The Stranger

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Islam initiated as something strange, and it will revert to its (old position) of being strange. So glad tidings to the stranger!” [Muslim]

In Madina Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhu) was one of those who had neither house, property, wealth nor family. He stayed in the Masjid and spent all his time learning the Quran and Ahadith. Abdullah, son of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal narrated that it was suggested to Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhu) that he buy a farm as others had done. He replied, “What benefits do I get by becoming a landlord? I only need a drink of water a day, and a cafiz (small bag) of wheat per week.” [Hilyat-ul Awliya Wa Tabaqaat al-Asfiya]

At Rabadha, Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhu) led a very humble life isolated from people. Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhu) had nothing except a bedouin black canopy that provided him with shade. He (radi Allahu anhu) had a wife, an old woman of swarthy complexion, and they had no children. Abdullah bin Khirash met him there while Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhu) was sitting on a dry and lacerated traveler’s bag filled with stones. Encouraging him to take a second wife he said, “O Abu Dharr, if you remain like this, you will die having no offspring!” Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhu) replied, “Praise be to Him Who withholds them in this ephemeral abode, and Who grants them as eternal blessings in the hereafter.” [Hilyat-ul Awliya Wa Tabaqaat al-Asfiya]

It is amazing how little the comforts of this world tempted Abu Dharr (radi Allahu anhu). He was content with the fact that he would get all desirable things in Jannah (Paradise) and Jannah he strove for! How many soft cushions we have, and how we struggle to make our lives more luxurious! But Abu Dharr’s understanding of the temporary and beguiling nature of this world was deep.

How strange these people seem to the rest of us! The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) sends glad tidings to these strangers