Hadith 18. Islamic character Part B

On the authority of Abu Dharr, Jundub ibn Junadah, and Abu Abdul Rahman Mu’adh ibn jabal (May Allah be pleased with both of them) from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said: “Fear Allah wherever you are. And follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out. And behave towards the people with good behaviour”.

Reported in Tirmidhi who said it is a hasan hadith. And in some copies (of Sunan Tirmidhi, it says) hasan sahih.


Brief Commentary:

  • The phrase “follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out” came straight after the order to be pious, and this is to indicate that even the pious people can fall into sin. It all depends on what you do after you sin
  • Just like good deeds can wipe sins, in some situations, sins can wipe out good deeds
  • You don’t need the intention to wipe out the sins when doing a good deed for it to be wiped out
  • Scholars have differed on how the sin is wiped away. They agree that it can be wiped away by Allah not punishing you for it, but they differ on whether it is rubbed off the records or not
  • Ways that sins are forgiven:
    • Tawbah
    • Du’aa
    • Mercy of Allah on the day of judgement
    • Trials/tribulations of the dunya
    • Trial in the grave
    • Terrors/hardships of the day of judgement
    • Recognising and acknowledging that only Allah can forgive sins
    • Doing wudhu correctly
  • Good manners are connected to piety, and are a condition of achieving piety, so piety is not just with respect to Allah
  • The order “behave” means it is in our choice to treat others with good manners, so we cannot make excuses for not doing so
  • Good manners encompass tawheed and everything else.
  • The prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Verily I have been sent to perfect good manners” (Reported by Ahmad)
  • Virtues of good manners:
    • The prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The most complete of believers are the best ones in manners” (Ahmad)
    • When the prophet (peace be upon him) was asked what is the best thing a Muslim can be given, he said, “Good manners” (Ahmad)
    • The prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The believer reaches with his good manners the ranks of the one who constantly fasts and prays the night” (Ahmad)
    • The prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Should I not inform you of the most beloved of you to Allah, and the closest of you to me on the day of judgement?” The sahabah said, “yes”, he (peace be upon him ) said, “The best of you in manners” (Ibn hibban)
    • The prophet (peace be upon him) said, “I guarantee a house at the high points of Jannah for the one who perfects his manners” (Abu Dawud)

Benefits and Action points to take from this hadith:

  • If you commit a sin by harming one of your brothers, then hasten to do a good deed and to seek his forgiveness
  • If you commit a sin against yourself by disobeying Allah, then hasten to repent to Allah and increase in good deeds to wipe away the sin
  • Refrain from sinning, for even if you are forgiven, the stand before Allah having committed that sin is unbearable
  • Things to avoid when increasing in good manners:
    • Avoid haste and foolishness when giving advice
    • Avoid Neglecting fairness in treatment of other
    • Avoid treating others in a patronising way
    • Avoid attributing good to yourself, or taking it away from others
    • Avoid speaking loudly or angrily when in a discussion
    • Avoid arguments
  • Things to do to increase in good manners:
    • Show care and good listening when speaking to others
    • Show respect and admiration of others
    • Praise the person who does good
    • Correct mistakes and negatives in a soft and respectful manner

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