This is an article I received in e-mail. Read and share and apply in your lives.
THE Prophet (peace be upon him) was once sitting with his companions when they were approached by some horsemen as delegates from the tribe of Banu Tamim. As with any tribe coming to accept Islam, the Prophet wanted to select a leader for them. Naturally, recommendations for the man best fit for this job came from his closest companions, Abu Bakr and Umar, may Allah be pleased with them.
Abu Bakr recommended that the Prophet make Al-Qa‘qa‘ Bin Ma‘bad, member of Banu Mujashi‘, take the position. Umar disagreed, suggesting that the Messenger of Allah instead choose a man named Al-Aqra‘ Bin Habis. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)
Disagreement between the two turned to debate, debating turned to arguing, and soon the two began raising their voices so loud, they drowned out the voice of the Prophet.
Just then, Allah revealed the following verse to the Prophet (peace be upon him).
“O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet (peace be upon him), nor speak aloud to him in speech as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds may be rendered fruitless while you perceive not.” (Qur’an, 49:2)
Respect for the Prophet
Allah was telling both Abu Bakr and Umar that what they were doing was uncalled for. When one speaks near the Prophet, they can’t speak louder than him, out of respect and reverence for the man who is the messenger of Allah himself.
This command from Allah goes beyond mere volume. When issues arise in matters of the Sunnah, we can’t speak out over or against it. As Ibn ‘Abbas said, this means do not contradict the Sunnah in your actions, statements, or even your intentions.
The attitude towards the Sunnah should be like that of Imam Malik’s. When students came to his house wanting to learn Fiqh or ‘Aqeedah, he would come out and teach them. If they wanted to learn Hadith however, he would make Ghusl before coming out and recite the verse, “O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet (peace be upon him), nor speak aloud to him…” before he began his lesson, to remind himself and his students that what they were about to study has to be respected at the highest level.
How Umar reacted
After this verse was revealed, it was narrated that whenever Umar would speak to the Prophet, he would speak so quietly that you could barely hear him. In fact, Abdullah Bin Al-Zubair said the Prophet sometimes asked Umar to repeat himself because his voice was so soft.
With the coming of a commandment from Allah, Umar immediately followed it and practiced it in his daily life. He didn’t second guess it or try to just half-way act on it, nor did he delay it or temporarily follow it. He immediately acted on it in full permanently.
The Thabit approach
When Thabit Ibn Qays Al-Shammas, a Sahabi who used to speak in a loud voice because he was hard of hearing, heard this verse, he was devastated. Since the verse said that those who speak above the Prophet would lose all of their deeds without them even knowing it. Immediately Thabit went home in despair and didn’t come out to the point where the Prophet and Sahabah noticed his absence.
When they visited and asked him where he’d been, he said he had been terrified of losing all of his deeds because he, too, used to speak above the Prophet, even though he was only speaking loudly because of his hearing problem. Later the Prophet consoled him by telling him that he was a person of paradise.
How Satan exploits disagreements
When Abu Bakr and Umar were arguing, they were doing it at the worst time in the worst scenario. In front of them was the Prophet and around them were the delegates from a new tribe that wanted to accept Islam. Shaitan will do whatever it takes to destroy any chance of Islam prospering.
Here, he made two Muslim brothers escalate their disagreements to the point where an issue greater than choosing leadership, i.e. respecting the Prophet, was being ignored.
When things get heated in your disagreements with family, friends, or in da’wah work, never let Shaitan use your differences to his advantage.
The Sahabah weren’t superhuman beings who didn’t make any mistakes whatsoever. What made them extraordinary and models for us, instead, was how they corrected their mistakes.
Imagine if you found out that you and your family lost everything you ever owned and went bankrupt. No more assets, no more house or cars, and no money.
Now imagine you lost all of your good deeds. Which of the two would you feel more devastated at?
The Sahabah thought of losing one’s deeds as one of the worst things that could ever happen to them.
The next time we fall into a dispute with our Muslim brothers or sisters, we should remember the way Abu Bakr and Umar acted and reacted, as well as make sure we respect the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Sunnah without becoming clouded by our situation.