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One for the Volunteers (Hadith No. 2531)

Bismillah.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 136 :
Narrated by ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was vigilant one night and when he reached Medina, he said, “Would that a pious man from my companions guard me tonight!” Suddenly we heard the clatter of arms. He said, “Who is that? ” He (the new comer) replied, ” I am Sad bin Abi Waqqas and have come to guard you.” So, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) slept (that night).

Volunteering: an altruistic activity intended to promote goodness or improve human quality of life. [Wikipedia]

Volunteer-apperciation-Quotes

Why volunteer? According to a very good HelpGuide article, volunteering has the following benefits:

  • connects you to others
  • good for your mind and body
  • can advance your career
  • brings fun and fulfillment to your life

While I agree with all of the above, I believe them to be secondary benefits of volunteering, primary being:

  • pleasure of Allah
  • reward in Hereafter

Because volunteering is a “good deed”, if done sincerely for Allah’s sake and not to show off or achieve any of the “secondary benefits”, Allah rewards us for it.

هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ

“Is the reward for good [anything] but good?” [55:60]

To be honest, keeping that sincerity in check is one tough job when others praise you for your hard work, or when things get rough with the very people you work with. Allah tests us in different situations to measure the level of our “Ihsan” so He can reward us for it accordingly.

If you’re a volunteer, keep at it; and if you’re not, start today! There’s always someone you can help for free (read: reward). :)

volunteer

The Good in Horses (Ahadith 2497 – 2500)

Bismillah.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 102 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Good will remain (as a permanent quality) in the foreheads of horses till the Day of Resurrection.”

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 103 :
Narrated by Ursa bin Alga (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Good will remain (as a permanent quality) in the foreheads of horses till the Day of Resurrection.”
And narrated Anas bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu): Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “There is a blessing in the fore-heads of horses.”

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 104 :
Narrated by ‘Urwa Al-Bariqi (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Good will remain (as a permanent quality) in the foreheads of horses (for Jihad) till the Day of Resurrection, for they bring about either a reward (in the Hereafter) or booty (in this world).”

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 105 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If somebody keeps a horse in Allah’s Cause motivated by his faith in Allah and his belief in His Promise, then he will be rewarded on the Day of Resurrection for what the horse has eaten or drunk and for its dung and urine.”

These ahadith are pretty self-explanatory. Horses bring good in this dunya and the aakhirah, if kept for the sake of Allah, in terms of booty and rewards respectively.

Among other things, horses are extremely beautiful. I, for one, am quite obsessed these days. [Somebody get me a horse!]
Allah has made horses beautiful for us, as He mentions in the Quran:

Horses

And at another place:

وَالْخَيْلَ وَالْبِغَالَ وَالْحَمِيرَ لِتَرْكَبُوهَا وَزِينَةً ۚ وَيَخْلُقُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

“And [He created] the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and [as] adornment. And He creates that which you do not know.” [16:8]

We come to know from history (in the Quran) that Prophet Sulayman, the son of Dawud, also had a special place in his heart for horses. Allah mentions it:

وَوَهَبْنَا لِدَاوُودَ سُلَيْمَانَ ۚ نِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ ۖ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ
إِذْ عُرِضَ عَلَيْهِ بِالْعَشِيِّ الصَّافِنَاتُ الْجِيَادُ
فَقَالَ إِنِّي أَحْبَبْتُ حُبَّ الْخَيْرِ عَن ذِكْرِ رَبِّي حَتَّىٰ تَوَارَتْ بِالْحِجَابِ
رُدُّوهَا عَلَيَّ ۖ فَطَفِقَ مَسْحًا بِالسُّوقِ وَالْأَعْنَاقِ

And to David We gave Solomon. An excellent servant, indeed he was one repeatedly turning back [to Allah]. [Mention] when there were exhibited before him in the afternoon the poised [standing] racehorses. And he said, “Indeed, I gave preference to the love of good [things] over the remembrance of my Lord until the sun disappeared into the curtain [of darkness].”[He said], “Return them to me,” and set about striking [their] legs and necks.” [38: 30-33]

Ibn Kathir comments:

Allah tells us that he gave Sulayman to Dawud as a Prophet, as He says elsewhere:

﴿وَوَرِثَ سُلَيْمَـنُ دَاوُودَ﴾

(And Sulayman inherited Dawud) (27:1). meaning, he inherited prophethood from him. Dawud had other sons besides Sulayman, for he had one hundred free wives.

