Not bitten twice

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله وسلم على رسول الله وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن اهتدى بهديه إلى يوم الدين أما بعد

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Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

لاَ يُلْدَغُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مِنْ جُحْرٍ وَاحِدٍ مَرَّتَيْنِ

“A believer is not bitten from the same hole twice.”

[Saheeh al-Bukhari, 6133; Muslim, 2998]

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The Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم made it clear in this narration that the believer should learn from their past experiences.

1. The statement of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was made in regards to Abu Ghurra, who was a poet. He was captured by the Muslims at the battle of Badr, but was then released after promising the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that he would not return to the battlefield nor fight against the Muslims again. He however returned to fight against the Muslims on the day of Uhud and was subsequently captured. He again tried to appeal to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم for clemency with a similar promise, to which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم replied that the believer is not bitten from the same hole twice.

2. 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 past experiences in order to avoid falling into similar error. The characteristic of awareness in a believer is wholly praiseworthy as he صلى الله عليه وسلم informs us that this is from the fitrah (natural disposition) and khaslah (special charateristic) of a true believer for which he or she is known by (this can be deduced by the negational phrase – لاَ يُلْدَغُ الْمُؤْمِنُ -: Meaning that it is not from the normal qualities of a believer, but it is also a reminder and encouragement for the negligent and foolish one.

3. Imam An-Nawawi said in his Sharh of Saheeh Muslim, 2998:

وقال القاضي : يروى على وجهين : أحدهما بضم الغين على الخبر ، ومعناه المؤمن الممدوح ، وهو الكيس الحازم الذي لا يستغفل ، فيخدع مرة بعد أخرى ، ولا يفطن لذلك وقيل : إن المراد الخداع في أمور الآخرة دون الدنيا . والوجه الثاني بكسر الغين على النهي أن يؤتى من جهة الغفلة . قال : وسبب الحديث معروف ، وهو أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أسر أبا عزة الشاعر يوم بدر ، فمن عليه ، وعاهده ألا يحرض عليه ولا يهجوه ، وأطلقه فلحق بقومه ، ثم رجع إلى التحريض والهجاء ، ثم أسره يوم أحد ، فسأله المن ، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : المؤمن لا يلدغ من جحر مرتين وهذا السبب يضعف الوجه الثاني وفيه أنه ينبغي لمن ناله الضرر من جهة أن يتجنبها لئلا يقع فيها ثانية

– See also Fath al-Baari, Ibn Hajar, 10/529 (6133)

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4. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Beware of the firaasah (insight) of the believer, because he sees (and looks at) things with the Light of Allaah.” [At-Tirmidhi, 3127]

5. Mu’aawiyyah رضي الله عنه said, “No one can be wise except the one with experience.” – A believer is therefore required to be alert and take benefit from his experience to avoid any harm that may result; and he is not deceived twice. The true nature of a believer is one of emaan, hikmah and firaasah. Whoever is deficient with regard to these, would be considered as a foolish person who is easily over-run. It becomes apparent that such a person is deficient in intellect, understanding, actions and deen as a whole.

6. A short meaning of the hadeeth can also be found here

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And Allaah is the source of Strength.

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