- Islamic Education
- Madarij Assalikin
What do you deduce from the following Ayah?
Dear brother, today we are discussing lesson No. 55 of the series "The Stations of the Seekers in the Ranks of 'You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)')". We are tackling the station of courtesy which is deduced from Allah's Saying:
"O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones"Ibn Abbas said that the meaning of ''ward off yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) …" is disciplining yourselves.
Issues mentioned previously:
I mentioned at the beginning of last lesson that Islam is a combination of beliefs, acts of worship, dealings and good manners. I said that courtesy is the crown of the believer. The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, were confused of the lofty courtesy of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, so Mrs. Ayeshah, may Allah be pleased with her asked him:
(("O Allah's Messenger, what courtesy you have!" He, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him said, "Allah has disciplined me properly."))
I mentioned two lessons ago that courtesy is classified into: courtesy towards Allah, towards His Messenger, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him and courtesy towards the creations. Last lesson, I clarified that courtesy towards Allah's Messenger, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him requires to act upon all the Ayat in which the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, is referred to and His noble Companions are addressed and ordered to deal with the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, at a high degree of courtesy. The orders in these Ayat should be done even after the death of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him. The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, were ordered not to raise their voices above the voice of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him when he was alive, and you too are ordered not to make your opinion above the Sunnah of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, after his death.
What is the meaning of the following Ayah?
The most wonderful deduction the scholars of interpretation have made is the one deduced from the following Ayah: Almighty Allah says:
"And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad PBUH) are amongst them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah's) Forgiveness."As long as the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, was among his Companions, their situation was good, and they were secured from Allah's Punishment, but after his death, what does the following Ayah mean? The scholars of the interpretation of the Noble Quran said that this Ayah means that as long as the Sunnah of the Prophet is implemented in their houses, business, earnings, rejoicings, adversity, residence, travels, hardship and relief, Allah will not punish them. Thus, if you want to be secured from Allah's Punishment, implement the Sunnah of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him.
Another point; Almighty Allah says:
"Nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah's) Forgiveness."Also, when you regret committing wrongdoings and seek Allah's forgiveness, you are secured from Allah's Punishment. You are secured in two ways; when you act upon Allah's Method, and when you regret forsaking the Divine Method. When you repent, you are secured, and when you act upon the Right, you are secured too. Man is in dire need of security.
The station of today:
Dear brother, let's move to the third section of the station of courtesy, which is courtesy towards the creations. Being courteous towards the creations is dealing with them in a way which suits them according to their ranks. There is a certain kind of courtesy for each position. For example, the courtesy towards the parents is special, particularly towards the father. Also, the courtesy towards the scholar is different from the one towards the ruler, the relatives and the foreigners should be dealt with in a way which is different from the one towards one's friends. Also, the guest should be treated in a polite way that is different from the one towards one's household.
It is said that fathers are three: your biological father, the father who helps you get married and the one who guides you to Allah. Each one of those fathers requires a certain kind of courtesy that suits him. This is courtesy towards people, what about courtesy in situations? Each situation has its own courtesy. Eating has its own courtesy. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, never ate while he was resting on something, but he used to sit the way the servant did. Drinking also has its courtesy; the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, used to keep the glass of water away from his mouth when he wanted to breathe. This manner comes in accordance with the latest scientific conclusion about transmitting an infection; infection could be transmitted by man's exhalation. Therefore, if you want to exhale keep the glass of water away from your mouth, doing this is one of the etiquettes of drinking.
((Suck water from the container while drinking, and do not breathe in it, because liver diseases are caused by breath.))
Also, the prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, used to drink water in three breaths, and he did that while he was sitting. All these things are among the etiquettes of drinking. I'm just referring to general things. There are etiquettes for riding, getting in, getting out, travelling, residing, sleeping and so on. Concerning the etiquettes of sleeping: the kings sleep on their backs, the Shayatin on their bellies, the rich on the left side of their body, because they overeat and the righteous on their right side.
