By: Shukria Kohistani
The Prophet of Islam was a pious, free and righteous human. He was sent to direct human beings. When Prophet Muhammad (a) declared himself to be the Messenger of Allah, the people of Arabia were leading a very miserable life. They were rough and ignorant people who were not conversant with the decorum of a civilized society.
So much so that they did not care even to seek permission before entering another’s house and did not wish each other when they met. They considered themselves to be enemies of each other and spoke in a very harsh tone. The Holy Prophet gradually taught them the rules of social behaviour and the principles of civilization and culture.
During the last fourteen centuries, human society has made great progress in different walks of life. Education has become very common and modern means of transport have made the world much narrower. However, the universal and eternal Islamic principles of civilization continue to guide humanity. We mention below some of them which are well-known as well as very important for our social life.
If we intend entering somebody’s house or room and the door is shut, we should knock at the door gently with a view to seeking permission to enter.
If we happen to meet some acquaintances in a gathering or in a street, we should wish them by saying “Salamun Alaikum”.
While walking in a street, we should be careful not to bump into anyone. In case we form part of a crowd, we should walk behind one another so that we do not block the way of others.
It is necessary for us not to disturb others. When others are sleeping, we should remain quiet and should not disturb their sleep by making noise.
Most of us are well aware of these rules and principles but are usually negligent in observing them. However, to lead a pleasant social life, it is incumbent upon us to understand these principles properly and to act upon them to the best of our ability.
Islam teaches us the best social etiquette.
Those who experienced him firsthand, or later read his biography, found in Muhammad a lifestyle of extraordinary sincerity and conviction.
The Prophet was not merely a person whose honesty was testified to, rather his clansmen had officially titled him as-Sâdiq al-Amîn (the Truthful, the Trustworthy). Even when they persecuted him and rejected his message, they still trusted him with their most precious possessions. Aisha (rA) said, “He instructed ‘Ali (rA) to stay behind in Mecca, in order to return all the trusts the Messenger of Allah had for people. There was nobody in Mecca (even his enemies!) who had valuables that he feared for except that he kept them with the Messenger of Allah, due to the honesty and trustworthiness that was known [to all] about him.
The simple, austere lifestyle of the Prophet is a major indication that his mission could not have been self-serving. After all, he was a man who controlled all of Arabia by the end of his life. Even before that, he had thousands of followers throughout his stay in Madinah; followers who obsessed over him, and would have loved to do anything in the world for him.