SAHABAH ON PLEASING NABI SAW
As we have already seen from the stories in previous chapters, obedience to Allah and His Nabi SAW was the very important factor in the Sahabah’s life. Stories given especially in this chapter will enable us to examine our way of living and see how far we are prepared to please Allah and His Nabi SAW, in order to deserve the necessary progress and other blessings, which the Sahabah received. If we want similar results, we will have to live the way that they lived.
Abdullah Ibn-Amr RA - Burns his shirt
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Amr ibnul Aas says: “Once we were accompanying Nabi SAW on a journey. When I went to see him, I was wearing a saffron-coloured (light red) sheet. He said to me, ‘What is this that you are wearing?’ I felt that he did not like my wearing a dress of that colour. When I reached home, I found a fire burning in the fireplace. I threw my garment into the fire. The next day when I went to Nabi SAW, he inquired,
‘Where is that sheet?’ I told Rasulullah SAW what I had done with it. He remarked, ‘You could have given it to one of the ladies in your house. Women are permitted to wear clothes of that colour.’” In fact, Abdullah RA was so much disturbed at Nabi’s SAW displeasure that he did not hesitate to take advantage of the first opportunity of destroying the sheet that caused the displeasure. He did not even think of making any other use of that garment. If we had been in his place, we would have thought of some excuse or the other for keeping it, or at least we would have found some other use for it.
An Ansaari sahabah demolishes a building to the ground.
Nabi SAW was once passing through a street of Madinah Munawwarah when he saw a building with a dome. He asked the Sahaabah, “What is this?” They informed him that it was a new building built by one of the Ansaar. Nabi SAW remained silent. At some other time, the Ansaari who had built that house had come to Nabi SAW and greeted him with ‘Assalamu alaikum’. Nabi SAW turned his face away from him. He repeated the greeting, but Nabi SAW again gave him the cold shoulder. He was very much shocked to notice Nabi’s SAW dislike for him. On enquiry, he was told of Nabi’s SAW query about his new building. He immediately went and demolished the new building to the ground and did not even inform Nabi SAW about his action.
Nabi SAW happened to pass that way again. He inquired: “Where is that building with a dome that I saw at this spot previously?” The Sahaabah informed him of the Ansaari’s demolishing it to the ground, as it had been the likely cause of Nabi’s SAW displeasure.He remarked: “Every new structure is a sinful burden for its owner, except that which is absolutely essential.”
This is a matter of love and devotion. The Sahabah could not bear the displeasure of Nabi SAW. Whenever Nabi SAW became displeased over something, they immediately removed the cause of his displeasure. Again the person does not even inform Nabi SAW of his drastic action in removing the cause of his displeasure, till he himself happened to notice it. Nabi SAW had a special dislike for people wasting their money on buildings. His own house was a temporary structure of date palm, with mats serving the purpose of walls to secure privacy. Once, during his absence from Madinah Munawwarah, Ummul Mominin, Umme Salma who had some money in hand, built walls of unbaked
bricks for her house. When Nabi SAW returned from his journey, he asked her:” Why did you do this?”
She replied: “O, Nabi of Allah. This is only to have better privacy.”
Nabi SAW remarked: ”The worst use of money is to spend it in expanding buildings.”
Abdullah-bin-Amir narrates: “My mother and I were once repairing a wall of our house. Nabi SAW happened to see us working and remarked, ‘Your own fall (death) is more at hand than the fall of this wall.’
Sahabah’s throwing away of red sheets of saddle cloth.
Rafe’says: “We were once with Nabi SAW on a journey. The sheets that we had spread on our camels were decorated with red threadwork on the borders. Nabi j said, ‘I notice that the red colour has begun to catch your fancy.’ We stood up and scattered in confusion at this scolding; so much so that our camels seeing our confusion began to run about. We immediately removed the sheets from their backs.”
Our Learning: “We are surprised on hearing such stories about Sahabah , as we are living in a different environment with quite a different frame of mind.”
When the Truce of Hudaibiyah was being discussed, Urwah-bin-Masud a messenger of the Quraish had an opportunity of very carefully studying the behavior of Sahabah . When he returned to his people, he said to them: “I have been to the courts of great kings and monarchs as an envoy. I have met the Emperors of Persia, Rome and Abyssinia. Nowhere have I seen people around a ruler as respectful to him as I saw the companions of Muhammad SAW. When he spits, his saliva is not allowed to fall on the ground, it is taken by somebody in his hands to smear his face and body with it. When he issues some order, every person hastens to carry it out. When he makes Wudhu, his companions race with one another to snatch the water trickling down from his limbs, in such a way that an onlooker would think they are going to fight over that water. When he speaks, everybody is silent as if he were dumb. Nobody raises his eyes to look at him, out of respect for him.”
