Imam Al-Nawawi's Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 27
Reverence towards the Sanctity of the Muslims

Allah, the Exalted, says:

"And whosoever honours the sacred things of Allah, then that is better for him with his Rubb". (22:30)

"And whosoever honours the Symbols of Allah, then it is truly from the piety of the heart". (22:32)

"And lower your wing for the believers (be courteous to the fellow believers)". (15:88)

"...if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind". (5:32)

222. Abu Musa (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "The relationship of the believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) a building, each strengthens the other.'' He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) illustrated this by interlacing the fingers of both his hands.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith enjoins unity in the Muslim community, each member of which is like a brick, which, when they are all combined, lend strength to each other. Similarly, Muslims are like hands and arms, which physically joined together, are bound to co-operate with one another.

223. Abu Musa (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "Whoever enters our mosque or passes through our market with arrows with him, he should hold them by their heads lest it should injure any of the Muslims".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  Islam has made a forceful and elaborate arrangement for the security of the lives of the Muslims, but the abundance of arms and ammunition has vitiated this arrangement. Its senseless use has resulted in killing at large scale. It is used even on happy occasions to spread terror. Sometimes firing in the air for jubilation, costs some precious lives. Similarly, display of fireworks on festivities is a cause of great nuisance for the people living in that locality. May Allah grant us guidance to adhere to His Injunctions in every walk of life.

224. Nu`man bin Bashir (May Allah bepleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith has the same purport which is mentioned in the previous Hadith. It says that Muslims are akin to a living person. When he feels pain in one of his eyes, for example, his entire body feels it. When he suffers from a headache, he feels its pain throughout his body.

225. Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) kissed his grandson Al-Hasan bin `Ali (May Allah bepleased with them) in the presence of Al-Aqra` bin Habis. Thereupon he remarked: "I have ten children and I have never kissed any one of them.'' Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) looked at him and said, "He who does not show mercy to others will not be shown mercy".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  To kiss children with kindness and affection is not only permissible but also a means of attaining Allah's Mercy.

226. `Aishah (May Allah bepleased with her) reported: Some bedouins came to Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and asked: "Do you kiss your children?'' He said, "Yes". They then said: "By Allah, we do not kiss them.'' The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, "I cannot help you if Allah has snatched kindness from your hearts".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  Showing kindness and affection to children is a sign of that mercy and compassion with which Allah endows mankind.

227. Jarir bin `Abdullah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "He who is not merciful to people Allah will not be merciful to him.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  Kind treatment to Allah's creatures is very much liked by Allah. Even animals and birds are included in this category. Kind treatment with them makes a person eligible to the Mercy of Allah. Decent behaviour with people has been specifically mentioned in this Hadith although all creatures are covered by it.

228. Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When one of you leads the Salat, he should not prolong it because the congregation includes those who are feeble, ill or old". One version adds: "those who have to attend to work'') While offering prayers alone, you may pray as long as you like".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  According to this Hadith, the Imam - one who leads the congregational prayer, is enjoined to shorten the prayer in consideration of those who pray behind him. Shortening of prayer here means that the Surah of the Qur'an recited by him in the prayer should not be very long. This does not mean, however, that the postures of Salat, such as standing, bowing, prostration and sitting should not be done properly, as it is taken to mean by Muslims in general. Although it is a Sunnah about which the Noble Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) is reported to have said, "Pray as you see me praying.'' Thus, it is essential to perform Salat properly.

229. `Aishah (May Allah bepleased with her) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) would sometimes abstain from doing something he wished to do, lest others should follow him and it might become obligatory upon them.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith indicates the affection which the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) had for his followers. In spite of his fervent desire, he would sometime deliberately leave voluntary prayer lest it became obligatory upon the Muslims.

230. `Aishah (May Allah bepleased with her) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) prohibited his Companions out of mercy for them, from observing continuous fasting without a break. They said: "But you observe fast continuously". He replied, "I am not like you. I spend the night while my Rubb provides me with food and drink".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

(This means that Allah has bestowed upon him the power of endurance like that of a person who eats and drinks).

Commentary: The words "I am not like you'' should not be taken to mean here: "I am not a human like you''. What they really mean is that no one else has that special contact with Allah which he has. On account of this quality which was special to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), it is prohibited to keep fast continuously. In fact it is not only prohibited, but unlawful. In such cases, it is obligatory for Muslims to follow him faithfully.

231. Abu Qatadah Al-Harith bin Rib`i (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "I stand up to lead Salat with the intention of prolonging it. Then I hear the crying of an infant and I shorten the Salat lest I should make it burdensome for his mother".
[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary:  In this Hadith, brevity of prayers stands for recitation of short Surah of the Noble Qur'an in prescribed congregational prayers. The Sahih Muslim has elucidated this by saying that the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) would recite short Surah on hearing the crying of a baby. In short, this Hadith mentions that affection which he had for his followers. Its importance can be judged by the fact that he made a demonstration of it even in the prescribed prayers.

