Manners and civility are very important in Islam. A good Muslim can never be a person with poor manners.Akhlaak/manners play an important role in Islam. It is essential for a Muslim that he/she clothes themselves with the Akhlaak shown to us by the beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and his noble companions. Allah says:
فَذَرْهُمْ يَخُوضُوا وَيَلْعَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يُلَاقُوا يَوْمَهُمُ الَّذِي يُوعَدُونَ
“So leave them (to) converse vainly and amuse themselves until they meet their Day, which they are promised.” (Surah Al-Ma`arij 70:42)
Islam teaches good manners and forbids bad acts, in speech and indeed. There is no doubt that Akhlaak is one of the qualities of a believer, most importantly it is a trademark and quality of the master of both worlds Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Allah says:
قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالْإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُوا بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
Say, “Only (had) forbidden my Lord the shameful deeds what (is) apparent of it and what is concealed, and the sin, and the oppression without [the] right, and that you associate (others) with Allah what not He (has) sent down of it any authority, and that you say about Allah what you (do) not know.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:33)
Manners are a way of doing something or way of behaviour, etiquette or it could be a person’s outward way of behaving toward others. The issue of good manners is very important In Islam; it is the basis of one’s success in his daily life through which someone could make a distinctive place in the Islamic community. Allah says:
آمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَأَنفِقُوا مِمَّا جَعَلَكُم مُّسْتَخْلَفِينَ فِيهِ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَأَنفَقُوا لَهُمْ أَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ
“Believe in Allah and His Messenger and spend out of that in which He has made you successors. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward.” (Surah Al-Hadid 57:7)
Dealing with others with good manners means to put them at ease the way that Islam recommended us to deal with. It is not just an important part of our religion Islam but also makes our social life more pleasant. Conducting good manners is not easy because it takes time.
The Status of Good Manners in Islam
Good manners must be adopted from a young age. Here are some important Islamic manners:
- Being respectful and dutiful to parents
- Be good to everybody
- Guarding our tongue
- Staying away from bad manners
- Sincerity – Our manners and intentions must be for pleasing Allah (The One Unique God), otherwise we won’t get rewarded for our good actions on the day of judgment. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said, “The rewards of deeds depend upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. …” (Narrated in Bukhari 1:51)
- Repentance – In several places in the Holy Qur’an, has it been shown the importance of asking Allah for forgiveness and changing our ways if we want to escape the punishment of the hellfire. We should trust Allah will forgive us if we sincerely ask for forgiveness as one of his names is ‘The Most Merciful’.
- Being Grateful – It is important we are always thankful for what Allah has given to us, for everything that exists in the universe belongs to him. For example, in the Qur’an, it says ‘All praises and thanks are Allah’s, the Lord of the Alamin(mankind, jinn and all that exists)’ (1:2). Also, we should be thankful to people who have helped us in achieving well.
- Patience – The Holy Qur’an in several places informs us of the importance of patients like ‘By the time. Indeed man is in a loss, except those who believe, and do righteous deeds, encourage each other with the truth and patients’ (103:1-3) Meaning having patience when Allah tests us in this life with hardship or hardship during striving to achieve well. For indeed the great reward of heaven is with Allah for the patient.
- Keeping Good Companions – People should keep good companions, as they will encourage you to do good and forbid you from evil deeds.
- Truthfulness – The Qur’an in several places talks about the importance of being truthful like the following verse ‘O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak always the truth. He will direct you to do good deeds and will forgive your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great achievement.” (33:70-71)
- Modesty – The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said that modesty and shyness is part of faith. In the Holy Qur’an, it says ‘Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.
- Controlling Anger – The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said ‘The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger’. (Related in Bukhari 8:135)
- Kindness and Obedience to Parents
- Respect and Kindness between Husband & Wife
- Love towards children
- Kindness to neighbours
- Kindness to orphans and poor
- Humility: Humility is a virtue Islam wants its followers to practice as a distinguishing feature of their moral and spiritual behaviour. It does not become a Muslim to be haughty or vainglorious.
- Self- Restraint: Tolerance, affability, self-restraint, and the ability to control one’s temper and to overlook what is unpleasant and disagreeable are qualities that Islam wants everyone to cultivate.
- Tenderness: Tenderness is monetary dealings, and in all other fields of one’s activity, and the readiness to oblige and to put others at ease are all virtues of the highest order in the Islamic pattern of morality.
Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:
- “Try to make peace between husband & wife.” (Quran 4:128)
- “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” (Quran, 68:4)
- “Forgive others, as you would like Allah to forgive you.” (Quran 24:22)
- “Seek the Prophet’s permission when leaving his gathering.” (Quran 24:62)
- “If unable to help a needy person, at least speak nice words.” (Quran 17:28)
- “Be lenient to those under you, and consult them in matters.” (Quran 3:159)
- “Don’t remain in the Prophet’s home unnecessarily after a meal.” (Quran 33:53)
- “Don’t enter homes without permission & return if refused entry.” (Quran 24:27-28)
- “Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant.” (Quran 7:199)
- “And for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, be it little or much – an obligatory share.” ( Quran 4:7)
- “O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is a sin.” (Quran 49:12)
Good manners or Adab consists of spreading words of peace, reviving broken relationships between people, involves praying for other Muslim brothers and sisters, advising and calling each other to do good and to stop which is evil. If someone wants to achieve success it is by good manners that every success can be achieved in this life. Good manners and a sense of morality can prevent us from falling into sins. Allah Almighty says in Noble Quran: Allah says:
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad PUBH) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:21)
Good manners are about respecting parents, elders, neighbours and showing love and compassion to the young ones. Visiting the sick and abstaining from evils such as backbiting and slandering also includes good manners. Allah loves those who possess these great qualities. Manners are important to fulfil our faith and also in our social life. May Allah Almighty give us the strength to improve our manners and try to imitate them.