Abu Hurairah: The master of memorisers
May 13 2022 12:48 AM
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He is the honourable Companion Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him. Before embracing Islam, he was called ‘Abd Shams (slave of the sun). After he embraced Islam, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), called him ‘Abdur-Rahman (slave of the Most-Merciful) and gave him the nickname of Abu Hurairah (father of kitten).
There is a humorous reason behind this nickname. ‘Abdur-Rahman was famous for being humane to animals and he had a kitten that he was kind to and he took care of it. It used to accompany him everywhere. Therefore, he was called Abu Hurairah. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to address him using this nickname. It was narrated in a Hadith that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said to him: “Come here, O Abu Hurairah!” [Al-Bukhari]
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, was born in the Arabian tribe of Daws. He reverted to Islam in the year of conquering Khaybar in 7 AH. After embracing Islam, he used to accompany the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and sit with him for long periods of time learning from him.
Abu Hurairah tried many times to invite his mother to Islam, but she refused. One day, he invited her to Islam, but she refused and said bad words about the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Consequently, Abu Hurairah went to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, weeping and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I called my mother to Islam but she turned down my call. I called her today but she said things about you that I hated to hear. Supplicate Allah to Guide the mother of Abu Hurairah.” The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “O Allah! Guide the mother of Abu Hurairah to the right path.” I left, feeling optimistic because of the supplication of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
When I came near the door, it was closed from within. My mother heard the sound of my footsteps, and said, “O Abu Hurairah! Wait! ” I heard the sound of water. She took a bath and put on a dress and was too hasty to put on her headcover, then opened the door and said, “O Abu Hurairah! I testify that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.” Abu Hurairah added, “I went back to the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, shedding tears of joy. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Be happy, for Allah has answered your supplication and guided the mother of Abu Hurairah to the right path.’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, praised Allah, and lauded Him, and said good words.
I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Supplicate Allah for me and my mother to be loved by His believing slaves and for us to love them too.’ The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said, ‘O Allah! Make this slave of Yours and his mother (i.e. Abu Hurairah and his mother) loved by Your believing slaves and make them love Your believing slaves.’ This supplication has been answered by Allah, the Almighty, so much that any believer who heard about me loved me.” [Imam Muslim]
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, used to like fighting in the Cause of Allah. He joined the battles, attended sessions of knowledge and accompanied the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. He was the most attached Companion to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Compared to other Companions, Abu Hurairah memorised the highest number of narrated Ahadith (plural of Hadith) from the Prophetm sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. One of the Companions said about him, “Abu Hurairah narrated a lot of Ahadith and the Muhajiroon (the Companions of the Prophet who migrated from Makkah to Madinah) and the Ansar (the dwellers of Madinah who supported and became Companions of the Prophet)  did not narrate like him.” He used to reply to this saying, “My brothers among the Ansar were busy with farming their lands and my brothers among the Muhajiroon were busy with trading. I used to serve the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, in return for what would fill my stomach. So, I witness any situation if they are absent and memorise if they forget. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said, ‘Whoever will spread his upper garment until I finish my speech and then fold it, (i.e., wrap it over his body), he will never forget anything he had heard from me.’ So, I spread the garment which I was wearing, and by Him Who sent Muhammad with the Truth (i.e., Allah), ever since, I have never forgotten whatever I heard from him (the Prophet).” [Imam Muslim]
He also said: “Had it not been for two revealed verses in the Book of Allah, I would never have narrated anything.” Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of clear proofs and guidance after We made it clear for the people in the Scripture - those are cursed by Allah and cursed by those who curse. Except for those who repent and correct themselves and make evident [what they concealed]. Those - I will accept their repentance, and I am the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful} [Qur’an 2:159-160]
Abu Hurairah had an excellent memory and he was able to quickly memorise and did not forget. Ash-Shafi‘ee, may Allah have mercy upon him, said about him: “He is the person who memorised most of the Ahadith in his time.” Abu Hurairah said about himself, “No one knows the Ahadith of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, more than me except Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, for he used to write them but I did not.”
He liked knowledge and his students used to visit him until there would be no space left in his home. He was highly esteemed for his knowledge. One day, he stretched out his legs and said, “We entered the home of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, until we filled the home while he was reclining on his side. When he saw us, he bent his legs and said, ‘After me, there will be people coming to you seeking knowledge. So, welcome, greet and teach them.’” [Ibn Majah]
