Fruits for the Week

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Allah (swt) said: “Reciting unto them His verses (the Qur’an), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur’an) and al-Hikmah (the wisdom).” (Qur’an: 164)

Every good teacher knows how to reach out to his students, how to bring out from them their full potential. In this regard – as in all other regards – none was, or ever will be, better than the Messenger of Allah. In teaching others, he was gentle, and exhorted others to be gentle as well: “Verily, Allah is Rafeeq (Kind, Merciful, Gentle), and He loves gentleness. And Allah gives for gentleness that which He does not give for harshness.” (Bukhari). According to another narration, the Prophet (saw) said: “Whenever gentleness is present in something, it beautifies it; when gentleness is removed from something, that thing becomes spoiled.” (Muslim)

Because of the Prophet’s noble manners, others were drawn to him, wishing that they could remain in his company all the time. Allah (swt) said: “And by the mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they have would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and as (Allah’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in their affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Qur’an: 159) 

One day, a Bedouin entered the Mosque and said during the tashahhud (the part of the prayer during which one is seated on the ground), “O Allah, have mercy on me and on Muhammad, and do not have mercy on anyone other than us.” The Prophet (saw) then pointed out that it was wrong of him to limit Allah’s mercy to just two people, since Allah’s mercy is vast and encompasses all things. The Prophet (saw) said: “Verily, you have made narrow that which is wide and vast.” (Bukhari)

The Bedouin then stood up, moved towards a corner of the Mosque, and then proceeded to urinate – casually and unselfconsciously, as if what he was doing was perfectly normal. The companions of the Messenger of Allah said: “Mah Mah (an expression used to severely scold someone, to indicate the graveness of a matter).” The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Do not put a halt to his urinating, but instead leave him.” They left him alone until he finished urinating. Then the Messenger of Allah called him and said to him,” Any kind of urine or filth is not suitable for these mosques; instead, they (mosques) are only appropriate for the remembrance of Allah, the prayer, and the recitation of the Qur’an.” (Muslim). Greatly moved by the gentleness and kindness of the Prophet (saw), Bedouin returned to his people and invited them to Islam. And by the grace and mercy of Allah, they accepted his invitation by entering into the fold of Islam.

The Prophet (saw) was not gentle with the rich and the strong only to be harsh with the poor and the weak; on the contrary, the Prophet (saw) was gentle with everyone – even with children. One day during meal-time, a young boy reached out with his hand, taking food from all parts of a dish. In Islam, it is proper etiquette for a person to eat from that part of a plate or dish that is nearest to him. But, even though the young boy breached the Islamic etiquette of eating, the Prophet (saw) neither scolded nor sent him away; instead, with kindness and gentleness, he corrected the boy’s mistake, saying to him: “O young boy, say Allah’s name (before you eat), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is nearest to you.” (Bukhari)

Aishah (ra) related that a group of Jews once went to the Prophet (saw) and said: “As-Saam (death) be upon you, O Abul Qasim.” As-Saam sounds similar to as-Salam, but the former means death and the latter means peace. They were hoping that the Prophet (saw) would not discern their secret curse, but he did, and so did Aishah, who becoming angry, said, “And as-Saam (death) be upon you, and may Allah do with you (such and such in order to punish you).” The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Be quite, O’ Aishah! For indeed, Allah does not love al-fahsh and at-tafahush (foul speech and deeds that are intentional and affected manner).” Aishah said, “O Massanger of Allah, you do see what they are saying?” The Prophet (saw) said, “Do you not see that I return back to them that which they say, if I say, ‘And (the same) upon you.” (Bukhari). What this means is that, regardless of wether they had said as-Saam or as-Salam, the Prophet (saw) would be giving them an appropriate answer by saying, “And the same upon you,” without having to resort to bad manners and the use of foul language.  

(to be continued)

(Prepared by Abdul Muhaemin Karim)

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