Commentary ~ Free the slaves

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Hassan al-Basri was one of the Tabi’en (second generation after the Companions RA). Once, after giving the Friday sermon a group of slaves came to him and said, “Shaykh please, next week, give a speech about freeing the slaves!” Hassan agreed and next week there, waiting anxiously, were the slaves. Hassan ascended the pulpit. His speech moved hearts and brought tears to dry eyes, but he failed to mention anything about freeing slaves? The slaves thought to themselves that the Shaykh must have forgot, thus, once again, the following week they took the 50 yard line seats and waited hoping soon to be free. However, the Shaykh failed to mention anything again? After a number of weeks the slaves were sure that the Shaykh sold them out, gotten cold feet and they began to hold the Shaykh in contempt.

One year passed and the tired slaves entered the Masjid of the Shaykh. They had long since forgotten their request and were taken aback, when suddenly he began to mention the conditions of slaves and the importance of freeing them! Their faces looked like bright lamps as the Shaykh encouraged all to free their slaves in exchange for Allah’s mercy and pleasure.

After the sermon the slaves were freed and they ran to the Shaykh asking why he waited one year to give the speech. Hassan al-Basri responded: “At the time you ask me to give the speech I readily agreed. However, after you left I realised that I had no slave of my own. Being a poor man I had to save some money for around one year’s time in order to purchase a slave. Today, alhumdulillah! I was able to purchase a slave. After I purchased him I went to the market and freed him. Finally, I went to the Masjid and gave my sermon.” Looking baffled the freed men asked, “But why? Why did you go to all this trouble?” The Shaykh responded, “If I gave that speech a year ago I would have been encouraging the people to do something that I had not done. Thus, I decided to wait until I freed a slave so that my actions and words would be equal.”

Commentary ~ The moment of death had arrived

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

It was 4 in the morning when the moment of death had arrived.
What is this? The man in a state of shock cried.
The man started to tremble suddenly shaken,
To his sleeping wife he cried out don’t let my soul be taken.

I want to live; I am not yet ready to leave,
My family is dependent on me, can there be no reprieve?

With the order of Allah there is no delay,
Prepare yourself for the grave there is nothing to say.
Why do you fear to die by the Will of Allah?
Come; be content to return to your Lord Allah.

I am ashamed that I never had the time to remember my Lord,
Forgetting this moment, I preferred piling riches into a hoard.
The orders of Allah, I did not obey,
Five times a day I never did pray.
Every year, Ramadan came and Ramadan went,
I never had the time or the will to repent.
The Hajj on me had become an obligation,
But spending of my money was too much of a tribulation.
I ignored giving Zakat and charity taken from my possessions,
But loved giving and taking forbidden interest it was an obsession.
I forgot all my religious duties and obligations,
Being fearful of my company’s managers, bosses and administration.
Of my Faith I felt a hidden shame,
At all times fearful of the disbelievers blame.
The distress of the Muslims always bored me a lot,
Instead the artifices of this world were all that I sought.
I imitated the disbelievers in all of their actions,
Drinking wine and champagne was just one of my distractions,
Not to mention the women, those were always an attraction.
O woe on to me I was really astray,
Can there not be even a little delay?

As you well know, this is your last moment of life,
Every soul will taste death even if you cry, plead or feel strife.
Your parents you neglected time and time again,
You pushed away the hungry and the weak who never were your friends.
Your daughters sang and danced in clubs of the night,
While your sons got lost and trapped with women of vice.
Instead of procreating righteous children as Muslim believers,
You have raised your children instead as ignoble disbelievers,
So rich with wealth and material goods,
But oh so poor with what really would do them some good.
You always ignored the call to the Prayer,
The Koran to you was unknown, a complete stranger.
You never kept your promises, at all times fighting,
Your favourite weapon was defamation and back-biting.
You under-paid your employees whom you targeted,
While from the fruits of their labour you harvested.
Never shared of your wealth with the poor and the orphan,
While running away from the sick with great aversion.

I know, I know, I feel very ashamed.
I have a deep regret and feel very pained.
If I had signs of this imminent death,
I would have changed before my last breath.

O miserable soul, your Creator has provided all the signs that you need,
To believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers and to do good deeds.
But to Allah’s Signs you were blind and you were deaf.
The signs there were many for those who reflect,
Your only concern was confined to this passing life.
Since the Koran you have ignored,
Know that it was said by your Lord,
The life of this world is but play and a pastime,
That is nothing compared to what lies in the Hereafter.
You ignored the warnings in the Koran as a traitor,
You will now be returned to your Creator.

The man’s face was now frozen in its deathly slumber.
His body couldn’t express the pain of the soul, leaving the body in a tumble.
Life, at times, does have its surprises, but never death. Why?
Because everybody knows that we are born and that one day we will die.

Hadith ~ If he dislikes one of her characteristics

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection) said: “A believer must not hate (his wife) believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics he will be pleased with another”. (Muslim).

Commentary: This Hadith also contains a very wise counsel for a happy married life. It tells us that every person has certain good qualities as well as some shortcomings. Man has been advised here to overlook the shortcomings that he does not like in his wife and appreciate her good qualities. Similarly, a woman is advised to ignore the shortcomings of her husband and admire his good qualities.

Riyaadiss-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous)
By Imam An Nawawi
Chapiter 34, Page 95, No 275