I came across a story of a great individual from amongst the Tabi’i’s with a great message. So I just translated that story and gathered some information relative to that topic that could benefit all of us. I ask Allah to make this of benefit for us and give us TAWFEEQ to practice and to convey.
Allah says in a ‘Hadith Ilahi’: “I am as my servant perceives me to be, and I am with him as he remembers me, and if he remembers be in public, I remember him in a crowd that’s better then them, and if he comes to me a hand span, I come closer to him and arm span, and if he comes closer to me by an arm span, I come closer to him by a ba’ (span of the outstretched arms), and if he comes to me walking, I go to him jogging.” (Narrated by Bukhari/Muslim)
The hadith deals with a lot of different aspects of Islam, but the main thing that I want to point out is that a person should always have trust and good thoughts when dealing with Allah. When making dua to Allah he should know that his dua will be accepted as the prophet taught us in a hadith narrated by Al-Tirmidhi:
When a person is in a situation, a trial, or something of that sort, he should know that there is no one that can absolve him of this trial, save Allah. This is why some of the Ulema said, “When you are tested with a trial, know that only ALLAH is capable of freeing you from this, and then consider yourself free from the trial”. There is mention of these concepts in various Ahadith in various ways.
When dealing with Allah we should always think positive. This is why an Arabic poet once said in a really great line of poetry:
I surely make dua to Allah to the point that I know what Allah will do, because of the beautiful/good/positive thoughts that I have when it comes to Allah.
And so it became a very common practice of the salaf that they used to always have good thoughts when it came to dealing with Allah. I came across a very beautiful story that was narrated by Al-dhahabi so it caused me to write this little article. The story is a story of a very a brave and knowledgeable Tabi’i. We always here of someone during the Tabi’i’s time that jumped into a fire or was thrown into a fire and didn’t effect him. Well this is a story of the same person.
Before I do get into the story that I wanted to share, let me tell you little bit about this great Tabi’i. His name is Abdullah ibn Thowb. He was more popular with his Kunya which is Abu Muslim Alkhawlani. He accepted Islam within the life time of the prophet but was unable to reach Medina before the death of the prophet. Al-Aswad was amongst the false prophets that claimed prophet hood during that time. So he (Al-Aswad) was in Yemen and asked that Abu Muslim be thrown in a great fire and he was, but it did not affect him at all. So out of fear that this may cause his followers to leave him, Al-Aswad ordered that Abu Muslim be deported, so he moved to Medina.
As Abu Muslim entered the masjid, Umer ibn Al-Khattab saw him. Umar approached the stranger and enquired about him. When Umar came to know that this individual is from Yemen, he asked him about the person that was thrown into the fire. Then he asked him, if he was that same person and Abu Muslim said “Yes.” Umer hugged him and began to cry, and then he took him to Abu Bakr. The stories of Abu Muslim with the Sahaba are many but I shared this one just so you can have a better idea of who this really is.
The story that had caused me to gather these few ahadith is the following:
The wife of Abu Muslim told him that there is no flour, and asked him if he had anything (Money). He said yes I have one Dirham. He asked her to bring him a bag. Then he set off to the store and as he was there shopping around for some flour a beggar came to him asked him for that one and only dirham that he had. So Abu Muslim being Abu Muslim he gave him that one and only dirham that he had. Being left with no money he didn’t know what to do, so he filled his bag with sawdust and brought it to her. He was really afraid of her at this point and didn’t know what to do. At night when he came back she brought him some bread. He said, “Where did you get this?” She looked at him strangely and said, “From the flour that you brought.” He took the bread begin to eat while he is crying.
The point of the story was not to derive a ruling from it, but to apprehend that if we had that same
sort of certainty that our salaf did in Allah, we probably wouldn’t have to worry about our sustenance and other things too much. The prophet said in a hadith that is probably known to most of us:
“If you all were to trust in Allah the way you should put your trust in him, he would provide for you the way he provides for the bird, it goes in the morning empty stomach and returns filled in the evening”
So, having good thoughts and perceiving Allah positively, and trusting in Allah, these are all qualities that we should try to adapt. This doesn’t mean we don’t take the means but let’s not make that an excuse for a weakness that is within our hearts. The whole point of all this that I wrote is to make myself and you realize the importance and the amount of stress our religion puts on this concept of having good thoughts, when dealing with Allah, and hoping for the best. These concepts take a lifetime to engrave in ones heart and we are required to take them with us all the way to our death beds; Prophet said in an authentic hadith narrated by Muslim:
“Let not any of you die, except that he has perfected his thoughts with Allah”And as Allah taught us to have good thoughts with him in the hadith Ilahi that I quoted earlier, he also taught us that the opposite of that is not such a good quality. Allah says in that Quran:
After (the excitement) of the distress, He sent down calm on a band of you overcome with slumber, while another band was stirred to anxiety by their own feelings, Moved by wrong suspicions of Allah – suspicions due to ignorance. They said: “What affair is this of ours?” Say thou: “Indeed, this affair is wholly Allah’s.” They hide in their minds what they dare not reveal to thee. They say (to themselves): “If we had had anything to do with this affair, We should not have been in the slaughter here.” Say: “Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death”; but (all this was) that Allah might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts. For Allah knoweth well the secrets of your hearts. (3:154)
So first he starts by the condition that he had put the believers in, and that was the overtaking of the slumber.
Ibn Masood said, “Slumber in war is from Allah, and in Prayer is from the Satan.”
Then Allah continues by speaking of the hypocrites and explains how they had evil/negative thoughts with Allah, and couldn’t think about anything except themselves. So this shows us that having evil/negative thoughts when dealing with Allah is amongst the habits/attributes of the hypocrites and shouldn’t be something that we should adapt. In contrast the prophet/Allah taught us in the Ahadith that were mentioned earlier that having good/positive thoughts with Allah is amongst the habits that Islam encourages us to adapt.
I ask Allah to give us tawfeeq to glorify him as we should, and to inscribe for us beautiful abodes in the hereafter. Ameen.