Adorning Knowledge with Actions
All praise is for Allah. We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and the evils of our actions. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam is His slave and Messenger.
"O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam with complete submission to Allah."[Al-Qur'an 3:102]
"O Mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person and from him He created many men and women and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual rights and the wombs of kinship. Surely Allah is Ever an All Watcher over you." [Al-Qur'an 4:1]
"O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and always speak the truth, He will direct you to do righteous deeds and will forgive you your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed achieved a great achievement." [Al-Qur'an 33:70-1]
Verily the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. The most evil of matters are those which are newly invented, every novelty is an innovation and every innocation is in the Fire.
To proceed - following up this series, I felt I should hasten in bringing forward the hadith:
"The two feet of the son of Adam will not move from near his Lord on the Day of Judgement until he is asked about five (matters):- 1) about his life - how he spent it; 2) about his youth - how he took care of it; 3) about his wealth - how he earned it; 4) and where he spent it; 5) and about that which he acted upon from the knowledge that he acquired."
As an aid towards purification of the soul and preparation for death. The advice being firstly to myself, secondly to the du'at (inviters to Allah's path) and thirdly to all my Muslim brothers and sisters in every part of the world - hoping that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala will cause benefit through that which I have written and allow the fruits of that to be reaped, both now and in the future. In this treatise I restricted myself to one part of the hadith and that is " ... and about that which he acted upon from the knowledge that he acquired".
The hadith that I chose is the key to goodness and the way towards paradise - by the permission of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. It is the cause of salvation and gain:
"The day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who brings to Allah a clean heart." [Al-Qur'an 26:88-9]
Indeed it is quite possible that many people erred and strayed off the path due to ignorance or pretending to be ignorant of the correct order in prioritising knowledge, acting and calling to Allah. So this topic, by the will of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is in order to prevent myself and my brothers and sisters from ruin, misguidance and confusion.
I ask Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala to grant me the ability to act upon it, and to make it sincere and acceptable to Him, to eliminate darkness, illuminate the way and cause the ummah to benefit from it. He indeed is the All Hearer of invocation.
VERSES OF THE QUR'AN REGARDING THE REWARDS OF ACTIONS
Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says in the Qur'an:
"Eat and drink with happiness because of what you used to." [Al-Qur'an 52:19]
"And it will be cried out to them: This is the Paradise you have inherited for what you used to do!" [Al-Qur'an 7:43]
"Thus Allah rewards the pious, those whose lives the Angels take while they are in a pious state saying: Peave be upon you, enter you Paradise because of that which you used to do." [Al-Qur'an 16:32]
"(It will be said in the Hereafter): O you disbelievers! Make no excuses this Day! You are being requited only for what you used to do." [Al-Qur'an 66:7]
"And whoever brings an evil deed they will be cast down on their faces in the Fire (and it will be said to them): Are you being recompensed for anything except for what you used to do?" [Al-Qur'an 27:90]
"On the Day when the torment shall cover them from above them and from underneath their feet and it will be said: Taste what you used to do." [Al-Qur'an 29:55]
"This day none will be wronged in anything nor will you be requited in anything except that which you used to do." [Al-Qur'an36:54]
Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala makes clear the destination of all created beings. Their different ascending and descending ranks will only be in accordance with their actions. Thus man will either be in a state of happiness or misery as a result of his righteous or evil deeds.
On the authority of Ibn Mas'ud radhiallahu 'anhu who said that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "The two feet of the son of Adam will not move from near his Lord on the Day of Judgement until he is asked about five (matters) about his life - how he spent it; about his youth - how he took care of it; about his wealth - how he earned it; and where he spent it and about that which he acted upon from the knowledge he acquired." 1
So there is no escaping for the servant from being questioned about certain things: About his life - how he spent it; was it in righteousness and piety or in sin and transgression? About his youth - how he spent it, was it in acts of obedience or acts of sin? About his wealth - how he acquired it, was it from that which is halal or from that which is haram?
