DISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic on Friday, 30 October 2015. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translator and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from God.
Allah praises the manners of our beloved prophet Mohammad PBUH in the Qur’an when He SWT says:
‘’and surely you are on an exalted standard of character’’.Quran - Al-Qalam (68:4)
Indeed, the life of our prophet Mohammad PBUH is a practical example of how the most noble of manners can be embodied in reality.
Prophet Mohammad PBUH summarised his mission in one statement when he PBUH said:
‘’Indeed I was sent to complete and perfect noble manners’’. Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)
There is a strong emphasis on noble manners in Islam, with many verses from the Qur’aan and sayings from our beloved prophet PBUH outlining noble manners and good conduct and requiring us to implement these good manners in our daily lives. Islam came to guide our interactions with other human beings and the world around us, in order to prevent transgression, corruption and oppression. Islam came to protect the individual and society and to put an end to all forms of injustice and evil.
One such evil that Islam came to eradicate is a set of evil traits that tend to coexist and are a cause of great harm in society; these traits are summarised in the Qur’aan when Allah says:
‘’and do not follow or obey the worthless one who swears oaths lightly, [the one who] habitually belittles and mocks others behind their backs and spreads gossip, [the one who] habitually stands in the way of good and virtue, the sinful transgressor’’. Quran - Al-Qalam (68:10-12)
Allah not only forbids these actions, but also very clearly forbids us from listening and obeying such people.
The one who swears oaths lightly does so because he knows he is a liar and is deceptive. Because he knows this about himself and yet persists, he is therefore worthless and not to be respected. Such a person will do anything to deceive people into trusting him. He will lie, construct false allegations against others – all this to serve himself and his ego. Such measures are taken by these narcissistic individuals because they are aware of their own lowliness and that others should not trust them. And therefore, a worthless person of that sort will stoop down to the level of spreading slander and gossip about others and he will stab the honour and reputation of others either directly or indirectly, in their presence or in their absence.
And today – O Muslims – we see this despicable variety in abundance, not least because through avenues such as facebbook and other social media outlets, these ego-centric individuals can spew their hatred with relative ease under the presumed anonymity provided by any fake online identity that they chose for themselves. Such people have sick souls and evil intentions and fulfil the meaning of verse 10 from Suratul Baqarah which states:
‘’in their hearts is a sickness and so Allah has increased their disease, and for them is a painful torment for the lies they used to make’’. Quran - Al-Baqarah (2:10)
May Allah protect us all from being among such a despicable variety.
As for the act of mocking and belittling others, and slighting people whether directly or indirectly, in front of them or behind their backs – this is something which has been explicitly forbidden in Islam. It has been criticised and forbidden multiple times in various surahs of the Qur’aan. Allah SWT says in the Qur’aan:
‘ O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule another group of people, perhaps they may be better than them; nor should women ridicule other women, perhaps they may be better than them; and do not insult one another and do not call each other by names perceived offensive by the other. There is no title worse than ‘disobedient to Allah after having accepted belief’; and whoever does not repent then indeed they are the wrongdooers’’. Quran - Al-Hujurat (49:11)
As mentioned previously in suratul Qalam verse 11, such people who mock and make slights of others are also described as people who spread gossip and slander. Such people aim to destroy human relationships, severing ties between people and absolving feelings of good-will. And it is not only a very low thing to instigate, but also propagating such evil and being receptive to it is also forbidden. And our beloved prophet Mohammad PBUH used to prevent anyone from conveying to him any message about his companions which may change something in his heart towards them for the worse, he PBUH said:
‘’do not convey any such thing about my companions to me, for I like to meet you with a untainted heart’’.Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)
In another hadith, our beloved prophet Mohammad PBUH:
"passed by two graves and said that the inhabitants of both graves will be punished in the graves: one didn’t clean himself from urine and the other used to spread gossip. He PBUH also said ‘’the one who spreads gossip does not enter heaven’’. Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)
Our beloved prophet Mohammad PBUH asked his companions once:
"Shall I tell you who is the best of you?" "Yes" they replied. He said, "Those who when you see them you remember to glorify Allah." He went on to say, "Shall I tell you who is the worst of you?" "Yes," they replied. He said, "Those who go about slandering and spreading gossip, who ruin ties between those who love one another, those who desire to lead the innocent into wrong action and fault".Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)
In verse 12 of suratul Qalam, as mentioned previously, such people who swear oaths lightly, who mock and belittle others and who spread gossip – such people are mentioned alongside those who act as barriers in front of good deeds and virtue. Such narcissistic, ego-centric people make efforts to prevent others from seeing virtue in anyone else and from engaging in any kind of good activity that is being led by anyone else. They do this to satisfy a perverse sickness they have in their hearts and Allah described such people as being sinful transgressors. And with such an evil goal dressed in the guise of piety and religion, it is no surprise that such people will resort to all of the aforementioned dirty tactics of gossip and rumours and making false oaths.
The sins that were mentioned are not trivial and since they are actions which destroy societies and sow hatred, distrust and prevent the spread of good, Islam has prohibited them very strongly and there is severe punishment for those who propagate such evil. So let us clean our hearts and our actions and let us make sure that when we are on facebook, on our phones and dealing with others, that we are not destroying ourselves by being deceitful, spreading evil or acting as a barrier to virtue. And seek forgiveness from Allah, O you who believe, so that you may attain success…
May Allah forgive our sins and protect our hearts from hypocrisy and low character
With that I conclude, and I ask Allah The Almighty to forgive us all.