======== == ===== =====

Dedicated to the whole of Humanity on this Universe. INDEX OF THE SERIAL (Click on characteristic you want to read about):

Part 1:

Salam alaykum
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Islam,

Before we actually look into the minute details of ethics and mannerisms, let us first see how it is directly related to belief and how all these instill belief in one's heart.


The basic elements of belief, as we all know, are:
1. The oneness of ALLAH.
2. The Day of Judgement.
3. The angels.
4. The Quran.
5. The Prophets.
6. Fate, whether it's good or bad.

Prophet(PBUH) was asked to define belief. He said," Belief is to believe in ALLAH, in the Last day,in the Angels, in the Holy Book, in the Prophets, and in fate whether it's good or bad."
ALLAH (swt) says in the Quran:
[Surah Baqarah(2),Verse 177]

" It is not 'AL-Birr' (Piety, Righteousness, etc..) that you turn your faces towards the east and(or) West (in prayers); but 'Al-Birr' is (the quality of) the one who believes in:

    • 1. ALLAH
    • 2. the Last Day
    • 3. the Angels
    • 4. the Book
    • 5. the Prophets
    • 6. And gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to:
      • i. the kinsfolk
      • ii. the orphans
      • iii. the poor who beg
      • iv. the wayfarer
      • v. those who ask
      • vi. the captives
    • 7. To establish regular prayers
    • 8. To practice regular charity
    • 9. To fulfill the contracts you make
    • 10. And to be patient and firm in:
      • i. extreme poverty
      • ii. in ailment(disease)
      • iii. and throughout all periods of panic

Such are the people of the truth and they are 'Al-Muttaqun'(the pious). "

As it can be seen from this verse that, righteousness or belief involves not only belief in ALLAH and accountability, but also emphasizes acts of worship like prayer and charity. It further explains that a Muslim in his/her behaviour is faithful to his commitments and patient in times of difficulty. Thus this verse illustrates that there are three basic and independent elements in the character of a believer:

  • 1. His belief in ALLAH and hence in accountability.
  • 2. His acts of worship, exemplified here by prayer and charity which strenghten his belief.
  • 3. And the fruits of this belief is thereby shown in his character and his behaviour at times of trial.

When the Quran describes the believers it says: "Those who believe and do good deeds."

The natural result of belief is good deeds; the two are inseparable. They complement each other. Belief is the basic foundation upon which good character and a good Muslim develops. If belief is weak or shaky, then only a weak personality may emerge. On the contrary, if the foundation of belief is strong, then good conduct and behaviour will follow and exihibit.

Belief increases and decreases under different circumstances.

Some days we feel close to ALLAH, happy inside and content, not because of any material gain, success or wealth, but because of an inner peace that warms our hearts and souls. At other times, we feel desparate, aloof and rejected because we miss ALLAH's light of guidance.

ALLAH(swt) states this very same fact in His Quran:

[Surah An'aam,Verse122]

" Is he who was dead (without Faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and Faith) and set for him a Light (of Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness (of disbelief,polytheism, and hypocrisy) from which he can never come out? Thus it is made fair-seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do. "

Therefore, our duty should be to increase our level of belief, so that we are alive, as the above verse explains. The methodology has been shown to us by ALLAH(swt) when He told us to safeguard our prayers, to give charity, to fast and to help each other and do good deeds. These acts of worship bring us closer to ALLAH(swt); when we think and ponder about ALLAH then our hearts feel secure and at peace, as ALLAH(swt) says:

[Surah Ar-Ra'ad(13),Verse 28]

" Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of ALLAH. Verily, in the rememberance of ALLAH do hearts find rest. "

The Prophet(PBUH) said:

" The example of the one who remembers his Lord(ALLAH) in comparison to the one who does not remember his Lord, is that of a living creature compared to a dead one. "

Belief has to be confirmed with good deeds. The Prophet(PBUH) told us: " Belief is what is settled in your heart and confirmed with your actions. " It is easy to talk or give advice to others, but it is much more difficult to practice what you preach, because it may involve hardship, sacrifice and patience.

ALLAH(swt) rewards more for good deeds than for good words. When one visits a sick person or goes to the mosque, to pray in congregation or goes out of his way to help someone in need of help, he is rewarded many times over by ALLAH(swt).

The Prophet(PBUH) told us: "Among the sins are those which can only be wiped out by striving and working to earn one's livelihood."

When one's parents grow old and infirm and they are living with them, this should be considered as a blessing from ALLAH(swt), not a burden. If we treat our parents with kindness and love, our reward from ALLAH(swt) is paradise. When we do good deeds we help each other and society becomes a better place to live. Words may be pleasing but their effects and value are usually transient.


Part 2:


Inshallah continuing with our discussion of Islamic Mannerisms, let us now take one step closer to being true Muslims, by looking at the characteristics of a Muslim.

As you may remember, in Part 1 we learnt that how belief is directly related to good deeds and actions, and that they are inseparable. Now we will look at how these actions or deeds mould the character of a **true** muslim. The reason I use the word true, is to differentiate of the fact that one who closely practices each order to the best of his/her ability will inshallah follow the path prescribed by ALLAH(Swt). And those who just call themselves muslims by name, creed, appearance, etc.. and practice the orders disheartedly, or for that matter don't even practice then certainly they will not be able to follow the prescribed path.

  1. From the extensive research of the Quran, one finds the following direct characteristics of a **true** Muslim, be it male/female.
  • 1. Kindness, gentleness, forbearance.
  • 2. Controlling anger and forgiving others.
  • 3. Justice and fairness.
  • 4. Chastity, purity and modestity.
  • 5. Safeguarding and avoiding sins.
  • 6. Love for all, Hatred for none.
  • 7. No insulting.
  • 8. No Spying or Back-biting.
  • 9. Piety and God-conscious.
  • 10. No evil thinking for others.
  • 11. Seeking help from ALLAH through prayers, and being patient.
  • 12. Cooperation with everyone and ommunity-hood.
  • 13. Obediance.
  • 14. Repulse evil with good.
  • 15. Humility.
  • 16. Contentment.
  • 17. Trustworthiness.

Inshallah, over the next few parts of this series, with the help of ALLAH(swt) I will be elaborating extensively with details on each and every of the above 17 characteristics, so that we may engrain them in our minds like **calculus** formulaes. Then only may we all be successful in the grand final of ALLAH(swt), in which all of us are looking for a

4.0 GPA (inshallah).

It is important that we try our best as much as we can, to instill the above 17 characteristics, because it is one of the major objectives of Islam, as the Prophet(PBUH) said, " I have been sent to implement and improve good character." He also said," The closest to me on the Day of Judgement are those with good character."

