THREE SIGNS OF BEING FORTUNATE
Hazrat Nafay ibn AbdulHaris (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) narrates that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said;
“these things are part of the good fortune of a Muslim that he has a spacious house, pious neighbours, and a pleasant ride.”
PRAYER AFTER WUDU (ABLUTION)
The Holy Prophet ﷺ used to say the following prayer after Wudu;
“O Allah! Please forgive my sins, please grant me spaciousness in my house, and grant me Barakah (blessing) in my sustenance.”
This prayer tells us that the Holy Prophet ﷺ liked a spacious house.
HAVING ONE’S OWN HOME
Mufti Muhammad Shafi (may Allah Ta’ala bless him) used to say that people race after many material possessions that if they get enough money they will buy this and that. But the one material possession that is really important and which a person must strive for, is having one’s own home, and that they shouldn’t be dependent on any one else for their accommodation. The money that is spent is achieving this goal is money worth spent, and what is spent in many other pursuits is useless.
ONE SHOULD ASK FOR BARAKAH
Anyway, in the prayer that the Holy Prophet ﷺ made at the time of doing wudu, he asked for spaciousness of the house, and Barakah (blessing) in his sustenance. It is worth noting that he did not pray for a great amount of sustenance, for example, he did not say, “O Allah Ta’ala, give me a lot of sustenance.” Rather, he said, “O Allah Ta’ala, grant me Barakah in my sustenance.” It means that he is asking that even if the sustenance is not large in numbers, even if the wealth is not too great, but it should have Barakah.
Today’s world is the world of numbers. Everyone keeps counting their wealth and keeps striving to increase that number, increase their bank balance. This is what has been termed in the Holy Qur’an as;
“who accumulates wealth and counts it. He thinks that his wealth has made him eternal.” (104:2-3)
These verses refer to the person who keeps accumulating wealth, and keeps counting it to know how much it has grown to. He feels happy that his wealth has increased from thousands to millions to billions, but he does not know that he cannot buy happiness and peace of mind with that wealth.
MONEY IS NOT COMFORT BY ITSELF
Some people misunderstand and think money by itself brings comfort. That is not correct. Money is the means to achieve comfort. In itself it cannot bring comfort to anyone. If the person has a lot of money but does not have blessing from Allah Ta’ala, that money becomes a source of torment for him.
MONEY CAN’T SATIATE HUNGER OR THIRST
Hazrat Thanvi (may Allah Ta’ala bless him) has narrated a story in his sermons that there was person who had great treasures of gold and silver. He used to go to inspect his treasures every week. The padlocks of his treasures were such that they could be opened only from the outside. One day when he went to inspect his treasures and went inside, the door closed behind him. He made many efforts to open the door from the inside but was unable to do so. He was sitting among all sorts of treasure of gold and silver, but they could neither satiate hishunger, nor quench his thirst. Eventually he died of thirst sitting between all his treasures.
PEACE OF MIND CANNOT BE BOUGHT
Anyway, this wealth can neither satiate a person’s hunger or quench their thirst, nor can it bring them comfort and peace of mind. This peace of mind is granted by Someone else. If He wishes to grant a person peace of mind, He can do so to someone with no money, and if He doesn’t wish to grant someone peace and tranquility, that person cannot buy it for millions of dollars. There are so many millionaires, billionaires, who are incredibly wealthy, but when they lie down to sleep, they cannot fall asleep. They have millions in their bank accounts, they have many mansions, but they cannot sleep naturally.
On the other hand, there are those labourers who earn minimum wage, then eat in the evening when they get really hungry, and then enjoy a full night’s sleep without any medication. Who has more peace and tranquility, the poor person whose meagre income brought him comfort and peace of mind, or the millionaire who keeps tossing and turning the whole night.
