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!
The clerk of Al-Mughira bin Shu’ba (radiallaahu `anhu) narrated, “Mu`awiya (radiallaahu `anhu) wrote to Al-Mughira bin Shu’ba (radiallaahu `anhu): Write to me something which you have heard from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) .” So Al-Mughira (radiallaahu `anhu) wrote: I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Allah has hated for you three things:
1. Vain talks, (useless talk) that you talk too much or about others.
2. Wasting of wealth (by extravagance)
3. And asking too many questions (in disputed religious matters) or asking others for something (except in great need).
Vain talk is a waste of time.
Extravagance is a waste of wealth.
Asking too many questions is a waste of intellect.
Why would Allah like it for you to waste away the blessings He gave to you? These resources, if used the right way, could bring immense benefit to the individual and the community as a whole.
To avoid useless talking, avoid talking about people and events. As the saying goes: “great minds discuss ideas”.
To avoid waste of wealth, spend less. :P And do lots of Sadaqah.
To avoid asking too many (useless) questions, think before you speak, really. Getting into the how’s and why’s usually leads to such questions. A good solution is to think whether getting the answer to a specific question will bring you closer to Allah, or give you a plan of action. For example, the answer to “How old was `A’isha (radiallaahu `anhaa) when she got married?” won’t do you much good. Increase in knowledge, yes. But does this knowledge result in `amal? I highly doubt it.
Be wise and and avoid doing stuff that Allah does not like. :)
Hadith no. 1119 is a repeat. It’s about Najashi’s death and funeral prayer. Read on it here.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
A black person, a male or a female used to clean the Mosque and then died. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) did not know about it . One day the Prophet remembered him and said, “What happened to that person?” The people replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! He died.” He said, “Why did you not inform me?” They said, “His story was so and so (i.e. regarded him as insignificant).” He said, “Show me his grave.” He then went to his grave and offered the funeral prayer.
Read about delayed funeral prayer here.
One of the questions we’ll be asked in our graves is about the Messenger (SAW). And we’ll only be able to say what we ‘really’ believed and acted upon. Read further to see how a believer will answer and how a non-believer/hypocrite will answer the same question.
The Prophet said, “When a human being is laid in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their foot steps, two angels come to him and make him sit and ask him: What did you use to say about this man, Muhammad? He will say: I testify that he is Allah’s slave and His Apostle. Then it will be said to him, ‘Look at your place in the Hell-Fire. Allah has given you a place in Paradise instead of it.’ ” The Prophet added, “The dead person will see both his places. But a non-believer or a hypocrite will say to the angels, ‘I do not know, but I used to say what the people used to say!’ It will be said to him, ‘Neither did you know nor did you take the guidance (by reciting the Quran).’ Then he will be hit with an iron hammer between his two ears, and he will cry and that cry will be heard by whatever approaches him except human beings and jinns.”
Another version of this narration has been posted previously. Here’s the link.
May Allah make us true followers of Muhammad (SAW)), and may we be able to answer the questions in grave correctly and see our places in Paradise right there. May we rise as the ummati(s) of Muhammad (SAW) on the Day of Judgement, and may we be served from Al-Kauthar that day. May we get his company in Jannat-ul-Firdaws. May we really love him.
Imagine you’re lying in your grave, all dark and quiet. Your family and friends left you there alone. It’s you and your deeds. The angels will come any minute to ask you some questions. Do you know the answers? That’s the ‘real’ knowledge! The only thing that’ll help make your eternal life good.
I came to ‘Aisha while she was praying, and said to her, “What has happened to the people?” She pointed out towards the sky. (I looked towards the mosque), and saw the people offering the prayer. Aisha said, “Subhan Allah.” I said to her, “Is there a sign?” She nodded with her head meaning, “Yes.” I, too, then stood (for the prayer of eclipse) till I became (nearly) unconscious and later on I poured water on my head. After the prayer, the Prophet praised and glorified Allah and then said,
“Just now at this place I have seen what I have never seen before, including Paradise and Hell. No doubt it has been inspired to me that you will be put to trials in your graves and these trials will be like the trials of Masiah-ad-Dajjal or nearly like it (the sub narrator is not sure which expression Asma’ used). You will be asked, ‘What do you know about this man (the Prophet Muhammad)?‘ Then the faithful believer (or Asma’ said a similar word) will reply, ‘He is Muhammad Allah’s Apostle who had come to us with clear evidences and guidance and so we accepted his teachings and followed him. And he is Muhammad.’ And he will repeat it thrice. Then the angels will say to him, ‘Sleep in peace as we have come to know that you were a faithful believer.’ On the other hand, a hypocrite or a doubtful person will reply, ‘I do not know, but I heard the people saying something and so I said it.’ (the same). ”
Memorize the answer now to get an A grade! :)
هُوَ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ جَاءَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالْهُدَى، فَأَجَبْنَا وَاتَّبَعْنَا، هُوَ مُحَمَّدٌ
He is Muhammad Allah’s Apostle who had come to us with clear evidences and guidance and so we accepted his teachings and followed him. And he is Muhammad.