HADEETH NO. 23 – BENEFITS AND PRINCIPLES FROM THE 40 AHADEETH OF IMAM NAWAWI

Benefits & Principles From

The Forty

Ahadeeth Of Imam Nawawi

Hadeeth No.23

Purification is Half of al-Eemaan

Translated & Compiled

By

Abbas Abu Yahya


Introduction

In the name of Allaah the Most the Most Merciful

Praise be to Allaah, Lord of all that exists. Here we present various benefits and principles attached to the Ahadeeth from one of the most famous collections of Ahadeeth amongst the works of the scholars.  ‘Araba’een an-Nawawi – Forty Hadeeth Nawawi.

In these translations you will find benefits from various different explanations of this famous compilation. Also, you will find various other topics ranging across the different sciences of Islaam adhering to authenticity and referencing to its sources.

Written by the one in need of his Creator’s forgiveness

Abbas Abu Yahya[1]

 


Hadeeth No.23 – Purification is Half of al-Eemaan

Contents

1 – Status of the Hadeeth. 3

2 – Purity (Tahoor) is half of faith. 4

3 – Alhamdu-lillah [Praise be to Allaah] 5

4 – The Excellence of the Four Statements. 7

5 – How not to say ‘Subhana allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi’ 18

a – How a small Bida’ leads to the greater Bida’ 18

b – The Consequence of Innovating & Extremism in the Deen. 20

6 – The Scales. 21

From the benefits of the hadeeth: 22

7 – Prayer is light 26

8 – The Excellence of Patience. 27


 

Hadeeth No.23 – Purification is Half of al-Eemaan

عن أبي مالك الحارث بن عاصم الأشعري رضي الله عنه ، قال : قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم :

( الطهور شطر الإيمان ، والحمد لله تملأ الميزان ، وسبحان الله والحمد لله تملأن – أو : تملأ – ما بين السماء والأرض ، والصلاة نور ، والصدقة برهان ، والصبر ضياء ، والقرآن حجة لك أو عليك ؛ كل الناس يغدو ، فبائع نفسه فمعتقها ، أو موبقها ).

رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ

From Abu Malik Al-Harith bin Asim Al-Ashari said that the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘Purity is half of Eemaan. Alhamdu-lillah [Praise be to Allaah] fills the scales, and Subhana-Allaah [How far is Allaah from every imperfection] and Alhamdu-lillah [Praise be to Allaah] fill that which is between heaven and earth. Prayer is light; charity is an evidence; patience is illumination; and the Qur’aan is an argument for or against you. Everyone begins his day and is a seller of his soul, either freeing it or bringing about its ruin.’

Collected by Muslim.

Benefits

1 – Status of the Hadeeth

Shaykh Salih bin AbdulAziz ‘Ala-Shaykh said:

‘This hadeeth is very great; its words are from the Jawam’ al-Kalim (comprehensive speech) of al-Mustapha sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. It is from those Ahadeeth which shake a person’s soul, and enter the person’s heart without seeking permission to enter, that it softens the heart, and propels the person to the obedience of Allaah by this hadeeth effecting every soul – and its wording indicates to that effect.’[1]

2 – Purity is half of Faith

A – Shaykh Muhammed bin Salih al-Uthaymeen (d.1421 A.H.) said:

‘Regarding the saying of Messenger sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam ‘half of Eemaan,’ it has been said that it is being free from Shirk, because Shirk with Allaah is filthy and impure, just like Allaah -the Most High- said:

إِنَّمَا ٱلۡمُشۡرِكُونَ نَجَسٞ

<< Indeed the Mushrikeen are Najas (impure)>>[2]

So, this is why purity is half of Eemaan.

It has been said: Indeed, from its meaning is that purity for the prayer is half of Eemaan, since prayer is Eemaan and it cannot be complete except with purity, however the first meaning is better and more general.’[3]

 

B – Shaykh Salih bin AbdulAziz ‘Ala-Shaykh said:

‘Purity means cleansing. Regarding this the scholars have differed with two opinions:

The first is that the intent of cleansing here means; purification from filth metaphorically, or that which dirties something, and pollutes the heart, soul and limbs with Shirk and ar-Riyaa (minor shirk of showing off), and likewise doing that which is Haraam, leaving off obligatory worship etc.

This meaning is taken from the saying of Allaah –the Magnificent and the most High- << And purify your garments!>> with one of two Tafseers of this Ayaah, meaning that the cleansing here is from Shirk and filth metaphorically.

The other Tafseer is by the saying of Allaah –the Mighty and Majestic- <<these are indeed men who want to be pure (from sins)!>> by keeping away from evil sexual sins. This Tafseer is done by using the Qur’aan.  The apparent evidence of the meaning of the word ‘Tahara’ ‘cleansing’ is the cleansing of the heart, the limbs and the tongue from all prohibited things, or by leaving off the obligatory duties.’

The second opinion of some of the scholars is that the meaning is cleansing using water or that which can be used in place of water.  And cleansing can be: major cleansing or minor cleansing; meaning: making a Ghusl (washing) due to defilement, or a woman making a Ghusl due to having finished menses or bleeding after child birth. Or the minor cleansing by washing for the prayer.’[4]

3 – Alhamdu-lillah [Praise be to Allaah]

Shaykh Muhammed bin Salih al-Uthaymeen (d.1421 A.H.) said:

SubahanAllaah and Alhamdulillah has in it negation and affirmation.

