I chose to share with you some wisdoms from Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, for two simple reasons: One is that he was a wise admonisher and ascetic known for his extensive knowledge and devotion, and the other is that we live in a materialistic age in which we need to often hear the words of Abu-d-Dardaa’ and his likes, in order to free ourselves of heedlessness and remember what is truly valuable and what perishes and disappears as a mirage.
Abu Nu`aim related from Abu Haamid ibn Jabla that al-Qaasim bin Muhammad, rahimahumullaah, said: “Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, was one of Allaah’s servants whose virtues are stated in the Qur’aan, and he was (Qur’aan 28:80).”
As described in al-Hilyah, Abu-d-Dardaa’ nestled comfortably in his niche of continuous devotion, and he forsook any interest in materialism. He was most devoted to his spiritual life, and he was most eager to meet his Lord. Once he became free from worldly concerns and worries, the gate of true understanding became open before him. Abu-d-Dardaa’ was known for his wisdom and knowledge which were considered medicine for the sick at heart, and warmth for the hearts of equitable and the pondering ascetics.
In this first part, I will, in shaa’ Allaah, send four narrations from Abu-d-Dardaa’, that have been narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal and collected by Abu Nu`aim in al-Hilyah, and that deal with detachment from dunyaa.
Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, narrated that someone asked Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, to advise him, he replied: “Remember Allaah when you are comfortable, He will remember you when you are in difficulty, and when you set your eyes upon something in this world, think about how it will end!”
Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, said: “It would not be my greatest pleasure to open a vending shop at the threshold of the mosque, and even if it were to bring me three hundred dinars of net business per day, or even if it would help me, by being there, not to miss a single congregational prayer at the mosque. I am not saying that Allaah, the Lord of majesty and glory, did not make trading permissible or that He did not forbid usury, I am only desiring to be among those,
Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, once said: “If only you knew what you will certainly see upon your death, you would never again eat a single bite out of a craving appetite, and you would never again drink an extra sip of water for the pleasure of unquenchable and insatiable thirst. Hence, you will remain outdoor in perpetuity, bewildered and awaiting the unexpected, and you will never again seek comfort in a shelter or seek a shade. You will wander aimlessly and climb the hilltops of every mountain, you will look up towards the heavens and beseech your Lord for mercy, and you will beat on your chest and cry endlessly, and you will wish that you were a little vegetable – a pant which is protected to grow, and then plucked to be eaten by a hungry person passing along.”
Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, radhiallaahu `anhu, also narrated that Abu-d-Dardaa’, radhiallaahu `anhu, used to say, “Woe unto him, and what an agony is awaiting one who cares only about amassing money in this world! Woe unto him who opens his mouth agape and drools at hearing the sound of money, who looks aghast, just like an idiot when he thinks about it, who stares at what people have, and who does not see what he has; and if he could, he would pursue such an obsession by day and night. Woe unto him! What an austere reckoning and a grievous punishment are awaiting him!”