Making things easier and giving glad tidings
Anas bin Malik narrates that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) has said: “Treat people with ease and do not be hard on them; give them glad tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam).” [Bukhari and Muslim]
“Treat people with ease”, means that we should treat every human being, including ourselves, in a very amicable and cordial manner. We should pursue matters that are easy and simple irrespective of whether it’s to do with your own actions or your dealings with others. Aisha (Radiyallahu Anha) narrates: “Whenever the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was given the choice of one of two matters; he would choose the easier of the two as long as it was not sinful to do so.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
Therefore one should try choosing the easier matter in all circumstances and conditions because this is what Allah Almighty wants from us as Allah Almighty indicates in the Holy Quraan: “Allah Almighty intends ease for you, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.” (S 2: V 185)
An example of this would be, if there were two paths to a Mosque. One path has many stones and thorns on it which makes it very hard to walk along; whereas the second path is much smoother and easier to walk along. Therefore the second path is better to pursue than the first because it easier. What is important to remember is that everything that is easier is more appropriate as long as there is no sin in doing it. This can be understood from the aforementioned narration of Aisha (Radiyallahu Anha).
With regards to Ibaadah, if it is not attainable except by putting yourself in hardship then this hardship that you endure whilst performing this act of worship increases your reward. However, if you put yourself in hardship and there is an easier alternative then this action would be going against that which is best.
Look at fasting, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “The people will continue to prosper as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast” and in another narration “delay the breakfast of the fasting day”. The reason for this is because by delaying the breakfast it not only makes it easy but it also enables a person to have energy for a longer period in the day in comparison to having breakfast at night before or long before sunrise.
“And do not be hard on them” meaning; do not pursue the rigid path, not in your worship nor in your dealings with other. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) saw a man standing in the sun. He (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) enquired about this person. The Sahaabah said: “Oh Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) he is fasting and made a vow to stand in the sun whilst fasting.” So the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) forbade this man from doing this and said: “Do not stand in the sun” (Bukhari) because that causes hardship and difficulty on a person.
“And give glad tidings” meaning; always give glad tiding to yourself and others. Therefore if we have carried out a pious action then we should rejoice and be happy that Allah Almighty will accept our action on condition that we have feared Allah Almighty whilst achieving that pious action. Allah Almighty says: “Verily, Allah Almighty accepts only from those who are Pious.” (S 5: V 27). When we make Dua to Allah Almighty, we should express joy and be pleased that Allah Almighty will answer our supplication. Allah Almighty says: “Ask Me and I will answer you.” (S 40: V 60)
Likewise, to give glad tidings to others is also considered as a means of reward. If a person comes to us saying “I done this that and the other” and their actions were gratifying, or felt disturb, give them glad tidings so that their spirits may liven up. Even when visiting the sick, say unto them: “Have good hope” or “Don’t worry this is a cleansing for you” and mention to them the reward of patience and enlighten them with glad tidings by saying: “Today your face looks much better” etc. When we say these things it brings great joy to them and in return to you.
“And do not make them run away” meaning; do not chase people away from doing good deeds but rather encourage and motivate them. Chasing people away from performing good deeds can be done directly and indirectly. We all are aware of examples as to how direct chasing away works. However, indirectly eradicating people away from worship is by prolonging the Salaah more than what is mentioned in the Sunnah. This explanation is elucidated clearly in Bukhari. It is also narrated in a Hadith by Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: “If anyone of you leads the people in the prayer, he should shorten it. For amongst them are the weak, the sick and the old. And if anyone among you prays alone then he may prolong (the prayer) as much as he wishes.” (Bukhari)
In conclusion, we can undoubtedly understand the following benefits derived from this Hadith:
- Islam encourages easiness.
- We should frequently give glad tidings.
- We should not chase people away from Islam.
- We should at all times take into account the condition of others before dealing with them.
Compiled By: Sh. Khalid Abduroaf (LLB Shariah Law – Islamic University of Madinah)