﴿نِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ﴾

(How excellent a servant! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)!) This is praise for Sulayman, because he was very much obedient, worshipping Allah much and always turning to Allah in repentance.

﴿إِذْ عُرِضَ عَلَيْهِ بِالْعَشِىِّ الصَّـفِنَـتُ الْجِيَادُ ﴾

(When there were displayed before him, in the afternoon, well trained horses of the highest breed.) means, these well trained horses were shown to Sulayman, peace be upon him, in his capacity as king and ruler. Mujahid said, “They were the kind of horses which stand on three legs and raise the fourth, and they were swift horses.” This was also the view of several others among the Salaf. Abu Dawud recorded that `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “The Messenger of Allah came back from the campaign of Tabuk or Khaybar, and there was a curtain covering her room. The wind came and lifted the curtain, revealing some toys belonging to `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her. The Prophet said:

«مَا هَذَا يَا عَائِشَةُ؟»

(What is this, O `A’ishah) She, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “My toys.” Among them he saw a horse with two wings made of cloth. He said:

«مَا هَذَا الَّذِي أَرَى وَسَطَهُنَّ؟»

(What is this that I see in the midst of them) She, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “A horse.” The Messenger of Allah said,

«مَا هَذَا الَّذِي عَلَيْهِ؟»

(And what is this on it) She, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “Wings.” The Messenger of Allah said,

«فَرَسٌ لَهُ جَنَاحَانِ؟»

(A horse with two wings) She, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “Did you not hear that Sulayman, peace be upon him, had a horse that had wings” She, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “The Messenger of Allah smiled so broadly that I could see his molars.”

﴿فَقَالَ إِنِّى أَحْبَبْتُ حُبَّ الْخَيْرِ عَن ذِكْرِ رَبِى حَتَّى تَوَارَتْ بِالْحِجَابِ ﴾

(He said: “I did love the good (i.e., horses) instead of remembering my Lord” till the time was over, and (the sun) had hidden in the veil (of night)) More than one of the Salaf and scholars of Tafsir mentioned that he was so busy looking at the horses that he missed the time of `Asr prayer. He did not miss it deliberately, but because of forgetfulness, as happened to the Prophet on the day of Khandaq, when he was too busy to pray `Asr and he prayed it after the sun had set. This was recorded in the Two Sahihs with more than one chain of narration, including the report from Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, who said, “On the day of Khandaq, `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, came after the sun had set and started cursing the disbelievers of the Quraysh. He said, `O Messenger of Allah, I could not pray `Asr until the sun had almost set.’ The Messenger of Allah said,

«وَاللهِ مَا صَلَّيْتُهَا»

(By Allah, I did not pray it either.)” He (Jabir) said, “So we got up and went to Buthan. Allah’s Prophet performed ablution for the prayer and we too performed ablution. He prayed `Asr after the sun had set, then he prayed Maghrib after that.”

﴿رُدُّوهَا عَلَىَّ فَطَفِقَ مَسْحاً بِالسُّوقِ وَالاٌّعْنَاقِ ﴾

(Then he said: “Bring them (horses) back to me.” Then he began to pass his hand over their legs and their necks.) Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “He said, `No, by Allah, you will not keep me from worshipping my Lord again,’ then he ordered that they should be slaughtered.” This was also the view of Qatadah. As-Suddi said, “Their necks and hamstrings were struck with swords.” `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “He began patting the horses’ heads and legs out of love for them.” This is the view that was favored by Ibn Jarir. He said, “Because he would not punish an animal by cutting its hamstrings or destroy his own wealth for no other reason than that he had been distracted from his prayer by looking at it, and it was not the animals’ fault. ” This view which Ibn Jarir thought more correct is subject to further review, because such action may have been permissible according to their law, especially since he got angry for the sake of Allah for being distracted by these horses until the time for prayer had lapsed. Then, since he dispensed with them for the sake of Allah, Allah compensated him with something better, the wind which blew gently by his order wherever he willed. Its morning lasted a month’s (journey), and its afternoon lasted a month’s (journey). This was faster and better than horses.

Convenient Rewards (Ahadith 2491 – 2492)

Bismillah.

