Next, after the Messenger () had
covered Allah's right in the first two clauses, i.e. to act righteously and to
rectify any harm done, he said, "... and behave well towards the
people", thus turning to the right of one's fellow worshippers.
The essence of being good-natured to people is that: he who cuts off
relations with you, that you keep an association with him, giving him greetings,
respecting him, supplicating for him, asking Allah to forgive him, speaking of
him in good terms and visiting him; he who deprives you of knowledge, benefit
and wealth, you give them in return; and he who does an injustice to you
regarding blood, wealth or honour, you forgive him. Some of these actions are
obligatory and others are recommended.
As for the "great character" which Allah described Muhammad
()'s way, it is no other than the complete Deen, comprising of
everything that Allah commanded him with, as explained by Mujaahid and other
knowledgeable commentators; it is no other than the implementation of the
Qur'aan, as 'Aa'isha RadiAllahu 'Anhaa said, "His character was the
Qur'aan", and the reality of it is an eagerness to put into practice
those things that Allah loves, with purity of soul and openness of heart.
Tafseer of the word 'Taqwaa'
All of the above ideas do emanate from the Wasiyyah of Allah mentioned at the
beginning, and this should be understood as such that the word 'Taqwaa' is very
comprehensive, covering the fulfilment of all of Allah's orders, whether
they are ones of obligation or recommendation, and also the refraining from all
that Allah has forbidden, whether it is totally prohibited or strongly
discouraged; hence, it includes both the right of Allah and the right of his
slaves. However, wherever 'taqwaa' specifically refers to fear of the consequent
punishment refraining one from indulging in the prohibited, it is clear from the
context; an example of this is in the hadeeth of Mu`aadh (under discussion), and
similar is the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah which Tirmidhi has narrated and declared
to be saheeh,
The Messenger of Allah () was
asked about that which mostly earns people entry to Paradise; he replied,
"Taqwaa and goodness of character." He was also asked about
that which mostly earns people entry into the Fire; he replied, "The
mouth and the private parts."
In a narration of a saheeh hadeeth from 'Abdullaah bin `Umar, the Messenger
"The most complete of the believers in eemaan is he who is the
best of them in character."
Hence, the Prophet told us that perfection of Eemaan lies in completeness of
one's goodness of character; it is known that all of Eemaan is Taqwaa. However,
this is not the place for a detailed discussion of the fundamentals and branches
of Taqwaa, for that would cover the Deen in its entirety.
The origin and root of all good is Ikhlaas (pure sincerity), i.e. that the
slave directs all worship and seeking of assistance purely towards his Lord, as
in Allah's statements:
You alone we worship and Your aid alone we seek.
... then worship Him, and put your trust in Him ...
... in him I trust, and unto Him I turn.
... then seek sustenance from Allah, and serve Him, and be grateful to
This is done in such a way that the slave terminates his heart's connection
with the created, whether with regard to benefiting from them or acting for
their sake, but instead preoccupies himself with his Exalted Creator, the means
of attaining which is to supplicate Him for everything required out of poverty,
necessity or fear, etc., to carry out every beloved action for the sake of His
good pleasure. If someone were to implant this type of Ikhlaas firmly and
thoroughly, it would not be possible for him to be affected by any punishable
After the obligatory acts the best action is Dhikr Allah (Remembrance)
As for the next question regarding the best action after the obligatory
duties, an answer which is totally comprehensive and detailed for everyone is
not possible since it would vary according to each person's differing
capabilities and opportunities. However, what is agreed upon by all those who
have knowledge of Allah and His commands, is that in general, the best thing
with which a slave can occupy himself is the Dhikr (Remembrance) of Allah. In
support of this is the hadeeth from Abu Huraira radiAllahu 'anhu which Muslim
"The loners (mufarridoon) have taken the lead." The
Companions asked, "O Messenger of Allah! Who are the loners ?" He
replied, "Those men and women who remember Allah in abundance."
Similar is narrated by Abu ad-Dardaa' radiAllahu 'anhu in a report of Abu