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December
27
2008
Islamic Education- Children Education 2008- Lesson (27- 36): Social Education- (10)- General and Individual Islamic Adab
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Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

Children upbringing in Islam: Adab

 Dear brothers, we are still discussing the lessons of Children Upbringing In Islam, and today we will tackle a new lesson that revolves around the subject of Al-Adab (in the context of behavior, it refers to prescribed Islamic etiquette: refinement, good manners, morals, decorum, decency, humaneness). As I mentioned in previous lectures, Islam encompasses beliefs, acts of worship, ways of dealing with others (which also include commercial transactions) and morals. Actually, what clearly distinguishes the real believer is his high morals. It was narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((Allah raised me and perfected my manners.))

[Ibn As-Sam'ani]

Two ways to acquire Adab

 Let me ask you the following question: What do we mean by Adab? What are its characteristics? Actually, it is acquired through two ways: the first way is through learning, while the other way is through getting closer to Allah the Almighty.

 When one seeks the Islamic knowledge, he will learn many Islamic etiquette, such as greeting your family when you enter your house, saying Bismillah (mentioning the Name of Allah) before you start eating, invoking the Mercy of Allah upon the one who sneezes (by saying to him yarhamuka Allah), and other Islamic etiquette such as the etiquette of eating, of visiting others, of visiting the sick, of travelling, of marriage, and of everyday activities in the believer's life. One of these morals is making your visit short when you visit a sick person. Another moral is to avoid standing in front of the door, so that if a woman opens the door suddenly, she would not get embarrassed. There are many other details regarding this subject.

 Thus, parents should teach their children the Islamic morals and etiquette. Whenever a child behaves badly, such as sitting or eating impolitely, the father should advise him to behave properly. For example, when the child's hand goes around the dish while eating, his parent should tell him that when the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw a boy picking around the plate while eating, he said to him:

((Eat with your right hand and eat of the dish what is nearer to you.))

[At-Tabarani]

The Prophet's Ahadeeth are kind instructions for whoever misbehaves

 When you ponder over the Noble Ahadeeth with regards to the subject of good manners, you will find that whenever the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw anyone of his companions behav in an unacceptable manner, he used to advise him with great kindness. He, peace be upon him, never turned a blind eye to others' mistakes lest they thought that he approved it, and then it would became a legitimate behavior in Islam since the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him, includes his specific words (Sunnah Qawliyyah), habits and practices (Sunnah al Fi'iliyyah), and silent approvals (Sunnah Taqririyyah). For example, when the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw a man walk in front of his father, he said to him:

((Do not call him by his own name nor walk in front of him nor sit down before him nor make anyone insult him (by insulting his father.))

[At- Tabarani]

 In fact, dear brothers, when you reflect upon the distinctive merits of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and upon the instruction he gave to his noble companions regarding the Islamic morals and etiquette, you will find that the real believer should be the most perfect person in the world in terms of his every day activities, like his marriage, his every day relationships, and his familial ties, and in all his conditions such as in having good health or in getting sick, in staying in his home country or in travelling, and in happy or sad occasions.

 Actually, the Islamic morals and etiquette are almost the quarter of Islam (i.e. a significant portion of Islam) since the high morals make the real believer distinguished, not the acts of worship. In other words, the performance of some acts of worship like Salah, giving Sadaqah (voluntary charity), and performing supererogatory night Prayer, are performed for the Sake of Allah the Almighty Alone, and they should be performed in private, while dealing with people is most of the time done in public, so what people notice about man is his good morals which are obvious in the believer's daily activities. Hence, one can notice the believer's politeness and good manners in the way he sits, in his behavior at home, in his decent clothes, in his nice words, in suppressing his anger, in expressing his satisfaction, in celebrating the happy occasions and on his sad occasions. Thus, having good manners is almost a quarter of Islam.

The Prophet's instructions concerning Adab are uncountable

 As I have mentioned above, the first way to have good manners is through learning, i.e. you as a parent, a teacher, a school instructor, an advisor, a leader, a preacher, or a department director, etc… should induce others to behave well. For example, if you visit your friend, you should not open his notebook or drawers since it is impolite to interfere in other people's affairs.

