Watchfulness

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

5. Chapter: On Watchfulness

Allah Almighty says, "He who sees you stand up to pray and your movements with those who prostrate," (W26:217-218; H26:219-220)

and the Almighty says, "He is with you wherever you are." (57:4)

The Almighty says, "Allah ­ Him from whom nothing is hidden, either on earth or in heaven." (W3:5; H3:6)

The Almighty says, "Your Lord is always lying in wait." (89:14).

The Almighty says, "(Allah) knows the eyes' deceit and people's breasts conceal." (40:19)

60. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "One day while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black. No trace of travel could be seen on him and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the Prophet. Resting his knees against his and placing the palms of his hands on his thighs, he said, 'O Muhammad! Tell me about Islam.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast in Ramadan and to make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so.' He said, 'You have spoken the truth,' and we amazed at him asking him and then saying that he had spoken the truth. He said, 'Then tell me about belief.' He said, 'It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in the decree, both its good and its evil.' He said, 'You have spoken the truth.' He said, 'Then tell me about ihsan.' He said, 'It is to worship Allah as though you could see Him for while you do not see Him, He sees you.' He said, 'Then tell me about the Hour.' He said, 'The one asked about it knows no more about it than the asker.' He said, 'Then tell me about its signs.' He said, 'That a slavegirl will give birth to her mistress and that you will see barefooted, destitute herdsmen competing in constructing lofty buildings.' Then he left but I stayed on a while. Then the Prophet said, ''Umar, do you know who the questioner was?' I said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'It was Jibril who came to teach you your religion.'" [Muslim]

61. Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junada and Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman Mu'adh ibn Jabal is that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Fear Allah wherever you are and follow up an evil action with a good action which will wipe it out. Treat people well." [at-Tirmidhi]

62. Ibn 'Abbas said, "One day I was behind the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, 'Boy, I will teach you some words: Be careful regarding Allah and He will take care of you. Be careful regarding Allah and you will find Him in front of you. When you ask, ask Allah and when you seek help, seek help from Allah. Know that if the whole community were to gather together to help you with something, they would not be able to help you in any way unless Allah had written that for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you in some way, they would not be able to harm you except with something which Allah had written for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages are dry."[at-Tirmidhi]

In another variant than that of at-Tirmidhi, "Be careful regarding Allah and you will find Him before you. Recognise Allah in ease and He will recognise you in hardship. Know that whatever misses you could never have hit you and what hits you could never have missed you. Know that victory comes with fortitude, rescue with constriction, and ease with hardship."

63. Anas said, "You do actions which you see as having no more than a hair's weight of significance while in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, we used to consider them deadly dangerous." [al-Bukhari]

64. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah Almighty is jealous and the jealousy of Allah Almighty is on account of a man coming to something that Allah has made unlawful for him." [Agreed upon]

65. Abu Hurayra heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "Three of the Children of Isra'il were respectively leprous, bald and blind. Allah wanted to put them to the test and so he sent an angel to them. He came to the leper and said, 'What would you like best?' He said, 'A good complexion and clear skin and the thing that I have which makes people find me unclean to be taken from me.' He wiped him and his impurity left him and he gave him a good complexion. He said, 'What property do you like best?' He said, 'Camels (or he said 'cattle' - the relator is uncertain)' and he gave him a pregnant she-camel.' He said, 'May Allah bless you in it.'

"Then he came to the bald one and said, 'What would you like best?' He said, 'A good head of hair and to have what people consider distasteful about me removed from me.' So he touched him and removed what he had and gave him thick hair. He said, 'What property do you like the best?' He said, 'Cattle,' so he gave him a pregnant cow and he said, 'May Allah bless you in it.'

"Then he went to the blind man and said, 'What would you like best?' He said, 'That Allah return my sight to me so that I can see people.' He touched him and Allah returned his sight to him. He said, 'What property do you like the best?' He said, 'Sheep,' and he gave him a pregnant sheep.

"These animals all gave birth and produced offspring. The one had a valley full of camels, the other a valley full of cattle and the other a valley full of sheep.

"Then he went to the leper in his own form and appearance and said, 'I am a poor man who has lost his means on his journey. Today I can seek none but Allah and then you. I ask you, by the One who gave you a good complexion and good skin and property, for a camel so that I can complete my journey.' He said, 'I have many obligations.' He said, 'I seem to recognise you. Were you not a leper, that people found unclean, and poor and then Allah was generous to you?' He said, 'I inherited this property, elder son from elder son.' He said, 'If you are a liar in your claim, may Allah return you as you were!'

"He went to the bald man in his own form and appearance and said to him the same as he had said to the other and he replied to him in the same way. He said, 'If you are a liar, may Allah return you as you were!'

"Then he went to the blind man in his own form and appearance and said to him, 'I am a poor man who has lost his means on his journey. Today I can seek none but Allah and then you. I ask you by the One who returned your sight to you for a sheep so I can complete my journey.' He said, 'I was blind and Allah restored my sight to me, so take what you want and leave what you want. By Allah, I will not be hard on you about anything which you take for Allah, the Mighty and Exalted.' He said, 'Keep your propery. You have been tested and Allah is pleased with you and angry with your companions.'" {Agreed upon]

A variant of al-Bukhari has "I will not praise you (i.e. for leaving what you need.")

66. Abu Ya'la Shaddad ibn Aws reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The intelligent man is the one who subjugates himself and works for what will come after death. The stupid man is the one who follows his own whims and hopes that his desires will be gratified by Allah." [at-Tirmidhi]

At-Tirmidhi and other scholars said that "dâna nafsahu" (subjugates himself) means to make it answerable.

67. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Part of the excellence of a person's Islam is his leaving alone what does not concern him." [at-Tirmidhi and others]

68. 'Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A man is not questioned as to why he beat his wife." [Abu Dawud and others]