The Pious Shepard (Fear of God)

(Keywords: Fear of God, Piety, Righteousness, pious people, righteous people,  benefits of piety, stories of pious people, generosity, saliheen, Obedience to God)

 

    عن نافع قال: ( خرج ابن عمر في بعض نواحي المدينة ومعه أصحاب له ووضعوا سفرة له، فمر بهم راعي غنم، فسلم، فقال ابن عمر: هلم يا راعي هلم فأصب من هذه السفرة، فقال له: إني صائم، فقال ابن عمر: أتصوم في مثل هذا اليوم الحار شديد سمومه، وأنت في هذه الجبال ترعى هذا الغنم؟ فقال له: أي والله أبادر أيامي الخالية، فقال له ابن عمر -وهو يريد يختبر ورعه: فهل لك أن تبيعنا شاة من غنمك هذه فنعطيك ثمنها ونعطيك من لحمها فتفطر عليه؟ فقال: إنها ليست لي بغنم إنها غنم سيدي، فقال له ابن عمر: فما عسى سيدك فاعلا إذا فقدها فقلت أكلها الذئب؟ فولى الراعي عنه وهو رافع إصبعه إلى السماء وهو يقول: أين الله؟  فجعل ابن عمر يردد قول الراعي وهو يقول: قال الراعي فأين الله. فلما قدم المدينة بعث إلى مولاه فاشترى منه الغنم والراعي، فأعتق الراعي ووهب منه الغنم [أي أهداه]). ـ

 

     It is related that Nafi’ said: “Ibn Omar once went out on a journey to the outskirts of Al-Medina with some of his companions.  They laid down their food to eat.  A sheep shepherd passed by them and made salaam.  Ibn Omar invited him and said: ‘Come on, O Shepherd, and eat from this food.’  The shepherd replied: ‘I am fasting.’  Ibn Omar asked: ‘Do you fast in such a hot windy day, while you are in the midst of these mountains herding these sheep?’  The shepherd replied: ‘Yes by God, I am taking advantage of my free days.’

  So Ibn Omar asked, trying to test his righteousness: ‘Can you sell one of your sheep to us? We will pay you for it, and give you from its meat so that you can you break your fast later.’  The shepherd replied: ‘The sheep is not mine, it belongs to my master.’     

Ibn Omar asked the shepherd: ‘What could your master do if he missed one of the sheep and you told him that it was eaten by a wolf?’ 

The shepherd left, pointing his finger to the sky and asking: ‘Then where is God?’   Ibn Omar kept repeating the phrase of the shepherd saying: ‘The shepherd said: Then where is God.’ 

When Ibn Omar went back to Al-Medina, he sent for the shepherd’s owner and bought off the sheep and shepherd.  He then freed the shepherd and gifted the sheep to him.”

 

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The Faithful Woman (Umm Sulaim)

(Keywords: True patience, true endurance, wisdom and good sense, children’s death, pious women, righteous women, wise women, Umm Suleim, Umm Sulaim, Anas Ibn Malik, Al-Rumaisa, Abu Talha, Paradise, Obedience to God)

    عن أنس ‏قال: ( ‏مَاتَ ابْنٌ ‏لِأَبِي طَلْحَةَ ‏مِنْ ‏أُمِّ سُلَيْمٍ، فقالت لأَهْلِها: لا تُحَدِّثُوا أبا طَلْحَةَ ‏بِابْنِهِ حَتَّى أَكُونَ أنا أُحَدِّثُهُ، قال: فَجَاءَ فَقَرَّبَتْ إِلَيْهِ عَشَاءً فَأَكَلَ وَشَرِبَ فقالَ: ثُمَّ تَصَنَّعَتْ لَهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا كَانَ ‏تَصَنَّعُ قَبْلَ ذَلِكَ فَوَقَعَ بِهَا، فَلَمَّا رَأَتْ أَنَّهُ قَدْ شَبِعَ وَأَصَابَ مِنْهَا قالت: يا ‏أَبا طَلْحَةَ ‏أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ أَنَّ قَوْمًا أَعَارُوا عَارِيَتَهُمْ أَهْلَ بَيْتٍ فَطَلَبُوا عَارِيَتَهُمْ أَلَهُمْ أَنْ يَمْنَعُوهُمْ؟ قال: لا، قالتْ: فَاحْتَسِبْ ابْنَكَ، قال فغضِبَ وقال: تَرَكْتِنِي حَتَّى تَلَطَّخْتُ ثُمَّ أَخْبَرْتِنِي بِابْنِي، فانْطَلَقَ حتى أتى رسولَ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏‏فَأَخْبَرَهُ بِمَا كانَ، فقال رسولُ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « ‏‏بَارَكَ اللَّهُ لَكُمَا فِي غَابِرِ لَيْلَتِكُمَا»)الحديث.  رواه البخاري ومسلم.

 وفي رواية عن أنس ‏قال: (‏ اشْتَكَى ابْنٌ لأبي طَلْحَةَ ‏فَخَرَجَ ‏أبو طلحة ‏إلى المسجدِ فَتُوُفِّيَ الغلامُ، فَهَيَّأَتْ أُمُّ سُلَيْمٍ المَيِّتَ وقالت لأهلها: لا يُخْبِرَنَّ أَحَدٌ منكم ‏‏أبا طلحة ‏بوفاة ابنه، فرجع إلى أهله ومعه ناسٌ من أهل المسجد من أصحابه، قال: ما فعل الغلام؟ قالت: خَيْرٌ مِمَّا كان، فَقَرَّبَتْ إليهم عشاءهم فَتَعَشَّوْا وخرج القومُ، وقامت المرأةُ إلى ما تقوم إليه المرأةُ فلما كان آخرُ الليل قالت: يا ‏أبا طلحة، أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى آلِ فُلَانٍ اسْتَعَارُوا ‏عَارِيَةً ‏ ‏فَتَمَتَّعُوا بِهَا فَلَمَّا طُلِبَتْ كَأَنَّهُمْ كَرِهُوا ذَاكَ؟ قال: ما أَنْصَفُوا، قالت: فَإِنَّ ابْنَكَ كَانَ ‏عَارِيَةً ‏مِنَ اللهِ تبارك وتعالى وإنَّ اللَّهَ قَبَضَهُ، ‏فَاسْتَرْجَعَ وحَمِدَ اللهَ، فلما أصبح غَدَا على رسولِ الله ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم فلما رَآهُ قال: « بَارَكَ اللَّهُ لَكُمَا فِي لَيْلَتِكُمَا». فَحَمَلَتْ ‏بِعَبْدِ اللَّهِ). الحديث.  رواه  أحمد. ـ

 قال عباية بن رفاعة: ( فلقد رأيت لذلك الغلام سبع بنين كلهم قد ختم القرآن). ـ

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Narrated Anas -Ibn Malik may God be pleased with him- said:

A son of Abu Talha who was born of Umm Sulaim died.  Umm Sulaim [The deceased child’s mother] said to the members of her family: ‘Do not inform Abu Talha about his son until I do so.’

Abu Talha came home.  She presented supper to him, and he ate and drank (water).  She then bedecked herself best like she did not do before, and he (Abu Talha) slept with her (shared bed with her). 

When she saw that he was full and had slept with her, she said: ‘O Abu Talha, if some people borrow something from another family and then they asked for its return, could they resist its return?’  He said: ‘No.’ She said: ‘Then seek the reward of the death of your son.’  He was annoyed, and said: ‘You did not inform me until I had slept with you and then you told me about my son.’

Abu Talha went to Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- and informed him about what happened.  Thereupon Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him-said: ‘May God bless you both in the night you spent together. ”The complete hadeeth.  Related by Al-Bukhari, and Imam Muslim.

And in another narration by Imam Ahmad: Narrated Anas -Ibn Malik may God be pleased with him- said:

A son of Abu Talha became ill.  Abu Talha went to the Mosque and the young boy died.  Umm Sulaim prepared the dead boy (washed and shrouded him) and said to her family: ‘Let none of you tell Abu Talha about the death of his son.’

Abu Talha came back home with some friends from the mosque.  He asked: ‘How is the young boy?’  She replied: ‘He is better than before.’  She presented their supper to them, they ate and then the group of people left.  She embellished herself like women do.  At the end of the night she said: ‘O Abu Talha, haven’t you seen the family of so and so who had borrowed something and enjoyed it, but when they were asked for the return of the loaned item they hated it?’  He replied: ‘They were not just.’  She said: ‘Then your son was a loan from God -the Exalted, and God has taken him.’  Abu Talha said: Inna li Allah wa inna ileihi raji’oon (To God we belong, and to Him we shall return), and he praised God.

When it was morning, Abu Talha went to Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- (and told him).  Upon seeing him the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘May God bless both of you in your night.’  (As a result of blessing) Umm Sulaim became pregnant with Abdul-Allah.”

 

Obayah Ibn Rufa’ah said: “Afterwards I saw seven sons of that young boy, all of them had memorized the Qur’an.”

