This was a post by brother Mohammad Ali on Facebook. Posting it on the blog so people can know how a Da’ee should be. Share it with whoever is involved in Da’wah work.
This is a part taken from my lecture notes of “Personality of a Da’ee”. This actually applies to every practicing Muslim and not just a Da’ee.
So what should be the personality of a practicing Muslim? How he/she must behave? What should be the body language?
The answer to this question is, the best example for us is of course, one and only, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). So first let’s take a glance at his personality. It would take a lot of space if I start writing and describing each and every trait. So let me summarize: (read Shamail Tirmidhi for detail)
1- He had a very formidable (robdaar) yet friendly personality.
2- He had a very lively and loving nature.
3- His presence used to awe people.
4- His manners would impress even his enemies.
5- He never did excessive joking or laughing.
6- He would speak in a clear manner and at moderate pace.
7- He would express how he felt through his emotions.
8- His body language was extremely decent and calm.
Now consider Hazrat Umar’s personality:
1- Brilliantly formidable.
2- Serious and mature nature
3- Awe inspiring
4- No excessive joking or talking.
And every Sahabi was like that. Now compare this with the picture shared in this post (character buck from Ice Age movie). These days Muslim youth and Da’ees seem to be inspired by such cartoon characters and act like them. Hence losing that maturity, awe (rob) and inspiration which a practicing Muslim must possess. On the contrary, they’re acting stupid, immature, joking all the time, laughing, jumping and doing all sorts of things which decrease the charm from their personality. Time to think. Whom should we take as the ideal? Hollywood cartoon characters or the formidable men who inspired people just by their mere walk?
Narrated Abu Masud:
When the verses of charity were revealed, we used to work as porters. A man came and distributed objects of charity in abundance. And they (the people) said, “He is showing off.” And another man came and gave a sa’ (a small measure of food grains); they said, “Allah is not in need of this small amount of charity.” And then the Divine Inspiration came: “Those who criticize such of the believers who give in charity voluntarily and those who could not find to give in charity except what is available to them.” (9.79).
From Tafsir Ibn Kathir:
Among the traits of the hypocrites is that they will not leave anyone without defaming and ridiculing him in all circumstances even those who give away charity. If, for instance, someone gives away a large amount, the hypocrites say that he is showing off. If someone gives away a small amount they say that Allah stands not in need of this man’s charity. Al-Bukhari recorded that `Ubaydullah bin Sa`id said that Abu An-Nu`man Al-Basri said that Shu`bah narrated that Sulayman said that Abu Wa’il said that Abu Mas`ud said, “When the verses of charity were revealed, we used to work as porters. A man came and distributed objects of charity in abundance and they (hypocrites) said, `He is showing off.’ Another man came and gave a Sa` (a small measure of food grains); they said, `Allah is not in need of this small amount of charity.’ Then the Ayah was revealed;
﴿الَّذِينَ يَلْمِزُونَ الْمُطَّوِّعِينَ﴾
(Those who defame the volunteers…)” Muslim collected this Hadith in the Sahih. Al-`Awfi narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, “One day, the Messenger of Allah went out to the people and called them to bring forth their charity, and they started bringing their charity. Among the last to come forth was a man who brought a Sa` of dates, saying, `O Allah’s Messenger! This is a Sa` of dates. I spent the night bringing water and earned two Sa` of dates for my work. I kept one Sa` and brought you the other Sa`. ‘ The Messenger of Allah ordered him to add it to the charity. Some men mocked that man, saying, `Allah and His Messenger are not in need of this charity. What benefit would this Sa` of yours bring’ `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf asked Allah’s Messenger , `Are there any more people who give charity’ The Messenger of Allah said,
«لَمْ يَبْقَ أَحَدٌ غَيْرُك»
(None besides you!) `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf said, `I will give a hundred Uqiyah of gold as a charity.’ `Umar bin Al-Khattab said to him, `Are you crazy’ `Abdur-Rahman said, `I am not crazy.’ `Umar said, `Have you given what you said would give’ `Abdur-Rahman said, `Yes. I have eight thousand (Dirhams), four thousand I give as a loan to my Lord and four thousand I keep for myself.’ The Messenger of Allah said,
«بَارَكَ اللهُ لَكَ فِيمَا أَمْسَكْتَ وَفِيمَا أَعْطَيْت»
(May Allah bless you for what you kept and what you gave away). However, the hypocrites defamed him, `By Allah! `Abdur-Rahman gave what he gave just to show off.’ They lied, for `Abdur-Rahman willingly gave that money, and Allah revealed about his innocence and the innocence of the fellow who was poor and brought only a Sa` of dates. Allah said in His Book,
﴿الَّذِينَ يَلْمِزُونَ الْمُطَّوِّعِينَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي الصَّدَقَـتِ﴾
(Those who defame such of the believers who give charity voluntarily) ﴿9:79﴾.”’ A similar story was narrated from Mujahid and several others. Ibn Ishaq said, “Among the believers who gave away charity were `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf who gave four thousand Dirhams and `Asim bin `Adi from Bani `Ajlan. This occurred after the Messenger of Allah encouraged and called for paying charity. `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf stood and gave away four thousand Dirhams. `Asim bin `Adi also stood and gave a hundred Wasaq of dates, but some people defamed them, saying, `They are showing off.’ As for the person who gave the little that he could afford, he was Abu `Aqil, from Bani Anif Al-Arashi, who was an ally of Bani `Amr bin `Awf. He brought a Sa` of dates and added it to the charity. They laughed at him, saying, `Allah does not need the Sa` of Abu `Aqil.”’ Allah said,
﴿فَيَسْخَرُونَ مِنْهُمْ سَخِرَ اللَّهُ مِنْهُمْ﴾
(so they mock at them (believers); Allah will throw back their mockery on them) rebuking them for their evil actions and defaming the believers. Truly, the reward, or punishment, is equitable to the action. Allah treated them the way mocked people are treated, to aid the believers in this life. Allah has prepared a painful torment in the Hereafter for the hypocrites, for the recompense is similar to the deed.
Do you see the kind of behavior hypocrites had shown? Belittling, defaming and ridiculing others as if they knew what was in their hearts. As if they knew their intentions to be insincere.
It’s a HUGE thing to judge someone. It is so disliked by Allah that He revealed verses in the Qur’an for it, protecting the honor of the Sahaba who has spent in His way. He dislikes this trait of hypocrisy so much that he forbade Prophet (SAW) from asking forgiveness for the hypocrites, right in the next verse:
﴿اسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ أَوْ لاَ تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ إِن تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّةً فَلَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَفَرُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَـسِقِينَ ﴾
(80. Whether you (O Muhammad ) ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites) or ask not forgiveness for them — (and even) if you ask seventy times for their forgiveness — Allah will not forgive them because they have disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger. And Allah guides not those people who are rebellious.)
Bottom line: don’t judge people. Don’t try to defame anyone. Especially the believers. You don’t know how beloved that person is to Allah. And if you hurt them, Allah might protect them.
Note: if you think you have this trait, try to fix it. Think good about people. Make 70 excuses for them before thinking bad about them. “Maybe he didn’t mean to..”, “Maybe he didn’t know..” etc. Reflect on your own faults and flaws before looking at others’.
And if you think someone you know has this problem. Stop right there! You’re being judgmental again. :P