And we all know that ALLAH(swt) has described the Prophet(PBUH), in the Quran as being of a high standard of character. ALLAH(swt) says:

[Surah Al-Qalam(68),Verse 4]
" And verily, you (O Muhammad(PBUH)) are on an exalted standard of character."

Now who wouldn't like to be the closest to the Prophet(PBUH) on the Last Day? So let us all try hard (and may ALLAH make it easy for us)......

1. Kindness, gentleness and forbearance:

Our Prophet(PBUH), was an example (one of a kind) in his kindness and gentle behaviour with everyone.
No one can attain that level, but that is not to discourage us of striving, instead it is a challenge set for us for our own felicity and success. Now ALLAH(swt) in the Quran explains to us why He made the Prophet(PBUH) in such a character:

[Surah Al-Imraan(3),Verse 159]

" And by the mercy of ALLAH, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you...."

It is **extremely** important to remember that people are attracted to someone who is kind and gentle and they are apprehensive and afraid of someone who is harsh and severe and does not show the good side of his/her nature. This is particularly important for those who are calling others to the way of ALLAH, be it they are calling to muslims or non-muslims.

Many muslims make this mistake, by taking it for granted that when it comes to call to the way of ALLAH, kindness and good behaviour is only for the non-muslims and not muslims. The common phrase often heard is,"...well he/she is a muslim and already knows so he/she has to be told harshly if they are not coming to ALLAH, whereas a Non-muslim is new to the concept so we have to explain to them with kindness and gentleness.."Astagh-fir-ullah, Islam does not have double-standards, the message of character is clear and vivid and the same for everyone be it a muslim or a non-muslim.

When it comes to calling others towards ALLAH, the whole wisdom lies in the manner being approached, as it is exemplified by ALLAH in the above verse.
For example: If I had a dinner at my house, and I invited all the MSAnetters with an invitation that was so viscious,rigorous, harsh and rude that everyone felt like spitting on my face; then what do you think? Will anyone even bother to come?? Chances are (99%) not.[good for me I get to eat all the delicious food!! ha! ha! ha!]

You see brothers and sisters the point to be understood is that this **deen** of ours is just like that dinner invitation. Untill and unless we show within us the good character of a kind, gentle, forbearing person, no one would even bother to think about Muslims. This aspect is directly related to the society we live in **America**. Majority of our surroundings is un-islamic, therefore by us setting an example for them would make them to appreciate us one step further.

On the contrary, the consequences are great and very very sour if we do not practice this characteristic of ours.


Part 3:


If you may recall, last time we defined a list of 17 characteristics that a *true* Muslim should have in them, and of this we went in detail with the 1st one, Kindness,Gentleness & Forbearing. Today inshallah we will go in detail with the second one on the list.

2. Controlling Anger & Forgiving others:


In this characteristic, lies the crux of the problem for human nature. You see, *anger* and *forgiveness* go hand in hand her, as if they were twins. It is so easy to get angry, but it is so *difficult* to forgive. Just sit back and ask yourselves *at this moment*, how many friendships we could have saved; how many family disputes we could have avoided; how many severed relationships we could have mended, **IF** we knew what ALLAH(swt) has said to us about it in the Quran. *Anger* and *forgiveness* are inseparable, as if in order to control one you lose the other.Why??

When one gets angry he loses his/her control over him/herserlf and thus is liable to say or do things that he/she may regret later when he/she regains control over him/herself. Even doctors and psychologists, in this 21st century, have proved it thru science that when human beings get angry they are in a state of subconscious in which they do not realize what they are doing.

This is why our Prophet(PBUH) described *anger* as a raging fire and advised the Muslims not to say or do anything till their anger had subsided. Meaning what? Meaning that just like that fire destroys everything it engulfes or takes into its custody, similarly anger destroys human beings, since it is burning the individual who is angry as well as the people on whom that individual is getting angry.

This is why in another hadith the Prophet(PBUH) said to the Muslims, " Say something good, or else keep quiet." Meaning use the tongue only for *halal* good purposes otherwise keep quiet, because if you don't then you are accumulating sins thru the tongue. Certainly, the tongue will stand witness on Day of Judgement against you, if you don't obey the above hadith, because ALLAH(swt) says:

[Surah Fussilat(41), Verse 21]

" And they will say to their skins,"Why do you testify against us?" They will say: ALLAH has caused us to speak,-- as He causes all things to speak,....."

So now we clearly understand that the *key* distinction of a *true* believer is the ability to control anger as described by ALLAH(swt) in the Quran:

[Surah Al-Imraan(3), Verse 134]

" Those who spend in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger and who pardon men; verily, ALLAH loves the good-doers."

Let us for a moment analyse this verse and see what ALLAH(swt) is saying. ALLAH(swt) is describing the good-doers, who are they?

and that is what the verse describes in the first part, that they are those who spend for ALLAH's sake and also control their anger and forgive people. *Subhan-allah* can you see the analogy given here? That contolling anger and forgiving people is as if you are spending in the way of ALLAH(Swt), spending what you ask?? Spending out of your patience, because patience is a property that is much more expensive then money these days. Why? Because money can be earned thru a living, a job but patience in a human being is very scarce and seldom found, and very hard to earn.

Why? Because in order to earn patience, you have to not only control your *anger* but also *forgive* people of what they do to you.

Our Prophet(PBUH) said in a hadith," The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger."

Today, a person is considered powerful if he can show his strength and might thru is anger or any other source, and by the same token a person who is mild and cool, easy going is considered to be meek and weak, just because he doesn't get angry. Sorry to say, but this completely contradicting to our religion, and **we** as Muslims have to understand, specially living in the U.S.A, that we have to see what the Quran and Sunnah are saying in regards to each aspect, and not blindly follow the tide of society we are living in.

We are ordered not only to forgive those who believe (muslims) but also those who do not look forward to meeting ALLAH(swt), meaning non-muslims, because ALLAH(swt) says in the Quran:

[Surah Jathiyah(45), Verse 14]

" Say (O Muhammad(PBUH)) to the believers to forgive those who (harm them and) hope not for the Days of Allah (ie. His Recompense),...."

A common mistake, a Muslim does is the misunderstanding that all orders in the Quran are to be observed towards muslims ONLY and not the others. Often we hear,"...oh he/she is not a muslim, and they are prejudice against us, so we shouldn't forgive them. We should treat them the same way they treat us. Oh they are mean to us , we should also teach them a lesson....." and so on....we can go on filling the sayings. But the fact of the matter is, as ALLAH(swt) is saying in this verse, that our **attitudes** should be the same whether muslim or non-muslim. Just because some people treat us as muslim fundamentalists or give us a hard time, that is no reason for us to have a double-standard, because ISLAM doesn't have a double-standard.

