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Character and Speech

"The best of you is the one who has the best character." (Bukhari) ..No-one is a perfect believer until they wish for their brother what they wish for themselves. (Bukhari, Muslim) He is of the most perfect Muslims, whose disposition is most liked by his own family. "Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever is not kind has no faith." (Muslim) "Make things easy and do not make things difficult. Calm people and do not arouse their aversion/dislike." (Bukhari)

Those who are merciful have mercy shown on them by the Compassionate One, if you show mercy to those who are in the earth, He Who is in heaven will show mercy to you. (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi). "You shall not enter Paradise so long as you do not affirm belief; and you will not believe as long as you do not love one another. (Muslim) "Beware of suspicion. Suspicion is the most untrue speech. Do not spy and do not eavesdrop. Do not compete with each other and do not envy each other and do not hate each other and do not shun each other. Be slaves of God, brothers." (Muslim)

"Whoever listens to people's conversation against their wishes will be punished by liquid lead being poured down their ears on the Day of Judgement". (Bukhari) "The believer who mixes with people and endures their injury is better than the person who does not mix with people nor endure their injury." (Bukhari) (enduring peoples injury: accepting patiently their misbehaviours.) Three God loves [one of them is] a man who has a neighbour who harasses him and who is patient with his neighbour's torments until they are separated by death or journey. (Sahih by Ahmad) "A believer is the repository of love. There is no goodness in a man who does not have love for anyone nor does anyone love him." (Ahmad, Baihaqi).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) received Ja'far ibn AbuTalib, embraced him and kissed him between both of his eyes (forehead). (Abu Dawud) Beware of hatred, for it is the razor. I do not tell you that it shaves the hair, but it shaves away the Deen (the religion/ way of life)." (Bukhari) Smiling in the face of your brother is a charity. (Tirmidhi) If one keeps apart from his brother for a year, it is like shedding his blood. (Abu Dawud) (In Islam, brother does not only mean sibling by blood, but siblings in faith, in the belief of One God and One Humanity, and this is a very real relationship that is in many cases thicker than blood (although God has ordained that in some laws, such as inheritance,

civil rights and kindness to parents, the laws of blood take preference). This brotherhood amongst Muslims in no way implies that not being a Muslim makes one less than human, just like having blood-related siblings does not mean that anyone outside of the blood-related family is not a worthy and equal human. The brotherhood and equality of humanity is completely in place. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was addressing an audience of Muslims, and was instilling in them the concept of unity and brotherhood, so most of his teachings contain the word brother and Muslim. This absolutely does not mean that the teachings exclude non-Muslims. The behaviour of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers showed that these teachings are universal, for everyone. Even enemies who had murdered his relatives, attempted his assassination several times, and destroyed Muslim lives

for several years, received the most noble levels of treatment and care.) The actions of people are presented twice each week, on Monday and Thursday. Every trusting slave is forgiven except for a slave who has enmity between him and his brother. It is said, 'Leave these two until they turn in repentance. Leave these two until they turn in repentance.' (Muslim) Should I not direct you to a thing which, if you do, will foster love amongst you? Spread as-salamu alaykum (the greeting of peace be upon you)" (Muslim) When a man loves his brother, he should tell him that he loves him. (Abu Dawud) It is unlawful to inflict harm upon yourself and others. (Mustadrak alHakim)

"A man who is known for his good character has the same degree as someone who stands at night in prayer."(Bukhari) The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good. (Abu Dawud) If anyone has four characteristics, he is a pure hypocrite, and if anyone has one of them, he has an aspect of hypocrisy until he gives it up: whenever he is trusted, he betrays his trust; whenever he speaks, he lies; when he makes an agreement, he breaks it; & when he quarrels, he deviates

from the truth, speaking falsely.(Bukhari & Muslim) No [believer] veils another in this world without God veiling him on the Day of Rising." (Muslim) (To veil one another means to hide and protect and not expose the flaws or faults of one another, just as we try to hide our own faults.) He who has done a wrong affecting his brother's honour, or anything else, must ask for his forgiveness for it now before he will have neither dinar or dirham. If he has any good deed to his credit it would be out of his credit that the measure of his wrongdoing would be deducted, but if he has done no good deeds it will be taken from the other's evil deeds and laid upon him. (Bukhari). (Dinars and dirhams are a currency. Referring to the time of having no dinar or dirham means the Last Day when no worldly wealth will be any use to

us, the only thing that will matter will be our deeds, whether they were good or bad.) Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan does sow dissensions among them: For Satan is to man an avowed enemy. (Quran: 17:53) "The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim. He should not wrong him nor surrender him to his enemy. God will take care of the needs of anyone who takes care of the needs of his brother. On the Day of Rising God will dispel the anxiety of anyone who dispels the anxiety of another Muslim. On the Day of Rising God will veil anyone who veils another Muslim." (Bukhari) "You can only have envy for two things: for a man to whom God has given wealth which he spends for the truth, and for a

man to whom God has given wisdom and he acts by it and teaches it." [Agreed upon] A man asked the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, "What is backbiting?" The Messenger of God, peace be upon him, said, "It is to mention about a man what he does not want to hear." He said, "Messenger of God, even if it is true?" The Messenger of God, peace be upon him, said, "If you utter something false, then it is slander." (Imam Malik) When we backbite, we lose our good deeds to the person we are injuring, and if we have lost all our good deeds, we begin to take from their record of bad deeds.

O you who believe! Avoid most suspicion. Indeed some suspicion is a crime. And do not spy and do not backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat his brother's dead flesh? No, you would hate it. And show fear of God. God is Ever-Returning, Most Merciful. O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one's brother after having Faith. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Wrong-doers." (Quran: 49:11-12) (God equates backbiting to eating that persons flesh when dead. We never know what the true status is of anyone in the sight of God, it may be that those whom we are backbiting have done a single done

act of sincerity that God loves more than anything weve done in our own lives.) "Woe to every fault-finding back-biter" (Quran: 104:1) A tale-bearer will not enter the Garden/Paradise. (Bukhari) (a person who carries tales/news or rumours, a tattle-tale, gossiper.) Do not be a people without a will of your own saying: If others treat well you will also treat well and if they do wrong we will do wrong, but accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and do not do wrong if they do evil. (Tirmidhi). A man came to the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of God be upon him) and said: O Messenger of God, direct me to an act which, if I do it, [will cause] God

to love me and people to love me. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Renounce the world and God will love you, and renounce what people possess and people will love you. (Ibn Majah). When a man tells something and then departs it is trust. (Muslim) (ie: whatever has been told by another person should be treated as confidential: do not tell others.) The Prophet (peace be upon him) held his tongue between his fingers, and then he said: "Restrain this." Muadh said, "Oh Prophet of God, are we accountable for what we say?" He replied Is there anything more than the harvest of the tongues that throws people on their faces (or he said 'on their noses') into the Fire?"

What is meant here by 'the harvest of the tongues' is the punishment for saying forbidden things. A man, through his actions and words, sows the seeds of either good or evil. On the Day of Resurrection he harvests their fruits. Those who sow the seeds of good words and deeds harvest honour and blessings; those who sow the seeds of evil words and deeds reaponly regret and remorse. Of course, many times God also lets us taste the harvest of our deeds right here in this life. Backbiting is one of those sins whose harvest is reaped also on earth. "What mostly causes people to be sent to the Fire are the two openings: the mouth and the private parts." (Abu Hurayra) "The servant speaks words, the consequences of which he does not realize, and for which he is sent down into

the depths of the Fire further than the distance between the east and the west." "Everything the children of Adam say goes against them, except for their enjoining good and forbidding evil, and remembering God..." (Tirmidhi) "A person will not feel greater fury or anger for any part of his body on the Day of Judgement more than what he will feel for his tongue, unless he only used it for saying or enjoining good." (said Ibn Abbas) What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of human beings, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the sufferings of the injured. (Bukhari)

And the good deed and the evil deed will never be equal; O listener! Repel the evil deed with a good one, thereupon the one between whom and you was enmity, will become like a close friend. (34) And none receive this great treasure except those who are patient; and none receives this except one who is extremely fortunate. (35) And O listener! If a distracting thought from the devil reaches you, seek the refuge of God; indeed He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing. (36) (Quran:41)

They (the Bedouins) said, 'Messenger of God, what is the best thing that a man can be given?' 'Good character,' he replied. (Bukhari) "No two shall exchange whispers in the presence of a third person". (Abu Dawud)