 


 

‏ أُمُّ سُلَيْم: هي الرميصاء امرأة أبي طلحة وأم أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنهم. وكانت قد رضيت بالزواج بأبي طلحة بشرط أن يسلم. فحملت فولدت غلاما صبيحا فكان أبو طلحة يحبه حبا شديدا، وهو أبو عمير. ـ

قال الإمام انووي: ( وفي هذا الحديث مناقب لأم سليم رضي الله عنها من عظيم صبرها، وحسن رضاها بقضاء الله تعالى، وجزالة عقلها في إخفائها موته على أبيه في أول الليل ليبيت مستريحا بلا حزن، ثم عشته وتعشت، ثم تصنعت له، وعرضت له بإصابته فأصابها .  وفيه استعمال المعاريض عند الحاجة وشرط المعاريض المباحة ألا يضيع بها حق أحد والله أعلم .  ثم دعا صلى الله عليه وسلم لهما بالبركة في ليلتهما، فاستجاب الله تعالى ذلك الدعاء، وحملت بعبد الله بن أبي طلحة، وجاء من أولاد عبد الله إسحاق وإخوته التسعة صالحين علماء رضي الله عنهم). ـ

 

Umm Sulaim:  

Her Name is Al-Rumaisa’ (and it is said Al-Ghumaisa’), and she is the wife of Abu Talha and the mother of Anas Ibn Malik -may God be pleased with them. 

When Abu Talha proposed to her she accepted his proposal with the condition that he would embrace Islam, and he did so.  She became pregnant and gave birth to a bright boy, whom Abu Talha used to love very much, and whose name was Abu Omair (but who later died in childhood).

The Scholar Al-Nawawi said:

“This hadeeth shows the virtues of Umm Sulaim -may God be pleased with her. 

It shows Umm Sulaim’s great patience and her acceptance of the destiny of God -the Exalted.

It also shows her wisdom and great sense in hiding their son’s death from his father at the beginning of the night so that he could spend the night without worry.  She then presented supper to him, ate her supper, and then bedecked herself and invited him, so he slept with her.

The hadeeth also shows that it is permissible to use pun [when she said ‘He is better than before’ which meant he was dead], on the condition that it does not violate the right of any Muslim.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- then prayed God to bless their night together.  So God accepted the supplication of the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him, and Umm Sulaim became pregnant and then gave birth to Abdul-Allah Ibn Talha, who then fathered ten righteous and scholarly sons including Abdul-Allah Ibn Is-haq).”

 

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Mother of All Evils (True Story)

 (Keywords: Harmful Effects of alcohol, harmful effects of wine, alcohol addiction, consequences of alcoholism, misguidance, major sins, mortal sins, alcohol in Islam, wine in Islam, Obedience to God)

 

     عن ابْنَ عُمَرَ قال: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: « لَعَنَ اللَّهُ الْخَمْرَ وَشَارِبَهَا وَسَاقِيَهَا وَبَائِعَهَا وَمُبْتَاعَهَا وَعَاصِرَهَا وَمُعْتَصِرَهَا وَحَامِلَهَا وَالْمَحْمُولَةَ إِلَيْهِ».  رواه أبو داود بإسناد صحيح.‏

Narrated Ibn Omar that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

God has cursed wine, its drinker, its server, its seller, its buyer, its presser, the one for whom it is pressed, the one who conveys it, and the one to whom it is conveyed.”  Related by Abu Dawood with an authentic narration.

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            عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ الْحَارِثِ، عنْ أَبِيهِ، قالَ: سَمِعْتُ عُثْمَانَ [بن عفان] رضى الله عنه يَقُولُ: ( اجْتَنِبُوا الْخَمْرَ فَإِنَّهَا أُمُّ الْخَبَائِثِ، إِنَّهُ كَانَ رَجُلٌ مِمَّنْ خَلاَ قَبْلَكُمْ تَعَبَّدَ، فَعَلِقَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ غَوِيَّةٌ فَأَرْسَلَتْ إِلَيْهِ جَارِيَتَهَا فَقَالَتْ لَهُ: إِنَّا نَدْعُوكَ لِلشَّهَادَةِ، فَانْطَلَقَ مَعَ جَارِيَتِهَا فَطَفِقَتْ كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ بَابًا أَغْلَقَتْهُ دُونَهُ، حَتَّى أَفْضَى إِلَى امْرَأَةٍ وَضِيئَةٍ عِنْدَهَا غُلاَمٌ وَبَاطِيَةُ خَمْرٍ، فَقَالَتْ: إِنِّي وَاللَّهِ مَا دَعَوْتُكَ لِلشَّهَادَةِ، وَلَكِنْ دَعَوْتُكَ لِتَقَعَ عَلَىَّ، أَوْ تَشْرَبَ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْخَمْرَةِ كَأْسًا، أَوْ تَقْتُلَ هَذَا الْغُلاَمَ ‏.‏ قَالَ: فَاسْقِينِي مِنْ هَذَا الْخَمْرِ كَأْسًا فَسَقَتْهُ كَأْسًا.‏ قَالَ: زِيدُونِي، فَلَمْ يَرِمْ حَتَّى وَقَعَ عَلَيْهَا وَقَتَلَ النَّفْسَ، فَاجْتَنِبُوا الْخَمْرَ فَإِنَّهَا وَاللَّهِ لاَ يَجْتَمِعُ الإِيمَانُ وَإِدْمَانُ الْخَمْرِ إِلاَّ لَيُوشِكُ أَنْ يُخْرِجَ أَحَدُهُمَا صَاحِبَهُ). رواه النسائي بإسناد صحيح.‏

 

          Narrated Abu Bakr Ibn Abdil-Rahman Ibn Al-Harith that his father that he heard Othman Ibn Affan, may God be pleased with him, say:

Avoid wine (alcohol) for it is the Mother of All Evils. There was a man among those who came before you who devoted himself to worshiping God.

  An immoral woman fell in love with him, so she sent her female servant to him, and said: ‘We are calling you to bear witness.’  He answered the call and set out with the female servant (until they reached her home).  Every time he entered a door, she would lock it behind him until he reached a beautiful woman who had with her a boy and a vessel of wine.

  The woman said to him: ‘By God I did not call you to bear witness, but called you to have intercourse with me, or to drink a glass of this wine, or to kill this boy.’  He said: ‘Pour me a glass of this wine.’  So she poured him a glass of the wine. He drank it and then said: ‘Give me more.’  And soon he had intercourse with her and killed the boy.  

So avoid wine (alcohol), for by God faith and addiction to alcohol cannot coexist but, one of them will soon expel the other.”  Related by Al-Nasa’i with an authentic narration.

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The Righteous and Pious (Ibrahim Ibn Adham)

    عن إبراهيم بن بشار خادم إبراهيم بن أدهم، قال: ( قلت: يا أبا إسحاق كيف كان أوائل أمرك؟ قال: كان أبي من أهل بلخ، وكان من ملوك خراسان، وحبب إلينا الصيد، فخرجت راكبا فرسي وكلبي معي، فبينما أنا كذلك، ثار أرنب أو ثعلب، فحركت فرسي فسمعت نداء من ورائي: ليس لذا خلقتَ ولا بذا أمرتَ، فوقفت أنظر يمنة ويسرة فلم أر أحدا، فقلت: لعن الله إبليس، ثم حركت فرسي فأسمع نداء أجهر من ذلك: يا إبراهيم ليس لذا خلقت ولا بذا أمرت، فوقفت أنظر يمنة ويسرة فلا أرى أحدا، فقلت: لعن الله إبليس، ثم حركت فرسي فأسمع نداء من قربوس سرجي: يا إبراهيم ما لذا خلقت ولا بذا أمرت، فوقفت فقلت: أنبَهْتَ، أنبهت، جاءني نذير من رب العالمين، والله لا عصيت الله بعد يومي هذا ما عصمني ربي.  فرجعت إلى أهلي، ثم جئت إلى أحد رعاة أبي فأخذت منه جبة وكساء وألقيت ثيابي إليه). ـ

     Narrated Ibrahim Ibn Bashaar -the attendant of Ibrahim Ibn Adham- said: “I asked Ibrahim Ibn Adham: ‘O Abu Is-Haq, what was the beginning of your becoming righteous?’  Ibrahim Ibn Adham replied:

‘My father was one of the inhabitants of the city of Balakh [a city in today’s Afghanistan], and he was one of the kings of the country of Khurasan.  We liked hunting. 

Once, I set out on my horse with my dog.  While I was riding, a rabbit or a fox, so I led my horse towards it.  I heard someone calling from behind me: `You were not created for this, and you were not commanded with this.`  I stopped and looked right and left but saw no one, so I said: ‘May God curse Satan.’ 

I then spurred my horse on, and I heard someone calling again but louder: `O Ibrahim, you were not created for this, and you were not commanded with this.`  I stopped and looked right and left but saw no one, so I said: ‘May God curse Satan.’ 

I then spurred my horse on, and I heard someone calling from my saddlebow: `O Ibrahim, you were not created for this, and you were not commanded with this.`  So I said: ‘You have given me a warning, you have given me a warning.  A harbinger (a warning sign) has come to me from the Lord of the Worlds.  I swear by God, I will not disobey God after this day of mine as long as God protects me.’ ”


 

   قيل لإبراهيم بن أدهم: ما بالنا ندعو فلا يستجاب لنا وقد قال تعالى: {أدعوني استجب لكم}؟ قال: لأن قلوبكم ميتة، قيل: وما الذي أماتها؟ قال: ثمان خصال؛ 1) عرفتم حق الله ولم تقوموا بحقه، 2) وقرأتم القرآن ولم تعملوا بحدوده، 3) وقلتم نحب رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ولم تعملوا بسنته، 4) وقلتم نخشى الموت ولم تستعدوا له، 5) وقال تعالى {إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوّاً} ]فاطر 6[ فواطأتموه على المعاصي، 6) وقلتم نخاف النار وأرهقتم أبدانكم فيها، 7) وقلتم نحب الجنة ولم تعملوا لها، 8) وإذا قمتم من فرشكم رميتم عيوبكم وراء ظهوركم وافترشتم عيوب الناس أمامكم فأسخطتم ربكم، فكيف يستجيب لكم؟

 

  It is related that Ibrahim Ibn Adham was once asked: “Why do not our supplications (Du’a) get answered, even though God -the Exalted- says: {And your Lord says: “Call upon Me, I will answer you.”} (Surah 40, verse 60).  Ibrahim Ibn Adham replied:

“Your supplication (Du’a) is not answered because your hearts are spiritually dead.”  He was asked: “And what caused their death?”  He replied: “Eight things:

1) You know the rights of God upon you, but you do not fulfill them.

