The Excellence of Politeness and Tranquility
By Al-Imam An-Nawawi
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is His Messenger
Allah, the Exalted, says:
"And the (faithful) slaves of the Most Gracious (Allah) 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." [Al-Furqan, 25:63]
“You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much.” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33: 21]
“And verily, you [O Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)] are on an exalted standard of character.” [Al-Qalam, 68:4]
703. ‘Aishah (radiyallahu’anha) reported: I have never seen Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) laughing so heartily that his uvula could be seen. He used to smile only. [Recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: The Qur’an described the faithful servants of Allah are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish (ignorant; misguided) address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.
The hadith indicates that to laugh much is one of the sign of indifference to the remembrance of Allah. Besides, the habit of laughing aloud robs away the dignity and impressiveness of a man.
It is narrated that Sa’ad ibn Hisham (radiyallāhu’anhu) said he asked ‘Aishah, (radiyallāhu’anha), Prophet’s wife: “Tell me about the character of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam).” She said, “His character was the Qur’an.” [Recorded by Ahmad].
About him The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) once told the companions: "Allāh has sent me as a Messenger so that I may demonstrate perfection of character, refinement of manners and loftiness of deportment." [Recorded by Mālik; Ahmad]
A Muslim needs to try to emulate the behavior and the morality of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.
‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (radiyallahu’anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to say: "Allahumma inni as'alukal-huda wat-tuqa wal-'afafa wal-ghina (O Allah! I ask You for guidance, piety, chastity and self-sufficiency)". [Recorded by Muslim].
This Hadith contains four words, the meanings and implications of which constitute its essence. These words are guidance, piety (fear of Allah), chastity and sufficiency. Guidance here means guidance at every turn of life and steadfastness on the path of truth. Fear of Allah is the greatest means of piety and strongest defense against sins. Chastity is the state of being free from what is unlawful. Self-sufficiency is the antonym of poverty and here it means the self-contentment. What it implies is that one should not care for what people possess. In view of all these qualities, the prayer of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) mentioned in this Hadith is very comprehensive and valuable.
And Allāh Almighty Knows best.
[Excerpted from “The Book of Dignity and Tranquility, Chapter # 92, Riyad-Us-Saliheen”, Compiled by Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi]