Prophet Muhammad – Forgiving and Kind

     قال الله تعالى: { لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ} التوبة 128.

      Allah -the Exalted- says: { Verily, there has come to you a Messenger (Muhammad) from among yourselves. It grieves him what you suffer.  He is concerned over you, and to the believers he is kind and merciful} (Surah 9, verse 128).

    عن عَائِشَةَ رضى الله عنها أَنَّها قالت: ( مَا انْتَقَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لِنَفْسِهِ فِي شَىْءٍ قَطُّ، إِلاَّ أَنْ تُنْتَهَكَ حُرْمَةُ اللَّهِ، فَيَنْتَقِمَ بِهَا لِلَّهِ). متفق عليه.‏

            Narrated Aisheh (Wife of the Prophet) -may Allah be pleased with her- said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- never took revenge over anybody for himself, unless the limits of Allah were violated then he would serve justice for Allah’s sake.” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

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Prophet Muhammad urged the Muslims to show forgiveness and kindness to others.  Not only did he express that in words, but he also accompanied it with action.  If we study the biography of Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, we see instance after instance of forgiveness and largess.

The most clear instance of Prophet Muhammad’s great forgiveness appears in his treatment of the tribe of Qureish after the Conquest of Makkah.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- spent thirteen years in Makkah inviting his people to Islam.  During this period, his tribe Qureish not only refused his invitation but persecuted him and his followers.  Qureish used to worship idols, and vehemently rejected the call to worship one God.  They believed in God, but associated other idols in worship as well.  As the Prophet explained his divine message, and as people saw the true divine and noble nature of his message, many people embraced Islam and devoted their worship to one God only.  However, the chiefs and powerful men of Qureish insisted on their belief, and moreover started harming and torturing those who followed Prophet Muhammad, and employed many methods to make them renounce their religion.

In response to this persecution, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- allowed his followers to migrate to Ethiopia first, and to Al-Medina later.  Al-Medinah is located around 210 miles north of Makkah, and at the time was populated by a tribe called Al-Ansar.  Beside Al-Ansar Tribe, many Jews had moved to Al-Medinah as they determined it to be the place where the next true prophet would appear.  The Ansar used to worship idols, while the Jews used to worship God.  The Jews often used to warn the Ansar that soon a true prophet will come then they will kill all of Ansar.  Therefore, when some Ansari men heard of Prophet Muhammad, they remembered the warning of the Jews and readily accepted his prophet-hood and believed him in his Divine message.  Finally, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- migrated to Al-Medinah and the whole town embraced Islam vowing their allegiance to God and His true Messenger.

Qureish had decided to kill Prophet Muhammad by asking each sub-tribe to send a man to participate in killing Prophet Muhammad.  God revealed their plan to Prophet Muhammad and commanded him to migrate to Al-Medinah.  Qureish promised 100 camels for whoever caught the Prophet dead or alive, but he evaded them and reached Al-Medinah safely.

Once in Al-Medinah, the tribe of Qureish organized many military expeditions and armies to defeat the now Muslim Ansar tribe and Prophet Muhammad.  After a number of battles, both sides signed a peace treaty named Al-Hudeibiyah Treaty that favored the tribe of Qureish, but the Prophet looking for peace signed it.  When Qureish violated the treaty, Prophet Muhammad with the permission of God decided to march to Makkah, his birthplace and the starting point of his Divine true message.

The Muslim marched in large numbers to Makkah and overcame the minor resistance they faced.  When they entered Makkah, there were many of idols around Ka’bah in the Great Sacred Mosque of Makkah.  The Prophet had all of them destroyed.

                   The Forgiveness of Prophet Muhammad appeared even before he entered Makkah.  Prophet Muhammad had it announced that whoever stayed in his house or in the house of Abu Sufayn, then no harm will come to him.  Thus, instead of killing and pillaging the tribe that spent every penny opposing and fighting him and his followers, he granted them general amnesty.  The tribe of Qureish, who always fought the Muslims, tortured them, and killed many of them, now could see the real high moral character of Prophet Muhammad and his followers.

    عنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَامَ الْفَتْحِ جَاءَهُ الْعَبَّاسُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ بِأَبِي سُفْيَانَ بْنِ حَرْبٍ فَأَسْلَمَ بِمَرِّ الظَّهْرَانِ، فَقَالَ لَهُ الْعَبَّاسُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، إِنَّ أَبَا سُفْيَانَ رَجُلٌ يُحِبُّ هَذَا الْفَخْرَ فَلَوْ جَعَلْتَ لَهُ شَيْئًا،‏ قَالَ: «‏ نَعَمْ، مَنْ دَخَلَ دَارَ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ فَهُوَ آمِنٌ، وَمَنْ أَغْلَقَ عَلَيْهِ بَابَهُ فَهُوَ آمِنٌ» .  رواه أبو داود.

Narrated Ibn Abbas said (English translation): “Al-Abbas Ibn Abdil-Muttalib (uncle of the Prophet) brought Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb (Leader of Qureish) to Prophet Muhammad just before the Conquest of Makkah.  Abu Sufyan embraced Islam at a place called Marr Adhahran.  Then Al-Abbas said to the Prophet: ‘O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a man who likes the common distinction and pride, if you may do something for him.’  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘Yes, whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan is safe, and whoever closes his house door on himself is safe.’ ”  Related by Abu Dawood.

Then after the Muslims entered Makkah, the tribe of Qureish wanted to know their fate and went to Prophet Muhammad to ask him.

عَنْ أَبِي يُوسُفَ أَنَّ النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ لَقريش حِينَ اجْتَمَعُوا فِي الْمَسْجِدِ: مَا تَرَوْنَ أَنِّي صَانِعٌ بِكُمْ؟ قَالُوا: خَيْرًا، أَخٌ كَرِيمٌ وَابْنُ أَخٍ كَرِيمٍ، قَالَ: اذْهَبُوا فَأَنْتُمُ الطُّلَقَاءُ. رواه البيهقي.

          Abu Yoosuf related (English translation): “After the Conquest of Makkah, the tribe of Qureish gathered in the Great Mosque, so Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- asked them: ‘What do you think I am going to do with you?’  They replied: ‘We only expect forgiveness and pardon from an honorable generous brother, and an honorable generous nephew.’  So Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘Then you may go, for you are the freed ones.’ ”  Related by Al-Beihaqi.

