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Abu ad-Dardaa’ (ra) on Dunyaa

January 23, 2010

Abu ad-Dardaa’ (ra) on Dunyaa

 I chose to share with you some wisdoms from Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, for two simple reasons: One is that he was a wise admonisher and ascetic known for his extensive knowledge and devotion, and the other is that we live in a materialistic age in which we need to often hear the words of Abu-d-Dardaa’ and his likes, in order to free ourselves of heedlessness and remember what is truly valuable and what perishes and disappears as a mirage.
Abu Nu`aim related from Abu Haamid ibn Jabla that al-Qaasim bin Muhammad, rahimahumullaah, said: “Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, was one of Allaah’s servants whose virtues are stated in the Qur’aan, and he was (Qur’aan 28:80).”

As described in al-Hilyah, Abu-d-Dardaa’ nestled comfortably in his niche of continuous devotion, and he forsook any interest in materialism. He was most devoted to his spiritual life, and he was most eager to meet his Lord. Once he became free from worldly concerns and worries, the gate of true understanding became open before him. Abu-d-Dardaa’ was known for his wisdom and knowledge which were considered medicine for the sick at heart, and warmth for the hearts of equitable and the pondering ascetics.
In this first part, I will, in shaa’ Allaah, send four narrations from Abu-d-Dardaa’, that have been narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal and collected by Abu Nu`aim in al-Hilyah, and that deal with detachment from dunyaa.
Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, narrated that someone asked Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, to advise him, he replied: “Remember Allaah when you are comfortable, He will remember you when you are in difficulty, and when you set your eyes upon something in this world, think about how it will end!”

Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, said: “It would not be my greatest pleasure to open a vending shop at the threshold of the mosque, and even if it were to bring me three hundred dinars of net business per day, or even if it would help me, by being there, not to miss a single congregational prayer at the mosque. I am not saying that Allaah, the Lord of majesty and glory, did not make trading permissible or that He did not forbid usury, I am only desiring to be among those, [Qur’aan, 24:37]”
Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, once said: “If only you knew what you will certainly see upon your death, you would never again eat a single bite out of a craving appetite, and you would never again drink an extra sip of water for the pleasure of unquenchable and insatiable thirst. Hence, you will remain outdoor in perpetuity, bewildered and awaiting the unexpected, and you will never again seek comfort in a shelter or seek a shade. You will wander aimlessly and climb the hilltops of every mountain, you will look up towards the heavens and beseech your Lord for mercy, and you will beat on your chest and cry endlessly, and you will wish that you were a little vegetable – a plant which is protected to grow, and then plucked to be eaten by a hungry person passing along.”
Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, also narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, used to say, “Woe unto him, and what an agony is awaiting one who cares only about amassing money in this world! Woe unto him who opens his mouth agape and drools at hearing the sound of money, who looks aghast, just like an idiot when he thinks about it, who stares at what people have, and who does not see what he has; and if he could, he would pursue such an obsession by day and night. Woe unto him! What an austere reckoning and a grievous punishment are awaiting him!”

`Amru ibn `Abdul-Waahid narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, said: “You will be safe as long as you love the best amongst you, and as long as you acknowledge just and constructive criticism when they befit you, for whatsoever recognizes what is just and true is like the one that does them.”

Qutaibah bin Sa`eed narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa, radhiallaahu `anhu, said: “One of the signs of man’s true understanding (fiqh), is his compassion towards himself by adopting a simple life.”

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, narrates that Abu-d-Dardaa, radhiallaahu `anhu, said: “The sign of man’s true understanding (fiqh also involves his personal conduct, where he goes, from where he comes, who he sits with, and his perseverance in oft-soliciting to sit in the company of the learned ones.”

Saalim ibn Abi al-Ja`ad narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa, radhiallaahu `anhu, said: “Why do I find your scholars departing from this world, and yet your ignorant ones refuse to learn? Surely the one who teaches what is good and beneficial and the one who learns them receive equal reward; and besides these two categories, humanity is at loss.”

Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawood narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa, radhiallaahu `anhu, once saw a man walking in the marketplace holding the hand of his child, whom he adorned and dressed up beautifully, and the man seemed to take great pride in his son. Abu-d-Dardaa’ then made an audible comment, saying: “Adorn them as you please, and this will surely help boost their ego and self deception!”

Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaiba narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa, radhiallaahu `anhu, said:
“Worship Allah as though you can see Him.
Regard yourselves as though you have joined the dead, and
understand that having a little that suffices you in this world is better than having a lot that distracts you from your true objective.
You must realize that birr (trueness) in one’s deeds is a virtue, and virtues appreciate in value and they do not depreciate.
You must also remember, that not even the slightest remote sin is ever forgotten.”



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