"If you were three, two of you should not whisper to each other till you join other people, lest the third feel offended". Abdullah Ibn Umar was asked; "What if they are four?" "Then this doesn't matter", he answered; meaning it is not then offensive (in a crowd). "Beware of suspicion, for speaking on the basis of suspicion is the worst kind of lie. Do not seek out one another's faults, do not spy on one another, do not compete with one another, do not envy one another, do not hate one another, and do not turn away from one another. O servants of God, be brothers." To harbour good thoughts (about another person) is a part of wellconducted worship. (Ahmad). If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts

are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves. (said Imam Bayhaqi) (ie. think of excuses/justifications for their error, like you do for your ownselves.) The way of purity and sincerity is to look at everyonefriend and foewith the eye of sincere concern and mercy. The Messenger of God (peace be upon him) said that, Religion is sincere concern. Be considerate and forgiving. Do you not want God to forgive you? God is Allforgiving and All-merciful. (Quran: 24: 21) "A truthful and trustworthy merchant is associated with the prophets.." (Tirmidhi)

"Do not envy one another, do not outbid one another (in order to inflate prices), do not hate one another, do not turn away from one another, and do not enter into a transaction when others have already entered into it. O servants of God, be brothers. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He does not oppress him, humiliate him or look down upon him. God-consciousness is here" - and so saying, he pointed to his chest three times. "It is evil enough for a man to look down upon his Muslim brother. The whole of a Muslim's being is sacred to another Muslim - his blood, his wealth and his honor are inviolable." The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, instructed us to do seven things and forbade us seven. He mentioned visiting the sick, joining funeral processions, blessing the sneezer, returning the greeting, helping the

wronged, accepting invitations, fulfilling oaths/pledges." (Bukhari)


The example of the value of this world in comparison to the Hereafter is as if you dip a finger in the ocean and then pull it out. So see how much water sticks to it. (Muslim) (So use material things for living and to do good, but do not get attached to them.) Jesus, son of Mary, peace be upon them, used to say, "Do not speak much without mentioning God because you will harden your hearts. A hard heart is far from God, but you do not know. Do not look at the wrong actions of people as if you were lords. Look to your wrong actions as if you were slaves. Some people are afflicted by wrong action and some people are protected from it. Be merciful to the people of affliction and praise God for His protection." (Muwatta, Imam Malik)

Certain people [] begged of Gods Messenger and he gave them; then they again begged of him and he gave them until all that he possessed was finished. Then the Prophet said, Whatever wealth I have, I will not withhold from you. Whosoever would be chaste and modest; God will keep him chaste and modest and whosoever would seek self-sufficiency, God will make him self-sufficient; and whosoever would be patient, God will give him patience, and no one is granted a gift better and more comprehensive than patience. (Al-Bukhri and Muslim) try to pass your mornings and evenings in a state where your heart is free from all ill feelings, jealousy and hatred for everyone, and remember that this is my Sunnah (habit), and he who loves my Sunnah will be with me in Paradise (atTirmidhi)

"Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people, as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind." (Muslims & Bukhari) The Dua (prayer) of a person for his Muslim brother in his absence will be answered. At his head there is an angel, and every time he prays for him for something good, the angel who has been appointed to be with him, says, 'Ameen, may you have likewise.' (Muslim) Abu Hamdun (from one of the generations following the Prophet (peace be upon him)) had a scroll on which was written the names of three hundred of his close friends, and he used to pray for them one by one every single night.Sifat al-Safwah 1/492

"You have two characters which God likes; gentleness and deliberation." (Muslim). "Verily, God is mild and is fond of mildness, and He gives to the mild what He does not give to the harsh." (Muslim) "One who lacks kindness of heart lacks all good." (Muslim) "God is gentle and loves gentleness in all things." (Bukhari and Muslim) There is not a Muslim that visits another in the morning except that 70,000 angels ask forgiveness for him until the night, and if he visits him at night then 70,000 angels ask forgiveness for him until the morning, and he will have earned a garden in paradise (At-Tirmidhi). Whoever visited a sick person does not cease to swim in mercy until he returns

home, if he was to sit down he would be immersed in it. (Muwatta of Ibn Malik) The Prophet, (peace be upon him), said, "A believer in respect of another believer is like a building whose parts support one another." And he intertwined his fingers. (Bukhari) You are sons of Adam, and Adam came from dust. Let the people cease to boast about [their] ancestors. (Abu Dawud) (ie. we are all equal and of humble origin) "The believing men and women are associates and helpers of each other. They (collaborate) to promote all that is beneficial and discourage all that is evil; to establish prayers and give charity, and to obey God and His Messenger. Those are the people whom God would grant mercy" (Quran, 71)

"Do not dispute with your brother. Do not make fun of him. Do not make a promise to him and then break it."(Bukhari) A complete believer is he from whose tongue and hand (actions) his fellow Muslims are safe. (Bukhari & Muslim) He who fulfils a need of a person in order to give him pleasure, has given me pleasure; whoever has given me pleasure has given God pleasure, He will give him Paradise." (Baihaqi). God says: "My slaves! I have forbidden injustice for Myself and I have made it forbidden among you, so do not wrong (be unjust with) one another. (Bukhari) He who believes in God and the Last Day should honour his guest; he who believes in God and the Last Day should not annoy his neighbours; and he who believes in

God and the Last Day should say what is good or keep quiet. (Bukhari, Muslim). The worst of people is the one who other people avoid, fearing his coarseness. (Bukhari) "The young greets the old, the one walking the one who is sitting, and the small group greets the larger group." (Bukhari) "Shall I tell you who is unlawful for the Fire (Hell) - or the one for whom the Fire is unlawful? It is unlawful for everyone who is easy, flexible, modest and uncomplicated." (Tirmidhi) (being unlawful for the Fire means those for whom God has made it unlawful for Hell to touch them) "Whenever a Muslim visits a sick brother (Muslim) or merely goes to meet his

brother, then God says: 'You are holy; your walking is holy; you have arranged your abode in Paradise.'" (Tirmidhi) A man asked the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, 'Which part of Islam is best?' He answered, "That you feed people and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not know." (Bukhari) "The learned are heirs of the prophets, and the prophets do not leave any inheritance in the form of (monetary wealth), but they do leave knowledge as their legacy. A person who acquires knowledge, acquires his full share (of this legacy)." (Riyad us-Saliheen) Thabit al-Bunani related from Anas ibn Malik that he passed by some children and greeted them and said, "The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, used to do that." (Bukhari)

"Son, if you are able, keep your heart... free from malice toward anyone." (Tirmidhi) Al-Bara' said, "A bedouin came and said, 'Prophet of God! Teach me an action which will enable me to enter the Garden.' He said, "The question is a broad one, even though you have asked it in only a few words. Free someone. Set a slave free.' He said, 'Are they not the same thing?' 'No,' he replied, 'Freeing someone is setting someone free yourself. Setting a slave free is to contribute to the price of setting him free. Lend an animal for milking which has a lot of milk and treat your relatives kindly. If you cannot do that, then command the good and forbid the bad. If you cannot do that, then restrain your tongue from everything except what is good."(Bukhari)

You must be compassionate. Whenever there is compassion in something, it beautifies it, and when it is removed from something it disgraces it." (Bukahri) (The Prophet (peace be upon him) said this in response to his wife Aisha. A group of people nearby insulted and mocked the Prophet (peace be upon him) but he did not retaliate, and Aisha (may God be pleased with her) wished he would respond to their false accusations and correct them.) Ibn 'Abbas said, "The Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, ' Teach and make it easy. Teach and make it easy.' three times. He went on, 'When you are angry, be silent' twice." (Bukhari)

"The person who strives on behalf of the widows and poor is like those who strive in the way of God and like those who fast in the day and pray at night." (Bukhari) "There is nothing which weighs heavier in the balance than good character." (Bukhari) (The Balance: the scale of our good deeds versus our bad deeds, the scale which will be used to judge us on the Day of Judgment) A man must not make another get up from his place and then occupy it himself, but you should spread out and make room. (Bukhari, Muslim) It is not allowable for a man to come in between two people without their permission. (Tirmidhi)

"When you are told: 'Make room in the gathering,' then make room and God will make room for you! And when it is said, 'Get up,' then get up ..." (Quran: 58:11) If anyone gets up from where he has been sitting and comes back, he has no right to it. (Muslim). The Prophet (pbuh) forbade anyone to wipe his hand on the garment of anyone whose clothing he had not himself provided. (Abu Dawud) Mercy is only removed from the one who is destined for wretchedness. (Bukhari) "Give good news, guide people and draw near to one another. (Bukhari) There is no good in most of their private conversations, except in the case of those who enjoin charity and kindness, or

reconciliation between people. If anyone does that, seeking the pleasure of God, We will give him an immense reward. (Quran:4:114) "One day a man became very thirsty while walking down the road. He came across a well, went down into it, and drank and then climbed out. In front of him he found a dog panting, eating the dust out of thirst. The man said, 'This dog is as thirsty as I was.' He went back down into the well and filled his shoe, putting it into his mouth (holding it between his teeth to carry it while climbing back up) and then gave the dog water. Therefore God thanked him and forgave him." (Bukhari) "Two people are truly ungrateful: a person whom you give advice to and he hates you for it, and a person who is favoured with a seat in a tight place and he sits crossed

legged (taking up extra space)" (said Ibn Araabi) Anas ibn Malik said, "The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, was the most merciful of people towards members of his family. He had his son (Ibrahim) suckled in part of Madina and the husband of his wet-nurse was a blacksmith. We used to go to him and the house would be full of smoke from the bellows. He would kiss the child and take him in his lap."(Bukhari) "Show mercy and you will be shown mercy. Forgive and God will forgive you. Woe to the vessels that catch words (i.e. the ears). Woe to those who persist and consciously continue in what they are doing."(Bukhari)