Besides the point, think how many people you can get close to by applying this characteristic to everyone, regardless of whether they have hurted you or not, and in due course you would have made a tremendous effect and impact on the society in general, just by doing what??? Following the Quran and Sunnah.We are encouraged drastically by our Creator, ALLAH(Swt) to forgive others, so that He may forgive our mistakes. You see it is a double reward with ALLAH(swt) for implementing this characteristic, because ALLAH(swt) says in the Quran:

[Surah An-Nur(24), Verse 22]

" .......Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

May ALLAH(swt) give me and all the Muslims the tawfeeq to implement this characteristic, and follow on His Path untill the Day of Judgement.(aameen)


Part 4:


3. To be just and fair:


Performing justice and fairnes, within the community, amongst the people is another quality or beauty of a believer. It is because this characteristic gives others a sense of relief and dependability, and someone to turn to in times of need, whatever the need may be.

When one is just and treats pthers fairly, he/she becomes trusted and others turn to him/her in any dispute because they respect that particular individual for this beauty. Trust is a very important property to earn in ths world. We, as muslims living in this society(U.S.), can easily witness the importance of trust amongst people. Every place you go, whether at work or school or home, trusting someone is the key, because it displays the character of a human being. Our bosses at work, trust us with whatever we are doing would be for the benefit of the company. Our professors at schools and colleges, trust us that we would not cheat in our exams or projects, and thus don't call for security in order to invigilate the exams ( something which is common in countries like Pakistan, India, etc...).

You see thru justice and fairness we instill peace and harmony into the society and world in general. How good it could have been that on this earth everyone could blindly trust everyone, and thus we wouldn't need CIA or the FBI or any spying agency. Today many American parents have hired private detectives just to spy on their children for what they are doing in their private lives. It is a good feeling when one is treated justly and fairly.

On the other hand, when one is treated unjustly it leaves a bad feeling that he/she was wronged and not given what he/she deserved.

Prophet(PBUH) was ordered by ALLAH(swt) to judge between people in fairness, in the Quran:

[Surah Al-Maidah(5), Verse 42]

".......And if you judge, judge with justice between them. Verily ALLAH loves those who act justly."

[Surah Ash-Shura(42), Verse 15]

".......And I am commanded to do justice among you......."

Just like our Prophet(PBUH) was ordered to be fair and just, similarly we have also been ordered to be just and fair by ALLAH(swt):

[Surah Nisaa(4), Verse 58]

" Verily! ALLAH commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due; and when you judge between men, that you may judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He(Allah) gives you! Truly, Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer."


Part 5:


4. Chastity, Modesty and purity:


To guard ones chastity, modesty and to remain pure should be the highest priority, especially in this animalistic western society. When one loses his/her modesty or chastity, it is as if their soul has been **raped**, because after that they don't have what is called "hayaa" in Islam, meaning the willingness to keep away from the dirty things in the society, which this western world calls " shyness ". Well let them call whatever they want, but brothers and sisters understand one thing that if you lose your "hayaa" it means then nothing in this world is evil for you, because now your soul is dead, and thus everything seems okay.

This is why the Quran **orders** us Muslims to be chaste and modest. There is no pre-marital or extra-marital sex allowed in Islam. The only form allowed is that between a husband and wife. This is why our Prophet(PBUH) advised young muslim men and women, that if they can support a marriage then get married as early as possible, and not delay it because Shaitaan is very active in this area to destroy us.

ALLAH(swt) orders us in the quran, " Do not approach zina, it is evil". All forms of adultery and fornification are prohibited in Islam. Moreover we are advised to lower our gaze, when looking at others, otherwise one's desires are awakened and this may lead to grave consequences. Modesty in clothing and appearance is advised. Nudity and vulgarity are to be avoided, as ALLAH(swt) says:

[Surah An-Nur(24), Verse 30-33]

" Tell the believing men to lower their gaze(from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts etc.). That is purer for them. Verily Allah is All-aware of what they do."

" And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of the hands, or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.) and to draw their veils all over " Juyubihinna " (ie. their bodies, faces, necks and bossoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's sons........."

" And marry those among you who are single (ie. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and also marry the " Salihun " (pious, fit and capable ones) ........."" And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches them of His Bounty."

So now you ask how is all this related to our manners??

Very simple, if we don't adhere to this then there will be total chaos within the society and thus there will be no "hayaa". The chaos I am talking about is already evident within the western society we live in, meaning teen-age pregnancy, unwed mothers, illegitimate children and children caring for their own babies. All of this is the testimony to the wisdom of ALLAH (swt) behind the prohibitions, because after all we know that ALLAH (swt) is Al-Aleem Al-Hakeem, meaning Most Knowledgeable Most Wise, so He knows what is good for His creations.

Another factor that often plays in, is that there is so much enthusiasm in uncovering one's body. Whereas those people are foolish thinking that by showing their bodies they are going to achieve higher goals in the society, instead they become objects of materialistic exploitation. For example, in the west, you will find the women bitterly moaning and groaning that the men don't respect them for their brains but for their bodies. Well Islam says guard your modesty, cover yourself up and then the men will repect you for what you really are, meaning your intelligence. There is a common saying for women in the business sector, that if you want to climb the corporate ladder, you got to sleep with your boss, as if that is no big deal!! But today it has been proved thru surveys that only 5 percent of those kind of women have succeeded, and 95 percent of women who used their brains have been successful, again shoeing that **haraam** tactics do not work in ALLAH's (swt) world.

You see the whole point of guarding ones modesty and chastity is earning respect, which is a very expensive property to earn. It takes a great deal of time and effort, and endeavour to earn respect within a society, but it may take only seconds to destroy respect, so we have to be very very careful and cautious when it comes to respect. Even in muslim households you will find parents saying, " Well, our children have to get married one day, so it doesnt't matter if thay cover or not cover, or it doesn't matter it they mix toghether...." Now you tell me what kind of relationship will you achieve when there won't be any respect between the two parties. You see the whole wisdom behind our Islamic marriage system, is that the foundation is laid thru **respect**, and then ALLAH (swt) is behind them to support. The primary question western people ask is that, " How do you guys love each other after marriage, when you have never met before?" Well the primary answer to that is that respect between the two leads to love which in turn builds a solid relationship, unlike the western marriages which on average last 1.2 years ( according to Peoples, Time, Newsweek magazines).


