbids you not with regards to those who fought not against you because of religion, and drove you not out from your homes, that you should show them kindness and deal justly with them.’” [Surah Al-Mumtahina 60: Verse 8]

A young Jewish boy who was in the service of the Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam) fell ill. The Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam) went to visit him. He sat down by his head and said to him, “Embrace Islam.” The little boy looked at his father who was sitting beside him. He said: “Obey Abdul-Qasim (i.e. the Messenger of Allah (SAW)).” So he embraced Islam and the Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam) stepped out saying, “Praise be to Allah Who has saved him from Hell-fire.” {Riyaddusaaliheen, Book 7, Hadith 900]

And there are numerous incidents from the life of the Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam) and his companions about their kind dealing with the non-Muslims living with them in the same place and land. Surprising to many, this is quite contrary to what many Muslims perceive today. While having doubts and questions is fine as long as you make an effort to clear them, it is equally reproachable to nurture those doubts and even more to act on those doubts and ignorance.

Hence, in this second article of our Manners series, our endeavour will be to clear this very common misconception amongst the Muslims that make them fail to be kind, nice and good towards people of other faiths.

In the hadith in hand, we see that Asma bint Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu) had a similar question and doubt, which she clarified from the Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam). In fact, Allah (subhanahu wata’aala) revealed ayahs in this context! Her mother was a non-Muslim and she asked Asma (radiAllahu anha) for some help, to which Asma (radiAllahu anhu) sought the Prophet’s advice and he affirmed that she could offer her help to her mother. Allah  (subhanahu wata’aala) said in regards to this:

“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”
{Surah Al-Mumtahina 60: Verse 8}

So, this is clearly proven from this ayah that we Muslims are in no way forbidden to help and be good to the people of other faiths, rather the Prophetic practice sets an example otherwise for us.

There are a few points of benefit that we can derive from the hadith of the Jewish boy and the hadith of Asma bint Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu):

  1. A Jewish boy was given the privilege of working for the Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam). This implies that the society at the time of the Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam) was not as enclosed as societies of our times. It was open and a normal, peacefully run society. A society where people of other faiths were assured security and safety.
  2. The Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam) was so close to this young boy that when he asked the boy to profess Islam he did so. We need to go beyond the words of the hadith and try to understand the situation. When can a person give up their previous faith for a new faith at their time of death, when all hopes for life are lost at the request of a man different from his faith? Surely, when the dying person has observed this man who is requesting him and is sure of the truthfulness of the new faith he is being called to. This implies that the young boy was close enough to the Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam) to have observed him well. Hence, we should realize from this that the boy’s acceptance of Islam was a result of the Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam) letting him be that close to him. If we close down all effective communication and dealings with the people of other faiths, whom do you expect to give da’wah to and whom do you expect to come into the folds of the Deen?
  3. The Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam) took out that time of his precious time to visit a sick of another faith. This act of kindness and compassion should set an example for us and stop us from refraining from visiting our neighbours, family members, members of the broader community from a different faith while they are sick.
  4. The fact that someone is of a different faith should not stop us Muslims to be kind and good to them as Allah (subhanahu wata’aala) said that He loves those who are just and He does not forbid the Muslims to be good towards those who are of a different faith and have not been hostile towards them.

ACTION POINTS

  1. Do not sit with your pre-conceived notions about a Muslim’s behaviour towards people of other faiths that you perceived from other people’s practice and culture and not the Quran and the Sunnah. Go back to the sources to learn about how your behavior should be towards those who profess a different faith than ours. Step up!
  2. Focus on your relationship with Allah (subhanahu wata’aala) and give enough time to learn about His Beautiful and Perfect way of life. The more you are increased in the love of Him and His prescribed way, the more you would love for others what you love for yourself. This will develop a genuine concern in your heart for those who have yet not tasted the sweetness of Imaan and will help you approach them in the most unprecedented manners of kindness, goodness and compassion. This will also bring barakah in your dealings with them.
  3. Learn the proper manner of da’wah. Sometimes, because of our ignorance we bring more harm to da’wah than benefit. We break more than we build. Not everyone is to be dealt with in the same manner. A person who is an intellectual may not be able to relate to a very lay person calling him to Islam. At the same time, a very lay person may not be able to relate if you are speaking in high terms of sophistication and intellect. Realize your limitations; speak only about that which you are confident about. But do not let your limitations refrain you from speaking in the language of kindness, compassion, mercy, goodness and an exalted example of moral conduct.

Authored by Faria Alam ♦ To Read more about the Author CLICK HERE
Edited by Tahira Amatullah ♦ To Read more about the Editor CLICK HERE

Prophet Muhammad - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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