Hadith: Hasten towards righteousness

Hadith: Hasten towards righteousness

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ  “‏ بَادِرُوا بِالأَعْمَالِ سَبْعًا هَلْ تَنْظُرُونَ إِلاَّ فَقْرًا مُنْسِيًا أَوْ غِنًى مُطْغِيًا أَوْ مَرَضًا مُفْسِدًا أَوْ هَرَمًا مُفَنِّدًا أَوْ مَوْتًا مُجْهِزًا أَوِ الدَّجَّالَ فَشَرُّ غَائِبٍ يُنْتَظَرُ أَوِ السَّاعَةَ فَالسَّاعَةُ أَدْهَى وَأَمَرُّ ‏”‏.‏

 Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

Messenger of Allah () said, “Hasten to do good deeds before you are overtaken by one of the seven afflictions.” Then (giving a warning) he said: “Are you waiting for poverty which will make you unmindful of devotion, or prosperity which will make you corrupt, or a sickness which will disable you, or senility which will make you mentally unstable, or death which will take you all of a sudden, or Ad-Dajjal who is the worst expected, or the Hour; and the Hour will be most grievous and most bitter.”[1]

Explanations

This hadith outlines important facts that cautions Muslims against unnecessary attachment to worldly aspirations and inspires them towards attaining the everlasting rewards of the Afterlife.

  1. Hasten to do good deeds: By this instruction, the prophet followed the same pattern, as Allah calling humans to their salvation:

وَسَارِعُوا إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالأرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

And hasten towards forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden (i.e. Paradise) whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous,-

 Paradise is attainable through the pleasure of Allah. The pleasure of Allah comes only after His forgiveness. Forgiveness of Allah is attainable through righteous deeds. Righteousness is the implementation of the Shariah of Islam. The Shariah forbids all evils and command goodness. A Muslim must prevent[2] evils and extend[3] goodness to attain righteousness which will grant him the forgiveness and mercy of his Lord. The forgiveness and mercy of his Lord are the components of His pleasure that will guaranty him paradise.

 The following are few righteous deeds, as additions to those mentioned in previous topic:

  • Plant a tree.
  • Visit the sick.
  • Visit a relative or make a call to him/her.
  • Plan and start a Qur’an project.
  1. before you are overtaken by one of the seven afflictions: A time will come when it will be too late, when you become incapacitated and you no longer have control over yourself. When wealth and riches casts a shadow over your mind from the reality and you become heavy, lazy and negligent.

«إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَيَقْبَلُ تَوْبَةَ الْعَبْدِ، مَا لَمْ يُغَرْغِرْ»

Allah the Glorified and Mighty will accept the repentance of a slave before he experiences the pang of death.[4]

 Are you waiting for poverty which will make you unmindful of devotion: Human beings naturally need some provisions in life to maintain their existence. When these provisions fall below the required minimum (i.e. insufficient wealth: poverty), the mind will lose its concentration and become negligent of any limits. Poverty and disbelief[5] are not too far from each other; when poverty deepens, righteousness becomes more difficult to attain.

The prophet recommended this supplication in the morning and evening, recited 3 times:

اللهم إني أعوذُ بك من الكفر والفقر , اللهم إني أعوذُ بك من عذاب القبر ,

لا إله إلا أنت[6]

Oh Allah! I seek your protection from disbelief and poverty,        Oh Allah! I seek your protection from the punishment of the grave, there is no deity worthy of worship except you

 prosperity which will make you corrupt: When provisions of life are in excess (i.e. surplus wealth: affluence),in most cases, its moral consequence on righteousness is not too different from poverty. A moderate provision between poverty and affluence may be ideal to practice righteous deeds.

  1. a sickness which will disable you: Imagine the days you’ve had serious fever, how weak and low did you feel? The capacity to do is always low at the time of sickness. When sickness deepens, you can no longer observe your solat properly nor can you go for hajj, are you waiting for this worst situation before you start?
  2. senility which will make you mentally unstable: Ageing is as inevitable as death. This is a particular warning to the youth before they become incapacitated due to old age. As the old age increases, the incapacitation will not be limited to mental instability; it will extend to all other strengths. Your bravery and ability to enjoy tasty foods will also be affected.