Part 6:


5. Safeguarding and avoiding sins:


These two are inter-connected to each other, because they both are directed towards one Supreme being, that is ALLAH (swt). You safeguard yourself in order to please ALLAH(swt) and the same time you avoid the sins in order to follow the commandments of ALLAH (swt).

In Islam there is someting called "nafs", your self-apprehension, or spirit, or soul, or whatever you may want to call it. This thing is always awake even if you are sleeping. What I mean by this is that most of us know whether we are doing right or wrong. Sometimes we hide so that other people cannot see what we are doing because we know it is wrong and feel ashamed if others know about it.

This so called feeling is what is known as "nafs", meaning your innerself. Many times you would find that you are doing something but you are regretting it from your heart, because your inner soul knows you are transgressing the bounds of ALLAH, because Shaitaan has empowered and defeated you and that is why you are doing it. If only you could have defeated Shaitaan, then you wouldn't be doing that certain act.

As ALLAH(swt) says in the Quran:

[Surah An-Naziyat(79), Verses 34-41]

" But when there comes the greatest catastrophe (ie. the Day of Recompense, etc.)

" The Day when man shall remember what he strove for, "

" And Hell-Fire shall be made apparent in full view for (every) one who sees, "

" Then, for him who Tagha (transgressed all bounds, in disbelief, oppression and evil deeds of disobediance to ALLAH)."

" And preferred the life of this world (by following his evil desires and lusts),"

" Verily, his abode will be Hell-Fire;"

" But as for him who feared standing before is Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts."

" Verily. paradise will be his abode."

The key word here is the apprehension that we are being watched 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. The moment this feeling gets into our minds that ALLAH(swt) is watching every second, no matter where we are, the solution to all the problems will be found. It may be that we are succeful in hiding from the world, of what we do individually, but can we hide from ALLAH(swt), who is going to recompense us for every second of our time in this world.

This constant watch will lead to a state of purity and controlling one's desires to what is allowed and decent. Otherwise a human being will become wild, only looking for his own pleasure with no regard to decency or moral value. As ALLAH (swt) says in the quran,

[Surah An-Nisaa(4), Verse 1]

" O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord,.............Surely, ALLAH is Ever an All-Watcher over you."

[Surah Ghaafir(40), Verse 19]

" Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal."

It is very easy to concieve safeguarding ourselves and avoiding sins, if we start thinking that there is a 24 hr camera behind our backs and it is recording our every second activity, and thus we have no chances to avail. Then at night before going to sleep, on the bed if we take two minutes to reconcile our deeds and actions of the day to see far out or how far in line we are with our ALLAH(swt).

6. Love for All, Hatred for none:


When people feelthat we genuinely love them and care for them, a bond of love and affection will develop and they will return our warm feelings and trust in them. Conversely, hating others, not wishing any good for them and feeling envious, will only cause bad feelings and distrust. When we harbor bad feelings we hurt ourselves and others want to stay far away from us.

Now in science, we are told that elements and compounds are connected together by chemical bonds, and the strength of the bond determines how strong or weak an element or compound is. Also we learnt that there are thre forms, namely solids, liquids and gases. Of these the most stable are solids, because they have strong bonds holding the atoms and molecules together, compared to the gases which are most unstable due their structure of weak bonds.

Similarly a society, or community, or group remains stable, strong and healthy depending on the bondship of its atoms, meaning people. You see when people in a community, love each other, care for each other, this develops a bond just like those chemical bonds, which holds the community together, and prevents it from destruction. Now the stronger and powerful the bond of the community would be, the more stable it will be, and the further away will evil stay away, as if the community is immunised. This is why ALLAH (swt) says in the Quran,

[Surah Hujuraat(49), Verse 10]

" The believers are nothing else but one brotherhood. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear ALLAH, that you may recieve Mercy."

Notice why we have to have this community bondship, because ALLAH says in the above verse that if you want mercy from Me then you have to have a healthy community with solid strong bondship between the people. So we just don't need to love and care for people for our sake, but also to recieve mercy from ALLAH(swt).

This noble verse tells us that we have to love our brothers and to remove any misunderstanding or ill-feelings in their hearts. One of the ways to get this feeling of brotherhood is to share with them what ALLAH gives to us. This will let us get us rid of the bad habit of greed and selfishness and will remove any bad feelings in the hearts of those less fortunate than us. Thus in this way peace and harmony will spread between the members of the community, which will bring tranquility in the society we live in. As ALLAH (swt) says in the Quran,

[Surah At-Taghabun(64), Verse 16]

" So keep your duty to ALLAH (fear Him) as much as you can; listen and obey; and spend in charity, that is better for yourselves. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, then they are the successful ones."

You see the only reason greed and selfishness prevail, is because somewhere money is being stored or reserved like water behind a dam, and thus the drought in the community creates greed among the less fortunate, and selfishness among the fortunate ones. This is why ALLAH (swt) in the Quran many, many times has emphasized the concept of charity, the concept of giving money and not just storing like in a resevoir. Because what happens if money starts to get stored in a place is that it produces drought in the community, and then all the consequences start to occur.

You see money is like blood in our body. Try blocking off blood in some part of your body and see for yourself what happens? All the other parts start becoming pale because they lose the nourishment of blood to survive. Similarly for a healthy, stable and strong community to prevail, charity has to continue, so that money continues to flow, and thus greed and selfishness will automatically eradicate. There is no concept of extreme richness or extreme poverty in Islam, moderation is the norm, so that a stable healthy society functions.


Part 7:


7. No Insulting:


Pride, arrogance, jealousy and all forms of thinking that lead one to believe that he/she is the best, is highly criticized in the

Holy Quran. Infact it is a direct order from our Master, Creator to not to have this kind of an attitude at all. Further more, our beloved Prophet(saw) also admonished and warned us of this attitude, and told us to guard ourselves from this and also from those people who have it.

So one asks why?? What is the reason?? Well the answer lies in the numerous ahadeeth and Quranic verses that dictate to us of not having this attitude. As we all know that Allah(swt) is Al-Aleem and Al-Hakeem, Most Knowledgeable and Most Wise. He knows us very well since He created us, thus His wisdom in teaching us the correct manners is for our own benefit, but we come to understand His wisdom in any restriction

after the damage has been done. If only we could understand earlier and prohibit ourselves from what is forbidden then I guess we all could be better Muslims.

When we behave in an arrogant way and look down at others and continue to put them down and ridicule them and do not pay any attention to them, then certainly hatred and enmity will evolve which will lead to the destruction of our brotherhood and community, further more to the destruction of us as individuals, because there would be no self-esteem, etc....

Let us see what Allah(swt) orders us in this regard.

[Surah Al-Luqman(31), Verses 18-19]

" And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not each arrogant boaster."

