Later in the post … “I tell myself, that is it! I found it! That is what made Abu Bakr outweigh everyone. That is what made his Iman bigger and bigger.”
Here is how the reflection goes …
What an arrogant statement!
Some of you might think this is arrogance. Think a little bit more. Saying that my Iman outweighs others IS arrogance. Aspiring to be so is NOT, for many reasons. Here are some:
- Having more Iman than other people does not show itself. You won’t be able to tell and no body is able to tell. So, you just aspire and try. Only Allah knows and only Him can reward. You can’t be arrogant since you do not know. You can’t show off since people do not know.
- Having more Iman means more reward in Paradise. That is something to compete for. The more you get in paradise does not take away from what other good people can get. Allah’s reward is bigger than what we can imagine. People of Paradise will be free of envy or hatred; “their hearts are like one heart,” as the Messenger (pbuh) described them.
- Having more Iman than others ONLY benefit them 🙂 More Iman on your behalf means more help from you to them, more blessings on the society, and more competition for doing good. In other words, you bring good from Allah, you spread good around, and you elevate the ceiling of competition.
- Competing for better Iman is required, “Race to the pleasure of Allah …” “Hasten to the forgiveness of Allah …” “In that competitors should compete.” and so on
- The moment arrogance comes to your heart is the moment your Iman goes down (to zero sometimes). When this happens, you no longer outweigh anyone; therefore, no reason for arrogance 🙂
What is Iman anyway?
Iman is quickly everything that you believe, say, and do in accordance with what Allah loves and requires. The scholars like to categorize it into three
- What resides in the heart
- What you say with your tongue
- And the actions you do [with the limbs]
- Believing in the oneness of Allah is Iman
- Saying “No god but Allah” is Iman
- Removing harm from the road is Iman
- Making Salah is Iman
- Displaying good character is Iman
- Helping the poor is Iman
- and so on …
And the messenger (pbuh) told the truth when he said “Iman is seventy (or sixty) something branches; the topmost of which is “no god but Allah.” The lowest of which is removing harm from the way of people. And ‘modesty’ is a branch of Iman”
How did Abu Bakr do it? I think …
Now, where did I get this idea of outweighing everyone else. Maybe it is my competitive personality. But why is this term? The answer is what Imam Ahmed reported in a long hadith that the prophet (pbuh) said, “Abu Bakr was weighed against the whole ummah excluding me and he outweighed them …” Now that I think deeply into this: what exactly outweighed others? I know Abu bakr has a huge amount of faith, belief and emotions towards Allah, His messenger, and Islam. Is it more than Omar, Uthman, Ali, Talha, Abu Ubaida or the rest of the couple of billion Muslims? Of course. But all of them combined? umm, Maybe. I do not know. Did he say things and did things better than any of us? Probably. But all of us combined? Well, … probably.
The answer to these questions revealed to me another dimension that helped me understand how Abu Bakr did it! The answer relied on the hadith where the prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever calls people to guidance, he/she will get a similar reward [when they follow it] similar to their reward without decreasing theirs!”
So, if I call one of my friends to a dinner; and during this dinner I share with him how important truthfulness is; Every time he tells the truth; he gets reward, and so do it. When he teaches it to his his kids, I get reward. I will keep getting reward until the day of judgement. This person that I taught truthfulness. Cannot compete with me in getting reward, from this area of truthfulness, since his reward is also mine (he can compete with me in other things though). Apply this to this to every good thing you help people embrace.
That is it! I found it
I tell myself, that is it! I found it! That is what made Abu Bakr outweigh everyone. That is what made his Iman bigger and bigger. Not only was he one of the first to embrace Islam but he was an engine helping others to discover its beauty and embrace it. Uthman with his HUGE record and heavy scale is JUST a drop in Abu Bakr’s scale. Azzubair, Bilal, Talha, Sa3d, you name them, with their tremendous contribution and their guaranteed reward is JUST a couple of other drops. The salves he freed, the poor he helped, the support he gave to Islam from minute one resulted in a huge impact on people whose reward till this moment is just a few drops in his scale. Probably, if I am sincere enough in the words I am typing and I am getting some reward for it. Abu Bakr gets the very same reward. When I stand up for salah in a couple of minutes, he will get the reward. Let others work hard, let them compete and compete, whatever they do will be added to your scale Abu Bakr! No one can compete with you!
The only one he can’t compete with is his teacher and messenger (pbuh) because no matter what his reward is, it will be a drop in the Prophet’s scale 🙂 and hence the exclusion in the hadith
I figured it out. To outweigh everyone, let me be the one who introduce them to guidance. Let me be the one who help them embrace it. Let me be the one who support good, call for good, and enjoin what is good. Doing so will not make me outweigh Abu Bakr. However, it will sure make me outweigh many many others whom I helped and whomever they help until the day of judgment.
May Allah gather me (and all of the readers) some day with you Abu Bakr to thank you face to face for what you did to me. You will not know who I am since I am just a very tiny little insignificant drop in your scale. However, I know who you are very well and I am working in increasing my weight, AND YOURS!!!