Strange are the ways of us human-beings. When we want something, like an A-grade or distinction in some exam, or perhaps bigger things like cell phones, cars, homes, trophies at sporting tournaments and job promotions, we always have some sort of plan to work towards that. We know, for sure, that simply sitting at home, dreaming of such things, will never get us any where close to them. The focus is on working hard in the hope of getting there eventually.
At Fajr today (which was an hour ago really) I was praying and like so many Muslims, prayed for the highest level of Jannah – the Jannat-ul-Firdaus. That’s true, we must always pray for the best, the highest level. I remembered also thehadith in which the Prophet (s.a.w.) said that man would be with whom he loved (in Jannah).
Anas said that a man came to the Prophet and asked, “When will the Last Hour come, Oh Messenger of Allah?” He (the Prophet) asked ,”What have you prepared for it?” He replied, “I have not prepared a lot of prayer or fasting or charity for it, but I love Allah and His Messenger.” The Prophet said,
“You will be with the one you love.”
(Narrated by: Imam Bukhari(Kitab Fadha’il al Sahaba: Bab Fadha’il ‘Umar ibn Khattab #3732; Kitab Al Adab: Bab Alamati hub Allah #6241) and Imam Muslim(Kitab al birr #6878-81 and 6883), Tirmidhi in his Sunan (Kitab al Zuhd), Imam Ahmadin his Musnad (Vol 3: Musnad Anas ibn Malik)
The two concepts together suddenly pointed towards the obvious – we keep praying to be in the highest level in Jannah with the Prophet (s.a.w) whom we all claim to love dearly… and yet, through our actions and efforts we often seem to have little to do with the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.). Isn’t that silly? How can one claim to love him and then have other ideals for life?
Certainly, in a lot of ways, we are always trying to emulate the Prophet (s.a.w). However, we need to do a lot more. Following in the footsteps of the Prophet (s.a.w.) means more than simply praying like him or making Wudhu the way he did. In fact, in all the things that truly defined the Prophet (s.a.w.) and what he was sent with, we truly lag far behind. In most instances, as I look at my own self, we never set those ideals for us in the first place. If his Sunnah isn’t even on the list of ideals, no wonder we’re not getting there.
We need to take the Prophet (s.a.w.)’s example as a whole – his entire personality, the reflection of his character upon others and what he represented. It’s not good enough to pick up this or that aspect of his life, knowingly leaving out the others, and then claim to love him as well! Being honest here is difficult for my own-self too – I’ve been stressing so much on bits and pieces, and missing the entire point. If we take hold of the Sunnah as a whole, InshaAllah, we could hope to fulfill the criteria of Muminun. Is there truly any other way?
We’re all progressing at different levels, some further ahead on this path than others. May Allah support and expediate our efforts on this path defined and gifted by Himself, to try and aim for Jannat-ul-Firdaus. Ameen.