The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, used to sleep on the right side of his body, put his hand under his noble cheek and reauthor the Du'a before he slept.
Furthermore, silence has its own etiquettes; the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, was good at listening to sh3er with the presence of his hearing and heart even though he might know what was being said to him. As for the etiquette of his silence, he used to keep silent out of knowledge, not out of ignorance. Scholars said, "The courtesy of man is a sign of his happiness and prosperity, and his lack of courtesy is a sign of his misery and adversity."
Remarkable instances from the Sunnah:
In fact dear brother, there are remarkable instances and situations from the Sunnah. Our master Al-Abbas once was asked, "Who is akbar (akbar in Arabic has more than one meaning; it means older, bigger in size and greater) you or the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him?" He replied, "He, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, is akbar (greater) than me, but I was born before him (I am older than him)."
The Wife of Uthman bin Madh'un came to Mrs. Ayeshah, may Allah be pleased with her, wearing indecent clothes, so Mrs. Ayeshah, may Allah be pleased with her, asked her, "What is the matter with you?" She replied, "My husband fasts frequently and prays at night a lot, so he has no time to be affectionate with me (have sexual intercourse with me)." Therefore, the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, asked people to call Uthman to him. He lamented Uthman saying, "O Uthman, am I not your good example to follow? I sleep at night, and sometimes I pray, and I fast, but sometimes I do not." After a period of time, it seemed that Uthman followed the instructions of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, so when his wife came to Mrs. Ayeshah once again, she was happy and elegant. Mrs. Ayeshah, may Allah be pleased with her asked her, "What happened? You have been changed!" She replied, "We live as common people do." Pay attention to the nice words which were used in this incident. Almighty Allah says:
"And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts)*Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame;*But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors"
Have you noticed the words used to refer to all kinds of aberrance? "But whoever seeks beyond that".
((O my daughter, these clothes show the size of your bones.))
These words do not exauthor one's lust; "show the size of your bones". Bones do not exauthor one's lust. One of the poets wrote two lines flittering his beloved saying:
Salmah was created from sugar cane,
not the bones of camel
If you get onions closer to her,
the smell of musk will be stronger
The bones of the camel are irrelevant to flirting one's own beloved. Similarly, the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, used a word (bones) which does not exauthor one's lust, "these clothes show the size of your bones."
I do not remember all the instances in which the courtesy of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, were manifested. There are too many instances, because the Companions were raised at the school of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him. I'll mention some of them later on.
This is how women who expose their beauty feel:
You may hear about a woman whose job is indecent, but she is very rich. Once I was in an Arab country, and someone pointed to a building which was located at the center of Cairo and said, "Every flat in that building costs more than 300.000.000 pounds, and the woman who lives in is a dancer. Her job is indecent, but she lives in this luxurious building, and the one whose job is decent can hardly make her living." This happens in a society where the morally deviated is rich and the steadfast is poor.
A well known artist in a western country was asked, "How do you feel when you are on the stage?" She answered, "I feel ashamed of myself. Indeed, this is the felling of every female who exposes her beauty to the public. Love should be kept between the spouses in closed rooms." She is honest with herself.
Ponder certain instances:
It was said, "Notice how courtesy towards the parents saved the son when he was imprisoned by a huge rock in the cave? Ponder the situation of every miser, arrogant and conspirator, and see how his indecent manners caused him deprivation." If you behave indecently, you may be deprived of many things.
Consider the courtesy of this noble Companion:
I will never forget the behavior of this noble Companion; our Master Zaid Al-Khail, may Allah be pleased with him. When he met the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, the Prophet asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "Zaid Al-Khail." The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said, "No, you are Zaid Al-Khair (the abundance of goodness." The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, admired him, so he said to him, "O Zaid, whenever a man is described to me, I found his qualities less than what I am told about, except you." The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him wanted to honor him, so when he came from a far place (Najd), the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, invited him to his house. In the house of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, he gave him a cushion to rest on, but Zaid, may Allah be pleased with him, who was a new Muslim (for less than an hour) said, "By Allah, O Allah's Messenger, I will never rest on the cushion in your presence."
