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Warning against Haste

By Sheikh Abdul-Bari ibn Awwad al-Thubaiti – 16 JUmaadal Ukhrau 1437

His Eminence Sheikh Abdul-Bari ibn Awwad al-Thubaiti, may Allah preserve him, delivered the Friday Khutbah entitled, “A Warning against Haste,” in which he talked about haste and warned against it. He explained that there are two kinds of haste: one commendable, which is hastening to do righteous deeds, and the other reprehensible. He further explained that reprehensible haste takes different forms and showed its remedies in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

Praise be to Allah. Praise be to Allah, Who guides His servants to righteous deeds and helps them stand firm in adversities and calamities. I praise Him, Glorified be He, and I thank Him for forgiving sins and wrong deeds. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, Who has no partners. He says: “Man is created of haste …” (Al-Anbiya’: 37)

I also bear witness that our master and prophet, Muhammad, is His servant and messenger, whose guidance has freed us from all fetters and has saved us from the boredom of this life. May Allah bestow His peace and blessings upon him and upon his family and Companions, who spread Allah’s religion without hesitancy of fear.

Now then,
I advise you and advise myself to fear Allah. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
“O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam [as Muslims (with complete submission to Allah)].” (Al ‘Imran: 102)‎

Allah has ordained all things and has appointed a fixed term for each of his creatures. Allah, Glorified be He, says:
“… He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements.” (Al-Furqan: 2)

He also says: “… (For) every matter there is a Decree (from Allah).” (Ar-Ra‘d: 38)

Haste cannot make Allah’s decree occur ahead of its due time, no matter how relentlessly people may pursue its occurrence. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “… Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.” (At-Talaq: 3)

Hastening the fulfilment of one’s needs and wishes is an inborn quality and part of human nature. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
“Man is created of haste …” (Al-Anbiya’: 37)

It is a sign of Allah’s great forbearance and vast mercy that people’s hastiness does not change His predestination, His decree, or His recompense. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “And your Lord is Most Forgiving, Owner of Mercy. Were He to call them to account for what they have earned, then surely, He would have hastened their punishment. …” (Al-Kahf: 58)

Reprehensible haste is that which occurs in other than acts of obedience to Allah. It is a weapon that Satan uses against man, and it leads to nothing but loss and remorse. Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Deliberateness is from Allah, and haste is from Satan.” Amr ibn al-‘As, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “One will reap nothing but remorse as a result of haste.”

The most serious forms of reprehensible haste for man are favouring what is immediate over what is yet to come, being involved in the worldly pleasures, and forgetting all about the hereafter. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “Not [as you think, that you (mankind) will not be resurrected and recompensed for your deeds], but you (men) love the present life of this world, and neglect the Hereafter.” (Al-Qiyamah: 20-21)

The bliss of the hereafter is permanent and eternal. It is never interrupted or mixed with any trouble or pain. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “Therefore withdraw (O Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him) from him who turns away from Our Reminder (this Qur’an) and desires nothing but the life of this world.” (An-Najm: 29)

Reprehensible haste deprives one of tranquillity and peace of mind, for restless and rash people rarely perform the tasks assigned to them properly or produce anything of a satisfactory quality.

Another type of reprehensible haste involves rashness in spreading rumours and lodging accusations against innocent people without evidence. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “When you were propagating it with your tongues, and uttering with your mouths that whereof you had no knowledge …” (An-Nur: 15)

Tongues propagate gossip and exchange accusations unhesitatingly. Such statements pass by the ear, which unconsciously receives them, and then they are circulated heedlessly without being examined or weighed on the scales of the religion: “… you counted it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great.” (An-Nur: 15)

Showing unrestrained zeal and unbridled enthusiasm is a sign of reprehensible haste, which does not serve the causes of the Ummah. Usamah ibn Zaid, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, said: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, sent us to al-Huraqah (a tribe of Juhainah). We attacked that tribe early in the morning and defeated them, then a man from the al-Ansar and I caught hold of a man from the defeated tribe. When we overcame him, he said, “There is no god but Allah.” Upon then, the man from al-Ansar spared him, but I thrust my spear into his body until I killed him. By the time we went back to al-Madinah, the news had already reached the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. He said to me, “O Usamah! Did you kill him after he said, ‘There is no god but Allah’?” I said, “He professed it only to save his life.” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, kept repeating his reproach until I wished I had not embraced Islam before that day (to avoid having committed such a grave sin).