Warrad, the scribe of al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba, said, "Mu'awiya wrote to alMughira ibn Shu'ba, saying, 'Write down for me something which you heard the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace.' Al-Mughira wrote to him, ' The Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, used to forbid gossip, wasting money, asking too many questions, refusing to give, disobedience to parents and burying daughters alive." (Asking too many questions is directed at those who do so not to sincerely gain knowledge, but to create unnecessary objections, waste time in useless details, or go against discipline and authority.) He does not belong to us who does not show mercy to our young ones and respect to our elder ones, who does not recommend what is good and prohibit what is disreputable. (Tirmidhi)

"I stand for praying, and I intend to make it long. I hear a baby crying. So, I shorten it, as I dislike making it unbearable for the mother. (Bukhari) The best house among the Muslims is the one which contains an orphan who is well treated, and the worst house among the Muslims is the one which contains an orphan who is badly treated. (Ibn Majah). Touch an orphan's head and feed the poor. (Ahmad) "I and the one who takes responsibility for an orphan, whether his own kin or of others, will be in Paradise thus," and he pointed his forefinger and the middle finger with a slight space between them. (Bukhari) (Meaning: if our hearts and deeds in this world are good enough, we will be companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Paradise. This means a lot

for those who love him. Muslims are required to love God and His Truth and His Messenger above all else, including their own lives, since love is one of the most powerful and motivating human emotions. Therefore we should love the highest levels of Truth, Justice and Mercy. Being motivated by anything less will cause us to fall short of our best or spread evil/injustice on Earth.) "The one who looks after and works for a widow and for a poor person, is like a warrior fighting for God's Cause or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all the night." (Narrated bu Abu Huraira) "Look at those who stand at a lower level than you but don't look at those who stand at a higher level than you, for this would make the favours (conferred upon you by God) insignificant (in your eyes)." (Muslim) (If we start being thankful for

what we have, we will have no time to complain about what we think is missing. We do not know that God in His Mercy and Wisdom did not want us to have what we think we are missing, for our own good. Maybe our patience during the hardship is a means of attaining a high rank in Paradise!) "Wondrous are the believer's affairs. For him there is good in all his affairs, and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him, he is patient, and that is good for him." (Muslim) (In other words, it is a winwin situation, because there is blessing and merit in everything that happens in a believers life. Patience in hardship is rewarded; thankfulness in fortune is rewarded.)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I have only been sent to perfect good manners. (Bukhri). A mischief maker will not Paradise. (Bukhari, Muslim). enter

"He knows you very well, since He created you from clay, and when you were foetuses in your mothers wombs. So do not claim purity for yourselves. He knows best those who have fear of Him. (Quran: 53: 32) (No-one may think they are better than others. Only God knows who is better than whom, since only God knows with absolute certainty what is and what will be in peoples hearts. Humans have no such certainty and hence no right to look down on others.) Narated By Anas ibn Malik : I never saw that when any man brought his mouth to the ear of the Prophet of God (peace be

upon him), he withdrew his head until the man himself withdrew his head, and I never saw that when any man took him by his hand that (the Prophet (peace be upon him)) withdrew his hand, until the man himself withdrew his hand. (Abu Dawud) (ie. The Prophet (peace be upon him was never the first one to leave a handshake or a hug.) "Do not rejoice in the misfortunes of your brother. For God may show him compassion and create difficulties for you" (Tirmidhi) If you guarantee me six things on your part, I shall guarantee you paradise: speak the truth when you talk, keep a promise when you make it, when you are trusted with something fulfil your trust, avoid sexual immorality, lower your eyes and restrain your hand from injustice. (Baihaqi).

God has revealed to me that you must be humble, so that no one boasts over another, or oppresses another. (Muslim) Anas said reported, The Messenger of God (peace be upon him) said: "Do not hate one another and be not jealous of one another and do not boycott one another, and be servants of God (as) brethren; and it is not lawful for a Muslim that he should sever his relations with his brother for more than three days." (Bukhari). "It is not lawful for a Muslim to break his ties with another Muslim for more than three days, in such a way that when they meet, the one turns his face one way and the one other turns his face the other way. The better of these two is the one who makes Salaam (greeting) first." (Bukhari, Muslim).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: It is not allowable for a believer to keep from a believer for more than three days. If three days pass, he should meet him and give him a salutation, and if he replies to it they will both have shared in the reward; but if he does not reply he will bear his sin and the one who gives the salutation will have come forth from the sin of keeping apart. (Abu Dawud) (This breaking of ties is referring to the intentional cutting off, ignoring, out of anger, or hatred of some sort, not the natural parting due to distance, busy lives, etc) Avoid envy, for envy devours good deeds just as fire devours fuel. (Abu Dawud) "Amongst the beautiful (characteristics) of a person's Islam is that he pays no heed to that which does not concern him."-

Tirmidhi (ie. minds his own business, doesnt gossip or care about other things.) Modesty is part of faith and faith is in Paradise, but obscenity is part of hardness of heart and hardness of heart is in Hell. (Ahmad, Tirmidhi). God will not show mercy to him who does not show mercy to others. (Bukhari, Muslim). He is not of us who does not show mercy to our little ones and respect to our elder ones. (Tirmidhi, Mishkat). Wealth does not mean having a lot of property. Wealth means having contentment. (Bukhari) "If you are given health and security from evil in this world and the next, you have attained felicity." (Tirmidhi)

Believers are to one another like a building whose parts support one other." He then interlaced his fingers. (Bukhari, Muslim). (He interlaced them to show how close believers are to one another.) Anas said, "I served the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, for twenty years. He never said 'uff' to me and he never said about anything I had not done, 'Why didn't you do it?' or about something I had done. 'Why did you do that?'" (Bukhari) Jabir said, "The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, was never asked for anything to which he said, 'No.'"(Bukhari) "The dust of the path of God and the smoke of Hellfire are never joined together in the heart of a slave. Belief and

greed are never joined together in the heart of a slave." (Bukhari) "Two qualities are not found together in a believer: miserliness and illtemper."(Bukhari) God loves His poor, believing servant who refrains from begging and yet has children. (Ibn Majah). Consider how a matter will turn out; than if you think its issue will be good carry on with it, but if you fear going astray hold back. (Sharra-as-Sunna) Not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it) (Quran: 50: 18) Imam al-Shaafai: if a person wants to say something, he should think about it: if it seems to him that it will not do any harm,

then he should speak, but if he thinks that it will do some harm or he thinks that this is most likely, then he should refrain from speaking. There is no harm in wealth for someone who has God-consciousness, but health for the person who has consciousness is even better than wealth. Cheerfulness is a blessing." (Bukhari) "A believer is the mirror of his brother. A believer is the brother of another believer. He protects him against loss and defends him behind his back." (Bukhari) If you search for the faults of the people, you will corrupt them, or will nearly corrupt them. (Abu Dawood) (ie. do not be looking for flaws in others.) Jarir said, "Since the time I became Muslim, the Messenger of God, may God

bless him and grant him peace, never saw me without smiling at me." (Bukhari) Moses' son Imran said, "My Lord, who is the greatest of Thy servant in Thy estimation?" and received the reply, "The one who forgives when he is in a position of power. (Baihaqi) (ie. when he had capability to take revenge.) Fear God wherever you are, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out, and behave well towards people. (Tirmidhi). At evening do not expect [to live till] morning, and at morning do not expect [till] evening. Take from your health for your illness and from your life for your death. (Bukhari) (i.e. when in good health you are able to perform your duties well take advantage of this. The same applies to the state of being alive.)

