All praises be to Allah by the multitude of His creation and praises be to Him by the number of His creation. All praises be to Allah, the All-Hearing, Accepter of repentance, Decider and Bestower. I bear witness that there’s no god but Allah, the One, having no partner, All-Hearing, All-Aware, Firm, Competent. I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave, messenger, chosen one and friend. May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, his family, companions by the multitude of the dewdrops and alternating of morning and evening. And after:
I advise you and myself of having the fear of Allah. The duration of life is the time of realising righteousness, and self-struggle. Our age and life is nothing but the whole of hours and moments. Allah said: “So whoever does righteous deeds while he is a believer - no denial will there be for his effort,and indeed We [i.e., Our angels], of it, are recorders.” [Al-Anbiyaa: 94].
Slaves of the Merciful, how beautiful is deriving light from the lamp of the prophethood! And how beautiful is the drinking from its fountain!
Today’s hadith is about an event of the prophet’s life that took place with a man who had accepted Islam early, a man who informed about himself and said: I was the fourth person to accept Islam. Three persons had accepted Islam before me and I was the fourth one. I came to the prophet and said to him: Peace be upon you, O’ messenger of Allah. I bear witness that there’s no god but Allah, the One, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. So, I saw happiness on the face of the messenger of Allah. He said: Who are you? I said: I’m Jundub, a man from the tribe of Bani Ghifaar.” Ibn Hibban has narrated it in his Sahih.
His accepting Islam early had merit. When he migrated to the prophet, the prophet would begin with Abu Dhar when he’d be present and ask about him when he’d be absent. But, despite his status, this event took place with him, which impacted him deeply. Come, let’s contemplate over this hadith: Muslim has narrated in his Sahih that Al-Ma'rur b. Suwaid said:We went to Abu Dharr (Ghifari) in Rabadha and he had a mantle over him, and his slave had one like it. We said: Abu Dharr, had you joined them together, it would have been a complete garment. Thereupon he said: There was an altercation between me and one of the persons among my brothers. His mother was a non-Arab. I reproached him for his mother. He complained against me to Allah's Apostle (ﷺ). As I met Allah's Apostle (ﷺ) he said: Abu Dharr, you are a person who still has (in him the remnants) of the days (of Ignorance). Thereupon I said: Allah's Messenger, he who abuses (other) persons, they abuse (in return) his father and mother. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Abu Dharr, you are a person who still has (the remnants) of Ignorance in him They (your servants and slaves) are your brothers. Allah has put them in your care, so feed them with what you eat, clothe them with what you wear. and do not burden them beyond their capacities; but if you burden them (with an unbearable burden), then help them (by sharing their extra burden).
According to the narration in Bukhari: “The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Did you abuse so-and-so?" I said, "Yes" He said, "Did you call his mother bad names?" I said, "Yes". He said, "You still have the traits of (the Pre-lslamic period of) ignorance." I said. "(Do I still have ignorance) even now in my old age?" He said, "Yes, they (slaves or servants) are your brothers, and Allah has put them under your command. So the one under whose hand Allah has put his brother, should feed him of what he eats, and give him dresses of what he wears, and should not ask him to do a thing beyond his capacity. And if at all he asks him to do a hard task, he should help him therein.
Friends, let’s ponder over some lessons and examples:
First: we learn that the prophet was close to all companions. When this man was taunted by calling his mother bad names and was called: “O’ son of the black mother”, he found in the prophet a ready refuge and went to him complaining. The prophet took cognisance of his complaint and rebuked Abu Dhar severely.
The fact that this man was a slave and his colour was different did not prevent him from approaching the prophet and raising his complaint because the prophet was near to all people.
Among the lessons drawn is the severe dealing with the racist slogan whose remnants were still present in some people in the form of the effects of the Age of Ignorance. That’s why we see the prophet saying to Abu Dhar: "Did you call his mother bad names?" I said, "Yes". He said, "You still have the traits of (the Pre-lslamic period of) ignorance."
The blackness of his mother was not a demerit. Then, she did not choose her black colour as Abu Dhar also did not choose his colour! This is a matter in which human being has no say. But, it’s a demerit to have the manners of ignorance. That’s why the impact of the words “you are a person who still has (in him the remnants) of the days (of Ignorance)” was very severe. Abu Dhar said:despite the long period of my life that I spent in Islam? He said: yes.
Second: At the time when the prophet was crushing the slogans of ignorance and the pride in lineage, colour and race, he was simultaneously building a firm structure of brotherhood among the Muslims. This is evident in his statement “They (slaves or servants) are your brothers, and Allah has put them under your command. So, the one under whose hand Allah has put his brother, should feed him of what he eats, and give him dresses of what he wears, and should not ask him to do a thing beyond his capacity. And if at all he asks him to do a hard task, he should help him therein”. So, these are five things which strengthen the right of brotherhood. That’s why the prophet called them brothers even though they’re servants, and directed to feed them of what he eats, give them dresses of what he wears, should not ask them to do a thing beyond their capacity and ordered to help them if they are asked to do a hard task.
May Allah benefit me and you from the Book and Sunnah and the knowledge and wisdom that they contain. Seek the forgiveness of Allah. He’s the Most Forgiving.
All praises be to Allah…
And after: among the lessons drawn is that the prophet upbringing revives in the hearts of the people self-respect and the awareness of their rights as well as their obligations as is reflected in “Did you abuse so-and-so? I said: yes”. That’s why Abu Dhar realised the value of equality and said when he narrated the hadith: “There was an altercation between me and one of the persons among my brothers”. So, the reconsideration was mutual between both the sides.
Note that when the prophet abolished with all firmness all types of racial discrimination more than one thousand and four hundred years ago, there was neither global public opinion nor human rights organisation, rather the global social reality was living extremely bad kinds of racial discrimination, and the global culture reached the level of this prophetic guidance only after fourteen centuries.
Lastly, it’s amazing to see how much Abu Dhar was influenced by the statement of the prophet and how strongly he stuck to the order of the prophet. He lived in Rabdha in the last phase of his life and died there. Despite that, he stuck to the highest degree of compliance, as he said while narrating the hadith: “There was an altercation between me and one of the persons among my brothers”. He also divided the clothes between him and his slave and did not settle for consolation while lesser than that sufficed.
This is the way of the companions of the prophet in receiving the prophet’s order and way, and then complying to it. So, his orders constituted a strong and deep behavioural compliance that would remain in their hearts as long as they lived!
May Allah be pleased with them all and with us along with them..
Send out blessing and peace…
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