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My Dear Kittens,

Pay attention to your countenance. Which are you? Cheerful, gloomy, a mixture of the two? Focus your journal writings for the next week on countenance. Recall happy times you have shared with family, friends, pets, or even a stranger. Write about those events. Hopefully this will help develop the habit of thinking cheerfully.

¸.♥´Mom

Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-’Uthaimeen’s
Makaarim-ul-Akhlaaq 

Having a cheerful countenance means that your face is radiant and illuminated when you come in contact with other human beings.

The opposite of this is to appear with a gloomy face.

This is why the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Do not think little of any good deed, even if it is encountering your brother with a cheerful face.” [5]

A poet put this understanding into a verse, saying:

“My son, indeed piety can be something so trivial,
as a cheerful face and a soft-spoken tongue.”

So a cheerful face allows happiness to enter into people; it brings out love and amiability; and it causes the heart to expand – both yours and those you encounter.

On the other hand, if you always appear upset, people will run away from you. They will not be happy sitting with you or talking to you. Perhaps you may even be afflicted with psychological problems.

You may be suffering from a dangerous disease known as stress. If so, then being happy and having a cheerful face is from the most effective treatments one can use to combat this disease. This is why doctors advise those who are afflicted with this illness to keep away from those things that cause them to be instigated and angered since that will only cause their sickness to grow.

So being happy and having a cheerful face causes this disease to be exterminated. And as a result of these two characteristics, a person will become loved by the people and dear to them.

These are the three foundations that good manners when dealing with the creation revolve around.

Also from the signs of good manners towards creation is: That a person observes good relations with those friends and relatives that he is contact with. He should not be bothered by them nor should he inconvenience them.

On the contrary, he should cause happiness to go into their hearts according to the extent that he is able to, within the confines of Allaah’s Legislation.

This restriction is absolutely necessary since there are some people who cannot be made happy except with things that are disobedience to Allaah, and we seek refuge in Allaah! So we should not consent with him in this.

However, causing happiness and joy to enter into those you keep ties with whether they are your family members, friends or relatives according to the limits of the Religion is part of having good manners. This is why the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The best of you are those who are the best towards their family. And I am the best of you towards my family.” [6]

Many people, unfortunately, display good manners in front of people yet they do not behave in the same manner towards their family. This is extremely wrong and the opposite of how things should be.

How can you have good manners in front of strangers yet bad manners in front of your own family? Someone may say: Because I take care of them and support them!

We respond by saying: This is not something that should cause you to display bad manners towards them. Your family members and relatives have the most right out of all people that you should be good-mannered towards them when accompanying and spending time with them.

This is why when a man once asked the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “O Messenger of Allaah, who has the most right amongst people of my good companionship”, he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied: “Your mother.” The man said: “Then who?” He replied: “Your mother.” The man said: “Then who?” He replied: “Your mother.” The man said: “Then who?” He replied: “Your father.” [7]

In spite of this, some people behave contrary to this. So you will find him having a bad relationship with his mother while having a good relationship with his wife. So he gives having good ties with his wife precedence (over having good ties with his mother) whereas the status of his wife before him is like that of a captive. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Take care of the women for indeed they are like captives before you.” [8]

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Footnotes
[5] Reported by Muslim (no. 144) and in extended form by At-Tirmidhee (no. 1833)
[6] Reported by At-Tirmidhee (no. 3895) and Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (no. 1312 of al-Mawaarid) from the narration of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her; It is found in Saheeh al-Jaami’-us-Sagheer (no. 3314); It was also reported by Ibn Maajah (no. 1977) from the narration of Ibn ‘Abbaas (radyAllaahu ‘anhu).
[7] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no. 5971), Muslim (no. 201) and Ibn Maajah (no. 2706)
[8] Reported by At-Tirmidhee (no. 3087) who said it was “hasan saheeh

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