Etiquettes of a Muslim’s Social Life
Although acts pertaining to the social code are not like Namaaz and Roza which are Sha’aair (salient features) of Islam, but considering that Akhlaaq is associated with others and in this way it is part of rights owed to others, therefore greater fear of being apprehended bodes for corruption, excesses and deficiencies in Akhlaaq than for Namaaz and Roza.
Ibaadaat are of the Rights of Allah. If there happens to be deficiency in Ibaadaat, then considering that Allah Ta’ala is Kareem (Munificent) His pardon is not remote. Rights of mankind, however, are due to those who are entitled to the rights. Only by asking for maaf (forgiveness) or being pardoned by the affected person will the right be waived. Care for these rights is therefore exceptionally important.
The Exemplary Social Conduct of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi Wa Sallam)
The Hadeeth Shareef mentions the incident of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) going to the Qabristaan at night and Hazrat Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) following him. The episode is ample proof for the importance of social conduct. The incident happened thus:
One night whilst being at the home of Hazrat Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha), Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) went to the Qabristaan (Muslim cemetery). Hazrat Aishah thought that he was going to see some other wife. Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) again was under the impression that she was sleeping. Knowledge of everything is the exclusive attribute of Allah Ta’ala.
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) got up quietly so that Hazrat Aishah does not wake up as he thought her to be sleeping. He quietly opened the door and quietly closed the door behind him. One should not disturb sleeping persons. Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) then went to the Qabristaan.
Hazrat Aishah was awake and she thought that he was going to another of his wives. Since she had excessive love for Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and was faithfully attached to him she could not bear seeing him go and quietly and cautiously she followed him.
The Love of Even Animals for Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) commanded such love and affection that leave alone Hazrat Aishah and other humans, even animals were restless with love for him. When Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) slaughtered a hundred camels during Haj of which sixty-three were with his own hands, which demonstrates his physical power, the camels were vying with each other to be first to be slaughtered by putting their necks out. Out of love for him each camel tried to be ahead. The words of the Hadeeth say: “Each one was trying to get in front of the other.”
When animals were restless with love for him, Hazrat Aishah had passionate love for him and extreme closeness to him. So what surprise is there in her restlessness? So she followed him till the Qabristaan. There Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) made Du’aa for the deceased persons and then returned home. Seeing a person in front of him Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) walked fast to catch up. Hazrat Aishah started to run. Rasoolullah also started running to catch up. Hazrat Aishah ran faster and made it into her home. She jumped into bed out of breath.
When Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) entered he saw her out of breath and asked her why was she breathing so heavy. The Hadeeth continues.
The Golden Rule of Akhlaaq
Thus, the golden rule of Akhlaaq is not to hurt and trouble anyone. Some people come to a person’s home and make a huge clamour. This is also troubling. The Qur’aan says:
“Those who noisily call you from behind walls generally lack intelligence.” (Surah Hujuraat, 4)
We were speaking about the Aadaab of Salaam. We mentioned that Salaam should not be made to a person who is engaged in Taa’at and Zikr. Also, when a person is eating, Salaam should not be made. By being forced to reply he may choke on his food.
Etiquettes of Musaafahah
Then the compliment to Salaam is Musaafahah (shaking hands). Several important etiquettes in this regard as well shall be mentioned.
Musaafahah at the time of meeting is unanimously Masnoon. At the time of departing to make Musaafahah is disputed. Some Ulama say it is Masnoon whilst others disagree. Besides these two occasions no third occasion is proven. There are, therefore, limits and rules applicable to Musaafahah as well. And rules and limits are not confined to this; everything has its particular limits and rules in the absence of which the act will not be proper.
Take for example Salaat. If a person renders five-rakaats instead of four-rakaats it will not be valid. Jum’ah according to the Hanafiyyah is not valid in villages. If a person performs Haj in Bombay it is not done. In this manner every act has rules and regulations governing it. Thus there are rules governing Musaafahah and Mu’aanaqah.
Thus the musaafahah and mu’aanaqah people carry out customarily on the days of Eid and Jum’ah are unsubstantiated anywhere. The days of Jum’ah and Eid have nothing to do with these acts. These acts are therefore of customary bid’at. They should be abandoned.
Some times Musaafahah inconveniences the other person. Take for instance the scenario of a person carrying his shoes in one hand and an umbrella in the other. Now how should he make Musaafahah? The only way is for him to put his shoes down and free his hands. Just to give him this trouble is also irrational.
Similarly, if a person is occupied one should not make Musaafahah. He is inconvenienced and his work is hampered. Also, if a person is walking briskly along, it is not appropriate to stop him to make Musaafahah. The work he has set out for is impeded and he will feel upset.
Some people have the habit when attending a gathering to start making Musaafahah with all and sundry. If they are busy then their work comes to a standstill and this bothers them. Similarly, many people have the habit of making Musaafahah to the speaker after his bayaan. Firstly, this is bid’at. Secondly, it puts strain on the poor speaker. Whatever causes strain to another should be discarded.
(To be continued, Insha-Allah)