Giving Everything Its Due
Abu Juhaifah (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) made a bond of brotherhood between Salman and Abu Darda’. Salman paid a visit to Abu Darda’ and found Umm Darda’ (his wife) dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state. She replied: “Your brother Abu Darda’ is not interested in (the luxuries of) this world. In the meantime Abu Darda’ came in and prepared a meal for Salman. Salman requested Abu Darda’ to eat (with him) but Abu Darda’ said: “I am fasting.” Salman said: “I am not going to eat unless you eat.” So, Abu Darda’ ate (with Salman). When it was night and (a part of the night passed), Abu Darda’ got up (to offer the night prayer) but Salman asked him to sleep and Abu Darda’ slept. After some time Abu Darda’ again got up but Salman asked him to sleep. When it was the last hours of the night, Salman asked him to get up and both of them offered (Tahajjud) prayer. Then Salman told Abu Darda’: “You owe a duty to your Rubb, you owe a duty to your body; you owe a duty to your family; so you should give to everyone his due. Abu Darda’ came to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and reported the whole story. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Salman is right.”
This Hadith highlights the following points:
1. Although the performance of voluntary prayers (Nawafil) is highly meritorious, it should not be done at the cost of obligations for, in this case, they loose their merits and are disliked by Allah.
2. The right time for Tahajjud (optional prayers at night) is the last third part of the night. The reason being that in the first two portions of the night, one should take rest and perform his conjugal duties.
3. Voluntary fasting can be broken (for valid reasons) without any expiation.
4. It is permissible to establish fraternity on the basis of Deen, and when this is established, the families so affiliated can associate with each other.
5. Muslims must provide the right guidance to each other.
6. In case of need, it is permissible to speak to an unknown woman while observing the teachings of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) in this regard, such as lowering the gaze and be as brief as possible.
And Allah Knows Best!