“From the Perfection of a Person’s Islam …”
Posted June 11, 2008on:
The importance of this hadîth:
This hadîth sets down one of the most important principles of Islamic etiquette. Islam enjoins upon us what we should do and what we should avoid. This hadîth sets down a general rule regarding what actions and statements a Muslim should avoid, namely that he should not involve himself in matters that do not concern him. By stating that this is part of a person’s Islam, it makes it clear that Islam is the determining factor in what does and does not concern a person.
The matters that a Muslim should leave alone in order to perfect his faith are the following:
1. Everything forbidden by Islamic Law.
2. Everything that is dubious in nature or doubtful in its permissibility.
3. Everything that is permissible in itself, but superfluous and a waste of time.
Abandoning what is unlawful is, without doubt, incumbent upon every Muslim. Involving oneself in these activities is sinful and deserving of punishment.
Avoiding what is doubtful is of a higher level of piety. It requires a deeper level of faith and demonstrates a greater fear of Allah.
When a Muslim gets to the point that he eschews even lawful things that distract him from his more noble purposes, his faith will have acquired a degree of excellence.
What we say can get us into trouble.
This hadîth has special relevance to the things that we utter with our tongues. It is of the utmost importance that we take account of what we say, since we will be held accountable for it in the Hereafter. Allah says: “Not a word does he utter but there is an observer (to record it).” [Sûrah Qâf: 18]
Much of what people say is of little value. Allah says: “There is no good in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or reconciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking Allah’s pleasure, We will give him a great reward.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 114]
The more we say, the more likely we are to say something wrong and incur sin upon ourselves.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “A person says something without thinking about it and as a result of it is cast into the Fire deeper than the distance between the East and the West.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
Mu`âdh once asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Will we be taken to task for everything that we say?”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “May your mother be bereaved of you, O Mu`âdh! Does anything cause people to fall headlong into the Fire more than the harvests of their tongues?” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî]
Among the worst words that we can utter are the ill statements we make about other people. Allah says: “And do not backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it. And fear Allah. Truly Allah is oft relenting, most merciful.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 36]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say something good or remain silent.” [Sahîh Muslim]
Perfecting our Islam and capitalizing on our time:
There is a great reward for a Muslim who perfects his Islam. The prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When one of you perfects his Islam, then every good deed that he performs is magnified and recorded in his account as ten to one hundred good deeds, and each evil deed that he performs is recorded as but a single evil deed.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]
We must realize that what does not concern us in this world far exceeds what does concern us. By focusing on what does concern us, we will naturally avoid a good number of the sins that we might otherwise have fallen into.
Our primary concern is achieving the good of the Hereafter. Therefore, we must focus our attentions on our worship of Allah and the performance of good deeds.
Allay emphasizes this fact in numerous places in the Qur’ân. Consider the following:
“Nay (behold), you prefer the life of this world; but the Hereafter is better and more enduring.” [Sûrah al-A`lâ: 16-17]
“And verily the Hereafter will be better for you than the present.” [Sûrah al-Dhuhâ: 4]
“But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter.” [Sûrah al-Taubah: 38]
“But verily the reward of the Hereafter is the best for those who believe and are constant in righteousness” [Sûrah Yûsuf: 57]
“See how We have bestowed more on some than on others; but verily the Hereafter is more in rank and gradation and more in excellence” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 21]
“But truly the reward of the Hereafter will be greater if they only realized.” [Sûrah al-Nahl:41]
No doubt, we must also be concerned with securing the necessities of life for ourselves and for our families. However, we should not become distracted by the accumulation of wealth and the pursuit of worldly pleasure so that we neglect the goal of the Hereafter.
Allah warns us of this when He says: “The amassing of wealth distracts you until you visit the graves. Nay, you will come to know. Then, nay, you will come to know. Nay, if you could only know with certainty, then you would surely see the Hellfire. Then you shall surely see the Hellfire. Then you shall be asked about life’s pleasures.” [Sûrah al-Takâthur: 1-8]
We should bear in mind that enjoining others to what is right and forbidding them from what is wrong is something that does indeed concern us. It is part of our Islam. It is not only a duty that we are rewarded for carrying out and held to task for neglecting, but it is also the right of others over us to receive admonition.
Allah says: “Let there arise from you a band of people who invite to what is good, enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong. These are the successful ones.” [Sûrah Âl `Imrân: 104]
Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever among you sees something wrong should change it with his hands. If he is unable to do so, then with his tongue. If he is unable to do so, then at least hate it in his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” [Sahîh Muslim]
The Prophet (peace be upon us) commanded us to change wrongdoing when we see it. This gives us the dividing line between what does and does not concern us. When we see a clear and obvious wrong, we should try to prevent it or speak out against it. We are not called upon to spy on others and seek out their hidden faults. Moreover, we are not entitled to broadcast the faults of others unnecessarily.
Therefore, it should never be understood that leaving off what does not concern us requires us to abandon calling others to righteousness.
::Artikel ini adalah sebahagian dari tugasan untuk subjek Sciences of Hadith yang telah saya ambil semester lepas dengan Dr. Habeeb Rahman Ibramsa, yang juga merupakan pensyarah ‘favourite’ bagi saya. Melalui tugasan (assignment) kelas ini, kami diminta untuk ‘read & apply’ artikel tersebut di samping beberapa lagi tajuk artikel dalam bahagian Hadith Showcase yang terdapat dalam website Islamtoday.com. Sungguh, mengaplikasikan apa yang dibaca ini bukan semudah mengukir kata-kata tapi sebagai manusia, melakukan yang terbaik dalam kehidupan itu adalah dituntut oleh agama. Do the best and let Allah does the rest!