IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR PROPHET (S): KEY TO OUR SUCCESS By Imam Mohammed Badat, Imam of Bilal Masjid
With each passing day, we are in fact getting closer to our final abode. With the balance of time left for us in this world we should remind ourselves by asking; what have we done to bring ourselves closer to the pleasure of Allāh?
Have we observed the examples of our beloved Prophet (S) to become what Allāh has described in the Qūrʿān as; And, (O Esteemed Messenger,) We have not sent you but as a mercy for all the worlds. (Ambīyā 21:107)
One of the first advice of the beloved Prophet (S), when he arrived in Madīnah, was that he advised the people to take a step closer to becoming a community of Raḥmatul lil ʿAlamīn i.e that is a merciful community towards the world (humanity) and a community that is close to Allāh.
ʿAbdūllāh ibn Salām (a)) narrates; “When the Prophet (S) came to Madīnah, the people rushed to meet him, and it was said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has come! The Messenger of Allāh (S) has come! The Messenger of Allāh (S) has come!’ Three times. I came with the people to see him, and when I saw his face clearly, I knew that his face was not the face of a liar. The first thing I heard him say was: ‘O people! Spread (the greeting of) Salām, feed others, uphold the ties of kinship, and pray during the night when people are sleeping, and you will enter Paradise with Salām (safety).’” (Aḥmed)
This Ḥadīth reminds us of three main things, which form the basis for the well-being of humanity.
The first advice relates to the spreading of Salām. Although extending Salām to others could be trivial at times and may seem insignificant, nonetheless it has a very profound impact. The advice to extend Salām to others reminds us to always be a source of peace and tranquillity, as well as the carrier of hope to the people around us.
The declaration of; “May Peace and Mercy and Blessings of Allāh be Upon You.” This a phrase which we frequently pronounce. It is, in fact, a prayer that can soften angry hearts and also be a cure for those who are depressed and in sadness. It conveys to the listener the message that we only wish for them goodness and peace.
Would we not feel happy if our relative or friend regularly spoke good things about us, or reward us with a cheerful smile every time we meet?
This is what was intended by the advice to spread Salām. It makes one a means for a tranquil heart, to pacify others who may be feeling anxious or sad. That is why the Prophet (S) reminded us by saying; “Do not belittle any good deed, even if it is meeting your brother (Muslim) with a cheerful face” (Aḥmed)
This is one of the noble characteristics of the Prophet (S). He was known as a generous man with his smiles and encouraging words. He was also known as someone who only spoke when it was beneficial.
This is what made the Prophet (S) approachable and welcoming to those around him. This is among the traits of a candidate for paradise. What about us?
The second advice the Prophet (S) advised us in this Ḥadīth is to feed others. The willingness to share part of our possessions, whether it is time, wealth, energy or knowledge constitutes an important aspect of the well-being of our lives in this world and the hereafter. Imagine what would happen if everyone one of us refuses to share what Allāh has blessed us with? It will destroy the spirit of our progression toward becoming a community of Raḥmatul lil ʿAlamīn
As the Ummah of the Prophet (S) who is a mercy to the universe, we need rise and respond to the call of our Prophet (S). We need to help those in need, as best as we can. We do not have to go very far to do this. We just need to look around us. Inquire about the wellbeing of our neighbors, relatives, and our friends. Are they in need?
If we are not able to help them individually, we should at least refer them to various self-help group services to assist them. We need to understand that matters involving families, youth, health, finance and others, are complicated and at the same time very important which could require the help and advice of professionals and experts depending on the circumstances. Hopefully, by channeling them to the appropriate assistance, we are able to alleviate and lessen their burdens in this world and in the hereafter.
This is why the Prophet (S) reminded us by saying; “He who alleviates from his brother one of the sufferings of this world, Allāh will alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allāh will make things easy for him in this world and in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allāh will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah helps His slave as long as the slave is in the help of his brother.”
The third is the advice given by Prophet (S) which form the basis of a compassionate heart, is to establish a good and strong relationship with Allāh. This can be achieved through the night prayers and supplications to Allāh.
When was the last time we experienced the beauty of a peaceful heart as a result of our repentance to Allāh? If our answer to this questions is; always, let us say Aḥamdūlillāh. But if our response is the opposite, then let us resolve to re-establish an intimate relationship with Allāh.
A heart that knows Allāh will always remember the mission of their life on earth which is to be the one who spreads mercy to the world and humanity. Therefore, let us set aside some time from our daily lives to supplicate to Allāh. If we can set aside time for vacations, entertainment, and other works, we can also set aside time for Allāh.
Remember, each of these three deeds reinforces each other. The deed of extending Salām makes it easy for us to be closer to Allāh and will transform our hearts. When we set aside time to pray to Allāh, our hearts will be strengthened to continue performing good deeds consistently. And when we share part of our possessions, whether it is time, wealth, energy or knowledge, it contributes toward the spirit of our progression of becoming a community of Raḥmatul lil ʿAlamīn.
May Allāh facilitate and make it easy for us to receive His Pleasure and His Blessings in this world and the hereafter.