The Dislike of Praising (someone) to Their Face – By‘Alee Bin Zaid Bin Muhammad Bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee

The Dislike of Praising (someone) to Their Face

Taken from the book ‘Qabasun Min Rawaai’-il-Afnaan-in-Nadeeyah- Aadaabun Islaameeyah Wa Wasaayah Shar’eeyah WaAdhkaar Nabaweeyah’ [1] By‘Alee Bin Zaid Bin Muhammad Bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee

Translated by Abu Yusuf, Sagheer Ibn ‘Abdur-Rasheed Al-Kashmeeree

‘Alee Bin Zaid Al-Madkhalee says:

The twenty third advice: The dislike of praising (someone) to their face

And the reason for it being disliked is so that the one who is being spoken about does not become deceived by it and then feel arrogance, and that is an offense against him, and so that the one who is praising will not enter into anything of lying and bring about sin (upon himself).

And the proof for the dislike is what the two Sheikhs (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) have reported from the hadeeth of ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Bin Abee Bakrah from his father that a man praised a man in front of the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam). So, the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam) said:

Woe be to you, you have cut the neck of your companion”.

Then he said:

“If one of you is to definitely praise his brother then let him say: ‘I deem such and such (to be like that) and I do not praise anyone above Allah, Allah is his Reckoner’ – if he believes that he is like that. [2]

So, there is in this hadeeth a prohibition against the open praising (of a person) due to what it leads to in terms of harm which may beset both the one who is praising and the one who is being praised as I have already said, except that the Prophet (sallalahualaihi wa sallam) guided towards a substitute when a person wants to praise another person, as you have seen.

And in Saheeh Muslim from Miqdaad (may Allah be pleased with him) that a man began to praise ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) so Miqdaad proceeded (towards him) and went down on his knees and began to throw the gravel on his face. So, ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) said: ‘What’s the matter with you?’ So, he said: Indeed, the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam) said:

When you see those who praise people (to their faces), then throw dirt in their faces.” [3]

And in the two Saheehs of Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from Abu Moosa Al-Ash’aree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam) heard a man praise a man and extol him in praise, so he said:

You have destroyed or cut the back of the man.” [4]

And indeed, some of the scholars have made an exception to the dislike of a man praising (another) man for a good action or a praiseworthy affair occurring from him so that it would incite in him a desire to do the likes of it (again), and as an exhortation for the people in taking it as an example to be followed in those things which are similar to it.

I say: So, whosoever has to praise his brother to his face for a correct purpose which has limited or diverse benefit, then it is upon him to beware of exaggerating in the praise and making it long-winded. And it is also upon him to use the method which the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam) guided towards in the previous hadeeth.

Imaam Al-Baghawee said after mentioning the aforementioned hadeeth (of Miqdaad):

‘I say: And in totality, praise and commendation of a person (to their face) is disliked, for very rarely is the one who praises safe from a lie which he says whilst praising him, and very rarely is the one who is praised safe from the amazement (of himself) which enters him.’ [5]


[1] Translator’s footnote:, Daar-ul-Meerath-un-Nabawee , Burj-ul-Kayfaan, Algeria, 1st Edition, 1432/2011, Pp 138-1399. The author of this book is the son of the great scholar, Sheikh Zaid Bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullah) and he has taken selected portions from his father’s book Al-Afnaan-un-Nadeeyah Sharh Mandhoomat-us-Subul-is-Saweeyah and added extra benefits connected to etiquettes, supplications and advice from the Sharee’ah. The Sheikh has also given an introduction to this beneficial work.

[2] Al-Bukhaaree in Al-Adab…(Vol.8, page 16) and Muslim in Az-Zuhd War-Raqaaiq…(Vol.4, No.3000, page 2296)

[3] Muslim in Az-Zuhd War-Raqaaiq…(Vol.4, No.3002, page 2297)

[4] Al-Bukhaaree in Ash-Shahaadaat…(Vol.2, No.2520, page 947- Al-Boga [Ed.]) and Al-Adab… (Vol.5, No.5713, page 2251) and Muslim in Az-Zuhd War-Raqaaiq…(Vol.4, No.3001, page 2297)

[5] See Sharh-us-Sunnah (Vol.13, page 151)

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