As for the negation then that is in ‘SubhanAllaah’ which is freeing Allaah –the Mighty and Majestic- from everything that which is not appropriate nor befitting Him. There are three things that are removed/freed from Allaah the Most High:

1- All Attributes of deficiency. So, it is not possible for Allaah to be characterized with deficient attributes.

2- Deficiency in His Perfection. So, His perfection cannot have any deficiency in it.

3- Resemblance of the creation.

The evidence for the first point:

The saying of Allaah –the Mighty and Majestic:

وَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱلۡحَيِّ ٱلَّذِي لَا يَمُوتُ

<<And put your trust in the Ever Living One Who dies not,>>[5]

So here death is negated from Allaah, because it is a deficiency.

The saying of Allaah –the Mighty and Majestic:

<< لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ >>

<< Neither slumber, nor sleep overtake Him.>>[6]

So here slumber and sleep are negated from Allaah, because they are a deficiency.

The evidence for the second point:

The saying of Allaah –The Most High:

<<وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِنْ لُغُوبٍ   >>

<< And indeed We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in six Days and nothing of fatigue touched Us.>>[7]

So Allaah created all this great creation, and perhaps someone might presume that after that He will be deficient, i.e. tired and fatigued so, Allaah said:

<< وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِنْ لُغُوبٍ  >>

<< and nothing of fatigue touched Us.>>[8]

The evidence for the third point:

The saying of Allaah –The Most High:

<< لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ >>

<< There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.>>[9]

Even in perfection which is the perfection of creation, then Allaah The Most High cannot be resembled to it.’[10]

4 – The Excellence of the Four Statements

سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ، وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ، وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ

‘Far is Allaah from imperfection, and all praise be to Allaah, and there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah, and Allaah is the Greatest,’[11]

Shaykh AbdurRazaaq bin AbdulMuhsin al-Badr said:

‘Indeed the best speech and the most excellent remembrance after the Noble Qur’aan is four statements. They have an exceptional value, they consist of a great matter and have a high status in the Deen of Allaah, and they are:

سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ، وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ، وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ

‘Far is Allaah from imperfection, and all praise be to Allaah, and there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah, and Allaah is the Greatest,’.[12]

There are many texts, which show the excellence of these four statements that emphasize this great matter, and the value of these statements and the resulting great reward when establishing them and their noble excellence and their continuous benefits in the Dunyaa and the Hereafter. We will attempt to present some of the excellence of these statements from some of the texts, which mention these benefits.

1- So from the excellence of these words is that they are the most beloved speech to Allaah. Imam Muslim collected in his book from the hadeeth of Sumrah bin Jundab Radi Allaahu anhu who said that the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ، وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ، وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ

‘The most beloved speech to Allaah consists of four, there is no harm with which one you begin, Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar.’[13]

Collected by Tayyalisi in his ‘Musnad’ with the wording:

‘There are four statements that are the most beloved speech to Allaah, and they are in the Qur’aan, there is no harm which one you begin with:

سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ، وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ، وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ

Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu Akbar.’[14]

 

2- From their excellence of these words is that the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam informed us that they are more beloved to him than what the sun rose upon (i.e. from the Dunyaa and what is in it,) Muslim collected in his book ‘Saheeh’ from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah who said: the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘Indeed that I say:

سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ، وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ، وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ

‘Far is Allaah from imperfection, and all praise be to Allaah, and there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah, and Allaah is the Greatest,’[15] is more beloved to me than what the sun rose upon.’[16]

 

3 – From the excellence of these words is, what is mentioned in ‘Musnad’ of Imam Ahmad and ‘Shu’ab al-Eeman’ by Bayhaqi with a good Isnaad from Assim bin Bahdalah from Abu Salih from Umm Hani bint Abu Talib who said:

‘The Messenger of Allaah walked past me so I said: ‘Indeed I have become old and weak – or something similar to this – then he ordered me with an action which I should do while I am sitting. He sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘Say Subhana Allaah one hundred times, indeed it is equivalent to freeing one hundred slaves from the offspring of Isma’eel.

And say Alhamdulillaah one hundred times, it is the equivalent to one hundred horses saddled with reins ready to carry a person in the path of Allaah.

And say Allaahu akbar one hundred times, since it is the equivalent to one hundred camels slaughtered for the sake of Allaah.

And say La illaah ila Allaah one hundred times, Ibn Khalf (the narrator from Aasim) said: I think he said: it fills what is between the heavens and the earth and on that day, no one will have an action raised except the one who came with the like of it.’[17]

Al-Mundhari said: Ahmad collected it with a Hasan Isnad[18] and the ‘allaama al-Albaani declared its Isnad Hasan.[19]

Reflect upon this great reward, which is a result of these words. So, whoever says Subhana Allaah hundred times then it is the equivalent to freeing a hundred slaves from the sons of Isma’eel, the offspring of Isma’eel was mentioned specifically because they are the noblest of the Arabs in lineage.  Whoever says Alhamdulillaah a hundred times then he will have the reward as the one who gave charity of one hundred horses saddled and reined ready to carry the Mujahideen in the path of Allaah. Whoever says Allaahu Akbar a hundred times then he will have the reward as the one who spends camels slaughtered for the sake of Allaah. Whoever said la illaah ila Allaah a hundred times then it fills what is between the heavens and the earth and no one’s action is raised except if one comes with what was mentioned.

