The Sunnah: A Source of Civilization

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  • The Sunnah: A Source of Civilization

  • Constructive Positivism

    The spirit of constructive positivism is one of the bases of Civilized Fiqh which the Sunnah stressed. This spirit should control the Muslim's mind, senses, thought and conduct. It symbolizes interest in deeds rather than verbal eloquence and rhetoric. It lays great importance on construction rather than demolishing and in lighting candles rather than abusing darkness.

    This positive orientation is quite evident in the hadiths that call for exerting one's utmost until the very last moment of one's life even though the Last Hour is established or is about to.The Hadith reported that the Prophet said:"If the Hour is about to be established and one of you was holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it." 
    [Note: Reported by Ahmad and Al-Bukhan on the authority of Anas in Al Adab Al-Mufrad, see also Sahih Al- Jami' Al-Saghir, No.1424]

    Now, why should a Muslim use this precious moment in planting a palm shoot? Why should he busy himself with it, when the Last Hour is established or is about to be, not with standing the fact that neither he nor anyone else is going to benefit from it? How come he wastes that invaluable second of the establishment of the Hour in planting a palm shoot that will not yield before years to come?

    This tiny shoot is a symbol of the value of activity per Se. A Muslim worships Allah through working so as to construct the land. He is to keep on working until his last breath.

    This positive orientation is evident in elevating the mastery of one's work to the level of obligation and worship. A Muslim is not only ordered to do his work in the best possible way, but also to perfect and master it in every possible way.

    The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "Allah ordered us to do good in everything one does. So, if you kill, do it in the best way, and if you slaughter, do it in the best way, and let one of you sharpen his blade and make his victim comfortable". [Note: Reported by Muslim. Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa'i, lbn Majah on the authority of Shaddad Ibn Aws, the previous reference, No. 1795]


    "Allah likes you to exert your utmost to master your work." [Note: Reported by Al-Baihaqi on the authority of `Ai'shah, Shu'ab Al- Iman. It is also mentioned as Good hadith in the previous reference, No.1880, 1891]

    Many hadiths prohibit abuse for its negativity and futility The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was neither a Fahish (one who speaks bad words) nor a Mutafahish (one who speaks obscene evil words to make people laugh). I will mention many hadiths in succession which prohibit the abuse of many things as mentioned in "Sahih Al- Jami' Al Saghir" and its apexes, that emphasize the importance the Sunnah laid on implanting this positive spirit into Muslim and giving impetus to build rather than to demolish. These Hadiths are:Abu Dawud reported on the authority of Jabir Ibn Salim that the Prophet said: "Do not abuse anyone and do not underestimate the value of doing what is right."

    In agreed upon hadith, Abi Sa'd and Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: "Do not abuse my Companions. By Allah in Whose Hands my soul rests, if any of you spent money as high as Uhud mountain in Allah's Way, he will not be half as near to the piety, generosity and righteousness of one of them."

    Al-Bukhari and others reported on the authority of`Aishah that the Prophet said: "Do not abuse the dead, for they have reached the rest of what they have done."

    Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah reported on the authority of Al-Mughirah that the Prophet said: "Do not abuse the dead and hurt the living.

    Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said:"Do not abuse the Dahr (Time) for Allah is the Dahr."Abu Dawud reported on the authority of Zaid Ibn Khalid that the Prophet said:"Do not abuse the cock for he wakes Muslims for Prayers."

    Al-Nasa'i and Al-Hakim reported on the authority of `Ubai that the Prophet said: 
    "Do not abuse the wind for it is from the Spirit of Allah. Ask Allah for its latent good and seek His Refuge from its latent evils."

    Muslim reported on the authority of Jabir that Prophet said: "Do not abuse fever for it is blots out the sins of Adam's sons just like what the bellows does to iron."

    Tammam, Al-Dailami and Al-Mukhlis reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: "Do not abuse Satan, it is enough to seek Allah's Refuge from his evil". [Note: All of these hadiths are quoted from Sahih Al- Jami al-Saghir, second edition, p 8309-8322]

    These hadiths Stress that abuse might be unintentionally directed to those who do not deserve it such as: the Companions who propagated Islam all over the world, taught people the Qur'an and the Sunnah and paved the way for future generations to embrace Islam.

    As for the one who abuses Dahr (Time) is actually abusing MI ah, for Dahr does not do anything on its own, in fact, it is only a framework for events. Therefore, if someone abuses the Mastermind and Director of these events, he actually abuses Allah, the Exalted.

    Also, the one who abuses the wind is actually abusing Allah who made it subservient to him and ordered it to blow wherever and whenever He wills. Thus, He sends the wind with mercy or torture.

    Another abuses what does good for him as when he abuses the cock when it cries although it does him good as it wakes him up for Prayer.

    Others curse fever notwithstanding the fact that it expiates sins.   
    Cursing Satan is futile. Instead, one should remember Allah, the Exalted, seek His Refuge from the evils of Satan. One of the most famous Hadiths concerning this matter
     is as follows: Abu Taymimah Al-Hugaimi reported that:

    "one day as I was ridding behind the Prophet on a donkey, it stumbled and I shouted "let Satan perish!" The Prophet said "Do not say "let Satan perish" for if you say so he will feel important and haughty and he will say "I thwarted him with my power!" Instead say: "In the name of Allah", so that he will feel humiliated and be weaker than a fly". 
    [Note: Al-Mundhiri said, in his book "Al-Targhib" that it is reported by Ahmad, Al-Baihaqi and Al-Hakim, but he said "If Allah's Name is mentioned, he will diminish until be becomes like a fly." Al-Dhahabi agrees with him, vol. 10, p.132. See also hadiths No.1915 and 1917 from our book "Al-Mantaqa Mm Al-Targhib Wa Al- Tarhib."]

    In another version Abu Dawud reported: "He will feel as big and mighty as a house." [Note: Reported by Abu Dawud in Al-Adab, No.4982]

    This means that the devil becomes puffed up with pride whenever one curses him or invokes Allah against him. However, when one remembers Allah and ignores Satan then Satan feels dwarfish and grovels. Certainly, pronouncing "in the Name of Allah" is a positive act because it means that one is remembering Allah and seeking His Refuge, whereas saying "let Satan perish" is a negative act as it does not offer solutions, nor achieve anything, thus Satan rejoices on hearing it. 

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