WE SHOULD PRAY FOR BARAKAH (BLESSING)
What we should really be praying to Allah Ta’ala for is not a lot of income, rather we should pray to Allah Ta’ala to grant us Barakah in that income. These days we are solely focused on numbers. We want to earn more and more. Whether that takes lying, cheating, or usurping other people’s rights, does not bother us. We are not able to foresee the consequences of such Haraam (unlawful) income. For example, a person takes a thousand rupees as a bribe from someone. When he got home, he found out that one of his children was sick. He takes him to see the doctor who writes tests and treatments worth thousands of rupees. The thousand rupees that were earned as Haraam income, did not provide any comfort to him, rather they also took away some of his Halal income with them. On the other hand, a person earns a hundred rupees of Halal income, but every rupee of his income was spent in providing comfort to him and Allah Ta’ala saved him from a lot of possible misfortunes. Whose income was better? Therefore, what we should be praying to Allah Ta’ala for is to grant Barakah to our sustenance, not just more and more of it. May Allah Ta’ala grant it to us all. Aameen
THE EFFECTS OF BARAKAH (BLESSING)
When Allah Ta’ala grants someone this blessing, He grants it even when a person’s income is low by other people’s standards. A person can then have a quality of life and peace of mind that is not available to even those who earn many times more than him but do not have Allah’s blessing upon them. Sometimes we envy people as to how they have so much material wealth, mansions, luxury cars, but from the inside their lives are miserable. No one looking superficially at them can imagine the worries and anxieties they are suffering from. On the other hand, there are people who earn a lot less than them but Allah Ta’ala has blessed them with comfort and peace of mind.
WEALTH IS USELESS WITHOUT BARAKAH
May Allah Ta’ala grant us this understanding that what’s really important is not how much wealth we have got, it is Allah Ta’ala’s blessing. That is why the Holy Prophet ﷺ did not pray for increase in his sustenance, he prayed for Barakah (blessing) in his sustenance. This blessing comes only from Allah Ta’ala. Even if you make a lot of money but it doesn’t have Allah’s blessing with it, it will not provide you with, peace, tranquility, happiness and comfort. But if you have Allah Ta’ala’s blessing with you, even a small income will provide you with comfort and peace of mind.
PIOUS NEIGHBOURS – A GREAT BLESSING
The second thing that the Holy Prophet ﷺ termed a great blessing and a sign of being fortunate for a Muslim, is having “pious neighbours”. These days we have forgotten this blessing. We live for years in a house but do not know who lives on either side of our house. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said that there are so many rights of neighbours, and Jibrai’l (Gabriel) Amin (peace be upon him) kept stressing upon the rights of neighbours so much that I started thinking that neighbours will also get a share of inheritance. Such is the importance of neighbours. That is why when you are looking for a house, among other things, also look for what kind neighbours you would have. If the neighbours are pious and moral, consider it a great blessing because a person has to deal with his neighbours all the time and has to be in their company. If a person has pious neighbours, then their companionship will be good too, and companionship has a great influence on a person’s behaviour. Good companionship makes a person a good person, and bad companionship makes him a bad person. That is why the Holy Prophet ﷺ said that a pious neighbour is a great blessing.
A PLEASANT RIDE
The third thing which the Holy Prophet ﷺ has termed as being a sign of a Muslim being fortunate, is having a pleasant ride. It means a ride in which a person can ride with comfort.
PROTECTION FROM A BAD NEIGHBOUR
Among the prayers the Holy Prophet ﷺ used to make, one of the prayers was, “O Allah! I seek your protection from a bad neighbour.” But he also prayed for not having a bad neighbour where he was due to live for a long time. A person who becomes a companion during travel would be companion for a short while only and will then separate, but he prayed for protection from a neighbour with whom he would have to live for a long time. It means that we should also pray for protection from a bad neighbour. May Allah Ta’ala save us all from bad neighbours. Aameen.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF HOW WE TREAT NEIGHBOURS
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) has narrated that someone asked the Holy Prophet ﷺ;
“O Prophet of Allah. There are two women. One of them prays Tahajjud all night, fasts during the day, does many other good deeds, and gives Sadaqah. However, she also hurts her neighbours with her tongue (words). What is the judgment for this woman?”
The Holy Prophet ﷺ replied,
“There is no Khair (good) in this woman. She is destined for (Hell) fire.”
Then he was asked;
“there is another woman who prays Fard (compulsory), but not Nafl, (supererogatory) Salah, and if she does give Sadaqah she only gives some pieces of cheese (meaning she doesn’t give anything valuable in charity), but she does not cause harm to or hurt anyone.”
