General Qualities of a Passionate Muslim
A passionate Muslim is also one who loves righteous deeds and tries his best to extend kindness to others without seeking any compensation. The Prophet said:
“Be happy with what God has provided you and you shall be the richest of people. Love for others what you love for yourself and you shall be a true Muslim.” (Sahih al-Jami #100)
A passionate Muslim is impartial when he deals with all people, even with his enemies. The Prophet would always remind any army he sent forth: “Do not kill any children, women, or elderly. Do not cut down a tree, except one that impedes your movement. Do not mutilate or kill any animal and do not become deceitful.” (Baihaqi #9/91)
A passionate Muslim is one who protects his environment and stands against any form of cruelty. The Prophet passed by a people who were about to brand a donkey on its face and he said: “Has it not reached you that I have cursed anyone who brands a donkey on its face or hits it on its face?” (Abu Dawood #2564)
A passionate Muslim will not hunt simply for thrill seeking. Abdullah bin Masood said: “We accompanied the Messenger of Allah on a trip and we saw a bird with its hatchlings and some of us took the hatchlings. The mother bird began searching frantically for them. When the Prophet saw this, he said: “Who has frightened this bird! Give it back its hatchlings!” (Abu Dawood #2673)
Similar to this incident is what the Prophet said upon seeing an ant hill that was set on fire. He said: “Who burnt this?” The Companions said: “We did O Messenger of Allah!” He then said: “It is not befitting (for you) to harm anything with fire, as this is the right of God alone!” (Abu Dawood #2675)
A passionate Muslim maintains and preserves public facilities and does not misuse them. It is prohibited for a Muslim to litter and toss trash in public places; for the Prophet said: “Beware of the two accursed actions; one who relieves himself on a pathway used by people and or one who does so in a shaded area.” (Abu Dawood #25)
A passionate Muslim goes a step further; he removes harmful objects from the pathway of people. The Prophet said: “Removing harmful objects from the pathway of people is a charitable act.” (Abu Dawood #5243)
A passionate Muslim conserves resources that will maintain the health and well-being of the environment. The Prophet said: “Do not cut down a tree that bears fruit, do not kill an animal without due reason and do not harm a believer.” (Abu Dawood #398)
A passionate Muslim advocates for the protection of the environment; not only by word of mouth but through action as well. The Prophet said: “If the Final Hour is established and one of you has a seedling in his hand, let him plant it.” (Silsilah #9)
A passionate Muslim also conserves water. He conserves it and protects it from being rendered unusable. Jabir said: “The Prophet forbade that one urinate in a pool of stagnant water.” (Muslim)
A passionate Muslim strives to provide water to every individual in need of it. It is unlawful for one to monopolize and sell these basic components of life, as the Prophet said: “People are equal in three; herbage, water and fire.” (Abu Dawood #3477)
A passionate Muslim tries his best to conserve these three resources so that the entire community can benefit from them. One should not waste them for the Prophet said to Sa’d: “Do not waste water, even if you are using water from a running river.” (Ahmed #12/23)
The above points are a few of the beautiful, finer qualities a Muslim strives to uphold. Upholding these qualities would no doubt increase one’s faith and make them a better Muslim. God, the Exalted, says: “Say, "If you love God, follow me and God will love you and forgive you your sins. God is most forgiving, and most merciful."” (3:31)
This is the nature of Islam! It nourishes the soul and uplifts an individual from his base desires to become a passionate believer in God.
In this booklet, we will only talk about one aspect related to passion; regarding women. With the advent of Islam, the reign of oppression against women came to a sudden end. Women were elevated, given rights and treated as equals to their male counterparts. This is exemplified in the words of the second caliph in Islam, Umar. He said: “By Allah, during the pre-Islamic era we didn’t regard women with any importance until Allah revealed what he had revealed and granted them the rights they were granted.” (Bukhari #4913)
With the advent of Islam, the Prophet openly conveyed the rights of women; he also mentioned that a man would be favored in the sight of God on account of his good ethical behavior and treatment towards his womenfolk. The Prophet said: “The best of you are the best to their womenfolk.” (Sahih al-Jami #3316)
In light of the Prophet’s instructions women held prestigious roles and were regarded highly; even men were not given such lofty regard! There are many narrations that speak of women’s status in Islam. The Prophet said: “Treat women with kindness.” (Muslim #1468)
He also said: “A noble is one who would treat his family well; whereas an ignoble is one who would ridicule them.” (Silsilah #845)
He also said: “Believers with the most complete faith are the ones who possess good manners and are kind to their families.” (Tirmidthi #2612)
The Prophet was very compassionate to any woman who approached him for help. Even when the elderly and mentally unstable women came to him he went out of his way to help them. Once a woman who was known to be mentally unstable sought the Prophet’s help and he gave her his complete attention and helped her! (Muslim #2326)
The Prophet encouraged that one raise their daughters or sisters in the best manner. He said: “Whoever raises two or three daughters or sisters until they get married or he dies while raising them, he will be in my company in Heaven.” (Targhib #1970)
Man-made barriers and preferential systems were discontinued; no longer was one considered of less importance on account of their skin-color, ethnicity, language or other similar barriers. The Prophet made this very clear when the female care-taker of his Mosque had passed away. When he found out he was very upset as no one had informed him. He said: “You should have informed me!” He then proceeded to her grave and performed the funeral prayer on her. (Ibn Majah #1247)
Islam views men and women as equal; they are charged with similar duties. The Prophet said: “Women are the twin halves of men.” (Abu Dawood #236) This narration signifies that they are equal to men in terms of the duties they are ordered to perform.
