Working Hard or Hardly Working?

The Muslim man works hard to provide for his family.

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The Muslim man has many responsibilities. His first and foremost responsibility is to his Lord; to worship Him alone and to be obedient to him. After his responsibility to his Lord  one of his most important duties is to work and provide for his family.

The Muslim man knows that it is his duty alone to keep a roof over the heads, clothes on the backs, and food in the stomachs of his family. This is the purpose of the man. He is the breadwinner and the protector. Allah, the Most High, said:

“The father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis” (Al-Baqarah:233)

This doesn’t mean that he must be super rich and give his family everything they want and need, because Allah decreed that there will be rich people and poor people, so we can’t all be wealthy. Rather the Muslim man provides for his family in the best way he can and he works hard for the money he earns. The Prophet ﷺ said:

“No man earns anything better than that which he earns with his own hands, and what a man spends on himself, his wife, his child and his servant is charity.” (Ibn Majah)

There is a lot of honor in a hard days work for a hard days pay. The Muslim man hates to sit idol. He keeps himself busy in the service of his family. Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“I hate to see a man totally free, not doing anything from the work of the life of this world nor the Hereafter.” (Al-Hilyah, 1/130)

Laziness and procrastination are the enemy of the Muslim man. They are obstacles in the face of happiness and success. The Prophet ﷺ even used to teach the Sahabah to seek refuge in Allah from laziness, he said:

“O Allah! Indeed, I seek refuge in you from sadness and depression, weakness and laziness, cowardice and miserliness, being overcome by debt, and being overpowered by men.” (Al-Bukhari)

It is interesting that the Prophet mentioned sadness and depression along side laziness, because these things often go hand in hand; either the laziness leads to sadness and depression or the sadness and depression leads to laziness or incapacity.  Umar bin Al-Khattab also said:

“The happiest of people is the one under whose care people are happy because of him, and the most miserable of people is the one under whose care people are miserable because of him.” (Munaqib Umar, Pg 130)

The Muslim man derives pride and satisfaction from his work and from the things he is able to do for his family.

So to all of you Muslim men out there, work hard, take care of your families, and don’t forget to seek refuge from laziness and weakness with the Prophet’s dua on a regular basis.

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Share the Wealth

The Muslim man is generous with his wealth. He understands that the real purpose of money is to spend it on his loved ones.

The Muslim man is generous with his wealth, because he knows that generosity doesn’t diminish his wealth, in fact it increases it. Allah subhananhu wa ta’la said:

“Who will give Allah a goodly loan so he may multiply it many times.” (Al-Baqarah:245)

And Ibn Abbas said about the Prophet ﷺ:

“The Messenger of Allah was the most generous of the people and he was most generous during Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari)

Generosity increases wealth because it shows that you are appreciative of Allah’s blessings and know that your sustenance is from Him and not just your own efforts, and Allah rewards those who are thankful.

John Templeton, one of the greatest investors of the 20th century, said:

“I have observed 100,000 families over my years of investment counselling. I always saw greater prosperity and happiness among those families who tithed (gave charity) more often.”

And this something repeated by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Oprah, and other successful business people.

There is a greater benefit than this for the Muslim man… generosity raises your stature and covers your faults in this life and is a source of abundant rewards in the next life. Allah can bless you with wealth and then take it all away in an instant, and once you are dead it ceases to be of any benefit, so why hold on to it with such vehemence?

The Muslim man knows that the real benefit of money and wealth lies in supporting your family and giving it to others, because generosity leads to happiness and success in the Dunya and the Hereafter. Nothing can raise your honor, stature and remembrance among the people better than generosity, and nothing can ruin your honor more than miserliness.

But how should the Muslim man spend his hard earned money? The Prophet (saw) said:

“The best dinar that a man can spend is the dinar spent on his family.” (Ibn Majah)

So the Muslim man spends first on his household, then on his relatives, then on his friends and then on the general people. The people that the Muslim man does not give his money to are those who are mentally impaired, either due to an affliction or due to an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, because, at best, they will waste the money, at worst, they will spend it on haram.

“And do not give the weak-minded your property, which Allah has made a means of sustenance for you, but provide for them with it and clothe them and speak to them words of appropriate kindness.” (An-Nisa:5)

If the Muslim man wants to give to someone like this, then he donates his money to individuals and organisations who are responsible for helping them, or he buys food and clothing for them instead of giving them cash.

So spend generously on your loved ones and you will soon see the reward for your generosity, inshallah.

Friday’s Best Everyday

The Muslim man takes pride in his appearance without being too extravagant and wasteful. He wants his clothing to reflect who he is as a grown man.

The Muslim Man is always GQ whatever the ocassion. Whether it is Eid, Jumuah, or just another day at work, the Muslim man is always well dressed.

