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MOCKBA
 
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Quote MOCKBA Replybullet Topic: On Praising People
    Posted: 06 July 2005 at 12:44am

XVI. Praising People

153. What has come about praising people

333. Abu Bakr reported that a man was mentioned in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and someone praised him. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Woe to you! You have cut off the head of your companion!" and he repeated that several times. He went on, "If one of you must praise someone, he should say, 'I consider that so-and-so is such-and-such.' Allah is the One who will take account of him if he thinks that he is indeed like that, No one can appropriate Allah's right to attest to someone's character."

334. Abu Musa reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard a man praise another man and he was using exaggeration in his praise of him. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "You have destroyed ­ or broken ­ the man's back."

335. Ibrahim at-Taymi reported that his father said, "We were sitting with 'Umar and one man praised another man to his face." He said, "You have wounded the man. May Allah wound you."

336. Zayd ibn Aslam reported that his father heard 'Umar state, "Praise is slaughter." The transmitter added, "He meant when it is accepted."

154. Someone who praises his companion when he feels safe about him*

[* He is certain that his praise will nor produce pride or vanity.]

337. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The best of men is Abu Bakr. The best of men is 'Umar. The best of men is Abu 'Ubayda. The best of men is Usayd ibn Hudayr. The best of men is Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas. The best of men is Mu'adh ibn 'Amr ibn al-Jamuh. The best of men is Mu'adh ibn Jabal." Then he said, "The worst of men is so-and-so. The worst of men is so-and-so," until he had named seven men.

338. 'A'isha said, "A man asked permission to come to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the Messenger of Allah said, 'He is an evil son of his tribe.' When the man came in, the Prophet was courteous and cheerful towards him. When that man left, another man asked permission to come in. He said, 'He is an excellent son of his tribe.' When he came in, he was not cheerful towards him as he had been cheerful towards the other man. When he left, I said, 'Messenger of Allah, you said what you said about so-and-so and yet you were courteous to him. You said what you said about so-and-so and I did not see you do the same.' He said, ''A'isha, the worst of people are those who are feared on account of their bad language.'"

155. Throwing dust in the faces of those who praise people

339. Abu Ma'mar said, "A man began to praise one of the amirs. Al-Miqdad began to throw dirt in his face and said, 'The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commanded us to throw dust into the faces of those who praise people.'"

340. 'Ata' ibn Abi Rabah reported that a man was praising another man in the presence of Ibn 'Umar. Ibn 'Umar began to throw dust towards his mouth. He said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'When you see those who praise people, throw dust in their faces.'"

341. Raja' said. "One day Mihjan and I went to the mosque of the people of Basra. Burayda al-Aslami was sitting there by one of the mosque doors. Inside the mosque there was a man called Sabka who used to make the prayers long. We came to the mosque door which had a fringed woollen cloth over it. Now Burayda was someone who made jokes. He said, 'Mihjan, don't you pray as Sabka prays?' Mihjan did not answer and went back. Mihjan said, 'The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, once took me by the hand and we went together to the top of Uhud. He looked down on Madina and said, "Woe to a town whose people will abandon it when it becomes very prosperous. Then the Dajjal will come to it and find two angels at each of its gates, so he will not enter it." Then he went down until we reached the mosque and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw a man praying, prostrating and bowing. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked me, "Who is this?" and I began to praise him, saying, "Messenger of Allah, this is so-and-so and so-and-so." "Stop!" he said, "Do not let him hear or you will destroy him."'"

Raja' continued, "He began to walk until he reached his rooms and then he began to shake the dust off his hands and said, 'The best part of your deen is the easiest of it.' and he repeated that three times."

156. The person who praises in poetry

342. Al-Aswad ibn Suray' said, "I came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah, I have praised Allah and you in poems of praise and eulogies.' He said, 'As far as your Lord is concerned, He must be praised,' and so I began to recite them. Then a tall bald man asked for permission to enter. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, told me, 'Be silent.' The man came in and spoke for a time and then left. Then I recited again. Then the other man came back and he made be silent again. Then the man left again. That happened two or three times. I asked, 'Who is this man for whom I must be silent?' He replied, 'This is a man who does not like vain things.'"

[It is said that it was 'Umar ibn al-Khattab]

157. Giving to a poet when you fear his evil

343. Abu Nujayd said, "A poet came to 'Imran ibn Husayn and 'Imran gave him something. 'Imran was asked, 'You give to a poet?' He said, 'I am preserving my reputation (from his satire).'"

