Speech

Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

XXXII. Speech

321. Someone's words, "So-and-so with the curly black hair" or someone "tall" or "short" when he intends to describe him and does not mean to slander him

754. Abu Ruhm, one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who had offered his allegiance to the Prophet under the Tree [i.e. at Hudaybiyya] was heard to say, "I went on the expedition to Tabuk with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. While we were travelling at night at al-Akhdar, I was near to the Prophet. A deep sleepiness overcame us, but I began to wake up when my camel wandered near to the Prophet's camel. I was worried that when it came close, it would his foot in the stirrup. I began to pull my camel back, but at a certain point in the night I feel asleep. Then my camel jostled against the camel of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, while his foot was in stirrup, hitting his foot. I did not wake up until he exclaimed, 'Ow!' I said, 'Messenger of Allah, ask for forgiveness for me!' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Never mind.'

"Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, began to ask about those of the Banu Ghifar who had stayed behind. He asked, 'What happened to the people with thin red beards?' I replied that they had stayed behind. He asked,, 'What did the people with the short black curly hair with camels in Shabakatu Shadakh do?' Then I remembered that they were among the Banu Ghifar, but I did not remember them until I remembered that they were a party from Aslam. So I replied, 'Messenger of Allah, they are from Aslam.' He said, 'What kept one of these men who failed to come letting one of his camels by ridden by an man eager in the Way of Allah? The most painful thing for me is that Muhajirun from Quraysh, the Ansar, Ghifar and Aslam should stay behind.'"

755. 'A'isha said, "A man asked for permission to come in to see the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the Prophet remarked, 'He is a bad brother of his tribe.' When the man came in, the Prophet was cheerful towards him. I asked the Prophet about that and he said, 'Allah does not love anyone who is obscene and coarse.'"

756. 'A'isha said, "Sawda, who was a heavy, sluggish woman, asked for permission to come in (to see the Prophet) on the night of Jam' (Muzdalifa) and he gave her permission."

322. Someone who does not see any harm in a historical story

757. Ibn Mas'ud said, "When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, divided the booty of Hunayn at Ji'rana, the people crowded up against him. Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Allah sent on of His slaves to a people and they rejected him and wounded him in the head. He wiped the blood from his brow, saying, "O Allah, forgive my people for they do not know."'"

'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud added, "I can almost visualise the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, telling about the man wiping his brow."

323. Someone who shields a Muslim

758. Abu'l-Haytham said, "Some people came to 'Uqba ibn 'Amir and said, 'We have some neighbours who drink (wine) and behave incorrectly. Shall we bring them before the ruler?' 'No,' he replied, 'I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "Whoever sees the fault of a Muslim and then veils it, it is as if he brought girl buried alive back to life from her grave.''"

324. Someone saying, "People are destroyed."

759. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When you hear a man saying, 'People are destroyed,' then he has destroyed them."

325. Do not call a hypocrite "master (sayyid)"

760. 'Abdullah ibn Burayda reported from his father that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do not call a hypocrite 'master'. He is not your master and you will have angered your Lord, the Mighty and Exalted."

326. What someone says when he is praised

761. 'Adi ibn Arta' said, "When one of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was praised, he said in supplication to Allah), 'Do not take me to task for what they say and forgive me for what they do not know.'"

762. Abu Qilaba reported that 'Abdullah said to Abu Mas'ud ­ or Abu Mas'ud said to 'Abdullah, "What did you hear the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say about '(false) assertion?" He said, "It is a bad mount for a man."

763. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "Abu Mas'ud, what did you hear the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say about 'People who make false claims?" He replied, "I heard him say, 'A bad mount for a man' and I heard him say, 'Cursing a believer is like killing him.'"

327. One should not say about something he does not know, "Allah knows it"

764. Ibn 'Abbas said, "None of you should say about a thing which he does not know, 'Allah knows it' when Allah may know that it is other than what he said and thus he (tries to) teach Allah what he does not know. That is something terrible in Allah's sight."

328. The rainbow

765. Ibn Abbas said, "The Milky Way is one of the gates of the heavens. The rainbow is security from being destroyed by flood after the people of Nuh, peace be upon him."

