Islam places great emphasis on manners and on the proper way to deal with others, regardless of age, sex, color, religion or creed.
Relations between people are very important in Islam, and maintaining good dealings with others should be a main priority of all practicing Muslims of all ages.
The importance of this is illustrated in the hadith by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), who summarized the goal of his entire message into the perfection of the best of manners, where he cited:
“I have been sent to perfect the best of manners. The Prophet (PBUH) was sent for the mercy of mankind, for the goodness of mankind, and for the guidance of mankind”
Regarding this, Allah Almighty says:
“And We have sent you (O Muhammad): not but as a mercy for the ‘Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists)”. (21:107)
Good manners apply to everyone because they cover areas of universal understanding.
They must remain with us and forever shall remain so, as they apply to all social conduct, in all areas of society.
These manners should become a day-to-day practice where we show people respect, act with kindness, avoid unsuitable behavior, use appropriate language, make others comfortable, and otherwise make reasonable efforts to not offend others.
For Young Muslims, Make It a Habit
The following guidelines and tips are for our young readers, which also serve as a reminder to myself.
It is a reminder of why it is so important to respect our parents and elders for what they have to impart to us that will help ease our journey through life.
Parents and elders should always be respected as you want them to respect you.
Remember, this is part of our faith and this leads to good morals and manners, which in turn reinforces this faith.
These good morals and manners should be observed in one’s personal life as well as in one’s relations with others.
Be Kind to Your Parents
Islam has raised the importance of kindness to parents to the highest possible level. In numerous verses of the holy Qur’an, kindness to parents is mentioned immediately after belief in God.
Compassion for parents is obligatory. It means:
- To be humble with them,
- To speak to them politely,
- To look at them with love and respect,
- To speak in a tone that does not exceed theirs unless they are hard of hearing,
- To give them complete access to your own wealth,
- And offer them the best of your food and drinks.
Bear in mind that you were once a weak and helpless and they raised you to be the good Muslim you are today.
Always respect your parents’ wisdom, knowledge, grace, and fortitude. We need to understand that they have done the best they could do.
They have nurtured and made us, and now it’s time to do the same for them.
We should try our utmost to avoid upsetting them and should seek their pleasure as much as possible.
After all, pleasing one’s parents is one of the most virtuous acts.
“And your lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) “ugh” nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word.” [17: 23]
This also should be applied to any elders you deal with.
Recognize the status of the elderly and give them due respect.
When walking with them, walk slightly behind and let them enter and exit first.
Respect the Elders
When you meet them, greet them properly and respectfully do it with grace, not just because the person is older than you. Do it because they matter as human beings.
You’ll find your attitude shifts a great deal when thinking this way.
When you discuss something with the elderly, let them speak first, and listen to them attentively and graciously; talk directly to them, not around them.
If the conversation involves debate, you should remain polite, calm, and gentle.
Always keep in mind that they are more experienced and wise and ensure that you speak to them in a low tone.
When you address them, never forget to remain respectful. It doesn’t take much to please both your elders, and the rewards are guaranteed to be endless.
Remember, one day it will be you the elder. How would you like to be treated?
On reflection, are you treating your parents and the elderly people in your life in the way you would like to be treated? If not, now is the time to begin.
Lastly, smile and be gracious when in the company of your parents and older people.
Your own life will be enriched simply by being open to including them in your life.
It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Whoever does not respect our elders, is not compassionate to our youth, and does not give our scholars due honor is not of us”
He also said:
“The most beloved of God’s servants to God are those with the best manners.”