Seclusion and its various virtues

Seclusion comprises various virtues, namely:

1. Dedication to worship: Being in solitude, man enjoys ample time to worship Allaah. A wise man was once asked, “Where has seclusion lead you?” He replied, “to the Almighty.” In that way, if solitude renders man fully observant of the Almighty, he should dedicate himself thereto.

2. Getting away from sins: Solitude wards man against various sins that is committed when accompanying people. They include:

a. Backbiting: listening to people’s unkind remarks abour any one’s honor and so on and forth while tacitly approving their views. You should share Allaah’s wrath upon them. If you keep silent, your share may increase their malice. If you reform them, they dislike you and nurture their offence.

b. Commanding the good and forbidding the evil: Dealing with people, you may encounter sins. If you keep silent, you disobey Allaah. Forbidding them to so, you may be harmed. Thus, solitude spares you all these troubles.

c. Hypocrisy: This is the most implacable malady. Dealing with people starts with longing for them.This strongly involves lying. Once an Early Muslim was asked, “How are you today”? He replied, “I am weak and sinful, receiving my subsistence and waiting for my term.”

Thus, if your inquiry after your brother is not motivated by intimacy and affection, it is dissemblance and hypocrisy. An inquiry may also hide malice and rancor. In that way solitude frees you from all these anxieties.

d. Being inadvertently imbued by their bad manners. This illness is so insidious that it is not easily detectable. An obscene person is scarcely accompanied for a long time. Comparing yourself before sitting with an obscene person and after,  you will sense the difference in condemning his viles. Habituation leads to indifference. In that way, seeing others committing grave sins heedlessly, minor sins unfortunately become insignificant. Likewise, considering early Muslim’s worship and renunciation of worldly pleasure, one feels his inferiority. Hence, we sound the real meaning of the dictum saying, “Remembrance of righteous persons shower us with mercy”. The above mentioned fact can virtually be supported by giving this example, i.e. seeing someone eating during the day of Ramadaan, Muslims become strongly irritated and annoyed so much that they may think of his being an unbeliever. However, they do not do the same as the man who postpones performing Salah, although neglecting even one time of prayer may turn him an unbeliever. The sole reason behind this attitude is the fact prayers are performed five times a day. The same applies to a jurist wearing silk or gold, and seeing him backbiting others, which is graver than putting on silk clothes and wearing gold rings. Accordingly, you should beware of these subtleties. Beware of keeping company  with people, since they may enchance your desire for worldly pleasures and negligence of the Hereafter. They may also undermine your inclination towards obedience: thus rendering disobedience more acceptable. In that way, finding a group remembering Allah, stick to them.

3. Freeing oneself from temptation and dissension: It is also protects man’s religion. Describing temptations, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) said,

Seeing that people’s promises become confused and their trust diminished, being like this – then he interlocked his fingers. Whereupon a man asked, “What should I do?” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) replied, “Stay at your home, have control over your tongue, do the good and give up the evil, stick to the knowledgeable and shun the common people.”(reported by: Abu Dawud)

4. Saving oneself from the evils of humans: People may harm you through backbiting, distrust and suspicion. Dealing with people, you meet envy, enmity and so on and so forth. `Umar ibn Al-Khataab (radiallaahu `anhu)  remarked, “Solitude frees you from evil friends.” Ibrahim ibn Adham, “Never approach whatever you do not know.” A man asked his friend to company him in Hajj, he replied, “Let us rather enjoy Allah’s shield, lest we may find in one another what saws hatred amongst us.”

5. To avoid people’s greed as well as yours: As for the former, satisfying all humans is untenable. It is said, ‘satisfying none, you please none’. As for yours, meditating over worldly gaieties enhances your longing therefore;thus moving your greed. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) said,

“Look at those who stand at a lower level than you but don’t look at those who stand at a higher level than you, for this would make the favors (conferred upon you by Allaah) insignificant (in your eyes).” (reported by Muslim)

The same meaning is highlighted by the Almighty saying,

“Nor strain your eyes in longing for the things we have given for enjoyment to parties of them, the splendor of the life of this world” {Surah Taha:131}

6. Getting rid of unpleasant and foolish persons: You are not also troubled by persons of bad manners. If harmed by such person, ones becomes ready to backbite them: thus undermining one’s religion.


[By: Imaam ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee|Exceprts From: Mukhtasar Minhaaj al-Qasidin “Towards the Hereafter”|Pages: 119-122]

About Umm Abdulazeez

"I am a Muslim who is upon the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and upon the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih (Pious Predecessors). And that can be said in short by saying, 'I am a Salafee' " [Shaykh Al-Albaanee رحمه الله] ________ Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed knowledge should only be learned for the purpose of fearing Allaah. Indeed, knowledge has been given virtue over other than it because with it Allaah is feared.” [Jaam'i Bayaan al-'Ilm wa Fadlihi by Imaam Ibn Abdil-Barr (rahimahullaah)]
This entry was posted in Adab|Manners, Ahkira|Hereafter, Backbitting|Gheebah, Brotherhood, Character, Deeds, Evil, Hypocrite, Ibadaah|Worship, Ibn Qudama Al-Maqdisi [Abdullaah bin Muhammad bin Qudaamah bin Miqdaam (541-620ah)], Sins. Bookmark the permalink.

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