Virtue and vice

Almighty Allah has said:

وَ لَا تَسْتَوِی الْحَسَنَةُ وَ لَا السَّیِّئَةُؕ-اِدْفَعْ بِالَّتِیْ هِیَ اَحْسَنُ فَاِذَا الَّذِیْ بَیْنَكَ وَ بَیْنَهٗ عَدَاوَةٌ كَاَنَّهٗ وَلِیٌّ حَمِیْمٌ(۳۴)

And the good deed and the evil deed will never be equal; O listener! Repel the evil with goodness, thereupon the one between whom and you was enmity, (at that time he) will become like a close friend.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 24, Surah Ha-Meem As-Sajdah, Ayah 34)

Good and evil are not equal. One of its meanings is that a good deed and a sin are not equal. A good deed is good and a sin is an evil. So good and evil cannot be equal.

Another meaning is that the levels of good deeds are not equal but rather some good deeds are superior to some others. For instance, Salah is superior to Sawm[fast]. In a similar way, levels of sins are not also equal but rather some sins are bigger than some others. For example, a murder is a bigger sin than theft. Likewise, a high-ranking person in terms of religion is the one who performs great good deeds and an extremely bad person is the one who commits big sins.

Replace evil with good

This Ayah contains a description of good manners and moral values as well as reveals the secret of gaining solace and tranquillity in social life. In other words, you should replace evil with good, for example, anger with patience, ignorance of people with forbearance and their misbehaviour with forgiveness. If anyone mistreats you, you should forgive him. This attitude will cause your enemies to love you like your friends. The blessed life of the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم contains great examples of good manners that shine like bright stars. Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Bin ‘Ubaid رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ stated: During the battle of Uhud, the front blessed teeth of the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم were “martyred[1]” and the blessed and bright face was also covered in blood, so he صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was requested to pray for the doom of disbelievers. But he صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘Indeed Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ has not sent me to taunt and to curse. Instead, He عَزَّوَجَلَّ has sent me to give invitation and to show mercy. (He صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم then prayed) O Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! Bless my nation with guidance because they do not know me.’ (Shu’ab-ul-Iman, vol. 2, pp. 164, Raqm 1447)

Qadi Iyaad [عِیَاض] رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه stated: Ponder over this blessed Hadees. It contains great excellence, high ranks and bestowment of favours. It also sheds light on attributes like good manners, great patience and forbearance. Not only did he صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم show great tolerance towards them but also forgave them. Then showing sympathy and affection, he صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم even prayed for them in these words, ‘O Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! Bless them with guidance.’ Moreover, he صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم also mentioned the reason of showing sympathy and mercy by saying, ‘This is my nation.’ And it is as if he صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم also presented a reason on their behalf by saying, ‘These people are unaware.’ (Ash-Shifa, vol. 1, pp. 106)

Similarly, the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was once wearing a thick-cornered Najraan shawl . Suddenly, in order to ask for money as a help, a villager held the blessed shawl and pulled it so hard that it left a scratch on the blessed neck of the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. In addition, the villager also said some very harsh sentences. The Greatest and Noblest Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم stayed silent. He صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم only said, ‘Allah Almighty has wealth and I am merely His bondman.’ He صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم then asked, ‘O villager! Should revenge be taken on you for what you have done to me?’ He replied, ‘No.’ The Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘Why not?’ The villager said, ‘Because taking revenge is not your blessed habit.’ Listening to him, the Blessed Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم smiled and said, ‘Fill [i.e. load] one of his camels with barley and the other with dates.’ (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 77, Hadees 5809; Ash-Shifa, vol. 1, pp. 108)

Having tolerance towards the person who has harmed you, showing forbearance towards the person who has displayed ignorance and forgiving the person who has mistreated you, are all among very great deeds. The next Ayah states that no one gains this wealth except those who have patience; and no one attains it except the one who is very fortunate. (Part 24, Surah Ha-Meem As-Sajdah, Ayah 34)

Believe me! Good manners are great blessings. The Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said, ‘Among believers, the one who is the best in terms of manners has more perfect faith.’ (Abu Dawood, vol. 4, pp. 290, Hadees 4682)

Some villagers once asked, ‘What is the best thing bestowed upon man?’ The Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘Good manners.’ (Al-Mu’jam-ul-Awsat, vol. 1, pp. 117, Hadees 367)

He صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم also said, ‘Good manners erase the misdeed as the sun melts frozen water.’ (Shu’ab-ul-Iman, vol. 6, pp. 247, Hadees 8036)

The greatest hurdle in the attainment of good manners is hot temper and intense anger. If one overcomes these flaws, he will find it easy to become a well-mannered, sociable and forgiving person. The habit of anger causes so many harms. For example, the one venting his anger gets deprived of patience and humility. Normally, the person who has the instinct for arrogance, pride and haughtiness gets angry. Anger leads to many sins like backbiting, malice, jealousy, swearing, hurting someone’s feelings and causing someone harm. It is anger that destroys friendships and relationships, inciting hatred. Usually, divorces and murders are also caused by anger. On the other hand, overcoming anger sets one’s affairs in order, easing problems and bringing happiness in life. Regarding overcoming anger, the Greatest and Noblest Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said, ‘The person who wrestles others to the ground is not brave. Brave is the person who controls himself in anger.’ (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 130, Hadees 6114)

He صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم also said: If a person controls his anger despite being capable enough to do what his anger requires him to do, then Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ will call him in front of entire creation on the Day of Judgment and will say, ‘From among the maidens of Heaven, take any of them you wish’. (Abu Dawood, vol. 4, pp. 130, Hadees 6114)

O Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! Bless us with good manners for the sake of the blessed manners of Your Beloved Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.

اٰمِيۡن   بِجَاهِ   النَّبِيِّ  الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى  اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى  عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم



[1] The front four teeth, two upper and two lower ones, are called ‘رباعیہ’ Raba’iyyah in Arabic. In English, these are called canine teeth. Some part of a right side lower canine tooth of the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم broke. In fact, it was not “martyred” [i.e. it did not break completely]. The blessed lip was also injured. (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 8, pp. 111) This did not mar the blessed beauty of the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.

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