Islamic Education- Children Education 2008- Lesson (04- 36): Ethical education
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.

The solid relation between faith and ethics:

 First: Faith is all about good conduct, and whosoever attained better manners, surely attained better faith than yours. Hence, faith in a concise inclusive definition is: “good conduct”.
In bringing to light the sound relation between faith and good conduct, Bukhari and Muslim reported, in that respect, a group of the most authenticated Ahadeeth among which are the following ones: The prophet PBUH said:

((The best among Muslims is the one with the noble morals))

[From Al Durr Al Manthoor, by Jaber Bin Sumrah]

 And that:

((The best among believers is the one with the noble morals))

[From Al Jameh Li Ahkam Al Quran, by Abu Ja’far]

((Who is the most beloved to Allah the Almighty? He said: “He is the one with the best morals”))

[Tabarani, By Osama Bin Sharieek]

((The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be one who is the best of you in manners))

((The best people are bestowed with is the good conduct))

[Al Hakem, by Osamah Bin Shuraik Mirdas Al Aslami]

((Nothing is heavier on the scale of a believer on the day of Judgment than good conducts))

[Abu Dawood, and Tirmizi]

((A believer will attain by his good behavior the rank of one who prays during the night and observes fasting during the day))

[Abu Dawod, By Aisha]

((Man will attain by his good morals the highest part of Jannah (paradise).))

[Tabarani, by Anas Bin Malek]

((Noble morals melt (sweep away) sins just like when water melts ice, and the bad morals corrupt deeds just like when vinegar corrupts honey))

[Al Tabarani, by Abudu Allah Bin Abbas]

Good conduct is what religion is all about:

 There will be no harm in repeating this group of the most authenticated Ahadeeth which denote the sound relation between faith and good conduct:

((The best among Muslims))

 Namely, the highest level of Muslim in the sight of Allah:

((Is the one with the noble morals))

((The best among believers is the one with the noble morals))

((Who is the most beloved to Allah the Almighty? He said: “He is the one with the best morals”))

((The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be one who is the best of you in manners))

((The best people are bestowed with is the good conduct))

((Nothing is heavier on the scale of a believer on the day of Judgment than good conducts))

((A believer will attain by his good behavior the rank of one who prays during the night and observes fasting during the day))

((Man will attain by his good morals the highest part of Jannah (paradise).))

((Noble morals melt (sweep away) sins just like when water melts ice, and the bad morals corrupt deeds just like when vinegar corrupts honey))

What attracts people to Islam is your good conduct:

 The prophet PBUH was an orator, eloquent, and a good speaker (according to contemporary terms he was a diplomatic speaker), not to mention that he was wise, good looking, excellent articulator, a judge, a leader, an army commander, a prophet, a messenger, and he acquired uncountable characteristics, however, and despite all this, when Allah wanted to praise him, He mentioned his good conduct:

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

[Al-Qalam, 4]

 When there are no morals, there will be no religion.
  Dear brothers, your acts of worship, your Sawm (fasting), your Salah, and your night prayers won’t be the reason for others to be attracted to Islam, but your good conduct will.
 I was told by a brother in Turkey during the season of tourism, when it was crowded with tourists, there was a Greek man cruising the most beautiful spots in Turkey, however, all hotels were full, and he couldn’t check in any hotel, not even in four stars hotels, three stars hotels, two stars hotels, nor could he check in an unrated hotels. So where should he sleep? He knocked on one of the doors (given he is non Muslim Greek man), so a Muslim opened the door, he said to him: Do you have a place where I can sleep the night? The man answered: Yes I have (and he happened to have a wife and children), he welcomed him to his house, he prepared a meal for him, and told him that he has another house. The Greek man ate his meal, got some rest and was shown to the bedroom.
 The next morning, the guest woke up, and to his surprise, he found the Muslim man and his family sleeping under the tree next to the house (as the owner of the house didn’t have another house), and if he told him so, the guest would never have agreed to sleep in the house, moreover, in the morning the Muslim served his guest breakfast. I have been told that the Greek man became a great proselytizer after converting to Islam.
 The Turkish Muslim attracted the Greek man to Islam with his ideal treatment, not with his prayers, Sawm, Zikr, or Quran reciting.

