Tag Archives: Character

Human Kindness in Islam

Nasiruddin was the slave of a king, and very fond of hunting. One day he came across a very pretty baby deer and picked it up and rode away. The mother deer saw Nasiruddin take her baby and followed him anxiously. Nasiruddin, pleased with the baby dear, was thinking about presenting it to his children to play with. After a time, he chanced to look back and saw the mother deer following him, her expression full of grief. He noticed too that she did not seem to care about her own safety. Moved to pity, Nasiruddin set the baby deer free. The mother deer nuzzled and licked her baby fondly and the two deer leapt happily away into the forest. But many times the mother deer looked back at Nasiruddin, as if to express her thanks.

That night Nasiruddin dreamt that the revered Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was addressing him: ‘Nasiruddin, your name has been entered in the list of Allah, and you will one day have a kingdom. But remember that when you are king you will also have many responsibilities. Just as you have shown mercy to the deer today, you should be merciful to all Allah’s creatures. You should not forget your people by falling into a life of luxury.’

This dream came true and Nasiruddin did become king, Amir Nasiruddin Subaktagin, father of Sultan Muhammad.

The moral of the story is that if we wish Allah to be merciful to us, we must be eager to show mercy to all the living creatures of the earth.

When a flower blooms, its colour and scent first touch the garden near it, and then spread. In the same way, a Muslim’s acts of human kindness should first touch those nearest to him, his family and his neighbours.

Source: Muslim Manners by Iqbal Ahmad Azami

Inside Our Hearts

Our Muslim names, Islamic dress and our prayers are like the sign board found outside a shop, which informs us that inside this shop, sweets, chocolates, biscuits, cakes, fruit, etc. are stocked and sold. The person reading the signboard thus expects to find what has been advertised outside, inside that shop. What would be the reaction of the person if he or she finds cow dung, horse manure and cat’s droppings inside, instead of sweets and chocolates ?

In a similar vein, our beautiful Muslim names and Islamic garb informs others that inside our hearts there is certain ‘merchandise’ in the form of firm Imaan in Allah Ta’ala and love for His Beloved Rasool e. One expects to find therein, the attributes of trustworthiness, honesty, sincerity, forgiveness, charity, Taqwa (piety), zuhd (asceticism), sabr (patience), shukr (gratitude), etc. These are the qualities and traits a person expects to find in his social dealings with us.

Our beards, kurtas, turbans, tasbeehs, the cloak, purdah, etc. are all additional signs which lay more and more emphasis on the above. What would be a person’s reaction, when instead of these virtues, he or she finds arrogance, pride, malice, greed, jealousy, etc.?

Shaykh Yunus Patel (r.a)

Helping an Old Man

It was a bitter, cold evening. The old man’s beard was glazed by winter’s frost while he waited for a ride across the river. The wait seemed endless. His body became numb and stiff from the frigid north wind. He heard the faint, steady rhythm of approaching hooves galloping along the frozen path.

Anxiously, he watched as several horsemen rounded the bend. He let the first one pass by without an effort to get his attention. Then another passed by? and another. Finally, the last rider neared the spot where the old man sat like a snow statue.

As this one drew near, the old man caught the rider’s eye and said, “Sir, would you mind giving an old man a ride to the other side? There doesn’t appear to be a passageway by foot.”

Reining his horse, the rider replied, “Sure thing. Hop aboard.”

Seeing the old man was unable to lift his half-frozen body from the ground, the horseman dismounted and helped the old man onto the horse. The horseman took the old man not just across the river, but to his destination, which was just a few miles away.

As they neared the tiny but cozy cottage, the horseman’s curiosity caused him to inquire, “Sir, I notice that you let several other riders pass by without making an effort to secure a ride. Then I came up and you immediately asked me for a ride. I’m curious why, on such a bitter winter night; you would wait and ask the last rider. What if I had refused and left you there?”

The old man lowered himself slowly down from the horse, looked the rider straight in the eyes, and replied, “I’ve been around here for some time. I reckon I know people pretty good.”

The old-timer continued, “I looked into the eyes of the other riders and immediately saw there was no concern for my situation. It would have been useless even to ask them for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, kindness and compassion were evident. I knew, then and there, that your gentle spirit would welcome the opportunity to give me assistance in my time of need.”

