I contemplated the way some people whom I have lived with for years deal with others. I do not ever recall them laughing or even smiling at a joke out of courtesy or reacting positively to the person speaking to them.
I used to think that perhaps this was how they were nurtured and that they were unable to change their nature. I was therefore stunned one day to see some of them with a group of rich and powerful people laughing and being courteous.
I then realized that they only did this for their own personal interests and are thereby losing out great rewards from Allah.
A believer worships Allah by being well-mannered and by dealing pleasantly with all not to attain a status or wealth, for people’s praise, or to get married, etc., but only so that Allah may love him and make him beloved to His creation.
Yes! Whoever considers exercising good manners as part of worship will deal courteously with everyone whether he is rich or poor, a manager or an office boy.
If one day a poor cleaner on the street stretches out his hand for you to shake it, and then another day a director of some company stretches his hand out in the same way, will you treat them equally? Will you welcome them both and smile at them equally?!
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) would certainly treat them both equally in terms of welcoming them and showing them good conduct and compassion. Who knows, perhaps the one you may belittle and look down upon might actually be better in Allah’s sight than he who you look up to and show honor and respect to.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "The most beloved of you to me, and the closest of you to me on the Day of Resurrection are the best of you in manners." [Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Sahih]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) also said to Al Ashaj ibn `Abd Qays: "You have two qualities that Allah and His Messenger love." What are these two qualities? Praying at night? Fasting all day?
Al Ashaj became overjoyed and said: "What are the two qualities, O Messenger of Allah?"
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "Forbearance and patience." [Reported by Ahmad and Muslim]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was asked about piety, and he replied: "Piety is to show good manners." [Reported by Muslim]
He (Peace be upon him) was asked about the deed on account of which most people will enter paradise, he (Peace be upon him) said: "Fear of Allah and good manners." [At-Tirmidhi, Sahih]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "The most complete in faith are those best in their character, those who are easy to socialize with, and those who get along with others and others get along with them. There is no good in the one who cannot get along with others and others cannot get along with him." [Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Sahih]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "There is nothing heavier in the scales than good manners." [Reported by Abu Dawud, Sahih]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "A person by his good character reaches the rank of the one praying at night and fasting all day." [Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Sahih]
The one who improves his character becomes successful in this world and in the Hereafter. Consider the incident of Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) when she sat with the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and thought about the Hereafter and what Allah had promised her.
She said: "O Messenger of Allah! A woman might be married twice in this world. When she and her husbands die and they all enter paradise, who is she going to be with?"
What did he (Peace be upon him) say in response? That she will be with the one who prayed the longest? Or the one who fasted the most?
Or the most knowledgeable of them? Nay! Rather, he (Peace be upon him) said: "She will be with the best of them in character."
Umm Salamah was surprised, and when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) noticed this, he said: "O Umm Salamah! Good character makes one successful in this life and the next."
Yes! The best of both worlds [the world and the Hereafter]. He achieves the best of this world by earning people’s love, and the best of the next by gaining immense reward. No matter how much good a person does, his good deeds would always be marred by bad character.
Once, it was mentioned to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) that a certain woman prayed, fasted, gave in charity and did many other righteous deeds, but at the same time harmed her neighbors by her words (i.e., she was bad mannered). He (Peace be upon him) replied: "She will be in Hell."
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was the best example to follow in every aspect of character. He was the most generous, the bravest, the most forbearing, and more bashful than a virgin.
He was the most truthful and trustworthy person. The disbelievers will bear witness to or against the believers exactly as will the sinners do to or against the righteous. So much so that Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) said to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) when he first received revelation: "Allah shall never subject you to any indignity, for you always maintain your ties with those of your kin, and you are always generous in giving; you are diligent, and you pursue what others regard as a lost cause; you calm the heart of your guest, and you lend your support to those who seek justice and redress."
As a matter of fact, Allah’s words in the praise of the Prophet are something we will continue to recite until the Last Day: "And indeed, you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) are on an exalted standard of character!"
The Prophet’s character in its entirety was the Qur’an. When he recited: "Be good, for Allah loves those who are good" he was good to the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the noble and the weak. When he heard Allah’s words: "Forgive and overlook...," he forgave and overlooked. When he recited: "Speak well to the people...," he spoke well to all.
If the Prophet (Peace be upon him) really is our example, let us study his life carefully, and in particular how he dealt with others, rectified their faults, bore their harms with patience, tired himself at their service, and called them to guidance. One day he was seen helping a poor person, the next he was making peace between two Muslims, the next he was calling disbelievers to Islam, and so on, until he grew old and his bones became weak.
`A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said while describing the Prophet (Peace be upon him): "Most of his prayers, when he grew old, he offered sitting." Can we guess why? She explained: "Because the people had completely exhausted him."
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was so eager to improve his character that he would pray to Allah: "O Allah, just as you have beautiﬁed my physical being, beautify my character." [Reported by Ahmad, Sahih]
He (Peace be upon him) also would say: "O Allah, guide me to the best of manners, for none guides to them except You. Protect me from bad manners, for none can protect me except You." [Reported by Muslim]
Hence, we are in need of following the example of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in his character when we dealt with Muslims so that we may win them over, and when we deal with non-Muslims so that we can educate them about Islam.
Purify your intention so that your interpersonal skills can turn into acts of worship, with which you can draw closer to Allah.
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human