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Sunday, 21 October 2012

A Beautiful Pattern of Conduct



A Beautiful Pattern of Conduct

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Words to live by from the lips of the Key of Mercy, the Key of Paradise, the Spirit of Truth, the Delight of Allah, our Master Muhammad (may blessings and peace be upon him),
“Anger ruins faith as aloe spoils honey.” (Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman.)
 Hatreds never cease through hatred; through love alone do they end.
 “A judge must not deliver a judgment between two people when he is angry.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
“The strong man is not he who overpowers another, but the strong man is he who restrains himself when angry.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
Once in battle, Hazrat ‘Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him) squared off against a ferocious warrior, and managed to get the upper hand by knocking his opponent down. His sword was raised ready to deliver the final blow, when the enemy spat in his face. Hazrat ‘Ali’s face flushed red with anger, and yet a sudden change came over him. He sheathed his sword and walked away. His enemy was stupefied, since his last act of defiance should have squandered any hope of receiving mercy. He scrambled to his feet and pursued Hazrat ‘Ali (may Allah ennoble his countenance) and asked for an explanation. The Prophet’s beloved son-in-law replied: “I had intended to kill you, but you aroused my anger, and I am obliged to never act violently in anger. I had to use force to stop you from destroying the faith. But as soon as my personal pride intervened, the matter was finished: I could not act.”
“Whoever restrains his anger, Allah will withhold His punishment from him on the Day of Judgment. (Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman.)
The Beloved of Allah (may blessings and peace be upon him) counseled a man by saying: “Do not become angry.” He repeated this guidance thrice. (Narrated by al-Bukhari in his Sahih.)
When the people of Ta’if rejected Islam in the year AD 619, they reviled and insulted the Prophet (may blessings and peace be upon him). He sought safety and peace in a private orchard, and offered the following prayer: “O Allah, unto Thee do I complain of my weakness, of my helplessness, and of my lowliness before men. O Most Merciful of the merciful, Thou art Lord of the weak. And Thou art my Lord. Into whose hands wilt Thou entrust me? Unto some far-off stranger who will ill-treat me? Or unto a foe whom Thou has empowered against me? I care not, so that Thou be not wroth with me.  But Thy favoring help—that were for me the broader way and the wider scope! I take refuge in the Light of Thy countenance whereby all darknesses are illuminated and the things of this world and the next are rightly ordered, lest Thou make descend Thine anger upon me, or lest Thy wrath beset me. Yet it is Thine to reproach until Thou art well pleased. There is no power and no might except through Thee.”[1]
Two men of Quraysh had seen what had happened to our Master Prophet Muhammad (may blessings and peace be upon him), so they called a young Christian slave of theirs named ‘Addas and told him to take a cluster of grapes to him. ‘Addas did has they had ordered, and when the Prophet put his hand to the grapes he said: “In the Name of Allah.” The slave looked keenly into his face; then he said: “Those words are not what the people of this country say.” “From what country art thou?” said the Prophet. “And what is thy religion?” “I am a Christian,” he said, “of the people of Nineveh.” “From the city of the righteous man Jonah, the son of Matta,” said the Prophet. “How knowest thou aught of Jonah the son of Matta?” said ‘Addas. “He is my brother,” was the answer. “He was a Prophet, and I am a Prophet.” Then ‘Addas bent over him and kissed his head and his hands and his feet.
When the Qurayshi men saw this, they asked their slave: “Out upon thee, ‘Addas! What made thee kiss that man’s head and his hands and his feet?” He answered: “Master, there is nothing on earth better than this man. He hath told me of things that only a Prophet could know.”[2] After this incident in Ta’if, the Sublime Lord blessed the Prophet (may blessings and peace be upon him) with the Light of His countenance on the Night of Ascension (‘Isra and Mi’raj). The people of Ta’if also embraced Islam in the year AD 630.
Shaykh Shihabuddin Yahya al-Suhrawardi (may Allah sanctify his splendid innermost being) in his Hayakal al-Nur reminds us that “All the holy mysteries—Allah’s words addressed to men in the one hundred tablets of early scripture, the Psalms of David, the Torah, and the Gospels—are contained within the Qur’an. The whole of the Holy Qur’an is contained within the Surah al-Fatihah, the Opening Chapter:
In the Name of Allah,
the Beneficent, the Compassionate.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds,
the Beneficent, the Compassionate.
Master of the Day of Judgment.
You do we worship and
Your aid do we seek.
Show us the straight path,
the path of those on whom
You have bestowed Your grace,
those who go not astray,
and do not receive Your wrath.
The whole of the Fatihah is contained in the beginning line, ‘In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Compassionate.’”[3]
O Divine Master, guide those who are misguided to Your light. Open up our hearts to the beauty, excellence, and perfection of Your Beloved and shower Your choicest blessings and salutations of peace upon him, and upon his noble Family and righteous Companions. Amin.
May we die with Islam following the Sunnah; and may we learn to control our anger, and become powerful believers like our Master Hazrat ‘Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him), who brought a fierce opponent to Islam through strict adherence to the words and rarefied example of our liege-lord Muhammad (may blessing and peace be upon him). Amin.




[1] Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources (Rochester: Inner Traditions, 2006), 101.
[2] Ibid., 101-2.
[3] Hazrat Shihabuddin Yahya al-Suhrawardi, The Shape of Light (Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2006), trans. Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti, 39.