These things, very sadly, are seldom asked about, nor is any weight given to them. Rather, the greatest concern is to gather wealth, whether it is halal, haram or doubtful. Just as soon as a person looking for work hears of a position in a usurious bank, he hurries to take it, or of that in a cigarette factory, he strives to obtain it. He rushes without hesitance for any type of work which brings in money; and as for the legal verdicts allowing that, one could go on mentioning them!
I would like to take this opportunity to remind with this hadeeth, every person that took a wage for work that he did or for a post that he was commissioned to, that his feet won't move on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked about his wealth and how he earned it.
You will see the most surprising things in official agencies and establishments around the world. Maybe you will see that tea, coffee and newspapers are the main aspects of work so that a worker will delay visitors without any consideration or concern. He dislikes the sight of them because they trouble his comfort and cause him disturbance. He searches for procedures that cause complexity and means of obstruction, so that he may say to a visitor: "We're short of such and such a thing, come back tomorrow".
They announce that all dealings stop one hour or more before the end of their work time. Maybe some of them wake up late by two hours or more for work, because of which people get set back from their jobs. Perhaps some workers fail to execute transactions willingly, or they stall them in order to receive bribes. So we should all fear Allah as regards to our work and duties - starting work on time and leaving at the right time, dealing with people with politeness and ease, being patient upon hardships of work, seeking by that the reward from Allahsubhanahu wa ta'ala.
Then, you are answerable, O servant of Allah, about the way you spent your wealth - in obedience or sinfulness and about the knowledge that you possess and how much of it you acted upon. So this being the case, it is essential that knowledge is converted into actions and (correct) conduct.
Maybe a question springs to mind here: Would the absence of seeking knowledge be a cause for salvation, as little knowledge requires little action? To this, I say:
* FIRSTLY: Verily Islam elevated the people of knowledge over others. The texts pertaining to this are numerous, among them are the Sayings of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala:
"Say, are they alike those who have knowledge and those who don't have knowledge?" [Al-Qur'an 39:9]
"Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe and those who have been granted knowledge." [Al-Qur'an 58:11]
Also the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Whoever treads a path seeking knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the path to Paradise." 2
* SECONDLY: Deliberately intending not to seek knowledge is haram and everyone is accountable for seeking knowledge according to his capacity and capability.
* THIRDLY: There are some Islamic fields of knowledge which the learning and teaching of are obligatory upon every individual and some which are obligatory upon certain individuals only, so this should be taken into consideration, and every person is accountable according to his ability.
* FOURTHLY: A person may fall into a violation of the Shari'ah (Islamic Law) whilst he is seeking knowledge, due to his lack of knowledge of a particular ruling, in this case it is hope that Allah would forgive him. As for deliberately intending to remain ignorant, this contradicts the saying of the Most High:
"So ask the people of knowledge if you know not." [Al-Qur'an 16:43]
When a group of the Companions passed a ruling, without knowledge, to the wounded man that he should have a full bath - which eventually lead to his death, the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam supplicated against them saying: "They killed him, may Allah kill them, should they not have asked if they didnt know?! Verily the cure of all ignorance is to question! It would have been enough for him had he performed tayammum." 3
REMOVING THE HINDRANCES
Due to the fact that there are things that are a hindrance to knowledge and actions, they must be studied in order to be removed; and one should begin by assiduously examining one's livelihood.
One should not forget one's goal in this worldly life, and that is to single out Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala in worship and uniqueness and fulfilling that which pleases Him for man was not created for any reason other than to worship4 Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala . Allahsubhanahu wa ta'ala said:
"I did not create jinn and men except they should worship Me (Alone)." [Al-Qur'an 51:56]
So it is befitting that the Muslim looks into his own and his family's necessities as regards to wealth, and work accordingly,5, because spending hours working for the sake of acquiring extra wealth will only be at the cost of knowledge or actions or inviting to Allahsubhanahu wa ta'ala. So beware of this matter, then do as you please.