          Thus, we see the true moral character of Prophet Muhammad.  He forgave the tribe of Qureish after all their animosity, harm and opposition.  As a result, even his harshest opponents and sworn enemies among Qureish embraced Islam, some reluctantly at first but soon marveled and basked in the peace and justice of the true Divine message of Prophet Muhammad.

In fact, at the time of Prophet Muhammad many people of different religions used to come to see Prophet Muhammad and test his morals and outward actions.  They would set certain moral tests to see if Muhammad is a true Prophet.  Some Christians tested his acceptance of charity, but when he refused they recognized his sincerity and renunciation of the worldly life.  Some Jews tested his knowledge, and asked him deep esoteric questions that only they knew.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- answered all of their questions correctly as they stated.  Some pagans tested his justice and judgment, and Prophet Muhammad ruled with justice and avoided any bias.

To the extent that some famous rulers and kings accepted his true message based on his call to moral character and noble personal action.  The King of Ethiopia wept with tears when he heard the Qur’an then embraced Islam.  The Roman Emperor, Heraculius, asked Abu Sufyan (the chief of Qureish) about Prophet Muhammad and then marveled at his moral character, admitting that such moral behavior and justice only indicates a true Prophet of God.  The ruler of Yamamah, Thumamah Ibn Uthal, was captured by the Muslims.  The Prophet kept him for three days and then forgave him, releasing him.  During those three days, he was shown the real moral character of the Prophet and his kind treatment.  After his release, the Ruler of Yamamah declared Islam and then said his famous statement:

‘By God, 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 God, 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 God, there was no city most disliked by me than your town, but now your town is the most beloved city to me.’

Thus, we see that the high moral code of Prophet Muhammad and his noble action including his great mercy and forgiveness set him apart and give credence to his true Divine Message, for Mercy and Forgiveness are characteristics that God often attributes to Himself.  Righteous people who follow God’s command, not only call for such moral traits but embody them in action as well.  And Allah knows best.

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A Mercy to Mankind

     قال الله تعالى: { وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ} سورة الأنبياء، آية 107.

      Allah -the Exalted- says: { Verily, We have sent you (O Muhammad) but as a mercy for the worlds} (Surah 21, verse 107).

   عن عائشة رضي اللَّه عنها أَنها قالت للنبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: هل أَتى عَلَيْكَ يَوْمٌ كَانَ أَشدَّ مِنْ يوم أُحُدٍ؟ قال: « لَقَدْ لَقِيتُ مِنْ قَومِكِ، وكَان أَشدُّ ما لَقِيتُ مِنْهُمْ يوْم العقَبَةِ، إِذْ عرَضْتُ نَفسِي على ابْنِ عَبْدِ يَالِيلَ ابنِ عبْدِ كُلال، فلَمْ يُجبنِى إِلى ما أَردْتُ، فَانْطَلَقْتُ وَأَنَا مَهْمُومٌ على وَجْهِي، فلَمْ أَسْتَفِقْ إِلاَّ وَأَنا بقرنِ الثَّعالِبِ، فَرفَعْتُ رأْسِي فَإِذا أَنَا بِسحابَةٍ قَد أَظلَّتني، فنَظَرتُ فَإِذا فِيها جِبريلُ عليه السلام، فنَاداني فقال: إِنَّ اللَّه تعالى قَد سَمِع قَولَ قومِك لَكَ، وَما رَدُّوا عَلَيكَ، وَقد بعثَ إِلَيك ملَكَ الجبالِ لِتأْمُرهُ بما شِئْتَ فِيهم، فَنَادَانِي ملَكُ الجِبَالِ فَسلَّمَ عَليَّ ثُمَّ قال: يا محمَّد إِنَّ اللَّه قَد سمعَ قَولَ قَومِكَ لَكَ، وأَنَا مَلَكُ الجِبالِ، وقَدْ بَعَثَني رَبِّي إِلَيْكَ لِتأْمُرَني بِأَمْرِكَ، فَمَا شئتَ: إِنْ شئْتَ أَطْبَقْتُ عَلَيهمُ الأَخْشَبَيْن»، فقال النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « بلْ أَرْجُو أَنْ يُخْرِجَ اللَّه مِنْ أَصْلابِهِم منْ يعْبُدُ اللَّه وَحْدَهُ لا يُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئاً».  متفقٌ عليه .

          Narrated Aishah -may Allah be pleased with her- that she asked Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him (English translation): “Have you encountered a day harder than the Day of Uhud?”

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- replied: “I have experienced many hardships at the hand of your tribe [Qureish], but the greatest ordeal I experienced was on the day of ‘Aqaba when I presented myself to Ibn Abdi-Yalail Ibn Abdi-Kulal [in Al-Taif] and he did not respond to my invitation (to Islam).  So I departed, overwhelmed with distress, and proceeded on, and could not relax till I found myself at Qarn Al-Tha’alib where I lifted my head towards the sky and suddenly saw a cloud shading me.

I looked up and saw Angel Gabriel -peace be upon him- in it.  He called me and said: ‘The Almighty God has heard the speech of your people to you, and their reaction to your invitation.  So He has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish with these people.’

The Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me, and then said: ‘O Muhammad, God has heard the speech of your people to you.  I am the Angel of the Mountain, and my Lord has sent me to you to do as you command me.  Order whatever you wish; if you like I will let Al-Akh-Shabain (i.e. the two mountains surrounding Makkah) fall and crush them!’  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘I rather hope that Allah will produce from their descendants, people who will worship Allah alone and ascribe no partners with Him.’ ”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

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The Almighty God describes Prophet Muhammad as a mercy to mankind, and in another verse as compassionate, kind, and merciful.  God is the Most Merciful, and all of His prophets and messengers were sent with this main message of mercy.  Indeed, Mercy is a divine characteristic that distinguishes the righteous and pious from the oppressors and the unjust.  Therefore, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be him- instructed us:

    عن عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما أنَّ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « الرَّاحِمُونَ يَرْحَمُهُمُ الرَّحْمَنُ، ارْحَمُوا مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ» .  رواه أبو داود والترمذي.

     Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr Ibn ‘Aas -may Allah be pleased with them- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said (English translation):

“The merciful ones will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful (God).  Be merciful to those on earth, the One in heaven will be merciful to you.”

