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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 30: Ethics (Hadith -- The Traditions)


Chapter 30:
Ethics (Hadith -- The Traditions):


 

(Note: The superscript-numbers [e.g., intention2] that appear in the text [in pink] refer to the numbers of the explanatory footnotes that appear at the end of each Hadith [Tradition].)


1 `Abd Allah ibn `Amr said,
. . . . . The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, . . . . . . used to say:

"The best of you are those who have the most excellent morals." (B. 61 : 23.)


2 Abu Hurairah said,
A man came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and said, O Messenger of Allah! Who has the greatest right that I should keep company with him with goodness? He said,

"Thy mother"

He said, Who then? He said,

"Thy mother."

He said, Who then? He said,

"Thy mother."

He said, Who then? He said,

"Then thy father." (B. 78 : 2.)


3 Mu`aviyah ibn Jahimah reported,
Jahimah came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and said, O Messenger of Allah! I intended that I should enlist in the fighting force and I have come to consult thee. He said :

"Hast thou a mother?"

He said, Yes. He said :

"Then stick to her, for paradise is beneath her two feet."1 (Ns. 25 : 6.)

1 This hadith gives the highest place of honour to woman.


4 `A'ishah said,
A dweller of the desert came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and said, You kiss children but we do not kiss them. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Do I control aught for thee if Allah has taken away mercy from thy heart?" (B. 78 : 18.)


5 `A'ishah reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, took a baby in his arms, rubbing its palate (with chewed date), and it urinated on him, so he sent for water and made it follow the urine.
(B. 78 : 21.)


6 `A'ishah said,
A woman came, with her being her two daughters, asking for charity but she did not find with me anything except a date. I gave it to her and she divided it between her two daughters, and did not herself eat of it. Then she got up and went out, and the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, entered on us, and I informed him about it. So the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:
 

"Whoever is thrown into a trial on account of these daughters, they are a screen for him from fire." (B. 24 : 10.)


7 Anas said,
I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say:

"Whomsoever it pleases that his sustenance should be made ample to him or that his life should be lengthened, let him be kind to his relatives." (B. 34 : 13.)


8 Abu Hurairah reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Rahim is an offshoot of Rahman; so Allah said, Whoever makes his ties close with thee I will make My ties close with him, and whoever severs his ties with thee I will sever My ties with him." 2 (B. 78 : 13.)

2 The word rahim means the womb, hence relationship by the female side; but is also carries the wider significance of relationship in general; and Rahman means the God of mercy or the Beneficent God. The hadith signifies that relationship is deeply connected with mercy in its very nature. So whoever makes close ties of relationship by kindness to relatives God is kind to him, and whoever severs the ties of relationship by ill-treatment towards relatives God is displeased with him. One must be kind to relatives though they be non-Muslims (B. 11 : 7).


9 Abu Hurairah said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:
 

"The most perfect of the believers in faith is the best of them in moral excellence, and the best of you are the kindest of you to their wives." (Tr. 12 : 11.)


10 Aswad said,
I asked `A'ishah, What did the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, do when in his house? She said, he served his wife, meaning that he did work for his wife. (B. 10 : 44.)


11 Ibn `Umar reported,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:
 

"A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim; he does him no injustice, nor does he leave him alone (to be the victim of another's injustice); and whoever does the needful for his brother, Allah does the needful for him; and whoever removes the distress of a Muslim, Allah removes from him a distress out of the distresses of the day of resurrection; and whoever covers (the fault of) a Muslim, Allah will cover his sins on the day of resurrection." (B. 46 : 3.)


12 Anas said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:
 

"Help thy brother whether he is the doer of wrong or wrong is done to him."

They (his companions) said, O Messenger of Allah! We can help a man to whom wrong is done, but how could we help him when he is the doer of wrong? He said :

"Take hold of his hands from doing wrong." (B. 46 : 4.)

13 Nu`man said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:
 

Thou wilt see the faithful in their having mercy for one another and in their love for one another and in their kindness towards one another like the body; when one member of it ails, the entire body (ails), one part calling out the other with sleeplessness and fever." (B. 78 : 27.)


14 Abu Musa reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:
 

"Believers are in relation to one another as (parts of) a structure, one part of which strengthens the other." And he inserted the fingers of one hand amid those of the other (so as to conjoin his two hands). (B. 8 : 88.)


15 Ibn `Umar reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said, while at Mina: "Do you know what day is this?" They said, Allah and His Messenger know best. He said : "This is a sacred day. Do you know what city is this?" They said, Allah and His Messenger know best. He said, "Sacred city. Do you know what month is this?" They said, Allah and His Messenger know best. He said: "Sacred month." Then he said : "Surely Allah has made sacred to you your blood and your property and your honour as this day of yours is sacred in this month of yours in this city of yours."
3 (B. 25 : 132.)

