In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu-anhu) who said, “The Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said, ‘Part of the perfection of a person’s Islaam is leaving that which is of no concern to him’”. [Hassan Hadith. Reported by Imaam Tirmidhi and others]
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al Uthaimeen [rahimahullaah] said:
From the benefits of this narration is that Islaam gathers all the excellent qualities. And all the excellent qualities of Islaam are gathered in two statements: [ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ – Verily, Allaah enjoins Al Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allaah Alone) and Al-Ihsaan (i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allaah, totally for Allaah’s sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet in a perfect manner]. [Surah An-Nahl. Aayah 90]
Part of the perfection of a person’s Islaam is his leaving that which is of no importance to him and that which has no connection to his affairs and needs. One cannot perfect his Islaam through preoccupying himself with what does not concern him. This happens to many people, so you either find him speaking about affairs that do not concern him or a person asks him about affairs that do not concern him and he enters into what does not concern him. This weakens one’s Islaam. Indeed, it is obligated on a person to seek after the excellent qualities of Islaam in order to abandon what does not concern him and to be at ease. He will exhaust himself if he busies himself with affairs that are neither important nor of concern to him. [Ref 1]
Ibn Abee Zayd Al-Qayrawaani [rahimahullaah] said:
All noble manners and etiquettes revolve around four ahaadeeth.
The First Hadeeth: “Whoever believes in Allaah and the last day then let him speak good or keep silent”. This Hadeeth teaches us about restraining the tongue from (evil, false, doubtful speech etc); for whoever is unable to restrain his tongue from (these blameworthy affairs) is not considered to be from the people of good manners.
The Second Hadeeth: “Part of the perfection of a person’s Islam is to leave that which does not concern him.” This Hadeeth teaches us to refrain from engaging in excess and that which does not concern us. The person who concerns himself with those affairs of the people that do not concern him – either by listening, looking or speaking -is not considered to be from the people of good manners.
The Third Hadeeth: A man said to the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasalam) “Advise me.” He said, “Do not become angry.” The man repeated his request several times, and each time the Prophet said to him, “Do not become angry.” This Hadeeth teaches us self-restraint when we are angry. That is because anger is the basis of every evil in speech and action. Whoever cannot restrain himself (or herself) from (evil) when he is angry cannot be considered to be from the people of good manners.
The Fourth Hadeeth: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself”. This Hadeeth is a means of rectifying the heart and soul, so that a person’s heart is free from harbouring malice, hatred, envy towards his Muslim brothers and sisters.
If a person acquires precise understanding of these four ahaadeeth and acts upon them, they have indeed acted on all the affairs related to good manners and etiquettes. These four ahaadeeth comprise of four affairs: To restrain the tongue from [evil, false, doubtful speech etc], restrain oneself from excess – be it by way of speech, looking, listening etc. restrain oneself from evil desires and wishes during anger and to possess a heart that is free from unjustified hatred, blameworthy envy [i.e. wishing that blessings bestowed on others should cease] and malice etc [Ref 2]
Ask to Spread Good and Not Cause Fitna
If you are in the presence of a scholar and you know that some of those present fall short in affairs related to the prayer- either lackadaisical or that they do not perform the prayer on time, or that they fall short in some of its Shuroot [conditions] and waajibaat [obligatory acts of the prayer] – so you ask a question regarding these affairs even though you know the answer; you ask in order to benefit those who are present and so that they are facilitated with understand in their religion. These types of questions are very beneficial as opposed to questions that are not correct – that is because some people ask questions in order to confuse those present and bring about doubts etc. A question cannot be beneficial unless the questioner intends to benefit himself and others. [Ref 3]
Some Statements of The Salaf
Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Umari (rahimahullaah) said: “If a slave is one who keeps away from the doubtful matters due fear of falling into the forbidden and ruining one’s hereafter, he will abandon what does not concern him and will concern himself with what concerns him.” [Ref 4]
Fudayl Ibn Iyaad (rahimahullaah) said: “The people claim that the affair of keeping away from the doubtful matters out of fear of falling into the forbidden and ruining one’s hereafter is very difficult; but I do not come across two affairs, except that I select the affair that is more difficult for me (to abandon). Therefore, leave what makes you doubtful for what is not doubtful.” [Ref 5]
Hassaan Bin Abee Sinaan (rahimahullaah) said: “There is not anything easier than the affair of keeping away from the doubtful matters due to fear of falling into the forbidden and ruining one’s hereafter; so when you are doubt about something, leave it.” [Ref 6]
Some of the people of knowledge and understanding said: “When you speak, remember that Allaah hears you and when you keep quiet then remember that He sees you.” [Ref 7]
Umar Bin Abdul Azeez (rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever makes his speech reckon with his actions, then his speech in that which does not concern him will be little.” [Ref 8]
[Ref1: ‘Sharh Al-Arba’een An-Nawawiyyah’ of Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah), (Hadith No: 12), (page 158-159). Sharh Al-Arba’een Nawawiyyah, with comments of Imaam Nawawi, Imaam Sa’di, Imaam Ibn Da-qeeq al Eed and Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh al Uthaimeen (rahimahumullaah jamee-an), page:96]
[Ref 2: Source: Audio Number 15. Explanation of the forty Hadeeth of Imaam An-Nawawi’ (rahimahullaah) by Shaikh Abdur-Razzaaq Al-Badr (may Allaah preserve him). Paraphrased]
[Ref 3: An excerpt from ‘Sharh of the forty hadeeth of Imaam An-Nawawi (rahimahullaah)’. Lesson number 2]
[Ref4: Jaami-ul Uloom Wal-Hikam: page:117]
[Ref 5: Jaami-ul Uloom Wal-Hikam: page:117]
[Ref 6: Jaami-ul Uloom Wal-Hikam: page:117]
[Ref 7:Jaami-ul Uloom Wal-Hikam: page:122]
[Ref 8: Jaami-ul Uloom Wal-Hikam: page: 122]