Following in the Footsteps of the Beloved

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حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْخَطَّابِ زِيَادُ بْنُ يَحْيَى الْبَصْرِىُّ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَتَّابٍ سَهْلُ بْنُ حَمَّادٍ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَة

 عَنْ سَيَّارٍ قَالَ كُنْتُ أَمْشِى مَعَ ثَابِتٍ الْبُنَانِىِّ فَمَرَّ عَلَى صِبْيَانٍ فَسَلَّمَ عَلَيْهِمْ فَقَالَ ثَابِتٌ كُنْتُ مَعَ أَنَسٍ فَمَرَّ عَلَى صِبْيَانٍ فَسَلَّمَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَقَالَ أَنَسٌ كُنْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَمَرَّ عَلَى صِبْيَانٍ فَسَلَّمَ عَلَيْهِم

 – 

Sayyār related, “I was once walking with Thābit al-Bunānī when he passed by some boys, and he greeted them. And Thābit said, ‘I was with Anas when he passed by some boys, and he greeted them. And Anas said, “I was with the Messenger of Allah  when he passed by some boys, and he greeted them.”‘”

(Sunan Tirmidhi)

 ~*~

What struck me about this particular hadith, and what makes it a bit different to other ahadith, is the manner in which it is narrated. It is not simply a statement from one of the Sahabah radiyallahu ‘anh narrating a statement or action of the Prophet . Instead, one of the Taba’ at-Tabi’een relates what he observed from one of the Tabi’een, who in turn relates what he observed from one of the Sahabah, who in turn relates what he observed from the Messenger of Allah . And they did not merely narrate his sayings and actions… they molded their behaviour according to it. Thabit behaved exactly as he saw Anas radiyallahu ‘anh behaving; and Anas radiyallahu ‘anh behaved exactly as he saw Rasulullah  behaving. Beautiful, subhanallah. And they did this action not because       he  commanded them to, but simply because that is what they observed him doing. This was the way of our salaf – they followed in his footsteps. And more than that, they loved doing so.

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Another hadith, also narrated by Anas radiyallahu ‘anh, reveals this. He narrates that he once saw the Prophet  eating a dish and seeking out the pumpkin in that particular dish. He states that thereafter, whenever such a dish was served to him, he would seek out the pumpkin in it. It was beloved to his beloved … and so it was beloved to him as well. Rather, it was beloved to his beloved and so he learned to make it beloved to him, even though it is possible that it might not have been to his personal liking. And that is true love.

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May Allah ta’ala make it easy for us all to follow in the footsteps of the beloved  and to accustom ourselves to learning to love that which he loved .

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One Response to Following in the Footsteps of the Beloved

  1. umm muraad says:

    jazaakAllahu khairan

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