The Quran and Sayings of Prophet Muhammad

The Quran and Sayings of Prophet Muhammad are the source of Islamic values and traditions. They offer timeless wisdom for lasting community which The Wisdom Fund strives to apply to contemporary issues. Our selection of the Sayings is from "The Sayings of Muhammad" by Sir Abdullah Suhrawardy (1882-1935) founder of the Pan-Islamic Society of London. The serious scholar of Islam may wish to examine The Quran, and other sources for the Sayings (hadith), in our Activists' Library.

Index to Sayings

An excellent pattern have ye in the Messenger of God. -- The Quran, XXXIII:21 In God's Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
According to Abu Daud these four Sayings of The Prophet contain the summary of Islamic law.
  • Abstinence

  •  Remember the lord in retirement from the people and make prayer thy sleep, and hunger thy food.

     Kill not your hearts with excess of eating and drinking.

     Illumine your hearts with hunger, and strive to conquer yourself with hunger and thirst; continue to knock on the gates of paradise by hunger.

     The world is sweet in the heart, and green to the eye; and verily God hath brought you, after those who went before you: then look to your action, and abstain from the world of wickedness.

     The nearest to me are the abstinent, whoever they are, wherever they are.

     A keeper of the fast, who doth not abandon lying and detraction, God careth not about his leaving off eating and drinking.

     A man once said to Muhammad, "O Messenger of God, permit me to become a Eunuch." He said, "That person is not of me who maketh another a eunuch, or becometh so himself; because the manner in which my followers become eunuchs is by fasting and abstinence." The man said permit me to retire from society, and to abandon the delights of the world." He said, "The retirement that becometh my followers is to live in the world and yet to sit in the corner of a mosque in expectation of prayers."

     A man while fasting must abstain from all bad expressions and must not even resent an injury.

     Torment not yourselves, lest God punish you.

     There is no monasticism in Islam.

     S'ad b. Abi Wakkas said: The apostle forbade Uthman b. Mazun from avoiding marriage: and if he had permitted that to him, we would have become eunuchs."

     The man I most emulate is a Muslim unencumbered; a man of small family, and little money, a performer of prayers and a perfect worshipper of God in private, one who is unknown, and hath enough to supply his wants, and when he dieth, he will leave few women to cry for him, and few legacies.

     Keep fast and eat also, stay awake at night and sleep also, for verily there is a duty on you to your body, not to labor overmuch, so that ye may not get ill and destroy yourselves; and verily there is a duty on you to your eyes, ye must sometimes sleep and give them rest; and verily there is a duty on you to your wife, and to your visitors and guests that come to see you; ye must talk to them; and nobody hath kept fast who fasted always; the fast of three days in every month is equal to constant fasting: then keep three days' fast in every month.

     Index


  • Adultery

  •  When a man committeth adultery, Iman (Faith) leaveth him; but when he leaveth such evil ways, Iman wil return to him.

     The adultery of the eye is to look with desire on the wife of another; and the adultery of the tongue is to utter what is forbidden.

     Ye followers of Muhammad, I swear of God, there is not anything which God so abhors, as adultery.

     Every eye is an adulterer; and every woman perfumeth herself, and goeth to an assembly where men are, wishing to show herself to them, with a look of lasciviousness, is an adultress.

     Index


  • Aged Persons

  •  To every young person who honors the old, on account of their age, may god apoint those who shall honor him in his years.

     Verily, to honor an old man is showing respect to God.

    Index


  • Alms-giving

  •  The best of alms is that which the right hand giveth, and the left hand knoweth not of.

     The best of almsgiving is that which springeth from the heart, and is uttered by the lips to soften the wounds of the injured.

     Almsgiving is duty unto you. Alms should be taken from the rich and returned to the poor.

     There are seven people whom God will draw under His own shadow, on the day when there will be no other shadow; one of them a man who hath given alms and concealed it, so that his left hand knew not what his right hand did.

     Muhammad said, "It is indispensable for every Muslim to give alms." The companions asked, "But if he hath not anything to give?" He said, "If he hath nothing, he must do a work with his hand, by which to obtain something and benefit himself; and give alms with the remainder." They said, "But if he is not able to do that work, to benefit himself and give alms to others?" The Rasul (Muhammad) said, "Then he should assist the needy and the oppressed." They asked, "What if he is not able to assist the oppressed?" He said, "Then he should exhort people to do good." They asked, "And if he cannot?" He said, "Then let him withold himself from doing harm to people; for verily that is as alms and charity for him."

     The people of the Rasul's house killed a goat, and the Rasul enquired, "What remaineth of it?" Aishah said, "Nothing but its shoulder; for we have sent the rest to the poor and neighbors." The Rasul said, "The whole goat remaineth except its shoulder; that is, that remaineth which ye have given away, and what ye have kept in the house is frail."

     The angels asked, "O God! Is there anything of Thy creation stronger than rocks?" God said, "Yes; iron is stronger than rocks, for it breaketh them." The angels said, "O Lord! Is there anything of Thy creation stornger than iron?" God said, "Yes; fire is stronger than iron, for it melteth it." And the angels said, O defender! Is there anything of Thy creation stronger than fire?" God said, "Yes; water overcometh fire; it killeth it and maketh it cold." Then the angels said, "O Lord! Is there anything of Thy creation stronger than water?" God said, "Yes; wind overcometh water: it agitateth it and putteth it in motion." They said, "O our cherisher! Is there anything in Thy creation stronger than wind?" God said, "Yes, the children of Adam, giving alms; that is, those who give with their right hands and conceal if from their left, they overcome all."

     The most excellent of alms is that of a man of small property, which he has earned by labor, and from which he giveth as much as he is able.

     Giving alms to the poor hath the reward of one alms; but that given to kindred hath two rewards; one, the reward of alms, the other the reward of helping relations.

     A man's first duty should be to his own family, if poor.

     Index


  • Animals

  •  Fear God, in treating dumb animals and ride them when they are fit to be ridden and get off them when they are tired.

     An adultress passed by a dog at a well; and the dog was holding out his tongue from thirst, which was near killing him, and the woman drew off her boot, and tied it to the end of her garment, and drew water for the dog, and gave him to drink; and she was forgiven for that act.

     A woman was punished for a cat which she tied till it died from hunger. She gave the cat nothing to eat, nor did she set it at liberty so that it might find some food.

     "Are there rewards for doing good to quadrupeds, and givng them water to drink?" Muhammad said, "Verily there are heavenly rewards for any act of kindness to a live animal."

     Verily God hath one hundred loving kindnesses; one of which he hath sent down amongst man, quadrupeds, and every moving thing upon the face of the earth: by it they are kind to each other, and forgive one another; and by it the animals of the wilds are kind to their young; and God hath reserved ninety-nine loving kindnesses by which he will be gracious to His creatures on the last day.

     A young man came before the Rasul with a carpet and said, "O Rasul! I passed through a wood and heard the voices of young birds; and I took and put them into my carpet; and their mother came fluttering around my head, and I uncovered the young, and the mother fell down upon them, then I wrapped them up in my carpet; and there are the young which I have." Then the Rasul said, "Put them down." And when he did so, their mother joined them: and Muhammad said, "Do you wonder at the affection of the mother towards her young? I swear by Him who hath sent me, verily God is more loving to His creatures than the mother to these young birds. Return them to the place from which ye took them, and let their mother be with them."

     Index


  • Backbiting

  •  Backbiting vitiates ablution and fasting.

     Index


  • Beauty

  •  Muhammad said, "That person will not enter Paradise who hath one atom of pride in his heart." And a man present said, "Verily, a man is fond of having good clothes, and good shoes." Muhammad said, "God is Beauty and delighteth in the beautiful; but pride is holding man in contempt."

     Index


  • Begging

  •  Every man who shall beg, in order to increase his property, God will diminish it.

     Verily God loveth a Muslim with a family, who is poor, and witholdeth himself from the unlawful and from begging.

     Whoso openeth unto himself the door of begging, God will open unto him the door of poverty.

     Verily it is better for any of you to take your rope and bring a bundle of wood upon your back and sell it, in which case God guardeth your honor than to beg of people, whether they give or not; if they do not give, your reputation suffereth, and you return disappointed; and if they give, it is worse than that, for it layeth you under obligation.

     Whoever hath food for a day and a night, it is prohibited for him to beg.

     Verily it is not right for the rich to ask, nor for a strong, robust person; but it is allowed for the indigent and the infirm.

     "May I beg from people, O Messenger of God, when necessitous?" Muhammad said, "Do not beg unless absolutely compelled, then only from the virtuous."

     Index


  • Benefits

  •  There are two benefits, of which the generality of men are the losers, and of which they do not know the value.

