Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Hanzalah RA's Fear for Nifaq

The great Companion of the Prophet SAW - Hanzalah RA says:

"We were once with the Prophet (SAW) when he delivered a sermon. Our hearts became tender, our eyes were flowing with tears, and we realised where we stood. I left the Prophet (SAW) and returned home. I sat with my wife and children and cracked jokes with my wife, and I felt that the effect of the Prophet's (SAW) sermon had completely vanished from my heart.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that I was not what I had been, and I said to myself:

"O, Hanzalah! You are a Munafiq."

I was stricken with grief and I left my house repeating these words in sorrow:

"Hanzalah has turned Munafiq."

I saw Abu Bakr (RA) coming towards me and I said to him:


"Hanzalah has turned Munafiq."

He said:

"Subhanallah! What are you saying? Hanzalah can never be a Munafiq."

I explained to him:

"When we are with the Prophet (SAW) and listen to his discourses about Paradise and Hell, we feel as if both are present before our very eyes; but when we return home and become absorbed in our domestic and family affairs, we forget all about the Hereafter."

Abu Bakr (RA) said:

"My case is exactly the same."

We both went to the Prophet (SAW) and I said:

"I have turned Munafiq, O Prophet of Allah!"

He (the Prophet SAW) inquired about the matter, and I repeated what I had said to Abu Bakr (RA).

Thereupon the Prophet (SAW) remarked:

"By Him Who controls my life, if you could keep up for all times the fervor aroused in you when you are with me, Angels would greet you in your walks and in your beds. But O, Hanzalah! This is rare! This is rare!"


COMMENTARY

The scholars of Hadith have explained to us - we have to attend to our personal and impersonal worldly affairs, and therefore it would be difficult to be contemplating about the Hereafter for all the twenty-four hours of the day.

According to what has been said by the Prophet Muhammad SAW, complete absorption in the Hereafter is possible, but is rare, and it should not be expected by all. It is only for the Angels to remain in the same state forever. Such stations of piety do occur in reality, and are endowed to those devotees who are ever consistent, persistent and fervent in obtaining closeness to Allah SWT.

In case of average human beings, the state of their mind changes with circumstances and environments. Nevertheless, we can see from this story how anxious the Sahabah RA were about the condition of their Imaan. Such an eminent companion like Hanzalah RA even suspects Nifaq within himself - just due to the sudden change of environment and state of mind he feels at home with his family, which was not the same as it is when he is with the Prophet SAW.

That is the difference between us and the Sahabah RA. They admonish themselves for imperfection and for not giving enough. We on the other hand vomit out excuses and overstress what we have done is good and enough.

Like this we have the confidence to be admitted into Paradise without being flung into Hell first?

You must be joking.

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