In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
فَأَمَّا ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ إِذَا مَا ٱبۡتَلَٮٰهُ رَبُّهُ ۥ فَأَكۡرَمَهُ ۥ وَنَعَّمَهُ ۥ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّىٓ أَكۡرَمَنِ
وَأَمَّآ إِذَا مَا ٱبۡتَلَٮٰهُ فَقَدَرَ عَلَيۡهِ رِزۡقَهُ ۥ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّىٓ أَهَـٰنَنِ
As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and gifts, then he says (puffed up): “My Lord has honoured me.” But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life, he says: “My Lord has humiliated me!” [Surah Al-Fajr. Aayaat 15-16]
When tried with richness and wealth, and given in abundance, he says that his lord has honoured him due to what he has been given. And when afflicted with poverty, he says that his lord has degraded him. However, this view of his is incorrect; rather he should praise Allaah in both circumstances-in times of poverty and richness. (1)
The human is ignorant and unjust. He has no knowledge of the final outcomes of events. He thinks that the situation in which he finds himself is to continue and will never cease. He thinks that the kind treatment and blessings he receives from Allaah in the worldly life is an indication that he is honoured by Allaah, and that he is one close to Him. However, not everyone who receives Allaah’s blessings in this worldly life is one honoured by Allaah, and not everyone whom Allaah afflicts with poverty is one humiliated by Allaah; rather riches and poverty, scarcity and abundance are a trial and a test by way of which Allaah makes known those who will show gratitude and those who will exercise patience. (2)
What Did Prophet Sulaymaan [peace be upon him] say when he saw the throne of Bilqees [peace be upon her] placed before him within the twinkling of an eye?
[هَـٰذَا مِن فَضۡلِ رَبِّى لِيَبۡلُوَنِىٓ ءَأَشۡكُرُ أَمۡ أَكۡفُرُۖ – This is by the Grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful!]- Meaning, to test me by way of of it. He was not beguiled kingdom, authority and power as is the habit of the ignorant kings; rather he knew that this was a test from his Lord, so he was scared of not being thankful for these blessings. Then he clarified that being grateful to Allaah does not benefit Allaah; rather its benefits returns to the grateful one; so he said: [وَمَن شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشۡكُرُ لِنَفۡسِهِۦۖ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّى غَنِىٌّ۬ كَرِيمٌ۬- and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his ownself). Certainly! My Lord is Rich (Free of all wants), Bountiful]- Meaning, Allaah is not in need of a person’s deeds, and He is generous, bestows abundant good that to both a grateful person and an ungrateful person, except that being grateful for the blessings He bestows leads to more blessings and being ungrateful leads to its decrease. (3)
Just Because We Are Given Does Not Mean That We Are of Higher Status
Al-Allaamah Saalih Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] stated, “When the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] used to distribute wealth, he used to give those whose Eemaan was weak and the hypocrites – gave them more; but he did not give anything to the best of the Sahaabah; rather he entrusted them to their religion, for indeed due to their [strong] Eemaan they would not become angry if not given. As for the people of weak Eemaan, the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] feared that they will be enraged, so he gave them and brought their hearts closer (the religion)”. (4)
Have I Ever Felt That Such and Such Believer Is Not Worthy to Be In a Gathering Where Many People Are Entitled to Be Present Because Either I Feel More Worthy of It or That His Presence Makes Me Feel That His Status Has Been Elevated to Me, So I Wish That He Is Prevented From That Gathering:
وَلَا تَطۡرُدِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِٱلۡغَدَوٰةِ وَٱلۡعَشِىِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجۡهَهُ ۥۖ مَا عَلَيۡكَ مِنۡ حِسَابِهِم مِّن شَىۡءٍ۬ وَمَا مِنۡ حِسَابِكَ عَلَيۡهِم مِّن شَىۡءٍ۬ فَتَطۡرُدَهُمۡ فَتَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon seeking His Face. You are accountable for them in nothing, and they are accountable for you in nothing, that you may turn them away, and thus become of the Zalimun (unjust). [Surah Al-An’aam. Aayaat 52]
Meaning, “O Prophet! Do not keep the weak Muslims away from sitting with you, who worship their Lord at the beginning of the day and at the end of it, wanting by their righteous deeds the Face of Allaah. You are not accountable any thing with regards the deeds of these poor people, but their account of deeds is with Allaah, and they are not accountable for anything regarding your deeds. If you distance them, then indeed, you are among those who transgress the limits imposed by Allaah – those who place affairs in other than its right place”. (5)
Have I Ever Felt That I Am More Virtuous Just Because People Listen to Me or Accept My Intercession
Sahl [may Allaah be pleased with him] reported: A man passed by Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], and Allaah’s Messenger asked (his companions), “What do you say about this man?” They replied, “If he asks for a lady’s hand, he ought to be given her in marriage; and if he intercedes (for someone), his intercession will be accepted; and if he speaks, he will be listened to”. Allaah’s Messenger kept silent, and then another man from the poor Muslims passed by, and Allaah’s Messenger asked (them), “What do you say about this man?” They replied, “If he asks for a lady’s hand in marriage, no one will accept him, and if he intercedes (for someone), his intercession will not be accepted; and if he speaks, he will not be listened to”. Allaah’s Messenger said, “This poor man is better than so many of the first as to fill the earth”. Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] briefly commented on this hadith, saying, “This clarifies that what matters is the religion (of a person) and not wealth and status. All those (men) were from the Sahaabah”. (5.1)
Have I Ever Refused to Give Room to Someone In a Gathering Where Everyone Is Entitled to Be Present!
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]; for indeed it is part of 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; for 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. (6)
What Should I Strive to Achieve In Gatherings
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. (7)
We ask Allaah: [اللهم كما حَسَّنْت خَلْقِي فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقِي – O Allah! Just as You made my external form beautiful, make my character beautiful as well]. https://salaficentre.com/2021/07/31/o-allah-just-as-you-made-my-external-form-beautiful-make-my-character-beautiful-as-well/
[Ref1: An Excerpt from ‘Zaadul Maseer’ Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref2: An Excerpt from ‘Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan.’ Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt from ‘Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam al-Mannaan’. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 4: An Excerpt from Tasheelul Il’haam Bi-Fiqhil Ahaadeeth Min Bulooghil Maraam’ Vol 6’ page 217-218. Publisher: Daar al-Imaam Ahmad’ 1st edition 1430 AH (Year 2009). slightly paraphrased
[Ref 5: At-Tafseer Al-Muyassar]
[Ref 5.1: Al-Hulalul Ibreeziyyah Min At-Taleeqaat Al-baaziyyah Alaa Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree 4/35. Footnote Number 3]
[Ref 6: An Excerpt from ‘Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan) by Imaam As-Sadi (rahimahullaah). slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 7: Noorul Basaa’ir Wal al-baab fee ahkaam al ‘Ibaadaat Wal Mu‘aamalaat Wal Huqooq Wal Aadaab’ pages 64-65]