 

4 – From the excellence of the status of these words, is that they are an expiation for sins. It is mentioned in ‘al-Musnad’, ‘Sunnan Tirmidhi’ and ‘Mustadrak al-Hakim’ from the hadeeth of Abdullaah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘Aaas Radi Allaahu anhuwho said the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ أكبر وسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله

‘There is no person on earth who says: ‘la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar, wa Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, La hawla wa la quwwata illa billaa, (There is no capability nor is there any power except with Allaah) except that his sins are expiated even if they were more than the foam on the sea.’

Tirmidhi declared it to be Hasan, and al-Hakim authenticated it and Dhahabi agreed with him and al-Albaani declared it to be Hasan.[20]

As for the meaning ‘expiation of sins’ here it means minor sins, as is mentioned in Saheeh Muslim from Abu Hurairah Radi Allaahu anhuthat the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam used to say:

‘The five daily prayers, from one Juma’ till the next Juma’, from one Ramadhan till the next Ramadhan is an expiation for what takes place between them as long as the major sins are kept away from.’[21]

Therefore, expiation of sins has been limited to keeping away from the major sins; because a major sin can only be expiated by repentance.

Also, there is a hadeeth that has been collected with the same meaning by Tirmidhi and other than him from Anas bin Malik Radi Allaahu anhu that the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam walked passed a tree which had dry leaves and he hit that tree with his stick and the leaves began to fall, the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ

‘Indeed al-Hamdu lillaahi, wa Subhana Allaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar, cause the sins of a slave of Allaah to fall just like the leaves of this tree are falling.’

Declared Hasan by al-Albaani.[22]

 

5- From the excellence of these words is that they are plants of Paradise, Tirmidhi collected from Abdullaah bin Mas’ood, from the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam that he said:

‘I met the Prophet Ibrahim on the night when I was taken on the night journey, and Ibrahim said: O Muhammad convey my Salam to your Ummah, and inform them that Paradise has very fine soil, sweet water. That it has lowland and its plants are: ‘Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar’ (Far is Allaah from imperfection, and all praise be to Allaah, and there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah, and Allaah is the Greatest)’[23]

In the Isnaad of this hadeeth is AbdurRahman bin Ishaaq, however the hadeeth has two supporting narrations which strengthen this narration from the hadeeth of Abu ‘Ayyoub al-Ansari and from the hadeeth of Abdullaah bin Umar.

The meaning is that plants in Paradise grow quickly due to these statements, just like the plants that are planted on lowland and the growth of its plants is fast.

 

6 – From its excellence is that there is none better according to Allaah than a believer who lives his life in Islaam and says ‘Allaahu akbar, Subhana Allaahi, la illaah ila Allaah, and al-Hamdu lillaahi,’ a lot.

 

What is collected by Imam Ahmad and by Nisa’ee in ‘Amal al-Yawm wa Laylah’ with a Hasan Isnaad from Abdullaah bin Shaddad: is that a group of three people from the tribe of Udhraah came to the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam and accepted Islaam and Abdullaah said that the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said: ‘Who will look after them?’

Talha said: ‘I will.’

Abdullaah said: ‘They stayed with Talha and the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam sent out a delegation and one of them went in it and was martyred.  Abdullaah said: then the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam sent another a delegation and another person went with them and was martyred.

Abdullaah continued: then the third person died on his bed.

Talha said: ‘I saw these three people who stayed with me [in a dream] they were in Paradise, and I saw the one who died on his bed in front of them, and I saw the one who was martyred last after him and I saw the one who was martyred last behind them.  Talha said: I came to the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam and I mentioned this to him, and the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘Why did you not stop them from going with the delegation, there is none better according to Allaah from a believer who lives his life in Islaam and says ‘Allaahu akbar, Subhana Allaahi, la illaah ila Allaah, and al-Hamdu lillaahi,’ a lot.’[24]

This great hadeeth shows the great excellence of the one who has a long life and his actions are good, and his tongue continues to be moist with the Dhikr of Allaah –the Mighty and Majestic, and success is from Allaah Alone.’[25]

 

Shaykh AbdurRazaaq bin AbdulMuhsin al-Badr continues:

‘Previously, we covered a number of virtues of these four statements: they are the best speech after the Qur’aan, they are ‘Far is Allaah from imperfection, and all praise be to Allaah, and there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah, and Allaah is the Greatest,’ (Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu Akbar).

Here we will continue with another number of benefits from these statements from the Ahadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam which mention these statements:

 

7- From their excellence is that Allaah chose these statements and chose them for His slave, and Allaah has set aside for the one who remembers Allaah saying them, with great and abundant reward.

In the ‘Musnad’ of Imam Ahmad and ‘Mustadrak’ of al-Hakim with an authentic Isnaad from the hadeeth of Abu Huraira and Abu Sa’eed Radi Allaahu anhumma: that the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘Indeed Allaah chose four statements: ‘Far is Allaah from imperfection, and all praise be to Allaah, and there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah, and Allaah is the Greatest,’ (Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu Akbar). So whoever says ‘Subhana Allaah,’ twenty good deeds are written for him, and twenty bad deeds are taken away.  Whoever says ‘Allaahu akbar’ then he gets likewise. Whoever says ‘La illaah ila Allaah,’ then he gets likewise.  Whoever says ‘Alhamdulillaahi Rabbil Al-Ameen’ from his own self then thirty good deeds are written for him and thirty sins are cancelled from him.’[26]

The reward for the slave of Allaah saying al-Hamd (Praise) is increased more than the other four, when he says it from his own self; this is because al-Hamd does not generally occur except after a reason for saying it, like eating or drinking, or the occurrence of a blessing, so it is as if the al-Hamd occurs due to something in return, for that which has been rendered to the slave of Allaah at the time of saying al-Hamd, so if the slave of Allaah mentions al-Hamd from his own self without any pushing factor to do so, nor for a new blessing (which Allaah has given him) then his reward is increased.

