Hadith The Companions of the Holy Prophet (sa)

Sayings of the Holy Prophet

FEBRUARY 1985 SAYINGS OF THE HOLY PROPHET OF ISLAM 29 SAYINGS OF THE HOLY PROPHET OF ISLAM By Dr. Qazi Muhammad Barkatullah Nowhere in the pages of history do we find a single person, except the Holy Prophet of Islam, setting examples to follow in all walks of life. Volumes can be written about his nature, wisdom, dispostion and character. He had leadership duties of both spiritual and tem- poral kinds but still he was not far away from his fellow human be- ings. With all kinds of responsiblities he was shouldering, he never lost touch of a keen sense of humor. Some Traditions are enumerated here, as follows: 1. Muhammad literally means much praised. He was of middle stature, neither tall nor short. His complexion was rosy white, his eyes black, his hair thick, brilliant, beautiful &nd fell to his shoulders. There was such sweetness in his person that no one, once in his presence, could leave him. If someone was hungry, a single look at the Prophet’s face dispelled that hunger. In his presence all forgot their grief and pain. (A description of the Holy Prophet at age forty-five by Hazrat Ali, as quoted in Al- Tabari by Abu Jaffar Muhammad) It was his custom to do everything for himself. He helped in household duties. He brushed his teeth several times a day and washed his hands before and after each meal. In shaking hands he was not the first to withdraw. While in conversation, he turn- ed with his full face, not partially, and his whole body. His dress was very simple. Generally it consisted of a shirt and Izar. (Izar was a piece’of cloth wrapped around the waist, hanging to the ankles.) Sometimes he just wore a shirt and trousers. (Bukhari) He was the handsomest and the bravest, the brightest faced and the most generous of men. It was as though the sunlight beamed in his countenance. (Life of Muhammad by Sir William Muir). The character of the Holy Prophet was wholesome and all good. To sum it up is to quote his wife Hazrat Ayesha who said that his character was the Quran, i.e., he did whatever the Quran taught. In other words, the Holy Prophet practiced what he 30 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS FEBRUARY 1985 preached and preached what he practiced. To know the Holy Prophet is to know the Holy Quran and to know the Holy Quran is to know the Holy Prophet. (Life of Muhammad by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad). 2. Once, in days gone by, there were three persons who started on a journey. As it started to rain they took shelter in a cave. It so happened that a huge stone fell and closed the opening of the cave. All three got trapped inside, became helpless and saw death approaching them. Then one of them suggested: “Let us recall at least one good act that we have done in our life which was done only for the sake of Allah.” The others agreed and one by one, calling Allah, they started narrating that act. The first one said: “O my Allah! You know that once I had an employee who started working with me in exchange for some rice. But he went away without collecting the rice as wages in lieu of the labor that he had done for me. I preserved the share of his rice and planted it at proper time. That crop was so enormously multiplied that I purchased cows and oxen from the money I recieved by selling the crop. Then the man showed up and demanded his wages. I pointed toward a herd of cows and oxen saying that all those belonged to him and he could take them away. He was surprised and said he was asking for meager wages in the form of a few grains of rice that he did not collect. But I repeated that all those animals belonged to him because they were the result of an in- vestment done by me on his behalf. And the man happily drove all of them away. O Allah! you know I did all this only to please You, and if You so regard this act, then help us in this time of distress.” After those words the stone rolled away a little. The second man then started saying like this: “O my Allah! You know that I had parents who reached a ripe old age. I brought milk of goats for them every night. One night I came late and they had already gone to sleep. My wife and children were very hungry that night because I used to take food for them after attending my aged parents. But that night I did not want to wake up my parents and then offer them the milk. I stood there that they might wake up and look for milk. And I kept standing there the whole night until they woke up in the morning. My Allah! You know that I stood the whole night in the service of my parents to please You and if You so regard it, FEBRUARY 1985 SAYINGS OF THE HOLY PROPHET OF ISLAM 31 please help us out of this distress.” Then