2) You recite the Qur’an, but you do not act upon its commands.

3) You claim to love the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him, but you do not follow his way.

4) You claim to fear death, but you do not prepare for it.

5) God says: {Indeed Satan is your enemy, so take him as your enemy} (Surah 35, verse 6), but you obey him by committing sins.

6) You claim to fear Hell-fire, but you have exposed your bodies to it.

7) You claim to love Paradise, but you do not work for it.

8) And when you get up from your beds in the morning, you ignore your own faults, and rather get involved with other peoples’ faults. Thus you have angered your Lord, so how would He answer your supplications?’ ”

 

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The Broken and False Promises

(Keywords: The Fallen Monk, Barsisa the Monk,The ploy of Satan, Man and Satan, the Misleading of Satan, Deception and trickery of Satan)

      God -the Exalted- relates to us in Qur’an the true story of the fallen and misled monk. The purpose is for us to take heed and beware of Satan and his misleading ways, and his scheming and plotting.

God the Almighty says:

        قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: { كَمَثَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِذْ قَالَ لِلْإِنْسَانِ اكْفُرْ فَلَمَّا كَفَرَ قَالَ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِنْكَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ فَكَانَ عَاقِبَتَهُمَا أَنَّهُمَا فِي النَّارِ خَالِدَيْنِ فِيهَا وَذَلِكَ جَزَاءُ الظَّالِمِينَ} سورة الحشر 16-17. ـ

قال ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما في تفسير الآية: ـ 

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 كان راهب من بني إسرائيل [برصيصا الراهب] يعبد الله فيحسن عبادته، وكان يؤتى من كل أرض فيسأل عن الفقه وكان عالما، وإن ثلاثة إخوة كانت لهم أخت حسنة من أحسن الناس، وإنهم أرادوا أن يسافروا فكبر عليهم أن يخلفوها ضائعة، فجعلوا يأتمرون ما يفعلون بها فقال أحدهم: أدلكم على من تتركونها عنده؟ قالوا: من هو؟ قال: راهب بني إسرائيل؛ إن ماتت قام عليها، وإن عاشت حفظها حتى ترجعوا إليه.   فعمدوا إليه فقالوا: إنا نريد السفر، ولا نجد أحدا أوثق في أنفسنا ولا أحفظ لما ولي منك لما جعل عندك، فإن رأيت أن نجعل أختنا عندك فإنها ضائعة شديدة الوجع، فإن ماتت فقم عليها وإن عاشت فأصلح إليها حتى نرجع، فقال: أكفيكم إن شاء الله.    فانطلقوا فقام عليها فداواها حتى برأت، وعاد إليها حسنها، فاطلع إليها فوجدها متصنعة، فلم يزل به الشيطان يزين له أن يقع عليها حتى وقع عليها، فحملت. ثم ندمه الشيطان فزين له قتلها؛ قال: إن لم تقتلها افتضحت وعرف شبهك في الولد فلم يكن لك معذرة. فلم يزل به حتى قتلها.    فلما قدم إخوتها سألوه: ما فعلت؟ قال: ماتت فدفنتها، قالوا: قد أحسنت.  ثم جعلوا يرون في المنام ويُخبرون أن الراهب هو قتلها، وأنها تحت شجرة كذا وكذا، فعمدوا إلى الشجرة فوجدوها تحتها قد قتلت.   فعمدوا إليه فأخذوه، فقال له الشيطان: أنا زينت لك الزنا وقتلها بعد الزنا، فهل لك أن أنجيك؟ قال: نعم، قال: أفتطيعني؟ قال: نعم، قال: فاسجد لي سجدة واحدة، فسجد له ثم قُتل، فذلك قوله {كمثل الشيطان إذ قال للإنسان اكفر فلما كفر قال إني بريء منك} الآية).  رواه الطبري في تفسيره. ـ

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Ibn Abbas -may God be pleased with him- said concerning the interpretation of the above verse:

“There was a monk among the Children of Israel [The Monk Barsisa] who had devoted himself to worshiping God as best as he could.  He was a scholar so people would come from every land to ask him about religious rulings or jurisprudence.

At that time, there were three brothers who had the most beautiful sister [but who was sick], and they wanted to travel.  They found it hard to leave their sick sister behind without care, so they held a counsel about what they should do.  One of the brothers said: ‘Should I tell you about someone with whom you should leave her?’  They asked: ‘Who?’  He said: ‘The monk of the Children of Israel [the Monk Barsisa], for he would arrange her burial if she died, and would take care of her if she lived until you return.’

They went to the monk and said: ‘We want to travel, and we find no one that we trust more, nor more preserving to the trust left with him than you.  So if you could take care of her, for she is sick and in a lot of pain.  If she dies arrange her burial, and if she lives then take care of her until we return.’  The monk said: ‘I will take care of it, God willing.’

They left, and the monk took care of her.  He treated her until she was cured and regained her beauty.  He saw her once adorned, and Satan continued to tempt him and entice him to sleep with her and commit adultery (zina) with her, until he did so. She got pregnant.  Then Satan made him feel remorse and tempted him to kill her.  Satan whispered to him: ‘If you don’t kill her, you will be exposed, and you will not have no excuse, for your likeness will be recognized in the child.’  Satan continued to tempt the monk until he killed her.

When her brothers came back, they asked the monk: ‘What happened to our sister?’ The monk replied: ‘She died, so I buried her.’  They said: ‘You did well.’

Afterwards, the brothers would see in their dreams like someone informing them that the monk had killed her and that she was buried under so and so tree. They went to the specific tree, dug her body from under it, and found out that she had been killed.

The brothers went to the monk and took him away.  Satan came to him and said: ‘I am the one who enticed you to commit adultery (zina), and to kill her afterwards. Do you want me to save you?’ He replied: ‘Yes.’ Satan asked: ‘Would you obey me?’ The monk replied: ‘Yes.’ Satan said to him: ‘Then prostrate to me just once.’ The monk prostrated to him, and then he was killed.

And that is the interpretation of God’s statement: {(Their allies deceived them) like Satan when he says to the man: “Disbelieve.” But when the man disbelieves, Satan says: “Indeed, I declare my innocence of you, for I fear God, the Lord of the Worlds!” So the end of both will be that they will be in the Fire, abiding eternally therein. Such is the recompense of the Unjust (the polytheist, wrong-doers, and disbelievers)} Surah 59, verses16-17. Related by Al-Tabari in his Exegeses.

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            The Almighty God gives us an example of the ploys and plotting of Satan and how he misleads and tempts the son of Adam. Satan starts to tempt the son of Adam by promising him endless pleasures and limitless joys if he does one small sin. Once the son of Adam commits the first sin, Satan then draws him sweetly and entices him to a second greater sin, and keeps setting a trap after another until the son of Adam is ruined and only realizes his mistakes in prison and worse in death and Hell-fire.

 


 

There are three moral lessons that can be learned from the above true story:

First Moral Lesson:

            Satan is the sworn and most bitter enemy of the son of Adam, and tries everything in his power to mislead the human and make him a disbeliever.

      Satan’s enmity against man goes back to his being banished, expelled and disfigured when he disobeyed God by refusing to prostrate to Adam. God cursed Satan for his arrogance and pride and promised him Hell-Fire. Satan asked for a reprieve until the Day of Judgment and he was granted that reprieve. Then Satan made a promise to try to mislead the humans and take as many of them as possible with him to Hell-Fire.

Thus, the enmity of Satan is ancient and deep-rooted, and Satan spares no ploy or strategy but to mislead the son of Adam and make him disbelieve so that he would end up in Hell-fire. But God warned the humans to beware of the traps and ploys of Satan, and gave us many examples where Satan succeeded in misleading people until they died as disbelievers and thus ended in Hell-Fire.

The Muslim is instructed to take Satan an enemy and treat him as such. The Muslim is warned to be wary of Satan and avoid his tricks and traps. God the Almighty says in Qur’an:

{Verily, Satan is an enemy to you, so take him as an enemy. He only invites his followers that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire} Surah 35, verse 6.


 

Second Moral Lesson:

The Muslim is instructed to be cautious and defensive against this fifth column or enemy from within. Satan is not only a bitter foe, but he also employs the human Self to reach his goal.

    Satan often uses humans’ natural instincts and desires to set traps for them and make them fall into sin and disbelief so that they would join him in Hell-Fire. Thus, the Muslim should avoid slippery and dangerous situations that may lead him astray.

    The Muslim is instructed to avoid exposing himself to dangers and shaky grounds that give Satan greater access to him. The Muslim should avoid putting himself in situations where the Self takes control, giving free reign to his desires and lusts and thus weakening his defenses and allowing Satan an easier access.

