Friday Khutbah (09 Sept 2011): The real friendship – The six rights of every Muslim

The real and true friendship in an Islamic prospective and point of view.

Tafseer of the Hadeeth of Six Rights of every Muslim

Ash-Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan As-Sa’dee’s explanation of the hadeeth regarding the Muslim’s rights Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “The rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim are six.” It was said, “And what are they Oh Messenger of Allaah?” He replied, “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace, when he invites you, respond to his invitation, when he seeks your advice, advise him, when he sneezes and praises Allaah, supplicate for mercy upon him, when he becomes ills, visit him, and when he dies follow him (i.e. his funeral).”

This hadeeth was reported by Muslim.These six rights, whoever establishes them in dealing with the Muslims, then his establishing things other than them (from the obligations) are even more important (or necessary). And his doing these things results in him fulfilling these obligations and rights, which contain an abundance of good and tremendous reward from Allaah.

The First Right:
“When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace.” For verily the greeting of peace is a cause of love, which results in producing faith (Al-Eemaan), which results in the person entering the Paradise. This is as Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “By the o­ne in Whose Hand is my soul, you all will not enter into the Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I not direct you to something that if you do it, you will love each other? Spread the greeting of peace amongst yourselves.”

The greeting of peace is from the virtuous characteristics of Islaam. For verily each of the two people who meet each other supplicates for the other for safety from evils, and mercy, and blessing that brings about every good. And what follows this is a cheerful face and appropriate words of greeting which result in unity and love, and it removes feelings of estrangement and cold disassociation. Thus, giving the greeting of peace is the right of the Muslim, and it is obligatory upon the person who is greeted to return greeting with a similar greeting or o­ne that is better than it. And the best of the people are those who start the greeting of peace first.

The Second Right:
“When he invites you, respond to his invitation.” This means that when he invites you with an invitation to some food and drink, then fulfill the request of your brother who has drawn near to you and honored you with the invitation. Respond to his invitation (i.e. accept it), unless you have an excuse.

The Third Right:
His statement, “And when he seeks your advice, advise him.” This means that if he seeks consultation with you regarding some action, as to whether he should do it or not, then advise him with that which you would like for yourself. Thus, if the action is something that is beneficial in all aspects, then encourage him to do that, and if it is something harmful, then warn him against it. And if the action contains both benefit and harm, then explain that to him and weigh the benefits against the harms. Likewise, if he consults with you concerning some dealing with someone among the people, or whether he should marry a woman off to someone, or whether he should marry someone, then extend your pure and sincere advice to him, and deal with him from the view point of what you would do for you own self. And avoid deceiving him in any matter of these things. For verily whoever deceives the Muslims, then he is not of them, and indeed he has left off the obligation of being sincere and advising. And this sincerity and advising is absolutely obligatory, however it becomes more emphasized when the person seeks your advice and he requests from you that you give him a beneficial opinion. For this reason the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) specifically mentioned it in this important situation. The explanation of the hadeeth, “The religion is sincerity”, has already been mentioned previously (in this book) in a manner that suffices without us having to repeat the discussion here.

The Fourth Right:
“And when he sneezes and praises Allaah, then pray for mercy upon him.” This is due to the fact that sneezing is a favor from Allaah, in the expelling of this congested air that is blocked in certain parts of the body of the human being. Allaah makes it easy for this air to have a passage out where it can exit, and thus the sneezing person feels relief. Thus, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) legislated that the person praise Allaah for this favor, and he legislated for his (Muslim) brother to say to him, “May Allaah have mercy upon you.” He also commanded the person who sneezed to answer his (Muslim) brother by saying to him, “May Allaah guide you and set right your affairs.” Therefore, whoever does not praise Allaah, then he does not deserve for others to pray for mercy upon him, and in this case he cannot blame anyone except himself. For he is the o­ne who has caused himself to lose the two blessings: the blessing of praising Allaah, and the blessing of his brother’s supplication for him that is a result of the praising.

