The Ansaari Sahaabi of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Sayyiduna Usaid bin Hudhair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), was once reciting Surah Baqarah in Tahajjud Salaah. During his recitation, his horse, which was tied nearby, began to move about. Noticing this, Sayyiduna Usaid bin Hudhair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) became silent, at which his horse also calmed down and ceased moving about.

Thereafter, as he recommenced his recitation, his horse also resumed moving about, and again when Sayyiduna Usaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) became silent, the horse once again also calmed down and stopped moving about.

When Sayyiduna Usaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) resumed his recitation for the third time, the horse began to move about again. The son of Sayyiduna Usaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Sayyiduna Yahya (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), was lying within reach of the horse and Sayyiduna Usaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) feared that the horse would trample him as it moved about. He therefore pulled his son out of harm’s way and glanced up at the sky.

As he glanced up, he saw a cloud-like shape dotted with lights resembling lanterns, ascending towards the sky. As he watched, it ascended higher and higher until it eventually faded out of sight.

The next morning, Sayyiduna Usaid bin Hudhair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) went to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and informed him of his experience the previous night. On hearing his account, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) exclaimed, “If only you had continued to recite, O son of Hudhair! If only you had continued to recite, O son of Hudhair!”

On hearing this, Sayyiduna Usaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) explained the reason for terminating his recitation saying, “O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! I feared that my horse would trample Yahya as he was close to it. Then, when I lifted my head to the sky, I suddenly saw a cloud-like shape which was dotted with lights resembling lanterns. It ascended into the sky until I could no longer see it.”

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked Sayyiduna Usaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), “Do you know what that was?” When Sayyiduna Usaid (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied in the negative, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained, “Those were angels who had approached to listen to your recitation. Had you continued reciting, the people would have seen the angels in the morning.” 

(Saheeh Bukhaari #5018 & Fat-hul Baari vol. 9, pg. 77)

Lessons:

1. Engaging in the recitation of the Quraan Majeed and the zikr of Allah Ta‘ala is a means of attracting the angels of Allah Ta‘ala. When these angels flock to a person, they bring with them ‘sakeenah’ (peace and tranquility) and the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, the home in which Allah Ta‘ala is remembered abundantly is a home in which there is immense peace, happiness, tranquility and blessing.

2. When the zikr of Allah Ta‘ala is a means of attracting the angels, then the disobedience of Allah Ta‘ala is a means of distancing the angels. When the angels leave a person and his home, they are generally replaced by shayaateen which strive to make the home a place of unhappiness, discontentment, quarrels and misery.