Our Prophet's
"And you are truly ˹a man˺ of outstanding character"
[Surah Al-Qalam 68:4]
The Prophet of Good Manners
By: Shaikh Zafar Ul Hasan Al Madani

A real teacher would never ignore personal development of his students.

“O People! I am like a father to you.  I teach you everything, however small (it may be).”
(Sunan Abu Dawood)

In real life, a wise father would teach his children everything, even teaching them the correct way to cross a road. Similarly, the prophetic duty included to teach even the minutest of things to his followers in a fatherly manner, and a fatherly manner suggests teaching with politeness, gentleness, wisdom and patience.

Personal Hygiene is a part of good Akhlaq (character) -     

One of the teachings of the Prophet ﷺ includes that one should clean his private part with left hand only. It is prohibited to use right hand for cleaning private parts. Personal hygiene ensures good health and it is a part of good Akhlaq (character).

Demonstrating respect toward elders is a way of teaching good manners-

An old man came to the Prophet’s gathering in the Mosque of Madinah. He saw that there was a crowd around the Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ was imparting knowledge amongst his followers. The old man looked around for a place to sit close to the Prophet ﷺ, but could not find any. No one from the gathering noticed him standing alone, searching for a place to sit. The Prophet of Noble manners noticed him, and asked the gathering to accommodate him, “Make way for this elderly man and give him a place sit. Whoever does not show respect to our elders or show affection to our younger ones is not from us.”

Good manners are essential for a happy family life-

The Prophet ﷺ had more than ten wives and he was able to handle them well, such that all of them were happy and satisfied with him. In today’s time, even though most men have only one wife, they are unable to handle crisis and fail to deal with various situations amicably. There was never any serious crisis in the blessed household of the Prophet ﷺ and even if some issues popped up, he used to sort them out wisely. One can learn from the good Akhlaq of the Prophet ﷺ in relation to his family, and solve all one’s familial issues.

“Who is the best Muslim? One with the best manners towards his family” said the Prophet with the Best Manners

The Prophet ﷺ had fixed equal days for all of his wives. Once he was sitting at Aisha’s place (May Allah be pleased with her). One of his wives had cooked some dish, and sent it for him to Aisha’s place. Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) got a little jealous ( as it is in human nature) and angry. She instructed her slave girl to hit the hand of the other slave girl so hard that the bowl should fall down. The slave girl obeyed Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) and the bowl fell down. The Prophet ﷺ did not scold any one of them but he quietly cleaned the mess on the floor and instructed Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) to give her bowl as compensation for breaking the other bowl.

 The story has lots of lessons.

  1. It is natural for a human to get upset, jealous or angry. Whatever the status of a person may be, be it being the wife of the Prophet ,or being the daughter of the best person of the community i.e. Abu Bakr as-Siddique, every human being is prone to such emotions.
  2. Only a person who is wise, cool-headed and calm can sort out various day to day issues without putting oil on the fire and the Prophetic method shows us precisely how it should be done. Any normal husband would have gotten angry and would have scolded both his wives. Later, whenever Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her), recalled the incident, she marvelled at the way her husband displayed wisdom and maintained his cool.
  3. The Prophet ﷺ honoured the sentiments of the other wife for sending him the soup and he did not blame Aisha or her slave girl for the mess. He knew it was the human trait of jealousy that had given rise to the situation and he treated it without taking anything to his heart.

 Once he announced, “ The best Muslim among you is the one who is best towards his family and amongst you I am the best towards my family.”

Being Expressive and Understanding is a form of good Akhlaq-

The real understanding between spouses is also about understanding the unspoken messages. The Prophet ﷺ once said, “Aisha I can recognise when you are angry at me.” She asked, “How?” He replied, “Normally you invoke Allah with the words, “O Lord of Muhammad”, but when you are upset (with me) you invoke with the words, “O Lord of Ibrahim.” Aisha replied affectionately, “I do get angry but by Allah even when I am angry, even when I call Allah as Lord of Ibrahim, but in my heart there is no grudge.”

Using good manners and gentleness in dealing with the human weakness of family members is a sign of a person’s excellent Akhlaq (character). The testimony of a wife about her husband always holds significance and weight. Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her ) said, “By Allah I have never seen the Prophet ﷺ ever shouting or hitting a woman, or a child or a slave.”

 It is a blessing for us that we have an ideal in the form of Prophet ﷺ, who is exemplary in Akhlaq (character) and manners. We can easily learn from his life and solve all our issues with the help of his teachings and examples.