Tuesday , 24 January 2017

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Sociability in Islam

Being bound to live in a society, man has no escape from the company of people. Undoubtedly, man associates with other people to protect his own social status, to further his material and spiritual advancement day by day, and to solve the difficulties of his life better and with greater ease.
Thus he must behave with other people in such a way so as to attain endearment, to augment his social honor day by day, and to add to the number of his friends. If people see unfriendliness or bitterness in the behavior of others, their hearts will be filled with abomination and anguish.
Finally, a day will come when everyone will escape from the company of such a person and he will be hated and disfavored by others. He must then live all alone and as a stranger in his native land. This is one of the most bitter and most unpleasant examples of man’s misfortune.
This is what the holy religion of Islam has enjoined its followers to have good social behavior and has prescribed the best etiquettes and instructions in this respect. For example, Islam has ordered Muslims to greet when they meet one another and has considered the person who greets first to be superior to the other.
The Holy Prophet took the lead in greeting others. He even greeted women and children. If someone greeted the Holy Prophet, he would in turn greet him better.
The Quran states: “And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better (greeting) than it or return it…(4:86).”
God has also stated that man should show humbleness and modesty in his association with people and should respect others commensurate with their social status.
The Almighty God states: “And the servants of the Beneficent Allah are they who walk on the earth in humbleness…(25:63).”
The point that should be mentioned is that humbleness and modesty do not mean that man should degrade himself before the people and thus hurt his personality, rather these mean that man should not show off his superiorities and honors to the people and should not associate with himself other extraordinary privileges. One must not consider the people degraded and insignificant.
Similarly, respect to the people does not mean that one should respect others to an extent bordering on flattery and buttering, rather it means that one must value everyone according to his religious and social status. One should respect the dignitaries commensurate with their rank and status. One must also respect the others according to their observation of human qualities.
Again paying respect to people does not mean mean that man should associate with the people in a gathering in which all act against human prestige or carry out an action against religious principles.
It doesn’t mean that man should go with the stream for the fear of defamation either, for the people should, in fact, be respected on the basis of their human dignity and their religious and moral values, not because of their physique and stature. If a man loses his human dignity and religious value, there will be no reason for his being respected by the others.
The Holy Prophet stated: “One should not commit a sin before Allah for the sake of obeying others.”