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Beautiful Conduct, Honesty and Justice Enjoined by Islam

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Beautiful Conduct, Honesty and Justice Enjoined by Islam


Below is a compilation of Hadiths and anecdotes which describe real-life practical examples that display the beautiful conduct, honesty, integrity, and justice enjoined by Islam – such qualities that used to be the norm in Muslim society.


Source: Reliable Fatwas.com

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Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)

The Peak of Adab (Beautiful Conduct)


The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was the most patient and forbearing when subjected to persecution. He would pardon anyone who had done him wrong and would treat kindly anybody who had maltreated him. To anyone who had refused to give to him, he would give generously. In short he always repaid evil with good.


If he had two alternatives before him, he would adopt the convenient one, provided it was not a sin. (By his example he has permitted facility and convenience to his followers. It is also common experience that those who are inclined to ease and convenience by nature, prescribe the same to others.) The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) never took revenge from anyone for his own person. Apart from Jihad he never struck any man or animal a blow. (Shama’il-e-Tirmizi)…


Once a bedouin came to the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and, seizing hold of his wrap tugged at it so hard that his neck was bruised, ordered, “Have corn loaded on these camels of mine, if you do this, you will not be parting with your own riches or those of your father’s (meaning that every thing available in the Baitul Mal belongs to the public and not to you).”


The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: “I will give you nothing unless you compensate me for tugging at my wrap.” The man retorted that he would give no compensation. But the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) smiled and ordered corn to be loaded on the bedouin’s camels.


[Taken from Uswa-e-Rasool-e-Akram by Dr Abdul Hai Arifi]




Waiting in a Place for Three Days to Keep One’s Word


Narrated Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abul Hamsa’ (radhiyallahu anhu):


I bought something from the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) before he received his Prophetic commission, and as there was something still due to him I promised him that I would bring it to him at his place, but I forgot. When I remembered three days later, I went to that place and found him there. He said: “You have inconvenienced me, young man. I have been here for three days waiting for you.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

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Adopting Patience in the Face of Personal Abuse and Injustice


A person once started verbally abusing Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) while Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was also sitting there. Because Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) gave no reply Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was impressed and kept smiling. However, when the person’s abuse became too much, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) replied to some of what he was saying. This angered Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and he left.


Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) then met Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and asked, “O Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)! You were sitting there while he was swearing at me but when I replied to some of his abuse, you became angry and left?”


Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied, “There was an angel with you who was responding on your behalf. However, when you started replying to some of his abuse, Shaytaan arrived and I could not sit with Shaytaan.”


Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then added, “O Abu Bakr! Three things are absolute facts. Whenever a person overlooks any injustice done to him, Allah lends him tremendous strength. Whenever a person opens the door of gifts with the intention of joining ties, Allah increases for him in abundance. Whenever a person opens the door of begging with the intention of amassing wealth, Allah speeds up the reduction of his wealth.” (Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal)

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Sublime Conduct with Neighbours


Hasan al-Basri (rahmatullahi alayhi) had a Christian neighbour who had a toilet on top of his house. Urine used to seep through from the toilet into the house of Hasan al-Basri (rahmatullahi alayhi), who ordered that a container be placed beneath that area so that the drops would fall therein. At night, he would dispose of the contents. One day, he was ill and his Christian neighbour came to visit him. When he noticed what was going on, he asked,


“How long have you been patiently bearing my filth?”


Hasan al-Basri (rahmatullahi alayhi) replied, “Twenty years.”


On hearing this, he decided to accept Islam.


[Taken from “Pearls of the Path” by Maulana Afzal Ismail]

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The Honesty and Scrupulouness of the Early Muslims


Numerous Hadiths state that the rulers with which an Islamic nation is imposed with is a reflection of the state of the people. Allah Ta’ala is the King of all kings, the Ruler of all rulers. He holds the hearts of the rulers in His hands. Thus the Taqwa, piety, generosity, etc. displayed by Islamic rulers are, in general, a reflection of the state of the Muslim population.


The standard of piety set by the early Muslim rulers was indeed lofty and rare, and provides a glimpse into the state of the Muslim populace who had won over the hearts and minds of people all over the world, purely on the basis of the beautiful character, honesty, and justice they displayed in all their interactions and dealings.


Due to the fear of Allah (Glory be He, Most High) and accountability in the divine court, the pious Muslim rulers displayed extreme caution. Public property was regarded as a trust in their hands and they took care of it prudently.


Once, some musk (perfume) came to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radiallahu anhu) from Bahrain. He asked for someone who would weigh it carefully, so that it may be equally distributed among the Muslims. His wife, Atikah, volunteered, but ‘Umar (radiallahu anhu) refused to give it to her. When she inquired why, he replied,


“I fear that, while weighing it, some of it may rub-off onto your hand and body. This will give me an unfair advantage over the other Muslims.”

A similar incident is related about ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz (rahmatullahi alayhi). While he was Khalifah, Musk belonging to the Bait-ul-Mal (Public treasury) was brought to him. He closed his nostrils, saying,


“The benefit derived from musk is its fragrance.”


He would only light the state lamp when he dealt with the affairs of the Muslims. When he had seen to their needs and had some private matters to attend to, he would light his own lamp.


[Anecdotes taken from “Pearls of the Path” by Maulana Afzal Ismail]

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A Journey of Months, Just to Return a Pen


Hadhrat Hasan Bin Arfah (rahmatullah alayh) narrated that once while Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mubaarak (rahmatullah alayh) was in Syria he borrowed a pen from someone. Forgetting to return the pen to its owner, Hadhrat Ibn Mubaarak journeyed to Marwa. On reaching Marwa, he was distressed to discover that he had not returned the pen. He immediately set out for Syria.


