In the Name of Allaah…
The great imam of the early Muslims, Aboo Bakr Ayyoob as-Sikhtiyaanee (d.131) – may Allaah have mercy on him – , was known for his great knowledge, personal piety, and outstanding manners.
One of his students and an imam in his own right, Hammaad ibn Zayd (d.179), said about him:
مَا رَأَيْتُ رَجُلاً قَطُّ أَشَدَّ تَبُسُّماً فِي وَجُوْهِ الرِّجَالِ مِنْ أَيُّوْبَ
I have not seen a man dedicated to smiling in the faces of the people more than Ayyoob!
From the completeness of a Muslim’s character is his pleasant attitude around the Muslims, his smile, positivity, and cheerfulness. Ayyoob as-Sikhtiyaanee was exemplary in this.
Hammaad also said about him:
أَيُّوْبُ عِنْدِي أَفْضَلُ مَنْ جَالَستُهُ، وَأَشَدُّهم اتِّبَاعاً لِلسُّنَّةِ
To me, Ayyoob was the best person I ever sat with and the most devout of them in following the Sunnah!
From the Sunnah is balance, and Ayyoob was balanced. This great imam would not waste his smile on the people of deviation. The same jovial and pleasant attitude would turn to contempt and disdain at the mention of innovators. One of them would try to open a discussion with him, saying, “O Abaa Bakr, let me ask you about just one word?”
He would say:
وَلاَ نِصْفِ كَلِمَةٍ وَلاَ نِصْفِ كَلِمَةٍ
Not even half a word, not even half a word!
All of the previous quotes can be found in his biography in the book, Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa’ (6/15-23) of ath-Thahabee.
This is the balance of Islaam. Muslims are not to smile in the faces of those who corrupt and polute the teachings of the Religion. Islaam is to love and hate for the sake of Allaah. Just as open manifestations of love for Allaah’s sake, like smiling, kind words, and support are legislated for those who deserve it, so is hatred for Allaah’s sake, including showing outward signs of anger and displeasure and parting company, in the appropriate situations.
It is reported that Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh (d.187) said:
مَن تبسَّم في وجهِ مبتدعٍ فقد استخفَّ بما أَنزل الله عزَّ وجلَّ على محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم
Whoever smiles in the face of an innovator has made light of what Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has sent down to Muhammad, may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace.
Source: Sharh as-Sunnah (p.128) of al-Barbahaaree
So a balanced Muslim smiles and shows outward signs of love and respect for those who deserve it, just as he frowns for Allaah’s sake, and shows outward signs of hatred and contempt for those who deserve it.
And Allaah knows best.
Writted by: Moosaa Richardson