Author Ms. Seen Noon
For a minute, close your eyes and survey your past week, analyzing how you spent it. The analysis should include if we are living by inculcating the codes of life given in the Quran and following Sunnah OR are we just living this life to climb the social ladder. I can talk about myself, and I regretfully accept that my days and nights are not a sample of a balanced deen and dunya. I strongly believe that the Supreme King, Allah the Almighty, knows our strengths and weaknesses. Keeping these in mind our Lord has laid out the basic principles of spending our days in this life in order to salvage our afterlife.
Some of the basic pointers from the Holy Quran, for our guidance, are shared below:
‘That is so. And whoever honours the rituals of Allah, it is best for them in the sight of their Lord. The ˹meat of˺ cattle has been made lawful for you, except what has ˹already˺ been recited to you. So shun the impurity of idolatry, and shun words of falsehood.’ (Surah Al-Hajj, 22:30)
Lying is forbidden in every religion, a personality trait which can become the root of all evil, giving birth to other negative habits forbidden by Allah. It starts small and one becomes accustomed to walking on the path of sinful streets, falling prey to shaytan’s traps.
Don’t Spy or Backbite
‘O believers! Avoid many suspicions, ˹for˺ indeed, some suspicions are sinful. And do not spy, nor backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of their dead brother? You would despise that! And fear Allah. Surely Allah is ˹the˺ Accepter of Repentance, Most Merciful.’ (Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:12)
Eating the flesh of their dead brother; astaghfaar, just think of it, what good can come out of spying, especially when our Lord is warning us that it is same as eating flesh of your dead brother? As human beings we can become emotionally hurt if we spy and get hold of information which is harmful for our relationships. It is better to keep our heads focused and our hearts clean in order to survive peacefully.
Spying on others or backbiting behind their backs, merely to satisfy the devilish, curious thoughts in our hearts enrich the sinful behaviors which ultimately become permanent parts of our personalities. No good can come out of this, plus Allah termed this equal to eating the flesh of our dead brothers.
Don’t Insult or make fun of Others
‘O believers! Do not let some ˹men˺ ridicule others, they may be better than them, nor let ˹some˺ women ridicule other women, they may be better than them. Do not defame one another, nor call each other by offensive nicknames. How evil it is to act rebelliously after having faith! And whoever does not repent, it is they who are the ˹true˺ wrongdoers.’ (Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:11)
The nicknames start off as light jokes and end up being stuck for life. Ridiculing our fellow Muslims simply for the sake of fun doesn’t suit a believer. The Almighty includes this habit as a sinful action, guiding us to stay away from it.
Allah says in the Quran: ‘How evil it is to act rebelliously after having faith’. We as believers turn a blind eye to a lot of communication flaws while out in the public. Ridiculing others, trying to defame them in order to appear superior than them or just calling others with offensive nicknames for the sake of fun doesn’t match a believer’s profile. It only portrays our evil intentions and gains us displeasure of the Almighty
‘Give to close relatives their due, as well as the poor and ˹needy˺ travelers. And do not spend wastefully.’ (Surah Al-Isra, 17:26)
Excessive spending is wrong for so many reasons; Allah instructs the believers to share their lawful earnings with family as well as one’s close relatives and the poor and the needy. Sharing our money with others will only result in the increment of our wealth, also a welfare state can be founded if we use our belongings wisely. Barakah is achieved and an investment for our afterlife occurs as we offer zakat and sadaqa.
Feed the Poor
‘We have made sacrificial camels ˹and cattle˺ among the symbols of Allah, in which there is ˹much˺ good for you. So pronounce the Name of Allah over them when they are lined up ˹for sacrifice˺. Once they have fallen ˹lifeless˺ on their sides, you may eat from their meat, and feed the needy—those who do not beg, and those who do. In this way We have subjected these ˹animals˺ to you so that you may be grateful.’ (Surah Al-Hajj, 22:36)
Dining out, fancy wardrobes, lavish lifestyles, expensive mansions, all of this has become a norm for most of us, while a vast majority of poor families are forced to sleep in the open air and eat from waste bins. A point of warning for us all, need of the hour is to spend a bit of our earning on the poor fellow brothers and sisters.
