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Quran and Sunnah

Ramadan Reflections – Juz 11


For all parts, up to and including this one, click “Ramadan Reflections: The Daily Journey

Ramadan Reflections – Juz 11

Juz 11 – Surat at-TawbahAmong the beautiful ayaat in this tremendous surah is one which brings the reader who understands its depths to tears in its discussion of repentance. It is also associated with one of the most touching and heart-rending stories in all of the Prophetic hadith literature:

<>وَعَلَى الثَّلاَثَةِ الَّذِينَ خُلِّفُواْ حَتَّى إِذَا ضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ وَظَنُّواْ أَن لاَّ مَلْجَأَ مِنَ اللّهِ إِلاَّ إِلَيْهِ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ لِيَتُوبُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

And He did forgive also the three [who did not join the Tabuk expedition] who were left (the Prophet did not give his judgement in their case, and their case was suspended for Allah’s Decision) till for them the earth, vast as it is, seemed narrow to them and their ownselves were were constrained, and they perceived that there is no fleeing from Allah, and no refuge from Him, but with Him. Then, He accepted their repentance, that they might repent (unto Him). Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. [9:118]

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A large section of surat at-Tawba discusses the campaign of Tabuk in which the Prophet (saas) led the Muslims out to the northwest Arabian peninsula to meet the East Roman (Byzantine) imperial army in the ninth year of the Hijrah. The surah discusses in great detail the matter of hypocrisy and exposes the hypocrites and their plotting. In particular it discusses those who remained behind the Tabuk expedition and did not participate in it contrary to the order of the Prophet (saas). Three among the laggers though were treated different than the rest and the story of one of these Companions in narrated in a lengthy but beautiful hadith that I have included below for your reading, after which we will further analyze insha’Allah.

It has been related by ‘Abdullah bin Ka’b bin Maalik, who became Ka’b’s guide from amongst his children when the latter became blind. He said: I heard Ka’b bin Maalik speaking about the incident concerning his non-participation during the Battle of Tabuk. Ka’b said: I was not absent from the Messenger of Allâh (saas) during any campaign that he fought in, except the Battle of Tabuk. It is also the case that I was absent from the Battle of Badr. However, no individual was admonished for non-participation [because it was not a battle from its outset, but a raid on a caravan]. Indeed, the Messenger of Allâh (saas) departed in search of a caravan of the Quraish, thereafter certain events took place until Allâh assembled the two armies unexpectedly. Verily, I witnessed the night of Al-‘Aqabah (the pledge) with the Messenger of Allâh (saas), the night wherein we pledged our allegiance to Islam. Furthermore I would not exchange it for participation in the Battle of Badr, regardless of the fact that the Battle of Badr is deemed more noteworthy amongst the people. In relation to my news: I had never before been stronger nor wealthier than at the time I remained behind the Prophet (saas) during that campaign (of Tabuk). By Allâh – I had never before been in possession of two she-camels, until the time of the battle.The Messenger of Allâh (saas) would conceal his intention to embark upon a military expedition by making reference to other campaigns, until the time for that expedition arrived.The Messenger of Allâh (saas) conducted that expedition during a season of extreme heat, undertaking a lengthy journey through desert terrain. In addition, the enemy was great in number. Thus, the Prophet (saas) clarified the matter to the Muslims, in order that they prepare themselves adequately for their campaign, and he informed them of their intended destination. The Messenger of Allâh (saas) was accompanied by a considerable number of Muslims, whose names could not be recorded in a book. Ka’b continued: Any individual who wished to remain absent would assume that his absence would pass unnoticed, unless it was revealed by Allâh by means of Divine Revelation. The Messenger of Allâh (saas) undertook that expedition during a season wherein the fruit had ripened and the shade had become pleasant.The Messenger of Allâh (saas) and the Muslims equipped themselves with the necessary provisions. I too departed in order to prepare myself, however I returned without accomplishing anything. I would say to myself: I am able to prepare myself. Hence, I continued to procrastinate with my preparations. However the people occupied themselves in earnest with the journey, until the day arrived wherein the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Muslims proceeded to depart. However I had not completed any part of my preparations. I said to myself: I shall prepare myself in one or two days after his departure, and then I will catch up to them.The morning after their departure, I set out in order to equip myself. However, I returned without completing anything. The following morning, I set out again, nevertheless, but I returned without accomplishing anything. This continued until they hastened towards the battle, and the campaign had passed by. Nevertheless, I intended to depart and reach them, would that I had done so! However, I was not destined to do that.After the departure of the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam I would enter amongst the people and it would become a cause of sadness for me. For I did not see except the one suspected of being a hypocrite, or the weak and infirm whom Allâh had excused from participation.The Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not remember me until he arrived in Tabuk. He was sitting amongst his people in Tabuk and asked “What happened to Ka’b?” A man from amongst the tribe of Bani Salimah responded: “O Messenger of Allâh, he was hindered by his garments and pleasure for his clothes and his self.”Mua’adh bin Jabal said: “What a wretched statement you have uttered. O Messenger of Allâh, we do not know of him save goodness.”Hence, the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam became silent. Whilst he was in that position, he saw a man clothed in a white garment real in essence (not merely a desert mirage). The Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “May it be Abu Khaythama al-Ansaaree, he was the one who donated a measure of dates when the Munaafiqeen (Hypocrites) defamed him.”Ka’b bin Maalik continued: When I learned that he had turned in order to return, I was consumed by distress, and started therefore to invent lies. I started to question myself: With what can I avoid his anger tomorrow? I sought assistance from every individual of sound mind and judgment from amongst my family.

