How to Be a Gentleman: Respect
The first step towards becoming a gentleman is learning how to give respect. Ultimately, respect comes from love – when one truly respects from the bottom of their heart, it transforms into love. There can be no love without respect and no respect without love. That is why it is of utmost importance that one shows respect and love to Allah and what He likes first and foremost. And who does Allah love the Most? His Most Beloved of entire creation: our Prophet (infinite peace and blessings be upon him). Showing respect and love to our Prophet (ﷺ) is a sign of purity and goodness existing within one’s soul.
Whosoever obeys the Messenger, indeed he has obeyed Allah” (Surah An-Nisa’, 4:80). Jafar, the son of Muhammad As-Sadiq said, “Allah was aware that His creation would be incapable of pure obedience to Him so He informed us in this order – the Messenger, then Allah – so it would be realized one would never be able to aspire to the achievement of pure obedience to Him. Therefore between Himself He placed a human, adorning him with His own attributes of the Kind and Merciful.“
True love and respect for Allah lies in following Rasulullah ﷺ. But how does one follow him? This is done by devoting oneself to learning and following Rasulullah ﷺ in all matters of life, from the way he prayed, to the way he treated family members, his friends, and even his enemies. In all actions he proved himself to be the epitome of perfection of love, kindness, and mercy. So much so that Allah mentions this in the Book of Truth (Qur’an): We have not sent you except as a mercy to all the worlds” (Surah Al-Anbiya’, 21:107).
The Rahmatil-lil-Alameen (Mercy For All Worlds) is ordered by Allah to teach people to be kind and respectful to their parents. If one never learns how to respect them properly, one will never receive respect from others. Respect of parents is such an important matter that disrespecting them or disobeying them is worse than fornication, drinking wine, theft, or lying. It is even equated to shirk (associating partners with Allah). The one who has disobeyed them wrongfully will not be able to enter Jannah.
May Allah protect us from incurring His wrath. May He forgive us for mistakes we have done. May He increase us in our abilities to respect, love, and serve our parents and earn their pleasure; thereby, earning His Pleasure. Ameen.