Continuing from the talk “Envy: The inferno within”, this talk addresses another of the diseases of the heart. One of the related topics of envy even related by the Prophet SAW in this Hadith is hatred. Malice, hatred, enmity, feelings, all these sentiments and emotions more or less overlap and cover the same thing. The Hadith referred to mentions both envy and hatred. It’s a Hadith related by Imam Tirmidhi in his Sunan and Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal in his Muslim.
On the authority of Az-Zubair bin Al-Awaam (RA) who said; The Prophet SAW said that the disease of the nations that preceded you has crept into you. Namely envy and hatred, and hatred is the shaver. I don’t say it shaves and removes a persons hair, rather it shaves and removes a persons deen. By that Allah in whose hands rest my soul, you will never enter Jannah until you believe, and you will never believe until you come to love one another. Should I not inform you of something that will establish this love for you and amongst you? Spread salaam amongst you.
In this Hadith, the Prophet SAW has actually linked the two diseases of envy and hatred. The diseases of the heart are not trivial, they are destructive. One of them has an extremely destructive nature. As the Prophet SAW himself describes here, hatred. We do not take the topic of love, harmony, affection, brotherhood, unity seriously. For us unity is standing on one platform, speaking apparently from one voice, singing from the same hymn sheet. Singing the same tune and song in one voice in unison. To us, unity means standing for a photo shoot, together, standing side by side, beaming from ear to ear. To us unity means putting on a front. This isn’t unity. Not in the name of religion, not in the site of Allah SWT and the Prophet SAW. Unity, harmony, love, brotherhood; all of these sentiments are related not to the smile, or to the glint in ones eyes, or to the glimmer between ones teeth, or the appearance. The sentiments are related to a person’s heart. It emanates from the heart just as hatred comes from the heart.
What Islam expects its followers to do is to eradicate that hatred from their heart, not just in ones face, in ones speech, but from ones heart, to develop that love in ones heart. Those feelings of love and affection in ones heart, not just in ones speech. This is the difference between us and the companions (RA). They were clean of heart, honest of tongue. We, are very hypocritical. We smile to each other, offer praise to each other, we flatter each other, but as soon as we turn away we’re full of anger and hatred and we abuse each other.
Sa’d bin Abi Waqas (RA) and Khalid bin Al-Waleed (RA) had a disagreement. They were human beings, not angels, they had a disagreement. In their disagreement, they both raised their voices and each said something to the other. When they parted, Sa’d bin Abi Waqas (RA) was sitting with someone, who began speaking ill of Khalid bin Al-Waleed (RA), thinking that these two have just had a disagreement, so let me seize this opportunity and get in a few words of my own and say what I wish to about Khalid bin Al-Waleed (RA). Why? Because, Sa’d bin Abi Waqas (RA) is angry, has just had an argument with him and he’s receptive and will listen to what he had to say. This is what we do today. But the Sahaba(RA) were different.
For us, if someone has been loyal and friendly to us for all our lives and one day we have a (minor) disagreement, a petty and trivial opinion on something. We are so bitter, so spiteful, that then we don’t just wait for somebody to come to us and speak ill of them, but we go out and search for their faults. We re extremely receptive, so much so that even if something is half baked, or half true and exaggerated, or even a blatant lie, we accept it on that occasion and at that moment, because that is what we want to hear. We are different, the Sahaba were different. So this person spoke in front of Sa’d bin Abi Waqas (RA) speaking ill of Khalid bin Al-Waleed (RA). This person was interrupted by Sa’d bin Abi Waqas (RA) who said “Leave it! because our disagreement (Khalid and mine) does not affect our relationship. We may have a disagreement in worldly terms, but it does not effect our religion, in any way; it does not affect our brotherly love, it does not affect my deen or his deen. Even in our disagreement, neither of us will transgress the bounds and limits set by Allah. Even in our disagreement none of us will commit a sin with the tongue or with the heart”.
They were the Sahaba (RA), we are the total opposite. To each others faces, we are flawless, the epitome of manners, sweet words, soft speech, soft approach, all emulating humbleness. Inside we are seething with anger, hatred, bitter and spiteful over nothing. This feeling of hatred within, it’s not trivial. We may appear as though we are united, on one platform with one stance.
In the Quran, Allah SWT speaks about unity, and says of the Jews, in Surah Al Hashr, “Think of them as being one and united, despite appearance of unity, their hearts differ”.
Unity even in Allah’s book, by our standards is not the unity of voice, unity of thought, rather it’s the harmony and unity of peoples hearts. It’s not trivial to hate someone or dislike someone, to be bitter and spiteful towards someone, to rage within. None of this is healthy for the individual or even for their religion. The Prophet SAW says in this Hadith that “..the disease of the nations before, has crept into you, envy and hatred…”. So hatred shaves a person’s religion; just as when one shaves their head, there is nothing and it is clean and free of hair, similarly, when a person’s religion is shaved off by one of his misdeeds, such as hatred, his account of good deeds is as bare as a bald head. Empty. Nothing. That is why the Prophet SAW has warned us and explained further in this Hadith, swearing in the name of Allah that we will never enter Jannah until we believe and come to love each other.
Many of us have this idea that we shouldn’t turn away from each other for more than three days, even children grasp this concept. Some think this is a joke or something taught that kids love to repeat that we can’t be enemies or not friends for more than 3 days. Allahu-Akbar, there are many Hadith that speak of this prohibition.
Allah says in Surah Al-Imran “Hold on fast to the rope of Allah (Quran) and be not divided amongst yourselves, and remember Allahs gifts to you and his blessings upon you, when you were enemies of each other, and he created enmity in your hearts and through his blessing you became brothers. And prio to this you were upon the edge of a pit of fire, and Allah saved you from it. In this way does Allah explains his verses to you, in the hope that you may find guidance”.
Everybody seems to know this verse. In this verse Allah SWT is addressing the Ansar Sahaba of Medina predominantly, because prior to the arrival of the Prophet SAW, the whole population of Medina, engaged in very bitter and futile warfare. It was a war of attrition and detonation. They were just killing each other off. That is why Allah SWT describes their conflict as being upon the edge of a pit of fire. Through the Prophet SAW, Allah united their hearts. The lesson to us from this verse, is that no matter how much we repeat this verse of the Quran, or we hear its translation and its meaning, until we practically apply it in our lives; in the manner of the companions, who lived by the teaching of this verse. Until then, we will never achieve that unity, we will never achieve the harmony that Allah SWT speaks of.