the heavy stone rolled away so much that they could see the sky from inside. However, there -was not yet enough room for them to come out. Then the third person started imploring the Almighty Allah in this way: “O Allah! You know I had a lady cousin whom I loved. I tried to persuade her to sleep with me but she never agreed to that. At one time she agreed if I would give her one hundred gold coins. I got that money and gave it to her and reminded her of the pro- mise she had made. So she let me come close to her. But as I was getting ready to commit an immoral act, she besought me to fear Allah and not to break the seal of her chastity immorally. As soon as I heard those words, for fear of You, Allah, I stood up, left her without doing anything and let her keep the money also. My Allah! You know I did this only to please You and if You so regard it, then please let us come out of the trouble we all three are in now.” At that the heavy stone moved away so much that the three persons walked out of the death trap easily. (In another version, it was the famine that caused a young lady in the neighborhood to consent to immoral act in exchange for food and perhaps money also to buy more food for the sake of her aged and hungry father; and the man let her go at the last moment for fear of Allah.) (Bukhari) 3. Once, in days gone by, there were two women who. had given birth to two sons and the babies were almost of the same age. Once the women were going somewhere carrying their children when a wolf came and, snatching one child, ran away. The woman who lost her child took hold of the other child saying to the other woman that the wolf had taken your child and not mine. There was no other witness to the tragic incident. They quarreled together on that matter and the baby child was still with the woman who had lost her own child. So to settle their dispute they came to the presence of King David. The king asked each of them to tell what had happened. On listening to both sides, King David decided to let the woman who was holding the baby keep the child, and she was not the real mother, and dismissed the case. Obviously the real mother was upset and she persuaded the 32 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS FEBRUARY 1985 other woman to take the dispute to Solomon, King David’s son. Then each of them presented her case before Solomon and also brought to his attention the verdict given by his father, King David. After a while, Solomon asked to bring him a sword. He said he would cut the child into two equal halves and give each woman half portion of the child. The woman who was holding the child kept quiet. But the real mother cried out aloud to have mercy on the child and not to kill the child. She said she volun- tarily withdrew her claim over the child and let the child stay alive with the woman he was now with. At that, Solomon understood with his wisdom that she was the real mother who wanted her child to live and not be killed. So Solomon took the child away from the imposter and gave it to the real mother with his good wishes. (Bukhari) 4. In days gone by an Israelite woman of easy character was go- ing on her way somewhere. She happened to see a dog near a well who seemed to be very thirsty. The dog was roaming about the well but could not reach the water in the well and was about to die due to its thirst. The woman noticed the condition of the dog and had pity on it. She took her scarf, tied one of her shoes with it, and lowered that into the well to draw water out. Then she let the dog quench its thirst to the full. Allah liked that com- passionate act so much that all her sins were forgiven. (Bukhari) 5. Having stopped during a journey, a companion of the Holy Prophet saw two baby doves in a nest. Without the knowledge of the Holy Prophet he caught those little beautiful birds. After a while, their mother came and, finding the babies missing, began to fly impatiently around the nest. The Holy Prophet noticed that the bird was restless and inquired if someone had taken her baby birds. Having found an affirmative answer the companion was asked to release the baby birds immediately to comfort the mother bird. The mother having seen her baby birds back in the nest seemed to calm down. (Abu Daud) 6. Once a person came in the presence of the Holy Prophet and sought help to get rid of three evils he had been indulging in: falsehood, drinking alcohol and fornication. The Holy Prophet asked him to give up one of these evils.The person eagerly ex- pressed willingness and asked which one he should give up. The Holy Prophet asked him to promise never to tell a lie again. The man so promised and left. FEBRUARY 1985 SAYINGS OF THE HOLY PROPHET OF ISLAM 33 Sometimes afterwards the man came back to the Holy Prophet saying that in fact he got rid of all three evils by keeping the pro- mise to give up one evil at that time. He was asked to give a little explanation. One day, he said, he wished to indulge in drinking alcohol, but he refrained to do that. Because, he said, on being questioned whether he had taken alcohol, he would have to say yes, keeping his promise not to tell a lie. And he did not want his friends to know that he drinks alcohol. So he gave up that bad habit completely. Later, he said, he thought.of committing the immoral act but kept away because he would have to admit to in- dulging in fornication on being asked about it. So he decided never to commit any immoral act anymore in his life. Thus it was giving up falsehood, as the Holy Prophet had told him, he got rid of all other evils also. (Bukhari) 7. Once the Holy Prophet was sleeping alone at the foot of a tree. All of a sudden he opened his eyes and saw a man with a sword drawn at him…The man then said, “Muhammad, who will save you now from my hands”? “Allah,” replied the Holy Prophet with full confidence in his voice. The man was shocked and the sword fell down from his hand. The Holy Prophet then picked up the sword and asked: “Now tell me, who will save you from my hands?” “You can save me,” with a trembling body the man begged the Holy Prophet to forgive him. The Holy Prophet smiled, put the sword down and said: “Simple man! even now you don’t understand that Allah could save you.” The Holy Prophet then let the man go without punishment. The man returned to his tribe full of appreciation for the Holy Prophet. He told his people that he had met Muhammad who was the best and noblest of all men. (Bukhari) 8. Once the Holy Prophet was sitting with his cousin, Hazrat Ali, and enjoying eating dates together. It so happened that the Holy Prophet started putting the seeds in front of Hazrat Ali who was also putting his seeds there. After a while, the Holy Prophet humorously said: “Look how many dates Ali has eaten while it is all clear on my side.” First, Hazrat Ali was embarrassed but soon remarked, “yes sir! I have eaten so many dates but so- meone has eaten not only dates but seeds also.” There was great amusement around. (Tirmidhi) 9. Once the Holy Prophet was sitting with one of his wives when 34 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS FEBRUARY 1985 an old lady approached him and asked if she will go to paradise? The Holy Prophet smilingly remarked that old ladies will not enter paradise. The old woman was perplexed but soon the Holy Prophet pacified her, saying: “when you enter paradise you will become young.” (Tirmidhi) 10. On the day of Judgement, Allah will say to some, one by one: “O Son of Adam! I was sick and you did not attend me; I was hungry and you did not feed me; I was thirsty and you did not give me water.” The person would beseech Allah: “O Allah! You are the Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds, how could I attend you, or feed you, or give you drink?” Then Allah will say: “Such and such servant of mine was sick, hungry and thirs- ty. It was not that person who was sick, hungry, or thirsty; it was I who was sick, hungry and thirsty. Had you served him, you would have served me. (Muslim) 11. The Holy Prophet preferred simplicity in his dress. Once Hazart Umar suggested that he should wear some expensive robes on the ceremonial occasions of receiving ambassadors of great monarchs. But the Holy Prophet said that he would meet everyboby in the same kind of clothes he normally wears. (Bukhari) 12. Once it became a sort of gathering of hungry people at a house, the Holy Prophet being one of them. The Holy Prophet asked the hostess, Umme Saleem, to send whatever food she had. Umme Saleem did accordingly but the food was so little that it could not be sufficient even for one person. The Holy Prophet prayed on that food and asked ten people to come in and eat as much as they could. The ten people did eat to their fill and then left. Then another ten people were asked to eat and they also enjoyed their full meal. Likewise another ten came in and left and then another ten came in and ate till they were full. In short, the food which was apparently insufficient even for one person became exceedingly blessed by the prayer of the Holy Prophet, so as to satisfy the hunger of seventy or eighty people. (Bukharf) 13. Once there occurred a shortage of drinking water while travel- ing. The Holy Prophet asked to bring whatever water was left. A utensil was brought to him with very little water in it. The Holy Prophet put his hand inside the container. The water became so FEBRUARY 1985 SAYINGS OF THE HOLY PROPHET OF ISLAM 35 blessed that everyone in the company was able to drink as much water as he wished. (Bukhari) 14. Once Abu Huraira was very hungry and had been without food for over three days. He stood at the door of the mosque and saw Hazrat Abu Bakr passing by. He approached Hazrat Abu Bakr and asked the explanation of a verse in the Holy Quran which enjoins the feeding of the hungry and poor. Hazrat Abu Bakr explained the meaing of the verse and moved on. Then Abu Huraira saw Hazrat Umar passing by. He approached Hazrat Umar and recited the same verse and asked for the mean- ing and explanation. Hazrat Umar gave similar meaning as of Hazrat Abu Bakr and passed on. Abu Hurira said to himself that both these pious people knew that I knew at least that much Quran as they have explained. Abu Huraira, being a companion of the Holy Prophet, did not want to ask for food directly. He thought that both Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar would know what he meant by asking the meaning of that particular verse. Abu Huraira saw the Holy Prophet coming out of the mosque. So he approached the Holy Prophet, recited the same verse and asked for the meaning and explanation. The Holy Pro- phet looked at Abu Huraira, smiled and said: “Abu Huraira! You are hungry. Come with me.” Abu Huraira was much pleas- ed because the Holy Prophet had understood what he meant by the recitation of the verse in the Holy Quran. So Abu Huarira accompanied the Holy Prophet to his home and found that there was no food even in his house. Abu Huraira was so hungry that he could hardly keep his composure. By chance a person came who had brought a cup of milk for the Holy Prophet. Then the Holy Prophet told Abu Huraira that they got a cup of milk; but before drinking it, he should first go to the mosque and see if there were other hungry people. He asked Abu Huraira to bring them to share that cup of milk. Abu Huraira was surprised that one cup of milk was hardly sufficient for one person and the Holy Prophet was asking for more people to share a drink from the same cup. But anyway, he went and found six hungry people. He brought them back to the Holy Prophet’s house. The Holy Prophet asked everyone to sit and it became a sort 36 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS FEBRUARY 1985 of circle with Abu Huraira sitting on the left of the Holy Pro- phet. As of custom, the Holy Prophet passed the cup of milk to the person sitting on his right asking him to drink as much as he could and then pass the cup on to the next sitting on his right with the same instruction. Eventually, the cup reached Abu Huraira who was thinking there will be nothing left for him to drink, but he found milk in it. So Abu Huriara took the cup of milk and started drinking it. The Holy Prophet said “drink more, Abu Huraira” and he did until he could drink no more. Then he passed the cup to the Holy Prophet who was the last to drink the milk. In that way a cup of milk was blessed and, by the grace of Allah, the milk satisfied the hunger of eight people. (Bukhari) 15. The Holy Prophet sometimes stood so long praying at night that his feet would get swollen. Once Hazrat Ayesha asked him why should he put himself to such discomfort and inconvenience when he knew that he is near and dear to Allah. The Holy Pro- phet replied gently that he should always be expressing his thanks to Allah for his mercy and love conferred upon him. (Bukhari) 16. The Holy Prophet constantly prayed: “O Allah! Fill my heart with Your Light and my eyes with Your Light and my ears with Your Light. And place Your Light on my right and place Your Light on my left and place Your Light above me and place Your Light below me and place Your Light in front of me and place Your Light behind me. And O my dear Allah! Cover my whole self with Your Light. (Bukhari) 17. A prayer by the Holy Prophet to ask forgiveness: O Allah, You are my Lord. There is none worthy of worship besides You. You have created me and I am Your servant. I try to keep my promise and pledges with You to the best of my ability. I seek refuge with You from the evil consequences of any trespasses- I acknowledge Your favors upon me and I confess my trangres- sion unto You. Do forgive my sins my Lord. There is none besides You to forgive.” (Bukhari) 18. The Holy Prophet loved to pray and worship Allah, but he did not approve of any prayer or worship imposed on anyone. Once he came to the home of his wife Zainab and noticed a rope tied between two pillars. In astonishment he enquired why was the rope tied there? He was told that his wife Zainab, when tired FEBRUARY 1985 SAYINGS OF THE HOLY PROPHET OF ISLAM 37 during prayers, would support herself by means of that rope. The Holy Prophet asked the rope to be removed and said that prayer or