What brings people to Islam is your good behavior:

 By Allah crowds of non-Muslims might embrace Islam due to Muslims’ good treatment, and then what do you think attracted people to the prophet PBUH? It is his nice behavior and humbleness.
  A Bedouin showed up in the prophet’s assembly and asked: Who among you is Mohammad? This question indicates that the prophet was never marked by a privilege, special clothes, or place.
He was one of his companions. He was known by his mercy, humbleness, tolerance, loyalty, and politeness.
 Let me tell you the following fact: unless we are ethical enough in the full sense of the word, no one will embrace Islam. We should stay away from harshness, calling each other names, and being violent.

((Graciousness enslaves the free man))

 By Allah, there are uncountable stories in that respect.
 A brother told me a story of a child who entered the mosque to pray, where there were only seven people and it was obvious that he will stand in the first row (apparently there is only one row), a cruel man, who once has heard that kids should stand in the second row, pushed the child harshly, this brother has sworn to me that the child stormed out of the mosque and never offered prayers for the next fifty five years because of this violent act against him.
  In another story a brother told me: A child entered the mosque to pray, but unfortunately his new pair of shoes were stolen, to which he cried his eyes out, upon watching him crying, a generous lofty man approached him and took him to buy new shoes which happened to be better than the stolen ones. He swore to me that this child never missed a prayer in his life.
 Two stances led to two different results.
 Faith is all about good conduct, and whosoever is better in his manners, will be better than you in his faith.
  Remember, no father can persuade his children to offer prayers if he cruelly hits, swears, or shouts at them (most likely the child will offer his Salah without Wodoo in this case).

The human being is captured by graciousness:

 Would you like to be an influential proselytizer without being a scholar? The answer to that will be through being gracious to people, and it has been said that the human being is enslaved by graciousness.
  Be nice to people, for I swear by Allah, the only God, if only the Islamic communities in the western world apply their religion as it should be, western people will embrace Islam in groups.
Islamic behavior is the most effective “call to Islam” in Britain, and being honest is the clearest path to be a good example.

﴾ O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety ﴿

[Al-Ma’idah, 8]

 Be fair to your enemy, you earn his respect.
 Be moral in front of your son as a father, you make him adhere to offering prayers and you make a follower of this religion out of him.
  Be moral in front of your daughter as a mother, and you make a chaste, pure, and Muhajabah Muslim person out of her.
 The only path to affect people is by good conduct, humbleness, fairness, mercy, and justice.(or being just)
 Apparently, I am tackling here the comprehensive matters of the religion, for the details are endless, and if we ask: how many hadeeths do we have? The answer will be nine books of the most authenticated Ahadeeth through most of which the prophet PBUH established a connection between true faith and good conduct.

Comprehending and applying Islam before offering it to others:

 We shouldn’t comprehend the religion as texts, evidences, analysis, and prejudgment towards people through labeling them of Kufr (atheism), shirk (polytheism), or innovation, for this behavior makes people break away from this religion.
 Accordingly, we should comprehend this religion as it should be, apply it rightly, and offer it nicely to the others.
  Sahel Ibn Abudullah Al Tasatturi said: I was three years old offering night prayers, and I used to watch my uncle’s Salah Mohammad Ibn Siwar who said to me once: Do you remember Allah who created you? So I asked: How can I remember Hm? To which he answered: Say in your heart, when you are about to sleep, three times without moving your lips: Allah is with me, Allah is watching me, Allah is observing me. Sahel said: I did that for a few nights and I told him about it, so he said to me: Now do this seven times every night. I did that and told him about it, so he made it eleven times, and on the third night, I felt the sweetness of remembrance in my heart, and a year later, my uncle told me to keep what he taught me and to do that till I die, for it will help me in the worldly life and in the hereafter. I kept my promise and repeated that for years, till I felt sweetness within me. One day my uncle said to me: O Sahel, whomever Allah is with, watches, and observes him, will he disobey Allah? Beware of sinning.

Harshness breaks people from about you:

 Be kind, and don’t beat, humiliate, or push your son to perform Wodoo, for this violent behavior will brush your son away from you, instead, be kind.
  A Shaikh (scholar) told a young student of his: O son, every sin imposes punishment. Apparently, this young student sinned once, and according to his Shaikh, he waited for Allah’s punishment. He waited for days, one week, two weeks and three weeks, and then he talked to Allah in his prayer, he said: O Allah, I committed a sin but you didn’t punish me. To which his heart was inspired with a divine answer to that question: O my slave, I punished you but you didn’t know, did I not withdraw the ecstasy of Munanjat (secret talk with Allah) from you?
  A child is attracted to the nice behavior, to leniency, to tenderness, to affection and to kindness. Instead of threatening your son of beating him if he doesn’t offer Fajr prayer in congregation, say to him that he will be rewarded for it, as there is big difference between the two words, hence, leave punishment and harshness aside.

