(by Shaikh Usamah Khayyaat)
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allah as He should be feared. That is the best provision in this world and on the Day of Resurrection.
Brethren in faith! Man’s keenness to safeguard his religion and perfect his Islam and Imaan is a clear indication of his wisdom, uprightness of his way and his success.
The religion of a Muslim is his guide to happiness in this world and success and elevation in the Hereafter. This is because; this religion has come with clear signs and guidance that protects against error, misery and loss.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) who is compassionate with his Ummah has guided to a comprehensive decorum, a noble trait and commendable qualities by which one can perfect one’s Islam and attain the pleasure of Allah. He said, “It is a manifestation of perfecting one’s Islam to abandon what is not of one’s concern.” (At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibbaan)
According Ibn Abdul-Barr, this Hadith is one of the comprehensive words that bear great meanings but few words. This is a word that no one before the Prophet had said. The one who seeks to perfect his religion should shun sayings and deeds that are not of his concern, for Islam necessitates carrying out obligations and keeping away from forbidden things. If one then wants to perfect his religion he needs to shun things that are not of his concern like forbidden, ambiguous and detestable things, and even unneeded things.
All this does not concern a Muslim whose Islam is complete and who has attained the degree of perfection in acts of worship, as explained in ‘Umar’s narration concerning Angel Jibraeel question to the Prophet about Islam, Imaan and Ihsaan and the Prophet (SAW) answered, “It is to worship Allah as if you are seeing Him; and even though you do not see him He sees you.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
He who worships Allah and is conscious that he is close to his Lord or that his Lord is close to him, has perfected his Islam. It follows then that he should abandon all that is not of his concern and preoccupy himself with only what is of his concern like correct belief, complete Imaan and righteous deeds. He should also pursue the necessities of life.
On the opposite is someone who wastes precious time on what is not of his concern, and leads his mind away from what can benefits it or elevate it to the desired goal and honourable degrees, thereby suffering a great loss. It is an aspect of preoccupying oneself with what is not of one’s concern to study unnecessary things and abandon more important sciences that can reform one’s soul, purify it, benefit one’s brethren and elevate one’s nation. It is also a manifestation of preoccupying oneself with what is not of one’s concern not to guard one’s tongue against idle talk and pursuing what is not important or useful like other people’s affairs, their wealth and how they spend it; and searching for what they say or do in their homes and among members of their families. Preoccupying oneself with what is not of one’s concern also means talking on something one knows nothing about and is not a specialist on or to wade into matters one is not supposed to wade into, just because to amuse oneself, to kill the time, to be at forefront of gatherings or to attract people’s attention. This might also cause one to utter impermissible filthy words, like talking about other people’s secrets, accusing chaste and Muslim women of immorality, spreading evil words or spreading lies and unfounded rumors. This can lead to craving for the so-called analyses and presumptions, most of which are based on conjectures and delusions.
All the above should be avoided. They should not be relied on and they should not be acted upon. One of the things that help a Muslims to shun what is not of his concern is to remember that his obligations are more than his time and that the life is short. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) explained this when he said, “The life span of my followers is between sixty and seventy years. It is a few of them who exceed that.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Is it then logical to waste this life that is not enough to fulfill all obligations, on idle talks? Man will certainly be asked as to how he spent his life. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “The feet of man shall not slip on the day of Resurrection until he is asked of his life as to how he spent it, of his knowledge as to how he used it, of his wealth as to how he got and how he spent it and of his body as to used it.” (At-Tirmidhi)
No word does a man utter except that it written in the records of his deeds so that he may know that he would be held answerable for every word. Allah says:
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ
إِذْ يَتَلَقَّى الْمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ
مَا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ
“And indeed We have created man, and We know what his own self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge). (Remember!) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being), one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions). Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).” (Surah Qaf 50:16-18)
The apparent meaning of the verse, according to Ibn Katheer is that the angels write every word. This view is supported by Allah’s saying, “Not a word does he (or she) utter.”
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “One of you may utter a word of what pleases Allaah without knowing how excellent the word is and for which he will continue to attain Allah’s pleasure until the day he will meet Him. And someone among you may utter a word that displeases Allah without knowing how grievous the word is and on account of which he will continue to earn Allah’s wrath until the day he will meet Him.” (Malik, Ahmad)
Alqamah al-Lay thee (a sub-narrator of this Hadith) used to say, “Many times had this Hadith and the threat it implies prevented me from talking.”
As for loving to attract people’s attention, it is a detestable goal and a despicable trait. The one who is afflicted with it gains nothing but Allah’s wrath and a show of disgust from the Muslims.
So fear Allah, dear brethren, and follow the path of the beloved servants of Allah in shunning what is not of your concern in words and deeds in order to among the successful in the Paradise of bliss. Allah says,
الَّذِينَ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقَوْلَ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ أَحْسَنَهُ أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَدَاهُمُ اللَّهُ وَأُولَئِكَ هُمْ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
“Those are (the ones) whom Allah has guided and those are men of understanding.”
(Surah Az-Zumar 39:18)
Fellow Muslims! It is reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basri that he said, “A man’s preoccupation with what is not of his concern is a sign of Allah’s turning away from him.”
It is therefore incumbent upon the wise one who seeks Allah and the abode of the Hereafter to mind his own business, to guard his tongue and to understand his time. He should regard his utterances as parts of his deeds which he will account for. If he counts his words as part of his deeds, he will utter less in what is not of concern to him. This is because what is mostly meant, when admonishing someone to shun what is not of his concern, is that he should guard his tongue against idle talk. It is enough a harm for man that idle talk distracts him from doing all kinds of righteous deeds that can elevate him, better his life and give him happy ending.