When we meet people, we tend to have a first impression. Whether it’s a “love at first sight” or an “I can’t stand being around them”, most people have experienced both scenarios. Just as reading the pages of a book can change the first judgement from it’s cover, days pass by and prove people to be different from our first impressions. Either that, or they change with time. Flipping page after page, you get further into your book and you realize it’s not a bad one after all. Dealing with people, especially on a daily basis, whether by choice or not, gives us a different perspective and a chance to change our original impressions. After all, it just takes time to get to know one another.. The lessons that we can derive from ahadeeth are many. Having spent a weekend learning about 4 or 5 of the Nawawi ahadeeth, their wisdom still echoes in my life. I have found the following hadeeth to have numerous lessons, one of which, I couldn’t resist talking about… Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud, radiyallahu ‘anhu, reported: The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, the most truthful, the most trusted, told us:
“Verily the creation of any one of you takes place when he is assembled in his mother’s womb; for forty days he is as a drop of fluid, then it becomes a clot for a similar period. Thereafter, it is a lump looking like it has been chewed for a similar period. Then an angel is sent to him, who breathes the ruh(spirit) into him. This Angel is commanded to write Four decrees: that he writes down his provision (rizq), his life span, his deeds, and whether he will be among the wretched or the blessed.
I swear by Allah – there is no God but He – one of you may perform the deeds of the people of Paradise till there is naught but an arm’s length between him and it, when that which has been written will outstrip him so that he performs the deeds of the people of the Hell Fire; one of you may perform the deeds of the people of the Hell Fire, till there is naught but an arm’s length between him and it, when that which has been written will overtake him so that he performs the deeds of the people of Paradise and enters therein.”
[Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
How many times have we met people, thought of them the best, only to be disappointed later on? And how many times did we meet absolute “losers” only to see them carrying the torches and effecting those around them? Eventually, becoming leaders of their communities… No one knows how their life will end. We all know this as fact and it’s not something new people don’t know about. What is strikingly ironic though, is that we continuously need to be reminded about judging others. Let me scream the reminder once more: “If we cannot even guarantee our own end, how can we be so quick in judging others?”
*Sigh* I say this to myself first and foremost..
During Sacred Scrolls, Sheikh Al-Hejazy mentioned many stories, some of which, brought tears to my eyes…
Here’s one of them:
During the battle of Uhud, there was a man by the name of Al-Usayrim الأصيرم who came to the battle on the side of the mushrikeen ready to fight the muslims. SubhanaAllah, during the battle this man accepted islam and switched sides. He fought hard and was badly injured. His injury led to him to his death bed, upon which, his last wish was to “convey his salam and shahadah to the Prophet peace be upon him”.
Another (you might have heard this one):
A man will be on his deathbed and he will tell his children around him to burn him and spread his ashes everywhere out of fear of Allah’s punishment if he is going to be resurrected. Allah will call upon this man and ask him why he told his sons to do that and he will reply, “out of fear of you Allah”, after which, Allah will forgive him. How merciful is Al-Rahman Al-Raheem! SubhanaAllah how one act, even while dying in a state of apparent kufur, can lead to forgiveness! Who are we to judge?!?!
And yet another: The story of the pious man who saw someone committing sins day after day. Eventually, he said that Allah will never forgive him and thought he had virtue over him because of his piety and religious level. Allah forgave the man and punished the pious one for saying that Allah will not forgive the sinful man!
I could go on and on forever…Another story that comes to mind is the one of the man who killed a 100 men and still sought forgiveness…And the woman who helped the dog…and the other who wasn’t kind to the cat… I’m sure we’ve all heard numerous stories, it just boils down to one thing, we just never know how our end will be. We have no idea what is in the hearts of others and how their end will be either. And even as we see the end of a pious man, we might be impressed, but only Allah knows what is inside the hearts. The same is for the sinful, we might harshly judge them and through comments here and there about them, not knowing that we are only harming ourselves while they’re being forgiven.
So, what is one of the main causes of a bad end? Arrogance! May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala cure us from it!
Make dua’a for a good ending to your life. Keep your mouth shut about others.
These are the best two lessons I’ve learned these past few days…