When it was mentioned that the Messenger of Allâh’s sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam arrival is imminent, the false excuses vanished from my mind. I recognized that I could not liberate myself from this predicament by means of falsehood. I therefore resolved to speak the truth.

The Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam arrived the following morning. It was a practice of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that upon returning from a journey, he would proceed towards the Mosque and perform a two rak’ah prayer therein, and then sit amongst the people. After those matters had taken place, the absentees approached him. They started to present their excuses and take oaths to that effect. There were over eighty men in number. The Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam accepted their excuses, their oaths, and sought forgiveness on their behalf. In addition, he entrusted unto Allâh their secret affairs. Thereafter I approached him, and conveyed the greeting upon him. He smiled – the smile of the one enraged. Then he said: “Come forward.” I therefore approached him walking until I was sitting before him. Then he said: “What prevented you from accompanying us? Had you not purchased a riding animal?”

I responded: “Of course O Messenger of Allâh. However, by Allâh, if I was in the presence of any other man from amongst the inhabitants of this World, I would avoid His wrath by presenting an excuse for I have been granted the ability to speak in an eloquently persuasive manner. However, I am aware that if I utter a lie today in order to seek your pleasure, certainly Allâh will cause you to become enraged with me in the future. Alternatively, if I inform you of the truth, thereby causing you to become angry, I may nevertheless hope for Allâh’s Pardon. No, By Allâh I have no excuse to present. I had never before been stronger nor wealthier than during the time I neglected to accompany you.”

The Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied: “In relation to this man – he has spoken the truth. Therefore, stand until Allâh pronounces judgment in this matter.” I therefore stood, a group of men from the tribe of Bani Salimah became disorderly and started following me. They addressed me: “By Allâh – we have not known you to commit a misdeed. Verily you erred in not excusing yourself before the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in a similar manner to the other absentees who excused themselves. The Messenger of Allâh’s sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam action of seeking forgiveness for your misdeed would have been sufficient for you.” They continued to reprimand me until I desired to return to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and fabricate a lie against myself (contradict my story). However I questioned them:

“Is there any other individual in a similar position?” They responded:

“Yes, there are two men who uttered the same statement as you and both received the same directive as you did.” I asked: “Who are these two men?” They answered: “Murarah bin al-Rabee’ and Hilaal bin Umayyah al-Waaqifee.”

By their statement, they had made reference to two virtuous men who had participated in the Battle of Badr, and were examples to be followed. After they had mentioned these two men I remained steadfast upon my original statement.

Thereafter, the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prohibited the Muslims from speaking to us – the three individuals from amongst us who had neglected to accompany him.