     Index


  • Charity

  •  Charity that is concealeth appeaseth the wrath of God.

     Prayers lighten the heart, and charity is proof of Iman (Faith), and abstinence from sin is perfect splendor; the Kuran is a proof of gain to you, if you do good, and it is a detriment to you if you do wrong; and every man who riseth in the morning either doeth that which will be the means of his redemption or his ruin.

     Charity is a duty unto every Muslim. He who hath not the means thereto, let him do a good act or abstain from an evil one. That is his charity.

     When you speak, speak the truth; perform when you promise; discharge your trust; commit not fornication; be chaste; have no impure desires; withold your hands from striking, and from taking that which is unlawful and bad. The best of God's servants are those who when seen, remind of God; and the worst of God's servants are those who carry tales about, and do mischief and separate friends, and seek for the defects of the good.

     Whoso hath left debt and children, let him come to me; I am their patron, I will discharge his debt and befriend his children.

     Every good act is charity.

     Doing justice between two people is charity; and asisting a man upon his beast, and lifting his baggage is charity; and pure, comforting words are charity; and answering a questioner with mildness, is charity; and removing that which is an inconvenience to wayfarers, such as thorns and stones, is a charity.

     Every good act is charity; and verily it is a good act to meet your brother with and open countenance, and to por water from your own water-bag into his vessel.

     Your smiling in your brother's face is charity; and your exhorting man to virtuous deeds is charity; and your prohibiting the forbidden is charity; and your showing men the road, in the land in which they lose it, is charity; and your assisting the blind is charity.

     Index


  • Chastity

  •  Modesty and chastity are part of the faith.

     Index


  • Christians and Jews

  •  Muhammad once referred to strife, and said, "It will appear at the time of knowledge leaving the world." Ziad said, "O Messenger of God, how will knowledge go from the world, since we read the Kuran, and teach it to our children, and our children to theirs; and so on till the last day?" Then Muhammad said, "O Ziad, I supposed you the most learned man of Medinah. Do the Jews and Christians who read the Bible and the Evangel act on them?"

     Do not exceed bounds in praising me, as the Christians do in praising Jesus, the son of Mary, by calling Him God, and the Son of God; I am only the Lord's servant; then call me the servant of God and His messenger.

     When the bier of anyone passeth by thee, whether Jew, Christian or Muslim, rise to thy feet.

     Index


  • Cleanliness

  •  Were it not for fear of troubling my disciples, verily I would order them to clean their teeth before every prayer.

     God is pure and loveth purity and cleanliness.

     Index


  • Compassion

  •  When the child (of Zainab) was brought to Muhammad, dying; its body trembling and moving; the eyes of the Apostle of God shed many tears. And Sad said, "O Messenger of God! What is the weeping and shedding of tears?" Muhammad replied, "This is an expression of the tenderness and compassion, which the Lord hath put into the hearts of His servants; the Lord doth not have compassion on and commiserate with His servants, except such as are tender and full of feeling."

     The Apostle of God wept over Sad b. Ubadah. And he said, "Have not you heard that the Lord doth not punish on account of shedding tears, not from sobs of the heart from the afflicted?" He is not of the people of our way who slappeth his cheeks and teareth his collar, and mourneth like the mournings of Ignorance.

     There is no reward but Paradise for a Muslim who suffereth with patience when the soul of his affectionate friend is taken

     Once Muhammad went together with some of his companions to Abu Yusuf, a blacksmith who was the husband of the nurse of Muhammad's son Ibrahim. And the Apostle of God took Ibrahim and kissed him and embraced him. On another occasion they went to see Ibrahim, when he was in his dying moments. The eyes of Muhammad were fixed, and flowed with tears; and Abd-al-Rahman, son of Auf, said to the Messenger of God, "Do you weepand shed tears, O Apostle of God?" He said, "O son of Auf, these are tears of compassion, and feeling due to the dead." After that he shed tears again, and said, "Verily my eyes shed tears and my heart is afflicted, and I say nothing but what is pleasing to my Benefactor; for verily, O Ibrahim, I am melancholy at being separated from thee."

     Muhammad said, "Do you think this woman will cast her own child into the fire?" Those present said, "No." Muhammad said, "Verily God is more compassionate on His creatures, than this woman on her own child."

     When one of the family of Muhammad died, and the women assemnled, crying over the corpse, Omar stood up to prevent them from crying, and drive them away: but Muhammad said, "Let them alone, O Omar, because eyes are shedding tears; and the heart is stricken with calamity and sorrowful; and the time of misfortune near and fresh; and the crying of women is without wailing."

     Index


  • Conscience

  •  A man asked Muhammad what was the mark whereby he might know the reality of his faith. Muhammad said, "If thou derive plesure from the good which thou hast performed and thou be grieved for the evil which thou hast committed, thou art a true believer." The man said. "In what doth a fault really consist?" Muhammad said, "when action pricketh they conscience, forsake it."

     All actions are judged by the motive prompting them.

     Index


  • Contentment

  •  Riches are not from an abundance of wordly goods, but from a contented mind.

     When you see a person, who has been given more than you in money and beauty; then look to those who have been given less.

     Look to those inferior to yourselves, so that you may not hold God's benefits in contempt.

     God loveth those who are content.

     Index


  • Control of Self

  •  The most excellent Jihad is that for the conquest of self.

     The exercise of religious duty will not atone for the fault of an abusive tongue.

     A man cannot be a Muslim till his heart and tongue are so.

     Whoever hath been given gentleness, hath been given a good portion in this world and the next.

     Whoever suppresseth his anger, when he hath in his power to show it, God will give him great reward.

     That person is wise and sensible who subdueth his carnal desires and hopeth for rewards from God; and he is an ignorant man who followeth his lustful appetites, and with all this asketh for God's forgiveness.

     May God fill the heart of that person who suppresseth his anger with safety and faith.

     "Give me advice," said someone. Muhammad said, Be not angry."

     Muaz said, "At the time of my being dispatched to the judgeship of Yemen, the last advice Muhammad gave me was this, 'O Muaz! be of good temper towards people.'"

     He is not strong and powerful who throweth people down; but he is strong who witholdeth himself from anger.

     No person hath drunk a better draught than that of anger which he hath swallowed for God's sake.

     Index


  • Courtesy

  •  Humility and courtesy are acts of piety.

     Verily, a man teaching his child manners is better for him than giving one bushel of grain in alms.

     It is not right for a guest to stay so long as to incommode his host.

     No man hath given his child anything better than good manners.

     "O Apostle og God! Inform, Inform me, if I stop with a man, and he doth not entertain me, and he afterwards stoppeth at my house, am I to entertain him or to act with him as he with did me?" Muhammad said, "Entertain him."

     Respect people according to their eminence.

     Being confined for room, the Apostle of god sat down upon his legs drawn up under his thighs. A desert Arab who was present said, "What is this way of sitting?" Muhammad said, "Verily God hath made me a humble servant, and not a proud king."

     Abuse nobody, and if a man abuse thee, and lay upon a vice which he knoweth in thee; then do not disclose one which thou knowest in him.

     When victuals are placed before you no man must stand up till it be taken away; nor must one man leave off eating before the rest; and if he doeth he must make an apology.

     It is of my ways that a man shall come out with his guest to the door of his house.

     Meekness and modesty are two branches of Iman (Faith); and vain talking and embellishing are two brances of hypocrisy.

     When three persons are together, two of them must not whisper to each other without letting the third hear, until others are present, because it would hurt him.

     Index


  • Crimes

  •  The greatest crimes are to associate another with God, to vex your father and mother, to murder your own species, to commit suicide, and to swear to lie.

     Index


  • Cultivation of Land

  •  There is no Muslim who planteth a tree, or soweth a field, and man birds or beast eat from them, but it is charity for him.

     Whoever bringeth the dead land to life; that is cultivateth waste land, for him is reward therein.

     Index


  • Dead

  •  And behold! a bier passed by Muhammad, and he stood up; and it was said to him, "This is the bier of a Jew." He said, "Was it not the holder of a soul, from which we should take example and fear?"

     Do not speak ill of the dead.

     When the bier of anyone passeth by thee, whether Jew, Christian, or Muslim, rise to thy feet."

     Index


  • Death

  •  Wish not for death any of you; neither the doer of good works, for peradventure he may increase them by an increase of life; nor the offender, for perhaps he may obtain the forgiveness of God by repentance. Wish not, nor supplicate for death before its time cometh; for verily when ye die, hope is out and the ambition for reward: and verily, the increase of a Mumins' (Muslim's) life increaseth his good works.

     Remember often the destroyer and cutter off of delights, which is death.

     Not one of you must wish for death from any wordly affliction; but if there certainly is anyone wishing for death, he must say, "O Lord, keep me alive so long as life may be good for me, and wish me to die when it is better for me so to do."

