Hadeeth 21 : Say ‘I believe in Allah’ and then be Steadfast

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عن أبي عمرو ، وقيل أبي عمرة ؛ سفيان بن عبد الله الثقفي رضي الله عنه ، قال : قلت : يا رسول الله ! قـل لي في الإسـلام قـولا لا أسـأل عـنه أحــدًا غـيـرك ؛ قـال : ( قــل : آمـنـت بـالله ، ثـم اسـتـقم ).
رواه مسلم [ رقم : 38 ]

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)

On the authority of Abu ‘Amr – and he is also called Abu ‘Amrah – Sufyaan bin Abdillaah ath-Thaqafee (radiAllahu anhu) who said :

 “ I said : “O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, tell me something about al-Islaam which I can ask of no one but you.”
He said ﷺ: “Say: I believe in Allah – and then be Steadfast”

It was related by Muslim.

Explanation of Hadeeth Number 21

The meaning of his (radiAllahu anhu) statement “tell me something about al-Islaam which I can ask of no one but you” is that he is asking the Prophet ﷺ to teach him a comprehensive statement about the meaning of al-Islaam, that is clear in and of itself, and does not require any further explanation by anyone other than the Prophet ﷺ, such that he may act upon it and protect himself (from the Fire) with it. So the Prophet ﷺ replied to his question with his statement : “Say: I believe in Allah – and then be Steadfast”.

This is from the Complete and Comprehensive Speech that has been given to our Messenger ﷺ, for verily he ﷺ has combined, for the questioner, in these two phrases the complete meanings of al-Islaam and al-Iman. For verily these words instruct one to renew one’s Iman through the tongue and the remembrance of the heart, and they instruct one to remain steadfast (have Istiqaamah) upon performing the actions of Obedience and to refrain completely from all the actions of Disobedience, since it is not possible to establish al-Istiqaamah while at the same time having some element of crookedness and disobedience, as this is its opposite. And this is similar to His statement : “Verily, those who say: ‘Our Lord is Allah’, and then they remain steadfast upon that” [Fussilat, 30], ie they believe in Allah alone, and then they remain steadfast upon that, and upon His obedience, until Allah takes their souls and they are still upon that. ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab (radiAllahu anhu) said : “They are steadfast upon the obedience of Allah, and they do not swerve away from that with the evasions of the fox”. And its meaning is that they are firm upon most of what Allah has ordered, from the matters of Belief, Speech and Action. And they persist upon that, and this is the meaning of the explanation given by most of the scholars of Tafseer, and it is the meaning of the hadeeth, in shaa’ Allah ta’aalaa.

And similarly the statement of Allah: “So stand (O Muhammad ﷺ) firm and straight (on the religion of Islaam) as you are commanded” [Hood, 112]. Ibn ‘Abbaas (radiAllahu anhu) said that no other verse from the entire Qur’aan was revealed upon the Messenger ﷺ that was harder upon him than this verse. And due to this he ﷺ said : “(The Surah) Hood and its companions have made my hair white”. And Abu Bakr (radiAllahu anhu) has narrated that he ﷺ said : “My hair has been made white by (Surahs) Hood, and al-Waaqi’ah, and al-Mursalaat, and ‘Amma yatasaa’aloon, and Idha ash-Shamsu Kuwwirat”.

al-Ustaadh Abu al-Qaasim al-Qushairee (rahimahu Allahu ta’aalaa) said : al-Istiqaamah is a station by which is achieved the perfection of the affairs, and their completion, and with its presence one attains all that is good and in order. And he who does not attain Istiqaamah in his endeavour then he has lost that endeavour and all good fortune.

And it is said : al-Istiqaamah is not sustained except by the elders and seniors [in the Deen], because it involves keeping away from the common [incorrect] practises of the [ignorant] people. And it involves difference and separation from the [incorrect] customs and traditions of the people, and instead standing firm between the Hands of Allah ta’aalaa upon the Reality of Truth, and due to this the Prophet ﷺ said “Be steadfast [in your actions] and do not count/enumerate [your good actions, which may cause you to limit them]. And know that the best of your actions is the Prayer, and none except the [true] Believer takes care to maintain his wudoo'”. And al-Waasitee (rahimahu Allah) said : “al-Istiqaamah is a trait such that with it all the good qualities are perfected, and without it they are all disfigured.”

And Allah knows best.

Summary :

  • That only the Messenger of Allah ﷺ fully understood the essence and worth of worshipping Allah truly
  • That one must truly believe that Allah is his Lord whom he worships, and then stay upright and steadfast upon that belief, and that covers the whole religion
  • That keeping Upright / Steadfast is following the injunctions that have come from Allah in Whom he trusts and Whom he worships and Whom he takes as the highest authority
(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)



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