((Teach but don’t treat harshly, as the teacher is better than the cruel))

[Al Hareth, by Abu hurairan]

Humbleness, tolerance, and politeness attract people to you:

 The prophet PBUH was praying with his companions, when a companion was running late for the prayer, so when he saw the prophet PBUH was about to finish the first Rukat, he hastened and made noise (in order to tell the prophet to slow down so he can catch up with the first Rukat), but in the process he disturbed the prayer, and eventually he managed to catch up with the first Rukat. Upon finishing Salah, what did the prophet PBUH say to him? He said: O brother, you disturbed our prayer. Then he said: May Allah increase your devotion, please don’t do that again.
  Do you notice how polite the prophet PBUH was?
  From my point of view, if you were a father, a teacher, a proselytizer, or a mother, you won’t attract people unless you were humble, tolerant, kind, polite, nice, and compassionate.

The Quran is the frame reference of educating people:

 Dear brothers, you should know that the entire religion comes down to one word, that is, “good conduct”.
 And be aware that the prophet’s companions were influential, all over the world, through their good conduct.
  Muslims nowadays are labeled with harshness, and actually we are in no need for a proselytizer who shouts and treat people harshly, instead, we need him to be an advisor, who doesn’t praise, nor does he expose others, so if you were a father, a teacher, a neighbor, or a friend don’t use fierceness or arrogance, as, in such behavior, you go against Quranic manners. If you were to ask me about Quranic manner in argumentation, you would find the unbelievable answer in the following Ayah:

﴾ And verily, (either) we or you are rightly guided or in a plain error ﴿

[Saba’, 31]

 Namely, the right is either on our side or yours, hence, let us discuss without arrogance (in order to see on whose side right lies). This is the manner of argument, unlike some people who say: I am a believer and you are Kafer (atheist), or say: I am knowledgeable and you are ignorant, so, does any worldly manner (you know) levels up to the Quranic standard of argument?

﴾ And verily, (either) we or you are rightly guided or in a plain error ﴿

 This is the manner we were taught by Quran. There is another Quranic manner in the following Ayah:

﴾ Say (O Muhammad to these polytheists, pagans, etc.) "You will not be asked about our sins, nor shall we be asked of what you do." ﴿

[Maryam, 31]

 What will you say about that? Whose words are these? They are the words of the Creator of heavens and earth, who teaches us the art of argument (or discussion):

﴾ "You will not be asked about our sins, nor shall we be asked of what you do." ﴿

 Whosoever longs to be a proselytizer, should be nice and lenient.

﴾And argue with them in a way that is better﴿

[An-Nahl, 125]

 “Better” here is a comparative adjective, namely, if there are thousands of nice lines to be said, you should choose the best among them.
  Once Umar passed by people who had started a fire, and he said to them: Assalam Alaikum people of light. Pay attention that he didn’t say: Assalam Alaikum people of fire, hence, he was nice in his greeting.
 Take this other example: when someone asks: are you sick? You shouldn’t say: “La Afaka Allah” (No may Allah cure you), instead, scholars said: you should say: No, May Allah cure you (by separating the word “no” from your supplication by a comma so that the other person might not think that you are asking Allah not to cure him).

Every Muslim should treat others with good manners:

 Please pay attention to the following: One of the western authors said: Why do you doubt Allah’s existence, for without Allah my wife would have fornicated, and without Allah my servant would have stolen from me? How do we understand this statement?
 This means: when Allah ordered you to be honest and trustworthy (which is good), He ordered the rest of Muslims (one billion and five hundred million Muslims) to be honest and trustworthy with you in return, and you will be the first gainer thereby. Accordingly, you are the first profiteer of any restriction in terms of morality.
  Pardon me, but don’t you give your trust to the person who is pious, righteous, and who is one of the mosque’s frequent visitors? Wouldn’t you be certain that he won’t tell you a lie? That he won’t deceive you? Won’t take what he does not own? That is because you were ordered by Allah to acquire good conduct likewise He ordered one billion and five hundred million Muslims around the world, hence, if you are good to them, they will be good to you in return.

