Ramadan Lectures- Flashes on faith1425H- Lesson(20-64): Good Conduct

2004-10-24

Good conduct:

 Dignified brother, one of the essentials of the believer is to be a character of good conduct, as the accurate definition of good conduct is the discipline of one's behavior.

 Allah, the Exalted installed desires in man, and He allowed him to satisfy them unconditionally. However, according to the wise Shari'ah, man is obliged to satisfy these desires within the permitted limits. Man can fully fulfill whatever desire Allah installed in him, yet Shari'ah allowed him to have a relation with the woman only through marriage, to earn money legally, and so on. Allah permits man to satisfy his desires through permitted ways, i.e. according to the Divine Shari'ah. Thus, whoever moves within the limits permitted to him by Allah has good conduct. This means that good conduct is acquired; it is based on choice, then will, and then action. Allah addressed the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, who has the most noble traits saying:

"We shall make you to reauthor (the Qur'an), so you (O Muhammad PBUH) shall not forget (it)"

(Al-A'la:6)

 He had the ability to memorize the Noble Qur'an after being reauthord before him only once, he was the most eloquent among Arabs and he was handsome. Allah granted him all the qualities which helped him convey the Message, so they were means of the Da'wah. However, when Allah praised him, He praised only his good conduct. Let me make it clear by giving you an example. Assume that a child asked his father, who is a king to give him a palace, and the father did. He asked him to give him a private plane for his own, and the father did. Also, he asked him to give him a yacht, and the father did. Therefore, it is unreasonable for a father to have a party in which he does honor to his son for having the yacht or the plane. The father can do honor to his son when he excels in his studies, because this is something he acquires by exerting efforts.

 As I said previously, all the means of the Da'awh such as eloquence, strong memory and wisdom are characteristics of Da'awh which Almighty Allah bestowed upon the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him. Nevertheless, when Allah praises the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, He mentions something that he, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, acquired himself, which is good conduct. Hence, man's characteristics might be granted to him by Allah, whereas good conduct is acquired, Allah says:

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

(Al-Qalam:4)

 Mrs. Aeyshah, may Allah be pleased with her, was asked about his good conduct, and she said:

((The Qur'an was his character.))

 If you read all of the Noble Qur'an, you will notice that Allah praises the honest and he, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, was honest, He praises the charitable person, and he, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, was a charitable person, and He praises the patient, and he, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, was patient. All the noble traits and teachings of the Noble Qur'an are implemented by the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, wholeheartedly to his daily life. Thus, the Noble Qur'an was his character.

Good manners:

 Some said: "The universe is a silent Qur'an, Qur'an is a talking universe and the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, is a walking Qur'an."

 The good manners are combined in one Ayah, Allah says:

"Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish (i.e. don't punish them"

(Al-A'raf: 199)

 The word "Show" has a great meaning; when you forgive those who oppress you, give those who deprive you, keep in touch with those who sever ties with you, then you show forgiveness. Your forgiveness is manifested when you forgive whoever treats you unjustly, when you give whoever deprives you and when you keep ties with whoever severs ties with you.

 Narrated Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him: The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
((Nine things the Lord has commanded me: Fear of Allah in private and in public; justness, whether in anger or in calmness; moderation in both poverty and affluence; that I should join hands with those who break away from me; and give to those who deprive me; and forgive those who wrong me; and that my silence should be meditation; and my words be remembrance of Allah; and my vision be keen observation; and enjoin what is good.))

(Reported by Abu Hurairah)

"Show forgiveness"

 Now the command:
 "enjoin what is good", Urf (what is good) is whatever the sound fitrah is axiomatically familiar with. For instance, man is moulded to love honesty, justice and mercy. Allah the Exalted commanded the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, to show forgiveness and enjoin what is good, 'O Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, you should command people to have good conduct with which man was created.

 "enjoin what is good"

 People may or may not obey your command, and they may praise these commands or dispraise them. The morally deviated man does not like good manners, so he takes what is not his and assaults sh3er' reputation, Allah the Almighty says:

"Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish (i.e. don't punish them"

(Al-A'raf: 199)

 There are a number of sound As7adeth which indicate that the most valuable thing at all in religion is good conduct.

 Nawwaas bin Sam'aan said:

((I asked the Messenger of Allah about righteousness and sin and he replied, "Righteousness is good conduct and sin is something that is deeply rooted in your heart of which you would not like anybody to know.")) (Reported by Muslim)

 One of the most significant word which indicates good conduct is:

((Righteousness is good conduct))

((Nothing is heavier in the believer's Scale of Deeds on the Day of Resurrection than good manners.))

