Recognizing the Bounds of Our Mannerisms

“…Mannerisms have limits. When these limits are crossed, this is transgression. When they are fallen short of, this is deficiency and disgrace.

Anger has a limit: and it is to be bold while being above having negative and deficient traits, and this is the perfect form of anger. If this limit is exceeded, you become a transgressor. If you fall short of it, you will be a coward and will not be able to raise yourself above negative traits.

Covetousness has a limit: it is to take all you need from this world and what it has to offer you. When you fall short of this limit, it becomes disgrace and wastefulness. When you exceed this limit, you end up wanting what you shouldn’t want.

Envy has a limit: and it is to compete in becoming perfect and to excel such that your rival is unable to excel over you. When this limit is exceeded, you transgress and oppress in which you wish that the good things are taken away from the one you envy and are keen to harm him. When you fall short of this limit, you become low, weak in aspiration, and you belittle yourself. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “There should be no envy except in regards to two things: a man who was granted wealth by Allah and he was able to spend it for the sake of the truth, and a man who was granted wisdom by Allah and he takes it and teaches it to the people.” So, this is an envy of competition, where the envious one pushes himself to be like the one he envies without wishing that he is deprived of the good things that are with him.

Sexual desire has a limit: and it is to relax the heart and mind from the exhaustion of worship, to maintain moral excellence, and to use the fulfillment of these desires to help you in this. When you exceed this limit, you fall into being overly lustful, and you come to resemble animals. When you fall short of this limit and don’t use this time to obtain excellence and virtue, this becomes weakness, inability, and disgrace.

Relaxation has a limit: and it is to collect yourself and your strength to prepare for worship and perfection of the self, and to save this so that you don’t become weak or tired. When you exceed this limit, this becomes laziness and waste, and you end up missing out on so many things that could benefit you. When you fall short of this limit, you end up hurting and weakening your energy, and it might even be cut off from you like a farmer who has no land to plow or crops to pick.

Generosity has a limit between two extremes:
and whenever this limit is exceeded, this becomes wastefulness and extravagance. When you fall short of this limit, you become cheap and miserly.

Bravery has a limit: and when you cross this limit, you become reckless. When you fall short of this limit, you become a coward. This limit is that you put yourself forth when the time is right to do so and that you hold yourself back when the time is right to do so, just like Mu’awiyah said to ‘Amr bin al-’As: “I don’t know whether you’re brave or cowardly! You go forth to the point that I say you’re the bravest person, and then you stay back to the point that I say you’re the most cowardly person!” So, he replied:

I am brave if I am guaranteed the chance * If I don’t have the chance, I am a coward…

Protective jealousy has a limit: and if you exceed this limit, you fall into accusation and suspicion of the innocent. If you fall short of this limit, you fall into heedlessness and lack of manhood.Humility has a limit: and if it is crossed, this becomes humiliation and disgrace. If you fall short of it, you deviate to arrogance and false pride.

Honor has a limit: and if you exceed it, you fall into arrogance and blameworthy traits. If you fall short of it, you deviate to humiliation and disgrace.

The basic principle in all this is to choose the path of moderation between excess and negligence. This is what all of the benefits of this world and the next are built upon. In fact, you can benefit your body in no other way, because when some of your activities are done with lack of moderation and either exceed or fall short of it, your body’s health and energy begin to decline accordingly. Likewise, natural activities such as sleeping, staying awake, eating, drinking, having intercourse, playing sports, spending time alone, spending time with others, etc. – if these are all done moderately between the two blameworthy extremes, this is justice. If you deviate to either extreme, this is a sign of deficiency and will lead to even more deficiency.

This knowledge of proper limits is from the best types of knowledge, especially the limits of what is commanded and prohibited. The most knowledgeable people are those who know the most about these limits, such that they don’t put in them what doesn’t belong and don’t remove from them what does belong. Allah Said: {“The bedouins are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more likely to be ignorant of the limits that Allah has revealed to His Messenger…”} [at-Tawbah; 97]

So, the people who are most just are those who recognize by way of knowledge and action the legislated limits in their manners and deeds, and Allah is the source of success…”

[‘al-Fawa’id’; p. 196-199]

4 Responses to “Recognizing the Bounds of Our Mannerisms”

  1. أسرى المسلمين Says:

    جزاكم الله خيرا

    Great advice.

  2. Ibrahim AbdulWahid Says:

    as-salamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    Bismillahi

    Akhi Abu Sabaya could you please E-Mail me insha’Allah. I just want to find out ways to help support insha’Allah. As you have been an inspiration and May Allah Aza wa Jal bless you for all you have done and make any up coming fitan easy Ameen.

  3. ‘Alayk as-Salam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh;

    Check your inbox, bro.

  4. zanzabeel Says:

    Sabhan Allah , this is excellent and also scarey ,Allah help us not to fall short or overstep the limits this is so hard to do you have to be almost perfect and learn to have complete control over your emotions, Sabhan Allah we are full of faults may Allah forgive us ,
    how close is man to every imperfection and how far is Allah swt) from every imperfection, may Allah most Gracious have mercy on us all

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