Keep Your Oaths
‘Allah will not call you to account for your thoughtless oaths, but He will hold you accountable for deliberate oaths. The penalty for a broken oath is to feed ten poor people from what you normally feed your own family, or to clothe them, or to free a bondsperson. But if none of this is affordable, then you must fast three days. This is the penalty for breaking your oaths. So be mindful of your oaths. This is how Allah makes things clear to you, so perhaps you will be grateful.’ (Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:89)
Breaking our promises is haram and sinful, worthy of punishment from our Supreme King. Muslim or non Muslim, we need to behave like true gentlemen, and stay away from lying, deceiving and breaking promises. If, unfortunately this happens, we need to offer penalties mentioned by Allah in order to repent and seek forgiveness from Allah.
Don’t take Bribes
‘When the chief-envoy came to him, Solomon said, “Do you offer me wealth? What Allah has granted me is far greater than what He has granted you. No! It is you who rejoice in ˹receiving˺ gifts.’ (Surah An-Naml, 27:36)
It is said, that we need to practice what we preach; forming business deals that involve bribes, or gaining financial wonders by giving commissions / bribes includes us amongst the non-believers. Reason being, we are moving away from the guidance given in the Book of Allah, and drowning head-deep into the ocean of dunya.
Honour your Promises
‘As for the polytheists who have honoured every term of their treaty with you and have not supported an enemy against you, honour your treaty with them until the end of its term. Surely Allah loves those who are mindful ˹of Him˺. (Surah At-Tawbah, 9:4)
Treaties, promises, verbal commitments, a believer needs to be strong and steadfast in his dealings. We are accountable for even an atom’s weight of good or evil in front of Allah the Almighty.
˹the believers are also˺ those who are true to their trusts and covenants.’ (Surah Al-Muminun, 23:8)
Respecting pacts and treaties, honoring trusts and covenants, and keeping our promises; these are indeed qualities of pious believers. It’s all about knowing our boundaries, spoiling the trust others have on you will only lead to disaster and nothing else.
Restrain your Anger
˹They are˺ those who donate in prosperity and adversity, control their anger, and pardon others. And Allah loves the good-doers.’ (Surah Ali Imran, 3:134)
Often times we become emotionally involved in our routine activities, ignoring the ends and reacting with rage in important situations. Allah loves those who control their rage, spare their wealth for the benefit of others, and are kind to their brothers and sisters.
Don’t Spread Gossip
‘when you passed it from one tongue to the other, and said with your mouths what you had no knowledge of, taking it lightly while it is ˹extremely˺ serious in the sight of Allah.’ (Surah An-Nur, 24:15)
Social media, digital world, plastic dealings, technological advancements and the desire to be included in the elite circles, all of these attractions cause the weaker souls to drift away from the path of iman and fall victims to this materialistic world. Getting serious about avoiding the spreading of false news and gossip is an urgent step to be taken by us.
Think Good of Others
‘If only the believing men and women had thought well of one another, when you heard this ˹rumour˺, and said, “This is clearly ˹an outrageous˺ slander!”’ (Surah An-Nur, 24:12)
A single click can cause to spread news like wildfire, true or false, our hearts get seeds of hate planted in them, causing us to think negatively of others. We need to refrain from believing every teensy-weensy news we hear about our friends or relatives. This will keep our hearts from getting spoiled and will keep our bonds strengthened with our loved ones.
Be Good to Guests
‘Has there reached you the story of the honored guests of Abraham? (Surah Adh-Dhariyat, 51:24)
When they entered upon him and said, “[We greet you with] peace.” He answered, “[And upon you] peace; [you are] a people unknown.” (Surah Adh-Dhariyat, 51:25)
Then he went to his family and came with a fat [roasted] calf. (Surah Adh-Dhariyat, 51:26)
And placed it near them; he said, “Will you not eat?”’ (Surah Adh-Dhariyat, 51:27)
Being courteous and hospitable to each and every guest, stranger or relative, greeting warmly, making them feel comfortable in your house, and serving generously to the maximum of your capacity are signs of a true momin. Guests are a blessing and rahma sent from our merciful Allah, and serving them brings us closer to the mercy of Allah.