    Some of these slippery situations include associating with the unjust and rich for little by little Satan would employ the person’s natural desire and love of wealth to make him one of the unjust; associating with the aberrant, radical and deviant for gradually Satan would use the natural inclination to power and control to make the person one of them; associating with an unlawful woman or man for step by step Satan would entice the person and promise her/him endless pleasures and enjoyment until the person commits adultery and falls into sin; and similar situations.

وعن ميمون بن مهران، قال: ( ثلاثةٌ لا تَبْلُوَنَّ نفسَك بهن: لا تَدْخُلَنَّ على سُلطَانٍ وإن قلتَ آمُرُهُ بطاعَةٍ، ولا تَدْخُلَنَّ على امْرَأَةٍ وإن قلتَ أُعَلِّمُهَا كِتَابَ اللَّه، ولا تُصْغِيَنَّ سَمْعَك لذي هَوًى فإنك لا تَدْري ما تَعَلَّقَ قلبُك منه). ـ

    It is related that the Scholar Meimoon Ibn Mahran said: “Avoid afflicting yourself with three things: Do not go to see a king, even if you had the intention of advising him to obey God. Do not go to see a woman, if you had the intention of teaching her the Book of God. And do not listen to an innovator in religion, for you do not know what of his speech will attach to your heart.

   The true story of the monk describes how Satan misled the monk through association with an unlawful woman. Although the girl was very sick at first, Satan used her to entice the monk until he committed adultery, then used the monk’s sense of guilt against him and made him kill her, and finally used the monk’s survival instinct and desire to live to make him prostrate to Satan.

The monk obeyed Satan in all three instances, and thus became a disbeliever. God then warned us that the end of both Satan and this monk is eternal damnation and Hell. The Muslim then should be wary of this enemy from within, and should supplicate God and ask His assistance and support in dealing with invisible foe.


 

Third Moral Lesson:

The Muslim is commanded to be modest and humble, for modesty and humbleness are the characteristics of the believers.

The Muslim is warned to avoid conceit and self-admiration, for they lead to pride and arrogance when the person starts considering himself better than others. Having contempt for others and feeling superior to them are signs of pride and arrogance. Pride and arrogance are characteristics of Satan and the people of Hell-Fire. Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- described the people of Paradise as the modest and humble believing people of the world, while he described the people of Hell-fire as the proud and arrogant people of the world.

عن أبي سعيدٍ الخُدريِّ رضيَ اللَّهُ عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « احْتَجَّتِ الجَنَّةُ والنَّارُ، فَقَالَتِ النَّارُ: فِيَّ الجَبَّارُونَ والمُتَكَبِّرُونَ، وقَالَتِ الجنَّة: فِيَّ ضُعَفَاءُ النَّاسِ ومَسَاكِينُهُمْ. فَقَضَى اللَّه بيْنَهُمَا: إِنَّكِ الجَنَّةُ رَحْمَتي أَرْحَمُ بِكِ مَنْ أَشَاءُ، وإِنَّكِ النَّارُ عذَابي أُعَذِّبُ بِكِ مَنْ أَشَاءُ، ولِكِلَيْكُما عَلَيَّ مِلْؤُها» .  رواهُ مسلم ورواه البخاري عن أبي هريرة . ـ

     Narrated Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri -may God be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

Paradise and Hell-fire argued. Hell-fire said: ‘I was favored with the proud and the arrogant.’ Paradise said: ‘What is the matter with me that only the weak, the lowly, and the humble of people enter me?’ So God said to Paradise: ‘Verily, you are only My Mercy, I bestow mercy with you upon whomever I wish among My slaves.’ And He said to Hell-fire: ‘Verily, you are only My punishment, I punish with you whomever I wish. And every one of you shall have its full.’ ” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

   Thus, the Muslim is instructed to be modest even if he had a greater share of wealth, health, intellect or knowledge, for that is a blessing of God that he must thank Him for.

The Muslim should never show any conceit or self-admiration for that may lead to pride or arrogance, which in turn makes him have a sense of superiority for a blessing that only God has granted him.

Whatever man or woman shows pride or arrogance then s/he has shown ingratitude and exposed him/herself to punishment in this world and the Hereafter. But for those who show modesty, humbleness and thanks then their blessings would not only last but also increase.

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    Then in summary, we can learn three important moral lessons from the above true story.

First, Satan is man’s worst enemy and the human must treat him as such by opposing him and being wary of him.

Second, the human should not put himself in slippery and dangerous situations that may give Satan power over him through Self desires and lusts. Rather, the human should be defensive and should use caution to avoid the traps of Satan whose goal is to take as many people to Hell-Fire with him as he could mislead.

And third, the Muslim should show modesty and humbleness even when is favored with greater blessings, for these are the characteristics of the people of Paradise. The Muslim should avoid conceit and self-admiration which may lead to pride and arrogance which are the characteristics of Satan and the people of Hell-Fire. The Muslim should attribute the blessing to God, be grateful to Him and thank Him for it, for that’s how he ensures the continuation of the blessing and its increase. And God knows best.

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The Pious Man and the Tree

(Keywords: The ploy of Satan, Adam and Satan, Misleading of Satan, Deception and trickery of Satan)

عن الحسن، قال : ( كانت شجرة تعبد من دون الله، فجاء إليها رجل فقال: لقطعن هذه الشجرة، فجاء ليقطعها غضبا لله، فلقيه إبليس في صورة إنسان، فقال: ما تريد؟ قال: أريد أن أقطع هذه الشجرة التي تعبد من دون الله، قال: إذا أنت لم تعبدها فما يضرك من عبدها، قال: لأقطعنها، فقال له الشيطان: هل لك فيما هو خير لك؛ لا تقطعها ولك ديناران كل يوم إذا أصبحت عند وسادتك، قال: فمن أين لي ذلك؟ قال: أنا لك فرجع فأصبح فوجد دينارين عند وسادته، ثم أصبح بعد ذلك فلم يجد شيئا فقام غضبا ليقطعها، فتمثل له الشيطان في صورته، وقال: ما تريد؟ قال: أريد قطع هذه الشجرة التي تعبد من دون الله تعالى، قال: كذبت مالك إلى ذلك من سبيل، فذهب ليقطعها فضرب به الأرض وخنقه حتى كاد يقتله، قال: أتدري من أنا، أنا الشيطان جئت أول مرة غضبا لله، فلم يكن لي عليك سبيل فخدعتك بالدينارين فتركتها، فلما جئت غضبا للدينارين سلطت عليك). ـ

 

Narrated Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: “There was once a group of people who took up a tree as an idol to worship. A pious man heard about that and decided to cut the tree for the sake of God and to please Him.

When he was about to cut the tree, Satan came to him in the form of a man and asked him: ‘What are you planning to do?’ The man replied: ‘I want to cut this tree because people are worshiping it instead of God.’

Satan said: ‘What harm does that cause you if you are not the one who is worshiping it?’ The pious man said: ‘Indeed, I shall cut it.’ Satan said to him: ‘Could I suggest something better; do not cut it and you shall have two Dinars every day at your bedside every morning.’ The pious man asked: ‘Who shall give it to me?’ Satan said: ‘I shall give it to you.’

When the next morning came, the man found two Dinars at his bedside. But later, when he woke up he did not find anything. The man became angry and went to cut the tree.

Once again Satan came to him in the form of a man and asked him: ‘What are you planning to do?’ The man said: ‘I want to cut this tree because people are worshiping it instead of God- the Exalted.’ Satan said: ‘You lie, for you shall have no access to it.’ When the man went forward to cut it, Satan wrestled him to the ground and strangled him almost killing him.

Satan then asked the man: ‘Do you know who I am? I am Satan. When you first came to cut the tree, it was purely for the sake of God, and I had no power over you. So I tricked you with the two Dinars, and you abandoned cutting it. But when you came the second time, it was for the sake of the money and I was able to overpower you.’ ”

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A True Story about Iman or True Faith (1)

      عن ابن عَبَّاسٍ رضي اللَّهُ عنهما، قال: ( دَخَلَ رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم على عمرَ ومعه أناس من أصحابه، فقال: « أَمُؤْمِنُونَ أَنْتُم ؟»  فسكتوا – ثلاث مرات- فقال عمر في آخرهم: نعم، نؤمنُ على ما أتيتنا به، ونحمدُ اللهَ في الرَّخَاءِ، ونصبر على البلاء، ونؤمن بالقضاء، فقال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « مُؤْمِنُونَ وَرَبِّ الكَعْبَةِ»).  رواه الطبراني والهيثمي.

      Narrated Ibn Abbas -may Allah be pleased with them- said: “The Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- once visited Omar and few of his companions were with the latter, so the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- asked: ‘Are you Mu’minoon (Faithful believers)?’  They kept silent.  He asked three times so Omar replied after the last time: ‘Yes, we believe in the message you were sent with, thank (Allah) during ease, bear patiently during hardship, and believe and accept pre-destiny.’  So the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘True believers (Mu’minoon) by the Lord of Ka’bah.’ ”  Related by Al-Tabarani, and Al-Heithami.

