The Muslim Gentleman (Ahadith 2715 – 2716)
Hadith no. 2714 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 317 :
Narrated by Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
When the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) returned (from Jihad), he would say Takbir thrice and add, “We are returning, if Allah wishes, with repentance and worshipping and praising (our Lord) and prostrating ourselves before our Lord. Allah fulfilled His Promise and helped His Slave, and He Alone defeated the (infidel) clans.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 318 :
Narrated by Anas bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu)
We were in the company of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) while returning from ‘Usfan, and Allah’s Apostle was riding his she-camel keeping Safiya bint Huyay (radiallaahu `anhaa) riding behind him. His she-camel slipped and both of them fell down. Abu Talha (radiallaahu `anhu) jumped from his camel and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! May Allah sacrifice me for you.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Take care of the lady.” So, Abu Talha covered his face with a garment and went to Safiya (radiallaahu `anhaa) and covered her with it, and then he set right the condition of their she-camel so that both of them rode, and we were encircling Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) like a cover. When we approached Medina, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “We are returning with repentance and worshipping and praising our Lord.” He kept on saying this till he entered Medina.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 319 :
Narrated by Anas bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu)
That he and Abu Talha (radiallaahu `anhu) came in the company of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and Safiya (radiallaahu `anhaa) was accompanying the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), who let her ride behind him on his she-camel. During the journey, the she-camel slipped and both the Prophet and (his) wife fell down. Abu Talha (the sub-narrator thinks that Anas said that Abu Talha jumped from his camel quickly) said, “O Allah’s Apostle! May Allah sacrifice me for your sake! Did you get hurt?” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) replied,”No, but take care of the lady.” Abu Talha (radiallaahu `anhu) covered his face with his garment and proceeded towards her and covered her with his garment, and she got up. He then set right the condition of their she-camel and both of them (i.e. the Prophet and his wife) rode and proceeded till they approached Medina. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “We are returning with repentance and worshipping and praising our Lord.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) kept on saying this statement till he entered Medina.
“Take care of the lady” = How to be a gentleman 101.
Abu Aaliyah, blogger at The Humble “I”, talks about being a true gentleman under Islamic guidelines:
It is often claimed that in Victorian or Edwardian England, respectability essentially meant maintaining a reputable facade while encouraging all sorts of hypocrisies. How much or how little can one generalise in such a matter is up for debate. Yet at its core, the widely cherished notion that there was a respectable way to conduct oneself; that there was a decent and honourable way of being a true “gentleman” (as opposed to a hypocritical one) – well that’s a very Islamic idea. A gentleman was someone who was restrained, courteous, considerate, well mannered, had public dignity, and was aware of boundaries; particularly when in mixed company.
The Islamic concept of futuwwah, “spiritual chivalry,” is where we find the ideals of the true Muslim gentleman best expressed. Futuwwah embodies the virtues of dignity and respectability (haybah), refined and noble conduct (adab), and preferring others to oneself (ithar), along with courage (shaja‘ah), magnanimity (sakha’ah) and striving to destroy the idols of one’s ego (mujahadat al-nafs).
Society no longer speaks of a true gentleman. That’s of a bygone era – of Edwardian England; an Englishness long dead and buried. As a nation we need to review where this has led us: if it’s been, on balance, for our betterment? Furthermore, as Muslims themselves start to relax these principles, can we see in where it has led others, where we too might be heading?
An excerpt from an article written by Imam Khalid Latif on the same topic:
In the Qur’an, the Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, is referred to in Arabic as fata, a young, noble man who knows how to handle his responsibilities. His sense of integrity and commitment are remarkable.
From this word fata is derived the Arabic word, futuwwa, which essentially translates as chivalry. Being gentle, loyal, modest, honest, compassionate, humble, trustworthy and selfless is having futuwwa. In the medieval period of Islam, orders were established around this principle of futuwwa that emphasized members uphold these traits and seek to serve society, putting their needs after the needs of those around them. They would teach young men how to honor their responsibilities while today we are forced to figure it out on our own. Chivalry is in our tradition. We just have to embrace it again and empower individuals to be those role models that our communities desperately need.
[Read more: Are You a ‘Muslim’ Gentleman?]
So chivalry is not just how the Western culture sees it; holding the door open, pulling out the chair, paying for dinner/date etc. This is all just one aspect of it. The true concept of being a gentleman has much more to it than appearances and treatment of women (not the least important by any means), it has to do with maturity, modesty, dignity, compassion, honesty etc.
An interesting blog I came across that gives equal importance to self-grooming for the “modern Muslim gentleman” and includes tips and how-to’s, check out “thegentlemuslimman“.