The Holy Prophet ﷺ was then asked about the status of such a woman. He replied;
“She will be one of the people in Jannah (paradise).”
Why did the Holy Prophet ﷺ declare that the first person, who does a lot of Ibadah (acts of worship), who stays busy in praying Nawafil, who gives a lot in charity, but who hurts people with her tongue, will go to Jahannam? It is because all of the Ibadah mentioned above are Nawafil (supererogatory), if someone performs these they bring great reward, and if someone does not perform these it is not a sin. On the other hand, hurting other people with one’s words is a clear sin and is absolutely forbidden, and making sure that a person does not hurt other people with his words is absolutely obligatory. Saying something which hurts other people’s feelings is a grave sin.
A PERSON’S TONGUE CAN LEAD HIM TO JAHANNAM
There is a Hadith which carries a grave warning. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said;
“The thing which will make people fall face down in Jahannam (Hell) the most, is a person’s tongue.”
It means that a lot of people will go to Jahannam just because they misuse their tongues to hurt other people. May Allah Ta’ala protect us all from misusing our tongue. Aameen
NAFL PRAYERS CAN’T SAVE ONE FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF SINS
About the second person, when people told the Holy Prophet ﷺ that she doesn’t do much Nafl (supererogatory) prayers and does some Nafl Sadaqah, but performs the Fard (compulsory) prayers at their due times and does not hurt anyone, he replied, “she is among the people destined for Jannah.”
The lesson to draw from this Hadith is that Allah Ta’ala likes his subjects performing Nafl prayers, and performing Nafl performing is a practical manifestation of a person’s love for Allah Ta’ala. However, committing clear sins believing that one’s Nafl prayers alone will earn him Maghfirah (deliverance) or believing that because I perform a lot of Nafl prayers I am very pious and virtuous, and as a result of that belief, considering Allah Ta’ala’s subjects to be inferior to oneself, treating them with disdain, and treating them in a manner which hurts their feelings, is greatly disliked by Allah Ta’ala. In this situation, a person’s Nafl prayers cannot save him from the consequences of those sins which result in violation of rights of other people.
BEING OF SERVICE TO OTHERS
Hazrat Maulana Mufti Azizur Rahman sahib (may Allah bless him) was the Grand Mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband in its olden days. Before starting work every morning, he used to visit the widows living in the neighbourhood of Darul Uloom Deoband and asked them if they needed any grocery shopping to be done. Different women told him to bring different items for them. He would then do their shopping and deliver it to their homes. Sometimes women said that he had brought the wrong item for them, or that he had brought more or less than they had asked him to bring. He never argued. He would just go back to the Bazar and bring the right item or the right amount. This was his routine before starting work every morning.
NEVER CONTRADICT ANYONE PUBLICLY
Hazrat Mufti sahib had a habit that no matter how wrong what a person was saying in front of him was, he never said to them to their face that “you are wrong”. Obviously, if someone is wrong, one cannot say that they are right. Therefore, he will rephrase what the other person had said making it correct, and then say, “so you were saying…” This way he corrected the other person without saying that they were wrong. He was the Grand Mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband in undivided India at the time when it was the premier institute of religious education in the country. But he still took so much care in trying not to hurt other people’s feelings that he never contradicted them publicly.
WHO IS A TRUE MUSLIM?
It is a matter of having a great character that a person is mindful all the time that he does not hurt anyone with his words. In a Hadith, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said;
“A true Muslim is one whose tongue (words) and hands (actions) other Muslims are safe from.”
(Shariah has awarded the same rights of protection of life, honour and property to all non-warring non-Muslims too – translator)
This Hadith forms the core of all rules of Ma’ashrat (ways of living with other people).
NOT HURTING ONE’S NEIGHBOURS
Hazrat Aisha (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) has narrated that one night it was her turn for the Holy Prophet ﷺ to spend the night in her home. Hazrat Aisha RAA wanted to prepare some special food for him out of her exceptional love for him. But how to cook special food as she spent in the way of Allah Ta’ala whatever came to her house? She cooked a roti from whatever flour was in the house. When the Holy Prophet ﷺ came, it was very cold. He said to Hazrat Aisha RAA that he was feeling cold. She arranged a warm bed for him. He lied down in it and fell asleep. Hazrat Aisha RAA was waiting for him to wake up so that she could serve him the roti she had cooked with such love.