   The Trial of the Fire

Narrated Sherhabeel Ibn Muslim said: “When Al-Aswad Ibn Qais Al-‘Ansi, the apostate, the imposter, claimed to be a prophet falsely in Yemen, he sent for Abu Muslim Al-Khawlani.  When Abu Muslim was brought to him, Al-Aswad, the imposter, asked him: ‘Do you testify that I am a messenger of Allah?’  Abu Muslim replied: ‘I can’t hear what you say.’  He asked Abu Muslim: ‘Do you testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah?’  Abu Muslim replied: ‘Yes, I do.’  Al-Aswad repeated the questions, and Abu Muslim replied the same.  So Al-Aswad asked his men to make a great fire and throw Abu Muslim into it.  But the great fire did not harm Abu Muslim (by the will of God).  It was said to Al-Aswad: ‘Send him away, or he will drive away your followers.’  So he asked Abu Muslim to leave.

Abu Muslim went to visit Al-Medinah, while Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- had passed away, and Abu-Bakr -may Allah be pleased with him- was elected as caliph.  Once in Al-Medinah, Abu Muslim left his mount at the door of the Great Mosque of the Prophet, then went inside the mosque and started praying behind a pillar.

Omar saw him, so went to him and asked: ‘Where is the man (you) from?’  Abu Muslim replied: ‘From Yemen.’  Omar asked: ‘Then maybe you are the one whom the imposter threw into the fire?’  Abu Muslim hedged: ‘That was Abdul-Allah Ibn Thowb [Abu Muslim’s real name].’  Omar said: ‘I beseech you by Allah, are you that person?’  Abu Muslim replied: ‘Yes, that is me, by Allah.’  So Omar embraced him, and cried.

Omar then took Abu Muslim to the Caliph Abu-Bakr, and seated him between himself and Abu Bakr -may Allah be pleased with them, and then said: ‘Praise be to Allah Who did not take my soul until I had seen among the nation of Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- a person who was treated the same as Prophet Ibrahim, the close friend of the Most Merciful (Khaleel Al-Rahman).’ ”  Related by Abu Nu’eim in Hilyatul Awliya‘ (The Ornament of the Saints).

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A True Story about the Fear of Allah -the Exalted (2)

 

   عن عَائِشَةَ رضي اللَّهُ عنها زَوْجِ النَّبِيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قَالَتْ: ( مَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ضَاحِكًا حَتَّى أَرَى مِنْهُ لَهَوَاتِهِ، إِنَّمَا كَانَ يَتَبَسَّمُ. قَالَتْ وَكَانَ إِذَا رَأَى غَيْمًا أَوْ رِيحًا عُرِفَ فِي وَجْهِهِ، قَالَتْ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، إِنَّ النَّاسَ إِذَا رَأَوْا الْغَيْمَ فَرِحُوا رَجَاءَ أَنْ يَكُونَ فِيهِ الْمَطَرُ، وَأَرَاكَ إِذَا رَأَيْتَهُ عُرِفَ فِي وَجْهِكَ الْكَرَاهِيَةُ؟ فَقَالَ: « يَا عَائِشَةُ مَا يُؤْمِنِّي أَنْ يَكُونَ فِيهِ عَذَابٌ عُذِّبَ قَوْمٌ بِالرِّيحِ، وَقَدْ رَأَى قَوْمٌ الْعَذَابَ فَقَالُوا: {هَذَا عَارِضٌ مُمْطِرُنَا}[الأحقاف 24]»). متفقٌ عليه.

   Narrated ‘Aisheh -the wife of the Prophet may Allah be pleased with her- said: “I never saw Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- laugh to such an extent that I could see his uvula; he would only smile.  And when he saw dark clouds or wind, distress could be seen in his face.  I asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, when people see the dark cloud they rejoice, hoping there will be rain in it.  Yet when you see it, distress is seen in your face?’  The Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- replied: ‘O Aisheh, what will assure me that there is no punishment in it? People have been punished by wind. Some people saw the punishment [concealed in a dark cloud] and said: {This is a rain cloud coming to us} (Surah Al-Ahqaf, verse 24).’ ”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Omar Ibn Al-Khattab:

Narrated Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Isa said: “There were two black shadowy lines on the cheeks of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab as a result of his weeping (For fear of Allah, the Exalted).”

  Ali Ibn Abi Talib:

It is narrated that when it was the time for prayer, the Caliph Ali Ibn Abi Talib -may Allah be pleased with him- used to shake and become pale. He would be asked: “What is the matter with you, O Leader of the Faithful?” He would reply: “The time has come for a trust that Allah offered to the heavens, the earth and the mountains, but they declined to bear it, but I have carried it.”

   Aishah Bint AbiBakr:

Narrated Al-Qasim Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abu-Bakr As-siddeeq said: “Whenver I went out in the morning, I used to start by visiting the house of Aishah [wife of the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- and Al-Qasim’s aunt] -may Allah be pleased with her.  One day I passed by her in the morning and found her praying, making tasbeeh and reciting the verse: {So Allah has been gracious to us, and has saved us from the torment of the Fire} [surah 52, verse 27].  She was praying, and repeating the verse while crying.  I waited for her until I got tired, so I went to the market to get my needs.  When I went back, she was still standing in prayer and crying.”  Thus related in the “Sifetul-Sefweh” (Characteristics of the Righteous).

 

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A True Story about Shyness and Chastity (4)

  عن أبي سعيد الخدري، قال: ( كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم أَشَدَّ حَيَاءً مِنْ الْعَذْرَاءِ فِي خِدْرِهَا، وَكَانَ إِذَا كَرِهَ شَيْئًا عَرَفْنَاهُ فِي وَجْهِهِ).  رواه البخاري ومسلم.

   Narrated Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri -may Allah be pleased with him- said: “The Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- was more shy than a virgin in her private room.  And if he saw a thing which he disliked, we would recognize it in his face.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

   ‘Suleiman Ibn Yasar and the Bedouin Woman’

It is related that Abu Haazim said: “Suleiman Ibn Yasaar once set out from Al-Medinah on a journey along with a companion of his.  They stopped at a place called Al-Abwa’ on the outskirts of the city to rest.  His companion took the food bag and went to the market to buy supplies, while Suleiman stayed in the tent.  Suleiman was one of the most handsome and wonderful of people.

A Bedouin woman spotted him from the hilltop while she was in her tent.  When she saw his handsomeness and beauty, she came down to him, still wearing her veil (niqab) and gloves.  She came before him and removed the veil from her face, which was as beautiful as the moon.  She said: ‘Take me.’  Suleiman thought she was asking for food, so he got up to give her what remained of the meal.  She said: ‘I do not want that food; I want what a man shares privately with his wife.’  He replied: ‘Satan has sent you to lead me astray.’  He then put his head between his arms and started weeping.  And he continued to weep in earnest.  When she saw that, she veiled her face and left slowly with regret to her tent.

His companion returned after buying their supplies.  When he saw Suleiman’s swollen eyes and hiccups, he asked him: ‘What makes you cry?’  Suleiman said: ‘Nothing, I just remembered my children.’  His companion said: ‘No, there is something else, for you just saw your children three or so days ago.’  He continued to press him until Suleiman told him about the Bedouin woman.

His companion put down the food bag and started himself weeping profusely.  So Suleiman asked him: ‘Now what makes you cry?’  His companion replied: ‘I deserve to cry more than you.’  Suleiman: ‘And why is that?’  He replied: ‘Because I am afraid if I was in your place, I would not have refrained from touching her.’  So they both continued to weep.

When Suleiman reached Makkah, he performed Umrah, then went and sat in Al-Hijr (north part of Ka’bah).  He wrapped his clothes around him, and fell asleep.  He saw in a dream a tall, beautiful, handsome man with nice appearance and good smell. Suleiman asked him: ‘Who are you, may Allah have mercy on you?’  The man replied: ‘I am Yoosuf Ibn Ya’qoob (Joseph son of Jacob).’  Suleiman asked: ‘Prophet Yoosuf, the truthful one?’  He replied: ‘Yes.’  Suleiman said: ‘Your dealing with the wife of Al-Aziz (Potiphar’s wife) was amazing.’  He replied: ‘Your dealing with the Bedouin woman at Al-Abwa’ is more amazing.’ ”  Related by Abu Nu’eim in “Hilyatul Awliya” (The Ornament of the Saints).

 

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A Righteous Woman

 

    عن عبد الله بن زيد بن أسلم، عن أبيه، عن جده أسلم قال: ( بينما أنا مع عمر بن الخطاب وهو يعس بالمدينة إذ أعيا، فاتكأ على جانب جدار في جوف الليل، فإذا امرأة تقول لابنتها: يا ابنتاه قومي إلى ذلك اللبن فامذقيه بالماء، فقالت لها: يا أمتاه، وما علمت بما كان من عزمة أمير المؤمنين اليوم؟ قالت: وما كان من عزمته يا بينه؟ قالت: إنه أمر مناديه فنادى: أن لا يشاب اللبن بالماء، فقالت لها: يابنتاه قومي إلى اللبن فامذقيه بالماء فإنك بموضع لا يراك فيه عمر ولا منادي عمر، فقالت الصبية لأمها: يا أمتاه، والله ما كنت لأطيعه في الملأ وأعصيه في الخلاء، وعمر يسمع كل ذلك، فقال: يا أسلم: عَلّم الباب واعرف الموضع، ثم مضى في عسسه، فلما أصبح قال: يا أسلم إمض إلى الموضع فانظر من القائلة؟ ومن المقول لها؟ وهل لهما من بعل؟ قال أسلم: فأتيت الموضع، فنظرت فإذا الجارية أَيّم لا بعل لها، وإذ تيك أمها، وإذ ليس لهم رجل، فأتيت عمر بن الخطاب فأخبرته، فدعى ولده فجمعهم فقال: هل فيكم من يحتاج إلى امرأة أزوجه، ولو كان بأبيكم حركة إلى النساء ما سبقه فيكم أحد إلى هذه الجارية؟ فقال عبدالله: لي زوجة، وقال عبدالرحمن: لي زوجة، وقال عاصم: يا أبتاه، لا زوجة لي فزوجني، فبعث إلى الجارية فزوجها من عاصم، فكانت جدة عمر بن عبد العزيز الخليفة رحمه الله).   قال أهل السيرة: فولدت لعاصم بنتا، وولدت البنت عمر بن عبد العزيز.