As a consequence the people avoided us and altered their conduct towards us, until the land wherein I lived appeared foreign, not one which I was familiar with. We remained in that state for a period of fifty nights. In relation to my companions – they surrendered themselves to their houses and remained seated therein, weeping. However, I was the youngest and most forbearing of the three, I would therefore exit the house in order to perform the prayer with the other Muslims.

I would wander around the markets, yet no one would speak to me. I would approach the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and convey the greeting upon him whilst he was sitting amidst his gatherings, which took place upon completion of the prayer. I would question myself: Did his lips move in the act of reciprocating the greeting upon me or not? Thereafter, I would perform the prayer close by him, and look towards him in a surreptitious manner. When I occupied myself with the prayer, he would turn towards me. However, when I looked in his direction, he would avoid me. When this period of estrangement lengthened, I set out to walk until I climbed the wall of Abu Qatadah’s garden. He was my cousin and amongst the most beloved of people to me. I conveyed the greeting upon him, and by Allâh he did not return the greeting to me. Hence, I said: “O Abu Qatadah, I implore you by Allâh, are you not aware that I love Allâh and His Messenger?” He remained silent. I appealed to him by Allâh a second time, however he remained silent. Then he responded: “Allâh and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are greater in knowledge.” Thereupon tears flowed from my eyes, I turned away and climbed over the wall. And then later while I was walking in the market in Madeenah I saw a Christian farmer from amongst the farmers of Greater Syria, who had traveled to Madeenah in order to sell their produce. He said: “Who shall direct me to towards Ka’b bin Maalik?” The people started to gesture towards me, until he approached me and presented me with a letter from the King of Ghassan, in which it was written:

‘To proceed, it has come to our attention that your companion has dealt with you in a harsh manner. Allâh has not rendered this world for you as a dwelling of disgrace and degradation, nor one of loss and ruin. So join us and we shall bestow upon you the comfort and honor you deserve.’ Upon reading the letter I said to myself: This too is a trial placed before me. I therefore threw the letter in the oven and burned it.

When a period of forty out of fifty nights had passed, the messenger of the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam approached me and said: “The Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commands you to distance yourself from your wife.” I said: “Should I divorce her, or what must I do?” He responded: “No, distance yourself from her and do not approach her. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has issued a similar directive to your two companions.” Hence, I said to my wife:

“Go to your parents and remain with them until Allâh passes judgment in this matter.”

Ka’b said: The wife of Hilaal bin Umayyah came to the Apostle of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said: “O Messenger of Allâh, verily Hilaal bin Umayyah is an elderly man who is incapable of taking care of himself. Furthermore, he is not in possession of a servant, would you therefore object if I was to serve him?” He responded: “No, but he must not approach you.” She said: “By Allâh, he has no desire for any matter. By Allâh, he has not ceased to weep from the day this matter started until this time now.” Some of my family members questioned me: “Why don’t you seek permission from the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam concerning your wife, as he has granted permission for the wife of Hilaal bin Umayyah to serve him?” I responded: “By Allâh, I shall not seek permission from the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam concerning her. I am not aware of what the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would say if I sought his permission in relation to her whilst I am still a young man.” I remained in that state for an additional ten nights, until fifty nights had been completed from the point that he had prohibited the people from speaking to us.

On the morning of the fiftieth night, I performed the Fajr prayer upon the roof of one of our houses. I was experiencing a condition which Allâh had mentioned in the Book: ‘My soul had become contracted, and the earth had contracted upon me despite its vastness.’

Suddenly I heard a clear voice emanating from the direction of Mount Sala. Somebody announced with his loudest voice: “O Ka’b bin Maalik, I confer upon you glad tidings!” I prostrated myself upon the ground. I realized that relief from this tribulation had arrived and that the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had indicated that Allâh had granted us repentance. After the Fajr prayer, the people thereupon proceeded forth to congratulate us, and bearers of glad tidings departed to my two companions. A horseman raced towards me in order to congratulate me and a messenger from the tribe of Aslam raced towards the mountain and scaled it in order to make the announcement. I heard his voice before that of the horseman. When the individual whose voice I had heard approached me to convey the glad tidings, I removed my outer garments and clothed him in them. By Allâh, on that day I was not in possession of any other garments, I therefore borrowed two items, clothed myself and proceeded towards the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. People started receiving me in groups, congratulating me upon the acceptance of my repentance. They said: “We congratulate you upon Allâh’s acceptance of your repentance.” When I entered the Mosque, the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was sitting, surrounded by people. Talha bin ‘Ubaidullah hastened towards me. He shook my hand, and congratulated me. By Allâh, no one from amongst the Muhaajireen (Emigrants) stood in order to greet me save him, and I shall never forget Talha’s action in doing so! Ka’b continued, When I greeted the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his face was radiant with happiness, and he said: “I give you the glad tidings of the best day you have witnessed since your mother gave birth to you.” Ka’b continued:

