The Miraculous Rock

 

عن عبدِ الله بنِ عمرَ بن الخطابِ رضيَ اللهُ عنهما، قَالَ: سمعتُ رسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، يقول: « انطَلَقَ ثَلاثَةُ نَفَرٍ مِمَّنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ حَتَّى آوَاهُمُ المَبيتُ إِلى غَارٍ فَدَخلُوهُ، فانْحَدرَتْ صَخْرَةٌ مِنَ الجَبَلِ فَسَدَّتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الغَارَ، فَقالُوا: إِنَّهُ لا يُنْجِيكُمْ مِنْ هذِهِ الصَّخْرَةِ إِلا أنْ تَدْعُوا اللهَ بصَالِحِ أعْمَالِكُمْ.
قَالَ رجلٌ مِنْهُمْ: اللَّهُمَّ كَانَ لِي أَبَوانِ شَيْخَانِ كبيرانِ، وكُنْتُ لا أغْبِقُ قَبْلَهُمَا أهْلًا ولا مالًا، فَنَأَى بِي طَلَب الشَّجَرِ يَوْمًا فلم أَرِحْ عَلَيْهمَا حَتَّى نَامَا، فَحَلَبْتُ لَهُمَا غَبُوقَهُمَا فَوَجَدْتُهُما نَائِمَينِ، فَكَرِهْتُ أنْ أُوقِظَهُمَا وَأَنْ أغْبِقَ قَبْلَهُمَا أهْلًا أو مالًا، فَلَبَثْتُ- والْقَدَحُ عَلَى يَدِي- أنتَظِرُ اسْتِيقَاظَهُما حَتَّى بَرِقَ الفَجْرُ والصِّبْيَةُ يَتَضَاغَوْنَ عِنْدَ قَدَميَّ، فاسْتَيْقَظَا فَشَرِبا غَبُوقَهُما. اللَّهُمَّ إنْ كُنْتُ فَعَلْتُ ذلِكَ ابِتِغَاء وَجْهِكَ فَفَرِّجْ عَنّا مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ مِنْ هذِهِ الصَّخْرَةِ، فانْفَرَجَتْ شَيْئًا لا يَسْتَطيعُونَ الخُروجَ مِنْهُ.
قَالَ الآخر: اللَّهُمَّ إنَّهُ كانَتْ لِيَ ابْنَةُ عَمّ، كَانَتْ أَحَبَّ النّاسِ إليَّ- وفي رواية: كُنْتُ أُحِبُّها كأَشَدِّ مَا يُحِبُّ الرِّجَالُ النساءَ- فأَرَدْتُهَا عَلَى نَفْسِهَا فامْتَنَعَتْ منِّي حَتَّى أَلَمَّتْ بها سَنَةٌ مِنَ السِّنِينَ فَجَاءتْنِي فَأَعْطَيْتُهَا عِشْرِينَ وَمائةَ دينَارٍ عَلَى أنْ تُخَلِّيَ بَيْني وَبَيْنَ نَفْسِهَا فَفعَلَتْ، حَتَّى إِذَا قَدَرْتُ عَلَيْهَا- وفي رواية: فَلَمَّا قَعَدْتُ بَينَ رِجْلَيْهَا، قالتْ: اتَّقِ اللهَ وَلا تَفُضَّ الخَاتَمَ إلا بِحَقِّهِ، فَانصَرَفْتُ عَنْهَا وَهيَ أَحَبُّ النَّاسِ إليَّ وَتَرَكْتُ الذَّهَبَ الَّذِي أعْطَيتُها. اللَّهُمَّ إنْ كُنْتُ فَعَلْتُ ذلِكَ ابْتِغاءَ وَجْهِكَ فافْرُجْ عَنَّا مَا نَحْنُ فيهِ، فانْفَرَجَتِ الصَّخْرَةُ، غَيْرَ أَنَّهُمْ لا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ الخُرُوجَ مِنْهَا.
وَقَالَ الثَّالِثُ: اللَّهُمَّ اسْتَأْجَرْتُ أُجَرَاءَ وأَعْطَيْتُهُمْ أجْرَهُمْ غيرَ رَجُل واحدٍ تَرَكَ الَّذِي لَهُ وَذَهبَ، فَثمَّرْتُ أجْرَهُ حَتَّى كَثُرَتْ مِنهُ الأمْوَالُ، فَجَاءنِي بَعدَ حِينٍ، فَقالَ: يَا عبدَ اللهِ، أَدِّ إِلَيَّ أجْرِي، فَقُلْتُ: كُلُّ مَا تَرَى مِنْ أجْرِكَ: مِنَ الإبلِ وَالبَقَرِ والْغَنَمِ والرَّقيقِ، فقالَ: يَا عبدَ اللهِ، لا تَسْتَهْزِئْ بي! فَقُلْتُ: لا أسْتَهْزِئ بِكَ، فَأَخَذَهُ كُلَّهُ فاسْتَاقَهُ فَلَمْ يتْرُكْ مِنهُ شَيئًا. الَّلهُمَّ إنْ كُنتُ فَعَلْتُ ذلِكَ ابِتِغَاءَ وَجْهِكَ فافْرُجْ عَنَّا مَا نَحنُ فِيهِ، فانْفَرَجَتِ الصَّخْرَةُ فَخَرَجُوا يَمْشُونَ».  متفقٌ عليه.

 

 Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Omar Ibn Al-Khattab -may God be pleased with them- that he heard Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- say: “Three men amongst those before you set out on a journey till night came and they took shelter in a cave.  A big rock rolled down the mountain and blocked the entrance of the cave. They said: ‘Nothing will save you from this rock unless you invoke God with your righteous good deeds.’

Thereupon, one of them said: ‘O God, I had parents who were old, and I never served my family or servants with milk before them.  One day, I went far away in search of grazing and could not come back until they had slept.  When I milked as usual and brought the drink I found them both asleep.  I hated to disturb them and also disliked to give milk to my family or servants before them.  So I waited for them to wake up with the bowl of milk in my hand and the children crying at my feet.  When it was dawn, my parents awoke and drank the milk.  O God, if I did so to seek Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress caused by the rock.’  So the rock moved slightly but they were unable to get out.

The second man said: ‘O God, I had a cousin whom I loved more than anyone else (in another version he said: as a man can love a woman). I wanted to have sexual relations with her but she refused.  Hard pressed in a year of famine, she approached me.  I gave her one hundred and twenty dinars on condition that she would yield herself to me.  She agreed and when we got together, she said: ‘Fear God and do not break the seal unlawfully.’  I moved away from her in spite of the fact that I loved her most; and I let her keep the gold I had given her. O God, if I did that to seek Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress in which we are.’  So the rock moved aside a bit further but they were still unable to get out.

The third man said: ‘O God, I hired some laborers and paid them their wages except one of them departed without taking his due.  I invested his money and it prospered greatly.  He came back to me after some time and said: ‘O slave of God, pay me my dues.’  I said: ‘All what you see of camels, cattle, goats and slaves is yours.’  He said: ‘O slave of God, do not mock at me.’  I assured him that I was not mocking at him, so he took everything, drove the herds away, and left nothing.  O God, if I did so seeking Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress in which we are.’ So the rock rolled away completely and they got out walking freely.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

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          These are true stories that happened to those before us and were related to us both in Qur’an and Hadith, as a lesson to learn and a model to follow.  God says in Qur’an: { Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for people of understanding. It (the Quran) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of God’s existing Books (the Torah, the Gospel and other Scriptures of God); and a detailed explanation of everything, a guide and a Mercy for the people who believe} (Surah 12, verse 111).

In the above true story, we see three examples of righteous deeds done sincerely for the sake of God.  We see how God accepted these good deeds and not only rewarded the performers of these good deeds with deliverance and salvation, but also set their example as a lesson and a model for later generations.

The three good deeds relate to three great morals: Dutifulness to parents, Chastity and Honesty.  All three morals are experienced by most of us in our daily lives.  Some may succumb to temptation and may give in, but others stand strong in their conviction and try to follow their conscience and adhere to morality.

Indeed, how often do some of us show impatience with our parents or do not go out of our way to serve them; how often do some of us give in to the temptation of looking at unlawful women; and how often do we ignore honesty and integrity to advance our interests and desires.

But as the story above shows, dutifulness to parents, chastity and honesty are three morals that lead to eventual salvation and success, even if some may look at them with disdain.  On the other hand, disobedience to parents, shamelessness and dishonesty ultimately lead to loss and disgrace, even though some may consider them profitable in the short term.

Thus, the people of understanding always adhere to high standards and good morals during times of ease and hardship.  Then they can invoke God to deliver them from any distress or calamity that befalls them.  And God has promised salvation and success to those who follow His commands and those who adhere to the good morals He prescribed.

 

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The Repentant Man (True Story)

 

    وعن أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الخُدْرِيِّ رضي الله عنه أَنَّ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏قَالَ: « ‏كَانَ فِيمَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ رَجُلٌ قَتَلَ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ نَفْسًا فَسَأَلَ عَنْ أَعْلَمِ أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ فَدُلَّ عَلَى رَاهِبٍ فَأَتَاهُ، فَقَالَ: إِنَّهُ قَتَلَ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ نَفْسًا فَهَلْ لَهُ مِنْ تَوْبَةٍ؟ فَقَالَ: لَا. فَقَتَلَهُ فَكَمَّلَ بِهِ مِائَةً، ثُمَّ سَأَلَ عَنْ أَعْلَمِ أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ، فَدُلَّ عَلَى رَجُلٍ عَالِمٍ فَقَالَ: إِنَّهُ قَتَلَ مِائَةَ نَفْسٍ فَهَلْ لَهُ مِنْ تَوْبَةٍ؟ فَقَالَ: نَعَمْ، وَمَنْ يَحُولُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ التَّوْبَةِ، انْطَلِقْ إِلَى أَرْضِ كَذَا وَكَذَا فَإِنَّ بِهَا أُنَاسًا يَعْبُدُونَ اللَّهَ فَاعْبُدْ اللَّهَ مَعَهُمْ، وَلَا تَرْجِعْ إِلَى أَرْضِكَ فَإِنَّهَا أَرْضُ سَوْءٍ، فَانْطَلَقَ حَتَّى إِذَا نَصَفَ الطَّرِيقَ أَتَاهُ الْمَوْتُ ( وفي رواية أخرى:  فَأَدْرَكَهُ الْمَوْتُ فَنَاءَ بِصَدْرِهِ نَحْوَهَا)، فَاخْتَصَمَتْ فِيهِ مَلَائِكَةُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَمَلَائِكَةُ الْعَذَاب.ِ فَقَالَتْ مَلَائِكَةُ الرَّحْمَةِ: جَاءَ تَائِبًا مُقْبِلًا بِقَلْبِهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ، وَقَالَتْ مَلَائِكَةُ الْعَذَابِ: إِنَّهُ لَمْ يَعْمَلْ خَيْرًا قَطّ.ُ فَأَتَاهُمْ مَلَكٌ فِي صُورَةِ آدَمِيٍّ، فَجَعَلُوهُ بَيْنَهُمْ، فَقَالَ: قِيسُوا مَا بَيْنَ الْأَرْضَيْنِ، فَإِلَى أَيَّتِهِمَا كَانَ أَدْنَى فَهُوَ لَهُ. فَقَاسُوهُ فَوَجَدُوهُ أَدْنَى إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي أَرَادَ، فَقَبَضَتْهُ مَلَائِكَةُ الرَّحْمَةِ».  متفقٌ عليه.