Abdullah Ibn Zaid Ibn Aslam narrated from his father, who narrated from his grandfather: “One night, I was in the company of Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khattab during one of his secret night visits to survey the condition of his people. Umar felt tired and leaned against a wall late at night. He overheard a woman saying to her daughter: ‘My daughter, get that milk and mix it with water.’ The daughter replied: ‘My mother, do you not know the resolution of the Leader of the Believers (Amir Al-Mu’mineen, Umar) today?’  The mother asked: ‘What was his resolution, daughter?’  She replied: ‘He ordered his caller to announce: the milk should not be diluted with water.’ The mother said: ‘My daughter, get the milk and mix it with water, for you are in a site where neither Umar nor his caller can see you.’  The girl said to her mother: ‘My mother, by Allah I would not have obeyed him in public to disobey him in private.’

Umar heard all of that, so he said: ‘O Aslam, mark the door and remember the place.’  Umar then continued with his night watch.

When it was morning, Umar said: ‘O Aslam, go to that place, and find out: Who was the speaker?  Whom did she address?  And does she have a husband?’  Aslam said: So I went to the same spot, and found out that the young woman was single with no husband, and the speaker was her mother, and they did not have any male relative.  I went back to Umar Ibn Al-Khattab and told him.

Umar called all of his sons, and asked: ‘Does anyone of you need a wife, so I would get him married?  Indeed, had your father been desirous of women (he was old then), nobody would have superseded him to this young woman.’  So Abdullah (the eldest son) said: ‘I have a wife.’  And Abdul-Rahman said: ‘I have a wife.’  But Aasim said: ‘My father, I do not have a wife, so get me married.’

Umar sent for the young woman and married her to Aasim.  So she was the grandmother of the (fifth) Caliph Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz, may Allah have mercy on him.”

The historians said: She gave birth to a girl from Aasim, and the daughter gave birth to Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz.

Most Beloved

Narrated Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ sent some cavalry towards Najd. They captured a man from the tribe of Bani Hanifa, who was called Thumama Ibn Uthal, and he was the chief of the people of Yamama.  They tied him to one of the pillars of the Mosque.

The Prophet ﷺ went to him and said: ‘What do you have, O Thumama?’  He replied: ‘I have goodness, O Muhammad. If you should kill me, you would kill a person who has already killed somebody, and if you should set me free, you would do a favor to one who is grateful, and if you want property, then ask me whatever wealth you want.’  The Messenger of Allah ﷺ left him for two days.

He ﷺ then came back to him and asked: ‘What do you have, O Thumama?’  He replied: ‘What I have already told you: if you should set me free, you would do a favor to one who is grateful; if you should kill me, you would kill a person who has already killed somebody; and if you want property, then ask me whatever wealth you want.’  The Messenger of Allah ﷺ left him until the next day.

He ﷺ then came back to him and said: ‘What do you have, O Thumama?’ He replied: ‘I have what I have already told you: if you should set me free, you would do a favor to one who is grateful; if you should kill me, you would kill a person who has already killed somebody; and if you want property, then ask me whatever wealth you want.’  Upon that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Set Thumama free.’

So Thumama went to a garden of date-palm trees near the Mosque, took a bath, and then entered the Mosque and said: ‘I testify that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.  By Allah, O Muhammad, there was no face on the surface of the earth most disliked by me than yours, but now your face has become the most beloved face to me.  By Allah, there was no religion most disliked by me than yours, but now your religion (of Islam) is the most beloved religion to me. And by Allah, there was no city most disliked by me than your town, but now your town is the most beloved city to me. Your cavalry captured me (at the time) when I was intending to perform Umrah. So what do you think I should do?’

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ gave him good tidings (congratulated him) and instructed him to proceed with Umrah.

When Thumama reached Makkah, somebody asked him: ‘Have you renounced your religion?’  He replied: ‘No, rather I have embraced Islam with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. By Allah, you will not get a single grain of wheat from Yamama until the Messenger of Allah ﷺ gives permission for that.’ ”

(Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

We see the high moral character of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in many aspects of this story. Thumama was already wanted by the Muslims as he had killed some of them, and yet the Prophet received him calmly and in the best manner. It is related in another narration that the Prophet displayed hospitality and ordered his own camel to be milked for Thumama.  In addition to that, we see the amiable demeanor of the Prophet ﷺ with his captive; he showed him no signs of threat or aggressiveness or torture.  Quite the opposite: the Prophet treated his captive with honor, generosity, and forgiveness.

In the face of such treatment and high moral code, Thumama was captivated by this noble character and had no choice but to admit to the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad’s Divine Message.  Thumama then made his famous statement and expressed his true feelings:

By Allah, O Muhammad, there was no face on the surface of the earth most disliked by me than yours, but now your face has become the most beloved face to me.  By Allah, there was no religion most disliked by me than yours, but now your religion is the most beloved religion to me.

Indeed, what great words, and what wonderful meanings they contain.  For indeed, whoever comes to know Allah and His Messenger ﷺ will find inner peace, enlightenment, and true happiness that sustain him throughout life and after death, such that he attains pleasure in both this world and the Hereafter.  It is this great feeling that Thumama expressed in his words and this beautiful meaning that he tried to convey.  Thumama also expressed his appreciation of his new faith in action as well.  Ibn Hisham reported that when Thumama was a prisoner, he used to complain of the little food they brought him although the Muslims served him as much as they could.  But when they presented the same food to him after he embraced Islam, he ate little and showed contentment. The Muslims wondered at his change of behavior, so the Prophet ﷺ alerted them to the fact that his Islam now took precedence.

Finally, it is related that Thumama, who was the chief of Yamama, stopped all supplies and provision from reaching Quraysh in Makkah for their ill treatment of the Muslims, until they suffered shortage of food due to that embargo. Quraysh sought the aid of the Prophet ﷺ in this matter, beseeching him to maintain their kinship. Again we see the high moral code of the Prophet ﷺ and his high level of compassion: he wrote to Thumama asking him to let supplies pass to Quraysh. Thumama did so, appreciating the mercy, compassion, and true human feelings of the Prophet of Allah, prayer and blessings be upon him.

Thus, we see many lessons in this story that the Muslim should learn and try to emulate.  Indeed, as shown by both words and action of the Prophet ﷺ, positive morals and exceptional manners are an integral part of our religion of Islam. In this story, we see the embodiment of mercy, forgiveness, compassion, and morals in the best way possible. These traits and characteristics should be the target and goal of Muslims in their daily lives. And Allah knows best.

A True Story of Generosity, Honor, and Forgiveness

Related Shayba Al-Dimashqi: “During the reign of Sulayman Ibn ‘Abd al-Malik (an Umayyad Caliph), there lived a man from the tribe of Bani Asad whose name was Khuzayma Ibn Bishr. Khuzayma was rich and was well-known for his honor, generosity, and help of the needy. He continued to be so generous that one day he himself became needy. As a result, Khuzayma was obliged to seek the aid of his brothers whom he used to help out and do favors. His brothers helped him for some time, but eventually they grew weary of him. When he noticed their change in attitude, Khuzayma said to his wife: ‘O cousin, I see a change in my brothers, and I have decided to stay in my house until I die.’ He then locked his door upon himself, and lived on what he had until it was depleted, and he was bewildered what to do.

Ikrima Al-Fayyad was the ruler of the island, and while he was sitting in his ruling place surrounded by a group of the peers of the city, Khuzayma was mentioned. So Ikrima asked: ‘In what condition is he?’ They replied: ‘He is in the worst of conditions and has locked himself in his house.’ Ikrima refrained from speaking any further on the topic.

When it was nighttime, Ikrima took four thousand Dinars and placed them in a single money pouch. He then went out secretly, disguised, until he stopped at Khuzayma’s door.  He knocked and Khuzayma came out.  Ikrima said to him: ‘Use this to improve your conditions.’  Khuzayma took the pouch and found it heavy, so he caught the reins of his night visitor’s mount and asked: ‘Who are you, may I be sacrificed for you?’  Ikrima said: ‘I did not come out disguised at this time to be recognized!’  Khuzayma said: ‘I will not accept it until you tell who you are.’  Ikrima said: ‘I am Jabir ‘Atharatil-Kiram (the mender of the slips of the honorable).’  He then left.  Khuzayma went inside his house in disbelief, feeling the pouch and the money inside.

Ikrima returned to his house and found that his wife had sensed his absence and had become suspicious. She slapped her cheeks, and when he saw her like that, he asked: ‘What is wrong with you, O cousin?’ She replied: ‘Your mistreatment of your cousin. The ruler of the island does not go out at night secretly without his servants except to go to a wife or a mistress!’ He said: ‘Allah knows that I went out for neither.’ She said: ‘Then tell me why you went out.’ He replied: ‘O woman, I did not go out at the time except that I wanted nobody to know about me.’ She said: ‘You must tell me.’ He said: ‘Then keep it a secret.’ She replied: ‘I will.’ So Ikrima told her the whole story and she said: ‘My heart is at rest now.’

