Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Lessons from Hadith #8 - Being Calm

It is related from Al-Hasan rahimahullah that a man passed away and left behind a son and a slave. He appointed the slave as the child’s guardian. The slave did not desist in raising the child up until he reached the age of marriage and then he found him a wife. The young man said to the slave, “Prepare some provision for me, I intend to seek knowledge.” The slave prepared his provisions (for travel) and so the young man came to a scholar and sought (knowledge) from him. The scholar said, “When you intend to leave, tell me so that I may teach you (i.e. some final advice). (So when the time came) I said, “I am to leave, please teach me.” The scholar said, “Fear Allah, be patient and do not be hasty!” Al-Hasan who is the narrator of this hadith says, “This (advice) contains all good.”

He left and he could hardly forget these things for there were only three of them. When he reached his family, he dismounted. When he entered the house, there was a man sleeping apart from his wife who was asleep there. “By Allah! I am not going to wait upon this!” He went back to his mount and wanted to pick up his sword, but then he repeated, "Fear Allah, be patient and do not be hasty." So he went back until he was standing at the man's head and then said, "I will not wait at all to deal with this man!" He went back to his mount and again wanted to take up his sword, but he again remembered the words. He went back again and while he was standing at the man's head he woke up. When the man woke up, he ran to him, embraced him and kissed him. The slave asked him, "What happened to you after (you left) me?" He replied, "By Allah, I received a lot of blessing. By Allah, after I left you, (I had learnt such knowledge that) it was the knowledge which I obtained which kept me from killing you for I spent the night walking  three times between my sword and your head. " (This hadith has been related by Imam Bukhari in his Al Adab Al Mufrad.)

This hadith highlights firstly the fear of Allah Ta’ala. The reverential fear of Allah Ta'ala produces a barrier within oneself and helps that person say ‘NO!’ to sin. Take the example of a house which is surrounded by beasts and enemies etc. A dim person would build a short fence made out of weak wood, a clever person would make a medium height fence out of bricks and a truly wise person would build a tall fence out of iron. In the same way, a pious person understands that all these sins such as zina, backbiting etc all bring problems to a person and thus it is important to build an iron fence between him and the sins. A person who is a bit of a div will quite simply build a short wooden fence and go to sleep with the hope that when he wakes up, there will be no evil at his door. However, during his slumber, the very sin he was neglectful in warding off has entered into his house.

Quite simply, fearing Allah Ta’ala is a means of placing a barrier between yourself and the punishment of Allah Ta’ala.  The stronger the fear, the stronger that iron wall becomes. The weaker the fear, the easier that fence is pierced.

The first advice which is given is to fear Allah Ta'ala. The second advice which is given is to be patient. It is almost as if the hadith is saying 'when you see someting which shocks you, then fear Allah Ta'ala as this will prevent you from doing anything wrong to someone. Thereafter, be patient in regards to the situation you have found yourself in.' Sometimes, it may take time for us to see things in a particular way. To see something clearly, you have to wait for the smoke to go away. In the same way, when a person sees something that angers him, let that red mist disappear by being patient.

Finally, this hadith speaks about the virtue of being relaxed in matters and not hasty. Many a times, we get angry with others because we have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. We as Muslims must learn to become as relaxed as we possibly can as when a person has anger and haste coupled within himself, he will act first and question later. The problem is, when a person acts incorrectly with someone in the beginning, he may not have a ‘later’ with that person if that person is innocent. Take the example of a man who convinces himself that his friend has betrayed him. He has not taken any opportunity in speaking to his friend peacefully and rationally but rather he has acted in the heat of the moment and said some horrible things. As a result, his friend will become so hurt that even if the person cools down and apologises, the friend would not want anything to do with him as some words leave deep scars. Thus, it is important to be relaxed people. Sometimes it is very hard as the situation warrants us to become angry but we have to train ourselves to become calm quickly.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the ability to be calm, muttaqi people. Ameen.


Anonymous said...


Why did he want to kill him in the first place?

Abu Huzayfa said...

Wassalamu Alaykum,

There are a few reasons:

1. He had spent quite a lot of time away from his house so when he returned, he didn't recognise the slave. He thought another man was trying to sleep with his wife.

2. Because the slave was sleeping, it is possible that his face was covered with a blanket. Thus, the man didn't recgonise him to be the slave and once again, thought there was something dodgy going on.

3. It is possible that he returned during the night; due to there being no such lighting system, he could not fully recognise who the man was. All he knew was that there was the figure of a man sleeping close to his wife.

Wallahu a'lamu bis sawaab