Anxious About Future? Check Prophet’s Advice to His Cousin

  • Editor’s note: The following text is not strictly verbatim transcript of the video. Some editorial modification were made to make the text publishable as an article.
  • About Sheikh Suhail Mulla

Special Advice

`Abdullah ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, “One day I was riding behind the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), when he said,

Young man, I will teach you some words.

Be mindful of Allah, and He will take care of you. Be mindful of Him, and you shall find Him at your side. 

If you ask, ask of Allah. If you need help, seek it from Allah.  

Know that if the whole world were to gather together in order to help you, they would not be able to help you except if Allah had written so.

And if the whole world were to gather together in order to harm you, they would not harm you except if Allah had written so.

The pens have been lifted, and the pages are dry.’” (At-Tirmidhi)

In this beautiful hadith, we see our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) riding with his young cousin, `Abdullah ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), and we see the Prophet giving advice to the young man; advice that can guide a person throughout his whole life; a blueprint for life in all of its ups and downs.

The great scholar Ibn Al-Jawzi had a beautiful comment on this hadith; he says:

“I pondered over this hadith and it amazed me to the point where I almost get light-headed thinking about it.”

If you realize the depth in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in this hadith, you will be overwhelmed by the same feeling.

Seizing Dawah Opportunities

So, here is Ibn `Abbas riding with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the Prophet is giving him this valuable advice. From this we learn a lesson: time is precious!  

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not waste any time in his life. He seized the few moments with the young man to guide him to the right direction.

In this hadith, we can observe three main themes which, if you put them together, give you a roadmap for the proper way of life that a believer should stick to.

First: “Guard Allah” and He will guard you.[1]

What does the Prophet mean when he says “Guard Allah”, when He is in fact the One Who guards and protects us?

He means that we are to guard and protect the boundaries that Allah has established for us in this deen, that is, to do what Allah commands us to do and to stay away from what He forbids.

The reward then will be: “He will guard you”. Allah will respond to you in the way you respond to Him. This is a concept repeated often in the Qur’an:

{…fulfil My covenant (and) I will fulfil your covenant} (Al-Baqarah 2:40)

{So remember Me; I will remember you.} (Al-Baqarah 2:152)

{O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you} (Muhammad 47:7)

So whatever good deed you do with a good intention, striving towards pleasing your Lord, Allah will respond to you in a like manner. You get back what you put forth; you get out what you put in. This is how Allah Almighty deals with His servants but, of course, what Allah gives back to us is infinitely more than what we give.

Second: When you ask, ask of Allah.

The second main point in this hadith is where the Prophet says: “If you ask, ask of Allah. If you need help, seek it from Allah.

So, we find in these words tawheed in action. We acknowledge Allah Almighty as the One and only one worthy of worship and we acknowledge Him as the One to turn to for all of our needs.

The hadith teaches us another thing: Allah always answers. He is waiting for us to ask; it is you who should take the initiative.  When you do that you will find Allah waiting for you. This concept is emphasized frequently. In one hadith reported by Salaman Al-Farisi (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) tells us that a servant who raises his hands in du`aa’ will not be returned empty-handed by Allah.

So, the Prophet teaches us to seek anything from Allah. Even if it is the most minute or trivial of things; even if you want to put a food on your table tonight, ask Him to help you to accomplish that.

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