“Is this from you or from Allâh?” He responded:

“No, it is from Allâh.”

Whenever the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam became delighted, his face became illuminated until it resembled a piece of the moon. We recognized that this matter was characteristic of him. When I sat before him, I said: “O Messenger of Allâh, by virtue of the acceptance of my repentance, I shall donate the sum total of my wealth in charity for the sake of Allâh and His Messenger.” The Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam responded: “Retain a portion of your wealth, for it is better for you to do so.” I said: “I shall retain a portion of my wealth in Khaibar. O Messenger of Allâh, verily Allâh has delivered me from this tribulation because I spoke the truth. My repentance therefore dictates that I shall speak only the truth as long as I live.”

By Allâh, I am not aware of any individual from amongst the Muslims whom Allâh has blessed for speaking the truth more than myself, from the time wherein I mentioned those words of truth to the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In addition, I have never intended to utter a falsehood from the time wherein I mentioned those words of truth to the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to the present day. Furthermore, I hope that Allâh will protect me from uttering falsehood during the remaining portion of my life. Allâh revealed the Verse to His Messenger:

لَقَد تَّابَ الله عَلَى النَّبِيِّ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالأَنصَارِ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ فِي سَاعَةِ الْعُسْرَةِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا كَادَ يَزِيغُ قُلُوبُ فَرِيقٍ مِّنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّهُ بِهِمْ رَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

وَعَلَى الثَّلاَثَةِ الَّذِينَ خُلِّفُواْ حَتَّى إِذَا ضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ وَظَنُّواْ أَن لاَّ مَلْجَأَ مِنَ اللّهِ إِلاَّ إِلَيْهِ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ لِيَتُوبُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

Allah turned with favor to the Prophet, the Emigrants, and the Helpers, who followed him in a time of distress, after that the hearts of a part of them had nearly swerved (from duty); but He turned to them (also): for He is unto them Most Kind, Most Merciful. (He turned in mercy also) to the three who remained behind; (they felt guilty) to such a degree that the earth seemed constrained to them, for all its spaciousness, and their (very) souls seemed straitened to them, and they perceived that there is no fleeing from Allah (and no refuge) but to Himself. Then He turned to them, that they might repent: for Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. O you who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are true (in word and deed). [9:117-119]By Allâh, after guiding me to Islam, Allâh has not bestowed upon me a favour greater in magnitude than my statement of truth to the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and my action of not uttering a lie to him. For I would have destroyed myself, as those who uttered lies were destroyed. Allâh ascribed to those who had uttered falsehood, a description more evil than he had ascribed to any other individual, when He revealed His Revelation. Allâh, Blessed be He, the Most High stated:

سَيَحْلِفُونَ بِاللّهِ لَكُمْ إِذَا انقَلَبْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ لِتُعْرِضُواْ عَنْهُمْ فَأَعْرِضُواْ عَنْهُمْ إِنَّهُمْ رِجْسٌ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ جَزَاء بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ

يَحْلِفُونَ لَكُمْ لِتَرْضَوْاْ عَنْهُمْ فَإِن تَرْضَوْاْ عَنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَرْضَى عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ

They will swear to you by Allah, when you return to them, that you may leave them alone. So leave them alone: For they are an abomination, and Hell is their dwelling-place; a fitting recompense for the (evil) that they did.They (the hypocrites) swear to you (Muslims) so that you may be pleased with them, but if you are pleased with them, certainly Allâh is not pleased with a people who are rebellious. [9:95-96]Ka’b continued: We, the three who neglected to participate, differed from those whose excuses were accepted by the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when they swore to him to that effect. He accepted their pledge of allegiance and sought forgiveness for them. However, the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam deferred our case until Allâh passed judgment in relation to it. With reference to that, Allâh said: “He also forgave the three who remained behind…” [Qur’ân 9:118] In this Verse Allâh did not refer to our non-participation in the military expedition. However it refers to the postponement and deferment of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the act of passing judgment. In contrast to the one who took an oath before him and excused himself: an action which was accepted by the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. (Bukhari and Muslim)How many are the benefits of this narration that we could discuss them till the end of Ramadan and still not be done! So in an effort to continue being concise I will try to only highlight certain beneficial points from this hadith insha’Allah:
  1. The first beneficial point is that Ka’b (ra) notes that he had never been wealthier than he was during this campaign. It was wealth and comfort that were among the reasons that led to his procrastination and it shows why a number of the Companions used to say that they could sustain Allah testing them with difficulties better than they could handle Allah testing them with ease. As well the authentic hadith of the Prophet (saas) wherein he said, “By Allah, it is not the poverty about which I fear for you from, but I am afraid for you from (the worldly) riches that may be given to you as they were given to those who had gone before you and that you begin to vie with one another for them (the worldly riches) as they vied for them, and that they may destroy you as they had destroyed those before you.” (Muslim)
  2. The second point of benefit is the reminder of the love and concern that the Prophet (saas) had for his followers – a sincere and deep love and concern for each and every one of them subhanAllah. We understand the extent of this love from the fact that even though Ka’b reports that a huge number of Muslims accompanied the Prophet (saas) on this campaign, thirty thousand Muslims as reported in the books of Seerah, he (saas) still noticed that Ka’b was not there and asked for him by name. This is one of the signs of the excellence of the leadership of the Prophet (saas) was his taking the time to learn the names of his people and showing this level of individual concern for him. It is no wonder at all that Allah said about him at the end of surat at-Tawbah what means: “Now has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that you should suffer any harm or difficulty: ardently anxious is he over you: to the Believers is he most kind and merciful.” [9:128] He is anxious that we Muslims attain guidance and success in this world and the Hereafter (saas) and he has enormous mercy and compassion for the believers. It has been narrated in the two Sahih collections that he (saas) said, “My position in relation to you is like a man who has lit up a fire. Butterflies and other insects were attracted to it and started to fall in it. He stood there trying to keep them away from it. I am holding you by the neck to prevent you from falling in the fire while you try to run loose.”
  3. The third point is the importance of telling the truth and remembering that no matter what, you can never deceive Allah as He knows the inner workings of your heart and soul. The Prophet (saas) stated in an authentic hadith, “And I guarantee a house in the middle of Jannah for the person who doesn’t lie even if in jest ….” (Abu Dawood) It was the truth that saved Ka’b and his companions and it is the truth that will save us and enter us into Jannah insha’Allah.
  4. The fourth beneficial point is how the Companions had realized that this life is nothing more than a test and they were always trying to be on the lookout for a trial from Allah so that they would not be deluded and fall into error or disaster. This is why Ka’b realized immediately when he received a letter inviting him to the honor of this life as a guest of the King of Ghassan (a province in Greater Syria) he realized that it was a test from Allah – what did he prefer: to remain with the Prophet even if it meant to be boycotted indefinitely, or to go to a Kingdom of disbelievers where he would enjoy the temporary enjoyment of this life only to find disaster and failure in the Hereafter? If we were to take on a similar attitude then we would also rise to a higher level of imaan and understanding and come closer to Allah. And with Allah is all success.
  5. The fifth beneficial point is the unquestioned obedience of the three Companions to Allah and His Messenger. Although they had disobeyed Him in not accompanying the Prophet (saas) to Tabuk, this had been done out of laziness and procrastination rather than open defiance and rebellion, or displeasure with his decision. Once they realized their error and their hearts awoke, they followed the command of the Prophet without question. They lived Allah’s command from the Qur’an wherein He said what means, “And obey Allah and the Messenger, that you may obtain mercy.” [3:132] Also, they never argued with him about his decision even when some of the Muslims told Ka’b that he should ask the Prophet (saas) to allow his wife to remain with him since he was young, he refused to question the decision of the Prophet (saas) as Allah had said what means, “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.” [33:36]
  6. The last beneficial point we will mention today is the importance and honor associated with repentance. The believers congratulated the three when Allah accepted their repentance and Allah said about this issue in the Quran what means, “Then, He accepted their repentance, that they might repent (unto Him).” This helps us to understand Allah’s statement repeated throughout the Qur’an wherein He says what means, “(A message) to whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight. And you will not do so, unless it be that Allâh, the Lord of Universe, wills it.” [81:28-29] Thus, you will not succeed in repenting or attaining closeness to Him unless He first wills it for you, and Allah’s willing it for you shall be dependant upon your sincerity. The three were tested for over fifty days to determine if they were sincere in regards to their wish to repent and then He turned to them so that they could repent. And this was the ultimate success for them in this life after accepting Islam, and in the words of the Prophet (saas), “I give you the glad tidings of the best day you have witnessed since your mother gave birth to you!” And he (saas) said in another authentic hadith, “Allah is happier about the repentance of one His slaves than one of you would be about finding your camel which had strayed away from you in the middle of the desert.” (Agreed) So insha’Allah we will discuss the issue of repentance in more detail at a another time and let this be enough for us for now to understand the greatness of this often neglected act of worship and its importance especially in this month.

The last portion of this ayah that should be reflected upon before we close is His saying what means, “and they perceived that there is no fleeing from Allah, and no refuge from Him, but with Him.“. The scholars have commented that this is a statement that is true only for Allah. He is the Only One that a person can actually flee to and seek refuge with when they are afraid of Him. This is the mercy of Allah that when a person fears His punishment than they run to Him. With all other people, if you fear them you run away from them, but with Allah you run to Him instead! Allahu akbar!

And Allah knows best

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Dr. Ali Shehata is the author of Demystifying Islam: Your Guide to the Most Misunderstood Religion of the 21st Century. Dr. Ali is an Emergency and Family Medicine physician currently living in an area of central Florida. He was born in Maryland to parents who had immigrated to the US from Egypt. He has studied Islam mainly through traditional methods among various scholars, du'at and students of knowledge here in the US.



  1. Ali Shehata

    September 14, 2008 at 2:12 AM

    Sorry for the formatting mess here – I am away from my computer for the next several days and hopefully can get this fixed. Barak Allahu feekum was-salaam alaikum

  2. Argentyne

    September 14, 2008 at 5:37 AM

    Jazakallah for this article. I’ve read this hadith many a time and every time it shakes me to the core. May Allah make us all walk the straight way and speak only the truth at all times. Jazakallah again for the commentary.

    The formatting didn’t make any difference to me as I read it in my feed reader :).

  3. Redwan Ahmed

    September 14, 2008 at 10:23 AM

    Ma’shallah, a great hadith

  4. Naila

    September 14, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Just one hadith, but it serves as multiple reminders, masha’Allah. JazakAllah khair!

  5. UmA

    September 15, 2008 at 12:59 AM

    See the sheer joy with which people congratulated Ka’b. Our celebrations simply pale in comparison. Where would we see such a scene nowadays, at a trivial sports game, perhaps? It reminds me of the video of the 2 boys: the new hafidh and the soccer fan.

  6. ibnabeeomar

    September 16, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    The third point is the importance of telling the truth and remembering that no matter what, you can never deceive Allah as He knows the inner workings of your heart and soul.

    jazakallahu khayr – thats a good lesson. i try to imagine what it must have been like, and how tempting it would be to tell a “little white lie” but telling the whole truth is one of the steps that helped save him.

  7. Cookies

    September 18, 2008 at 4:53 PM

    jzk, these articles are so very helpful…

  8. Amatullah

    September 19, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    i couldnt stop crying!
    no matter how much time i have read this…it was like reading it for the frst time.

    jazakAllah khair

  9. Amad

    September 19, 2008 at 3:12 PM

    I have to agree that the story of the three Sahaba is very emotionally charged. Interestingly I read it a few days ago, quoted in Tariq Ramadan’s book on the Seerah. It was no less emotional then, as it is now. By the way, Ramadan’s book is awesome… inshallah I hope to write a review on it one day soon.

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