I have been sent to perfect the finest of morals.
The Prophet Muhammad Selected Sayings of Prophet Muhammad
The teachings and the saying of an individual to a great extent reveal, just as his actions do, the true character and real nature of the individual. And it is to the majesty of the words of the Prophet - which is but a drop from the ocean of knowledge and wisdom of the Messenger of Allah, and his morality and the essence of his character that these words and thousands like them have remained eternal since they were first spoken by the Prophet, and will continue to do so forever.
Therefore the Muslims, who number more than one and a half billion, together with many others look upon these words and teachings as sources of aspirations, examples of wisdom and laws of vitality in all aspects of life. These masses are proud of adhering to some of them and endeavour and hope to implement those they have not yet succeeded to do.
The Apostle of God once said: 'Shall I show you a weapon which will save you from your enemies and cause God's providence to flow upon you?' Those who were present said: 'Yes!'
He said: 'To call upon your Lord day and night, for the weapon of the believer is supplication.'168 He was once asked about the greatest name of God. He said: 'Each of the names of God is the greatest, so empty your heart of all but Him and call upon Him by any name you wish.'169 The Apostle of God said: 'Supplication is the essence of worship.'170
He also said: 'Supplication is the weapon of the believer and the pillar of the faith and the light of heavens and earth.'171 He also said: 'A person will gain one of three things from supplication: either a sin will be forgiven, or a benefaction will be hastened to him, or a benefaction will be stored up for him.'172
He also said: 'Ask God of His bounty for He loves to be asked. The best of worship is to await the end of suffering.'173
168 bi9"r al-anw"r, vol. 90, p.291, 9ad:th 14. 169 ibid. p 322, 9ad:th 36. 170 The White Path (al-ma9ajjah al-bay+"') vol.2, p.282 171 ibid; vol. 2, p 284 172 ibid; vol. 2, p.293 173 ibid; vol. 2, p.283 [By the "end of suffering" it is meant the suffering of mankind as a whole due to the widespread oppression that dominates the globe. This will end by
the appearance of the awaited saviour the twelfth Imam from the descendent of the prophet Muhammad - Imam Mahdi peace be upon him. To await the appearance of Imam Mahdi is to ensure harmony with his teachings, which are the teachings of Islam. Thus this awaiting is the best worship for it involves full compliance with the commands of Almighty Allah.]
On Familial Bonds
It is related from Im"m Ja!far £"diq that: 'A man came to the Prophet and said: 'O Apostle of God, whom should I honour?'
He said: 'Your mother.' The man said: 'And then whom?' He said: 'Your mother.' The man said: 'And then whom?' The Prophet said: 'Your mother.' The man said: 'And then whom?' The Prophet said: 'Your father.'174 The Apostle of God used to say: 'The angel Gabriel did not stop enjoining upon me respect for women until I thought that even divorce was not permissible except in the case of proven adultery.'175
He also said: 'I advise those present from my nation and those absent, and those who are in the loins of men and the wombs of women, until the Day of Resurrection, to maintain the bonds of kinship even if it means travelling for a whole year, for that is a part of the religion.'176
A man once came to the Prophet and said: 'I have never ever kissed one of my children.' When he had left the Prophet said: 'This is a man who in my opinion deserves to go to Hell.'177
174 al-k"f:, vol.2, p.159, 9ad:th 9, chap. Honouring One's Parents. 175 !uddat al-d"!:; p 91 176 ibid. p 90 177 ibid. p 89
Once, the Apostle of God saw a man with two sons who kissed one of them and neglected the other. He said: 'Why have you not treated them both equally?'178
A man asked the Apostle of God: 'What rights should a father expect from his child?' He said: 'He should not call his father by his name, and he should not walk in front of his father, and he should not sit down before his father does.'179 A man said: 'O Apostle of God, what are the rights of this son of mine?'
He said: 'You should give him a good name and a good education and enable him to gain good skills [for good means of earning].'180
On Good Morals and Conducts
The Prophet said: 'He whose ethics are good will be given by God the degree of one who continuously fasts and keeps vigil.'181 He also said: 'Nothing better than good ethics can be put in the balance scales of a person on the Day of Resurrection.'182 He said: 'The most beloved of you to me and the one who will sit closest to me on the Day of Resurrection is the best of you in ethics and the most humble of you.'183
178 bi9"r al-anw"r; vol. 101, chap. 105, p.97, 9ad:th 61. 179 !uddat al-d"!:; p 86 180 ibid. 181 bi9"r al-anw"r; vol. 68, chap. 92, p.388, 9ad:th 36. 182 ibid. p 374, 9ad:th 2. 183 ibid. p 385, 9ad:th 26.
