Since the day I came to know that Muaaz bin Jabal (r.a.) was the companion of the Prophet (s.a.w) who was very beloved to him… so much so that on one occasion the Prophet (s.a.w) held his hand and said “O Muaaz! Indeed I love you for the sake of Allah”… I became so eager to know what was so special about this companion which made him so special in the eyes of our Prophet (s.a.w).
Well today I heard a Hadith narrated by Muaaz bin Jabal (r.a.) which shows his wisdom and his truthfulness and sincerity to please Allah (s.w.t); and it made me think how much focused he was on the ultimate purpose of life:
Muaaz (r.a.) narrates: I said, “O messenger of Allah! inform me of that deed which will enter me into paradise and keep me far away from the fire?”
He (s.a.w) replied: “indeed you have asked me about something so great (in magnitude)! and indeed it will be easy upon whom Allah makes it easy… and it is that you worship Allah and not share His status with anything at all… And that you establish Salah… and give Zakah… and fast in Ramadan… and do Hajj.”
And then the Prophet (s.a.w) said: “should I not tell you about the doors of goodness? Fasting is a shield (from sins and from fire) and Sadaqah (charity) extinguishes mistakes/sins just like water extinguishes fire and the same goes for the prayer in the depths of the night… and then He (s.a.w) recited the following verses:
Their sides remain apart from their beds. They call their Lord with fear and hope, and spend (in charity) out of what We have given to them. So, no one knows the delight of eyes that has been reserved for them in secret, as a reward of what they used to do. (32:16, 17)
Then the Prophet (s.a.w) said: “Should I not inform you about the main thing and its central pillar and its peak?” I said “why not! O messenger of Allah…”
He (s.a.w) said: “the main thing is Islam, its central pillar is Prayer and its peak is Jihad (utmost struggle for the sake of Allah)”
Then the Prophet (s.a.w) said: “should I not inform you about that thing which will make you the owner of all these deeds?” I said, “why not! O messenger of Allah…”
Thereupon He (s.a.w) took hold of his tongue and said: “Hold this (restrict its use) upon yourself!”
I said: “O Prophet of Allah! are we indeed to be held accountable for what we say with our tongue?”
So the Prophet (s.a.w) said: “And what do you think will throw the people (into the fire) upon their faces or their noses except the harvest of their tongues??”
It seems to be a long conversation but in reality it could not have taken more than a couple of minutes… Just imagine! only a couple of minutes to define the whole outline of a successful life?
After pondering on the words of this Hadith, my heart is full of these comparisons between the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w) at that time; and His (so called) followers of today:
1- The companions of the Prophet (s.a.w) did not take Paradise as their birth-right, even though they were so righteous and following the Prophet (s.a.w) in every matter of life and even death…
As opposed to this, we as born muslims and belonging to this religion by chance, think that we can do what we like and Jannah is waiting for us.
2- They realized that to enter Jannah requires constant struggle and so they were not reluctant to ask the Prophet (s.a.w) how they could attain it?
We never ask such questions because are fully absorbed by the fantasy of this world… never thinking beyond it.
3- Their poverty and other hardships of life did not bother them so much because they had a bigger worry on their minds… i.e. How to save themselves from the fire??
We are so much disturbed by even the smallest loss… because the importance of the world has occupied our hearts and minds out of all proportion.
The great thing about studying Hadith is that it not only makes us aware of our problems but also gives us the solutions… intellectual as well as practical solutions!
1- the first thing is to develop and nurture the faith in the hereafter and to take the world as a place to work for Allah. The more we think of Allah as our Lord, the less we will be bothered by other things. And the more we think of our status in the hereafter the less we will be bothered about our status in this world.
2- on the practical side we must give due right to Allah’s worship… not just in rituals but also in giving him top place in our life, wherever we are and whatever the circumstances. There can be nothing equally or more important in our life than Allah (s.w.t)
3- the obligations, such as prayer, fasting, Zakah and Hajj are the basic structure of Islam… without these rituals we cannot be true muslims because disobedience and obedience must have opposite consequences
4- to develop love for Allah and His religion we must purify our hearts from the negative effects which enter it through the whispers of shaitan and also from indulging in the love of desires. Voluntary fasting, voluntary charity and voluntary prayer are the great weapons against shaitan and our distractions! Use them as frequently as possible.
5- last but not the least: become the owner of your tongue… and you can own all goodness! But if you let it go free then you cannot hope to have any discipline in your heart, nor in your life. It is the most difficult thing to control because it is so quick to move and probably the only muscle which never gets tired!! But if you learn to control it then you can control yourself and do ONLY which is beneficial… instead of just flowing along the tide… not knowing nor caring where it’s going to lead you…
May Allah help me and all of us to really follow the advice of our beloved Prophet (s.a.w) so that we can enter Jannah and be saved from the fire… ameen.