In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful


 Dear brother, this is the first part of the introduction to our new series: “Ways of access and signs of acceptance”, inspired by Allah’s Words:

"I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me."

[Al Kahf, 110]

 It is as if in this ayah Allah the Almighty were summarizing Revelation to us.

"I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God i.e. Allah)."

[Al Kahf, 110]

 This is what we call “tawheed” (Oneness of Allah).

"So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord."

[Al Kahf, 110]

 When one knows Allah, a big question of how one connects with Him arises. Exactly as when I mention a king to you and you ask me if there is any way of reaching him.
 The knowledge of Allah’s Most Beautiful Names contains in itself the knowledge of Allah Most High, the topic dealt with in the previous series. In this series we are going to see how one can reach Allah Most High, the Owner of the Most Beautiful Names and the Most Sublime Attributes. It can be said, thus, that the present series of lectures completes the previous one. Thus, the forthcoming lectures are going to revolve around the question: How to reach Allah and connect with Him, and what are the means to energize the process"

"And I hastened to You, O my Lord, that You might be pleased."

[Ta-Ha, 84]

For a deed to be accepted it should be righteous and sincere:

 This series of lectures focuses on the following ayah:

"Say (O Muhammad): "I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord."

[Al Kahf, 110]

 It implies meeting and connecting with Him (Allah) in this worldly life as well as in Paradise in the Hereafter.

"So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness."

[Al Kahf, 110]

 Let this deed be sincere and entirely for His Sake.

"And associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord."

[Al Kahf, 110]

 The title of the series, “Ways of access and signs of acceptance”, has also been inspired by this ayah.

"Say (O Muhammad): "I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord."

[Al Kahf, 110]

"So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness. and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord "

[Al Kahf, 110]

 With respect to the Words of Allah Most High:

"And that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You."

[An-Naml, 19]

 Commentators said that the righteous deed, so pleasing to Allah the Almighty, is only the one that is sincere in terms of being in the Cause of Allah, and righteous in terms of being compatible with the sunnah.

Good behaviour is the fountainhead of good deeds:

 Dear brother, noble conduct is the backbone of good deeds and that is why, when Allah wishes to praise the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who is the Master of mankind, the most beloved creature to Him, the son of Adam, supported by miracles, eloquent and good looking, He mentions his noble character. He says:

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

[Al Qalam, 4]

 Also the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, summarized his entire mission as “noble manners”. He said:

((I was sent to be an educator.))

[From Al Harith, on the authority of Abdullah Bin Amr Ibn Al A’as]

((I was sent to perfect good conduct.))

[On the authority of Malik]

Bravery and nobility- fundamental values of Arabs:

 The word “to perfect good conduct” is realistic because courage and nobility were deeply rooted in this nation even before Islam. Therefore, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

((I was sent to be an educator)); ((I was sent to perfect good conduct.))

 Some companions asked Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, about the character of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. She replied: ‘Have you not read in the Quran?’:

"Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden). And those who pay the Zakat. And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame; But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors; Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts etc.) and to their covenants; And those who strictly guard their (five compulsory congregational) Salawat (prayers) (at their fixed stated hours). These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaus (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever."

[Al Mu’minun, 1-11]

 Then she added:

‘Verily, the character of the Messenger of Allah was the Qur’an.'

[Sahih Muslim]

The attributes of the Prophet:

1- He was polite and humble:

 Therefore it was said: “The Universe is a silent Quran; whereas the Quran is a speaking universe; and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was a walking Quran as his character was the Quran.
 The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was exceptionally humble and polite.

2- He initiated salam and turned wholly to his speaker:

 The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to welcome people with salam, and turn his entire attention to his interlocutor, whether young or old; and on shaking hands with somebody, he would be the last to withdraw his. By contrast, if you observe people closely, you can see that out of arrogance they use only their fingertips when shaking hands; some don’t even bother to do it. And there are those who pay attention only to the powerful, and give the cold shoulder to the common lot.

3- He used to put sadaqaat in the hand of the poor:

 The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to put the sadaqaat in the hand of the poor to soothe their hearts and in an assembly he used to sit wherever room was available. By contrast, some people get upset if they aren't seated in the first row; they react harshly, saying: Do not you respect one's position?
 Also, the Prophet was never seen stretching his legs in front of anyone. This act may be accepted only in the case of somebody who has an excuse (and this is another story), but as far as a healthy person is concerned, legs should not be stretched in front of sh3er; the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, never did that.
 He never refrained from managing his own, or other people's affairs, and he would wait on himself. 
 On one occasion, a companion of his dropped his camel's leash and dismounted to pick it up. Seeing this, another companion said: "Why didn’t you tell me" I would have got it for you", to which the former responded: “I learnt from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, not to ask anything of people as long as I am able to manage my own affairs.”
  you should cope with your own business and wait upon yourself as this is a mark of humbleness, and that is why the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

((He is free of hypocrisy who remembers Allah a lot.))

[From Al Tabarahi, on the authority of Abu Huraira]

((He is free of stinginess who pays his zakat.))