Avoid three abominable acts (that is, the one who does them is cursed by God and by the people): defecating in streams, defecating on roadways, and defecating in shaded places. Cleanliness invites towards faith, and faith leads its possessor to the Garden. (Tabarani). On the day of Resurrection, God will not look at the person who trails his robe behind him out of pride. (Bukhari, Muslim). Anyone who has an atom of pride in his heart will not enter the Garden. (Muslim) Pride is to reject the truth and to view other people with contempt. (Abu Dawud)

Do not stand up as the Persians do, some people honouring the others. (Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah). (It is a sin and arrogance to feel in ones heart that others should stand up in honour of oneself, or that one should be seated above others. All humans are equal in humanity and in their humble reality that they are sustained and given life not by their own power but by God, the Only True Power. And the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would sit on the ground with his companions, so that if a person entering a room did not already know him, they would not be able to distinguish him from the others; he sat with them equally.) No one was more beloved to the Companions than the Prophet (peace be upon him). When they saw him they did not stand up, knowing he would not approve of it. (Shamail Tirmidhi)

Being confined for room, the Messenger of God sat down upon his legs drawn up under his thighs. A desert Arab who was present said, "What is this way of sitting?" Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "Verily God has made me a humble servant, and not a proud king." If people wanted to join him while he was on his riding animal, he would offer them a seat with him or let them ride while he walked. If they refused, he would be too embarrassed to see them on foot while he rode, so he would request them to go ahead and wait for him at the meeting place. "And be moderate in your pace, and lower your voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass." (Quran: Luqman: 19)

Each one of you is a caretaker and is responsible for those under his care. (Bukhari, Muslim). The worst person is someone who is twofaced. He is the person who comes to one group of people with one face and another group of people with another face. (Bukhari) The person who has two faces in this world will have two tongues of the Fire on the Day of Rising. (Bukhari) A man came to the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, and made a pledge to him that he would do hijra (migration). He left his parents who were in tears. The Prophet said, 'Go back to them and make them laugh as you made them weep.' (Bukhari) The souls of two believers should meet in the course of a day even if they do not

actually see each other. (Bukhari) (ie. remember or pray for each other) Umm ad-Darda' said, "Abu'd-Darda' stood up in the night to pray. He was weeping and said, 'O God! You made my physical form good, so make my character good!' until morning. I said, 'Abu'd-Darda', your only supplication for the entire night was for good character!' He replied, 'Umm adDarda', the Muslim makes his character good with the result that his good character takes him into the Garden. He makes his character bad with the result that his bad character takes him into the Fire. The Muslim is forgiven while he is asleep.' I asked, 'Abu'd-Darda', how can be forgiven while he is asleep?' He said, 'His brother arises in the night and performs the night prayers and makes supplication to God Almighty and is answered. He makes supplication for Muslim brother and his request is answered.'"

Someone who makes peace between people by saying something good or relates something good is not a liar. (Bukhari) Abu'd-Darda' reported that the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, "Shall I tell you a degree better than prayer, fasting and charity?" "Yes," they replied. He went to say, Improving a state of friendship. Causing discord in a state of friendship is what shaves things away." (Bukhari) Fear God and put things right between you. (Quran: 8:1) (ie. believers in God should fear His Displeasure, and strive to correct the problems/relations amongst people. Let the people be ruled by God and not their own egos.)

God commands justice and doing good and giving to relatives. And He forbids indecency and doing wrong and tyranny. He warns you so that hopefully you will pay heed. (Quran: 16: 90) "It is great treachery to tell something to your brother so that he believes you when you are lying to him."(Bukhari) "A man visited a brother of his in a village, so God put an angel in wait for him on the road. He asked, 'Where are you going?' He replied, 'To a brother of mine in this village.' He said, 'Is he responsible for some blessing you have?' He said, 'No, I love him for God.' He said, 'I am a messenger of God to you. God loves you as you love him.'" (ie. the angel asked if he was going to visit another person out of expectation of being given something, rather than out of pure selfless good will.)

Gods Messenger, peace be upon him, said, Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is being oppressed. People asked, O Gods Messenger! We help the one being oppressed but how do we help an oppressor? The Prophet said, By seizing his hand (preventing him from the sin of oppression). (Bukhari) But if you trust one another, then let him who is trusted fulfill his trust, and let him be conscious of God, his Sustainer. (Quran: Al-Baqarah 2:283) "Be not like the hypocrite who, when he talks, tells lies; when he gives a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he proves treacherous." (Bukhari & Muslim) "It is better to sit alone than in company with the bad; and it is better still to sit with the good than alone. It is better to speak to a seeker of knowledge than to

remain silent; but silence is better than idle words." (Bukhari) Do not pursue material things too much or else you will be absorbed by the world. (Tirmidhi) Your love for a thing causes blindness and deafness. (Abu Dawud) Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner in it: and whoever recommends and helps an evil cause, shares in its burden: And God has power over everything. (Qur'an:4:85) A bedouin urinated in the mosque and they went for him. (People rushed to grab and stop him). The Messenger of God, peace be upon him said, "Let him finish." Then he called for a bucket of water and poured it over it. (Bukhari) (Even though the man was urinating in a clean place of

worship, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not disturb him but washed after him, and told him nicely later that the mosque is not a place to urinate. Muslims are required to love the Prophet (peace be upon him), in order to learn and take inspiration from him and be able to imitate his beautiful characteristics and manners. Love is a natural prerequisite to sincerity.) Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked his father about the behaviour of the Prophet in his gatherings. He replied, The Messenger was always happy and easy mannered. There was always a smile and a sign of happiness on his blessed face. He was soft-natured and when the people needed his approval, he easily gave consent. He did not speak in a harsh tone nor was he stony-hearted. He did not

scream while speaking, nor was he rude or spoke indecently. He did not seek other's faults. He never overpraised anything nor exceeded in joking, nor was he a miser. He kept away from undesirable language and did not make as if he did not hear anything. If he did not agree with the next person's wish he did not make that person feel disheartened, nor did he promise anything to that person. He completely kept himself away from three things: from arguments, pride and senseless utterances. He prohibited people from three things. He did not disgrace or insult anyone, nor look for the faults of others, he only spoke that from which reward was attained. When he spoke, those present bowed their heads in such a manner, as if birds were sitting on their heads. (They did not shift about, as birds will fly away on the slightest move). When he completed his talks, the others would begin speaking. (No one would speak

while he spoke. Whatever one wanted to say, it would be said after he had completed speaking). They did not argue before him regarding anything. Whenever one spoke to him the other would keep quiet and listen till he would finish. The speech of every person was as if the first person was speaking. (They gave attention to what every person said. It was not as is generally found that in the beginning people pay full attention, and if the talk is lengthened they became bored, and begin to pay less attention). When all laughed for something, he would laugh too. The things that surprised people, he would also show his surprise regarding that He would say: 'When you see a person in need, then always help that person'. [He would hate it if someone praised him]. If someone, by way of thanks praised him, he would remain silent, (because it is

necessary that one thank a person for a good favour or good deed. Some of the scholars have translated this as: 'If one did not exceed in praising him, he would keep silent'. That means if he exceeded he would prohibit him). He did not interrupt someone talking and did not begin speaking when someone else was busy speaking. If one exceeded the limits he would stop him or would get up and leave (so that that person would stop)". When another is talking, one should show attention and concentration no matter what. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke to someone, he would face the person with his whole body, not simply his face or neck, and not look from the corner of his eye, but give them such full attention that they would feel as if they were the most important in the gathering. Imam Ata ibn Abi Rabah said: "A young man would tell me something that I may

have heard before he was born. Nevertheless, I listen to him as if I had never heard it before." Khalid ibn Safwan al-Tamimi, who frequented the courts of the two Khalif'as Umar ibn And' al-Aziz and Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik said: "If a person tells you something you have heard before, or news that you already learnt, do not interrupt him to exhibit your knowledge to those present. This is rude and ill mannered." A wise man said to his son: "Learn the art of listening as you learn the art of speaking." Listening well means to maintain eye contact (when appropriate), allowing the speaker to finish their speech and restraining your urge to interrupt his speech.

O you who believe! You are responsible for your own selves. If you follow the right guidance and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, no hurt can come to you from those who are in error. The return of you all is to God, then He will inform you about (all) that which you used to do. (Quran 5:105) (This is addressed to believers in God. It is one of the many ways that God encourages them to always be happy in doing what is right, and liberates them from worries about other peoples opinions.) God does not look not at your figures, nor at your outward appearance, but He looks at your hearts and deeds. (Muslim) Anyone who seeks refuge in God will find refuge with Him. Anyone who asks from God will receive. (Bukhari)

And your Lord says: Call upon Me; I will respond to you. (Quran: Ghafir: 60) ...Surely there is peace of hearts in the contemplation of God! (13:28) Adhere to truth, for truth leads to good deeds and good deeds leads him who does them to Paradise. Falsehood is wickedness and wickedness leads to Hell. (Muslim). O People of who believe! Become the establishers of justice, witnesses for God even though it be against yourselves or your parents or your relatives. If he be a wealthy or a poor person, then (know that) God is closer to both of them. Therefore, do not follow (your) desire in (the matter of) enforcement of justice. (Quran: 4: 135) (never be prejudiced, or arrogant, or show favouritism in being honest, fair and just.)

