Sunday, February 13, 2011

Emulate the manners of Rasulullah


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, with His will, we were able to attend the mawlid held at Masjid Sultan Salahuddin tonight where Habib Ali Zainal Abidin gave tausiyah on the importance of having good akhlak (behaviors/manners).

He said:
Alhamdulillah we have come to this majlis with an intention to show our love towards the most honorable person. One whom Allah loves so much that His love for Prophet Muhammad s.a.w has overflown to us, that Allah has made us display our love towards  Rasulullah s.a.w by coming to this majlis.

In a hadith qudsi Allah commanded Jibril to love one He loves and Jibril then would call ahlul sama (the inhabitants of the heavens) ordering them to love the person Allah loves. So Allah may grant a form of qabul on anyone. People coming to this majlis from near and far, all with the same intention of honoring the one Allah loves, is a significant manifestation of Allah's qabul.  

The birth of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w was welcomed by his families, sahabah and all. People simply loved him. On seeing Prophet Muhammad leaving for a battle, a woman said to him: 'Ya Rasul, I make a pledge to play the drums if you return to Madinah safely.' The Prophet said: 'Go ahead, fulfill your intention.' Playing drums is mubah but if it is done for the sake of Rasulullah it becomes permissible.

Prophet Muhammad was sent for one prime mission. He was a messenger whose main mission was to propagate good akhlak. Many people are deceived by people's outer appearance. The way people dress and their position in society may project the image of ahlul ibadah but they may not necessarily have the akhlak of ahlul ibadah. The reality of shariat obligatory worship we perform e.g. fasting, zakat is ultimately good akhlak. The factor that carries the heaviest weightage in the hereafter is good akhlak. Prophet Muhammad was sent to perfect our akhlak.

The history of Al-Islam has shown many examples where one who has excellent character is given a high regard in society. There is a story about Hatim At-Tha'ie, a Jew philantrophy whose daughter was imprisoned by the Muslims army. She begged for mercy on account of her father's good character. Her father Hatim had treated his guests well and loved helping others. One day Hatim's family had nothing to eat so his wife had to pretend that she was cooking something in the kitchen hoping that their children would fall asleep. Suddenly a neighbor turned up asking for some food. Hatim felt obliged to help. He then decided to give up his only possession - a horse. Hatim slaughtered the horse and cooked a feast. He invited the entire village to share while he himself did not eat the food.

Prophet Muhammad duly acknowledged Hatim's exceptional behaviors: 'Those noble values are in fact Islamic values, I will pray for mercy for your father (Hatim) but unfortunately, he lacks akidah.'

Akhlak and ibadah are closely interrelated. Akhlak is the reality of one's servitude. Prophet Muhammad during the first ten years of his dakwah had focused solely on akhlak. Rulings on solat and zakat etc. came later. We ought to reflect on the importance and significance of akhlak in order to appreciate the beauty of the religion.

There was an incident when a Jew by the name of Zaid ibn Sa'yad came to collect debts from Prophet Muhammad. Zaid reproved the Prophet for not being on time in making repayments. Upon hearing that, Sayyidina Umar scolded the Jew for speaking harshly towards Rasulullah. Prophet Muhammad rebuked Umar instead. He said Zaid was only reminding him to hasten in paying off his debts. The Prophet then instructed Umar to repay Zaid with an additional of 20 sak of dates because Umar had inappropriately frightened Zaid while trying to defend him.

Zaid later confessed to Umar that he was a learned Jew who knew a lot about the noble characters of Rasulullah. He was already convinced about Prophet Muhammad's excellent moral values and wanted to test his patience and composure. Zaid eventually embraced Islam because of Muhammad's al-hilmu (having self control in times of anger or when wronged.)

Prophet Muhammad need not hold a public rally. He attracted people to Islam by showing jamal Islam (the beauty of Islam) through his good manners. Allah even praised the Prophet's courteousness as azim (great).

Beware of people who may outwardly appear as soleh (pious)  yet do not have good akhlak as exemplified by Rasulullah. There is a pious woman known to be ahlul ibadah but she had a cat which she never bother to feed. The Prophet said the value of ibadah for such a person is indeed meaningless. Compare her with Baghiah the prostitute who went through much trouble to fetch some water for a thirsty dog. Baghiah's kind gesture toward the dog won her makfirah (mercy) from Allah.

Your ibadah must be complemented with good behavior. When you offer someone something, beware of riak (pride) for it could make your amal null and void. Akhlak is a form of servitude towards Allah. Rasulullah never turned down anyone who seeked help from him. That's how tawadduk he was.

O people, reflect upon the excellent characters of Rasulullah s.a.w and worship Allah by way of good akhlak. Prophet Muhammad said good akhlak is one of two easiest ways for anyone to enter the heavens. Two easiest ways for anyone to end up in hell are through misuse of one's tongue and private part.

One who will be closest to Rasulullah is he who has good akhlak. One whom Rasulullah loves most is he who has good akhlak and one who is the best among us is he who has the best akhlak. And the best of gifts from Allah to a man is good akhlak.

May Allah give us the ability to benefit from this lesson. May we belong with those who love Rasulullah. May Allah grant those who attend this majlis with rahmah, sakinah and mawaddah. May we belong with those who always make zikir to Allah and remember Rasulullah with much remembrance.

Wallahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any mistakes in my note taking.

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