One day, Hanzalah al Usaidi* said to his friend Abu Bakr*: “Abu Bakr, I have become a hypocrite!”
“I seek Allah’s protection against the accursed Satan! Why are you saying this?” Abu Bakar was shocked.
“I swear by God” Hanzalah continued, “When I am in the presence of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ * or when we are listening to the Quran from his mouth, or when he reminds us of Paradise, I feel motivated and energised and inspired! When he reminds us of Hellfire, I feel fear and aim to be extra careful in my actions. But the moment I reach home after the gathering, when I meet my wife and children, or when I go back to work after the gathering, I feel different! I often get busy and forget about the matters of Hereafter. I can’t recognise my own heart anymore!”
Abu Bakr said, “You’re right. This is a problem. I feel the same way too! That makes the two of us. We’re both hypocrites! Oh no. Let’s go ask the Prophet!”
So, off they both went to see the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ straight away. They knew that the Prophet was the best teacher they ever had and nobody else could answer them in the best way possible.
After listening to their query, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ replied, “By Allah, Hanzalah, if you had the same feeling when you are here with me and when you are with your family or when you are at work, the angels in the streets would want to shake hands with you! Why? Because your level of faith is so great. And it is consistent too. The angels would turn up in broad daylight to come to shake hands with you. But O Hanzalah! An hour and an hour.”
“An hour and an hour”?
Moral & Afterthought
What does the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ mean by “an hour and an hour”?
This means that we can put aside an ‘hour’ for our heart’s matters and its purification or cleaning process. And we can put aside another ‘hour’ for our dunya (temporary world) matters or even entertainment.
It does not mean that we can do one hour of good deeds and one hour of bad deeds. For example, we spend one hour listening to an Islamic lecture and we spend one hour at the club or pub, dancing, drinking, singing karaoke or gambling. No! That’s not what the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ meant.
What the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ meant by the dunya matters was that we have to attend to the necessary and important things that we do for our body, mind and lifelike eat, drink, go to the bathroom, go to work or school, clean the house, cook, ride the train or car or other vehicle, etc.
As for entertainment, we could perhaps read a book, watch a Halal* movie, play a video game, go for a walk, go shopping, spend quality time with your parents or grandparents, enjoy moments with your siblings or cousins or aunties or uncles, sew, paint, fish, solving puzzles, visit friends, etc.
There are numerous other Halal dunya activities and Halal entertainment activities that we can do. Can you name one more?
Don’t you just love Islam? Islam is perfect. It teaches us to be balanced.
*Hanzalah al Usaidi = he is also known as “Hanzalah al Asadi”. He is one of Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ companions. He is not the same companion Hanzalah ibn Abi Amr who died in the battle of Uhud and who was washed by angels between the heavens and the earth.
**This true story (which was derived from a Hadith, refers Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Vol. 4, Book 11, Hadith 2514) and the words of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ were edited and paraphrased for ease of understanding. The story has been taken from a lecture called “Balance In Islam” by Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem. (The video was uploaded by Al-Khadeem Akymedia Channel in Youtube). The Afterthought section is generally put together by SFMK, using gathered resources such as the Muslim Matters website, Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem’s video and Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed’s video, and the like.