He said: 'Conducts are gifts from Almighty God. If God loves one of his servants He will give to him fine morals and conducts, but if he dislikes one of His servants he will give him foul manners.'184 Commenting on the outcome of one's conducts and ethics the Prophet declared: 'Adopt fine ethics, for it is inevitable that good morals will end up in Paradise. Avoid bad conducts for it is inevitable that bad ethics will end up in Hellfire.'185
He said: 'With good ethics and conduct, a person will reach the greatest of degrees and the noblest of stations in the Afterlife even if his worship was somewhat weak.'186
He then said: 'With foul conduct and behaviour a person will reach the lowest reaches of Hell.'187 In the now famous and well known speech of Prophet Muhammad that summarises his entire mission and puts it in perspective, he declared: 'Verily, I have been sent to perfect the finest of morals.'188
Once he was told: 'There is a woman who fasts all day and keeps vigil at night but she is ill mannered and annoys her neighbours.' He said: 'There is nothing good about her, she is destined for Hellfire.'189
184 ibid. p 394, 9ad:th 64. 185 majma! al-bay"n of al-?abras:, vol. 10, p.333. Syrian Printing. 186 al-ma9ajjah al-bay+"'; vol.5, p.93. 187 ibid. 188 bi9"r al-anw"r; vol. 16, chap.9, p 210 189 ibid. vol. 68, chap.92, p 394
The Prophet said: 'Shall I tell you which of you from amongst you is most like me?' They said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God.' He said: 'The best of you in morals, and the most pliant of you, and the one who honours his relatives the most, and the one who has the strongest love for his brothers in faith, and the one who is most patient in the way of the truth, and he who is most in control of his anger, and is most forgiving, and he who is most just to himself in contentment and in anger.'190
He said: 'The best of you are those whose morals are best, whose houses receive frequent visitors, who socialise by inviting and accepting invitations [of others], and whose furniture is worn out [by having frequent visitors and guests].'191
He said: 'If you meet with one another then meet with a greeting of 'peace' and a handshake. And when you disperse then disperse asking for forgiveness [for each other].'192
He said: ' . . .You will never encompass the people with your wealth so greet them with a good countenance and a good smile.'193 The Prophet said: 'I urge you to adopt the finest of morals for Almighty God has sent me with them. Amongst the fine morals are that a man forgive those who have wronged him, and give to those that have withheld from him, and maintain
190 al-k"f:; vol.2, p.240. 191 ibid. p.102. 192 bi9"r al-anw"r; vol.73, chap.100, p.28, 9ad:th 21. 193 al-k"f:; vol.2, p.103, 9ad:th 1.
ties with those who have cut off from him, and visit those who do not visit him.'194
He also said: 'Shall I show you the best morals of this world and the next? . . . That you maintain bonds with those who cut off from you, and give to those who withhold from you, and forgive those who have wronged you.'195
He used to encourage: 'Be a good companion to those who accompany you and you will be a [good] Muslim.'196 He used to stress this matter to his followers in question form: 'Shall I show you the best morals of this world and the next? They eagerly responded, "Yes O Messenger of Allah!" So the Prophet replied: By spreading peace in the world.'197
Aswad ibn ANram relates: 'I said to the Apostle of God:
'Advise me.' He said: 'Do you own your hand?' I said: 'Yes.' He said: 'Do you own your tongue?' I said: 'Yes.' He said:
'Then do not extend your hand except to do good and do not say with your tongue anything that is not appropriate.'198
It is related that the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali said: 'A man asked to see the Apostle of God and said to him: 'O Apostle of God, advise me!' He said: 'I advise you to associate no partners with God even if you are cut into pieces and incinerated by fire, and do not dishonour your father and
194 al-am"l: of al-?Ys:; vol.2, p.92. 195 al-k"f:; vol.2, p.107, 9ad:th 2. 196 bi9"r al-anw"r; vol.66, chap.38, p.368, 9ad:th 4. 197 ibid. vol.73, chap.97, p.12. 9ad:th 50. 198 ibid. vol.74, chap.7, p.168, 9ad:th 5.
mother, and do not insult the people, and if you meet your Muslim brother then meet him with a nice smile ...'199
The Prophet said: 'The most clement of the people is he who flees from the ignorant people.'200 He also said: 'There are three things which if not found in a person that person's actions will not be complete: abstinence which protects him from disobedience to God, morals with which he interacts with the people, and clemency with which he repels the ignorance of the ignorant.'201 One day the Prophet asked his companions: 'Who amongst you is considered to be a champion?'
They said: 'The severe and powerful person who never compromises.'