What courtesy he had? When did he acquire it? I seek refuge with Allah from certain kind of people! There are people who sit with their legs at the table facing their guests. This is an indecent behavior with their guests.
This indecent behavior is from the west:
Once while I was walking down the street, I saw two legs out of the window, so I knew that the person who did that studied in the west, and that he was sitting on the chair and putting his legs out of the window just opposite whoever walked down the street. The believer has courtesy, so he will never do that.
Violating Shari'ah is committed in a Muslim's house!!!
In many households you find the father wears indecent clothes before his daughters. He sometimes sits before his daughters wearing only his underwear, and the daughter may wear indecent clothes before her brother. If we discuss the subject of Awrah (parts of the body that are not supposed to be exposed to sh3er), we should be aware of the fact that a sister is not permitted to see the parts of her sister's body between above the knee and below the naval. The stories of aberrance you hear about which take place in households, and the illicit affairs between the members of the family are the effect of exposing the Awrah. Who told you that you can see everything of your maharem (unmarriageable relatives)? The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, taught us to ask the permission of our msh3er whenever we want to enter their rooms:
((Narrated Ata' bin Yasar: A man came to the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, and asked him: "O Allah's Messenger, should I ask permission to enter my mother's room?". The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, replied "Yes". The man said, "O Allah's Messenger, but I live with her." The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said, "Ask permission to enter her room." The man said, "O Allah's Messenger, but I am her servant". The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, then asked, "Would you like to see her naked?" "No, I would not", answered the man. "Then ask her permission to enter her room", said the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him.))
Also, the believing father asks the permission of his daughter and his mother whenever he wants to enter their rooms. The wife is a different case, so apart from her, the mother, the daughter, the sister, the aunt and the niece are all maharem. You are permitted to see them wearing normal clothes, not indecent ones. The normal clothes are the ones which cover the upper part of the body till above the breasts, the hand till the elbow and the lower part till below the knee. You are only permitted to see your mother, your sister and your daughter wearing normal clothes. Some of the scholars of the interpretation of the Noble Quran refer to the following Ayah:
"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do."
They say that if you want to look at a woman who you are permitted to look at, you should take a quick look at her without gazing at the details of her body. The believer has courtesy, so he does not gaze at the parts of the body of his maharem. Also, he asks their permission before entering their rooms, and he never gazes at them in a way that raises suspicions about his intentions.
This is the courtesy of As-Siddiq towards the Prophet (PBUH):
The courtesy of our Master As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, towards the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, was manifested in his refusal to be before the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, in the row whenever they wanted to pray. He said, "Ibn abi Quhafah should never stand before Allah's Messenger, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him." He used to stand behind the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, to keep him in the first row.
What a shameful behavior it is!
Once while I was performing Umrah, I went to the Masjid of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him. I saw a chair and a big Quran on it, so half of the mihrab was filled with it. The mihrab of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, looks like the one in this Masjid; semicircle and a space behind it. When I saw the chair, I thought that the place where the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, used to pray should never be filled by anyone, and that if someone wanted to pray he had to step back one step. While I was sitting there, a man who lacked respect moved the Quran aside, filled the whole space of mihrab with his big body and prayed.
(("O Allah's Messenger, what courtesy you have!" He, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him said, "Allah has disciplined me properly."))
Consider the courtesy of the Rightly Guided Khulafa': during the first Khutbah our Master Umar delivered after becoming Khalifah, he stood at the highest step, but then he descended one step and said, "I shall never let Allah see me that I see myself in the position of Abi Bakr." Our Master Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, behaved wisely, so he did not descend. Al-Farooq did that, whereas Uthman refused to behave the same way out of profound wisdom. His wisdom revealed when one of the Khulafa' of bani Umayyiah was asked, "Why did not our Master Uthman descend one step just like our Master Umar?" The Khalifah, who seemed knowledgeable replied, "Had he done that, I would have been at the bottom of the steps." Had our Master Uthman descended one step, and our Master Ali descended one step too, we would have dug a deep well and put the Khateeb in.
