Dear brothers and sisters, what distinguishes our religion from other religions is the manners each and every one of us is expected to abide by. Among these we have shared values of manners but on top of that we also have manners that we as Muslims are expected to abide by. Today we touch on 8 areas of manners that we all should excel on.
The first act of etiquette/mannerism is how to behave with Allah SWT and Imam spoke of Surat Nisa, ayat 87 in which it says:
Who is more truthful than Allah?
This is an important lesson as a person should accept Allah SWT commandments without conditions and follow it through in its entirety. This benefits the person in this life as well as the hereafter.
Next, dear brothers and sisters, we were reminded that it is of good etiquette to ensure that you wear good clothes when praying, as Allah SWT said in surat Al’araf, ayat 31:
O Children of Adam! Put on your adornment (decent proper dress) when you attend your Masjid at the time of every prayer. Eat and drink, but do not be extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.
This is a great example as not only is it about the dress but its about the attitude towards one’s Lord. Compare the attire for prayer to that of when you have to go to work or school or college. When one is in front of a person of authority, then one makes the effort. Who is worthy of more effort then? The person who in an authority in your school or job or the person who in authority over all things, living and otherwise in this world and beyond?
The third example on good manners was to have focus and concentration in prayer. We have spoken of this before and the imam spoke of ayats 1 and 2 of Sura Al Muminoon which says:
Successful indeed are the believers who are humble in their prayers.
Dear brothers and sisters, what does it mean to be humble? The dictionary defines it as having a low estimate of one’s importance. Therefore, we can see that this ayat is telling us about having focus and concentration. After all, when we are distracted, we are thinking of our own lives, our existence and things that are trivial in comparison. But by reminding ourselves to be humble, i.e. telling ourselves our lives and its associated thoughts are not important during salat, we are being humble and attaining that focus and thus being of the successful ones described in this ayat.
The fourth example of good manners is to be thankful of Allah SWT. Dear brothers and sisters, we need to remind ourselves that the blessings of Allah SWT on us cannot be counted.
The imam reminded us of ayat 7 of sura Ibrahim which said:
And remember! your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): “If ye are grateful I will add more (favors) unto you; but if ye show ingratitude truly My punishment is terrible indeed.”
Allah SWT is informing us of a great blessing on our lives and that is simply by remarking on the positives we have in life and associating them to Him, He will reward us by giving us more of it. Let your tongue and your heart acquaint itself with Alhamdullilah and think and recite if often in order to be of the people reminded by this ayat.
The fourth example is about manners in relation to the book of Allah SWT. We have all heard of the respect with which we ought to treat the Quran but todays reminder covers some specifics. They are such as having done ablution prior to recitation, reading the Quran with care and respect, treating it with care and respect and pondering over its meaning.
Dear brothers and sisters, we have the translation in apps now on our devices as well as in books such as the bookshelf at the back of the hall. Lets use these tools to increase our understanding of the Glorious Quran.
The fifth example about manners is in relation to what the Prophet SAWS taught us. This is a huge topic but to summarize, it is to copy his actions, manners and behaviour whenever and wherever possible. It is to send salutations on to the prophet whenever you remember him. SAWS and it is to believe everything the prophet SAWS has said.
The sixth example is of a Muslim with their brothers and sisters and the lesson can be concluded from this hadith as referenced by the imam:
Six are the rights of a Muslim over another Muslim. It was said to him: Allah’s Messenger, what are these? Thereupon he said: When you meet him, offer him greetings;when he invites you to a feast accept it. when he seeks your council give him, and when he sneezes and says:” All praise is due to Allah,” you say Yarhamuk Allah (may Allah show mercy to you) ; and when he fails ill visit him; and when he dies follow his burial.
The next is the manners of Muslims with Elders or Teachers. The Imam reminded us of this through a hadith of the Prophet SAWS which says:
” He is not one of us who does not have mercy upon our young, respect our elders, and command good and forbid evil.”
Therefore, practically this means to stand up for them to sit first. To be soft in speech with them and not poke fun and to have respect when calling them, i.e. not by their first name. We have these shared values in this society but unfortunately they are often forgotten so lets be the ones to keep them strong.
And lastly, it’s the manners of gatherings, which is done by having good company, remembering Allah SWT and thus being away from sin during them, to give Salaam to one another and to give each person their due respect.
Dear brothers and sisters, in a world where manners is becoming a scarce commodity, it is on us to be the best that we can be. Not only is this for our sakes but it is also so that we can be role models and leaders in society, and show all in our actions and our behaviour the beauty of Islam and what it means to be a Muslim.