In the morning, Khuzayma paid out his debts and improved his condition. He then set out to visit the Caliph Sulayman Ibn ‘Abd al-Malik. When Khuzayma arrived there, he asked permission to enter. The Caliph Sulayman gave him permission, for he had heard of his honor and generosity. Sulayman asked him about his condition and the reason for his delayed visit. Khuzayma told him about the story of the night visitor, so Sulayman asked: ‘Did you know recognize him?’ Khuzayma replied: ‘No, by Allah, because he was disguised. I only heard him saying his name was Jabir ‘Atharatil-Kiram (the mender of the slips of the honorable).’ Sulayman was eager to know his real name and said: ‘If we come to know him, we will help him for his generosity.’ He then said: ‘Get me a scepter (ruling spear).’ And he appointed Khuzayma as a ruler for the island in place of Ikrima Al-Fayyad. Sulayman gave Khuzayma many gifts and bade him to go back to the island.

Khuzayma went back to the island. When he got close, Ikrima and the peers of the city came out to receive him, and the men all returned together into the city. Khuzayma took lodgings at the ruling house and ordered that Ikrima be questioned and called to account.  Ikrima was accounted for and was found to owe a significant sum of money.  Khuzayma asked him for the amount, and Ikrima replied: ‘I have no access to such an amount.’  So Khuzayma had Ikrima imprisoned.  Khuzayma later called him to pay and Ikrima replied: ‘I am not among those who protect their money at the expense of their honor, so do whatever you wish.’  Khuzayma had him chained in iron and constrained him. Ikrima stayed like that for one month, and the iron chains wore him out and caused him harm.

Ikrima’s cousin–his wife–heard about the trouble, so she called a wise servant girl of hers and said: ‘Go at this hour to the door of this ruler and say: ‘I have advice that I will say only to the ruler himself.’ And when you go inside, ask him secretly: Was this your reward to Jabir ‘Atharatil-Kiram (the mender of the slips of the honorable), that you harm him, imprison him, and put him in chains!’ The servant girl followed through with this procedure.

When Khuzayma heard her words, he said: ‘My shame! My opponent is Jabir ‘Atharatil-Kiram (the mender of the slips of the honorable)?’ She responded in the affirmative. Khuzayma immediately called for his mount to be saddled, rode to the peers of the city, gathered them and then took them all to the door of the prison. Khuzayma opened the prison door and saw Ikrima Al-Fayyad at the bottom of the cell, so different from his normally honorable look and worn out. When Ikrima saw Khuzayma and the peers, he felt ashamed and bent his head. Khuzayma approached him and bent down, kissing his head. Ikrima raised his head and asked: ‘What is the reason for this?’ Khuzayma replied: ‘Your honorable deeds and my ill-reward.’ Ikrima said: ‘May Allah forgive us and you.’ Khuzayma then ordered Ikrima’s chains to be removed and placed around his own feet. So Ikrima asked: ‘Why do you want to do that?’ Khuzayma replied: ‘I want to experience the same harm that you experienced.’ Ikrima said: ‘I swear by Allah on you not to do so.’

They left together until they reached Khuzayma’s house, so Ikrima bade him farewell and wanted to leave, but Khuzayma did not let him. Ikrima asked: ‘And what do you want?’ Khuzayma replied: ‘I want to change the condition in which I see you.’ He then had the washing quarters emptied and they went inside. Khuzayma then himself served Ikrima. He asked him to travel together to see the leader of the believers (Caliph Sulayman) and he agreed.

They set out together until they reached the Caliph Sulayman Ibn ‘Abd al-Malik. Sulayman was worried by the fact that Khuzyama was visiting so soon, and without warning. He permitted Khuzayma to enter. When he did, Sulayman asked before any greeting: ‘What is the purpose of your visit, O Khuzayma?’ He replied: ‘Something good, O leader of the believers. I have found Jabir ‘Atharatil-Kiram (the mender of the slips of the honorable), and wanted to make you happy since I know your eagerness to see him.’ Sulayman asked: ‘And who is he?’ He replied: ‘Ikrima Al-Fayyad.’ So Sulayman gave Ikrima permission to enter. Ikrima entered, and said salam to him. Sulayman had him sit close and said: ‘Your good deed to him was a trial for you.’ Sulayman then fulfilled his needs, and gave him ten thousand Dinars. He asked for a scepter (ruling spear) and appointed Ikrima as the ruler of the island, and of Armenia, and of Azerbaijan. Sulayman then said to him: ‘Khuzayma’s rule is in your hand; if you wish you can let him stay, and if you wish you can discharge him.’ Ikrima said: ‘I would rather let him go back to his rule, O leader of the believers.’ They then left together, and they stayed as rulers for Sulayman during his reign.”

Related by Ibn Hijja Al-Hamawi in his book Thamarat al-Awraq.

Al-Najashi (Negus, King of Ethiopia)

Editor’s note: The post is a follow up on the previous post on Umm Ayman. Both posts illuminate the important role played by black people in Islam’s early years, serving as important reminders for the need of establishing racial harmony and eliminating racism in Muslims.

Narrated Umm Salama Bint Abi Umayah Ibn Al-Mughira, the wife of the Prophet ﷺ: “When we immigrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia), we were received by the best of hosts, Al-Najashi (Negus, King of Ethiopia), who offered us sanctuary to practice our religion, so we worshipped Allah the Exalted with no harm or hateful objection. But when the tribe of Quraysh heard about the peace the Muslim migrants enjoyed under the protection of Al-Najashi, they made plans to try to extradite them back to Makkah. Quraysh decided to send two powerful men with valuable and much sought after gifts from Makkah to Al-Najashi and to every single member of his clergy.  Al-Najashi used to like tanned leather, so the Qurashites gathered a large quantity of it and sent everything with two men, Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a Ibn Al-Mughira Al-Makhzumi and Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas Ibn Wa’il Al-Sahmi. They explained the mission to the two men thus: ‘First, present to every bishop his special gift before you talk to Al-Najashi, then present to Al-Najashi his gifts, and then ask him to turn over the Muslim group to you without giving him a chance to speak with them.’

The two envoys set out to Abyssinia until they reached Al-Najashi, whose hospitality and security we [the Muslims] were enjoying. The two men first presented every bishop with his special gift before talking to Al-Najashi, and confided to each one of them: ‘Indeed, there have defected to the King’s land some ignorant young people from our tribe, who have renounced the religion of their forefathers and have not embraced your religion, but have come up with a new religion that neither of us recognize.  The noblemen of their tribe have sent us to the King seeking their extradition, so when we speak with the King about that, counsel him to deliver them to us without talking with them, for their own people are more cognizant of them and better acquainted with their beliefs and wrongdoing.’  The bishops agreed to do so.

Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a and Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas then presented Al-Najashi with their gifts, which he accepted. The two men then talked to the King and said to him: ‘O King, indeed there have defected to your land some ignorant young people from our tribe, who have renounced the religion of their forefathers and have not embraced your religion, but have come up with a new religion that neither of us recognize.  The noblemen of their tribe including their parents, uncles, and clansmen have sent us to you seeking their extradition, for their own people are more cognizant of them and better acquainted with their beliefs and wrongdoing.’

Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a and Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas wished for the King to not converse with the Muslim group and hear their speech. So the bishops spoke up and said: ‘They speak the truth, O King. Their own people are more cognizant of them and better acquainted with their wrongdoing, so send them back with the two men who would return them to their country and people.’

Al-Najashi became quite angry at that and said: ‘No, by God, I will not turn them over to these two men and will not dishonor a group of people who are my guests and who have chosen my protection over all others, until I call them and ask them about whatever these two men accuse them. If they are like what these two men have said, then I will hand them over to them. But if they are not so, then I shall offer them my protection and hospitality as long as they wish to remain with me.’

Al-Najashi then sent for the Muslims asking them to come to him.  When the King’s message reached them, they gathered and consulted with one another, asking: ‘What shall you say to the King when you stand before him?’ Others replied: ‘By Allah, we shall say what we know of the truth and of the commandments of our Prophet ﷺ, no matter what.’  When the Companions of the Prophet went to the court of Al-Najashi, they found that he had called his bishops who were seated around him with their Scriptures open before them to ask the Muslims about their beliefs.

Al-Najashi asked the Muslims: ‘What is this religion with which you have renounced the religion of your people, and have turned away from my religion and the religion of other nations?’  Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib acted as spokesperson and said: ‘O King, we were a group of people living in ignorance and immorality (Jahiliyya); we used to worship idols, eat the flesh of dead animals, engage in all kinds of debauchery, sever the ties of kinship, break the rights of neighbors, and the strong among us would take away the right of the weak.

We remained so until Allah sent to us a Messenger from amongst ourselves, whose lineage, truthfulness, honesty, and chastity were already well-known to us. So the Messenger ﷺ called us to worship Allah the Exalted alone and to renounce the stones and the idols that we and our forefathers used to worship besides Allah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ commanded us to speak the truth, to keep our promises, to keep good ties with relatives, to be kind to neighbors, to avoid all forbidden acts and bloodshed.  He prohibited and warned us against all kinds of debauchery, against false testimony, against taking over an orphan’s property, and against false accusation of chaste women.  He ordered us to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything with Him, to establish the prayer, to give Zakah and to fast the month of Ramadan (he mentioned all pillars of Islam).

