Sunday, February 29, 2004

If you must sing ...

Umar ibn al-Khattab, Allah be well-pleased with him, was approached one day by some people who complained, "We have an imam who, after praying the Asr prayer with us, began to sing!" Umar went with them and asked the man to recite to him what he had sang to them. He said:

My heart, every time I scold it, returns to pleasures
that fatigue me.
I never see it occupied except with empty pastimes
all the time, harming me.
My evil companion, what childishness is this?
Life has passed and you still play?
My youth has gone and left me
before I ever put it to its right use!
My soul! You and your lusts are nothing.
Fear Allah. Fear Him. Fear Him!

Umar repeated the last verse over and over, weeping. Then he said, "Whoever among you must sing, let him sing such things."

Narrated by the hafiz Ibn al-Sam`ani as cited in Kanz al-`Ummal (8944).

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