     The Faithful do not die; perhaps they become translated from this perishable world to the world of eternal existences.

     Death is a blessing to a Muslim. Remember and speak well of your dead, and refrain from speaking ill of them.

     There are two things disliked by the sons of Adam, one of them death; whereas it is better for Muslims than sinning; the second is scarcity of money; whereas its account will be small in futurity.

     The grave is the first stage of the journey into eternity.

     Death is a bridge that uniteth friend with friend.

     Sleep is the brother of death.

     Muhammad said, three days before his death, "Not one of you must die but with resignation to the will of God, and with hope for his beneficence and pardon."

     Index


  • Debt

  •  Whoso desireth that God should redeem him from the sorrows and travail of the last day, must delay in calling on poor debtors, or forgive the debt in part or whole.

     A martyr shall be pardoned every fault but debt.

     Whoso hath a thing wherewith to discharge a debt, and refuseth to do it, it is right to dishonor and punish him.

     Index


  • Deliberation

  •  Deliberation in undertakings is plesing to God.

     A good disposition, and deliberation in affairs, and a medium in all things, are one part of twenty-four parts of the qualities of the prophets.

     Index


  • Disposition to Good

  •  He is of the most perfect Muslims, whose disposition is most liked by his own family.

     Verily the most beloved of you by me, and nearest to me in the next world, are those of good dispositions; and verily the greates enemies to me and farthest from me, are the ill-tempered.

     Verily the most beloved of you by me are those of the best dispositions.

     I have been sent to explain fully good dispositions.

     O Lord! as thou hast made my body good, so make good my disposition.

     Two qualities are not combined in any Muslim, avarice and bad disposition.

     Index


  • Disputation

  •  Mankind will not go astray after having found the right road, unless from disputation.

     Index


  • Divorce

  •  Every woman who asketh to be divorced from her husband without cause, the fragrance of the Garden is forbidden her.

     The thing which is lawful, but disliked by God, is divorce.

     Index


  • Duty of Believers

  •  I have left two things among you, and you will not stray as long as you hold them fast; one is the Book of God, the other the Laws of His Messenger.

     God hath made a straight road, with two walls, one on each side of it, in which are open doors, with curtains drawn across. At the top of the road is an Amonisher who saith, "Go straight on the road, and not crooked;" and above this Admonisher is another who saith to any who pass through these doorways, "Pass not through these doors, or verily ye will fall." Now, the road is Islam; and the open doors are those things which God hath forbidden; and the curtains before the doors the bounds set by God; the Admonisher is the Kuran, and the upper Admonisher God, in the heart of every Mumin (Muslim).

     Verily ye are ordered the divine commandments, then forsake them not; ye are forbidden the unlawful, then do not fall therein; there are fixed boundaries, then pass not beyond them; and there is silence on some things without their being forgotten, then do not debate about them.

     Happy is the Mumin (Muslim) for if good befalleth him, he praiseth and thanketh God; and if misfortune, praiseth God and beareth it patiently; therefore a Mumin is rewarded for every good he doth, even for his raising a morsel of food to the mouth of his wife.

     Whoever hath eaten of pure food and practised my laws, and mankind hath lived in security from him, will enter into the Abode of Bliss.

     Muhammad once said to Anas, "Son, if you are able, keep your heart from morning till night and from night till morning, free from malice towards anyone;" then he said, "Oh! my son, this is one of my laws, and he who loveth my laws verily loveth me."

     I admonish you to fear God, and yield obedience to my successor, although he may be a black slave, for this reason, that those amongst you who live after me will see great schisms. Therefore hold fast to my ways and those of my successors, who may lead you in the straight path, having found it themselves; and ardently seize my laws and be firm thereto.

     There was not any Messenger sent before me by God to mankind but found friends and companions, who embraced his maxims and became his disciples; after which were born those who gave out precepts which they did not practice, and did what they were ordered not to do; therefore those who oppose them with the hand, with the tongue, and with the heart are Mumins, and there is not anything in Iman besides this, even as much as a grain of mustard seed.

     do not associate any one thing with God, although they kill or burn you; nor affront intentionally your parents, although they should order you to quit your wife, your children, and your property. Do not drink wine; for it is the root of all evil; abstain from vice; and when a pestilence shall pervade mankind, and you shall be amongst them, remain with them; and cherish your children.

     There are three roots to Iman (Faith): not to trouble him who shall say 'there is no diety but God;' not to think him an unbeliever on account of one fault; and not to discard him for one crime.

     He is not a good Mumin who committeth adultery or getteth drunk, who stealeth,or plundereth, or who embezzleth; beware, beware.

     When asked to mention one of the most excellent parts of Iman (Faith) Muhammad said, "To love him who loveth God, and hate him who hateth God, and to keep your tongue employed in repeating the name of God." What else? He said, "To do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you, and to reject for others what you would reject for yourself."

     He who progresseth daily is yet far off from the Ideal.

     When you speak, speak the truth; perform when you promise; discharge your trust; commit not fornication; be chaste; have no impure desires; withold your hands from striking, and from taking that which is unlawful or evil. The best of God's servants are those who, when seen, remind of God; and the worst of God's servants are those who carry tales about to do mischief and separate friends, and seek for the defects of the good.

     He who believeth in one God and the Hereafter, let him speak what is good or remain silent.

     He who believeth in one God and the life beyond, let him not injure his neighbors.

     Speak to men according to their mental capacities, for if you speak all things to all men, some cannot understand you, and so fall into errors.

     It is not a sixth or a tenth of a man's devotion which is acceptable to God, but only such portions thereof as he offereth with understanding and true devotional spirit.

     Verily your deeds will be brought back to you, as if you yourself were the creator of your own punishement.

     Adore God as thou wouldst if thou sawest Him; for if thou seest Him not, He seeth thee.

     Feed the hungry and visit the sick, and free the captive, if he be unjustly confined. Assist any person oppressed, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.

     "The duties of Muslims to each other are six." It was asked, "What are they, O Messenger of God?" He said, "When you meet a Muslim, greet him, and when he inviteth you to dinner, accept; and when he asketh you for advice, give it to him; and when he sneezeth and saith, 'Praise be to God,' do you say, 'May God have mercy upon thee;' and when he is sick, visit him; and when he dieth, follow his bier."

     This life is but a tillage for the next, do good that you may reap there; for striving is the ordinance of God and whatever God hath ordained can only be attained by striving.

     Commandments are of three kinds; one commands an action, the reward of which is clear, then do it; another forbids an action which leads astray, abstain from it; and in another arise contradictions, resign that to God.

     The world is forbidden to those of the life to come; the life to come is forbidden to those of this world.

     Do a good deed for every bad deed that it may blot out the latter.

     A true Mumin is thankful to God in prosperity, and resigned to His will in adversity.

     That which is lawful is clear, and that which is unlawful likewise: bu there are certain doubtful things between the two from which it is well to abstain.

     Be ye imbued with divine qualities.

     He is true who protecteth his brethren both present and absent.

     All Muslims are as one body. If a man complaineth of a pain in his head, his whole body complaineth; and if his eye complaineth, his whole body complaineth.

     All Muslims are like the components parts of a foundation, each strengthening the others; in such a way they must support each other.

     Assist your brother Muslim, whether he be an oppressor or oppressed. "Bu how shall we do it when he is an oppressor?" enquired a companion. Muhammad replied, "Assisting an oppressor consists in forbidding and witholding him from oppression."

     Muslims are brothers in religion and they must not oppress one another, nor abandon assisting each other, nor hold one another in contempt. The seat of righteousness is the heart; therefore that heart which is righteous, does not hold a Muslim in contempt; and all the things of one Muslim are unlawful to another: his blood, property, and reputation.

     The creation is as God's family; for its sustenance is from Him: therefore the most beloved unto God is the person who doeth good to God's family.

     The proof of a Muslims sincerity is that he payeth no heed to that which is not his business.

     The Faithful are those who perform their trust and fail not in their word, and keep their pledge.

     No man is a true believer unless he desireth for his brother that which he desireth for himself.

     Verily when a Muslim is taken ill, after which God restoreth him to health, his illness hath covered his former faults, and it is an admonition to him of what cometh in future times; and verily, when a hypocrite is taken ill, and afterwards restored to health, he is like a camel which has been tied up, and afterwards set free; for the camel did not know for want of discrimination, why they tied him up and why they turned him loose; such is the hypocrite: on the contrary, a Mumin knoweth, that his indiposition was to atone for his faults.

     Misfortune is always with the Muslim and his wife, either in their persons or their property or their children; either death or sickness; until they die, when there is no fault upon them.

     Abusing a Muslim is disobedience to God; and it is infidelity to fight with one.

