On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Part of the perfection of a person’s Islam is his leaving that which is of no concern to him.”(A hasan hadith. Recorded by at-Tirmidhi and others in that fashion)
Importance of This Hadith:
This Hadith is a foundation of manners, behavior and etiquette in Islam. Some say this is half of Islam because Islam is either about doing something or abstaining from something. This Hadith states that a believer should avoid things that are of no benefit to this life nor to the hereafter, in terms of belief, speech and/or actions.
Ibn Rajab quotes Imam Ibn Abi Zayd Al-Qairawani, who was one of the Maliki Imams, as saying that the following four ahadith set the main concept for good manners and behavior:
- The aforementioned hadith
- “Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day either speak good or keep silent…” [Bukhari and Muslim.
- A man said to the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam: “Counsel me”. He said: “Do not become angry”. The man repeated [his request] several times, and he said: “Do not become angry.” [Al-Bukhari.
- “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” [Al-Bukhari.]
“…his leaving that which is of no concern to him.”
This part of the hadith states that a person should avoid things that are of no concern to him, based on the guidance of the shariah, i.e., from the shariah point of view, matters that are not of any benefit to him in this world or the hereafter. Therefore, what should or should not concern you must be looked at from a shariah point of view and not from your personal point of view, or your desires and whims. A Muslim can’t claim that a particular matter is of no concern to him whereas from the shariah point of view, they must absolutely be of concern to him.
When teachings of Allah are being violated, it must concern every Muslim in the world. When evil is being spread or corruption is rampant, a Muslim should be concerned about it. When we see the sufferings of our fellow Muslims brothers and sisters around the world, we should be concerned about their well being just as much as we are concerned about ours. Therefore, a Muslim can’t use this hadith to avoid his obligations of ordering good, eradicating evil, advising others or guiding others by saying that it doesn’t concern him.
So, Your Next Question Could Be: What Is Of Concern According To the Shariah?
A Muslim needs to avoid matters that are forbidden, doubtful, disliked and those that involve over-indulgence in permissible matters of which there is no need. Although scholars mainly focus on speech when talking about this hadith, this saying of our Prophet also includes actions and beliefs.
It’s quite easy for us to stay away from things that don’t benefit us but it’s usually not easy to stay away from indulging in speech that is of no benefit to us. Restraining the tongue from excessive/useless/unnecessary speech is one of the biggest inner battles all of us face on a daily basis. Most of us don’t realize that speech also forms a part of our deeds, and in 9 out of 10 occasions, it’s our speech that stirs up troubles amongst humans, causes relationships to strain and break, leading to ill feelings, jealousy and needless hatred.
The more you indulge in speech that’s not relevant to you, the more chances you have of indulging in:
- Slandering, and
- Gossiping amongst other things
These evils have a direct effect on your heart and soul, leading to:
- Hardening of hearts
- Distraction from remembrance of Allah
- Accumulation of more sins
This hadith highlights one of the most beautiful aspects of our religion. Islam is not here just to benefit you on an individual level. Rather, it has a beautiful effect on the whole of mankind and is here to save every single person from becoming victims of harmful speech, actions words or deed.
This hadith emphasizes Islam’s concern on the welfare of the society, preventing the possibility of arguments or fights arising between people. We are reminded that this life is short and there is no point in indulging in useless speech for a few seconds and ruining our relationships with people in this world, and accumulating needless sins to ruin our hereafter. We are rather, commanded to honor another believer and keep them safe from our tongues, thoughts and actions.
Points To Learn From This Hadith
- Islam protects society as a whole from any kind of harm.
- Much of the harm inflicted on the society is due to people indulging in unnecessary matters like meddling into the affairs of others when one has no right or responsibility over the particular issue. These types of practices normally lead to great evil in the society.
- A believer should train him/herself to be involved in beneficial matters so that this in itself will be the person’s attitude.
- Do not waste your time, money and effort in things that are of no benefit in this life and the hereafter.
- Muslims have enough matters of concern to the extent that in fact, we don’t have enough time to deal with all of them.
- If you are have a lot of free time at hand and don’t know what to do with it, check out time management techniques and guides that are available online and elsewhere, to utilize your time productively.
- Use your free time in doing things that benefit the ummah.
- Don’t indulge in useless debates online when you know it’s not going to be of benefit to you in both worlds. Rather, spend those few minutes reading the Quran or learning more of the Prophet’s life or learning about different tafseers that will bring tremendous blessings and benefit for you in both worlds.
- Gossiping with your friends or family about what your cousin is up to, or what your friend or next door neighbor is up to is going to bring you no benefit.
- So the next time you think of saying or doing something, ask yourself if it’s going to benefit you in this world and the next.