Manhood in the Qur’an and the Sunnah
November 21 2019 11:44 PM

Manhood is a quality that is pursued by people of high ambitions and serious thinking men. It is a basic quality that is needed by every man, for when men lose the qualities of manhood, they cease to be real men. Manhood is deeply implanted in a person through strong belief, nurtured by sound upbringing and developed by good example. A real man is one who has good and virtuous deeds to his credit, and possesses good manners and conduct.
Crediting someone with manhood sometimes means that the person possesses the characteristics which exemplify this quality, like bravery, being honest, and standing up for the truth. Allah Says (what means): “And there came a man running from the farthest end of the city. He said, ‘O Moosaa (Moses)! Verily the chiefs are taking council together about you, to kill you, so escape. Truly, I am to you of those who give sincere advice.” [Qur’an; 28:20]
Recognising the importance of real manhood in the service of Islam, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to look out for men who could help the cause of his religion and with whom his mission could be enhanced. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, would ask his Lord: “O Allah! Make Islam strong with the one who is more beloved to You of these two men: Abu Jahl or ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab.” The narrator commented: “And the more beloved to Him was ‘Umar.” [At-Tirmithi] The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, supplicated with these words looking out for those qualities of manhood that would have a positive impact upon the spread of Islam.
As a matter of fact, the acceptance of ‘Umar’s, may Allah be pleased with him, of Islam was a great event that manifested his manhood as soon as he embraced Islam.
‘Umar’s manhood, may Allah be pleased with him, was not in his physical strength nor chivalry - for there were those stronger than him among the Quraysh - but it manifested in his strength of faith; a quality that won him respect and honour. Other companions of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them, migrated to Al-Madinah secretly, while ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, - when he was migrating - armed himself with his sword, went to the Ka’aba, circumambulated the Ka’aba, prayed behind Maqaam Ibraaheem (Ibraaheem’s station), and then announced to the Quraysh chiefs that he was migrating. He told them: ‘Whoever wants to make his mother bereaved, his children orphans and his wife a widow should follow me after this valley.’ But nobody followed him.  
Real men are not judged by the size of their bodies, social status or their outward beauty. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, sent Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood, may Allah be pleased with him, to fetch him something from the top of a tree. When he had climbed the tree, the companions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, looked at his legs and laughed at their thinness. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Why are you laughing? Verily, Abdullaah’s leg will be heavier on the scale on the day of resurrection than Mount Uhud” [Ahmad]
A man passed by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, one day. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, asked his companions: “What do you think of this man?’ They replied, ‘He deserves to be married to whomsoever he proposes, to have his intercession accepted when he intercedes and to be listened to when he speaks.’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, remained silent. Then a poor Muslim man passed by and the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, asked the companions: “What do you think of this man?” They replied: ‘He deserves not to be married when he proposes, nor to have his intercession accepted when he intercedes nor to be listened to when he speaks.’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, then said: “This one is as much as the fill of the Earth better than the other” [Al-Bukhari]
Sometimes, one fervent man can equal a thousand others; indeed one man can outweigh a nation, as the saying goes: “A devoted man can revive a whole nation.” In a military campaign, Khaalid Ibn al-Waleed, may Allah be pleased with him, surrounded Al-Heerah and requested supplies from Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, who only sent him Al-Qa’qaa’ Ibn ‘Amr At-Tameemi, may Allah be pleased with them, and said: “An army having men like Al-Qa’qaa’ will never be defeated.” When ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, requested supplies from ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, during the Islamic conquest of Egypt, he (‘Umar), may Allah be pleased with him, wrote: “I have sent you (the equivalent of) four thousand men; four men each of whom are equal to a thousand others: Az-Zubayr Ibn al-‘Awwaam, Al-Miqdaad Ibn ‘Amr, ‘Ubaadah Ibn As-Saamit and Maslamah Ibn Makhlad.”
Real manhood means being thoughtful, uttering good words, having decency and resoluteness in opinion, coming out openly with the truth and displaying wisdom in warning against the rejection of truth.
Manhood entails having a sense of responsibility to defend Monotheism and to give sincere advice for the sake of Allah. It means avoiding unsuitable behavior and being on one’s guard against the Difficult Day (the Day of Resurrection). A real man is sincere in his words, fulfills his promises and remains firm on the right path.
