“They are the ones who walk upon the earth softly; and when the ignorant or the belligerent address them, they say only: Peace!” (Translation from Ahmad Zaki Hammad)
As the new year quickly approaches, we begin to hear people coining the phrase “new year, new me.” We take the time to write down our new year’s resolutions and plan how we will change ourselves for the better. We plan how we are going to do things differently this year and set new goals that we could strive to achieve. As most people quickly fall short in their resolutions after the new year passes, I ask the question: What goals have we set for ourselves regarding our Islam? What plans have we made for the upcoming year that will get us closer to Allahﷻ and His Messengerﷺ? I decided to begin 2022 with a new series that will teach us how to act as true servants of Allahﷻ. This new series is the “Slaves of the Most Merciful” which is known as Ibaad Al-Rahman in Arabic. This group of people are so beautiful because Allahﷻ Himself outlined for us in Surat Al-Furqan how to be amongst these individuals. So let’s make a serious new year’s resolution to get closer to Allahﷻ and His Messengerﷺ through implementing these traits that Allahﷻ has mentioned.
For this month, we will be covering the first verse describing the slaves of the Most Merciful: Aya 63. Allahﷻ says, “Those Who Carry Themselves in the Correct Manner.” What does that mean? Those who when they walk the Earth, tread the path, and move, they do so respectfully. They do so with humbleness and humility, which is known as “هوناً” in the Quranic language. They do not walk around with their heads held up high and full of arrogance. How do we know how to walk around humbly without arrogance? You must first learn to greet people. Say “Assalamu alaikum” and have a smile on your face. Sending peace and blessings on people is for Allahﷻ. Our beloved Prophetﷺ has mentioned in a Hadith that one of the best yet most simple deeds that a Muslim can do is just smile at their brother or sister.
Next we must learn to speak less. When it is needed of course, you speak. If someone says “what is your name?” Of course you should answer. Do not unnecessarily open your mouth and say many things that are not needed. I am sure we all know that person or people who always love to talk for a long time about things that may not even have to do with them. Rather, use that tongue to remember Allahﷻ. Say something that is beneficial or just stay quiet. The Hadith states, “من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فليقل خيراً أو ليصمت.” “Whoever believes in Allahﷻ and the last day should either say that which is beneficial or should remain silent.” If we do open our mouths, we need to ensure that we say something that was really thought through and carefully picked because every word that comes out of your mouth means something. You might hurt someone’s feelings, you might say something bad or disrespectful, or you might say something that you will regret later on. Allahﷻ may give us Paradise just for being good to an animal. Imagine how we should be with Humans.
The second part of Aya 63 states, “Those who say peace and walk away when an ignorant person speaks to them.” You just say “Salam” to them and walk away because you have nothing to do with them. This is because these people are ignorant. They are trying to make you upset and angry. Maybe they are using bad words. Maybe they are “Jahiloon” or are accusing you. The circumstance that this verse is outlining takes place so often on a daily basis. It is so often that we are approached by someone that just wants to keep arguing over everything, and the problem is that we tend to argue back most of the time. This argument seems to never have an ending which is why Allahﷻ tells us to just walk away from the start and not to engage with these people to begin with. We have two options when dealing with these people. The first option is that if we have the ability and capacity to correct them, then we should do so. The second option is that if we do not have the ability to correct them, then we should say “assalamu alaikum” to them and walk away. You say peace, not go to war with them. The problem is that more often than not, attempting to correct them is a hard task that only ends in arguing. Remember, they are the ignorant ones, not you.
In summary, Allahﷻ is telling us in Aya 63 that “Ibaad Al-Rahman” carry themselves in a confident, but non-arrogant manner and only respond in peace when encountered by those who remain ignorant. I ask Allahﷻ to grant us the blessing of witnessing another year full of happiness, health, and success in not only this Dunya, but more importantly the hereafter.