worship should only be carried as long as one was feel- ing easy and comfortable. (Bukhari) 19. A person who keeps good company with virtuous people is like a person who carries musk along with him. He derives pleasure as well benefit from it. He makes profit if he sells it, or simply enjoys the perfume as long as he keeps it. And a person in the company of an evil person is like one who blows into a coal furnace. He could get his clothes on fire or simply get his brain upset by the gas emitted by the charcoal. Thus a person’s charac- ter takes on the color of the company he keeps. Therefore, every- one should be careful in selecting good and virtuous company. (Bukhari) 20. Once the Holy Prophet weas passing through a market and saw a man standing who was not apparently good looking. The Holy Prophet went behind him and took him in his arms from behind. Then he said with a loud voice: “I have a slave, would anyone buy him?” The man realized that there could be no one except the Holy Prophet who would hold him affectionately like that. So he started moving back, touching more closely to the body of the Holy Prophet. The the man said, looking back: “O Messenger of Allah, you would not get a lot of money by selling me.” The Holy Prophet let him go smilingly, saying: “Your worth in the sight of Allah is very high.” (Bukhari) 21. During the course of a war, a man was noticed to hide and kill Muslims. Usama Bin Zaid eventually got hold of him and drew his sword to kill him. The man at once proclaimed in a loud voice: “There is none worthy of worship except Allah…” and right at that time, Usama Bin Zaid took his head off and the man could not complete the other portion of the Kalima. The matter was brought to the attention of the Holy Prophet that Usama Bin Zaid had killed a man who was reciting the Kalima. The Holy Prophet was very unhappy with Usama. Usama pleaded that the man was not truthful in his recitation of the Kalima because on being caught, he was scared and started reciting the Kalima. The Holy Prophet said displeasingly: “Did you peep into his heart to see whether he was telling the truth? What will you say on the day of Judgment when his confession 38 • • .-‘.THE REVIEWOF RELIGIONS’. .i..’-i , -• FEBRUARY 1985 of-.faith .will be cited.in evidence:against you.” (Muslim) 22,” , The Holy Prophet was ill during his last days on the earth. He addressed his companions and said: “If I have hurt any one of you, even unknowingly,’ let tiirri take his revenge now.” The ;.-.; Companions were stunned-and tears started .rolling down their •’i eyes heeause the-Mercy to the world could- :hurt no one in any i- way. But one-man :Stood. upland, coming forward, said: “O Pro- :;?phet of Allah, Jonce-I, was hit with your elbow in my side and I “,;:•’want-myrevenge.;”-The Cbmpanions:w.ere-;shbcked and enraged ‘•’on: hearing these words; But the .Holy Prophet, without hesita- tion,- asked the man to -take ids revenge. He turned on one side • and asked the’man to hit him-as he washit.’fThe man complained ,that he: was. without a shirt when he was hit.- So the Holy Prophet asked his shirt to be raised to let the man hit that side with his elbow. The man came up to the Holy Prophet and with tears rolling down his eyes, kissed the bare body of the Holy Prophet. (Bukhari) ‘””.” ‘ .””‘”‘” ‘ ” ‘ ‘ ‘ ” ‘ ” ‘ ‘”” ‘”.'”‘. ‘ ‘. ‘””” 23..’- During the days of Mana (10′, -11,. and 12 Zil-Hajj,) two girls were chanting songs arid playing on a tambourine in the mosque. The Holy: Prophet’could hear the voices of the happily playing girls, singing and enjoying themselves. By chance, Hazrat Abu Bakrcame.there:and asked,the,girls to stop singing and playing. But the Holy Prophet intervened and asked Abu Bakr not to stop the’girls, and-let rthem enjoy themselves because those were Bid days, (Bukhari) . . – . • ; : • – • . : • – • – . ‘ – 24. On another Eid occasion, some people of African descent came ,to the mosquetand started, showing their feats. Hazrat Ayesha ” -was standing behind the-.Holy Prophet and peeping over his . -shoulders to enjoy the; show:=Then Hazrat Abu Bakr came there “and asked’those people; to stop their show in the mosque. But the Holy Prophet asked him; :tp- let- the.; festivities continue for pleasure and enjoyment because those were Eid days. (Bukhari) 25. One night Hazrat Ayesha woke up from” her sleep and did not find the Holy. Prophet in bed. So she went out in search of him. She found him in prostration in-the mosque praying to Allah: “O Allah!’you are free’ from^all defects, and You are the * • ‘ • ‘ possessor of “all excellences: There-is none, worthy of worship but ;”Y6u. I seek1 refuge with Your- security.-from Your wrath and ‘•-displeasure. 1 ‘seek security from Your punishment, and I