An honest and trustworthy merchant will be with the prophets, the truthful, and the martyrs (in Paradise). (Tirmidhi). 'The people of the Garden are: a man in power who is just and successful in fulfilling his duty; a merciful man who is kind-hearted to all his relatives ; and an abstinent, modest man with a family.'" (Muslim) On the Day of Resurrection God will not look at three (kinds of) persons nor purify them. One of them is the person who swears (to the truth) while lying about his merchandise. (Muslim) There are three classes of judges, one of whom will be in the Garden (Paradise) and the other two in the Fire (Hell). The one who will be in the Garden is a man who knew the truth and judged accordingly. The one who knew the truth but

misjudged and the one who judged for the people in the ignorance will be in the Fire. (Abu Dawud and others) "Right guidance, good behaviour and aiming for what is just and correct is a seventieth part of prophethood." (Bukhari) "Under no circumstances allow the fear of the people to prevent a man from speaking the truth if he is aware of it, sees it, or hears it." (Tirmidhi) O you who believe! Remain conscious of God, and speak with a will to bring out [only] what is just and true - [whereupon] He will cause your deeds to be virtuous, and will forgive you your sins... (Quran:33:69-70)

"No one should prevent his neighbour from fixing a wooden peg in his wall." (Bukhari) "The best of companions in the sight of God Almighty is the best of them towards his companion, and the best of neighbours in the sight of God is the best of them towards his neighbour." (Tirmidhi) Worship God and do not associate anything with Him. Be kind to parents and near kinsmen, to the orphans and to the needy, to your neighbor who is your kindred, and to the neighbor at your far side, and the companion at your side*, and to the destitute traveler, and to that which your right hands owns. Allah does not love he who is proud and struts, (Quran:4:36) (*Companion at your side: the person right next to you, living, traveling, waiting in queue, eating, or whichever situation you might be in.)

"He has not truly believed in me who eats to his satisfaction and sleeps comfortably at night while his neighbour goes hungry and he is aware of it." "A person whose neighbours are not safe from his evil will not enter the Garden." (Bukhari) "Conduct yourself in this world, as if you are here to stay forever; prepare for eternity as if you have to die tomorrow." (Bukhari)

The servants of the Merciful are those who walk with humility on the earth, and when they are addressed by the ignorant, they say: 'Peace;" (63) Who say: "O our Lord, avert from us the torment of Hell: Its punishment is surely continuous;" (66) Who are neither prodigal nor miserly in their spending but follow a middle path; (67) who do not bear witness to falsehood and who; if they have ever to pass by what is useless/idle talk, they pass by like dignified people: (72).. (Quran: al-Furqan)

Muslims (as well as many non-Muslim historians) believe the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a role model. Among other qualities, he taught us through his behaviour to be cheerful and refreshing, without being foolish or non-serious when required. He played with children often, and smiled and joked with his wives and companions. One of his companions reported that he had never seen anyone smile as much as the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to smile. A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to ask him to give him an animal to ride. The Prophet jokingly told him, "I will give you the child of a shecamel to ride." He said, "O Messenger of God, what will I do with the child of a shecamel?" The Prophet said: "Are riding-

camels born except from she-camels?" (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, others) It was 7th Century Arabia, where it was normal and accepted for people to be sold in the marketplace, and although God and His Messenger (peace be upon him) encouraged the freeing of slaves and set about many social reforms to treat slaves with utmost respect and to eradicate slavery so much that a master is forbidden to even call their slave a slave. In this society, commenting on someone being sold was a socially acceptable norm and not a form of disrespect or hostility. There was a man from the desert whose name was Zahir. The Prophet (peace be upon him) loved him very much and would say, "Zahir is our man of the desert, and we are his town-dwellers." One day the Prophet (peace be upon him) came to him whilst he was selling some goods in the market.

He embraced him from behind, and the man could not see him, so he exclaimed, "Let me go! Who is this?" Then he turned around and recognized the Prophet (peace be upon him), so he tried to move closer to him once he knew who it was. The Prophet (peace be upon him) playfully started to say, "Who will buy this slave?" Zahir said, "O Messenger of God, you will find me (unworthy of being) sellable!" The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "But in the sight of God you are valuable." (Imam Hanbal) An old woman came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: "O Messenger of God, pray to God that I will enter Paradise." He said jokingly, "No old women will enter Paradise." (Tirmidhi) The old woman became upset, so he informed her that the only reason he said that was that all people will become young again for Paradise.

Aisha, his wife (God be pleased with her) said, "I went out with the Prophet on a journey. At that time I was a young girl and was quite slender. The Prophet told the people, 'Go on ahead,' so they went ahead, then he said to me, 'Come, let us have a race.' So I raced with him, and I won. He let the matter rest until I had gained weight. Later, I accompanied him on another journey. He told the people, 'Go on ahead,' so they went ahead. He said to me, 'Come, let us have a race.' So I raced with him, and he won. He began to laugh, and said, 'This is for that."' (Imam Hanbal) It is reported that the Prophet was asked by his companions: "You are joking with us." He said, "But I never say anything except the truth." (Bukhari)

One day he saw a child looking sad, so he said, "Why do I see Abu 'Umayr looking sad?" A man told him, "The nughar which he used to play with has died, O Messenger of God." (Nughar: a small bird like a sparrow). The Prophet (peace be upon him) began to gently joke with the child, saying, "O Abu Umayr, what happened to the Nughayr?" (Hayat al-Sahabah) (Nughayr: diminutive of nughar. In Arabic, this is a play on words, because of the rhyme between the boy's name and that of the bird.) Shaddad-bin-Aws reported, (One day), the Prophet, peace be upon him, came in, at the time of one of the two evening prayers, carrying (one of his grandsons). Then, he went forward, laid the small child aside, and started praying. (He was the leader of the prayer). During the prayer, he made one of his prostrations so long

that I raised my head (up from the prostration on the ground). I found the small child mounting on the back of the Prophet, peace be upon him. So, I lowered my head down again (continued the prostration). After the Prophet, peace be upon him, ended the prayer, the companions asked: "Messenger of God, we noticed that one of the prostrations was so long, that we thought there was something unusual, or that you were receiving revelation (of some of the Qur'an)." The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied that none of that had happened. But his grandson had been on his back, and he did not want to rush the little boys game before he had gotten enough fun from riding on his grandfathers back.

You will never attain true righteousness until you give away of what you love. (Quran: 3:92) (ie. not just extra things but ones loved/favourite things.) And be constant in prayer, and render the Zakat*; for, whatever good deed you send ahead for your own selves, you shall find it with God: behold, God sees all that you do. (Quran: 2:110) (No good deed of a believer is ever wasted, when done with the right mindfulness, so whether or not people respond positively is no reason to stop doing good deeds.) (*Zakat is the third of the 5 pillars of Islam; it is a percentage of ones wealth that is an obligatory charity to be given by every able Muslim every year. It is not paid

on immediately consumable goods such as food, but is paid out on those forms of wealth (such as money, land or livestock) which have the capacity to grow in value or otherwise produce further wealth. The purpose is to do more than provide immediate meals to individuals, but to assist the poor to come out of their poverty, by distributing wealth in the economy and stimulating further growth and prosperity for the whole society. The Quran lists the categories of people to whom Zakat should be paid, including the poor, the wayfarers, those who are heavily under debt to help them pay off loans, etc. Zakat comes from the Arabic root that means purity, and is a way to purify ones wealth. It stems from the belief that God is the Only True Lord and Owner of

everything, hence whatever we have been given is not ours to claim but a gift from Him to be grateful for and to use well. The fraction of wealth to be paid in Zakat therefore does not truly belong to us, but the poor are its rightful inheritors. Rather than charity, a better translation for Zakat might be poor-due. It is Haram/unlawful to give Zakat to the Prophet (peace be upon him) or his family line, since the Prophet (peace be upon him) was the carrier of Gods Message for the benefit of all of humanity, not for any advantage of his own. There are more rules to Zakat, such as what is the percentage, what is the minimum level of wealth in ones ownership that makes one eligible to pay it, etc - but they are beyond this booklet. Also, the above specifics

mentioned are only for the annual obligatory Zakat. Aside from Zakat, regular charity is recommended to be given to any one at any time such as food, clothing, etc. Furthermore, according to Islamic belief, one of the ways that misfortunes, illnesses, etc in ones life may be warded off are by giving more in charity.)

