Haaroon Ar-Rasheed, may Allah have mercy upon him, once stood looking at the sky when he saw a cloud passing by. He addressed it saying, “Rain wherever you wish, for your fruit will certainly come to me anyway.” This means that the cloud would have rained either on an Islamic land or on a non-Islamic one. In the first case, Muslims would have benefited from this rainwater in agriculture and in drinking; in the second case, Muslims would have also benefited from this rainwater in the form of Jizyah (a tax) that would be paid to them by non-Muslims.
This example shows the state of glory, which the Muslims reached in the past when they applied their religion and worked for it. Nowadays, Muslims are certainly required to pursue the means of glory.
Glory here refers to power, victory, high standing and invincibility. It is a word which denotes that a person cannot be overcome or humiliated. Ibn al-Jawzi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:
Some of the scholars of Tafseer (Qur’anic exegesis) said, “In the Qur’an, glory is used in three different senses.
It is used to signify might, as in the verse (which means):
• {“By the might of Pharaoh, indeed it is we who are predominant.”} [Qur’an 26:44]
• {By Your might, I will surely mislead them all} [Qur’an 38:82]
It is also used to signify honour, as in the verse (which means): {Do they seek with them honour [through power]? But indeed, honour belongs to Allah entirely.} [Qur’an 4:139]
Finally, it is used to signify dispraised pride as in the verse (which means):
• {And when it is said to him, “Fear Allah ,” pride in the sin takes hold of him.} [Qur’an 2:206]
• {But those who disbelieve are in pride and dissension.} [Qur’an 38:2]
From the above, it is noticed that there is praised glory and dispraised glory. Praised glory is that which pertains to Allah The Almighty, to His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), and to the believers. This is real and permanent glory since it is from and with the support of Allah The Almighty who cannot be defeated or resisted. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And to Allah belongs [all] Honour and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know.} [Qur’an 63:8].
On the other hand, the glory of the disbelievers is, in fact, humiliation and disgrace. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And they have taken besides Allah [false] deities that they would be for them [a source of] honour. No! Those “gods” will deny their worship of them and will be against them opponents [on the Day of Judgment].} [Qur’an 19:81-82].
Many people pursued the wrong way to glory, victory and enablement. Some of them pursued it through money and forgot that money is only a Fitnah (trial) and a loss if one does not give the right that Allah The Almighty has to it. Moreover, this money might be a means of humiliation. Al-Hasan may Allah have mercy upon him said, “By Allah, Allah The Almighty humiliates whoever glorifies money.” Indeed, we have seen a many examples of that in life.
Other people seek glory through their positions and prestige. This may enable them to achieve temporary glory. However, if this is not established on justice and good reputation, then it certainly will not last. Indeed, many a leader and president were enjoying glory and then became captives in prisons, and their glory turned into humiliation.
What is even more dangerous is when a person seeks glory through the disbelievers, i.e. by allying himself with them, even if this is against the Muslims’ interests. This is no more than an illusion. In fact, it is an instant humiliation, and the first people to turn against such people would be his ‘allies’ from the disbelievers. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Give tidings to the hypocrites that there is for them a painful punishment - Those who take disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do they seek with them honour [through power]? But indeed, honour belongs to Allah entirely.} [Qur’an 4:138-139] Consequently, throwing one’s self in the arms of the disbelievers is the shortest way to dishonour and humiliation because these disbelievers would not accept from us anything less than disbelief. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion.} [Qur’an 2:120].
Other people still seek glory through their ancestors and tribes, even if they were misguided. In a Hadith on the authority of Abu Rayhaanah, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “If a person attributes himself to nine of his disbelieving forefathers, seeking through them glory and pride, he will be their tenth in Hell.”
Hence, the unquestionable truth is that a person who seeks glory must demand it from Allah The Almighty through obeying Him and avoiding disobedience. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, summarised this wonderful meaning in a few words; He said, “We were the most humiliated people, but Allah The Almighty has honoured us with Islam. If we demand honour through any means other than Islam, Allah The Almighty will humiliate us.”
Ibraaheem ibn Shaybaan, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “Honour lies in modesty, glory lies in piety, and freedom lies in contentment.” When a Muslim lives in obedience to Allah The Almighty, he lives in honour and dignity. He may be afflicted, but nevertheless he has a strong sense of honor. This appeared clearly in the life of the righteous predecessors, may Allah be pleased with them, even in the darkest moments and in the severest and hardest situations.