Also, it is not befitting, that a Muslim lolls out his tongue after extra work, while he is lacking knowledge in many aspects of his religion such as creed, fiqh, points regarding Islamic manners and other important pillars and compulsory actions. Yet it is astonishing to find such people justifying their actions to those that censure them, with the general texts encouraging righteous actions, saying: "Islam is a religion of action".
Yet I don't know what the consequence of this action is. Does it benefit by purifying and cleansing the soul? Or bring about some goodness for the Muslim Ummah? So, I say in replying to this:
Having sexual relations with one's wife, with the intention of keeping chaste and pure, is considered worship6, but this does not mean that a person remains persistent upon this matter, neglecting Friday prayers, praying in congregation and other obligatory duties!
Likewise, eating with the intention of keeping strength for the sake of fulfilling acts of obedience to Allah, is a form of worship, but does it mean that eating becomes a major aspect of our lives?
Similarly, striving to find a lawful job, seeking pure earnings and refraining from begging, is all worship, but does it mean that we constantly engage ourselves in this, so much so that it hinders us from congregational prayers, joining ties of relationship, learning about Islam and inviting to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala?
So look into this matter, may Allah have Mercy upon you, and if one job is enough for you, there is no need for a second; if one shift suffices your needs, don't take on another in overtime, and if you are able to cut the number of hours you work, don't hesitate.7Furthermore if you are from amongst those whom Allah has increased in provision and wealth, disengage yourself and whomsoever you are able to from your children and family, for the sake of worship, knowledge and inviting to Allah.
Let us remember together his saying sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, "Verily Allah says: O son of Adam, free yourself for my worship, I will (in turn) fill your chest with satisfaction and remove your poverty, and if you don't I will fill your hands with distraction and will not remove your poverty." 8 In another narration, "I will fill your chest with distraction." 9
The explanation of this in Fayd al-Qadir10 is: "Free yourself of your interests in order to worship Me and do not busy yourself in earning that which exceeds your needs and the needs of those under your care."
This is the way a person should be, busying himself in obedience to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala so that when he earns enough to fulfill his needs, the needs of those he is responsible for and whatever else is necessary, he does not busy himself in acquiring beyond that because in this way he will be establishing his worldly life but destroying his Hereafter.
Yet it is surprising to find people who have thousands and thousands of dollars or pounds, still running madly after the world and by so doing placing upon themselves difficulties and hardships, embarking upon business ventures, one after the other, which they could possibly do without.
Maybe now one will strive to listen to more audio tapes on beneficial knowledge and attend talks and exhortations or read more beneficial books. Ponder upon the saying of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam " ... and what he acted upon from the knowledge he acquired", and know, that you are accountable in front of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala for everything that you knew.
Check yourself before you try to seek increase through reading and listening to lectures and convert the knowledge that you already have into actions that accompany you as you live.
Knowledge reaches you of the impermissibility of usury, ask yourself, "Have I fulfilled acting upon this knowledge, and left off all dealings with interest?" You are required now to act by leaving off dealings with it, before anything else.
One reads the texts obligating the lowering of the gaze - so are you amongst those who lower their gaze from that which Allah the Glorifiedhas made haram? If the answer is no then there is no need to inquire about lectures that they may deal with topics already materialised in you, for what you need most at this stage is to be lowering your gaze and studying all that would contribute towards implementing this matter, by reading, listening and generally learning.
Study these hindrances that you may remove yourself from them, and search in books and audio tapes in order to make this goal easy.