Whatever wealth you spend in charity, it is for your own good. As you spend of your wealth to win God's pleasure, you will be given full reward for whatever you spend and you will not be deprived in the least of your rightful due. (272) (Charity is for) those who are engaged so much in the cause of God that they cannot move about in the land to earn their livelihood and are, therefore, in straitened circumstances. An ignorant person would suppose them to be well off because of their self-respect; you can know their real condition from their faces, for they are not the ones who would beg of people with importunity. And Allah will surely know whatever you will spend on them. (273) Those who spend their wealth secretly and openly by day and night, will have their reward with their Lord, and they have nothing to fear nor grieve. (274) (Quran:2)

God says, "Anything you expend will be replaced by Him." (Quran: 34:39) God says of the people of Paradise, "They give food, despite their love for it (or for the love of God), to the poor and orphans and captives; saying We feed you for the sake of God alone, we desire not recompense from you, nor thanks" (Quran: 76:8-9) When a Muslim plants a plant or cultivates a crop, no bird or human being eats from it without its being accounted for as a (rewardable) charity for him. (Bukhari, Muslim). If anyone plants a tree, patiently protects it and looks after it until it bears fruit, God the Mighty and Glorious will count as charity for him anything for which its fruits are used. (Ahmad).

Some of the Companions worried that they could not earn as many good deeds as the rich, since the rich gave much in charity. They said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): O Messenger of God, the rich ones have made off with the rewards: they pray as we pray, they fast as we fast, and they give away in charity the superfluity of their wealth. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Has not God made things for you to give away in charity? Truly every tasbiha (to praise God from imperfection) is a charity, every takbira (to humble oneself in reminding oneself of Gods greatness) is a charity, every tahmida (to be grateful and thank God) is a charity and every tahlia (to testify that there is no God but God) is a charity; to enjoin a good action is a charity, to forbid an evil action is a charity and in a sexual act each of you there are a charity. They said: O Messenger of God, when one of us fulfils his sexual desire will

he have some reward for that? The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Do you [not] think that were he to act upon it unlawfully, he wold be sinning? Likewise, if he has acted upon it lawfully he will have a reward. (Muslim). "Every right thing is charity." (Bukhari) "The good word is charity." (Bukhari) Each person's every joint must perform a charity every day they comes up: to act justly between two people is a charity; to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it is a charity; a good word is a charity; every step you take to prayers (i.e. on your way to the mosque) is a charity and removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity. (Bukhari, Muslim).

The most meritorious form of charity is the effort to help a poor man, made in secret, by one who is himself of little means. (Ahmad). Seven will God shade on the day when there will be no shade but the shade of His Throne: one of them is a man who offers charity without his left hand knowing what his right hand has given. (Bukhari, Muslim). (Your own other hand not knowing the actions is referring to anonymity. Among the best charity in the eyes of God is one that not even the receiver of the charity knows who gave it. That is truly sincere charity, without concern for any showing off or returns.) Smiling in the face of your brother is a charity, enjoining good and prohibiting evil is a charity, showing someone the way when he is lost is a charity, helping the

weak-sighted is a charity, removing a rock, a thorn, or bones from the path is a charity, and pouring water from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is a charity. (Tirmidhi) Sa'id ibn Abi Burda related from his grandfather that the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, "Every Muslim owes charity." He said, "What do you think he should do if he cannot find anything to give?" He replied, "He should find work and thus benefit himself and be able to give charity." He said, "What do you think he should do if he cannot or does not do that?" He said, "He should help someone with a great need." He said, "What do you think he should do if he cannot or does not do that?" He replied, "He should command the good." He asked, "What do you think he should do if he cannot or does not do

that?" He replied, "He should refrain from evil. That is charity for him." (Bukhari) "God curses anyone who misguides a blind person and leads him away from the path." (Bukhari)

"The upper hand is better than the lower hand. The upper hand is the one which expends, and the lower one is the one which asks." (Muwatta, Imam Malik) "Your putting some of the water from your bucket in your brother's bucket is charity. Your removing stone, thorns and bones from people's path is charity. Your guiding a man in a place where there are no guides is charity."(Bukhari) If you spend (to help others), O son of Adam! I [God] shall spend on you. (Bukhari, Muslim).

"(Each one) of you should save himself from the (Hell) Fire by giving even half of a date (in charity). And if you do not find a half date, then (you can do it through saying) a pleasant word (to your brethern)." (Bukhari) "Spend, (or give out) and do not hold back, or God will hold back from you. Do not refuse to spend your surplus or God will deny you His." (Agreed upon) "The best charity is that given to a relative who does not like you." (Tirmidhi) "If anyone gives in charity as much as a date from honest (Halal) earnings - and God only accepts what is good (Halal) God will accept it in His right hand and will then increase it in size for the giver, just like one of you might rear a foal, until it is the size of a mountain." (Agreed upon)

Charity given to a poor man is just Charity, but when given to a relative it serves a double purpose, being both Charity and a connecting link. (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Nasaai). Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while God promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And God is All-Encompassing and Knowing. (Quran: 2 : 268). "(the poor) will enter Paradise (before) the rich. Do not turn away a poor man...even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you...God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection." (Tirmidhi) (There was) a man (who) never did a good deed, except that he removed a thorny branch from the road... God

accepted this good deed of his and brought him into Paradise. (Abu Dawud) "Verily, God, the Exalted and Glorious, would say on the Day of Resurrection: "O son of Adam, I was sick but you did not visit Me." He (the man) would say: "O my Lord; how could I visit You whereas You are the Lord of the worlds?" Thereupon God would say: "Didn't you know that such and such servant of Mine was sick but you did not visit him - and were you not aware that if you had visited him, you would have found Me by him? O son of Adam, I asked food from you but you did not feed Me."

He would say: "My Lord, how could I feed You whereas You are the Lord of the worlds?" God said: "Didn't you know that such and such servant of Mine asked food from you but you did not feed him, and were you not aware that if you had fed him you would have found him by My side? O son of Adam, I asked drink from you but you did not provide Me." He would say: "My Lord, how could I provide Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of the worlds?" Thereupon God would say: "Such and such of servant of Mine asked you for a drink but you did not provide him, and had you provided him drink you would have found him near Me."" (Muslim)

"Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily! He, between whom and you there was enmity (will become) as though he was a close friend." (Qur'an 41:34) (Meaning: when someone is bad to you, instead of paying them for it by being bad to them in return, repay them with something good, better than what they did. From personal experience, I can tell you it works wonders, especially when done with pure intentions.) In reference to the qualities of those who will be from Paradise, God says: "Those who give in times of both ease and hardship, those who control their rage and pardon other people. God loves gooddoers." (Quran: 3:134)

"Those who avoid major wrong actions and indecencies and who, when they are angered, even then forgive" (Quran :42:37) [it is one thing to control oneself in a moment of anger, and another to actually go further than just controlling oneself but to forgive in that moment]. "There is nothing that is swallowed greater with God in reward than a slave of God who swallows and contains his anger out of desire for the pleasure of God." (Bukhari) The strong man is not the good wrestler; the strong man is only the one who controls himself when he is angry. (Bukhari, Muslim). "The strongest man is the one who, when he gets angry and his face reddens and his hackles rise, is able to defeat his anger." (Sahih al-Jami)

I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good. (Abu Dawud Book 41, Hadith 4782) "A person should be cautious from being angry."(Bukhari) A Muslim is never allowed to stay angry with his Muslim brother over three days, because he who does that, then dies will go to Hell. (Abu Dawood) To extinguish anger, we perform ablution (washing) or drink water, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anger is the effect of Satan and Satan was created from fire. And water extinguishes fire."

"If a man gets angry and says: "I seek refuge with God," his anger will go away." (Sahih al-Jami) "If any of you becomes angry, let him keep silent." (Sahih al-Jami) The Messenger of God said: "If any of you becomes angry and he is standing, let him sit down, so that his anger will go away. If it does not go away, let him lie down." (Musnad Ahmad) Whoever controls their temper God will take away punishment from him and who so ever safe guard's his tongue God will conceal his sins. (Tabrani) "Do not become angry, and Paradise is yours." (Sahih al-Jami) Whoever controls their temper in a state that if he wanted he could have took

revenge. Then on the day of judgement God will call him in front of everyone and will give him the choice of picking the Hoor of his choice. (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood) (Hoors are a heavenly female companion, not as normal human women. And as opposed to common misunderstandings, it is not that only men will have heavenly female companions. Women will also have heavenly male companions in Paradise. And Paradise is full of cleanliness, purity and modesty. So we do not imagine indecencies would take place there.) Anas reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Who so takes up his tongue as treasure God will keep his secrets concealed and who so restrains his anger God will withhold his punishment on the resurrection day and who so ascribes excuse to God will accept his excuse.

