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The Majlis (gathering) of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him)

Sayyidina Imam al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) reported as follows: I inquired from my maternal uncle, Hadrat Hind ibn abi Hala (may Allah be pleased with him) who used to describe the particulars of Allah’s Prophetic Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him). I was fond of hearing about them. So, when I asked him, he described the features of the Holy Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him). He said that he was a magnificent and grand man, and his face glistened like the full moon; and so, he described his whole auspicious appearance in full.

Sayyidina Imam al-Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him) added: For quite some time, I did not talk about this Hadith to (my younger brother), Imam al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him), but when I did tell him about it, I found that he had heard about this earlier than me. He had already asked our maternal-uncle as well as our father, Sayyidina ‘Ali, (may Allah be pleased with him) about the Holy Prophet's manner of entering and coming out of the house, as well as other manners, not leaving out any details.

Sayyidina Imam al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) said that when he inquired from his father, Sayyidina ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) about the Prophet’s conduct on entering his home, he said:

“The Holy Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) used to divide his time at home into three parts: one part he spent exclusively in devotions to Allah (The Glorified and the Exalted), the second part in fulfilling the needs of his household, and the third he reserved for his own needs, but this personal portion of his time, he divided into two parts, one for himself and the other for the people in such a way that his close Companions who visited him conveyed his teachings to others. He did not keep anything secret.

In utilizing his time for the people, his method was that he gave preference to men of virtue, according to their position in religion. Such visitors came either with one need, some had two needs, while others had several needs. He fulfilled all their needs and kept them busy in such matters which would benefit them as well as the whole Muslim community. When they questioned him, he replied to them in a way that benefited them. He used to say: those who are present should convey this knowledge to those who are absent (due to any reason). He also asked the visiting Companions to bring to him the needs of those who could not bring forward their requests personally, because, he would say, if someone conveys to the king the need of a person who cannot present it personally, Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) will keep his steps steadfast on the Day of Judgment.

Only useful and important matters were discussed in his majlis (gathering), and he would be glad to hear only about such matters from his Companions. There was no wasteful or useless talk in his majlis (gathering). The Companions came as seekers of religious knowledge and did not depart without having tasted something (of religious knowledge).

The Companions emerged from his assemblies as torch bearers of goodness and guidance.

Sayyidina Imam al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) said that when he inquired about the activities of the Holy Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) outside the house, Sayyidina ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Holy Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) controlled his tongue and only spoke when necessary. He did not waste his time in matters that did not concern him. He befriended people and did not estrange them. He respected the honourable ones of every tribe and used to appoint a leader for them.

He warned the people (about Allah's punishment for sinning). He protected himself from the harm and mischief of the people., and cautioned others to be on their guard as well. He was always cheerful and courteous. He inquired about his Companions and about the conditions and mutual relationships of the people to improve them. He praised good deeds to encourage them, and showed the evil of bad deeds and prevented them.

In everything, he adopted the golden mean, avoiding contradiction. He tried to make sure that people neither neglected their religious duties nor became weary through their excessive performance.

With him, everything had a particular method. He never fell short of fulfilling the rights of others, nor did he exceed the limits. Those who attended his majlis (gathering) were the noblest people, but the most superior in his sight were those who wished everyone well. The most highly placed according to him were those who sympathized with and helped people the most.

Sayyidina Imam al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) said that when he inquired about the majlis (gathering) of the Holy Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him), Sayyidina ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: His sitting down and standing up both used to be with the remembrance (Dhikr) of Allah. When he went to a place, he sat down where he found a place to sit, and instructed the people to do like-wise, and not to leap over others peoples’ heads to push ahead. Wherever he sat down, that place used to become the focal point of the gathering. He fulfilled the right of each person in such a way that each person used to think that the Holy Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) was honouring him the most.

Anyone who sat with him or came to him for some purpose, the Holy Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) would remain seated until the visitor himself rose up. If anyone asked him for anything, he fulfilled his request or gave a polite answer. His pleasant manner and cheerfulness were common for all. He was like a father to them, and in respect of rights, all the people were equal in his eyes.

His gatherings were gatherings of knowledge, gentleness, modesty, trust and patience. Voices were not raised in his gathering, and no one was degraded or disgraced. If someone made a mistake, it was not given publicity. All were considered equal, but there used to be superiority of one over another only on the basis of piety. Every one behaved with humility with each other, treating the elders with respect and showing love and affection to the young; giving preference to the needy and looking after the travelers and the strangers. (Tirmidhi)

Seek Allah's Pleasure

It is narrated by Hadrat Mu‘awiya (may Allah be pleased with him) that, once, he wrote a letter to Sayyidatina ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) requesting her to give him some good counsel, but it should be brief and comprehensive and not too long. So, Sayyidatina ‘Aisha Siddiqa (may Allah be pleased with her) sent to him the following reply:

"Peace be with you! I have heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Whoever will seek to please Allah by displeasing men, Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) will make him independent of the help and favour of men and He Himself will become sufficient unto him, and whoever will seek to please men by displeasing Allah, Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) will give him in the charge of men. And peace (be with you)!” (Tirmidhi)

Bay‘ah (swearing allegiance)

Hadrat ‘Ubada bin as-Samit (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) said when a number of his Companions were around him, "Swear allegiance to me on the basis that you will not commit polytheism but will worship only Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted), that you will not steal, or commit fornication, or kill your children, or produce slander which you yourselves have falsely fabricated, or be disobedient concerning what is good. If any of you perpetrates any of these things and is punished for it in this world, it will be an atonement for him. If however, anyone perpetrates any of these things and Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) conceals it regarding him, the matter lies in Allah's hands; if He wishes, He will forgive him; and if He wishes, He will punish him.” So we swore allegiance to him on that basis. (Bukhari and Muslim)

Racial Equality in Islam

Hadrat Abu Dharrr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophetic Messenger of Allah said to him: “You, as a person, enjoy no superiority over a white-skinned or a black-skinned man. You can, of course, be superior through piety and fear of Allah.” (Ahmad)

Each person is responsible and answerable

Hadrat ‘Abdallah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) said: "Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The imam who is (a leader) over the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is a shepherd in charge of the members of his household and he is responsible for his flock; a woman is a shepherdess in charge of her husband's house and children and she is responsible for them; and a man's slave is a shepherd in charge of his master's property and he is responsible for it. So each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Remain united in the Muslim community

Hadrat Abu Dharrr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) as saying, “He who separates himself a handbreadth from the community has cast off the rope of Islam from his neck.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

The Muslim Welfare state

Hadrat ‘Amr bin Murra (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he informed Hadrat Mu‘awiya (may Allah be pleased with him) that he had heard Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) say, "If anyone is put by Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) in authority over any matter concerning the Muslims and turns away from dealing with their need, destitution and poverty, Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) will turn away from dealing with his need, destitution and poverty.” Hadrat Mu‘awiya (may Allah be pleased with him) then appointed a man to deal with the needs of the people. (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)

Stand up against tyrants

Hadrat Abu Sa‘id (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) as saying, “An excellent jihad is when one speaks a true word in the presence of a tyrannical ruler.” (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)

Bribery condemned

Hadrat ‘Abdallah bin ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) said that Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) cursed the one who bribes and the one who takes bribes. (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)

Do not misappropriate

Hadrat Burayda (may Allah be pleased with him) reported the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) as saying: “When we appoint someone to an administrative post and provide him with an allowance, anything he takes beyond that is unlawful dealing”. (Abu Dawud)

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