Related by Abu Dawood and Al-Tirmidhi.

  If we study the biography of Prophet Muhammad (Seerah), we see many instances of his great mercy, kindness and compassion.  Not only did Prophet Muhammad show mercy to his followers but to all mankind, even to animals and plants.  The above story is a true story that was related by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim, something that testifies to its authenticity.

When the tribe of Qureish persecuted Prophet Muhammad and his companions in Makkah, the Prophet sought support and refuge in another tribe and town, namely the tribe of Thaqeef in Al-Ta’if.  But when the Prophet went there, not only did they refuse his invitation, they also asked their young and urchins to throw stones at his feet and drive him out.  When the Prophet reached the outskirts of the town, he passed by a farm owned by two chiefs of Qureish, Utbah and Sheibah sons of Rabee’ah.  When they saw the condition of their fellow tribesman, they sent some grapes with their Christian servant Addas.

Ibn Hisham related in “The Prophet’s Biography”: “Addas placed some grapes on a plate and presented it to Prophet Muhammad.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said Bismil-llah (in the name of God) and then ate from it.  Addas was surprised by his speech, so asked: ‘By God, the people of this land do not utter these words.’ 

Prophet Muhammad asked him: ‘And which land do you come from? And what is your religion?’  Addas replied: ‘I am Christian, and I am from Neenwa (Nineveh).’  Prophet Muhammad said: ‘The town of the of the righteous man, Yoonus Ibn Matta (Jonah).’  Addas was astonished and asked: ‘And how do you know about Yoonus Ibn Matta (Jonah)?’  Prophet Muhammad replied: ‘We are brothers, Yoonus (Jonah) was a prophet and I am a prophet.’  Addas knew the true message of Prophet Muhammad and accepted Islam on the spot, and then knelt down to kiss the hands and feet of the Prophet.”  Seerah Ibn Hisham.

Prophet Muhammad then headed back to Makkah, with a heavy heart but full trust in God.  On the way, he invoked God, seeking His help and support.  And how soon does God respond to his supplication, for soon God sent him the Angel of the Mountains to order as he likes.  The Angel of the Mountains addressed Prophet Muhammad directly and let him choose the type of annihilation for his people.

          Here we see the true mercy of Prophet Muhammad, for here was the tribe of Qureish, who had called him bad names, had accused him falsely of different things, and had harmed him in every way possible.  And yet Prophet Muhammad showed great mercy not only to his followers but to his foes as well.  He said to the Angel of Mountains: Rather, I hope God will guide them, and if not then guide their children.

The Almighty God has praised Prophet Muhammad in Qur’an and stated that this mercy is a blessing of God on him, and had the Prophet been rude and churlish then people would have turned away from him.  But due to his great mercy, kindness and mercy, people admire Prophet Muhammad and follow his example in obedience to God and good morals.

      قال الله عز وجل: { فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ} آل عمران 159.

    God the Almighty says (English translation): {And by the mercy of God, you (O Muhammad) dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you} (Surah 3, verse 159).

          In response to this true and loving feelings, the invocation of Prophet Muhammad was again granted, and many of his sworn enemies became his staunch followers and allies.  Not only that, but once they came to know Prophet Muhammad’s high moral character and his true message, they declared their deepest love for him.

Omar Ibn Al-Khattab took his sword to kill him, but had a chance to listen to Qur’an.  Upon hearing it, Omar was overwhelmed by its deep meaning and embraced Islam.  Then Omar became one of the Prophet’s strongest supporters and defenders.

Abu Sufyan, the Supreme Chief of Qureish, who fought Prophet Muhammad at every opportunity, finally embraced Islam and declared his greatest love for Prophet Muhammad.

Abu Jahl, an enemy of the Muslims, died as a disbeliever.  But his son Ikrimah Ibn Abi Jahl who fought with his father, finally embraced Islam and became a great defender of Islam and the Muslims.

Hind Bint Utbah, whose father, uncle and brother were killed as disbelievers during the battle of Badr, hated the Muslims and fought them along with her husband Abu Sufyan with all her might.  She also participated in the mutilation of the Prophet’s uncle Hamza.  But after the Conquest of Makkah, she embraced Islam.  After she came to know Prophet Muhammad and his true message, she went to Prophet Muhammad and said:

          عن عائشة رضي الله عنها، قَالَتْ: ( جَاءَتْ هِنْدٌ بِنْتُ عُتْبَةَ بْنِ رَبِيعَةَ فَقَالَتْ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، وَاللَّهِ مَا كَانَ عَلَى ظَهْرِ الأَرْضِ خِبَاءٌ أَحَبَّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ أَنْ يَذِلُّوا مِنْ أَهْلِ خِبَائِكَ وَمَا أَصْبَحَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَى ظَهْرِ الأَرْضِ خِبَاءٌ أَحَبَّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ أَنْ يَعِزُّوا مِنْ أَهْلِ خِبَائِكَ). رواه البخاري ومسلم.

     Narrated Aishah -may Allah be pleased with her- said (English translation): “Hind Bint Utbah Ibn Rabee’ah, came to Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- and said:

O Messenger of God, I swear by God that there was no household upon the face of the earth that I wished to be disgraced and degraded more than your household.  But today there is no household on the face of the earth that I wish to be honored and revered more than your household.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim with authentic narration.

Then indeed we see how Prophet Muhammad was sent as a mercy to mankind, who was sent with true guidance and to show people the right path to God.  We see the great moral character and standards that Prophet Muhammad had and which he instructed his followers to have.  We see the great mercy he showed not only to his followers but to all mankind.  And finally, we see how when people really came to know Prophet Muhammad, they declared their utmost and deepest love for such a noble and blessed true prophet of God.

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Good Morals In Qur’an

قال الله تعالى: { إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ} النحل 90.

Allah -the Exalted- says: {Verily, Allah orders justice, kindness, and giving (help) to the relatives, and He forbids immoral sins evil and oppression.  He admonishes you that perhaps you may take heed} (Surah 16, verse 90).

It is narrated that Al-Hasan Al-Basri recited this verse and then said: “The Almighty God has combined all good and all evil in this one verse.  I swear by God, ‘justice and kindness’ left nothing of the obedience of God but included it, and ‘immoral sins and evil’ left nothing of the disobedience of God but included it.”

