Praiseworthy Competition: Sahaabah Strove to Excel One Another In Good Deeds, Helped One Another And Were Pleased With The One Who Excelled Them In Good

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said about praiseworthy competition for good deeds and to excel each other: Every competitor competes the other and is happy when joined in it, just as the companions of the Messenger of Allaah [sallal-laahua-alayhi-wasallam] used to compete in good and they were pleased when others joined them; rather they used to encourage one another whilst competing. This is [an act of] seeking to be foremost in [good deeds]. Allaah [The Most High] said: [ ۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ-So hasten towards all that is good].

Allaah [The Most High] said:

[سَابِقُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا كَعَرْضِ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ – Race one with another in hastening towards Forgiveness from your Lord (Allah), and towards Paradise, the width whereof is as the width of heaven and earth]. [57:21]

Umar Ibnul Khattaab [radiyallaahu-anhu] used to hasten towards [good deeds to compete] Abu-Bakr [radiyallaahu-anhu], but he never won. [Ref 1]

Umar [radiyallaahu-anahu] said: One day the Messenger of Allah [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] commanded us to give sadaqah. At that time I had some property, so I said: Today I shall surpass Abu-Bakr if I am to surpass him any day. So I brought half of my property. The Messenger of Allaah [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: What did you leave for your family? I replied: The same amount. Then Abu-Bakr brought all that he had with him. So the Messenger of Allah [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said to him: What did you leave for your family? He replied: I left Allah and His Messenger for them. I [Umar] said: I shall never [excel you] in anything. [Ref 2]

[Ref 1: Source: Ar-Rooh of Imaam Ibnul Qayyim 431-432) abridged]

[Ref 2: Abu Dawood and graded Hasan by Sh Albaani’ Hadeeth Number: 1678’ kitaab Az-Zakaah (page: 259)]

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