What does ‘courtesy is between extremism and recklessness’ mean?
Some of the scholars of Salaf (predecessors) said, "Courtesy is between extremism and recklessness." It means that courtesy is lost when people behave immoderately. Their situation looks like the situation of someone who does not perform wudu properly, nor does he perform Salah perfectly; the way the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, performed it. Extremism is having doubts about the performance of your Salah. For instance, you raise your hands to say 'Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest)', but then you repeat it fearing that you have not performed it properly. Hence, recklessness means neglecting these etiquettes, having doubts about something is exaggerating it, and courtesy is in between. Sometimes, you see someone who comes in the Masjid and prays as Imam for two persons, and he raises his voice while the Imam of the Masjid is giving a religious lesson. As a result, he ruins the lesson by his loud voice. Cannot he see that there is a lesson being given? Cannot he have a sense of courtesy or decorum? There are hundreds of people who sit in the Masjid to listen to the religious lesson, so you are supposed to raise your voice to the level that only those who are after you can hear. It is not an act of courtesy to raise your voice, prolong your prayer and ruin the lesson of the person who gives it.
This is what the Prophet PBUH used to do upon entering his home:
The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, used to wrap his garment around his waist when he entered his household. By Allah, can the sound of the garment wake up a sleeping woman?
Someone may wear a garment that has a sound when it touches the ground, but do you think that this sound can wake up a sleeping woman? Notice how the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, used to be highly courteous; whenever he entered his household, he would wrap his garment around his waist, while the man who lacks courtesy says to his wife, 'Get up and make the dinner'. Although she may have already slept, he wakes her up cruelly. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, wrapped his garment when he entered his household, swept the ground of his house, mended his shoes, patched his clothes, fed the cat and kept himself busy with serving his household.
Sometimes you ask someone to make Du'a for you, so he starts making Du'a for hours, which indicates that he is not moderate. On the other hand, someone else may make Du'a in two words only. Thus, courtesy is between extremism and recklessness, and between excessiveness and carelessness. This is courtesy, whether in performing Salah, in making Du'a, in remembrance and in whatever you do.
One of the most tremendous trials:
The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, was the most moderate in performing Salah perfectly. Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, was the most moderate in performing Salah perfectly." Therefore, if you make your prayer long, you will not be considered courteous towards Allah's Messenger; do you think yourself more submissive in performing Salah than him, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him? Are you more pious than him? A man wanted to assume the state of Ihram in a place further than the Miqat, so a noble follower told him, "Do not do that." The man asked, "Why cannot I as I am performing an act of worship?'' The follower replied to him saying, "You will put people to fitnah (misguide them by this act)." The man said, "How is that?" The follower said, "Is there more tremendous fitnah than seeing yourself ahead of Allah's Messenger?"
Whoever calls people to Allah and informs his brother in faith about what is not included in the Sunnah of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, lacks courtesy towards Allah's Messenger, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him. Do you think (you missioner) yourself more pious than the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, so that you burden people beyond the Divine Method, which was sent to the Master of all Messengers, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him?
The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, would never order something, and afterwards not act upon it. Allah the Almighty saved him from doing that. He, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, ordered to perform prayer lightly. Our master Mu'adh bin Jabal, once made his prayer long, so one of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, went out of the Masjid with Mu'adh, and they headed to the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him. The Companion complained about Mu'adh, so the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said to him:
((O Mu'adh! Do you want to put people to trials?))
The best thing you do is to follow the Sunnah; it is an inspiration from Almighty Allah:
"Nor does he speak of (his own) desire.* It is only an Inspiration that is inspired."