 

8- From their virtues is: that they are a protection from the Hell-Fire for the one who says them and they will come as a savior on the Day of Judgement for the one who says them and they will precede him. Al-Hakim collected in ‘al-Mustadrak’ and Nisa’ee in ‘Amal al-Yawm wa Layla’ and others from Abu Hurairah Radi Allaahu anhu who said that Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘Take your protection.’

We said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah against an enemy that has arrived?’

He said:

‘No, but your protection from the Hell-Fire, say: ‘Far is Allaah from imperfection, and all praise be to Allaah, and there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah, and Allaah is the Greatest,’ (Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu Akbar) since indeed they will come on the Day of Judgement as saviours and preceding good actions and they are the lasting good deeds of the righteous.’

 

Al-Hakim said: ‘This hadeeth is Saheeh upon conditions of Muslim and they did not collect it. Dhahabi agreed with al-Hakim. And it was authenticated by the ‘allaama al-Albaani -Rahimullaah.’[27]

 

This hadeeth includes an addition to the Ahadeeth which have preceded which is describing these statements that they are the lasting good deeds.

Allaah The Most High said:

﴿ وَٱلۡبَٰقِيَٰتُ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتُ خَيۡرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابٗا وَخَيۡرٌ أَمَلٗا﴾

<< But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one’s] hope. >>[28]

The lasting good deeds are those deeds due to which their reward remains, and is continuous, and this is the best at what a slave of Allaah can expect and hope for and expect the best reward.

9 – From its benefits is: that they make a curve around the ‘Arsh of ar-Rahman and they have a buzzing sound like the buzzing of the bee, by which they mention /remember the one who said them.

In the ‘Musnad’ of Imam Ahmad and Sunnan Ibn Majah and ‘al-Mustadrak’ by al-Hakim from Nu’man bin Basheer Radi Allaahu anhu who said: the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘Indeed what you remember/mention from the magnificence of Allaah is saying Subhana Allaah, Allaahu Akbar, la illaah ila Allaah and Alhamdulillaah, it curves around the ‘Arsh, they have a buzzing sound like the buzz of the bee, which (mention/remember) its (companion/the one) who says it. Does not one of you want that, or wish that someone still remembers you by it.’

Al-Busseeri said in: ‘Zawaid Sunnan Ibn Majah: ‘Its Isnaad is Saheeh, its narrators of trustworthy, and it was authenticated by al-Hakim.[29]

 

Therefore, the benefit of this hadeeth is this great virtue, which is that these four statements curve around the  ‘Arsh, i.e. that they go around it, they have a buzzing sound like the buzz of the bee, i.e. a sound which is similar to the sound of the bee and in doing so it remembers the person who said them, and those words are the greatest encouragement for Dhikr with these statements, this is why the Messenger sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said in this hadeeth: ‘Does not one of you want that, or wish that someone still remembers you by it.’

 

10 – From their excellence: that the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam mentioned that they are heavy on the scales.  Nisa’ee narrated in ‘Amal al-Yawm wa Layla’ and Ibn Hibban in his book called ‘Saheeh’ and al-Haakim and other than them from Abu Salma Radi Allaahu anhu who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam saying:

Bakhin Bakhin – and pointed with his five fingers – how heavy they are on the scale: ‘Far is Allaah from imperfection, and all praise be to Allaah, and there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah, and Allaah is the Greatest,’ (Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu Akbar) and a righteous son that dies and his father is a Muslim and he benefits by him.’

Al-Haakim authenticated it and Dhahabi agreed[30] and the hadeeth has a support from the hadeeth of Thawbaan Radi Allaahu anhu, and al-Bazzar collected it in his ‘Musnad’ and said its Isnaad was Hasan.[31]

 

His saying in the hadeeth: ‘Bakhin Bakhin’ this is a word, which is said when, being amazed by something and explaining its excellence.

 

11- From the excellence of these words is that for the slave of Allaah they are Sadaqah (giving charity) when he says each one of them.

It is collected by Muslim in his ‘Saheeh’ from Abu Dharr Radi Allaahu anhu:
Some of the companions of the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘O Messenger of Allaah, the affluent have made off with the rewards, they pray as we pray they fast as we fast, and they give away in charity the extra of their wealth.’

He sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘Has not Allah made things for you to give away in charity? Every Tasbihah (saying: Subhana Allaah) is a charity, every Takbirah (saying: Allaahu Akbar) is a charity, every Tahmidah (saying: al-Hamdu lillaah) is a charity, and every Tahlilah (saying: la illaah ila Allaah) is a charity, to enjoin a good action is a charity, to forbid an evil action is a charity, and in having relations with your wife is a charity.’

They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, when one of us fulfils his desire (with his wife) will he have some reward for that?’

He sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘Do you not think that if he were to act upon it unlawfully he would be sinning? Likewise, if he has acted upon it lawfully he will have a reward.’[32]

 

The poor people thought that there was no Sadaqah except by giving money, and they were incapable of doing that, so the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam informed them that all types of good actions and being good is Sadaqah, and the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam mentioned that at the head of good actions are these four statements ‘Far is Allaah from imperfection, and all praise be to Allaah, and there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah, and Allaah is the Greatest,’ (Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu Akbar).

 

12 – From the excellence of these statements is that the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam made these statements in place of the Noble Qur’aan for the one who truly cannot read it.

It is narrated by Abu Dawood, Nisa’aee, Daraqutni and other than them from Ibn Abee Awfa Radi Allaahu anhu who said: ‘A man came to the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam and said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah indeed I cannot learn the Qur’aan, so teach me something that will give me a reward.’ He sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘Say: ‘Far is Allaah from imperfection, and all praise be to Allaah, and there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah, and Allaah is the Greatest, there is no capability nor is there any power except with Allaah.’ (Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu Akbar wa La hawla wa la quwwata illa billaa.)

Then the Bedouin said: ‘like this – and he closed his hand – and said: This is for Allaah, what is for me?’

The Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

اللهم اغفر لي وارحمني وعافني وارزقني واهدني

‘Say: O Allaah forgive me, and have mercy on me, and pardon me, and provide for me, and guide me.’

Then the Bedouin took them [this supplication] and closed the palm of his hand. The Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

‘As for this person then he has filled his two hands with goodness.’[33]

The Muhaddith Abu Tayyib al-Atheem ‘Abbadi said in his comments on Sunnan Daraqutni its Isnad is Saheeh and Albaani -Rahimullaah- said its Sanad is Hasan.[34]

These are some of the virtues mentioned in the Prophetic Sunnah regarding these four statements.  There are specific virtues for every one of these statements. Whoever reflects upon these preceding virtues finds that they are very great, and show the great status of these statements and their lofty status and their many benefits and their advantages upon the believer, the slave of Allaah.

Perhaps the secret to this great excellence – and Allaah knows best – is what has been mentioned by some of the people of knowledge, which is that the Names of Allaah –The Blessed and The Most High – are all incorporated in these four statements.

As for what is embodied in ‘Subhana Allaah’ is the Name of Allaah which show His purity like al-Qudoos (The Holy) and as-Salaam (The Source of Peace).

As for ‘Alhamdulillaah’ then it comprises and affirms the different types of perfection for Allaah –Tabaraka – in His Names and His Attributes.

As for ‘Allaahu Akbar’ then it contains the Magnificence of Allaah and regarding Him as Great, and that none can enumerate praise upon Him, so whoever possesses this, then, He is the One Who is worthy of worship, which means that there is none worthy of worship except Him.

I swear by Allaah, look how great these statements are, and how magnificent their matter is, and how great is the result of the good for them.

 

We ask Allaah that He gives us the capability to observe these statements and to be continuous upon them, and makes us from its people, those whose tongues are moist with remembering them, indeed Allaah is The Protector of that and He is The Capable One.’[35]

 

5 – How not to say ‘Subhana allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi’

a – How a small Bida’ leads to the greater Bida’

From ‘Amroo bin Salamah:  We were sitting by the door of Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood before lunch, so that if he came out, we could walk with him to the Masjid.

Abu Moosaa al-Ash’aree came and said: Has Abu Abdur-Rahmaan come out yet?

We said: No.

So, he sat down with us, waiting for him to come out, and when he came out, we all gathered towards him, and Abu Moosaa said:

‘O Abu Abdur-Rahmaan! Previously I saw something in the Masjid which I disliked. But, Alhamdulillaah, what I saw, was nothing but good.’

He said: What was it?

Abu Moosaa said, ‘If you live, you will see it.’

Then Abu Moosaa said,

‘I saw a group of people, sitting in circles waiting for the prayer.  In every circle there was a man and in their hands were small stones and he would say: ‘Say Allaahu Akbar 100 times’ and they would say ‘Allaahu Akbar’ 100 times.  Then, he would say, ‘Say laa ilaha ilAllaah 100 times’ and they would say ‘laa ilaha ilAllaah’ 100 times and he would say, ‘Say SubhaanAllaah’ 100 times and they would say ‘SubhaanAllaah’ 100 times.’

Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood said, ‘So what did you say to them?’

He said: ‘I did not say anything to them, rather I waited for your opinion [or ‘I waited for your command’].’

He said:

‘Why did you not command them to count their bad deeds [i.e. seek forgiveness from your deeds] and guarantee them that their good deeds would not be lost?!’

Then he walked and we walked with him until he reached one of those circles and he stood there and said, ‘What is this that I see you doing?’

They said: ‘O Abu Abdur-Rahmaan! These are nothing but small stones with which we are counting, saying ‘Allaahu Akbar, laa ilaaha illAllaah and SubhaanAllaah.’

He said,

‘Count your sins; I guarantee that you will not lose anything of your good deeds!  Beware, O Ummah of Muhammad!  How quick you are to your destruction!

Here we are, the Companions of your Prophet – abundant, everywhere and here is his clothing which has not been [wasted away] and his utensils have not been broken. I swear by Him in Whose Hand is my soul, either you are an Ummah more rightly-guided than the Ummah of Muhammad or you are opening the door of misguidance.’

