An Exemplary True Muslim (Part 1)

The first piece of advice is to correct the belief in accordance with those which the scholars of (the credal Madhhab [1] called) Ahl as-sunnat [2] teach in their books. For, it is this Madhhab only that will be saved from Hell. May Allahu ta'ala give plenty of rewards for the work of those great people! Those scholars of the four Madhhabs (in matters pertaining to acts and practices of worship), who attained the grade of ijtihad [3], and the great scholars educated by them are called Ahl as-sunna scholars. After correcting the belief (iman), it is necessary to perform the acts of worship which are named and prescribed in (the books written on the Islamic science termed) fiqh, i.e. to do the commandments of the Shari'at [4] and to abstain from what it prohibits. One should perform salat five times daily without reluctance and slackness, and with utmost diligence concerning its principles and observing the (practical technicalities termed) ta'dil-i arkan [5]. A person in possession of money or property amounting to (the border of richness and termed) nisab should pay zakat [6]. Imam-i a'zam Abu Hanifa 'rahimahullahu ta'ala' says, "Also, it is necessary to pay the zakat of gold and silver which women use as ornaments."

The human life is too valuable to waste enjoying the (worldly pleasures and tastes which Islam tolerates and terms) mubahs [7]. Then afortiori it should not be squandered by committing (acts which Islam prohibits and terms) harams [8]. We must not busy ourselves with music, singing, musical instruments, or songs. We must not be deceived by the pleasure they give our nafs [9]. These are poisons mixed with honey and covered with sugar. We should avoid ghiybat (backbiting). Ghiybat is haram (prohibited). [Ghiybat means to talk about a Muslim's or a zimmi's secret fault behind his back. It is necessary to tell Muslims about the faults of the harbis, about the sins of those who commit these sins in public, about the evils of those who persecute Muslims and who deceive Muslims in buying and selling, thereby helping Muslims to beware of their harms, and to confute the slanders of those who talk and write about Islam wrongfully; these are not ghiybat].

[1] madhhab: all of what a profound 'alim of (especially) Fiqh (usually one of the four-Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanbali) or iman (one of the two, namely Ash-ari, Maturidi) communicated.
[2] Ahl as-Sunna (wa'l-Jama'a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.
[3] ijtihad: (meaning or conclusion drawn by a mujtahid by) endeavouring to understand the hidden meaning in an ayat or a hadith.
[4] Shari'at: (pl. of Shari'a) i) rules and commandments as a whole of the religion. ii) religion.
[5] ta'dil al-arkan: keeping the body motionless for a while after becoming calm during and between the various acts in salat.
[6] zakat: (fard duty of giving annually) certain amount of certain kinds of property to certain kinds of people, by which the remaining property becomes purified and blessed and the Muslim who gives it protects himself against being (called) a miser. See chapter 1 in Endless Bliss V.
[7] mubah: (act, thing) neither ordered nor prohibited; permitted.
[8] haram: an action, word or thought prohibited by Allahu ta'ala.
[9] nafs: a force in man which wants him to harm himself religiously; an-nafs al-ammara. A negative force within man prompting him to do evil. (Nafs-i ammara). Nafs is ammara by creation, that is, it always wishes evil and harmful deeds to be done. It is reluctant to obey the Shari'at. The nafs of a man who obeys the Shari'at and makes progress in the way of tasawwuf becomes mutmainna. It wishes to obey the Shari'at.