[From Al Tabarani, on the authority of Jabir Bin Abdu Allah]

((He is free of arrogance who carries his things himself.))

[Agreed upon]

4- He used to carry his belongings:

 The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to go to the market and carry his shopping himself, and he said about that: “I am the one who should carry it.”
 Such was the behaviour of the Prophet, and it was this behaviour that made the companions reach the borders of China and Paris, and I am pretty sure that if the companions had comprehended Islam as we did (in a twisted way), they would have never left Mecca.
 The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to accept the invitation, whether from a free man or slave. He said:

((Whether I am invited to a meal consisting of a sheep's foot or its shoulder, I accept (the invitation).))

[From Bukhari, on the authority of Abu Huraira]

- He accepted the excuse:

 He used to accept the invitation of a free man, a slave and a poor man, and he also accepted the excuse from the one who wished to apologize. He would say:

((If a brother comes to someone offering an excuse, let him accept it from him, whether his excuses are well founded or not.))

[From Al Hakim, on the authority of Abu Huraira]

 That is, he accepted the excuse, even if he knew that it was false. He said:

 ((Whether his excuses are well founded or not))
 He accepted apology, mended his cloths and his shoes, served himself, shackled his camel, and he was at the disposal of his family (he waited upon them).
 By contrast, many a man eschew these days helping their wives with the household chores, so unlike the Prophet.

6- He ate with servants and aided the weak and the miserable:

 He used to eat with his attendant, and he was at the disposal of the poor and the miserable at any time. He used to walk in a moderate way (neither fast nor slowly).

"And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness"

[Al Furqan, 63]

7- He walked modestly and talked only when necessary:

 His manner of walking was restrained (neither fast nor slow); he walked lowering his gaze, concerned about sh3er. By contrast, you see that many of those who have achieved their goals are totally inattentive to sh3er. There are also those who, when asked about their welfare, say: "I have no problems but I am suffering on account of the adversities afflicting Muslims." Verily, if the distress of the Muslim world does not make you shed tears, your Islamic identity can be questioned. Are not you a Muslim" Are not they your kindred"
 Again, the Prophet used to walk discreetly, lowering his gaze, concerned about sh3er, reflecting all the time. He never talked, unless necessary and his words were right to the point and never loquacious.

"Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salat (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk, falsehood, and all that Allah has forbidden)"

[Al Mu’minun, 1-3]

 He used to remain silent for long periods of time and when he spoke, he surpassed by far all other speakers, as he was remarkably eloquent. His words were always up to the point, crystal clear, indicative; he never used to be long-winded. Accordingly, you ought to know that as a believer you should take care of your words exactly as you do of your deeds, then you will hold your tongue and watch what you say.

((The faith of a man cannot be straight unless his heart is straight, and his heart cannot be straight unless his tongue becomes straight.))

[From Ahmad, on the authority of Anas Bin Malik]

8- He never belittled anyone; he praised people's virtues; he was subtle:

 He was gentle, cautious with respect to people, yet never accusing them; there was always a smile on his face.
 He was tender and just; he would refrain from taking sides. He never humiliated, abashed, or embarrassed anyone. He appreciated gifts, no matter how insignificant.
 You should, in point of truth, do the same. If you are able to drink a glass of water, you should know that there are people who can’t. When you have a meal with your family, remember that there are many who can’t afford to do it. When you walk, don't forget that there are the handicapped and the bedridden.
 He never criticized food or taste, nor did he praise them. By contrast, you can easily see how many of us dislike some kind of food and criticize it.

9- He never got angry for mundane or personal reasons:

 He never got angry for mundane reasons.

((This worldly life is the abode of crookedness, not of straightforwardness; and it is the abode of grief, not of joy; and whoever recognizes this will never feel joy in (time of) prosperity or grief (in time of) wretchedness. Allah meant for the worldly life to be the abode of trial and the Hereafter to be the abode of the final destination. Hence, He made adversity of the worldly life the reason for the Reward of the Hereafter; and He made the Reward of the Hereafter as compensation for the adversities of the worldly life. Therefore, He takes to give and afflicts to reward.))

[From Kanz Al Ummal, on the authority of Ibn Umar]

 This worldly life and whatever it contains never made him upset and he never strove for it; he never got angry for personal reasons.

10- His behavior in anger and in cheerfulness

 He used to turn his head away whenever he got angry, so unlike many who shout, slam doors, break dishes, or curse. He used to turn his head away; and when he felt cheerful, he used to lower his gaze.

11- He united people:

 The Prophet united people and abhorred disunion. You may hear nowadays of someone visiting his sister's house saying: "What is this"" Meaning, what a mess that household is. Little does it matter that she is satisfied both with her husband and her house. Why, then, fill her heart with doubt?
 The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to unite people, and tried to draw them closer to Allah; and he used to be generous to those who were generous with respect to their kindred. More than that, he used to put them in charge, which means that he knew well people's suitability.
 Uday Bin Hatim described in the following way his meeting with the Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He said: "I imagined I would be seeing a sort of a king, but when I met Allah's Messenger, he accompanied me to his home. On the way there a woman stopped him and talked to him for a long time about her problem." Uday said to himself: "That's not how kings behave." When we reached his home, he presented me a leather cushion stuffed with fiber, telling me to sit on it, and he sat on the floor. At this Uday said to himself: "I knew he was a prophet and a messenger."