They said; ‘We swear by Allaah, O Abu Abdur-Rahmaan, we did not intend anything but good.’

He said:

‘How many people intend good but never achieve it.  Verily the Messenger of Allaah – narrated to us, ‘Indeed there will be a people who read the Qur’aan but it does not pass beyond their throats.’  I swear by Allaah, I do not know. Perhaps most of them are from amongst you.’

Then he went away.

‘Amroo bin Salamah said, ‘We saw some of those sitting in those circles fighting on the Day of Nahrawaan, along with the Khawaarij.’[36]

 

Shaykh al-Albaani commented in the Takreej (research) of the above narration as following:

b – The Consequence of Innovating & Extremism in the Deen

‘Indeed there is a lesson to be learnt from this narration, for those who follow Sufi paths and Dhikr gatherings which are against the Sunnah.  When someone forbids an evil action that they perform they accuse him of forbidding Dhikr from its very foundation!

This is Kufr which no Muslim in this world should fall into; the evil action which they adhere to, from those forms of Dhikr and gatherings which, were not legislated at the time of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-, otherwise why would Ibn Masood Radi Allaahu anhu disapprove of those who were sitting in their gatherings?

Is it not, a gathering done on a specific day, and doing an amount of Dhikr which is not indicated by the Sharia’ but is listed by the Shaykh of the gathering, and he commands them with the amount of Dhikr that they should do from himself, as if he is a legislator on behalf of Allaah The Most High!

<< Or do they have partners with Allaah, who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not allowed. >>[37]

To add to this, the Sunnah which is established by the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- verbally and practically is to perform the Tasbeeh (remembrance of Allaah) on your fingertips, as it is clear in ‘The refutation against al-Habshee’ and in other places.

From the benefits which can be reaped from the hadeeth and this story is; that the importance is not of performing a large amount of worship, but rather, is it according to the Sunnah and far away from Bida’.

Ibn Masood Radi Allaahu anhu also indicated to this point in his saying: ‘sticking to the Sunnah is better than striving in Bida’.’

And another benefit is: that a small Bida’ leads to a greater Bida’.  Do you not see that those people from these gatherings afterwards became from the Khawaarij who were killed by the rightly guided Khalifah ‘Alee bin Abu Taalib?  So is there anyone who will take heed?!’[38]

6 – The Scales

a – Muhammad Nasir- Deen Al-Albaani (d.1420A.H) -Rahimullaah- commented on the following hadeeth:

‘When death was approaching the Prophet of Allaah Nooh  sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam  he said to his son: I will narrate to you my bequest; I command you with two things and prohibit you from two things.  I command you with ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ (‘There is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah)  if the seven heavens and the seven earths were placed upon a scale and ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’   was placed on the other, then ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’  would be heavier.

If the seven heavens and the seven earths were a closed off circle then ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ would be able to break it.

The second thing I command you with is Subhana Allaahi wa bihamdihi  (Far is Allaah from imperfection and praise is for Him), since it is a supplication for everything, and by it the creation is given its provision.

I prohibit you from Shirk and pride.

(The narrator said: I asked or someone asked) : O Messenger of Allaah as for shirk then we know about it, but what is pride?  Is it that one of us has sandals with two good straps?

The Messenger answered: No.

He asked again: is it that one of us has companions and they sit with him?

The Messenger again answered: No.

Someone asked: O Messenger of Allaah, what is pride?

He said:

‘Ridiculing the truth and belittling the people and reviling them.’

[Silsilah Saheehah: 134]

From the benefits of the hadeeth:

I (al-Albaani) say: there are many benefits from this hadeeth; I will suffice by indicating to some of them:

1- The permissibility of writing a bequest at the time of death.

2- The excellence of saying ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ and saying Subhana Allaah and that they are a cause for the creation to receive provision from Allaah.

3- The scales on the Day of Judgment are true and real, and they have two pans. This is from the belief of the ahl-ul Sunnah, opposing that of the Mu’tazilah and their followers in the modern times.  Who do not believe that which has been affirmed regarding ‘Aqeedah in the authentic Ahadeeth, with the claim that these are Ahkbaar al-Ahad (singular narrations) which do not convey certainty.  I have exposed this claim in my book ‘with ustaadh at-Tantawee’.

 

4 – The seven earths are like the seven heavens.  There are many Ahadeeth regarding this in Bukhari and Muslim and in other books.  Perhaps one day we will have time to follow up these Ahadeeth and research them.

What supports these Ahadeeth is the saying of Allaah Tabaraka wa Ta’ aala : << It is Allaah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven).>>   i.e. they are similar in creation and in number.

 

So, you should not pay any attention to the one who explains it away, whereby, it ends up as a negation of similarity [between the heavens and the earths] as well as a similarity in numbers, being deceived by the Europeans and to where their knowledge has reached, from having gone up in to space, however they do not know of seven earths, along with that they do not know about seven heavens.

Will we reject the speech of Allaah and the speech of His Messenger due to the ignorance of the Europeans and others along with them, declaring that the more they increase their knowledge of the universe, the more they increase in their ignorance of it.  Allaah the Most Great has spoken the truth when He said : <<  And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little>>

5 – That beautification with good clothing has nothing to do with pride what so ever.  Rather, it is a matter which is permissible, because Allaah is Beautiful and He loves beauty, like the Messenger of Allaah  sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam  said regarding this issue, as is narrated by Muslim in his ‘Saheeh’.

