A Feast for Clothes

islam-wedding2The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The worst of food is the food at the wedding feast from which one who comes is turned away, and he who refuses it is invited.” [Muslim]

Once upon a time in the city of Shiraz there lived a famous poet, Sheikh Saadi. Like most other poets, Sheikh Saadi was not a rich man. He led a very simple life. A rich merchant of Shiraz invited Sheikh Saadi along with a lot of other big businessmen of the town to his daughter’s marriage which was to be a grand affair. Sheikh Saadi accepted the invitation and decided to attend.

  • On the day of the wedding, the host and his family were receiving the guests at the gate. They were ushering them towards the dining hall. All the rich people of the town had come, in their best attires. Sheikh Saadi had simple clothes on which were neither grand nor expensive. He waited in a corner for someone to approach him but no one gave him as much as a second glance. Even the host did not acknowledge him and looked away.

    Seeing this, Sheikh Saadi quietly left the party and went to a shop from where he could hire clothes. There he chose a richly brocaded dress which was embroidered in gold on the margins. He selected a fancy turban and a waist-band to go with it. As he put on the hired dress and looked into the mirror, he found himself a changed person.

    This time he was welcomed with open arms. The host embraced him as he would an old friend and complimented him on the clothes he was wearing. “And here comes our favourite poet. What took you so long, friend? We have been waiting for you for ages! How good of you to have come. The gathering surely would have been incomplete without your gracious presence!”

    Saadi did not utter a word and allowed the host to lead him to the dining room where the other guests had assembled. Tasty dishes had been laid out on grand carpets. Saadi was offered a seat with soft cushions. The food was served in fine crockery. The host led Sheikh Saadi by the hand and himself served the chicken soup and fragrant rice to him.

    Then something strange happened. Sheikh Saadi dipped the corner of his waist-coat in the soup and sprinkled some rice on it. Addressing the clothes he said: “This is a feast for you, you should enjoy it.”

    All the guests were now staring at him in surprise. The host asked, “Sir! What are doing? How can your clothes eat? And why should they?”

    To this query, Sheikh Saadi very calmly replied: “My dear friend, I am indeed surprised with the question coming from you. Aren’t you the same person who did not even throw a look at me when I came dressed in simple clothes? I can guess that it is my clothes and appearance that matter with you, not my individual worth. Now that I have put on grand clothes, I see a world of difference in the reception I am offered here. All that I can say is that this feast is meant for my clothes, not for me.”

    Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) used to say: “The worst of food is the food of a wedding feast to which the rich are invited and the poor are ignored.” [Muslim]

    This hadith has been sent to me by dailyhadith.adaptivesolutionsinc.com

  • A Home for a Home

    Waraqah bin Naufal anticipating the mission of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “I wish I were young and could live up to the time when you will be driven out by your people.” The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) asked in surprise, “Will they throw me out?” “Yes,” Waraqah replied, “No one has ever come with something similar to what you have brought who was not treated with enmity; and if I should remain alive till the day (when you will be turned out) then I will support you strongly.” [Sahih Bukhari]

  • The followers of the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) were likewise persecuted till they left their homes to secure their steadfastness on their religion. For the people who migrate today for similar reasons, the story of the Companion Abdullah bin Jahsh (radi Allahu anhu) is both consoling and inspiring.

    Abdullah ibn Jahsh (radi Allahu anhu) was one of the first Muslims. When Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) gave permission for his Companions to emigrate to Madinah, Abdullah (radi Allahu anhu) migrated with his whole clan.

    Abdullah’s clan was not long gone when the alerted Quraish leaders came out and made the rounds of the districts in Makkah to find out which Muslims had left and who had remained. Among these leaders were Abu Jahl and Utbah ibn Rabi’ah. Utbah looked at the houses of the Banu Jahsh through which the dusty winds were blowing. He banged on the doors and shouted: “The houses of the Banu Jahsh have become empty and are weeping for their occupants.” Abdullah bin Jahsh had the most beautiful and expensive house. He sacrificed this house for the pleasure of Allah. Seeing it abandoned, Abu Jahl entered the house and took all its contents.

    Later, when Abdullah ibn Jahsh (radi Allahu anhu) heard what Abu Jahl had done to his house, he mentioned it to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) who said: “Aren’t you satisfied, O Abdullah, with what Allah has given you instead, a house in Paradise?”

    “Yes, Messenger of Allah,” replied Abdullah. From that moment he never had any regret for that house and became completely satisfied with the beautiful palaces that were waiting for him in Paradise. [Companions of the Prophet by Abdul Wahid Hamid]

    Hijrah (migration) is a vitally important aspect of Islam; it is the proof of one’s alliance with Allah’s party and dissociation from His enemies. The Muslims could not have abandoned their homes and families, exposing themselves to the pain of separation and the hardship of migration if it had not been indispensable to the practice of their religion and the assertion of Islam in the land. Allah promised these emigrants a great reward in both worlds, saying:

    “Those who migrated for the sake of Allah after having suffered persecution, We shall give a good place in this world, but in the next is the greater reward, if they only knew. Those who were steadfast and who upon their Lord totally depend.” [Quran: Surah An-Nahl, Ayaat 41-42]

    This hadith has been sent to me by dailyhadith.adaptivesolutionsinc.com