 

Narrated Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri may Allah be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said (English translation):

“There was among those before you a man who had killed ninety-nine souls. Then he asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth, and was directed to a monk. He went to him and said to him that he had killed ninety-nine souls, so was there any repentance for him? The monk replied: ‘No.’ So he killed him and completed with him one hundred.

  He then asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth, and was directed to a scholar. He asked the scholar that he had killed one hundred souls, so was there any repentance for him?

The scholar replied: ‘Yes, what stands between you and repentance. Go to so and so land, for there is a group of people who worship God there, so worship God with them. And do not return to your land, for it is an evil land.’ The man set out until he reached half of the way when death struck him.

The angels of mercy and the angels of punishment had a dispute about him. The angels of mercy said: ‘He came repentant, turning his heart to Almighty God.’ The angels of punishment said: ‘He had never done any good deed.’

An angel in the form of a human came to them and they appointed him a judge between them. He said: ‘Measure the distance between the two lands, and to whichever land he is closer, he belongs to it.’ They measured it and found him closer to the land he sought, so the angels of mercy took him.”

And In another narration: “So he was closer to the righteous village by one hand span, and so was considered from its dwellers.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

  Qatadah said: “Al-Hasan said: ‘It was mentioned to us that when the angel of death came to him, he stuck out his chest toward the righteous village.’ ”


 

The Almighty God is the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving.  However, in order to get that mercy and forgiveness, the son of Adam is instructed to turn to God in repentance and seek His Guidance.  Just like in this world things do not come to us but we have to go and get them, the same is true in good deeds.  The son of Adam is instructed to seek guidance to find it.  The Muslim is instructed to do good deeds and avoid sins to obtain God’s pleasure and win His Paradise.

The Companion of the Prophet, Anas Ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him, reported that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “The Almighty God said: ‘When a slave of Mine draws near to Me a span, I draw near to him a cubit; and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ ”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

          Thus, we see the great mercy of God and His bounty, but the Muslim must do his part and turn back to God.  In the above true story, the sinful man killed 100 souls, but he felt remorse and regret for disobeying God.  He then embarked on his path back to God.  The man was instructed to leave his evil place and move to another town and worship God with its pious people.  When the man couldn’t reach his desired destination and was overtaken by death, he indicated his sincere repentance and showed his effort by sticking out his chest toward the other righteous town.  And that half span distance of sincerity and righteousness was the final judge between Doom-perdition and Salvation, and between Hell and Paradise.

Indeed, a small good gesture, a little good deed, a sincere righteous deed could be worth a great reward with God, but we should take the time and effort to do it.  Likewise, sometimes abstaining from a sin or resisting a temptation could lead to higher levels in Paradise, but we have to strengthen our resolve and overcome our weakness to succumb to it to gain the reward.  Indeed, the path of Guidance and virtue is clear and the path of evil and vice is clear.  And we have to be prudent which path to take and sensible of the consequences we may face.  We ask God to guide us and show us the Right Path.

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The People of the Garden (True Story)

 

 

قال الله تعالى: { إِنَّا بَلَوْنَاهُمْ كَمَا بَلَوْنَا أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ إِذْ أَقْسَمُوا لَيَصْرِمُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ (17) وَلَا يَسْتَثْنُونَ (18) فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَائِفٌ مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَهُمْ نَائِمُونَ (19) فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَالصَّرِيمِ (20) فَتَنَادَوْا مُصْبِحِينَ (21) أَنِ اغْدُوا عَلَى حَرْثِكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَارِمِينَ (22) فَانْطَلَقُوا وَهُمْ يَتَخَافَتُونَ (23) أَنْ لَا يَدْخُلَنَّهَا الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِسْكِينٌ (24) وَغَدَوْا عَلَى حَرْدٍ قَادِرِينَ (25) فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهَا قَالُوا إِنَّا لَضَالُّونَ (26) بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ (27) قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَكُمْ لَوْلَا تُسَبِّحُونَ (28) قَالُوا سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ (29) فَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ يَتَلَاوَمُونَ (30) قَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا طَاغِينَ (31) عَسَى رَبُّنَا أَنْ يُبْدِلَنَا خَيْرًا مِنْهَا إِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا رَاغِبُونَ (32) كَذَلِكَ الْعَذَابُ وَلَعَذَابُ الْآَخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ } سورة القلم 17-33.

 

God the Almighty said in Qur’an: {

  1. Verily, We have tried them as We tried the People of the Garden, when they swore to cut the fruits of the garden [harvest] in the morning,
  2. Without saying: Insha Allah (If God will).
  3. So there came upon the garden an affliction [fire] from your Lord while they were asleep.
  4. So the garden became black by the morning, like a pitch dark night (in complete ruins).
  5. As soon the morning broke, they called out one to another,
  6. Saying: “Go early to your crop if you would cut the fruits.”
  7. So they departed, conversing in secret low tones (saying),
  8. “No poor man shall enter your garden today.”
  9. And they went in the morning with determination, thinking that they were capable and had power.
  10. But when they saw the garden, they said: “Verily, we have lost (our way),”
  11. (Then they said): “Nay! Indeed we have been deprived of (the fruits)!”
  12. The best among them said: “Did I not tell you: why do you not glorify God.”
  13. They said: “Glory to Our Lord! Verily, we have done wrong.”
  14. Then they turned, one against another, blaming each other.
  15. They said: “Woe to us! Verily, we have transgressed.
  16. We hope that our Lord will give us in exchange a better (garden) than this. Truly, we turn to our Lord (wishing for good that He may forgive our sins, and reward us in the Hereafter).”
  17. Such is the punishment (in this life), but truly, the punishment of the Hereafter is greater, if they but knew} (Surah 68, verses 17-33).

 

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The Great Scholar Ibn Katheer said in his Exegesis: “                                         

This is a parable that God made for the disbelievers of the tribe of Qureish, who met the great favor and blessing of God upon them of sending Prophet Muhammad to them with denial, rejection and opposition. Therefore God said:

(Verily, We have tried them): Meaning, tested them.

(As We tried the People of the Garden): This refers to a garden containing different types of fruits and vegetation.

(When they swore to cut the fruits of the garden in the morning):

Meaning, they vowed between themselves during the night that they would harvest the fruit of the garden in the early morning so that the poor and the beggars would not know what they were doing. In this way they would be able to keep its fruit for themselves and not give any of it in charity.

(Without (saying: “If God wills.”): Meaning in the vow they made. Therefore, God broke their vow. He then said,

(Then there passed over it an affliction from your Lord while they were asleep): Meaning, it was afflicted with some heavenly destruction.

(So by the morning it became black):  Ibn Abbas said, “Like the dark night.” Al-Thawri and As-Suddi both said, “Like the crop when it is harvested withered and dry.”

(As the morning broke, they called out one to another): Meaning, when it was early morning time they called each other so that they could go together to pick the harvest or cut it its fruits.

(Saying) “Go to your crop in the morning, if you would cut the fruits.”):  Meaning, if you want to cut your harvest fruit.’

(So they departed, and they were whispering): Meaning, they spoke privately about what they were doing so that no one could hear what they were saying. Then God, the All-Knower of secrets and private discussions, explained what they were saying in private. He said,

(So they departed, and they were whispering: “No poor person shall enter your garden”): Meaning, some of them said to others, “Do not allow any poor person to enter the garden today.”  God says:

(And they went in the morning with determination): Meaning, with strength and power, thinking they had power to do what they claimed and what they were desiring.

(But when they saw the garden, they said: “Verily, we have lost (our way).”): Meaning, when they arrived at it and came upon it, and it was in the condition which God changed from that luster, brilliance and abundance of fruit, to being black, gloomy and void of any benefit. They believed that they had taken a wrong way and this was not their garden. This was said by Ibn `Abbas and others.

Then they reconsidered and realized with certainty that it was actually the correct path. They said,

(Nay! Indeed we have been deprived (of the fruits)!): Meaning, `nay, this is it, but we have no portion and no share (of harvest).’

(The best among them said):  Ibn Abbas and others said, “This means the most just of them and the best of them.”

(Did I not tell you, `Why do you not glorify God’): Mujahid, As-Suddi and Ibn Jurayj all said that, this means “why do you not say, `If God wills”.

It has also been said that it means that the best of them said to them, “Did I not tell you, why don’t you glorify God and thank Him for what He has given you and favored you with”

(They said: “Glory to Our Lord! Verily, we have been wrongdoers.”) They became obedient when it was of no benefit to them, and they were remorseful and confessed when it was not of any use.

Then they said:

(“Verily, we have been wrongdoers.” So they turned to one another, blaming each other): Meaning, they started blaming each other for what they had resolved to do, preventing the poor people from receiving their right of the harvested fruit. Thus, their response to each other was only to confess their error and sin.

(They said: “Woe to us! Verily, we have transgressed”): Meaning, `we have transgressed, trespassed, violated and exceeded the bounds until what this happened to us.’

(We hope that our Lord will give us in exchange better than it. Truly, we hope in our Lord.): It has been said, “They were hoping for something better in exchange in this life.” It has also been said, “They were hoping for its reward in the abode of the Hereafter.” And God knows best.

Some of the Scholars mentioned that these people were from Yemen. Sa’eed Ibn Jubair said, “They were from a village that was called Darawan which was six miles from Sana’ (in Yemen). ”

It has also been said: “They were from the people of Ethiopia whose father had left them this garden, and they were from the People of the Book. Their father used to manage the garden in a good way. Whatever he reaped from it he would put it back into the garden as it needed, he would save some of it as food for his dependents for the year, and he would give away the excess in charity.  Then, when he died, and his children inherited the garden they said, `Verily, our father was foolish for giving some of this garden’s harvest to the poor. If we prevent them from it, then we will have more.’ So when they made up their minds to do this they were punished with what was contrary to their plan. God took away all of what they possessed of wealth, gain and charity. Nothing remained for them.” God then says:

(Such is the punishment):Meaning, such is the punishment of whoever opposes the command of God, is stingy with what God has given him and favored him with, withholds the right of the poor and needy, and responds to God’s blessings upon him with ungratefulness (or disbelief).

(But truly, the punishment of the Hereafter is greater if they but knew): Meaning, this is the punishment in this life, as you have heard, and the punishment of the Hereafter is even harder.