One form of haste, servants of Allah, is to make unjust, hurried judgements, which is all the more serious when it comes to major issues. This leads to rashness and negligence regarding the protected lives of Muslims, for shedding blood unjustly is a heinous sin that leads to dire consequences. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If all the dwellers of the heavens and the earth took part in shedding the blood of a believer, then Allah would cast them all in Hellfire.”

Haste may also lead to recklessness and failure to put things in their right place. As a consequence, in their haste, people may do wrong to themselves, their community, and their nation. Those who are habitually hasty are easily overwhelmed by doubts and suspicions and are always obsessed by pursuing others’ flaws and finding faults with them.

Daring to issue fatwas (legal opinions based on religion) and hastening to be in the foreground to become visible and prominent before attaining maturity and solid knowledge are signs of misconduct and are serious pitfalls and traps. Indeed, those who issue fatwas most readily are the least knowledgeable of all scholars. One of the righteous predecessors said, “Some of those who issue fatwas here are more deserving of imprisonment than thieves.”

In addition, to hasten victory without having its means is a sign of ignorance of the ways of Allah in His universe. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allah?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!” (Al-Baqarah: 214)

This is because victory should be left to Allah, Glorified be He, Who makes it at the hand of whoever He wills from among His servants.
Haste in judicial decisions, court rulings, and settling disputes among people ruins their lives and wastes their rights. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) sent me to Yemen as judge. I said to him, “O Messenger of Allah! Are you sending me as judge when I am young and have no knowledge of judicial matters? The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, then said, “Allah will guide your heart and keep your tongue firm. When two litigants appear before you, do not decide between them until you hear what each one of them has to say; thus it is more likely that you can see things clearly before you make your judgement.” Since then, I have been a judge (or he said, “Since then I have not had any uncertainty about which judicial decision to take”).

The qualities required for a man’s guardianship and responsibility for his family include calmness and abstaining from all forms of reprehensible haste, which can cause the collapse of marital life and can lead to dire consequences.

Hastening to have one’s supplication answered is one of the reasons for not answering it. A supplicant may call upon Allah and the answer may be delayed for a reason that is known only to Allah, Exalted be He. Satan then seizes the chance and whispers to a Muslim to abandon supplication altogether. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The supplication of anyone of you is granted (by Allah) unless he shows impatience, by saying, ‘I have supplicated Allah but my supplication has not been granted.’” One of the righteous predecessors said, “I am afraid that the one who disobeys (the Prophet’s advice) and says, ‘I have supplicated Allah but my supplication has not been granted’ may be deprived of the answer and all that can substitute it, such as saving it for the Day of Judgement and expiating one’s sins by virtue of it.”

Another form of haste in supplication is to supplicate Allah before praising and glorifying Him and before asking Allah to bestow His peace and blessings on His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him. Fadhalah ibn ‘Ubaid said: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, heard a man supplicating during the prayer without glorifying Allah or asking Him to bestow His peace and blessings upon the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said to him, “You have been in a hurry, O worshipper!” Then the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, taught them the proper way of supplication. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, also heard a man praying; he glorified and praised Allah and asked Him to bestow His peace and blessings upon the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said to him, “Supplicate Allah, and your supplication will be answered; ask of Allah and your request will be granted.”

These are, servants of Allah, some examples of objectionable haste. However, hastening to win the good pleasure of Allah, Exalted be He, and to do good deeds is a praiseworthy trait and one of the qualities of all Allah’s prophets: “… Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” (Al-Anbiya’: 90)

Musa (Prophet Moses), peace be upon him, used to hasten to say and do anything that would win him Allah’s good pleasure. Allah tells us in the Qur’an that Musa said: ““…and I hastened to You, O my Lord, that You might be pleased.”” (Ta-Ha: 84)

Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: When the hijab verse (“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way) …” (Al-Ahzab: 59)) was revealed, the women of al-Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments.

May Allah bless you and me with the Great Qur’an and make us benefit from its verses and wise words. I have said what you have heard and I ask forgiveness of Allah for myself, for you, and for all Muslims for any sin we have committed. Ask Allah for forgiveness. He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.


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