Friday, December 4, 2015
The Advice of One from the Salaf to His Son
Mohammad ibn al-Mundhir ibn Sa’eed related to me that Abu Haatim Muhammad ibn Idrees al-Hanthalee said that al-Khattaab ibn al-Ma’laa al-Makhzumee al-Qurashee advised his son saying:
My son, fear Allaah and be obedient to Him. indeed nothing whatsoever is hidden from Allaah.
I put some directions together and drew out a plan for you. If you memorize, understand and act upon them, you would fill the eyes of kings and even the vagabond would be obedient to you. You would continue to be needed and honoured, people would continue to be in need of what you possess. So obey your father, suffice yourself with his advice and open your mind and heart to it.
indeed this removes respect/esteem and causes disputes. It is upon you to be tranquil and calm which may be attributed to you, and which may be said about you. Treat both friends and enemies pleasantly;
Take the middle path in all your affairs; [i.e. between extremism and excessive lenience]. Do not stamp your feet, drag your tail [i.e. Isbaal], raise your neck, robes or be conceited. Do not look around too much, stop at crowds or linger in the market.
When you speak, If you sit, cross your legs and avoid interlocking your fingers, playing with your beard, ring or sword handle. Do not clean between your teeth [while sitting in public], pick your nose or busy yourself with chasing flies away. which would cause people to belittle or insult you.
Sit calmly in gatherings and speak proportionately. and refrain from telling jokes or funny stories.
Do not speak about how impressed you are of your children, servants, means of transportation or weapons. for if you display your admiration for these things, the foolish would desire them. They would then make up stories about you and question your intellect.
Do not puff up your beard or pat it down to hide it. Refrain from trimming it and pulling out grey hairs. Do not excessively use Kohl and oils/lotion, use Kohl occasionally.
Do not tell your family how much wealth you have, For if they perceive it to be little, you would be trivial in their eyes, and if it were a lot, you would not gain their satisfaction through it anyway. Discipline them without using force and be lenient to them without being weak,
If you were to ever argue, Avoid being hasty and contemplate over your argument. Show the judge your forbearance, refrain from pointing a lot, shuffling your feet, reddening your face and sweating. If you are insulted by your adversary,
When you make a promise, and when you speak Do not raise your voice when arguing, as if you were debating with a deaf person, but at the same time do not be hushed like a mute, saying things that are accepted.
If you relate something that you have heard, such as saying ‘yes, yes’, ‘no, no’, ‘hurry up, hurry up’ and so on. Beware of telling atrocious tales that are disliked by the hearts and cause the skin to tremble,
When you practice ablution, scrub your palms well and place glasswort (a strong-pleasant smelling succulent shrub) in your mouth as you would when using Siwaak (brushing your teeth). Remove water from your mouth gently; do not spit it so as not to accidentally spray the closest person to you.
Do not take a bite from a meal and then replace the rest [when eating with others from the same dish], indeed this is disliked. Do not frequently as for drinks at the kings table, and do not fiddle with bones. by saying things such as there is not enough seasoning, vegetables or honey and so on.
Know what obligatory rights others have over your wealth, the sacredness of friends, [i.e. would lead you to be subservient to others]. Tasting it may prevent you from tasting a lot of other meals. Know that greed leads to an attribute [i.e. would lead it be one of your attributes], and desire, as is it said,
Know that women differ greatly, more so than the fingers of your hand, Amongst them are those who are self-conceited…”
Rawdat al-‘Uqalaa, al-Haakim an-Naysaburee