The Fifth Right:
His statement, “And when he becomes ill, visit him.” Visiting the sick is from the rights of the Muslim, and especially for the person who has a highly stressed and emphasized right upon you, like the relative, and the friend, and so forth. It is from the best of the righteous deeds. And whoever visits his Muslim brother, he remains engulfed in the mercy (of Allaah), and when he sits with him the mercy (of Allaah) covers him. And whoever visits the sick Muslim at the beginning of the day, the Angels send prayers of blessing upon him until evening comes, and whoever visits him at the end of the day, the Angels send prayers of blessing upon him until morning comes. It is desired for the person who visits the sick to supplicate for him to be cured and to make him feel at ease. He should ease his worries by giving him glad tidings of well-being and recovery (i.e. be positive). He should remind him of repentance and turning to Allaah, and he should give him beneficial admonition. He should not sit with him too long (i.e. over staying his welcome), rather he should o­nly sit with him long enough fulfill the right of visiting, unless the sick person is positively effected by many people coming in to see him and many people coming to sit with him. Thus, for each situation there is a different statement (i.e. advice o­n how to deal with it).

The Sixth Right:
His statement, “And if he dies, follow him (his funeral).” For verily whoever follows the funeral until the deceased’s body is prayed over, then he will receive a Qeeraat of reward. (Translator’s note: A Qeeraat is an amount equivalent to the size of the Mountain of Uhud in Madinah.) And if he follows the funeral procession until the body is buried, then he will receive two Qeeraats of reward. And following the funeral procession contains (fulfillment of) a right for Allaah, a right for the deceased, and a right for the living relatives of the deceased.Ash-Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Naasir As-Sa`dee (Rahimahullaah)

Source: Bahjatu Quloob il-Abraar wa Qurratu ‘Uyoon il-Akhyaar fee Jaami’ il-Akhbaar, pp. 65-67, hadeeth no. 29.

Translated by: Aqeel Walker

Five ways to make this Ramadan extraordinary

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

My dear friends and students,

Welcome to our long-lost friend: Ramadan. How we have missed the days of self-restraint and the nights of mercy and delight! After eleven months of sinning, we now have the opportunity to avail ourselves of a month of mercy and forgiveness. For those whose duas have not been answered, the month of answered duas has arrived. For those who have drifted away from the soothing night prayer, or who have never achieved it, the month of the blessed taraweeh has arrived. Welcome to our Lord?s mercy: the month of Ramadan. No doubt each and every one of us approaches Ramadan with a special excitement. Alas for many of us, however: the excitement is met with fear and dread instead.

Will this Ramadan be like the previous ones where I failed to truly take full advantage and mend my ways?

Will this Ramadan only demonstrate to me how far away from Allah I truly am?

Will it be yet another month that passes by without my taking full advantage of it?

If you are feeling this way, know that you are not alone. Many of us feel this way and do not know how to tackle it. As a result, the fear and dread are enough for us to avoid setting new goals and higher aspirations for this month. As a result, we find ourselves at the end of the month in the situation of having failed to benefit from this opportunity and languishing in sorrow at the thought that we will never improve.

I too used to get these whispers and thoughts in my mind. However, I overcame these thoughts with the help of Allah. Here are five things that I have done to tackle these “Ramadan blues”. Let me share them with you; perhaps the suggestions may benefit you, and help you to overlook the past and focus on the future.

1) Good thoughts about Allah: I remind myself that my Lord is most Generous and Kind. He loves me sincerely. The proof is that even when I disobey Him He still provides for me. That is why He is giving me yet another Ramadan: yet another opportunity to get closer to Him again. He loves to forgive, and His best friends are those who seek His forgiveness the most. He has brought me to another Ramadan so that I can have yet another chance at Laylatul Qadr, and yet another chance to make my duas accepted at the time of iftar, and yet another chance to do Hajj with Rasul-Allah (sall-Allahu ?alaihi wa sallam) by doing umrah in this month. He has brought me to Ramadan to sooth the sorrows in my heart with His remembrance, and for me to be reminded of the nights in my grave by the solitude of i?tikaaf: by seeing how it feels to be alone with Him in the mosque. He wants me to lighten the load on my mind, so that is why He has given me the month of the Qur?an: so that I can relive the amazing Word of my Rabb (Lord and Master). The salaf (pious predecessors) would beg Allah for another opportunity for Ramadan, so how fortunate I am that He has given me this chance once again. How fortunate I am that He has given me the chance to know when this month is, so that I can take advantage of it. How fortunate I am that He has given me the yearning in my heart to meet my Lord in this month – and I know that the one who loves to meet His Lord, Allah subhaanahu wa ta?ala also loves to meet him.

