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Reaping the Rewards of Respect

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Abu Ebrahim, Ismaa‘eel bin Ahmad, was the ruler of Khuraasaan. One day, while in Samarqand, he held a session in which he availed himself for the general people to come to him and present their problems and difficulties to him, asking for his assistance. During this session, his brother, Ishaaq, was seated beside him. After some time, the renowned Faqeeh and ‘Aalim, Abu ‘Abdillah, Muhammad bin Nasr (rahimahullah), entered. Out of respect for him, the ruler, Ismaa‘eel bin Ahmad, stood.

After the ‘Aalim had departed, Ishaaq began to reprimand his brother saying, “You are the ruler of Khuraasaan. Why do you then stand when your subject enters? (By behaving in this manner,) you will lose (respect and) authority!”

That night, when Ismaa‘eel bin Ahmad went to sleep, he had a dream in which he saw that he and his brother were standing before Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) came forward and held Ismaa‘eel by his upper arm and said, “O Ismaa‘eel! Your rule and the rule of your progeny will continue, on account of the honour and respect that you showed to Muhammad bin Nasr (rahimahullah).”

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then turned to Ishaaq in the dream and said, “His rule and the rule of his progeny will end on account of the disregard that he showed to Muhammad bin Nasr (rahimahullah).”

(Al-Kaamil fit Taareekh vol. 4, pg. 459)

Lessons:

1. Adab (respect) is an integral element of Islam. Hence, our Deen teaches us to respect our ‘Ulama, parents, seniors, elders, etc. There were numerous occasions when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) practically taught the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) the importance of respect for their seniors (such as respect for Sayyiduna Abu Bakr [radhiyallahu ‘anhu], as he was the most senior of all the Sahaabah [radhiyallahu ‘anhum]). Thus, we must ensure that we show due respect to all who are deserving of respect.

2. When a person shows respect to Islam, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), the ‘Ulama, seniors, etc. then the blessing of this respect is so immense that it is not enjoyed by him alone. Rather, it will be enjoyed by his progeny after him as well.