Courtesy

A’uzubillahi minashaitonir rojeem, Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem, Allahumma Solli wa Sallim wa Baarik ‘ala Sayidina Muhammadin wa ‘ala aalihi wa sohbihi ajma’in…

Jabir ibn ‘AbdAllah al-Ansari relates that the Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said, “It is part of the good behaviour of the prophets and the truthful that when they see each other they are filled with joy, and when they meet they shake hands. The man who visits for the sake of Allah has a right over the person he visists- namely, that he be treated generously.”

Respect your friends and show your respect for them…. A man entered the mosque when the Messenger s.a.w. was alone. The Messenger s.a.w. got up to show him respect. When the man protested, the Messenger s.a.w. responded that to be paid respect is the right of the beilever. (al-Sulami, The Way of Sufi Chivalry)

Courtesy is based on the recognition that the dignity of the human state is not limited to oneself, nor to those who are great or fascinating or powerful in worldly terms. Every human being is an expression of the human essence, the fitrah; therefore every human being is, potentially, khalifah, Allah’s fully-empowered representative in this world, whether or not he or she is faithful to this Trust.

We can never know for sure whether a particular person is living up to their responsibility as a khalifah, or betraying it. When after the Prophet s.a.w. took Mecca, his former sworn enemies like Abu Sufyan and Hind, embraced Islam, no one could be blamed for wondering their sincerity. Yet to openly question that sincerity would have been the height of discourtesy. We can never know the secret of the relation between another human soul and its Creator; this is the origin of the Muslim blessing “may Allah preserve his secret”. In the words of the Prophet: “Do not look for the faults of the believers. Whoever seeks after the faults of his brother, then Allah will seek after his faults; and whoever Allah looks for in search of his faults then He will discover, even if he is hidden in his house.”

During gatherings begin your own meal only after everyone else has started eating. Muhammad ibn Ya’qub al-Asamm reports that the father of Ja’far ibn Muhammad said, “Whenever the Prophet s.a.w. ate with others, he was the last one to begin eating.” The Prophet s.a.w. said, “You will never be able to meet the demands of people with your wealth, so mee them with your courtesy and manners.”

Dhu’l Nun al-Misri said, “A person who does in secret what he would be ashamed to do in public has no self respect; in fact, he does not even consider himself a living being.”

(From the Book of Character by Camille Helminski)
Wallahu ‘alam….

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The Man with Too Much Tea

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem, Alhamdulillahi Wasolatu Wasalaamu ‘ala Rasulillah…

A scholar of great knowledge once visited a Sufi Sage. He was very pleased to be visiting the Sage and, started talking and talking to show how much knowledge he had.

Finally the Sage said, “Let me pour you some tea,” and began pouring tea for his guest out of a teapot. He kept pouring until the teapot was full, and began to overflow onto the table.

The scholar was surprised. “What are you doing?” he asked. “You are as full as this teacup,” said the Sage. “How can I put anything in it, when it is overflowing already?”

One must therefore visit a Sufi sage with an empty heart, with a humility that is receptive to whatever the sage may choose to put in there. If one’s heart is already full – of pride, of worldly concerns- one can receive nothing. The scholar in this story was obviously a person with too much tea in him.

2.

The following is an excerpt from Bidayah al-Hidayah by Imam Ghazali r.a. may Allah make it easy for us to practice these adabs. Amin

The Proper Conduct for a Student

  1. Greeting the Teacher/Guide/Guru with a Salutation of Peace (Salam)
  2. Limiting conversation in his presence.
  3. Not to talk unless told to by the Teacher.
  4. Not to ask anything before being permitted to.
  5. Do not go against him by saying, “So-and-so said something different than what you mentioned.”
  6. Do not mention a different view than his, such that one sees himself as knowing better than the teacher.
  7. Do not ask a question to a friend who sits together in the teacher’s class.
  8. Do not twist and turn your head during the lesson but sit serenely, head bowed as if in prayer.
  9. Do not ask too many questions especially when the teacher is not in a good mood.
  10. Stand up when the teacher stands up as a show of reverence.
  11. Do not harbor bad thoughts of him if one sees something wrong in his external acts. One has to recall the stroy of Nabi Musa a.s. and  Nabi Khidr a.s. from surah al-Kahfi of the Quran. One does not know the inner state of the guru, and upon what his actions are based.

Wallahu’alam