Courtesy of Sunnipath.com

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Quote amna_ali Replybullet Posted: 06 July 2005 at 2:58am

Asslamualaikum,

Jazak Allah

An important issue is brought into limelight.Flattery is spreading like an epidemics in our society. One is successful in worldlylife if one knows the art to flatter. (unfortunately for many the definition of success has changed: more wealth more success)

There is difference between flattery and praise.

Flattery is when someone praises a person for qulalities that he/she does not possess or when someone exaggerates in mentiong his/her qualities. According to Chambers Essential English Dictionary; "You flatter someone when you praise them insincerely, or too much, implying that they are cleverer , more imortant, or more attractive than they really are, so as to please them, or persuade them to do something for you." People flatter to get undue favor.

Praise is to admire one for ones genuine abilities and qualities. Chambers Essential English Disctionary desribes Praise as "You praise someone or something when you speak of them or write about them with admiration or approval. Praise is the expression of admiration or approval." So prise is admiration of genuine abilities.

Flattery is a killer. It is kind of a sweet talk. The person who is being flattered becomes addict of it. His mind stops working. He makes his own fatasy world where he finds himself perfect and without any negatives. He starts thinking that he possesses all those qualities.

While I take praise positively. Sometimes praise is necessary to boost up the morale. To encourage a person to keep on his struggle towards the right path. Its praise that enables a person to keep on working positively.

 But what I perceive from these ahadith is that as if praise is also not good. Praise also does harm. I need clarification in this regard.

If praise is not good then what to say about flattery??? MAy Allah give us Hidayet.

Ma Salaam

 

Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. God is free of all wants and He is most forebearing. (Al baqra: 263)
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MOCKBA
 
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Quote MOCKBA Replybullet Posted: 06 July 2005 at 6:05am

Bismillah

Jazzak Allahu khairan, Amna Ali. In my opinion, it is better to supplicate (make du'a) for the person instead of praising him. The above write-up makes the position of Islam on praising people very clear.

I am not sure where you have deducted the opposite opinion from, though i am aware that contemporary books on motivation are widely propogating it today.  

Flattery is hypocrisy, as it has element of lie being concealed. This is outside of the subject matter. Praising a person in his/ her presence is disliked in Islam.

All praises are due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.



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AhmadJoyia
 
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Quote AhmadJoyia Replybullet Posted: 06 July 2005 at 6:58am

Bro MOCKBA

I am not very clear as what these Ahadith are actually telling me. I tried to read and understand such ahadith at my own but there is some hidden meaning which my common sense, which ofcourse is not very common, doesn't clarify me. Also, I have heard that the scholars who used to collect ahadith (we call them Muhathis), always asked people not to quote their  hadith without learning the actual meanings of these from them. In this regard, I often don't dare to put forward them untill or unless I am sure of their meanings by their respective Muhathis as well. Just to give you an example of my worthless common sense, in the first hadith narrated by Hazrat Abu Bakr, I really could not link up a logical connection between "No one can appropriate Allah's right to attest to someone's character" and "Woe to you! You have cut off the head of your companion!" ". A simiar pattern exists in most of your quoted ahadith, which I think, can get clarification by considering such an example. Can you throw some light on it, as I assume you may have proper understanding of these Ahadith from their respective Muhadiths? Thanks.

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Quote amna_ali Replybullet Posted: 06 July 2005 at 8:24am

Asslamualikum,

Here I think I make myself misunderstood "If praise is not good then what to say about flattery???"

I was just wondering that if genuine admiration is not permissable then what will be the punishment of flattery.

 

Brother Mockba wrote:

"I am not sure where you have deducted the opposite opinion from, though i am aware that contemporary books on motivation are widely propogating it today."

Hmmm actually it is really an information for me. I admit my lack of knowledge in this regard. I never think from this perspective.  I am very much in the habit of praising. I think more information is required from your side to make things more clear.

Jazak Allah

Ma Salaam

Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. God is free of all wants and He is most forebearing. (Al baqra: 263)
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MOCKBA
 
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Quote MOCKBA Replybullet Posted: 06 July 2005 at 10:18pm

Bismillah

Assalamu'alaikum Bro Ahmad,

Thank for your comment. Indeed many of the ahadeeth do require further explanation, especially when they are bound to a specific setting or have chronological significance. "Cutting of the head" in the above narrations would be metaphorically synonymous with "making someone big-headed". Praise, when pronounced in the face and in the presence of others often tends to produce foundation for arrogance vanity and pride. And as we know, vanity ruins people. I thought this issue might be appropriate for discussion and taking a note of by the forum users especially when we are not able to know each other for real other than mere virtual.  

Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (PBUH) heard a person lauding another person or praising him too much. Thereupon he said, "You killed the man,'' or he said, "You ruined the man.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Mention of a man was made to the Prophet (PBUH) and someone praised him whereupon he (PBUH) said, "Woe be to you! You have broken the neck of your friend!'' He repeated this several times and added, "If one of you has to praise his friend at all, he should say: `I reckon him to be such and such and Allah knows him well', if you think him to be so-and-so, you will be accountable to Allah because no one can testify the purity of others against Allah.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  This hadith prohibits us from praising anyone in his face. If at all one has to praise someone, he should say that "In my opinion he is such and such,'' provided he really thinks as he says. The reason for this is that it is Allah Alone Who knows him thoroughly and none can claim to be innocent before Him.

Hammam bin Al- Harith (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A person began to praise `Uthman (May Allah be pleased with him), and Al-Miqdad (May Allah be pleased with him) sat upon his knees and began to throw pebbles upon the flatterer's face. `Uthman (May Allah be pleased with him) said: "What is the matter with you?'' He said: "Verily, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, `When you see those who shower undue praises upon others throw dust upon their faces.'''
[Muslim].

Commentary:  The purpose of this hadith seems to be that one should neither pay serious attention to one who praises nor reward him for it. If one can throw grit in his face, that should also be done. One should at least avoid such persons who are in the habit of praising people unnecessarily.

Imam An-Nawawi has stated that these ahadith are in prohibition of praise while there are many in favour of it. `Ulama are of the opinion that the two points of view can be reconciled. If the one who is praised has perfect Faith and confidence and is endowed with the gift of knowledge by Allah and has control over his self and thereby he is not likely to go astray by praise, then praising him is neither unlawful nor disgusting. But if he is vulnerable to praise then praising him in his presence is abhorred. Ahadith in prohibition of praise support this point of view. While one of the ahadith, which are in favour of praise, relates to the occasion when the Prophet (May Allah be pleased with him) said to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him): "I hope that you will also be among them,'' that is "You will be one of those who will be called from every gate of Jannah.'' (See, Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada'il As-Sahabah). Another hadith on the issue relates to the event when the Prophet (PBUH) said to Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him): "You are not one of them.'' What it signified was that "You are not one of those who keep their trousers below their ankles out of sheer pride.'' (See, Sahih Al-Bukhari, Manaqib Abu Bakr). He said to `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him): "When Satan sees you going on some way, he leaves it and proceeds to some other direction.'' (Al-Bukhari, Manaqib `Umar).

In any case and seeking the firm side, making a supplication when we feel like praising someone (like a simple Jazak Allahu Khairan) will be much more effective and rewarding, insha Allah.

Hope this helps.

Wasalaam.

MOCKBA
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Quote amna_ali Replybullet Posted: 07 July 2005 at 8:16am

Bismillah irrahman irrahin

Alhumdolillah-i-rubi aalamin

 

Mashallah one very important purpose that the forum is fulfilling is to educate people. Attention is raised towards the issues that we seldom bother to consider in real life. Same is the case with “PRAISING PEOPLE.” Brother Mockeba’s quoting ahadith has made it very clear that he is only concerned with the issue of praising people in common routine life. Jazak Allah khairen

 

What I perceive from the post is to praise someone is not fully forbidden but its matter of moderation.

"Imam An-Nawawi has stated that these ahadith are in prohibition of praise while there are many in favour of it. `Ulama are of the opinion that the two points of view can be reconciled. "

 (correct me if I am wrong). But one should know how to praise and how much?

 

Yes Brother you are right; "Indeed many of the ahadeeth do require further explanation, especially when they are bound to a specific setting or have chronological significance." 

 

I would like other forum members to share their views in this regard as I believe that its in human nature to praise.So we should have to work over it.

  • Parents praise their children. They love to tell everybody about their children abilities.
  • We praise our friends, family members, teachers, etc whenever they help us. Its our desire to let other people know how kind and helpful the person is. And we also thank him/her.
  • We acknowledge others for their outstanding performance. 

Its very important to correct ourselves if we are going towards wrong direction.

May Allah give us Hidayet  and we be able to understand Quran and Sunnah and live our life Islamically(amen).

 

MA Salaam

Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. God is free of all wants and He is most forebearing. (Al baqra: 263)
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Quote Israfil Replybullet Posted: 07 July 2005 at 8:41am
With all due respect MOCKBA what do you call the Shia when they praise Ali, who was neither a prophet nor had any divine right?
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