Saturday, 18 June 2011

Matan Arba'in Hadith: First Hadith

Assalaamu'alaikum wa Rahmatullah!

Today we learn about the matan hadith arba'in or the forty root hadiths. This is the first hadith of the matan (source) where I still can recall its original Arabic. It is a very interesting hadith and it is related to tasawwuf dimension of Islam. I'm not going to put the Arabic text nor sound but only the meaning in English.  I would like to apologize if the explanation is a bit clumsy because the source text is in classical Malay.

This is for our beloved brethren in faith who are interested to learn some basic hadiths for Islamic jurisprudence or daily life but finding it hard to check the Arabic text.  It would be best for brethren to check it with teachers who speaks in English for better understanding. If you have teachers speaking in your mother tongues, it would be better for you.

I assure brothers and sisters that this is also important and we are lucky if we can memorize these hadiths in any language that we understand because they could be useful in our daily life. Important thing is not in our certificates but the faith in our heart, understanding and its implementation in our daily life. May everyone receives salvation from Allah 'Azza wa Jalla

We would just share with anyone who are willing to learn in order to please our beloved Lord, Allah 'Azza wa Jalla and I also need to remind myself to only be devoted to Him because He is my beloved Friend may He not leaves me. If He leaves me, it would be the real death for me :'(

Reported by 'Umar b. al-Khattab may the God be pleased with him: "I heard that the messenger of the God, Muhammad peace be upon him had said; indeed that the act is determined by your intention. And indeed for all of the matters done by a person is based on his or her intention. Whomever migrate to other place for the sake of the God and His messenger, his migration is counted because of the God and His messenger. And those who migrate for the sake of worldly matters or the woman that they want to marry, thus his migration is for the sake of what he is pursuing for. - narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

Explanation of the Hadith:

1. This hadith shows on the importance of intention in the validity of certain act (religious or worldly). 

2. If the intention for certain act or practice are good, then the act and the practice performed are also good.

3. If the intention for certain act or practice are evil, then the act and practice performed are also evil.

For the practices or the act of worship accompanied with intention there are few categories:

1. The act of worship performed by a person due to his fear to the God the Most Highest is counted as the worship of every slave.  

2. A person who performed a certain act of worship due to the merits and paradise promised by the God is counted as the worship of merchants.

3. A person who performed the act of worship because he is shy to the God and fulfilling the rites of slaves and the servants of the God or being a thankful slaves. He realizes that he could be reckless in his worship or not sure that his act of worship is accepted by the God so he performs it with sincerity and with all of his heart and soul devoted only to the God. This act of worship is counted as the act of worship of the people who are free from the worldly slavery. He is not a slave of anyone but only the slave and the servant of the God. A life of a Muslim is a life of a worshiper of the God.

Further explanations:

We have to avoid feeling that we are holier than others only because we had done certain act of worship more than others, while in the same time we only perform that to show off to others. We are not doing the same act while we are alone and vice versa. That is not the act of worship to the God, but counted as the act of worship to others. This is what we call as riyaa'. It means showing off. The act of worship is performed because of human. Not because of the God. 

From a report of the mother of the faithfuls, 'Aisyah may the God be pleased with her, she saw that the messenger of the God, Muhammad s.a.w stands up for prayer service until his two legs shivering because of he stands too long. She later asked the messenger of the God. "O messenger of the God, why are you burdening yourself with this long prayer service while the God had already promised you that your sins in the past or in the future had already be forgiven by Him?" He answered: "I just wanted to be a grateful slave of the God the Most Highest." The answer spontaneously popped out implies that the worship is done because of the devotion to the God and it comes out of sincerity to Him.

According to some scholars' fatawa (guides), when a person who does his act of worship with the intention for worldly matters and the hereafter, his acts of worship will be rejected by the God and will not be accepted. They have this fatawa based on a Hadith Qudsi (announcement from the God), where the God says: "I am richer than all of the gods (taken by human to be their god). Those who perform their act of worship while associating me with others, I will leave them to what they are eager to take as their gods!!!"

From the Hadith Qudsi, al-Harith al-Muhasibiy in his book, ar-Ri'ayaat had issued a guideline that the sincerity begins with the obedience is performed solely for His sake and not because of others. In relation to showing off, it implies that the intention for the act of worship and obedience must be purely because of the God. Never mix the intention because of the God with other intentions.

Says as-Samarqandi may the God be merciful to him: "as many as the obedience of a slave for the sake of the God being accepted  and as many obedience done because of human will be rejected." For example, a man who performed prayers because it is his responsibility, but he bows and stands nicely in front of others because he feels shy to others if his prayers is incomplete. Thus his prayer service is initially accepted by the God but the acts such as bowing and standing because of other fellow human are rejected because he is doing it because of his fellow human and not because of the God. So, it is important to check the intention when we do something even in prayers as to make sure that we are devoted only to the God and not to other gods.  

How about leaving the acts of worship because afraid of being accused as showing off? Says al-Fadheel: "Whoever leaves the act of worship because of human is counted as showing off and whoever performs the act of worship because of human is counted as a polytheist. Beginning sincerity is when the God cures you from both of those diseases."

There are many other explanations for this hadith regarding sincerity. It is important for us to understand that we have to be devoted only to the God the Most Highest in obedience and services to Him. How is it? It is through our intention or niyyah. Everything that we do in our life is counted as the worship to the God if it is good. Thus, when we do that, we must be sincere to Him. When we are doing our job, we must begin with the intention because of Him and with His holiest Name. Our life is only because of Him as what we recite in our prayer services, "indeed our life and death is only because of the God, the Lord of the Universe." 

This hadith applies in every aspect of our life as a Muslim and a faithful servant of Allah 'Azza wa Jalla. It also could be applied to determine criminal cases. Please help me brothers and sisters if you come across this humble sharing in this post, please chant salawat to prophet Muhammad s.a.w and his family and his companions and his nation of this period of near resurrection, may you be blessed by Allah 'Azza wa Jalla.

May Allah be in contact with prophet Muhammad s.a.w and his family. May Allah cure us from evil diseases and purify our heart and soul. May Allah bless my brothers and sisters in faith with His love and always be with my brothers and sisters. Sealed with prayers for peace, mercy, and love for brothers and sisters in faith, amin!!!

1 comment:

  1. it's in my last company that a colleague of mine told me one of the odd (to me at that time) thing about sincerity.

    it is like a black ant on a black rock in a dark night.

    it was odd to me because thats what i heard about riya'. then it made sense... it is the opposite and opposites share some attributes.

    and reading some of the definitions given by great men, it is really something hard to attain.


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