Chapter 63: Competition in matters of the Hereafter
allah, the exalted, says:
"let (all) those strive who want to strive (i.e., hasten earnestly to the obedience of allah).'' (83:26)
569. sahl bin sa`d (may allah be pleased with him) reported: a drink was brought to the messenger of allah (pbuh) and he drank some of it. on his right was a boy and on his left were elderly people. he said to the boy, "would you permit me to give the rest of this drink to these on my left?'' the boy said, "o messenger of allah, i would certainly not give preference to anyone in anything that might come to me from you.'' so he handed over the rest of the drink to him.
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: the shari`ah rule says that in order to distribute something in an assembly of people, a beginning should be made from the right side. in the said incident, ibn `abbas (may allah be pleased with them) then a young boy, was sitting on the right side, while the aged people were sitting on the left side. regard for the age difference demanded that the beginning should have been made from the side of the latter. but the correct way was that the beginning should be made from ibn `abbas (may allah be pleased with them) because he was sitting on the right side. for this reason, the prophet (pbuh) did not ignore his right of priority due to his young age, rather by seeking his permission he made it clear that priority should be given to a rightful person, irrespective of the fact that he happened to be a child. on the other hand, it was also essential for ibn `abbas (may allah be pleased with them) that in view of respect for elders, he should surrender his right. but he faced a more delicate problem. the cup containing the left-over drink of the prophet (pbuh) had touched his blessed mouth and this fact prompted ibn `abbas i(may allah be pleased with them) to take lead in benefiting from the benediction. he, therefore, preferred the prophetic benediction to showing respect to the aged. the hadith throws light on the requisite respect for the aged as well as highlights the significance of receiving blessing from the pious persons. besides, it proves the right of priority of the rightful person.
570. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "while ayyub (pbuh) the prophet was taking a bath, naked, a large number of gold locusts fell on him. he tried to collect them in a piece of cloth, when he heard his rubb (allah) calling him: `o ayyub ! have i not sufficed you to care for what you see (the worldly possessions)?' ayyub (pbuh) said: `indeed by your power, but i can never do away with your blessings.'''
commentary: prophet ayyub (pbuh), as the hadith tells us, started collecting the gold pieces that looked like locusts. as the hadith involves an aspect of blessedness, it has been included in this chapter. it has two other sides as well: first, one can amass wealth (of course by fair means and by fulfilling the other relevant conditions); second, the shari`ah allows man to take a bath in the naked state, provided he is all alone and away from all eyes. however, it is commendable if one takes a bath with his private parts being covered, even if there is no one around.