Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ihsan & Angels

"[Ihsan] is to worship Allah as though you are seeing Him, and while you see Him not yet truly He sees you" - The Prophet

(Hadith of Gabriel, narrated by Muslim)



Hanzala Usayyidi, who was amongst the scribes of Allah's Messenger (pbuh), reported: I met Abu Bakr. He said: Who are you? He (Hanzala) said: Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. He (Abu Bakr) said: Hallowed be Allah, what are you saying?

Thereupon he said: I say that when we are in the company of Allah's Messenger (pbuh) we ponder over Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our very eyes and when we are away from Allah's Messenger (pbuh) we attend to our wives, our children, our business; most of these things (pertaining to After-life) slip out of our minds. Abu Bakr said: By Allah, I also experience the same.

So I and Abu Bakr went to Allah's Messenger (pbuh) and said to him : Allah's Messenger, Hanzala has turned to be a hypocrite. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: What has happened to you?

I said: Allah's Messenger, when we are in your company, we are reminded of Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but whenever we go away from you and attend to our wives, children and business, much of these things go out of our minds.

Thereupon Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the Angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your paths but, Hanzala, time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time (should be devoted to prayer and meditation). He (the Holy Prophet) said this thrice.

- Reported by Muslim, Book 37, Number 6623.


In another version, the Prophet said,

"Hanzala, there is a time for worldly affairs and a time for (worship and devotion), and if your state of mind is always the same as it is at the time of remembrance of Allah, the Angels would shake hands with you and would greet you on the path by saying: As-Salamu-Alaikum."

- Reported by Muslim, Book 37, Number 6624.

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