Advising others to do good when they are departing

Malik bin Al-Huwairith (radi Allahu anhu) reported: We came to the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) when we were all young men of nearly equal age. We stayed with him for twenty days. He was extremely kind and considerate. He perceived that we missed our families so he asked us about those we left behind, and we informed him. Then He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Go back to your families, stay with them, teach them (about Islam) and exhort them to do good. Perform such Salat (prayer) at such a time and such Salat at such a time. When the time for Salat is due, one of you should announce Adhan (call for prayer) and the oldest among you should lead Salat”

[Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary:

This Hadith sheds light on seven points.

Firstly, we are informed of certain young men who had left their homes and come to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) in order to receive religious training from him. This shows that a student of knowledge should not hesitate to set forth on a journey in the pursuit of knowledge.

Secondly, a teacher/mentor is supposed to have firsthand information about the affairs and requirements of students and to take measures accordingly.

Thirdly, after graduation or the completion of an orientation course in religious studies, the beneficiaries are also required to impart religious knowledge and training to those who lack it.

Fourthly, they should also tell people to do what is commanded by the Shari`ah (Islamic Law) and to shun what it prohibits.

Fifthly, an arrangement must be made for a Mu’adhin (the one who makes the Adhan – the call to prayer) to call people to the five daily Salat (prayers).

Sixthly, in case each one of the congregation is equally qualified to lead the Salat, the one who is most senior in age should perform the duty. The first prerequisite of becoming an Imam is the ability to recite Qur’an well and in the right manner. The second in priority is that person who is well-grounded in the religion – Qur’an and Sunnah.

Finally, the crux of the matter is that on all occasions and at all places, believers are under obligation to take care to establish congregational prayer after the Adhan (call to prayer).

And Allah knows best!

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