Do not Look down and despise Anyone

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Do not Look down on Anyone

Greatness and highness are qualities of Allah Ta’ala that are exclusive to Him. As ordinary human beings, we should not regard ourselves as being worthy of greatness, because when a person considers himself to be great then automatically he will begin to look down on others. This is extremely dangerous for one that he regards himself to be superior and others to be inferior to him. Sometimes, the one whom we regard to be inferior, in reality possesses a higher status and rank in the sight of Allah Ta’ala than us.

Below are a few incidents through which one may realise that it is impermissible to look down on others.

The Consequence of Hurting Someone

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Do not Look down on Anyone

Musjid NabawiHadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) (1943/1362) mentioned that I had heard the following incident from Haaji Imdaadullah (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) regarding his ustaad Hadhrat Moulana Qalandar Saheb (Rahmatullahi Alaihi), a resident of Jalaalabaad, who was a ‘saahibe huzoori’.  ‘Saahibe huzoori’ is a certain calibre of auliyaa who are blessed with the bounty of seeing Hadhrat Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) everyday e.g. via a dream etc.

On one occasion while travelling to Madina Munawwarah, Moulana became angry with the camel driver due to a mistake that he had committed. Being overcome by anger, Moulana slapped the camel driver. The camel driver was a youngster and later on it was discovered that he was a Sayyid (i.e. a person from the family of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Though after gaining his composure he had asked for forgiveness from the youngster, however from that day onwards, the vision of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that he was enjoying everyday was discontinued. Realising that this loss was the consequence of his mistake and sin, Moulana was overcome with grief and worry and made great effort in trying to regain the bounty of seeing Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

In this state of great anxiety and grief he arrived in Madinah Munawwarah.  He asked the Ulama and Mashaaikh of the area as to what could be done in order for him to seek sincere forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala and make amends to regain this favour he was enjoying. All of them had replied that they did not know the solution to rectify the problem. However, they suggested that he should relate the matter to a certain pious person who resided in Madinah Tayyibah, who would occasionally visit the blessed grave of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). If the pious person made duaa for him, then perhaps his previous condition could be regained.

Subsequently Moulana entered the Haram after which he had seen the person whom the Ulama and pious had directed him towards. Thus Moulana proceeded to this person with the intention of seeking duaa. The pious person noticed Moulana coming forward, and overcome with ecstasy pointed towards the Mubaarak grave of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying: “Look, there is Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)”. When Moulana turned his gaze in the direction that the person was pointing, to his surprise he saw the vision of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). From that day onwards, his previous condition of seeing Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) daily was restored. (Jawaahir Paare)

Note: Though Moulana Qalandar Saheb had apologized to the youngster after slapping him and sought his forgiveness, yet this was the consequences he faced for the sin he committed against the Sayyid. Hence we should be extremely cautious in dealing with people, for we do not know what position each person enjoys in the sight of Allah Ta’ala.

عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: لا تحاسدوا ولا تناجشوا ولا تباغضوا ولا تدابروا ولا يبع بعضكم على بيع بعض وكونوا عباد الله إخوانا المسلم أخو المسلم لا يظلمه ولا يخذله ولا يحقره التقوى ها هنا ويشير إلى صدره ثلاث مرات بحسب امرئ من الشر أن يحقر أخاه المسلم كل المسلم على المسلم حرام دمه وماله وعرضه  (مسلم رقم 2564)

Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Do not entertain jealousy within your hearts for each other; do not engage in making a false bid (to purchase merchandise when you do not have the intention to do so); do not harbour hatred for one another; do not sever relations and do not conduct a sale over a deal that has been finalised. Remain as the slaves of Allah Ta’ala, living among each other as brothers. A Muslim is a brother of his fellow Muslim. He should not oppress him, he should not disgrace him, and he should not despise him. Then Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) while indicating towards his heart said: Taqwa (piety) lies here (in the heart). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) repeated this thrice. Despising a Muslim is sufficient to cause one to become sinful in the sight of Allah Ta’ala. Each Muslim’s blood (life), wealth and honour are sanctified and it is made haraam (i.e. its violation is haraam) upon the next Muslim. 

The Funeral of an Effeminate

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Do not Look down on Anyone

baqee3Abdul Wahhaab bin Abdul Hameed Thaqafi (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) relates that he once saw a janaaza being carried to the grave-yard by three men and a woman. There was no other person following the janaaza. The Sheikh joined them and lifted the side that she was supporting. They went to the burial-place, offered the janaaza salaah for the deceased and laid him to rest in the grave. After this, the Sheikh asked the woman who the deceased was and she said that he was her son. The Sheikh then asked, “Was there no other male person in your neighbourhood who could have lifted the fourth corner of the bier, instead of you?” The woman replied, “There are a many people living in our neighbourhood, but they did not follow the janaaza of my son, thinking him to be a mean and contemptible person. The Sheikh asked her, Why did they look upon him as such a disgraceful person?” She said, “My poor son was a effeminate.” The Sheikh felt pity for the woman, took her home and gave her some dirhams, clothes and wheat. That night, he dreamt that he saw a very handsome young man, whose face shone like the full moon, dressed in elegant white robes. The young man thanked the Sheikh, who asked him his name and the man replied, “I am the same effeminate whom you buried this morning. Allah Ta’ala had Mercy on me because I had suffered great humiliation in the world.” (Fazaail Sadaqaat)

عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إن الله لا ينظر إلى صوركم وأموالكم ولكن ينظر إلى قلوبكم وأعمالكم (مسلم رقم 2564)

Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Certainly Allah Ta’ala does not look at your external forms (beauty etc.) and wealth, rather He looks at your hearts and your actions.