    وعن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما، قال: ( بَيْنَمَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِفِنَاءِ بَيْتِهِ بِمَكَّةَ جَالِسٌ، إِذْ مَرَّ بِهِ عُثْمَانُ بْنُ مَظْعُونٍ، فَكَشَرَ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم: “أَلَا تَجْلِسُ؟” قَالَ : بَلَى. قَالَ: فَجَلَسَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مُسْتَقْبِلَهُ، فَبَيْنَمَا هُوَ يُحَدِّثُهُ إِذْ شَخَصَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِبَصَرِهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ، فَنَظَرَ سَاعَةً إِلَى السَّمَاءِ، فَأَخَذَ يَضَعُ بَصَرَهُ حَتَّى وَضَعَهُ عَلَى يَمِينِهِ فِي الْأَرْضِ، فَتَحَرَّفَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ جَلِيسِهِ عُثْمَانَ إِلَى حَيْثُ وَضَعَ بَصَرَهُ، وَأَخَذَ يُنْغِضُ رَأْسَهُ كَأَنَّهُ يَسْتَفْقِهُ مَا يُقَالُ لَهُ، وَابْنُ مَظْعُونٍ يَنْظُرُ ، فَلَمَّا قَضَى حَاجَتَهُ وَاسْتَفْقَهَ مَا يُقَالُ لَهُ، شَخَصَ بَصَرُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ كَمَا شَخَصَ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ، فَأَتْبَعَهُ بَصَرَهُ حَتَّى تَوَارَى فِي السَّمَاءِ، فَأَقْبَلَ إِلَى عُثْمَانَ بِجِلْسَتِهِ الْأُولَى، قَالَ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ، فِيما كُنْتُ أُجَالِسُكَ وَآتِيكَ، مَا رَأَيْتُكَ تَفْعَلُ كَفِعْلِكَ الْغَدَاةَ! قَالَ: “وَمَا رَأَيْتَنِي فَعَلْتُ؟” قَالَ: رَأَيْتُكَ تَشْخَصُ بِبَصَرِكَ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ، ثُمَّ وَضَعْتَهُ حَيْثُ وَضَعْتَهُ عَلَى يَمِينِكَ، فَتَحَرَّفْتَ إِلَيْهِ وَتَرَكْتَنِي، فَأَخَذْتَ تُنْغِضُ رَأْسَكَ كَأَنَّكَ تَسْتَفْقِهُ شَيْئًا يُقَالُ لَكَ. قَالَ: “وَفَطِنْتَ لِذَاكَ؟” قَالَ عُثْمَانُ: نَعَمْ. قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “أَتَانِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ آنِفًا، وَأَنْتَ جَالِسٌ”، قَالَ: رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ؟ قَالَ: “نَعَمْ”. قَال : فَمَا قَالَ لَكَ؟ قَالَ: { إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ}” سورة النحل آية 90. قَالَ عُثْمَانُ: فَذَلِكَ حِينَ اسْتَقَرَّ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قَلْبِي ، وَأَحْبَبْتُ مُحَمَّدًا). رواه أحمد وصححه، ورواه البخاري في الأدب المفرد، وابن أبي حاتم والطبراني وابن مردويه.

          Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Abbas -may Allah be pleased with them- said: “While Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- was sitting in the courtyard of his house in Makkah, Othman Ibn Madh’oon passed by and smiled at the Prophet.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said to Othman Ibn Madh’oon: ‘Why don’t you sit down?’ Othman replied: ‘Yes, I will.’

So Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- sat facing Othman.  While he was conversing with him, the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- stared up at the sky.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- kept looking up at the sky for a while.  He then brought his gaze down until he was looking at the ground to his right. Then he turned slightly away from his companion Othman to where he was looking. Then he began to tilt his head as if trying to understand something, while Othman Ibn Madh’oon was looking on.

When the matter was finished and he had understood what had been said to him, Prophet Muhammad stared at the sky again as he had done the first time, looking at whatever he could see until it disappeared.  Then he turned back and sat facing Othman again.

Othman said: ‘O Muhammad, I have accompanied and sat with you before, but I have never seen you do anything like you did today.’  Prophet Muhammad said: ‘What did you see me do?’  Othman said: ‘I saw you staring at the sky, then you lowered your gaze until you were looking to your right, then you turned to him and left me. Then you tilted your head as if you were trying to understand something that was being said to you.’  Prophet Muhammad asked: ‘Did you notice that?’  Othman replied: ‘Yes’.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘A messenger from God (Angel Gabriel) came to me just now, while you were sitting.’  Othman asked: ‘A messenger from God?’ Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Yes.’  Othman asked: ‘And what did he say to you?’

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- recited the verse of God that was revealed to him just then: ‘{Verily, God orders justice, kindness, and giving (help) to the relatives; and He forbids immoral sins, evil and oppression.  He admonishes you that perhaps you may take heed} (Surah 16, verse 90).’

Othman Ibn Madh’oon said: ‘That was when faith (and belief in Prophet Muhammad’s true message) was established in my heart (after what I saw and heard of the verses of God) and I began to earnestly love Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him.’ ”  Related by Ahmad with a good narration.

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“He Had the Best Moral Character”

    عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال: ( خَدَمْتُ النَّبِيَّ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم عَشْرَ سِنِينَ فما قالَ لِي أُفٍّ قَطُّ، وما قالَ لِشَيْءٍ صَنَعْتُهُ لِمَ صَنَعْتَهُ وَلَا شَيْءٍ تَرَكْتُهُ لِمَ تَرَكْتَهُ، وكان رسولُ الله ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم مِنْ أَحْسَنِ النَّاسِ خُلُقًا، ولا مَسَسْتُ خَزًّا قَطُّ ولا حَرِيرًا ولا شَيْئًا كَانَ أَلْيَنَ مِنْ كَفِّ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، ولا شَمَمْتُ مِسْكًا قَطُّ وَلَا عِطْرًا كَانَ أَطْيَبَ مِنْ عَرَقِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم). رواه الترمذي، وأخرجه الشيخان.