" And be moderate or show no insolence in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice of the ass."

[Surah Al-Isra'a(17), Verse 37]

" And walk not on earth with co nceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth, nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height."

Pride and arrogance instills two things in human beings, which are, one the voice is raised automatically because of the sense that whatever I am saying is right because I know everything. Also when we look down upon others and constantly ridicule and criticise others, it is so natural that our mode of stride becomes very harsh too, because the constant sentiment of pride *puts* this feeling in our minds and hearts. Thus when we walk, we walk with power and strength in our legs, again because of the feeling that " Oh I'm the best, no one knows anything exceptme....."

This is nothing but constant whispering of the Shaa'itan in our minds and hearts to behave this way, and that is why in the above verses Allah(swt) orders us to avoid this.

You see it is so **decieving** that it is hard to feel or notice this characteristic. Now obviously, in some cases it may be dliberate but in others it may be because of deception. In other words, what I trying to make you realize is that, for some of us we may not mean that way (ie. being arrogant & proud) but because it so hard to *feel** whether you are arrogant or proud, therefore you may never know that you are harming people. Thus it is incumbent upon us, that as soon as we see the first signs of arrogance and pride in our actions, talks or whatever, that we immediately shun it and repent to Allah(swt).

For example, you may be the President of your local Islamic Center or Masjid, and Alham-dou-lillah you may be the humblest person in the community, and have the clearest intentions in your mind and heart. But now, since people of the community respect you so much and

have given the level of dignity and pride, that whatever you do there is no resentment in the community, and always contentment.

Meaning people start putting you at such a higher level, as if you are their boss, because you are the president or leader of the community, and because of that respect and dignity, people in the community now really don't care much, because they know and feel that whatever you do is okay with them, since they are satisfied.

Well, here comes Shaa'itan(Iblees) into play. He sees that this person is so hyped up in the community, that he just puts a few whispers in the mind and heart and .....boom !!.....all the humbleness and humility is shattered. Why ???

Because now that same person is still the same but inadvertantly he/she starts exercising the pride and dignity and respect the community had bestowed upon him/her. He/she starts using the power and strength, without feeling or realising it, because he/she knows that the community is satisfied completly with whatever he/she does.

So now this instills pride and arrogance in him/her. When he/she talks, talks in a manner as if he/she knows the best. When

he/she walks, walks with head up and chest uptight and legs pounding, because now Shaa'itan has instilled in this person that pride and arrogance. But it is not that person's fault because all this may be going on un-intentionally until he/she feels it or someone points to him/her that look you have pride now in you.

This is why it is very very important to all muslims in general, that whebever we recieve any compliments or congratulations or commendment regarding anything we may have achieved, we take all of this with humility and always thank Allah(swt) and ask for his help in keeping the humbleness and hunility, because remember.......

[Surah Al-Imraan,(3), Verse 26]

" Say: " O Allah! Possesor of the Kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom you will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things."

So whenever we see the first signs of pride and arrogance in us, either pointed to us by someone or we feel it ourselves, we should immediately ask Allah's forgiveness and remember the above verse. One point worth mentioning in the above verse, regarding our voices is that when we talk we should try as hard as we can to lower our voices, and do not make funny voices or make fun of other peoples way of talking or voices because the Prophet(saw) said......

Narrated Ibn Abi Mulaika: The two righteous persons were about to be ruined. They were Abu Bakr and Umar who raised their voices in the presence of the Prophet(saw) when a mission from Bani Tamim came to him.

One of the two recommended Al-Aqra bin Habis, the brother of Bani Mujashi (to be their governor) while the other recommended somebody else. Abu Bakr said to Umar, "You wanted nothing but to oppose me!"

Umar said," I did not intend to oppose you!" Their voices grew loud in that argument, so Allah revealed:

[Suarah Al-Hujuraat(49), Verse 2]

"O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet(saw) nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds may be rendered fruitless while you percieve not."

Ibn Az-Zubair said, " Since the revelation of this verse, Umar used to speak in such a low tone that the Prophet(saw) had to ask him to repeat his statements.

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol6, Hadith No.368)

Allah(swt) also orders in the Quran....

[Surah Al-Hujuraat(49), Verse 11]

" 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 (ie. to call your Muslim brother as: "O sinner, or O wicked, etc..). And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed "Zalimun" (wrong-doers)."

This verse clearly dictates the many forms of wrong acts we may be doing in our daily to daily lives. For example, in school and college age kids it is very eminent to see making fun of other peoples names, or twisting or turning peoples names to make jokes or fun out of it. This is clearly shunned from the above verse.

Many times we indulge ourselves, when we are having a gathering with are good old friends, in jokes and laughs that are humialating others and making fun of others. Such as if someone has some sort of weakness than we use that as an excuse of making jokes on him/her.

For example, if someone is fat or crooked or if his/her nose isn't staright or if they talk in a bad accent, or if someone is not great in his/her studies, then we start making fun of these facts of those people in these gatherings, and yet don't realize what Allah(swt) is ordering us in this above verse.

Again the reasoning of making such foolish jokes out of fun, is that sense of pride and status, that, " Oh I am the great, I am a 4.0 student so I can make fun of others, or " People respect me for my status so I can ridicule others, etc.....There many many feelings which I can post on and on but what's the use, we still continue to be oblivious of these minute and miniscule details in our daily to daily lives.

Until and unless we grow up to learn and understand how clearly and vividly Allah(swt) dictates us the true human manners and atticates, and how our beloved Prophet(saw) implemented in his life to exemplify to us that yes it is possible to exercise these manners, then we will never wake up from the dichotomy of ?????? (I leave that for you to fill in) Almost all of us openly declare that our beloved Prophet(saw) is the role model and etc.... but how many of those very samepeople practice at least one aspect of the life of the Prophet(saw) let alone practicing the whole life, and yet when it comes to worldly role models then oh boy oh boy.......the air Jordan shoes are wanted, the caricature hair styles are practiced and their different aspects are found out to mimick, so much so that we are almost ready to implement that star's whole lifestyle.....and yet forget about our Prophet(saw).

This is no generalization, nor is it a direct hit on any set people. In fact this is the norm and plight of Muslims today all over the world. From America to Japan, and from Ireland to Australia. Where ever muslims exist, they are hung up in the local area status and pride and dignity to achieve, and yet forget the **manners** the Quran dictates to us, let alone practicing the lifestyle of the Prophet(saw).