A real man is one who frequents the mosque, a man who is called to fornication by a woman of position and beauty, and yet says, ‘I fear Allah;’ a man who gives alms secretly; two men who love each other for the sake of Allah; they were brought together by their mutual love for the sake of Allah, and they parted upon the same.
A real man is truthful about pledges and fulfils them; it is also to remain steadfast upon the right path. Allah Says (which means): “Among the believers are men true to what they promised Allah. Among them is he who has fulfilled his vow [to the death], and among them is he who awaits [his chance]. And they did not alter [the terms of their commitment] by any alteration.” [Qur’an; 33:23]
Real manhood is expressed by exerting all efforts to reach real servitude. Allah Says (which means): “And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly] they say [words of] peace. And those who spend [part of] the night to their Lord prostrating and standing [in prayer]. And those who say, “Our Lord, avert from us the punishment of Hell. Indeed, its punishment is ever adhering. Indeed, it is evil as a settlement and residence.” And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate.” [Qur’an; 25: 63-67]
Nothing busies real men from worship. Allah Says (which means): “[Such roles are] in houses [i.e., mosques] which Allah has ordered to be raised and that His name be mentioned [i.e., praised] therein; exalting Him within them in the mornings and the evenings. Men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts them from the remembrance of Allah and performance of prayer and giving of Zakaah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about. That Allah may reward them [according to] the best of what they did and increase them from His bounty. And Allah gives provision to whom He wills without account [i.e., limit].” [Qur’an; 24: 36-38] Imaam Ibn Katheer, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “The word ‘men’ gives an indication that they have high ambitions, noble goals, and strong wills, with which they are able to maintain themselves in the houses of Allah; and they favour the pleasure of Allah over their own.”
What worse calamity can befall mankind than for its men to become effeminate, while its women adopt male mannerisms, revolting against the very nature in which Allah created them? The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: “cursed the men who behave like women and women who behave like men” [Al-Bukhari]
When the qualities of manhood disappear among men, society falls into crisis, homes are ruined, the nation becomes weak and disgraced, and moral corruption becomes widespread. Allah Says (which means): “Men are the protectors and the maintainers of women because Allah has made one of them to excel the other.”  [Qur’an; 4:34]
Nations need planners and those who have determined hearts in order to fully utilise these resources. In fact the greatest of all needs is that for real men.
Real men are very rare to find, they are as rare as precious minerals and jewels. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Real men are as rare as a reliable strong camel that can endure the burden of long trips; you can hardly find one in a hundred” [Al-Bukhari]
Qualified righteous men are the backbone of missions, the spirit for progress and the focal point of reformation. There can be countless factories of weapons and ammunition, but if there are no men to use the weapons being produced, there will be no ability to fight. The finest educational curricula can exist, but it takes real men to implement and teach them; one can create many committees to carry out a project, yet these will accomplish nothing if there are no devoted men on these committees.
Reformation and successful cultivation can only be achieved by men who experience and live it - and not merely by reading books on the subject. It is only men with zeal and devotion that accomplish projects, regardless of the number of committees that they may be members of.
A generation that possesses real manhood and righteousness can only be generated through being cultured on firm belief, strong morals and sound Islamically based customs. A generation that grows up surrounded with destructive doubts, immorality, disbelief and obscenity will never discover real manhood.
The world did not see real manhood in its finest and definitive form except in the unique generation that was nurtured by the great Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. That generation experienced great fear; they were not materialistic; they were not deceived or seduced by temptation; they were not scared by warnings or threats from others; nor were they proud and arrogant after victories and they would never give up after suffering setbacks.
A young boy entered into the palace of one of the Umayyid Caliphs to address him on behalf of his tribe. The Caliph said: “Let an older man come forth to represent your people!” The boy said, “O leader of the believers, if leadership was gained by virtue of age, then there would have been many others worthier than you for the Caliphate.” These are fine examples of maturity and manhood despite tenderness of age and we Muslims have had many such examples throughout history.