   Narrated Anas Ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him- said: “I served Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- for ten years, and he never said a word of displeasure to me (Uff), nor did he ever say to me concerning something I had done: ‘Why did you do that’.  And he never said to me concerning something I had not done: ‘Why did you not do this’. He had the best Moral character.

I never touched any silk or anything else that was softer than the palm of the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him.  And I never smelled any musk or perfume that had a better fragrance than the sweat of the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him.”  Related by Al-Tirmidhi, also related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Narrated Ibrahim Ibn Muhammad (one of the children of Ali Ibn Abi Talib): When Ali Ibn Abi Talib -may Allah be pleased with him- described Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace upon him, he would say:

“Prophet Muhammad’s face was round a little.  His skin was white tinged with red.  He had black eyes with long eyelashes.  His joints and shoulder joints were rather large. He had little hair extending from his chest down to his navel, but the rest of his body was almost hairless. He had thick fingers and toes.

While walking, he lifted his feet off the ground, as if he had been walking down a slope.  When he turned, he turned fully. The Prophet-hood Seal was between his shoulders.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace upon him- is the Seal of Prophets.  He was the most generous and the most kind.  He was the most truthful among people.  He was the easiest to deal with and the noblest of companions.

  Whoever saw Prophet Muhammad unexpectedly would fear him and revere him.  And whoever got acquainted with him, would like him.  Anyone describing him would say: ‘I have never seen such a person neither before nor after seeing him.’ ”

Related by Al-Tirmidhi.

Obsession and Preoccupation with the Worldly Life

          If we reflect back to our childhood and the old days, we will see one thing standing out: the easy, cheerful and carefree time we used to enjoy.  Move to present day and one wonders what happened to our world.  Now many people seem to be preoccupied and afflicted with worries of all types.  No longer can one enjoy a peaceful life away from anxieties, fears, dreads, and outright panic and stresses.  Modern life is a lot more advanced, but it seems there is a negative side associated with it.  Does Islam have any remedy for that?

Indeed, Islam defined the purpose of this life from the outset, and encouraged the believers to try to fulfill and reach that real goal of life.

Allah -the Exalted- says in Qur’an: {

  1. And I (God) did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me (Alone).
  2. I seek not any provision from them nor do I ask that them to feed Me.
  3. Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power and Strength} (Surah 51, verses 56-58).

Thus, God declares that the real purpose of this life is to worship Him alone, obey His commands, and believe in all of His true messengers (From Prophet Adam, to Prophet Noah, Prophet Abraham, Prophet Moses, Prophet Jesus, to Prophet Muhammad).  Whoever does that then God has promised him a peaceful life in this world and an eternal bliss in Paradise.  But when a human forgets that fact and starts focusing on the worldly life then that peace is lost and new worries and anxieties start developing.

There is a famous proverb that states: ‘Too much bursts the bag’, and if we think about it we see how true this statement is.  Too much food turns out to be bad for health, too much drink can have fatal consequences, and so on.  Excessiveness always leads to negative effects and undesirable consequences.

The same is true for the worldly life.  When we become too engrossed in the world and start forgetting and neglecting the real purpose of life, we are struck with new worries and anxieties that did not afflict us before.  When we give preference to this life over the Hereafter, we start losing faith and peace of mind and soul, thus shattering our sense of tranquility and contentment.  And when we devote our attention and focus to this world and forget the other world, we start losing the real blessings from heavens and must contend with new traits that we didn’t have before like covetousness, greed, rivalry, envy, sadness, depression, and others.

Indeed, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- warned against this engrossment in the worldly life (dunya) and foretold its dire consequences:

    عن زيد بن ثابت رضي الله عنه قال: سمعتُ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم يقول: « مَنْ كَانَتِ الدُّنْيَا هَمَّهُ فَرَّقَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرَهُ، وَجَعَلَ فَقْرَهُ بَيْنَ عَيْنَيْهِ، وَلَمْ يَأْتِهِ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَا كُتِبَ لَهُ، وَمَنْ كَانَتِ الْآخِرَةُ نِيَّتَهُ جَمَعَ اللَّهُ لَهُ أَمْرَهُ، وَجَعَلَ غِنَاهُ فِي قَلْبِهِ، وَأَتَتْهُ الدُّنْيَا وَهِيَ ‏رَاغِمَةٌ» .  رواه ابن ماجه والطبراني وابن حبان.

   Narrated Zaid Ibn Thabit -may Allah be pleased with him- said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- say: ‘Whose ever concern is the worldly life (dunya), God will separate him from his goal, place poverty before his eyes, and nothing of the worldly life will come to him except what was preordained for him.  And whose ever intention is the Hereafter, God will fulfill his goal, place richness in his heart, and the worldly life (dunya) will come to him unwillingly.’ ”  Related by Ibn Majah, Al-Tabarani, and Ibn Hibban (Authentic narration).

We see the truth of the Divine message of Prophet Muhammad in his many hadith.  This is one of them, how true his words came out to be.

Nowadays, when some people became too engrossed in the world, and forgot everything else, they were struck with a sense of greed and covetousness that is never satisfied.  They work day and night, and still feel the need to work more.  They occupy themselves the whole time, and still feel anxious and are besotted with worries about the future.  They devote their attention and effort to this life, but they end up feeling empty and purposeless at the end of the day. Moreover, their endless worry and anxiety result in new diseases and psychological illnesses that were rare before, like heart disease, depression, nervous breakdowns, and others.

Their condition becomes just like one of the companions of the Prophet described:

    عن أبي الدرداء رضي الله عنه، قال: ( ويل لكل جمَّاع، فاغر فاه كأنه مجنون، يرى ما عند الناس ولا يرى ما عنده، ولو يستطع لوصل الليل بالنهار، ويله من حساب غليظ وعذاب شديد).

   Narrated Abu Ad-Darda’ -may Allah pleased with him- said: “Woe to every collector (of wealth), open-mouthed greedy like a mad person, who regards the possessions of other people and disregards his own, and if he could work continuously all day and night he would have done so; woe to him from severe reckoning and painful punishment (by God).”

