Teaching Good Manners

September 10, 2007 § 13 Comments

God said to the Believers,

“Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity.” (003: 104)

And as we grow into adulthood, we accumulate various responsibilities. These responsibilities cause pressure, that pressure tends to increase our speed. The speed of our thoughts, our actions and responses. Before you know it we are running, whether running is related to our appetites or our tongues, we end up running. Living in New York City has made me painfully aware of this condition. There are very few places in the world where the collective speed of peoples minds, actions and responses are moving as fast as New York City. This is why the common hyperbole, a New York minute, is used to describe time, in New York City, moving faster than normal.

The pace of each of our lives increases generally as a result of our families, studies, professions and social relationships. But there is a problem here. A problem that tends to go unnoticed in this country because of our disconnectedness to tradition and our hankering for anything modern. The reason seems to be because we assume that a modern convention will ultimately be the solution for a modern problem. And while we grow into complex lives, social orders and family structures our manners stay the same, the same as when they were adopted. This I think is a problem, our manners should evolve but for that to happen mankind needs training.

Indeed, the human condition is frail and fraught with delight and disappointment but despite our upsets we are endowed with the ability to conduct ourselves differently. The God is telling Believers to have faith and be honorable people and avoid bad manners to obtain true happiness. The best of mankind, Sayyidina Muhammad Mustafa (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) was the living example of this ‘Abdullah b. ‘Amr narrated a hadith saying,

“The Prophet never used bad language neither a “Fahish nor a Mutafahish. He used to say “The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.” (Sahih Bukhari)

The truth in this hadith did not cease after the Prophet left the Earth, it continues on especially now in a time where we are running so fast. Speeding toward our desires and quick with our tongues, we don’t know how to hold our tongues anymore. Today we say whatever comes to our minds with out ever asking if it is worth asking. We simply ask, and deal with the consequences be they good or bad! Our Grand Shaykh ‘Abdullah Al-Daghistani (may Allah keep his Secret) once said,

“Man is in need of training; therefore, Allah is giving him parents to teach him as a baby and a child. But the training of Prophets is most important. Others teach to save us from ego’s desires, because they are endless, asking more and more and still more, without limit. Following the ego’s desires, we tire and die tired. Prophets teach to stop within a limit, keeping one’s self from endless work and tiring. They teach us the purpose of life, show us our destinations. Whoever follows this way has good personality because the Prophet’s training is good manners for everyone. Now the Prophets are gone but their deputies can be found if one is searching for them. They teach people to save themselves from the assaults of their egos.”

Our Grand Shaykh, Shaykh ‘Abdullah Al-Daghestani, a saint whose makam (shrine) is located at the Osmanli Dergah in New York, is saying that the Prophet’s training, their manners, are available for everyone, but where? He is saying that this training can be found with the deputies of their Holy Tradition. And its pretty safe to say that this tradition, the manners of the Prophets, isn’t with those who do not even attempt to preserve the birth place of the Seal of the Prophets (may Peace and Blessings be upon him), let alone the things that he loves.

Shaykh ‘Abdullah’s successor the Maulana Shaykh Nazim Al-Hakkani is explaining exactly what those who seek to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong are doing. Shaykh Nazim is saying,

“We are trying to imitate good people and their meetings because every prophet coming, has been sent and they are sitting and people coming around them sitting as a circle and looking to them and asking to hear asking to hear what they’re saying. And those foolish Muslims ignorant Muslims they are saying now that prophets also they’re as ordinary people, no. If they are ordinary people they are on our level that means they are on our level. What taking any benefit from our level? If you are going to university and saying that professor they’re like ourselves, why you are going there, for what? If he’s on your level why you are going to hear and to listen for what? But foolish Muslims that they are bringing so many bad things to Islam that never happened.”