The Prophet also said: “The best thing for a man is (to get married to) a pious woman.” (Muslim #1467)
One of the greatest sources of happiness for a man is to have a pious woman by his side. The Prophet said: “Four are from happiness; a pious woman, a wide living space, a good neighbor and a comfortable ride.” (Targheeb #2576)
The Prophet considered marriage as the completion of half one’s faith. The Prophet said: “When a person gets married he would have completed half his faith, so let him fear Allah in the other half.” (Sahih al-Jami #6148)
The Prophet instructed Muslims to respect women as mothers. He ordered that one obey his mother and show her love and respect; furthermore, it is an obligation upon children to take care of her. This in itself is a great reason for one to be admitted into the Heavenly Garden. It has been said: “The Heavenly Garden is sought through one’s mother (i.e. by treating her well).”
A mother should be respected more than a father. The Prophet made this clear when a man asked him: “O Messenger of Allah who is the one most deserving of my good companionship?” The Prophet answered: “Your mother.” He then asked: “Who is most deserving after her?” He said: “Your Mother!” He then asked: “Who is most deserving after her?” He said: “Your mother!” He then asked: “who is most deserving after her?” he said: “Your father.” (Bukhari #5971)
The Prophet instructed us to respect women as wives. He informed his Companions that he loved and respected his wife. When Amr b. Al-Aas asked him: “Who is the most beloved of all people to you?” He said: “A’ishah!” He then responded, “I meant from among the men.” He said: “Then her father.” He asked: “Then who?” he said: “Then Umar”. (Bukhari #4358)
The Prophet also respected women as daughters. A’ishah said: “I have not seen anyone closer to the mannerisms and character of the Prophet then Fatimah, daughter of the Prophet. Whenever she visited the Prophet the Prophet stood up and embraced her. He then directed her to sit in his place.” (Tirmidthi #3872)
This is the manner in which the Prophet treated women. The Prophet’s high ethical code and manner of behavior is actually taken from the words of Allah: “And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” (4:19)
The exegete, Ibn Kathir, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “Speak in a respectful manner with them, treat them well and dress up in a pleasing manner; do for them what you would like done for yourself.”
Maintaining good manners is in itself highly rewarding. When the Companions learnt of this teaching, they made a point of upholding it, Ibn Abbas said: “I indeed beautify myself for my wife, as I love her to do the same for me. It is not befitting of me to seek all my rights from my wife, for I would have to give her all her rights as well. Allah, the Exalted, says: “They have rights equal to your rights upon them.” (2:228)
A true, pious Muslim will indeed be the kindest individual to his family. Imam Ahmed, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “My beloved son, you will not achieve true happiness in your home except through nine things:
- Women love to be pampered and they enjoy that their husbands express feelings of love towards them; so do not become a miser in this regard, for if you do this will create hard-feelings between the two of you.
- Women hate strict men, and will readily serve men who are kind towards them; so deal with your wife wisely, for this will bring about love and a sense of contentment between spouses.
- Women love to see from their husbands what their husbands love to see from them. Dressing well, smelling of a good fragrance are some of the issues a husband should uphold.
- The home is the kingdom of a woman; within it, she should feel like a queen on a pedestal. Do not destroy that environment, for if you do she will harbor within herself feelings of enmity towards you, even if she doesn’t show it.
- A woman enjoys the love of both her husband and her family. So do not place a proposition before her, ‘it’s either me or them!’ If she chooses you in this situation know that she will harbor hatred towards you day after day.
