The Messenger of Allah said, “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”
This is a fundamental hadith which underscores our every day lives and is a principle with which we should live. This hadith is very much linked to the hadith “indeed the halal (permissible) is clear and the haram (impermissible) is clear and between them are doubtful matters about which only a few (i.e. the scholars) know”. The hadith continues with the analogy of a sheep which starts to graze close to the forbidden grazing ground. The aim is to keep it well away from the forbidden grazing ground but if you are not careful and you don’t keep tight control it will eventually stray into that which is prohibited.
In our lives we need to be sure what is halal. If we are not sure we either ask the scholars or people of knowledge or we leave it out. If we start engaging in the doubtful we put our religion at risk, whereas if we stick with the halal we have no problem at all.
When we speak about sticking with the halal we don’t just mean food (although that is of paramount importance and something which is often remiss in our time, more on that later) but halal in a holistic way i.e. every aspect of our life from our interactions, transactions, work, money etc.
With food it is sufficient to say that food is generally permissible but always worth checking the ingredients to make sure there is no alcohol or pork/meat related additives. As a rule of thumb stick to something with the halal or vegetarian sign (with the latter check for alcohol – note that red wine vinegar, cider vinegar etc are ok according to scholars). With meat however, there is more of an onus to ensure it is halal.
Learn the maxim with the following wording for ease in the English language, “if in doubt, leave it out”.
The Messenger of Allah said, “The supplication between the adhan and the iqama is accepted, so supplicate!”
This hadith is linked to hadith 8 as discussed before. The time between the first call to prayer and the second call to prayer is a blessed time and a time when we are advised to supplicate to Allah. The Prophet (SAW) himself has asked us to supplicate for him during this time and that we ask Allah to grant him the Blessed Station. This hadith also encourages us to get to the mosque early and sit in a state of contemplation and supplication. This can be done outside of the mosque but the rewards for the mosque are far greater.
The Messenger of Allah said, “He who is content with Allah as his Lord, Islam as a religion and Muhammad as a Messenger, has experienced the sweet taste of faith.”
In our graves we will be asked three questions, 1) who is your Lord? 2) what is your religion? 3) who is your Prophet?
The answers to these questions will be from the heart rather than just memorizing the answers as one can easily do. In the hadith above we are confirming the answers to these three questions and by being pleased with it we will gain the sweetness of faith and know that we will be safe when asked these questions in our grave. The scholars have narrated that we should recite this dua three times in the morning and in the evening.
The Messenger of Allah said, “It may be that the one disheveled, who is shunned from doorsteps, were he to take an oath by Allah, He would indeed fulfill it.”
This hadith is talking about someone who is a poor person, taking refuge on doorsteps but who has strong faith in Allah. This person has a closeness to Allah that others may overlook, but Allah doesn’t look at a persons appearance but at their hearts. We concentrate on the appearance and work to amass goods and belongings, but these things can always take us further away from Allah. This isn’t to say that a poor person will automatically be closer to Allah, but poor people are often overlooked or worse looked down upon. We need to be careful to 1) not overlook the poor person and 2) not to look down upon the poor person. If anything, we can go to them (if we know they are pious) and ask them for dua.
The Messenger of Allah said, “The 2 raka’ of the dawn prayer are superior to the world and all that it contains.”
According to most scholars this hadith refers to the benefit of praying the 2 extra cycles of prayer before the obligatory fajr prayer. The benefit are both in this world i.e. a better and deeper connection to Allah and in the next world the reward that you receive and which will make the scales on the day of judgement weightier on your side.
A thought is that if the 2 extra (sunnah) prayers are worth this then what is the worth of the 2 obligatory prayers? It is something incomprehensible.
We should really attempt to pray these 2 prayers where possible, that is of course once we are firm in our 5 daily obligatory prayers.