This always puzzles me, why can we except certain protocols of authority and rank when it comes to dunya, this worldly life, but not concerning akhiret, the afterlife. Why is it that people try to force equal representation on everyone when it comes to the Divine Presence? Can a lawyer spending 70 hours a week in an office, on the phone, in front of the computer stand as an equal in the Divine Presence with someone his has spent his 70 hours saying, “O Allah, forgive me, have Mercy on me and Grant me Guidance”? This is why the manners of the Holy Prophets are most important. Maulana Shaykh Nazim is saying,

“We are imitating, we are coming to our point now, we are a handful people from East from West coming here and we are trying to be imitators for prophets and their inheritors and Allah Almighty’s awliyah saints granted, shaykhs we asking to imitate. Because if you are imitating, that imitation giving to you honour. And that honour enough for us here and hereafter. Nothing else.”

That honor is honor among mankind and most importantly honor in the Divine Presence. This is why it is important to follow. Everyone wants to lead, no one wants to follow. In the last few posts there have been readers who have raised points about adopting “autodictatism” into Islam. But people are forgetting, again running, running to this and that full speed ahead. Running to be modern or at least to fix perceived problems with modern solutions, but forgetting that when we talk Islam, when we talk Qur’an, it is only talk without the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may Peace and Blessings be upon him). And so we must ask ourselves is this the way of the Holy Prophet (may Peace and Blessings be upon him)? If not it is a bidat, and then we must ask ourselves are we qualified to introduce bidat into Islam? Of course not, only the Prophet (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) and his deputies are given that right. It is in this light that we can determine whether we are engrossed in egotism or not. Then we can see if we are a big fat Firaun or not.

This example shows us that there is safety in manners, there is honor in this kind of safety. There is no honor trying to force the Gates of Heaven open, you are guaranteed to lose at that time. Because at that time, you will be trespassing, a stranger rude, disheveled, breathing heavy barging into the Palace of the King to demand room and board. This is the kind of manners we are keeping these days. You can see it in our politics, table manners and even our children. Once we get to the King, sweaty and ugly, making our demands, we will act surprised when His guards are dragging us to Punishment and not the Palace suite, may the King have Mercy on us, Amin.

So we must stop running, we must stop placing such a heavy burden on ourselves trying to reinvent the wheel. The Prophets have been sent to us to show us how to earn our suite in the King’s Palace without force. Shaykh Nazim’s deputy Shaykh Abdul-Kerim Al-Kibrisi is saying,

“All prophets have been sent to the world to teach people how to live. How to live in this world and what to expect and how to prepare themselves for the hereafter. Holy Prophet (saw) has been sent to this world to complete the good teachings, the good living, learning the good lifestyle and to complete the good manners. The reason of Holy Prophet’s (saw) being sent by the Divine Order is complete the good manners. That means up until the Prophet (saw), all other prophets have been sent to teach manners to people, because if there is no manner then there is no religion. If there is no manner then there is no respect, if there is no manner then there is no friendship, if there is no manner then there is no business, if there is no manner then nothing happens. Everyone is taking it lightly these days and that’s why nothing is working today.”

Shaykh Effendi is making the point here to remind us that the King is ordering us to have good manners, conduct that will bring honor to us in our worldly lives and in His Presence. He is telling us to do this, yet we ignore this fact and barge into His Palace making demands! Telling Him what we like, what we think His order should be and complaining that His Messenger’s ways are no long applicable! Shaykh Effendi is saying,

“So everything is with good manners and we should look to prepare ourselves and our children for that because we are believers and because we are not only living for this world. We are living in this world for Akhirat. We need this world to live nicely and comfortably in it to be able to worship and to do things properly for Akhirat. This is not our house. This is only a temporary place that we are staying. This is not my house and not your house. Your house is not your house. You are just there temporarily. You are going to go to your original house. Your original house is not in Dunya. It is in Akhirat. It is in Paradise. Don’t lose the address. Your original house is Paradise. It’s not hell. Their originality is Paradise but the majority (of the people) is running to the hell side. And the hell will say, “Your originality is not for this place. But you have come. Enter.”

But this is not where we would like to enter, so we are making the intention, right now, right here, inshaAllah arRahman, to learn the manners of the Prophets. It is not something you can learn from books. As Shaykh ‘Abdullah said, this responsibility has been given to the Prophet’s deputies. And where will we find such a deputy? Where can we find someone who can show us how to conduct ourselves so that you may stand with honor in the Divine Presence? Well that is based on our intentions applying our Faith, having Patience and remaining Constant.