- A woman is created from a ‘bent rib’ and this is the secret behind her beauty and allure. This is not a fault so do not become harsh towards her if she makes a mistake, for this may lead to breaking that bone, which is divorce. Do not overlook a mistake she does; rather, correct it in a good manner, for if you do not she would not listen to you thereafter.
- It is within the nature of woman to forget the blessings extended towards them. One may show extreme kindness for a period of time, only for it to be forgotten. As well, if one makes a mistake once, they may say: “I have not seen any goodness from you.” Do not allow this manner and trait within her to cause you to hate her or abandon her. Indeed if you dislike one quality within her, there are many others that you will love.
- A woman goes through periods of physical weakness and fatigue. It’s during these times that Allah alleviates some of the duties due upon her while others are due after that period of weakness. Be devout towards her during this time and do not impose many tasks upon her.
- Know that a woman is like a captive. Be kind towards her and she will be the best thing a man can hope for during his life.
The same form of advice was given by many women towards their daughters. When the daughter of Umm E’yaas was married off to Amr bin Hajar, the King of Kinda, she said to her daughter: “My beloved daughter, I give you words of advice, consider them as a reminder: ‘My dear daughter, you have parted from an environment that you are accustomed to, to one that you are unaccustomed to. You will enter a home that is foreign to you. Be kind towards your husband and he will become kind towards you. My beloved daughter, remember these important traits and you will have a successful relationship:
- Be content with him and revere him.
- Always appear in the most beautiful manner before him and don’t have an unpleasant odor.
- Tend to him when he is about to sleep and is hungry.
- Do not disobey him, nor expose his secrets. If you do that, then you will not be safe from his treachery. Do not appear happy when he is in distress and do not become saddened when he is happy.
From this advice we can see the important role woman hold in Islam; indeed this negates the claim of anyone who claims women are oppressed in Islam.
Dear reader, as you progress through this booklet, you will learn about the passion of Prophet Muhammad; in spite of his many duties, he never forgot about the importance of raising a good family. In fact, he said: “The best of you are the best to his family.” (Tirmidthi #3895)
This is the scale through which people are judged; the best to their families are the most beloved to Allah. Due to the Prophet’s busy, difficult lifestyle Allah, the Exalted, commanded the Prophet to give the choice to his wives to remain with him or leave him. A’ishah said: “The Prophet started with me, and said: “I want to mention a matter to you; don’t rush and respond to me right away, instead take your time and seek your parents’ council.” Allah then revealed: “O Prophet, say to your wives, ‘If you should desire the worldly life and its adornment, then come, I will provide for you and give you a gracious release. But if you should desire Allah and His Messenger and the home of the Hereafter - then indeed, Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a great reward.’” (33:28) A’ishah said: “O Messenger of Allah, why shall I seek the council of my parents! Indeed I want Allah, His Messenger, and the Next Life.” The same took place with the rest of the Prophet’s wives and they all chose to remain with him. (Muslim #1475)
This story indicates the love his wives had for him and how pleased they were with him. The Prophet had no leverage to keep them ‘captive’ but instead allowed them to choose the course of life they wanted. The Prophet was married to nine wives; they all lived a blissful, peaceful and romantic life with him.
The Prophet is indeed the greatest individual known throughout the course of our history as is recognized by impartial non-Muslims. Thomas Carlyle, the famous Scottish writer, attested to this. He said in his book ‘Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History’: 'But, from an early age, he had been remarked as a thoughtful man. His companions named him "Al Amin, The Faithful." A man of truth and fidelity; true in what he did, in what he spoke and thought. They noted that he always meant something. A man rather taciturn in speech; silent when there was nothing to be said; but pertinent, wise, sincere, when he did speak; always throwing light on the matter. This is the only sort of speech worth speaking! Through life we find him to have been regarded as an altogether solid, brotherly, genuine man. A serious, sincere character; yet amiable, cordial, companionable, jocose even - a good laugh in him withal: there are men whose laugh is as untrue as anything about them; who cannot laugh. A spontaneous, passionate, yet just, true-meaning man! Full of wild faculty, fire and light; of wild worth, all uncultured; working out his life - takes in the depth of the Desert there.'
'They called him a prophet, you say? Why, he stood there face to face with them, here, not enshrined in any mystery, visibly clouting his own cloak, cobbling his own shoes, fighting, counseling ordering in the midst of them. They must have seen what kind of a man he was, let him be called what ye like. No emperor with his tiaras was obeyed as this man in a cloak of his own clouting. During three and twenty years of rough, actual trial, I find something of a veritable hero necessary for that of itself.'
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