Allah (Azzawajal) honoured all children of Adam (AS):
Wa laqad karamna bani Adam
We honored all children of Adam.
Who are you to look down at other human beings? Allah (Azzawajal) says the people that are special to Allah (Azzawajal); they have humility when they walk:
Yamshoona AAala al-ardi hawna (Surat al-Furqan: 63)
But then how do you know if you are humble? How can you check? Is there a litmus test? Yes, there is a test. And Allah (Azzawajal) gives us the test in the Ayah. If you are asking yourself, and I am asking myself: “Am I humble, or am I arrogant?” How would I know? Well here is the test:
Wa Iza Khataba humul jahiloona, qaloo salaman
When people who have no control over their emotions talk to them, when idiots talk to them; when obnoxious people talk to them; when arrogant people talk to them; when ignorant people talk to them; when angry people talk to them; when insulting people, disrespectful people talk to them…when somebody insults you, it hurts. When somebody talks to you badly, it hurts. But Allah (Azzawajal) calls all those people Jahiloon. Jahil actually in Arabic means the opposite of Akhil. Jahil means someone who has no control over their emotions. A bad word comes into their mind and it comes out of their mouths. They don’t think about it.
So you are driving in the streets of Qatar, and some guy cuts you off, and you honk your horn, and he stops his car. And he gets out of his car and he “….” at you!
And you are like, “Oh yeah? I’m going to show you.”
And you start responding back…
Wa Iza Khataba humul jahiloona, qaloo salama
“Hey Salaam man. Assalaam u Alaikum! Okay, sorry! You are right; I’m wrong. Go. Go”
You have to learn to do that. And if you can’t do that, then you are disqualified from category number one. If you want to be in category in number one and you will.
Allah (Azzawajal) does not say, if you see ignorant people talking to you, or if obnoxious people address you. Allah (Azzawajal) says when.
I talked to you about the difference between if and when yesterday. When means it will happen; if means it might happen. Allah says that there is no possibility or percentage it might happen to you or it might not happen to you. It will happen to you. It happens to me all the time.
I was at a masjid – not over here in America. I was at a masjid talking to some board members about a program I wanted to do. A brother walked in and heard I wanted to teach Arabic (he was an Arab fellow or Egyptian fellow, and he heard I wanted to teach Arabic).
And he’s like, “You, teach Arabic?”
I was like, “Yeah, a little bit.”
And he said, “Where are you from?”
I said, “Pakistan.”
And he said “Oh Yeah… “
And he took out a napkin and said, ”Write the alphabet for me.”
So I wrote down the English alphabet for him.
And he said “You see! You don’t know Arabic.”
I was like “Yeah, you are right; I’m sorry.”
And then he started teaching me the alphabet for thirty minutes. I sat there and learned the alphabet with him. And then he had to go and left. And that night, at the same masjid, they asked me to give a lecture on “The Importance of Learning Arabic.” If you go on YouTube and search ”How to learn Arabic” and “Why learn Arabic”/Why Study Arabic?” That lecture was at that Masjid and that guy was in the first row smiling at me the whole time.
But he comes to me and says “You Pakistani, you are going to teach Arabic?”
I’m going, “Oh yeah…. I don’t know…hey, hey! It’s okay; it’s alright, I don’t know anything.”
Don’t get worked up; don’t get all full of yourself. If people speak to you in that way, it is okay; they have a right. You know. And you don’t know why people speak to you in this way, there may be some other things going on in their life, you know? And they come to you and let their anger out on you. You have to be kind of merciful and courteous to people.
There were women there were men that came to Rasullullah (saw) and started yelling at him from the Bedouin. They were Muslim. The prophet (saw) didn’t get upset; he just calmed them down. The sahabah would have killed them. He (saw) just said “Relax. Peace.” This is a Sunnah of the prophet (saw). When people say things which make you angry, you have just got to calm down.
And by the way guys – the men over here – your wife will say a lot of things that make you angry, boy. And when you hear that, you don’t say that she’s jahil, but you do say “Salaam.” Just be quiet. Don’t talk back.
Sister’s upstairs ladies upstairs, you will hear your husband say things which will boil your blood. Oh my god… you will get angry! And Allah (Azzawajal) has given you a special power. I have three sisters. I have a wife. And I have four daughters. I know girls have special powers, and with their super powers they can answer you in a way which will stab you in the heart. Oh my god, they have the most amazing answers, and you’ll be like ”Arrggghh!”
But you, sisters, when your husband is out of control and he is becoming too emotional or too angry. Shhhhhh! Salaam!
And change the subject.
