(Keywords: Purifying Inner Self, Getting rid of Vices, Mending the Self, Islah Al-Batin)
عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال: ( كنا جلوسا مع رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم فقال: « يَطلُعُ الآن عليكم رجلٌ من أهل الجنة»، فطلع رجل من الأنصار تنظُفُ لحيتُه من وضوئه، قد علق نعليه بيده الشمال، فلما كان الغد قال النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم مثل ذلك، فطلع ذلك الرجل مثل المرة الأولى، فلما كان اليوم الثالث قال النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم مثل مقالته أيضا، فطلع ذلك الرجل على مثل حاله الأول، فلما قام النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم تبعه عبد الله بن عمرو فقال: إني لاحيتُ (أي خاصمت) أبي، فأقسمت أني لا أدخل عليه ثلاثا، فإن رأيت أن تؤويني إليك حتى تمضي فعلت، قال: نعم، قال أنس: فكان عبد الله يحدث أنه بات معه تلك الثلاث الليالي فلم يره يقوم من الليل شيئا، غير أنه إذا تعارَّ (أي استيقظ) تقلَّب على فراشه ذكر الله عز وجل، وكبر حتى صلاة الفجر.
قال عبد الله : غير أني لم أسمعه يقول إلا خيرا، فلما مضت الثلاث الليالي وكدت أن أحتقر عمله، قلت: يا عبد الله لم يكن بيني وبين أبي غضب ولا هجرة، ولكن سمعت رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم يقول لك ثلاث مرات: « يَطلُعُ عليكم الآن رجلٌ من أهل الجنة»، فطلعت أنت الثلاث المرات فأردت أن آوي إليك فأنظر ما عملك فأقتدي بك، فلم أرك عملتَ كبيرَ عملٍ، فما الذي بلغ بك ما قال رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم؟ قال: ما هو إلا ما رأيت. فلما وليت دعاني، فقال: ما هو إلا ما رأيت غير أني لا أجد في نفسي لأحد من المسلمين غِشا، ولا أحسُد أحدا على خير أعطاه الله إياه، فقال عبد الله : هذه التي بلغت بك) . رواه أحمد بإسناد على شرط البخاري ومسلم والنسائي وأبو يعلى والبزار وسمى الرجل المبهم سعدا.
زاد النسائي في رواية له والبيهقي والأصبهاني فقال عبد الله : (هذه التي بلغت بك، وهي التي لا نُطِيق ) .
Narrated Anas Ibn Malik -may God be pleased with him- said: “While we were sitting with the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him, he said: ‘A man from the people of Paradise will come out to you now.’ So a man from the tribe of Al-Ansaar came out, whose beard was dripping from his ablution, and he had hung his shoes in his left hand.
When the following morning came, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said the same thing, so the same man came out like the first time.
On the third day, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said the same thing again, and the same man came out in the same condition.
When the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- left, Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr followed the Ansaari man and said to him: ‘I have quarreled with my father and I have sworn to avoid him for three days, so if you could let me stay with you until they pass.’ He replied: ‘Yes.’
Anas said: Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr related that he slept those three nights in the Ansaari man’s house, and he did not see him praying any voluntary prayers at night. However, whenever he woke up, he would roll over on his bed and mention God -the Almighty- and say Allahu akbar (God is the Greatest) until the dawn prayer.
Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr said: ‘But I only heard him speaking good. And when the three nights had passed and I almost scorned his deed, I said to him: O Abdul-Allah, there was not any quarrel or abandonment between my father and me, but I heard the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- saying three times about you: `A man from the people of Paradise will come out to you now,` and you came out on the three times. So I wanted to stay with you to find about your deed, and do likewise. But I haven’t seen you doing any great deed, so what made you reach what the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- had mentioned.’ He replied: ‘I have nothing except what you saw.’ As I was leaving, he called me back and said: ‘I have nothing except what you saw, but I do not find within myself any deceitfulness for any of the Muslims, and I do not feel jealous toward anyone for any good that God has granted him.’
So Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr said: ‘This is what made you reach that degree.’ ” And in another narration: “Abdul-Allah said: ‘This is what made you reach that degree, and it is what we cannot bear doing.’ ” Related by Imam Ahmad with a narration based on Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim, and Al-Nasa’ee, Al-Beihaqi, Abu Ya’la, Al-Asbahani, and Al-Bazzar (Who named the obscure man: Sa’ad).
Islam places great emphasis on righteousness and piety. The Muslim is commanded to obey God, by doing what God has obligated and staying away from what God has forbidden. Thus, the Muslim is instructed to do all obligatory deeds (wajibat) and refrain from sins and misdeeds.
But beside paying attention to outer deeds and action, Islam has placed great emphasis on purifying the inner self as well. So while it is important to engage in worship and avoid all sins with the limbs, it is equally important to work on the inner heart and try to adorn the self with good traits like modesty, generosity, forgiveness and the like, and to rid the inner self of vices like pride, jealousy, cheating, etc.
The Muslim does not attain full Faith (Iman) until he mends both his outer and inner self. The Muslim should be concerned with his outer action by trying to obey God in all of his action, but the Muslim should also be concerned with his inner self and try to adorn it with good traits and try to rid the inner self of vices.
Once the Muslim mends his inner and outer self, then he would attain full Faith (Iman) and will get higher grades in Paradise. Therefore, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- pointed to the same man as being ‘a man from Paradise’ for three consecutive days. And when Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr stayed with the same man for three days, he couldn’t detect any extra worship or many good voluntary deeds. But when Abdul-Allah asked him directly, the man denied anything at first, but as Abdul-Allah was leaving, he casually enlightened about the real reason. The man said that he doesn’t find in himself any ill-feelings for others. In other words, he had purified his inner self. So not only did he obey God outwardly, but he also mended his inner self, so it was adorned with modesty (as seen from his denial of being good), generosity (as seen from his welcoming Abdul-Allah as a guest for three days), and piety (as seen from his avoidance of sins). Furthermore, the man had purified his inner self of vices so he stated that he didn’t have any ill-feelings for others. Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr got the message and exclaimed: Then that was why the Messenger of Allah declared you to be a man from Paradise for three consecutive days.
Then, the Muslim is advised to try to obey God by doing good deeds and avoid sins, but also by trying to mend his inner self by adorning it with good traits and ridding it of vices. And God and His Messenger know best.