$426 BILLION. Yes indeed. Four hundred and twenty six billion dollars were spent globally on cosmetics in 2011! Cosmetics are mainly used to beautify oneself. The effect though is exactly what the name suggests – cosmetic, artificial and fake. Real beauty is the beauty of the heart. If the heart has been truly adorned and beautified with good akhlaaq (character), its fragrance will refresh the minds and enliven the hearts of all those around one. On the contrary, if the heart is filled with the decay of bad character, layers and layers of cosmetics will not mask the odour that will emanate from the decaying heart, thus causing pain and hardship to all.
Amongst the greatest adornments of the heart is ADAB (respect). If the heart is infused with adab, it will manifest itself in our words and deeds, in our relationship with Allah Ta’ala as well as with His servants and in public and privacy. A person who is endowed with adab – the adab taught in the Quraan and sunnah – becomes beloved to Allah Ta‘ala and gains the love and respect of people as well. He becomes a source of pleasure and delight for others while he also enjoys peace and happiness from all.
Every aspect of deen is underscored by adab. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) emphasized adab for Allah Ta‘ala. Thus he instructed that one should not unnecessarily expose his satr (parts of the body that are compulsory to conceal from others) even when in privacy – out of respect for Allah Ta‘ala. How much more important is it then that one does not sin in front of Allah Ta’ala, who is All Seeing, OUT OF RESPECT FOR HIM.
Numerous other aspects of adab have been highlighted in the Quraan and hadeeth. For instance, adab for parents has been emphasised to such an extent that we are commanded not to even say “oof” to them. In another aspect of adab, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) forbade relieving oneself in the direction of the Qibla, or to spit or stretch one’s legs in that direction – out of respect for the Ka’bah Shareef. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is also reported to have said: “This Ummah will continue to prosper as long as they truly uphold the honour and respect of the Ka’bah. When they will no longer uphold the respect of the Ka’bah they will be destroyed” (Musannaf ibn Abi Shaibah). Likewise He warned that he who does not respect his elders or a practicing Bearer of the Quraan “is not from among us.” He stressed that the Azaan be respected and listened to attentively and even exhorted the Ummah to “respect bread” (by not wasting it, etc).
Among the aspects that demand the greatest respect is the Quraan Shareef. The Quraan Shareef should be handled and kept with utmost respect. Tragically, the respect for the Quraan Shareef is severely dwindling. Many children carry the Quraan Shareef to school in bags slung behind their backs, sandwiched between textbooks!! Such compounded and gross disrespect to the Quraan Shareef invites the wrath of Allah Ta’ala. May Allah Ta’ala protect us.
In this regard another aspect that requires serious reflection and consideration is the Quraan apps on smart phones. Technically speaking, it is permissible to have a Quraan app on one’s phone. If the app is not in use and the Quraan is not displayed on the screen, it is permissible to also go with the phone into the toilet, since the actual words are not inscribed on the phone. However, when the Quraan app has been switched off and the phone is slipped into the pants pocket, subconsciously the heart is registering that one has just slipped the Quraan into one’s pants!! Furthermore, the screen upon which anything and “everything” is displayed is the same surface upon which the Quraan Shareef is then displayed. It is akin to placing a copy of the Quraan Shareef in a “clean” bag that is used to carry anything and everything! As this subconscious effect keeps affecting the heart, the fear is that eventually the printed copy of the Quraan will also be handled in a similar manner, Allah forbid.
The house of Allah Ta‘ala, the Musjid, is also a victim of gross disrespect. Noise in the Musjid, especially after a nikaah or some program, is a common malady. The one who engages in worldly talk in the Musjid is in fact cursed by the angels. However, while noise and worldly talk are severe forms of disrespect, another silent form of disrespect has surpassed this. The severe silent disrespect is the “chatting” and other communi-cation that continues on the phone while in the Musjid.
The Musjid is a sanctified place where one should connect with Allah Ta‘ala. Instead, many people are sadly connected to others and even the internet in the Musjid!! Some youngsters were also caught viewing filthy material in the house of Allah Ta’ala … Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilaihi raaji‘oon. Out of respect for the sanctity of the Musjid the cell-phone should be completely switched off. Keeping connected with the phone could result in getting disconnected from Allah Ta‘ala.
The ‘Ulama have stated that nobody has gained anything significant without adab, while one of the main reasons for being deprived, especially in deen, is the lack of adab. Thus every effort must be made to adopt the highest level of respect, especially for the symbols of deen such as the Quraan Shareef and the Musjid. This is vital for our success in this world and the next.
Q & A: Hanafi or Muslim?
Question: A friend at campus often asks fellow students: “Are you a Muslim or a Hanafi/Shaafi‘ee?” How does one respond to such a question? Please advise.
Answer: The word “or” (in the context of the question) is used between two words of the same species. It is correct to ask someone whether he will eat “rice or bread” since both are food items, but you cannot enquire whether he will eat “bread or paper”. Likewise, if your friend asks someone whether he lives in Durban or South Africa, the question will be absurd. Only one who is ignorant of the fact that Durban is not a country, but a city in South Africa, can ask such a question.
Your friend’s question implies that one can either be a Muslim or a Hanafi. Thus if someone says he is a Hanafi then, Allah forbid, he is not a Muslim!! It is the same as asking whether you live in Durban or South Africa, and that if you live in Durban, then you are not a South African???
Such questions stems from being ignorant of the fact that Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullahi ‘alaihi) did not make his own deen. By means of the great expertise and in-depth knowledge that Allah Ta’ala had blessed him with, he deduced the laws of deen from the Quraan and hadeeth. His expertise and mastery was attested to by the likes of ‘Abdullah bin Mubaruk