     Every Muslim who calls a Muslim infidel will have the epithet returned to him.

     It is unworthy of a Mumin to injure people's reputation; it is unworth to curse anyone; and it is unworth to abuse anyone; and it is unworth of a Mumin to talk vainly.

     It is better to sit alone than in company with thw bad; and it is better to sit with the good than alone. And it is better to speak words to a speaker of knowledge than to remain silent; and silence is better than bad words.

     Fear not the obloquy of the detractor in showing God's religion.

     Refrain from seeing and speaking of the vices of mankind, which you know are in yourself.

     Guard yourselves from six things, and I am your security for paradise. When you speak, speak the truth; perform when you promise; discharge your trust; be chaste in thought and action; and withold your hand from striking, from taking that which is unlawful, and bad.

     That person is not of us who inviteth others to aid him in oppression; and he is not of us who fighteth for his tribe in injustice; and he is not of us who dieth in assisting his tribe in tyranny.

     He is not of us who is not affectinate to his liitle ones, and doth not respect the feelings of the aged; and he is not of us who doth not order that which is good and prohibit that which is evil.

     Ye will not enter Paradise until ye have faith, and ye will not complete your faith until ye love one another.

     No man hath believed perfectly, until he wish for his brother that which he wisheth for himself.

     Verily, each of you is a mirror to his brother: then if he seeth a vice in his brother he must tell him to get rid of it.

     That person is not a perfect Muslim who eatheth his fill, and leaveth his neighbors hungry.

     O ye who have embraced Islam by the tongue, and to whose hearts it hath not reached, distress not Muslims, nor speak ill of them, nor seek for their defects.

     Do not say that if people do good to us, we will do good to them; and if people oppress us, we will oppress them; but determin that if people do you good, you will do good to them; and if they oppress you, you will not oppress them.

     "Teach me a work, such that when I perform it God and men will love me." Muhammad said, "Desire not the world, and God will love you; and desire not what men have, and they will love you.

     In prayers, all thoughts must be laid aside but those of God; in conversation no word is to be uttered which afterwards be repented of; do not covet from others, or have any hopes for them.

     "There is a polish for everything that taketh away rust; and the polish for the heart is th remembrance of God." The companions said, "Is not repelling the infidels also like this?" Muhammad said, "No, although one fights until one's sword be broken!"

     My Lord hath commanded me nine things: To reverence Him, externally, and internally; to speak the truth, and with propriety, in prosperity and adversity; moderation in affluence and poverty; to benefit my relations and kindred, who do not benefit me; to give alms to him who refuseth me; to forgive him who injureth me; that my silence should be in attaining a knowledge of God; that when I speak, I should mention Him; that when I look on God's creatures, it should be as an example for the: and God hath ordered me to direct in that which is lawful.

     A Muslim who mixeth with people and beareth inconveniences, is better than one who doth not mix with them and beareth no inconveniences.

     Index


  • Eloquence

  •  Some eloquence is like magic.

     Index


  • Envy

  •  If envy were proper, two persons would be the most proper objects of it; one, a man to whom god hath given riches, and apointed to bestow in charity; the other, to whom God hath granted the knowledge of religion, and acteth thereon himself, instructing others.

     Keep yourselves far from envy; it eateth up and taketh away good actions, like as fire eateth up and burneth wood.
     

  •  Index



  • Experience

     He is not a perfect man of fortitude, who hath not fallen into misfortunes; and there is no physician but the experienced.

     Index


  • Forgiveness

  •  Thus saith the Lord, "Verily those who are patient in adversity and forgive wrongs, are the doers of excellence."

     Once Muhammad was asked, "O Apostle of God!" How many times are we to forgive our servant's faults?" He was silent. Again the questioner asked, and Muhammad gave no answer. But when the man asked a third time, he said, "Forgive your servants seventy times day."

     There is no man who woundeth and pardoneth the giver of the wound but God will exalt his dignity and dimish his faults.

     That man is nearest to God, who pardoneth, when he had in his power him who would have injured him.

     Do not say, that if the people do good to us, we will do good to them; and if the people oppress us, we will oppress them; but determine that if people do you good, you will do good to them; and if they oppress you, you will not oppress them.

     Index


  • Gentleness

  •  Verily, god is mild, and is fond of mildness, and he giveth to the mild what he doth not to the harsh.

     Whoever hath been given gentleness hath been given a good portion, in this world and the next.

     God is gentle and loveth gentleness.

     Verily you have two qualities which God and His Messenger love - fortitude and gentleness.

     Index


  • God

  •  Reflect upon God's creation but not upon His nature or else you will perish.

     Whoever loveth to meet God, God loveth to meet him.

     God saith, "I fulfil the faith of whoso putteth his faith in Me; and I am with him, and near him, when remembereth Me."

     God saith, "Whoso doth one good act, for him are ten rewards; and I also give more to whomever I will; and whoso doth an ill, its punishment is equal to it, or I forgive him; and whoso seeketh to approach Me one span, I seek to approach one cubit; and whoso seeketh to approach Me one cubit, I seek to approach him two fathoms; and whoso walketh towards Me, I run towards him; and whoso cometh before Me with the earth full of sins, and believeth solely in Me, him I come before with a front of forgiveness as big as the earth."

     God saith, "The person I hold as a beloved, I am his hearing by which he heareth, and I am his sight by which he seeth, and I am his hands by which he holdeth, and I am his feet by which he walketh."

     God saith, "O Man! Only follow thou My laws, and thou shall become like unto Me, and then say, 'Be' and behold, It is."

     God is One, and liketh unity.

     We were with Muhammad on a journey, and some men stood up repeating aloud, "God is most great," and the Rasul said, "O men! Be easy on yourselves, and do not distress yourselves by raising your voices, verily you do not call to one deaf or absent, but verily to one who heareth and seeth; and He is with you; and He to whom you pray is nearer to you than the neck of your camel."

     God sait, "I was a hidden treasure. I would fain be known. So I created Man."

     Do you love your creator? Love your fellow-beings first.

     Index


  • God's Forgiveness

  •  Muhammad said, "I would not have the whole wealth of the world in the place of this revelation. . . O My servants who have oppressed your own souls by sinning, despair not of the mercy of God." A man said, "What of him who hath associated others with God?" Muhammad remained silent for a while and then said, "Know that him also God forgiveth; but on repentance."

     God saith, "Verily my compassion overcometh my wrath."

     Index


  • God's Kindness

  •  If the unbeliever knew of the extent of the Lord's mercy, even he would not despair of Paradis.

     God's kindness towards his creaturee is more than a mother's towards her babe.

     If you put your whole trust in God, as you ought, He most certainly will give you sustenance, as He doth the birds; they come out hungry in the morning, but return full to their nests.

     Trust in God, but tie it (your camel).

     God is not merciful to him who is not kind to mankind.

     "Do none enter the Garden of Bliss save by God's mercy?" Muhammad said, "No. None enter save through God's favor." "You also, O Messenger of God! Will you not enter Paradise save by God's compassion?" Muhammad put his hand on his head and said thrice, "I shall not enter unless God cover me with His mercy."

     Index


  • Good Works

  •  That person who relieveth a Mumin (Muslim) from distress in this world, God will in like manner relieve him in the next; and he who shall do good to the indigent, God will do good to him in this world and the next.

     Be persistent in good actions.

     Index


  • Heart

  •  Beware! verily there is a piece of flesh in the body of man, which when good, the whole body is good; and when bad, the whold body is bad, and that is the heart.

     Muhammad said, "O Wabisah! are you come to ask what is goodness and what is badness?" Wabisah said, "Yes, I am come for that." Then He joined his fingers and struck them upon Wabisah's breast, that is made a sign towards his heart, and said, "Ask the question from thine own heart." This he repeated three times aloud and said, "Goodness is a thing from which thy heart findeth firmness and rest; and badness is a thing which throweth thee into doubt, although men may acquit thee."

     Index


  • Heaven and Hell

  •  Hell is veiled in delights, and Heaven in hardships and miseries.

     Heaven lieth at the feet of mothers.

     He will not enter hell who hath faith equal to a mustard seed in his heart; and he will not enter Paradise who hath a single grain of pride, equal to a mustard seed, in his heart.

     Paradise is nearer to you than the thongs of your sandals; and the Fire likewise.

     Deal gently with the people, and be not harsh; cheer them and condemn them not. Ye will meet with many 'people of the Book' who will question thee, what is the key to Heaven? Reply to them (the key to Heaven) to testify to the truth of God, and to do good work.

     People asked Muhammad if to say "There is no diety but God" was not the key to Paradise. He said, "Yes, but it is a key which hath wards; and if ye come with a key of that description, Paradise will be opened to you, otherwise it will not."

