Continuing where we left off from Kitaab-ul-Manaaqib [Book of Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions] of Sahih al-Bukhari (Volume 4, Book 56, Hadith No. 710).
(4) Chapter: The descent of Yemenites from Isma’il (Ishmael)
Volume 4, Book 56, Number 710:
Narrated by Salama (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) passed by some people from the tribe of Aslam practicing archery. He said, “O children of Ishmael! Throw (arrows), for your father was an archer. I am on the side of Bani so-and-so,” meaning one of the two teams. The other team stopped throwing, whereupon the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “What has happened to them?” They replied, “How shall we throw while you are with Bani so-and-so?” He said, “Throw for I am with all of you.”
Once the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) picked a side, how could the other team continue to compete? They knew they would surely lose for the other side had major advantage over them. Also, I think, they might have felt left out.. like how children feel when parents prefer one child over the other. So to quickly put an end to the matter, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) opted out of choosing sides altogether and said, “I’m with all of you”. No arguments. Very wise.
There’s a lesson here for all of us. There’s always someone who looks up to us, whether it’s our children, younger siblings, friends, colleagues, subordinates or anyone else in our lives who favors our attentions. Sometimes there are situations where picking sides might lead to unpleasant circumstances so at that time, following this example of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) would be the way to go. :)
Note, staying neutral isn’t always recommended. Wisdom requires acting/reacting according to time, place and circumstance.
Guest post by Madiha Akhtar
Once my husband said, “Whenever you find yourself in a conservation, try to take something beneficial from it, something that can help you”. I know it sounds philosophical but the application that I saw him practice is what makes this a golden rule to live by. Let me explain further with examples.
I went to visit my grandparents and my husband accompanied me. After asking the usual questions of “how are you and kids, health, job” etc., my grandfather started to talk about his travel experiences. Right after that my husband asked him, “What do you think was their greatest strength and weakness?”. I looked at his face and then at my grandfather’s and was totally indulged in the way my grandfather explained what he found key to their success. A whole new paradigm of discussion opened up which was both interesting and beneficial.
So here is how he does it. In every gathering he asks questions which are related to the topic as well as the knowledge of the audience. This is the ultimate trick to learn from others’ years of experience. Let me share with you some more examples.
In a gathering of moms you can ask the question, “What is the single most important thing that one can give to their children?” or to a grandmother, “What is the one thing you never compromised on when it came to your children?”.
When accompanied by someone who loves cooking , “What is the simplest yet nutritious dish you make?”. In a group of friends, “How do you handle the situation when your husband is angry but you don’t know the cause?”.
So my dear friends, this is the key to learning. Now I enjoy having conversations and even making small talk with strangers when waiting in a queue or reception as I have found a way to tap others’ wisdom. Lastly, I will add just one more thing that most of the sins related to tongue are because of excessive talking and sometimes to avoid an awkward silence in the drawing room, we end up talking uselessly. SO THINK AHEAD!
Ahadith 2514 – 2517 (below) are repeats. See linked text for related posts.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 119 :
Narrated by Anas bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu)
Once the people of Medina were frightened, so the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) rode a horse belonging to Abu Talha (radiallaahu `anhu) and it ran slowly, or was of narrow paces. When he returned, he said, “I found your (i.e. Abu Talha’s) horse very fast. After that the horse could not be surpassed in running.’
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 120 :
Narrated by (‘Abdullah) bin ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) arranged for a horse race amongst the horses that had been made lean to take place between “Al-Hafya” and “Thaniyat Al-Wada'” (i.e. names of two places) and the horses which had not been made lean from Ath-Thaniyat to the mosque of Bani Zuraiq. I was also amongst those who took part in that horse race. Sufyan, a sub-narrator, said, “The distance between Al-Hafya and Thaniya Al-Wada’ is five or six miles; and between Thaniya and the mosque of Bani Zuraiq is one mile.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 121 :
Narrated by Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) arranged for a horse race of the horses which had not been made lean; the area of the race was from Ath-Thaniya to the mosque of Bani Zuraiq. (The sub-narrator said, “‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) was amongst those who participated in that horse race.”).
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 122 :
Narrated by Abu Ishaq from Musa bin ‘Uqba from Mafia from Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) who said
“Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) arranged a horse race amongst the horses that had been made lean, letting them start from Al-Hafya’ and their limit (distance of running) was up to Thaniyat-al-Wada’. I asked Musa, ‘What was the distance between the two places?’ Musa replied, ‘Six or seven miles. He arranged a race of the horses which had not been made lean sending them from Thaniyat-al-Wada’, and their limit was up to the mosque of Bani Zuraiq.’ I asked, ‘What was the distance between those two places?’ He replied ‘One mile or so.’ Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) was amongst those who participated in that horse race.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 123 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The she camel of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was called Al-Adba (الْعَضْبَاءُ).
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 124 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) had a she camel called Al Adba which could not be excelled in a race. (Humaid, a sub-narrator said, “Or could hardly be excelled.”) Once a Bedouin came riding a camel below six years of age which surpassed it (i.e. Al’Adba) in the race. The Muslims felt it so much that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) noticed their distress. He then said, “It is Allah’s Law that He brings down whatever rises high in the world.”
Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was a wonderful teacher. He took this incident to teach Muslims a valuable lesson: that this world isn’t perfect. Nothing remains constant or perfect here. Everything that rises sees downfall, and everything that goes down comes up at some point. Allah says in the Quran:
قُلْ مَتَاعُ الدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ
“Say, The enjoyment of this world is little, and the Hereafter is better for he who fears Allah.” [4:77]
The word mata’a can be translated as a “resource for transitory worldly delight.” It is a resource. It is a tool. It is the path—not the destination.
And it is this very concept that the Prophet ﷺ spoke about so eloquently when he said:
“What relationship do I have with this world? I am in this world like a rider who halts in the shade of a tree for a short time, and after taking some rest, resumes his journey leaving the tree behind.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)
Consider for a moment the metaphor of a traveler. What happens when you’re traveling or you know that your stay is only temporary? When you’re passing through a city for one night, how attached do you get to that place? If you know it’s temporary, you’ll be willing to stay at Motel 6. But would you like to live there? Probably not. Suppose your boss sent you to a new town to work on a limited project. Suppose he didn’t tell you exactly when the project would end, but you knew that you could be returning home, any day. How would you be in that town? Would you invest in massive amounts of property and spend all your savings on expensive furniture and cars? Most likely not. Even while shopping, would you buy cart-loads of food and other perishables? No. You’d probably hesitate about buying any more than you need for a couple days – because your boss could call you back any day.
This is the mindset of a traveler. There is a natural detachment that comes with the realization that something is only temporary. That is what the Prophet ﷺ in his wisdom, is talking about in this profound hadith. He understood the danger of becoming engrossed in this life. In fact, there was nothing he feared for us more.
He ﷺ said, “By Allah I don’t fear for you poverty, but I fear that the world would be abundant for you as it has been for those before you, so you compete for it as they have competed for it, so it destroys you as it has destroyed them.” (Agreed upon)
The blessed Prophet ﷺ recognized the true nature of this life. He understood what it meant to be in the dunya, without being of it. He sailed the very same ocean that we all must. But his ship knew well from where it had come, and to where it was going. His was a boat that remained dry. He understood that the same ocean which sparkles in the sunlight, will become a graveyard for the ships that enter it.
Taken from Yasmin Mogahed’s “Reclaim Your Heart“
Volume 2, Book 13, Number 756:
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah:
While we were praying (Jumua Khutba & prayer) with the Prophet (p.b.u.h), some camels loaded with food arrived (from Sham). The people diverted their attention towards the camels (and left the mosque), and only twelve persons remained with the Prophet. So this verse was revealed: “But when they see some bargain or some amusement, they disperse headlong to it, and leave you standing.” (62.11)
وَإِذَا رَأَوْاْ تِجَـرَةً أَوْ لَهْواً انفَضُّواْ إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَآئِماً قُلْ مَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ اللَّهْوِ وَمِنَ التِّجَـرَةِ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الرَزِقِينَ
But when they saw a transaction or a diversion, [O Muhammad], they rushed to it and left you standing. Say, “What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers.” [Qur’an 62: 11]
To get some detail on this incident, read it in Tafsir Ibn Kathir.
Some important points:
- Companions were humans. They did commit mistakes and errors in their lives, NOT due to weakness in Iman, but general lack of training. This does not lower their rank or status in our eyes whatsoever because of Allah’s statement:
Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. Such people are the party of Allah. Truly it is the party of Allah who are successful. (Surat al-Mujadala, 22)
- Whenever something went wrong, Prophet (SAW) corrected it, and/or Allah (SWT) sent down revelation regarding it. All such incidents have been recorded in the books of Ahadith and history. It’s a blessing for us, because we can derive great benefit from them. We must learn from these incidents, teach others and make sure not to repeat those mistakes again.
- We must never come to any conclusions before knowing the background or both sides of the coin, to be more precise.
- When in a halaqah of Quran/Hadith/knowledge, NEVER be distracted. It is Shaytaan who wants to distracts you and does not want any good to come to you. No matter what comes up, the knowledge you’re gaining in that halqah is far more better and way more important than any worldly thing. So FOCUS!
- Generalize this rule: focus on what you’re doing. What good is there in distraction after all?
- Trust Allah when He says this:
“What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers.“
- Obey Allah. Follow the Sunnah. Be cool.
Prophet (SAW) was a perfect man. His words and actions were full of wisdom. Surely we have a lot to learn from him. Everyone can derive lessons from a simple Hadith according to his/her level of understanding. A child will learn something from a Hadith, an adult will learn two or three things from that same Hadith. Whereas doctors, engineers, psychologists, nutritionists, lawyers, fuqahaa’, businessmen will all have a different approach to that one Hadith.
This is why while going through Bukhari, it’s weird that some Ahadith (apparently) have no connection with the chapter they’re written under. And that one Hadith is repeated around 20 times (more or less) in different chapters But it makes one realize how deep Imam Bukhari’s understanding was, that he could derive so many lessons from one Hadith. MashaAllah. May Allah have mercy on him, and grant him Jannat-ul-Firdaws. And may He grant me a chance to meet him in Jannah as well. <3
So I’ll study today’s Hadith, and try to derive as many lessons as possible. You give it a shot as well!
Narrated ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Abis:
A person asked Ibn Abbas, “Have you ever presented yourself at the (‘Id) prayer with Allah’s Apostle?” He replied, “Yes.” And had it not been for my kinship (position) with the Prophet it would not have been possible for me to do so (for he was too young). The Prophet went to the mark near the house of Kathir bin As-Salt and delivered a sermon. He then went towards the women. He advised and reminded them and asked them to give alms. So the woman would bring her hand near her neck and take off her necklace and put it in the garment of Bilal. Then the Prophet and Bilal came to the house.”
- One learns a lot by asking questions. Develop the habit! BUT, avoid pointless questions.
- Good company will lead to good influence, and eventually good deeds inshaAllah.
- Take your family along while going for `Id prayer. Men, women, boys, girls are all encouraged to gather for `Id prayer.
- Teaching women is important. Teaching them ‘especially’ is important as well (hint: sisters-only halaqahs). They’re the mothers of the Ummah. They’re awesome like that. :)
- It is permissible to ask for donations – for a good cause.
I can’t think of anything else right now. Can you?