3 These memorable words, making inviolable the blood, property and honour of one Muslim to another, were uttered on the sacred day of Sacrifices, in the sacred month of Dhu-l-Hijjah, in the sacred city of Makkah.


16 Anas reported,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:
 

"Do not hate one another and do not be jealous of one another and do not boycott one another, and be servants of Allah (as) brethren; and it is not lawful for a Muslim that he should sever his relations with his brother for more than three days." (B. 78 : 57.)


17 Abu Dharr reported,

He heard the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say:

"A man does not accuse another of being a transgressor, nor does he accuse him of being a kafir, but it (the epithet) comes back to him, if his companion is not such."4 (B. 78 : 44.)

4 The Holy Prophet thus emphasized that one member of the Muslim brotherhood should not call another fasiq (transgressor), or kafir (disbeliever). The man who did this deserved to have the very epithet applied to him by way of punishment.


18 Abu Bakrah said,
. . . . I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say:

"When two Muslims meet each other with their swords, both of them are in the fire."

I said, O Messenger of Allah! This is for the murderer, but what about the one who is murdered? He said:

"He was desirous of murdering his companion." (B. 2 : 21.)


19 Abu Hurairah said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Whoever believes in Allah and the latter day should not harm his neighbour, and whoever believes in Allah and the latter day should honour his guest."5 (B. 78 : 31.)

5 The sending of gifts to neighbours is recommended (H. xxvi : 1). Ikram al dzaif (honouring the guest) is specially enjoined on Muslims. In another hadith, it is stated that special food should be prepared for the guest for one day and night -- this is called his ja'izah, while entertainment of the guest, his dziyafah, lasts for three days. What is spent on the guest after that is termed sadaqah or charity.


20 `A'ishah reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Gabriel continued to enjoin me with good treatment towards the neighbour until I thought that he would make him heir of the property (of the deceased neighbour.)" (B. 78 : 28.)


21 Abu Dharr said,
. . . . The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said to me:

". . . Your slaves are your brethren, Allah has placed them under your control; so whoever has his brother under his control should feed him from what he eats and should give him clothes to wear from what he wears, and do not impose on them a task which should over-power them, and if you impose on them such a task, then help them (in doing it)."6 (B. 2 : 21.)

6 The hadith speaks of slaves, but the words are equally applicable to servants, specially the concluding portion.


22 Anas said,
I served the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, for ten years, and he never said to me, Fie. Nor, Why hast thou done (this)? Nor, Why hast thou not done (this)?
(B. 78 : 39.)


23 Abu Hurairah said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"One who manages the affairs of the widow and the poor man is like the one who exerts himself hard in the way of Allah, or the one who stands up for prayer in the night and fasts in the day." (B. 69 : 1.)


24 Sahl ibn Sa`d reported,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"I and the man who brings up an orphan will be in paradise like this."

And he pointed with his two fingers, the forefinger and the middle finger.7 (B. 78 : 24.)

7 The Holy Prophet pointed with his two fingers which are close to each other, meaning that the man who brings up an orphan will be with him in paradise.


25 Abu Hurairah reported,
Tufail ibn `Amr al-Dausi and his companions came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and said, O Messenger of Allah! Daus have disobeyed and refused, so pray to Allah for their punishment. And it was said, Daus have perished. But he said :

"O Allah! Guide Daus and bring them."8 (B. 56 : 100.)

8 The Holy Prophet thus refused to pray for the punishment of even those who disobeyed and he prayed for their guidance.

26 `A'ishah reported,
The Jews came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and said, Death overtake you! `A'ishah said, And you, and may Allah curse you and may Allah's wrath descend on you. He (the Prophet) said

"Gently, O `A'ishah! Be courteous, and keep thyself away from roughness." 9 (B. 78 : 38.)

9 The Muslim salutation al-salamu `alai-kum means peace be to you. The Jews mischievously corrupted it into as-samu `alai-kum which means death overtake you. The Holy Prophet did not allow discourtesy even to such enemies.


27 Jarir said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Allah has no mercy on him who is not merciful to men."10 (B. & M-Msh. 24 : 15.)

10 Thus a Muslim is required to be merciful to all men, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims.


28 Ibn `Abbas said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"He is not of us who does not show mercy to our little ones and respect to our great ones." (Tr-Msh. 24 : 15.)