6 – Pride which has been equated with Shirk will not allow entrance in to Paradise for the one who has an equivalent of an atoms worth.  That is the pride, which is rejecting the truth after it has been made clear, and defaming innocent people without truth.

So, the Muslim should be extremely cautious from being characterized with this type of pride, just like he should be extremely cautious from being characterized with the Shirk which places its companion in the Hell-fire for eternity.[39]

b – Shaykh Muhammed bin Salih al-Uthaymeen (d.1421 A.H.) said:

‘Affirmation of the scale, the mention of the scale came many times in the Qur’aan, it was mentioned in the plural form and in the singular form.

Allaah –the Mighty and Majestic- said:

<< وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَازِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ >>

<< And We shall set up balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection >>[40]

Allaah The Most High said:

<<فَأَمَّا مَنْ ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ  >>

<< Then as for him whose balance (of good deeds) will be heavy >>[41]

It is mentioned clearly in the Sunnah in the saying of the Messenger  sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam: ‘There are two words which are gentle on the tongue, heavy on the scales, and beloved to ar-Rahmaan: –

: سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ ، سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ الْعَظِيمِ.

‘Far is Allaah from imperfection and praise is for Him, Far is Allaah The Sublime from imperfection

Subhana allaahi wa bihamdihi, Subhana allaahil atheem’ [Collected by Bukhari]

Likewise, it is mentioned in the hadeeth under discussion.

Is this scale real or metaphorical?  The Mutazilah said: it is metaphorical, and it is an indirect expression about establishing justice.

And the correct opinion is that it is real, it has two pans and a tongue, good actions and evil actions will be weighed upon it.[42]

Shaykh Al-Albaani commented on the following hadeeth:

‘Indeed, Allaah will single out a man from my Ummah in front of all the people on the Day of Judgment.  Ninety-nine scrolls will be unrolled for him; every scroll will be as long as the eye can see.

Then Allaah will say: Do you deny anything from this? Did the Angels that record your deeds oppress you?

So the man will say: No, my Lord.

Allaah will say: Do you have an excuse?

The man will say: No, my Lord.

Allaah will say: “Yes, indeed, we have a good deed for you and indeed, there will be no oppression upon you today.”

Then a card will be brought forward and in it will be: ‘I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger.’

Then Allaah will say: Bring your bad deeds.

The man will say: What is this card along with these scrolls?

Allaah will say : indeed you will not be oppressed.

The Prophet continued: The scrolls will be put on one side of the scales, and the card will be put on the other side, and the scrolls will be light and the card would be heavy, there can be nothing heavier than with the name of Allaah.’

[Silsilah Saheehah : 135]

Albaani said: ‘The proof from this hadeeth is that the scales have two pans, which the actions are placed upon, which you can see, and even though actions are real they will be weighed.  Allaah is capable of doing all things, and this is from the beliefs of the Ahl-ul-Sunnah, the Ahadeeth regarding this issue are supported if not Mutawaatir (recurring chains).’[43]

 

Shaykh Muhammed bin Salih al-Uthaymeen (d.1421 A.H.) said:

‘Regarding the saying of Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam ‘and Alhamdulillah fills up the scale.’ i.e. it is like the saying of the person: the scales are filled up by Alhamdulillah, the scale by which the actions are weighed, like Allaah –the Mighty and Majestic- said:

<< وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَازِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ >>

<< And We shall set up balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, >>[44]

[Uthaymeen 1/223]

7 – Prayer is light

Imam Sharaf ad-Deen at –Taybee (d. 743 A.H.) -Rahimullaah- said in his explanation of Mishkat al-Masabeeh (p.739):

‘Regarding his  sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam saying: ‘and the prayer is Noor (light)’ it means that the prayer prevents a person from sinning and prohibits evil sexual and horrible deeds, and it guides to what is correct just like light.

It has been said, that what it means by light, it is the thing with which the one who prays will be guided by on the Day of Judgment.

Allaah The Most High said:

<<On the Day you shall see the believing men and the believing women their light running forward before them and by their right hands. Glad tidings for you this Day! Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever! Truly, this is the great success! >>[45]

It has been said that the prayer is light because the prayer is the means that enlighten the lights (Noor) of good deeds, and the delight of the heart, and uncovers realities due to the heart being concerned with the prayer, and turning to Allaah inwardly and outwardly.  And it has been said that: Noor is the sign on the face of the one who prays, due to the effects of prostration.’[46]

 

Shaykh Muhammed bin Salih al-Uthaymeen (d.1421 A.H.) said:

‘Regarding the saying of Messenger sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam ‘and the prayer is light (Noor)’ i.e. that the obligatory and optional prayer is light, Noor in the heart, Noor on the face, Noor in the grave, Noor on the day of Hashr, because the hadeeth is absolute, and the one who experiences this will find that Noor.

