There is a hadith in Bukhari that goes like this, “Wear new clothes, live a praiseworthy life and die a martyr”. The context is very interesting. Prophet SA asked a companion of his, “Are these new clothes you are wearing or are they old?” He replied. “These are old” and Prophet SA replied with the hadith aforementioned.
In the 17th century when Europeans were infesting the world with its military might, they had their first encounters with the Chinese. People with eyes that barely open and heights that seldom reached their offenders had curious culture nonetheless.
Among many of the cultural imports they brought back home, there was something called ‘Chinese Whisper’. Also known as Russian Scandal, it is a game played where ear whispering distorts the original message to the point where it becomes a joke by the the time the last recipient announces the message.
This children’s’ game has apparently become a favorite mode of communication between the adults, most of the times the ones with lesser IQs than children. The hadith above was a very powerful summarization of noble characteristics of a human life.
Cleanliness being half of the belief it is not up for discussion for the religious and atheists alike. It is what separates us from rodents and reptiles. The ability to use our aesthetics to beautify the world with colors and textures and tones. This is how we continuously structure and re-structure our understanding of beauty.
Throughout the human history, the ultimate goal for all of us is to spend a praiseworthy life. For some, it becomes so irresistible that being notorious doesn’t sound like a bad choice either, especially in times like these where our larger than life egos have a global audience to validate us. However, the touchstone for honor and respect is Allah’s book and not the peers.
Luckily for us believers, the ultimate inspiration to look for is Prophet SA. The closer we are to his Sunnah, the richer and happier we become. If this sounds like a counterintuitive observation in these times, look upon the richest of the world and see if their wealth has brought them the happiness and health and peace.
There is a Sufi saying that all problems in life stem from the love of the world. There is another hadith that goes like this, “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer and count yourselves among the dead.”
War is a scary thing. It not only brings the throes and visions of bloodletting and discomfort, it brings pain and nightmares, yet when humans turn into a devil and take the better half of the helpless and downtrodden, is it not only right to rise against the evil forces fearlessly?
This love of the worldly scraps of gold and paper that keeps men from stopping others from ruining it for others. A place that we all inherited in all its freedoms from Adam and Eve without stipulations. Water sources without encroachments, fishing without permits, seeds without patents and medicine without insurances.
If the afterlife is a reality that we believe in, why shouldn’t, being a martyr, an idea worth longing for? If that was such a violent concept, would Prophet SA have participated in so many of these campaigns? He is the mercy incarnated for both worlds, yet he bled in the battlefield, buried his own kinsmen, and rode against armies which was tantamount to a suicide.
Fourteen centuries later, this mesmerizing hadith fell into the hands of incompetent cowards who turned into this Chinese whisper that meant something utterly opposite. A life of flashy gowns and dresses from the corrupt rulers are ‘the new dresses’ of scholars for dollars, praise is nothing but rhetoric from their diabolical masters, and the concept of rising against the oppression is heretic. Yet word of Allah does not change. Tables will turn and honor is for Allah alone. Everything else shall vanish.
The Ghazwa Hind is nearing and everyone with the slightest perception can hear the war trumpet. The unfortunate choice has become the only option and forces are being aligned. This might be the last chance for every thinking and feeling being on earth to rise to the occasion because when the dust settles there are only Allah’s legions that will be victorious.
Is not the morning near? Surah Hud, Verse 81.