Salaam! Today I want to jump right into the continuation of last week’s post, Manners of a Muslim Part I, to continue the discussion of such an important part of our faith, which unfortunately tends to take a back seat to discussions around worship and rules.
So here are three more points that I find particularly wonderful, where Islam emphasises good manners and treatment of other human beings!
Respect and care for children and the elderly
I thin respecting one’s elders is a theme in many societies (though the modern USA tends to see the elderly as more of a burden these days…), but Islam specifically mentions good treatment of the elderly, as well as children, in the very same hadith.
“He is not of us who does not have mercy on young children, nor honor the elderly.” Narrated in Tirmidhi
The Prophet (saws) was known to always greet children with a smiling face and a pat on the head, and take the time to talk to them, making them feel like respected members of the community. He always encouraged them to learn and grow, and seek knowledge in that which was interesting to them.
How often today do we pack our children off with the iPad or the iPhone to go stare mindlessly at a screen, instead of engaging in meaningful conversation with them? Perhaps children would be better behaved if they had the chance to observe good examples from the parents and their guests on what manners and good behavior should look like.
As for the elderly, we are all aware of societal norms such as giving up your seat on the bus for an elderly person, letting an older woman cut in front of you in the grocery store line, helping them to carry or move large objects, and the like, but I think we as Muslims can extend this respect a little bit further. Sit with those older community members in the mosque, listen to their stories and ask them to share lessons from their long lives with you. Maybe ask them to teach you about a certain thing that you know that are passionate about.
I think it is especially important in Muslim communities to start getting the youth and the older generation together, to work on learning from and understanding each other, in order to built a more cohesive and positive community. Continue reading “Manners of a Muslim Part II”