Situations which indicate the glory of the righteous predecessors
When Bilaal, may Allah be pleased with him, was tortured in Makkah in its hot desert and a great heavy boulder was put on his chest, not to make him abandon his faith but only to stop blaspheming his people’s false gods or to keep silent, the honour of faith showed in his words when he repeated, “Allah The One, Allah The One.” This remained as an eternal anthem which the generations have chanted throughout history. In addition, the words of Bilaal, may Allah be pleased with him, poured despair into the souls of those who tortured him. So, who was honourable in this scene? Was it this weak, tortured slave or the arrogant disbelievers?
The story of ‘Abdullaah ibn Huthaafah As-Sahmi, may Allah be pleased with him, when he was taken captive by the Romans is another example. The king of the Romans tried to entice ‘Abdullaah to abandon his religion, but he refused. The king offered him half of his money but he refused. Then, he imprisoned him, tortured him and did not give him any food or water except some pig meat and wine. After three days, they brought him out and found that he had eaten nothing of it. When he was asked why had he not eaten any of it, he replied, “By Allah, Allah The Exalted made it lawful for me because I was under duress, but I would never let you gloat over Islam.” Then, the king asked him to kiss his head in return for releasing him but Ibn Huthaafah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that he would only do so if all the Muslim captives were released. The king accepted and Ibn Huthaafah, may Allah be pleased with him, kissed his head.
He then returned to the Commander of the Believers ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, with all the Muslim captives. ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, stood up and kissed the head of ‘Abdullaah ibn Huthaafah, and said: “It is a duty upon every Muslim to kiss the head of Ibn Huthaafah.”
Also, Shaykhul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, was prosecuted and imprisoned. When he was thrown in prison, he recited the words of Allah The Almighty (which mean): {And a wall will be placed between them with a door, its interior containing mercy, but on the outside of it is torment.} [Qur’an 57:13]. This is the glory of faith and the pride of Islam which make a person the most honorable one through the obedience of Allah The Almighty. Even if all people on earth stood against such a person, he would still derive his honor and glory from Allah The Almighty who can never be defeated. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Whoever desires honour [through power] - then to Allah belongs all honor.} [Qur’an 35:10].
The state of humiliation which prevails in many aspects of our lives nowadays is the result of religious innovations, sins and remoteness from the Shari’ah of Allah The Almighty. This is supported by the Hadith of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, where he said: “Humiliation and disgrace are the fate of whoever disobeys my order.” A major reason behind this humiliation is the state of disagreement and disunity that the Muslims experience. Our enemies take advantage of us one by one; they strike one of us today and another tomorrow while Muslims take no action, as if what happens to our brothers does not concern us. History testifies that we were never like this in the past. When a Muslim woman, who was taken as a captive by the Romans in ‘Amooriyyah, screamed for help uttering her famous scream, “Wa Islamaah” (Oh My Islam!), Al- Mu‘tasim, may Allah have mercy upon him, answered her call with full concern, “Labbayki [at your disposal]” and prepared an army which heavily defeated ‘Amooriyyah and rescued the Muslim woman from the hands of the disbelievers. We should ask ourselves here: what tie was there between Al-Mu‘tasim and that woman except the tie of faith?

Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/

Dignity: The trait of the righteous
Praise be to Allah, The Exalted. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), his family, Companions, and whoever follows his example.
It is becoming of a Muslim to adhere to all that adorns him of noble traits and shun all that disgraces and discredits him.
One of the noble traits that are befitting of a Muslim is Waqaar (dignity). We can (fairly) say that dignity is a moral attribute generated by the adherence to a number of noble morals, such as forbearance, serenity, composure gentleness, and steadfastness. This is why it was defined as: “Deliberateness towards the realisation of wants.”
Al-Jaahith defined it as follows: “Refraining from idle talk, futility, unnecessary gesturing and movement, keeping anger in check, listening attentively before asking questions, deliberateness in giving answers, guarding against haste, and promptness with regard to all matters.”
The pure Islamic Shari‘ah was keen on adorning the believers with dignity. With regard to establishing one of the key obligations in Islam, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, urged the Muslims to adhere to dignity. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “If you hear the Iqaamah (second call to prayer), walk to the prayer with tranquility and dignity, and do not hasten your pace (to join the congregational prayer). Perform of the prayer what you catch up with (i.e. with the Imam) and complete what you missed.”
If lay-Muslims are required to adhere to dignity, then the scholars and devout Muslims are required to adhere to it with greater reason. Such was the practice of the scholars of the righteous predecessors. An example is Imaam Maalik, may Allah have mercy upon him; whenever he related Hadith to his students, he would clean himself, wear perfume, comb his beard, and put on his best apparel. Allah, The Exalted, bestowed upon him a great share of dignity, so much so that the following verses of poetry were composed about him (translation of the meaning): “He would at times not answer the questions directed to him, and the questioners would not dare to remind him out of awe of him, and they would keep their heads down. He was endowed with the light of dignity and the honour of piety; revered like a king without being one.”
Adhering to dignity was the advice that Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, gave to those who are devoted to the Qur’an. He said: “The one who memorises the Qur’an should be oft-weeping, sad, wise, forbearing, and serene. He should not be harsh, heedless, (lazy), loud, or rough.”
Al-Hasan al-Basri, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “A man would pursue knowledge, and soon it would show in his earnest fear of Allah, decorum, sayings, gazes, and righteousness.”
When a person’s heart is alive and his face is adorned with bashfulness, he is prompted to adhere to dignity. He reveres other people, and they revere him in return, and he becomes characterised by dignity.
The more a person venerates and glorifies his Lord, the more people revere him. Whoever glorifies and venerates Allah, The Exalted, He will instill the love and reverence for him in the hearts of people.
On the other hand, the one who takes the Rights of Allah lightly, and the reverence for his Lord weakens in his heart, thus emboldening him to commit sins and transgress against His Limits and neglect His Commands and Obligations, Allah, The Exalted, will not cast reverence for him or awe of him into people’s hearts. Even if some people revere him to avoid his evil, it is a false reverence that is founded on hatred rather than love or admiration.
Finally, let us ponder over these beautiful verses composed by an Arab poet (translation of meaning): “Speak the truth, refrain from vain and idle talk, and do not use vulgar language or promote suspicions. Be dignified; speak less, and think more. When you speak, do not give prolonged speeches; do not hasten to answer a question without deliberation, and do not answer a question that was not directed to you.”
We ask Allah, The Exalted, to adorn us with faith and bless us with dignity.

Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/

The scholar of Islam Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali said: “In al-Musnad, al-Saheehayn and elsewhere it is narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “No Haammah and no Safar.” (Muslim.) Others add the words, “No Naw’ and no Ghoul.”” 
Haammah (plural of Haam which is an owl): The pre-Islamic Arabs, or people of Jaahiliyyah, used to think that when someone died and was buried, an owl (Hammah) would come out of his grave. The Arabs used to think that the bones of the deceased turned into owls which flew about. They also used to think that if someone was murdered, an owl would come out of his head and would keep repeating:  “Give me a drink, give me a drink,” until the slain person was avenged and his murdered was killed.  
Safar: It was said that the people of Jaahiliyyah used to have superstitions concerning the month of Safar, therefore the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “No Safar”. It was said that the Arabs used to believe that there was a snake in the stomach which would harm a person when he had intercourse, and that this was contagious, so the Wise Lawgiver negated this. Maalik said: “the people of the Jaahiliyyah would regard Safar as not being sacred one year and as sacred the next year.”  
Naw’: (plural of An-Anwaa’ which is a star which sets at the rising of another): this refers to 28 lunar mansions or phases, as in the Qur’anic verse which translates as: “And the moon - We have determined for it phases …” (YaaSeen: 39).   
Every 13 nights, one of these stars sets in the west at dawn, and another rises in the east, so that by the end of each year they all will have come and gone. The Arabs used to believe that when one set and the next one rose, there would be rain, which they attributed this to these stars, so they would say, “We have rain because of such and such Naw’ (star which sets at the rising of another).”  
It is called Naw’ because when the star which is setting sets in the west, the one which is rising appears (Naa’a) in the east, i.e., it rises and emerges. And it was said that naw’ means setting, which is the opposite of emerging.  
As for the case of those who believe that rain came only by the will of Allah and say: “We have rain at the time of such and such Naw’” meaning that Allah usually causes rain to come at this time – there is some dispute as to whether saying this is Haraam or Makrooh.  
Ghoul: (plural of Gheelaan which is a kind of jinn or devil): The Arabs used to think that ghouls lived in the wilderness and would appear to people and that they could take on different shapes and colours. They also believed that they would make people lose their way, seeking to kill them. The Wise Lawgiver rejected and refuted this concept totally.
It was said that this statement was not denying the existence of ghouls, but rather, it was a denial of the Arabs’ belief that they could change shape and colour and make people lose their way, hence the meaning of “No ghoul” is that they cannot make people lose their way. This is confirmed by Hadith, “There is no ghoul but there is Sa’aali.” (Muslim and others). ‘Sa’aali’ is a magician from among the jinn, who base their magic on confusion and illusion… Al-Khallaal narrated from Taawoos, a famous Islamic scholar, that a man accompanied him (Tawoos) and they heard the crowing of a crow, so the man remarked “Good, good.” Taawoos said to him: “What good can there be in this, and what evil?  - Get away from me!”  
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “Some scholars said that the Hadith: “No healthy person should be exposed to a sick person” was abrogated by the words: “There is no ‘adwa (contagion).” This is incorrect. This is an example where what is negated is different from that which is affirmed. What the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, denied when he said “There is no contagion and no Safar” was the belief of the polytheists which was based on their beliefs of Shirk.” 
With regard to the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, prohibiting healthy people to mix with sick ones, there are two interpretations:  
(1) The fear that people may attribute what Allah has decreed to ‘adwa (contagion), which may confuse those who hear of this and make them believe in ‘adwa. There is no contradiction between the two reports.
(2) That this refers to exposing the sick person to the healthy person, which may be the means by which Allah creates disease, so the exposure is the cause, but Allah may divert its effects by means of other causes which oppose it or prevent the effect of the sickness. This is pure Tawheed, or monotheism, unlike that which the people of Shirk believe in.  
This is similar to the denial of intercession on the Day of Resurrection mentioned in the Qur’anic verse which translates as: “... A Day in which there is no exchange [i.e., ransom] and no friendship and no intercession.” (Al-Baqarah: 254)  
This does not contradict the unambiguous Mutawaatir Ahadith which state that there will be intercession on the Day of Resurrection, because what Allah is denying here is the kind of intercession that was known among the mushrikeen, where an intercessor would come forward and intercede without having been given permission by Allah. The intercession which is affirmed by Allah and His Messenger is that which comes after His permission is given, as stated in the verses which translate as: “…Who is he that can intercede with Him except by His Permission?…” (Al-Baqarah: 255)  “… And they cannot intercede except on behalf of one whom He approves” (Al-Anbiyaa’: 28) “And Intercession does not benefit with Him except for one whom He permits.” (Saba’: 23).