29 Sahl said,

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, passed by a camel that had grown extremely lean. So he said:

"Be careful of your duty to Allah regarding these dumb animals; ride them while they are in a fit condition, and eat them while they are in a fit condition." (AD. 15 : 44.)


30 `Abd Allah reported,

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Surely truth leads to virtue, and virtue leads to paradise, and a man continues to speak the truth until he becomes thoroughly truthful; and surely falsehood leads to vice, and vice leads to the fire, and a man continues to tell lies until he is written down a great liar with Allah." (B. 78 : 69.)


31 Anas said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, was not a reviler, nor foul in speech, nor a curser; to reprove one of us he would say :

"What is the matter with him, may his forehead abound with dust."11 (B. 78 : 38.)

11 The meaning is, may he be frequent in prostrating himself.


32 `Ali said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:
 

"A Muslim owes to a Muslim six (duties) to be bestowed liberally -- he should offer him salutation when he meets him, and he should accept when he invites him,12 and he should pray for him when he sneezes, and he should visit him when he is sick, and he should follow his bier when he dies, and he should love for him what he loves for himself." (Tr-Msh. 24 : 1.)

12 The words of the Muslim salutation are al-salamu `alai-kum and the salutation is generally returned by saying wa `alai-kum-us-salam (peace be with you). To this are sometimes added the words wa rahmat-ullahi wa barakatuh (and the mercy of Allah and His blessings). Salutation is offered by men to women and vice versa (B. 79 : 16).


33 Abu Hurairah reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"The younger one should offer salutation to the older one, and the one who is going along to the one who is sitting, and the smaller group to the larger group." (B. 79 : 4.)


34 `Abd Allah ibn `Amr reported,
A man asked the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, what Islam is the best one? He said:

"That thou feed (the poor) and offer salutation to whom thou knowest and whom thou dost not know." (B. 2 : 5.)


35 Qatadah said,
I said to Anas, Did the companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, shake hands
13 (when they met)?

He said, Yes. (B. 79 : 27.)

13 This is called musafahah (from safh meaning side), the two men joining their hands as a mark of love.


36 `A'ishah said,
Zaid ibn Harithah
14 came to Madinah, and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, stood up to receive him,15 and he embraced him and kissed him. (Tr-Msh. 24 : 3.)

14 Zaid was a slave whom the Holy Prophet had set free, and on account of his deep attachment to the Holy Prophet, he was called his son.

15 This is called mu`anaqah (from `unuq meaning neck). Some hadith show that the Holy Prophet disallowed it, but he may have done this simply to show that it should not be generally resorted to.


37 `Ubaid ibn `Umair reported,
Abu Musa al-Ash`ari sought permission to see `Umar and he was not permitted, as if he was engaged, and Abu Musa came back.
(B. 34 : 9.)


38 Sa`id ibn Abu-l-Hasan said to Hasan,
Women, other than Arabs, keep their bosoms and their heads uncovered. He said, Turn thou away thy eyes from them.
16 (B. 79 : 2.)

16 This incident relates to the time when the whole of Arabia had become Muslim. Arab women also kept their heads and bosoms uncovered before Islam. Hence the Holy Qur'an ordered women to wear their head-coverings over their bosoms (24 : 31).


39 `A'ishah reported,
Saudah bint Zam`ah went out on a certain night. `Umar saw her and recognized her and said, By Allah, O Saudah! thou canst not hide thyself from us. So she returned to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and mentioned this to him while he was dining in my apartment . . . and he said:
 

"It is permitted to you (women) that you go out for your needs."17 (B. 67 : 116.)

17 We find women in the Holy Prophet's time repairing unveiled to mosques to join the congregational prayers (B. 10 : 162), carrying provisions for soldiers (B. 56 : 66), taking care of the sick and the wounded (B. 56 : 67), taking part in actual fighting when necessary (B. 56 : 62), helping their husbands in the labour of the field (B. 67 : 108), serving the male guests at a feast (B. 67 : 78), carrying on business (B. 11 : 54) carrying on trade with men (B. 34 : 67), and so on.


40 `A'ishah reported,
Asma', daughter of Abu Bakr, came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and she was wearing thin clothes. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, turned away his face from her and said:

"O Asma! When the woman attains her majority, it is not proper that nay part of her body should be seen except this and this."

And he pointed to his face and his hands."18 (AD. 31 : 29.)

18 A woman is not required to cover her face or wear a veil. In fact, in pilgrimage she is required to keep herself unveiled (B. 25 : 23), because the veil was worn as a mark of rank, and was not required by the law of Islam.

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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 30: Ethics (Hadith -- The Traditions)

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