SOME TEXTS REGARDING THE REMOVING OF HINDRANCES
On the authority of Abu Bakr ibn 'Abdullah ibn Qays from his father who said that he heard his father say whilst he was facing the enemy: The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Verily the Gates of Paradise are under the shades of swords", so a man with a shabby appearance stood up and said: "O Abu Musa - did you hear the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam say this?" He said, "Yes", so he returned to his Companions and said, "I send my (farewell) Salam to you", then he broke the sheath of his sword, threw it away, went with his sword to the enemy and fought with it until he was killed."11
One the authority of Jabir radhiallahu 'anhu who said, A man said, "O Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam where will I be if I am killed?" He sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam replied, "In Paradise". So he threw away some dates he had in his hand and then went and fought until he was killed.12
So the first thing that we must race towards doing is to remove all that is inauthentically atttributed to the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam - so that we do not act upon anything except and until it has been authenticated and checked. Should we not be more enthusiastic than this man in this, for he was living in the best of all eras?
Then, after he removed this important barrier, he broke the sheath to his sword - not even thinking about returning.
Similarly, the great Companion who asked the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam about his place if he was killed (in fighting), as soon as he heard about Paradise, he threw away the dates that were in his hand only because he believed that these dates would delay him and hinder im from entering Paradise - and dates are from that which Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala has made halal - so how about those things that hold us back and hingder us from which Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala has made haram?
In the hadith of Anas radhiallahu 'anhu, Umayr ibn al-Humam radhiallahu 'anhu said, "If I were to live until I have eaten all of these dates of mine, it would be a long life." Anas said, "So he threw away whatever dates he had and then fought until he was killed." 13
So hurry, O My Muslim brother, to the front line, cast away your desires and remove the love for wealth that has deprived you of the Pleasure of Allah, the Most High. Leave alone the haram things and the following of desires, the doubtful matters and the love for leadership, high position and the love of being noticed. Leave off injustices and oppression in all its different types and forms.
Then, do not forget - may Allah have mercy upon you - that you should hasten towards doing whatever you are able to of good and righteous actions. So do not delay and do not procrastinate and be careful of saying "soon, soon", as verily it is from the army of Iblis.
That virtuous man with the shabby appearance heard from Abu Musa radhiallahu 'anhu the saying of the Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, "Indeed the gates of Paradise are under the shades of swords." He did not postpone nor delay fighting in Allah's Path. He did not say: I'll fight after one or two years," or "after I finish this business project", or "after I free myself of my preoccupations".
As soon as that great Companion heard about Paradise as a reward from Allah for the one that died a martyr in the path of Allah, he threw away the dates that were in his hand without any delay or slightest hesistation.
Hasten, my Muslim brother, do not postpone and do not delay.
Then, ask yourself, O slave of Allah, why has this desire to procrastinate befallen me? Is this desire part of the din? Is it something that pleases Allah the Most High? Or is it a satanic methodology of making smooth the way to escaping from carrying out Allah's orders or desisting from that which He has prohibited.
It is imperative that you take advantage of strong bursts of faith in order to precede with beneficial actions without any delay or postponement, while at the same time place in the back of your mind the saying of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam,"There is hesitation in everything except in the actions of the Hereafter." 14
If you hear that somebody is calling to good actions, such as, contributing towards building a masjid or joining ties of relations, or to make peace between two disputing parties, or visitng a sick person, don't think twice about responding, and don't deliberate.
Know that the best time to act is the moment you hear the call. There is nothing to guarantee that you will live the moments after it. Whispers of Shaytan continue in increasing the will to procrastinate, causing the zeal to subside and the firm resolution to weaken. As a result, it becomes impossible for you to advance your level of faith, leaving no room for rectifiying those deficiencies, sins and shortcomings.
OBLIGATORY ACTIONS BEFORE THE SUPEREROGATORY AND RECOMMENDED ACTIONS
Act upon those things which are obligatory, may Allah have mercy on you, before the acts that are supererogatory and recommended. Bear in mind that obligatory actions are of different levels of importance, so give preference to the most important of them first, and then to the next in importance. Only then move on to the supererogatory and recommended actions, giving precedence to that which is most important amongst them.
WHO TO START WITH?