In the meanwhile, the neighbour’s goat came to their house and took the roti that Hazrat Aisha (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) had cooked with such love and affection. Hazrat Aisha RAA was watching the goat take the roti, but because the Holy Prophet ﷺ was sleeping, she did not stop the goat from taking the roti even when it took the roti out of her home. She felt very sad. As soon as the Holy Prophet ﷺ woke up she ran towards the door to see if she could find that goat.
When the Holy Prophet ﷺ saw her distressed, he asked what the matter was. Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) told him the whole story that she had made that roti for him with such love and affection, and the goat had run away with it. That was why she was very sad. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said, “bring if any part of the roti is left. But do not hurt your neighbour because of that goat, and do not say anything harsh to them that your goat ate my roti.
It is worth noting that the first thing the Holy Prophet ﷺ said was not to say anything hurtful to the neighbour, because it was not their fault that the goat ate the roti. And even if it was, maintaining relations with one’s neighbours is much more important that one roti.
These days we can’t even imagine the value of that roti that Hazrat Aisha (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with her) had cooked. We live in such affluence that if we lose one roti, it doesn’t make any difference to us. But if we think back of those days, Hazrat Aisha RAA had only a little bit of barley with which she could barely make one roti, and the goat takes away even that roti. In spite of that, the Holy Prophet ﷺ advised her with emphasis not to say anything harsh to the neighbour.
DO NOT HURT YOUR NEIGHBOURS
In a Hadith, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said;
“That person will not enter paradise whose neighbour is not safe from being hurt by him.”
It means that one of the fundamental conditions for entering paradise is not to hurt one’s neighbours.
In another Hadith the Holy Prophet ﷺ said;
“Keep the space in front of your home clean.”
We should all keep the area around our houses clean and should not dump rubbish there so that it does not hurt the neighbours or passersby. Some people, after cleaning their own homes, dump all the rubbish at someone’s else’s home’s door. This is included in the meaning of the Hadith above which means such a person will not enter paradise.
APPRECIATE A NEIGHBOUR’S GIFT
In a Hadith, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said, “O Muslim women! You should not consider your neighbours inferior, and if one of your neighbours sends you a gift, do not consider it worthless even if it is the burnt foot of a goat.” Do not say that my neighbour has sent me something useless. Do not look at the price of what your neighbour has sent. What is much more important to note is the love and affection with which they have sent that gift, therefore, appreciate it and reciprocate their gesture.
TREATING ONE’S NON-MUSLIM NEIGHBOURS WELL
Hazrat Mujahid (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him), who was a special pupil of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him), narrates that once he was sitting with him. His servant was taking the skin off a slaughtered goat. Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar RAA said to him, “When you have taken the skin off, first send the meat to our Jewish neighbour.” A person who was sitting beside them exclaimed, “Sending meant to a Jew! May Allah show you the right path.”
Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar RAA replied, “I have heard the Holy Prophet ﷺ emphasize about treating one’s neighbours well so much that we started thinking that neighbours will be given a share in inheritance.”
TREATING ONE’S NEIGHBOURS WELL
Through this Hadith, Hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) has taught us that the teaching of treating one’s neighbours well that the Holy Prophet ﷺ has given us is irrespective of their religion. Even if the neighbour is a non-Muslim, even then we have to treat them well in their capacity as our neighbour. We may not agree with their disbelief, but we must treat them well. This behaviour on our part may eventually become a source of Dawah (preaching) for them. When you treat them well, and are polite with them, then Allah Ta’ala may grant them with Iman (faith) as a Barakah (blessing) of your good behaviour. If someone is a non-believer we have to stay away from their Kufr, but we still have to fulfil all their rights which are due towards us as a result of them being our neighbours. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq (motivation) to put these teachings of the Holy Prophet ﷺ into practice. Aameen.
وآخر دعوا ان الحمد ﷲ رب العالمين