Waail Has His Hair Cut
Wail-bin-Hajarsays: “I once visited Nabi j when the hair on my head was long. While I was sitting with him, he uttered the words, ‘Zubab, Zubab’ (Meaning something evil or gloomy). I thought he was referring to my hair. I returned home and had my hair cut. Next day when I again went to him, he said, ‘I never referred to your hair when I uttered those words yesterday. Anyhow, it is good that you had your hair cut.’
Our Learning: This shows the frame of mind of those people. They allowed no delay in acting upon the wishes of Nabi SAW , whether they understood it rightly or wrongly. They never thought it necessary to further question or explain.
In the early years, talking in Salaah was permissible. Once, Abdullah-bin-Mas'ud visited Nabi SAW while he was saying his Solah. He greeted him with “Asalaamualaikum” but received no reply, as to talk in Solah had meanwhile been forbidden. He says, “For receiving no reply, all sorts of explanations began to trouble my mind. I thought perhaps he is displeased with me, or he is angry with me, on such and such account, and so on. At last when Nabi SAW finished his Solah and informed me that Allah had forbidden talking in Solah, I heaved a sigh of relief.”
Khuraim Asadi gives up what is not liked by Nabi SAW
Suhail-bin-Hanzalah RA was living a life of privacy in Damascus. He did not mix with people, nor did he go anywhere. He was either busy in Solah or in Zikr throughout the day. While going to the Masjid, he would pass by Abu Darda RA , one of the famous Sahabah . Abu Darda RA would say to him: “O, Suhail! Let us hear some good words from you. We shall gain much, though you will lose nothing.” Suhail RA would then relate something that he had heard from Nabi SAW, or some event that he had seen in his lifetime.
Once on Abu Darda’s request as usual, he said: “Once Nabi SAW made a mention of Khuraim Asadi and said, ‘He is a good man except for two habits, viz, he keeps the hair of his head too long and he allows his ‘Izar’ (trouser) to go below his ankles.’ When Khuraim learnt about this, he immediately cut the hair up to his ears and began to keep his ‘Izar’ up to the middle of the calf of his leg.”
Ibn-Umar gives up speaking with his son
Abdullah-bin-Umar said: “I have heard Nabi j saying, ‘Allow your women to go to the Musjid.” One of his sons remarked: “We cannot allow our women to go to the Musjid, as this may lead to corruption later on.” Ibn Umar became very angry and scolded his son, saying: “When I tell you that Nabi j has allowed our womenfolk to go to the Musjid, how dare you say that you cannot allow them.” He then, refused to speak to him throughout his life. Ibn-Umar’s son clearly had no intention of disobeying Nabi SAW.
He feared corruption in allowing the womenfolk of that time to go to the Masjid. For the same reason, A’ishah (RA) is reported to have said: “If Nabi SAW had seen the women of our time, he would have stopped them from going to the Masjid.” A`ishah (RA) said this not very long after the death of Nabi SAW.
Despite this, Ibn-Umar RAcould not allow his son refusing to do something which Nabi SAW had desired to be done and he gave up talking to him for the rest of his life. The Sahabah sometimes found themselves faced with a problem regarding the women visiting the MSsjid. On the one hand, there was the open desire of Nabi SAW in favour of permitting them to go to the Musjid, and on the other hand there was the possibility of looseness in society (the signs of which were becoming visible) that demanded an immediate check on this permission. Aatikah (RA), the wife of Umar , went to the Masjid regularly but Umar RA did not like it. Somebody told her that Umar did not like her going to the Masjid. She said: “Why does he not prevent me from going to Masjid?”
After the death of Umar RA, Aatikah (RA) was married to Zubair . He also did not like her going to the Masjid, but could not prevent her for the above reason. Once he sat in her way to the Masjid and, as she passed by him, he teased her. In the dark, she could not make out who it was. After this incident, she stopped going to the Masjid. When Zubair inquired of her: “Why don’t you go to the Musjid now?”
She replied: “Times have changed.”
Ibn Umar Replies to a Question
Somebody said to Ibn Umar : “Allah has said something in the Qur’aan about Solah in peace and Solah in fear, but He has not said anything about Solah during a journey.”
He replied: “O, my nephew! When we were ignorant and knew nothing, Allah sent Muhammad SAW as his messenger to us. We must do what we have seen him doing.” This shows that it is not necessary that each and every regulation should be clearly mentioned in the Qur’aan. The acts of Nabi SAW are very good guides for us to practice on. Nabi SAW says: “I have been given the Qur’aan and also other commandments. Beware of the time which is coming shortly, when carefree people sitting on their couches will say, ‘Stick to the Qur’aan only. Carry out only the commandments contained therein.” Such corrupted views are generally motivated by pride due to wealth, and perhaps that is why the word “Carefree” is used for such people.
