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Pining for Paradise

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Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that before the Battle of Badr, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had sent Busaisah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) as a spy to gather information on the caravan of Abu Sufyaan. After Busaisah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) returned and reported the whereabouts and activities of the caravan, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) emerged from his home and announced, “We have something to pursue. Whoever has his conveyance prepared should ride with us.” Hearing this, some Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), in the eagerness to join the expedition, asked permission to fetch their conveyances from the upper portion of Madeenah Munawwarah. However, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not permit them to do so and said, “No, only those whose conveyances are present (will ride with us).”

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) thereafter proceeded to Badr, arriving there before the disbelievers. After the disbelievers arrived, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “None of you should advance to do anything, unless I am ahead of him.” When the disbelievers drew close, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) encouraged the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) to sacrifice their lives in the path of Allah Ta‘ala saying, “Stand up for a Paradise which is as wide as the heavens and the earth!” Hearing this, ‘Umair bin Humaam Ansaari (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) asked, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth?” When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) affirmed this, he exclaimed, “Excellent! Excellent!” When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) heard this exclamation, he asked, “What caused you to say, ‘Excellent! Excellent!’?” ‘Umair bin Humaam (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied, “By the oath of Allah! Nothing, O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), besides the hope that I will be from the people of this Paradise.” To this, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “You are indeed from its people.”

‘Umair bin Humaam (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thereafter drew a few dates from his quiver and began to eat them. After a few moments, however, he exclaimed, “If I live until I finish eating these dates of mine, that will be a long life (i.e. I cannot wait so long to achieve martyrdom and earn paradise).” Saying this, he cast his dates away and plunged into the disbelievers, fighting them until he was martyred. (Saheeh Muslim #4915)

Lessons:

1. The imaan of Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) was such that they had total conviction in the words of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Hence, when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) promised them Jannah, it was not a distant dream or a concept that was merely in their mind. Rather, to them, it was an absolute, concrete certainty, as they trusted the blessed words of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) more than even that which they perceived with their senses. This level of conviction is only obtained through making an effort on one’s imaan. However, once it is obtained, practicing on complete Deen becomes effortless – until a person will find no difficulty in even sacrificing his life for the sake of Deen.

2. When an occasion of serving Deen arose, the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) were always eager to volunteer and participate. They never wished to be left behind and would even cry in grief and disappointment if they were unable to join the expeditions of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Hence, if there is ever an opportunity to serve Deen, we should volunteer and participate, as we do not know if Allah Ta‘ala will ever afford us another opportunity.

3. When departing for Badr, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not inform the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) of the destination. Instead, he merely said, “We have something to pursue.” Despite not knowing the destination, the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) expressed complete submission before the command of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and unquestioningly obeyed. Similarly, we have to realize that our salvation lies in fulfilling the injunctions of Deen and following the sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), whether we understand the reason or wisdom behind each action or not.

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