Sulayman ibn Surad said, "Two men abused one another in the presence of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, and one of them began to get angry and his face got red. The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, looked at him and said, 'I know some words that, if he says them, will remove this from him. They are: "I seek refuge with God from the Accursed Shaytan." 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said, 'Do not let your love be a total infatuation. Do not let your anger be destruction.' I asked, 'How is that?' He replied, 'When you love, you are infatuated like a child. When you hate, you desire destruction for your companion.'" (Bukhari) Abu Salih related from Abu Hurayra that a man said to the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, "Advise me." He said, "Do not get angry" and repeated that

several times, saying, "Do not get angry." (Bukhari) According to another narration, the man later said: "I thought about what the Prophet said, and I realized that anger combines all kinds of evil." (Musnad Ahmad) "And march forth towards forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the righteous; those who spend in prosperity and in adversity, repress anger, and pardon men. Verily, God loves the good-doers." (Quran:3:134) The Prophet (peace be upon him) taught three ways to control anger: 1) Say "I seek refuge in God from the outcast Satan" 2) Do ablution/wash or drink water. 3) Lie down on the floor

When a person is lying he can be humble, being close to the earth, which has the quality of being low and not bursting. This is the opposite to fire, which is the origin of Satan, which results in pride. When a person is lying down he is far from revenge than a person who is sitting, and farther than one who is standing. Be considerate and forgiving. Do you not want God to forgive you? God is Allforgiving and All-merciful. (Quran: 24: 21) (Partly adapted from an online article. Id like to add when hurt or struck by negative feelings, when I put my hand over my heart and say the Arabic formula: There is no transformation or strength except through God, God makes my negative feelings literally melt away, leaving only tranquil sanity!)

O humankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord, and a healing for that which is in your hearts*, a guidance and a mercy for the believers. (Quran: 10: 57) (* that which is in the heart: refers to troubles in the heart such as arrogance, doubt, hypocrisy, ignorance, restlessness, conflict, anxiety, anger etc.)

"Exchange gifts; Exchange love" (Bukhari) It is better to give no gifts or charity than to offer something and then say things that make the person feel burdened or indebted by that charity, as God says: The example of those who spend their substance in the way of God is that of a grain of corn: it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. God gives manifold increase to whom He pleases: And God cares for all and He knows all things. (261) Those who spend their substance in the cause of God, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity (making the recipient feel obliged or burdened) or with injury,-for

them their reward is with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (262) Kind words and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. God is free of all wants, and He is MostForbearing. (263) O you who believe! Do not cancel out your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,- like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in God nor in the Last Day. They are like a hard, barren rock, on which is a little soil: on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned (264) (Quran:2) An important point to note is not to expect gifts, or to try and give that which is greater; for truly all actions are but by intention. We should give to increase love

and for the sake of God, not to compete, or show our wealth; as this may constitute arrogance. We should also remember the basic etiquette's of giving and receiving in that we don't give just because we receive, and we don't belittle or show lack of gratitude for a gift, no matter what it is. Even if we don't like it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "I shall accept the invitation even if I were invited to a meal of a sheep's trotter, and I shall accept the gift even if it were an arm or a trotter of a sheep." "O Muslim women! None of you should look down upon the gift sent by her sheneighbour even if it were the trotters of the sheep (fleshless part of legs)." (Sahih Bukhari) A further note to add here is that often in disagreements, people are renowned to

"take back their gifts". The Prophet (peace be upon him) clearly forbade this: "One who takes back his gift (which he has already given) is like a dog that swallows its vomit." (Sahih Bukhari) (Taken from islamic adab online). 'A'isha said, "I said, 'Messenger of God, I have two neighbours. To whom should I give my gifts?' He replied, 'To the one whose door is nearer to you.'"(Bukhari) Abu Dharr reported that the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, "O Abu Dharr, if you cook a stew put a lot of water in it, keeping your neighbours in mind." (Muslim) (That is, whenever you are cooking, increase the quantity, remember to give your neighbors from your food.)

Al-Hasan was asked about the Neighbour and said, "The term 'neighbour' includes the forty houses in front a person, the forty houses behind him, the forty houses on his right and the forty houses on his left."(Bukhari) Abu Hurayra said, "Do not begin with your more distant neighbours before the closer ones. Rather begin with your nearest neighbours before the most distant ones."(Bukhari) (The point is that charity starts at home. Fix your relationships to those closest to you first. Then the blessings of love and brotherhood will spread from a stable center.)

Visiting Others
O believers, do not enter other's houses until you have asked permission and have greeted the people therein. This is best for you so that perhaps you may remember (God's guidance). If you do not find anyone therein, do not enter until you are given permission. If you are told to go away, then go away; for it is purer for you. God is All-knowing of everything that you do. (Quran: 24: 26, 27) You are on the way to meet your brothers, put on nice dress and fix your saddles so you appear distinct among people as a beauty mark [on a beautiful face]. God likes neither roughness nor rough manners. (Muslim)

When the honoured companion, 'Adi ibn Hatam al-Ta'i embraced Islam, he came to Medina to the the Prophet (peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace be upon him) honoured Hatam by motioning him to sit on a cushion, while he himself sat on the floor. The Prophet (peace be upon him) took a leather cushion filled with palm fibre and threw it on the floor. "Sit on this" he said, "No, you sit on it", the companion responded. The Prophet (peace be upon him) insisted "No, you". So the companion sat on the cushion whilst the Prophet (peace be upon him) sat on the floor. (Ibn Kathir) He who believes in God and the Last Day should honour his guest. Provisions for the road are what will serve for a day and night; hospitality extends for three days; what goes beyond that is Charity; and it is not allowable that a guest should stay till he makes himself encumbrance.

(Bukhari, Muslim). (ie. the host must give the guest special hospitality for three days at the very least, honouring after that is no longer necessary but if the host does it, it is rewarded as extra charity. After three days the guest is part of the household and treated as such, ie. with normal treatment.) "If you sought permission three times, and were not granted permission, then you must leave". (Bukhari & Muslim) "It is strongly recommened for Muslims to visit the pious people, their brethren, neighbours, friends and relatives, and to be generous, kind and obliging to them. However, the extent of the visit varies according to the hosts circumstances. The visit ought to be conducted in a pleasant manner and at convenient times. There are numerous sayings and traditions in this regard." (said Imam an-Nawawi)

Imam al-Qurtubi said: ..part of the etiquette related to guests is that they be hosted promptly, so whatever is available is presented to them on the spot. Then it can be followed up with something else if one has wealth. The host should not task himself with what might overly burden him. Hospitality is part of excellent manners, the etiquette of Islam, and the high character of Prophets and the Righteous. Many people do not know how to act in such circumstances where a guest arrives and it is not convenient for them to be received. Often people resort to lying, but not only do children learn from this behaviour, but it may lead to further problems. Lying promotes enmity and hatred and displays the signs of the hypocrite. Do not clearly and blatantly lie about your presence. Declination of a visit does not require explanation, as not

everybody is able to express such reasons. There is hence great importance on not holding a grudge but reflecting on the above verse from the Quran. Too much time is spent and wasted today in persuit of minor issues and disputes. Tabii Qatada ibn Diama al-Sudusi said, Do not hang around the door of those who decline to recieve your visit. Accept their reason, move on to attend to your business, and let them attend to theirs. One should not ask for a reason or an explanation as Imam Malik used to say; Not all people can disclose their excuses The one visiting should seek permission by saying; Youre not busy are you or Perhaps youre busy and cant receive us to make the hosts feel at ease. One should always remember even in telephone calls to seek permission to take

that persons time, removing any ill feelings if declined. It is important adab not to make it difficult for someone to decline, as that in turn may cause some harm to them or their situation. Imam al-Tabari in his Tafsir reported that a man of the Muhajirin said, All my life, I wanted to practice this verse: If ye find no one in the house, enter not until permission is given to you: if ye are asked to go back, go back: that makes for greater purity for yourselves: and God knows well all that ye do. (Quran 24:28), but I could not. I was hoping I would seek permission to visit a brother and he would tell me to Go back! I would gladly have left, thus fulfilling the commandment of God (from Adab/Manners in Islam) When you enter the home of your host, whether as a visitor or an overnight guest, one should not closely examine its

contents as an inspector would. It is important to limit ones observation to what you need to see. Do not open closed closets, suitcases, files or boxes. Do not inspect a wallet, a package or a covered object. This is against Islamic manners and is an impolite betrayal of the trust your host has accorded to you. In order to cultivate the hosts love and respect, one should uphold these manners during the visit. Imam al-Muhasibi ( ) in Risalat al-Mutarshidin said, "The duty of sight is to preclude forbidden sights and not to try and see what has been hidden or covered. Likewise Dawud al-Ta'i said, "I was told we would be accountable for our minor gazes, as we are accountable for our minor deeds".

