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Knowing Allah
  
  

   

something happened to ‘umar which he himself told about: “i heard hishaam ibn hakeem ibn hizaam reciting soorat al-furqaan during the lifetime of the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him). i listened to his recitation, and he was reciting it differently to the way that the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) used to recite it. i nearly interrupted his prayer, but i waited until he had said the salaam, then i grabbed him by his cloak and said, ‘who taught you to recite this soorah i heard you reciting?’ he said, ‘the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) taught me to recite it.’ i said, ‘you are lying! the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) taught me to recite it differently.’ i took him to the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) and said, ‘i heard him reciting soorat al-furqaan differently than the way you taught me to recite it.’ the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said,

‘let him go. recite, o hishaam.’ he recited it as i had heard him recite it. the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said, ‘this is how it was revealed.’ then he said, ‘recite, o ‘umar.’ so i recited it as he had taught me. the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said, ‘this is how it was revealed. this qur’an was revealed with seven ways of recitation, so recite it in the way that is easiest for you.’ ” (reported by al-bukhaari, al-fath, 4992).

among the educational methods we learn from this story are the following:

          telling each one to recite in front of the other and approving their recitation was more effective in confirming that both were correct and neither was wrong.

          when the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) told ‘umar to let go of hishaam, this was preparing both parties to listen in a calm manner. this was an indication that ‘umar (may allaah be pleased with him) had been too hasty.

          a person who is seeking knowledge should not be too hasty to condemn any opinion that differs from that with which he is familiar; he should first be sure of what he is saying, because that opinion may turn out to be a valid scholarly opinion.

 another relevant point is that one should not hasten to punish someone who makes a mistake, as we see in the following story:

an-nisaa`i (may allaah have mercy on him) reported from ‘abbaad ibn sharhabeel (may allaah be pleased with him) who said: “i came with my (paternal) uncles to madeenah, and we entered one of the gardens of the city. i rubbed some of the wheat, and the owner of the garden came and took my cloak and hit me. i came to the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) asking for his help. he sent for that man and they brought him to him. he said to him, ‘what made you do that?’ he said, ‘o messenger of allaah, he went into my garden and took some of my wheat and rubbed it.’ the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said, ‘you did not teach him if it was the matter of him not knowing, and you did not feed him if it was the matter of him being hungry. give him back his cloak.’ and the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) ordered that i should be given a wasq or half a wasq ( measure of wheat).” (al-nisaa`i, al-mujtabaa, kitaab aadaab al-qudaat, baab al-isti’daa’; saheeh sunan al-nisaa`i, no. 4999).

from this story we learn that we should find out the circumstances of the one who is making a mistake or acting in an aggressive manner, so that we may know the right way to deal with him.

we may also note that the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) did not punish the owner of the garden, because he was in the right, but he had handled the matter wrong. he pointed out to him that the way he had dealt with someone who knew not better was inappropriate in such circumstances, then he taught him how to handle the matter properly, and told him to give back the garment he had taken from the hungry man.

 




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