Respect is to treat someone or something with great importance There are many ways by which one can show respect to someone. For example:
1) If we admire or look to someone, it means that we are being respectful.
2) If we are obedient to someone, it means that were being respectful.
3) If we are grateful (thankful) to someone, it means that we are being respectful.
4) If we do not utter unkind words. For example, we do not say hurtful things to anyone, we do not back-answer, nor look for faults for others, it means that we are being respectful.
Showing respect is a form of good behaviour.
TO WHOM DO WE SHOW RESPECT?
We must show respect to: –
- Allah (The Exalted).
- Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
- Our parents
- Our teachers
- Other people
- Allah’s creation (this includes everything).
- RESPECT FOR ALLAH
Allah (The Exalted) is our Creator and He is most important in our lives. The best way to show respect to Allah is by being grateful to Him and Obeying all his commands. These commands are found in the Qur’aan. If a Muslim has good behaviour, other people will like and respect him or her. Some people then want to follow his or her example. Those people who obey and respect Allah will find peace in this world and the hereafter. We also show respect to Allah by saying “Subhaa nahuwa Ta’aalaa” whenever we read or mention his Name. “Subhaa nahuwa Ta’aalaa” means: “Glory to Him and the most Exalted” (Honoured or praised).
- RESPECT FOR OUR BELOVED PROPHET (MAY ALLAH BLESS HIM AND GRANT HIM PEACE)
Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the perfect example for us to follow. For 23 years he went through hardship and suffering to bring the religion of Islam to us. Therefore, it is important that we must be thankful to Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). We show respect to Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) by following and practicing his teachings in our daily lives. We show respect to the Prophet by saying –
“Sallallaahu Alayhi Wassallam” whenever we read or mention his name.
“Sallallaahu Alayhi Wassallam” means “May Allah grant peace and blessings upon him.”
Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is so important that Allah commands us to greet and send blessings upon him in surah Ahzaab, surah 33 verse 56.
“O you who believe send your blessings upon him and greet him with all respect.”
- Respect for parents
After showing respect to Allah and his Messenger, a Muslim must be respectful to his parents. We must be polite, helpful and obedient to our parents at all times. If we are rude and disobedient to our parents, it means that we do not have respect for them. Our parents cared for us from the time you were born and still care for us. They feed, clothe, and send to school and the Mosque. When they grow old, parents need loving care from their children, just as they gave loving care to us when we were small.
Allah is pleased with the child whose parents are pleased with him and is not pleased with the child whose parents are displeased with Him.
Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said… “He who wishes to enter Paradise must please his father and mother”
Therefore, we must always make this dua for our parents. It is in the holy Quran in Surah Israa, Surah 17 Verse 24-
“My lord have mercy upon my parents as they sustained me in childhood.”
- Respect for teachers
Just as we show respect to our parent, we must also show respect to the teachers. Teachers are very important people. They teach as many things for example, how to behave, so that Allah will be pleased with us. Therefore, we should be grateful to other teachers for the knowledge that we receive from them. Some of the ways that we can show respect to other teachers are…
- A) By being obedient to them and praying for them.
- B) To pay full attention to the lessons that they teach us.
- C) Not to talk loudly to them, or others in their presence.
- D) We should not only respect them when we are at school or at mosque but at all times and forever.
Allah grants success to people who respect their teachers.
- Respect to ourselves.
Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said…
“Your body has a right over you.” This means that we have to look after our bodies.
For example, when a car is not performing at its best, it needs to go to a garage for a tune up. For us to be well tuned we have to keep our bodies healthy.
We can do this by having…
- Proper eating and drinking habits.
- Plenty of exercise.
- Proper sleep and rest.
- Good hygiene and cleanliness habits.
- Respect for others.
In Islam, all people are created equal since all of us are the children of Sayyiduna Sayyidina Adam. Allah does not love a person more because he has a better home, or better clothes or is better looking than others. He loves us only for the things that we do to please him. It is important that we show respect to our elders, younger brothers and sisters, or servants and even people who belong to other religion. Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said…
“He is not one of us who does not sure Kindness to his young ones and respect to our elder ones”
- A) Elders
We should always remember that our elders have live longer than us and therefore have more understanding and knowledge than us. We must learn from our elders. Always be polite and respect them. It is the duty of the younger people to respect their elders and it is the duty of the elders to respect the young and try to treat them with love and affection.
- B) Brothers and sisters
As Muslims we should always show respect to our brothers and sisters even if they are younger than us. This will please our parents and most importantly Allah. We should treat them the way we would like to be treated. Very often brothers and sisters fight amongst themselves. We must solve these problems calmly and guide each other with love and care.
- C) Workers
Some people have Muslim or Non-Muslim workers in their homes or work. It is our duty to treat people that work for us with respect. Do not forget that some workers are older than us and our parents of children like us. We must meet them and be polite. Some of our parents have people working with them in their shops, offices or factories and is it is proper for us to show respect to them.
- D) People who belong to other Religions.
We must also respect people who follow other religions. If we make fun of their religion, they in return will mock Islam, Allah and the Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). In fact, we must behave so respectfully, that they will want to know more about Islam, and may even become Muslims.
- Respect for Allah’s creation.
There are many kinds of animals. Compared to others, some are big and strong, whilst others are weak and small. It is our duty to respect and take care of them and do not harm them. Allah has allowed some of these animals to be used for food and for work for example horses and camels for riding, sheep, goats and cattle for food. Although we are allowed to use certain animals, we must not be cruel to them. We must keep them clean and feed them properly. Here is a story of how Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) showed respect.
Respect for elders…
One day, our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was staying at a place called Ja’ranah. He snorted many camels and goats and asked the people living in and around Ja’ranah to come and collect the meat. While our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was sitting and watching the people taking the meat, an elderly lady entered the tent. Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was delighted to see her and immediately stood up and greeted her with great respect. He then spread his Shawl. For her to sit on and spoke to her very politely. The elderly lady was Sayyidina Halima, his childhood nurse.
Remember: We must not only show respect to people. It is also important to show respect to…
- The Quran, hadith and other books of learning.
- Public places, mosques, schools, parks, beaches, hospital, etc.
- Environment in which we live – the garden (plants and trees), backyard, your bedroom, etc.
- Our Madrasah. E. Food and water.