     Paradise is not for him who reproacheth others with any favor he doth to them.

     The people entitled to the Abode of Bliss are three; the first, a just king, a doer of good to his people endowed with virtue; the second, an affectionate man, of a tender heart to relations and others; the third, a virtuous man.

     Verily a man used to come before the Rasul (Muhammad) bringing his son with him; and the Rasul said to him, "Dost thou love this boy?" And the man said, "O Rasul of God! May God love thee as I love this son!" Then the Rasul did not see the boy with his father for some time; and He said, "What has become of that man's son?" The said, "O Rasul! He is dead." And the Rasul said to the man, "Dost thou not like this, that thou wilt find no door of Paradise but thy son will be there awaiting thee, in order to conduct thee into Paradise?" And another man said, "O Rasul! Is this joyful news particularly for this man, or for the whole of us?" Muhammad said, "For all of you."

     What is Paradise? Muhammad replied, "It is what the eye hath not seen, nor the ear heard, nor ever flashed across the mind of man."

     Index


  • Hospitality

  •  He who believeth in one God, and a future life, let him honor his guest.

     Whoever believeth in God and the Hereafter must respect his guest; and whoever believeth in God and the Hereafter must not incommode his neighbors, and a Mumin must speak only good words, otherwise remain silent.

     It is not right for a guest to stay so long as to incommode his host.

     Index


  • Humility

  •  Humility and courtesy are acts of piety.

     Verily God instructs me to be humble and lowly and not proud; and that no one should oppress another.

     A tribe must desist from boasting of their forefathers; if they will not leave off boasting, verily they will be more abominable near God, than a black beetle which rolleth forward filth by its nose; and verily God has removed from you pride and arrogance. There is no man but either a righteous Mumin or a sinner; mankind are all sons of Adam, and he was from earth.

     Whoever is humble to men for God's sake, may God exalt his eminence.

     Index


  • Islam

  •  "Inform me in the nature of Islam," said Sufyan, "so that I may have no occasion to ask others about it." Muhammad said, "Say, O Sufyan, 'I believe in God;' after which obey the commandments, and abandon the things forbidden."

     Islam commenced in a forlorn state, and will quickly return to what it was in the beginning; then be joyful, ye who are firm.

     My religion is like clouds dropping much rain; some of them falling on pure, favorable soil, cause grass to grow; some of them fall in hollows from which mankind are benefited, some fall on high lands from which benefit is not derived; then the two first are like the persons acquainted with the religion of God and instructing others; and the last like the person not regarding it nor accepting the right path.

     The greatest enemies of God are those who are entered into Islam, and do acts of infidelity, and who without cause, shed the blood of man.

     When asked, "What is Islam?" Muhammad said, "Abstinence and Obedience to God." Asked "What is one of the most excellent virtues of Iman (Faith)?" He said, "An amiable disposition." "Which is the most excellent Hijrah (Renunciation)?" He said, "Abandoning that of which God disapproveth."

     "What is Islam?" someone asked. Muhammad said, "Purity of speech and charity."

     Every child is born with a disposition towards the natural religion (Islam - submission to the Divine Will). It is the parents who maketh it a Jew, Christian or a Magian.

     Do you know what sappeth the foundations of Islam and ruineth it? The errors of the learned destroy it, and the disputations of the hypocrite, and the orders of kings who have lost the road.

     Men differ like mines of gold and silver: the good in ignorance are the good in Islam, once they have obtained the knowledge of religion.

     Index


  • Jihad

  •  The most excellent Jihad is that for the conquest of self.

     The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.

     Index


  • Kindness

  •  To gladden the heart of the weary, to remove the suffering of the afflicted, hath its own reward. In the day of trouble, the memory of the action cometh like a rush of the torrent, and taketh our burden away.

     He who helpeth his fellow-creature in the hour of need, and he who helpeth the oppressed, him will God help in the Day of Travail.

     What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the injured.

     Who is the most favored of God? He from whom the greatest good cometh to His creatures.

     All God's creatures are His family; and he is the most beloved of God who doeth most good to God's creatures.

     Whoever is kind to His creatures, God is kind to him; therefore be kind to man on earth, whether good or bad; and being kind to the bad, is to withold him from badness, thus in heaven you will be treated kindly.

     He who is not kind to God's creatures, and to his own children, God will not be kind to him.

     Kindness is a mark of faith: and whoever hath not kindness hath not faith.

     Index


  • The Kuran

  •  The Kuran consisteth of five heads, things lawful, things unlawful, clear and positive precepts, mysteries, and examples. Then consider that lawful which is there declared to be so, and that which is forbidden as unlawful; obey the precepts, believe in the mysteries, and take warning from the examples.

     Doth any of you suppose that God hath not forbidden anything except in the Kuran? Beware, for verily I swear by God that I have ordered, and prohibited things in manner like the Kuran: and God hath not made it lawful for you to enter the houses of the People of the Book (that is Jews, Christians, etc.) without their permission, or you beat their women, or eat their fruits.

     The Kuran was sent down in seven dialects; and in every one of its sentences, there is an external and internal meaning.

     The other messengers of God had their miracles, mine is the Kuran and will remain forever.

     "By what rule," said Muhammad, "would you be guided, O Muaz, in your administration of Yeman?" "By the law of the Kuran." "But if you find no direction in the Kuran?" "Then I will act according to the example of the Messenger of God." "But if that faileth?" "Then I will exercise my own reason and judgement."

     Index


  • Labor

  •  Pray to God morning and evening, and employ the day in your avocations.

     He who neither worketh for himself, nor for others, will not receive the reward of God.

     Whoso is able and fit and doth not work for himself, or for others, God is not gracious to him.

     Those who earn an honest living are the beloved of God.

     God is gracious to him that earneth his living by his own labor, and not by begging.

     Whoever desireth the world and its riches, in a lawful manner, in order to withold himself from begging, and for a livelihood for his family, and for being kind to his neighbor, will come to God with his face as bright as the full moon on the fourteenth night of the lunar month.

     Give the laborer his wage before his perspiration be dry.

     Index


  • Learning

  •  He dieth not who giveth life to learning.

     Whoso honoreth the learned, honoreth me.

     The Messenger of God was asked, "What is the greatest vice of man?" He said, "You must not ask me about vice, but ask about virtue;" and he repeated this three times, after which he said, "Know ye! The worst of men is a bad learned man, and a good learned man is the best."

     Verily god doth not taketh away knowledge from the hands of His servants; but taketh it by taking away the learned; so that when no learned men remain, the ignorant will be placed at the head of affairs. Causes will be submitted to their decision, they will pass sentence without knowledge, will err themselves, and lead others into error.

     An hour's contemplation is better than a year's adoration.

     Philosophy is the stray camel of the Faithful, take hold of it wherever ye come across it.

     Go in quest of knowledge even into China.

     Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.

     The knowledge from which no benefit is derived is like a treasure from which no charity is bestowed in the way of the Lord.

     Do you know what sappeth the foundation of Islam, and ruineth it? The errors of the learned destroy it, the disputations of the hypocrite, and the orders of kings who have lost the road.

     To spend more time in learning is better than spending more time praying; the support of religion is abstinence. It is better to teach knowledge one hour in the night than to pray all night.

     Whoever seeketh knowledge and findeth it, will get two rewards; one of them the reward for desiring it, and the other for attaining it; therefore, even if he do not attain it, for him is one reward.

     That person who shall die while he is studying, in order to revive the knowledge of religion, will be only one degree inferior to the prophets.

     One learned man is harder on the devil than a thousand ignorant worshippers.

     The pursuit of knowledge is a divine commandment for every Muslim; and to waste knowledge on those who are unworthy of it is like putting pearls, jewels, and gold on the necks of swine.

     That person who shall pursue the path of knowledge, God will direct him to the path of Paradise; and verily the superiority of a learned man over an ignorant worshipper is like that of the full moon over all the stars.

     He who knoweth his own self, knoweth God.

     Verily the best of God's servants are just and learned kings; and verily the worst are bad and ignorant kings.

     To listen to the words of the learned, and to instil into others the lessons of science, is better than religious exercises.

     The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.

     He who leaveth home in search of knowledge, walketh in the path of God.

     One hour's meditation on the work of the Creator is better than seventy years of prayer.

     God hath treasuries beneath the Throne, the keys whereof are the tongues of poets.

     The acquisition of knowledge is a duty incumbent one every Muslim, male and female.

     Acquire knowledge. It enableth its posessor to distinguish right from wrong; it lighteth the way to Heave; it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless; it guideth us to happiness; it sustaineth us in misery; it is an ornament among friends, and an armour against enemies.

     With knowledge man riseth to the heights of goodness and to a noble position, associateth with sovereigns in this world, and attaineth to the perfection of happiness in the next.

