The famous Tabi’i; Sayyiduna Sa’id ibn Musayyab (rahimahullah) reports that Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) laid eighteen guidelines for the people, each one filled with wisdom:
1. When someone disobeys Allah in matters that impacts on you, you can retaliate in no better way than obeying Allah in matters that impact on him.
2. Always assume the best about your brother unless you learn something about him that you cannot reconcile.
3. Never assume the worst about any statement that a Muslim makes as long as you are able to make a good interpretation.
4. One who exposes himself to suspicion must never blame anyone who holds a bad opinion of him.
5. Whoever guards his secrets will retain the choice [and control of it] in his hands.
6. Ensure that you keep true friends to stay under their wings because they are a source of beauty during times of prosperity and a means of protection during times of hardship.
7. Ensure that you speak the truth even if it leads to your death.
8. Never delve into matters that do not concern you.
9. Do not ask about matters that have not occurred because that which has already taken place is enough to keep you occupied from that which has not.
10. Never seek your needs from one who does not love to see your success.
11. Never keep the company of a sinner, as you will learn his sinful ways.
12. Keep away from your enemy.
13 & 14. Beware even of your friends, except for the trustworthy one and none can be trustworthy unless he fears Allah.
15. To be humble in speech.
16. Lower yourself in obedience of Allah.
17. Stand firm against His disobedience.
18. Consult in your matters those who fear Allah, indeed Allah says:
انما يخشى الله من عباده العلمؤا
It is those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah. (Surah Fatir, Verse: 28)
(Rawdatul ‘Uqala of Imam Ibn Hibban (rahimahullah), pg.82-83 with a chain of reliable narrators)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar,
assisted by Moulana Yusuf Badsha.