Then for those people, this is what Allah(swt) has to say:

[Surah Al-A'raf(7), Verse 146]

" I shall turn away from My Ayat (verses of the Quran) those who behave arrogantly on the earth, in a wrongful manner, and (even) if they see all the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs etc..), they will not believe in them. And if they see the way of righteousness (monotheism, piety, good deeds), they will not adopt it as the way, but if they see the way of error (polytheism, crimes and evil deeds), they will adopt that way, that is because they have rejected Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, etc..) and were heedless (to learn a lesson) from them."

[Surah An-Nisaa(4), Verse 36]

" Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor who beg, the neighbour who a near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the way-farer (you meet), and what your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as proud and boastful."

Narrated Aisha (raa): The Prophet(saw) said,"Gabriel continued to recommend me about treating the neighbours kindly and politely, so much so that I thought he would order me to make them as my heirs."

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.8, Hadith No. 43)

Narrated Abu Huraira(raa): The Prophet(saw) said," Paradise and Hell(Fire) quarelled in the presence of their Lord. Paradise said, "O Lord! What is wrong with me that only the poor and humble people enter me?" Hell(Fire) said," I have been favoured with the arrogant people.

"So Allah said to Paradise," You are My Mercy," and said to Hell(Fire)," You are My Punishment which I inflict upon whom I wish, and I shall fill both of you."

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.9, Hadith No. 541)

[Surah Ibrahim(14), Verse 21]

" And they all shall appear before Allah(on the Day of Resurrection) then the weak will say to those who were arrogant (chiefs):"Verily, we were following you; can you avail us anything from Allah's torment?" They will say:"Had Allah guided us, we would have guided you. It makes no difference to us (now) whether we rage, or bear (these torments) with patience, there is no place of refuge for us."

[Surah An-Nahl(16), Verse 29]

" So enter the gates of Hell, to abide therein, and indeed, what

an evil abode will be for the arrogant."

In this world, at this time and age muslims have forgotten these above orders, and are too much obssesed with the fact of life, wich is earning the pride, respect, dignity, status and position in the society they live in. In this process, they forget the fact of reality that all of that is worth nothing but merely an illusion, because when they go all of that pride, status and position stays behind and only their deeds accompany them. This is what the above verses and hadiths are telling us.

Scenario of Life: A child is born whether boy or girl.

>From day one the parents thinking is what? " Oh my son/daughter is going to be a doctor/engineer/business professional. He/she will be the leader of the society, and will have a status and position in the community."

What happens is that dictates the rest of the lifestyle of that poor old child. Now he/she has to study really hard in the best of schools and colleges and earn the best and highest degrees. Then make money as fast and as hard as he/she can so that people can start respecting him/her in the society for what he/she has accomplished:->

A beautiful huge house, at least four cars, plenty of property etc, etc,etc...

Now can someone tell me where does Islam and being a **practicing** muslim fall in all of this. Mind you practicing muslim and not just muslim. Once you have reached that certain status and position, wich your parents started out with, it is only so natural that some phase of life you will be having pride and arrogance in your attitude.

Once again, there may be many exceptions but my questions is what about our priorities? Now I am not saying that all of the above is wrong, infact Allah(swt) orders us to be the best in the society and attain the highest, but in all of this achievement (sorry to say) Islam gets left behind.

Unless and until we change the mentality and mode of thinking of the society, we will not be able to carry our Islam along this path or road to achievements. The Prophet(saw) clearly demonstrated to us as muslims on how to achieve status, position and leadership in the society and community, along with being a humble and practicing muslim.

I ask for Allah's forgiveness if anything I said is wrong and may Allah guide for that, and if anything is still unclear for someone then please contact me and I shall discuss it further.

I pray to Allah for his countless Mercy and Bounty on us and ask for the guidance of the truth for all the Muslims.....aameen.


Part 8:


8. No Spying, No Back-biting or Idle talks:

and 10. No evil thinking of others:


Let us first see what tool is involved in this play.

Obviously you can do both, spying and back-biting by your ______??

Hold tight, the answer is in the following hadith.

Narrated Sahl Bin Saad: Allah's Messenger(saw) said," Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (ie. his mouth, tongue, and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him."

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadith no. 481)

In other words, whoever protects his/her tongue from illegal talk, for example, to tell lies or back-biting, gossipping etc.,

and his/her mouth from eating and drinking of forbidden illegal things, etc., and his/her private parts from illegal sexual acts, then certainly they will enter Paradise, as promised by the Prophet(saw).

Allah(swt) orders us not to spy on people, not to think evil of people nor think bad for them. Also when it comes to this **tool** of tongue, we are strongly and sternly warned by the Creator and His Messenger(saw) to guard it and use it only for the better purposes and not for things like gossipping, back-biting, idle talks that lead to nowhere, spying on others etc..

Allah(swt) orders in the Quran:

[Surah Luqman(31), Verse 6-7]

" And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (ie. music, singing, gossips, etc.) to mislead (men) from the path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it (the path of Allah, Verses of the Quran) by way mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (Hell)."

" And when our verses (of this Quran) are recited to such a one, he turns away in pride, as if he heard them not, as if there were a deafness in his ear. So announce to him a painful torment."

Every idle talk or deed that diverts one from fulfilling one's obediance (duties) towards Allah, is Batil (falsehood, disbelief, etc.)

The Arabic terminology used for idle talk is Qil and Qal, which literally means: It was said, and somebody said, etc. In other words just merely gossipping about people.

Now considering this, think of the many suspicions, many fights and breakages we could have avoided, if only we exercised our manners.

Sorry to say, and please don't mind, but this danger signal is prevalent with our muslim women, mainly those who are housewives and are at home most of the day. However there may be many exceptions, but the majority is great therefore we should address this issue.

The usual routine of the day starts, once the husband has left for work and kids are gone to school, the good old lady sits beside the phone after her delicious breakfast, slowly sipping the coffee/tea and simultaneously dialing the phone. (tone, tone....) Great connected, now the conversation begins:

" .......Oh you know ______ said such and such, or I heard from ______ that you......, or She said they heard from....."

I do not intend to pick on someone nor do I intend to insult, but I merely intend to outline a disease within many muslim countries going on even today, specifically in countries of the South Asian Sub-continent, which may be called simply gossip, which is to be avoided as told by the above verses and the following hadiths.

Narrated Abu Huraira(raa): Allah's Messenger(saw) said,"Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (or insult) his neighbour; and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously."

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 8,Hadith No. 482)

Narrated Abu Huraira(raa): The Prophet(saw) said," A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance, and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward): a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into hell-fire."

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.8, Hadith No.485)

Now let us come to spying and back-biting, Allah(swt) says in the Quran,

[Surah Al-Hujuraat(49), Verse 12]

" O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some

suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful."

