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Knowing Allah
  
  

   

the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) did this in a number of ways, including the following:

- drawing an individual’s attention to his mistake so that he could put it right himself. an example of this is the report narrated by abu sa‘eed al-khudri (may allaah be pleased with him), who said that he was with the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him), and “the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) entered and saw a man sitting in the middle of the mosque, clasping his fingers together and talking to himself. the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) gestured towards him, but he did not notice. so he turned to abu sa‘eed and said,

‘if one of you is praying, he should not clasp his fingers together, because this clasping comes from the shaytaan, and you are in a state of prayer so long as you are still in the mosque, until you go out.’” (reported by ahmad in his musnad, 3/54. al-haythami said in al-majma’ (2/25): its isnaad is hasan).

- asking the person to do something again, correctly, if this is possible. abu hurayrah (may allaah be pleased with him) reported that a man entered the mosque whilst the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) was sitting in a far corner. he prayed, then he came and greeted him with salaam. the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said,

“wa ‘alayka al-salaam, go back and pray, because you have not prayed.” so he went back and prayed, then he came back and greeted the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him), who said, “wa ‘alayka al-salaam, go back and pray, because you have not prayed.” on the second occasion, or subsequently, the man said, “teach me, o messenger of allaah.” he said, “when you stand up to pray, do wudoo’ properly, then face the qiblah and say takbeer (‘allaahu akbar’). then recite whatever is easy for you of qur`aan, then bow until you are at ease in rukoo’, then stand up until your back is completely straight. then prostrate until you are at ease in sujood, then sit up until you are at ease in your sitting, then prostrate again until you are at ease in your sujood, then sit up again until you are at ease in your sitting. do this in all your prayers.” (reported by all; this version reported by al-bukhaari, fath, 6251).

we should note that the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) used to pay attention to the actions of the people around him so that he could teach them. according to a report narrated by al-nisaa`i:

“a man entered the mosque and prayed, whilst the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) was watching him and we did not realize. when he finished, he turned and greeted the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him), who told him, ‘go back and pray, for you have not prayed’…” (2/193 saheeh sunan al-nisaa`i, no. 1008).

among the qualities of the educator is that he should be aware of the actions of those who are with him.

1.         it is a part of educational wisdom to ask a person who has made a mistake to re-do his action, so that he can notice his mistake and put it right himself, especially when it is an obvious mistake that does not befit him. he may have done it out of forgetfulness, so this will remind him.

2.         if the person who has made a mistake does not realize it, it must be pointed out and explained to him.

3.         giving information to a person who is interested and has asked about it himself is more effective and is more likely to be remembered than handing it out to someone who has not made any such enquiries.

the methods of teaching are many, and the educator can choose whichever are best suited in any given circumstances.

another example of asking a person to repeat his action correctly is given by muslim (may allaah have mercy on him) in his saheeh, where he reports that jaabir said:

“ ‘umar ibn al-khattab told me that a man did wudoo’, but missed an area on his foot the size of a fingernail. the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) saw him and said, ‘go back and do your wudoo’ properly.’ so he went and did it again, then he prayed.” (saheeh muslim, 243).

a third example was narrated by al-tirmidhi (may allaah have mercy on him) in his sunan from kildah ibn hanbal, who said that safwaan ibn umayyah sent him with some milk, yoghurt and daghaabees [an edible plant] to the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him), when the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) was at the top of the valley. he said,

“i entered upon him, and i did not greet him with salaam or ask permission to enter, so the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said, ‘go out and say “al-salaamu ‘alaykum, may i enter?” ’ ” (reported by al-tirmidhi, no. 2710. al-tirmidhi said, a ghareeb hasan hadeeth. the hadeeth is also in saheeh sunan al-tirmidhi, no. 2180).

 

- asking the person who has made the mistake to correct it as much as he can. al-bukhaari (may allaah have mercy on it) reported from ibn ‘abbaas that the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said,

“no man should be alone with a woman unless he is a mahram (close blood relative to whom marriage is permanently forbidden).” a man stood up and said, “o messenger of allaah, my wife has gone out for hajj and i have signed up for such-and-such a military campaign.” he said, “go back and do hajj with your wife.” (al-fath, 5233).

 

- putting right the consequences of the mistake. al-nisaa`i (may allaah have mercy on him) reported in his sunan from ‘abd-allaah ibn ‘amr that a man came to the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) and said,

“i have come to pledge allegiance to you and to make hijrah (migration) to you. i have left my parents weeping.” he said, “go back to them and make them smile as you made them weep.” (al-majmaa 7/143. classed as saheeh by al-albaani in saheeh sunan al-nisaa`i, no. 3881).

 

- offering kafaarah (expiation) for the mistake. if some mistakes cannot be corrected or reversed, then there are other ways offered by islam for wiping out their effects. one of these ways is kafaaraat or acts of expiation, of which there are many types, such as kafaarat al-yameen (expiation for swearing an unfulfilled oath), and expiation for zihaar (a jaahili form of divorce in which one says to one's wife “you are to me as my mother’s back”), manslaughter, having intercourse during the day in ramadaan, and so on.

 

 




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