Speaking Harshly

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Today after jummah prayer was over I was looking for a women who I had told I would give her money, so I was looking for her and a man came and asked me for money and he claims that he’s the person I “promised”, so he basically lied. I got angered and spoke harshly to him. Am I sinful for speaking to the man harshly?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The answer to this question would depend on the nature of your harshness and what exactly you stated.

Anger is not only a natural human emotion but a necessary one for essential human functioning. However, because it is so easy for a person’s anger to become a “swelling ocean” and exceed the bounds, our religion has placed great emphasis on controlling and moderating one’s anger. Thus, the Prophet (blessings upon him) counselled his companions not to become angry. [Bukhari], and many great scholars when asked to summarise good character said it was to leave aside anger. [al-Ghazali, Ihya Ulum al-Din]

Imam al-Ghazali mentions that anger is acceptable only:

i. at the right time,
ii. in the right place,
iii. for the right reasons, and
iv. with the right intensity.

Falling short in any of these points will lead to imbalance and a type of anger the Prophet warned against – one that is not entailed by religion nor the intellect. This imbalanced and blameworthy anger is dangerous because of what it leads to: mockery, insults, demeaning and abusing others, envy, hatred, backbiting etc.

If your anger involved any of this, it should be considered sinful and you should repent. However, if it was merely an expression of firmness and frustration at this person’s act of lying that did not exceed the bounds, it would not be sinful.

But it is often superior to hold back and put up with people in the type of situation you describe and to still seek the forgiveness of God. Imam Ahmad stated, “Good character is to not get angry or enraged. Good character is to patiently endure what comes from people.” [Ibn Rajab, Jami al-Ulum wa’l-Hikam] The spiritual masters of Islam advise people to resist the impulses of their self (nafs) as a form of training it. In other words, when it gets angry, a person should strive to conquer it through good moral character and a display of gentleness. [al-Qushayri, al-Risala]

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas was born and raised in New York, graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in Amman with his wife.

Purifying the Hearts- Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

In a Friday sermon given in Cape Town, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin reminds us about the relationship between the believers and the state of their hearts, to their connection with Allah. He quotes the hadith, “The Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him), said, “Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions.” (Sahih Muslim)

Traits such as humility, gratitude, trust in Allah, are some of these traits that can adorn our hearts. So many people spend so much time worrying about their appearance, wealth or property. Imam al-Ghazali asks, “How much time do you spend adorning your heart?”

The Prophet(peace be upon him) was sent to a people who had many social ills in their society, and said, “I was sent to perfect character.” Examples include Umar ibn al-Khattab, who was a person of harshness before Islam. Afterward, he completely changed. Now, 1400 years later, people’s hearts are still being transformed by him.

There is no greater way to Allah’s pleasure than working towards purifying our hearts. True knowledge is passed through embodiment, not merely through books. This is why we are called to venerate the scholars and elders, so that we may learn from them.

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The Power of Speaking Truth in Life – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this Friday khutba, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani speaks about the power of speaking the truth. It was from Prophet’s practice (peace and blessings be upon him) to recite particular verses during his khutba. The verses 70-71 from Sura Ahzab are two such verses.

 O  believers! Be mindful of Allah, and say what is right. He will bless your deeds for you, and forgive your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, has truly achieved a great triumph.” (Ahzab: 70-71)

Shaykh Faraz explains that being mindful of Allah is to uphold taqwa. Mindfulness of Allah is to fulfill the purpose of this life in submitting to Allah Most High, seeking His good pleasure, and seeking His closeness. The first step in mindfulness is to leave what Allah has prohibited.

Shaykh Faraz then reminds to not be silent when the truth is called for.  Always say what is right. The most honored with Allah is the most mindful. Speak truthful and upright speech, and Allah will rectify all your actions. Speaking that which is wrong harms other people. One is commanded to say what is right. In doing what is right a believer is concerned with all the truths.

The purpose of speech  is to say things of benefit. Being considerate in one’s speech is the key to change. One should learn restraint and how to act with purpose. One of the keys to speech is to speak with intention, seeking the pleasure of Allah, and  in accordance with the sunna. Prophetic concern was to always speak what is right.