If you prayed the prayer in reality, in that which you bring your heart to attention to, and your limbs to have Khushoo, you will feel that your heart has become enlightened and it has tasted delight, absolute delight, this is why the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said: ‘The sweetness/pleasure of my eyes has been placed in the prayer.’ [Ahmad][47]

8 – The Excellence of Patience

Entry in to Paradise

Allaah The Most High says:

<< But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient, and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of the happiness in the Hereafter i.e. Paradise and in this world of a high moral character). >>[48]

And Allaah The Most High says:

<<And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient.>> [Insaan: 12]

Allaah The Most High also says:

<<Say: ‘O My slaves who believe, be afraid of your Lord (Allaah) and keep your duty to Him. Good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world, and Allaah’s earth is spacious (so if you cannot worship Allaah at a place, then go to another)! Only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning.’>>    [Zumar: 10][49]

 

Imam Sharaf ad-Deen at –Taybee (d. 743 A.H.) -Rahimullaah- said regarding the saying of the Messenger sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam:

‘Everyone begins his day and is a seller of his soul’ it means that every person will use his own self, so there will be from these people who sell their soul to Allaah The Most High with His obedience so He frees/emancipates his soul, and there are those who sell their soul to the Shaytaan and desires and they end up destroying the soul.’[50]

 

Shaykh Salih bin AbdulAziz ‘Ala-Shaykh said:

‘….as for the seller of his soul then it is that a person who sells his soul for Allaah – Jala wa Ulaa- so that desires do not overcome the soul, and does not let it worship Shaytaan, rather the person makes the soul turn to that what Allaah –Jala wa Ulaa- loves and is pleased with, so he freed it for that day.’[51] [52]

 

All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace

and blessings be upon our final

Prophet Muhammad, his

family, his companions

and all those who

follow his

guidance.

 

[1] [Taken from ‘Sharh al-Arbaeen an-Nawawi’ – Shaykh Saalih ‘ala Shaykh p.320]

[2] [Tawbah: 28]

[3] [Taken from ‘Sharh al-Arbaeen an-Nawawi’ – Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih al-Uthaymeen p.243 Hadeeth No.24]

 

[4][4] [Taken from ‘Sharh al-Arbaeen an-Nawawi’ – Shaykh Saalih ‘ala Shaykh p.322]

[5]  [Furqan: 58]

[6] [Baqarah: 255]

[7] [Qaf: 38]

[8] [Qaf: 38]

[9] [Shura:11]

[10]   [Taken from ‘Sharh al-Arbaeen an-Nawawi’ – Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih al-Uthaymeen p.244 Hadeeth No.24]

[11] (Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar)

 

[12] (Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar)

[13]  Saheeh Muslim

[14] Musnad at-Tayyalisi

[15] (Subhana Allaahi, wal hamdu lillaahi, wa la illaah ila Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar)

[16] Saheeh Muslim

[17] Al-Musnad & Shu’ab al-Eemaan

[18] Targheeb wa Tarheeb (2/409)

[19] Silsilah Saheehah (3/303)

[20] Al-Musnad, Sunnan Tirmidhi, Mustadrak al-Hakim & Saheeh al-Jamia’ no. 5636

[21] Saheeh Muslim

[22] Sunnan Tirmidhi & Saheeh al-Jamia’ no. 1601

[23] Sunnan Tirmidhi & Albaani declared it Hasan in Saheehah no. 105

[24] Al-Musnad, Sunnan al-Kubra by Nisa’ee Book of Actions of the Day & the Night, Albaani declared it Hasan in Saheehah No. 654

[25] [Taken from ‘Fiqh al-Adeeyah wal Adhkaar’ by Abdur-Razzaq al-Badr p.156-160]

 

[26] Al-Musnad, al-Mustadrak and ‘Allaama Albaani said in Saheeh al-Jamia’ No.1718 it is Saheeh.

[27] Al-Mustadrak, Sunnan al-Kubra & Saheeh al-Jamia’ No. 3214

[28] [18:46]

[29] Al-Musnad, Sunnan Ibn Majah & al-Mustadrak

[30] Sunnan al-Kubra, Saheeh Ibn Hibban & Al-Mustadrak

[31] Kashf al-Astaar ‘an Zawaid al-Bazzar

[32] Saheeh Muslim

[33] Sunnan Abu Dawood, Sunnan Nisa’ee & Sunnan Daraqutni

[34] Saheeh Abu Dawood

[35] [Taken from ‘Fiqh al-Adeeyah wal Adhkaar’ by Abdur-Razzaq al-Badr  p.161-166]

[36] Narrated by ad-Darmi in his Sunan.

 

[37]  Soorah Shura :21

[38] [Taken from ‘Silsilah Ahadeeth as-Saheehah  by Shaykh al-Albaani (vol 5/2005)]

[39] [Taken from Silsilah Saheehah No.134]

[40] [Anbiyaa: 47]

[41] [al-Qariah: 6]

[42] [Taken from ‘Sharh al-Arbaeen an-Nawawi’ – Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih al-Uthaymeen p.255 Hadeeth No.23]

[43] [Taken from Silsilah Saheehah : 135]

[44] [Anbiyaa: 47]

[45] [Hadeed: 12]

[46] [‘Tayseer Rab al-Bariya fee Sharh al-Arba’een an-Nawawi’ p.341]

[47] [Taken from ‘Sharh al-Arbaeen an-Nawawi’ – Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih al-Uthaymeen p.246 Hadeeth No.23]

[48] [Fussilat: 35]

[49] [Taken from: Durar p.203]

[50] [‘Tayseer Rab al-Bariya fee Sharh al-Arba’een an-Nawawi’ p.342]

[51] [Taken from ‘Sharh al-Arbaeen an-Nawawi’ – Shaykh Saalih ‘ala Shaykh p.335

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