The Shariat consists of five branches or parts:
Aqaa-id, Amaal, Muamalaat, Akhlaaq, Husn-e-Muasharat.
AQAA-ID (Beliefs), e.g. beliefs in the Oneness of Allah Ta’ala and the Risaalat (Prophethood) of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
A’MAAL (Righteous deeds) e.g. Salaat, Saum.
MUAMALAAT (Transactions Contracts) e.g. trade and commerce.
AKHLAAQ (Moral character) e.g. humility, generosity, etc.
HUSN-E-MUASHARAT (Beautiful social conduct), i.e. good relationship with people, e.g. abstention from acts which cause others inconvenience such as disturbing a person in his sleep.
The above mentioned five departments are collectively known as the Shariat. It is essential for Muslims to adopt all five departments of the Shariat. But, in the present age people have abbreviated the Shariat. Some have taken only Aqaa-id, believing that only the proclamation of La ilaaha il lallaahu suffices for immediate entry into Jannat. Such persons, while they believe Salaat, Saum, etc. are Fardh, they do not obtain the good fortune of practically executing these acts of worship. Others again, along with Aqaaid observe Salaat, Saum, etc., as well. However, they have discarded Muamalaat. In their transactional dealings they are not concerned with the Deen, whether their acts are lawful or not. They are indifferent to the question of halaal and haraam regarding their earnings and dealings. Then there are those who maintain their Muamalaat on a healthy footing, but are unconcerned with the reformation of their moral character. Those who are concerned about Akhlaaq are exceptionally few. In fact there are even such persons who spend considerable time to reform others while others are inconvenienced and annoyed by their behaviour and attitude. They remain unaware of the difficulty they are causing others by their actions and behaviour. They are completely uncaring about their own detestable condition. There are numerous such persons who will not venture to offer Salaam to a poor Muslim along tne road. On the contrary they wait in expectation of the Salaam to be initiated by the poor.
Some people, along with Aqaaid, Amaal and Muamalaat are concerned about the reformation of Akhlaaq, hence they adopt ways and measures for the treatment of their morals. But, they have discarded Husne-Muasharat. In fact, they have excised it from the Deen. They assert that there is no relationship between the Shariah and social conduct with people.
They therefore behave as they please, thinking that the Shariah has no say in such matters. Many people are pious with good qualities such as humility, but in Muasharat they are lacking. They are not concerned whether they annoy and inconvenience others by their behaviour. In most insignificant things they bring about difficulty and inconvenience to others. Their attention is totally diverted from little things which cause difficulty to others while in the Hadith there are numerous incidents narrated which show that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) cared for the little things just as much as he cared for important matters.
[From 'Aadaabul Muaasharat' (Etiquettes of Social Life) by Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi Rahmatullahi Alayh]
To be continued in next post, Insha-Allah...