So we believed in him, affirmed his message, and followed his commandment. We worshiped Allah alone without associating any partners with Him, we avoided what has Allah has forbidden for us and did what He allowed us to do.  But our people persecuted us, so they subjected us to all kinds of torture to make us recant our faith and return to the worship of idols and the previous condition of immorality. When they subdued and oppressed us, made miserable our lives, and prevented us from practicing our religion, we sought refuge in your land, choosing you over others, desiring your protection and hoping to live in justice and peace under your rule, O King.’

Al-Najashi asked Ja’far: ‘Do you have anything with you that was revealed to your Prophet by Allah?’ Ja’far replied: ‘Yes.’  Al-Najashi said: ‘Then recite it to me.’  Ja’far recited for him the first portion of Surah Maryam which describes the story of Jesus and his mother Mary.

Umm Salama said: By Allah, when Al-Najashi and his bishops heard the verses of Quran, he wept until his tears moistened his beard, and his bishops cried until their tears moistened their Scriptures.  Al-Najashi then said: ‘The message of your Prophet and that of Prophet Moses come from the same lamp and source.’  He then turned to Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a and Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas and said: ‘Go, for by God, I will never turn them over to you and will never bring them any harm.’

But when the two men left the King’s court, Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas said to Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a: ‘By God, I shall return to the King tomorrow and bring up something of their belief that will destroy them completely.’  Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a, who was the kinder of the two men, said: ‘Do not do so, for they are our relatives even if they renounced our religion.’  Amr said: ‘By Allah, I will tell the King that they claim Jesus, the son of Mary, is a servant of God.’  The next day, Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas said to Al-Najashi: ‘O King, the group of the Muslims say a terrible thing about Jesus, the son of Marry. Send for them and ask them what they say about him.’

Al-Najashi sent for the Muslims again asking them what they said about Jesus.  When the King’s message reached the Muslim group, they were apprehensive and gathered to consult with one another, asking: ‘What shall you say to the King if he asks you about Jesus?’ Others replied: ‘By Allah, we shall say what Allah the Exalted has said about him and what our Prophet ﷺ said, no matter what.’

When the Muslims went to the court of Al-Najashi, he asked them: ‘What do you say about Jesus, the son of Mary?’  Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, stepped forward and said: ‘We only say regarding Jesus what has been revealed to our Prophet ﷺ, that Jesus is the servant of God, His Messenger, His spirit, and His word which He cast into Mary the Virgin.’

So Al-Najashi struck the ground with his hand and picked up a small stick then said: ‘Jesus, the son of Mary, is no more than what you said about him except as much as this stick.’ The bishops around him snorted in disagreement, so Al-Najashi admonished them saying: ‘Even if you snort!’  He then turned to the Muslims and said: ‘Go, for you shall be safe and secure in my land. Whoever abuses you shall be punished, whoever abuses you shall be punished, and whoever abuses you shall be punished.  For by God, I would not like to have a mountain of gold while anyone of you should come to any harm.’  Al-Najashi then said: ‘Return these two men’s gifts for I have no need of them.  By God, when Allah returned my reign to me, He did not ask me for ransom, so I will not take ransom for this group, and people did not obey me then so I would not obey them against His pleasure.’

Umm Salama said: So Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a and Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas left the court of the King, humiliated and rejected, while we lived with the King, in the best hospitality and protection.”  Related by Imam Ahmad with a good (hasan) narration.

 

And it is related that Al-Najashi did testify to the Oneness of Allah and the true message of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.  Therefore, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ performed the funeral prayer on him in absentia, and called him a righteous man, as seen in the following narrations:

عن أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضى الله عنه: ( أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَعَى النَّجَاشِيَّ فِي الْيَوْمِ الَّذِي مَاتَ فِيهِ، وَخَرَجَ بِهِمْ إِلَى الْمُصَلَّى فَصَفَّ بِهِمْ، وَكَبَّرَ عَلَيْهِ أَرْبَعَ تَكْبِيرَاتٍ)‏.  رواه البخاري ومسلم.

Narrated Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him: “The Messenger of Allah informed us about the death of An-Najashi on the day he died. He went out with us to the prayer site and we aligned in rows behind him.  The Prophet then led the funeral prayer for An-Najashi and said four Takbirs.”   Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

وعن جَابِرٍ رضى الله عنه، قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم حِينَ مَاتَ النَّجَاشِيُّ: (‏ مَاتَ الْيَوْمَ رَجُلٌ صَالِحٌ، فَقُومُوا فَصَلُّوا عَلَى أَخِيكُمْ أَصْحَمَةَ).‏ رواه البخاري.

Narrated Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him: “When An-Najashi died, the Prophet said: ‘A righteous man has died today. So get up and offer the funeral prayer for your brother Ashama.’ ”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

What a tremendous honor, to have the Prophet pray funeral prayers on someone despite him not being there! These men and women received such blessings because of their sincerity, struggle, and sacrifice for the truth. May Allah allow us to experience even a small portion of that zeal for faith.

Umm Ayman, Baraka

Editor’s note: Muslim societies today are not free from the sickness of racism. The following post introduces a little known character of Islamic history, whose position in the nascent Muslim community serves as a model for race relations in our contemporary society.

Among the early Muslim women of African origin was Umm Ayman.  She was the nanny of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and took care of him from the time of his birth. The Prophet ﷺ in turn loved her and was very kind to her.  Indeed, he used to praise her in front of his Companions.  It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Whoever desires to wed a woman from Paradise, then let him marry Umm Ayman.’  So Zayd bin Haritha married Umm Ayman and she bore him a son, Usama bin Zayd. (Related by Ibn Sa’d.)  And what greater honor is there than being a woman of Paradise!

When Usama bin Zayd was born, the Prophet ﷺ used to love him so much that he was known as ‘the Beloved of the Prophet’!  No wonder, for his father was Zayd bin Haritha, who was so loved by the Prophet ﷺ that he adopted him, until the command was revealed in Qur’an to attribute everyone to their father. And Usama’s mother was Umm Ayman, who was greatly respected and treated as a second mother by the Prophet ﷺ.  We can see this love in the following authentic narration:

وعن عبدِ اللَّهِ بنِ عمرَ رضي اللَّهُ عنهما، قال: ( بَعَثَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَعْثًا، وَأَمَّرَ عليهِم أُسامةَ بنَ زيدٍ فَطَعَنَ بعضُ النَّاسِ في إمارَتِهِ، فقالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: « أَنْ تَطْعُنُوا فِي إِمَارَتِهِ فَقَدْ كُنْتُمْ تَطْعُنُونَ فِي إِمَارَةِ أَبِيهِ مِنْ قَبْلُ، وَايْمُ اللَّهِ إِنْ كَانَ لَخَلِيقًا لِلْإِمَارَةِ وَإِنْ كَانَ لَمِنْ أَحَبِّ النَّاسِ إِلَيَّ، وَإِنَّ هَذَا لَمِنْ أَحَبِّ النَّاسِ إِلَيَّ بَعْدَهُ» .  رواه البخاري ومسلم.

Narrated ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father):

“The Prophet ﷺ sent an army and appointed Usama bin Zayd as their commander. When some people criticized Usama’s leadership, the Prophet ﷺ said: ‘If you are criticizing Usama’s leadership, then you used to criticize his father’s leadership before. By Allah, he (Zayd) was worthy of leadership and was one of the most beloved persons to me, and now this (i.e. his son, Usama) is among the most beloved to me”  (Bukhari and Muslim).

From Umm Ayman and her family, we see that Islam gives equal status to everyone, and people excel one another by nothing but piety and righteousness.  Indeed, discrimination based on color, race, or gender has no place in Islam.

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « المُسْلِمُ أخُو المُسْلِمِ: لا يَظْلِمُهُ، ولا يَخْذُلُهُ ولا يَحْقِرُهُ، التَّقْوَى ههُنَا، التَّقْوَى ههُنَا، ويُشِيرُ إلى صَدْرِهِ، بِحْسبِ امْرِيءٍ مِنَ الشَّرِّ أَنْ يَحْقِرَ أَخَاهُ المُسْلِمَ، كُلُّ المُسْلِمِ عَلَى المُسْلِمِ حَرَامٌ: دَمُهُ، وعِرْضُهُ، ومَالُهُ، إنَّ اللَّهَ لا يَنْظُرُ إلَى أجْسَادِكُمْ، وَلا إلَى صُوَرِكُمْ، وأَعْمَالِكُمْ، ولكِنْ يَنْظُرُإلَى قُلُوبِكُمْ».  رواه البخاري ومسلم.

 

Narrated Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet ﷺ said:

“A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him, nor humiliates him, nor looks down upon him.  Piety is here (and while saying so he pointed towards his chest).  It is a serious evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother Muslim.  All things of a Muslim are prohibited for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth, and his honor. Verily Allah does not look to your bodies nor to your faces and actions but He looks to your hearts.”  (Bukhari and Muslim).

It is well-known that Bilal, the freed African slave, had great status with the Prophet ﷺ.  And now we learn about Umm Ayman, the African nursemaid of the Prophet ﷺ, who had a similar high regard and status with the Prophet ﷺ. Suffice it to say, these examples serve as important lessons for us today in our interaction with others.