SULTAN OF COURTESY

Written by Erol DEMİRYÜREK

Translated by Yakup ARICIOĞLU

 
عَنْ اَنَسٍ رَضِىَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ خَدَمْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّي اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَشْرَ سِنِينَ فَمَا قَالَ لِي

اُفٍّ وَلَا لِمَ صَنَعْتَ وَلاَ اَ لاَّ صَنَعْتَ

 Anas Ibn Malik (ra) narrates: “I served the Prophet for ten years. Not even once did the word ‘Ugh’ come out of his mouth. (I have not heard any of his rebuke). He never commented on my actions like ‘Why did you do this or why did not you do that’. (He neither criticized nor offended me).”

   Allah (swt) praises His beloved Prophet in the glorious Qur’an as “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.”[1] This is such an immense moral that takes the owner of it to the peak of politeness. Treating Enes (ra), who lived with him since his childhood, with tolerance and not even criticizing once within ten years is one of the best examples of his dignity and kindness.

  SPECIMENS OF KINDNESS FROM THE MOST BELOVED ONE

  Let us see the unique examples of courtesy of ‘The Sun Of Both Worlds’ through the eyes of the stars around him.

  Anas Ibn Malik (ra) reports:

 When Prophet (sas) came across a man and have a conversation with him, he would not avert his blessed face until the man leaves and heads for his way. When he shook hands with him he would not withdraw his blessed hands until the man does it first, and his blessed knees have never been seen ahead of the man’s who sits beside him.”[2]

  This is the Sultan of Courtesy. He is such a human being that he does not let his collocutor feel any sorrow let alone breaking his heart by treating him badly and gives him the feel that he is special. He fronts his collocutor heartily while speaking to him, shakes his hand sincerely, and keeps his body on the same level with his collocutor’s.

  Abdullah ibn Al-Harith (ra) says:

  “I have never seen someone smile as much as Rasulullah”[3]

  Jarir ibn Abdullah says:

  “Rasullulah never refused to see me since I became muslim and he always smiled at me when he saw me.”[4]

  Roses would flower on the rose-faced Prophet when he smiled. He would melt the ices with his warm smile, turn the winter into spring. He would usually conquer his collocutor’s heart prior to his speech with his unique politeness and reassuring smile.

  Abdullah ibn Amr (ra) describes the characteristics of The Messenger Of God stated in Torah via Ata ibn Yesar (ra):

  “…He is not solid-hearted or rude. He does not exclaim in bazaars. He does not respond to evil with another evil, on the contrary he forgives…”[5]

  Ali (ra) says:

  “When someone wanted The Apostle of God to do something, he would say ‘Yes’ if he wanted to do it. He would remain silent if he did not want to do it. He never said ‘No’ to what is wanted from him.”[6]

  So, our beloved Prophet (sas) used to keep his collocutor from anger and pique whilst trying to let them think in the cases that he can not give a positive response. People can empathize in such situations and give their wants up without being offended.

  Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) says:

  Once, a man called Rasulullah (sas) three times. The Messenger of God responded to him, ‘Lebbeyk! Lebbeyk!’ (here you are, here you are) every time he called.[7]

  This attitude was a sign of how much patience, humility and kindness he had. Anyone besides him who was known for his kindness would put everything he has aside when he is tested with his patience and politeness. But, he was different. The Lord of the Worlds had personally trained him.

  “My God trained me, and how.”[8]

  Our esteemed Prophet (sas), as it can be understood from the instances we gave, is the best example of courtesy to us as he is in every aspect of life. He taught us the decency through living it and showed the right path with his hadiths. Some related verses from Al Qur’an Al-Kerim and hadiths which especially cover the topics such as getting permission, every kind of human activity, social relationships and salutation from hadith books reflect the guidance of our Prophet (sas) in a perfect way.

  THE FOUNDATIONS OF RASULULLAH’S MATCHLESS COURTESY

  High empathy, exalted softness and inimitable mercy of our beloved Prophet (sas) are basis of his courtesy. Also his haya (bashfulness), which is on top, prevented him from behaving impolitely.

  HIS EMPATHY

  As is known, empathy is one of the musts of greatest imaan.[9] As our Prophet (sas) has the highest degree in imaan, so the one who has the highest empathy is him. There are some striking examples regarding his gracious treatment towards his companions, as a result of his unsurpassed empathy.

  According to one of these, a man, in the presence of Rasullulah, had said:

  O Rasulullah! We were idolatries and the people of ignorance. So that, we were killing our children. I had a daughter. When she had grown up enough to be glad of my call to her, I called her and she came to me. Then, I took her to a well which was not far from my house. When we arrived to the well, I held her hand and threw her into the well. The last thing I remember about her is her saying: “Daddy! Daddy!”

  Rasulullah (sas) thereupon cried in tears after he finished his talk. One of the men who was in there said (angrily) to that man; “You saddened Rasulullah (sas)!” Rasulullah (sas) said to him; “Give him a break, because he is asking what concerns him.” and then to the man who told the incident; “Tell me the incident again!” So he did. Rasulullah (sas) cried till his beard became wet. And after he collected himself, he said: “Allah (swt) does not hold the people of ignorance responsible for the things they did. So, start your actions over.”[10]

