By SAJAD AHMAD MIR
Hadith, or the Prophetic tradition, is unanimously the twinned source of Islamic faith. Hadith is not separated from the Quran in a way that the former is an authentic interpretation of the latter and as such attains constitutional status within the legal and intellectual framework of Islam. Hadith has in store innumerable streams of guidance for humanity. The Prophetic traditions, though small in structure and lesser in words, host deep meanings and higher concepts and are undoubtedly apophthegms in a real sense.
Rasul-ul-Allah (SAW) had been blessed with jawami ul kalim (concise words with comprehensive meanings) where words happen to be brief but have in store a plethora of meanings. One of the Hadith reported by Tamim Aldhari (RA) says “Rasul-ul-allah (SAW) thrice said that Islam is all about sincere loyalty, upon this we said: whom to be loyal to? He replied, to Allah, his book, his Messenger, to the leader of the Muslim Ummah and common Muslim masses”. (Narrated by Imam Muslim). This Prophetic tradition hosts enormous meanings and despite its concise structure it occupies an important place in Hadith literature. Muhammad bin Aslam Altufy says about this Hadith that “It is one of the four quarters of Islam. If the faith of Islam is required to be divided into four equal parts, this Hadith surely occupies one fourth of the entire portion”. Imam Abu Dawud says about its importance that “It is one of those Ahadith around which the legal structure of Islam revolves.”
Naseeh (in Hadith, means sincere loyalty) in literal Arabic parlance means refining honey from impurities. Honey once refined, exhibits the magic of its sweetness and is all set to be consumed. Similarly, when a person purifies his heart and thoughts from impurities of sceptical tendencies, lustful leanings and violent drifts of Nafs, he is all set to relish the sweetness of faith. The first thing in the Hadith, which sincere loyalty is shown to, is the nucleus of almost all available theology. The entire canvas of Islamic faith is connected to this centre. The first and foremost requirement of a Muslim is to believe in the existence of the great Being who is cause to all causes. Who caused the entire cosmos and the stuff therein to come into being? Allah (SWT) is the epicentre of love and devotion of a Muslim. When a person sets out to show his sincere loyalty to Allah, his heart is filled with divine taste. Those who abandon heartfelt material tendencies and control lustful leanings, the hijab, or curtain of ignorance, is removed from their eyes and their wisdom-based insight is sharpened.
Man’s heart is an abode of love – the love of Allah, and in contrast is the love of something other than Allah, be it wealth, status, reputation, false prestige et al – and he is left with a choice to have his heart filled with either love. The demand of sincere loyalty is to give up the love of all that is other than Allah. The thought and action of a person is always driven by the intensity of love his heart hosts. Our hearts and thoughts have felt the importance and warmth of wealth and worldly things so it is no more a difficulty to accumulate that even if one is exposed to biting cold or scorching heat. What takes him out when rain falls in torrents or the sun voraciously sucks every drop of water? It is the love for material things which makes a person restless and prevents him from living in peace. But when the love of Allah takes over a heart, a person feels joy and comfort in discharging the duties to Allah and he feels delighted in removing all that comes in his way.
Sayyiduna Bilal (RA) was severely tortured to try and force him to shun faith in Allah, but the only thing he could reply with was “Ahad, Ahad”, that is to say that Allah is only one. Thereupon, he was inflicted with great persecution, but the more they would persecute him, more his stance became firm. It is because real love breeds unshakeable commitment and sincere loyalty. Our statements of loving Allah (SWT) fill up the space. But is it supported by our actions?
The first thing the given Hadith reminds us is not to be unmindful of Him who showered all His favours upon us. It is He who blessed us with eyes to see, ears to listen, speech to speak, and made the world habitable for us and therein stored all the life-supporting systems to lead a worthy life. He created human beings, the cream and crown of creation, to worship Him alone, seek His help when in distress, seek His forgiveness when immersed in sins, call upon Him alone when in need, and making the attainment of His pleasure the sole concern of their lives. Sincere loyalty to Allah demands that all available loyalties present in the human heart must be given away, be it loyalty to caste, colour, language, motherland or anything else, as these concocted loyalties stand nowhere vis-a-vis the loyalty to the master and sustainer of the world.
On the authority of Hasan Albasary (RA), Rasul-ul-Allah (SAW) is reported to have said, “Have you ever thought of any one amongst you who has two slaves, one of them obeys when ordered, returns the things truthfully when he is entrusted and is sincerely loyal when his master is away? On the other hand, the other one disobeys when ordered, proves to be treacherous when entrusted and is disloyal when his master is away. Can these two be equal?” The companions said “no”, thereupon Rasul-ul-Allah (SAW) said, “Thus is the status of you (people) before Allah (SWT)”.
Sayyiduna Isaa (AS) was asked by his companions, “What is purity in action?” He said, “You dislike the praises of people on performing the action”. They asked what is sincere loyalty to Allah (SWT)? He answered, “You begin to perform duties to Allah before performing them to people and if you happen to face two things together, one is for Allah and the other one for Duniya, you perform the one which is for Allah alone”. Therefore, the yardstick to measure sincere loyalty to Allah (SWT) is to observe all His commandments, otherwise it will be presumed a half-hearted slogan with no practical essence. Some Arab couplets say “You disobey Allah (SWT), but express your love for Him verbatim, by Allah, such an attitude is all-amazing. Had your love for Allah been sincere, you would have obeyed Him as the lover always obeys the beloved”.