Sixty Sultaniyya

The Believer is Politically Astute

Hadith 45, A believer is not bitten from the same hole twice (Bukhari/ Muslim)


A: The narration is from the famous story of the poet Abu Ghurra who was captured by the Muslims at the battle of Badr, and was released after promising the Prophet (SAW) that he would not return to the battlefield against the Muslims again. When he then returned on the day of Uhud and was subsequently captured, he tried to appeal to the Prophet (SAW) for mercy once again with a similar promise, to which the Prophet (SAW) replied that the believer is not bitten from the same hole twice.

B: It is understood that it is important to be aware, and not to repeat the same mistake. In other words - it is a necessary to learn from experience in order not to fall into similar error.

C: The linking of the characteristic of awareness (not being bitten from the same hole twice) to the believer indicated that it is a praiseworthy and necessary characteristic for a Muslim, since they are supposed to be leaders and witnesses over mankind.

D: Though some scholars have limited this hadith to issues of personal rituals such as not repeating the same mistakes in prayer (such as the person who finds that if he sleeps late he cannot awake for fajr then must either refrain from sleeping late or stay awake until completing the fajr prayer), the circumstances that led the Prophet (SAW) to utter the words indicate that it encompasses political issues.

E: The story of Abu Ghurra also teaches us that compassion is not appropriate in every situation, since then you will be open to being taken advantage of.

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