In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Most High] said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمْ تَفَسَّحُوا فِي الْمَجَالِسِ فَافْسَحُوا يَفْسَحِ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۖ وَإِذَا قِيلَ انْشُزُوا فَانْشُزُوا يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ
O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies, [spread out and] make room. Allah will give you [ample] room [from His Mercy]. And when you are told to rise up, rise up. Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do. [58:11]
This is a practical code of behaviour commanded by Allaah to His believing slaves- that when they come together in one of their gatherings, some of them or some of those who have already arrived should make room (for others), because indeed it is from good etiquettes to make room for him (i.e. the other person) to reach his goal. And this is not to harm the one who is (already) in the gathering in anyway; rather he enables his (Muslim) brother to reach his goal without him being harmed, and reward is given in accordance with a deed. Indeed, whoever makes room, Allaah makes room for him, and whoever shows generosity to his brother, Allaah will show him generosity.
[وَإِذَا قِيلَ انْشُزُوا – And when you are told to rise up]- Meaning: To rise up and retire from your gathering for an [obligatory or important] need [i.e. prayer etc], then [فَانْشُزُوا – rise up] – Meaning: proceed towards the fulfilment of that beneficial affair, for indeed the fulfilment of the likes of these affairs is connected to knowledge and Eemaan. And Allaah [The Most High] will exalt in degree the people of knowledge and Eemaan in accordance with what He has portioned out for them from knowledge and Eemaan.
[وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِير -And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do]- Meaning: Allaah [The Most High] rewards every performer of deeds in accordance with his [or her] deeds-if they are good, there will be good recompense, and if evil deeds, there will be an evil recompense. And in this Ayah [i.e. 58:11] is [a mention] of the virtue of knowledge, whose beautification and benefit is that one disciplines [himself or herself] with its etiquettes and act in accordance with what it necessitates. (1)
Allaah (The Most High) said:
لَّا خَيۡرَ فِى ڪَثِيرٍ۬ مِّن نَّجۡوَٮٰهُمۡ إِلَّا مَنۡ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوۡ مَعۡرُوفٍ أَوۡ إِصۡلَـٰحِۭ بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِۚ وَمَن يَفۡعَلۡ ذَٲلِكَ ٱبۡتِغَآءَ مَرۡضَاتِ ٱللَّهِ فَسَوۡفَ نُؤۡتِيهِ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمً۬ا
There is no good in most of their private talks, except him who commands Sadaqah (charity in Allah’s Cause), or all the good and righteous deeds which Allah has ordained, or conciliation between mankind, and he who does this, seeking the good Pleasure of Allah, We shall give him a great reward. [Surah An-Nisaa: Ayah 114]
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: There is no good in most of their private conversations; therefore, if there is no good in it, then there will be no benefit in it, such as excessive permissible speech, speech that is evil and completely harmful and all types of unlawful speech. Then Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] made an exception, saying: [إِلَّا مَنۡ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ – except him who commands Sadaqah (charity in Allaah’s Cause)]- Meaning, through wealth, knowledge or any means of benefit. And included in this are the lesser acts of worship, such as Tasbeeh (the utterance of SubhaanAllaah) and Tahmeed (the utterance of Alhamdulil-laah) and what is similar, as the Prophet said, “Indeed, every Tasbeeh (utterance of Subhaanallaah) is sadaqah, and every Takbeer (utterance of Allaahu Akbar) is Sadaqah, and every Tahleel (utterance of Laa-ilaaha-ilal-lah) is Sadaqah, and Enjoining Good is Sadaqah, and Forbidding Evil is Sadaqah, and even when one of you has sexual intercourse [with his wife], there is Sadaqah in that”’.
Then Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] said: [أَوۡ مَعۡرُوفٍ – Or (one) who orders Maruf] – Meaning, perfection in worship and obedience, every good in the Islamic legislation and everything whose goodness is known by way of sound intellect [i.e. not in opposition to the Islamic legislation]. And whenever ‘Enjoining Good’ is mentioned and ‘Forbidding Evil’ is not mentioned alongside it, ‘Forbidding Evil’ is also included. That is because to abandon what is prohibited is part of good deeds and good deeds cannot be complete except by abandoning evil. And with regards to companions (or associates), Ma’roof is explained to mean commanding (good) and Munkar means to abandon what is prohibited. (2)
Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] stated, “Therefore, a person should not leave the people in dispute; rather it is incumbent upon him to be eager to bring about conciliation between disputing parties, especially relatives. As for some people-and Allaah’s Protection is sought, they only bring into disputes that which will increase it. This type of person is a shaytaan. Also the one who seeks to bring about conciliation between the people should do that with justice; he should not oppress any of them or judge based on desires”. (3)
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated: When you sit with the people, make humility the sign by which you are recognized. Fear of Allaah should be your shield and giving advice to the servants of Allaah as your constant habit. Be eager to (make) every gathering in which you sit one of goodness- either research into affairs of knowledge or advice on religious matters; either directing (others) towards a general or a particular beneficial affair, or making a mention of the blessings of Allaah; either making a mention of the superior status of praiseworthy manners and good etiquettes or warning against that which is detrimental to the well-being of one’s religious or worldly (affairs). The least of this (i.e. your companionship and advice to those you sit with) is that the earnings from their occupations should be by way of permissible (means) and not what is forbidden. Behave well towards the young, the old and your peers. Deal with each of them in a way they deserve and have respect for the one who deserves to be respected and honoured. Be eager to make your congregation relaxed by way of speech that is appropriate and good, even if that was in relation to the worldly (affairs). The sensible and determined person achieves abundant goodness through the gatherings of the people and he becomes more beloved to them than all (beloved things). This is because he approaches the people with what they approve (i.e. good) and statements they desire, and the foundation in this is success in taking over control of all the affairs placed before them. And these affairs (i.e. good advice and companionship) become more emphasized on a journey, because during a journey sitting together is prolonged and the travellers are in need of having someone who revives their hearts with good statements, the news of events and joke–if all of that is truth and not too much–and to assist them with the essential affairs of travel. And Allaah is the One Who grants all success. (4)
Why Are The Gatherings Where Allaah Is Remembered Considered to Be The Purest, Noblest, Most Beneficial And Loftiest Gatherings:
Why Are The Gatherings Where Allaah Is Remembered Considered to Be The Purest, Noblest, Most Beneficial And Loftiest Gatherings
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from ‘Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan) by Imaam As-Sadi (may Allaah have mercy upon him). slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: An Excerpt from ‘Tafseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan’. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt from “Al-Minhatur Rabbaaniyyah Fee Sharh Al-Arba’een” pages 213-217]
[Ref 4: Noorul Basaa’ir Wal al-baab fee ahkaam al ‘Ibaadaat Wal Mu‘aamalaat Wal Huqooq Wal Aadaab’ pages 64-65]