 Actually, the deeper your faith is, the higher your morals are. One of these high morals is sitting on the sofa facing the wall when you pay your friend a visit, and avoid sitting in a place that faces the opened door, lest his wife passes by wearing indecently while she does not know that her husband has a guest. I am not exaggerating when I say that the instructions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, concerning Islamic etiquette and morals are many tens of thousands! The real believer should have the best and the most perfect morals; he wears modestly, he chooses his words wisely and he never uses foul language nor does he tell filthy or dirty jokes about sex or privates parts. These are some of the Islamic etiquette.

 It was narrated that when the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw a little girl wear see-through clothes, he said to her:

((O My daughter, do not wear such clothes, because they show the size of your bones!))

 He, peace be upon him, was so modest to the extent that he did not say any word that excites lust.

The Noble Quran teaches us modesty

 Consider the following Ayah in which Allah the Almighty says:

"… or you have been in contact with women (by sexual relations)"

(An-Nisa', 43)

 In this Ayah there is a slight hint to the sexual relation between the married couple, but if a child recites it, he may think that it is all about touching hands. The same goes for the following Noble Ayah in which Allah the Almighty says:

"And when he covers her, she carries a light burden and continues therein."

(Al-Ara'f, 189)

 Also, the noble female companions were amazingly polite and well-mannered. To illustrate my point, let me tell you the following stories. Once, a woman came to the Commander of the Believers (our master Umar, may Allah be pleased with him), and said, "My husband fasts all days and prays all the night." He simply said, "May Allah bless you both." But our master Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "O Commander of the Believers, she is complaining against her husband's behavior towards her; he abstains from having sexual relation with her during the night as well as the day."

 Pay attention to this story, please:

((The Mother of the Believers Mrs. Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, saw Khawlah, the daughter of Hakim, who was the wife of Uthman Ibn Maz'un, wearing a tattered dress and looking unkempt. She asked her, "What is wrong with you?" She replied, "My husband fasts all days and stands in prayers all the nights" Mrs. Aisha, my Allah be pleased with her, told the Prophet, peace be upon him, what she had said, so when the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw Uthman Ibn Maz'un, he admonished him saying, "Do you not have an example in me? (that there is no monasticism in Islam)" Uthman said, "Of course, may Allah the Almighty cause me to be sacrificed for you!" Later, she (Khawlah) came back wearing fine clothes and sweet perfume. Mrs. Aisha was amazed at that noticeable change, Khawlah replied modestly, "It is the same thing that all spouses do!"))

 Accordingly, when you reflect on the sayings of the noble companions, you will find that they were amazingly polite.

It is really great to be characterized by Adab

 When Prophet Yusuf (Joseph), peace be upon him, met his father as well as his (16) brothers, who had thrown him down to the bottom of a well when he was child and left him to die, he said:

"He was indeed good to me, when He took me out of the prison,"

(Yusuf, 100)

 He did not say, "He took me out of the well" to avoid reminding his brothers of their mistake. What is more dangerous? Is it the well or the prison? Of course the well is more dangerous as man may die there out of hunger, while in prison it is safer for man; he only loses his freedom, but he is not deprived of food and drink.

 I believe that what clearly distinguishes the real believer is his great politeness and Adab with regards to his relationship with Allah the Almighty, his adherence to the Islamic etiquette of entering Masajid, and his recitation of the Noble Qur'an, etc… and his adherence to the rules of politeness even when he is at home. For example, he never changes his clothes in front of his children, but rather he goes to another room, locks the door, and then changes his clothes.

 One of my brothers in faith told me how his little niece behaved when his sister came to visit him. He said, "I was taking off my shirt when my niece entered my bedroom, but that well-disciplined child went out of the room immediately although I was wearing my undershirt!"Having good manners is really great.

Raising well-behaved kids is one of the greatest deeds

 Let me address the parents in particular: You should teach your children the rules of behavior. For example, a child may make a big mess while eating which is sometimes really disgusting. Thus, the parents' real success is to teach their children good manners. It was narrated that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

(("That a man should discipline his son/daughter is better for him than to have given a Sa' in charity. (Sa' is a weights measurement that is approximately between 2.6 kg to 3 kg.))

[At-Tirmidhi]

 Accordingly, one of the greatest deeds is to teach children how to behave well in their daily life; while speaking, standing, sitting, looking at other, pushing the door (to teach them that it is impolite to slam the door roughly), and so on…. In conclusion, this is the first way of acquiring good manners which is based on leaning; it is to follow the instructions of the parents, teachers, administrators, preachers, Muslim Du'aat (Islamic missioners), and instructors, etc…

The second way of acquiring Adab

 Let me tell you about the second way of acquiring Adab, it is based on establishing a firm connection with Allah the Almighty. When you get closer to Allah (through performing acts of worship), you will derive the real Adab which is never affected whether you are in prosperity or adversity, whether other people bear hostility or grudge against you or not and whether you are in poverty or richness.

 In most cases, when one lives a rich problem-free life, and when he has a high paying job, he will be a kind and a good-natured person. However, when his own interests are threatened, he will become as cruel and harsh as a beast. This is exactly the real face of the West, and Allah the Almighty reveals this truth to us. They pretended to stand up for human rights, freedom, and democracy, etc…but when their interests were threatened (in other countries), they became extremely brutal and merciless (they turned a blind eye to the atrocities and massacres taking place there).

 Thus, the first way of acquiring Adab is through learning, but one may apply what he has learnt, and he may not, while the second way is through establishing a firm connection with Allah the Almighty (through adhering to Allah's Orders and Prohibitions, and performing supererogatory acts of worship, etc…). As I have just mentioned, this type of Adab is fixed and unchangeable regardless of man's condition, so it is the same when man is rich or poor, powerful or weak, married or single, young or old, etc…. Verily, this is the genuine morals. Allah the Almighty says:

"And verily, you (O Muhammad PBUH) are on an exalted standard of character."

(Al-Qalam, 4)

 These high morals are so deeply rooted in the true believer's soul that he could be likened to a giant ship which is never affected by waves. On the other hand, the one who has weak faith may curse the religion at the very least annoying matter.

 Dear brothers, the second of Adab is based on establishing a firm connection with Allah the Almighty. In other words, the high moral standards are with Allah the Almighty (since everything belongs to Him), and He grants them to those whom He loves. Actually, these high morals will benefit the believer in the worldly life and in the Hereafter.

The high morals of the cunning are worthless in the Sight of Allah

 There is a third kind of Adab which is not within the scope of our discussion today. It is the high morals of the cunning people, like the one who behaves modestly in order to be admired by others and accordingly to achieve personal benefit or interest with them, the one who keeps his promises in order to earn his customers' trust, and so to sell more products, or the one who masters his work in order to increase his profit, and so on… Thus, the based-moral benefits resulting from human intelligence are called the high morals of the cunning people, and this kind of high morals is entirely irrelevant to the subject of our lecture today.

 Many candidates, as you all know, use propaganda in order to increase their chances of winning. Also, they may launch aggressive campaigns against each other. Thus, when one is heedless of Allah the Almighty, he will blindly follow his own desires and interests, i.e. he may sacrifice everything (the most valueless and the most precious things), may hold great banquets, or may behave modestly in an exaggerated way in order to get something that raises his position or makes him win a seat in a council, an association, or a chamber, etc…

 Thus, the third kind of Adab is when one adheres to high morals such as honesty, sincerity, etc.…and seeks perfection in order to gain others' admiration and fulfill his own interests. As I have mentioned above, this kind of Adab is entirely irrelevant to the subject of today's lecture, and it is called the benefit –based high morals of the crafty people at which the West excel the most. For example, in spite of the fact that they care about animal rights, they turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the massacres perpetrated against other nations. Thus, this benefit-based Adab is worthless in the Sight of Allah, since it is just smart behavior one follows in order to fulfill his own interests.

Salah (the prayer) teaches us the authentic morality

 When we perform Salah properly, we will be granted the authentic morality, but unfortunately sometimes we underestimate it. Allah the Almighty says:

"…and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance."

(Ta-Ha, 14)

 Is it acceptable to perform the five prayers imposed by Allah the Almighty with complete negligence and inattentiveness? Do you accept your performance of Salah as an act of worship to be inattentive recitation of the Noble Quran and improper Ruku (kneeling) and Sujud (prostration) as your mind wanders in Salah thinking about your own problems, then you performs Taslim (the concluding portion of Salah), and finish your Salah? Allah the Almighty says:

"…and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance."