You won’t disobey Allah knowing His omnipotence:

 Pay attention to the following delicate fact: good conduct is based on three abutments: you should believe that Allah exists, you should believe in life after death and that there will be a very fair judgment. Unless you believe in these three words, you won’t be moral, and don’t believe that there ever is corruption except because of overlooking these three facts.
 I used to say: if you are riding your car and the traffic light is red, a traffic policeman is there, another one on his motorcycle, and there is a police car with a traffic officer in it, is it possible that you break the law? Impossible! That is because you are certain that the law-giver (the powerful person or the minister) can reach you, not to mention that you know beyond doubt that some traffic violations might put you in jail for an entire year. Hence, the traffic policeman represents the law, and he has the power over you through the authorities he has, so is it possible that you violate any law? Impossible! Allah says:

﴾ It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven). His Command descends between them (heavens and earth), that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge. ﴿

[At-Talaaq, 31]

  When you are certain beyond doubt that Allah’s knowledge reaches you, and His Omnipotence can get you, it will be impossible for you to disobey Him.

We shouldn’t disobey Allah in order to avoid His punishment:

 If you imported a shipment (as a Syrian merchant) from Germany, and you know that there is a pink copy of your imports’ papers which will go to the Finance Ministry, will you be able to hide this deal? If you did, you will lose a lot of money as penalty by the finance ministry, because they know (through this pink copy) about your deal.
  In comparison, you abide by the law when you know that a human like you (but has the power of the law) knows about what you do and is capable of punishing you, so what about the creator of heavens and earth, and the One who knows the secret and what is more hidden.
  In order to acquire good conduct, there are moral and tangible reasons, namely, when you know that Allah exists, knows, there is life after death, there is judgment in the hereafter, and there is punishment you will not disobey Him, hence, watch yourself.

We should learn from what we are afflicted with:

 One more thing: Upon observing Allah’s treatment to you, and finding out that there is a divine discipline after every sin, will you not conclude that every sin imposes punishment, so why will you disobey Allah then?
 Allah is the Lord of the worlds, so His punishment is not about counting your shortcomings rather its about disciplining you. Therefore, every slip you make, every sin you commit, and every inclining from the right path you do will impose a deep lesson from Allah to be learnt by you.
  A man told me in Ramadan that his Zakat was 10750, but his wife insisted that he should use that money to change the furniture, to which he responded, and didn’t pay Zakat in order to fulfill her desire.
 He swore to me that he had a car accident, and the total sum of money to repair it was exactly 10750. This is obviously a lesson from Allah the Almighty to be learnt the hard way.
 Speaking of this incident, this reminds me of the story of a companion whose wife put a pressure on him to buy her things she needed which he couldn’t afford, and upon putting more pressure on him he said to her: O woman, there are Hoor Ain (women) in paradise, and if one of them showed up on earth, the light of her face would cover the light of the sun and the moon altogether, so I better sacrifice you for their sake, rather than sacrifice them for your sake. This is a very clear stance.
 Do you want to know the worst person in dealing with Allah? He is the one who doesn’t learn a lesson from Allah’s discipline to him. It has been said: Whosoever does not learn from affliction, the greatest affliction is within him.

Whosoever is embraced with a big heart will follow Allah’s path:

 When you believe beyond doubt that Allah exists, knows, will hold you responsible for your acts, will punish you, His knowledge reaches you, and His Omnipotence controls you, that will be enough motivations for you to be righteous on His path, to be honest and to be trustworthy.
  Abu Hanifah, the well-known respectful scholar, happened to have a neighbor, who used to bother him with his singing for years, for he sings only when people usually go to sleep, and one of his favorite songs was the following:

They forgot about me and what a big loss for them
For I am the reliable young man on days of hardship and wars
* * *

 Abu Hanifah missed his singing one night, so he asked himself, what is the matter with my neighbor? When he found out that he was in jail, Abu Hanifah, with all his loftiness, went to the police officer who could not believe that this respectful scholar came to him, and for his sake, he set this person free and all the prisoners who were taken in that day. Then Abu Hanifah helped his neighbor to mount on his camel and said to him: Hey young man, did we forget about you? (for he always used to sing that line of poetry), to which the neighbor answered: By Allah, for your sake, I will never sing again.
 A young sinner would melt in shyness if he finds a big heart to embrace him, hence, don’t be harsh on people, and take Abu Hanifah as an example, for he went himself, with all his loftiness, to set this singing neighbor free. His point of view was that the neighbor has rights on him, even if he was not a Muslim or was not righteous.

