During the time of Rasulullah (saws), a Bedouin approached him and asked Matas sa`a – When is the Day of Judgment? During this time, Rasulullah (saws) was already speaking and didn’t respond to the question immediately. The Bedouin continued to repeat the question three times. Rasulullah (saws) didn’t respond. However, after concluding his sermon, Rasulullah (saws) asked where this individual was. The Sahaba brought him and Rasulullah, instead asked the man a question of his own. He asked him “What have you done in preparation for the Day of Judgment?”
What this signifies is that what’s more beneficial to us isn’t when the Day of Judgment will take place but what the quality of our deeds, our emaan and our taqwa is.
Allah swt reminds us of this meeting in Surat Al Hashr:
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَلۡتَنظُرۡ نَفۡسٌ۬ مَّا قَدَّمَتۡ لِغَدٍ۬ۖ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ خَبِيرُۢ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ Surah Al-Hasher 59:18
O you who have believed, be conscious of Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and be conscious of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
What does this verse mean?
Allah is commanding us to have Taqwa of Allah (swt). To be conscious and mindful of Him. To subsequently apply this Taqwa to hold ourselves accountable and prepare for Yawm Al-Qiyaamah.
Allah (swt) has commanded every Muslim to be a person of action, a person who reflects about the state of their heart and their deeds.
This is a critical component of what Rasulullah (saws) would teach the Sahaba and serves as what we as Muslims can prioritize today.
We should work towards engaging with our Deen to promote better outcomes for our Taqwa as well as better outcomes for our community.
For example, Imam Ahmed (rh) records that an instance took place while the Sahaba were in the company of Rasulullah (saws) in the early hours of the morning. At the time, a group of impoverished people arrived who were barefooted, didn’t have much clothes, and were clearly distressed.
Rasulullah (saws) face became pale when he witnessed he state these people were in his and he asked Bilal to make Adhan and Iqaamah to commence Salat.
Immediately following the Salat, Rasulullah (saws) turned to his companions and recited the aforementioned verse from Surat Al-Hashr.
The reaction of the Sahaba was phenomenal.
A man from among the Sahaba immediately began donating money from his pocket and began donating clothes as charity. He also gave a portions of wheat and dates to these individuals. It was noted he said that if he only had half a date he would give it towards Sadaqa. Then, another person donated a bag of money that he could barely lift. Even more people began donating subsequently, until there were two piles of donations and goods.
What do we see here?
We see that there was an immediate implementation of the ayah from Surat al-Hashr. The characteristics of Taqwa within the Sahaba inspired them and lead them to acting on the Ayaat and Hadeeth they were exposed to. Reminders of holding themselves accountable, to have Taqwa and to remember the Day of Judgment empowered them to evaluate their actions and to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them – irrespective of whether there was an explicit command to donate or not.
The Sahaba overcame the excuses and barriers that we have set up for ourselves: the command is too difficult, it isn’t mandatory, it can be done later or it doesn’t apply to me.
The relationship that the Sahaba had with the Qur’an and Hadeeth reflects their sincerity and willingness to continuously improve their status in the sight of Allah. It highlights their passion to emulate the Mssenger of Allah (saws) and to actively seek out opportunities for good deeds.
Perhaps, revisiting our own sincerity and ambition for Allah’s pleasure can enable us to tread a similar path inshaAllah.