Date: 27th February 2015; 7th Jumada al-Ula 1436
Last week, the main discussion was focused onto the seven things ordered upon us by the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) based on the following Hadith:
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
Four of the seven commands have been discussed, this week the other three shall be discussed. But first we need to understand the reason why we are expected to live a disciplined life in this Dunya.
We need to realize that the life of ours in this Dunya is limited. All of us need to leave this world one day and on the Day of Judgement we need to give our account of all our deeds to Allah. One Hadith states:
The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The two feet of the son of Aadam will not move from near his Lord on the Day of Judgement until he is asked about five (matters):-
1) about his life – how he spent it;
2) about his youth – how he took care of it;
3) about his wealth – how he earned it;
4) and where he spent it;
5) about that which he acted upon from the knowledge that he acquired.”
Reference: Jami At-Tirmidhi
Basically we were sent to this world so that we are able to prepare ourselves for answering these questions. Every creation of Allah have their own duties and just like any creation, the human race also has its own duties and responsibilities in worshipping Allah. The answering of these questions will be easier if we live a disciplined life. So now let’s return to this week’s main discussion.
- Accepting Invitations
There are a lot of invitations. Let us discuss the most crucial ones:
- Wedding Invitations: The majority of scholars said that it is obligatory to accept such an invitation, unless there is a legitimate excuse.
The evidence (daleel) that it is obligatory to accept these invitations is based on a Sahih Hadith:
Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu Anhu) said the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The worst kind of food is the food of a wedding feast that is withheld from those who would come and to which people are invited who may refuse it. Whoever does not accept the invitation has disobeyed Allah and His Messenger.”
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 4779; Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2585
Another Hadith states that
Narrated Abdullah Ibn Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu): The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: He who does not accept an invitation which he receives has disobeyed Allah and His Apostle of, and he who enters without invitation enters as a thief and goes out as a raider.
Reference: Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 3732
- Invitation to various kinds of gatherings other than wedding-feasts: The majority of scholars say that accepting these invitations is mustahabb, and no one differed from that apart from some of the Shafis and Zahiris, who said it is obligatory. If we say that it is strongly mustahabb that is close enough. And Allah knows best.
- Spreading Salam
One Hadith states that:
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The closest people to Allah is the one who starts with the greeting of ‘Salam’”
Reference: Sunan Abu Dawood
When Adam (Alayhi As-Salām) was created and the ruh (soul) was inserted Allah asked him to greet the Angels of Paradise. It is clearly mentioned in Sahih Bukhari:
Narrated by Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu Anhu): The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Allah created Adam, making him 60 cubits tall. When He created him, He said to him, “Go and greet that group of angels, and listen to their reply, for it will be your greeting (salutation) and the greeting (salutations of your offspring.” So, Adam said (to the angels), As-Salamu Alaikum (i.e. Peace be upon you). The angels said, “As-salamu Alaika wa Rahmatu-l-lahi” (i.e. Peace and Allah’s Mercy be upon you). Thus the angels added to Adam’s salutation the expression, ‘Wa Rahmatu-l-lahi,’ Any person who will enter Paradise will resemble Adam (in appearance and figure). People have been decreasing in stature since Adam’s creation.
Reference: Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 3326, Chapter 1, Book of Prophets
The first command of Allah to His first created human was to give Salam to the Angels. We all know that Adam was given more honor than the Angels as Allah clearly states in the Quran that human beings are the best of His creations:
And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.
Surah Al-Isra, Ayah 70 (17:70)
However, Allah still commanded him to go and greet the Angels first. Through this Hadith we learn a lot of things. The first thing is about humility. In Islam humility is shown through the spreading of Salams. It is mentioned in a Hadith:
Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) once mentioned ”The one who initiates Salam is free from arrogance”
Another thing which this Hadith teaches us is about the fact that elders should also give Salam to their juniors. This is clearly presented by the Hadith of Prophet Adam (Alayhi As-Salām). This is considered to be an adab of Islam and also parents must make efforts in teaching their children regarding spreading Salam. Actually the real picture is that our children become shy when they are asked to give Salam to someone. This should be the case. Salam should become a part of everyday life.
Salam existed from the time of the Prophet Adam (Alayhi As-Salām) and it will continue till the Qiyamah and then the Hereafter. It is mentioned in the Quran that the angels will greet us with Salam as we enter Jannah.
The Quran says:
But those who feared their Lord will be driven to Paradise in groups until, when they reach it while its gates have been opened and its keepers say, “Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein,” [they will enter].
Surah Az-Zumar, Ayah 73 (39:73)
The power of spreading Salam should never be overlooked. The sole reason for one to be eligible for entering Jannah may be due to the fact that he/she might have spread Salam throughout his/her lifetime.
- Helping The One Who Has Taken A Vow
The taking of vow has been discouraged in Islam. Hadith states:
Narrated by Abdullah bin Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu): The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) discouraged the making of ‘nadhar’ (vows) and said, “It (a vow) does not prevent anything (that has to take place), but (through the vow) the property of a miser is spent (taken out) with it.”
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari
Another Hadith states that:
Narrated by Said bin Al Harith that he heard Ibn ‘Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) saying, “Weren’t people forbidden to make ‘nadhar’ (vows)?” The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘A ‘nadhar’ (vow) neither hastens nor delays anything, but by the making of vows, some of the wealth of a miser is taken out.”
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari
A better way than making a ‘nadhar’ or vow, is to do whatever good deeds one wills and beg and implore their Lord in all humility and hope, to bestow upon them whatever their hearts desires.
If one has already made a vow unto their Lord to fast, or spend in charity, or offer ‘nawafil’ prayers, or do a good deed when their heart’s desire is fulfilled, then it would be best for that person to now fulfill their vow they made unto their Lord; it is expected that they will have their full reward with their Lord for keeping their promises made unto Him.
But in the future, one should abstain from putting conditions or making a ‘nadhar’ or vow with their Lord when one desires a thing. Rather, it is recommended to remain constant in doing good deeds and whenever one’s heart desires anything, one should implore and beg their Lord in supplications with absolute and total awe, humility, and hope for the Lord responds to each and every supplication made by His believing slaves.
If someone finds his Muslim brother making a vow to Allah then it is his duty to help him achieve that vow as it has been ordered to do so by the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). In one Hadith it is mentioned:
The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The example of Muslims in their mutual love, mercy and sympathy is like that of a body; if one of the organs is afflicted, the whole body responds with sleeplessness and fever.”
Reference: Sahih Muslim
We are all one Ummah, one should not create discrepancy among us by taking into account our race, nationality, sect etc. We need to live in harmony and with proper wisdom and discipline. Only then we can actually hope to have peaceful and successful lives in this Dunya.