Chapter 10: Hastening to do Good Deeds
allah, the exalted, says:
"so hasten towards all that is good". (2:148)
"and march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your rubb, and for jannah as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for al-muttaqun (the pious)". (3:133)
87. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. a man would be a believer in the morning and turn to disbelief in the evening, or he would be a believer in the evening and turn disbeliever in the morning, and would sell his faith for worldly goods.''
commentary: this hadith tells that the day of resurrection will be preceded by a long chain of calamities. because of the rush of these calamities, religion and faith will loose their value in people. there will be a race for wealth, so much so that people would not hesitate to compromise their religion and faith to acquire wealth. people will rapidly change their faces. this is what actually happening. in this situation true believers are exhorted to adhere strictly to faith and perform noble deeds without delay.
88. `uqbah bin al-harith (may allah be pleased with him) said: once i performed the 'asr prayer in al-madinah behind the prophet (pbuh). he (pbuh) got up quickly after finishing the prayer with taslim, and stepping over the people, went to one of the rooms of his wives. the people were startled at his haste, and when he came out and saw their astonishment at his urgency he said, "i recalled that there was left with me some gold which was meant for charity; i did not like to keep it any longer, so i gave orders that it should be distributed".
in another narration, messenger of allah said, "i had left some gold for sadaqah in the house, and did not wish to keep it overnight".
1. a person should not keep such a thing because of which his attention is diverted from allah (swt) towards that thing.
2. although it is undesirable to jump over the neck of people in ordinary circumstances but it is permissible when special conditions warrant it.
89. jabir (may allah be pleased with him) reported: a man, said to the prophet (pbuh) during the battle of uhud: "tell me where i shall be if i am killed". when he (pbuh) replied that he would be in jannah, the man threw away some dates which he had in his hand and fought until he was killed.
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: this hadith mentions the passion of the companions of the prophet (pbuh) for jihad and its reward which is jannah. it also says that if a person heartily desires martyrdom, allah certainly grants him this distinction and honour.
90. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) said: there came a man to the prophet (pbuh) and said, "o messenger of allah, which charity is the most rewardable?'' he (pbuh) said, "that you should give charity (in a state when you are) healthy and stingy and fear poverty, hoping to become rich (charity in such a state of health and mind is the best). and you must not defer (charity to such a length) that you are about to die and would be saying: 'this is for so-and-so, and this for so-and-so.' lo! it has already come into (the possession of) so-and-so".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: charity in the real sense is that which a person gives when he is healthy. if a person gives charity when he is facing death, it does not have much value before allah. moreover, in that condition he cannot give more than one-third of his property in charity because then it becomes the property of his successors, which cannot be spent even in the way of allah. for this reason allah has prescribed a limit in this respect, according to which if a person going through a mortal disease wants to give his property in charity or donate it for some charitable purpose, he cannot spend more than one-third of it on this account. this injunction is an inducement for people to hurry in doing good deeds, especially in the matter of alms and charity. in fact, he should do it without delay.
91. anas (may allah be pleased with him) said: messenger of allah (pbuh) took up a sword on the day of the battle of uhud and said, "who will take this sword from me?'' everyone stretched forth his hand saying: "i will take it; i will take it". he (the prophet (pbuh)) said, "who will take it with its full responsibility (i.e., to use it to fight allah's enemies with it)?'' the companions hesitated. abu dujanah (may allah be pleased with him) said: "i shall take it;'' and with it he cracked the skulls of the pagans.
commentary: this hadith mentions the chivalry and distinction of abu dujanah (may allah be pleased with him) but it should not be taken to mean that other companions of the prophet (pbuh) showed cowardice on that occasion. the latter had in fact hesitated to get the honour and reward attached with the prophet's sword. it is evident from the fact that when the prophet (pbuh) offered it without any condition everyone stretched his hand to take it.
92. az-zubair bin `adi said: we went to anas bin malik (may allah be pleased with him) and complained to him of suffering at the hands of al-hajjaj. he replied: "show endurance, for no time will come but will be followed by one worse (than the present one) till you meet your rubb. i heard this from your prophet (pbuh)".
commentary: this hadith contains the prediction that with the passage of time, conditions will become from bad to worse with the result that rulers would become more and more cruel. in such circumstances, the remedy suggested here is that rather than making any effort to reform the rulers, one should try to reform oneself and worry to make one's own life in the hereafter, and endure patiently the tyrannies perpetrated by the rulers.
93. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "hasten to do good deeds before you are overtaken by one of the seven afflictions.'' then (giving a warning) he said, "are you waiting for such poverty which will make you unmindful of devotion; or prosperity which will make you corrupt, or disease as will disable you, or such senility as will make you mentally unstable, or sudden death, or ad-dajjal who is the worst expected absent, or the hour, and the hour will be most grievous and most bitter".
commentary: the purpose of this hadith is that before overcoming of the obstructions, one should do one's best to improve his hereafter by means of good deeds lest one is deprived of good deeds by some obstruction.
94. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: on the day of the battle of khaibar, messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "i shall hand over this banner to one who loves allah and his messenger, and allah will give us victory through him.'' `umar (may allah be pleased with him) said: "i had never longed for leadership but that day i expected that i might be called for. however, messenger of allah (pbuh) called `ali bin abu talib (may allah be pleased with him) and handed the banner to him and said, "go forth and do not turn around till allah bestows victory upon you". (on hearing this) `ali proceeded a little and then halted and without turning around inquired in a loud voice: "o messenger of allah, for what shall i fight them?'' he (pbuh) replied, "go on fighting till they affirm that none has the right to be worshiped but allah and that muhammad is the messenger of allah. if they admit that, their lives and their properties will be secured, subject to their obligations according to islam, and they will be answerable to allah".
1. this hadith refers to prominence, special distinction and greatness of `ali (may allah be pleased with him).
2. it mentions the miracle of the prophet (pbuh) in the form of his prophecy about the conquest of khaibar which came true.
3. islamic sanctions would be applied on the apparent conduct of the people. thus, a person who would announce his acceptance of islam, will be considered a muslim. what is hidden in his heart will be left to allah. he will, however, be punished with retaliation (qisas) in case of unjust murder and execution for apostasy.