Commentary ~ Is Not Goodness the Reward of Goodness?

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

Imam, Al-Qadi, Abu Bakr Muhammad bin’ Abdul-Baqi Al-Ansari – may Allah have mercy on him – used to live in Makkah. Having gone without food for longer than was comfortable for him, he became extremely hungry, but had nothing with which he could fend off his hunger. As he was walking through the streets of Makkah, thinking about his predicament, he found a silk bag that was tied by a silk string. After he picked up the bag, Imam Abu Bakr took it to his house. There he opened the bag and found in it a pearl necklace, the likes of which – in terms of beauty and quality – he had never before seen in his entire life. But if he felt any joy at having found such a valuable thing, that joy was short-lived, for when he went into the street, he came across an old man who was announcing that he had lost a silk bag that contained a valuable necklace. The old man said that there was a reward of 500 dinars for the person who returned the bag and necklace.

Many others who are put through a similar test fail, especially those who are poor and for whom the temptation of a valuable item is simply too much. But not so for Imam Abu Bakr, who instead of reflecting on his own situation, took the old man back with him to his house and asked him to describe the bag, the string, the pearls, and the string to which they were attached. The old man of course gave an accurate description of everything, after which Imam Abu Bakr took out the lost items and gave them to him. The old man immediately took out 500 dinars and tried to hand them over to Imam Abu Bakr, who then refused to take the reward, explaining that it was a religious duty upon him to return the lost items and that, therefore, it was not befitting for him to take a reward for having fulfilled that duty. The old man continued to insist for a while, but Imam Abu Bakr was adamant that he was not going to take the money. The old man then took his leave and went on his way.

Shortly thereafter, Imam Abu Bakr, perhaps seeking out a new life and a new means of gaining sustenance, left Makkah and became a passenger on a sea vessel. During his journey, the ship began to sink, and as a result, many people died, and their wealth went with them to the bottom of the sea. The ship was breaking into pieces, and with a great deal of difficulty, Imam Abu Bakr managed to hold on to one of those pieces and thus remain afloat. He continued to hold on to the broken piece for a long time, and when he finally reached an inhabited island, he could not tell how many days he had spent all alone in the sea.

As a newcomer to the island, he did not know anyone, and needing a place to rest and recuperate, he sat down in a Masjid. While he was seated in the Masjid, reading the Quran, many people heard him and approached him, asking him to teach them the Quran. He was all too happy to teach them, and as a reward for his services, they paid him a significant amount of money.

Later on, he found papers on which was written chapters of the Quran. He finally found an opportunity to read directly from the Quran instead of reciting from memory. Apparently, at least most people on the island were illiterate, for seeing that he could read, a throng of people approached him and asked him if he was able to write. He answered in the affirmative, and they said, “Teach us how to write.” They then brought to him children of all ages and he became their teacher. And again, in return for his services, he was paid a handsome sum of money.

Being pleased with both the character and knowledge of the newcomer, the leaders of the island approached him, saying, “Among us lives a young female orphan. She is rich, and we want you to marry her.” At first Imam Abu Bakr refused, but they insisted until he finally gave in and agreed to marry her.

On the day of their marriage, the leaders of the island presented Imam Abu Bakr’s new bride to him. With a look of utter amazement in his eyes, he began to stare at the necklace that she was wearing. So long did he stare at it, that the leaders of the island said, “You are breaking the heart of this young orphan, for instead of looking at her, you are looking at her necklace.” Imam Abu Bakr then told them of his story with the old man in Makkah. Everyone present began to pronounce the Testimony of Faith and to extol Allah’s greatness; they were so loud that their voices could be heard by all of the inhabitants of the island. Imam Abu Bakr asked, “What is the matter with you?” They said, “The old man who took the necklace from you is the father of this girl, and he used to say: ‘I have never found a [true and sincere] Muslim in the world except for the man who returned this necklace to me.’ And he used to supplicate, saying: ‘O Allah, bring me and that man together, so that I can marry my daughter to him.’ And now that has happened.”

Imam Abu Bakr outlived his wife and the children she bore him. Inheriting the necklace and then selling it for 100,000 dinars, he remained a wealthy man to the end of his days.

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 270

Hadith ~ Intentions

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

Omar ibn Al-Khattab (May Allah be satisfied with him) said: I heard Allah’s Messenger (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection) saying: “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will be rewarded according to what he intended. So whoever emigrates for worldly benefits or for to marry woman, his emigration will be for what he emigrated for.” (Agreed upon)

Riyaadiss-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous) (Abridged)
By Imam An Nawawi Vol. (1)
Publisher: Dar Al-Manarah
ISBN: 977.6005.23.3
Chapiter 1, Page 70, Number 1

Ayaat 16-36 ~ Maryam (Mary)

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

Listen to Recitation

16. Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East.

17. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.

18. She said: “I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah.”

19. He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a pure son.

20. She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”

21. He said: “So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, ‘that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: It is a matter (so) decreed.”

22. So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.

23. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish): “Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten.

24. But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): “Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee;

25. “And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.

26. “So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, ‘I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being'”

27. At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: “O Mary! truly a strange thing has thou brought!

28. “O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!”

29. But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?”

30. He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah. He hath given me Revelation and made me a prophet:

31. “And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;

32. “(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;

33. “So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)”!

34. Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.

35. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, “Be”, and it is.

36. Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord: Him therefore serve ye: this is a Way that is straight.

Sura 19. Maryam (Mary)

Commentary ~ Degrees of Fear

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

Here is a saying of Hassan al-Basri, one of the Tabi’en (second generation after the Companions RA).

“There are three degrees of fear: the first is to always tell the truth, the second is to keep his person away from all works that the Lord most High does not love, the third is to behave so as to see ones acts accepted by Allah.” And he added, “A mitzqal (about six and a half grams) of fear is better than a thousand mitzqal of fasting and prayers.” The most excellent of all works is the practice of fear and reflection on one’s own acts. One whose heart does not go hand in hand with ones tongue (speech), whose exterior and interior are not in unison, bears on him the imprint of hypocrisy. The true believer is the one who makes efforts constantly to not fall into hypocrisy, who does not do anything that one should not do, that never utters a word that one must not say.”

Hadith ~ The Strong Man

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: “The strong man is not one who is good at wrestling, but the strong man is one who controls himself in a fit of rage.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Riyaadiss-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous)
By Imam An Nawawi
Chapter 3, Page 20, No 45

Ayaat 125-128 ~ An-Nahl (The Bees)

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

125. Invite to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islâm) with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.

126. And if you punish (your enemy), then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted. But if you endure patiently, verily, it is better for As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.).

127. And endure you patiently, your patience is not but from Allâh. And grieve not over them, and be not distressed because of what they plot.

128. Truly, Allâh is with those who fear Him (keep their duty unto Him), and those who are Muhsinûn (good-doers).

Surah 16. An-Nahl (The Bees)

Commentary ~ The Honest Muslim Merchant

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

Nadr bin Shumail said that in a certain place the price of silk had increased and that if it increased there, it should also increase in Basrah. Yunus bin ‘Ubaid was a silk manufacturer and when he learned of this fact, he bought from a man a quantity of goods for thirty thousand. Yet, afterwards, he asked the seller if he was aware of the price increase. The seller replied that he was not and that had he been, he would not have made the sale at such a price. Yunus insisted that his money be returned for the goods that were sold to him. This illustrates the piety of our predecessors, for even in their business transactions they attempted to maintain the highest level of honesty and clarity in all matters, pertaining to both the buyer and seller.

Gems and Jewels
Compiled by: Abdul-Malik Mujahid
Publisher: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam
ISBN: 9960-897-59-1
Page 50

Hadith ~ An atom’s weight

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

Narrated Abdullah ibn Masoud (may Allah be pleased with him); ‘The Prophet (SAWS) said: “He in whose heart is an atom’s weight of haughtiness will not enter Paradise and he in whose heart is an atom’s weight of Faith will not enter Fire.” A man rose up and said; ‘I like to wear a tidy garment and good footwear?’ The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Indeed, Allah is Good and loves what is good. Haughtiness is denying right and disdaining people.” (At-Termizi)

SAWS: May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection

Riyaadiss-Saliheen (The Meadows of the Righteous) (Abridged)
By Imam An Nawawi Vol. (2)
Publisher: Dar Al-Manarah
ISBN: 977.6005.23.3
Chapiter 254, Page 1017, Number 874

Ayaat 9-11 ~ Al-Jumu’ah (Friday)

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

Listen to Recitation

9. O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salât (prayer) on the day of Friday (Jumu’ah prayer), come to the remembrance of Allâh [Jumu’ah religious talk (Khutbah) and Salât (prayer)] and leave off business (and every other thing), that is better for you if you did but know!

10. Then when the (Jumu’ah) Salât (prayer) is finished, you may disperse through the land, and seek the Bounty of Allâh (by working, etc.), and remember Allâh much, that you may be successful.

11. And when they see some merchandise or some amusement [beating of Tambur (drum) etc.] they disperse headlong to it, and leave you (Muhammad ) standing [while delivering Jumu’ah’s religious talk (Khutbah)]. Say “That which Allâh has is better than any amusement or merchandise! And Allâh is the Best of providers.”

Sura 62. Al-Jumu’ah (Friday)