Getting a cordial connection with Allah Through Good Manners!
By Lawal AbdAfeez Arishekola
“The most perfect of the believers in faith are the best of them in morals.” – Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
The discussion on good manners in Islam is recurring because of its great importance in one’s position of being an upright Muslim, and having one’s deeds accepted in the sight of Allah on the day of bright and dull faces. But today, what do we see in the Muslim space? It is the obvious opposite of good manners, especially on Muslims interaction with Muslims and non-Muslims on physical and social platforms.
Do we know that we will be held accountable with our Qwerty, Swift and Non-Qwerty keyboard attacks on social media?
Do we know that our cyber bullying can earn us Allah’s punishment?
Do we know that our each usage of vulgar words can inhibit us from getting closer to Allah?
Or do we forgot that the hallmark of our Noble Prophet’s depended on the exemplary manner he exhibited?
If we haven’t missed the road to being a better Muslim on the path of Jannah (Paradise), it is important to know that it is by virtuous manners that magnanimous fortune can be achieved in this life and Hereafter. The issue of having great manners is highly expedient that one can’t have a balanced religion without good manners, if righteous manners are missing then we can conclude that such person don’t understand what Islam is.
We tend to be unknowing about the extent at which lack of good manners take us away from having cordial connection with Allah is disastrous, and this is why we should talk extensively about the ample benefits in exemplifying good manners in all sense.
What is Manners?
Al-Imaam Al-Qurtubi (R. A) defined manners by saying, “It is a person’s way of dealing with others, and it is either to be praised or dispraised. Praised manners are generally achieved by being [good] with others [even] against yourself, and following justice even it is against yourself. In particular, it includes forgiveness, patience, tolerance, generosity, compassion, leniency and so on. On the contrary, dispraised manners include lying, deception, lack of mercy and so on.”
“What is the relationship between Good manners and aqeedah (beliefs)?
One of the reason why we see today’s Muslims been far from good manners is because they (in every sense) do not understand the relationship between good manners and the ultimatel belief in ‘La illaha illa-Allah’, most Muslims ordinarily believe that the ‘Shahadah’ is all about saying it verbally, but that’s not all, it completely involves working and acting by it through good manners, as the Apostle of Allah was reported to have said that “I have been sent for the purpose of perfecting good morals.” – (Recorded by al-Hakim & others, graded by al-Albani as Saheeh in Saheeh al-Jami al-Sagheer, number 2349).
This is a clear pointer to the fact that the Messengership of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is to extend the tent of good manners to everyone and earn Allah’s rewards through that, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) also said in another narration that in regards to the bountiful rewards in showing good manners to everyone:
“I am a guarantor of a house in the highest part of Paradise for the one who makes his behavior good.”
(Recorded by Abu Dawood. Graded hasan by al-Albani as Saheeh in al-Jami al-Sagheer, number 1464).
“There is nothing heavier in the scales than good character.” (Recorded by Ahmad and Abu Dawood. Graded saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh al-Jāmi al-Sagheer, number 5721).
Of worthy mentioning is to know that the ‘shahadah’ is something that encompasses all the life of a Muslim whether it is Solah, Zakat, Sawm, Hajj etc., including our manners with humans and animals.
Where do we get our manners from?
Manners, for Muslims are to be gotten from the Qur’an and sunnah. Indeed, our life and our behavior should be a mirror of the Qur’an and sunnah. This is exactly what Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) came to preach. When Aisha,the Prophet’s wife, was asked about the character of the Prophet, sallalahu allayhe wa salam, she answered, “His character was the Qur’an.” [Recorded by Muslim]
The Qur’an and the sunnah show us all good manners we need in our everyday life, including dealing towards our ourselves, fellow Muslims, non-Muslims, wives, neighbors, friends, foes, animals, in religious gathering, with elders, with parents, at work, at home and every other place we find ourselves.
“The most beloved of Allah’s servants to Allah are those with the best manners.” (Al-Bukhari)
Having good manners isn’t just an advantage when dealing with others in this transient world, but also, it is a huge way of earning Allah’s love.
Some Good manners and how they enhances connection to Allah always:
1. Sincere Repentance becomes Easy
“Verily, when a believer commits a sin, a black spot was formed in his heart. If he repents and abandons the sin and seeks God forgiveness, his heart is cleaned. But if he continued sinning, then the black spot will be increasing. This is the rusting of heart mentioned in the Quran” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah)
And this Hadith Qudsi :
Indeed the Devil vowed, ‘My Lord, by Your honor and might! I will never stop misleading Your servants as long as their souls remain in their bodies!’. Hence Allah (Exalted Is He) responded, ‘By My honor, might and majesty, I will not stop forgiving them as long as they seek My forgiveness (Ahmad).
