Hadith: 3 Advices that Shook the Sahaba
So to get this started, I work as a Product Owner for a multi-billion Euro logistics company. My desk is facing the wall with a big window just to the left looking straight at the operations side of the building.
There are a few other companies in the group of companies. Since I joined, praying Jummah has been a very difficult experience. The nearest mosques take some time to get to plus parking becomes an issue.
There is a prayer room in the building, which is really great, however, it's fit for only 4 people praying together maximum at any given time. Usually you will find it empty or maybe 1 other person is finishing up their prayers at any given time within the salah time windows.
Having enquired around with different people in the business, there was no organised jummah salah in this facility. However, there is a jummah that is held in one of our other companies. The building is about a 15 minute journey, 20 minutes from desk to jamat.
I had gone to one jummah at the other building and then...
A few weeks ago I was told by my manager that I was required to attend a meeting at 1pm - he told me on Friday morning. I checked his diary and saw he was free for the rest of the day so I proposed a new time of 1.30pm with the message along the lines of 'I will be coming back from Fridays prayers from *other building name* at 1pm...'
To make a long story short, the fuss that was made out of that has lead us to starting jummah in this facility for the first time in its' history.
This is the khutbah that I delivered with the audio to listen to as well:
Assalam wa alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu
Al-hamdu Lillaahi nahmaduhu wa nasta’eenahu wa nastaghfiruhu, wa na’oodhu billaahi min shuroori anfusinaa wa min sayi’aati a’maalinaa. Man yahdih Illaahu falaa mudilla lahu wa man yudlil falaa haadiya lahu. Wa ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu la sharika lahu wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu sallalahu alayhi wa ala alihi wasallam wa ba’ad.
Ya ayyu-hallatheena aama-nutta-qullaha haqqa tuqatihi wala tamootunna illa waantum muslimoon
(O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].)
Ya ayyu hannas utaqoo rabba kumullathee khala qakum min nafsiw wahidatiw wakhalaqa minha zawjaha wabaththa minhuma rijalan katheeraw wanisaa-ah. Watta-qullahallathee tasaa-aloona bihi wal-arhama innallaha kana 'alaykum raqeeba
(O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.)
Ya ayyu-hallatheena aama-nuttaqullaha wa qooloo qawlan sadeeda. Yuslih lakum a'maalakum wayaghfir lakum thunoobakum. Wamay yuti'illaha wa rasoolahu faqad faaza fawzan 'atheema
(O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment )
Amma bad fa inna khayral hadeethi kitabullah wa khayral hadee, hadee Muhammadin wa sharrol omoori muhdathaatuhaa wa kulla muhdathatin bidah wa kulla bidatin dalaalah wa kulla dalaalatin finnar
"Indeed the best speech is the speech of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace be upon him). And the worst of matters are those innovated by the people, and every innovated matter is a bid’ah and every bid’ah is astray, and every going astray is in the fire."
The Hadith that’s narrated by Abu Ayub Ansari May Allah be pleased with him he says that a man came to the prophet sallallahu wasallam and he said to the prophet peace be upon him to give him advice but he said I really want some impactful advice, something that will shake me. I want it raw, I want straight advice and the Prophet sallallahu wasallam gave him 3 pieces of advice.
The first one he said:
“when you stand up to pray, pray as if it is your last prayer”
The next advice he gave:
“Don't say things today that you'll have to apologise for tomorrow”
The third piece of advice the Prophet SAW told him was to: “lose hope in what other people possess”
Now let’s go through these. First and foremost you identify the common denominator is that you do not take for granted the day that Allah has given you.
You do not assume that you will have another day to make things right. You make things right in the moment that you're living in because you know that actions are judged by their endings and you don't know when those endings are so you live in the moment that you are in.
I know there is a saying when it comes to work that you should work smart not hard because some people exhaust themselves and they translate that exhaustion to success even though not much may have actually been achieved.
So if we move that into the realm of tazkiyah and spirituality, living in the moment that you are in and focusing on this moment and doing it right. Not assuming that if you do wrong in that moment that you have many other moments to make it right.
