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Human Values in Surat Al-Hujurat

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, ‘My Lord has guided me to a straight path, an upright religion, the faith of Abraham, a man of pure faith. He was not a polytheist.’” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, who said, “I have been sent to perfect good manners.” May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.

The Glorious Qur’an is rich with many verses that fosters good manners and moral values. Indeed, there are full Surahs (Qur’anic Chapters) that establishes the ground of a society based on lofty human values, such as Surat Al-Hujurat, which calls for may values including:

Ascertaining the authenticity of news, especially when such news is related to public affairs: The Almighty Allah said, “Believers, if a troublemaker brings you news, check it first, in case you wrong others unwittingly and later regret what you have done.” Islam builds everything on certainty. In the story of Prophet Solomon (PBUH) and the Hoopoe, when the later told Prophet Solomon about the sun worshippers, describing the news as certain, Prophet Solomon did not take its speech for granted. Rather, the Qur’an tells us, “Solomon said, ‘We shall see whether you are telling the truth or lying.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also said, “It is enough sin for a man to relate everything he hears.” Imam Al-Nawawi commented saying, “A person usually hears true and false news. If he relates everything he hears, then he should relate the false news.” Once, a man related to ‘Umar Ibn Abd Al-Aziz something bad about another man.  ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz said, “If you are liar, than you ae subject to the Qur’anic verse, “Believers, if a troublemaker brings you news, check it first;” and if you are truthful, then you are subject to the Qur’anic verse, “…a backbiter, slander-monger.’” If each of us pays attention to ascertain the authenticity of any news before relating it, rumors would disappear.

Among these values: avoiding backbiting. The Almighty Allah says, “Do not speak ill of people behind their backs: would any of you like to eat the flesh of your dead brother? No, you would hate it. So be mindful of Allah: Allah is ever relenting, Most Merciful.”  Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) asked the Companions, “Do you know what is backbiting? They said: Allah and His Messenger know best. Thereupon the Prophet said: Backbiting implies your talking about your brother in a manner which he does not like. It was said to him: What is your opinion if what I say about my brother is true? He said: If what you say of him is true, you in fact backbited him, and if that is not in him it is a slander.” Moreover, a person is required to defend his brother in his absence. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “If a Muslim defends his brother’s honor in his absence, Allah will protect his face from the fire of Hell on the Day of Resurrection.”

Among these values: to avoid defaming one another. This applies when such defaming is done with words or actions. The Qur’an prohibits such conduct saying, “Woe to every fault-finding and backbiter”. This covers those who defame people or give them bad nicknames. Abu Masu‘d (Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said, “When we were ordered to give alms, we began to work as porters (to earn something we could give in charity). Abu `Aqil came with one half of a Sa` (special measure for food grains) and another person brought more than he did. So the hypocrites said, “Allah is not in need of the alms of this (i.e. Abu `Aqil); and this other person did not give alms but for showing off.” Then Allah revealed: – ‘Those who criticize such of the Believers who give charity voluntarily and those who could not find to give in charity except what is available to them.’ (9.79)”

It also includes not to laugh at others; a true believers should not laugh at others. Allah, Most High, says, ” O you who believe! let not (one) people laugh at (another) people perchance they may be better than they, nor let women (laugh) at (other) women, perchance they may be better than they; and do not find fault with your own people nor call one another by nicknames; evil is a bad name after faith, and whoever does not turn, these it is that are the unjust.” So, our religion prohibits us from all what harms others. One of the main traits of the true Muslim is that he should not harm others; he should be a source of good and benefit for mankind.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) bans all what harms people’s feelings either in words or action or with sign. In truth, he (PBUH) used to encourage all what elevates man. In this regard, Umm Mosa narrated that Abd Allah Ibn Masud was once mentioned in the presence of Ali who highlighted some of his virtues and then said, “One day Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud climbed a tree and his legs became visible. His legs were very skinny, so the companions started laughing. The Prophet asked: “What are you laughing at?” We said: “We laugh at his skinny legs, O messenger of Allah”. The Prophet said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! His legs will be heavier on the Balance (on the Day of Judgment) than Mount Uhud.”

With that said, I ask Allah to forgive me and you

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All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon His slave and Messenger Muhammad (PBUH);

Muslim brothers,

One of the greatest values highlighted by Sura Al Hujurat is strengthening the bonds of fraternity and reconciliation among mankind. Allah, Most High, says: “The believers are but brethren, therefore make peace between your brethren and be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you.” So, reconciliation is of the greatest values promoted by the Noble Sura and called for by our Purified Religion that lays down the foundations of a coherent, tolerant human society where the value of coexistence is promoted in an atmosphere of love and affection, away from conflict.

As far as family is concerned, the Quran instructs us to send those known for righteousness in case a conflict takes place between a husband and his wife and they are unable to settle it; Allah, Glorified is He, says: “And if you fear a breach between the two, then appoint judge from his people and a judge from her people; if they both desire agreement, Allah will effect harmony between them, surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.”

This spirit of reconciliation extends to include the entire society, so that reconciliation would prevail in it. In this regard, Allah, the Almighty, says: “There is no good in most of their secret counsels except (in his) who enjoins charity or goodness or reconciliation between people; and whoever does this seeking Allah’s pleasure, We will give him a mighty reward.”

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) highlights the great reward prepared by Allah for reconciling among mankind “Shall I not inform you of what is more virtuous than the rank of fasting, prayer, and charity?” They said: “But of course!” He said: “Making peace between each other. For indeed spoiling relations with each other is the eraser of religion.”

So, the true believer makes reconciliation among people a way of life that when you see him, you see good. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Some people open the door to good and close the door to evil, and some people open the door to evil and close the door to good. Glad tidings to those in whose hands Allah places they keys to good, and woe to those in whose hands Allah places the keys to evil.”

O Allah! Guide us to the best of manners, for none guides to the best of them but You; and protect me from the bad manners for none can protect us from them but You; keep our country and all the world’s countries!