18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

Farewell Uhud Visit

Uqbah bin Amir (radi Allahu anhu) said: “One day the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) went out and asked Allah's forgiveness for the martyrs of the battle of Uhud after eight years. It seemed that by so doing, he bid farewell to the living and the dead. He then came back, rose to the pulpit and said, ‘I shall be your precursor; I am a witness for you (before Allah), and I will be present before you at the River (Haud Al-Kauthar). By Allah I can see with my own eyes the Haud from this place. I am not afraid that you will associate anything with Allah in worship after (my demise), but I apprehend that you will vie with one another for the life of the world.” The narrator said: It was the last time that I saw the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam). [Sahih Bukhari]

This hadith highlights the following points:

1. Permissibility of visiting the graves of Muslims and praying for them.

2. The existence of Haud Al-Kauthar. Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported: When the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) was made to ascend to the heavens, he said (after his return), “I came upon a river (in Jannah) the banks of which were made of tents of hollow pearls. I asked Jibreel (alaihis salam), ‘What is this (river)?’ He replied, ‘This is the Kauthar.’” [Sahih Bukhari]

3. Warning against vying with one another for the world. This destroys one’s Akhira. During the Khilafah of Umar, from 634-638 CE, Abu Ubaidah (radi Allahu anhu) was not only the Commander in Chief of the Muslim army but also Governor of Greater Syria. When Umar (radi Allahu anhu) came to Syria during this time and asked Abu Ubaidah to host him, he found in Abu Ubaidah’s modest dwelling nothing but his sword, a shield, a lance and a horse saddle. Abu Ubaidah shared his dinner with Umar (radi Allahu anhuma) which consisted of old bread. [Hilyat-ul Awliya Wa Tabaqat al-Asfiya; Imam Abu Naim al-Asfahani]

Compare this to the mansions and lavish banquets layed out for Muslims in positions of authority not even half as important or powerful as Abu Ubaidah’s and the reason for our humiliation today becomes clear.

Once Umar (radi Allahu anhu) gave his slave a purse containing four hundred dinars. He told his slave to carry the amount to Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah (radi Allahu anhu) and wait a while to see what he did with the money. The slave brought the money to him and said, ‘The Amir ul-Mumineen has sent you this amount to spend it as you like.’ Seeking blessings of Allah (for Umar), he called his slave girl and asked her to distribute the amount among various needy people. [Hayatus Sahabah, p.260, Vol.2]

These are people who did not vie for this world. With the world’s treasures at their feet, they did not take anything from it, so that they may have an easier accountability before the Lord of all mankind. Unfortunately, what most Muslims appear to be working for now is their present life. They compete with each other for material possessions and trophies. Hardly does anyone work for Allah’s pleasure and eternal reward.

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