Those heartwarming comments touched the horseman deeply.

“I’m most grateful for what you have said,” he told the old man. “May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion.”

Ya Allah, Make me among those about whom the Holy Quran has said: “And they give them preference over their own selves even though they are in need”. (Hashr 59:9)

Ameen

Source: qisas website

Condemning Others

Putting ourselves in the shoes of others momentarily in order to try to understand them better before commenting or acting against them is very important.

Many people condemn others without trying to see where they are coming from or why they have acted in a specific way or said something.

If we are sincere, we will understand one another better & possibly reduce much unwanted skepticism, hatred & enmity.

Mufti Ismail Menk

Being Corrected

Being offended when we are corrected, seriously reduces our chances of improving or achieving heights in any field.

We must always welcome those who correct us and show us where we are going wrong.

In most cases, those who regularly correct our ways and habits or errors in any filed are those who truly care for us.

People who intentionally do not correct us are either insincere or fearful of our reaction due to being offended.

Mufti Ismail Menk

Be a Good Host/ Visitor

When visiting the homes of family members, relatives, friends or others we must never be a burden upon them.

Visiting unannounced, at awkward times, sitting too long, asking too many questions, speaking too loudly, allowing our children to run a mock if they are with us etc is all unethical.

We should also be considerate of those we visit by not allowing them to prepare snacks or meals for us when they are busy, sickly or in a rush to go somewhere.

On the other hand when people visit us although we should honour them, we do not have to prepare sophisticated meals & fries etc all the time. A simple snack or glass of water would also suffice.

Whether more or less, whatever is served must be from the depth of our hearts.

Mufti Ismail Menk

One Bad Habit

Just one bad habit can destroy EVERYTHING we have in the most unpleasant way.

Many of those on drugs have just ONE bad habit. If they cut it, they could transform into really lovely human beings.

If they do not give up their drugs, they will tear their families apart, finances will crumble, health dwindles and life is totally wasted.

Don’t ever do drugs and if u have, save your life & many others by quitting NOW!

Mufti Ismail Menk

Using Mobile Phones

Etiquettes of the Mobile Phone
Islam has never been opposed to advancement. However, certain advancements are such that together with their benefits come much harm. Whilst mobile technology and the mobile phone in particular has revolutionised the way we live, it is important that we utilise such technology appropriately.

Crude Manners
It is important to realise that there are certain etiquettes of speaking on the phone. For example when calling someone, many people do not first ask the person they are calling whether it is convenient for them to speak at that very moment. They simply begin a long conversation without any regard for the inconvenience they cause the person they have called. There are yet others who, whilst in the company of others, answer phone calls and begin to casually converse with whoever has called them. Doing this is akin to turning your face away from those in your company whilst in the middle of a conversation and engaging in conversation with someone else without any explanation or apology to the first. Such behaviour is indeed inappropriate and a reflection of crude manners.

Robber of Time
The mobile phone, whilst being a very useful item, can prove to be a robber of time too. People feel obliged to utilise the free minutes and texts they have within their contract. If one has an allowance of 500 minutes or 500 texts within his talk plan, it is not necessary to utilise all these minutes or texts. By calling people or texting them only to use up the allowance, we are wasting valuable time which could have been utilised in productive activities.

Text Messages
Nowadays, many people send ‘Jumu‘ah Mubarak’ text every week to friends and associates. The contents of many of these texts are not authentic and sometimes not in line with Islamic teachings. One needs to be cautious before forwarding any message of this nature. Many people forward these messages just because they apparently sound good irrespective of the message being incorrect. Do not forward any message until you are sure of its authenticity.

If you are keen to propagate the beau­tiful teachings of Islam by using the text facility then make sure it is something beneficial, correct and authentic. Moreover, the day of Jumu‘ah should not be fixed for this; any day and every day should be made mubarak by conveying a piece from the teachings of our beautiful dīn.

Name at the End of Text
Whenever you send a text message, it is important to write your name at the end of the text, because it is possible that the person you are texting has not saved your number on his mobile. As a result, he will be confused and inconvenienced when he receives the text due to not knowing who the sender is.