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§ 13 Responses to Teaching Good Manners

  • gess says:

    “Record knowledge by writing.”

    As’salamu Aleikum Dear Brother.

    In many ways, this entry is an answer to my questions to you, or I assume. Forgive me if I am wrong.

    You wrote:

    It is not something you can learn from books.

    One of the reason and THE most important that Allah(swt) sent the Qur’an was an act of Mercy to Mankind so they can judge from themselves, and use their reason, and He made for them easy to recite, which is another Mercy from Our Lord, ameen.

    And this significant differentiates from the other Scriptures that Allah(swt) sent. Not only is it available to everyone, but Allah(swt) promised that He will protect the Qur’an and swore by His Most Honorable Self:

    We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).

    [15:9]

    Why corruption? Because men with their own desire corrupted previous Scriptures.

    O people of the Book! There hath come to you our Messenger, revealing to you much that ye used to hide in the Book, and passing over much

    [5:14]

    Allah(swt) Says:

    To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety:

    [5:48]

    And later on Allah (swt) commands Our Prophet(saw) to judge what Allah has revealed to him. Remember, Allah(swt) Gives the Prophet(saw) a command:

    so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee.

    Again, we see here Allah’s(swt) promise to guard the Qur’an.

    So, when the Beloved Prophet(saw) was commanded to judge according to the Qur’an. Where does the man leave? Is he above the Prophet(saw) ? Of course not. Prophet (saw) spoke nothing but what it was revealed to him, which is available to everyone.

    Another example is, that a man came to the Prophet(saw) and asked him for forgiveness, but a verse was sent that says that Allah (swt) is closer to than his jugular vein. [Can’t remember exact verse and Hadith, Allah knows Best]

    You see, the Prophet (saw) was sent to give warning and glad tidings, and what he left is available to everyone.

    Islam commands us to “Read” [Qur’an : 96:1] so Mankind can distinguish the Right and the Wrong, and he will be accountable for his actions.

    —The rest, I’ll come later, Insha’Allah

    May Allah(swt) Forgive me if I said anything wrong, ameen.

    Allah(swt) Alone Knows Best.

  • Yursil says:

    BismillahirRahmanirRaheem
    Salamu’alaikum Gess,

    One of the reason and THE most important that Allah(swt) sent the Qur’an was an act of Mercy to Mankind so they can judge from themselves, and use their reason, and He made for them easy to recite, which is another Mercy from Our Lord, ameen

    What is the meaning of Alif Laam Mim? How easy is it to recite without understanding the meanings?

    What was the reason that the saintly figure of Khidr (AS) used in the story of his encounter with Musa (AS) in the Quran? That entire exchange is about the suspension of personal reason. As reason is nothing without knowledge and wisdom coming from Divine sources.

    Yes, everything from the Prophet (Sallalahu’alaiheewassalam) was of a perfect nature and he delivered the message in words and in example. Yet there were many words he did not pass to everyone, nor did they make it to our ears, but rather passed from heart to heart:

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 121:
    Narrated Abu Huraira:
    I have memorized two kinds of knowledge from Allah’s Apostle. I have propagated one of them to you and if I propagated the second, then my throat would be cut (i.e. killed).”

    Imam al-Ghazzali’s Minhaj al-`Abideen quoting Sayyidina `Ali as saying “I have been given some knowledge which, if I shared it with the people, they would declare me a kafir and kill me and consider such a heinous thing to be great,”

    Islam is submission, not individualistic ego boosting where everyone is saying “I know, I know, I know”. Islam is submitting to those who know more than us, sitting at their feet and learning, not raising our heads in ego.

    BismillahirRahmanirRaheem
    Say (O, Muhammad): “If you love Allâh, then follow me, Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”}; [3:31]

    Why was following him required, and is it not required for us? And if it is required, then who are we to attempt to establish a disconnected link in trying to determine what that means for us?

