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18 June 2019 CE | 15 Shawwal 1440 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation

Repeating Carelessly

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “It is lying enough for a man to repeat everything he hears.” [Sahih Muslim]

We need to be very guarded with our tongues. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says: “Pursue not that of which you have no knowledge. The hearing, the eyesight, the heart: all will be asked about.” [Quran 17:36] Every word that we utter is noted down by the angels with us. Try to visualize this before carelessly repeating whatever you hear. Better still; be guarded about what you hear to give yourself less material to carelessly repeat!

Jalal-ad-Deen Muhammad Balkhi, known commonly as Rumi, made a point with the following story: Once upon a time a Sufi by the name of Shareef stopped by a Khanqah to get some rest. He tied his donkey up and gave him plenty of grass and water to eat and drink and left him to rest. Then he went inside. The other Sufis living in the Khanqah, since they did not work, had gone without food for the past three days. When they saw the donkey they designed an evil plan. They decided to sell the donkey off and with the money buy themselves a delicious meal.

The Khanqah was lit with many lamps and it was announced that there would be a dinner party that night followed by a Qawwali session. They made preparations for the party, all the while doing their best to please Sufi Shareef, the owner of the donkey. Sufi Shareef began to feel special and joined in with the festivities unaware that his donkey had been sold. They all had a delicious meal together. After that, the Qawwali session began and the Khanqah became full of dust as the people in a state of great excitement thumped their feet hard on the ground, clapping and singing at the same time.

When the music and dance ceremony reached its peak, the Qawwal said a verse loudly and everybody ecstatically repeated it in chorus: “The donkey has departed, the donkey has departed, the donkey has departed.” Sufi Shareef was one of those who was excitedly repeating the verse and enjoying himself with everyone else.

By dawn the people had calmed down, and soon the Khanqah became empty. Sufi Shareef also decided to pack up and set off. When he came for his donkey, he saw to his surprise that it wasn’t there. He held the caretaker of the Khanqah responsible who admitted to what had happened: “What could I do? They were four and I was one! They beat me and took the donkey away.”

“But at least you could have informed me! Now that they have all left, who am I going to take to the Qazi for justice?” said Sufi Shareef. Hearing this, the caretaker said that he had indeed come inside many a time to inform him regarding what had happened; but whenever he came in he saw Sufi Shareef excitedly shouting the phrase, “The donkey has departed.” So the caretaker did not say anything to him thinking that Sufi Shareef must be aware of what had happened and had come to terms with it. Sufi Shareef replied sorrowfully that the others had been singing the verse so beautifully that he was simply imitating them without understanding what they were saying.

Imitating others’ statements without thought could lead to great loss.

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