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 2547 – 2548 (below) are repeats. See linked text for related posts.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 152 :
Narrated by Sahl (radiallaahu `anhu)
When the helmet of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was smashed on his head and blood covered his face and one of his front teeth got broken, ‘Ali (radiallaahu `anhu) brought the water in his shield and Fatima the Prophet’s daughter) washed him. But when she saw that the bleeding increased more by the water, she took a mat, burnt it, and placed the ashes on the wound of the Prophet and so the blood stopped oozing out.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 153 :
Narrated by ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The properties of Bani An-Nadir which Allah had transferred to His Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) as Fai Booty were not gained by the Muslims with their horses and camels. The properties therefore, belonged especially to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) who used to give his family their yearly expenditure and spend what remained thereof on arms and horses to be used in Allah’s Cause.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 154 :
Narrated by Ali (radiallaahu `anhu)
I never saw the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Let my parents sacrifice their lives for you,” to any man after Sa’d (radiallaahu `anhu). I heard him saying (to him), “Throw (the arrows)! Let my parents sacrifice their lives for you.”
We come across many narrations in which the companions say these words to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam): فِدَاكَ أَبِي وَأُمِّي (Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you!), but rarely do we see the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) doing the same for his companions, for it is indeed an honor not everyone deserves. If you read about the life of Sa’d bin Abi Waqas (radiallaahu `anhu), his noble qualities, his love for Allah and His deen and the sacrifices he made, you’ll see why he was one of the very few that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said these words to.
One might ask, are we allowed to say these words to other people, even besides the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)? The answer is yes, because the Sahabah and their followers (Tabi’oon) used to say it to each other among them. So saying it to the those who deserve it, like people you love for Allah’s sake, those with knowledge and those having higher ranks is permissible.
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 4, Book 52, Number 117 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
When the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) put his feet in the stirrup and the she-camel got up carrying him he would start reciting Talbiya at the mosque of Dhul-Hulaifa.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 118 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) met them (i.e. the people) while he was riding an unsaddled horse with his sword slung over his shoulder.
We get to know from the above narrations that the Prophet (SAW) could ride a horse saddled and otherwise. He said: “Teach your children swimming, archery and horse riding”. In another narration, he said, “Practice archery and horseback riding.” [Sahih Muslim]
Horse riding, archery and swimming must be part of an average Muslim’s skill set. And I personally think that today’s children should be taught driving and gun shooting as well, so when push comes to shove, they’re able to save their and/or others’ lives whichever way possible. And it’s not important to learn these things just for saving lives, but to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle (driving I must exclude from this :P).
Next step: find a horse to ride!
Volume 3, Book 48, Number 823:
Narrated ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) heard a man (reciting Quran) in the Mosque, and he said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy upon him. No doubt, he made me remember such-and such Verses of such-and-such Sura which I dropped (from my memory).
Narrated Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa): The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) performed the Tahajjud prayer in my house, and then he heard the voice of ‘Abbad who was praying in the Mosque, and said, “O ‘Aisha! Is this ‘Abbad’s voice?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “O Allah! Be merciful to ‘Abbad!”
It is said that ‘Abbad (radiallaahu`anhu) was known for his love of Quran and his beautiful recitation. And see how even the Prophet of Allah (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) is praising him and praying for him.
There are accounts of his life but I haven’t been able to identify the sources. Read up on him for true inspiration here.