While the Muslim is instructed to work for his world and earn a good permissible earning, he is also instructed to make his main focus the Hereafter and the soon to come real life.  While the Muslim should be struggling and working for this life, his attention and focus should be devoted to his Hereafter.  The Muslim should be concerned and preoccupied with following God’s commands as best as possible, and relegate the worldly endeavors to second position.  The Muslim should find some time for this deen (religion) and do his best to fulfill his religious obligations first, and then think of his worldly duties.  Indeed, if this balance is broken, then the peace of mind and soul are shattered with it.  On the other hand, when this order is maintained then God Who is the real Provider, will provide for him both in this world and the Hereafter.  The Muslim must struggle for this world, but he should struggle harder for his other world to come to gain success in both.  And Allah knows best.

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Morality and Good Character

 

     قال الله تعالى: { إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ} سورة النحل، آية 90.

      Allah -the Exalted- says: { Verily, Allah orders justice, kindness, and giving (help) to the relatives.  And Allah forbids immoral sins, evil, and oppression.  He admonishes you that perhaps you may take heed} (Surah 16, verse 90).

     وعن أبي الدرداء رضي الله عنه أن النبيَّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ أَثْقَلُ في مِيزَانِ المُؤْمِنِ يَوْمَ القِيَامَة مِنْ حُسْنِ الخُلُقِ، وإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُبغِضُ الفَاحِشَ البَذِيءَ» .  رواه الترمذي وابن حبان.

     Narrated Abu Ad-Darda’ -may Allah be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “There is nothing heavier in the Scale of the faithful (Mu’min) on the Day of Judgment than good morals (Husn Al-Khuluq).  And Allah dislikes the indecent, foul mouthed.”  Related by Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban.

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Good morals and conduct is what distinguishes the son of Adam from other creatures.  While the law of the jungle gives the power and authority to the strongest and may entail violating the rights of the weak and old (a lesson from we which we can learn), the rules of Islam and religion dictate fairness and justice to each individual and in every aspect of the human life.  Not only is the Muslim supposed to have the best morals and code of honor, but he is also supposed to protect the rights of the weak and the old as well.  Thus, not only is the Muslim a fair and just person who strives to be good and do good to others, but the whole community is composed of individuals who take care of each other and look after one another.

As the above hadith shows good morals are one of the greatest good deeds in Islam.  Islam encourages the Muslim to have good morals in every aspect of his life, and with every person with whom he deals.  The true Muslim is characterized by honesty, truthfulness, patience, generosity, justice, kindness and good manners.  These characteristics give the Muslim his identity and reflect his true inner faith in God.

       A true believer or Mu’min is someone who firmly believes in the Hereafter and the Day of Judgment; therefore, he strives to have good morals and rid himself of bad characteristics or vices.  The believer knows the blessed effects of good morals both in this life and in the Hereafter, and therefore tries hard to cultivate his good morals.  Good morals lead to peace and happiness in this life, and to Paradise in the Hereafter.  A Muslim with good morals not only leads a happy contented life, but also projects that happiness and contentment to others around him.

On the other hand, the Muslim understands the effects of vices on one’s faith and the recompense of such a bad deed both in this life and the Hereafter.  As for faith, vices and bad characteristics work to weaken faith, until the person becomes immoral and loses his moral sense.  This leads the person to immorality and sin, which leads to misery and different kinds of anxieties and depression.  In the Hereafter, vices and bad characteristics lead to Hell-fire, as much as they destroyed one’s sense of morality and faith.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- warned that as time passes by and we draw near to the Day of Judgment, faith will weaken, and immorality will appear and become widespread.  What used to be considered wrong before starts to be considered right; what used to be considered shameful before starts to be accepted; what used to be considered socially unacceptable before starts to be seen commonly; what used to be considered unjust before starts to be practiced by many; and so forth.  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- warned that when such a time appears, then torments and disasters would appear as well.

Indeed, when basic values and principles are no longer respected and applied, when the laws of God are no longer followed, and when the commands of God are violated, then natural forces are given permission to take their course and that may lead to natural disasters and calamities.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- warned against this inversion of morality and values, and talked about the consequence of such actions in the following hadith: 

   وعن أبي هريرة  رضي الله عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: «‏ إِذَا اتُّخِذَ الفَيْءُ دُوَلًا، ‏وَالأَمَانَةُ مَغْنَمًا، وَالزَّكَاةُ ‏مَغْرَمًا،‏ ‏وَتُعُلِّمَ لِغَيْرِ الدِّينِ، وَأَطَاعَ الرَّجُلُ امْرَأَتَهُ، ‏وَعَقَّ ‏‏أُمَّهُ، وَأَدْنَى صَدِيقَهُ، وَأَقْصَى أَبَاهُ، وَظَهَرَتِ الأَصْوَاتُ فِي المَسَاجِدِ، وَسَادَ القَبِيلَةَ فَاسِقُهُمْ، وَكَانَ زَعِيمُ الْقَوْمِ أَرْذَلَهُمْ، وَأُكْرِمَ الرَّجُلُ مَخَافَةَ شَرِّهِ، وَظَهَرَتِ ‏القَيْنَاتُ ‏‏وَالمَعَازِفُ، وَشُرِبَتْ الخُمُورُ، وَلَعَنَ آخِرُ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ أَوَّلَهَا، ‏‏فَلْيَرْتَقِبُوا ‏‏عِنْدَ ذَلِكَ رِيحًا حَمْرَاءَ، وَزَلْزَلَةً وَخَسْفًا ‏‏وَمَسْخًا ‏‏وَقَذْفًا، ‏‏وَآيَاتٍ ‏‏تَتَابَعُ ‏ ‏كَنِظَامٍ ‏‏بَالٍ ‏قُطِعَ سِلْكُهُ فَتَتَابَعَ» .  رواه الترمذي.

 

   Narrated Abu Hurairah -may Allah be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “

  • When the booty (public money) is taken by some people apart from others,
  • When the trusted item is taken as a loot,
  • When charity is regarded as penalty,
  • When the knowledge (of religion) is acquired for other purposes,
  • When the man obeys his wife and disobeys his mother,
  • When the man brings close his friend and keeps away his father,
  • When people speak loudly in the houses of worship,
  • When the dissolute sinful person dominates over his tribe,
  • When the most vile person becomes the ruler of his people,
  • When the man is honored for fear of his evil,
  • When female singers and music instruments become prevalent,
  • When wines are drunk abundantly, and
  • When the late of this nation curse the early of this nation,
  • Then let them watch and wait for a red wind, earthquake, landslide, figure deformation, pelting from the sky, and successive signs that will appear like falling beads from an old necklace that has broken so its beads continue to fall one by one.” Related by Al-Tirmidhi.