     Learn to know thyself.

     The calamity of knowledge is forgetfulness; and to waste knowledge is to speak of it to the unworthy.

     Who are the learned? They who practise what they know.

     Index


  • Man's Growth

  •  The son of Man groweth and with him grow two things - the love of wealth and love of long life.

     "Who is the best man?" Muhammad replied, "He is the best man whose life is long and whose actions are good." "Then who is the worst man?" "He whose life is long and whose actions are bad.

     Index


  • Marriage

  •  Marriage is incumbent on all who possess the ability.

     A woman may be married by four qualifications: one on account of her money; another, on account of the nobility of her pedigree; another on account of her beauty; the fourth, on account of her virtue. Therefore, look out for a woman that hath virtue: but if you do it from any other consideration, your hands be rubbed in dirt.

     Index


  • Meanness

  •  Shall I tell you the very worst among you? Those who eat alone, and whip the slaves, and give to nobody.

     Index


  • Mishaps

  •  Whatever mishap may befall you, it is on account of something which you have done.

     No misfortune or vexation befalleth a servant of God, small or great, but on account of his faults committed: and most of these God forgiveth.

     Index


  • Modesty

  •  True modesty is the source of all virtues.

     Modesty and chastity are parts of the Faith.

     Meekness and modesty are two branches of Iman; and vain talking and embellishing are two branches of hypocrisy.

     All kinds of modesty are best.

     Index


  • Monopolies

  •  Monopoly is unlawful in Islam.

     The holder of a monopoly is a sinner and an offender.

     The bringers of grain to the city to sell at a cheap rate gain immense advantage by it, and those who keepeth back grain in order to sell at a high rate is cursed.

     Index


  • Mothers

  •  Heaven lieth at the feet of mothers.

     "O Messenger of God! Verily I have done a great crime; is there any act by which I may repent?" He said, "Have you a mother?" "No," said the questioner. "Have you an aunt?" asked Muhammad. He said, "Yes, I have." Muhammad said, "Go, do good to her, and your crime will be pardoned."

     I and a woman whose color and cheeks shall have become black from toiling in the sun shall be near to one another in the next world as my two fingers; and that is a handsome widow, whose color and cheeks shall have become black in bringing up her family.

     Index


  • Muhammad The Prophet

  •  I am no more than man; when I order you anything respecting religion, receive it; and when I order you anything about the affairs of the world, then I am nothing more than man.

     Convey to other persons none of my words, except those ye know of a surety.

     'Aishah said, "A party of Jews asked permission to go to Muhammad, and said, 'Death upon you.' And I answered their insult by saying, 'Rather upon you be death and curse.' Then Muhammad said, 'Be mild O Aishah! and make a point of being kind, and withold thyself from speaking harshly.' I said, 'Did you not hear what they said?' He said, 'Verily, I do always say,' "Be the same to you."'

     Verily my heart is veiled with melancholy and sadness for my followers; and verily I ask pardon of God one hundred times daily.

     Zaid, Muhammad's servant, said, "I served Lord Muhammad ten years, and he never said 'Uff,' to me; and never said, 'Why did you do so?' and never said, 'Why did you not do so?'"

     Index


  • Muhammad The Prophet's Kindness

  •  Once Muhammad was distributing meat in Jiranah; and behold a woman came close to him, and he spread his garment for her to sit upon. When people saw such respect paid to this woman, they asked who she was; and those present said, "This is his nurse."

     When anyone was sick Muhammad used to rub his hands upon the sick person's body, saying, "O Lord of mankind! Take away this pain, and give health; for Thou art the giver of health: there is no health bu Thine, that health which leaveth no sickness."

     Index


  • Muhammad The Prophet's Mission

  •  Kais b. Sal said: "I came to Hirah, and saw the inhabitants worshipping their chief; and I said, 'Verily the Apostle of God is worthy of being worshipped.' Then I came to the Apostle and said, 'I saw the people of Hirah worshipping the chief of their tribe, and you are most worthy of being worshipped.' Then Muhammad said to me, 'Tell me, if you should pass by my grave, would you worship it?' I said, 'No.' And He said, 'Worship not me.'"

     The Apostle was in the midst of a crowd of his companions, and a camel came and prostrated itself before him. They said, "O Apostle of God! Beasts and trees worship thee; then it is meet for us to whorship thee." Muhammad said, "Worship God, and you may honor your brother, that is me."

     When the ambassadors of Bani Amir went to Muhammad, they said, "You are our master." He said, "God is your master." Thenthey said, "You are most excellent of the highest degree." And when He heard this He said, "Say so, or less, and do not exceed reasonable bounds in praise."

     Muhammad slep upon a mat, and got up very marked on the body by it: and someone said, "O Messenger of God! If thou hadst ordered me, I would have spread a soft bed for thee." Lord Muhammad said, "What business have I with the world? I am a man on horseback, who standeth under the shade of a tree, then leaveth it."

     To the light I have attained and in the light I live.

     It was said to the Rasul, "O Messenger of God! Curse the infidels." Muhammad said, "I am not sent for this; nor was I sent but as mercy to mankind."

    Kais b. Sal said: "I came to Hirah, and saw the inhabitants worshipping their chief; and I said, 'Verily the Apostle of God is worthy of being worshipped.' Then I came to the Apostle and said, 'I saw the people of Hirah worshipping the chief of their tribe, and you are most worthy of being worshipped.' Then Muhammad said to me, 'Tell me, if you should pass by my grave, would you worship it?' I said, 'No.' And He said, 'Worship not me.'"

     The Apostle was in the midst of a crowd of his companions, and a camel came and prostrated itself before him. They said, "O Apostle of God! Beasts and trees worship thee; then it is meet for us to whorship thee." Muhammad said, "Worship God, and you may honor your brother, that is me."

     When the ambassadors of Bani Amir went to Muhammad, they said, "You are our master." He said, "God is your master." Thenthey said, "You are most excellent of the highest degree." And when He heard this He said, "Say so, or less, and do not exceed reasonable bounds in praise."

     Muhammad slep upon a mat, and got up very marked on the body by it: and someone said, "O Messenger of God! If thou hadst ordered me, I would have spread a soft bed for thee." Lord Muhammad said, "What business have I with the world? I am a man on horseback, who standeth under the shade of a tree, then leaveth it."

     To the light I have attained and in the light I live.

     It was said to the Rasul, "O Messenger of God! Curse the infidels." Muhammad said, "I am not sent for this; nor was I sent but as mercy to mankind."

     Index


  • Muhammad The Prophet's Prayers

  •  Muhammad used to say after making the profession of faith, "O Lord I supplicate Thee for firmness in faith, and inclination towards the straight path, and for Thine aid in being grateful to Thee, and in adoring Thee in every good way; and I supplicate Thee for an innocent heart which shall not incline to wickednes and for a true tongue. I supplicate Thee to guide me to all which Thou knowest to be virtuous and to preserve me from al which Thou knowest to be vicious. I supplicate Thee to forgive me my faults for Thou knowest them all.

     When the Messenger of God entered a place of worship he said, "O God! Pardon my sins, and open for me the gates of Thy compassion," and on leaving he would repeat the same.

     O Lord grant to me the love of Thee; grant that I love those that love Thee; grant that I may do the deed than win Thy love; make thy love dearer to me than self, family and wealth.

     O Lord! I make my complaint unto thee, of my feebleness, the vanity of my efforts. I am insignificant in the sight of men, O Thou Most Merciful! Lord of the weak! Thou aret my Lord! Forsake me not. Leave me not a prey to strangers, nor to mine enemies. If Thou art not displeased, I am safe. I seek refuge in the light of Thy countenance, by which all darkness is dispelled, and peace cometh in the Here and Hereafter. Solve Thou my difficulties as it pleaseth Thee. There is no power, no strength, save in Thee.

     Index


  • Neighborliness

  •  The best of persons in God's sight is the best amongst his friends; and the best of neighbors near God is the best person in his own neighborhood.

     A Muslim who mixeth with people and putteth up with their inconveniences, is better than one who doth not mix with them, and bear with patience.

     Do you love your creator? Love your fellow-beings first.

     Index


  • Omens

  •  Of my disciples who will enter Paradise are those who do not use shells (do not consult oracles), and are not influenced by omens, like the people of Ignorance, and who put their whole trust in God.

     Index


  • Orphans

  •  I and the guardian of orphans (whether the orphan be of his near or distant relations, or of strangers) will be in one place in the next world; like my two fingers, nearly touching each other.

     The best Muslim house is that in which is an orphan, who is benefited; and the worst Muslim house is that in which an orphan is ill-treated.

     Index


  • Parents

  •  Heaven lieth at the feet of mothers.