Abu Hurairah was extremely poor and he used to tie a stone on his stomach due to extreme hunger. He said:
“By Allah! I used to lay (asleep) on the ground on my liver (abdomen) because of hunger, and (sometimes) I would bind a stone over my belly because of hunger. One day, I sat by the way where people used to walk. When Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, passed by, I asked him about a verse in the Noble Qur’an and my only purpose in asking him was that he might satisfy my hunger, but he passed by and did not do so. Then ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, passed by and I asked him about a verse in the Noble Qur’an, and my only purpose in asking him was that he might satisfy my hunger, but he passed by without doing so. Finally, Abul-Qasim (i.e., the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) passed by and knew from my face (that I was hungry). He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “O Abu Hurairah!” I replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said to me, “Follow me.” He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, left and I followed him. Then he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, entered the house and I asked permission to enter and was admitted. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, found milk in a bowl and said, “From where is this milk?” They said, “It has been granted to you by such and such man (or by such and such family).” He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “O Abu Hirr!” I said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Go and call the people of Suffah to me.” The people of Suffah were the guests of Islam who had no families, nor money, nor anybody to depend upon, and whenever an object of charity was brought to the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, he would send it to them and would not take anything from it, and whenever any gift was given to him, he used to send some for them and take some of it for himself. This made me sad, as I hoped to have a little of this milk in order to have strength for the rest of the day. When the people came I gave them some of this milk. I was wondering what would remain of that milk for me, but anyway, I could only obey Allah and His Messenger, so I went to the people of Suffah and called them, and they came and asked for the Prophet’s sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, permission to enter. They were admitted and took their seats in the house. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “O Abu-Hirr!” I said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said, “Take it and give it to them.” So I took the bowl (of milk) and started giving it to each man who drank his fill and returned it to me until finally the whole group had drunk their fill.
I then placed the bowl between the hands of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and there was still milk remaining, so he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, raised his head, looked at me, smiled and said. “O Abu Hirr!” I replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said, “(Only) you and I remain.” I said, “You have said the truth, O Messenger of Allah.” He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said, “Sit down and drink.” I sat down and drank. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said, “Drink,” and I drank. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, kept on telling me repeatedly to drink, until I said, “No. By Allah Who Sent you with the truth, I have no space for it (in my stomach).” He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said, “Hand it over to me.” When I gave him the bowl, he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, drank the remaining milk. [Imam Al-Bukhari]
Allah, the Almighty, honoured Abu Hurairah because of his faith and sincerity to Allah and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. He married the lady whom he used to work for before he accepted Islam. In this regard, he said, “I was raised as an orphan, I migrated as a poor man and I was a hired worker for Busrah bint Ghazwan in return for my food. I used to serve them when they camped and walked holding the reins of their riding animals if they moved. All praise is due to Allah Who made religion a means for rectifying and made Abu Hurairah imam.”
During the caliphate of ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, Abu Hurairah was appointed as a ruler of Bahrain. He was also the vice-ruler of Al-Madinah when Marwan Ibn al-Hakam was the ruler. However, he used to carry firewood and sell it in the market.
He used to advise people enjoining them to do good and forbidding them from evil. Once, he was passing by the market, and he saw people preoccupied with the worldly life. So, he stood in the middle of the market and shouted, “O people, the inheritance of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is being divided while you are here! Why do you not go and take your shares?” They asked him, “Where is that?” He answered, “In the masjid.” The people rushed to the masjid and then returned. He asked them, “Why have you come back?” They said, “O Abu Hurairah! We entered the masjid and did not see anything that is being divided.” He asked them, “What did you see?” They replied, “We saw some people praying, others reciting the Qur’an and others studying what is lawful and what is unlawful.” Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “This is the inheritance of Muhammad.”
He did not seek in the worldly life anything but the pleasure of Allah and the love of His Muslim slaves until his death. When he was dying, he cried of longing for his Lord. When he was asked about the reason for his tears, he said, “because of the little provision and the long journey.” He also said, “O Allah, I like meeting You, so, like meeting me!” He died in 59 AH and it was said in 57 AH and his age was 78 years. He was buried at Al-Baqee‘a (the graveyard in Madinah nearby the Masjid Al-Haram) after spreading knowledge throughout the land and narrating more than 5,000 Ahadith!

Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/


The story of Athan (call to prayer)

As you know, in all Muslim countries Athan (call to prayer) is called aloud five times a day and you must have heard it. Have you ever wondered how it started?
A long time ago when the Muslims migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah they used to agree on  a fixed time for the congregational prayer. But they found it difficult to remember the time fixed for the Salat (prayer) sometimes, especially when they were busy doing their work.
One day Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and the Muslims discussed the matter of calling the people for the congregational prayer at the exact time. Some of the believers suggested the use of something like the bell of the Christians, others suggested the use of a horn like that of the Jews, but Umar bin al-Khattab, radhiallah ‘anhu, suggested sending someone to announce the prayer. Then Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, agreed to use a Naqoose (a conch), something like the bell of Christians, but he was not happy to use it because of its similarity with the Christians.
After Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, had ordered a bell to be made so that it could be struck to gather the people to Salat; on that same day a companion, Abdullah bin Zaid bin Abd Rabbihi, radhiallah ‘anhu, said: “ I was sleeping when I saw a man carrying a Naqoose in his hands, and I said, “Servant of Allah, will you sell this to me?” When he asked what I would do with it? I replied that we would use it to call the people to Salat. He said “Shall I not guide you to something better than that?” I replied, “Certainly”, he told me to say the Athan.
When I told Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, in the morning what I had seen, he said, “It is a true vision, Insha Allah so get up along with Bilal, and when you have taught him what you have seen, let him use it in making the call to Salat, for he has stronger voice than you have.” So, I got up along with Bilal and began to teach it to him, and he used it in making the call to Salat.
Umar bin al-Khattab heard this when he was in his house, and he came out trailing his cloak and said, “Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, by Him Who has sent you with the truth, I have seen the same kind of thing as has been revealed.” To this Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, replied, “Praise be to Allah!” (Darmi, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah and Tirmidhi).
So from that day on to the present day, Athan is said to gather people for the congregational prayer.

The Mu’athin
A person who calls people for the congregational prayer is called a Mu’athin. Before saying the Athan, he should stand facing Ka’aba in Makkah. He should raise his hands to his ears putting the tips of forefingers into his ears and call in a loud voice. When he says “Hayya alas salah” he should turn his face to the right and when he says “Hayya alal falah” he should turn his face to the left.

The Meaning of the Text of the Athan
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.
I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah.
I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is Allah’s Messenger.
I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.
Come to the prayer, Come to the prayer.
Come to your good, Come to your good.
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.
There is no deity but Allah.

Athan for Fajr prayer
An additional phrase is included in the Athan for the Fajr prayer after the second “Hayya alal Falah”- “Prayer is better than sleep, Prayer is better than sleep.”

Listening to the Athan
1- When the believers hear the Athan they should listen to it in silence and repeat each phrase of the Athan in silence immediately after the Mu’athin has finished saying the phrase.
2-When the Mu’athin says, “Hayya alas salah and Hayya alal falah” the listener should say in reply, “La hawla wala quwwata illa bil lah.”
3-When the Athan has been completed; the listener and the Mu’athin invoke blessings unto Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, followed by the Du’a.

Invoking blessings unto the Prophet after the Athan
“Oh Allah, let your peace come upon Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and the family of Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, as you have sent peace upon Ibrahim and his family. Truly You are Praiseworthy and Glorious. “
“Oh, Allah, bless Muhammed, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and the family of Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, as You have blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly You are Praiseworthy and Glorious”

Du’a after the Athan
“Oh, Allah! Lord of this complete prayer of ours. By the blessing of it, give Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, his eternal rights of intercession, distinction and highest class (in Paradise). And raise him to the promised rank You have promised him.
Jabir reported Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, as saying, “If anyone says when he hears the Athan, “O God, Lord of this perfect call and of the prayer which is established for all time, grant Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, the Wasila and excellency, and raise him up in a praiseworthy position which You have promised”, he will be assured of my intercession,” (Bukhari)

Iqamah
Iqamah is the second call to Salat and is uttered immediately before the beginning of the obligatory prayer offered with congregation.
Text of Iqamah
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.
I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah
I bear witness that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is Allah’s Messenger.
Come to the prayer, come to your good.
Prayer is to begin, prayer is to begin.
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.
There is no deity but Allah.
This text of Iqamah is the same as that mentioned in the Hadith of Abdullah bin Zaid bin Abd Rabbihi, radhiallah ‘anhu, who was the first to have a vision about Athan.
[From: A guide to Salat (Prayer), published by Darussalam]

Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/



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