Imam Al-Nawawi's Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 77
Indignation against the Transgression of Divine Laws

Allah, the Exalted, says:

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

"If you help (in the Cause of) Allah, He will help you, and make your foothold firm.'' (47:7)

649. Abu Mas`ud `Uqbah bin `Amr Al-Badri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and said: "I join the morning Salat late because of so-and-so who leads it and prolongs it.'' (Abu Mas`ud said): I have never seen the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) so angry while giving a speech as he was on that day. He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "Some of you create hatred among the people against faith. Whoever leads Salat (the prayer), should make it brief because the congregation includes old men and youngsters and those who have some urgent work to do.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  First, there is allowance for a genuine complaint regarding some public inconvenience. Second, a believer is supposed to be passionately uncompromising on religious precepts. Third, the Imam should refrain from prolonging Salat (prayer) and be considerate of the congregation standing behind him. But a brief recitation of the Qur'an or prayer does not imply a disregard of the example of the Prophet and the adjustment of different postures in Salat. In no way should it be a hasty and heedless Salat as unfortunately offered by a majority of men. They are scarcely regardful of the example of the Prophet in offering Salat. What a pity! Fourth, one may be exempted from offering congregational Salat for a valid religious excuse. fifth, the Imam should eschew an attitude which may foment people's aversion to worship.

650. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) returned once from a journey, and saw a curtain which I had hung along a platform with some pictures on it. The colour of his face changed. He tore it up and said, "O `Aishah, the most tormented people on the Day of Resurrection are those who contend with Allah in terms of creation.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  Here, too, we are told that lapses in religious matters may be resented vehemently. The Shari`ah condemns both the making of human portraits and their decoration in homes and, if displayed as sacred objects, they may be read as polytheistic manifestation. Besides, orthodox `Ulama' and researchers are of the opinion that making or keeping of any type of picture is forbidden and unlawful. The rule equally applies to a hand-made picture and a camera photograph, provided it is that of an animate object. Yet, making or keeping pictures of inanimate objects, both of mineral and vegetable kingdoms, is permissible. However, one is at liberty to get oneself photographed in an unavoidable situation. For instance, photographs are indispensable to passports, identity cards and similar other necessities of modern times in which man is helpless and we can not assert that he is inclined to satisfy his taste or to get himself photographed as a token of permissibility. Indeed, it is the requirement of international law. So, up to this extent he will not be called to account. Yet, he cannot be justified in overstepping this limit.

651. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Quraish were much worried about the case of a Makhzumiyah woman who had committed theft and wondered who should intercede for her with Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) (so that she would not get punished for her crime). Some said Usamah bin Zaid (May Allah be pleased with him) was his beloved and so he may dare do so. So Usamah(May Allah be pleased with him) spoke to him about that matter and the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said to him, "Do you intercede when one of the legal punishments ordained by Allah has been voilated?'' Then he got up and addressed the people saying, "The people before you were ruined because when a noble person amongst them committed theft, they would leave him, but if a weak person amongst them committed theft, they would execute the legal punishment on him. By Allah, were Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, to commit the theft, I would have cut off her hand.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The example of Allah's Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) clearly tells us that no intercession is allowed for a person who transgresses the limits set by Allah. And if anybody has the audacity to do so, the deciding authority is presumed to be impervious to his solicitation. Nor should the criminal's social status or family influence, if any, obstruct the administration of justice. The law and retribution rise above all discrimination and social hierarchy. Any contravention in this regard is enough to incur Divine wrath.

652. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) noticed spittle in the mosque in the direction of the Qiblah. The signs of disgust were perceived on his face. Then, he stood up and scraped it away with his own hand and said, "When you stand in Salat, you hold communion with your Rubb and He is between you and the Qiblah. Let no one therefore cast out his spittle in that direction, but only to his left or under his foot.'' Then he caught hold a corner of his sheet, spat into it and folded it up and said, "Or he should do like this.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  Worshippers are under obligation to observe certain manners in the mosque with the most important being abstinence from spitting towards Qiblah (Ka`bah). Instead the method pointed out in the Hadith may be put in effect right during Salat (prayer). Yet one, if not offering Salat, can turn to the mosque's washing-place where a channel exists for the outflow of unclean water, etc. Obviously, it is a better substitute for a pocket-handkerchief or sheet which should be used when necessary. Second, this Hadith tells us that every effort should be made to keep the place of worship neat and clean, and if anyone finds some dirt in the mosque, he should immediately remove it.