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Six C’s of Good Character, Part 3

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Guest post by Tamim Popalzai

Please make sure to first read Part 1 and Part 2.

Part III – Consideration & Courage

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Start: Video  #5 –  4:31

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIs9t_v-qCY[/youtube]

We have conscience, we have compassion, and now we have consideration.

Being considerate.  What does that mean?  It means that you are deliberate.  You think before you act and before speak, how is my action and how are my words going to impact those around me.  Is it going to bring them up or is it going to crush their spirits.  Is what I am about to say nice that I need to share with people, that will be pleasing for them to hear it.  Or is it going to crush their spirits and bring them down.

So being considerate, the ability to think before you act.  The ability to be deliberate about your words and about your actions.  And off course the Prophet (saws) gave the most beautiful of examples in this.  One time, the Prophet (saw), after the conquest of Mecca, some people decided to run away because they felt that if Muhammad (saws) gets a hold of us, we are dead, they didn’t know Muhammad (saws).  They said, if he gets a hold of us, we are dead.  So one of the people that fled away was Ikrimah, the son of Abu Jahl (the notorious enemy of the Prophet (saws)).  He was not muslim, he said, I cannot be here, I am the son of Abu Jahl, I am Ikrimah, and Muhammad (saws) is coming to town, I better get out of town.  So he ran out of town.  The wife of Ikrimah came to the Prophet (saws) and she accepted Islam, but she still loved her husband.   So she said, O Prophet of Allah, what about my husband, what is his fate, what are you going to do about him.  And the Prophet (saws) said, we have granted him amnesty, he is welcome to come, he can live in Mecca, he doesn’t have to accept Islam, he can come.  She said,  O Prophet of Allah, I will tell him, but he will not believe me.  He thinks that I will be tricking him to bring him to you.  So the Prophet (saws) took off his turban, and he gave it to her and he said show him this.  Now in the Arab culture to do that, that is the ultimate sign of, “I have granted you full amnesty.”   So she goes to her husband and says, Ikrimah, the Prophet (saws) has granted you amnesty, come with me.  He said I don’t believe you, you are only tricking me to take me back to Muhammad (saws), so he can kill me.  She said, Ikrimah, that is not the case, look here is the turban of the Prophet (saws), he saw this and he found out that he is being granted amnesty.  So he is coming back and the Prophet (saws) is sitting with his companions and at a distance he sees Ikrimah coming with his wife.  The Prophet (saws) then tells his companions, “Haatha Ikrimatu, ya`tikum-al an mu`min, fala tasubu abaha..” He said to his companions,

Start: Video  #6

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS1R2eYo0to&annotation_id=annotation_57005&feature=iv[/youtube]

Ikrimah is about to accept Islam, so please do not mention his father, Abu Jahl, with ill words.  Fa inna sab-ba la yablughul mayta, wa you`thil hay..”  He said, for cursing those who are dead, they cannot hear you, you can curse the dead all you want, they will not hear you, but these words will affect those who are alive meaning even though his father was a bad man, it was still his father.  He despite of what he has done to me, do not mention his father with any ill words.  Be considerate.  And as Muslims, we are to be considerate.  You know the Prophet (saws), one of the most beautiful aspects of him was when he would speak about respecting peoples feelings.  Respect peoples feelings, respect how your words and actions will impact them.

For example, the Prophet (saws) said if there are three people, two people should not be whispering to one another.  Why?  He said because it will hurt the third person who is present.  Respect the feelings of that person.  Be considerate about it.

The Prophet (saws) said, when you lead people into salah, he said make sure you shorten your prayers.  Do not pray, long, long prayers, he said do not do that.  Why?  The Prophet (saws) explains, he said, “Amongst those who are praying behind you are young (young children, their attention span is not really that long) and then he said, amongst them are the old (standing up for them is not easy), and then he said amongst them are those who are sick, and amongst them are those who are busy.”  Be considerate.

The Prophet (saws) is praying and he hears a young boy crying, so the Prophet (saws) expedites the salah in a very noticeable way.  And the people notice that the Prophet (saws) is praying really fast.  After the salah, they said what happened, the Prophet (saws) I heard a child crying and I knew that his mother would want to attend to him and I knew how worried she would be about him and I wanted to finish the salah as soon as possible so she can attend to the baby.  What would we do today if a child starts crying in the salah?  After the salah, we would say, “Who is the father is this child, do not bring your children, etc.  This is not acceptable.  The point is to be considerate.

Sometimes we can do things that are not very acceptable.  In the hadeeth the Prophet (saws) said that you should not be like a “beast” where he hits his wife in the day and then he expects to sleep with her at night.  Not acceptable.  That is not considerate.   That is so unbelievably inconsiderate of any person.  He beats her up during the day then he wants to sleep with her at night.  And the description that the Prophet (saws) gave for such kind of a person is, “Do not be like a beast.”  Because such kind of a behaviour is only befitting to a beast.  If you do it, the Prophet (saws) said you are imitating a beast.

