10 Thing REAL MEN Do!
Al-Khattab ibn Muallah al-Makhzumi rahimahullah’s great advice to his son:
“O my son, be conscious of Allah and be in his obedience. Stay away from His prohibitions by following the Sunnah and the milestones (on this path) until your faults are rectified and coolness is brought to your eyes. Truly, nothing is hidden to Allah.
I have written down some characteristics for you and I have drawn up a plan for you. If you memorise it, understand it and follow it, you will fill the eyes of kings, be followed by the poor and destitute, and you will always be hoped for; a superior who will always be needed and people shall desire what lies with you….
1. ‘Obey your father,
restrict your advice to him, open your heart to him and pay close attention to this. Beware of excessive speech, beware of laughing and joking too much, and beware of belittling your friends, because that does away with beauty and instead creates rancour and enmity. Always be dignified and composed but let not arrogance be described of you nor let haughtiness and pride be related from you. Meet both your friend and enemy with a face of goodness & pleasure and prevent harm without humiliating yourself for them or standing in awe of them.
2. Be moderate in all your affairs,
for truly the best of affairs lies in their moderation. Lessen your speech, spread the greeting of peace, walk with strength and purpose and do not drag your feet or tug on your clothes… Do not look here and there, turning about too much and do not stop by the groups of people that gather. Do not make the market the place of your hang out, nor take the shops as a place to sit and talk. Dont always argue, and do not debate with the foolish ones; if you speak, be concise, and if you joke then limit your jokes.
3. Let your sitting be one of calmness,
and let your speech be divided (i.e. let others speak too). Attribute the goodly words to those who said them to you without displaying amazement, and do not always ask for questions to be repeated. Dont speak too much about your admiration for your children, your maid, your horse or your sword, and beware of relaying your dreams because if you are amazed by them, the foolish will display desire towards that and they will make up dreams for you and then discredit your intelligence.
4. Do not teach your family
–and those other than them even more so- how to count your money, for if they see you possessing little, you will become lowly to them, and if they see you possessing much, you will not be able to satisfy or please them…
5. If you fall into argument,
then have respect and do not show ignorance. Steer clear from haste and think about your proofs and points of argument. If someone proves ignorant towards you, then forebear it, and only speak when your anger resides. Protect your honour and cast away excessiveness from yourself. If the ruler draws you close, then beware of him, and if he shows delight at your presence, then do not feel safe from him suddenly changing towards you.
6. If you promise,
fulfill your promise and if you speak, speak only the truth. Choose the best of words when you do speak and if you narrate something you heard, then attribute those words to their speaker. Truthfulness is a beauty and lies are a disgrace; a truth which brings about the downfall of a person has better outcomes than a lie which saves him. Imitate the people of virtue and understanding; and you shall soon be amongst them.
7. Know that every person is only where they place themselves ,
and every worker will have their work attributed to them. A man is known by his close companions; so beware of evil brethren because they betray those who accompany them and grieve the one who befriends them. Brethren are of two types: the one who preserves you at the time of calamities, and the one who befriends you at the time of ease and goodness. So preserve the friend who was there during the difficulties and abandon the one whos there only in times of ease for they are the worst of enemies.
8. And whoever follows his desires, they
shall cast him to his destruction. Do not be surprised by short-tempered men and do not belittle those of thin physique for a persons essence only lies in two components: his heart and his tongue.
9. Protect yourself from corruption,
even if you are in the lands of the enemy. Do not spread down your honour to one who is beneath you, and do not allow your wealth to mean more to you than your honour. Do not increase your speech such that you become burdensome to the people. Smile at those who sit with you and accept the one who comes to meet you.
10. O my son, the wife of a man is his means of serenity,
and there is no life worthwhile by contradicting her. So if you wish to marry a woman, then ask about her family, for it is the goodly roots that bear the sweetest fruits. And know that women are extremely different to one another just like the fingers on a hand aredifferent to each other.’”
“O my son, may Allah make you from those who follow the guidance, who achieve piety, who steer clear from the wrath of Allah and love His Pleasure. I place you in the care of Allah after Im gone, and He is in charge of your affairs. There is no strength or power except in Allah the Most High and Great, and may Allah send His peace and blessings upon the Prophet of Guidance, and upon his family.”
Collected by Imam Ibn Hibban al-Busti in Rawdathul Uqala Vol 3 # 22
Compiled by Muhammad Nabeel As-Seylani Al-Athari