we declare Your Perfection above and beyond all: we have no knowledge whatsoever except what You have taught us. No doubt it is You, and You alone that is all Knowledgeable and all Wise. (al-Baqarah, 32)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love Others as You Love Yourself

Out of the many ahadeeth (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w) that I memorised way back when I was in high school, one of them sticks clearly in my mind for some reason or another. The hadeeth goes:

None of you will truly believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself”. (Al-Bukhari)

It's a fairly straightforward and easily understood hadeeth, but it was only recently after hearing a story of one particular great individual that I understood it in a new light.

The story is of of Imam an-Nawawi r.a. He was one of the greatest zahid of his time, which meant he doesn't own much worldly materials. One night as he was praying, a thief broke into his house. Seeing as there wasn't much (if any) to be taken, the thief decided to take the only he could found of value - an-Nawawi's shoes. After finishing his solah, an-Nawawi who realised a thief had entered his house started running outside chasing after the thief shouting.

What exactly did he shouted? If any normal person would be in his shoes, I think it would be something along the lines of "Stop! Thief" though honestly, that is probably putting it mildly.

An-Nawawi said nothing like that at all. Instead, he was shouting to the thief to accept his shoes as a gift! Why? Because he was a man who truly had taqwa. As much as he fears to be punished by Allah and be entered to the hellfire for committing sins, he also fears other to fall into sin. SubhanAllah, just look at the level of iman this man had! Now this is how a person truly loves his brother. This is how we should be loving our brothers.

I pray that we can inculcate even just a fraction of this attitude shown by Imam an-Nawawi into our lives

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