More hungry for knowledge than food – a life that helps us see into the life of the Prophet ﷺ

I asked the ameer this morning, “what did you take from the life of Abu Hurairah (ra) last night?”

He answered: “His desire and practice of putting the Prophet’s ﷺ teachings above all other needs.”

I’ve read and heard about this sahabi a hundred times, mainly because he is one of the ones to narrate a large number of hadiths and one of the first sahabi I actually read about when I was younger. So I went to the masjid last night, with the feeling of meeting someone I already know and like, and giving myself the heart awakening we usually get from familiarity.

That’s what happened. But something else happened as well. I saw his story from the point of a mother now. Before, he was a sahabi that exemplified knowledge. Now he was a sahabi that taught me what being a good child is about, what having the desire to be with the Prophet ﷺ means, what dedicating ones life to learning about the Sunnah means, what it means to be an excellent student.

My progeny taking steps to become students 🙂

His life has now brought a whole set of new lessons for me. This is actually something every interesting, as we get older we view things differently. We learn and understand differently. I have now come to realise the lives of the sahaba are less sensational and more raw and real. Before I would imagine a life of perfection from them, now I see their struggle, their dedicated steps. Making them real people who we not only respect, honour and be fascinated about but we take from them and their actuality and all the things that made them who they are.

I mean, I still found it ever so cute to hear about him putting a kitten in his shirt sleeve to keep it safe and I’m not even a cat person, I’m petrified of them! But this was cute to know when I was 20 and cute to know now, but this story of affection isn’t what I focused on now.

I learnt last night, that I have a long way to go, in appreciating these special lives. I asked myself, what if I was to compare my love for the Prophet ﷺ with one of the sahaba, it would fall short a thousand and more times. With this question, I realise that these are people we should constantly keep in our thinking process, because they spark more love for the Prophet ﷺ within us. By reading, learning and knowing them, we are actively increasing our own love for the man we must love above all other things.

Note taking only gets better with time

The imam described how Abu Hurairah (ra) felt when he made his journey to Medinah to meet the Prophet ﷺ. He (ra) later expressed his emotions in the form of poetry where he referred to the night as “the unending night” – he was so eager to meet the prophet ﷺ, he found the night to be too long. When he finally reached Medinah and found that the Prophet ﷺ had gone to Khaybar, he prayed fajr salah in congregation, later being able to remember exactly which surahs the imam recited in the salah due to his brilliant memory, he then set off to Khaybar to meet with the Prophet ﷺ. He didn’t sit to rest and wait. He made this trip with one intention in mind, he would spend all his time with the Prophet, and as soon as he set his eyes upon the Prophet ﷺ, his aim in life was to learn everything about and from him ﷺ.

This is something I really needed to hear, Abu Huraira’s (ra) eagerness to completely dedicate his life to learning from the Prophet ﷺ. How much love must he have had? A love that he built within himself when he hadn’t even met the Prophet ﷺ. Something for us to note; he accepted Islam without meeting the Prophet ﷺ himself, he lived as a Muslim away from the Muslim land of Medinah, his own mother wasn’t Muslim, yet he loved the Prophet ﷺ. So it can happen and must happen, I tell myself now, for myself and for my children.

Abu Huraira (ra) chose a life of poverty, which included a life of hunger, because he wanted to learn from the Prophet ﷺ. He (ra) chose knowledge over a full belly, His hunger became secondary to his desire and thirst for learning directly from the Prophet ﷺ.

There are lots of beautiful stories to take from this sahabi’s life, but I think, more than the stories, today, I wanted to share that we all need reawakening of love for these companions. A reawakening of desire for the Sunnah. A solid plan and execution to envelop ourselves in the seerah, not for academic purposes but for the heart to acquaint itself with the man that prayed for us at night, the man that Allah chose over all of mankind. The man we want to meet on the Day of Reckoning, the most perfect of creation, ﷺ.

The lives of people like Abu Huraira are our eyes to see into the man we cherish in our hearts. Let’s make these lives real in our life, so they become more than stories and sink into our souls to remain forever, helping us become better ourselves.

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