(Reported Abu Dawood and At-Tirmizi)

 Allah the Almighty hates the obscene and indecent man.

 Abu Hurairah said:

((The Messenger of Allah was asked of the act that mostly makes people enter Paradise and he replied: 'Fear of Allah and good conduct.' He was also asked of the act that mostly makes people enter Hell and he answered, 'The mouth and the private parts.'))

(Reported by Ibn Majah and Ahmad)

 It means the lust for food and sex.

 Aeyshah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:

((The most perfect of the believers in faith are the best of them in morals.))

(Reported by Ahmad and At-Tirmizi)  Abu Hurairah said: The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:

((The most perfect of the believers in faith are the best of them in morals. And the best among them are those who are best to their wives.))

 Aeyshah, may Allah have mercy on her, said: I heard the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, saying:

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

(Reported by Abu Dawood and Ahmad)

 A man who fasts during the day and prays during the night is outrun by he who has good conduct.

 Abu Umamah said: The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:

((I guarantee a house on the outskirts of Paradise for he who leaves arguing even if he is right, and a house in the middle of Paradise for he who leaves lying even when joking, and a house in the highest part of Paradise for he who makes his character excellent.))

(Reported by Abu Dawood)

 It is a reference to hypocrisy and argument.

 If you ask me, is it possible to sum up religion as a whole after having a sound belief in one word? I will answer: Good conduct. This made one of the well known scholars (Ibn Al-Qayyim) to say "Faith is good conduct, so whoever has better morals than yours has deeper faith than yours."

 Jabir, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said: The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:

(("The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be one who is the best of you in manners; and the most abhorrent among you to me and the farthest of you from me will be the pompous, the garrulous, and Al-Mutafaihiqun." The Companions asked him: "O Messenger of Allah! We know about the pompous and the garrulous, but we do not know who Al-Mutafaihiqun are.'' He, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, replied: "The arrogant people."))

(Reported by At-Tirmizi)

 Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

((The Messenger of Allah, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, had a flower-colored complexion, and as if his sweat was pearls. When he walked, he leaned forward. I never touched any cloth, silk or anything, more soft than the hand, of Allah's Messenger, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, his hand, and I never smelt musk or perfume more fragrant than the sweat of Allah's Messenger, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him.))

(Reported by Muslim and Ahmad)

 Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

((I served the Messenger of Allah, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, for ten years, and, by Allah, he never said to me any harsh word, and he never said to me about a thing as to why I had done that and as to why I had not done that.))

(Agreed upon)

Virtue is in the middle between two opposites:

 Dear brother, I would like to refer to a critical point about virtue. Every good manner is circumambient with two indecent manners. In other words, every good manner comes in the middle of two contradictory indecent manners. For example, Generosity is a good manner which is between the indecent manner extravagance and the other one which is stinginess. Some people spend money randomly and extravagantly, and there are people who are misers, so the generous people are in between. Also, recklessness is an indecent manner, cowardliness is an indecent manner, and bravery comes between them. Hence, every good manner comes between two indecent manners; one precedes it and another one follows it, and virtue is in between. Indiscretion is an indecent manner, timidity is an indecent manner and patience is the virtue which comes in between. You may find someone who is always cautious, fears to act which is a vice. He refuses to do anything and cancels all his jobs out of his fear, and you may find another one who is slapdash. The patient is someone in between these two men. If you check all of the good manners, you will find that every good manner is in the middle of two indecent manners, that is why they said that virtue is between two indecent manners.

 Dear brother, he who has good conduct outranks who fasts during the day and prays during the night. Also, he may reaches the highest rank in Paradise. Of course I mean the good manners that are based on faith, not the ones which are based on intelligence. These manners are adopted by people of the worldly life; if their interests require honesty and justice, they will be honest and just. I said previously that the manners in the Western World which attract the attention of other people are mainly based on intelligence, because they worship money rather than Allah. Materialism has made them adopt these morals, so if their interests are threatened, they become monsters, don't they?

 The test was hard (when their interests were in danger), and they failed in it (they could not keep their false good morals). As long as things matchtheir interests, they keep honest and fair, and they appreciate man, but the minute their interests are threatened, they turn into wild beasts. Hence, we should differentiate between the false morals adopted by the intelligence and those of the believers.

 The good conduct of the believer is firm; he is not affected neither in prosperity nor in adversity, he is not affected when his interests are achieved or not and he is not affected neither in richness nor in poverty. The good conduct which is based on faith is solid and original, whereas the satanic one is based on intelligence and on achieving one's own interests, so if those interests are done harm to, who claims to have good manners becomes a monster.