 

=============================

 

 

The True Messenger

 

    عن أَنَسٍ رضي الله عنه قَالَ: ( بَلَغَ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ سَلاَمٍ مَقْدَمُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمَدِينَةَ فَأَتَاهُ، فَقَالَ: إِنِّي سَائِلُكَ عَنْ ثَلاَثٍ لاَ يَعْلَمُهُنَّ إِلاَّ نَبِيٌّ، ‏‏قَالَ مَا‏ أَوَّلُ أَشْرَاطِ السَّاعَةِ؟ وَمَا أَوَّلُ طَعَامٍ يَأْكُلُهُ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ؟ وَمِنْ أَىِّ شَىْءٍ يَنْزِعُ الْوَلَدُ إِلَى أَبِيهِ وَمِنْ أَىِّ شَىْءٍ يَنْزِعُ إِلَى أَخْوَالِهِ؟ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: ‏«‏ خَبَّرَنِي بِهِنَّ آنِفًا جِبْرِيلُ‏‏».‏ قَالَ فَقَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ: ذَاكَ عَدُوُّ الْيَهُودِ مِنَ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: «‏ أَمَّا أَوَّلُ أَشْرَاطِ السَّاعَةِ: فَنَارٌ تَحْشُرُ النَّاسَ مِنَ الْمَشْرِقِ إِلَى الْمَغْرِبِ‏.‏ وَأَمَّا أَوَّلُ طَعَامٍ يَأْكُلُهُ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ: فَزِيَادَةُ كَبِدِ حُوتٍ‏.‏ وَأَمَّا الشَّبَهُ فِي الْوَلَدِ: فَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ إِذَا غَشِيَ الْمَرْأَةَ فَسَبَقَهَا مَاؤُهُ كَانَ الشَّبَهُ لَهُ، وَإِذَا سَبَقَ مَاؤُهَا كَانَ الشَّبَهُ لَهَا»‏‏.‏ قَالَ: أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ‏). رواه البخاري.

   Narrated Anas Ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him- said: “When Abdul-Allah Ibn Salam [A great Rabbi at the time of Prophet Muhammad] heard the arrival of Prophet Muhammad at Al-Medina, he went to him and said:

I am going to ask you about three matters which nobody knows except a true prophet:

  1. What is the first sign of the Hour (Last Day)?
  2. What will be the first meal taken by the people of Paradise?
  3. Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its maternal uncle?’

Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Angel Gabriel has told me of their answers earlier.’  Abdul-Allah Ibn Salam said: ‘He (i.e. Gabriel), amongst all the angels, is the enemy of the Jews.’

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him-said: ‘

  1. ‘The first sign of the Hour will be a fire that will drive people from the east to the west.
  2. The first meal of the people of Paradise will be the Extra-lobe (caudate lobe) of fish-liver.
  3. As for the resemblance of the child to its parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and gets discharge first, the child will resemble the father, and if the woman gets discharge first, the child will resemble her.’

 Upon hearing that, Abdul-Allah Ibn Salam said: ‘I testify that you are the true Messenger of Allah.’”

Related by Al-Bukhari with authentic narration.

Prophet Muhammad’s Letter to the Roman Emperor, Heraclius

   عن ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو سُفْيَانَ، مِنْ فِيهِ إِلَى فِيَّ قَالَ: ( انْطَلَقْتُ فِي الْمُدَّةِ الَّتِي كَانَتْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ ـ فَبَيْنَا أَنَا بِالشَّأْمِ إِذْ جِيءَ بِكِتَابٍ مِنَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِلَى هِرَقْلَ قَالَ وَكَانَ دِحْيَةُ الْكَلْبِيُّ جَاءَ بِهِ فَدَفَعَهُ إِلَى عَظِيمِ بُصْرَى، فَدَفَعَهُ عَظِيمُ بُصْرَى إِلَى ـ هِرَقْلَ ـ قَالَ فَقَالَ هِرَقْلُ هَلْ هَا هُنَا أَحَدٌ مِنْ قَوْمِ هَذَا الرَّجُلِ الَّذِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ فَقَالُوا نَعَمْ‏.‏ قَالَ فَدُعِيتُ فِي نَفَرٍ مِنْ قُرَيْشٍ فَدَخَلْنَا عَلَى هِرَقْلَ، فَأُجْلِسْنَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ.

 فَقَالَ أَيُّكُمْ أَقْرَبُ نَسَبًا مِنْ هَذَا الرَّجُلِ الَّذِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ فَقَالَ أَبُو سُفْيَانَ فَقُلْتُ أَنَا‏.‏ فَأَجْلَسُونِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ، وَأَجْلَسُوا أَصْحَابِي خَلْفِي، ثُمَّ دَعَا بِتُرْجُمَانِهِ فَقَالَ قُلْ لَهُمْ إِنِّي سَائِلٌ هَذَا عَنْ هَذَا الرَّجُلِ الَّذِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ، فَإِنْ كَذَبَنِي فَكَذِّبُوهُ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو سُفْيَانَ وَايْمُ اللَّهِ، لَوْلاَ أَنْ يُؤْثِرُوا عَلَىَّ الْكَذِبَ لَكَذَبْتُ‏.‏

  ثُمَّ قَالَ لِتُرْجُمَانِهِ سَلْهُ كَيْفَ حَسَبُهُ فِيكُمْ قَالَ قُلْتُ هُوَ فِينَا ذُو حَسَبٍ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ كَانَ مِنْ آبَائِهِ مَلِكٌ قَالَ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ كُنْتُمْ تَتَّهِمُونَهُ بِالْكَذِبِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقُولَ مَا قَالَ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ أَيَتَّبِعُهُ أَشْرَافُ النَّاسِ أَمْ ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ قَالَ قُلْتُ بَلْ ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ‏.‏ قَالَ يَزِيدُونَ أَوْ يَنْقُصُونَ قَالَ قُلْتُ لاَ بَلْ يَزِيدُونَ‏.‏ قَالَ هَلْ يَرْتَدُّ أَحَدٌ مِنْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ، بَعْدَ أَنْ يَدْخُلَ فِيهِ، سَخْطَةً لَهُ قَالَ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ قَاتَلْتُمُوهُ قَالَ قُلْتُ نَعَمْ‏.‏ قَالَ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ قِتَالُكُمْ إِيَّاهُ قَالَ قُلْتُ تَكُونُ الْحَرْبُ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَهُ سِجَالاً، يُصِيبُ مِنَّا وَنُصِيبُ مِنْهُ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ يَغْدِرُ قَالَ قُلْتُ لاَ وَنَحْنُ مِنْهُ فِي هَذِهِ الْمُدَّةِ لاَ نَدْرِي مَا هُوَ صَانِعٌ فِيهَا‏.‏ قَالَ وَاللَّهِ مَا أَمْكَنَنِي مِنْ كَلِمَةٍ أُدْخِلُ فِيهَا شَيْئًا غَيْرَ هَذِهِ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ قَالَ هَذَا الْقَوْلَ أَحَدٌ قَبْلَهُ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.

‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِتُرْجُمَانِهِ قُلْ لَهُ إِنِّي سَأَلْتُكَ عَنْ حَسَبِهِ فِيكُمْ، فَزَعَمْتَ أَنَّهُ فِيكُمْ ذُو حَسَبٍ، وَكَذَلِكَ الرُّسُلُ تُبْعَثُ فِي أَحْسَابِ قَوْمِهَا، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ كَانَ فِي آبَائِهِ مَلِكٌ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنْ لاَ فَقُلْتُ لَوْ كَانَ مِنْ آبَائِهِ مَلِكٌ قُلْتُ رَجُلٌ يَطْلُبُ مُلْكَ آبَائِهِ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ عَنْ أَتْبَاعِهِ أَضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ أَمْ أَشْرَافُهُمْ فَقُلْتَ بَلْ ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ، وَهُمْ أَتْبَاعُ الرُّسُلِ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ كُنْتُمْ تَتَّهِمُونَهُ بِالْكَذِبِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقُولَ مَا قَالَ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنْ لاَ، فَعَرَفْتُ أَنَّهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيَدَعَ الْكَذِبَ عَلَى النَّاسِ ثُمَّ يَذْهَبَ فَيَكْذِبَ عَلَى اللَّهِ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ يَرْتَدُّ أَحَدٌ مِنْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ بَعْدَ أَنْ يَدْخُلَ فِيهِ سَخْطَةً لَهُ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنْ لاَ، وَكَذَلِكَ الإِيمَانُ إِذَا خَالَطَ بَشَاشَةَ الْقُلُوبِ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ يَزِيدُونَ أَمْ يَنْقُصُونَ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنَّهُمْ يَزِيدُونَ، وَكَذَلِكَ الإِيمَانُ حَتَّى يَتِمَّ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ قَاتَلْتُمُوهُ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنَّكُمْ قَاتَلْتُمُوهُ فَتَكُونُ الْحَرْبُ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُ سِجَالاً، يَنَالُ مِنْكُمْ وَتَنَالُونَ مِنْهُ، وَكَذَلِكَ الرُّسُلُ تُبْتَلَى، ثُمَّ تَكُونُ لَهُمُ الْعَاقِبَةُ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ يَغْدِرُ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنَّهُ لاَ يَغْدِرُ، وَكَذَلِكَ الرُّسُلُ لاَ تَغْدِرُ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ قَالَ أَحَدٌ هَذَا الْقَوْلَ قَبْلَهُ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنْ لاَ، فَقُلْتُ لَوْ كَانَ قَالَ هَذَا الْقَوْلَ أَحَدٌ قَبْلَهُ قُلْتُ رَجُلٌ ائْتَمَّ بِقَوْلٍ قِيلَ قَبْلَهُ‏.

‏ قَالَ ثُمَّ قَالَ بِمَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ قَالَ قُلْتُ يَأْمُرُنَا بِالصَّلاَةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَالصِّلَةِ وَالْعَفَافِ‏.‏ قَالَ إِنْ يَكُ مَا تَقُولُ فِيهِ حَقًّا فَإِنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ، وَقَدْ كُنْتُ أَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ خَارِجٌ، وَلَمْ أَكُ أَظُنُّهُ مِنْكُمْ، وَلَوْ أَنِّي أَعْلَمُ أَنِّي أَخْلُصُ إِلَيْهِ لأَحْبَبْتُ لِقَاءَهُ، وَلَوْ كُنْتُ عِنْدَهُ لَغَسَلْتُ عَنْ قَدَمَيْهِ، وَلَيَبْلُغَنَّ مُلْكُهُ مَا تَحْتَ قَدَمَىَّ‏.‏

 قَالَ ثُمَّ دَعَا بِكِتَابِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَرَأَهُ، فَإِذَا فِيهِ ‏”‏ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ مِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ، إِلَى هِرَقْلَ عَظِيمِ الرُّومِ، سَلاَمٌ عَلَى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَى، أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنِّي أَدْعُوكَ بِدِعَايَةِ الإِسْلاَمِ، أَسْلِمْ تَسْلَمْ، وَأَسْلِمْ يُؤْتِكَ اللَّهُ أَجْرَكَ مَرَّتَيْنِ، فَإِنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ فَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ إِثْمَ الأَرِيسِيِّينَ، وَ‏{‏يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَى كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَنْ لاَ نَعْبُدَ إِلاَّ اللَّهَ‏}‏ إِلَى قَوْلِهِ ‏{‏اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ}‏‏”‏‏.‏ فَلَمَّا فَرَغَ مِنْ قِرَاءَةِ الْكِتَابِ ارْتَفَعَتِ الأَصْوَاتُ عِنْدَهُ، وَكَثُرَ اللَّغَطُ، وَأُمِرَ بِنَا فَأُخْرِجْنَا قَالَ فَقُلْتُ لأَصْحَابِي حِينَ خَرَجْنَا لَقَدْ أَمِرَ أَمْرُ ابْنِ أَبِي كَبْشَةَ، أَنَّهُ لَيَخَافُهُ مَلِكُ بَنِي الأَصْفَرِ فَمَا زِلْتُ مُوقِنًا بِأَمْرِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ سَيَظْهَرُ حَتَّى أَدْخَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَىَّ الإِسْلاَمَ‏.

