06 July 2019 CE | 04 Dhul-Qadah 1440 AH

Hadith Explanation

Be Careful What You Ask For

Narrated Abu Huraira (radi Allahu anhu) that he heard Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) saying, "While a lady was nursing her child, a rider passed by and she said, 'O Allah! Don't let my child die till he becomes like this (rider).' The child said, 'O Allah! Don't make me like him,' and then returned to her breast. (After a while) they passed by a lady who was being pulled and teased (by the people). The child's mother said, 'O Allah! Do not make my child like her.' The child said, 'O Allah! Make me like her.' Then he said, ‘As for the rider, he is an infidel, while the lady is accused of illegal sexual intercourse (falsely) and she says: Allah is sufficient for me (He knows the truth).’" [Book of Virtues and Merits of the Prophet and his Companions: Sahih Bukhari]

We learn three things from this hadith:

1. A lot of karamat or supernatural things happened for the Bani Israel. In this case an infant spoke and he knew about the two individuals.

2. Parents in their eagerness sometimes push their children towards the Dunya while neglecting their Akhira. The woman in this hadith was impressed by the handsome looks and expensive horse of the rider. Similarly today we look at outward appearances; fancy cars, clothes, degrees, houses, jobs and titles. We push our children to acquire these things or marry for them. But what counts with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), and will determine everlasting happiness, are eeman and the character that results from it, even if it is possessed by a person who does not appear attractive by worldly standards.

3. Be careful what you ask Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) for! We may ask for things that are not good for us in the long run, as the mother in this case did. In terms of Akhira we know that Jannah is good for us but only Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) knows what of this Dunya will allow us to have a good Akhira. Since the Dunya compared to the Akhira is like a drop compared to an ocean, we cannot afford to compromise our Akhirahs for the sake of this Dunya. We should always ask Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to give us what is best for us in both worlds.

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