Monday, April 27, 2015

Brief Comments on Riyaadh al-Saaliheen #82

Tafseer: When you meet a foolish person, say Salaam...

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله ، وبعد

Allaah تعالى said:

﴿وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلاَمًا﴾

{And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allaah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.} [Surah al-Furqaan (25): 63)]

Shaikh Ibn al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:

{And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allaah)}, those whom Allaah تعالى has favored with His Mercy and guided them towards goodness. When they walk on the earth, they walk with humility, meaning: when you see anyone of them, you will see dignity in his walk and not the hastiness which is reprehensible. [1]

{and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.}, meaning: they speak with words by which they protect themselves from the evils of the foolish ones. The word ﴿سَلاَمًا﴾ (Salaaman) doesn’t mean that they (only) greet them with Salaams (by saying: Assalaam `alaikum…); rather it means that when the foolish addresses them, they speak in ways with which they protect themselves from their evil – either by repelling them (the foolish) with that which is better (i.e. with good words and in good manner) or by remaining silent when they see that silence is better (for their own good). The important thing is that a person says something (or does something) by which he protects himself, because the case of a foolish one is a difficult one (to manage). If you quarrel with him or argue with him, he may surprise you with words which would be unpleasant to you, or he may say something unpleasant about the goodness you are calling towards – he may insult the Deen or something similar – And Allaah’s refuge is sought. [2]

So from the blessings of the Most Beneficent over His slaves is that when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness; meaning with words that which will protect them from their evil and it will not be a sin upon them.

Similarly, from the characteristics of the slaves of the Most Beneficent that is mentioned further in the Surah, are:

﴿وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا﴾

{And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.} [Surah al-Furqaan (25): 72)]

{And those who do not witness falsehood}, meaning: they do not bear witness to falsehood or hideous acts.

{And if they pass by some evil play or evil talk}, meaning: that in which there is no goodness or benefit.

{They pass by it with dignity}, meaning: safely away from it. This is because sometimes the matters are either beneficial, or harmful, or just a waste of time. As for evil, then they do not bear witness to it (i.e. they do not sit in gathering or visit places where evil is taking place)[3]; and as for useless talk, they protect themselves from it and pass by it with dignity; and as for goodness, they hang on to it.

[Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen (4/91-92)]


[1] Allaah تعالى says:

﴿وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا ۖ إِنَّكَ لَن تَخْرِقَ الْأَرْضَ وَلَن تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولًا﴾

{And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth, nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height.} [Surah al-Israa’ (17): 37)]

And Luqmaan عليه السلام advised his son saying:

﴿وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ * وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ ۚ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ﴾

{“And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allaah likes not each arrogant boaster. And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the donkeys.”} [Surah Luqmaan (31): 18-19)]

[2] Among the statements that have been attributed to Imaam al-Shafi`ee:

“I have never debated with a knowledgeable person, except that I won the debate, and I have never debated with an ignorant person, except that I lost.”

“The foolish one addresses me with words of disgrace, but I hate to respond to him in a similar manner. The more ignorant he proves, the more patient I become. Just like the incense; the more it’s burnt, the more it releases its fragrance.”

“When the foolish one speaks, do not reply to him, for better than a response (to him) is silence, and if you speak to him you have aided him, and if you leave him (with no reply), in extreme sadness he dies.”

“Say what you wish in abuse of me, for my silence towards the foolish one is indeed an answer. I am not at a loss for a response but rather, it does not befit the lion to answer the dogs.”

Note: These are some of the statements attributed to Imaam al-Shaafi`ee, widespread over the internet, but I could not find any reference for them, even the Arabic websites fail to mention the references.

[3] Allaah تعالى says:

﴿وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ وَإِمَّا يُنسِيَنَّكَ
 الشَّيْطَانُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَىٰ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ * وَمَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنْ حِسَابِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ وَلَـٰكِن ذِكْرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ﴾

{And when you see those who engage in a false conversation about Our Verses by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Shaitaan causes you to forget, then after the remembrance sit not you in the company of those people who are the Zalimoon (wrong-doers). Those who fear Allaah, keep their duty to Him and avoid evil are not responsible for them in any case, but (the Believer's duty) is to remind them, that they may avoid that.} [Surah al-An`aam (6): 68-69]

He تعالى also says:

﴿وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ آيَاتِ اللَّـهِ يُكْفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلَا تَقْعُدُوا مَعَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ إِنَّكُمْ إِذًا مِّثْلُهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ جَامِعُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعًا﴾

{And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Qur’aan) that when you hear the Verses of Allaah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them…} [Surah al-Nisaa’ (4): 140]

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