A CLEAN HEART
Hadrat Anas ibn Malik (Ra) once said, “We were sitting in the company of the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam when he said, ‘Soon there will appear before you a person from among the dwellers of Paradise.’ Soon thereafter, a person from the Ansar (Helpers of Medina) appeared – his beard was dripping with water which he had used to perform ablution and he was holding his sandals with his left hand. The next day, the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said the same thing. And the same person appeared in the same manner [as he had appeared the first time]. On the third day, the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said the same thing again, ‘Soon there will appear before you a person from among the dwellers of Paradise.’ And the same person appeared in the same manner as he had appeared the previous two times.
“When the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa sallam got up and left Hadrat Abdullah Bin Amr Radiyallaahu Anhu went up to the man and said to him, ‘I had a dispute with my father and took an oath that I will not go to him for three days. [Now that I have no place to stay] Is it possible for you to accommodate me for the three days?
The man replied, ‘Yes.’
Hadrat Abdullah Bin Amr Radiyallaahu Anhu stayed with that man for the three days with the intention of watching him closely for the extra-ordinary characteristics that had made him eligible for admittance to Paradise as foretold by the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. He did not see him getting up at night [for qiyaam-ul-layl]. However, when he used to toss and turn in his bed, he used to engage in the remembrance of Allah and say ‘Allahu Akbar’. He would eventually get up for the Fajr salah. Apart from this there was nothing different or extra in his worship.
However, he also observed that the man never spoke ill and always had a good word to say. When the three days passed and he was on the verge of considering his good deeds to be very few and insignificant, He said to him, ‘O servant of Allah! There was neither any dispute nor any separation between me and my father. Rather, I heard the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam say on three occasions about you: ‘Soon there will appear before you a person from among the dwellers of Paradise.’ And on each of these three occasions, it was you who appeared. I therefore decided to live with you and see what deeds you do that I could emulate you. However, I did not see you doing many good deeds. How, then, have you reached the rank concerning which the Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said about your being from among the dwellers of Paradise?’
The man replied, ‘I do not do anything more than what you have seen. However, I do not bear any deceit to any Muslim nor do I envy anyone for the good which Allah Ta’ala has given him.’
The person referred to as the person from among the dwellers in Paradise in this hadith is Hadrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas (Ra). He was from among the ten blessed companions who were given the glad tidings of Jannah by the Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam while they were still alive.
It is noteworthy how the Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa sallam urged his followers to do good by praising someone from among them in such a way that the others’ curiosity was sparked so that they made an effort to determine what qualities in that person deserved such high praise. In this way, whatever they learned had a greater impact on them and their lives. Of course, this also shows the virtue of purifying and cleansing one’s heart from deceit and envy – the reward for such purification is nothing but Paradise!
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the taufeeq of constantly cleansing our hearts from the impurities of hasad, greed, enmity and all other ills that darken the heart, Aameen.