It is said that the learning of courtesy is education itself. Courtesy is the mainstay of honorable behavior - with others and with the entire creation.
The Importance of Teaching
Courtesy in Education
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It is a Matter of Adab (Ar. good manners, good upbringing, refinement)
The Prophet’s example
Courtesy among a people is the hallmark of civilization. Courtesy is incumbent upon the Muslim man and woman. The reason is due to the exemplary courtesy shown by the Messenger to everyone he encountered, including his wives, family members, neighbors, strangers and animals. He would stop and listen to children if they wanted to speak with him, and he would ask them about their affairs. In his early years he became known as “the trustworthy” (Ar. al-amīn, because he could be counted on to fulfill any obligation that he took on.
The Prophet was sent to perfect good behavior
"Indeed (Muhammad) you are truly vast in character" (Qur'an: The Pen, 68.4)
"I have only been sent to perfect good behavior" (Hadith: transmitted by Ahmad)
Good behavior begins within the family.
“Good behavior begins at home” is a well-known aphorism that refers to the raising of children. Every child has to learn early on that there are others in the world besides itself, and that its will cannot always be predominant. These others include siblings, other children, parents, neighbors and relatives, eventually extending to all of society. The sine qua non is the courtesy that must exist between man and wife within the home, and similarly with relatives, friends and neighbors.
Laying down the limits
Children want and need limits. Limits make clear the distinction between acceptable behavior, and behavior that cannot be tolerated. Establishing limits serves as the first phase in what will hopefully develop into more than mere obedience, but rather into a sincere courtesy extended to people as well as the whole of creation. Learning the limits need gradually begin after the first year of life, a time when children become aware of their own will and begin to intentionally manipulate the reactions of parents and others.
To greet is obligatory behavior, not greeting is unacceptable. A child who greets someone interrupts his self-centered universe, thereby being required to recognize the existence of someone else, to talk to them and be spoken to.
The treatment of food
How a child treats food is critical in forming a courteous attitude toward others and the creation. Not hoarding food, playing with it mishandling it, throwing it away in anger, or demanding a second helping before the first one is finished must be learned. As must be accepting whatever is served, eating it calmly, chewing it thoroughly, and finishing it. Parents however, should not serve too large portions.
Consistency in the laying down of limits can be decisive as to success or failure. Because infantile behavior patterns are repetitive, and thereby predictable, corrective behavior must be applied with equal frequency. It is important not to relent in front of theatrical weeping, something which children learn to do in order to manipulate parental decisions.
Equally important is parental unity. Parents must stand together on decisions taken regarding the laying down of limits and the like. They must not succumb to a child's attempt to get from one parent what the other has refused. It is obvious, therefore, that parents for this very reason must never argue among themselves about a matter of concerning a child in front of the child. Disagreements are to be worked out in private.
Do not make a child's upbringing a quest for personal compensation
There are cases of parents being over-lenient with discipline due to a wish for compensation for some perceived lack of fulfillment in their own lives- often traced back to childhood. Over-leniency often takes the form of not applying limits when necessary and or insufficiently. This can result in a lack of self-discipline in adulthood, that then negatively affects achievement potential. ⇧
One can only wonder why a government would go to such extremes as to hack the personal communications of literally everyone. Although the people of the USA have a unique quality of innovation due to a deeply engrained belief that any obstacle can be overcome, any problem resolved, there is at the same time a deep-rooted fear of provision. This is probably based on the insecurity felt by the large wave of late nineteenth-century immigrants, who left everything behind to face an uncertain future in an unknown land. They soon discovered that "there is no free lunch" as per the expression. Has this fear become a paranoia within the US political establishment?
Debt-financing the American lifestyle
The American lifetyle of convenience, that is of having whatever one desires as soon as possible has never been enjoyed by all citizens, but certainly desired by most. Among those who have been fortunate, a favorite passtime is "going shopping", often to the point of addiction. Borrowing on one credit card in order to pay off the debt of another is common with this group.
Delivery by air; ground; next day; or within three business days
Such are the usual options when purchasing goods from a mail-order catalog or via the internet. So many options are hardly available in any other country. Now one of the things by which many Americans judge the quality of life is the number of available choices in any given situation. More choice in ice-cream flavors, tv channels, automobile interiors etc. is for many more important than quality of ingredients, quality of content or quality of design.
Is this idea of more choice equals more comfort founded on a neurotically-driven desire for relief from the deep-rooted fear of provision? Or is it simply the natural result of the belief that the US is a "promised land" in which such a way of life is to be expected. In any case the leadership intends to maintain this lifestyle at any cost.
NSA Eavesdropping Facilities in Geneva and Berlin
The recent revelation that the NSA has very powerful electronic eavesdropping facilities on the rooves of the US Mission to the UN in Geneva and the US Embassy in Berlin has caused an uproar. However, just one look at these two giant, ugly protuberances suggests to even a disinterested observer that something ominous is taking place within.
Swiss and German awareness
Is it plausible that no one within the political establishment of Switzerland and Germany was aware of these activities? Hardly. Anyone who thinks so might as well believe in Santa Claus. The moral fiber of the European governing establishment has been at an all-time low, mainly to its acquiescence -and sometimes open support of- America's brutal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention kowtowing to the US in its policy on Israel and Iran. Perhaps these recent revelations will at long last make for some movement within France and Germany - and maybe Italy and Spain- in that they re-evaluate their subservience to the US. Recent statements by China, Russia and Brazil about establishing an altenative reserve currency to the Dollar might give some impetus to the West-Europeans. Insha’ Allāh. The present East-European political establishments meanwhile, seem determined to carry on chasing the allure that is America.