And Qaloo Salaman does not mean that Allah (Azzawajal) says that you have to say Salaaman.
Somebody’s fighting and you go “Salaaman, salaaman, saalaman!” Not like that, that is not what it means. Let me tell you what Salaaman means. Salaaman could be a haal here in grammar. You know what that means: they speak calmly. They don’t just say the word salaam, they speak calmly, they speak peacefully, they speak in a way which disarms and doesn’t make you angry.
And so for example, one time I was sleeping in the masjid, I was in ithakaaf. And you know when you are sleeping you don’t know which way you turn. So I’m sleeping and I woke up because someone kicked me in the stomach! It was a really old gentleman in our community. He was an Afghani fellow and he was also making ithikaaf. He didn’t speak any English or any Arabic; he spoke Pushto only. And he kicked me in the stomach. I woke up and gave him a quizzical look, and he goes “Quran”! My back was towards the bookshelf where the mas’haf was. He said you can’t have your back towards the Quran, so he kicks me in the stomach. Now I could get up and say, “Come on! You could have woken me up nicely. I’m fasting and you kicked me in the stomach.” But you know what I did? I hung out with him afterwards; I sat down with him and said “Could I recite Quran to you so you could correct my Quran. We spoke in sign language and I recited Quran to him, and we just hung out the whole time.
You have to deal with people peacefully; you have to calm down when you deal with people. You will meet all kinds of people, all kinds of temperaments.
Some of you are stuck with a boss, who Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon, like he’s always angry. He wakes up angry, he’s eating and he’s angry, he’s angry while he’s smiling. You have that kind of boss, but you know what, you have to deal with that peacefully. Some of you are teachers and you have students that make you angry. You have got to calm down. You can’t get angry in the classroom.
Rasullulah (saw) is told and we were told: Inni Booihthun mualimah. He said he was sent as a teacher. He (saw) never got angry, never. His servant (Zaid Ibn Harith) is telling us he lived with him and he never said ‘Why did you do this?” That’s not his employee; that was his slave.
So Qaloo Salaman is very important.
And why is it important? Because the next time you have to force yourself to be humble and to calm things down, and not respond in anger. Then you can tell yourself, you are doing this because you want to be from ibaadur rahman.
Wa Iza Khataba humul jahiloona qaloo salama
This is category number one: people who can control their anger; people who can control their pride, who can let go of their ego and diffuse a situation, even if they are right, they can say it’s not worth it, it’s not worth the fight.
I’ll tell you an interesting story about Imam Abu Hanifa (Rahimullah). Imam Abu Hanifa, obviously a great fakih of his time and then after; people are coming to him for fattawa all the time. And his mother had a question, and she asked a question, and he told her the answer and she said you don’t know anything. Your mother can say that to you, right? She said “I’m going to ask that one over there.” And that guy she wanted to ask was a Daee, he wasn’t an Alim but a Daee; a Daee means you can give people reminders, he can tell people about Taqwa, but he doesn’t know about fiqh or sharia or anything like that.
So his mother goes and asks him, and he says let me do some research I’ll get back to you. And he comes back to whom? Imam Abu Hanifa. And he says, “Hey your mom came over and she had a question.” Imam Abu Hanifa says “Here’s the answer, but don’t say I told you” Right?
Sometimes you will have people from your own family who don’t like hearing from you. Maybe you became closer to the Deen, but they are not that close to the Deen, and that makes you angry. It makes you angry that some women in your family don’t wear Hijab. It makes you angry some young men in your family don’t pray. You get mad at them. No! Don’t get angry at them. Speak with them peacefully, speak with them calmly. Your anger will only take them further away from the Deen, they won’t bring them closer. You have to have a soft heart towards those who are not there yet. You were not praying five times a day. There was a time you weren’t like that. If somebody spoke to you like that, would you start praying or go further away? Allah (Azzawajal) softened your heart, so you wait until Allah (Azzawajal) softens theirs. And you have to be softer people.
I remind people that Allah (Azzawajal) told Musa (AH) to be nice to Firaun. To be nice to Firaun…who tried to kill Musa (saw) just when he was just a baby? Firaun killed thousands of babies every year. He called himself God. There are so many reasons to hate Firaun and Allah (Azzawajal) says when you go to him
waqoo lalahu kowlan layyinah
Be nice to him. If you have to be nice to Firaun, what about your wife? What about your husband? What about your children? What about your cousins, your brother, your uncle? These are the people that make us angry; these are the people… Family makes you really angry, I’m telling you. I know siblings make you angry. And these are the people that deserve the most, soft response from us. We have to change the way we behave with them.
This is qaloo salaman; this is category number one.