وَنُقِرُّ فِي الأرْحَامِ مَا نَشَاءُ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى ثُمَّ نُخْرِجُكُمْ طِفْلا ثُمَّ لِتَبْلُغُوا أَشُدَّكُمْ وَمِنْكُمْ مَنْ يُتَوَفَّى وَمِنْكُمْ مَنْ يُرَدُّ إِلَى أَرْذَلِ الْعُمُرِ لِكَيْلا يَعْلَمَ مِنْ بَعْدِ عِلْمٍ شَيْئًا

… and we cause whom we will to remain In the wombs for an appointed term, then we bring you out as infants, then (give you growth) that you may reach your age of full strength. and among you there is he who dies (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known…[7]

 اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ ضَعْفٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِنْ بَعْدِ ضَعْفٍ قُوَّةً ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِنْ بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ ضَعْفًا وَشَيْبَةً يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْقَدِيرُ

It is Allah who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills. And it is He who has all knowledge and power[8]

 Your strengths include your knowledge, wisdom, intelligence, wealth, eloquence, bravery, courage, power, etc. Estimate how much of these you have used to attain righteousness before they will be lost to old age.

  1. death which will take you all of a sudden:

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the messenger of Allah said:

Remember frequently the destroyer of pleasure, (i.e. Death)[9]

 Ad-Dajjal who is the worst expected:

Ibn Umar narrated: Once the messenger of Allah stood amongst the people, he glorified and praised Allah as He deserved and then mentioned the Dajjal saying, “I warn you against him (i.e. the Dajjal) and there was no prophet but he warned his nation against him. No doubt, Noah warned his nation against him but I will tell you about him something of which no prophet told his nation before me. You should know that he is one-eyed, and Allah is not one-eyed.”[10]

 the Hour; and the Hour will be most grievous and most bitter

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّ زَلْزَلَةَ السَّاعَةِ شَيْءٌ عَظِيمٌ (١) يَوْمَ تَرَوْنَهَا تَذْهَلُ كُلُّ مُرْضِعَةٍ عَمَّا أَرْضَعَتْ وَتَضَعُ كُلُّ ذَاتِ حَمْلٍ حَمْلَهَا وَتَرَى النَّاسَ سُكَارَى وَمَا هُمْ بِسُكَارَى

 وَلَكِنَّ عَذَابَ اللَّهِ شَدِيدٌ (٢)

  1. O mankind! fear Your Lord and be dutiful to him! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour (of Judgement) is a terrible thing.
  2. the Day You shall see it, Every nursing mother will forget her nursing baby, and every pregnant one will drop her load, and You shall see mankind as in a drunken state, yet they are not drunken, but severe will be the punishment of Allâh.

 يَوْمَ تَبْيَضُّ وُجُوهٌ وَتَسْوَدُّ وُجُوهٌ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ اسْوَدَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ أَكَفَرْتُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ فَذُوقُوا الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ (١٠٦) وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ابْيَضَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ فَفِي رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ (١٠٧)

  1. on the Day when some faces will be (lit up with) white, and some faces will be (in the gloom) black: to those whose faces will be black, (will be said): “Did ye reject faith after accepting it? taste then the penalty for rejecting faith.”
  2. but those whose faces will be (lit with) white,- They will be in (the light of) Allah’s mercy: therein to dwell (for ever).[11]

[1] Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Book 36, Hadith 3

[2] You must prevent harm from yourself and from other people. Prevent harm from other people by holding their hands or speaking against it or abstain from it.

[3] You must also extend goodness from yourself and from other people. Extend the goodness of others by propagating it and calling to its benefits. E.g. invite your fellow to a lecture; inform your fellow about a scholarship; volunteer to help to distribute food and items donated by philanthropists; etc

[4]Sunan ibn Majah no. 4253

[5] Disbelief in actions: when the limbs are forced to act contrary to what is believed in the heart.

[6] أذكار وآداب الصباح والمساء , محمد أحمد إسماعيل المقدم 1/14

[7] Surat-ul-Hajj 5

[8] Surat-ul-Rum 54

[9] Sunan ibn Majah Book 37, Hadith 4399

[10] Sahih Bukhari, Book 60, Hadith 12

[11] Surat-ul-Imraan

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