    You quoted Quran alKarim
    BismillahirRahmanirRaheem

    We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).

    Indeed, and it is guarded from corruption. Not only in the simplistic view of a text that remains unaltered, but rather as a living message practiced as it was in the time of the Prophet (Sallalahu’alaiheewassalam). That is the guarantee of the Mujaddid and the Friends of Allah who are the inheritors of the Prophet (Salallahu’alaiheewassalam). And those are the one we are told to ask, when we know not.

    -Yursil

  • Actionable Intelligence says:

    As-Salaamu Alaikum

    Gess, that was beautiful and to the point.

    Let’s be CLEAR we must follow the Qur’an with our hearts and our bodies, without doubt. Following the Sunna of the Prophet, without question, should be done

    However, the point of contention is the blind, unquestioning following of a Sheikh or any man for that matter, which is an exclusive right of Prophets.

    Is the fact, that I say ensure that what a man teaches is SANCTIONED by Allah (Ta Ala) and Messenger (SAS) that repugnant to you, it that what you call “autodictatism”. Is the fact that Allah (Ta ala) has made the book in clear Arabic and assessable to all men, and commands us to contemplate it ayats, upset you, or is that reserved for the “grand ecclesiastics” of the Ummah. Isn’t that like the Christian, who wrote their scriptures in Latin, a language is which the masses did not speak, in order to keep the masses ignorant.

    If you frame it, frame it correctly.

    I love and follow the Qur’an to best of my ability, I love and follow the sunnah to the best of my ability and I love and follow scholars who follow Qur’an and Sunnah. Are there “protocols’ of the dunya or akirah beyond that? Do Sheikhs possess some hidden knowledge not included in the Qur’an or Sunna, if not, than there is no point of contention between us. If so, this is where we differ.

    Classical scholars urged their students to follow them, when they follow the Quran and Sunnah and not to follow them when they don’t, you see these scholar ACKNOWLEDGE the possibility of making mistakes, as all men are subject too, no matter how learned , sincere, and well meaning.

    Do you find fault with a person, who painstakingly try to scrutinize that his actions are sanctioned by Islam, by following the Qur’an and Sunna without questions, and when they hear words from Scholars, Sheikhs, Imams, and student of knowledge, we refer it back to Allah and his Messenger, and exhaust all our mental abilities to comprehend, confirm and than incorporate it in our lives.

    Or do we give anybody who says Bismillah, the benefit of the doubt and put our akirahs in their hand.

    Brother I’m just saying at some point we do have to independently think about what we do.

    Brother I respect your decision to join a tariqah, I pray Allah forgive you and me for our sins, all I’m saying is although we share the same root, I’m on a different branch.

    And Allah knows best

  • Saifuddin says:

    BismillaharRahmanirRahim

    wa ‘alaikum as-salaam, gess I just have one question for now. What madhhab do you follow?

  • Saifuddin says:

    BismillaharRahmanirRahim

    as-salaamu ‘alaikum

    Actionable Intelligence (AI), thank you for stopping by. It seems that you have become a regular visitor and your presence and insight are welcome. But you have your views and I have mine and when you come to this blog you come understanding my views are looking to the protocols of tariqat.

    Therefore, you can accept this position of this blog and the author of the post or you can continually refute this position which will likely occur to some degree in each post. There is no sense in arguing about this. I believe that like the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) and his successors, tariqat provides the means to an authentic Islamic experience. As for our present day situation, the four Imams are the Door and tariqat is the Key. Because it is within tariqat that one learns which keys fit what locks. That is my position.

  • gess says:

    As’salamu Aleikum Yursil,

    First, I must say I was quite surprised by your questions, considering the person you are. To be honest, a 12 years old child knows all the answers, but again, knowledge has no age.

    You wrote:

    What is the meaning of Alif Laam Mim? How easy is it to recite without understanding the meanings?

    Are you claiming any creator that Allah(swt) created knows the meaning of Alif Laam Miim? Let alone the Prophet (saw)?

