[Surah Al-Qalam 68:4]
Amr bin Absar (May Allah be pleased with him) was the stepbrother of Abu Dhar Ghifari (May Allah be pleased with him). He was a shepherd. Even during his days of ignorance, he did not consume alcohol or worship idols. He used to say, “Because I used to abstain from these two sins, Allah blessed me. During the scorching heat of summer, there used to be a piece of cloud over my head wherever I went in the desert. It was a shade provided by Allah.” He continued, “One day I came to know from people that something strange has happened in Makkah. A man from amongst them has declared himself to be the Messenger of Allah and is trying to stop them from worshipping idols and killing of daughters.
I went to Makkah and made enquiries about him. After meeting him, I embraced Islam and was probably the third or fourth Muslim at that time. It was the earliest period of Islam.
I asked him, “What is Islam?” He replied, “Talking to people courteously and feeding the hungry.”
I asked him, “What is Emaan?” he replied, “As-sabru was-samaha; Being patient and being tolerant (towards others).”
I asked again, “ Which is the best deed in Islam?” He replied, “To let people be safe from your tongue and hand.”
I asked, “Which is the best part of Emaan?” He replied “To develop good conduct in one’s self.”
I asked again, “Which is the best prayer?” He replied, “The one which has a long qiyam (standing).”
I asked, “ Which is the best Hijrat?” He replied, “One where a person abstains from deeds which displease Allah.”
I asked again, “ Whose Jihad is the best?” He replied, “ One who goes to fight in the way of Allah and gets killed.”
I asked again, “Which is the best time to make dua?” He replied, “The last part of the night.”
The above hadith records that the earliest commands of Islam were mostly related to character building.
- Talking politely and respectfully to others is a form of Islam.
- Sabr and Samaha – Being patient and tolerant towards others, and forgiving them for their mistakes is a part of Emaan.
- Abstaining from harming others, physically or verbally, is a part of good conduct.
This is how Islam began training mankind to perfect the character, right from day one.