Rana Rais Khan – Editor-in-Chief Hiba magazine
The wonderfully mysterious companions of the prophet (sa)
Abdullah ibn Masud (rta) reported: He was harvesting tooth sticks from an Arak tree and he had tiny shins. The wind blew and made him fall over, so people laughed at him. The Messenger of Allah, (sa) asked: “What are you laughing at?” They said: “O Prophet of Allah, he has tiny shins.”
The Prophet (sa) said: “By the one in whose hand is my soul, they will both be heavier on the Scale than the mountain of Uhud.” (Aḥmad)
Why? Because the importance of a man is not attached to his six pack body or handsome looks. The weight comes from servitude of Allah (swt). The honour and nobility that a person earns comes by his character and Iman (faith) exclusively developed in light of the Quran and the Sunnah. Sahabah nailed it beautifully.
Abdullah bin Masood (rta) was one of the four Sahabis who were known to be the masters of the Quran. They lived the Quran. The Prophet (sa) requested him to recite the Divine scripture to him. What an honour.
Similarly as written earlier by Sadaf Azhar in her article, when Jerusalem was opened by the muslim conquerors to Islam and the rule was to be transferred from the Christians to muslims, Omar (rta) was to receive the keys of Jerusalem. He made the entire journey from Madinah to Jerusalem with just his sword, his camel and his servant- he had no large posse. Omar (rta) wore neither a turban nor helmet- he was bald. He wore a white garment with 17 multi-coloured patches on it. This was the most powerful man on earth, by Allah (swt)’s command.
When they reached Jerusalem, it was the servant’s turn to ride the camel and he tried to talk Omar (rta) into riding instead. Omar refused, saying: “Honour is to the one who fulfills his trusts”.
Omar (rta) accidentally stepped into a puddle of mud that soiled his garment. The streets were lined with spectators waiting for the great man they had heard so much about. He arrived in modern day Golan Heights and some of the companions came to welcome him.
Abu Ubaidah (rta), Yazid bin Abi Sufyan (rta), Amr bin Al Aas (rta) all tried to make him change his garment or wear a helmet because this was a momentous occasion and as a political strategy, they believed that the muslims should present an impressive sight. Omar refused again saying: “We are a people whom Allah honoured through Islam. When we seek it through anything else, Allah will humiliate us.”
The people were stunned. They started to praise his humility and Sophronius exclaimed: “To a man like this, Jerusalem is handed over.” He also remarked: “With a leader like you, your people will never be defeated.”
Allama Iqbal pays tribute to the prophet’s (sa) wonderfully mysterious Sahabahs in ‘Tariq ki Dua’ (In the battlefield of Andalusia), as translated in English:
These warriors victorious, these worshippers of Yours,
Whom You have granted the will to win power in Your name;
Who cleave rivers and woods in twain,
Whose terror turns mountains into dust;
They care not for the world;
They care not for its pleasures;
In their passion, in their zeal, in their love for Thee, O Lord,
They aim at martyrdom, not the rule of the earth.
Understand the reality
The Prophet (sa) foretold the Sahabah: “The nations will summon each other upon you as you call guests to eat from a plate of food.” They asked in surprise: “Will we be few in number on that day O Messenger of Allah?”
The Prophet (sa) replied: “No, rather you will be many on that day, but you will be [disunited and weak] like the foam on the ocean. And Allah will remove the fear in the hearts of your enemies and place in your hearts al-Wahan.” They asked: “What is al-Wahan O Messenger of Allah?” He responded: “Love of this world and hatred of death.” (Abu Dawood)
Are we not living those times today? The past 100 years we have seen ourselves weightless. The places keep changing but the persecution continues for the same reasons. Kashmir, Burma, Bosnia, China, Palestine, Syria, etc.
The bright side and short term solution
Recently, the Palestinian cause and the heartfelt desire to see Masjid ul Aqsa liberated has united the muslims all across the globe. The overwhelming response is a positive sign. Even if the governments are mute and our armies in their barracks, the common believers are angry, hurt and active in whatever they can do to help stop this genocide.
Some common actions that have been taken are:
- Making earnest Dua to Allah Al Aziz (The Mighty)
- Advocating the truth on the social media
- Marching in protests
- Boycotting economically
- Waiting for siege to lift and willing to donate
Hypothetically speaking, let’s imagine Allah (swt) Al Qadeer, the most Powerful defeats the enemy and liberates the oppressed, what next? As an Ummah will we come to Islam? Will we live the Quran? Will we follow the prophet’s (sa) footsteps as the Sahabah did? Will we enforce the Shariah? If not, we will be returned to the same helpless and humiliating state as we are in today.
Long term permanent solution
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves…” (Ar Raad 13:11)
What does that mean? As muslims we have to go back to our basics. We will have to acquire Ilm (Divine Knowledge) of the Quran and the Sunnah and act accordingly to demonstrate Amal e Sualeh (Decide and Act upon good conduct).
Imagine today we think that we know who Allah (swt) is but are completely ignorant about His Divine speech in the Quran. We claim to follow the footsteps of the prophet (sa) but march in the opposite direction. We are heedless about the establishment of Shariah in our lives and chase petty selfish gains of the world.
Allah (swt) states: “Whoever desires the reward of this world – then with Allah is the reward of this world and the hereafter. And Ever is Allah Hearing and Seeing.” (An Nisa 4:134)
Allah’s (swt) promise is true
We will not be marching to Palestine, let’s admit that. But we can change ourselves. We can reform our own homes as per our capacity. We can enforce Islam within our own circle of influence and help others gain bounties of Allah (swt). We can extend our circle of influence and share the beauty of Allah’s (Deen) and bring healing to countless aching minds, souls and hearts due to Kufr, Nifaaq and Ghaflah. We can earn Allah’s (swt) help and change our fate.
Our strength and success lies in servitude to Allah (swt) and building our lives around the Shariah as the Sahabah did and proved to the world. That is how they became deserving of Allah’s (swt) Divine help and victories, eventually.
“… then We took retribution from those who committed crimes and incumbent upon Us was support of the believers.” (Ar Rum 30:47)
- Spiritual growth
Feed your starving soul Quran and understand it
Learn the prophet’s (sa) Sunnah and follow it
Make Allah’s Zikr and be mindful of Him
Establish regular and beautiful Salah
Comply with the Halal and Haraam of Deen
Connect with such companions who follow Islam
- Mental development
Do not feed your mind corrupt ideas
Do not watch, listen or read sinful content
Use your brain to reach your optimum productivity
Do not waste your time and energy on the social media
Use tools and resources to build your expertise
Learn and teach what benefits your family and Ummah at large
- Physical nurturing
Take care of your health
Stay fit so you can work more
Be active to serve others
Eat right for nutrition
Sleep enough and on time at night
Explore nature to renew yourself
Most importantly pledge that: “I don’t want to be blamed for the sins of the Ummah!” Our salvation is in our struggle and strife towards Allah (swt). Only Allah (swt) decrees success. We are accountable to make the efforts. On the day of judgment, there will be prophets of Allah who will not have a single follower yet Allah (swt) will be pleased with them.
If we live and die on the course of Allah (swt), Wallahi, we will be on track, bi izn Allah.
Partially adapted from a talk ‘Productive muslims’ by Raja Zia ul Haq