Don’t Harm Believers
‘As for those who abuse believing men and women unjustifiably, they will definitely bear the guilt of slander and blatant sin.’ (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:58)
I notice that the world is becoming harsher and stone-hearted day by day. People are being divided on the basis of race, religion, color, language etc. Believers are being attacked for following the religious duties, and in some places Muslims harm others who follow other religions. The thought of being patient regarding the religion of our fellow society members doesn’t cross our minds.
Don’t be Rude to Parents
‘For your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And honour your parents. If one or both of them reach old age in your care, never say to them ˹even˺ ‘ugh,’ nor yell at them. Rather, address them respectfully.’ (Surah Al-Isra, 17:23)
Showing respect to the elderly, obliging their requests and fulfilling their needs and wants regardless of how difficult it might be for you is deemed farz or mandatory. Allah has mentioned about loving our parents wholeheartedly at several places in the Quran. Your test starts when you find them in old age, at that stage they are in need of love and care. Providing for them and looking after them in this situation is our responsibility.
Turn Away from Ill Speech
‘those who avoid idle talk;’ (Surah Al-Muminun, 23:3)
Allah says in Surah Al-Mu’minun, that the believers who pray salah, and avoid idle talk, are amongst the successful ones. Allah dislikes those who waste their time and energy in idle talk and praises those who make proper use of their time.
‘The ˹true˺ servants of the Most Compassionate are those who walk on the earth humbly, and when the foolish address them ˹improperly˺, they only respond with peace.’ (Surah Al-Furqan, 25:63)
Humility, kindness, compassion, these are all traits of a good human being. Interacting with others in a peaceful manner and showing respect without any trace of pride is what’s required from the servants of the Supreme King.
Respond to Evil with Good
‘Good and evil cannot be equal. Respond ˹to evil˺ with what is best, then the one you are in a feud with, will be like a close friend.’ (Surah Fussilat, 41:34)
Mending friendship knots with the ones who have wronged you, and rebuilding relationships with distant and forgotten relatives while forgiving them for any past evil encounters is the need of the hour. Allah guides us to stay on the path of iman and act responsibly by showing our beautiful sides to all those who have mistreated us.
Don’t insult others’ false gods
‘˹O believers!˺ Do not insult what they invoke besides Allah or they will insult Allah spitefully out of ignorance. This is how We have made each people’s deeds appealing to them. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them of what they used to do.’ (Surah Al-An’am, 6:108)
Often times we foolishly say insulting things about people and their Gods, not realizing that they can angrily blurt out comments about Allah as their revenge. The best thing to do would be to silently exhibit such exemplary religious practices that the non-believers are pulled to the path of Allah.
Don’t deceive people in Trade
‘And do not come near the wealth of the orphan—unless intending to enhance it—until they attain maturity. Give full measure and weigh with justice. We never require of any soul more than what it can afford. Whenever you speak, maintain justice—even regarding a close relative. And fulfil your covenant with Allah. This is what He has commanded you, so perhaps you will be mindful.’ (Surah Al-An’am, 6:152)
It has very much become a habit that we unfairly sell defective items in trade. Keeping our rules of trade intact, full knowledge of any flaw in our goods needs to be given to the buyer. For this is indeed a believer’s behavior to maintain the trust of people involved in trade.
Don’t ask unnecessary Questions
‘O believers! Do not ask about any matter which, if made clear to you, may disturb you. But if you inquire about what is being revealed in the Quran, it will be made clear to you. Allah has forgiven what was done ˹in the past˺. And Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.’ (Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:101)
Indeed, Allah the Almighty knows what is best for all of us, we shouldn’t be too interrogative about such matters for it might hurt us eventually. Asking unnecessary questions, just for the sake of our curiosity cannot lead to any good.
Don’t be Miserly nor Extravagant
‘˹They are˺ those who spend neither wastefully nor stingily, but moderately in between.’ (Surah Al-Furqan, 25:67)
Everyone knows that a balance in spending is a wise decision to make. But we foolishly overspend on luxury items and unnecessary expenditure, maxing out our budgets. Allah, the Most Merciful, narrates the perfect model of living; to not be wasteful or stingy but rather to be moderate between the two.