The Prophet replied: 'On the contrary, the true champion is a man who is struck by Satan in his heart until his anger intensifies and his blood boils but then he remembers God and by his clemency defeats his anger.'202 On another occasion the Apostle of God said to his companions: 'Shall I inform you of the one amongst you who is most like me?' They said: 'Yes, O Apostle of God.'
199 tu9af al-!uqYl; p.13. 200 al-am"l: of al-£udYq; Lecture 6, p.28. 201 al-k"f:; vol.2, p.116, 9ad:th 1. 202 tu9af al-!uqYl; p.33.
He said: ' . . . the most patient of you in the way of the truth and the one most in control of his anger.'203 The Prophet used to say: 'There are two draughts which are two of the most beloved ways to Almighty God: a draught of anger which is repelled by clemency and a draught of calamity which is repelled by patience.'204
It is related that Imam Ali said: 'The Apostle of God said:
'My Lord has ordered me to act civilly with the people just as he has ordered me to perform the obligatory prayers.'205
He also said: 'I have been sent as a centre for clemency and as a mine for knowledge and as an abode for patience.'206 Once a young man came to the Apostle of God and said to him: 'Do you give me permission to fornicate?' The Apostle of God's companions rebuked him and were rough with him; but the Prophet brought him near and said: 'Would you like it if others fornicated with your mother and your sisters and your aunts?' He said: 'No, O Apostle of God.' He said to him:
'All people feel the same way.' Then he put his blessed hand on his chest and said: 'O God, forgive his sin and purify his heart and protect his private parts.'207 He also said: 'God favoured the prophets over the rest of his creation due to their extensive affability towards the enemies
203 al-k"f:; vol.2, p.240, 9ad:th 35. 204 al-k"f:; vol.2, p.110, 9ad:th 9. 205 bi9"r al-anw"r; vol.2, chap.13, p.69, 9ad:th 23. 206 ibid. vol. 67, chap. 93, p. 423. 207 muntah" al-"m"l of al-Qumm:; vol.1, p.68.
of the religion of God and for their excellent prudence for the sake of their brothers in God.'208 On Being Conscious of Almighty God The Apostle of God said: 'Whoever fears God will live as a powerful person and may travel in the land of his enemy in safety.'209
He also said: 'Act according to what God has made obligatory and you will be the most God-conscious of the people.'210 The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali, related: 'The Apostle of God said: 'The most pious of the people is he who speaks the truth whether it be in his favour or to his detriment.'211
The Apostle of God also said: 'Whoever wishes to be the most pious of people then let him rely upon God.'212
He also said: 'There are ten parts to worship nine of which are in lawful means of earning.'213
He also said: 'Looking to your brother who you love for the sake of God is an act of worship.'214
208 bi9"r al-anw"r; vol.72, chap.87, p.401. 9ad:th 42. 209 ibid. vol.67, chap.56, p.283, 9ad:th 5. 210 ibid; vol.66, chap.38, p.368, 9ad:th 4. 211 ibid; vol.67, chap.56, p.288, 9ad:th 15. 212 ma!"n: al-akhb"r; p.196. Beirut edition. 213 bi9"r al-anw"r; vol.100, chap.1, p.17, 9ad:th 81. 214 ibid; vol.71, chap.18, p.278, 9ad:th 1.
It is related that Im"m Ja!far al-£"diq said: 'Whenever the Apostle of God awoke from sleep he would fall down and prostrate to God.'215 In a tradition it is said that the Prophet when praying it was as if he was a discarded robe.'216 The Prophet for ten years stood [in prayer] on his tiptoes until his feet became raw and bloodied. His face became yellow from keeping vigil at night until he was chided for doing so when God said: e ?"h", We did not send down the Qur'an upon you so that you may become distressed. f217 218
In the advice of the Prophet to AbY Dharr he said: 'I enjoin upon you consciousness of God for it is the summit of all of your affairs.'219 He also said: 'There is a trait which if adopted by a person the whole of this world and the next will obey him and he will profit by attaining Paradise.' He was asked: 'And what is that O Apostle of God?' He said: 'God consciousness (taqw"), for whoever wishes to be the mightiest of people then let him develop consciousness of God.' Then he recited God's words: eAnd whoever fears God, He will make for him a solution and will provide for him from where he does not expect.f
215 ibid; vol.73, chap.44, p.219, 9ad:th 26. 216 ibid; vol.81, chap.38, p.248. 217 The Holy Qur'an: ?"h" (20): 1-2. 218 tafs:r nYr al-thaqalayn; vol.3, p.367, 9ad:th 11. Qum edn. 219 al-am"l: of al-?Ys:; vol.2, p.154. 220 The Holy Qur'an: Divorce (65): 2-3. 221 bi9"r al-anw"r; vol.67, chap.56, p.275, 9ad:th 7.