Saturday, April 25, 2009

Company of the Miskin

Ibn Majah reported from Abu Said al-Khudri and al-Tabarani from Ubadah ibn Samit, The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "O God, have me live miskinan and have me die miskinan and gather me [hereafter] in the company of the miskin." Some people read this hadith and understand al-maskanah to mean want of material wealth, with consequent neediness before other human beings. Now, this understanding of the meaning repudiates the supplication of the Prophet against the affliction of poverty [Bukhari, Muslim], and his asking from God, virtue and prosperity [Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah], and his saying to Sad: "Indeed, God loves the slave [who is] prosperous, God-fearing and not ostentatious," [Muslim, Musnad Ahmad] and his saying to Amr ibn al-As: "Excellent indeed is the righteous wealth of a righteous man!" [Musnad Ahmad, Al-Hakim]

What is meant by al-maskanah is as Ibn al-Athir said: "He meant by it lowliness and humility before God, and lest one should become one of the oppressors and the arrogant."

That is how the Prophet lived - far from the life of the arrogant ones, whether in look or form: he dressed as the slaves and the poor dressed; and he ate what they ate; and when a stranger came he (the stranger) was unable to distinguish him from his Companions for he was with them as one of them; and at home he mended his show with his own hand; and he patched his cloak; and he milked his sheep; and he turned a millstone to grind grains alongside the woman neighbour and the slave.

When a man entered to him and, being in awe of him, was trembling, he said: "Be at ease, for I am not a king. Rather I am the son of a woman of the Quraysh who used to eat dried meat in Makkah."

Compiled From:
"Approaching the Sunnah" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 32-33

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