Some acts which are from Sunnah:
Narrated Rabi'ah saying:
((Qaz'a informed me: I came to Abu Sa'id al-Khudri and he was surrounded by people. When the people departed from him I said: I am not going to ask you what these people have been asking you. I want to ask you about the prayer of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him. He (Abu Sa'id) said: There is no good for you in this. He (Qaz'a), however, repeated (his demand). He then said: The noon prayer would start and one of us would go to Baqi' and, having relieved himself, would come to his home, then perform ablution and go to the mosque, and (he would find) The Messenger of Allah, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, in the first rak'ah.))Some people write on the doors of Masajid that the Dhuhr prayer is after 20 minutes, the Asr prayer is after 20 minutes, the Maghrib prayer after 5 minutes and al-Fajr prayer is after half an hour. Doing this is from the Sunnah, but whoever shortens the acts of worship is indecent with the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him. Whoever does so is like someone who is starving, but is forced to eat the least that satisfies his hunger. Although the food which is presented to him is delicious, he eats one or two morsels. Is this quantity enough to satisfy his hunger?
It is said that Salah feeds both the soul and the heart, so man needs to feed himself spiritually from the blessings Allah grants him, and he needs to feed the body from what the earth grows.
Regarding the rights of creations:
Concerning the rights of the creations, it is said, "You should not exaggerate in fulfilling their rights upon you at the expense of Allah's Rights." Sometimes man is completely engaged in serving people to the extent that he neglects his duties towards Allah the Almighty. Furthermore, in some cases he is totally indulged in performing the acts of worship, and so he forgets about fulfilling his duties; he forgets to bring food to his family or neglects his children as he is always performing prayers and remembrance...etc. You should give everyone his right. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "There are acts of worship which should be performed at night, because they are not accepted to be performed during the day, and there are acts of worship which should be performed during the day, because they are not accepted if they are performed at night."
Pause at these words:
I always say that the absolute worship is to worship Allah in all situations and under all conditions. The true worship should be performed whenever and wherever you are; if you are rich, your worship is spending money in Sadaqah, if you are knowledgeable, your worship is teaching people and if you are strong, your worship is supporting the oppressed. As for the woman, your worship is serving your husband and children properly. If you are a doctor, your worship is taking care of your patients, if you are a lawyer, your worship is to be trustworthy with your client and if you are a businessman, your worship is to be honest with sh3er:
((The best earning is the earning of the businessmen; when they talk, they don't lie, when they promise sh3er, they never break their promises, when they are entrusted, they never betray who entrusts them, when they buy goods, they never despise them, when they sell goods, they do not exaggerate in praising them, when they lend sh3er money, they do not make it difficult for those who are in debt and when they borrow money, they never delay the payment.))
If Allah helps you become a businessman, you are supposed to fulfill the commandments ordained for you, and if you are a craftsman, you are supposed to finish what you have in hand in due time which you promise sh3er to finish:
((The craft was destroyed by saying: tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. (by delaying the jobs).))
Also, you should excel at your job:
((Verily, Allah loves for his slave when he does a job, he should perfect it.))
If you are a teacher, teach your students properly. Thus, your duty should be performed properly according to the situation you are in; if you have a guest, your priority is being hospitable to him, not ignoring him, keeping him unfed or letting him sit in an uncomfortable place. If a member of your family is sick, your priority worship is serving him, and if one of your children has an exam tomorrow, your priority worship is taking care of him. This is how the true worship should be performed. Moreover, if you are at the time of Sahar (the last portion of the night), you should dedicate this time to praying, remembrance and reciting Quran, not to perform your calculations. The same goes for Al-Fajr time; it should not be spent accomplishing your jobs. Thus, each time has its own act of worship.
A man sat with his fiancé and talked to her about death. He was not wise by doing so; he should have talked to her about their future and their household. Courtesy as an act of worship can be performed by being moderate between the exaggerated courtesy and the loss of it, and between excessiveness and recklessness.
What kind of courtesy is this?
There is a kind of courtesy which is called courtesy under particular circumstances. It means that courtesy should prevent you from letting fear lead you to despair; if you are confronted with something fearful, and this fear causes you to become desperate, this means that your Tawhid is weak.
