Thursday, 5 July 2007

The Warning Against Speaking Ill Of Pious Predecessors

In a time and age where respect is regarded as a thing of the past, we see that many religions have begun to dishonour and disrespect their own pious predecessors. Our concern is not with them, but that this desease has entered into the hearts of Muslims also.

Many people in this day and age have come out and spoken ill against our pious elders. Many a time, these people have no knowledge of the person or the reason as to why they are saying so-and-so about that particular person. Let us look in the traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW as to what has been said about those people who do such a thing.

There is this narration about the experience of Imam Malik RA. Once in Madinah, all the scholars were gathered and the same question was posed to all of them. The question which was asked was - "which sin is the most grave in the Holy Qur'an and holds the most punishment?". All the scholars replied by saying that it was killing a Muslim with intent. The reason for this being that the punishment against killing a Muslim is the most severe.

Allah SWT says:

"And whoever kills a Believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein, and the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him."

This means that he will remain in Hell for eternity and Allah's anger and curse are on him, but when this question was posed to the Great Imam, he replied:

"To me, the most severe punishment is in the verse where Allah himself declares war against that person who eats interest."

When Allah himself declares war against an individual, then who can save him. The point to be made here is that - the reason Imam Malik chose this was because of the fact that Allah SWT Himself declares war on such a person.

On similar grounds, the Prophet Muhammad SAW mentions in a Hadith that (mafhum):

"Whomsoever has enmity towards a friend of mine (SAW), the Lord (Allah declares war against such a person."

Hence, now it has become apparent that the dishonouring of the pious is a great sin in the eyes of Allah SWT. Many a time, in the Qur'an, and in the Hadith, many stories are mentioned where a certain tribe had dishonoured their Prophet AS, and then these tribes then faced the wrath of Allah.

In the case of our Pious Predecessors, one story is worth mentioning here.

Once, the Great Imam Abu Hanifah RA was on his way home from the masjid, when a man started taunting him. Imam Abu Hanifah RA bore this with much patience. When they were near his home, the man provocatively asked for Imam Abu Hanifah RA's mother's hand in marriage.

The Imam with much patience and etiquette replied:

"Wait here, I will go inside and ask her."

When Imam Abu Hanifah RA went inside and came back to answer, he found the man dead at the front door step.

So thus, brothers and sisters, before opening our mouths, we should think what we are saying and who we are taking about. Are we ready to go to war against the lLrd of the Worlds?

The Prophet Muhammad SAW has given as a very simple and compact advice (mafhum):

"Use your tongue to speak good; otherwise be quiet."

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