The Eighteenth Narration
Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu related:
كنت أدعو أمي إلى الإسلام وهي مشركة فدعوتها يوما فأسمعتني في رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما أكره فأتيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأنا أبكي قلت يا رسول الله إني كنت أدعو أمي إلى الإسلام فتأبى علي فدعوتها اليوم فأسمعتني فيك ما أكره فادع الله أن يهدي أم أبي هريرة فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم اللهم اهد أم أبي هريرة فخرجت مستبشرا بدعوة نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فلما جئت فصرت إلى الباب فإذا هو مجاف فسمعت أمي خشف قدمي فقالت مكانك يا أبا هريرة وسمعت خضخضة الماء قال فاغتسلت ولبست درعها وعجلت عن خمارها ففتحت الباب ثم قالت يا أبا هريرة أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله قال فرجعت إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأتيته وأنا أبكي من الفرح قال قلت يا رسول الله أبشر قد استجاب الله دعوتك وهدى أم أبي هريرة فحمد الله وأثنى عليه وقال خيرا قال قلت يا رسول الله ادع الله أن يحببني أنا وأمي إلى عباده المؤمنين ويحببهم إلينا قال فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم اللهم حبب عبيدك هذا يعني أبا هريرة وأمه إلى عبادك المؤمنين وحبب إليهم المؤمنين فما خلق مؤمن يسمع بي ولا يراني إلا أحبني
I invited my mother, who was a polytheist, to Islam. I invited her one day and she said to me something about Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which I disliked.
I came to Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam weeping and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I invited my mother to Islam but she did not accept (my invitation). I invited her today but she said to me something about you which I did not like. Supplicate Allah that He may guide the mother of Abu Hurairah.”
Thereupon Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O Allah, guide the mother of Abu Hurairah.”
I came out quite pleased with the supplication of Allah’s Apostle salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. When I came near the door it was closed from within.
My mother heard the noise of my footsteps and she said, “Abu Hurairah, just wait.”
And I heard the noise of falling of water. She took a bath and put on her garment and in haste did not cover her head with a headdress, opened the door and said, “Abu Hurairah, I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His bondsman and His Messenger.”
I went back to Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam shedding the tears of joy.
I said, “Allah’s Messenger, be happy, for Allah has responded to your supplication and has guided the mother of Abu Hurairah.”
He praised Allah and extolled Him.
I said, “O Allah’s Messenger, supplicate to Allah so that He may instil my love and that of my mother in the believing servants and let our hearts be filled with their love.”
Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O Allah, let there be love of these servants of yours, i.e. Abu Hurairah and his mother, in the hearts of the believing servants and let their hearts be filled with the love of the believing servants.”
Abu Hurairah said, “This prayer was so well granted by Allah that no believer was ever born who heard of me and who saw me but did not love me.”
Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:
1. This narration holds much virtue of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Amongst them are:
a. The Du’a of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in his favour.
b. Explicit mention that no believer will hear of him except that he will love this Companion. This shows that anyone who harbours hatred for him is not a believer. Imam Abu Hatim ibn Hibban has a chapter heading in his collection, ‘Mentioning those narrations that indicate the love of Abu Hurairah as part of faith’.
Ibn Kathir has written in al Bidayah wa al Nihayah:
هذا الحديث من دلائل النبوة فإن أبا هريرة محبب إلى جميع الناس، وقد شهر الله ذكره بما قدره أن يكون من روايته من إيراد هذا الخبر عنه على رؤوس الناس في الجوامع المتعددة في سائر الأقاليم في الانصات يوم الجمعة بين يدي الخطبة، والامام على المنبر، وهذا من تقدير الله العزيز العليم، ومحبة الناس له رضي الله عنه
This narration is a sign of the true prophethood of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is beloved to all. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has spread his fame far and wide, having the Friday sermon include his narrations which are heard throughout the world. This is through the divine selection of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and the love embedded in the hearts of people for him.
c. His worry and heartache at hearing someone speak ill of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; a testament to his love for the Messenger of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.
d. His love and kindness towards his mother. Thereafter her acceptance of Islam at his hands through the blessings of the prayer of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Her acceptance of Islam and good deeds will be credited to her sons scrolls.