329. The Milky Way

766. Ibn al-Kawwa' asked 'Ali about the Milky Way. He said, "It is the water-trough (or loop of the bag) from which the heaven opens up flowing water."

767. Ibn 'Abbas said, "The rainbow is security for the people of the earth that they will not be drowned. The Milky Way is the door of the heavens and forms a furrow through it."

330. Someone who dislikes for it to be said, "O Allah, place me in the Abiding Abode of Your mercy"

768. Abu'l-Harith al-Kirmani heard a man say to Abu Raja', "I greet you and I ask Allah to join both of us together in the Abiding Abode of His mercy." Abu Raja' said, "Is anyone capable of that?" He continued, "What is the Abiding Abode of His mercy?" "The Garden," the man replied. "That is not correct," he said. The man asked, "Then what is the Abiding Abode of His mercy?" "The Lord of the Worlds," he replied.

331. Do not curse time

769. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "None of you should say, 'May time (ad-Dahr) be disappointed. Allah is time (ad-Dahr)."

770. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "None of you should say, 'May time be disappointed!' Allah Almighty said, 'I am time (ad-Dahr). I send the night and the day. If I so wished, I could take them away.' None of you should the grape-vine 'karm" (instead of 'inab). Karm* is the Muslim man."

[* Karm suggests honour.]

332. A man should not look sharply at his brother when he turns away

771. Mujahid said, "It is disliked for a man to stare at his brother or let his eye follow him when he turns his back or to ask, 'Where have you come from? Where are you going?'"

333. Someone saying to someone else, "Bother you"

772. Anas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw a man driving a sacrificial camel. "Ride it," he told him. The man replied, "It is a sacrificial camel." "Ride it," he repeated. The man said again, "It is a sacrificial camel." "Ride it," he repeated. The man said, "It is a sacrificial camel." The Prophet said, "Ride it, and bother you!"

773. Al-Miswar ibn Rifa'a al-Quruzi said, "I heard a man ask Ibn 'Abbas, 'Should I do wudu' after I have eaten bread and meat?' He replied, 'Woe to you! Would you do wudu' on account of good things?'"

774. Jabir said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was at al-Ji'rana on the Day of the Battle of Hunayn with the spoils in the custody of Bilal. The Prophet was dividing them out. A man came up to him and said, 'Be just! You are not being just!' The Prophet said, 'Bother you! Who will be just if I am not just?' 'Umar said, 'Messenger of Allah, let me strike off the head of the hypocrite!' The Prophet said, 'This man is with his followers who recite the Qur'an and it does not go beyond their throats. They pass through the deen as an arrow passes through the target (i.e. nothing of it remains on the arrow).'"

775. Bashir ibn Ma'bad as-Sadusi (whose name was Zahim ibn Ma'bad) made hijra (emigration) to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the Prophet asked him, "What is your name?" "Zahim," he replied. The Prophet said, 'No, you are Bashir." Bashir said, "While I was walking with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, he passed the graves of some idolaters. He said, 'These people have missed much good' three times. Then he passed by the graves of the Muslims and observed, 'These people have obtained much good.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, suddenly looked up and saw a man wearing sandals walking among the graves. He said, 'You with the ox-hide sandals, take off your sandals!' When he saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, he removed his sandals and threw them away.'"

334. Building

776. Muhammad ibn Hilal reported that he saw the rooms of the wives of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The rooms were made of palm trunks covered with hair. The transmitter (Muhammad ibn Abi Fudayk) said, "I asked him about 'A'isha's room and he said, 'Its door faced Syria.' I asked, 'Was it one or two spans?' 'Its door was one span,' he replied. I asked, 'And what was it made of?' He said, 'From cypress or teak wood.'"

777. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The Final Hour will not come until houses' adornments resemble painted garments."

Ibrahim (the transmitter) said, "He meant striped garments."

335. A man saying, No, by your father"

778. Abu Hurayra said, "A man came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah, which sadaqa has the best reward?' He said, 'By your father, you will learn of it. It is that you give sadaqa while you are healthy and avaricious, fearful of poverty and desirous of wealth. You should not delay it until you are at the point of death and then say, "This much is for so-and-so. This much is for so-and-so. This much is for so-and-so."'"

336. When a person seeks something, he should ask for something small and not praise the person

779. 'Abdullah said, "When one of you seeks something he needs, he should ask for something small. He will have what is decreed for him. None of you should go to his companion and then praise him and thus break his back."

780. Abu 'Izza Yassar ibn 'Abdullah al-Hudhali reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When Allah wants a slave to die in a particular country, he makes him have some reason for being there."

337. Someone's words, "May the one who hates you not have good!"

781. Abu 'Abdu'l-'Aziz said, "Abu Hurayra spent the night with us and looked at a star before him. Then he said, 'By the One who holds Abu Hurayra in his hand, some people wish that they would be appointed commanders in the earth while their actions are as if they were handing from that star. They are not appointed to those positions of command not to those positions.' Then he turned to me and said, 'May the one who hates you not have good! Is all of this allowed by the people of the east in the east?' 'Yes, by Allah,' I replied. He said, 'May Allah make them ugly and drive them like angry camels as if their faces were beaten shields until they give the owner of a field his field and the owner of sheep his sheep!'"

338. Someone should not say, "Allah and so-and-so"

782. Mughith claimed that Ibn 'Umar once asked him about his mawla and Mughith replied, "By Allah and so-and-so." Ibn 'Umar responded, "Do not speak like that. Do not put anyone with Allah. Say "so-and-so: after you have said, "Allah."

339. Someone saying, "What Allah wills and you will"

783. Ibn 'Abbas said, "A man said, to the Prophet, 'Whatever Allah wills and you will.' He said, 'You have put an equal with Allah. It is what Allah alone wills.'"

340. Singing and Play

784. 'Abdullah ibn Dinar said, "I went out with 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar to the market. He passed by a small slave-girl who singing and remarked, 'Shaytan. If he had left anyone, he would have left this girl.'"

785. Anas ibn Malik heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "I have nothing to do with diversions and diversions have nothing to do with me." He meant that he does not do anything worthless."

786. Ibn 'Abbas said about "There are some people who trade in distracting tales" (31:5) that it means singing and things like it.

787. Al-Bara' ibn 'Azib reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Spread the greeting to people and you will be safe. The saw is evil."

Abu Mu'awiya said that the "saw" means amusement.

788. Fadala ibn 'Ubayd was at a meeting when he heard that some people were playing backgammon. He got up in anger to forbid it in the strongest possible terms. Then he said, "The one who plays in order to live on his winnings is like a person who eats pig meat and does wudu' in blood."

341. Guidance and good behaviour

789. Ibn Mas'ud was heard to say, "You are living at a time when there are many men of understanding and few orators. There are few who ask and many who give. In it there is more action than diversion. After you there will come a time when there are few men of understanding and many orators. There will be many who ask and few who give. Guidance in it directs action. Know that right guidance at the end of time is better than some actions."

790. Abu't-Tufayl said, "I was asked, 'Did you see the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace?' 'Yes,' I replied, 'and I do not know of any man left alive on the face of the earth except myself who saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.' He went on, 'The Prophet had white skin and a handsome face.'"

In another transmission, al-Jurayri said, "I and Abu't-Tufayl ('Amir ibn Wathila l-Kinani) were doing tawaf of the House when Abu't-Tufayl said, 'There is no one remaining who saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, except me.' I asked, 'Did you actually see him?' 'Yes,' he replied. I asked, 'What was he like?' He said, 'He was white-skinned, handsome, and of medium stature.'"

791. Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Right guidance, correct behaviour and being moderate form a twenty-fifth portion of prophethood."

In another variant, "Right guidance, correct behaviour and moderation form a seventieth part of prophethood."

342. When news comes to you from someone you do not furnish with travel provisions

792. It is related that 'Ikrima said, "I asked 'A'isha, 'Did you ever hear the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, quoting poetry?' She replied, 'Sometimes when he entered a house, he would say, "News will come to you from someone you do not furnish with travel provisions."*'"

[*. A line of poetry written by Abu Khirash.]

793. Ibn 'Abbas said, "This is something that a Prophet said, 'News will come to you from someone you do not furnish with travel provisions' (meaning that he had quoted it."

343. Wishing which is disliked

794. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When one of you wishes for something, he should look to what he desires. He does not know what he will be given."

344. Do not call the grape "kurm"

795. 'Alqama ibn Wa'il reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "None of you should say 'kurm.' Rather use 'habala' for grape-vines."

345. Someone saying, "Bother you"

796. See 772.

346. Someone saying, "O person!"

797. Hamna bint Jahsh said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'What is it, O person?'"

798. Habib ibn Sabhan al-Asadi said, "I saw 'Ammar praying the obligatory prayer. Then he said to a man at his side, 'O person!' Then he got up."

799. Ash-Sharid said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, rode with me behind him and said, "Do you know any of the poetry of Umayya ibn Abi's-Salt?' 'Yes,' I replied and recited a line. 'Go on,' he said, until I had recited a hundred lines."

347. Someone saying, "I am lazy"

800. 'A'isha said, "Do not forget to stand up at night to pray. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not neglect to do it. If he was either ill or lazy, he prayed sitting down."

348. Someone who seeks refuge from laziness

801. Anas ibn Malik said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to often say, 'O Allah, I seek refuge with You from worry, sorrow, incapacity, laziness, cowardice, avarice, being overburdened by debt and being overcome by other men.'"

349. Someone's words, "May my self be your ransom!"

802. Anas ibn Malik said, "Abu Talha used to kneel before the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and sprinkle water on his quiver and say:

     'May my face be a protection for your face
                And my self be a ransom for your self.'"

803. Abu Dharr said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went towards al-Baqi' and I began to follow him. He turned and saw me and said, 'Abu Dharr!' I said, 'At your service, Messenger of Allah. May I be your ransom.' He said, 'Those who are rich will be poor on the Day of Rising except those who say, "Such-and-such and such-and-such is for a right (which was performed)."' I said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'That is how it is' three times. Then we came to Uhud. He said, 'Abu Dharr!' I replied, 'At your service, Messenger of Allah. May I be your ransom.' He said, 'It would not delight me if Uhud were to become gold for the family of Muhammad and then have them spend a night with a dinar ­ or he said a mithqal.' Then we were at a wadi and he went ahead, so I thought that he felt a call of nature, and so I sat down at the edge of the wadi. He was gone a long time and I feared for him. Then I heard him and it seemed as if he were talking to a man. Then he came out to me my himself. I said, 'Messenger of Allah, who was the man you were talking to?' 'Did you hear him?' he asked. I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'That was Jibril. He came to me and gave me the good news that whoever of my community dies without associating anything with Allah will enter the Garden.' I said, 'Even if he commits adultery or steals?' He said, 'Yes.'"

350. A man saying, "May my father and mother be my ransom"

804. 'Abdullah ibn Shaddad said, "I heard 'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, say, 'I did not see the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying, ("May my father and mother be) your ransom" after Sa'd. I heard him say to him, "May my father and mother be your ransom."'"

805. 'Abdullah ibn Burayda related that his father said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out to the mosque while Abu Musa was reciting and asked, 'Who is this?' 'I am Burayda,' I replied, 'May I be your ransom!' He said, 'This man has been given one of the flutes of the family of Da'ud.'"

351. A man saying, "My son" to someone whose father did not become Muslim

806. As-Sa'b ibn Hakim reported that his grandfather said, "I came to 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him. He began to say, 'Nephew.' Then he questioned me and I told him my lineage and so he knew that my father had not become Muslim. He began to say, 'My son, my son.'"

807. Anas said, "I used to serve the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace." He continued, "I used to enter without asking for permission to enter. One day I came and he said, 'My son, there is a new situation. You should not come in unless you have permission.'"

808. Ibn Abi Sa'sa'sa reported from his father that Abu Sa'id al-Khudri called him "my son".

352. Someone should not say, "khabuthat nafsi"* (an expression meaning "I am overcome with nausea")

809. 'A'isha reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "None of you should say, 'khabuthat nafsi'. He should say, 'Laqisat nafsi.'"

[* Khabutha has a connotation of foulness."

810. Same with another isnad.