4. Some Texts Regarding the Removing of Hindrances
On the authority of Abu Bakr Ibn 'Abdullah Ibn Qays from his father who said that he heard his father say whilst he was facing the enemy: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Verily the Gates of Paradise are under the shades of swords", so a man with a shabby appearance stood up and said: "O Abu Musa - did you hear the Messenger of Allah (saw) say this?" He said, "Yes", so he returned to his companions and said, "I send my (farewell) Salaam to you", then he broke the sheath of his sword, threw it away, went with his sword to the enemy and fought with it until he was killed". (Sahih Muslim, Engl. trans. vol.3, p.1053, hadith no. 4681)
One the authority of Jabir (ra) who said, A man said, O Messenger of Allah (saw) where will I be if I am killed? He (saw) replied, "In Paradise". So he threw away some dates he had in his hand and then went and fought until he was killed. (Muslim, Engl. trans. vol.3, p.1052, no.4678).
A man with a shabby appearance stood up and said "O Abu Musa! Did you hear the Messenger of Allah (saw) say this?"
So the first thing that we must race towards doing is to remove all that is inauthentically atttributed to the Messenger of Allah (saw) - so that we do not act upon anything except and until it has been authenticated and checked. Should we not be more enthusiastic than this man in this, for he was living in the best of all eras?
Then, after he removed this important barrier, he broke the sheath to his sword - not even thinking about returning.
Similarly, the great Companion who asked the Prophet (saw) about his place if he was killed (in fighting), as soon as he heard about Paradise, he threw away the dates that were in his hand only because he believed that these dates would delay him and hinder him from entering Paradise - and dates are from that which Allah swt has made halal - so how about those things that hold us back and hingder us from which Allah swt has made haram??
In the hadith of Anas (ra), Umayr ibn al Humam (ra) said, "If I were to live until I have eaten all of these dates of mine, it would be a long life". Anas said, "So he threw away whatever dates he had and then fought until he was killed" (Sahih Muslim, Engl. trans. vol.3, p.1052-3, no.4680)
So hurry, O My Muslim brother, to the front line, cast away your desires and remove the love for wealth that has deprived you of the Pleasure of Allah, the Most High. Leave alone the haram things and the following of desires, the doubtful matters and the love for leadership, high position and the love of being noticed. Leave off injustices and oppression in all its different types and forms.
Then, do not forget - may Allah have mercy upon you - that you should hasten towards doing whatever you are able to of good and righteous actions. So do not delay and do not procrastinate and be careful of saying "soon, soon", as verily it is from the army of Iblees.
That virtuous man with the shabby appearance heard from Abu Musa (ra) the saying of the Messenger (saw) "Indeed the gates of Paradise are under the shades of swords. He did not postpone nor delay fighting in Allah's Path. He did not say: I'll fight after one or two years," or "after I finish this business project", or "after I free myself of my preoccupations".
As soon as that great Companion heard about Paradise as a reward from Allah for the one that died a martyr in the path of Allah, he threw away the dates that were in his hand without any delay or slightest hesistation.
Hasten, my Muslim brother, do not postpone and do not delay.
Then, ask yourself, O slave of Allah, why has this desire to procrastinate befallen me? Is this desire part of the deen? Is it something that pleases Allah the Most High? Or is it a satanic methodology of making smooth the way to escaping from carrying out Allah's orders or desisting from that which He has prohibited.
It is imperative that you take advantage of strong bursts of faith in order to precede with beneficial actions without any delay or postponement, while at the same time place in the back of your mind the saying of the Messenger of Allah (saw), "There is hesitation in everything except in the actions of the Hereafter". (Abu Dawud, Engl. Trans. vol.3, p.1346, hadith 4792).
If you hear that somebody is calling to good actions, such as, contributing towards building a masjid or joining ties of relations, or to make peace between two disputing parties, or visitng a sick person, don't think twice about responding, and don't deliberate.
Know that the best time to act is the moment you hear the call. There is nothing to guarantee that you will live the moments after it. Whispers of Shaytan continue in increasing the will to procrastinate, causing the zeal to subside and the firm resolution to weaken. As a result, it becomes impossible for you to advance your level of faith, leaving no room for rectifiying those deficiencies, sins and shortcomings.