Living in the moment with the anticipation and the assumption that death will be that very same day. That ‘I will not have another day, therefore I need to get things right today’.
So let's go through these:
- ‘Pray as if it's your last prayer’ which relationship is this concerning? Who is this relationship concerning? Allah. This is concerning your relationship with Allah.
Now one of the most common questions that we ask is ‘how do we get khushoo in our salah?’ How do I get humility in my prayer?
And what I want you to think about is: when you do get distracted in prayer, what are you usually distracted by?
Think about most of the time when you go for salah, the reason why you’re rushing or the reason why you're distracted is because you're already thinking about the things that you have to do after the prayer. So you're thinking beyond the prayer and therefore not enjoying the prayer that you're in. So you rush it. You're making these plans, you forget what raka’ah you’re in. You get lost in your surahs because you're not really there. You're going through the motions but your mind is engaged in another activity and the activity that your mind’s engaged in is usually the worldly activities that will follow the prayer.
So if you disengage really quickly from something just to get the prayer out the way, you never really disengaged that thing, you're just thinking about what you're going to do when you get back to that activity.
So your prayer is an interruption in your day as opposed to being an essential element of your day and the most important part of your day, because it concerns the most important relationship of your life and it is the most important thing that you will be asked about on the day of judgement. But you are treating it as an interruption to your day and usually you're thinking about what comes next in your day.
You know, making plans, calling someone, responding to an email, what am I going to say when I talk to this person? How will I prepare for my next meeting? Your mind is thinking ahead and the Prophet SAW gives you a simple advice and it’s very efficient. ‘Don’t think beyond the prayer’!
Catch yourself, stop yourself and remind yourself that this could be the last time that I get to stand before Allah in this life and then meet him standing before him in the hereafter and he will ask about how I used to stand before him in this life. Think about it as “This is my last job interview with the Allah”.
This is the last time that I'm going to have the opportunity to pray, the last time that I'm going to have the opportunity to get this right and if it's the last time and it's the first thing I get asked about in the akhirah, in the hereafter, then I really really need to focus and make this right.
Some mindfulness starts with recognising what usually takes you away from mindfulness. Saying to yourself ‘You know what, pray as if this is your last prayer’. Stay focussed, there is no asr if I'm in dhuhr, there is no maghrib if I’m in asr, and so on and so forth. I cannot guarantee that I’ll live to hear the next adhan and stand in the next prayer. So let me treat this prayer right and not think ahead of it and by doing so also prioritising the relationship with Allah over the relationship with everybody and everything else.
Start with that because that's your relationship with Allah.
The second advice ‘don't say something today that you'll have to apologise for tomorrow’ that life advice would save marriages, it would save friendships, it would save so much because when you are in the midst of an argument you try to say the most hurtful thing that you can think of in the moment because you're focused on winning the argument with the assumption that there will be a moment of reconciliation.
So ‘let me get my hardest punching now, let me say that the most hurtful and damaging thing now, let me get it all out now because that way while we're at it now in the midst of this brawl, I'm going to take the heaviest punches that I can, I'm in a slugfest and later on I'll come back and I'll fix it all assuming that there will be a later on.
SubhanAllah one of the saddest things that we can see is someone dying right after an argument and the family member that they had their argument with never forgave themselves because they let that person die in that state. It happens! someone gets in a fight, slams the door leaves, the house, gets in a car accident. Someone gets in a fight, slams the door, leaves the house and that person has a heart attack or stroke suddenly. The last phone call was tense and you think forget about it I’ll deal with this tomorrow.
Brothers, “Don't say things today, that you'll have to apologise for tomorrow”
Ask yourself in the midst of that conversation: ‘would I be comfortable with this being the final conversation with that person’. You know that saying ‘never go to bed angry’ it's real. Because what does Allah say about our night times? That Allah takes our souls and then decides whether or not to restore them in the morning.
What that means is that the default is that you are dead at night not that you’re alive. See our default in our thinking is that ‘I'm going to wake up in the morning’ The default is ‘in your name O Allah I died and I am brought back to life’.