 

          Thus, Good Morals and conduct not only create a peaceful and just society that lives in peace and prosperity, but good morality also dispel calamities and disasters and keep them at bay.  The Muslim should always strive for good morals and should cultivate good characteristics such as justice, patience, kindness, forgiveness, and others.  The Muslim should also try to rid himself of bad characteristics or vices like pride, injustice, jealousy, greed, covetousness, and others.   Good morals is the identity of the true Muslim and reflects his inner true faith.  And Allah knows best.

 

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Ingratitude and Complaining

 

     قال الله تعالى: { أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْاْ مِن قَبْلِكُم مَّسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَآءُ وَالضَّرَّآءُ وَزُلْزِلُواْ حَتَّى يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ مَتَى نَصْرُ اللَّهِ أَلاَ إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ} سورة البقرة 214.

      Allah -the Exalted- says: { Do you think that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the help of Allah” Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!} (Surah 2, verse 214).

    عن أبي يَحْيَى صُهَيْبِ بْنِ سِنَانٍ رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « عَجَباً لأمْرِ المُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ لَهُ خَيْرٌ، وَلَيْسَ ذَلِكَ لأِحَدٍ إِلاَّ لِلْمُؤْمِن: إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْراً لَهُ، وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خيْراً لَهُ» .  رواه مسلم .

   Narrated Abu Yahya, Suheib Ibn Sinan -may Allah be pleased with him- that the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “How wonderful is the case of a believer for there is good in every affair of his, and this is not the case with anyone else except for the believer.  When a good thing happens to him, he thanks Allah and that is good for him; and when a trouble befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.”  Related by Imam Muslim.

 

Allah -the Exalted- created the humans and jinns to worship Him and obey His commands. Allah -the Exalted- says in Qur’an:

{And I (Allah) did not create the jinns and humans except to worship Me (Alone)} (surah 51, verse 56).

Then those who obey God will have the reward of Paradise, and those who disobey God and reject His commands will have the punishment of Hell-Fire.  Therefore, this life is a test for humans and jinns; whether they believe or disbelieve, whether they obey or disobey the commands of God, and whether they show thanks and gratitude or impatience and ingratitude.

The test of the worldly life includes having problems, trials and tribulation that the son of Adam must go through in order to distinguish between the true believers and the hypocrites and disbelievers.  As the above verse mentions, in order to get the greatest Reward of Paradise the believer must pass a test.  Everyone must pass through this test, both past generation and present, both righteous and sinners, and both old and young.  These tests come in the form of problems, trials and tribulations.  The test may afflict the person in his health, wealth, family, life, or worse of all in his religion.

When the test afflicts the son of Adam, his reaction and responses are recorded.  Then the recompense is tended based on that.  For the believer who stands firm in the face of these calamities, bears them patiently, returns to Allah and seeks His help, the result is great reward and the promise of peace of heart and contentment in this life and Paradise in the Hereafter.  But for that who complains and shows impatience and ingratitude, the recompense is more misery in this life and punishment in the Hereafter.

 

Many times we forget the real purpose of the worldly life and as soon as a problem befalls us, we tend to complain and show signs of impatience and ingratitude.  Some people go further and ask: Why this happened to me?  When a natural disaster strikes, some wonder: why us?

But how soon the son of Adam forgets his own actions and ignore the consequences of his bad deeds until it is too late.  Allah -the Exalted- states in Qur’an: {And whatever befalls you of disaster, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much} (Surah 42, verse 30).  Ali Ibn Abi Talib said: “Hardships befall you in the world because of your sins.”  Instead of complaining and showing ingratitude, the believer must first repent of all sins and ask Allah’s forgiveness.  Second, the believer must remind himself of the test of trials and tribulations of this world, and then bear the problem patiently, seeking Allah’s help.  And third, the believer must surrender to Allah’s will and accept Pre-destiny, believing that God has judged this way and the slave must accept it while in the meantime try his best to find a solution.

The believer must remember that previous nations went through the same trials and tribulations and now they are being tended the reward or punishment of their actions (in their graves).  One day we will be considered a past generation and we too will see the results of our actions in the Hereafter after death.   And just like when previous nations indulged in sins, they saw the effects of that in their worldly life, so will we.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- warned of such sins:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ أَقْبَلَ عَلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ خَمْسٌ إِذَا ابْتُلِيتُمْ بِهِنَّ وَأَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ تُدْرِكُوهُنَّ لَمْ تَظْهَرِ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي قَوْمٍ قَطُّ حَتَّى يُعْلِنُوا بِهَا إِلاَّ فَشَا فِيهِمُ الطَّاعُونُ وَالأَوْجَاعُ الَّتِي لَمْ تَكُنْ مَضَتْ فِي أَسْلاَفِهِمُ الَّذِينَ مَضَوْا ‏.‏ وَلَمْ يَنْقُصُوا الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ إِلاَّ أُخِذُوا بِالسِّنِينَ وَشِدَّةِ الْمَؤُنَةِ وَجَوْرِ السُّلْطَانِ عَلَيْهِمْ ‏.‏ وَلَمْ يَمْنَعُوا زَكَاةَ أَمْوَالِهِمْ إِلاَّ مُنِعُوا الْقَطْرَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَلَوْلاَ الْبَهَائِمُ لَمْ يُمْطَرُوا وَلَمْ يَنْقُضُوا عَهْدَ اللَّهِ وَعَهْدَ رَسُولِهِ إِلاَّ سَلَّطَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ عَدُوًّا مِنْ غَيْرِهِمْ فَأَخَذُوا بَعْضَ مَا فِي أَيْدِيهِمْ ‏.‏ وَمَا لَمْ تَحْكُمْ أَئِمَّتُهُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَيَتَخَيَّرُوا مِمَّا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ بَأْسَهُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ ‏”‏ رواه ابن ماجه والحاكم والبيهقي، بإسناد حسن.