Good conducts are priceless:

 Dear brothers, moral education comes first in importance, and it soothes the heart to see a polite, shy, and nice student.
 We were visited by a young Turkish man with good conduct to such an extent that he stood up while he was talking over the phone with his father in Adanah (city in Turkey). This young man was taught good conduct by his father, and he caught our attention that he was sitting when he dialed the number, but the minute his father answered, he stood up, so we asked him about that behavior, he answered: it is out of question for me to talk to my father while sitting down (remember that was over the phone not in person).
 Good conduct is priceless dear brothers, and you should train your son to be polite and to apologize when that is needed.
  The prophet PBUH taught us how a son should be polite with his father, he said:

((Don't walk in front of him, don't sit before he does, don’t call him by his name, and don’t swear using his name))

[Tabarani, by A’isha the mother of believers]

 Once I was shown a house (to buy it), so I entered one of the rooms with the owner of the house, in which there was a young man laying on his back watching a movie of a gay couple, and he didn’t move a muscle upon our entrance. Not only he was corrupted (by watching such a movie) but he also was impolite (as he didn’t move upon our entrance).
 So dear brothers, educating our children covers all aspects such like morals, faith, science, psychology, social, body building, and it covers sexual education, but as you see morals comes first.

Things a father should do to educate his son:

1- Being gracious to him:

 Dear brothers, I will put between your hands a few Ahadeeth in the respect of good conduct, and as regard of raising a son by his father, the prophet PBUH said:

((Nothing is better than good conducts to be taught to a child by his father))

[Tirmizi, by Sa’eed Ibn Al A’as]

 In another Hadith:

((Be generous to your children and look after their conducts))

[Ibn Majah, by Anas Ibn Malek]

 This Hadith might have a delicate indication, namely, you can’t rear your kids before being gracious to them. In other words, Al Ihsan (graciousness) comes before Bayan (reasoning), for you open your son’s heart through Ihsan.

2- Being open with him:

 Reasoning with your son, opens his mind, however, you should start with graciousness before reasoning. Namely, according to the Islamic culture, every father is respected in this region and culture, but not every father is loved. Triumph lies in gaining your children’s love (as a father), not only their respect, for that the prophet PBUH said:

((Be generous to your children and look after their conducts))

[Ibn Majah, by Anas Ibn Malek]

 Namely, you can’t teach them morals unless you are generous to them and this is an indication similar to the indication in the following Ayah:

﴾ Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). ﴿

[An-Nur, 30]

 Lowering gaze is the path to protect oneself from illegal sexual acts, and unless you do so, you will never be able to widen the gap (to be as far as earth is distant from heavens) between you and fornication.

﴾ Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). ﴿


((Be generous to your children and look after their conducts))

[Ibn Majah, by Anas Ibn Malek]

 Reach out to your son’s heart by graciousness, and reach out to his mind by being frank and reasoning.

3- Guiding, settling records then admonishing:

 The third indication:

((Teach but don’t treat harshly, as the teacher is better than the cruel))

[Al Hareth, by Abu hurairan]

 It is not a solution to swing between the two extremes of beating the child harshly (when the father is angry) and leaving him on his own, instead, the father rather guides his child first then he can discipline, blame, or even avert talking to him, and as it has been said: whosoever obeys your rod, is actually disobeying you.

((Teach but don’t treat harshly, as the teacher is better than the cruel))

4-Guiding to the right path comes before rearing:

 The forth indication:

((Teach your children goodness and rear them))

[Ibn Majah, by Anas]

  Teaching, as a father, precedes holding your child responsible for his acts (unlike what some fathers do), instead, you should tell him that this act is prohibited by Quran, and this behavior is forbidden by the prophet. Unless you do so, you will be unfair to your child, for the latter has no knowledge save what you teach him, therefore, teach him first the divine method, and then discipline him, and this is the forth indication.

((The right of a child upon his father is that he should give him a nice appellation, train him well and teach him the Noble Qur'an (with its rules).))

[Al Bazzar, by Abu Hurairah]

 These were the instructions of the prophet PBUH, hence, in order to be a follower to the prophetic method, be a follower to these instructions.

Translation  : Noura Sharabi
Auditing       : Ghada homad