The Muslim man takes care of his appearance because it is a reflection of his inner self and the blessings that Allah, subhana wa ta’ala, bestowed upon him. The Muslim man also knows that as a Muslim he doesn’t just represent himself he represents the religion too, so he strives to be the best he can be with both his appearance and character.

Allah said:

“Beautify yourself for every masjid.”

This verse shows that Allah loves us to dress well especially when we are worshipping Him in one of his masjids. So dressing nice and taking care of our appearance is worship if we do it for His sake.

Jabir bin Abdullah said:

One day the Messenger of Allah ﷺ came to visit us and he saw a man with disheveled hair, and he said, ‘Could this man not find something to make his hair lie down?’ Then he saw another man with dirty clothing, and he said, ‘Could this man not find something to wash his garments with?’” (Abu Dawud)

The Prophet (saw) was not a wealthy man, but he always kept his hair neat when it was short and combed when it was long. The Prophet (saw) loved perfume and would always wear perfumed oil in his beard and hair to keep the hair moisturized and smelling nice. The Prophet’s favorite perfume was musk. On Fridays and on Eid he liked to wear his best white thowb (like a long shirt) and a matching white imamah (like a turban).

As with everything in Islam this should be done with moderation. Allah does not like extravagance, waste and least of all, arrogant pride.  The Prophet ﷺ said:

“Eat, give charity and wear clothes. Let no extravagance or pride be mixed with what you do.” (An-Nisa’i)

The Muslim man never looks down on others for whatever reason; instead he thanks Allah for the blessings He has bestowed upon him. When a man heard the Prophet ﷺ say:

“Whoever has a speck of pride (arrogance) in his heart, shall not be admitted into Paradise.”, he asked the Prophet, “But I like to wear nice clothes, and nice shoes?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Indeed Allah loves beauty, but pride is refusing the truth and belittling the people.” (At-Tirmidhi)

So whether you’re wearing a dishdasha or a suit make sure you’re wearing it with style, modesty, and moderation.

Ihsan.

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Verbal Diarrhea

The Muslim man understands the beauty of silence. He speaks when there is a benefit and remains quiet when there is none.

The Muslim man guards his tongue by speaking only when it is neccessary and thinking before he speaks.

The tongue is the number 1 route to devastation, due to the seriousness of the sins that can be committed with the tongue and the ease at which they can be done. The Prophet ﷺ said:

“A person utters a word heedlessly and, as a result of this, he will fall down into the fire of Hell deeper than the distance between the east and the west.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Because, for example, a person can utter a statement of disbelief and exit from the religion, or a person can commit a major sin by backbiting or slandering others without thinking of the consequence.

The Muslim man knows that a person that talks too much exposes his faults and often causes offense to others without thinking. The quiet man on the other hand is loved and respected for his reticence. He speaks when it is necessary and only after he has considered his words carefully.

The Prophet ﷺ said:

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, then let him speak good or stay silent.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

When a person speaks a lot, people become weary of him, and ignore much of what he has to say. But when a person talks seldomly and with purpose, then people will love and respect him, and will give weight to his words and opinions.

You can divide speech into 4 types:

1. Speech that is beneficial.

2. Speech that is neither beneficial nor harmful.

3. Speech that could possibly cause you or others harm.

4. Speech that WILL cause you or others harm.

The first type is good and should be spoken. The second type doesn’t cause any harm but an intelligent person would not waste his breath with it. The third type should be left alone and the fourth type is obligatory to leave alone due to the harm it will cause.

According to this principle, three quarters of all speech is better left unsaid, if a person is heedy. If more people lived by this principle there would be no more pointless, irreverant speech; people wouldn’t have to Issue apologies, or delete tweets and Facebook posts after they said something dumb or offensive.

One of the main drawbacks to talking too much (other than what has been mentioned) is that it prevents you from listening. Listening is an incredibly important tool. Allah blessed us with eyes and ears so that we can observe the things around us and learn from those things. When we are talking we are not using those tools, so we are preventing ourselves from learning.

The Prophetﷺ also warned us that…

“Too much speech without mentioning Allah hardens the heart, and the hard hearted are the furthest of all people from Allah, the Most High.” (At-Tirmidhi)

And remember, Allah hears and sees everything you say and do and everything you say is written down by two angels sitting on each of your shoulders. Do you want all your heedless speech written in a record to be recounted to you on the Day of Judgment!? How much of that will you be embarrassed about saying?

So in an effort to talk less why not try what I like to call the “No More B.S. Challenge”:

I heard this in a khutbah at the Prophet’s Masjid in Medina a few years ago……all you have to do is before you get ready to say something take the following steps:

Step 1: Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of what I’m about to say?” If the answer is there is none, then don’t say it.