We go to sleep with assuming that Allah will send back our souls to our bodies and there are people that simply without cause just don't wake up in the morning.
So now I'm not going to say the most hurtful thing I can possibly say today, I’m in the midst of a text messaging conversation which is getting really really heated, or a WhatsApp group and let me get it all out now! And then I’ll fix it later. Not recognising that there might not be a chance to fix it. And who does this usually happen with? Family.
It happens with the people closest to you because the people that you don't interact with much you're likely to be able to maintain some sort of decorum in a particular environment. But when it's someone that you're close to, someone that you see on a regular basis you're more likely to get in those heated arguments and that's usually going to be your friend, your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings, your closest friends. So don’t say things today that you’ll have to apologise for tomorrow. Catch yourself!
And think it through and ask yourself: ‘would I be willing to sleep with this? Would I be willing for this to be the last conversation?
Aqoolu qawli haa dhaa wass tagh fi rullaha li wa lakum
Alhamdulillah was Salatu Wassalamu ‘ala Rasulullah
The last one is the one that a lot of people have a hard time understanding: ‘Lose hope in what other people possess. Despair in what other people posses.’
Despair usually has a negative connotation, despair is a bad thing. When you talk about despairing in the mercy of Allah, it's a bad thing, it's not healthy, it’s debilitating.
But despair in what other people possess is actually very powerful. That doesn't mean that you approach duniya, that you approach this world with mediocrity. No, Ihsaan is a quality, excellence is a quality, that the prophet SAW said: ‘Allah has prescribed for all things’.
But I want you to think about how much of your stress, how many of your thoughts at night have been occupied by you feeling insufficient in this dunya. Because you don't have something that someone else has. And that's not always something that's material. And because of that, you're sad, you're lonely, you're stressed out and you're not able to focus on building what's really important because you're too busy stressing over what someone else has.
And by the way, that is not something that merely holds you back when you’re a teenager, when you're in school. That pressure exists throughout your entire life. Shaytaan has a great way of making us feel insufficient with regards to what we possess of this world.
You can not be productive in your pursuit of the hereafter unless you're content with what you have in this dunya. There is absolutely no way around it.
You can not be productive in your pursuit of the hereafter unless you're content with what you have in this world there is no way around it.
You can maintain excellence in your pursuit of the world and your pursuit of the hereafter but you cannot pursue the hereafter unless you’re content with what you already have in this world.
And the Prophet SAW warns us of envying people. You know it’s really interesting because when you read about Hasadah and envy and the evil Eye. You're usually reading about how to protect yourself from someone else putting it on you. But the greater concern should be whether you're putting it on someone else. Whether you are coveting something that someone else has, that should be the greater concern because if someone harms you with the evil Eye in this world it will have consequences in the duniya but if you harm someone else with the evil eye it will have akhirha consequences and that’s more important for you to focus on.
So go back to the advice, it starts with salah, when the Prophet SAW said ‘the first thing you’ll be asked about on the day of judgement is your prayer, and if its good then everything else will be good’ in this life as well.
Omar RA said ‘guard your prayer because if you lose that you’ll lose everything else’. If you get that relationship right then that should translate in to priorities and in to better relationships not only with Allah but your relationships with your family, your relationship with the people closest to you and your relationship with the world around you.
“Pray as if it’s your last prayer” Don’t think ahead, stop yourself and tell yourself “this is the last time I get to do this”
“Don’t say things today that you would have to apologise for tomorrow” ask yourself in the midst of that argument “hey as I’m speaking, is this something I will have to apologise for? Because I can’t take for granted that I’ll have the chance to apologise.
“And lose hope in what other people posses” your rizq is from Allah.
Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin wa `ala ali Muhammadin kama sallaita `ala Ibrahima wa `ala ali Ibrahima Innaka hameedun Majid Allahumma barik `ala Muhammadin wa `ala ali Muhammadin kama barakta `ala Ibrahima wa `ala ali Ibrahima Innaka hamidun Majeed
wa aqimas salah
Taken from a khutbah delivered by Imam Omar Sulaiman. Listen to the original sermon here: