What are Muslims taught about Respect and Manners in Islam?
Respect is defined as a positive feeling towards people. One should be respectful to everybody. There is a great significance of Adab (Good Manners) and respect in Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) is a great source of inspiration for us in this matter. He was kind and courteous towards everyone. Therefore, this should be applied to ourselves too. We need to learn about his lifestyle and how he presented himself to the world.
Allah mentions in the Quran “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” [21:107]
It is our religious and moral duty as well to be good mannered towards other people of society regardless of race and religion.
Message of Peace
Good manners mean carrying out positive tasks with courtesy. It can consist of the practice to revive broken relationships to stopping two people from fighting. Good manners are about respecting parents, elders, neighbors, spouse, non-muslims and everyone we meet in our daily lives. To have peace in the world, people must be kind to each other. You can show kindness and show people that you are always obliged to have them.
The Prophet (PBUH) mentioned about good manners in one of His Hadith in these words:
‘’ Nothing is weightier on the scale of Deeds than one’s good manners” (Sahih Bukhari)
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also reminded us about manners in another Hadith:
‘’ The most beloved of Allah’s servants to Allah are those with the best manners.’’ (Al-Bukhari)
We need to ask ourselves on a daily basis ‘Am I the best possible person that I could be?’. The answer will be No as there is always room for improvement. The most perfect of Allah’s creation was the Prophet (PBUH) and we should try to adopt his teachings and the good manner in our lives.
Sense of Morality Through Good Manners
Good conducts and a sense of morality can prevent us from falling into sins. In short, good manners are an important element in order to fulfill our faith and to get by in our social life.
Narrated by Abu Huraira, “the Prophet (PBUH) never criticized any food (he was invited to eat) but he used to eat if he liked the food, and leave it if he disliked it”. [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7]
Avoiding criticism shows the good manners of a man. To be a good and responsible citizen you will need to be a person with exceptional manners. They are not only gestures, but they fully describe your whole personality as well. It is very important to have good manners to have a sense of morality as well.
Allah also mentioned in the Quran: “Surely there was a good example for you in the Messenger of Allah, for all those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much” [33:21]
We should to turn to Allah and ask him to give us the ability to have good manners like the Prophet (PBUH)
The Status of Women
Islam gave rights to every woman. Never disrespect women when Allah (SWT) dedicated a whole surah called ‘’Surah An-Nisa’’.
So, it is a foremost duty for men to respect women and a commandment by Allah. Women face great difficulties in life and therefore deserve a lot of respect for their duties.
(See this article on a full explanation of Surah Nisa)
Kindness Towards the Younger Generation
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
” Whoever is not kind to the younger ones or does not respect the elders is not from my nation”. (Bihar-al-Anwar, v.72, p.137)
The Prophet (PBUH) gave the utmost respect to children too and taught us to treat them with respect and raise them up with good manners.
He SAW was very tolerant of children and even played with them, fed them, and spoke to them with respect.
From Prophet (PBUH) we can see the importance of good manners.
Aisha RA narrated: “A boy was brought to the Prophet to do Tahnik for him, but the boy urinated on him, whereupon the Prophet had water poured on the place of urine.” (Sahih Bukhari – Volume 7, Book 66, Number 377)
He did not make an issue out of the circumstances and refrained from expressing any repulsion.
Prophet (PBUH) also expressed to us the importance of treating orphans with good manners and this can be related to with the following hadith:
Sahl ibn Sa’d reported that The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Myself and the carer of an orphan will be in Paradise like this,” and he held his two fingers together. ( Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5659)
Respecting the Quran and Parents
Islam says that we should greatly respect parents and follow their orders (within Islamic Law).
Allah mentions in the Quran “…And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] are thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years…” (46:15)
To show our gratitude we should also make constant Dua for them and give charity on their behalf as much as we can so it can benefit them in the afterlife.
We should recite the following Dua for them which is mentioned in Surah Al Isra “And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.” [17:24]
A Muslim should greatly respect the Quran, the guidance sent to us from Allah SWT. It is strongly against the conduct of Islam to even touch the Quran when one is not pure. Even the Adhan (call to prayer) should be heard with great concentration and should be answered (repeating the words after every sentence) as described by Prophet(PBUH).