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 2259 – 2266 (below) are repeats. See linked text for related posts.
Volume 3, Book 47, Number 761:
Ubaidullah bin ‘Abdullah told me that ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) had said, “When the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) became sick and his condition became serious, he requested his wives to allow him to be treated in my house, and they allowed him. He came out leaning on two men while his feet were dragging on the ground. He was walking between Al-‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu) and another man.” ‘Ubaidullah said, “When I informed Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu) of what ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) had said, he asked me whether I knew who was the second man whom ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) had not named. I replied in the negative. He said, ‘He was ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (radiallaahu `anhu).”
Volume 3, Book 47, Number 762:
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “One who takes back his gift (which he has already given) is like a dog that swallows its vomit.“
Volume 3, Book 47, Number 763:
Narrated Asma (radiallaahu `anhaa):
Once I said, “O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! I have no property except what has been given to me by Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) (i.e. her husband). May I give in charity?” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Give in charity and do not withhold it; otherwise Allah will withhold it back from you.“
Volume 3, Book 47, Number 764:
Narrated Asma (radiallaahu `anhaa):
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Give (in charity) and do not give reluctantly lest Allah should give you in a limited amount; and do not withhold your money lest Allah should withhold it from you.”
The following two ahadith are new but the topics found in them have been covered before.
Volume 3, Book 47, Number 765:
Narrated Kurib, the freed slave of Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu):
that Maimuna bint Al-Harith (radiallaahu `anhaa) told him that she manumitted a slave-girl without taking the permission of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). On the day when it was her turn to be with the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), she said, “Do you know, O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), that I have manumitted my slave-girl?” He said, “Have you really?” She replied in the affirmative. He said, “You would have got more reward if you had given her (i.e. the slave-girl) to one of your maternal uncles.”
Volume 3, Book 47, Number 766:
Narrated Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa):
Whenever Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) wanted to go on a journey, he would draw lots as to which of his wives would accompany him. He would take her whose name came out. He used to fix for each of them a day and a night. But Sauda bint Zam’a (radiallaahu `anhaa) gave up her (turn) day and night to ‘Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) in order to seek the pleasure of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) (by that action).
Volume 3, Book 47, Number 767:
Narrated Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa):
I said, “O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! I have two neighbors; which of them should I give a gift to?” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “(Give) to the one whose door is nearer to you.“
Volume 3, Book 47, Number 768:
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu):
That he heard As-Sa’b bin Jaththama Al-Laithi (radiallaahu `anhu), who was one of the companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), saying that he gave the meat of an onager to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) while he was at a place called Al-Abwa’ or Waddan, and was in a state of Ihram. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) did not accept it. When the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saw the signs of sorrow on As-Sa’b’s (radiallaahu `anhu) face because of not accepting his present, he said (to him), “We are not returning your present, but we are in the state of Ihram.”
Volume 3, Book 47, Number 769:
Narrated Abu Humaid Al-Sa’idi (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) appointed a man from the tribe of Al-Azd, called Ibn ‘Utbiyya for collecting the Zakat. When he returned he said, “This (i.e. the Zakat) is for you and this has been given to my as a present.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Why hadn’t he stayed in his father’s or mother’s house to see whether he would be given presents or not? By Him in Whose Hands my life is, whoever takes something from the resources of the Zakat (unlawfully) will be carrying it on his neck on the Day of Resurrection; if it be a camel, it will be grunting; if a cow, it will be mooing; and if a sheep, it will be bleating.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) then raised his hands till we saw the whiteness of his armpits, and he said thrice, “O Allah! Haven’t I conveyed Your Message (to them)?”
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This hadeeth indicates that it is obligatory for the person who is employed by the state to do the job for which he has been appointed, and he has no right to take any gift that has to do with his work. If he takes it then he should put it in the bayt al-maal (public treasury), and it is not permissible for him to take it for himself because of this saheeh hadeeth, and because that is a means that leads to evil and betraying trust.
From Fataawa ‘Ulama’ al-Balad al-Haraam, p. 655
Ahmad and al-Bayhaqi narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Gifts given to workers (employees) are ghulool (lit. stolen war booty)” i.e., a betrayal. This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 7021.