This is man’s nature, to sin and sin, but having the right manners makes one’s heart endowed with Allah’s Guidance to repent always.
2. Makes Prayers and Remembrance of Allah one’s life-long duty.
It is the duty of all muslims to great each other by sayin ‘As-Salaamu ‘alaykum’ (peace be upon you)
Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Allah created Adam, making him 60 cubits tall. When He created him, He said to him, ‘Go and greet that group of angels, and listen to their reply, for it will be your greeting (salutation) and the greeting (salutations) of your offspring.’ So, Adam said (to the angels), As-Salamu Alaikum (i.e. Peace be upon you). The angels said, “As-salamu Alaika wa Rahmatu-l-lahi” (i.e. Peace and Allah’s Mercy be upon you). Thus the angels added to Adam’s salutation the expression, ‘Wa Rahmatu-l-lahi,’ Any person who will enter Paradise will resemble Adam (in appearance and figure). People have been decreasing in stature since Adam’s creation.”
4. Praying for someone who does good to you
Praying for the one who treats you kindly by saying “Jazak Allaahu khayran”
It was narrated that Usaamah ibn Zayd (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever has a favour done for him and says to the one who did it, ‘Jazak Allaahu khayran,’ has done enough to thank him.
When someone sneezes, they should praise Allah by saying ‘Alhamdulillah’ (Praise be to Allaah.
If you here someone sneezing and praising Allah, you should ask Allah to bestow His Mercy on them by saying ‘Yarhamukallaah’ (May Allaah bestow His Mercy on you).
If someone says this to you, you should reply, ‘Yahdeekumullaahu wa yuslihu baalakum’(May Allah give you guidance and improve your condition).
Narrated Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“If anyone of you sneezes, he should say ‘Al-Hamdulillah’ (Praise be to Allah), and his (Muslim) brother or companion should say to him, ‘Yar-hamuka-l-lah’ (May Allah bestow his Mercy on you). When the latter says ‘Yar-hamuka-llah”, the former should say, ‘Yahdikumul-lah wa Yuslih balakum’ (May Allah give you guidance and improve your condition).”
6. Eating with the Right Hand always
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him): Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying:
“When any one of you intends to eat (meal), he should eat with his right hand. and when he (intends) to drink he should drink with his right hand, for the Satan eats with his left hand and drinks with his left hand.”
7. Saying Bismillah before eating
It is Sunnah to say ‘Bismillaah’ (In The Name Of Allaah)
Narrated ‘Umar bin Abi Salama (may Allaah be pleased with him): I was a boy under the care of Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) and my hand used to go around the dish while I was eating. So Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) said to me,
“O boy! Mention the Name of Allah and eat with your right hand, and eat of the dish what is nearer to you.” Since then I have applied those instructions when eating.”
8. Aids in eschewing Lies
Narrated ‘Abdullah (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar.”
Narrated Samura bin Jundub (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“I saw (in a dream), two men came to me.” Then the Prophet narrated the story (saying), ‘They said, ‘The person, the one whose cheek you saw being torn away (from the mouth to the ear) was a liar and used to tell lies and the people would report those lies on his authority till they spread all over the world. So he will be punished like that till the Day of Resurrection.’
9. In the portfolio on good manners in having cordial relationship with Allah, the Prophet did encourage gifts for one another. Gifts are yet another way to foster relations based on kindness for each other. Prophet Muhammad advised:
“Give gifts to one another and you will love one another.” (Al-Bukhari)
10. Treating the young ones well
Anas ibn Malik related:
“I served the Prophet of Allah for ten years. During that time, he never once said to me as much as ‘Oof’ if I did something wrong. He never asked me, if I had failed to do something, ‘Why did you not do it?’ and he never said to me, if I had done something wrong, ‘Why did you do it?’” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Prophet Muhammad explained that:
“He who does not show mercy to the young and show esteem for our elders is not one of us.” (Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi & Al-Hakim)
As Muslims anticipating Paradise, we should totally follow Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in order to become among the best of Muslims with the best possible manners as a stepping stone closer to Allah, and a permanent dwelling abode in Paradise.
“O Allah! I ask You for good health, for trust, for self-control, for good manners, and to be satisfied with the divine decree.” (Al-Bukhari)