(Ta-Ha, 14)

 Do you remember Allah the Almighty in your Salah? He says:

"Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah!"

(Al-Alaq, 19)

 Do you feel that your Salah draws you near to Allah the Almighty? It was narrated in the relic that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((Allah does not accept the Prayers of an individual until his heart achieves in it what his body has achieved.))

[Mentioned in the relic]

 Allah the Almighty says in the following abrogated Ayah (In Islamic terminology, abrogation means lifting a ruling indicated by a shar'i text, on the basis of evidence from the Qur'an or Sunnah):

"O you who believe! Approach not As-Salat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter,"

(An-Nisa', 43)

 This means he who is completely unmindful of what he recites during his Salah is exactly like the one who is in a drunken state. Thus, Salah, the first important act of worship that none is exempt from performing (except women during times of menstruation and postpartum bleeding) has been imposed upon us in order to derive perfection from the Divine Character of Allah the Almighty.

Allah's Remembrance of you is far greater than your remembrance of Him:

 Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, says:

"Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha' (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and the remembering (praising, etc.) of (you by) Allah (in front of the angels) is greater indeed [than your remembering (praising, etc.) Allah in prayers, etc.]."

(Al-Ankabut, 45)

 Some scholars interpreted the above mentioned Ayah as follows, "Allah's Remembrance of you during Salah is far greater than your remembrance of Him, since when He remembers you, He will grant you perfection, prudence, wisdom, contentment, and chastity."

 Do you believe that the only difference between the one who is illiterate and the other who holds a Ph.D. is only the pen the latter puts in his T-shirt pocket? Of course not, the latter have spent about 35 years studying; first he completed the elementary, preparatory and secondary education, then he went to university, and he got a bachelor's degree, general diploma, special diploma, M.A degree, and PhD degree. Thus, after 35 years of hard work; studying, writing, editing, memorizing, revising, and doing exams he got the Ph.D. degree. So, the difference between the illiterate person and the one who holds a Ph.D. degree is not only the pen the latter puts in his T-shirt pocket since the former may put six pens in his T-shirt pocket while he may put the books in his office upside down!

High morals are with Allah the Almighty (since everything belongs to Him)

 As I have mentioned above, Allah's Remembrance of you during Salah is far greater than your remembrance of Him in the sense that when He remembers you He will grant you wisdom. Allah the Almighty says:

"…and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good."

(Al-Baqarah, 269)

 When He remembers you, He will grant you prudence. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((O ' Umar! Calm down. Have you not heard a patient person is about to be achieved to the rank of Prophethood due to patience?))

 Also, He will grant you contentment, generosity, courage, and other virtuous morals which are with Allah the Almighty, and He grants them to whom He loves. Thus, the most apparent distinctive mark of the true believer is his high morals. Allah the Almighty says:

"Is then he who is a believer like him who is Fasiq (disbeliever and disobedient to Allah)? Not equal are they."

(As-Sajdah, 18)

"Shall We then treat the (submitting) Muslims like the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists and disbelievers, etc.)?* What is the matter with you? How judge you?"

(Al-Qalam, 35-36)

Dear brothers, high moral standards should be the fruit of your Salah, i.e. when one establishes a close connection with Allah the Almighty through performing the acts of worship, he should derive high moral standards like generosity, and prudence, etc…from Allah's Divine Character.

The perfect morals derived from Salah draw you closer to Allah

 There is a critical point indicated in the Ayah where Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, says:

"And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them"

(Al-A'raf, 180)

 Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, has the most Beautiful Names and Best Attributes; He is Al-Kareem (the Most Generous), Al-Haleem (the Most Forbearing), Al-Afu (the Most Forgiving One), Ar-Ra'uf (the Full of kindness), Al-'Alim (the All-Knowing), Al-Ghani ( the Rich, the Free of all wants), Al-Qawi (the All-Strong), and so on…, so when you establish a firm connection with Allah the Almighty, derive perfection from His, and treat others with this perfection, you get closer to Him.