     God's pleasure is in a father's pleasure; and God's displeasure is in a father's displeasure.

     He who wisheth to enter Paradise at the best door must please his father and mother.

     A man is bound to do good to his parents, although they may have injured him.

     There is no child, a doer of good to his parents, who looketh on them with kindness and affection, but God will grant with every look the rewards for an approved pilgrimage.

     Index


  • Peacemaking

  •  Shall I not inform you of a better act than fasting, alms, and prayers? Making peace between one another: enmity and malice tear up heavenly rewards by the roots.

     Index


  • Poetry

  •  Some poetry is dressed in knowledge and art.

     The truest words spoken by any poet are those of Labid: "Know that everything is vanity save God."

     God hath treasures beneath the Throne, the keys whereof are the tongues of poets.

     Some poetry containeth much wisdom.

     Index


  • Poverty

  •  Poverty is my pride.

     Poverty may well become a cause of infidelity.

     O Lord! Keep me alive a poor man, and let me die poor: and raise me amongst the poor.

     O Aishah! Do not turn the poor away, without giving them, if but half a date.

     Seek for my satisfaction in that of the poor and needy.

     A man came to Muhammad and said, "Verily I love you." He replied, "Look to what you say," and repeated the same twice. Lord Muhammad said, "If you are sincere, then prepare yourself for poverty: for poverty reacheth him who loveth me quicker than a torrect reacheth the sea.

     Index


  • Prayer

  •  Prayer is the miraj (union with, or annihilation in, the Divine Essence by means of continual upward progress) of the Faithful.

     The Lord doth not regard a prayer in which the heart doth not accompany the body.

     He whom prayer preventeth not from wrongdoing and evil, increaseth in naught save in remoteness from the Lord.

     The key of Paradise is Prayer, and the key of prayer is ablution.

     Say your prayers standing; but if you are not able, sitting; and if unable, on your sides.

     Index


  • Pride

  •  The proud will not enter Paradis, nor a violent speaker.

     He will not enter hell, who hath faith equal to a single grain of mustard seed in his heart; and he will not enter Paradise, who hath pride equal to a single grain of mustard seed, in his heart.

     Muhammad said, "That person will not enter Paradise who hath one atom of pride in his heart." And a man present said, "Verily, a man is fond of having good clothes and good shoes." Lord Muhammad said, "God is Beauty and delighteth in the beautiful; but pride is holding man incontempt."

     Index


  • Progress

  •  Everyone is divinely furthered in accordance with his character.

     It is your own conduct which will lead you to reward or punishment, as if you had been destined therefor.

     Every human being hath two inclinations - one prompting him to good and impelling him thereto, and the other prompting him to evil and thereto impelling him; but Divine assistance is nigh, and he who asketh the help of God in contending with the evil promptings of his own heart obtaineth it.

     The best of good acts in God's sight is that which is constantly attended to although in a small degree.

     Index


  • Prophecies

  •  Verily ye are in an age in which if ye neglect one-tenth of what is ordered, ye will be doomed. After this a time will come, when he who shall observe one-tenth of what is now ordered will be redeemed.

     Men will be liars towards the end of the world; and will relate such stories as neither you nor your fathers ever heard. Then avoid them, that they may not lead you astray and throw you into contention and strife.

     The time is near in which nothing will remain of Islam but its name, and of the Kuran but its mere appearance, and the mosques of Muslims will be destitute of of knowledge and worship; and the learned will be the worst people under the heavens; and contention and strife will issue from them, and it will return upon themselves.

     Ye follower of Muhammad, I swear by the Lord, if ye did but know what I know of the future state, verily ye would laugh little and cry much.

     Verily, of things which I fear for you, after my departure from the world, is this: that the ornaments and goods of the world may be pleasing to you. Then a man said, "O Messenger of God! Doth good bring harm?" Lord Muhammad said, "Verily good doth not bring harm: I mean if there be much wealth it is a blessing; and there is no harm in it, unless from stinginess and extravagance; like the spring, which causeth nothing to grow but what is good: and harm and destruction are from abuse thereof."

     Index


  • Punishment

  •  God doth not remove anyone out of the world, but that he wisheth to pardon him; and by the diseases of his body and distress for food, He exacteth the punishment of every fault that lieth on his shoulder.

     Verily the reward is as great as the misfortune; that is, the more unfortunate and calamitous one is, the greater and more perfect his reward. And verrily, when God loveth a people, He entangleth it in misfortune; therefore, he who is resigned to the plesure of God, in misfortune, for him is God's favor.

     Index


  • Purity

  •  They will enter the Garden of Bliss who have a true, pure, and merciful heart.

     Religion is admonition, and it means being pure.

     Index


  • Reason

  •  God hath not created anything better than Reason, or anything more perfect, or more beautiful than Reason; the benefits which God giveth are on its account; and understanding is by it, and God's wrath is caused by disregard of it.

     Index


  • Relatives

  •  The best of you, before God and His creation, are those who are best in their own families, and I am the best to my family.

     He is the most perfect of Muslims, whose disposition is most liked by his own family.

     The favor of God doth not descend upon that family in which is one who deserts his relations.

     He is not a perfect performer of the duties of relationship who doeth good to his relatives as they do good to him. He is perfect who doeth good to his relatives when they do not do good to him.

     O Messenger of God! Verily I have done a great crime; is there any act by which I may repent? He said, "Have you a mother?" "No," said the questioner. "Have you an aunt?" asked Muhammad. He said, "Yes, I have." Lord Muhammad said, "Go, do good to her, and your crime will be pardoned."

     The duty of a junior to a senior brother is as that of a child to its father.

     Giving alms to the poor hath the reward of one alms; but that given to kindred hath two rewards; one, the reward of alms, the other, the reward of helping relations.

     A man's first charity should be to his own family, if poor.

     Index


  • Repentance

  •  A sincere repenter of faults is like him who hath committed none.

     Index


  • Reverence

  •  Muhammad said one day to His companions, "Reverence God as becommeth you." They said, "Verily, O Apostle of God, we do reverence Him, and praise be to God who hath imbued us with it." Then Muhammad said, "It is not so; but whoever reverenceth God as it is suitable for him to do must guard his head from humbling itself to others, and from pride and arrogance towards God and God's creatures; he must guard his senses from whatever is wrong, and must guard his mouth from eating forbidden things, and his heart from receiving what is prohibited; and he must keep his death in mind, and the rotting of his bones. And whoever wisheth for future rewards must abandon the ornaments of the world. Therefore, anyone attending to the aforementioned points has verily reverenced God as it his duty to do.

     Index


  • Riches

  •  Riches are not from and abundance of wordly goods but from a contented mind.

     It is difficult for a man laden with riches to climb the steep path which leads to bliss.

     Whoever desireth the world and its riches, in a lawful manner, in order to withold himself from begging, and for a livelihood for his family, and for being kind to his neighbor, will come to God with his face bright as the full moon on the fourteenth night of the lunar month.

     Wealth, properly employed, is a blessing; and a man may lawfully endeavor to increase it by honest means.

     Index


  • Seemliness

  •  A Bedouin was standing in the mosque of the Prophet, and defiled it; when he was immediately taken hold of; and Muhammad said, "Let him alone, and throw a skin of water upon the spot; because ye were not created but of comforters and not sent to create hardships." And they let him alone till he had done, and then Muhammad called the Bedouin to him, and said, "This mosque is not a proper place for that, or any kind of filth; mosques are only for the mention of God, saying prayers, and reading the Kuran."

     Index


  • Self-Indulgence

  •  Muhammad asked His companions, "What are your opinions of the merits of that person, who drinketh liquor, committeth adultery, and stealeth? What should his punishment be?" They said, "God and His Messenge know best." He said, "These are great sins, and the punishment for them very dire."

    Index


  • Servants

  •  To those of your servants who please you give to eat what you eat yourself; and clothe them as yourself; but those who do not please you, part with them; and punish not God's creatures.

     He will not enter Paradise who behaveth ill to his slaves. The companions said, "O Apostle of God! have you not told us, that there will be a great many slaves and orphans amongst your disciples?" He said, "Yes; then be kind to them as to your own children, and give them to eat what you eat yourselves. The slaves that say their prayers are your brothers.

     Zaid, Muhammad's servant, said, "I served Lord Muhammad ten years, and he never said 'Uff,' to me; and never said, 'Why did you do so?' and never said, 'Why did you not do so?'"

     Index


  • Sick

  •  There is not any Muslim who visiteth another in sickness, in the forenoon, but that seventy thousand angels send blessings upon him till the evening; and there is no one who visiteth the sick, in the afternoon, but that seventy thousand angels send blessings upon him till daybreak, and there will be a pardon for him in Paradise.

     Feed the hungry and visit a sick person, and free the captive, if he be unjustly confined. Assist any person oppressed, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.