قَالَ الزُّهْرِيُّ فَدَعَا هِرَقْلُ عُظَمَاءَ الرُّومِ فَجَمَعَهُمْ فِي دَارٍ لَهُ فَقَالَ يَا مَعْشَرَ الرُّومِ، هَلْ لَكُمْ فِي الْفَلاَحِ وَالرَّشَدِ آخِرَ الأَبَدِ، وَأَنْ يَثْبُتَ لَكُمْ مُلْكُكُمْ قَالَ فَحَاصُوا حَيْصَةَ حُمُرِ الْوَحْشِ إِلَى الأَبْوَابِ، فَوَجَدُوهَا قَدْ غُلِقَتْ، فَقَالَ عَلَىَّ بِهِمْ‏.‏ فَدَعَا بِهِمْ فَقَالَ إِنِّي إِنَّمَا اخْتَبَرْتُ شِدَّتَكُمْ عَلَى دِينِكُمْ، فَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ مِنْكُمُ الَّذِي أَحْبَبْتُ‏.‏ فَسَجَدُوا لَهُ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ)‏.  رواه البخاري.

   Narrated Ibn Abbas -may Allah be pleased with them- said (English translation): “

Abu Sufyan narrated to me personally, saying: “I set out during the Truce that had been concluded between me and Prophet Muhammad.  While I was in Al-Sham (Levant), a letter sent by the Prophet (ﷺ) was brought to Heraclius.  Dihya Al-Kalbi had brought and given it to the governor of Busra, and the latter forwarded it to Heraclius.  Heraclius said: ‘Can you find anyone from the tribe of this man who claims to be a prophet?’ The people replied: ‘Yes.’

So I along with some men from of the tribe of Qureish were called, and we went to see Heraclius.  We went, and we were asked to sit in front of him.

Heraclius said: ‘Who amongst you is the nearest relative to the man who claims to be a prophet?’   I replied that I was [Abu Sufyan was the leader of Qureish and was the cousin of Prophet Muhammad].  So they made me sit in front of him and made my companions sit behind me. Then he called upon his translator and said (to him): ‘Tell them ( i.e. Abu Sufyan’s companions) that I am going to ask him (i.e. Abu Sufyan) regarding that man who claims to be a prophet. So, if he tells me a lie, they should contradict him.’  By Allah, had I not been afraid that my companions would consider me a liar, I would have told lies.

Heraclius then said to his translator: ‘Ask him: What is his (i.e. the Prophet’s) family status amongst you?’  I replied: ‘He belongs to a noble family amongst us.’  Heraclius said: ‘Was any of his ancestors a king?’  I replied: ‘No.’  He said: ‘Did you ever accuse him of telling lies before his saying what he has said?’  I replied: ‘No.’  He said: ‘Do the nobles follow him or the poor people?’  I replied: ‘It is the poor who followed him.’  He asked: ‘Is the number of his follower increasing or decreasing?’  I replied: ‘They are increasing.’  He asked: ‘Does anyone renounce his religion (i.e. Islam) after embracing it, being displeased with it?’  I replied: ‘No.’   He asked: ‘Did you fight him?’  I replied: ‘Yes.’  He asked: ‘How was your fighting with him?’  I replied: ‘The fighting between us was undecided and victory was shared by him and us by turns, sometimes he wins and sometimes we win.’   He asked: ‘Did he ever betray?’  I replied: ‘No, and now we are away from him in this truce and we do not know what he will do in it.   Abu Sufyan added: ‘By Allah, I was not able to insert in my speech a word (against him) except that.’ Heraclius asked: ‘Did anybody else (amongst you) ever claimed the same (i.e. Islam) before him?’  I replied: ‘No.

                   Then Heraclius told his translator to tell me (i.e. Abu Sufyan): ‘I asked you about his family status amongst you, and you told me that he comes from a noble family amongst you.  Verily, all Apostles come from the noblest family among their people.  Then I asked you whether any of his ancestors was a king, and you denied that.  Thereupon I thought that had one of his forefathers been a king, I would have said that he (i.e. Muhammad) was seeking to rule the kingdom of his forefathers.  Then I asked you regarding his followers, whether they were the noble or the poor among the people, and you said that they were only the poor (who follow him).  In fact, such are the followers of the Apostles.  Then I asked you whether you have ever accused him of telling lies before saying what he said, and your reply was in the negative.  Therefore, I knew that a man who did not tell a lie to people, could never tell a lie about God.  Then I asked you whether anyone of his followers had renounced his religion (i.e. Islam) after embracing it, being displeased with it, and you denied that.  And such is Faith when it mixes with the cheerfulness of the hearts.  Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing.  You claimed that they were increasing.  That is the way of true faith till it is complete.  Then I asked you whether you had ever fought him, and you claimed that you had fought him and the battle between you and him was undecided and the victory was shared by you and him in turns; sometimes he wins and sometimes you do.  Such is the case with true Messengers; they are tested but the final victory is for them.  Then I asked you whether he had ever betrayed; you claimed that he had never betrayed; and indeed true Messengers never betray.  Then I asked you whether anyone had said this statement before him; and you denied that.  Thereupon I thought if somebody had said that statement before him, then I would have said that he was but a man copying some sayings said before him.’

Abu Sufyan said: “Heraclius then asked: ‘What does Muhammad order you to do?’  I replied: ‘’He orders us to pray to God, to pay charity, to keep good relationship with the Kith and kin, and to be chaste.’  Heraclius said: ‘If whatever you have said is true, then he is a true Prophet.  I have known that a true prophet was going to appear, but I never thought that he would be from amongst you.  If I were certain that I can reach him, I would like to meet him and if I were with him, I would wash his feet.  Surely, his kingdom will expand to what is under my feet.’

Then Heraclius asked for the letter of the Messenger of God (Muhammad) and read it wherein was written:

‘In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.  This letter is from Muhammad, Messenger of God, to Heraclius, the sovereign of Byzantine

Peace be upon him who follows the Right Path.  Then, I call you to embrace Islam. Embrace Islam and you will attain salvation, embrace Islam and God will give you a double reward.  But if you reject this message, you will be responsible for the sins of all the people of your kingdom.  God says: {O the people of the Scripture, come to a word common to you and us that we worship None but God, that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides God. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims”} (3.64).’

When Heraclius finished reading the letter, people’s voices grew louder near him and there was a great hue and cry, and we were ordered to go out.”  Abu Sufyan added: “While coming out, I said to my companions: “The situation of Ibn Abi Kabsha (i.e. Muhammad) has become strong; even the king of Banu Al- Asfar is afraid of him.”  So I continued to believe that the Messenger of God (Muhammad) would be victorious, till God guided me to embrace Islam.”

Az-Zuhri said: “Heraclius then invited all the chiefs of the Byzantines and had them assembled in his house and said: ‘O group of Byzantines, do you wish to have a permanent success and guidance and that your kingdom should remain with you?’  Upon hearing that invitation, they rushed towards the gate like zebras, but they found them closed.  On seeing their reaction, Heraclius said: ‘Bring them back to me.’  He then addressed them and said: ‘I just wanted to test the strength of your adherence to your religion. Now I have observed of you that which I like.’ Then the people fell in prostration before him and became pleased with him.”  Related by Al-Bukhari with authentic narration.

 

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Prophet Muhammad – Forgiving and Kind

(Keywords: Prophet Muhammad’s forgiveness of Quraish, Prophet’s Muhammad’s forgiveness of his enemies during the Conquest of Makkah, Prophet Muhammad’s mercy and kindness, Prophet’s Muhammad’s high Morals)

 

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

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


 

         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 the idols 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 come from Neenwa (Nineveh).’  Prophet Muhammad said: ‘The town 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.

God -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, God 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 water 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 are 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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Trials and Tribulations

(keywords: Patience, Gratefulness, 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.

      God -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 the help of God come’.  Yes! Certainly, the help of God is near (to come)} (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 God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -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 God 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.


 

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

{And I (God) 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.


    

      This life is a test for people to see who among them believes and disbelieves, who obeys God’s commands and who disobeys, who refrains from sins and who commits sins and misdeeds.  The Son of Adam will then see the results of his actions on the Day of Judgment. 

But to distinguish between people and their categories, people will face and go through certain tests.  These tests could be problems or troubles in their health, wealth, relatives, income, food and drink, belief system, and the like. 

 

Thus, 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 God 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.  God -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 God’s forgiveness. 

Second, the believer must remind himself of the real purpose of this life.  The believer must ponder upon the reason behind the trials and tribulations of this world, and that is to test his faith, his patience, and his firmness in religion.  These problems and troubles are a test for the believer, whether he stands firm and bear the problem patiently seeking God’s help, or does he waver and starts having doubts and worse deny the bounty of God. 

And third, the believer must surrender to God’s will and accept Pre-destiny, believing that God has judged it this way and the don of Adam 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 unless we repent and avoid those sins.  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 Omar said: “The Messenger of God -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 God 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 God and His Messenger, but God 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 God and seek all good from that which God has revealed, God will cause them to fight one another.’”  Related by Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim, and Al-Beihaqi.

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     Then, the sensible person should reflect upon his action when afflicted with a problem or a calamity. 

The believer should remind himself of the real purpose of this 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 God and seek His help, and then surrender to Pre-destiny and accept God’s Judgment while trying his best to find a way out of his trouble.  We ask God to guide us to the Right Path, and make us die on Faith.  And God 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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A True Story about Morals and Akhlaq (3)

     قال الله عز وجل: { وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيم} سورة القلم 4.

     Allah -the Exalted- says: {And Verily, you (O, Muhammad) are of an exalted moral character} (Surah 68, verse 4).

    وعن 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 لِشَيْءٍ 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 the Messenger of Allah -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 character, and 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.

