18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

A River In A Matchbox

“A man came to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, teach me but make it concise.’ He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: ‘(1) When you stand to pray, pray like a man bidding farewell. (2) Do not say anything for which you will have to apologize. (3) And give up hope for what other people have.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

If we pray as though it is our last prayer we will implore Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) very humbly and supplicate Him very seriously. If our every prayer is like this then how much sin could we possibly accumulate between prayers?

The second piece of advice that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) gave was concerning the use of the tongue. Before uttering words, their results should be considered carefully, since spoken words cannot be taken back, and ill speech may cause unlimited losses.

When we do not vie for that which other people possess, our hearts will be clear of envy, jealousy, rancour and other negative feelings. We will be able to focus on acquiring the ever-lasting goods of the Hereafter rather than the temporary adornments of the world. When we do not look at others’ possessions enviously they will also feel more secure with us and relationships will improve.

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) rarely gave long speeches. He would keep his words brief and to the point. He didn’t want to burden or bore anybody. Since what he said he felt from the bottom of his heart, it left its impact on the hearts of those who heard him. His speech wasn’t just the result of the activity of his vocal cords, but a manifestation of his own condition. So a few words were enough to convey his thoughts and confer change in others.

Subhan-Allah! Such concise advice that will simultaneously straighten my relationship with my Creator as well as my relationship with His creation! With this advice the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) has fit a river into a matchbox.

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