(81) Help by your speech
if you cannot do so in any other way
One of the most difficult circumstances in life is when a person in need comes to you only to return disappointed with his need unfulfilled.
Yes, fulfilling the needs of people is one of the greatest acts of worship, and proof enough for this are the Prophet’s words, “For me to walk along with my brother to fulfil his need is more beloved to me than to make I’tikaf in this mosque of mine for a month.” (al-Tabari, Hasan)
However, it is sometimes difficult to fulfil everyone’s needs.
Not everyone who asks for a loan can be helped. Not everyone who asks you to accompany him on a journey can be responded to positively. Not everyone who asks you, even for something as minor as a pen or a watch, can be helped.
The problem is that there are many people who, if you do not fulfil their request, may harbour ill feelings towards you.They may criticise you thereafter in public and accuse you of stinginess or selfishness.What should one then do?
Be an expert in getting yourself out of these situations wisely.
If someone asks you for a favour which you cannot do, then at least refuse with kind words.
You neither have a horse to give nor wealth Help with your speech, if you cannot help with anything else If a person were to discover that you are planning to travel to a certain city, and he comes to you and says, “I would like you to buy something for me from the city you are travelling to” and yet, for one reason or another, you are not in a position to fulfil his need, how should you respond? Help him by your speech if you cannot do so in any other way.
Say to him, “By Allah, dear brother, I wish to serve you with all my heart, and you are more beloved to me than many others.
However, I fear that my time will be restricted. I have a few things to do which would prevent me from fulfilling your request.”
If he were to call you to wedding party and you wish to excuse yourself but fear that he may harbour ill feelings towards you if you decline, then you should say, “I consider you to be one of my own brothers. You are of the most precious people to me.
However, I am particularly busy tonight.”
You wouldn’t have lied either, since you may be very busy with your children, or reading a book, or even sleeping! All these things keep us busy.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon himwould captivate people’s hearts with his noble manners. Imagine the Prophet Peace be upon himas he sat with his noble companions and spoke to them about the Holy Mosque in Makkah, the virtues of ‘Umrah and entering the state of Ihram, as they listened while their hearts longed to be there. The Prophet Peace be upon himthen ordered them to make preparations for the journey and race to get there.
They did not take long to prepare and get their weapons together for the journey. The Prophet Peace be upon himleft with a thousand and four-hundred of his companions, as they said “Allahu Akbar” with the intention of ‘Umrah as they raced to get to Makkah.
When they approached the mountains of Makkah, al-Qaswah – the Prophet’s camel stopped and knelt down. He tried to make her stand again and continue with the journey but she refused.
The people said, “Al-Qaswah has disobeyed!’ The Prophet Peace be upon himreplied, “Al-Qaswah hasn’t disobeyed. It is not from her traits to disobey. However, she is being held up by what held up the Elephant (of Abrahah who came to destroy the Ka’bah)”
The Prophet Peace be upon himthen said, “By the Name of Him in whose Hands my soul is, if they (i.e. the Quraysh) ask me anything which will respect the ordinances of Allah, I will grant it to them.” He then struck the camel and she got up and continued.
He headed towards Makkah and stopped over a place called Al-Hudaybiyah which is close to Makkah. When the leaders of Quraysh heard about this, they went out to prevent him from entering Makkah. But the Prophet Peace be upon himinsisted that he should enter Makkah to perform ‘Umrah. The messengers between the Prophet and the Quraysh kept going back and forth until Suhayl bin ‘Amr came and drew a pact with the Prophet Peace be upon himthat he return to Madinah for now and return the following year for ‘Umrah. They then wrote a general pact in which Suhayl stipulated that no weak Muslim would leave Makkah for Madinah except that he was to be returned, but as for the one who leaves Madinah for Makkah as an apostate, then he would be welcome in Makkah.
The Muslims said, “SubhanAllah! If a Muslim comes to us we return him to the pagans? How can we return him to the pagans when he has come to us having embraced Islam?”
While they were discussing, there came to them a young man in the heat of the desert and locked up in chains who shouted, “O Messenger of Allah!”