Performing Salaah behind Habib Ajmi (Rahmatullahi Alaihi)

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Do not Look down on Anyone

بسم اللهHadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) relates:

Hadhrat Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) was blessed with profound understanding and comprehensive knowledge in all sciences of Deen; he was a Muhaddith (commentator of Hadith), Mufassir (commentator of the Quraan), Sufi and a Qaari. One night while Hadhrat Habib Ajmi (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) was performing nafl Salaah, Hadhrat Hasan Basri (Rahamtullahi Alaihi) happened to pass by. The thought had entered his heart of joining Hadhrat Habib Ajmi in salaah, however upon hearing his style of recitation of the Quraan (which was non-Arab style, though the recitation was correct), he dismissed that intention of his and left. That night he had a vision of Allah Ta’ala in his dream. He supplicated to Allah Ta’ala with the following words, “O Allah, guide me to that path that will lead me closest to You.” The reply he received from Allah Ta’ala was, “O Hasan, if you wish to reach Me, then perform Salaah behind Habib Ajmi.”

Note: At times, one does not think much of others due to their recitation not resembling the Arab style of reciting the Quran. However, from this incident we understand that as long as the recitation conforms to the correct pronunciation of the makhaarij which are consistent with the rules of tajweed, it is accepted by Allah Ta’ala, though one lacks the tune and style of the Arab.  (Jawaahir Paare)

يـٰأَيُّهَا النّاسُ إِنّا خَلَقنـٰكُم مِن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثىٰ وَجَعَلنـٰكُم شُعوبًا وَقَبائِلَ لِتَعارَفوا إِنَّ أَكرَمَكُم عِندَ اللَّـهِ أَتقىٰكُم إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَليمٌ خَبيرٌ ﴿١٣﴾

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may be able to recognize each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who possesses the most amount of Taqwa (i.e. who is most righteous). And Allah Ta’ala has full knowledge and is aware of everything.

Hadhrat Junaid Baghdadi (Rahmatullahi Alaihi)’s Doubt regarding a certain Person

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Do not Look down on Anyone

Flowers 2On one occasion, Hadhrat Junaid (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) had seen a strong, well built man begging outside the Musjid. Having seen this, Hadhrat Junaid (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) disapproved of his begging and within his heart entertained doubts regarding the man. That night he had seen in a dream that he was being instructed to consume the flesh of a corpse.  Hadhrat Junaid (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) in the dream refused to consume the meat of the dead corpse, saying that this was haraam and forbidden in Islam. Thereupon he was told by the one instructing him to eat of the dead corpse, that when you had made gheebat of that person, did you not do the same (i.e. consume the flesh of your brother)?” Hadhrat Junaid (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) was surprised and realised that this was a Divine correction from the side of Allah Ta’ala.

Upon awakening, he immediately set out in search of that person to seek forgiveness for entertaining evil thoughts regarding him. Upon seeing Hadhrat Junaid (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) approaching, the strong and well built man, who in reality was a friend of Allah Ta’ala, sighed and recited the following verse:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ ﴿الشورى: ٢٥﴾

and He (Allah) is the only one that accepts the taubah of His servants. (Jawaahir Paare)

Note: From the above incident we understand that it is not permissible for anyone to look down and despise another person, as he is unaware of the latter’s inner condition. The person in the story outwardly seemed unfit for begging since he was strong and well-built. However, his inner condition (of extreme and abject poverty which was unknown to Junaid Baghdaadi (Rahmatullahi Alaihi)) allowed him to beg according to Shariah.

عن حسين بن على قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: للسائل حق وإن جاء على فرس (ابو داود رقم 1667)

Hadhrat Husain bin Ali (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The beggar has a right, even though he comes to you riding on a horse.”  (i.e. In our context, the meaning of the Hadith is, that if a beggar comes driving in a car, we should try and render assistance to him due to him undergoing financial constraints and extreme poverty).

Q: In mufti sahebs opinion, should one give beggars on the roadside small change? We hear some people saying this is actually encouraging begging more, but some say it's good.

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A: If one feels that the one begging is in need and in difficulty, then one may assist him. However if one has knowledge regarding a certain beggar that he has made begging his profession, then one should refrain from supporting such a person in his wrong.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

حدثنا محمد بن كثير أخبرنا سفيان حدثنا مصعب بن محمد بن شرحبيل حدثنى يعلى بن أبى يحيى عن فاطمة بنت حسين عن حسين بن على قال قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « للسائل حق وإن جاء على فرس  (أبو داود #1667)

يعني إذا سئل سائل أحدا ينبغي له أن يحسن الظن به وإن جاء على فرس فإنه يمكن أن يحتاج إلى ركوب الفرس ومع ذلك يلجئه الحاجة إلى السؤال ويكون له عائلة أو يكون تحمل حمالة فلا يسئ الظن به ، وهذا لعله باعتبار القرون الأولى ، وأما في هذا الزمان فنشاهد كثيرا من الناس اتخذوا السؤال حرفة لهم ولهم فضول أموال ، فحينئذ يحرم لهم السؤال ويحرم على الناس إعطائهم ، والله أعلم (بذل المجهود 3/54)