   It was narrated that Abdul-Allah Ibn ‘Umar said: “The Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- turned to us and said: ‘O group of the Muhajireen )the migrants), beware of being afflicted with five characteristics, and I seek refuge in Allah of them befalling you:

  1. Adultery  never appears among a group of people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among their predecessors will spread among them.
  2. They do not cheat in weights and measures but they will be stricken with famine, hardship in provision, and the oppression of their rulers.
  3. They do not withhold the Zakah (charity) of their wealth, but rain will be withheld from the sky, and were it not for the animals, no rain would fall on them.
  4.  They do not break their covenant with Allah and His Messenger, but Allah will enable their enemies to overpower them and take some of what is in their hands.
  5. And unless their leaders rule according to the Book of Allah and seek all good from that which Allah has revealed, Allah will cause them to fight one another.’”  Related by Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim, and Al-Beihaqi.

 Then the sensible person should reflect upon his action when afflicted with a problem or a calamity.  The believer should remind himself of the purpose of the life and the test he must pass through to attain Paradise.  The Muslim should always think of trials and tribulations as something that will absolve him of his sins and increase his reward; therefore instead of complaining and showing ingratitude, he should bear the problem patiently, turn to Allah and seek His help, and surrender to Pre-destiny and accept Allah’s Judgment while trying his best to find a way out of his trouble.  We ask Allah to guide us to the Right Path, and make us die on Iman.  And Allah knows best.

 

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Good and Righteous Company

         .قال الله عز وجل: {يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ} التوبة 119

Allah -the Exalted- says: {O you who believe, fear Allah, and be with those who the truthful} (Surah 9, verse 119).

    وعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « الْمَرْءُ عَلَى دِينِ خَلِيلِهِ، فَلْيَنْظُرْ أَحَدُكُمْ مَنْ يُخَالِلُ» .  رواه أبو داود والترمذي والحاكم وأحمد، بإسناد حسن

   Narrated Abu Huraira -may Allah be pleased with him- that the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “The person takes after the habits of his companion, so beware of the company you keep.”  Related by Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Hakim, and Ahmad, with good (hasan) narration.


In the verse above, Allah -the Exalted- instructs the believers to accompany the righteous and pious people so as to take after their ways and learn from their example.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- explains that people tend to follow the ways of their close companion; a good companion prompts his friend to be good, and a bad companion tempts his friend to be evil.

     In Islam, we focus a lot on the stories of the righteous and pious people before us.  Indeed, in Quran, we are given the stories of the Prophets in detail and their true faith is represented to us.  The story of Prophet Adam and Hawwa’ (Eve) is given in detail and their true repentance is presented to us as a lesson and an example to follow for their progeny.

The story of Prophet Noah and his patience and endurance is shown to us when he continued to invite his people to God for about a thousand years, never showing any sign of despair or annoyance.

The story of Prophet Ayoob (Job) is described with such beautiful words that we can appreciate the hardships and pain he endured, and how his great patience led to the favor of Allah when he restored his health and wealth in double to him.

The story of Prophet Dhun-Noon is described in minute details when he despaired of his people and went on the ship, but was swallowed by the whale, and his true faith and reliance is represented to us through his calling to God while he was inside the belly of whale, and how Allah accepted his call and moreover guided all of his people.

The story of Prophet Ibrahim is given in many places in Qur’an and we can appreciate the great morals and true faith of the ‘Father of Prophets’ and the ‘Close Slave of God (Al-Kheleel)’.  We see how his true faith and reliance upon God, made the fire cool and peaceful for him.  We see his endurance and righteousness in every aspect of his life.

The stories of Prophet Moses and Prophet Jesus are given and we see their strength and determination in the face of widespread evil and corruption.  Both persisted, and while Prophet Moses was granted victory over the evil Pharaoh, Prophet Jesus was raised to heavens to be sent down later.

The story of our beloved prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- is given in numerous places in Qur’an, and we see his patience, endurance and the highest level of morals that God took him as “Habeeb Allah” or his Beloved Slave.  And the list goes on.

On the other hand, Qur’an also mentions the stories of evil people and their demise is given as an admonition to turn back to Allah and repent to Him.

We recite the stories of the people of Noah and how they used to make fun of him and his ways, and then we read about the Great Flood and how it destroyed them.

We read the story of the people of ‘Aad, the giants who took houses in the mountains and spread injustice on earth, and then we read how the wind destroyed them.

We read the story of Pharaoh and his arrogance, and then we read how he and his men drowned in the Ocean by the will of Allah, the Almighty.  All of these stories are given to warn us of the other life to come, and urge us to prepare for it as well.  Allah -the Exalted- states in Qur’an:

{ Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for those of understanding. It (the Qur’an) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of the Divine’s Books before it [the Torah, the Injeel (Gospel) and other Scriptures of Allah], a detailed explanation of everything, and a guide and a Mercy for the people who believe} (Surah 12. Verse 111).

Scholars too learned from the example of Qur’an and compiled volumes upon volumes of biographies of righteous people.  The Muslim scholars and historians gave special attention to the righteous people of this generation.  Thus many books have been written about sahabah or the Companions of the Prophet, about Tabi’een or the generation that came after sahabah, and about contemporary righteous people.

The idea behind these true story compilations  is that we should consider their high degree of righteousness and piety and try to emulate their example.  Indeed, the Companions of the Prophet or Sahabah gave us the best example in true faith, in piety, in patience and endurance, in generosity, in good morals, and in every aspect of our daily lives.  The following hadith gives us a glimpse of that:

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him- that the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “The most merciful of my nation towards my nation is Abu Bakr, the staunchest of them in the religion of Allah is Omar, the most truthful in shyness of them is Othman, the best judge among them is Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the best recite among them of the Book of Allah (Qur’an) is Ubey Ibn Ka’b, the most knowledgeable among them of the lawful and the unlawful in religion is Mu’ath Ibn Jebel, and the most knowledgeable among them of the distribution of heritage is Zaid Ibn Thabit.  Indeed, for every nation there is a trustworthy person and the trustworthy person of this nation is Abu Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah.”  Related by Al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Ibn Hibban.

Thus, the true stories of the righteous before us is a treasure for us; it is our heritage; it is our identity; and it is our model that we aspire to emulate.  The Muslim should read these true stories and consider these righteous people as his true companion and example.  We should both learn from and emulate the righteous people before us, and pray Allah to forgive us, accept from us and reward us like He forgave, accepted and rewarded the righteous people before us.  And Allah knows best.

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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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