Date: 20 February 2015; 30th Rabī’ al-Thānī 1436
Islam is a complete religion and just as it being perfect, the Deen focuses us on to following some constraints in this world so as to be successful in the Hereafter. As the Ummah of The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) we are expected to follow his advice. One of his valuable advices is noted in one Hadith. The Hadith goes like this:
Al-Bara’ bin `Azib (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported: Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has ordered us to visit the sick, to follow the funeral (of a dead believer), respond to the sneezer (i.e., by saying to him: Yarhamuk-Allah after he says: Al-hamdu lillah), to help those who vow to fulfill it, to help the oppressed, to accept the invitation extended by the inviter; and to promote greetings (i.e., saying As-Salamu `Alaikum).
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim
- Visiting The Sick:
This is in fact one of the most fundamental right of a Muslim over the other and the reward of visiting the sick is unimaginable.
One Hadith says:
Ali bin Abu Talib (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) saying, “When a Muslim visits a sick Muslim at dawn, seventy thousand angels keep on praying for him till dusk. If he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand angels keep on praying for him till the morning; and he will have (his share of) reaped fruits in Jannah.”
Reference: Jami at-Tirmidhi
One Sunnah upon visiting the poor is to recite a dua on behalf of the sick. Hadith says:
Aishah (Radi Allahu Anha) reported: When the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) visited any ailing member of his family, he would touch the sick person with his right hand and would supplicate:
“Allahumma Rabban-nasi, adhhibil-ba’sa, washfi, Antash-Shafi, la shifa’a illa shifa’uka, shifaan la yughadiru saqaman
“O Allah! the Rubb of mankind! Remove this disease and cure (him or her)! You are the Great Curer. There is no cure but through You, which leaves behind no disease.”
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim
- Following The Funeral of Dead Believer
Following the Janazah of a dead believer helps not only the attendants but also the dead.
One Hadith states the benefits for the deceased:
The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Whenever a (Muslim) person dies, and a group of Muslims numbering one hundred pray janazah for him, all interceding on his behalf, their intercession is granted (by Allaah) and he is forgiven.”
Reference: Sahih Muslim
Another Hadith states the reward for the attendants:
The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whoever follows a Muslim’s bier, out of faith and seeking to increase his account of good deeds, until he makes the funeral prayer for it will have a Qirat worth of reward. And he whoever follows it until it is buried, will get two Qirats” He was then asked what two Qirats were and he replied, “They are equivalent to two huge mountains; [the smaller of the two is like Mount Uhud].”
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim
- Responding To The Sneezer
This is an issue which is not properly understood by many Muslims. So this requires a bit of an explanation.
Firstly the reason why we utter “Alhamdulillah” upon sneezing because it is in fact a blessing from Allah. Hadith states:
It was narrated from Saeed from his father, that Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu Anhu) said: Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Allah likes sneezing, and He dislikes yawning, so if one of you yawns, let him suppress it as much as he can, and not make any noise, for that comes from Shaitan who is laughing at him.”
Reference: Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume 5, Book of Etiquette
Yawning has been associated with Shaitan as it signifies laziness. Yawning is a way we are are presenting our laziness and Shaitan loves laziness as it obstructs us from doing good deeds. The Dua in order to save us from laziness has been narrated in this Hadith:
Anas bin Malik (Radi Allahu Anhu) narrated, the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to say:
Allahumma Inee a’outhu bika minal hamee wal ‘huzne, Wal ‘ajzee wal ka sa le, Wal bokh lee wal jubb ne, Wa dhol ‘eedeyne wa galabe tirri jaal.
“O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, From weakness and laziness, From miserliness and cowardice, From the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men.”
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari
Sneezing is in fact a rahmat, a blessing from Allah and it helps to keep the body safe. This has been proven medically.
Kao Corporation states: “Sneezing is an important part of the immune process, helping to keep us healthy and sniffle-free. When something enters your nose or you encounter a trigger that sets off your “sneeze center” in your brain, located in the lower brain stem, signals are rapidly sent to tightly close your throat, eyes, and mouth. Next, your chest muscles vigorously contract, and then your throat muscles quickly relax. As a result, air, along with saliva and mucus, is forced out of your mouth and nose.”
Reference: Heather Hatfield (n.d.) 11 Surprising Sneezing Facts Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/11-surprising-sneezing-facts Acces Date: 21st February 2015.
So uttering “Alhamdulillah” upon sneezing is in fact a very important Sunnah although it is not Wajib on the believer.