12- He used to check up on his companions' situation:

 He used to check up on his companions' well-being and inquire about their difficulties. As for us, the least we can do is to show interest in a brother of ours whom we miss at Fajr prayer which he used to attend on a daily basis. You see people free of all trouble and yet not caring in the least about other people’s difficulties. You can also see people untroubled by hardships and mindful of other people’s troubles, sustenance, health, and problems.

13- He approved what is good and enfeebled what is bad:

 You should praise good deeds, such as when a well-mannered and righteous person lives humbly on a limited income, holding fast to his righteousness; he should be praised for that. Hence, you praise what is good and reduce what is bad, you don’t neglect people's rights and never trample on them, and moderation, in that sense, should be your tenet.
 The opposite happens when someone turns a blind eye, out of love, to somebody's big sins, or forgets someone’s good deeds because one hates them. Such manner is unacceptable, and it has been transmitted to us:

((Love the person you like moderately, as he might be your enemy one day; and hate the person you dislike moderately, as he might be someone you come to like one day.))

[From Tirmidhi, on the authority of Abu Huraira]

14- He never let down anyone in need:

 The people that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, dealt with would think that they were each the most beloved to him. What an amazing thing!
 He used to meet the young and the old, and he never failed anyone who sought his aid, and if he couldn’t (offer any), he would say words of comfort to the person in need.

15- He was lenient, never rude or harsh:

 He was cheerful, easygoing, and lenient. He wasn’t rude, harsh, noisy, or foul-mouthed; he wasn't a grumbler. Nor was he much of a jocular person, and he used to overlook what he didn’t like. He was graceful and he never disappointed those who had put their trust in him.
 The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, never wronged or criticized anyone, nor would he track down other people's shortcomings (taking off other people, as many do, is not part of the behaviour he would approve of); and he tackled only what is beneficial to sh3er.

16- He laughed at what made his companions laugh:

 When the Prophet was with his companions, he used to laugh at whatever made them laugh (unlike some people who keep frowning while the rest are laughing), and he wondered at the things that made them wonder; he was tolerant of strangers' harshness –on one occasion a bedouin grabbed him by his garment to the point that it caused a graze on his noble cheek.

((He said: "O Muhammad! Give instructions so that I can get something of the wealth of Allah that you have with you (in the Muslim Treasury)." All that the Prophet did was smile, and then he commanded the person in charge (of the Treasury) to give him (something) from the reserve.))

 He never interrupted his speaker as he was the kindest listener ever.
 Believe me, books read and talks delivered for years wouldn't be enough to do justice to his character and conduct.
 Yet, Allah summarized them in one ayah:

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

[Al Qalam, 4]

 By (having) noble conduct we draw closer to the Great Allah.

Good conduct elevates our rank in Islam and faith:

 Dear brother, I will now take the opportunity of introducing to you some authenticated ahadith related to noble conduct. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

((The best among Muslims is the one with noble conduct.))

[From Al Bazzar, on the authority of Anas bin Malik]

 Which means that noble conduct is given the highest rank in Islam.

((The best among believers is the one with noble conduct, kind to his family.))

[From Ibn Hibban, on the authority of Aisha]

 The true success is to be well-mannered in your own household.

((The most perfect man in his faith among the believers is the one whose behavior is most excellent; and the best of you are those who are best to their families.))

[From Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi, on the authority of Abu Huraira]

((Who is the most beloved to Allah the Almighty" He said: “He is the one with best conduct.”))

[From Tabarani, on the authority of Usama Bin Sharieek]

Islam is all about good behaviour:

 The believers closest to the Prophet are those with excellent conduct, which is the best thing that a man can have.
 Verily, noble conduct will weigh heavily on the Balance on the Day of Resurrection, and you should know that Allah despises coarseness, whereas the believer has been described in the following way by the Prophet:

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

[From Abu Dawood, on the authority of Aisha]

((Man will attain by his good conduct the highest level of Jannah.))

[From Tabarani, on the authority of Anas Bin Malik]

 Noble conduct is thus described by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace:

((Noble conduct melts (sweeps away) sins just like water melts ice; and bad conduct corrupts deeds just like vinegar corrupts honey.))

[From Al Tabarani, on the authority Abd Allah Bin Abbas]

 Dear brother, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked:

((Who is the best of believers" He said: “The one with the best conduct. Then they asked: Who is the most sagacious among believers" He said: “The one who remembers death most (often), and the one who prepares for it before it comes, and those are the sharpest.))

[From Zyadat Razeen, on the authority of Anas Bin Malik]

 Dear brother, in lectures to come, if Allah wills, we will tackle the good deeds that lead you to Allah, and the characteristics of the deeds accepted by Allah, as this series is all about the ways of access and the signs of acceptance.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations