All praise is due to Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds. To Him belongs the holy names and He possesses the most honourable merits. He created the soul and proportioned it and promised success to those who purify it. I bear witness that there is no deity save Allāh, having no associates. For Him is the earth and heavens and all the praises are due to Him. He is the Omnipotent. I also bear witness that our Master Muḥammad is the servant of Allāh and His Messenger. He is the last of the Prophets, the Imām for the pious and the best pattern to follow in honesty. May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, his pure family, companions, and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
Dear Muslims, one of the core values of Islamic principles is honesty, which we shall be discussing in our khuṭbah today.
Please know that Islām is a religion that calls for the best manners, good word of mouth and the civilised treatment amongst people. It urges Muslims to be adorned with the finest characters and the uppermost values. In this regard, our Prophet (SAW) said, “indeed, Allāh is kind and loves kindness and lofty matters and hates inferior matters.” And amongst the best conducts and the most honourable principles of Islām is honesty. It is a noble value, and whoever embraces such a fine trait shall see his acts of goodness increased. In fact, there are many aspects to honesty, of which: avoiding evil deeds and keeping away from demerits. Allāh’s Messenger (SAW) set the best example for us to follow in honesty and self-esteem. On this matter, Jābir bin ‘Abdullāh, may Allāh be pleased with them, once said,
I was with the Prophet on a journey, and my camel got tired. The Messenger of Allāh met me and prayed for it (the camel) and hit it. Then it started to run like never before. The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘sell it to me for one Uwqyah.’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Sell it to me.’ So I sold it to him for one Uwqiyah. When we reached Al-Madīnah, I brought the camel to him and asked him for its price, and then I went back. He sent a word to me saying, ‘Do you think I bargained with you to take your camel?’ Take your camel and your Dirhams.
This Ḥadīth shows that the Prophet (SAW) used to raise himself above any desire in his companions’ properties for avoiding greed is the most important form of honesty. Our Master Muḥammad (SAW) also taught his companions, may Allāh be pleased with them, to be honest so they also became unique examples to follow. For instance, ‘Umar bn al Khaṭṭāb, may Allāh be pleased with him, narrated,
Allāh’s Messenger (SAW) used to give me something but I would say to him, ‘would you give it to a poorer and needier one than me?’ The Prophet (SAW) said to me, ‘Take it. If you are given something from this property without asking for it or having greed for it, take it; and if not given, do not run for it.
For his part, Ḥakīm bin Hizam, may Allāh be pleased with him, talked on how the Prophet (SAW) used to teach him honesty. He said,
I begged the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) and he gave me; I begged him again and he gave me. I begged him again and he gave me and said, ‘O Ḥakīm, wealth is pleasant and sweet. He who acquires it with self-contentment, it becomes a source of blessing for him; but it is not blessed for him who seeks it out of greed. He is like one who goes on eating but his hunger is not satisfied. The upper hand is better than the lower one.’ I said to him, ‘O Messenger of Allāh, by Him Who sent you with the Truth I will not, after you, ask anyone for anything till I leave this world.
READ ALSO: The Inevitable Death
So Abū Bakr, may Allāh be pleased with him, would summon Ḥakīm to give his rations, but he would refuse. Then ‘Umar, may Allāh be pleased with him, would call him but he would decline to accept anything. Thereupon, ‘Umar said addressing Muslims,
O Muslims, I ask you to bear testimony that I offer Ḥakīm his share of the booty that Allāh has assigned for him but he refuses my offer. So, Ḥakīm did not accept anything from anyone after the death of the Messenger of Allāh (SAW), till he died.
With his honesty he attained Allāh’s pleasure. Therefore, it is such a valuable and honourable form of honesty that one be non-greedy.
Another aspect of honesty is to elude unlawful and suspected gains. This can be achieved through contentment. Self-contentment is an inexhaustible treasure. Through contentment one becomes moderate in what he seeks in his worldly matters and ultimately satisfied. Our Prophet (SAW) said,
O people! fear Allāh and be moderate in seeking a living, for no soul will die until it has received all its provision, even if it is slow in coming. So fear Allāh and be moderate in seeking provision; take that which is permissible and leave that which is forbidden.
Dear Believers, Purity is another honourable form of honesty, both physically and spiritually. This is to purify the body from dirt and the soul from faults. And from this perspective, the most essential and superior type of purity is that of the heart. One should purify his heart from hatred and envy in line with the Prophet’s (SAW) advocacy. He warned us against those two wicked characters and urged us to clean our hearts from them, describing the remedy for that. He (SAW) said,
The disease of the nations before you is creeping towards you: Envy and hatred, it is the Ḥaliqah. I do not speak of what cuts the hair, but what severs the religion. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I tell you about what will strengthen that for you? Spread the peace amongst each other.
O Worshippers of Allāh.