After reaching Syria, he returned the pen to its owner


It is reported that ‘Abdullâh b. Al-Mubârak said, “I once borrowed a pen in Al-Shâm (Transjordan) and went to return it. But when I came back to Marwa (Eng. in Central Asia) I saw that I still had it, so I went back to Al-Shâm to return it to its owner.”

Al-Dhahabî, Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ`, Vol. 8 p395.

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Inconveniencing Others is Against the Sunnah


Our lack of Adab and Akhlaaq (beautiful moral conduct and behaviour) serves as another vividly visible indication of how far the Ummah has veered away from the beautiful Sunnah of a Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who would endure great difficulty himself so that others may find some measure of ease and comfort. The essence of Adab is to avoid inconveniencing others. Just a few of the many ways our utter and reckless neglect of this vital Sunnah has manifested itself include the fact that many of us talk in a manner more akin to yelling, walk in a manner more akin to barging, queue in a manner more akin to herds of animals, drive, ‘give way’, and cross as if only we exist on the roads, double-park, triple-park and block drive-ways at our selfish leisure, litter our surroundings freely, spit and even vomit (paan, khat, etc.) generously on the pathways, and display countless other mannerisms that demonstrate the absence of even the slightest concern for our surroundings and the potential inconveniences we cause to others.


The following excerpt adapted from Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi’s, Adab al-Mua-asharaat, contains a number of hadiths and narrations which demonstrate the great emphasis Islam places on avoiding inconveniencing others:



The main cause for the dissipation of mutual love and affection is corrupt behavioural attitudes. As a result of such corruption of behaviour and manners mutual resentment and dislike for one another have set in among people. This state of affairs impedes and eliminates tranquillity of heart which is of pivotal importance for mutual love in the members of society. The Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is replete with examples which demonstrate the importance of avoiding inconveniencing others. Below are a few examples:


* Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) ordered that while eating in company one should not take two dates at a time without having obtained the consent of one’s friends. Such an insignificant act has been prohibited solely on account of disrespect and because of dislike which this act will engender in others.


* In Sunan Nisaai there appears a narration in which Hadhrat Aishah (radhiallahu anha) speaks of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) exit from the house on the Night of Baraa’at. He opened the door silently so as not to disturb the sleeping ones. Similarly, he closed the door silently. He did not commit any act which produced the slightest noise. He totally abstained from any disturbance to ensure that no one’s sleep is disturbed nor anyone be suddenly awakened.


* In a lengthy hadith in Sahih Muslim, Hadhrat Miqdaad (radhiallahu anhu) says that once a group of them were the guests of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). After lsha the guest would go to bed. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), on arriving much later, would make Salaam (greet) in such a whisper that if anyone was awake he could hear and if anyone was asleep he would not be disturbed thereby. This Hadith as well indicates the lengths to which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would go in order to refrain from causing the slightest inconvenience to others.


* Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the one who eats raw garlic and onions should remain aloof from us. Since the odour will be annoying to others. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) forbade this insignificant act.


* Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that it is not lawful for a guest to stay for such a length of time which imposes a difficulty on the host. In this prohibition, an act which causes inconvenience to others has been prescribed.


* Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that when eating in company one should continue eating until the others have completed even though one has eaten to satiation. By discontinuing to eat, those who are still eating are put to shame. It is thus clear that one should not act in any way which embarrasses others. Some people on account of natural shame, refrain from taking something in a gathering although they wish for it. Others again feel it difficult to refuse a request in a gathering although they have no desire of giving. Such persons should not be given things in a gathering nor should anything be asked of them in a gathering.


* Hadhrat Anas (radhiallahu anhu) stated that there was no person dearer to the Sahaabah than Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Inspite of this, he says, the Sahaabah would not stand in respect for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) because of his aversion for this mode of respect. This establishes that any etiquette, way of respect or any form of service which is displeasing to a person should not be rendered to him. One should give priority to the wishes and feelings of others not to one’s own desires. Some people by their insistence to render certain acts of service to the Auliya are in actual fact inconveniencing them.


* Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that it is not permissible for a person to intrude in the company of two people without obtaining their consent. Such intrusion constricts the hearts. Thus, it is necessary to abstain from acts and attitudes which inhibit or cause inconvenience to others.

* According to the Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would cover his mouth with his hand or a handkerchief when sneezing. In this way he stifled the sound to avoid causing annoyance to others. This establishes that one should not annoy or scare or inconvenience one’s companions by means of loudness and shouting.


* Hadhrat Jaabir (radhiallahu anhu) narrates that the Sahaabah would sit, down in any place where they reached in the gathering of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). They would not pass through others in order to obtain seating place ahead. This attitude of the Sahaabah establishes the aadaab (etiquettes) of a majlis (gathering). The slightest inconvenience to others was avoided.


* Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas, Hadhrat Saeed Bin Musayyib and Hadhrat Anas (radhiallahu anhum) narrate in ahadith of different categories that when visiting the sick one should not remain for a long time. The visit should be short. This narration indicates the degree to which one should go in refraining from inconveniencing others. Sometimes a sick person due to his condition suffers inconvenience by the lengthy presence of others. However, the presence of such persons who are a source of comfort and solace to the sick are excluded from this prohibition.


* Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiallahu anhu), explaining the reason for the need to take ghusl (Bath) on Fridays, says that in the initial period of Islam most people were poor labourers. Soiled garments and perspiration caused bad odours. Hence ghusl (ritual bath) was decreed waajib (obligatory) in the beginning. later, the incumbency (wujoob) was abrogated and ghusl for Jumma’ was retained as a Sunnat act. It thus transpires that it is incumbent to refrain from causing the slightest inconvenience and annoyance to anyone.


[From Adab al-Mua-asharaat of Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi]


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