It was related on the authority of Abu Mas’ood al-Badri, may Allah be pleased with him, that: “The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “One of the admonitions of the previous prophets which has been conveyed to people is that if you have no shame, you can do whatever you wish.” [Al-Bukhari]
Explanation of the Hadith:
The saying of the Messenger : “…If you feel no shame, you can do whatever you wish” is in the command form, and can be looked at from two angles, each conveying a distinct meaning:
(1) The first is that it is a form of threat and a challenge thrown down against those who engage in inappropriate behaviour. Such people have no shame in front of Allah and therefore, no matter what course they take, it would not make any real difference. In this case, it would be as if the Hadith is stating: “If you do not feel any shame from doing these prohibited acts, then do whatever you wish…” Modesty is the quality that prevents one from immodest behaviour, and the lack of it will only cause one to increase in distancing himself from Allah and make him indifferent to creed or deed.
(2) The second meaning pertains to doing that which is lawful. That is, if the action that one is about to do is not within the category of the unlawful, and we are not ashamed of doing the act in front of Allah or the people, then we are free to do it. However, if we are ashamed to do it, then we should not. The Hadith gives a measuring stick by which we can evaluate actions, both privately and publicly.
Thus, the first explanation relates to a lack of consciousness regarding Allah and the second is regarding the opposite, which is to be conscious of Allah and of His watching over a person and his actions.
The former explanation relates to an unbridled Nafs (base desires and lower self), whereas the latter implies observance of due constraint over it, so that it does not embark on the road to destruction.
Modesty is of two types:
Modesty is either natural or acquired. Natural modesty means that the individual has this quality by nature and does not need to exert any effort to acquire it. Acquired modesty, on the other hand, is attained by those who possess knowledge concerning Allah, being cognisant concerning His Greatness, Proximity and His Inspection of all that they do.
Points related to modesty:
1. Modesty is one of the most honourable attributes and is a consistent virtue found in all the various laws sent down to each prophet and messenger.
2. It is one of the most perfect and desirable characteristics to possess and an excellent state to be in.
3. Modesty only brings good to individuals and is an indication of faith.
4. Bashfulness and shame is in direct opposition to indecency and shamelessness.
5. Modesty is an element of faith, and indecency has no relation to it.
6. Modesty adorns one’s nature and personality and is indicative of his being Islamically cultured and refined.
7. Indecency, on the other hand, shows that one lacks virtues and is uncouth, dishonourable and uncultured.
8. We are obligated to guard ourselves against indecency and from acting indecently or uncultured, as qualified by Islam.
9. We must never misconstrue bashfulness or shyness with cowardice - Islamically they are far from synonymous.
10. Modesty, as mentioned, is a root virtue. One of the fruits of modesty is chastity.
11. There is no modesty when it comes to teaching the laws of Islam or searching for the truth.

Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
Related Story