Everything that I have mentioned so far has been in relation to oneself before anybody else. So start with yourself before the members of your family and look at what is lacking in you in order that you may start treating it.
So if there is a common deficiency amongst you and one of your companions or family members then join him with you in resolving this problem because the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Whoever from amongst you sees an evil he should change it with his hand and if he is not able to then with his tongue and if he is not able to, then (he should hate it) in his heart, and that is the weakest level of faith." 15
Likewise before you think about spending time amongst your companions either for the sake of knowledge, action or inviting to Allah, contemplate and think:
... all that to solve the reason why our supplications are not being answered.
Maybe you would benefit from reading hadiths pertaining to the punishment of the grave and that of its bliss, about the terror of the Resurrection, and the torment of the Hellfire. You could well continue reading for days, weeks, or months, accompanying that with good actions and self struggle.
It is imperative that a person takes his soul to account and treats his deficiencies. Match yourself against the Qur'an and the Sunnah to know who you are, and look what you have set aside for Allah to know what Allah the Almighty and Majestic has prepared for you because of the saying of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam:
"WHOEVER WANTS TO KNOW WHAT ALLAH HAS PREPARED FOR HIM, THEN HE SHOULD LOOK TO WHAT HE HAS PREPARED FOR ALLAH." 17
If the answer is in the negative then go back to the hadith of the Prophet:
"There are three attributes whoever is characterised by them will relish the sweetness of faith: he to whom Allah and His Messenger are more beloved than anyone else; he who loves a person solely for the sake of Allah; and he who has as great an abhorrence of entering into disbelief after Allah has rescued him from it, as he has of being thrown into the Fire." 18
Then contemplate the second matter, may Allah have mercy upon you, "He who loves a person solely for the sake of Allah". Look into the reality of your love for people: What is the basis of your love? What is the basis of your hating and detesting? Why do you love a particular person more than another? Is it because he is from your people? Or for his wealth and status, or for some worldly interests? Or is it because of his compliance to the orders of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and his undertaking of righteous actions?
Maybe you are still facing difficulty for not having relished the sweetness of Faith. So where does the problem lie? It could be that the third matter has not materialised, that is the saying of the Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam " ... and he who has as great an abhorrence of entering into disbelief after Allah has rescued him from it, as he has of being thrown into the Fire."
You should aid yourself through fear: living with the fear of eternal abode in the Hellfire and of never coming out of it, from everlasting hunger and continous thirst, with fear of crying blood continually, so much so that if a ship was to be sent into it, it would float.
The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Verily the inhabitants of the Fire cry, so much so that if ships were sailed into their tears, they would float, and verily they would cry blood - meaning instead of tears." 20
Dont rest and sit around while the sweetness of Faith is missing or is weakened. How many people set out on journeys for the prupose of treating their illnesses and how many of them spend out of their wealth to treat these illnesses? Do not the souls and the hearts have more priority in being treated, as their matter is one of total eternity?
Bring to mind the hadith:
"Every slave will be resurrected upon that which he died." 21
Then expect death at any moment. It is better for you if you were to meet death whilst trying to improve your own coniditon than to die whilst striving to improve others', being held accountable at the same time for leaving off obligatory actions just like the lantern that burns itself out and gives light to others, as in the hadith:
"The example of the scholar who teaches the people good things but forgets himself is that of a lantern, it gives light to the people but burns itself out." 22
This is what Abu ad-Darda radhiallahu 'anhu used to fear hence his saying, "Verily what I fear from my Lord on the Day of Resurrection is that He calls me at the head of all creation and says to me: 'O Uwaymir,' so I say 'Here I am, My Lord, at Your service,' so He says, 'What did you act upon from the knowledge that you acquired?' "
WHO SHOULD I GIVE PRIORITY TO IN INVITING FIRST?