     Whoever visiteth a sick person, an angel calleth from heaven, "Be happy in the world, and happy be your walking, and take you a habitation in Paradise." Whoever visiteth a sick person always entereth into and swims in a sea of mercy until he sitteth doen; and when he sitteth, he is drowned therein.

     When you go to visit the sick, comfort his grief and say, "You will get well and live long," because although this saying will not prevent what is predestined, it will solace his soul.

     Verily God will say on the Day of Judgement, O children of Adam! I was sick and ye did not visit Me." And the sons of Adam will say, "O our defender, how could we visit Thee? For thou art the Lord of the Universe, and art free from sickness." And God will say, "O men! Such a one was sick and you did not visit him." And God will say, "O children of Adam, I asked you for food, and ye gave it me not?" And the children of Adam will say, "O our patron, how could we give Thee food, seeing Thou art the cherisher of the Universe, and art free from hunger and eating?" And God will say, "Such a one asked you for bread and you did not give it him.

     Index


  • Silence

  •  Much silence and a good disposition, there are no two works better than those.

     Index


  • Sin

  •  Can anyone walk through water without wetting his feet? The companions replied, "No;" Muhammad said, "Such is the condition of those of the world; they are not safe from sins."

     Index


  • Truth

  •  He is not of me who, when he speaketh, speaketh falsely; who, when he promiseth, breaketh his promises; and who, when trust is reposed in him, faileth in his trust.

     No man is true in the truest sense of the word but he who is true in work, in deed, and in thought.

     Strive always to excel in virtue and truth.

     It is not worthy of a speaker of truth to curse people.

     Appropriate to yourselves the truth. Avoid lying.

     Say what is true, although it may be bitter and displeasing to people.

     Index


  • Understanding

  •  It is not a sixth or a tenth of a man's devotion which is acceptable to God, but only such portions thereof as he offereth with understanding and true devotional spirit.

     Verily, a man hath performed prayers, fasts, charity, pilgrimage and all other good works; but he will not be rewarded except by the proportion of his understanding.

    Index


  • Usury

  •  The taker of usury and the giver of it, and the writer of its papers and the witness to it, are equal in crime.

     Index


  • Widows

  •  A giver of maintenance to widows and the poor, is lke a bestower in the way of God, an utterer of prayers all the night, and a keeper of constant fast.

     I and a woman whose color and cheeks shall have become black from toiling in the sun shall be near to one another in the next world as my two fingers; and that is a handsome widow, whose color and cheeks shall have become black in bringing up her family.

     Index


  • Wives

  •  Admonish your wives with kindness.

     A Muslim must not hate his wife; and if he be displeased with one bad quality in her, then let him be pleased with another that is good.

     Do you beat your own wife as you would a slave? That must you not do.

     I (Muaviyah b. Haidah) said, "O Apostle of God! What is my duty to my wife?" He said, "That you give her to eat as you eat yourself, and clothe her as you clothe yourself; and do not slap her in the face nor abuse her, nor separate yourself from her in displeasure.

     Give your wife good counsel; and if she has goodness in her, she will soon take it, and leave off idle talking; and do not beat your noble wife like a slave.

     Muhammad said, "Beat not your wives." Then Omar came to the Rasul (Muhammad) and said, "Wives have got the upper hand from hearing this."

     He is the most perfect Muslim whose disposition is best; and the best of you are they who behave best to their wives.

     A virtuous wife is a man's best treasure.

     Index


  • Women

  •  Women are the twin halves of men.

     The world and all things in it are valuable; but the most valuable thing in the world is a virtuous woman.

     The best women are the virtuous; they are the most affectionate to infants, and the most careful of their husband's property.

     When a woman performeth the five times of prayer, and fasteth the month of Ramadan, and is chaste, and is not disobedient to her husband, then tell her to enter Paradise by whichever door she liketh.

     Verily a great number of women are assembled near my family, complaining of their hubands; and those men who ill-treat their wives do not behave well. He is not of my way who teacheth a woman to stray.

     Asma, daughter of Yazid, said, "Victuals were brought to Muhammad, and he put them before some of us women who were present, and said, 'Eat ye.' But notwithstanding we were hungry we said, 'We have no inclination.' Muhammad said, 'O woman! Do not mix hunger with lies.'"

     Whoever doeth good to girls, it will be a curtain to him from hell-fire.

     Whoever befriendeth two girls till they come of age, will be in the next world along with me, like my two fingers joining each other.

     Whoever befriendeth three daughters, or three sisters, and teacheth them manners, and is affectionate to them, till they come of age, may God apportion Paradise for him.

     Whoever hath a daughter, and doth not bury her alive or scold her, or prefer his male children to her, may God bring him into Paradise.

     Shall I not point out to you the best of virtues? It is your doing good to your daughter when she is returned to you having been divorced by her husband.

     God enjoins you to treat women well, for they are your mothers, daughters, aunts.

     The rights of women are sacred. See that women are maintained in the rights assigned to them.

     Do not prevent your women from coming to the mosque.

     Index


  • World

  •  The love of the world is the root of all evil.

     This world is a prison for the Faithful, but a Paradise for unbelievers.

     The world is a magician greater than Harut and Marut, and you should avoid it.

     The world is sweet in the heart, and green to the eye; and verily God hath brought you, after those that went before you: then look to your actions, and abstain from the world and its wickedness.

     The world is as a prison and as a famine to Muslims; and when they leave it you may say they leave famine and a prison.

     Be in the world like a traveller, or like a passer on, and reckon yourself as of the dead.

     Cursed is this world and cursed is all that is in this world, except the rememberance of God and that which aideth thereto.

     Index

    About Sir Abdullah Suhrawardy

    The . . . translator of these sayings, Allama Sir Abdullah al-Mamun al-Suhrawardy, Barrister-at-Law, M.A., Ph.D., D.Litt., LL.D., Iftakar-ul-Milla, Kt., Commander of the Order of Medjedie, was born at Dacca in 1882, and died at Calcutta on the 13th January, 1935. The obituary notice in the London Times of 14th January, 1935, gives many details of his life and work, but it does not mention the little book The Sayings of Muhammad, than which none of his works was nearer to his heart. There is also no reference to the fact that Abdullah was an extraordinarily brilliant student, winning a number of stipends and scholarships throughout his school and college career. He graduated with honours in Arabic, English and Philosophy, obtaining a first class in his special subjects and standing the first of his year both in the B.A. and M.A. examinations of Calcutta University. He was also first to obtain the Ph.D. degree of the Calcutta University. While studying for the Bar, he took his M.A. degree from the London University, and used to add to his slender allowance from India by lecturing on Arabic letters and jurisprudence, subjects to which he contributed in his later writings and teachings much of value and freshness.

    In February 1905 when The Sayings of Muhammad was first published, Abdullah was a young man burning with zeal for Pan-Islamism and dedicating his extraordinary energy and talent to a vision he had of uniting into one cultural and economic, if not political, whole lands which were under Muslim rule, or had a large Muslim population. The Pan-Islamic Society of London, of which he was the founder and first secretary, was at that time an extremely active and vigorous body preaching Islam, converting British and continental Christians, and carrying on intense propaganda for Pan-Islamic unity. The Sayings of Muhammad was one of the Society's publications.

    Containing as it does some of the finest Sayings of the Prophet, it attracted the attention of minds widely removed from the ranks of orthodox Islam. It was quoted from in many books and journals, and parts of it were translated into several European languages. An interesting testimony to its success was the correspondence which was initiated after its publication between my late brother and Leo Tolstoy and which continued until the count's death. He had come to appraise the personality of the Prophet through this volume, and I am told by a nephew of mine on the authority of one of his daughters whom he had met in Russia that a copy of this book was found in the large overcoat in which he had wrapped himself before setting out on that last walk of his to die in the fields he used to till.

    The book had long been out of print, and I had a great deal of difficulty in obtaining it. An old friend of the family sent me his copy from Scotland, and in 1938, with the help of Mr. N. Mukherjee, Proprietor of the Art Press, Calcutta, a reprint was brought out.

    For the purpose of the present edition, . . . Mr. Mahmood R. Zada, First Secretary of the Royal Legation of Saudi Arabia in London, has compared the 'Sayings' with the original Arabic, and helped me translate them into simple English. Out of the 451 'Sayings' in the original publication, we have re-translated 150 and deleted 35 of which we failed to find the original Arabic.

    Hassan Suhrawardy, January 1941


    Sayings, except the first one on God which was taken from "Muhammad" by Karen Armstrong, are from "The Sayings of Muhammad" by Sir Abdullah Suhrawardy (1882-1935). Compilation Copyright © 1995 The Wisdom Fund - All Rights Reserved




     

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