In The Masjid
When attending the masjid one should switch off his mobile. Failure to do so will result in one being disrespectful to the house of Allāh as well as being a means of disturbance to others if the phone were to ring. It is prudent not to even leave the phone in vibration mode. In this situation if the phone were to receive a call during salāh, not only will it divert the phone owner’s attention it will also disturb the person next to him. Many people immediately after the completion of salāh check their phones for possible missed calls or messages. This shows that although one was physically standing in the court of Allāh, mentally he was elsewhere. Thus we should switch our phones off before entering the masjid and not pay attention towards them until we leave.

Haram Sharīf
Many people would not even dream of answering a phone call whilst in the masjid when they are in their localities. However we observe the very same people freely using the mobile phone in the Haram Sharīf in Makkah and Madīnah. One should make a firm resolution and refrain from this for this leads to neglect and many other wrongs whilst in blessed places.

Musical Ring Tones
We should make sure that we have an appropriate simple ring tone on our mobile phone. To keep a musical ring tone is harām as the playing of music, or being a means of it being played is a sin. It is quite unfortunate that even when in Haramayn Sharīfayn whilst performing tawāf or presenting salām to the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, the musical tones of mobile phones are heard.
This is harām and a major sin. Safeguard yourself from such things that distance you from the Creator.

‘Islamic’ Ring Tones
The adhān, salām, tilāwah of the Glorious Qur’ān, nāt and nashīd are used as ring tones by many on mobile phones. The adhān has a set time and a purpose and should only be announced at the time for the stipulated purpose. Salām also has a specific purpose which is to greet one another. The Glorious Qur’ ān is the word of Allāh and has been sent for guidance of mankind. The Shari’ah has stipulated many rulings in regard to this great book. Nāt and nashīd are recited to inculcate and increase the love for our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in our hearts. None of these should be used to inform us that someone is calling us. This is disrespectful. One should merely keep a simple ring tone for this purpose.

How Many Rings?
If when ringing someone one finds that the phone cuts off after a few rings or diverts to an answering machine, then the caller may try again. One should retry a maximum of three times for it may be that the person was busy and as he approached the phone it stopped ringing and thus he was unable to answer. However, there are some phones that do not divert or cut-off and keep ringing. In such cases the caller should let it continue ringing for that duration which would be considered normal, approximately ten rings. If the call is not answered then put the phone down because not answering indicates that the person is either occupied or does not wish to speak. Do not cause inconvenience by compelling.

Mobile and Teachers
It is not permissible for teachers at madrasah or school to use the mobile during their working hours for the madrasah and the school has purchased that time from them. This time does not belong to them; it has become the property of the employing establishment.

Source: At-Tazkiyah – wisdom of Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat

Coping with Failure and Loss

After having tried our best, our failure in examinations, in marriage, in a business or in any test is not the end of the world.

Countess people have been there before us, picked up the pieces, tried again and succeeded. Some have even succeeded after many attempts and have gone a very long way thereafter.

It is those who refuse to come to terms with reality who punish themselves by believing that such losses are eternal.This leads to their lives coming to a standstill whilst others progress, and causes depression which results in further loss.

Most people have tasted loss or failure in some aspect of their lives to different degrees. This can be a gift at times as the Almighty gives us something far better in return or helps us to mature and draw closer to Him, understanding our purpose in life better.

Never allow failure or loss to deter you, depress you or make you feel unworthy. Give it your best and try again and again, and if need be……again!

With the help of the Almighty comes true success!

Mufti Ismail Menk

Do Not Cause Harm to Others

At times our success, sustenance, contentment, etc is blocked or negatively affected due to a sin we are not giving up or a fellow human being we have harmed. This can even affect the mind, health & family too.

Sometimes we hunt for the cause of our downfall, loss, frustrations or unhappiness yet it is glaring us in the face! Transgressing against the Almighty or causing harm and grief to a fellow human being cannot do us any good.

If human nature makes us falter we should know that the Creator, who is Most Forgiving is always waiting for us to turn to the right path!

If we have caused harm to others we should put a stop to it and never be too proud to seek forgiveness from them directly.

Mufti Ismail Menk