Begin with yourself before your family members and anyone else, as has already preceded. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala said:
"O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is men and stones over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded." [Al-Qur'an 66:6]
Then, attend to your wife, before your neighbour and your companions, so that she can help you in bring up the children. Before you giveda'wah to your cousins, give da'wah to your brother's children yet give da'wah to your cousins before giving da'wah to your companions - and carry on in this manner.
Why is preference to be given to your own children before, for example, your brother's children? Once you are under the earth's surface (i.e. in your grave), your children, your brother's children and your beloved ones will all feel great sorrow for your absence. But as days go by, forgetfulness has to affect them, except your children, for they will be praying to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala for you everyday, rather many times a day, rather, in many of their prostrations. You will still be receiving good deeds while you are in your grave - how?
The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam made it clear for us, when he sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "When a person dies, all of his actions discontinue, except three: a recurring charity, or knowledge that is being benefitted from, or a righteous man that prays for him." 23
He sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Verily the purest of what you eat is that which is of your own earning and indeed your children are from that which you have earned." 24
Yet it is surprising to see some propogators of Islam, rather, many of them, unfortunately being very active with great strength in giving da'wah to the people, but their women and their children are in a condition that they themselves are not pleased with, so which of the people have more priority to be given attention, education and da'wah?
FROM A MAN'S PERFECTING HIS RELIGION IS LEAVING ALONE THAT WHICH DOES NOT CONCERN HIM
It is imperative for us to build the levels of knowledge and action upon a firm, strong foundation, and that is the saying of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, "From a man's perfecting his religion is his leaving alone that which does not concern him." 25
In Fayd al-Qadir, the author writes, "It is understood from this that from a man's deficiency in his religion is his indulging in that which does not concern him. This includes everything of secondary importance, whichever form it may take. What should concern him is all that relates to the essentials of his livelihood, that which fulfills his need for sustenance, clothing, keeping himself chaste thereby, and the like thereof from the necessities of life, excluding those things relating to his own personal pleasures. He should be concerned with all that relates to his salvation in the Hereafter, that being Islam, iman, and ihsan. In this way he stays safe from ruin, all forms of evil and from argumentation. This is part of perfecting his religion, firm establishment of his piety and keeping away from following his desirs. Whereas striving to accomplish other than this is loss of irreplaceable valuable time, in doing what he was not created for. So whoever worships his Lord, with realisation of his closeness to his Lord, and of his Lord's closeness to him, has perfected his religion, as has proceeded."
It is further stated in Fayd al-Qadir, "Part of that which does not concern the worshipper is his learning fields of knowledge of lesser importance whilst leaving knowledge of greater importance, like the person who abandons knowledge which causes benefit to himself and engages himself in learning that which he could correct others with, like, for exmaple, the knowledge of how to debate, excusing himself for that saying, 'My intention is to benefit the people.' Yet if he was truthful, he would have busied himself with correcting himself and his heart, by removing bad characterisitcs, like jealousy, showing off, pride, haughtiness towards others and other destructive attributes. They say, 'debating is equivalent to a quarter of Islam and other say: half of it, and some say: all of it.' "
Islam consists of acting as well as abstaining. By relinquishing all that does not concern him and leaving that which is of no importance to him and that which doesn't benefit him, a person perfects his religion. The only way this abandonment is accomplished is by having a full realization that, "From a man's perfecting his religion is his busying himself with that which concerns him", and what is of concern and importance to him is based upon levels and grades of importance, in beliefs, faith in the unseen and in hurrying to do good deeds mentioned in the Qur'an and Sunnah. By that he would have striven to act upon everything that he has been ordered with and would have abandoned everything prohibited. This is Islam and depending on how well these things are accomplished, determines the position of the worshipper with Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and Allah knows best.