Another outstanding form of honesty is loyalty towards one’s work and it has a great effect on the society. There are many dimensions to this most important expression of honesty. For instance, a loyal employee will never do unacceptable actions and will be careful in using the state-owned supplies. A good example on such a great trait is that of ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Azīz, may Allāh have mercy on him. In ‘Umar’s office, he used to have two candles. If he wanted to write Muslims’ affairs, he would use the candle that belonged to the state. However, if he wanted to write his own personal letters, he would use the candle which he had bought from his own money. A loyal employee will also be committed to his work and will never accept a bribe or a gift that was given for an unlawful purpose. On this account, it was related that Sulaymān ibn Yasār said that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) used to send ‘Abdullāh bn Rawaha to Khaybar, to assess the division of the fruit crop between him and the Jews of Khaybar. The Jews collected for ‘Abdullāh pieces of their women’s jewellery and said to him, “this is yours. Go light on us and don’t be exact in the division!” Thereupon, ‘Abdullāh ibn Rawaha said, “what you have offered as a bribe is forbidden. We will not touch it.” They said, “This is (i.e. justice) what supports the heavens and the earth.”
One other field where honesty is a necessity is trading. An honest and trustworthy merchant will never sell things that cause harm to people; neither will he be tempted to earn excessive profits. He will take example of the righteous people and honest merchants so that he may attain the reward of which the Prophet (SAW) gave glad tidings as he said, “the trustworthy, honest Muslim merchant will be with the martyrs on the Day of Judgment.”
Indeed, honesty has many aspects that extend to all walks of life. Let us, therefore, implore Allāh, the Sublime, to purify our hearts and souls and grant us success to be amongst His honest servants. May Allāh guide us all to obey Him and obey His Messenger Muḥammad (SAW) and obey those He has commanded us to obey in line with His orders:
يَاأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي ٱلأَمرِ مِنكُم
O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. (Q. 4: 59)
أَقُولُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ وَلِسَائِرِ المُسْلِمينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتْ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهْ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say this and ask Allāh for forgiveness for me and you, so invoke Him for forgiveness, for He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على سيد المرسلين وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين
All praise is due to Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our Master Muḥammad, his pure family, companions, and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
Dear Muslims, Please know that the first thing we should advise each other about is obeying Allāh, the Almighty, and being honest. It is the duty of a Muslim to purify his soul, heart and innermost state of being. As such, we must be honest in what we say and beware of backbiting and indecency. One must avoid uncertainties for it raises doubts about him. Verily, honesty is a protection to one’s affairs and brings about abundant benefits, the foremost of which is the pleasure of Allāh, the Most Exalted. Through honesty, one learns self-contentment which is the path to success in this world and in the Hereafter alike. The Prophet (SAW) said, “He has succeeded who accepted Islām, was provided with sufficient provisions and Allāh made him content by what He has bestowed on him.” Verily, honesty brings about satisfaction and richness of the soul. The Prophet (SAW) said, “Richness does not lie in the abundance of (worldly) goods, but it is the richness of soul.”
This means that richness doesn’t mean having a great amount of property, but rather being self-content and not much concerned about wealth.
Another benefit of honesty is that it fosters self-esteem and dignity. A society that is characterised with honesty and integrity will definitely see trust prevailing amongst its members who shall, ultimately, rejoice welfare. Allāh will also provide them with His care and abundant bounties. The Exalted is He says,
كُلُواْ مِن رِّزقِ رَبِّكُم وَٱشكُرُواْ لَهُۥۚ بَلدَة طَيِّبَة وَرَبٌّ غَفُور
Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord. (Q.34: 15)
Thus, it is such a blessing that one be adorned with honesty in words, actions and ethics so as to attain Allāh’s Paradise.
That is said, please bear in mind that you are commanded to invoke peace and blessings on the Prophet (SAW). The Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “for everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah.”
O Allāh, please confer Your blessings and grant peace upon our Prophet Muḥammad (SAW), his family and all his companions. O Allāh, we beseech you to grant us success to be honest in words and deeds. O Allāh, please beautify us with the adornment of self-contentment and faithfulness, O the Lord of the Worlds.
May Allāh have mercy on the honourable deceased Muslims and martyrs of our country and those of other Muslim countries and gather them with the righteous. May Allāh make their dwelling with the ones upon whom Allāh has bestowed favour of the prophets and the steadfast affirmers of truth, O the Most Gracious the Most Forgiving.
O Allāh, please grant the best reward for the families of the martyrs and offer them patience and solace. O the Most Generous. O Lord of the Worlds, please forgive us all our sins for no one forgives sins but You. Please guide us to the best of manners for none can guide to the best of them but You. O Allāh, please protect us from bad manners for none can protect against them but You, O Lord of the Worlds.
May Allāh be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abū Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmān and ‘Alī, and all of the Companions.
© Mubin Olatoye Raji