5 Beautiful Advice about Life from Angel Jibril to You
By the star when it goes down, (or vanishes). Your companion (Muhammad SAW) has neither gone astray nor has erred. Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only an Inspiration that is inspired. He has been taught (this Quran) by one mighty in power (Jibrael (Gabriel)). Dhu Mirrah (free from any defect in body and mind), Fastawa (then he (Jibrael Gabriel) rose and became stable). (Tafsir At-Tabaree). While he (Jibrael (Gabriel)) was in the highest part of the horizon. Then he (Jibrael (Gabriel)) approached and came closer. And was at a distance of two bows length or (even) nearer. So did (Allah) convey the Inspiration to His slave (Muhammad SAW through Jibrael (Gabriel) ). — Qur’an 53[An-Najm]:1–10
This header sounds stunning — I know, right? Before you get carried away thinking I was inspired by an angel; it was the Prophet SAW who saw Jibril in his truest form. Jibril is also known as the archangel Gabriel. He’s the chief of the angels in charge of bringing the revelations from God to the Messengers. In this piece, we’d examine a hadith which is quite unpopular. A scenario where Jibril appeared to the Prophet and gave him a personal advice which wasn’t a direct revelation from Allah. Since the prophet SAW was sent as a mercy to the world, we find this counsel beneficial to humanity. Here’s an excerpt from the narration:
Sahl ibn Sa’d reported: The Angel Gabriel came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “O Muhammad, live as you wish, for you will die. Work as you wish, for you will be repaid accordingly. Love whomever you wish, for you will be separated. Know that the nobility of the believer is in prayer at night and his honor is in his independence of the people.” — Source: al-Muʻjam al-Awsaṭ 4410
Let’s delve into details of the admonition in bits:
- Live as you wish, for you will die: In one of the narrations, Angel Israfil appeared to the Prophet SAW and asked him to make a request from two choices. If he would like to live a flamboyant life; the like of which Dawud and Sulayman enjoyed. Or would he prefer to remain a humble slave of Allah who doesn’t know where the next bread will come from? The Prophet chose the latter and lived a simple wretched life. He would go hungry for days and sometimes tie stones around his stomach to gain stability. He understood for certain that he was going to die, so he preferred the afterlife which is everlasting than the amusement of the present world. It’s left to us to imbibe the same, for certain, we’d die someday. You have only one life and one chance, make the best of it.
- Work as you wish, for you will be paid accordingly: Someone asked Hassan Al Basri: “What is the secret of your religiousness?” He replied:
“I understood four things: That my rizq (provision) cannot be taken by anyone, so my heart became content. That no one can do my actions (worship) for me, so I started doing them myself. That Allah is watching me, so I became ashamed to do wrong. That death is waiting for me, so I started to prepare for my meeting with Allah.”
This is the reality, we all shall be brought back to life for reckoning. Every man will be paid his reward and punishment in full. So if you do evil without repentance before death, you’d taste the fruit of ‘zaqoom’. The only alternative is to do the deeds of the people of paradise while living. Thereby, through Allah’s mercy, you shall be one of the inheritors of the garden of bliss.
3. Love whomever you wish for you will be separated: The prophet SAW loved Khadijah the most amongst his wives. This was apparent as he had no other wife while she lived. He would even reminisce the good times with her long after she was gone. Afterward, he loved Aisha and her father Abubakr. Also among his beloved were his daughter Fatima and his grandsons Hassan and Hussein. This tells that the prophet was a human like you and he loved for real. He took to this admonition from Jibril and he loved them to the fullest while he lived. So if you have the chance, tell your spouse you love her; don’t make it a statement you only utter in the early days of your relationship. Fulfill your obligations to your kids. Show compassion and kindness to your parents. For indeed one day, you will be separated from your loved ones.
4. The nobility of the believer is in prayer at night: Let’s tune the clock back to the days in Madinah. When Allah’s Apostle rises in the darkness of the night, praying to his Lord. He’s weeping as he reads the verses of the Qur’an. His blessed feet have swollen from the excessive standing position. His beloved wife A’isha asked him afterward: “O Prophet of Allah, why do you undergo so much hardship despite the fact that Allah has pardoned for you your previous and future sins?” He responded: “Should I not prove myself to be a thankful servant?”. This is how the believer is expected to live his life. Spend some time sleeping at night and a later part invoking Allah, thanking Him for His blessings and seeking forgiveness. You’d always find tranquility in rising to pray at night.
5. The honor of the believer is in his independence of people: True independence is in not wanting what’s in the hands of people. A person who begs of people is often not well respected. Being independent of people doesn't mean living in isolation or not asking for a helping hand when needed. It is having bashfulness and respect for one’s self. Also, not subjecting yourself to the vulnerability of the human tongue. This was further buttressed in another narration by Allah’s Messenger thus:
Sahl bin Sad As-Sai’di (radi Allahu anhu) reported: “A man came to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, guide me to such an action which if I do Allah will love me and the people will also love me.’ He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘Have no desire for this world, Allah will love you; and have no desire for what people possess, people will love you.’” [Ibn Majah]
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