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RESPECT

 “A day of respectful life is better than a thousand year’s life of humiliation.” This is not a dialogue of a drama; instead it is a unique characteristic of Muslims history. Here is Rab’i bin Aamir (Radhi Allahu Anhu), a great companion of the Prophet (), a self-respecting mujtahid. The occasion is that of the Battle of Qadsiyah. Muslim army, in the leadership of Hadhrat  Sa’d bin Waqqas (Radhi Allahu Anhu), is fighting tooth and nail with the Persian army, led by the famous commander Rustum. Rustam wants an agreement. He requests Hadrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas (Radhi Allahu Anhu) to send his representative to him for initiating a truce. He sends Hadrat Rab’i bin Aamir (Radhi Allahu Anhu) to Rustum. When he reaches the court of Rustam, he is riding his horse. The courtiers of Rustam hurry up and demand him to get down the horse and go to Rustam walking. Hadrat Rab’i bin Aamir (Radhi Allahu Anhu) replies, “I have not come on my own. You have called me. If you agree that I come like this, then it is okay, otherwise I will be back from here only.” The courtiers are stunned and fret and fume from within. But there is no option but to accept the demand of Rab’i bin Aamir (Radhi Allahu Anhu) and allow him to proceed. Rab’i (Radhi Allahu Anhu) reaches Rustam in this very condition and invites him to Islam. When he does not accept Islam, he gives him the option of paying jizyah (tax). When this, too, is not acceptable then he warns him of war. Hadrat Rab’i bin Aamir (Radhi Allahu Anhu) says with complete boldness and braveness, “Allah has sent us to take the human being out of the slavery of humans to worship of Allah; that we save people from the tyranny of different theories and religions and associate them with justice and righteousness of Islam and ultimately take them out of the narrowness of the world to the vastness of the Hereafter.” Hadrat Rab’i bin Aamir (Radhi Allahu Anhu) said these words to the person who had made himself the one worshipped by his people, who was the representative of the system that was arrested by the world’s narrowness and was fond of tyranny over the creature. Just look at another example out of the numerous examples of respect & honour and pomp & power of Muslims.

It was the time of Abbasid Caliph Harun Rasheed. He called for Imam al-Hijrah, Hadrat Malik (may Allah have mercy on him) and asked him, “Come to my house so that my children (Amin and Mamun) may hear hadith from you.” Imam Malik said in a serious and polite way, “O Amir al -Mumineen! May Allah raise you higher and higher. Undoubtedly, this knowledge is a trust with your house. Now, you have options to either respect & value it or degrade and devalue it. The thirsty goes to the well; not the well to the thirsty.” The caliph was impressed with his boldness and instructed his children to go to the mosque for learning. Imam Malik said, “Provided that they sit in the mosque where they find a place. There should be no special arrangement for their seats.” The caliph agreed to this condition.

A self-respecting method does not mean insanity or pride; rather it is height and self-respect. It is aversion from humiliation and disgrace. Allah wants His believer slaves to live holding their heads high; never compromise their self-respect, never ask anyone other than Allah. The criterion of rise and height to a Muslim is only religion and his Lord. His greatness is associated with only them. Someone has said that whoever seeks respect without obeying Allah, He humiliates him. Hadrat Umar bin al-Khattab would say, “We were disgraced. Allah bestowed upon us the wealth of Islam and gave us height and elevation.” Now whoever wants to become great and respected while ignoring Islam, Allah will humiliate him. An Urdu couplet:

وہ معزز تھے زمانے میں مسلماں ہو کر

اور تم خوار ہوئے تارک قرآن ہو کر

“They were respected when they were true Muslims; and you are disgraced due to having left the Qur’an.”

The source of respect and honour and pomp and show is only Allah. He Himself is Wise. Whoever is connected with Him becomes respected. If anyone is disconnected from Allah, his fate will be only humiliation, disgrace, fear and wilderness. The poet has rightly said:

میں بھی پھروں ہوں مارا مارا چھوڑ کے تیرے دامن کو

شاخ سے جو پتہ ٹوٹے ہے آوارہ ہو جائے ہے

“I, too, wander here and there after detaching from you; Indeed, the leaf that breaks away from the tree becomes wild.”

The holy Qur’an says:

« قُلْ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَنْ تَشَاءُ وَتَنْزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّنْ تَشَاءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (26)» [آل عمران:26]

Translation of Meaning: “Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty! Thou givest sovereignty unto whom Thou wilt, and Thou withdrawest sovereignty from whom Thou wilt. Thou exaltest whom Thou wilt, and Thou abasest whom Thou wilt. In Thy hand is the good. Lo! Thou art Able to do all things.” [Aal-Imran:26]

At another place he said:

« وَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلَكِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ لا يَعْلَمُونَ (8)» [المنافقون: 8]

Translation of Meaning: “When might belongeth to Allah and to His messenger and to the believers; but the hypocrites know not.” [Al-Munafiqoon:8]

In this world a Muslim is not the soft target or an unclaimed article on the way that he/she may be digested by anyone who wills so. Unfortunately, humiliation, poverty, simplicity and humbleness to the extent of folly have happened to be considered as righteous deeds and signs of piety. While a believer is never easy and cheap that he may be tamed by anyone. Instead, he/she is the protector of his/her honour, self-respect. He recognizes his rights and is active to safeguard them. He watches over his wealth better. He abstains from the behavior that may lead him to being disgraced.

A person came to the Messenger of Allah () and said, “Messenger of Allah, what do you think if a man comes to me in order to appropriate my possession?” He (the Holy Prophet) said, “Don’t surrender your possession to him.” He (the inquirer) said, “If he fights me?” He (the Holy Prophet) remarked, “Then fight (with him).” He (the inquirer) again said, “What do you think if I am killed?” He (the Holy Prophet) observed, “You would be a martyr.” He (the inquirer) said, “What do you think of him (Messenger of Allah) If I kill him.” He (the Holy Prophet) said, “he would be in the Fire.”[Muslim[

Disgrace and weakness do not fit a believer. He, in all circumstances, is the guard of his life, wealth, honour and respect. Also this is the demand of his religion and means to get Allah’s pleasure. The hadith has it:

Translation of Meaning: “Whoever accompanies the rich and bears humiliation and disgrace for the sake of worldly gains, one third of his religion is lost. He goes to the Hel.” (Tabrani)

The self-respect that a believer harbours in his heart, gives him courage and strength. In case of difficulties he does not flee away; instead he tries to overcome them. For protection of his status he accustoms himself to work hard day and night and to struggle continuously. He is not weak, he does not beg; instead he believes in creating his own world with his own courage and determination. He is an example of honour and self-respect for others.

محفل گداز گرمیٔ محفل نہ کر قبول

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