 

   ‘A Man from Paradise’

 

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him- said: “While we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him, he said: ‘A man from the people of Paradise will come out to you now.’  So a man from the tribe of Al-Ansaar came out, whose beard was dripping from his ablution, and he had hung his shoes in his left hand.  When the next morning came, the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said the same thing, so the same man came out like the first time.  On the third day, the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said the same thing again, and the same man came out in the same first condition.

When the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- left, Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr followed the Ansaari man and said to him: ‘I have quarreled with my father and I have sworn to avoid him for three days, so if you could let me stay with you until they pass.’  He replied: ‘Yes.’

Anas said: Abdul-Allah related that he slept those three nights in the man’s house, and he did not see him praying any voluntary prayer at night.  However, whenever he woke up, he would roll over on his bed and mention Allah -the Almighty- and say Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest) until the dawn prayer.

Abdul-Allah said: ‘But I only heard him speak good.  When the three nights had passed and I almost scorned his deed, I said to him: O Abdul-Allah, there was not any quarrel or abandonment between my father and me, but I heard the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- say three times about you: `A man from the people of Paradise will come out to you now,`  and you came out on the three times.  So I wanted to stay with you and find out about your deed, and do likewise.  But I did not see you doing any great deed, so what made you reach what the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- had mentioned.’

He replied: ‘I have nothing except what you saw.’  When I turned to leave, he called me back and said: ‘I have nothing except what you saw, but I do not find within myself any deceitfulness for any of the Muslims, and I do not feel jealous toward anyone for any good that Allah has granted him.’  So Abdul-Allah said: ‘This is what made you reach that degree.’ ”  Related by Ahmad with a narration based on Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim, and Al-Nasa’i, Abu Ya’la, and Al-Bazzar (Who named the obscure man as Sa’d).

 

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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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Actions and Consequences

قال الله عز وجل: { أَفَمَنْ كَانَ مُؤْمِنًا كَمَنْ كَانَ فَاسِقًا لَا يَسْتَوُونَ * أَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَلَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ الْمَأْوَى نُزُلًا بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ * وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فَسَقُوا فَمَأْوَاهُمُ النَّارُ كُلَّمَا أَرَادُوا أَنْ يَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا أُعِيدُوا فِيهَا وَقِيلَ لَهُمْ ذُوقُوا عَذَابَ النَّارِ الَّذِي كُنْتُمْ بِهِ تُكَذِّبُونَ * وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُمْ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ الْأَدْنَى دُونَ الْعَذَابِ الْأَكْبَرِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ  } سورة السجدة 18-21.

God the Exalted says: {Then is one who was a believer like one who was defiantly disobedient? They are not equal. As for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them are Gardens of Abode as an accommodation for what they used to do. But as for those who defiantly disobeyed, their abode will be Hell-Fire. Every time they wish to emerge from it, they will be returned to it, and it will be said to them: “Taste the torment of the Fire which you used to deny.” And verily, We will make them taste of the near (worldly) lighter torment prior to the greater torment, in order that they may return} (Surah 32, verses 18-21).

وعن عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « إنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ قَدْ يَئِسَ أَنْ تُعْبَدُ الأَصْنَامُ فِي أَرْضِ العَرَبِ، ولكِنَّهُ سَيَرْضَى مِنْكُمْ بِدُونِ ذلِكَ، بِالمُحَقَّرَاتِ، وهِيَ المُوبِقَاتُ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ» الحديث.  رواه أبو يعلى والطبراني والبيهقي.

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Satan despaired of idols being worshipped in the Arabian Peninsula, but he will pleased with less than that from you: with the belittled sins (muhaqirat), and they are the destructive sins (mubiqat) on the Day of Judgment. ”  Related by Al-Tabarani, Abu-Ya’la and Al-Bayhaqi.

When we consider peace and order in worldly communities and societies, we find that order cannot be achieved except through laws and regulations.  Thus, a minor offense is prevented by imposing monetary fines on such transgressions, while more serious offenses receive greater sentences as a preventive measure. Those who commit these crimes are then handed prison sentences as a punishment for the offender and as a deterrent for others. Most often these offenses and transgressions entail harming oneself and/or others. These laws and regulations are implemented to protect the individual and the community as a whole. Those who try to harm themselves or other individuals in the community are punished. Those who disrupt the harmony of the community and try to bring disorder and violence to the community by breaking these rules and regulations are disciplined.  Thus, every member of the community has responsibilities and rights that must be observed, and when any member of the community violates these rights, there are consequences. Those who keep the law and order are lauded as good community members who are eligible to take leading roles, while those who violate these rules are considered disruptive members who must face the consequence of their actions so that they may then reform and act righteously.

The same analogy applies to religion.  God in His Most Wise and Divine Knowledge and Authority prescribed certain rules and regulations to be followed. Most of these regulations are in the form of sacred texts revealed to prophets and messengers; many of these center on worshiping God alone and obeying His commands. Just like laws and regulations are important to keep the community safe, religious rules and regulations are essential to keep humanity harmonious.

Among the rules that God revealed to all prophets are the Ten Commandments.  The Ten Commandments were revealed in the Torah, the Bible, and the Qur’an.

Narrated Ka’b Al-Ahbar: “The first thing that was revealed of the Torah are ten verses, and they are same ten verses mentioned in Surah Al-An’am (Qur’an): {Say (O Muhammad): “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you:

  • Do not join anything in worship with Him;
  • Be good and dutiful to your parents;
  • Do not kill your children out of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them;
  • Do not come near to shameful deeds (adultery), whether committed openly or secretly;
  • Do not kill anyone whom Allah has forbidden (to be killed), except for a just cause: thus does He command you, that you may use wisdom.
  • And do not come near the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he attains the age of full maturity;
  • Give full measure and full weight with justice – We do not burden any person but that which he can bear;
  • Whenever you speak (testify), speak justly even if a near relative is concerned;
  • And fulfill the Covenant of Allah: thus does He command you that you may remember} (Surah 6, verses 151-153).”

The Ten Commandments ensure justice and peace on earth, but when they are violated injustice and mischief spread through the land. And like the violation of worldly laws results in consequences, violation of the rules of God also results in consequences.

God the Exalted says:

{And verily, We will make them taste of the near (worldly) lighter torment prior to the greater torment, in order that they may return} (Surah 32, verse 21).

Ubayy Ibn Ka’b said: “The near worldly torment are problems and troubles in the worldly life.”  Therefore, when the commandments of God are violated, and His rules and regulations are broken, torment in this life is sent in the form of troubles and problems that strike the son of Adam and leave him in pain and agony.  And if the son of Adam continues as before and insists on violating the rules of God, then there is punishment after death in the grave and in Hell–we seek refuge in God from that.

Nowadays, there is a general trend of dissociating the consequences from their actions. Some people may violate more than one rule of God, and may be given a reprieve and a chance to repent at first. But when they insist on committing the sin, they may be punished for it and afflicted with a calamity. Instead of reflecting on their previous actions, they wonder why they were affected in particular and why that problem afflicted them. But the true believer understands that problems and troubles are a test and an expiation. Problems remind the Muslim of the need to return to God and to repent of all sins. Troubles urge the Muslim to seek the help of God and get closer to Him, and they remind the Muslim of the life to come and the need to prepare for that eternal life.

Thus, God is the Most Merciful and Most Kind and always gives His slaves a chance after chance before punishment.  God, the Lord of the Worlds, screens the sinning slave at first and gives him a chance to repent and return to religion. God the Exalted with his vast mercy forgives and continues to forgive, but when the son of Adam insists on turning away and committing sins then the slave is punished. And even then, God’s mercy surrounds the slave and He in His Most Glory awaits the slave’s repentance patiently and expectantly.  The Almighty God says in Qur’an:

{And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much} (Surah 42, verse 30).

The scholar Ibn Kathir said: “The verse means: ‘Whatever disasters happen to you, O mankind, are because of sins that you have committed in the past.’ (And He pardons much) means: ‘He does not punish you for all of your sins, rather He forgives much.’

Narrated Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘If a person commits many sins and has nothing that will expiate for them, Allah will test him with some grief that will expiate for them.’ Related by Imam Ahmad.”

As the first verse states, the obedient believer and the sinful are never equal, just like the law abiding person is not equal to the criminal. The Mu’min is characterized by having fear of Allah that makes him loathe sins and stay away from them. And in case he slips, he soon repents.  Allah the Exalted says:

 {And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins. And none can forgive sins but Allah, and they do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know}

(Surah 3, verse 135).

Al-Baghawi said: ‘They remember the punishment of Allah and that He will ask them about their actions (so they stop themselves).”  Thus, the Mu’min is the person who doesn’t insist on a sin. It is true that humans are weak and prone to slips and falls, but the Muslim remembers the consequences of disobeying Allah both in this life and the Hereafter, and thus repents of the sin as soon as possible. The Muslim shows regret and remorse and promises Allah never to commit that sin again. And in case he commits another sin (whether the same or different), then he repents a second time, and a third time, until he repents of all sins. When the Muslim reaches this state, then Allah with His Great Mercy and Infinite Forgiveness will erase the sin from his record and grants him purity and sweetness of faith.

The Prophet ﷺ instructs us in the hadith above never to belittle sins, no matter how minor they are. SubhanaAllah, in our age some have started to belittle even the major sins! Some started considering major sins as minor sins and do not think much of committing them. We need to consider the severe consequences that may follow such behavior.

Narrated Ubada Ibn As-Samit, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, a group of my nation will spend the night in merriment, wantonness, play, and forbidden entertainment, and so they will get up in the morning transformed into monkeys and pigs for considering lawful (and violating) the things Allah has forbidden, for taking on female singers, for drinking wine, eating usury, and wearing silk (for men).” Related by Ahmad and Al-Tabarani.

We see the direct cause-effect relationship between actions and their consequences in this hadith. The righteous people among the first Muslim generation (Sahaba) showed great concern over even minor sins and took great pains to avoid them. But now we show even less concern for major sins, and do not consider the enormity of disobeying the Mighty One.  The remedy of this affliction lies in frequent pondering and reflection.  Every day the Muslim should think of the sins he committed during the day and night, and should then make istighfar (ask Allah’s forgiveness) for them.  Only then will the Muslim realize his negligence and shortcomings.  Once he realizes that, then the Muslim should strive to please Allah by obeying His commands and staying away from things He has forbidden.  The Muslim should always keep in mind the good consequences of following Allah’s commands (both in this life and the Hereafter), and the dire consequences of disobeying Allah’s commands (both in this life and the Hereafter).  We pray Allah to guide us to the Right Path and grant us Paradise, and Allah knows best.

The Highest Level: Ihsan

قال الله عز وجل: { هَلْ جَزَاء الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ} سورة الرحمن 60.

God the Exalted says: {Is the reward for good (Ihsan) anything other than good?} (Surah 55, verse 60).

