Courage in Hadith

May 9, 2006

The following hadith shows the affects of lack of courage and bravery in one’s life – even when facing pain and danger. It is important to always remain brave and to believe in Allah’s mercy and assistance.

Allah's Apostle (and his army) encountered the pagans and the two armies fought and then Allah's Apostle returned to his army camps and the others (i.e. the enemy) returned to their army camps. Amongst the companions of the Prophet there was a man who could not help pursuing any single isolated pagan to strike him with his sword. Somebody said, "None has benefited the Muslims today more than so-and-so." On that Allah's Apostle said, "He is from the people of the Hell-Fire certainly." A man amongst the people (i.e. Muslims) said, "I will accompany him (to know the fact)." So he went along with him, and whenever he stopped he stopped with him, and whenever he hastened, he hastened with him. The (brave) man then got wounded severely, and seeking to die at once, he planted his sword into the ground and put its point against his chest in between his breasts, and then threw himself on it and committed suicide. On that the person (who was accompanying the deceased all the time) came to Allah's Apostle and said, "I testify that you are the Apostle of Allah." The Prophet said, "Why is that (what makes you say so)?" He said "It is concerning the man whom you have already mentioned as one of the dwellers of the Hell-Fire. The people were surprised by your Statement, and I said to them, "I will try to find out the truth about him for you." So I went out after him and he was then inflicted with a severe wound and because of that, he hurried to bring death upon himself by planting the handle of his sword into the ground and directing its tip towards his chest between his breasts, and then he threw himself over it and committed suicide." Allah's Apostle then said, "A man may do what seem to the people as the deeds of the dwellers of Paradise but he is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire and another may do what seem to the people as the deeds of the dwellers of the Hell-Fire, but he is from the dwellers of Paradise." (Bukhari)

The hadith highlights the importance of having the courage to admit your mistakes and seek forgiveness (because Allah is Forgiving and Merciful):

On the authority of Anas (raa) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, “Allah, Blessed and Most High, said, ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins that are close to filling the Earth and you would then meet Me without ascribing any partners with Me, I would certainly [also] bring to you forgiveness close to filling it [the Earth] (Tirmidhi – it is hasan sahih)

In another Hadith,

On the authority of Abu al-Abbaas Abdullah ibn Abbaas (raa) who said: “One day I was riding behind the Prophet (saw) and he said to me, ‘O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]. Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah. If you seek help, seek help in Allah. Know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with something, they would not benefit you with anything except that which Allah has already recorded for you. If they gather to harm you by something, they would not be able to harm you by anything except what Allah has already recorded against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.” (Tirmidhi – it is hasan sahih)

If one truly ponders this hadith, it is the prescription for removing fear – if one follows what the Hadith commands. In addition to this Hadith, it is also important to note the following verse in the Qur’an: “Allah is the Protector and Guardian of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light.” (Al-Baqara: 257) With Allah as our Protector and Guardian, what is left to fear?

Thus, this passage should give the believer courage and strength. He knows that nothing will occur to him save what Allah has already recorded for him. He has no reason to fear anyone except Allah. He has no reason not to stand up for the truth and for the religion of Allah. He has no reason even to have a fear of death as a result of his actions because he knows that death will come to him at its appointed time as decreed by Allah. (exerpt from “Commentary on the Forty Hadith of Al-Nawawi” by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo)

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