Sunnah of the week – 16th Oct. 2011
Performing Acts of Worship in Variance According to one’s Interest
‘Aishah (Radia Allaahu ‘anha) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to fast to such an extent that we thought he would never break his fast, and he would go without fasting to such an extent that we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) fast a complete month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more in any month than in Sha’ban.” [Agreed upon]
‘Aishah (Radia Allaahu ‘anha) said that the Prophet used to fast to an extent that they thought that he would never break his fast. i.e. he used to fast 10 or 20 days, till they said that he would not break his fast in that month. [not in that year, because if we say that it is in a year, then this means he used to fast most of the year and this is not right.]
Her Statement “and he would go without fasting to such an extent that we thought he would never fast,” mean that although he never left fasting of 3 days a month (white days), and fasting Mondays and Thursdays, means that not fasting consecutively to an extent that it is thought that he would not fast. This shows that he was doing that according to the interest.
The Messenger of Allah (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to be in different states with different deeds which required him to go without fasting, and he (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) passed through states and deeds that required him to fast. When he used to see that his interest is in fasting, he would observe it. And if he used to see the interest in going without fasting, he wouldn’t fast.
This Sunnah teaches us:
The Muslim should have control over himself when doing voluntary deeds.
1- When he sees himself keen to do a good righteous deed which will not occupy him from the obligatory act, then he should do it.
2-When he sees himself slackened from a particular act and keen to do another good deed, then he should do it.
So in this way, the believer will be continuously performing acts of obedience without feeling any boredom or tiredness.
The Ulama’ (Scholars) concluded a famous ruling from this; the good deed with less virtues/merits can sometimes be exposed into situations which makes it better than the good deed with high virtues/merits. And this is according to the interest. Bear in mind that this ruling exempts the obligatory acts.
Imam Ahmed (Rahimahullaah) was asked about two deeds? He (Rahimahullaah) told the person who asked him: “Look into the one which reforms your heart more and do it.”
Sheikh Bin ‘Uthaimeen (Rahimahullaah) said (commenting on this statement): “This is in fact the most beautiful and beneficial sentence and more general. Some times the person finds reciting the Qur’an more beneficial to his heart (making him humble etc) than offering voluntary Salaat.”
Although offering the Salaat (voluntary) is better than reciting the Qur’an as it comprises of the recitation.
Another example is if a person finds that fasting causes weakness and laziness from doing beneficial acts [whether related to people or himself], it is advised that the person doesn’t fast and the breaking of his fast is better.
Some scholars said: : “If the student of knowledge observes fast, and this caused him laziness and tiredness, lack of energy in acquiring knowledge, then it is advised that he breaks his fast because acquiring the knowledge is better for him than fasting. (voluntary).
How can we join between this hadeeth and the hadeeth which says: “The most beloved deed to Allah is which is performed continuously, even if it little?”
There is no contradictions between the two Hadeeths, because we don’t say “Leave the deed just like that” but we say” “Leave it and perform another deed in its place.” And if you have left one action which you used to perform for an excuse or for an interest, it does not mean you’ve abandoned it. The Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “When a believer falls ill or travels, then it will be written into his account (reward) similar to that which he used to get for the good deeds practiced at home in good health.” [Al Bukhari]
The Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to take care in regards to what is the most beneficial and reforming deed that he could do. ex. (fast) till it is thought that he would break his fast and he might go without fasting till it is thought that he would not observe fast.