Narrated Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him: “Once while we were sitting with the Messenger of God ﷺ, a man appeared before us, dressed in pure white clothes, with dark black hair, without any sign of travel. None of us recognized him. He sat with the Messenger of God ﷺ, resting his knees against the knees of the Messenger of God ﷺ, and placed his palms on the thighs of the Messenger of God ﷺ, and said: ‘O Muhammad, inform me about Islam.’  Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: ‘Islam is to testify that there is no god worthy of worship but God and that Muhammad ﷺ is the messenger of God, and to establish prayer, to pay Zakah (the obligatory charity), to fast the month of Ramadan, and to perform pilgrimage to Makkah if you are capable of it.’ The man said: ‘You have said the truth.’  Omar said: We wondered at him, first asking and then confirming it as the truth!

Then the man said: ‘Inform me about faith (Iman).’  Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: ‘It is to truly believe in God, in His angels, in His Books, in His messengers, in the Hereafter, and in the Divine Decree, the good of it and the bad of it.’

The man said: ‘You have said the truth. [Now] inform me about Ihsan.’  The Messenger of God ﷺ said:

‘It is to worship God as if you are seeing Him, for though you do not see Him, He, verily, sees you.’

The man said: ‘Inform me about the Hour (of the Day of Judgment).’  Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: ‘The one asked about it knows no more than the inquirer.’ The man said: ‘Tell me some of its indications and signs.’  The Messenger of God ﷺ said: ‘That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and master, and that you will find barefooted, destitute goat-herders vying with one another in the construction of magnificent buildings.’  Omar said: Then the man went on his way and I stayed with Prophet Muhammad for a long while.

The Messenger of God then said to me: ‘O Omar, do you know who the inquirer was?’ I replied: God and His Messenger know best.’  He said: ‘That was Angel Gabriel who came to you in order to instruct you in matters of your religion.’ ”

(Related by Muslim, Abu Dawud, and Ahmad).

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In this beautiful and eloquent hadith, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ summarizes the main tenets of Islam and its major foundation.  The scholars said this incident occurred towards the end of the Prophet’s life, to clarify and summarize the important pillars of this deen.  Angel Gabriel and the Prophet ﷺ divided the tenets of Islam into three levels: Islam, Iman (faith), and Ihsan.  If we think of them as levels, then the basic level is Islam, the middle higher level is Iman, and the highest level is Ihsan.  Like any other structure, the highest level can be reached only after perfecting the levels before it.

The three concepts of Islam, Iman, and Ihsan are not limited to the spiritual heart; rather, they are firm beliefs of the heart but also actions by the limbs.  In other words, the belief in the heart must translate into good deeds and acts.  For example, one of the pillars of Islam is the Prayer. So the Muslim must believe in the importance and obligation of the Five Daily Prayers, but his Islam would not be perfect until he physically perfects his prayer.  Likewise, one of the pillars of Iman is the belief in Qadr (Divine Decree or pre-destiny), but Iman would not be perfect until the Muslim learns not to complain in the face of adversaries and calamities but instead to bear them patiently and seek God’s help. Finally, the Muslim has firm belief in the concept of Ihsan, and that God the Exalted is always watching him and his actions, but the Muslim’s Ihsan would not be complete until he translates that belief into action and starts fulfilling God’s commands by performing obligations (wajibat) and avoiding actions God has forbidden (sins).

 

One of the ninety-nine Honorable Names of God is: الرقيب (the Ever-Watchful).  God is also: البصير (the All-Seeing), السميع (the All-Hearing), العليم (the All-Knower), and الخبير (the All-Aware).  That is, every creature is under the constant watch and continuous surveillance of God, the Exalted.  This watch never ceases and is never interrupted, as God is the Perfect God and neither sleeps nor slumber ever affects Him.  Furthermore, God the Almighty has assigned two angels for every human, who write his good and bad deeds in a special record that will be presented to the slave on the Day of Judgment.  Thus, nothing of the slave’s actions is ever missed by God, the Lord of the Worlds.  God the Exalted says in Qur’an:

{Truly, nothing is hidden from God, in the earth or in the heavens} (Surah 3, verse 5).

This sense of being under the constant watch of God the Most High, and the resulting attention to one’s actions, is called Ihsan.  Ihsan has two parts: First is the belief that we are being watched by God the Exalted all the time. And second is the sense of shyness and the effort to follow God’s commands and avoid sins that results from realizing God is watching at all times.

 

Once the Muslim realizes he or she is under the constant watch of God, the Muslim tries his best to show respect and reverence to the One Who is watching. The Muslim feels shy of disobeying the Mighty One who is watching. Moreover, the Muslim tries her best to be in the best form and shape before the Only Lord and true God. So the Muslim tries to do as many good deeds as possible and do them only to please God Who is watching him during the day and night, during the morning and evening, in public and in private and on all occasions. This then develops into him a deep and heightened sense of Divine awareness that brings with it a higher level of piety (taqwa), righteousness (salah), and Iman (faith) such that he feels close to God all the time and spends most of his time trying to please his Lord by doing good deeds and avoiding sins. This condition then is called Ihsan, and it is as mentioned above the highest level of the religion.

This elevated level of Ihsan requires struggle and fending off the desires of the Evil tempting Self and the temptations of Satan and the devils.  Ihsan requires perfecting the stages of Islam and Iman (faith) first, then gradually building one’s Ihsan. Ihsan requires constant reminder of this continued watch by making Dhikr and glorifying God all the time, as well as daily repentance and frequent istighfar (seeking forgiveness from God) and asking God for the favor of this special state.

It is not an easy task, but God’s rewards are not cheap, either. In return for this struggle, God provides blessings both in this world, represented by a peaceful contented life, and in the Hereafter through the highest levels in Jannah or Paradise.  We pray God to guide us to the Right Path and grant us from His Favor.  And God knows best.

Reward and Punishment

قال الله عز وجل: { وَمَا أَصَابَكُمْ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَنْ كَثِيرٍ} سورة الشورى 30.

Allah the Exalted says: { And whatever misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned, but Allah pardons much} (Surah 42, verse 30).

وعن بريدة الأسلمي رضي الله عنه قال: سمعتُ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم يقولُ: « ما أصابَ رجلًا من المسلمين نكبةٌ فما فوقها- حتى ذكر الشوكة- إلا لإحدى خصلتين: إلا ليغفرَ الله من الذنوبِ ذنبًا لم يكن ليغفرَ الله له إلا بمثل ذلك، أو يبلغَ به من الكرامة كرامةً لم يكن يبلغها إلا بمثل ذلك».  رواه ابن أبي الدنيا والبيهقي.

Narrated Burayda Al-Aslami, may Allah be pleased with him: “I heard the Prophet ﷺ say: ‘Whatsoever small misfortune or greater than it–he even mentioned a thorn–befalls a Muslim for two reasons: Either so that Allah forgives a sin that He would have not forgiven except for that, or to make him attain honor that he would not have attained except for that.’ ”  Related by Ibn Abi Ad-Dunya and Al-Bayhaqi.

———–

In the Qur’an, Allah the Exalted states that He created this life to test people’s belief and disbelief, obedience and disobedience, and righteousness and evil. Part of the test is that this worldly  life (dunya) is never perfect: beside its happiness there is sadness; beside its richness there is poverty; beside its fortunes there are misfortunes, and beside its pleasures there is adversity. Then the human is tested in how he acts in every situation–the levels of his faith, piety, patience, and devotion to God are measured and recorded.  Based on the actions of the human and the Perfect Judgment of God, the person is then either rewarded with Paradise or punished with Hell on the Day of Judgment.

This worldly life is not a lawless place where man can live with no rule or code; rather, in every era, Allah the Exalted sent messengers with Divine instructions to lead mankind to guidance and to the path of eternal bliss in the Hereafter.  The Qur’an mentions many prophets and their Divine messages.  We read about the story of Adam, whom Allah created with His Own Exalted Hand from mud and blew the soul into him to bring life to him. We read about the first instruction to humans in the form of staying away from the forbidden tree.

Due to human nature being prone to slips and falls, Prophet Adam was tempted by Satan and ate from the tree, and was then moved from Paradise to the earth. But just as human nature is prone to slips and falls, it is also inclined to righteousness and repentance. Indeed, just as there is a dark side to the soul, there is a countering good side as well. Thus, Prophet Adam spent forty days on earth in prostration, crying in repentance to God. Allah the Most Merciful bestowed His mercy and forgiveness upon Adam and Eve and instructed them to act righteously on earth. Ever since, every nation and generation has received a Messenger and an accompanying Divine book with the instructions and commandments of God. There were many prophets who came as warners to their people, including Prophet Noah, Prophet Moses, Prophet Isa (Jesus), Prophet Abraham, Prophet David, Prophet Solomon, and many others. The last Prophet and Messenger of Allah is Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the seal of prophets who has been sent to humankind at large until the end of time.

If we read about previous nations, we see that some nations followed the guidance their prophets brought them from God and gained eternal bliss, while others refused to obey and were punished both in this life and the Hereafter. In the Qur’an we read some of the stories of the people who were punished, like the story of people of Noah who were destroyed with the Great Flood, the story of the people of Thamud who were annihilated with the Piercing Cry, the story of the people of Aad who were destroyed with the Violent Wind, the story of Pharaoh who was drowned, and many others.

Allah the Exalted mentioned the stories of the nations before us in Qur’an so that we take heed and act righteously. These true stories are great lessons for us, and forewarn us of the consequences of our actions. Indeed, we see the effects of our actions in this life before the Hereafter.  In the above verse, Allah the Exalted states that a lot of corruption and evil we see on earth is a direct consequence of disobedience to God.  These consequences can appear in the form of misfortunes and adversity (though we should realize that misfortunes can also be a test for the righteous).  Therefore, we are instructed to repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness frequently during the day and night, but more so during times of difficulty and adversity.  Allah the Exalted says:

}وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى أُمَمٍ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِالْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَضَرَّعُونَ * فَلَوْلَا إِذْ جَاءَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا تَضَرَّعُوا وَلَكِنْ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ{

{Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Prophet Muhammad). And We seized them with poverty and hardship so that they may believe with humility.

Then why, when Our Torment reached them, did they not believe with humility? Instead, their hearts became hardened, and Satan made attractive to them that which they were doing} (Surah 6, verse 42-43).

Thus, Allah the Exalted instructs us to turn back to Him during time of difficulty and adversity, and to seek His forgiveness and mercy with greater degree of humility and pleading.  But that must be accompanied by repentance, true repentance that dictates leaving the sin or sins that may have led to these consequences. When struck with a calamity or difficulty, the Muslim is instructed to seek forgiveness and mercy from Allah, to repent of sins, and then to seek His help and aid.

The time of difficulty is a time of reflection, a time of looking back at our actions, a time of carefully considering which rules of Allah we aren’t following.

As the verse above states, sometimes adversity and difficulty are just a reminder for the Muslim to abandon sins and repent to Allah. But when the human continues to act as before and tries to ignore the consequences of bad actions and finds no link between the two, then the situation may worsen–we seek refuge with Allah.  On the other hand, when the Muslim takes heed and starts by purifying his own self and then seeks Allah’s help, Allah will find him a way out of every difficulty and provide him from whence he doesn’t expect, a promise by Allah:

{And whoever fears Allah (by following His Commands and staying away from sins), He will make for him a way out (of difficulty).  And He will provide for him from where he does not expect} (Surah 65, verses 2-3).