Let us imagine that a soldier, whose father is the leader of the army, is threatened by a corporal, so he cried out of fear. His reaction to the threat indicates that he does not really know how prominent the position of his father is. It is normal to get scared of certain things, but if your fear causes you despair of Allah's Mercy, you are not considered courteous towards Allah; as if you accuse Allah of being unable to do anything, and of being incapable of protecting you.
You should know this truth:
Let me be frank with you and tell you a few words which I hope that you accept from me: Almighty Allah is the One and Only Who is worthy to be worshipped, and none except Him. If you are serving someone, Allah will never make him deserve to be worshipped, nor will He make your destiny in the hand of any of His creations. Almighty Allah says:
"Surely, His is the Creation and Commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)!"
"Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Wakil (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian, etc.) over all things."
"It is He (Allah) Who is the only Ilah (God to be worshipped) in the heaven and the only Ilah (God to be worshipped) on the earth. And He is the All-Wise, the All-Knower."
"Not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record."
If a leaf falls, He knows it, how about the big things?!
Some indecent behavior towards Allah:
It is said that, "courtesy in situations is to stop fear from leading you to despair, but on the other hand it is to stop the hope in Allah's Mercy from making you feel secured from Allah's Punishment."
Sometimes in prosperity man feels at ease, so he becomes lenient while acting upon Allah's Order, but at the same time he hopes in Allah's Forgiveness and Mercy. Well this indicates indecency with Allah. In some cases when you have good health, you are mentally ordered, you have a good income, you have a well organized house, you have a good wife, you have dutiful children and you have no problems at all, you neglect performing your prayers and performing remembrance. You think that there is nothing to fear. Feeling secured makes you lenient in performing the acts of worship. On the other hand, if you are afflicted with hardship from Allah, this should not make you desperate of His Mercy. Thus, you should stop fear from leading you to despair, and stop the hope in Allah's Mercy from making you feel secured from Allah's Punishment. Feeling secure is the result of running after fulfilling your needs and moves away from piety.
This is the situation of the courteous towards Allah:
The person who is courteous towards Allah does not let fear push him to be desperate of Allah's Mercy, because this fear is not praised. You may see a person who has the illusion that he will be smashed. You should know that you, as a believer, is endeared by Allah and you have rights upon Him; Almighty Allah has made you rights upon Him.
((Mu'adh bin Jabal (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I was riding a pillion with the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, on a donkey. He, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said, "O Mu'adh, do you know what is the right of Allah upon His slaves, and what is the Right of His slaves upon Allah?'' I said: "Allah and His Messenger know better". Upon this the Messenger of Allah, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him said, "Allah's Right upon His slaves is that they should worship Him Alone and associate nothing with Him; and His slaves' right upon Him is that He should not punish who does not associate a thing with Him.''))Imam Ash-Shafi'i deduced a wonderful deduction saying that "Allah never punishes His loved ones." Almighty Allah says:
"And (both) the Jews and the Christians say: "We are the children of Allah and His loved ones." Say: "Why then does He punish you for your sins?" Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created"
Had their claim been true, Allah would not have punished them. Since He punished them, then they were lying; they are not Allah's loved ones.
As a believer I would like you not to be frightened; all the affairs are in Allah's Hand, and He manifests His Signs.
A crucial point:
Dear brother, the fear which eventually leads you to despair, and the hope which makes you feel secured from Allah's Punishment are considered lack of courtesy towards Allah the Exalted. It is similar to the soft wind which pushes the ship forward; if it stops, the ship stops, if it becomes too strong, it causes ship destruction and if it is strong enough, it pushes the ship to its destination safely. This is exactly the case of hope; it is just like the wind in the sea. If it exceeds the limits, it fires back.