How would we feel if there was someone who was spying on us, always wanting to know what we were doing and eager to know our secrets? We would feel very uncomfortable and we would do everything possible to stay clear of his way and take precautions against him. Also when one conveys our secrets to others and talks about us behind our backs, we would feel betrayed and stabbed in the back. We would avoid such a person fearful of malice.

Just as we cannot accept to eat the flesh of our own dead brother, similarly we should avoid to backbite too. This is what the above verse is dictating to us, indicating that backbiting is like

killing your own brother. The following hadiths also dictate the same, Narrated Ibn Abbas(raa): Allah's Messenger(saw) passed by two graves and said, Both of them (persons in the grave) are being tortured, and they are not being tortured for a major sin. This one used not to save

himself from being soiled with his urine, and the other used to go about with calumnies (among the people to rouse hostilities, eg. one goes to a person and tells him that so-and -so says about him such-and-such evil things). The Prophet(saw) then asked for a green leaf-less branch of a date-palm tree, split it into two pieces and planted one on each grave and said, "It is hoped that their punishment may be abated till those two pieces of the leaf get dried."

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.8, Hadith No.78)

When we begin to suspect others and expect bad things from them though we have no reason for such suspicions, we will be unable to trust others. We will become afraid and apprehensive and our outlook in life will be dark and pessimistic. On the other hand, when we look at the good side of people, many times we will be rewarded for our trust in them.

Narrated Abu Huraira(raa): Allah's Messenger(saw) said: "Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worse of tales, and do not look for the other's faults, and do not do spying on one another, and do not practise Najsh* and do not be jealous of one another and do not hate one another, and do not desert (stop talking to) one another. And O Allah's worshippers! Be brothers!"

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.8,Hadith No.92)

* == Najsh means to offer a high price for something in order to allure another customer who is interested in the thing ( something like bribery).

Narrated Hudhaifa(raa): I heard the Prophet(saw) saying, "A Qattat** will not enter Paradise."

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.8, Hadith No.82)

** == A Qattat is a person who conveys disagreeable, false information from one person to another with the intention of causing harm and enmity between them.

Thus it is very clear from the above ahadeeths and verse of the Quran, of the fundamental characteristic or manner of every muslim, but sorry to say we don't pay heed to it.

Inshallah next time we will continue with charcteristic number 9 of our series, which is being God-conscious. Until then may Allah guide us all to be the best of Muslims and give us the hedayah to follow these characteristics and manners which we are learning.....aameen.


Part 9:


9. Piety and God-conscious:


This is one of the most basic and fundamental element in Islam. It goes back all the way to the Shahadaa we take in Islam when we first become Muslims, openly stating the definition of a Muslim. This is why, this property of God-concious and Tawheed (the oneness of Allah) are directly proportional to each other, like we studied in school, that Newton's Law states that " Force " is directly proportional to " Mass ".

In the same manner, we as Muslims can say that our level of God-conciousness will be directly proportional to the "amount" of TAWHEED we have in our hearts, minds and souls. I wouldn't like to go in detail here about Tawheed, because you can read my other series which is on Tawheed, of which 5 parts have been posted as yet. So, Tawheed doesn't just mean you understand the Shahadaa and that's it. Certainly

not, it means how much fear and love of Allah(swt) has been instilled in you through the understanding of the Shahadaa which you took upon entering the total submission of Allah(swt). For some of us this may be high and for some of us this may be low.

A good example is the " Eid Muslim " and the " Daily Muslim ", meaning a muslim who only prays Salatul-Eid and the other one is a regular muslim who not only prays Salatul-Eid but all the prayers obligated to him. Of course, both have taken the Shahadaa, but which one do you think understands Tawheed better?? Obviously, the regular muslim because his level of God-conciousness is commensurate with his understanding of Tawheed. Thus God-conciousness is only instilled in a muslim thru the essential understanding of Tawheed.

Now let us come back to this vitalistic property of piety or God-Conciousness. The Arabic word used for this is " taqwa ".

Many times in the Quran you will see this word, and sometimes the word "Al-Birr " will so appear which also means the same. As you may remember, in part two of this series we went thru the whole verse which states the

clear definition of Al-Birr and Taqwa, therefore you can look it up so that it doesn't become repetitious here.

However, the literal meaning of the word " taqwa "means to shelter yourself from something. Thus in our context, it means to shelter ourselves from the punishments of Allah(swt) and the Hell-Fire.

This is why we always nake the supplication to Allah(swt), that Oh Allah protect us from the Nar (Hell-Fire). In other words, sheltering oneself from the Azaabs of Allah and the Nar translates into fear which turns into piety and God-conciousness, why??

A very good question, and the answer lies in the Quran, the word of Allah(swt),

[Surah Al-Imran(3), Verse 102]

" O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared.
(Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always). And die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.
(translation of Muhammad Muhsin Khan, "The Noble Quran")

When this verse was revealed, the Sahabah came running to the Prophet(saw) asking: "Ya Rasullallah, how can we fear Allah as it is His right to be feared, as He should be feared?"

Why, because they were terrified, they didn't know what was the right of Allah's fear that they should have or how much?

So Rasullallah replied: "Fear Allah as much as you can, to the best of your ability."

The Sahahbah were the best of the generations of Muslims of the past and yet to come. The only thing paramount in them was the fear and love of Allah(swt) and His Messenger(saw). So as soon as this verse came, this very fear and love compelled them to ask the above question, which shows their level of God-conciousness and piety in their hearts and souls and minds.

May Allah(swt) also guide us to be like them..........aameen.

Coming back to the above verse, the verse doesn't address everyone in the world, but only to those who believe in Allah and His Messenger(saw), meaning us muslims. As we all know, in the Quran, Allah(swt) addresses mankind in many ways. For example, "O People....";

"O People of the Book...."; "O you who believe.....".

This very last one, is the one that we muslims are to be concerned the most, because each time after that address there is a direct order for us muslims to obey and submitt to. Like, " O you who believe, fasting is prescribed to....."; "O you who believe, avoid much suspicion....." etc,etc,...Every time this phrase appears in the Quran for us, there is always a direct order for us to obey.

So now in this case, the order is to fear Allah as is His right to be feared. The fear of Allah in this verse also implies the Love of Allah. Why, because fear is of two kinds:

1. One fear is the fear of anger and punishment of someone, that if we make them angry we know we are going to get punished, so that dictates one type of fear in us.

2. The other type of fear is what accompanies Love for someone. If you love someone the most, more than yourself, then that natural love dictates a type of fear. The fear of not harming or displeasing that person who you love, since you love them the most. That love instills an arbitrary fear in your mind and hearts that not to displease this person because I love him so much and so I don't want decrease or lower that love.