In conclusion, we see a common habit of dissociating actions from their consequences. The Prophet ﷺ  mentioned in the hadith above that adversity and difficulty could be a direct result of some sin the Muslim is committing or it could be an elevating test for the pious person. And the above verses make it abundantly clear that happiness and calamity in both worlds have a direct link to human action. Therefore, in all difficulties, the Muslim is instructed to reflect upon his actions, repent of his sins, seek the forgiveness and mercy of Allah, and then seek help and aid from Allah, the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving.  And Allah knows best.

Feeling Superiority

قال الله عز وجل: { إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَنْ كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا} النساء 36.

Allah the Exalted says: { Verily, Allah does not like those who are proud and boastful} (Surah 4, verse 36).

وعن جندب بن عبد الله رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « قالَ رَجُلٌ: واللَّهِ لا يَغْفِرُ اللَّه لفُلانٍ، فَقَالَ اللَّه عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: مَنْ ذا الَّذِي يَتَأَلَّى عليَّ أنْ لا أغفِرَ لفُلانٍ إنِّي قَد غَفَرْتُ لَهُ، وَأَحْبَطْتُ عمَلَكَ» .  رواه مسلم.

قال الْإِمَامُ مَالِكٌ: إذَا قَالَ ذَلِكَ مُعْجَبًا بِنَفْسِهِ مُزْدَرِيًا بِغَيْرِهِ فَهُوَ أَشَدُّ هَلَاكًا مِنْهُمْ،‏ لِأَنَّهُ لَا يَدْرِي سَرَائِرَ اللَّهِ فِي خَلْقِهِ‏.‏

Narrated Jundub Ibn Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “A man swore: ‘By God, Allah will not forgive such and such person.’  Thereupon, Allah the Almighty said: ‘Who is he who swears about Me that I will not forgive so and so; indeed I have forgiven him and abolished your deeds.’ ” Related by Imam Muslim.

Imam Malik said: “If he said so out of self-conceit and contempt of others, then he is the one who is ruined because he has no knowledge of people’s inner side and future intention.”

عن عبدِ اللَّهِ بن مسعُودٍ رضيَ اللَّهُ عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « لا يَدْخُلُ الجَنَّةَ مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ مِنْ كِبْرٍ»، فقال رَجُلٌ: إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ يُحِبُّ أَنْ يَكُونَ ثَوْبُه حَسَناً ونَعْلُهُ حَسَناً، قال: « إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَمِيلٌ يُحِبُّ الجَمَالَ، الكِبْرُ بَطَرُ الحَقِّ وغَمْطُ النَّاسِ» . رواه مسلم والترمذي.

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Whosoever has a grain of mustard worth of pride in his heart shall not enter Paradise.’  A man asked: “Indeed, a person loves that his dress should be fine and his shoes should be fine.”  The Prophet ﷺ replied: “Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdaining the truth (out of self-conceit) and having contempt for people.”  Related by Muslim and Al-Tirmidhi.

As the above hadith specifies, feeling superior to people is part of kibr (pride), which is a major sin. Indeed, pride is the greatest sin because through it Satan was banished from the Heavens and cursed.  When Allah the Exalted created Adam, He asked the angels to prostrate to him. The angels obeyed while Satan (who used to worship among the angels, and was even known for his great worship to Allah) stood aside and did not prostrate. When asked why he did not prostrate to Adam, Satan replied: ‘I am better than him; I was created from fire while he was created from clay.’  So Allah banished and cursed Satan for his disobedience.

The same concept applies when someone feels superior to other people because of his wealth, social status, intelligence, or any other trait.  We must understand that any blessing is granted by Allah alone, and He bestows it to whomever He wishes. Thus, there is no justification for feeling superior when the distinction is a blessing granted by Allah, and can instantly be taken away if Allah so wishes. Rather the Muslim is instructed to show humbleness and humility, and express his gratitude and thanks to Allah for His special favors. In Surat Al-Kahf, we read the story of a rich man who owned two orchards full with fruits and with a running river. He was once in his green and lush orchard, and looked around with pride and said I don’t think all of this will ever end, and when I die I will get better than this. His companion admonished him not to feel pride and superiority, but to instead thank Allah for His Blessings; but he persisted in his arrogance. That night, lightning struck his orchards and he lost everything because of his pride.

The same is true for religious status. When someone appears more adherent to the rules of Allah and thinks highly of himself or looks down upon others, then he might end up worse than them because he harbors the greatest sin of pride. Indeed, it is only Allah who granted him this gift, but when he attributes his worship to his own effort and looks down on others, then he has fallen in the same trap as Satan. We should abhor and prohibit the sin, but should have goodwill and compassion for the human.  When the Muslim sees a sin being committed, he should advise the wrong doer but should never look down upon the sinner or belittle him, but instead should maintain a positive opinion of him while wishing him guidance and goodness.

Indeed, the Muslim does not reach the full level of Faith (Iman) until he purifies his heart from vices like jealousy, worldly rivalry, hatred, pride, feeling superior to others, belittling others, and the like. In the following hadith, the Prophet  describes the best of people:

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Amr, maybe Allah be pleased with them: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ was asked: ‘Who among the people is best?’  He replied: ‘Every person with a makhmum heart and  a truthful tongue.’  The companions asked: ‘We know the truthful person, but who is the one with a makhmum heart?’  The Prophet ﷺ  replied:

‘He is the one who is pious and pure, (in whose heart) there is neither sin, nor transgression, nor malice, nor envy.’ ”

(Related by Ibn Majah and Al-Bayhaqi with a good narration).

Pride led to Satan’s downfall, and it is this same pride that leads to problems in this world and destruction in the next. Arrogance and pride are among the most difficult of traits to remove, but our lives must be permanent, persisting efforts to do just that. By realizing our fragile position and by glimpsing at Allah’s majestic grandeur, we can achieve a level of humility that allows us to fix our relationships with the people and with Allah. We ask Allah for tawfiq.

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.

Accounting for Deeds in Both Worlds

 

     عن أبي بَرْزَةَ رضي الله عنه أن رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « لا تَزُولُ قَدمَا عبْدٍ يَومَ القِيامَةِ حَتَّى يُسْأَلَ عَنْ أَرْبعٍ: عَنْ عُمْرِهِ فِيمَ أَفْنَاهُ، وَعَنْ عِلْمِهِ مَا عَمِلَ بِهِ، وعَنْ مالِهِ منْ أَيْنَ اكْتَسبهُ وَفِيمَ أَنْفَقَهُ، وَعَن جِسْمِهِ فِيمَ أَبْلاه» .  رواه الترمذي وقال: هذا حديث حسن صحيح.

Narrated Abu Barza, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of God ﷺ said: “The two feet of any slave on the Day of Judgment shall not move on until he is asked about four things: About his age, how he spent it; about his knowledge, how he acted upon it; about his money, from where he earned it and how he spent it; and about his body, how he wore it away.”   Related by Al-Tirmidhi with an authentic narration.

In our daily struggle with the worldly life, we tend to forget or postpone thinking about and preparing for the Hereafter.  Man often considers only what is in front of him, while ignoring that which comes later. Man considers his immediate future yet postpones plans for the distant future. But the wise person is he who considers both the immediate and distant future. The wise person sees what is in front of him, but also what is lying ahead behind the curve. The wise Muslim prepares not only for this life, but also struggles as hard for the other world soon to come.

Indeed, as soon as one dies, the veil is lifted from his eyes and he starts seeing and experiencing the real truth for the first time.  After death, man starts seeing the world as never before. He starts seeing the recompense of his actions, he starts seeing and experiencing the bliss of Paradise or the punishment of Hell-Fire, he starts seeing the angels of mercy or the angels of punishment, and he starts seeing the end results of the righteous people and the evil unjust people. He is truly seeing the world for the first time.

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

When someone of you dies, then his day of judgment begins.

Related by Ibn Abi al-Dunya and Al-Daylami.

Indeed, when man dies, the angels take his soul, and either ascend with it to heavens or descend with it to the pits. Before that, the Angel of Death appears in either of two forms: a beautiful and inviting shape with which he captures the soul of the believers, or an ugly and terrifying form with which he captures the soul of the disbelievers. Soon after, the angels of mercy or punishment take over according to one’s deeds. And once the dead person is lain in his grave, the two angels, Munkar and Nakir, come to him and question him, asking him to account for every single deed and action he performed in the world.

Thus, our daily actions do not go without notice; rather, every action or deed is recorded and we will be asked about it. The major guideline and rule is: is this action in accordance with God’s rules?  Does it violate any of God’s commands?  This then sets the path to the Hereafter.  Obedience to God is rewarded with bliss and happiness in the Hereafter, while disobedience and sin may be punished in the grave and Hell. In the above hadith, the Prophet gives us a glimpse of the accounting that man would undergo after death.  After death, man will be asked about his age, his knowledge, his wealth, and his body. When man dies, he will be asked how he gained and used those four matters, and whether he followed God’s rules and commands regarding each. Then his reward or punishment will be served based on his actions–but God’s mercy is great.

If we ponder upon the things mentioned in the hadith, we will find that they encompass every deed of the son of Adam in this life:

First, the son of Adam will be asked about how he spent his age i.e. his time. Did he spend his time doing something permissible, did he spend his time doing something useful, or did he just waste his time? Did he take advantage of his time to do good deeds or was he too preoccupied with enjoyment and desires?

Second, the son of Adam will be asked about his knowledge i.e. the knowledge of Islam.  Did he learn about his deen (religion), did he learn about the commands of Allah or His obligations and forbidden things, did he act upon that knowledge, and did he teach it to others?

Third, the son of Adam will be asked about his wealth i.e. money. How did he earn his money? Did he steal, did he cheat, did he rob others, or did he earn from a permissible source? And how did he spend that money? Did he spend it on sins, did he waste it away, or did he give to the poor and the needy?

And fourth, the son of Adam will be asked about his body i.e. his limbs. Did he use his body to worship God or to instead commit sins? Did he guard his body from bad substances like drugs and alcohol or did harm himself? Did he fast for the sake of God? And how did he use his eyes, his ears, his mouth, his mind, his hands and his feet?  Indeed, he will be asked about every limb.

The sensible person should consider these four questions and should prepare answers for the accounting to come. The Muslim is forewarned; God the Exalted says: { And let every soul consider what it has presented for tomorrow, and fear God, verily God is well aware of all that you do} (surah 59, verse 18). The Muslim should take heed, as the following hadith prompts:

وعَنْ أبي يَعْلَى شَدَّادِ بْن أَوْسٍ رضي اللَّه عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « الكَيِّسُ مَنْ دَانَ نَفْسَهُ وَعَمِلَ لِمَا بَعْدَ المَوْتِ، وَالعَاجِزُ مَنْ أَتْبَعَ نَفْسَهُ هَوَاهَا وَتَمَنَّى عَلَى اللَّهِ» .  رواه التِّرْمِذيُّ وابن ماجه وأحمد والحاكم .