Not only this and this may be a bit sensitive, but you know the Prophet (saws) said, (addressing men), “do not be like beasts”  where you come and you have an intimate relationship with your wife and you have your own desires fulfilled but you are so inconsiderate whether your wife has received the same fulfillment or not.  The Prophet (saws) would say be considerate.  Intimacy is something that is supposed to be enjoyed by two people.  So he said do not be selfish in the process where you only enjoy yourself but you are so disregardful of what happens to the other person.  And the same description was given by the Prophet (saws), “wa minal ajzi ay-ya`ti rajulu ahlahu fa-yaqdi hajatahu wa la …. Aw yadri qan qadha hajataha am la.. (paraphrase of the prophet’s (saws) words).  He said it is part of weakness that a man would come and do this with his wife and he has his own desires fulfilled and he does not care whether she has received the same or not.

So the Prophet (saws) would say be considerate and I know some brothers would joke with their wives about the second wife, every now and then it’s a joke about the second wife.  And we think its funny, every now and then, “Oh I’m going to get me a second wife” and we laugh about it and she is telling you its not funny.  If the other person is not laughing with you, its not funny.

Start: Video #7

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YQbU7cp6_U&annotation_id=annotation_798237&feature=iv[/youtube]

You may find it funny but its not funny because being funny is about all people laughing together, about putting a smile on everyone’s faced, but we think its funny.

You know what happens, sometimes we make people hate the sunnah or hate the deen because of our actions.  In the name of Islam, we can be so rude.  In the name of Islam, we yell at people.  In the name of Islam, we demoralize people.  In the name of Islam, we crush the spirits of people.  That is not the case brothers and sisters.  A muslim is supposed to be considerate. How you drive, it says a lot about you, where you park your car, its says a lot about you.  We are constantly displaying our character, so the point is to be considerate.

The Prophet (saws) would say, if you eat garlic or onions do not go to the masjid.  If you plan to eat these things, avoid coming to the masjid.  Why, I’m going to the house of Allah, yes but the house of Allah is full of other believers and eating onions or eating garlic is very inconsiderate of you.  So when you come, make sure you impact the people that are around you nicely.  Make sure that your presence brings joy.  Make sure that people around can feel that this person is so considerate  they will neither say nor will do anything that will hurt my feelings.  Be considerate.

Be conscious, be compassionate, and be considerate.

The fourth C is courage.  Have courage.  Have courage about what?  What is it.  It is about us being able to stand up for what we believe.  It is about the ability to stand up for the principles and values that we hold.  We say you are a person of courage when you are challenged yet you stand up for your beliefs and you stand up for your principles and you stand up for your values.

Courage is so needed nowadays.  The Prophet (saws) would speak about courage.  You know Musa (as) is mentioned in the Quran, but interestingly, every time Musa (as) is mentioned, he is always afraid.  Qala Rabbana innanna nakhaafu ay-yafrut alayna aw ay-yatgha, qala la takhauf, innaka antal `aala.  Musa (as) is afraid.  The staff turns into a serpent he is afraid to pick it up.  He is told to go to phaorah, he is afraid, O Allah, phoarah is a tyrant man, he is afraid.  Can we say that Musa (as) is a coward?  Absolutely not.  Because courage is not the absence of fear, courage is doing what is right despite the existence of fear. Musa (as) was afraid but his fear did not stop him from doing that which is right.  Courage is needed is especially needed when we have to challenge social status quo.

Sometimes some of the social traditions that we have are very oppressive to some people,  to some groups.  But it takes some courage to come and speak against this.  The Arabs did not allow women to inherit, it took so much social courage for the Prophet (saws) to come and address such an issue and people would uproar about this and would say “we do not have this, our forefathers did not do that”.   And that is not acceptable, but it takes courage to speak truth to power.  And in the hadeeth, the Prophet (saws) say, “ala layamna`ana ahadakum makhaafatan naas min ay-youqulu haqqan itha ra`ahu aw sami`a bihi”  (he said do not let your fear of people stop you from saying that which is right).  And the Prophet (saws) would empower us to make sure that you have the courage.  You have what it takes to bring about change.

And then, conscience, compassion, consideration, and courage.

To be continued on Part IV.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Bees with tees

    February 6, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    Jazakallukhair! A wonderful post!

  2. The Muslim Kid

    February 6, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    Yes! This is awesome! Especially the part about fear not being the absence of fear rather doing right even when fear is existent.

    Subhannallah. Very spirit-lifting article.

    -MK-

  3. Shabana

    February 6, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    Another great lecture/reminder by Sh. Fazaqa.

  4. syed khalid

    February 9, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    ALHUMDU LILLAH,
    its always pleasant to listen to nature, fold in words of reality, demostrated in public with great ambition and goal(ISLAAH ), narrowing to a certain topic,holding a lively spirit, with positive and welcoming attitude, THIS IS THE ROLE OF A BELIEVER……THIS IS MY DEEN..THIS IS MY ISLAM……AL HUMDULILLAH.

  5. Samier

    February 10, 2010 at 1:52 AM

    Salaam,

    Nice speech! Peace to all mankind!

  6. Abu Zakariya

    February 12, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Jazakallah khair, keep it coming!

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