If we understand these two important principles, we are able to derive many other principles from them, and we would come to know that there is no way of recognising what "concerns us and what doesn't concern us", except through knowledge, which necessitates properly understanding the principle: "The more important takes precedence over that which is less important". From here we would move on to acting upon the principle of "determining the most important." In this way knowledge, speech and studies are purified so that the unimportant, the prohibited and the corrupted are removed, so all that is left being the beneficial pure things like remembrance of Allah,sunnah, fiqh ...
In the same way had actions, characteristics and mannerisms are sifted out so that every attribute denounced in the Book and the Sunnah is removed and what remain are the beneficial worthy actions like reciting the Book of Allah, studying together the Sunnah of the Prophetsallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam enjoining the good, forbidding the evil ...
This is the way the Muslim arranges and plans his affairs, portraying them in the form of everything good and beneficial whether it be intention, speech or action, avoiding everything detestable, hating that for himself as mentioned in the hadith, "Verily Allah the Mighty and Majestic, is Generous, He loves generosity and noble character and hates the despicable character." 26
From amongst the unfortunate things one hears is some people using this hadith as a proof to oppose those who encourage engaging in recommended actions. The reason being is that they understand the "despicable" things to include the recommended actions or the "superficialities" - as they claim. What I previously mentioned disproves them on the one hand. On the other hand we request these people to explain to us how something could be made recommended or made part of the Sunnah and be detestable and hated to Allahsubhanahu wa ta'ala at the same time?! The wording of the hadith is "and He hates the despicable manners", so is it possible that what has been considered recommended be of those things hated?!
WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF GIVING ADVICE AND ADMONITION?
On the authority of Hakim ibn Hizam radhiallahu 'anhu who said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (for charity), and he gave me. Again I asked and he gave me. Once again, I asked and he gave me, then he said, 'O Hakim! Verily this wealth is like a sweet fresh fruit, whoever takes it without greediness is blessed in it and whoever takes it with greediness is not blessed in it, just like the person that eats yet is never satisfied, and the upper hand is better than the lower hand.' " Hakim added, "So I said, "O Messenger of Allah, by the One who sent you with the Truth I shall not accept anything from anybody after you until I leave this world.' " Later Abu Bakrradhiallahu 'anhu used to call Hakim in order to give him his share of war booty but he would refuse. Also 'Umar would call him to give him his share but he would refuse to take anything from him. On that 'Umar said, "O Muslims! Verily I hold you as witnesses that I offered to Hakeem his share of the booty, but he refuses to take it." He never took anything from anybody after the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam until he died.27
Hakim would ask from the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam and he would give to him - this happened three times, upon which the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam then directed him to contentment, self-respect and to refrain from begging. What was Hakim's radhiallahu 'anhu reaction to that? He vowed by Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala that he would never return to such a thing, and that he wouldn't take anything from anyone until he parted from the world.
He did not just listen to the exhortation, shake his head crying, having been affected by it and return the next day to what he was doing before, as if nothing had ever taken place. Instead he kept to his promise, during the lifetime of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallamand of Abu Bakr, who would call him in order to receive his due but he would refuse. In this manner he continued, until the Caliphate of 'Umar radhiallahu 'anhu who used to present to him his rightful share of the war booty, that which Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala had specified for him from above the seven heavens, but he would refuse, having been affected by the admonition of the Messenger of Allahsallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. He remained in this condition until he passed away sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam.
The effect of this advice stayed with him until the final moments of his life. This is how we should act and should be, carrying into effect what we hear so that our condition and the condition of our ummah may change. Yet how sorrowful our condition is, as we have had an abundance of books, lectures, sermons and admonitions yet it is as if they are only for the purpose of learning culture and acquiring information, not to act upon or carry into effect. To Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is our complaint.
How beautiful and sweet this wealth is! But the love of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is more beautiful and the love of the Messengersallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam is sweeter and more cherished. What was the price Hakim paid for this love? It cost him a great amount. He has outlined for our Ummah lessons in patience, power of determination, firm will and acting upon knowledge.
(s) Exert from Adorning Knowledge with Actions, Al-Hidaayah Publications