*Hey, I want to come over and visit.* (a highschool friend)
Okay great, come over!
*My dear child, we will visit you there with your cousins and nephews* (family relative)
Oh, but I have class, I might not be here.
Astagfirullah. Don’t deny it, we do that. And it is sad because when it’s our family relatives or our fellow Muslims who want to come over we respond differently.
How many times have we invited guests over our home? Many, right? How about the times our relatives come over? Countless.
You know why? Because it is a sunnah to visit our family members, but why is it that in times, we treat them differently compared to those who visit us who doesn’t share same belief as ours?
Reflect and ponder at how you usually react whenever you find out that some big shot “politician” or “speaker” would come over? We get super excited, we want to cook the best food to be placed on the table, the house be cleaned from every corner.
But why is it when its a family relative, we just order food, we don’t give as much effort like how we give when it’s some other people?
It is a sad fact, remember these are your family members, but more than that these are Muslims, more than being family related, you all are related by your faith. Hence, we must see and treat them as how we would want/ expect to be treated in another Muslim’s home.
Let me tell you this wonderful story that happened during the time of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam.
One day, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam left from his house whilst he was hungry as he had not eaten anything decent for a nmber of days. As such, he left his house in search of food and he came across Abu Bakr and ‘Umar Radiyallahu Anhum who asked: “What brings you both out of your houses at this hour?”
They replied: “Hunger, O Messenger of Allah”.
He replied: “ By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, I did not leave my house for other than what brought you both out. Come with me.”
With that, the two Companions went with the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam to the house of an Ansari man and like many of the houses in Madinah during that period, the house was built inside a walled garden in which there was a well.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam reacged the house of that Companion but he was not home at that particular time. When his wife saw the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar at her door, she said: “Welcome to you!”
With that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam mentioned her husband’s name and asked for the whereabouts. She replied: “he has gone out to bring back sweet water for us.” At that moment the Ansari man heard the voice of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam and so he came hurriedly.
When he saw the three of them standing at his door, he became extremely happy so much that he exclaimed in a loud voice: “Allah is the Greatest! Is there any greater happiness and good fortune than my house being honored by the Imam of the worlds?!” He then continued in his jubilation saying: “Praise be to Allah, nobody is a more honored guest to me today!”
Quickly, the Ansari Companion seated his guests in his house, which was adjoined to a date palm tree in the garden. He then climbed the tree and retrieved a variety of different dates including ripe and half ripe dates. He then placed them all in front of his guests with absolute honor and respect and said: “Eat from these dates.”
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam said: “You did not have to bring the whole cluster”. The Ansari man replied: “I wanted you to eat whatever types of dates you wanted from it.”
He also slaughter a sheep for his guest in which the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam said: “If you do (slaughter a sheep) then do not kill one that gives milk. He then made du’a for his host as it was his manner to do so.
As such, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam made the supplication that he wanted to teach his Companions and all Muslims to emulate when offered food by a person: “May the righteous eat your food and may the angels send blessings upon you.”
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam then turned to his Companions to remind them of the blessings that Allah had bestowed upon them, as all three of them had left their homes whilst hungry and in search of food and Allah had granted them food through this Ansari man. With that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam said: “By the One whose Hand is my soul, this is a bountiful blessing about which you will be asked on the Day of Judgment. You left your houses hungry and you did not return without receiving this blessings.”
Subhan’Allah. Indeed, we do learn so much from this single story. Let me highlight some of it:
• The Ansari man offered generously not just because it was the Prophet Sallalalhu Alaihi Wassalaam but because they were Muslim.
• The Ansari man became very happy that he was visited by the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam, amongst all the houses in Madinah, he was chosen by Allah Azza Wa Jall to quench the hunger of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam.
My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, realize that when someone comes over to your home to visit you, know that these people have travelled and might have reached your home thirsty or hungry, and amongst the billion of Muslims in this world, Allah Azza Wa Jall has chosen you and your home to be a place of relief for them.
• The beautiful character of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam towards his host, that he did not just eat extravagantly but instead he was careful and adviced the host of something that would benefit not only him but his host as well.
• That any Muslim who is offered some food or water, he or she must supplicate and thank Allah Azza Wa Jall for the bountiful blessings they are given.
• The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam even though he was the leader of that time, he did not feel embarrassed going to the house of one of his companions and accept their hospitality when he can easily command them to bring him food. Subhan’Allah.
These are just some of the highlights, and I know there are lots of moral lessons from this single story that I might not have mentioned but I ask you all to please reflect and ponder from this beautiful story.
Indeed, the name of the Ansari man might not been mentioned in the story so that he gets the full reward for this, it is always better to be mentioned anonymously in the dunya for in sha Allah we will all know of his name when Allah Azza Wa Jall mentions it in Jannah. Allahu’akbar.
Sometimes we give to be recognized by people, but know that as Muslims, we would rather be mentioned anonymously here and be mentioned and be known in Jannah. Alhamdulillah.
And we pray that Allah Azza Wa Jall accepts our good deeds and make us generous to those Muslim relatives and guests who come often to our homes.
Story was taken from:
• Sunan At Tirmidhi Hadith 3895
• Sunan Ibn Majah Hadith 1977
• Sahih Muslim Hadith 2028