بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
By Zahra Anjum
Abdullah ibn Abbas (ra) said: One day I was behind the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) [riding on the same mount] and he said, “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask Allah [alone]; if you seek help, seek help from Allah [alone]. Know that if all the nations were to gather to benefit you with anything, they would only benefit you with what Allah had already prescribed for you. If they were to gather to harm you with anything, they would only harm you with what Allah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted, and the pages have dried.” (at-Tirmidhi; authentic)
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him), being the exemplary teacher he was, did not miss any opportunity to educate his companions. At the time of this incident, as the Arabic word for ‘O young man’ (‘Ya ghulam’) suggests, Abdullah ibn Abbas (ra) was a young boy around the age 9-13. According to www.almaany.com, ghulam refers to a boy from birth until he reaches or nears the age of puberty.
This hadith is an introduction to some very basic aqaid (beliefs – plural of aqeedah) that should be the building blocks of every Muslim’s character. Aqeedah is not just a thought or an opinion. It is a firm belief based on correct knowledge that circulates through the body like blood. It is engraved in the mind and soul. It is something that we must learn ourselves and teach our children from a very young age, just asMuhammad (peace and blessings upon him) did.
In these brief yet profound words, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) taught Ibn Abbas (ra) seven aqaid that one should hold on to throughout their life. Faith in them is the key to a happy and successful life.
1. Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you
We all desire to be protected from harm. The Prophet (sa) is teaching us how. This is similar to the ayah: “So remember Me; I will remember you…” (Surah Baqarah 2: 152) Being mindful of Allah entails being aware of his commands, and of his likes and dislikes.
Scholars write in the commentary of this hadith that if we want Allah to protect us, we should protect the laws of Allah and the boundaries set by Him. We should guard our prayers and our limbs, keeping them away from everything disliked by Allah. This also includes being heedful about our time, energy, and capabilities and not wasting them.
2. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you
Keep remembering Him and He’ll send patience and tranquility upon you in times of stress. Once you start walking on the path of Allah, you’ll find help and blessings coming towards you in unimagined ways. Trust Him, and He’ll provide you from unexpected avenues. This is the promise of Allah. “…And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out, and will provide for him from where he does not expect.” (Surah Talaq 65: 2-3)
3. Ask Allah alone
Allah is the owner of the treasures of the heavens and the earth. He is the only one worthy of asking. It is narrated in a hadith qudsi that Allah says: “O My servants, if the first among you and the last among you, and the humans among you and the jinn among you, were to stand together in one place and ask Me, and I were to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I possess, with the exception of what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it.” (Muslim)
Allah loves for His slaves to make Dua to Him, and He gets angry when they don’t call upon Him. Whether we need anything big or small, significant or insignificant we should kneel only before Allah. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) said: “Let one of you ask his Lord for his every need, until he asks Him for salt, and for the strap of his sandal when it breaks.” (at-Tirmidhi; reliable) This is the kind of connection we should have with our Rabb.
4. Seek help from Allah alone
Whenever we face a problem, we rush to seek help from those around us, and when there is no hope left we turn to Allah. This should be the other way round. Always seek guidance and aid from Allah first, and then turn to people for help and advice.
5. We won’t be harmed unless it’s Allah’s will
This belief helps us stay calm and contented. Nothing and no one can do us any damage if Allah does not will so. For instance, the fire did not harm Ibrahim (as), and the Pharoah could not harm Musa (as). This should make us brave and courageous, ready to face every trial. It should also make us firm enough to go against the tide when we have to, for the sake of Allah.
6. Nothing can benefit us unless it’s Allah’s will
Allah is the actual source of all blessings, and we should place our hopes only in Him. Unfortunately, we rely too much on our degrees, capabilities, wealth, and resources. These are only the means that Allah has provided for us. In reality, our trust in Allah should be stronger than what is in the palm of our hands.
7. The pens have been lifted, and the scrolls have dried
Believe in the beauty of your fate. Imagine how perfect your fate would be if your mother wrote it. In reality, it is written by Allah who loves you more than seventy mothers combined! Leave the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, and learn to trust the plan of Allah.