“Part of a person’s being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him.” [Narrated by at-Tirmidhi, 2318; classed as saheeh by al-Albaanee (may Allaah have mercy on him)]
The following are the comments of the scholars on the interpretation of the Hadeeth:
1) Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The Muslim is commanded either to speak good or to keep silent. If he turns away from the silence that is enjoined upon him and speaks in a unnecessary manner that is not good, then this is counted against him. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Part of a person’s being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him.” If a person indulges in something that does not concern him, that detracts from his being a good Muslim. [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 7/49, 50]
2) Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) summed up all of piety in one sentence, when he said: “Part of a person’s being a.good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him.” This includes not speaking about, looking at, listening to, striking a blow, walking towards or thinking about anything for no purpose, and keeping away from all outward and inward actions that have to do with things that do not concern you. This sentence is sufficient concerning piety.
3) Ibraaheem ibn Aadham (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Piety means leaving alone all doubtful things and leaving alone that which does not concern you means leaving alone all that is superfluous.
In al-Tirmidhi, there is a marfoo’ report according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O Abu Hurayrah, be pious and you will be the most devoted of people (to Allaah).” [Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 2/21]
4) Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This means giving up haraam things, doubtful things, makrooh things, and excessive permissible things that are unnecessary, because all of these things do not concern the Muslim if his Islam is perfect and he has attained the level of ihsaan. The most important aspect of leaving alone that which does not concern you is guarding your tongue against idle speech. [Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam,.1/309-310]
5) al-Zarqaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Some of them said that what comes under the heading of leaving alone that which does not concern you is learning branches of knowledge that are not important and ignoring those that are more important, such as one who neglects to acquire knowledge that is in his own interests and occupies himself with learning something that does not benefit anyone else, such as philosophical debate, and says as an excuse, ‘My intention is to benefit people.’ If he were sincere he would have started by learning the type of knowledge that would help him to be guided and cleanse himself of all blameworthy characteristics such as destructive envy (hasad), showing off, arrogance, self-admiration, rivalry with one’s peers, trying to put people down and other characteristics and actions that may doom a person to Hell.
Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this hadeeth is an example of concise speech which includes many noble meanings in a few words, and it is one of the things that were said by no one before him. [Sharh al-Zarqaani, 4/317]
6) al-Mubaarakfoori (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Al-Qaari said – concerning the meaning of leaving alone that which does not concern him – this means that which is not his business and which it does not befit him to say, do, look at or think about. And he said: what is meant by that which does not concern him is that which he has no need of and is not essential to his spiritual or worldly affairs, and will not help him to earn the pleasure of his Lord, because he is able to live without it, and he can put his affairs straight without it. This includes all superfluous deeds and words. [Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, 6/500]
Therefore it is best to leave the matters that does not concern you. This shall ensure safety of your Akhirah as well as Duniya.
The Author "Abu Isaam Imran Ali" is a student of knowledge in Islam. He studied at Jamia Darusaalam, Oomerabad for a short period of time and also completed his diploma in Islamic studies (Aqeedah) from India. He then set out on the path of knowledge to Al Madinah Al Munawwara, to learn the sciences of Hadith, fiqh, tafseer etc from Major Scholars. He completed his Diploma from Jamia Islamia (Madinah Islamic University) and is currently pursuing his studies in Islamic Shariah from Mahad Al-Haram (Masjid-un-nabawi).