Dealings with people and good character

Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

XIV. Dealings with people and good character

131. Love between people

260. Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "By the One in whose hand my soul is, you will not enter the Garden until you submit. You will not submit until you love one another. Extend the greeting to one another and you will love one another. Beware of hatred, for it is the razor. I do not tell you that it shaves the hair, but it shaves away the deen."

132. Friendship

261. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The souls of two believers should meet in the course of a day even if they do not actually see each other."

262. 'Umayr ibn Ishaq said, "We used to say that the first thing to be removed from people would be friendship."

133. Joking

264. Anas ibn Malik said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came upon a group of women which included Umm Sulayman. He said, 'Anjasha!* Be gentle when you drive the glass vessels!"

Abu Qilaba said about this, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used an expression which some of you use in jest. He said, 'When you drive the glass vessels!'"

[*Anjasha was a singer of camel-songs who drove the camels along. 'Glass vessels' refers to the women on the camels.]

265. Abu Hurayra reported that the people said, "Messenger of Allah, you joke with us!" He replied, "But I only speak the truth."

266. Bakr ibn 'Abdullah reported that the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to throw melons at one another. He said, "If these were real, they would be men."

267. Ibn Abi Mulayka said, "'A'isha was joking with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Her slavegirl said, 'Messenger of Allah, some of the women who make jokers in this quarter are from Kinana!' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Rather some of our jokesters in this quarter.'"

268. Anas ibn Malik said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to ask him for a mount. He said, 'I will give you a she-camel's foal to ride.' He exclaimed, 'Messenger of Allah, what can I do with a she-camel's foal?' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Are camels born from anything other than she-camels?'"

134. Joking with a child

269. Anas ibn Malik said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to mix with us to the extent of asking a younger brother of mine, 'Abu 'Umayr! What has happened to the little sparrow?'"

270. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took al-Hasan or al-Husayn by the hand and then put his feet on top of his own feet and said, "Climb up."

135. Good character

270 (sic) Abu'd-Darda' reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There is nothing which weighs heavier in the balance than good character."

271. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was neither coarse nor loud. He used to say, "The best of you is the one who has the best character."

272. 'Amr ibn Shu'ayb reported from his grandfather that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Shall I tell you about who among you I love the most and the one who will be seated closest to me on the Day of Rising?" The people were silent, so he repeated that two or three times. Then the people said, "Yes, Messenger of Allah." He said, "The one among you with the best character."

273. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I was sent to perfect good character."

274. 'A'isha said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was never given a choice between two things but that he chose the easier of the two as long as it was not a wrong action. If it was a wrong action. then he was the last person to do it. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, never took revenge on his own behalf. But when the respect of Allah Almighty was violated, he would take revenge on behalf of Allah Almighty."

275. 'Abdullah said, "Allah Almighty shared out your character between you as He divided your provision between you. Allah Almighty bestows wealth on those He loves and those He does not love. He only gives faith to those He loves. Whoever is stingy about spending his wealth and fears to fight the enemy and is in terror of enduring the night should repeat frequently. 'There is no god but Allah. Glory be to Allah. Praise be to Allah, and Allah is greater."

136. The generosity of the self

276. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Wealth does not mean having a lot of property. Wealth means having self-contentment."

277. Anas said, "I served the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, for twenty years. He never said 'uff' to me and he never said about anything I had not done, 'Why didn't you do it?' or about something I had done. 'Why did you do that?'"

278. Anas ibn Malik said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was merciful. No one came to him but that he promised himself something and carried out that promise if he had anything to give. The iqama for the prayer had been given when a bedouin came and took hold of his garment and stated, 'I am still not satisfied.' The Bedouin alarmed the Prophet's wives. The Prophet went with him until the man had received what he wanted. Then he returned and prayed."

279. Jabir said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was never asked for anything to which he said, 'No.'"

280. 'Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr said, "I have never seen two women more generous than 'A'isha and Asma'. Their generosity was different. 'A'isha used to gather things and after they had been collected together, she would share them out. Asma' would not keep anything for the next day."

137. Avarice

281. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The dust of the path of Allah and the smoke of Hellfire are never joined together in the heart of a slave. Belief and avarice are never joined together in the heart of a slave."

282. Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Two qualities are not found together in a believer: miserliness and ill-temper."

283. 'Abdullah ibn Rabi'a said, "We used to sit with 'Abdullah and they mentioned a man together with aspects of his character. 'Abdullah said, 'What would you think if you cut off his head? Would you be able to put it back on again?' 'No,' they replied. He said, 'And his hand?' 'No,' they said. 'And his foot?' they said. 'No,' he said. He said, 'You cannot change his character until you change his physical form. The drop remains in the womb for forty nights and then the blood congeals and then it becomes a blood clot and then a lump of flesh and then Prophet sends an angles and he records his provision, his character, and whether or not he will be happy or miserable (in the Next World).'"

138. Good character when people have understanding

284. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A man who is known for his good character has the same degree as someone who stands at night in prayer."

285. Abu Hurayra said, "I heard Abu'l-Qasim say, 'The best of you in Islam is the best of you in character when they possess understanding (of the deen)."

286. Thabit ibn 'Ubayd said, "I have not seen anyone more serious when he sits with the people nor more jocular in his house than Zayd ibn Thabit."

287. Ibn 'Abbas said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, 'Which religion does Allah Almighty love the most?' He replied, 'The simple Hanifiyya one.'"

288. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "There are four qualities such that if you were to be given them, you will not be harmed even if the world were to be taken away from you. They are: good character, restraint in food, truthful words, and upholding a trust."

289. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do you know what it is that makes most people enter the Fire?" "Allah and His Messenger know best," they said. He said, "The two empty ones: the genitals and the mouth. Do you know what it is that makes most people enter the Garden? Taqwa of Allah and good character."

290. Umm ad-Darda' said, "Abu'd-Darda' stood up in the night to pray. He was weeping and said, 'O Allah! You made my physical form good, so make my character good!' until morning. I said, 'Abu'd-Darda', your only supplication for the entire night was for good character!' He replied, 'Umm ad-Darda', the Muslim makes his character good with the result that his good character takes him into the Garden. He makes his character bad with the result that his bad character takes him into the Fire. The Muslim is forgiven while he is asleep.' I asked, 'Abu'd-Darda', how can be forgiven while he is asleep?' He said, 'His brother arises in the night and performs the night prayers and makes supplication to Allah Almighty and is answered. He makes supplication for Muslim brother and his request is answered.'"

291. Usama ibn Sharik said, "I was with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when some bedouins came. There were many people on all sides. The people were silent and no one spoke except them. They said, 'Messenger of Allah! We experience difficulty in such-and-such and such-and-such' and it was in things which are not harmful to people. He said, 'Servants of Allah! Allah has removed difficulty except in a case where a man slanders someone unjustly ­ that is the one who is in difficulty and destroyed.' They said, 'Messenger of Allah, can we make use of medical treatment?' 'Yes, servants of Allah,' he replied, 'you can make use of medical treatment. Allah Almighty did not create an illness but that He made a cure for it ­ except for one disease.' They asked, 'And what is that, Messenger of Allah?' 'Old age,' he replied. They said, 'Messenger of Allah, what is the best thing that a man can be given?' 'Good character,' he replied.'"

292. Ibn 'Abbas said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was the most generous of people in giving charity. He was even more generous in Ramadan when Jibril, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to meet him. Every night of Ramadan Jibril used to come to him and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would read the Qur'an to him. When Jibril came to him, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was more generous in giving charity than the blowing wind."

293. Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Before your time a man was called to account and it was found that the only good thing he had done was that he was easy in his business dealings with people. He used to order his slaves to go easy with people who were in difficulty. Allah Almighty said, 'We are more entitled to do that than he is, so forgive him.'"

294. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "What is the most frequent reason for someone entering the Garden?" He said, "Taqwa and good character. He was asked, "What is the most frequent reason for people entering the Fire?" He replied, "The two empty ones: the mouth and the genitals."

295. It is reported Nawwas ibn Sam'an asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about dutifulness and wrong action. He said, "Dutifulness is good character and wrong action is that which works on yourself and which you dislike for other people to become aware of."

139. Miserliness

296. Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Who is your master, Banu Salama?" Jabir said, "We replied, 'Judd ibn Qays, although we think that he is a miser.' He said, 'What illness is worse than miserliness? Your master is 'Amr ibn al-Jamuh.'"

'Amr had been in charge of their idols during the Jahiliyya. He gave a wedding feast for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he got married.

297. Warrad, the scribe of al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba, said, "Mu'awiya wrote to al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba, saying, 'Write down for me something which you heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.' Al-Mughira wrote to him, ' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to forbid gossip, wasting money, asking too many questions, refusing to give, disobedience to parents and burying daughters alive."

298. Jabir said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was never asked for anything to which he said, 'No,'"

140. Sound property for a sound man

299. 'Amr ibn al-'As said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent for me. He commanded me to put on my clothes and arms and come to him. I did that and came to him while he was doing wudu'. He looked at me and then lowered his eyes. then he said, ''Amr, I want to put you in charge of an army and Allah will give you booty. I will give you a correct portion of the spoils.' I said, 'I did not become Muslim out of the desire for property. I became Muslim out of the desire for Islam and so that I would be with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.' He said, ''Amr! Sound property is very excellent for a sound man!'"

141. The person who is secure in his property

300. Mihsan al-Ansari reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When someone is secure in his property, healthy in his body and has his food for the day, it is as if he owned the entire world."

142. Cheerfulness

301. Mu'adh ibn 'Abdullah ibn Khubayb al-Juhani related from his father that his uncle said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came out to them with the traces of ghusl on him. He was cheerful. We thought that he was with his wives. We said, 'Messenger of Allah, we see that you are cheerful.' He said, 'Yes, and praise be to Allah!' Then wealth was mentioned that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'There is no harm in wealth for someone who has taqwa, but health for the person who has taqwa is even better than wealth. Cheerfulness is a blessing.'"

302. An-Nawwas ibn Sam'an al-Ansari reported that he asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about dutifulness and wrong action. He said, "Dutifulness is good character and wrong action is what works on yourself and which you dislike for other people to become aware of."

303. Anas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was the best of people, the most generous of people and most courageous of people. One night the people of Madina were alarmed by a noise and the people went towards its source. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, met them, having already reached the source of the noise before them and he was saying, "Do not be alarmed. Do not be alarmed." He was riding a horse belonging to Abu Talha without a saddle and a sword was hung around his neck. He said, "I found it (the horse) like a great river" or it was a great river (meaning its speed).

304. Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Every act of kindness is sadaqa. Part of kindness is that you offer your brother a cheerful face and you pour some of your bucket into his water vessel."

143. What is necessary in helping someone in distress

305. Abu Dharr reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, "Which is the best action?" He replied, "Belief in Allah and jihad in His Way." He was asked, "Which slaves are best?" He replied, "The highest in price and the most precious to their people." He said, "What do you think I should do if I am unable to fight?" He said, "Help someone in trouble or work for someone who does not work." He said, "What do you think that I should do if I am too weak (to act accordingly)?" He said, "Spare people your evil. That is a sadaqa which you bestow on yourself."

306. Sa'id ibn Abi Burda related from his grandfather that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Every Muslim owes sadaqa." He said, "What do you think he should do if he cannot find anything to give?" He replied, "He should find work and thus benefit himself and be able to give sadaqa." He said, "What do you think he should do if he cannot or does not do that?" He said, "He should help someone with a great need." He said, "What do you think he should do if he cannot or does not do that?" He replied, "He should command the good." He asked, "What do you think he should do if he cannot or does not do that?" He replied, "He should refrain from evil. That is sadaqa for him."

144. The person who makes supplication to Allah to make his character good

307. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to supplicate, "Oh Allah, I ask You for health, restraint, trustworthiness, good character and contentment with the decree."

308. Yazid ibn Yabnus said, "We went to 'A'isha and said, 'Umm al-Mu'minin, what was the character of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, like?' She replied, 'His character was the Qur'an. Can you recite the sura entitled "The Believers"?' She said, 'Recite: "It is the believers who are successful: those who are humble in their prayer; those who turn away from worthless talk; those who actively pay zakat; those who guard their private parts." (23:1-5)' She said, 'That was the character of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.'"