Vol. 3    Issue 15   16-31 December 2008
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IOS Minaret Vol-1, No.1 (March 2007)
The Holy Quran A Pictorial Gallery
Muslim Minorities in Non-Islamic Milieus
Virtual Museum of Islamic Arts and Culture

Righteous behaviour

The Prophet (SAW) said: "Righteous conduct, good behaviour and a balanced approach (to life) are a part of the twenty-five distinctive qualities of prophecy".

Narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbul in his al-Musnad.

The Prophet (SAW) said: "Let one who believes in Allah and in the Day of Judgement either speak good or keep quiet; and let one who believes in Allah and in the Day of Judgement be generous to his neighbour; and let one who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgement be generous to his guest".

Narrated by al-Bukhari in his al-Jami al-Sahih.

The essence of piety

The Prophet (SAW) said: "Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him before you. Remember Allah in prosperity and He will remember you in adversity. Know that what has passed you by was not going to come to you, and what has come to you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory is accompanied by patience, relief by affliction, and ease by hardship".

A true Muslim

The Prophet (SAW) said: "Do not envy one another; do not inflate prices one to another; do not hate one another; do not turn away from one another; do not undercut one another, but become, O servants of Allah, brothers. A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim: he neither oppresses him nor does he fail him; he neither lies to him nor does he hold him in contempt. Piety is right here (and the Prophet pointed to his breast three times). It is evil enough for a man to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. The entire existence of a believer for another believer is inviolable: his blood, his property, and his honour".

Narrated by Muslim in his al-Jami al-Sahih.

Keeping away from irrelevant matters

The Prophet (SAW) said: "A part of being a good Muslim is to give up what does not concern oneself".

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi.

Respect for teachers and elders

The Prophet (SAW) said: "To respect an elderly Muslim scholar, a Hafiz (one who has memorised the Holy Quran) and a just ruler is a part of respect for God".

Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi.

Once Caliph Harun al-Rashid sent an emissary to Imam Malik, one of the most distinguished scholars of Hadith in Madinah, to convey his desire to learn Hadith from him. Imam Malik told the emissary to convey to the caliph that "one has to personally visit a scholar to acquire knowledge; knowledge and scholarship do not go to any body's doorstep for the purpose". When the caliph got the message he personally came and attended Imam Malik's teaching circle.

When Caliph Mahdi came to Madinah, Imam Malik paid him a courtesy visit. Thereafter the caliph instructed his two sons to sit at the feet of Imam Malik and learn Hadith from him. The princess sent for Imam Malik, but he declined to come to the royal palace. When the caliph learned about the incident he conveyed his displeasure to the Imam, who replied, "Scholars deserve to be treated with respect and courtesy, and people have to take the trouble to visit them personally". The caliph then told his sons to go to Imam Malik's house and sit with other pupils in his teaching circle.

Tahir, the son of Abdullah ibn Tahir, governor of Khurasan, went on the Hajj pilgrimage. After the Hajj, Ishaq ibn Ibrahim, governor of Makkah, invited Tahir to his house. He also invited some of the city's prominent scholars and teachers so that Tahir could learn from them. Most of the people invited by the governor accepted the invitation, but Abu Ubayd, a highly respected and upright scholar of Hadith, declined the invitation.

The governor got angry at Abu Ubayd's refusal and stopped the monthly stipend of 2,000 dirhams that he used to receive from the state treasury. He then informed Abdullah ibn Tahir about Abu Ubayd's refusal to come to his house and about his decision to stop his stipend. Abdullah ibn Tahir wrote back to the governor saying, "What Abu Ubayd said is indeed correct. I am doubling the stipend due to him. Act accordingly and pay him the outstanding amount".

Ibrahim Nakh'i was a distinguished scholar and teacher of Hadith. One of his brilliant pupils was Hammad ibn abi Sulayman (who later taught the celebrated jurist Imam Abu Hanifah), who came from a rich family. One day, Ibrahim Nakh'i asked Hammad to get some meat from the bazaar. On the way to the bazaar, Hammad's father happened to see his son with a tattered shopping bag. He became furious and threw away the bag in a fit of anger.

When Ibrahim Nakh'i passed away, his pupils unanimously decided to have Hammad as the head of the madrasa where their illustrious master used to teach. They went to his house to request him to take the teacher's chair. His father opened the door. They told him that they had not come to see him but to see Hammad, and to request him to accept the headship of the madrasa. Hammad's father went in, told him what his class-mates had stated and said: "Go meet your colleagues. Now I realise that the shopping bag (for which I had scolded you) has brought you this honour".

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