Every person’s honour is sacred. We are duty-bound to respect and honour our fellow brothers and sisters and never…yes NEVER to hold an iota of malice or ill will in our hearts towards them. The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) tried to eliminate hatred, malice, jealousy and rivalry by inducing brotherhood, sincere love and friendship. (Please note that while in most cases the ahaadeeth mention the masculine gender the same rewards etc refer to the females as well)
Our society is ideally built upon the foundation of brotherhood, as The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) advised:
“Believers are like a structure, parts of which support one another. The believers, in their mutual friendship, mercy and affection, are like one body; if any part of it complains, the rest of the body will also stay awake in fever.” (Hadith-Al-Bukhaari and Muslim).
The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also said;
“Do not break off ties with one another, do not turn away from one another, do not hate one another, and do not envy one another. Be O slaves of Allaah brothers.” (Al-Bukhaari)
Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that while we were sitting with The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) he said, ‘A dweller of Paradise will come to you now’.
As he said this, a man from amongst the Ansaar came, from whose beard the drops of the water of wudhu were falling and he was holding his shoes in his left hand. The second day The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) repeated his words as the same Ansari came in, in the same condition as the day before. The third day The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) repeated the same words and the same man walked in, in the same condition as before. When The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stood up, Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) followed that Ansari to his house and said to him,
‘I have had a quarrel with my father and have vowed that I will not go to him for three days. Will you please allow me to stay at your house until those three days have passed?’
The Ansari replied, ‘Yes, that is fine with me’
Sayyiduna Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) continues, Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) mentioned that he spent three nights with that Ansari but did not see him worshipping at night, except that when he awoke and changed his position on the bed he would praise Allah and say ‘Allahu Akbar’, until he got up for Fajr salaah.
Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘I did not hear him say anything except good. When three nights had passed in observing him I found his deeds to be quite ordinary and said to him,
‘O slave of Allah. There was no quarrel and separation between me and my father but I heard The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say that an inhabitant of Paradise is coming to us and you came out on all three occasions. That is why I decided to stay with you and see what (special) deed/s it is that you perform? However, I did not see you doing anything special. What is that deed which raised you to the rank mentioned by The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)?’
The Ansari replied, ‘I have no special deeds except that which you saw!’
Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “As I turned to go away, the Ansaari called me back and said,
‘I have no special deeds except for the ones you have seen. However I have no ill feelings in my heart towards any Muslim and I am not jealous regarding any favour that Allah has blessed anyone with’”
Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘This is the thing which has raised you to that rank and this is that which is beyond our ability’ (Musnad Ahmed – Muntakhab Ahaadeeth, Page 452, No 175)
IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED:
1) The importance and great virtue of having no malice towards people in general and Muslims in particular.
2) The importance and great virtue of not being jealous of what others possess. In the context of today’s living we can well appreciate the value of this quality. Today we find that even brothers are jealous of each other’s possessions. In fact in a Hadith it is mentioned that,
‘be indifferent to what people possess (do not be jealous of what they have) they will love you’
3) Malice and jealousy are probably the major causes of backbiting and speaking ill of people. It is precisely because this person did not possess either of these two evil qualities that Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) could say about this man that he did not ‘say anything but good’. A good ‘barometer’ for us to determine whether or not we possess these evil qualities would therefore be, to analyse exactly how much good we say.
4) Many a time we understand piety to mean that a person spends a lot of time in Nafl Ibaadah like Salaah, Fasting, Zikr, tilaawat of the Quraan or their specific manner of dressing etc, but from this hadith we learn the importance of possessing a clean and pure heart. In fact it is mentioned regarding the day of Qiyamah in the Quraan,
‘Youma laa yan fa’u maalu wa la banoon, illa man atallaha bi qalbin saleem’
‘that day wealth and children will be of no benefit (to a person) except the one who comes to Allah with a purified heart’ (Qur’an-26:88-89)
However in saying that, we should not live under the misconception, as many people do, that a ‘clean heart’ absolves us of our obligations to Allah (SWT) like Salaah, Hijaab , Charity, Fasting etc.
We often hear women say, ‘I do not have to wear Hijaab because my Hijaab is in my heart! Look at so and so who wears the Hijaab but has a dirty heart!’
We also hear man say, ‘I don’t read my salaah five times a day but I do not do such and such things as Mr ‘So’ and ‘So’ is doing who stands in the first saff (row) in salaah, or wears Islamic dress etc. At least my heart is clean!’
We have to understand that these kinds of excuses cannot be used to justify our weaknesses and shortcomings and we have to remember that every person will be judged individually by Allah (SWT)
5) This incident highlights the simplicity and humility of this man in that he was also unknown among the Sahaaba (May Allah be pleased with him) as Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him), who is the narrator of this hadith did not even mention his name. The mention of him carrying his shoes in his left hand (a sunnah) and his face and beard still wet with the water of wudhu conjures up an image of simplicity. Being humble in his manner with Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) is also an indication of his simplicity. Simplicity and humility are qualities that are beloved to Allah (SWT) and, adds weight to our actions as well as raises us up in the esteem of Allah (SWT).
6) This incident shows to us the great desire that Sahabah(May Allah be pleased with him) had for Paradise and the actions that lead to Paradise . This was because the focus and conviction of Sahaaba (May Allah be pleased with them) was firmly focused on the Akhirah(hereafter). Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) spent three nights with this man just to learn what action it was that earned this man the glad tidings of Paradise from none other than The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) himself. We can safely say that we are the beneficiaries of Abdullah bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him)’s desire to learn, regarding what we learn from this incident.
So if we really and honestly desire that Palace (in Jannah) then give up Malice!
May Allah (SWT) make it possible for us to also develop this quality in our lives because as Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Amr’s (May Allah be pleased with him) concluding words allude to this is not an easy quality to attain, except for those whom Allah favours with taufeeq(Devine ability)to bring this quality into their lives.