Saturday 5 August 2023

The best among you is the best in character and manners (Hadith Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

Character is something that differentiates a good and pious man from a bad or lewd person. In other words, it is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. No religion or society looks up to someone who does not have strong moral and character qualities. Likewise, those with and mouth and tongue are the least liked people. Like all divine religions, Islam too lays a lot of emphasis on the character qualities and mannerism. In fact, a man of good character would stand the test of time and his qualities encourage others to follow him and respect him. 

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is the best role model for the world for he displayed an extreme high level of character, matchless I would say. He ﷺ never used bad language, neither a “Fahish” nor a “Mutafahish”  - the two terms used in the Hadith being shared today and will be explained after the Hadith. 

This Hadith is mentioned in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī  (Book 78 - RGood Manners and Form (Al-Adab) /  كتاب الأدب / Chapter 39: Good character, generosity, and miserliness /  باب حُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ، وَالسَّخَاءِ، وَمَا يُكْرَهُ مِنَ الْبُخْلِ ) as Hadith 6035, given herein under:

حَدَّثَنَا عُمَرُ بْنُ حَفْصٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي، حَدَّثَنَا الأَعْمَشُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي شَقِيقٌ، عَنْ مَسْرُوقٍ، قَالَ كُنَّا جُلُوسًا مَعَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو يُحَدِّثُنَا إِذْ قَالَ لَمْ يَكُنْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاحِشًا وَلاَ مُتَفَحِّشًا، وَإِنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ إِنَّ خِيَارَكُمْ أَحَاسِنُكُمْ أَخْلاَقًا ‏"‏‏.‏

Narrated by Masruq: We were sitting with `Abdullah bin `Amr who was narrating to us (Hadith): He said, "Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was neither a Fahish nor a Mutafahhish, and he used to say, 'The best among you are the best in character (having good manners)."'

The two terms used in this Hadith are Fahish and Mutafahhish. A range of different meanings have been attributed to the word فحش (Fuhsh) and its derivatives.  Having taken into consideration the context of this Hadith, the word فاحش (Fahish) is in reference to all statements and actions deemed lewd and indecent; it is not only restricted to words having a sexual connotation. A person is also considered “Fahish” when immorality and obscenity has become a normal part of his character (i.e he himself is immoral). A “Mutafahish”, on the other hand, is one who, despite not being innately immoral, does something immoral or obscene intentionally.

This means that any noble and pious man rises above from others in mannerism and character and his tongue and actions a resource of inspiration and tranquility. We much too often come across people who are bad mouthed and even in their normal conversation they use words that are derogatory and immoral. The use of slang has further intensified usage of words that are unbecoming of a decent man. The use of words like f**k, mother f****r has somehow become routine words and even children are seen using these words like f***** up when trying to a poor state due to tiredness or have done a wrong thing. The irony is that even parents use these words in front of their children, who then take a cue from their parents and use these profusely.

So, my brothers and sisters in Islam, and all non-Muslims reading my post, let us rein in our tongue and action that actions that are sued by people of low character or those who use these immoral words in trying to force upon themselves on others. Likewise, bad manners that go to any extent are their usual domain. 

Those who have been around Prophet Muhammad ﷺ never found him to be innately immoral nor seen indulging in immorality and obscenity. In fact, he minced each word that he uttered which spoke of his high character qualities. Likewise, when in the company of people, he never displayed any immoral manners that would intimidate others or something that leave a bad impression over others. In fact, he was the embodiment of extreme honesty, loyalty, generosity, and patience. He showed extreme compassion to others, and was fair in making good and impartial judgments. He had the strength oof the character to stand up to defend what he was tasked to by the Lord and performed his prophetic responsibilities with courage and resilience. 

Let us emulate the high character and mannerism of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and differentiate ourselves from those with loose tongue and lewdness both in their actions and manners.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Please refer to our special page: Are you among the best Muslims, as mentioned by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ for more Hadiths on the same subject.

Please refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.
Photo | Source of Hadith Resource Reference: | Hadith Answers |

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