Similarly here in this verse, we have the fear of Allah(swt) and also His love because we love Him the most. Why because we know He is "Shadeedul-Eqaab", meaning the most severe in punishment. But at the same time we know He is "Ghafoor-ur-Raheem", meaning most merciful.

Thus when we fear Allah(swt), we not only fear Him for His Azaabs and punishments, but also we love Him so much that we don't want to displease or anger Him at all, thus that instills in us a two-fold fear!!

Evidences of this two-fold fear and this feeling of relationship between the creation and the Creator are abundant throughout the Holy Quran. Allah(swt) says in the Quran,

[Surah Ar-Ra'd(13), Verses 21-22]

" Those who join that which Allah has commanded to be joined, fear their Lord, and dread the terrible reckoning (ie. abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden and perform all kinds of good deeds which Allah has ordained)."

" And those who presevere, seeking their Lord's Countenance....."

[Surah An-Nahl(16), Verse 18]

" And if you would count the graces of Allah, never could you be able to count them. Truly! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

[Surah Ar-Rahman(55), Verses 45-46]

" Then which of the favours of your Lord will you both (Jinns and Men) deny?"

But for him who (the true believer of Islamic Monotheism who performs all the duties ordained by Allah and His Messenger(saw), and keeps away from all kinds of sin and evil deeds prohibited in Islam and) fears the standing before his Lord, there will be two Gardens (ie. in Paradise)."

[All translations from "The Noble Quran" by Muhammad Muhsin Khan]

Now the last couple of verses, clearly dictate the love aspect of the fear I have been trying to explain, showing that Allah is Most Merciful and has bestowed upon us so many favours, bounties and pleasures that how can we displease Him at any cost? This why in Surah Ar-Rahman, Allah asks us so many times that " Which of his favours will we deny?" showing us that we are helpless without Him and we are in need of Him.

Now fear for the *true* believer doesn't end here. It carries on to the other aspects of his beliefs and deeds and actions that he does, as can be explained from this hadith, Narrated Aisha(raa): I asked Allah's Messenger(saw) about this following verse: [23:60] " And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear..." She added: "Are these who drink alcoholic drinks and steal etc.?"

Allah's Messenger(saw) replied: "No! O daughter of As-Siddiq, but they are those who fast, pray, and practice charity, and they are afraid that their good deeds may not be accepted (by Allah) from them: It is these who race for good deeds"

[Hadith No. 3225, Sunan At-Tirmidhi]

[Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, Vol.12, Page 132]

So not only do they fear Allah and His Punishments and His displeasure, but they **also** fear that their good deeds may not be accepted (Subhan-allah), such are truly the *best believers* who have this kind of feeling, why??

Because this feeling of non-acceptance again comes from the love aspect of the fear of Allah(swt), meaning the constant question in their minds is,"Is Allah(swt) pleased with me? Is He happy with me? Will He accept me? etc.."

Once again, this kind of an attitude and feeling in the **true** believer, makes him apprehensive of the fact that his Lord, Creator, Allah(swt) is with him where-ever he is and is always closer to him than his jugular vein, because Allah(swt) says......

[Surah Al-Mujadalah(58), Verse 7]
" ............, but He is with them (with His Knowledge) wheresoever they may be: and afterwards......"

[Surah Qaaf(50), Verse 16]

".........And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge)."

Thus this feeling of closeness with your Creator and Lord brings in the sense of contentment and tranquility and peace in the believer, because Allah(swt) says.......[Surah Ar-Ra'd(13), Verse 28]

" Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!"

Conclusively, this very factor lays out vividly the very foundation and description of the **deen** of Islam and Muslim, which is ===> Peace. Peace thru the submission to one Lord and entering His slavery and thus making oneself **free** from every kind of restrictions and barriers.

So now after so much detail on piety and God-consciousness, the essential question that rises in our minds is:
"How do we attain piety? How do we work towards God-conciousness? How can we succumb our hearts to the love of Allah(swt), such that it instills in us the fear of not displeasing Him? How can we have Iman such that we find peace and tranquility in the remembrance of Allah(swt)??

The answer to all these questions lies in the supreme word of Allah(swt), as he orders us to do things in order to attain piety, God-conciousness, Al-Birr, etc... Allah(swt) says in the Quran ......

[Surah Al-Imran(3), Verse 92]

" By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc., it means here Allah's reward, ie.Paradise), unless you spend (Allah's cause) of that which you love; and whatever you spend of good, Allah knows it well."

[Tafsir Al-Tabari]

When it comes to the verb of spending, our mind and intellect automatically goes to money and wealth, whereas in this case it means spending anything that you love. In other words,

  • 1. If you love your sleep then spend out of your sleep, which Allah(swt) has given to you as a blessing and thus in turn earn piety.
    For example, your normal bed-time may be 10pm, and say one day your friend calls you at 10:10pm requesting your help because his car is stuck on the highway. Now if you love your sleep more than Allah(swt) , then naturally you will get extremely annoyed and may start yelling, "How dare you call me so late? Don't you know I am fast a sleep and ........."
    On the contrary, if you really want piety and fear Allah(swt) and want to do good deeds to earn it, then you would immediately rush to the help of your friend, no matter what, and thus earn the reward from Allah(swt) ===> piety, righteousness, God-conciousness, etc.
  • 2. If you love your materialistic amenities, such as car, TV, vacuum cleaner, etc., then spend out of it to earn piety.
    For example, someone requests you to borrow your car just for a short while, because theirs is being repaired or some other reason.
    Then if you love your car more than Allah(swt), then automatically you become hesitant to lend it because you start thinking of insurance and whether or not this brother will take good care of it or be involved in accident, etc.. and all kinds of thoughts start whispering in your mind. However if you really love and fear Allah(swt) and want to attain piety, then you will automatically assist your muslim brother to the best of your capabilities.
  • 3. Allah(swt) has given us Alhamdou-lillah good health, but sometimes we incur some sort of illness or weakness. Then how many of us go out to spend out of the good health which Allah(swt) has given us, meaning how many times have we visited the sick or ill or diseased in our local community.
    How many times have we just called up the local hospital in the neighbourhood and inquired how many muslim patients are there to visit them for the love/fear of Allah(swt).

.......and so on, so on. I can keep giving examples but the point is not to criticise or ridicule our own negligences or weaknesses, but the point is to enlighten our minds with the true picture and highlight those weaknesses in Iman so that we may strenghten it and work on it to attain piety, righteousness, God-conciousness, etc..

May Allah(swt) guide us all muslims to fear Him and love Him as is His right to be feared, and we do it to the best of our abilities.....aameen.

Was-salam, yours in Islam..........