A Day in Madina (Part 3) – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

In this third part of the series A Day in Madina by Shaykh Faid, he begins by describing the night in Madina. When Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) came to Madina, he changed everything. This included the culture and people’s attitude toward one another. The people’s understandings and perspective changed. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was always engaged in something. He (peace and blessings be upon him) never wasted his time, was always doing dhikr, reciting Qur’an, serving others, etc. He remembered Allah in all of his states. When Anas (Allah be pleased with him) was brought to serve the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), he was in fact brought to learn from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Everything benefits from the mercy of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) transformed people. It was from prophetic concern that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) created brotherhood among the companions. Everyone wanted the honor of serving the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). It was from prophetic concern that he (peace and blessing be upon him) wanted to be a grateful servant.

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The Greatest People – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

In this podcast, Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said begins by reminding us that many people saw the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) but didn’t see the light of prophethood within him. Many people praised  Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) but didn’t see this light. He (peace and blessings be upon him) was honored by Allah, raised in stations, and yet still had absolute humility. Shaykh Faid ends by mentioning the statement of Imam Shafi’i “ The best among Allah’s creation is someone who doesn’t see himself better than anyone, the greatest person doesn’t see himself or herself with neither virtue or honor”.

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Days of Beloved Actions: The Ten Days of Dhul Hijja, Day of Arafa, and Eid — and the Sunna of Returning to Allah – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this khutba Shaykh Faraz begins by reminding the believers that the first days of Dhul Hijja are beloved to Allah, and that there is a significant reward for actions during these days. The objective of the ten days of Dhul Hijja is Allah and the love of Allah. These days are the best days of the year. It is recommended to fast all nine days of Dhul Hijja, particularly the ninth (the day of Arafa), which is an expiation for at least the preceding year. Charity has more reward during the days of Dhul Hijja. Giving brings the hearts together. These are days of opportunity to engage in more worship and remembrance of Allah. The greatest of good deeds is returning to Allah. Expressing love to Allah. On the ninth of Dhul HIjja one should start to do takbirat beginning at the Fajr prayer. On the tenth, if able, one should slaughter and give to those in need. Don’t make Eid just like another day. Make it a day of rejoicing.

 

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Oaths in the Qur’an: Reflecting on the Opening Verses of Surat al-Shams – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this khutba Shaykh Faraz Rabbani calls the believers to reflect  on the opening verses of Surat al- Shams. In those verses Allah Most High makes oaths by the sun, the moon, the day, the night, the heavens, the earth and the self. One of the amazing aspects of the Qur’an is the swearing of oaths. The oaths in the Qur’an are for one to think and reflect on. One should reflect and know what Allah Most High is swearing by so one can pay attention to those things and the meanings behind them. Those oaths are signs around us that we should take heed of. Those signs can help us draw closer to Allah Most High. Oaths emphasis a meaning, oaths move and Inspire.

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Be Grateful for Everything – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

In this podcast Shaykh Faid reminds us of shukr (gratitude) , and what it means to be included amongst the grateful. One of the greatest attributes one can have is gratitude. Being grateful is not easy. Allah Most High calls Himself al-Shakur. The foundation of gratitude is knowledge. It is a great blessing for the tongue to be busy with thanking Allah. Shaykh Faid ends by reminding all the believers not to take anything for granted, and to strive to be people who remember Allah abundantly.

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Examples of the Humility of the Prophet ﷺ – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explores some amazing examples of the awesome humility of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) from Esfahani’s work “Sharaf al-Mustafa.” Shaykh Faraz describes how the Prophet would lower a vessel for a cat, and not left it until it was finished drinking. While eating dates with his left hand, he fed a sheep the pits from his left. When his companions divided up the tasks after slaughtering a sheep, the Prophet volunteered to collect firewood. He refused to give a man his leftovers, having him eat with him instead. And he would except people’s invitations, even if the meal consisted of only barley bread.

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Ours Is Not a Caravan of Despair: Joy & Gratitude – Eid Sermon by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In this Eid sermon, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani contrasts people who see just this world—a place of sorrow and suffering—with those who see this world as the creating of Allah, a gift, and the first step in an eternal journey. He outlines the Prophetic model of joy and rejoicing, and how to find mercy in hardship: responding by turning to Allah, striving to be a “grateful servant.”

Shaykh Faraz exposits how the Prophet was constantly cheerful, as his joy was with Allah. He closes by reminding of the sunnas of smiling and celebration, particularly on Eid.

This sermon was delivered following the Ramadan 2018 program at SeekersHub Toronto.

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