Narrated Abu Ya’la Shaddad Ibn Aws, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet ﷺ said:

“The sensible person is he who takes account of himself and works for what comes after death. And the foolish person is he who lets his self follow its desires, and then indulges in wishful thinking about God.”  Related by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ahmad and Al-Hakim.

The golden rule to follow to pass this accounting is to follow the rules of God in everything and to stay away from all sins.  In case the Muslim slips and commits a sin, he should return to God in repentance and ask His forgiveness as soon as possible. Thus, when he dies, he will be able to answer faithfully and with sincerity, and pass the accounting with ease.

Finally, the Muslim should not feel overwhelmed by the accounting for deeds, but should put his trust in His God and hope the best from His only Lord, for indeed God is the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving. The Muslim is asked to try his best and then leave the rest to God, provided the Muslim keeps asking God’s forgiveness and keeps returning to Him after every slip. Indeed, the son of Adam is weak and wrongful, but the door of repentance is wide and the bounds of God’s mercy are limitless–yet the sensible is the one who exerts effort and only then expects and hopes for the best from his Lord.  And God knows best.

The True Prophet

 

     عن هشام بن حُبَيش بن خويلد صاحب رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: ( أنَّ رسولَ اللهِ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم خرج من مكة مهاجرا إلى المدينة وأبو بكر رضي الله عنه ومولى أبي بكر عامر بن فُهَيرة ودليلهما الليثي عبد الله بن أريقط، مروا على خيمتي أم معبد الخزاعية، وكانت امْرَأَةً بَرْزَةً جَلْدَةً (أي خلا لها سن، فهي تبرز وليست بمنزلة الصغيرة المحجوبة) تَحْتَبِي (هو أن يَضُّمّ الإنسان رجْلَيْه إلى بَطْنه بثَوْب يَجْمَعَهُما به مع ظَهْره) بفناء الخيمة ثم تسقي وتطعم، فسألوها لحما وتمرا ليشتروه منها، فلم يصيبوا عندها شيئا من ذلك، وكان القوم مُرْمِلِينَ (أي نفد زادهم) مُسْنِتِينَ (أي داخلين في السنة، وهي الجدب والمجاعة)، فنظر رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم إلى شاة في كِسْرِ الْخَيْمَةِ (أي جانبها)، فقال: مَا هَذِهِ الشَّاةُ يَا أُمَّ مَعْبَدٍ؟  قالت: شَاةٌ خَلَّفَهَا الْجَهْدُ (أي المشقة) عن الغنم.  قال: هَلْ بِهَا مِنْ لَبَنٍ؟  قالت: هي أجهد من ذلك.  قال: أَتَأْذَنِينَ لِي أَنْ أَحْلُبَهَا؟  قالت: بأبي أنت وأمي، إِنْ رَأَيْتَ بِهَا حَلْبًا فَاحْلُبْهَا.  فدعا بها رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، فَمَسَحَ بِيَدِهِ ضَرْعَهَا، وَسَمَّى اللَّهَ تعالى، ودعا لها في شاتها، فَتَفَاجَّتْ عَلَيْهِ وَدَرَّتْ فَاجْتَرَّتْ (أي وسَّعت ما بين رجليها، وصبت اللبن، وفوق ذلك أخرجت العلف من جوفها إلى فمها لتمضغه)، فدعا بإناء يُرْبِضُ الرَّهْطُ (أي يرويهم، والرهط ما بين الثلاثة إلى العشرة)، فَحَلَبَ فِيهِ ثَجًّا (أي سيلا) حتى علاه البهاء (أي بريق رغوة اللبن)، ثم سقاها حتى رويت، وسقى أصحابه حتى رووا وشرب آخرهم حتى أَرَاضُوا (أي رووا)، ثم حلب فيه الثانية على هَدَّةٍ حتى ملأ الإناء ثم غادره عندها ثم بايعها وارتحلوا عنها.  فَقَلَّ مَا لَبِثَتْ حتى جاءها زوجُها أبو معبد ليسوق أَعْنُزًا عِجَافًا يَتَسَاوَكْنَ هُزَالًا (أي يمشين مشيًا ضعيفًا) مُخُّهُنَّ قَلِيلٌ (أي عمهن الهزال). فلما رأى أبو معبد اللبن أعجبه قال: من أين لك هذا يا أم معبد والشاء عازب (أي بعيد في المرعى) حائل ( أي لم تحمل، فلا يكون بها لبن) ولا حلوب في البيت؟  فقالت: لا والله، إلا أنه مر بنا بِنَا رَجُلٌ مُبَارَكٌ من حاله كذا وكذا.  قال: صِفِيهِ لِي يَا أُمَّ مَعْبَدٍ.

قالت: رأيت رجلا ظَاهِرَ الْوَضَاءَةِ (أي ظاهر الجمال)، أَبْلَجَ الْوَجْهِ (أي مشرق الوجه مضيئه)، حَسَن الخَلْق، لم تَعِبْهُ ثَجْلَةٌ وَلَمْ تُزْرِيهِ صَعْلَةٌ (أي ليس بمنتفخ ولا ناحل)، وَسِيمٌ قَسِيمٌ (أي حسن وضيء)، في عينه دَعَجٌ (أي السواد في العين)، وفي أشفاره وَطَف (أي طويل شعر الأجفان)، وفي صوته صَهَل (أي بحة)، وفي عنقه سَطَع (أي طول)، وفي لحيته كثاثة (أي كثيف شعر اللحية)، أَزَجُّ أَقْرَنُ (أي دقيق وطويل الحاجبين). إن صمت فعليه الوقار، وإن تكلم سماه وعلاه البهاء، أَجْمَلُ النَّاسِ وَأَبْهَاهُ مِنْ بَعِيدٍ، وَأَحْسَنُهُ وَأَجْمَلُهُ مِنْ قَرِيبٍ. حُلْوُ الْمَنْطِقِ، فَصْلٌ لَا نَزِرٌ وَلَا هَذِرٌ (أي وسط ليس بقليل ولا كثير)، كَأَنَّ مَنْطِقَهُ خَرَزَاتُ نَظْمٍ يَتَحَدَّرْنَ، رَبْعَةٌ (أي ليس بالطويل ولا بالقصير) لا تَشْنَأَهُ مِنْ طُولٍ (أي لا يُبْغَض لفرط طوله) وَلَا تَقْتَحِمُهُ عَيْنٌ مِنْ قِصَرٍ (أي: لا تحتقره العيون لقصره)، غُصْنٌ بَيْنَ غُصْنَيْنِ فهو أنضر الثلاثة منظرا، وأحسنهم قَدْرا، له رفقاء يحفُّون به (أي يستديرون حوله ويحدقون به)، إن قال سمعوا لقوله، وإن أمر تبادروا إلى أمره، مَحْفُودٌ (أي مخدوم) مَحْشُودٌ (أي محفوف)، لا عابسٌ ولا مُفْنِدٌ (أي لا عابس الوجه ولا معتد)- صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم.

 فقال أبو معبد: هَذَا وَاللَّهِ صَاحِبُ قُرَيْشٍ الَّذِي ذُكِرَ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِهِ مَا ذُكِرَ، ولقد هممتُ أن أَصْحَبَهُ، ولَأَفْعَلَنَّ إن وجدت إلى ذلك سبيلا).  رواه الحاكم والطبراني.

وروي أن أبا معبد وأم معبد أسلما وهاجرا إلى النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم. ذكره البيهقي وأبو نعيم.

 

——

Narrated Hisham Ibn Hubaysh Ibn Khuwaylid, the companion of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ: “Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Abu Bakr as-Siddiq migrated from Makkah to Al-Madina, along with ‘Aamir Ibn Fuhayra (the freed slave of Abu Bakr) and their guide Abdullah Ibn Urayqit Al-Lithi.  They passed by two tents of the known hostess, Umm Ma’bad.  She was an elderly lady who had devoted herself to serve the travelers; she would squat before her tent and offer food and drink to the travelers. They asked Umm Ma’bad if she had any meat or dates that they could purchase from her, but it was a drought year and she had no provisions.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ saw a sheep at the side of the tent, so he asked: ‘Why is this sheep here, O Umm Ma’bad?’  She replied: ‘The sheep is too fatigued to join the rest of the herd.’  He asked: ‘Does it have milk?’  She replied: ‘She is too exhausted for that.’  He asked: ‘Would you allow me to milk it?’  She replied: ‘May my parents be sacrificed for you, if you could milk it then please do so.’

The Prophet ﷺ called for the sheep, wiped its udder with his hand while mentioning God’s name, and prayed for His blessings.  The sheep drew apart its hind legs and its udder swelled and flowed forth with milk.  Moreover, the sheep ruminated and started chewing. The Prophet  ﷺ asked for a container large enough for the group, and milked the forthcoming foamy milk until the container was full. He then handed the container to Umm Ma’bad who drank her fill. He then handed it to his companions until all of them were sated. The Prophet ﷺ was the last one to drink. He milked the sheep again and filled the container a second time, and left it with her.  He then took her pledge and the travelers continued on their journey.

After a short while, her husband Abu Ma’bad came back herding, before him an emaciated flock of sheep that was swaying from weakness.  When Abu Ma’bad saw the milk, he was surprised and asked: ‘Where did you get this milk, O Umm Ma’bad, while the sheep were out grazing and there is no milk in the tent?’  She replied: ‘Indeed, by Allah there passed by us a blessed man who did that.’  She related to him what happened, so he said: ‘Describe him to me, O Umm Ma’bad.’

Umm Ma’bad said: ‘I saw a handsome man, with bright countenance and fine form, not marred by plumpness or leanness.  He is graceful and of beautiful countenance, with deep black eyes, long eyelashes, deep voice, long graceful neck, thick beard, and long arched eyebrows.

When he is silent, dignity surrounds him; and when he speaks, eminence and splendor attach to him.

He is the most beautiful and delightful of people from a distance, and the best and most pleasant from up close.

He is well-spoken and articulate, and his speech is neither too brief nor too long, but flows forth like a perfect string of pearls.

He is of medium fine proportions, being neither too tall whose height the onlooker despises nor overly short whose shortness the onlooker disdains.  He is the middle branch between two other branches, so he is the most striking and prominent of the three. He is surrounded by companions who listen carefully when he speaks, and hasten to obey when he commands.  He is well served and attended, but he shows no sign of haughtiness, frowning or vanity.’

Abu Ma’bad exclaimed: ‘By Allah, this is the companion of Quraysh whom we were told about.  And indeed I intend to follow and accompany him, and I shall do so whenever I can.’  Related by Al-Hakim and Al-Tabarani.

—–

Al-Bayhaqi and Abu Nu’aym related: “Both Umm Ma’bad and Abu Ma’bad embraced Islam and migrated to Al-Madina to accompany the Prophet ﷺ.”