    Not everything is reveal to us, only because to spare us and Rahma, and it is a grave sin to interpret verses in the Qur’an for your own disire and when even The Prophet(saw) was not told the meaning of these verses. Digging the hiding meaning of these verses is an act of rebellion against Allah(swt). I hope you are aware of this important issue.

    You said:

    What was the reason that the saintly figure of Khidr (AS) used in the story of his encounter with Musa (AS) in the Quran?

    Again, surprised by this question.

    Khadir was a man sent by Allah(swt) and only obeyed Allah’s(swt) order. He was sent to test The Prophet Musa (PBUH) and to teach him patience:

    “This is the parting between me and thee: now will I tell thee the interpretation of (those things) over which thou wast unable to hold patience.

    [18:78]

    and to teach him, that something might look bad to us; but we don’t know if it’s good to us, and we should have patience; that was the lesson giving to Musa(PBUH). So I urge you not to interpret verses in the Qur’an, which Allah(swt) not told us the meaning. Indeed, there is a lesson for you in the story of Khadir and Musa(PBUH).

    You quoted verse [3:31]:
    Say (O, Muhammad): “If you love Allâh, then follow me, Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”};

    That is correct, and people asked Aisha (ra) how the Prophet(saw) was, and she said, he lived according the Qur’an. This an authentic Hadith, which you know very well.

    You wrote:

    “Why was following him required, and is it not required for us? And if it is required, then who are we to attempt to establish a disconnected link in trying to determine what that means for us?”

    Of course we should follow the Prophet(saw). Did I claimed something else?

    Did not the Prophet(saw) said if we have the Qur’an and the Sunnah, we shall not go astray? Why do we need a third party? Is that not because of the third party (Priest, Pope, saint) that corrupted previous Scriptures, and when Allah(swt) made to us easy to read and recite the Qur’an and promised to protect, why the third party? Is the question, that you can’t read?

    The Qur’an and the Sunnah was sent to all Mankind—-yellow, black, whte, and no one should have the authority to stand against Allah(swt).

    If you can’t see, why the Catholics and Protestants fought many wars, it as was each group claimed to have the right authority, but Islam, the Truth is clear and open to everyone–race, gender, status. Only you have to do is to Read, as Allah(swt) commands you to do.

    I don’t have much time left,

    May Allah(swt) Forgive me if I said anything wrong,
    And Allah(swt) Alone Knows Best.

  • gess says:

    Saifuddin (23:37:53) :
    Waaleikum Salamm.

    Why it’s important to know?

    I don’t even know what madhhab is. Did The Qur’an mentioned it? Or the Prophet(SAW)?

  • yursil says:

    BismillahirRahmanirRaheem
    Salamu’alaykum,

    Are you claiming any creator that Allah(swt) created knows the meaning of Alif Laam Miim? Let alone the Prophet (saw)?

    What is your proof for the idea that no one knows the meaning of Alif Laam Mim? Is this proof in the Quran or Hadith?

    Regardless, the reality is there exists different levels of knowledge, not everything has been revealed to us, and not every meaning and interpretation has come to us in books. Some knowledge was transmitted, and still is transmitted, from heart to heart.

    Khadir was a man sent by Allah(swt) and only obeyed Allah’s(swt) order. He was sent to test The Prophet Musa (PBUH) and to teach him patience:

    “This is the parting between me and thee: now will I tell thee the interpretation of (those things) over which thou wast unable to hold patience.

    Of course, but patience in the light of what? In the light of events which were contrary to “reason”. Khizr (AS) was not asking Moses (AS) to just sit and be patient watching the clock. Khizr (AS) was actively doing things which contravened Musa’s (AS) reason.

    I don’t want to say much more, I fear this discussion is a bit to deep for taking on a blog comment section, and you are misunderstanding. AllahuAlim.

    -Yursil

  • gess says:

    Salaam,

    Regarding “12 years old child”, I take it back.

    Other than that, Ramadan Karim.

  • Yursil says:

    BismillahirRahmanirRaheem
    Salamu’alaikum,

    Ramadan Kareem!

    -Yursil

  • Mahdi says:

    hi
    thanks
    I copy this text to my sit
    if u have another text please sent for me

    sincerly u

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