The Sunnah of Careful Consideration (al-Tathabbut)

The Sunnah of Careful Consideration (al-Tathabbut)


By: Faysal Burhan
Published: 2002

Allah, the Almighty said:

Do they not earnestly investigate, ponder, and study the Qur’an (for an understanding of its guidance and benefits), or is it that their hearts are locked up (cannot see its illuminating light and guidance.) Qur’an, 47:24

The Sunnah of al-Tathabbut is the investigative and study approach to taking action or resolving a problem. It follows a method which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his household exercised and brought about as a Sunnah, a way of life, for his followers. When A’isha, the Prophet’s wife, was asked how the Prophet (PBUH) had conducted his affairs, she responded:

His deeds and actions were continuous and stable. -Muslim

In a different narration, she said:

When the household of the Prophet conducted an affair, (they conducted it with careful consideration, tathabbut).

The Arabic word is a term used for a comprehensive evaluation and analysis of a matter before judgment, or a resolution made of it. A judge, for example, will not give his verdict before he thoroughly studies, investigates, and examines the case. This process is called tathabbut. Furthermore, the Prophet (PBUH) also said:

Cautions and careful consideration are from Allah, and haste is from Satan. -Muslim

In another tradition (hadith), the Prophet (PBUH) cautioned against doing something without consideration of its results or impact. See the following hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

If you are going to do something, consider its consequences carefully. (if the result is good, then consider doing it, but if its impact is bad, then do not do it. Modify it, find other alternatives and or conduct further studies that would yield successful results). -Musnad Abi Ya’la

The previous three sayings of the wisdom of the Prophet (PBUH), firmly point out that the Sunnah of tathabbut is elemental for every true believer. Muslims must not underestimate the underlying value that this precious sunnah will play in the construction of the various moral, social, economic, and political building blocks of the Muslim Ummah.

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