Ibne Mughaffal breaks off relations with His Nephew
A young nephew of Abdullah-bin-Mughaffal was playing ‘Khazaf’ (A game played with stones). He said to him: “O, Nephew! Stop doing that. Nabi SAW has banned this play. It can neither shoot a bird nor harm an enemy. It is likely to injure somebody’s eye or tooth.” The boy stopped playing but, after some time when he thought that his uncle was not watching him, he started again. Ibn-e-Mughaffal was very angry and said: “How dare you do a thing after knowing that Nabi SAW has forbidden it? By Allah! I will never speak to you again. I will never visit you when you are sick, nor join your funeral if you die during my lifetime.”
‘Khazaf’ is a game in which a pebble is placed on the thumb and then thrown with the force of the other fingers. Children are fond of playing such games. Ibn Mughaffal could not tolerate his nephew’s ignoring the words of Nabi SAW. Don’t we know the instructions of Nabi SAW regarding many things which we are in a habit of doing from morning till evening? How much regard do we have in our hearts for his ruling? Let everybody think about it himself and answer.
Ibn-Hizam - Gives up Begging
Hakim-bin-Hizam came to Nabi j and begged him for help. He gave him something. Next time he came and asked for something. Nabi SAW gave him something this time also. When he came to beg the third time, after giving him something, Nabi SAW said: “Hakim!
Money has a misleading appearance. It appears to be very sweet (but it is really not so). It is a blessing when earned with satisfaction of heart, but there is no satisfaction in it when it is gotten with greed.”
Hakim said: “O, Nabi of Allah, I will not bother anybody after this.” Abu Bakr in the time of his Khilaafat offered to help Hakim from Baitul Mal, but he refused. Again Umar as Amir-ul- Mominin requested Hakim many times to accept something from him, but he did not agree. Our greed knows no bounds; this is why we find no blessings in what we earn.
Huzaifah goes for spying.
Huzaifah narrates: “In the war of the Trench, we were facing a very big army of the enemy, including non-believers from Makkah Mukarramah and other such groups. At the same time, the Jews of Banu Quraizah in Madinah Munawwarah were preparing to stab us in the back, and we feared their looting our houses and families, for all of us were outside defending Madinah Munawwarah against the enemies. The Munafiqin started asking permission from Nabi SAW to go back to Madinah Munawwarah, on the excuse of their homes being unattended and open to the enemy. He permitted every one of them. One night, during those difficult days, it was unusually very dark and windy. It was so dark that one could not see one’s own hand, and the wind was blowing wildly. The Munafiqin were returning to their homes. Three hundred of us were sticking to our positions. Nabi SAW approached every one and made enquiries about him. I had neither arms to defend myself, nor clothes to resist the cold. I had only one small sheet, which belonged to my wife and was lent to me. I wrapped it round my loins and sat with my knees clinging to the ground. When Nabi SAW passed by me, he said, ‘Who are you?’ I said, ‘Huzaifah!’ I could not stand up due to the severe cold and I clung to the ground more tightly with shame. He said, ‘Huzaifah, stand up and go to the enemy camp and bring us their news.’ Of all the Sahabah (RA), I was the most ill-equipped, both against the enemy and against the cold that night, but as soon as I got the order, I stood up and left for the enemy camp. As I was going, Nabi SAW made Dua for me saying, ‘Oh Allah! Protect him from all directions.’ Immediately after his Dua, I was completely relieved of my fear and cold. I felt as if I were walking in a warm and peaceful atmosphere. Nabi SAW warned me thus, ‘Return immediately after seeing what they are doing. Do not take any other step.’ When I reached the enemy camp, I found a fire burning and people sitting around it. Each person warmed his hands before the fire and then rubbed them over his body.
The shouts of “Go Back” were heard from all directions. Every one was shouting to the people of his family to pack up and go back. The wind was causing the stones to fly and strike against their tents. The ropes of the tents were breaking and the animals were dying. I found Abu- Sufyaan, the Commander-in-Chief of the enemy forces, sitting near the fire warming himself. I thought of finishing him off. I had actually taken out an arrow from my quiver and placed it in my bow, when I remembered the order of Nabi SAW. I put the arrow back into the quiver. Whilst I was among them, they seemed to become aware of my presence.
They shouted, ‘There is a spy amongst us. Each one of us should catch the hand of the person next to him.’ I immediately caught the hand of a person and shouted, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘Subhanallah! You don’t know me. I am so and so.’ I then returned to my camp. While I was on my way back, I met twenty horsemen with turbans on their heads. They said to me, ‘Tell your master that Allah SWT has dealt with his enemy and that he has nothing to worry about now.’ When I reached my camp, I found Nabi SAW saying his Solah with a small shawl around him. Whenever he faced any difficulty, he immediately turned towards Solah. When he had finished, I reported to him what I had seen in the enemy camp. When I reported how I escaped their ‘search for the spy’, I could see his beautiful teeth shining. He then asked me to lie down near his feet and put a corner of his shawl over my body. I lay down and pressed my breast against the soles of his feet.”
Look at their spirit of carrying out the orders of Nabi SAW under very difficult and trying conditions. May Allah favor us with the same spirit of obedience, even though we do not deserve it. Amin!