Chapter 96: Bidding Farewell and Advising on the Eve of Departure for a Journey or other Things
allah, the exalted, says:
"and this (submission to allah, islam) was enjoined by ibrahim (abraham) upon his sons and by ya`qub (jacob) (saying), `o my sons! allah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die not except in the faith of islam (as muslims - islamic monotheism).' or were you witnesses when death approached ya`qub (jacob)? when he said unto his sons, `what will you worship after me?' they said, `we shall worship your ilah (god - allah) the ilah (god) of your fathers, ibrahim (abraham), isma`il (ishmael), ishaq (isaac). one ilah (god), and to him we submit (in islam)'.'' (2:132,133)
712. yazid bin haiyan (may allah be pleased with him) reported: i went along with husain bin sabrah and `amr bin muslim to zaid bin arqam (may allah be pleased with them) and, as we sat by his side, husain said to him: "o zaid, you acquired great merits that you saw messenger of allah (pbuh), listened to his talk, fought by his side in (different) battles, and offered salat behind him. you have in fact earned great merits, zaid! could you then tell us what you heard from the messenger of allah (pbuh)?'' he said: "o my cousin! by allah! i have grown old and have almost spent up my age and i have forgotten some of the things which i remembered in connection with messenger of allah (pbuh), so accept what i narrate to you, and what i fail to narrate, do not compel me to narrate that.'' he then said: "one day messenger of allah (pbuh) stood up to deliver a khutbah at a watering place known as khumm between makkah and al-madinah. he praised allah, extolled him and delivered the khutbah and exhorted (us) and said, `amma ba`du (now then)! o people, certainly i am a human being. i am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my rubb and i, in response to allah's call, but i am leaving among you two weighty things: the book of allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the book of allah and adhere to it.' he exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the book of allah and then said, `the second are the members of my household, i remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family.'''
commentary: the prophet (pbuh) told his companions with reference to his human nature that he too could not escape death because it was a grim reality. so he left his example to others with regard to making a will before death. the hadith points out the desirability of giving good counsel to one's family and friends, exhorting them to observe uprightness and establish faith, upon parting either for a journey or while one is on deathbed.
713. malik bin al-huwairith (may allah be pleased with him) reported: we came to the messenger of allah (pbuh) when we were all young men of nearly equal age. we stayed with him for twenty days. he was extremely kind and considerate. he perceived that we missed our families so he asked us about those we left behind, and we informed him. then he (pbuh) said, "go back to your families, stay with them, teach them (about islam) and exhort them to do good. perform such salat (prayer) at such a time and such salat at such a time. when the time for salat is due, one of you should announce adhan (call for prayer) and the oldest among you should lead salat.''
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: this hadith sheds light on seven points. first, we are informed of certain young men who had left their homes and come to the prophet (pbuh) in order to receive religious training from him. this shows that a student of knowledge should not hesitate to set forth on a journey in the pursuit of knowledge. second, a teacher/mentor is supposed to have firsthand information about the affairs and requirements of students and to take measures accordingly. third, after graduation or the completion of an orientation course in religious studies, the beneficiaries are also required to impart religious knowledge and training to those who lack it. fourth, they should also tell people to do what is commanded by the shari`ah (islamic law) and to shun what it prohibits. fifth, an arrangement must be made for a mu'adhdhin to call people to salat (prayers). sixth, in case each one of the congregation is equally qualified to lead the salat, the one who is most senior in age should perform the duty. the first prerequisite of becoming an imam is the ability to recite qur'an well and in the right manner. the second in priority is that person who is well-grounded in the religion - qur'an and hadith. in other words, a good qari (reciter) is most fit to become an imam and the second choice should be the one who has the mastery of religious knowledge. seventh, the crux of the matter is that on all occasions and at all places, believers are under obligation to take care to establish congregational prayer after the prayer-call.
714. `umar bin al-khattab (may allah be pleased with him) reported: i sought permission of the prophet (pbuh) to perform `umrah, and he granted me leave and said, "brother, do not forget us in your supplications.'' i would not exchange these words of his for the whole world.
another narration is: he (pbuh) said, "include us, my brother, in your supplications.''
[abu dawud and at-tirmidhi].
commentary: this hadith is being repeated here to prove that a highly-ranked person in virtue and excellence may ask his inferior to pray for him. furthermore, it reflects the prophet's humility that he asks his followers to pray for him. this hadith is enough evidence that supplications benefit the living people.
715. salim bin `abdullah bin `umar (may allah be pleased with them) reported: when a man was to set out on a journey, `abdullah bin `umar (may allah be pleased with them) would say to him: "draw near so that i may bid farewell to you as messenger of allah (pbuh) used to bid farewell to us. (the messenger of allah (pbuh) used to say: "`astaudi`ullaha dinaka, wa amanataka, wa khawatima `amalika' (i entrust allah with your deen, your trust and your last deeds).''
commentary: herein, we note a provision for uttering benedictory words and praying for a person on the occasion of seeing him off. the benedictory utterances are: "i entrust your deen, your (religious) trust (i.e., religious obligations) and your last deeds with allah.''
716. `abdullah bin yazid al-khatmi (may allah be pleased with him) reported: when messenger of allah (pbuh) intended to bid farewell to his army he would say: "astau-di'ullaha dinakaum, wa amanatakum, wa khawatima `amalikum (i entrust allah with your deen, your trust and your last deeds).''
commentary: this hadith presents the same benediction as stated above. yet, here its addresses are the plural number of second person, whereas in the previous hadith it was singular number. the hadith points out the virtue desirability of the leader to bid farewell to his army before they set out for the battlefield, and to advise them using the prophet's words stated above, reminding them to hold fast to their religion for which they have left everything behind to fight for it and to win allah's mercy.
717. anas (may allah be pleased with him) reported: a man came to the prophet (pbuh) and said: "o messenger of allah! i intend to go on a journey, so supplicate for me.'' he (pbuh) said, "may allah grant you the provision of piety.'' the man said: "please supplicate more for me.'' he (pbuh) said, "may he forgive your sins!'' the man repeated: "please supplicate more for me.'' messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "may he facilitate for you the doing of good wherever you are.''
commentary: spiritually speaking, the most beneficial thing that a traveller can bank upon is a benediction. so, it is desirable for a traveller to visit his fellow muslim brother to pray for him before he starts his journey.