On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
"Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good, or keep silent; and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his neighbour; and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his guest."
Related by Bukhari & Muslim
Written commentary compiled by volunteers utilizing Sh. Jamaal Diwan's audio commentary above and English translation of Ibn Daqiq Al-Id's commentary on The Forty Hadith of Imam al-Nawawi.
Some of the scholars have mentioned that all of the Good Manners can be derived from four Hadiths, and they mentioned amongst them this Hadith. The focus of this Hadith is actions; actions of controlling one’s speech, actions of being good to your neighbor and actions of being generous to your guests. All these actions lead to the improvement of Muslims’ behaviors and manners.
Actions Manifest the Belief
The Hadith starts off by the Prophet’s statement “Whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment,” then He (sas) resumes his Hadith talking about the Muslims’ action, which indicates that actions are part of our belief. It is not enough that we are Muslims or it is not enough that we say that we believe in Allah (swt) and in the Prophet (peace be upon him) but also this belief should manifest one’s actions. That is why the scholars said, “Belief is what settles in the heart and manifest itself on one’s limbs.” It is part of Islam to act on what you believe in and act upon the teachings of the prophet (peace be upon him) and the teachings of the Quran.
The Prophet (sas) put emphases on the importance of each action by repeating the statement “Whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment,” with every single action. It is a constant repetition and reminder that these actions should come out of one's belief.
Speak Good, or Keep Silent
To control our speech is a very important aspect in manifesting our belief also it is very important for our own spiritual development. If person wishes to say something, then if that speech is good, and will surely be rewarded for, then let him say it. And if not, then let him keep silent - whether it is apparent that the speech is Haram (forbidden) or Makrooh (disliked) or even Mubah (permissible). It is said that the permissible speech is to be left and avoided, and rather it is preferred to keep silent in such situations, out of fear that it may turn into something which is Haram or Makrooh.
Be Generous to your Neighbors; Be Generous to your Guests
This is something that has been neglected a lot of times especially by the Muslims in the West. The Prophet’s statement "let him be generous to his neighbor" and "let him be generous to his guest" contains instruction on the rights of the neighbors and on doing good to them and encouragement upon protecting the limbs from doing harm to them, and also Allah (swt) has advised us in His Noble Book with Ihsan (good behavior, kindness, good treatment) towards the neighbors. And the Prophet (sas) has said: "Jibreel (as) did not cease to advise me regarding the rights of the neighbor, until I began to think that they would also receive a part of the inheritance".
And hospitality is from Islam, and from the character of the Prophets and the Pious. And some of the scholars have made it obligatory, though the majority considers it to be from the noble, recommended traits of character.
- One should only speak what is good and true
- One must not under any circumstances speak evil or use filthy language
- One should be kind and generous to one’s neighbor
- One should treat one’s guest well
- If one is a true Muslim then one would do the above, else one’s [true] belief in Allah and the Last Day is in question