More time for the Hereafter

Al-Hārith b. Qays – Allah have mercy on him – said:

When intending to do something good, do not delay it until tomorrow. When involved in something to do with the hereafter, keep yourself involved as long as you can. When involved in some worldly matter, put your mind to it (so as to get it done). And if you are praying and Shaytān whispers, ‘You are showing off,’ then make your prayer even longer.

Ibn Al-Mubārak in Al-Zuhd wa Al-Rqā’iq Vol.1 p126

Al-Hārith b. Qays was a student of the Companions ‘Alī and Ibn Mas’ūd – Allah be pleased with them. He was a scholar and devout worshipper.

The last bit of advice about prayer serves to repel one of Shaytān’s plots, which is to turn people away from worshipping Allah by making them feel they are showing off if they try to perfect their worship.

Take the Quran

Abu Al-‘Āliyah reports that a man once asked ‘Ubay b. Ka’b – Allah be pleased with him – for advice. He said:

Take the Book of Allah as your leader (imām) and be pleased with it as a judge and ruler. It is what your Messenger left amongst you. It will be an intercessor for you. It is to be obeyed. It is a witness never doubted. In it is a mention of you and those before you, and judgment for whatever happens amongst you. And in it is news about you and whatever will come after you.

Al-Dhahabī in Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā’, in the biography of ‘Ubay b. Ka’b

Son, have you put it into practice?

‘Aṭā’ narrates that there used to be a young man who used to go to Mother of the Believers ‘Ā’ishah to ask her questions and she would narrate to him. One day, he came to her to ask her some questions. She said, “Son, have you put into practice what you hear from me yet?” He replied, “No mother, I have not.” So she said, “Son, why do you then seek to increase Allah’s proof against us and you?!”

Al-Khatīb Al-Baghdādī in Iqtidā’ Al-‘Ilm Al-‘Amal no. 92.

The Cure for Death

A man once asked Ka’b, “Which illness cannot be treated?” “Death”, he replied. The son of Zayd b. Aslam [d136H] said:

My father said, “There is one treatment for death: gaining the pleasure of Allah ‘azza wa jall.”

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā in Dhikr Al-Mawt no. 418.

A Realistic Faith

Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī – Allah have mercy on him – said:

Faith (īmān) is not by embellishment or wishful thinking, but it is what settles in the heart and is verified through your works. Whoever says good but does not do good will have his words compared to his deeds by Allah. Whoever says good and does good will have his words raised by his deeds. This is because Allah ‘azza wa jalla said:

To Him ascends the good word, and the righteous deed raises it. [Sūrah Fāṭir: 10]

Ibn Battah in Al-Ibānah Al-Kubrā Vol. 3 p120, and Al-Khaṭīb Al-Baghdādī in Iqtiḍā’ Al-‘Ilm Al-‘Amal no.56.