The people looked at him to discover that he was Abu Jandal, the son of Suhayl bin ‘Amr, who had accepted Islam and was consequently tortured by his father. When he heard about the Muslims’ arrival, he escaped from his imprisonment and came dragging his chains as his blood was pouring from his wounds and tears were pouring out of his eyes. He threw his exhausted body in front of the Prophet Peace be upon himas the Muslims watched.
When Suhayl saw this, he was furious at the thought of his escape from imprisonment! He then shouted at the top of his voice, “This man, O Muhammad, is the first person I demand that you send back to me!”
The Prophet Peace be upon himsaid, “We haven’t finalised the pact, yet.”
Suhayl said, “In that case, by Allah, I will not sign any pact with you!”
The Prophet Peace be upon himsaid, “Then allow me to take him.”
He said, “I will not allow you to take him.”
The Prophet Peace be upon himsaid, “Indeed, you will!”
He said, “No, I will not!”
The Prophet Peace be upon himthen remained silent. He was very eager to bring Quraysh closer to Islam however much he could.
He did not wish that one Muslim’s plight would have an adverse affect on the entire pact. Suhayl quickly got hold of his son and began to drag him along by his chains as Abu Jandal was shouting, begging the Muslims for help.
He said, “O Muslims! Am I going to be returned to the pagans after I have come to you as a Muslim?! Do you not see the ordeal I have undergone?” He continued to call for help until he eventually disappeared from their sight. The Muslims’ hearts were filled with grief over him.
They saw a young man who was being tortured − the son of an elite figure who had left a life of ease for punishment and torture. They helplessly watched him dragged on the ground in chains in front of them to be returned to his prison.
Abu Jandal thus went back to Makkah, asking Allah to make him steadfast on his religion, to protect him, and to grant him further conviction in his beliefs.
The Muslims returned to Madinah with the Messenger of Allah Peace be upon him, their hearts enraged by the disbelievers and at the same time pitiful for the weak and oppressed Muslims. Thereafter, the oppression against the Muslims increased to an extent that they were unable to bear it any longer.
Abu Jandal, his friend Abu Baseer and other oppressed Muslims decided to plan an escape for themselves. Abu Baseer managed to escape and instantly headed for Madinah, hoping to be in the company of the Messenger of Allah Peace be upon himand his Companions.
He continued to walk in the heat of the desert until he finally reached Madinah and headed for the Mosque. As the Prophet Peace be upon him was sitting with his companions, there came to them Abu Baseer upon whom the affects of torture were quite visible.
He looked exhausted from his journey. He had not even managed regain his breath when two men from the disbelievers of Quraysh arrived and entered the Mosque. When Abu Baseer saw them, he became terrified and began recalling the torture he had undergone.
The two men entered shouting, “O Muhammad! Return him to us according to the pact you signed with us!”
The Prophet Peace be upon himremembered the pact he had signed with the Quraysh where he had agreed to return to them whoever comes to him from Makkah. He ordered Abu Baseer to leave Madinah, and so he did with the two disbelievers. When they exited Madinah, they sat down to eat. One of them sat with Abu Baseer while the other disappeared to relieve himself.
The one sitting next to Abu Baseer took his sword out and began to play with it. He said to Abu Baseer jokingly, “I will strike with this sword al-Aws and al-Khazraj all day long!”
Abu Baseer said to him, “By Allah, I see your sword is excellent!”
He said, “Yes, by Allah! This sword is fine, I have used it over and over!”
Abu Baseer said, “Allow me to have a look, please.”
The man gave him the sword. As soon as he got hold of it, he raised the sword and struck his neck with it, causing his head to fly off. When the man’s companion came back and saw the body of his friend cut up, he was terrified and rushed to Madinah to the Prophet Peace be upon himin his Mosque.
When the Prophet Peace be upon him saw him terrified, he said, “He must have seen something awful.”
He stood in front of the Prophet Peace be upon himand screamed, “By Allah, my friend has been killed and I am going to be killed, too!”