Building the qualities of manhood in our children
The following are some of many Islamic points that will help develop manhood in a child’s personality:
lNicknames: Calling the child Abu so and so or Umm so and so increases their sense of responsibility and makes them feel older. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to give nicknames to children as Anas Ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, had the finest manners; and I had a brother who was called Abu ‘Umayr who was just weaned; whenever he was around the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, he would say: “O Abu ‘Umayr, what did the Nughayr do?”
lTaking the child to the gatherings of adults also develops manhood in their personalities. It adds richness to their understanding and improve their way of thinking. This was the practice of the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, who used to take their children to the gatherings of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
lRelating to children historical stories, Islamic battles and heroic victories builds courage and bravery in them, which is one of the most important factors of manhood. ‘Urwah Ibn Az-Zubayr said, “Az-Zubayr Ibn Al-‘Awwaam (his father) had two children. He took one of them to some of the battles and the other would play with the battle-wounds on his father’s shoulder (when he returned).”
lTeaching children to respect elders also develops manhood in the child. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The younger ones (should) greet the elders.…”
lRespecting them in public. Sahl Ibn Sa’d said, “The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was brought a cup to drink from and he had a child to his right and elders to his left. After he drank he said to the child, “Do you permit me to give this to the elders before you?”
lTeaching children manly sports like swimming, horse riding and shooting. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, wrote to Abu ‘Ubaydah Ibn al-Jarraah, may Allah be pleased with him, instructing: “Teach your children how to swim!”
lAvoiding things that would soften them up or make them resemble females, like music, dancing, wearing silk or gold and anything else that is feminine.
lRefraining from insulting them publicly, encouraging them to be participative and making them feel important.
lGreeting them with Salaam. Anas Ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, passed by a group of children and greeted them with Salaam.” [Muslim]
lTaking and valuing their opinions.
lGiving them responsibilities which are suitable for their ability and age and telling them secrets. Anas bin Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, came to me while I was playing with other children and greeted me with Salaam, then he sent me on an errand which delayed me from getting to my mother on time. When I finally reached home, she asked: ‘What delayed you?’ I replied: ‘The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, sent me on an errand.’ She asked: ‘What was it?’ I replied: ‘It is a secret!’ She said, ‘Do not tell the Prophet’s secret to anyone.’” [Muslim]
lInstilling courage in them by means such as by delivering speeches.
 lAttaching great importance to chastity and decency and avoiding fashionable clothes, stylish haircuts, and modern ‘mannerisms’.
lKeeping them away from luxury, laziness, unnecessary rest and idleness. ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Toughen up, luxury does not last for ever.”
lKeeping them away from sinful gatherings that involve music and other prohibitions because this contradicts manhood and integrity.

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Issues of trade and finance
By Abdullah M al-Mutlaq

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, prohibited some forms of sales that people were known to use during his time. The wisdom behind this prohibition of some sales is to facilitate ease for people and not to increase prices for them. Also, it is designed to stop sales that might include risk of trickery and eliminate any sales that might instigate hatred and enmity among people.
1. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, prohibited that a town dweller (urban resident), as stated in an agreed upon hadith. This means that the urban resident is prohibited from selling the goods of a rural resident on behalf of the latter. This is because the urban resident might wait until people are in need of the goods and then raise the prices. Anas bin Malik said: “We were forbidden to allow a town dweller to sell the goods of a desert-dweller, even if the later is a brother from the same mother and father.” (Agreed upon)
2. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, prohibited najash. Najash is trickery whereby one offers a high price for a commodity not intent upon buying it but upon cheating someone else who wants to buy it, even though it is not worth such an elevated price. Scholars have unanimously agreed on the prohibition of such action if the increase in price puts the commodity at a higher price than similar items. This prohibition is based on the hadith narrated by Ibn Umar that Allah’s Messenger prohibited najash. (Agreed upon)
Even if the price is increased to the price of a similar commodity, al-jumhoor (the majority of scholars) have gone with the impermissibility of such actions based on the generality of the hadith text. Ibn Hazm, Ibn Abdul-Barr and Ibn al-Arabi, however, held the opinion permitting such action. Ibn al-Arabi stated that, “If a man sees a commodity that is sold below its actual value and he increases the value to the correct value, then he should not be accused of najash, especially if he did not have bad intentions.” This is supported by the hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said, “Leave the people alone, for Allah sustains some from others. Should one ask his brother for sincere advice, his brother should give him advice.”
3. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, prohibited meeting caravans on route with the intention of purchasing goods before the sellers know the market price. Ibn Mas’oud narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, prohibited going to meet the vendor on route in an agreed upon hadith. Ibnul Qayyim said: “The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, prohibited that because it includes deception of the seller who does not know the market price.”
4. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, prohibited Muslims from persuading buyers to cancel their purchases from other vendors, and then sell them his goods. This is tantamount to saying to someone who is buying an item for ten riyals, “I have the same item for seven riyals for you.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, also prohibited a Muslim from entering into a transaction to purchase a commodity when his brother Muslim has already negotiated the purchase of that same commodity. For example, one says to a vendor selling a commodity to one person for seven riyals, “I will buy it from you for ten riyals.” Ibn Umar narrated that Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said, “Do not urge someone to return what he has already bought from another vendor so as to sell him your own goods. And don’t urge a woman who is engaged to someone else to cancel her engagement so that she can become engaged to you, except with the permission of the other person.” (Ahmad)
5. It is also prohibited to sell a commodity that might be used in the commission of sin. This would include selling juice to someone who uses it to make khamr (intoxicants), selling weapons during periods of fitnah (confusion or instability), or selling a house to someone who will use it for sinful deeds. Allah says, “And do not help one another in sin and transgression.” [5:2] This prohibition is based upon knowledge of the intention or evidence supporting the suspicion.
6. It is also prohibited to sell one debt for another debt. Imam Ahmad had stated that there is no sound hadith on this issue but people have unanimously agreed that it is not permissible to sell one debt for another debt.
7. There is also a prohibition of injustice in sales especially when the buyer does not know the price, or he is not good in bargaining. A person came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and told him that he was always betrayed in making purchases. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, then told him, “Say at the time of buying: no cheating.” (Agreed upon) Cheating and deception are both prohibited. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said, “Both cheating and deceiving are in the fire (meaning lead the person to the Fire.)” (Ibn Adiyy)
8. It is prohibited to sell goods before taking them into possession. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said to Hakim ibn Hizam, “Do not sell what you have purchased until you receive it.” (Ahmad) Ibn Abbas narrated that Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said, “He who buys foodstuff should not sell it until he takes all the measure which he has bought in full.” (Agreed upon) Ibn Abbas stated that all types of selling should be done similarly.
Ibn Umar said he saw people at the time of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, buying foodstuff but would not sell it until they brought it to their places (Agreed upon). The followers of madhhab Ahmad ibn Hanbal went with the opinion that only foodstuffs that are measure. Other foodstuffs can be sold before taking them into possession.

Benefiting from time
It is absolutely necessary for Muslims to be careful about time. The Muslim is required to utilise and invest his time in what benefits him in this world and the Hereafter. In this regard, he can follow the good example set by the Righteous Salaf. They were so careful that in less than a century they were able to make radical changes in the societies into which they introduced Islam.
The Righteous Salaf made sure that no time, however short it was, passed without doing something useful, such as acquiring useful knowledge, doing good deeds, helping other Muslims and serving or advising the Ummah (nation).
Remarking Imam Hammad Ibn-Salama al-Basry’s [a grammarian] meticulous care for time, Musa Ibn-Ismaeel said: “It is unbelievable! I have never seen Hammad laugh at all. He was always busy explaining the Hadith, praying, reading or praising the Lord. This is how he spent his day.”
Abdurrahman al-Mahdi [Abdurrahman Ibn-Mahdi Ibn-Hassan Ibn-Abdurrahman, a critic and an able reciter; was considered a good model for knowledge and work. See: Shamsuddeen Adh-Dhahabi, Biographies of Noble Scholars, 9/192-193.] said: “If you were to tell Hammad, ‘You are going to die tomorrow’, there would be nothing he could add to what he is already doing.” [Abu-Hajjaj Yusuf al-Mizzi, Tahdheeb al-Kamal fi Asma’ Arrijal, in Arabic, investigated by B A Ma’ruf, 1992, Vol. 7, p. 265.]
Regretting the time he spent eating, Shumait Ibn-Ajlan [Abu-Naeem al-Asbahani, Hilyatul-Awliya’wa Tabaqat Al-Asfiya’ (The Pious Friends’ Ornaments and Classes of the Pure), in Arabic, investigated by Mustafa Abdul-Qadir Ata, 1418, 3/149] said: “By Allah, the time I hate most is that which I spend eating.” How conscious of time! [Ibid, 3509, 3/151]
Once a wise man said: “If you spend one day on other than carrying out justice, performing obligatory worship, achieving some gain, praising the Lord, establishing something good or acquiring knowledge, you have been ungrateful to your day and have wronged yourself.” [Abdurra`uf Al-Minawi, Faidh Al-Qadeer bi Sharh Al-Jami’ Assagheer, 6/288]

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