"Taqwa on the Tube"

Taqwa on the Tube Part 3 Courtesy

“TAQWA on the TUBE”

Part 3: al-mudarat (‘Courtesy’)

Journeying on the London Underground exposes a person to a myriad of different peoples whether in their cultural heritage, faith or ethnic origins. The interchange of commuters and heavy flux of descending tourists on the capital is one major reason for such an experience. The believer will often encounter an array of different personalities from the outright witty and evident extrovert to the more boisterous and merry travelers. Some will make waspish comments, others will make polite conversation and yet others will annoy. In whatever case or scenario (unless it is a threat to life), the believer can remind himself of what should guide his behaviour when it comes to such encounters. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “…‘Courtesy to people is sadaqa[…] meaning that if a person is tested with having to mix, engage and live with other people, then he should be soft and gentle with them and not make them disincline and become averse to him. For this he will have a reward written for him…”[1]

مداراة الناس صدقة ومعناه أن من ابتلى بمخالطة الناس معاملة ومعاشرة فألان جانبه وتلطف ولم ينفرهم كتب له صدقة

Hence, there is a politeness and courtesy that guides the believer’s behaviour with fellow commuters in indulging them in conversation even if perhaps one is not at all in the mood. This is good behaviour (akhlaq) as well as a pleasing and attractive quality sought in the action by Allah (swt) and will be rewarded for it.

And with Allah is all success.


[1] For the narration, see Abu Nu`aym, Hilyat al-Awliya’, 8:270; Ibn Muflih, al-Adab al-Shar`iyya, 1:83 and al-Suyuti, al-Arba`in (#24) and idem, al-Jami` al-Saghir (#8170) and al-Zarqani, Mukhtasar al-Maqasid (#927). The commentary is from al-Munawi’s Fayd al-Qadir, 5:662.


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