Hadith 12. Leaving that which does not concern you

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Part of the perfection of a person’s Islam is his leaving that which is of no concern to him

A hasan hadith. Recorded by at-Tirmidhi and others in that fashion

Brief Commentary:

  • Ibn Rajab said this hadith forms a great principle in manners
  • The hadith is not pertaining to speech/statements only, but also pertaining to deeds e.g. going to places which do not concern you and have no benefit
  • The “concern” mentioned in the hadith is not what concerns us personally, but what should concern us as based on the shari’ah e.g. as an individual, you may feel that the situation of our brothers in Palestine does not concern you, but based on the shari’ah it is a matter that concerns all Muslims, so you cannot say it doesn’t concern you. Also, you may feel that knowing the score of last night’s match is something that concerns you, but based on the shari’ah it is not something that is of concern to you (unless in rare occasions).
  • Scholars mainly focus on speech when relating this hadith as it is the main place where we deviate from the application of this hadith
  • Allah negates in the Qur’an that there is much good in what we say [An-Nisaa’:114]
  • The more we speak, the more likely we will:
    • Lie
    • Backbite
    • Gossip
    • Harden the heart
    • Distract from the remembrance of Allah
  • There is a direct correlation between sins and excessive speech
  • Leaving that which does not concern us moves us away from a life of luxury
  • The hadith shows that Islam is concerned with the welfare of society, as arguments and fights stem from excessive speech
  • The hadith reminds us that life is short therefore there will be harm in indulging in that which does not benefit us in the hereafter
  • The hadith serves as a means to protect the honour of another believer
  • The hadith nurtures a person to have high aspirations
  • What makes a person concerned with things that do not concern him is being ignorant of his own state of affair, always criticising others
  • This hadith pushes us to focus on those things that will benefit us in the dunya and the hereafter and pushes us to the state of ihsan

Benefits and Action points to take from this hadith:

  • It is from the incompleteness of one’s Islam that they indulge in that which does not concern them
  • What concerns us is not defined by what our souls or hearts feel, but what the shari’ah defines to be something of concern to us
  • Avoiding things which do not concern us is not in speech only, so we should also avoid doing actions or going to places which do not concern us
  • Avoid excessive speech
  • Indulging in what does not concern us will be detrimental to us in the hereafter and we are in this life for a short time so we should not indulge in things in this short life that will negatively affect our situation in the eternal hereafter
  • Focus more in improving ourselves than look at the faults of others

21 thoughts on “Hadith 12. Leaving that which does not concern you

  1. is watching TV serial and films and visiting parks fall into this category that doesn’t concern us???

    1. It would depend on the individual. If they are watching a series or a film that benefits them in this dunya e.g. a documentary about something relevant to them that they can learn from, then this doesn’t fall into the category of that which doesn’t concern them. However, most TV series and films are not of benefit to us, so would usually fall into this category. This doesn’t mean it is forbidden to watch them (unless they have forbidden scenes/audio), rather it means it is not befitting for a pious Muslim who wants to focus on his real purpose in life, which is to worship Allah, to indulge in such matters.

      As with regards to going to the park, then that is generally a good thing as you would go to see the beauty of Allah’s creation, or go to take your family to the park so you are taking them to make them happy, or even for your own entertainment. All of these are good things, and so long as your visit to the park is coupled with a good intention, then inshaAllah it doesn’t fall into the category of the things that do not concern you.

  2. Interesting! Most of our conversations are about things that do not concern us…Things like. “What job do you do”, when did you buy your house” “How Much did you pay for your car?” etc.

    So how would the practical application of the above hadith work,and what should one talk about with others on family or social visits etc .?

    1. This would depend on the intention. Maybe asking someone about their job bring benefit to you, or maybe even asking them makes them feel loved/respected and therefore you are doing a good deed to them. Each question must be looked at in terms of the circumstance and individuals involved as well as your own intention to determine whether it is something that “concerns you” or not. When out on family visits, your mere presence is usually an act of worship as you are upholding ties of kinship so any questions/conversations which bring joy to your family can also be considered as acts of worship (unless they are excessive of course).
      The same could be applied to social visits with friends as bringing happiness to another believer is something good. So long as these meetings are not excessive and do not involve haram, and your intention is good, then I ask Allah to accept them as good deeds.

      This hadith is talking about general matters where someone is indulging in conversations just for the sake of it and not for a higher purpose. Finally, remember that this hadith is about perfection, so we cannot use it to criticise others who speak about non beneficial things which are halal.

    2. Once, I was with my student and she belonged from an educated and moderately religious family. So she told me that her mother and khala,( aunt) does not talk about anything but just food and cooking recipes when ever they call each other at day time. That’s their policy of being away from all the different gossips that happen usually. I loved that thing 🙂

  3. JazaakumuLLaahu kheiran, no Muslim leaves the teachings of this hadith except he or she faces the wrath or Allaah. May Allaah give us the understanding and applications of this hadith. Aameem

  4. Would people who keep finding fault in other Muslims like this is haram etc. to the extent that it is excess, be included in this hadith?

    1. In general, yes, someone who looks for the faults of others is blameworthy. There is a hadith in which the prophet ﷺ said that whoever looks for the faults of others, Allah will look for (expose) his faults, and whoever Allah exposes his faults, He will expose him even if he was at home. ٍIf someone isn’t looking for the faults in another person, but they happen in front of him, and he identifies them (in secret) to that person, then there’s no harm in this as long as they are doing it in a wise manner, and in a way that allows the other person to learn from his mistakes and avoid them.

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