Following the Prophet’s Footsteps: Adorn Yourself with Adab #3

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When dealing with others, as much as possible, Muslims are to exercise Husnuzzon (positive thinking) towards their brothers.  A brother, let’s call him Haris, once shared with me a touching show of husnuzzon from his Egyptian neighbour, say Yousuf.  They had promised to meet up at a certain time and place, but Haris simply forgot about it and went about with his errands.

It wasn’t until THREE hours later that he remembered his promise. Although believing that Yousuf would have went back and not waited for him any longer like any normal person, Haris still went to their meeting place just to check.  You guessed it, Yousuf was still there, waiting for him.

After three long hours.

When asked, Yousuf simply said, “I had promised to meet you, so I must keep my promise”.  Far from throwing a tantrum (or a punch), he could still smile and believed that Haris is not at fault for making him wait for hours.

His husnuzzon towards Haris, reduced the latter to tears (and me too when I heard it), because he just couldn’t believe such noble quality still exists.  Call it Egyptian or Arabic hospitality; I think it is a purely Islamic personality.

Rahmah towards the young, is often understated.

Just as the young is to show respect to the old, the old is to show compassion to the young.  A typical example is when our younger siblings request help from something he doesn’t know, or our advice on a new situation.  Make it a habit not to belittle him by saying ‘this is so easy how can you not know?’ and ‘alah, I have been there before and that is nothing compared to what I’m facing now’.

This doesn’t pass the three ‘checkpoints’ of words to utter.  It is simply unkind thus unnecessary.  What we often forget is that the trials that people face are different.  Of course, the problems of a thirty-year-old pale in comparison to that of a thirteen-year-old.  Nobody is denying that.

For the young, algebra is difficult, completing that history project is hard, deciding which secondary or tertiary school to enrol in are tough.  We’ve been there once, haven’t we?   What the situation beckons is to empathize this young person and give advice kindly and compassionately.  They would then feel the love and respect that is shown to them, even if they are still young.  They know then that this elder person is not arrogant even if they are older, and it strengthens the bond between them.  When we ease matters of others, Allah will ease ours.

As a testament to that, helping others selflessly is still a wondrous trait we should all exemplify.  Keeping in mind that when we ease matters of others, Allah will ease our own matters, Muslims should strive to lighten the burden of others, whenever he is capable of doing so.  And isn’t it a blessing to have Allah loves our deed that He makes our everyday matters light and easy?

Establishing bonds of kinship (silaturahim) among relatives and other Muslims is another trait that we should attribute with.  Visiting, accepting invitations and gift-giving, are the three aspects which may not be deemed as significant nowadays.  Because we are busy with work and studies and other responsibilities, we say that we have ‘no time’ for social life.  Well, find time then.

Scholars of the past could write hundreds of thick volumes in their lifespan, can’t we find a mere few hours of our time for social engagement?  I don’t mean parties filled with mindless chit-chats.  I mean visiting that cousin we played hide-and-seek with in our childhood, that friend we were once close to eons ago, that brother/sister we once worked together with for a year.

If arranging an outing is too difficult, then give them a phone call or a message.  ‘Lazy’ should not be an excuse.  Keep regular contact with them; we are tech-savvy anyways.  Rasulullah sallallhu alaihi wasallam encouraged gift-giving to instil love among us.  We need not fork out money for expensive gifts; that beautiful scarf you rarely wear, mom’s homemade cookies and your spare favourite book, are gifts enough with a touch of sentimental value.

The nicest of surprise is when gifts are given on random days, you make someone’s typical day special.  Let’s not be nonchalant and indifferent towards these little things.

I have not exhausted the list of noble qualities Muslims should personify.  These are gentle reminders to me, foremost, and my beloved brothers and sisters that our attitude reflects our values.  The best of us are those with the best manners.  Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam bled for us to instil in us, his beloved Ummah, that Islam is our ultimate way of life.  Do we do nothing to uphold it?

Let me end with the best advice I’ve ever received: “In any situation that you face, think how Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam would have faced it?”  He is the perfect human being after all.


Hazimah is a graduate of Biomedical Science from International Islamic University Malaysia.  She is passionate about Science, enthralled by Arabic linguistics and Malay poetry, loves National Geographic,and is a Harry Potter fanatic.


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