Step 2: If you do have a purpose for what you’re about to say then ask yourself, “Would this speech be pleasing to Allah?” If the answer is no then don’t say it, but if the answer is yes then proceed with confidence.

If you are consistent with this technique I think you will find it an effective treatment for both foot-in mouth-syndrome and verbal diarrhea.

Ihsan

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Half of Faith

The Muslim man takes his personal hygiene seriously. The Muslim man knows that cleanliness is a major part of his religion.

The Muslim man is well groomed and clean, because Allah loves cleanliness and the Prophet ﷺ said:

“Cleanliness is half of iman (faith).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet ﷺ said that cleanliness is half of faith, and he informed us that there are five things that are from a Muslim’s fitrah (natural disposition), which are:

1. circumcision;

2. shaving the pubic hair;

3. trimming the mustache;

4. trimming the fingernails and toenails;

5. plucking the underarm hair.

The Muslim is required to do these things because they are hygenic and good hygene should be important to every Muslim. It is encumbent on every Muslim to not exceed 40 days without performing these cleanliness routines, but it is preferable to do them more as needed.

The Prophet ﷺ informed us that cleanliness is one of the things that distinguishes the Muslim nation from other nations:

“My people will come on the Day of Resurrection with bright faces, hands and feet from the traces of wudu. If any of you can lengthen his brightness, let him do so” (Muslim)

And in another narration he said:

“You will come to me with bright faces, hands and feet from the traces of wudu. This is the sign of my nation which does not belong to anyone else.” (Ibn Majah)

The Prophet ﷺ taught us the importance of dental hygiene, he ﷺ said:

“Siwak cleanses the mouth and is pleasing to the Lord” (An-Nisa’i)

And he ﷺ said:

“If it was not for the fact that I feared it would be too hard for my people, I would have obligated cleaning the teeth with siwak before every prayer.” (Al-Bukhari)

And he encouraged us to not come to the masjid with strong smelling food on our breath, so as not to offend the other worshippers:

“Whoever has eaten garlic or onion should keep away from our masjid.” (Al-Bukhari)

Allah, the Almighty and Most High, said:

“O Children of Adam! Beautify yourselves for every masjid.” (Al-A’raf:31)

So we see that cleanliness is important for the Muslim, and is especially important when one is around other people. Allah and His Messenger repeatedly advised the Companions to clean themselves regularly and to maintain good hygiene and to not offend other people with strong odors.

What is on the outside of a person often reflects what is on the inside of a person. So if a person is unclean, unhygenic, and unorganized on the outside, then this may be a sign of inner turmoil and unhealthy thoughts and emotions. Cleanliness leads to better health, a better state of mind, more organized thoughts, and makes one more attractive to others.

Ihsan

Stop. Know. Act.

The Muslim man knows the importance of knowledge and he knows to never speak or act without it.

The Muslim man does not speak or act without knowledge. Allah subhana wa ta’la said:

“Know there is none worthy of worship except Allah, then seek forgiveness for your sins.” (Muhammad:19).

So Allah commands us to know and understand His Oneness (tawhid) before we seek forgiveness from Him.

The scholars of Islam summarize this principle with a catchy phrase, “Knowledge precedes speech and action” (the title of today’s post). This important principle applies to every aspect of a Muslim man’s life, but is especially important for religious affairs. To speak about Allah or His religion without prior knowledge is a major sin. Allah said:

“Say (O Muhammad ﷺ): “The only things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, fornication, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.” (Al-A’raf:33)

If you speak about Allah or His religion without knowledge and you are wrong then you are effectively slandering Allah and spreading falsehood and misguidance about Islam, and if anyone follows you in that then they will be misguided and you will have a share in the sin of their misguidance.

What if a person makes a false statement about Islam on Facebook to his 100’s of friends and they follow this misguidance and repost it for their 100s of friends. Speaking without knowledge in this age of social networking can easily snowball into something huge and out of control.

When the Muslim man is about to embark on a task he prepares himself for the task by researching and learning how to complete that task in the best, most efficient way possible, because he knows that “knowledge precedes speech and action.” Despite common belief, it is not manly to put a cabinet together and then have to return it to Ikea, because you didn’t read the instructions and you put the doors on upside down and back to front.

When the Muslim man speaks on a subject, he knows all there is to know about it. And if he is asked about something he doesn’t know, he is not embarresed to say that he does not know about that subject.

The Muslim man studies the things that Allah has obligated upon him, because without knowledge of these things he cannot hope to perform the actions correctly. This leads to another important principle, and that is that if something is needed to perform an obligation then that thing is also obligated. So if you want to pray you have to first learn how to do that correctly.

May Allah bless us all to be men whose actions and speech are all based on knowledge.

Ihsan.