2. This narration is a sign of the true prophethood of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. His prayer on behalf of the mother of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was granted by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala
3. The desirability of hastening to give glad tidings to a fellow Muslim.
4. The desirability of praising Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and extoling His greatness when being granted a favour or being saved from a calamity.
5. ‘In haste did not wear her headdress’. This portion of the narration shows that the women of that era were habitual in covering themselves.
6. A disbeliever that speaks ill of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will not be deprived of Du’a (for guidance) being made on their behalf. Similarly, a sinful believer would be prayed for all the more, as this faith is mercy for mankind.
7. The greatest gift one can give to their parents is Du’a, especially if they are disbelievers.
8. Du’a in favour of guidance for those who oppress is better than praying for their destruction. Imam al Bukhari and Muslim have recorded the following:
قدم الطفيل بن عمرو على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا رسول الله إن دوسا قد عصت وأبت فادع الله عليها فظن الناس أنه يدعو عليهم فقال اللهم اهد دوسا وأت بهم
Tufayl ibn ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu came to Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! The tribe of Daws has disobeyed (Allah and His Apostle) and have refused (to embrace Islam), therefore, invoke Allah’s wrath for them.”
The people thought that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would invoke Allah’s wrath for them, but he said, “O Allah! Guide the tribe of Daws and let them come to us.”
However, this isn’t a general rule that should be applied at all times and places. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself had prayed against some of the disbelievers. This is when their evil is causing harm to the Muslims.
9. This narration portrays the kindness and love the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum had for their parents. Imam al Bukhari has recorded the following in al Adab al Mufrad:
ان أبا هريرة وكان إذا دخل دخل أرضه بالعقيق صاح بأعلى صوته عليك السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته يا أمتاه تقول وعليك السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته يقول رحمك الله كما ربيتني صغيرا فتقول يا بني وأنت فجزاك الله خيرا ورضي عنك كما بررتني كبيرا
When Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu would come to his house he would call out, greeting his mother, upon which she would greet him back.
He would then say, “May Allah have mercy on you as you had when I was young.”
She would reply saying, “O my son, May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala reward you abundantly and be pleased with you as you have been kind to me in my old age.”
Muhammad ibn Sirin says, “We were with Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu one night when he said, ‘O Allah! Forgive Abu Hurairah, his mother and those that seek forgiveness for them.’ We would then seek forgiveness for Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his mother so that we may be included in his Du’a too.
I too say, O Allah, forgive Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his mother.
Another great tribute to his love for his mother was that he did not perform the pilgrimage till she had passed away; being preoccupied with looking after her.
10. What of the following narration recorded in Jami’ al Tirmidhi?
حدثنا أبو العالية عن أبي هريرة قال قال لي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ممن أنت قال قلت من دوس قال ما كنت أرى أن في دوس أحدا فيه خير قال أبو عيسى هذا حديث حسن صحيح غريب وأبو خلدة اسمه خالد بن دينار وأبو العالية اسمه رفيع
Abu al ‘Aliyah narrates from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to me, “Who are you from?”
I said, “From Daws.”
He said, “I did not think there was anyone from Daws in whom there was good.”
Question: Does this narration carry negative connotations for the Daws?
Answer: This narration is Mursal as the scholars have narrated it. If for arguments sake the narration is established as Muttasil then the intent of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would be as follows:
I did not think that there would be amongst the Daws an individual with such fervour for knowledge as you have.
This would in turn be a great honour for the Daws. If there truly was no good in this tribe, the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would not have prayed for the guidance of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, his mother, and the tribe. The prayer of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for them was two-fold. Firstly, for them to accept Islam thereby gaining eternal success and secondly, for them to come to Madinah and attain the great honour of companionship.
For Daws though, sufficient is the honour that their tribesmen, Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, is the greatest narrator of hadith and a shining light amongst the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
11. The desirability of seeking counsel from one’s elders and men of knowledge in overcoming hardships and challenges.
12. Those true souls that call towards Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will definitely face hardships and worries. The best way to combat this however, is patience. Serenity will follow worry and ease will follow hardship.
13. The openness, clarity, and ease between Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
 Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2491.
 Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 8 pg. 113.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 6034.
 Jami’ al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3838.