After hearing to the “Alhamdulillah” the believer who is sitting next should utter, “Yarhamuk Allah” and once more upon hearing this the sneezer should respond, “Yahdikumullah, wa yuslihu balakum”. Hadith states that:
Narrated Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu Anhu): Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “If anyone of you sneezes, he/she should say ‘Alhamdulillah’ (Praise be to Allah) and his brother or his companion (i.e. one who is with him/her) should say ‘Yarhamuk Allah’ (May Allah have mercy on you). When the latter says ‘Yarhamuk Allah’, the former should say ‘Yahdikumullah, wa yuslihu balakum’ (May Allah guide you and set your affairs straight).”
Reference: Sahih Bukhari, Book of Al-Adab, Volume 8, Hadith Number 6224
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has taught us all these adabs to make us all into a disciplined nation as his Ummah. However, when someone sneezes and says Alhamdulillah for more than three times, the listener of the “Alhamdulillah” is not required to respond to his sneeze because that sneeze is for the cause of influenza, not from Allah’s Mercy.
It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu Anhu) said, “Say ‘Yarhamuk Allah’ to your brother three times, and if he sneezes any more than he has a cold.”
Reference: Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume 5, Book of Etiquette, Hadith No. 5034
The sneezer must utter “Alhamdulillah” for the person beside him/her to utter “Yarhamuk Allah” in return. Hadith states:
Anas bin Malik (Radi Allahu Anhu) narrated that two men sneezed in the presence of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), he responded to one of them and did not respond to the other. The one who was not responded to, said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)! You responded to this person and did not respond to me?’ So the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “He praised Allah while you did not praise Him.”
Reference: Jami at-Tirmidhi, Chapters on Manners, Volume 5, Hadith Number 2742
There is a famous incident concerned with the response to the “Alhamdulillah” uttered after sneezing involving Imam Abu Dawood (Rahmatullah Allaih), the compiler of the Hadith Book, Sunan Abu Dawood and the story goes like this:
Imam Abu Dawood (Rahmatullah Allaih), the renowned Muhaddith and compiler of the Sunan Abu Dawood, was on board a ship when he heard a person on shore sneeze and say, ‘Alhamdulillah’ (All praise belongs to Allaah). He hired a small boat for one dirham and went ashore in order to reply to the person with the prescribed prayer, ‘Yarhamukallah’ (May Allaah have mercy on you).
When he returned to the ship, Imam Abu Dawood (Rahmatullah Allaih) was asked why he had done so, he answered, “It is possible that the person who sneezed was a Mustajaab But Da’wat” (one who dua’s are readily accepted by Allah).
When the people on board later went to sleep, they heard a voice proclaiming, “O people of the ship. Abu Dawood purchased Jannah from Allaah at the cost of one dirham.”
Reference: Fath-al-Bari, Volume 10, page 610.
Imam Abu Dawood (Rahmatullah Allaih) knew the value of a single simple Sunnah, he knew that he had to show his love for the Sunnah of Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) for him to achieve success in the Akhirah so he was so desperate to complete just one Sunnah. All of us need to learn from this incident the remarkable value of one Sunnah. No matter how small it is, a singular Sunnah can be the very reason we enter Jannah. So never underestimate the value of one Sunnah. Allah only wants to see our sincerity in our Deen, that’s all.
- Helping The Oppressed
There is an interesting Hadith regarding this issue. The Hadith goes like this:
Anas ibn Malik reported (Radi Allahu Anhu): The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or is being oppressed.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), we help the one being oppressed but how do we help an oppressor?” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “By seizing his hand.”
References: Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 2312 & Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2584
If we sit idle after witnessing the oppressor overpowering the oppressed, Allah will curse us for being undutiful towards our brothers and sisters. Hadith states that:
The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Nay, by Allah, you either enjoin good and forbid evil and catch hold of the hand of the oppressor and persuade him to act justly and stick to the truth, or, Allah will involve the hearts of some of you with the hearts of others and will curse you as He had cursed them”.
References: Sunan Abu Dawud and Jami At-Tirmidhi
The very reason we are facing chaos in our society is that the oppressor continues to ruin our nation while we sit idle and witness people getting oppressed. For this we are unable to live peaceful lives. For this our Ummah is decaying and if we want to redeem our Deen against all sorts of extremism, we need to stand up against the evil ones and free the people from all kinds of terrorism and misery.
The next three commands of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) will be covered, In Shaa Allah in the next week’s Khutbah.