Don’t claim yourselves to be Pure
‘those who avoid major sins and shameful deeds, despite ˹stumbling on˺ minor sins. Surely your Lord is infinite in forgiveness. He knew well what would become of you as He created you from the earth and while you were ˹still˺ fetuses in the wombs of your mothers. So do not ˹falsely˺ elevate yourselves. He knows best who is ˹truly˺ righteous.’ (Surah An-Najm, 53:32)
Making false claims about our intentions and actions are not hidden from our lord. Indeed, only He knows us inside and out, and nothing is hidden from Him. Allah is the Most Forgiving, we need to honestly appear in Allah’s court and avoid from making false claims.
Don’t ask for Repayment for Favours
˹saying to themselves, “We feed you only for the sake of Allah, seeking neither reward nor thanks from you.’ (Surah Al-Ihsan, 76:9)
The most difficult act to pursue is to carry out a selfless good deed for another needy soul. A deed done purely for the sake of Allah’s pleasure is an example we need to display. Our Merciful Lord will shower us with limitless rewards if we feed others only for the sake of Allah with no intention of any favour from anyone.
Make Room for others at Gatherings
‘O believers! When you are told to make room in gatherings, then do so. Allah will make room for you ˹in His grace˺. And if you are told to rise, then do so. Allah will elevate those of you who are faithful, and ˹raise˺ those gifted with knowledge in rank. And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.’ (Surah Al-Mujadila, 58:11)
Being mindful of the comfort of others while attending gatherings is appreciated by Allah and only He will reward for our favours.
If Enemy wants peace, then Accept it
‘If the enemy is inclined towards peace, make peace with them. And put your trust in Allah. Indeed, He ˹alone˺ is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.’ (Surah Al-Anfal, 8:61)
This world is not created so that wars are fought and territories are violently expanded, rather, peace should be maintained and Allah’s message should be delivered in the humblest manner. In case one is involved in a conflict, and the opposite side shows willingness for peace, then we need to be hasty in resolving the tension and reaching a peace agreement. This should be done while believing in the Almighty alone that He can put barakah in our efforts and save us from misery.
Return a Greeting in a Better Manner
‘And when you are greeted, respond with a better greeting or at least similarly. Surely Allah is a ˹vigilant˺ Reckoner of all things.’ (Surah An-Nisa, 4:86)
These days it seems like we don’t even have the time to return a greeting warmly, we simply respond robotically, void of any emotions, let alone in a better manner. Allah, the All-Knowing, has guided us through Quranic teachings, and examples of His noblest messengers, on how to perform the daily rituals.
Don’t remind others of the favours you done to them
‘O believers! Do not waste your charity with reminders ˹of your generosity˺ or hurtful words, like those who donate their wealth just to show off and do not believe in Allah or the Last Day. Their example is that of a hard barren rock covered with a thin layer of soil hit by a strong rain—leaving it just a bare stone. Such people are unable to preserve the reward of their charity. Allah does not guide ˹such˺ disbelieving people.’ (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:264)
Allah, the Almighty has mentioned multiple times in the Quran to spare for zakat and charity for the sake of Allah alone. It is required to not show off our donations with pride, or to utter reminders to others of how generous we have been. Those are the traits of non-believers and for sure they don’t remember about the Last Day, losing all the reward for their charity.
Make Peace between Fighting Groups
‘And if two groups of believers fight each other, then make peace between them. But if one of them transgresses against the other, then fight against the transgressing group until they ˹are willing to˺ submit to the rule of Allah. If they do so, then make peace between both ˹groups˺ in all fairness and act justly. Surely Allah loves those who uphold justice.’ (Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:9)
Allah mentions repeatedly in the Quran to fight only in the most fair and just manner. He guides us to maintain peace as long as the other side is willing to submit to the rule of Allah. Allah loves those who are mindful of upholding justice, and He rewards such believers who selflessly make efforts to ensure that peace is reached among the fighting groups.