Hadeeth 41: The Sign of Faith

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عن أبي محمد عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما ، قال : قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم : ( لا يؤمن أحدكم حتي يكون هواه تبعا لما جئت به ).
حديث حسن صحيح . رويناه في كتاب ( الحجة ) بإسناد صحيح

On the authority of Abu Muhammad ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas (radiAllahu ‘anhumaa) who said : The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) said :

 “ None of you [truly] believes until his desires are subserviant to that which I have brought.

[Imaam an-Nawawi says:] We have related it in Kitaab al-Hujjah with a Saheeh chain of narrators.

Explanation of Hadeeth Number 41

This hadeeth is similar to His – subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa – statement

  “But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith [Iman] until they make you (O Muhammad, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) judge in all disputes between them” [Surah an-Nisaa’, 65].

The reason for the revelation of this aayah, as related by al-Bukhari (2359-2360), was as follows :

Az-Zubair (radiAllahu anhu) had a quarrel with a man from amongst the Ansaar over the use of water from a stream, so they both went to the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) for judgement between them. So he (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) said : “O Zubair, irrigate your land and then let the water flow to [the land of] your neighbour.” Through this, he (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) encouraged az-Zubair to pardon his neighbour and to make affairs easy for him. However, the Ansaaree then said : “[You have judged in his favour] because he is the son of your uncle”. So the colour of the face of the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) changed [from anger], and he said : “O Zubair, hold back the water [in your land] until it rises to the level of the stems [of the trees], and then let it flow [to your neighbours land]”. And by this the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) indicated to az-Zubair the means by which the Ansaaree could be corrected from his error [of not submitting to the judgement of the Prophet, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam].

So when the Ansaaree offended and angered the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) with what he said, he (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) granted for az-Zubair the whole of his right that was due to him, without any concession for the Ansaaree.

And it has been authenticated from the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) in another hadeeth that he (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) said : “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, none of you believes until I am more beloved to him than his father or child or the whole of mankind”. Abu az-Zinaad said that this is from the Comprehensive Speech of the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam), as he has combined in these few, simple words great meaning and import. This is so since the types of Love are three : the Love which arises from a feeling of respect and greatness, such as the Love of ones parents; the Love which arises from compassion and mercy, such as the Love of ones child; and the Love which arises from seeing in another [person] traits which are similar to ones own, such as the Love of the whole of mankind in general. Thus all the types of Love have been enumerated [by the Prophet, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, in this hadeeth].

Ibn Buttaal (rahimahu Allah) said that the meaning of the hadeeth, and Allah knows best, is that whosoever perfects and completes his Faith (Iman) knows that Allah ‘azza wa jall has delivered him from the Fire through the Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam), and through the Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) was he guided away from Misguidance and Error.

And the import of the hadeeth is that one must not surrender ones soul to [any person] other than the Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam). And the Companions (radiAllahu anhum) used to be alongside the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) in fighting their own fathers and sons and brothers [who were polytheists], and Abu ‘Ubaydah (radiAllahu anhu) killed his own father due to his harming the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam). And on the Day of Badr, Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu) faced his own son, ‘Abd-ur-Rahmaan, in the hope that he would be able to overcome him and kill him. So whosoever finds similar to this in his self then he can be assured that his desires are subserviant to that which the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) brought.

And Allah knows best.

Summary :

  • That a person is not a Muslim unless he accepts what is in the Qur’aan and Sunnah without grudge and resistance. “But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith [Iman] until they make you (O Muhammad, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission” [Surah Nisaa’, 65]
  • That we must train our hearts and minds to willingly submit to the teachings of the Qur’aan and Sunnah
  • That all our Laws, regulations, principles, values, norms, outlooks, etc, come from what has been revealed

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