  HIS SOFTNESS

  Our beloved Prophet’s (sas) softness is praised in Qur’an and stated that it is caused by Allah’s (swt) compassion.[11] It is also complimented in Torah. A Jew in Medina had thought he could have tested this characteristic of Rasulullah (sas) and wanted roughly from him to pay his undue debt; “O Muhammad! Pay my right. You, people of Banu Hashim (Rasulullah’s tribe) tend not to pay your loan on time and put it off.” Umar (ra) threatened the Jew as soon as he heard his words. Rasulullah’s (sas) told him: “O father of Hafs! May Allah forgive you. We would expect you to behave differently. You were supposed to tell me to pay the right he has on me to him kindly, help him get his credit and counsel him to ask for it politely.” The Jew explains this case as, “My uncouth, intense and ignorant treatment towards Rasulullah (sas) caused nothing but increasing his softness.” Then, Rasulullah (sas) ordered Umar (ra) to take the man to date palms so that he could pay his loan by letting him take as much date as he wants. He (sas) also ordered Umar (ra) to give some extra date. The Jew who converted to Islam after this event confesses that the only reason why he did it all was to test the characteristic of hilm of the Last Prophet which is written in Torah. After then, he donated the dates which is half of his wealth. Also, everyone from the Jew’s dynasty became muslim except an old person.[12]

  HIS FORGIVENESS

  In Qur’an, it is counseled our Prophet (sas) to be merciful: “Take what is given freely, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant.”[13] Our beloved Prophet (sas), whom we can characterize as ‘Walking Qur’an’, had always been merciful in parallel with Qur’an’s order. He had been merciful to the Bedouin who grabbed the Yemeni cloak with collar with rough edges (Rasulullah’s dress) which left a mark on his (sas) neck. The Bedouin had said to him: “O Muhammad! Give me some of the wealth of God that you have.” Rasulullah (sas) had turned to the man, laughed and ordered that he be given some money.[14] Our Prophet (sas) was so merciful that when Mecca was conquered, he had forgiven the ones who tortured him and his companions; and even the ones who split his uncle’s (Hamza) belly and chewed his liver.

  HIS SENSE OF HAYA

  The sophisticated haya that our beloved Prophet (sas) had, kept him from rudeness and guided him to kindness. The hadith narrated by Imran ibn Husain and Ali (ra) on how much haya Prophet (sas) had is pretty remarkable: “The Prophet (sas) was more shy than a virgin in her seperate room. And if he saw a thing which he disliked, we would recognize that in his face. (The color of his face and his gesture would change because of his haya.)”[15]

  THE GOLDEN PRINCIPLES RELATED TO COURTESY

  Our beloved Prophet (sas) brought in such principles associated with courtesy which are phenomenal assistant for us to enrich senses such as brotherhood, respect and love; block hatred and grudge in our social lives. Let us touch upon some that lead to practical actions.

 Prophet (sas) says: “If there is a group of three, then let not two of them be in conversation to the exclusion of the third. Because, this hurts him.”[16] According to this, it is contrary to courtesy if the two speaking in a whisper or a language which the third does not understand in a group of three. As there is gentleness in speaking, there is gentleness in listening too. Our Prophet (sas) would patiently listen to the talker and not interrupt him unless what he says is inappropriate.[17] Moreover, when someone was to approach his mouth to his (sas) ear to say something, he would not withdraw his ear until he withdraws his head.[18] According to this, it is sunnah to listen to the talker’s word until the end and not cut it in.

  We want to indicate a few more hadiths linked with courtesy. Our Prophet (sas) says:

  “Any of you should never dislodge someone from his spot. However, you are supposed to give him a spot.”[19]

  “It is not appropriate for someone to sit between two people without getting their permission.”[20]

  “The one who does not thank people, does not thank Allah either.”[21]

  “Do not dispute with your Muslim brother. Do not make him a joke that he dislikes. Do not promise him on something you can not fulfill.”[22]

  “The younger one should first greet the older one, the rider should greet the pedestrian, the pedestrian the one who is seated, and a small group should greet a larger group.”[23]

  “None of you should take a belongings of your friend either as a joke or on purpose. Even if you take a stick of your friend (which is worthless) restore to them immediately.”[24]

  Adhering the call of Allah (swt) and His Rasul (sas) would grant us living and revive our impassive lives: “O you who believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.”[25]

 

     BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1] Kalem Sûresi 68/4.

[2] İbn Mâce, Edeb 21 No:3716

[3] Tirmizî, Menâkıb 21

[4] Buhârî, Cihad 162; Edeb:68; Müslim, Fedâilü’s-Sahâbe 134

[5] Buhârî, Buyû 50; Tefsir, Fetih 3

[6] Heysemî, Mecmeu’z-Zevâid, IX, 13

[7] İbn Hacer el-Askalânî, el-Metâlibu’l-Âliye, Menâkıb15 Hadis no: 3854

[8] Suyûtî, el-Câmiu’s-Sağîr, Hadis no:310

[9]  Buhârî, Îman 7.

[10] Dârimî, Mukaddime 1 Hadis no:2

[11] Âl-i İmran Sûresi 3/159.

[12] İbn Sa’d, Tabakâtü’l-Kübrâ, Dâru’l-Fikr, Beyrut,1994, I/360

[13] A’raf Sûresi 7/199.

[14] Buhârî, Libas18; Humus19; Edeb 68

[15] Heysemî, Mecmeu’z-Zevâid, IX, 17

[16] Buhârî, İsti’zan 47

[17] Tirmizî, Şemail Hadis no:291

[18] Ebû Dâvud, Hadis no:4794

[19] Buhârî, İsti’zân 31; Müslim, Selâm 29

[20] Ebû Dâvûd, Edeb 21

[21] Ahmed, V, 211

[22] Tirmizî, Birr 58

[23] Buhârî, İsti’zan: 5 ve 7; Müslim, Selâm. 1

[24] Ebû Dâvûd, Edeb  85

[25] Enfâl Sûresi 8/24. 

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