The Arab poet, Miskin al-Darimi said, "My neighbour need not worry if his door is not closed". One time someone visited the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, who said: Who will host this man? One of the Ansar immediately said: I will. Then he rushed to his wife and told her: Provide generously for the guest of the Messenger of God. She replied: We only have food for the children! He said: Prepare the food then light the candle and put the children to bed at dinner-time. She did as he said [and put the children to sleep on an empty stomach] then she got up to tinker with the light and she put it out. Then she and her husband pretended to eat (so that the guest would not know that they had no food for themselves, as that would be embarrassing for the guest since the light was out, the guest could not see that they were pretending to eat

but their plates were empty) but (themselves) remained hungry that night. The next morning they went to see the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, and he said: Last night God laughed [the narrator hesitated] at what you two did! Then God revealed the verse: Those who were already settled in the city [Madinah] and firmly rooted in faith, love those who migrated to them for refuge, and harbour no desire in their hearts for what has been given to the [latter]. They give them preference over themselves, even if they too are needy: those who are saved from their own souls' greed are truly successful (Quran: 59:9) (Bukhari and Muslim) Imam Bukhari said that the meaning of laughter (dahik) here is mercy (rahma). Imam Ahmad interpreted it as abundant generosity (kathrat al-karam) and vast

good pleasure (siat al-rida). Imam alKhattabi interpreted it as good pleasure (rida). Ibn al-Jawzi interpreted it as generosity (karam) and favor (fadl). Imam alNawawi explained it as a metaphor (istiara) for good pleasure, bestowal of reward (thawab), and Gods love (mahabba) after Qadi Iyad who added that another possible meaning is that the laughter applies to Gods angels. The latter is the interpretation preferred by Ibn Hibban. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said, The attribution of laughter and wonder to God is figurative (majaziyya) and their meaning is Gods good pleasure at their deed. The Righteous of olden times would say that the guest brings his sustenance and leaves with the sins of the hosts forgiven. The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, came to a door when he

wanted to ask permission to enter, he did not face it directly. He stood to the right or the left. If he was given permission, he went in. Otherwise he left. (Bukhari) When someone asks permission to enter, he says, "When shall I leave? Where shall I sit?" (Bukhari) Do not honour your guest in a way which will be burdensome for him. (Bukhari) 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "Anyone who fills his eye with the contents of a house before he has been given permission has gone astray. (Bukhari) "It is not lawful for a Muslim man to look inside a house until he has been given permission. If he has does so, he has (already) entered. (Bukhari)

It is part of the Sunna that a man should accompany his guest to the door of the house. (Ibn Majah, Baihaqi). 'Anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should be generous to his neighbour. Anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should honour his guest as his due.' Someone said, 'What is his due, Messenger of God?' He replied, 'A day and a night. Hospitality is for three days. Whatever is beyond that is charity for him. It is not lawful for [the guest] to stay until he causes him hardship. (Bukhari) The Prophet (peace be upon him) never expressed disapproval of food; if he desired it he ate it and if he disliked it he left it alone. (Bukhari, Muslim).

Duties of the Guest and the Host

The Host
1. Food & drink: If one is expecting to receive guests, one should endevour to be hospitable and generous yet not excesively. Excessiveness in providing food and drink is NOT from the Sunnah. Do not treat a guest in a way that makes the guest feel burdened. 2. The guests stay: You should try to make your guests stay pleasant and comfortable during the day and night. Don't let the closeness or informality of a guest give you reason to lapse. Put your guest at ease and do not burden him. 3. Meeting guests: Receive them with tact and respect. Dress properly and look your best but do not be excessive in this. A close relationship between you and your guest is not an excuse for negligence or indecency in manner or appearance. Imam Bukhari reported in Al Adab Al Mufrad that our forefathers used to look their best when visiting one another. 4. Kindness: One should be kind and considerate to ones guests. As a general rule do not ask them to help you with house chores. Imam Al-Shafi'i ( ) said, "Gentlemen do not employ their guests". So don't expect help or demand it.

The Guest
1. Timing of the visit: When visiting a close friend or relative one should be mindful of the host's circumstances and other commitments. A visit should be made as brief as possible as everybody has various jobs and duties. The host will also appreciate this more as you will burden him less. A guest is only a guest for three days after that he is not considered a guest anymore. 2. Kindness: Be gentle, and be considerate of your hosts and volunteer your help with their business, house chores and obligations. 3. Do not inspect: When at your host's house do not inspect or examine every corner, especially when you are invited beyond the guest room, lest you see something you are not supposed to notice. If you go beyond your room don't look at what you shouldn't be looking at. Also, do not bother your guest by asking to many questions about the host themselves, their families, or the house itself.
(Duties of the Guest and the Host was taken and slightly adapated from Islamic Adab/manners online).

Self-Esteem vs. Arrogance

God does not love the arrogant and boasting ones [Quran 31:18] In western psychology self-esteem refers to the esteem you give to yourself. It is a measure of how much you like and value yourself. In other words, it is a measure of the extent to which you live by your own personal values. When you do not act in accordance to your values, you like yourself less, and your self-esteem goes down. When you beat yourself up for not acting in accordance to your values, rather than learning from your mistakes and moving on (the Islamic approach to forgiveness), your self esteem goes down even further and you continue to violate your values and sin. Low self-esteem results in not living according to your values, usually as a result of what you think other people will think of you. For example, not giving your honest opinion when its required, because youre afraid of what others may think. Not having the courage to make a sales call due to fear of rejection rooted in valuing their opinion of you over your opinion of yourself. Wearing, or not wearing hijab, not because of what feels right inside, but because of what other people will think of you. The truth is nobody knows you better than you do not even your loved ones. Nobody cares about you more than you do, either. If you die, theyll morn your loss, but youll live eternally with the consequences of your actions.

Having a high opinion of yourself is not always a bad thing that could lead to arrogance. (And gratefulness, and remembering that whatever you have is a blessing from God, can cure pride.) But having a low opinion of yourself leads to arrogance. If your opinion of yourself is lower, your inner confidence is diminished and you always need to prove a point to others (and yourself) by unconsciously competing. This leads to you looking down on people and denying people their rights the Prophets definition of arrogance (peace be upon him). If you have a good opinion of yourself in areas where you are good, and a low opinion in areas where you struggle, you are closer to the truth of your situation. This honesty and selfacceptance is the starting point of personal growth. The problem in your personal development comes when you use patterns of language that put yourself down, and then actually convince yourself that this is a good thing because you are being humble. These negative language patterns like Im such a loser; Im so lazy etc, are not humility they are self-humiliation. They are lies, which become limiting beliefs, which ultimately prevent your success. And they are forbidden. This is why the Prophet (peace upon him) said A believer never humiliates himself. Muslim spiritual writings on arrogance as a root disease of the heart, always balance not being boastful and arrogant with not looking down on yourself either. If you look down on yourself (have low self-esteem), you lose your personal dignity (izza) which may result in you lashing out in a boastful manner when you get the chance.

To make matters worse, if your self-esteem is low the chances are you could even be indulging in a sly form of shirk (associating importance and power with things other than God) valuing others opinions of you affects your behaviour drastically. The only real opinion we should care about is Allahs opinion. If you let others dictate what you think about yourself, and therefore what you do, this may be a form of riyah (showing off, or acting only to shape others opinions, instead of doing things with sincerity). This prayer will help: Allahuma inna nauthu bika min an nushrika bika shayan naalamu wa nastaghfiruka li ma la naalamu. Oh Allah, we seek refuge in you from associating partners with you knowingly, and seek your forgiveness from what we dont know (doing it unknowingly). Also: Allahumma arina al-haqqa haqqan warzuqna ittibaa'h wa arina al-baatila baatilan warzuqna ijtinaabah O Allah show us the truth as truth and give us the ability to follow it, and show us falsehood for what it is and give us the ability to abstain from it. The best of examples, our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said quite frankly I am the best among you, and this is not arrogance. Its not arrogance because its a fact, and not spoken to stroke an ego. He told us because its important for us to know his status (so we can set him as the best example and stay in the right path), and learn from his statement that when you have deep inner confidence like he did, there is no arrogance. And this inner confidence does not come from

personal subjective opinions, but is rooted in firm knowledge and belief. (Slightly adapted from an online article written for a Muslim audience, which I shared with friends. Its completely Muslim and cant really be generalized without taking away a lot of the essence, since it depends on definitions of arrogance, etc according to Islam. However, I still shared it with you because I hope at least some ideas might benefit you.) Building on the articles point that low self-esteem leads to arrogant/defensive behaviour, why should one have a low self-esteem? When the human being is the greatest of creation, greater than the angels! However, this greatness can only be acquired when one tries to realize that potential. To do that, God gives a complete recipe for success in this life and the next, in one of the shortest chapters of the Quran: Time and age are witness! Humankind is certainly in loss Except those who believe, and do good deeds, and enjoin one another on Truth, and enjoin one another on Patience (through hardships). (Quran: Chapter 103: the Time) This life is an imperfect journey to a perfect Paradise, so it is unrealistic and impractical to expect perfection from what is supposed to be imperfect! When we accept lifes imperfection (while hoping for a perfect eternity in perfect companionship with God), and keep in mind that everything happens only with His Knowledge and Wisdom, then we can focus on what really matters, ie. purifying and building ourselves, instead of being upset by external imperfections.