Hadith no. 2490 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 95 :
Narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) ascended the pulpit and said, “Nothing worries me as to what will happen to you after me, except the temptation of worldly blessings which will be conferred on you.” Then he mentioned the worldly pleasures. He started with the one (i.e. the blessings) and took up the other (i.e. the pleasures). A man got up saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! Can the good bring about evil?” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) remained silent and we thought that he was being inspired divinely, so all the people kept silent with awe. Then the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) wiped the sweat off his face and asked, “Where is the present questioner?” “Do you think wealth is good?” he repeated thrice, adding, “No doubt, good produces nothing but good. Indeed it is like what grows on the banks of a stream which either kills or nearly kills the grazing animals because of gluttony except the vegetation-eating animal which eats till both its flanks are full (i.e. till it gets satisfied) and then stands in the sun and defecates and urinates and again starts grazing. This worldly property is sweet vegetation. How excellent the wealth of the Muslim is, if it is collected through legal means and is spent in Allah’s Cause and on orphans, poor people and travelers. But he who does not take it legally is like an eater who is never satisfied and his wealth will be a witness against him on the Day of Resurrection.”

Today’s Ahadith:

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 96 :
Narrated by Zaid bin Khalid (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “He who prepares a Ghazi going in Allah’s Cause is given a reward equal to that of) a Ghazi; and he who looks after properly the dependents of a Ghazi going in Allah’s Cause is (given a reward equal to that of) Ghazi”

epic

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 97 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used not to enter any house in Medina except the house of Um Sulaim (radiallaahu `anhaa) besides those of his wives. When he was asked why, he said, “I take pity on her as her brother was killed in my company.”

We are often faced with restrictions and limitations when it comes to spending our time and/or efforts in Allah’s Cause. We’re either busy with other obligations or bound by (lack of) availability of means. Well here’s a good news for us: if we support those who are active in the Cause and their dependents, we get the same reward as them. This is by analogy, of course.

Sadaqah has various levels and ranks. If you give some money to a poor person, it’s a very good deed indeed. But if you spend that money on a student of knowledge, the rewards are huge! You get rewarded for sadaqah, and you get the reward equal to the student because you’re supporting him, and later on when he starts teaching, you get rewarded for every single person he benefits. And the cycle continues. This is sadaqah jaariyah. Is it not a better option?

One Day for 70 Years (Hadith No. 2488)

Bismillah.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 93 :
Narrated by Abu Said (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Indeed, anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s Pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.”

70 YEARS

A ticket to farthest-from-hell, please!

This hadith is new to me. Or at least to my memory. I’ve always considered fasting special because of the special rewards (for example, the well-known narration “fasting is for Me and I will reward for it”). Still my passion and motivation for voluntary fasting rarely, if ever, goes beyond the six of Shawwaal, nine of Dhul Hijjah and two of Muharram. Why do I never make an effort to fast Mondays, Thursdays and the 13th, 14th and 15th of the lunar months, I ask myself. Why not even more than that? Did not Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) fast most of his days? Did not Dawud (`alayhissalaam) fast every other day – the best kind of fasting there is. Why do I feel content with my routine worship overall? Why do I not strive to up my game every day, month and year?
It is because of this stagnancy in worship that the state of my imaan is such, I feel. How do I expect Allah to increase His love, mercy and grace for me when I don’t increase my worship and love for Him? Surely the two must be connected.

It all comes down to Jihad. Of the nafs. I need to give up my love for eating more often so I can please Allah and increase my distance from the Hellfire as much as possible. If one day of fasting gets me seventy years away, I could be farthest from it in no time inshaAllah. May Allah give me the strength, accept my efforts and be pleased with me.

Being Held Back (Ahadith 2486 – 2487)

Bismillah.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 91 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
We returned from the Ghazwa of Tabuk along with the Prophet. (See Hadith No. 92 below).

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 92 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
While the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was in a Ghazwa he said, “Some people have remained behind us in Medina and we never crossed a mountain path or a valley, but they were with us (i.e. sharing the reward with us), as they have been held back by a (legal) excuse.”

This is from the Bounty and Grace of Allah, that He rewards those who yearn to do good but are held back due to genuine reasons. Only Allah knows that if they were given the opportunity, they wouldn’t be doing anything else.

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