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Hadhrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Daamat Barakaatuhu)

Adab (Respect) in the lives of the Sahaabah

Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Daamat Barakaatuhu) mentioned:

After the demise of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu) was appointed as the khaleefah. It was noticed that whenever Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu) ascended the mimbar of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to deliver the khutbah, he always sat on the second step of the mimbar. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu) never sat on the third step, the step upon which Rasulullah (Sallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would sit when delivering the khutbah. This was done solely as a mark of respect and adab for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Similarly, upon the demise of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu), when Hadhrat Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu) became the khaleefah, Hadhrat Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu) descended one step lower and sat on the first step whenever he delivered the khutbah. This again, was done as a mark of respect for Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu).

Importance of Adab (Respect) and Righteous Company

The era of the Sahaabah was the most blessed of eras in the history of Islam. It was an era replete with righteousness and piety. Despite the various means of acquiring Islamic information being non-existent in the time of the Sahaabah viz. the internet, CD’s, Islamic cassettes, radio stations, Islamic literature, etc., yet the entire ummah is unanimous upon this fact, that the Sahaabah possessed the greatest knowledge of Deen. Their consciousness and awareness of Allah Ta’ala was unparalleled. They were a nation absolutely devoted and committed to Deen. Their steadfastness upon the Sunnah was proverbial. In short, they were guiding stars for humanity till the Day of Qiyaamah.

In retrospect, when we examine the present situation, despite there being an explosion of Islamic information everywhere, in the form of the internet, CD’s, Islamic cassettes, radio stations, Islamic literature, etc., yet people’s understanding of Deen is extremely weak. Many people are stormed with doubts and misunderstandings in regards to Deeni issues. The desired level of commitment to Deen isn’t seen in the lives of the Muslims.

At this critical juncture, the question that arises is: “Why have the levels of Deen dropped so drastically? What is the missing link in the entire equation, that link which formed the corner stone of success in the lives of the Sahaabah, and today is missing in our lives?”

Hadhrat  Moulana Thaanwi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) explained that the cause for the current Deeni decline and spiritual retrogression is mainly due to two aspects lacking in the lives of the Muslims. Practising upon these two aspects will earn one success.

The first is acquiring a high degree of adab (respect) for everything related to Deen. The second is suhbat i.e. remaining in the company of the learned and righteous.

Hadhrat Haaji Imdaadullah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) is reported to have said: “Deen in totality is adab.”

Two Sunnats became the Cause of Embracing Islam

Hadhrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhu) mentioned: “Once I met a person who related to me the cause of him embracing Islam.” He explained: “I took a liking for the topee which I would see the Muslims wearing. So I also started wearing the topee though till then I had not yet embraced Islam. Not long thereafter I met a Muslim who greeted me with salaam – Seeing the topee on my head, perhaps he thought I was a Muslim -. I asked him to explain to me the meaning of Salaam. Thereupon he translated the Salaam for me, which translates as “May peace, mercy and the blessings of Allah Ta'ala continue to be showered upon you”. I was so emotionally touched by the greeting of Islam that I immediately embraced Islam.”

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb thereafter explained: “After analysing this incident, I concluded that it was just two Sunnats that became the cause of this person embracing Islam. The first was the love for the topee and the second was Salaam. Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:


“You will never gain entry into paradise unless you accept Imaan, and your Imaan will never reach perfection unless you have true love for one another. Should I not show you a formula which will generate love amongst yourselves? Make salaam a common practice amongst you.”

Two Categories of People

It is commonly witnessed that two categories of people experience problems in regard to the acquisition of knowledge. The first category of people, are those who are hasty in disseminating the information they receive whether obtained through the internet, radio stations or self-study. They are totally disconcerned about verifying the authenticity of the information or fully comprehending it in its correct perspective. Generally mass confusion is created amongst the general public on account of the hastiness of this category.


Story of a scholar

There was once a scholar who forbade his neighbours from using his water to irrigate their gardens. When questioned regarding this, he presented the following Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in substantiation:


It is not permissible for one who believes in Allah and the Last Day to irrigate someone else’s crop with his own water.

The Hadith actually implies that, if someone receives a pregnant captive woman in booty, then he is prohibited from copulating with her until she gives birth.

The serious blunder caused by the scholar was squarely due to not understanding the Hadith in its correct perspective.


The second category of people, are those who remain satisfied and content with the little knowledge they possess. They do not perceive the need to increase their knowledge of Deen, nor to refer to the Ulama. They feel quite complacent with the basic knowledge they have. Furthermore, due to their knowledge being unsound and incomplete, they perpetually remain in doubt.

The Need for Understanding Deeni Issues in their Correct Perspective

Once Hadhrat Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) came across a person studying Ahaadith (of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) then questioned the man whether he had first acquired the four fundamental sciences that are a prerequisite for understanding the Ahaadith in their correct perspective. The man inquired from Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) regarding the four fundamental sciences.

The Imaam told him; the first science is that of Ilmut-Taqaddum Wat-Ta’akkur i.e. the knowledge which enables one to correctly reconcile between apparently contradictory Ahaadith relating to injunctions of Shari’ah. This process entails examining the historic background of each Hadith as well as the period it was reported in. Thus one will understand that the former injunctions were abrogated through the latter.

The second science relates to Ilmut-Tashreeh i.e. presenting the correct explanation and purport of the Ahaadith through referring to the works of the leading scholars and experts in the field of Hadith.

The third science is the science which enables one to contextualize the Hadith in the context Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) mentioned it.

The fourth aspect is understanding which category of people the Hadith relates to.

Imam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) further explained to the man that without studying these four foundational sciences, one will not succeed in fully understanding the true purport of the Ahaadith, and knowledge acquired in such a manner will be a source of calamity for its bearer if he attempts to practice upon it.