Let us move to happiness: sometimes man is pleased with what he has, and he fails in controlling this feeling. Only the powerful are able to control it. They are people of strong will and determination who are not affected by prosperity; they do not become ungrateful, or weakened by adversity; they do not become impatient. A person may be destroyed the minute a disaster occurs to him; this is how adversity defeats him. He may become rich as he gains a huge amount of money that enables him to achieve his goal, get married and occupy a prominent social position. Consequently, he becomes disordered (religiously speaking). His happiness gets him away from gratefulness. Hence, courtesy towards Allah is letting neither prosperity get you away from gratefulness, nor adversity get you away from patience.
It is hard to be at the top, but it is harder to stay there. You should keep your modesty towards Allah when you are at the top. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, entered Makkah upon opening it, bowing his head, so that the front of his turban almost touched the neck of his camel out of modesty towards Allah the Exalted. Habituate yourself not to let prosperity make you ungrateful or to let adversity make you give up. You should be grateful in prosperity and patient in adversity.
((Suhaib narrated that the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said "Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good in every matter of his and this is not the case with anyone except the believer; for if he is happy, he thanks Allah, thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, he shows patience, thus there is good for him."))Almighty Allah says:
"So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers."
Allah the Exalted loves the patient slave. There are many Ayat which if you read they will shrug your skin. Almighty Allah says:
"Truly! We found him patient."
If man is afflicted with a disaster, he should say, "O Lord, praise be to You." Our Master Umar used to say, "Praise be to Allah thrice; praise be to Allah, because the affliction is not with my religion, praise be to Allah, because the affliction is not greater than this and praise be to Allah, because I am granted patience over it." If someone is granted a distinguished blessing, he should not be imbalanced, but rather he should remain dignified, calm, grateful and modest. Your success is not achieved by reaching the top, but by staying at it. The way to get there is very difficult, while falling to the bottom is easy. Therefore, beware of arrogance. The Companions of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said, "We will not be defeated due to fewness", although the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, was among them. As a result, they were defeated in the battle of Hunain after they had opened Makkah. Almighty Allah says:
"Truly Allah has given you victory on many battle fields, and on the Day of Hunain (battle) when you rejoiced at your great number but it availed you naught and the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for you, then you turned back in flight."
Let me sum up this lesson with these words: what happened to the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, was a lesson which they had to learn. You are between two situations; you either are protected or forsaken by Almighty Allah. These are the lessons implied in Badr and Hunain. The lesson in Bard is indicated when Allah says:
"And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force. So fear Allah much [abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden and love Allah much, perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained] that you may be grateful."
You were in dire need of Allah, so He made you victorious. The lesson in Hunain: you rejoiced at your great number, so Allah forsook you. We are in need for this lesson one hundred times daily. Sometimes when you succeed at your job, but you say, "I failed." Whenever you succeed, you should say, "O Lord, my success is out of Your Benevolence", and so you will be exalted.
I heard about a doctor, may Allah reward him, who is one of the most successful surgeons, whenever he wants to do an operation to a patient, he prays two rak'at before the patient, and he makes Du'a saying, "O Lord, grant me success, support me and inspire me to do the right thing." When man comes to Allah seeking His help, Allah will not forsake him. Whenever the honest believer wants to do something he is supposed to say, "O Allah, I forsook my might, power and knowledge, and I seek Your Might, Power and knowledge, O Owner of Power, the Most Strong.
The lesson of Badr teaches you that when you seek Allah's help and support, Allah protects you, and the lesson of Hunain teaches you that when you think that it is enough to depend on yourself, Allah forsakes you. We are in desperate need of these lessons.
By this we come to the end of the station of courtesy towards Allah the Almighty which we tackled two lessons ago, courtesy towards the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, which we tackled last lesson and courtesy towards the creations which we have tackled so far. Courtesy is the crown with which the believer is crowned; Islam is beliefs, acts of worship, dealings and good manners. The Noble Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, was asked:
(("O Allah's Messenger, what courtesy you have!" He, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him said, "Allah has disciplined me properly."))
He had never stretched his feet before people out of his great courtesy.