Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Jamadi Thani / Rajab 1425 H July 2004
Volume 17-07 No : 211
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Children's Corner

Prophet's Companions - Abu Hurairah (RA)
Wake -up O Mankind!
The Carpenter
Planting Olive Trees
"AL-KHALIQ" - This means that Allah is (The Creator)

Companions of Prophet Muhammad(Pbuh)

Abu Hurairah (RA)

The best known documentarist of the Prophet (Pbuh) saying was also a man of piety of high order.

Abu Hurairah (RA) needs no introduction among those who regularly browse through the books of Hadees. He was earlier known as Abd Shams, which had an element of shirk. On his conversion to Islam, he was named as Abdur Rahman. But he continued to be called as Abu Hurairah, a nickname he had earned in childhood because he used to play with a small cat.

Hurairah (RA) belonged to the tribe of Daus and had come to know of Islam through his poet-friend, Tufail bin Amr Dausi. Following his entry into Islam, he dedicated himself to learning from the holy Prophet (Pbuh). He would beseech his company and would pick up even the smallest bit of information emanating from his lips or actions. He was also a devout son of his mother and served her with so much of devotion that he is known to have postponed marriage till the Prophet’s death. He would try his utmost to bring her round to accepting Islam. But no amount of persuasion would work on her. She remained adamant on rejecting Islam and once even uttered unpleasant remarks about the Holy Prophet which pained Abu Hurairah. He immediately rushed to the Prophet and asked him to pray for his mother.

The Prophet made a prayer and sought Allah’s special favour. As Abu Hurairah returned home, he found the atmosphere totally transformed. Her mother stepped out of the bathroom and recited the shahadah. He returned to the Prophet’s house and heralded the happy news. The Prophet was overjoyed.

Abu Hurairah’s (RA) love for the Prophet was intense. He would revere upon the verses of the Holy Quran uttered by the Prophet and would record all that he heard from him. Once the Prophet said Ameen (O Lord, accept our prayers) when he heard Abu Hurairah and two of his friends beseeching divine favours and knowledge.

Since Hurairah had no source of livelihood, he often stayed hungry. On one such occasion, when he was feeling pangs of hunger, he sat down on the way to the Prophet’s Mosque and was expecting someone to notice him and offer him some eatables. He began to ask interpretation of certain verses of the Quran in order that those who were addressed should also feel his need for food. Abu Bakr (RA) and Umar (RA) passed by the way. They offered him the interpretation, but nothing beyond that. When the Prophet passed by the way, he could perceive the pangs of hunger felt by Hurairah, took him along and offered him a seat at home.

Soon after this, a large mug full of milk was brought. The Prophet asked Hurairah to offer milk to everyone seated there. Amid great temptation to apply his lips to the mug, Hurairah began to serve the milk. Finally, he and the Prophet shared the milk. Hurairah says, it was just a miracle that he drank to his fill and there was still sufficient quantity left for the Prophet.

Soon hard times passed away. Muslims of Madinah became prosperous. Abu Hurairah too became affluent. Yet his thirst for Islamic knowledge and wisdom remained unsatiated. He would often say: I was raised as an orphan and migrated to Madinah in the same condition. I was employed by Basrah bint Ghazwan on loaves consisting of just two loafs of bread a day. I used to serve the travellers camping for nights and would lead their animals on the way. Now Allah has showered his blessings on me and have enabled me to marry a woman who was my employer. I thank Allah who has elevated me to such heights.

Besides being a scholar, Abu Hurairah was also a pious person. He would spend one-third of night in prayers and then would wake up his wife to follow him who in turn would wake up their daughter to pick up the cue from her.

Once Caliph Marwan bin Hakam sent him 1000 Dinars. But the very next day he sent another emissary and told him that the Dinars were sent to him mistakenly and be returned. But by then Hurairah had donated all those Dinars and felt sorry for the way the mess up landed the Dinars in his custody. He asked Marwan to deduct the same from his wages from the Baitul Mal. But Marwan had staged all this with a purpose : to see what Hurairah did with so much of money. He conducted an investigation and found that the money was indeed doled out in charity.

On his last day, Caliph Marwan came to see him and found him crying. When asked as to why he was crying, Abu Hurairah said he was beginning a long journey and he possessed little by way of provision for the journey. Marwan prayed for his recovery. But even before Marwan could step out of his house, Abu Hurairah (RA) died.

Abu Hurairah (RA) recorded 1609 Hadees of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and preserved them for the posterity.

Translated and abridged by
Maqbool Ahmed Siraj
from Suwaramin Hayathus Sahaba
by Dr. Abdur Rahman Rafat Pasha.


Poet's Corner

Wake -up O Mankind!

By U. G. Sayeed

Mankind O, Mankind
Wake-up, Wake-up
The end is near for you and me
Neither the destination is far
Nor the speed is slow
The world is galloping to its end
Mankind O Mankind
Before the Lord you bend
Sooner the better
From Him we have come
Return we to Him never to come
Ponder O, mankind, ponder
Weak in heart
Driven by Satan
Slaves before fashion
Grabbers of wealth
Fearful of death
Return to the path straight
Else perish before His might
Wake-up O, mankind wake-up
Ponder O mankind ponder
Oh Lord of the universe
Shower thy blessings on us


Time for Tales

The Carpenter

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely.

It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live in it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity.

The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.


An Arab tale

Planting Olive Trees

By Helen Zughaib

Visiting grandfather Jiddu and grandmother Remlat in their mountain village was always a special treat. Remlat would have special sweets and my favourite food prepared for me. Best of all, though, was Jiddu taking me with him to the fields. Sometimes, it was just a brief trip to see how the plants were growing. But sometimes Jiddu would ask me to be his helper and help him with some small chores. During one visit, Jiddu told me that we would be planting olive trees. Because we would be staying in the fields all day, we had to bring with us a picnic lunch (Zuwaidy), water and other provisions.

The next morning Jiddu and I set out for the fields much earlier than usual, with a donkey carrying our provisions and small olive saplings (young plant meant for planting). We worked hard planting the saplings in furrows which Jiddu had dug earlier. My job was to hold the plant straight while Jiddu would dig a small hole in the ground for each plant. Then I would ladle some water from a water drum and water each new olive tee.

During our break for lunch, I told Jiddu that next year, I would return to help him harvest the olive crop. He smiled and said that would be difficult because olive trees take many years before they bear fruit. Disappointed, I asked him why we were bothering to plant olive trees if we would be dead before they would give us any fruit. He looked at me with a very serious expression and said: They planted so we would eat; we plant so our descendants will eat.

Helen Zughaib, an American writer, learnt this story from her Arab father who heard it from his father.



This means that Allah is (The Creator)

“Say, ‘Allah is the Creator of everything, and He is the One, the Omnipotent” (13:16)Allah created things out of nothing with no precedence and for a purpose known only to Him. “Allah is the Creator of everything; He is the Guardian over everything; to him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth”. (39:62-63)


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