It wasn’t long before Abu Baseer entered the Mosque, looking sinister with a blood-stained sword in his hand.
He said, “O Prophet of Allah! Allah has fulfilled your trust.
You did return me to them, but Allah has saved me. Please, accept me!”
The Prophet Peace be upon himsaid, “No.”
Abu Baseer then said in a loud voice, “OK then, give me a man and I will conquer Makkah for you!”
The Prophet Peace be upon himwas amazed at his valour. However, he was not able to fulfil his request as there was the pact between him and the people of Makkah. However, the Prophet Peace be upon him still wanted to respond to him in kindness and to help him by his speech if he could not do so in any other way.
He turned to his Companions and said in praise of Abu Baseer, “Woe be to his mother! He is a warrior, if only he had men!’
These words also constituted a type of consent that he gave to Abu Baseer.
Abu Baseer stayed at the door of the Mosque waiting for the Prophet Peace be upon himto grant him permission to stay in Madinah. However, he recalled his pledge with the Quraysh and ordered him to leave Madinah. Abu Baseer heard and obeyed.
Yes, he did not hold any grudge in his heart against the religion, and nor did he turn to the Muslims in enmity. He was hoping for a reward from the Most Generous, for whom he had left Help by your speech if his family and had exhausted himself and placed his body under great stress.
Abu Baseer left Madinah and wondered where he should go. In Makkah there would await him torture and chains, and in Madinah there are pacts and pledges that the Muslims had to uphold. He thus went off to the shores of the Red Sea and stayed over there without a friend or companion.
When the Muslims in Makkah heard about him, they realised that the doors to relief were opened up to them as the Muslims in Madinah were not able to accept them and the disbelievers in Makkah were torturing them.
Abu Jandal then managed to escape and caught up with Abu Baseer. Thereafter, many Muslims began to join up with him until they became great in number and powerful. Not a single Qurayshi caravan would pass them except that they would attack it.
When the Quraysh became fed up of this, they sent a message to the Prophet Peace be upon him urging him in the name of Allah to allow Abu Baseer to join the Muslims in Madinah. Thus, the Prophet Peace be upon him sent them a message ordering them to join him in Madinah.
When the message reached them they were overjoyed. However, Abu Baseer by then had become critically ill and was close to death. He kept saying, “My Lord, most High − the Greatest!
Whoever aids Allah is aided!”
When people visited him and informed him that the Prophet Peace be upon himhad allowed them to go and live in Madinah, that their estrangement had finally ended and that they had been given security, Abu Baseer became overjoyed. He said as he was fighting death, “Show me the letter from the Messenger of Allah Peace be upon him.”
The letter was thus given to him.
He took the letter, kissed it, placed it upon his chest and said, “I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah! I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah!”
He then breathed his last breath and passed away.
May Allah have mercy on you, O Abu Baseer! May Allah’s prayers be upon you, O Prophet!
To help someone with enchanting words indicates that you consider his feelings and show him kindness.
It is said that once, a poor woman laid next to her husband on an old bed in an old cottage. Its walls were patchy and the roof was made from the trunks of palm-trees. Her eyes started to wander about as she looked at the walls and the roof and she drifted away, deep in thought. She then said, “Do you know what I wish?”
The man said, “What do you wish?”
She said, “I wish that one day you own a huge house wherein you would live with your children happily and to which you could call your friends over. I also wish that we own a nice car which you would drive comfortably, and that your income multiplies so that you could pay off all your debts, etc.” She continued to eagerly mention all the different types of happiness that she wished for him. The man was, however, sunk in his thoughts about his failures. He had lost all hope of bettering his situation, and he was not very skilful in speech either.
When the woman became tired of speaking, she said to him, “What do you wish for?”
The man looked at the roof for a while and said, “I wish that a part of the trunk falls off from this roof onto your head and splits it into two!”

A Hadith...
The Prophet Peace be upon himwas asked, “What are the most common reasons for which people enter Hell?” He replied, “This and this.” Meaning, the private parts and the tongue.