Narrated Abu Musa radhiAllahu ‘anhu:
Some people asked Allah’s Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “Whose Islam is the best (i.e. who is a good Muslim)?” He replied, “One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands.”
[Volume 1, Book 2, Number 11]
Notice and compare this hadeeth with the previous one. While the previous hadeeth tells who a Muslim is, this hadeeth emphasizes on who a good Muslim is meaning the best Muslim. From this hadeeth, we learn that a believer attains the level of excellence when others are safe from his tongue and hands.
Rights of Allah and Rights of the People
Being Muslims, we know the obligatory duties such as prayers, fasting, Zakat, etc. however, Islam is not limited to rituals alone. In order to reach a higher level we have to bring a balance between the rights of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the rights of His creation upon us. One cannot attain a higher level unless their relations with their fellow Muslims are praiseworthy – other Muslims should feel safe in our company. Our tongues or hands should not be weapons for them that bring pain and injury.
As we are required to watch our tongues and hands from causing hurt to others, we should also practice forgiveness. It means should someone else hurt or abuse us then there is no need for us to reciprocate their behavior. We can simply walk away from the situation without dropping to their level. We should keep our tongues in control and protect them from hurling abuse.
When you do this, some people will label you a coward or call you derogatory names. Remember that fighting, abusing or slandering someone are not from the conduct of a Muslim. You are not weak if you do not respond. Rather, you are a better Muslim because you know how to forgive and control your anger.
Our Matter is With Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala
Apparently, the matter seems to be between you and the people, however, the reality is that it is between you and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. You could abuse or punch the other person but you stopped yourself out of submissiveness to Allah, the Omnipotent. When you are being careful with your words and actions you are in fact being obedient to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. A Muslim’s submissiveness is based on Allah’s criteria of dealing with people (i.e. forgiving, uttering good words, etc.) rather than people’s criteria of dealing with people (i.e. being bold enough to reply back and fight, etc.).
[Sins of the Tongue (notice that among the sins of the tongue there’s also April Fool’s day. How lightly do we take things?)]
Staying Away from All Kinds of Sins
This hadeeth teaches us a very important lesson. It tells us to stay away from all kinds of sins of the tongues and hands no matter how much we have been hurt. Some examples of these sins are: stealing, abusing, killing, adultery, backbiting, lying, spreading rumors etc. We stay away from these sins not because we consider ourselves better than others, rather it is because we are giving up our urge for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
If one goes deep into the meaning of the hadeeth, one realizes that by implementing this hadeeth not only do we become the best Muslims but we are also saving ourselves from punishment. By refraining from sins that can lead us to hell, we are doing a favor upon ourselves. May Allah make us the best Muslim and give us the understanding of His commands, aameen.