The Prophet salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made his way to the mount of As-Safa in the eagerness to complete the command of his Lord and in the dire concern for his people that rippled through him. When he ascended the firm mount of As-Safa, he made a call of urgency to the people and cried out, “Waaaa Sabahaaa!”
As was custom, people responded to this call either coming themselves or sending representatives to receive the news that was about to be laid out to the masses of Makkah. Leaving whatever they were involved in, the people hurried over, to the mount of As-Safa to arrive at the disposal of the one they had come to know of AlSadiq (the truthful) AlAmin (the trustworthy).
Upon their gathering, the Messenger of Allah salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam posed a question of impending nature, “If I were to tell you that there were some horsemen in the valley planning to raid you, will you believe me?” They replied in a matter of fact manner and proclaimed, “Yes, we have never experienced any lie from you.” Then the Prophet Muhammad salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam announced, “I am a warner to you before a severe torment”.
Amongst this crowd was a disgruntled Abu Lahab. He had left the affairs of his life dangling to come hear the message and all he received was this! Disgusted with having to leave his costly work behind to hear a message he apparently had no time for, in a fit of rage he responded, “Perish you all the day! You have gathered us for this?!”
Did the Prophet salla Allahu ‘aayhi wa sallam not understand the ‘preciousness’ of his time? Did he not realize the money that needed to be made? Did he not take into account the energy spent in order to come and hear this message?
For asurety, the Messenger of Allah salla Allahu ‘aayhi wa sallam understood the society that was present and knew that this message was much more crucial than anything else that was to be done.
Have you seen Abu Lahab lately? I’ve seen him. I see him every Friday texting on his phone during Jumu’ah and requesting the salah to be shorter afterwards. I witnessed him pass up an invitation to a Halaqa to watch the latest episode of Smallville. I saw him at the restaurant with his friends at 5:00 AM in a restaurant, but didn’t see him at the masjid for Fajr.
If you haven’t caught on, I didn’t actually see Abu Lahab, but I saw his characteristic clear as day in these scenarios. Shaykh AbdulBary Yahya relayed to us in The Shepherd’s Path the aforementioned story and explained that some individuals become so obsessed with this world that when you bring up issues of the Hereafter, they go silent or they get upset that you brought up such an issue. In addition to this, they avoid these issues and tune out when they are mentioned.
Although, as Muslims, many of the examples I gave do not reject Islam, yet they have this baseline characteristic that renders them lost. It is an obsession with this world that distracts them from the final destination. This is what Abu Lahab had and is what drove him away from the serenity of Islam. Allah ‘azza wa jall says,
“And they will say, ‘If only we had been listening or reasoning,
we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.'” (67:10)
One of the greatest regrets of the ones who are banished to hell is that had they just listened, understood and obeyed to the ones who were calling to them, then they would not be stuck in such a position. This is also why we find in different places in the Qur’an where the people of Hellfire ask Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala to placed back in the world so that they can do the good that they missed out on the first time around.
We are, by the Grace and Mercy of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala, still alive. Thus, we still have a chance to listen and understand. We still have an opportunity to attend those lectures and halaqaat that we got numerous fliers about. The time to unplug your ears, open your heart, and move your limbs is now! Because when your ears are decaying, your heart stops beating, and limbs no longer move, your deeds will be reckoned and you will arrive at your final destination.
Distracted by much is mankind,
Yet the truth is what he desires to find.
Blinded by routine and status quo,
By which he seeks fruit becomes his untimely foe.
Break yourself free from the shackles of this ignorance,
And bring yourself forth into the arms of knowledge and repentance.
May Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala open our hearts to His Guidance, give us the tawfeeq to follow it, grant us the highest levels of Jannah. Ameen ya rabbil ‘aalameen.