Building communities

Imam Khalid started his recent one day course on The Miraculous Messenger by mentioning a really important hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Salaam. 

It was the first speech given by the Prophet (ﷺ) in Madinah.  At the time he was a chief of one of the Jewish tribes who later converted to Islam and became a prominent Sahabi (RA).  He said:

“When the Prophet (ﷺ) came to Al-Madinah, the people rushed to meet him, and it was said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has come! The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has come! The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has come!’ Three times. I came with the people to see him, and when I saw his face clearly, I knew that his face was not the face of a liar. The first thing I heard him say was when he said: ‘O people! Spread Salam, feed others, uphold the ties of kinship, and pray during the night when people are sleeping, and you will enter Paradise with Salam.”

He then went on to explain the significance of this hadith.

  1. Spreading Salam/Peace: This doesn’t mean that you just say as-salaamu alaikum (although this is one of the meanings), but you want to ensure people are in peace in this world and the next.  Not just Muslims but your family, neighbours, community, town, city, country etc.  This extends to removing harm from the road, dignifying people and going out of the way to ensure that people feel safe.  All this is done so long as it does not compromise your religion.
  2. Feeding others: Again this does not just apply to Muslims.  When the Prophet (ﷺ) said these words he was speaking to the people of Madinah in general as the Muslim community were very small.  As the saying goes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!  Man here is generic to mean male and female i.e. that giving food and eating with people is a great way to build bridges and bond with people.  Remember, the first time the Prophet (ﷺ) invited the notables of Quraish to Islam was when he invited them to his house for food.
  3. Upholding ties of kinship: We can choose our friends but we can’t choose our family.  When you have friction with family members, this is a big test from Allah. It is crucially important that this friction doesn’t lead to a breaking of ties because this causes a severe problem for the one who causes the breakdown.  If the ties of kinship breakdown, the ties of community can never be upheld because ties of blood should always be stronger.
  4. Praying at night whilst others sleep: This shows complete sincerity to Allah and extends to sincerity in worship in general.  If you are sincere with Allah you will be sincere in your interactions with people and vice versa.

By doing the above the Prophet (ﷺ) said a person will enter Paradise with Peace.

May Allah allow us to benefit from our teachers and act upon the advice of the Prophet (ﷺ).

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