A moving story that Ive heard once and that I always remember and cherish for its meanings. Its the story of one of the great imams of this Ummah, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal.
His son, Abdullah, once asked his father one day, â€œAbi when will we ever relax?â€ His father, one of the greatest revivers of the Sunnah, a role model for all Muslims, looked him in the eye and said, â€œWith the first step we take into Jannah.â€
Ya Allah, what a beautiful response!
There are days that come to you and you are tired, and you just want to sleep and relax and shut off as they say. Those are the days that you need to ask yourself, a critical question: Where am I going with life? If its towards Allah and for Allah, then regain your strength and continue your work, for Jannah is precious and must be sought. But if you look into your life and realize that its not towards Allah, but it is towards Dunya, then here tiredness becomes a blessing, for it is a reminder that you need to change direction.
I love the story on many levels. For one, it shows you that when someones focus is Jannah, their priorties change, and their outlook on life is different. What we perceive as difficulty, they perceive as ease. What we perceive as calamity, they perceive as reward. What we perceive as obstacles, they perceive as opportunities for sincere dua. Moreover, when your focus is Jannah. This dunya and its constant demand becomes small and the least of our concern.
Also, I love the way the son phrased his question, Abi sweet way of calling your father, and when will we ever relax? he didnt say, when will I relax dad?. He wasn’t selfish, he wanted to relax, but also cared for his fathers condition. This also shows you how the father and son were working hard together. Again, when your focus is Jannah it reflects in your family, children, and those around you and everyone gears up towards that goal./p
pOur problem today is not that were tired, our problem today is that we relax too much. We do everything so that we relax. We cheat, break promises, not fulfill vows, lie, take and give bribery..so we can relax. We don’t stay up for tahajjud or wake up for fajr, we dont fast, or go for Hajj and Umrah…so we can relax. We don’t walk towards the Masjid, open the book of Allah so we can understand it, all in the name I need to relax!
Brothers/sisters, theres plenty of relaxation where were going, but this is not the time for it. Lets all work for Jannah and be productive in the path of Allah, and work so hard that one day our children would come to us and ask us Abi..or Ummi..when will we ever relax? and you can smile and look them into the eyes and say When we enter Jannah inshaAllah.