18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

A Lesson in Resolve

On the authority of Hakeem ibn Hizaam (radi Allahu anhu) who said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam for charity) and he gave me. Again I asked and he gave me. Once again I asked and he gave me, then he said, 'O Hakeem! Verily this wealth is like a sweet fresh fruit, whoever takes it without greediness is blessed in it and whoever takes it with greediness is not blessed in it, just like the person that eats yet is never satisfied, and the upper hand is better than the lower hand.' So I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, by the One who sent you with the Truth I shall not accept anything from anybody after you until I leave this world.'"  

"Later Abu Bakr used to call Hakeem (radi Allahu anhuma) in order to give him his share of war booty but he would refuse. Umar (radi Allahu anhu) would also call him to give him his share but he would refuse to take anything from him. On that Umar said, 'O Muslims! Verily I hold you as witnesses that I offered to Hakeem his share of the booty, but he refuses to take it.'  He never took anything from anybody after the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) until he died." [Sahih Bukhari]

What we see from this hadith is that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) directed Hakeem (radi Allahu anhu) to contentment, self-respect and to refrain from begging. Hakeem's reaction was that he never took anything from anyone again until he parted from the world.

What is our reaction today to the advice of the Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam)? We listen to it, perhaps cry over it, but then return the next day to what we've been doing all along. How many ahadith have you heard after which you changed forever what you were doing? Hakeem (radi Allahu anhu) kept to his promise, during the lifetime of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), during the Khilafah of Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu), and during that of Umar (radi Allahu anhu) who would call him to receive his rightful share of war booty, but he would refuse, having been affected by the admonition of the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam). He remained in this condition until he passed away.

This is how we should be, carrying into effect what we hear so that our condition and the condition of our Ummah may change. Yet how sorrowful our condition is, as we have heard or read an abundance of lectures, sermons, books and admonitions yet it is as if they are only for the purpose of acquiring information, and not for us to act upon. To Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) we complain as though we are free of guilt.

How beautiful and sweet wealth is! But the love of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) is more beautiful and the love of the Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) is sweeter and more cherished. What was the price Hakeem paid for this love? He outlined for our Ummah lessons in patience, determination, firm will and acting upon knowledge.

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