 Thus, the best way to get closer to Allah is through treating others with the perfect morals derived from performing prayers. By doing that, Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, will accept you among His righteous worshippers. In other words, Allah the Almighty is the Most Generous, and He likes the one who is generous towards others, He is the Most Forbearing, and He likes the one who shows forbearance towards others, and so on… Actually, people in charge such as parents, teachers, school counselors, preachers, Du'aat to Allah, and so on… should have these high moral standards which are the result of establishing a firm connection with Allah, getting closer to Him, and loving Him.

The fruit of establishing a firm connection with Allah the Almighty

 Dear brother, as I have said earlier in this lecture, the first way to acquire high moral standards is through learning; reading a book on the Islamic etiquette and morals or on the greatest traits of the Prophet, peace be upon him, supported by evidences and texts from the Qur'an and Sunnah, and some touching stories. After reading, some people apply what they have learnt while others do not, i.e. when some people get angry, they forget about what they have learnt.

 The second way of acquiring high morals is through establishing a firm connection with Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He. Consider this critical point: someone may not know about the Islamic ruling on a matter whether it is permitted or not in Islam, but since he has a firm connection with Allah the Almighty, his high sense of morality will lead him to apply that Islamic ruling by intuition. To make it clear, pay attention to the following example: A man, who does not know about the strict prohibition of being in seclusion with a non-Mahram woman (marriageable woman) in Islam, but he has a firm connection with Allah the Almighty, will never enters the house of his cousin if the latter is not at home even though his wife asks him to come in. His high sense of morality prevents him from entering the house and being in seclusion with a non-Mahram woman (even though he does not know that it is prohibited in Islam).

 I am quite sure that when one establishes a firm connection with Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, he will have a high sense of morality which will make him apply some Islamic rulings although he had no knowledge of them before. It was narrated that our master Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "What a devoted worshipper of Allah Suhaib was! His deep love for Allah prevented him from disobeying Him." Sometimes your morals make you behave in a certain manner, but then you find an Islamic ruling which is in accordance with your behavior.

 Once while I was on a travel, I stood up alone for prayer and intended to shorten my Salah (since it is a confirmed Sunnah for travelers), but when I started my Salah, twenty people prayed behind me and followed me, as an Imam, in Salah. I knew that people in that country had poor knowledge of Shari'ah (Islamic Laws), so I offered Salah in full, lest they would have got confused if I had ended my Salah at the second Rak'ah and asked them to complete it alone (since I was a traveler while they were residents). Later on, I read in a book on Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) that if a travelling Iman thinks that ending his Salah after the second Rak'ah and asking the residents who are praying behind him to complete their four Rak'ah alone will properly get them confused, he should offer Salah in full.

 Sometimes your ethics dictate that you should behave in a certain way, but then you find an Islamic ruling that is in harmony with your behavior. For example, according to Ibn Abdin's book on Fiqh, one should avoid being in seclusion with his son's young wife (in spite of the fact that the son's wife is one of man's Mahram women [marriageable woman].) Actually, some of my acquaintances do that; one of them never enters his son's house if he goes to visit him and finds that his son is not there, and that his son's young wife is alone in her house. Although it is permissible for him to be in seclusion with her since she is one of his Mahram women, he avoids that out of modesty.

Some Ayaat have general meaning out of their context

 As I have just mentioned, you may behave in a certain way according to your morals, then you find an Islamic text in the Noble Quran or Sunnah that is in harmony with your behavior. Consider the following Noble Ayah which confirms this point. Allah the Almighty says:

" …rejoice at what has been revealed unto you (i.e. the Quran),"

(Ar-R'ad, 36)

 Which means the noble companions used to rejoice at the noble Ayaat which were revealed unto the Prophet, peace be upon him, since these Ayaat coincided with the high level of morals they reached due to their firm connection with Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He. Allah the Almighty says:

" …rejoice at what has been revealed unto you (i.e. the Quran),"

(Ar-R'ad, 36)

 Actually, some Noble Ayaat have specific meaning within their context and have general meaning out of it. For example, Allah the Almighty says:

"And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty)."

(At-Talaaq, 2)

 The context of the above mentioned Ayah is divorce, so whoever fears Allah and divorces his wife according to Shari'ah rulings (that man should only divorce his wife once, not three times with one word, that he should not divorce her during her menses, and that there should be no sexual contact with her since the time of her last menses), Allah will make a way for him to get out from this problem and to bring his wife back, whereas the one who divorces his wife against Shari'ah rulings will not find such a way o bring her back, according to some scholars of Islamic jurisprudence. Allah the Almighty says:

"And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty)."

(At-Talaaq, 2)

 Out of its context, this Ayah has a very wide meaning that you can explain in many volumes! Whoever fears Allah and raises his children according to the teachings of Islam, Allah the Almighty will save him from the trial of having disobedient children, whoever fears Allah and refrains from ill-gotten gains, Allah the Almighty will save him from the calamity of money destruction, and so on…. Hence, this Ayah has a specific meaning within its context, but when you take it out of its context, it has a very wide meaning. Allah the Almighty says:

" …rejoice at what has been revealed unto you (i.e. the Quran),"

(Ar-R'ad, 36)

 Thus, the noble companions used to rejoice at the noble Ayaat which were revealed unto the Prophet, peace be upon him, since these Ayaat were in harmony with the spiritual loftiness they reached due to their firm connection with Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He.

Contradiction between human nature and Divine Assignment is the price for Paradise

 Dear brothers, man has an individual human tendency and a social tendency, and the former refers to self-affirmation. Let me give you some examples to explain the difference between the human nature and the Divine Assignment. Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, orders man to wake up for Fajr (dawn) prayer, but according to his human nature, man has a natural desire to sleep. Also, man has a natural desire to collect money, but according to the Divine Assignment, he should give money to charity. Furthermore, man likes to spread scandals and gossip about others, but according to the Divine Assignment, he should keep silent and refrain from that. Also, man has a natural desire to look at the woman revealing her beauty, but according to the Divine Assignment, he should lower his gaze, and so on…. Thus, this contradiction between the human natural desires and the Divine Assignment is the price for Paradise. Allah the Almighty says:

"But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts.* Verily, Paradise will be his abode."

(An-Nazi'aat, 40-41)

 In fact, man has natural inclination to be self-centered, i.e. to care just for himself, while according to the Divine Assignment, he should also care for others. For example, someone may be pleased upon passing the exam, when all others fail, and he likes to strut around like a peacock. However, according to the high moral standards, you should be happy for other people's success.

The need to love and to be loved is a basic human need in Islam:

 Man naturally desires to love others and to be loved in return. Furthermore, the one who does not have this desire is not considered a normal human being. Therefore, Islam considers this desire a basic human need. However, it should be fulfilled properly. For example, it is not permissible for Muslims to celebrate Valentine's Day on which non-Muslims celebrate unlawful affairs and commit adultery in the name of love, because doing this does not please Allah the Almighty. While the real believer loves Allah the Almighty. He says:

"But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else)."

(Al-Baqarah, 165)

 There is nothing more deeply rooted in the believer's heart than the feeling of love. He loves Allah the Almighty, the Prophet, peace be upon him, the noble companions, the Tabi'een (the generation of Muslims who were born after the passing of the Prophet peace be upon him but who were contemporaries of his companions), the believers, the Islamic scholars, the Masajid (the houses of Allah), the Noble Qur'an, the righteous deeds, humility, and everything which is close to perfection, and so on…Thus, as I have just mentioned, the feeling of love is deeply rooted in the believer's heart, and there is something wrong with the one who does not have the natural desire to love others and be loved. However, celebrating Valentine's Day turns this sublime and true love into impure and prohibited affairs non-Muslims have every day.

 As you know man has many individual needs such as the need to be well-honored, to affirm his self-wroth, to earn others' respect, to play a highly important and unique role in life, to occupy a high position, and so on… Also, man naturally likes the company of others. For example, no matter how luxurious your house is, you will not be pleased if you live alone. Man is naturally sociable, so he likes to be with others such as his family, children, relatives, friends, colleagues, and so on… Also, man naturally needs others' support, so he likes to have a strong relationship with someone who gives him firm support like a cousin who occupies a senior position, for example. This relationship will give him a great sense of reassurance, because his cousin will stand by him, protect him at times of difficult situation and fulfill his needs.

 Also, man has other social needs such as the need for security, for exchanging ideas, experiences, and knowledge, and for achieving accomplishments, etc. Thus, man has personal needs and social ones. As long as both needs are fulfilled, this will bring him a sense of balance. However, when there is a conflict of interests, one should never prefer personal needs to social ones. It happened that a man allowed his friend to live in a house he owned for one month, but the latter stayed for 8 years, considering himself a tenant, so he took advantage of the unjust rental law, and he refused to move out. As a result, he lost his reputation, social position, social relationships, honor, and good morals in order to stay in that good house at the lowest price.

Islam turns social needs into acts of worship

 As I have mentioned above, when there is a conflict between social and individual needs, some people may prefer their personal interests to their reputation. This is exactly the problem with the West; they used to represent the civilized world who claim to defend human rights including women's and children's rights, etc. but they deliberately turned a blind eye to the ruthless violations of human rights when 500 Palestinian children were killed in Gaza, because of the common interests between them and those murderers.

 One of the greatest manifestations of Islam is that it elevates the social need to the level of worship (this happens when the believer prefers social needs over personal interest in case of conflict between the personal interests and the social position). In other word, telling the truth, to other Muslims, visiting the sick, fulfilling the needs of the brother in faith, and so on…, will raised your position in the Sight of Allah the Almighty. Hence, out of the greatness of Islam, the social needs turn into acts of worship.

 The high morals of the true believer make other people love him; since he adheres to the Orders and Prohibitions of Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, he cannot tell a lie, he accepts others' invitation, he helps them, and he gives them his objective point of view when they ask him for his opinion about a matter, and so on.

 After the battle of Badr, the Prophet, peace be upon him, saw among the captives his son-in-law Abu Al-Aas who was Mushrik (polytheist), but out the Prophet's great faithfulness and fairness, he, peace be upon him, praised Abu Al-Aas saying, "He used to be one of the best sons in law."
One of the greatest things in slam is that your social needs are raised in the Sight of Allah to the level of the acts of worship. In other words, your social activities such as saying the truth, accepting others' invitation, being humble, providing the poor with food and clothes, and visiting the sick, etc… are regarded by Allah the Almighty as righteous deeds. For that reason, the true believer never damages his social position in order to gain some personal benefits since it is not a mere social position, but rather it is an act of worship. Someone may destroy his reputation; may accept a large amount of money as a bribe, for example, in order to gain some personal benefit, while the true believer never does that since his social activities turn into acts of worship. Therefore, he never prefers his own benefit to his social status.
 Allah raises the status of the one whose social relations are based on His obedience

 Let me tell you one more thing, dear brothers, one of the greatest things about Islam is that all the believer's activities can be performed through a pure and lawful way. For instance, in Islam there is no charitable concert, charitable lottery, study trips where there is free-mixing between males and females, and so on… Thus, all the believer's social activities are performed through pure and lawful way.

 Dear brothers, I would like to assure you that as a believer your social activities turn into acts of worship. Furthermore, other people will admire you since you act upon Allah's Orders.

 Listen to this story, please. One of my brothers in faith, who was a contractor, constructed a building, and he sold some flats, but due to reasons beyond his control, those flats were not registered in the names of their new owners. Many years later, house prices increased about 20-fold, so the owners of the houses offered him an amount of money in order to register the houses in their names, but he utterly refused to take the money saying that he had received the whole price, and that there was no additional payment. Since he obeyed Allah the Almighty and adhered to His Orders, he was honest with them, and that made them highly respect him. As long as your social relationships are based on Allah's Obedience, you will be raised in the Sight of Allah the Almighty and in peoples' sight as well.

 In conclusion, all the believer's activities should be performed through pure and lawful ways. Furthermore, what really distinguishes the true believer is his high morals. That is why your real success is to teach your child these high morals. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

(("That a man should discipline his son/daughter is better for him than to have given a Sa' in charity. ( Sa' is a weights measurement that is approximately between 2.6 kg to 3 kg.))

[At-Tirmidhi]

 As a father, you should teach your son/daughter to abstain from saying bad words, from sitting impolitely, from dressing up indecently, from sitting in a way that shows arrogance and haughtiness while driving a car for example, from making impolite remarks, and so on. Keep in mind that the believer is well-mannered since he adheres to the Islamic moral standards and values.

Translation  : Rana Saraqbi
Edited by      : Kawthar Hajj Saleh