232. Jundub bin Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "When anyone offers the Fajr (dawn) prayer, in congregation, he is in the Protection of Allah. So let not Allah call him to account, withdrawing, in any respect, His Protection. Because, He will get hold of him and throw him down on his face in the Hell-fire.''
[Muslim]

Commentary:  This Hadith tells us that the Fajr prayer is in the nature of an agreement between Allah and His slave (Muslim). It tells us that he would not all day long depart from the way of Allah as he has not done by performing his Fajr prayer. He will not only perform all the other prescribed prayers but would also do nothing which will displease Allah. A Muslim who does not care to adhere to this agreement, and thereby shows disobedience of Allah, will be answerable to Him for it on the Day of Resurrection.

233. Ibn `Umar (May Allah bepleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. So he should not oppress him nor should he hand him over to (his satan or to his self which is inclined to evil). Whoever fulfills the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever removes the troubles of his brother, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and whoever covers up the fault of a Muslim, Allah will cover up his fault on the Day of Resurrection".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith is extremely important for the reason that it advises Muslims to live like family members. It says that one does not like to subject one's own son, brother, etc, to suppression, nor leaves him helpless in trouble, but helps him when he is in need of it, endeavours to relieve him of hardship and admonishes him when he does anything wrong. Almighty Allah is pleased with such behaviour and gives him best reward for it in this world and the next.

234. Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim. He should neither deceive him nor lie to him, nor leave him without assistance. Everything belonging to a Muslim is inviolable for a Muslim; his honour, his blood and property. Piety is here (and he pointed out to his chest thrice). It is enough for a Muslim to commit evil by despising his Muslim brother.''
[At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary:  This Hadith deals with the subject discussed in the preceding one. In fact, it elucidates the points raised there. Now, the heart is one thing which no one can check out; Allah Alone knows about it. The case of those who openly lead a sinful and impious life is of course quite different. To show hatred and disgust against such people is warranted by Faith.

235. Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "Do not envy one another; do not inflate prices by overbidding against one another; do not hate one another; do not harbour malice against one another; and do not enter into commercial transaction when others have entered into that (transaction); but be you, O slaves of Allah, as brothers. A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim; he neither oppresses him nor does he look down upon him, nor does he humiliate him. Piety is here, (and he pointed to his chest three times). It is enough evil for a Muslim to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother-in-faith: his blood, his property and his honour".
[Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith elaborates the importance of mutual brotherhood and goodwill among the Muslims. They are warned against jealousy which is a very malicious moral disease. One who suffers from it does not like to see others in happy circumstances and wants that they are deprived of whatever good they have.

This Hadith also prohibits Muslims from mutual hatred, enmity and indifference to others because all such things go against the concept of Islamic fraternity. The Hadith also warns Muslims against Najash (false bidding to raise the price in an auction) as it is clear deception and fraud is opposed to goodwill for others, while Muslims are required to express for each other goodwill, not ill-will.

This Hadith also prohibits making one bargain over the others because it generate malice and enmity.

236. Anas (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "No one of you shall become a true believer until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith deals more comprehensively with the subject discussed above. When a Muslim likes the same thing for another Muslim which he does for himself, then he will be obviously expressing goodwill to his fellow Muslims. When Muslims adopt this attitude at the community level, no Muslim will be an enemy of the other. In fact, each Muslim would then be a well-wisher and helper of other Muslims. May Allah enable us to adopt this attitude.

237. Anas (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed". A man enquired: "O Messenger of Allah! I help him when he is oppressed, but how can I help him when he is an oppressor?'' He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "You can keep him from committing oppression. That will be your help to him".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith contains a very comprehensive injunction to eliminate disturbance and tyranny in the Muslim society. It not only ordains helping the oppressed but also encourages people endowed with moral courage to stop the oppressor's oppression. Doing so requires great courage and boldness, but Muslims would be able to do full justice to their duty of wishing well to their fellow Muslims when they develop the moral courage to stop the oppressor from tyranny, or at least protest against it verbally.

238. Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "A believer owes another believer five rights: responding to greetings, visiting him in illness, following his funeral, accepting his invitation, and saying `Yarhamuk-Allah (May Allah have mercy on you),' when he says `Al-hamdu lillah (Praise be to Allah)' after sneezing".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

  Muslim's narration is, "There are six rights of a Muslim upon a Muslim: When you meet him, greet him; when he invites you, respond to him; when he seeks counsel, give him advice; when he sneezes and praises Allah, say to him: `May Allah have mercy on you (Yarhamuk-Allah)'; when he is sick, visit him; and when he dies, follow his funeral".

Commentary:  The bond of brotherhood among the Muslims has been further strengthened by the list in this Hadith about the rights of Muslims on one another.

239. Al-Bara' bin `Azib (May Allah bepleased with them) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) commanded us to observe seven things and forbade us seven. He ordered us to visit the sick; to follow funeral processions; to respond to a sneezer with `Yarhamuk-Allah (May Allah have mercy on you)' when he says `Al-hamdu lillah (Praise be to Allah),' to help the oppressed and to help others to fulfill their oaths, to accept invitation and to promote greeting. He forbade us to wear gold rings, to drink in silver utensils, to use Mayathir (silk carpets placed on saddles), to wear Al-Qassiy (a kind of silk cloth) to wear fine silk brocade.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  To materialize the pledge means that if a person relies on you and says that by Allah, you must do such and such a thing, then you should not let him down, you should do that work and fulfill his pledge. But this is subject to the condition that the work in question is not unlawful. It is not only permissible but also comes in the list of high moral values.