2) Forget the past and focus on the future: I remind myself that past deeds are just that: a matter of the past. I live for the future, not the past. The past will be forgiven insha?Allah if I can mend the future. My concern should be the next deed that I do, because Allah loves to forgive; so I can have every confidence that He will forgive the past because I have nothing but regret for my past sins. The most important consideration for me is what sort of amends I make now. I remind myself of what Imam Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahu-Allah) said in his Nooniyyah:

By Allah I am not afraid of my past sins,
For indeed they are upon the path of repentance and forgiveness;
Rather my real concern is that [in the next deed] this heart
Might cease to act upon revelation and upon the noble Qur?an.

3) Evaluate previous attempts in order to plan a strategy to make it work this time: I remember that it is illogical to think that my future chances of success are a reflection of my failures in the past. My past inabilities only show me what to do better this time so that I can increase my chances this time around. So if I tried to pray taraweeh every night but failed, I should look back at what happened in order to learn lessons from those failures. Was it that the Imam?s recitation was not good? If so, then let me try to find a mosque to go to whose Imam recites better. If I failed to complete reciting the whole Qur?an last year, let me look at why that was the case and how I can change it. Can I put up reminders to read the Qur?an, or shall I buy a few more copies of the Qur?an and put them in more convenient places, such as one in my car, another in my briefcase and another on my table, so that I have a mushaf always on hand? If I missed getting up for fajr last Ramadan, why did it happen and how can I change it? Perhaps I should buy more alarm clocks, so let me go to the store right now. Perhaps I should SMS my friends to start a fajr prayer-calling group so that each day one of us is responsible for waking the others up. Perhaps I should make my suhur my heaviest meal so that my body feels hungry at suhur-time and so I get up more easily.

4) Reward, challenge and penalise myself: I can plan and prepare to reward myself if I finish this Ramadan satisfactorily. So I tell myself that if I can make myself pray all my prayers at the earliest time this Ramadan and recite the Qur?an five times this month, then I will buy myself a new laptop; if I can recite it ten times then I will go away with my family for a holiday, or some other significant reward that I know I would definitely like to treat myself with. I warn myself that if I fail to at least recite the Qur?an five times in this month, then I will donate a thousand dollars to charity. I remind myself that even Allah?s Messenger sall-Allahu ?alaihi wa sallam used to give worldly rewards to those who excelled in battle: e.g. half the war-booty from the raids to the Muslim knights who had taken part in the raid; he (saw) would consider it a great sin upon the one who fails to join the obligatory battle. In the same spirit of reward, challenge and penalty, I would do this for my children and my wife as well by helping them with a reward if they do something extraordinary this month, and a penalty if they did not even do the minimum extra level. In this way I can give them an added incentive to do good in this limited time of Ramadan. I remind myself that ultimately we must do it for Allah and never for a physical prize, but associating an emotional desire with an action and fear of a punishment at the non-performance of it will cause that action to be foremost in the subconscious part of my mind. I remind myself that the worst thing about not making this Ramadan special is going to be something worse than the penalty I have stipulated. It will be the disappointment of a Ramadan wasted, and the risk of Allah?s wrath.

5) Create peer-pressure and responsibility: I remind myself that if I make my friends and family aware of some of my goals, then they might help me. So I share some of my goals with them, ensuring that I am doing it to engage their help in performing it, not in a spirit of boasting. I hope that this will give me added support and encouragement to ensure that they help me in achieving the good things I have set out to do. If they do not help, at the very least they should not mind when I excuse myself from their service or company in order to spend some time on working towards my goal.

I hope that some or all of these things will help you to look upon this Ramadan with a fresh outlook. Make lots of dua to Allah that this Ramadan will be special for you, for your family, and for the Ummah of our beloved sall-Allahu ?alaihi wa sallam. I am interested in hearing from you if you have other things that you do to focus positively at the advent of another Ramadan.

Jazaakumullahulkhair and my duas for you and your family for a fantastic and blessed Ramadan, insha?Allah;

wassalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Tawfique Chowdhury
Director General
AlKauthar Institute and Mercy Mission World

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