Chapter of Islamic Manners

Lesson 1 : Sincerity in Obedience, Insincerity in Performing the Good Deeds, and Priding Oneself in Obeying God

 

Sincerity (Ikhlas): Sincerity in obeying Allah is among the obligations of the heart. It is also one of the good characteristics.

Sincerity in obeying Allah is doing the good deeds for the sake of Allah only. It is not doing them seeking the praise and respect of people. Allah made sincerity a condition for the acceptance of the good deeds.

Allah, ta^ala, said in the Qur’an:

فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاء رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَالِحًا وَلا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

Faman kana yarju liqa’a Rabbihi falya^mal ^amalan salihaw wa la yushrik bi^ibadati Rabbihi ahada.

Ayah 110 of Suratul-Kahf means: {Let the one who believes in the Day of Judgment do good deeds without seeking the praise of the people by doing so.}

The sincere person is the one who performs the good deeds—be it praying, fasting, Hajj, Zakah, or reciting Qur’an—seeking the reward from Allah, and not for the sake of people praising and mentioning him. The one who is praying should be performing obedience for the sake of Allah only, not so that the people will say: “So and so prays, he does not miss any obligation.” Also the one who is fasting should be fasting for the sake of Allah only. The same applies to, the case of the one who is giving Zakah, sadaqah, reciting the Qur’an, or anyone who is performing a good deed.

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

إِنَّ اللهَ يُحِبُّ أَحَدَكُمْ إِذا عَمِلَ عَمَلاً أَنْ يُتْقِنَهُ، قِيلَ: وَمَا إِتْقَانُهُ يَا رَسُولَ الله؟ قَالَ: "يُخْلِصُهُ مِنَ الرِّيَاءِ وَالْبِدْعَة"

Innallaha yuhibbu ahadakum idha ^amila ^amalan ay yutqinah. Someone said: “Wa ma itqanuhu ya Rasulallah.” The Prophet said: “Yukhlisuhu minar-riya’i wal-bid^ah.”

Which means: “Certainly, Allah loves for one of you when performing a deed to perform it properly.” Someone said: “How is that, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “One does it only for the sake of God and according to the rules of the Religion.” (Narrated by As-Suyutiyy.)

Riya (Insincerity): Is the opposite of sincerity. It is doing the good deeds, such as fasting, for the praise of the people and their admiration.

Insincerity nullifies the reward of the deed. The performer of any deed that is done with insincerity receives no reward, whether it was done for the praise of people only or coupled with seeking the reward. Moreover, such a person commits an enormous sin.

Priding oneself for obeying Allah: After performing certain types of obedience, some people feel conceitedly proud of these actions. They feel they have a high status because of performing these actions, forgetting that Allah is the One Who inspired and enabled them to do these good deeds.

Insincerity and priding oneself for obeying Allah are two sins of the heart. They are also two bad characteristics that the pubescent person must avoid. One should be sincere while obeying Allah to earn the reward from Allah.

 

Questions:

1. What is meant by sincerity in obeying Allah?

2. What is the proof from the Qur’an that sincerity is a condition for the acceptance of the good deeds?

3. Who is the sincere person?

4. State a hadith that encourages sincerity and leaving out insincerity in the obedience?

5. What is meant by insincerity? Will one receive reward for a deed he does seeking both the reward from Allah and the praise of the people?

6. What does priding oneself for obeying Allah mean?

 

Lesson 2: Patience and Subjugating Oneself to Allah

Allah, ta^ala, said in the Qur’an

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلاَةِ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

Ista^inu bissabri wasSalati innallaha ma^assabirin.

Ayah 153 of Suratul-Baqarah means: {Strengthen yourselves by patience and prayer, and know that God supports the patient people.}

Patience is among the obligations of the heart. It is of three kinds:

1- Patience in performing what Allah made obligatory.

2- Patience in avoiding what Allah made unlawful.

3- Patience with hardships and calamities.

Patience in performing the obligations: is forcing oneself to perform the obligations like praying on time, fasting the month of Ramadan, attending the circles of knowledge to learn the Islamic obligatory knowledge, and other obligations, even if one feels lazy to do them.

Patience in avoiding what Allah made unlawful: is restraining oneself from committing the sins. It takes a lot of effort to stop oneself from committing the unlawful, like leaving out the prayer, drinking alcohol, stealing, and other unlawful matters. It is one’s nature to lean towards laziness and easy coming pleasures, even if they are unlawful.

Patience with hardships and calamities: is being patient—seeking the reward from God—with what bothers one, such as pain, hardship, poverty, sadness, or other afflictions that befall the person in this life, because this world is a place of calamities, tests, and a workplace, while the Hereafter is the place for judgment. For this type of patience to take place, one needs not to act or talk in a way that reflects one’s impatience.

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَقُولُ: إِذا ابْتَلَيْتُ عَبْدِي بِحَبِيبَتَيْهِ فَصَبَرَ عَوَّضْتُهُ مِنْهُمَا الْجَنَّةَ.

Innallaha ^azza wa jalla yaqul: idha-btalaytu ^abdiya bihabibatayhi fasabara ^awwadtuhu minhumal-Jannah.

Which means: “If Allah inflicts on someone the calamity of losing one’s sight and one is patient with it, then the reward of one’s patience will be Paradise.” (Narrated by al-Bukhariyy.)

Subjugating oneself to Allah: It is obligatory upon the pubescent person to refrain from objecting to Allah and to be content with Allah’s Decree and Will. Subjugating oneself to Allah is among the obligations of the heart. Objecting to Allah is a blasphemous act. Many people fall into blasphemy because they do not subjugate themselves to Allah, rather, they object to Him.

The Muslim should be patient and should make an effort to train oneself in patience to get used to it. One should also rely on Allah in all one’s matters.

 

Questions:

1. State an ayah from the Qur’an that points to the merit of patience.

2. Which type of obligation is patience?

3. List the types of patience.

4. What does it mean to be patient with performing the obligations?

5. What does it mean to be patient with avoiding what Allah made unlawful?

6. What does it mean to be patient with hardships and calamities?

7. Give a hadith that shows the reward of the one who lost his sight.

8. Among the obligations of the heart is subjugating oneself to Allah. What does this mean?

 

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