Hadeeth 23: Hastening to do Good

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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 ).
رواه مسلم [ رقم: 223 ]

On the authority of Abu Maalik al-Haarith bin al-Haarith al-Ash’aree (radiAllahu anhu) who said : The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said :

 “ Purity is half of Iman (Faith). ‘al-Hamdu lillaah’ [Praise be to Allah] fills the scales, and ‘subhaanAllah’ [How far is Allah from every imperfection] and ‘al-Hamdu lillaah’ fill that which is between heaven and earth. And the Salaah (Prayer) is a Light, and charity is a Proof, and Patience is Illumination, and the Qur’aan is a Proof either for you or against you. Every person starts his day as a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or causing its ruin.

It was related by Muslim.

Explanation of Hadeeth Number 23

This hadeeth is a Principle from amongst the Principles of Islaam, and it encompasses within it many important matters and fundamental principles of the Deen.

As for ‘Purity’ then what is intended here is the action. The ‘ulemaa have differed over the meaning of the phrase ‘Purity is half of Iman’, so some have said that it means that the reward of purifying oneself is such that it reaches half the reward of Iman, and some have said that the meaning of Iman here is the Salaah (Prayer). As Allah ta’aalaa has said : “And Allah would never let your Iman (prayers offered towards Jerusalem, before Makkah was made the Qiblah) to be lost” [Surah al-Baqarah, 143]. And purity is a condition for the correctness of the Prayer, so it becomes like a part of it, and it is not necessary that a part of something is really half of it. And others have said other than this.

And as for his ﷺ statement “‘al-Hamdu lillaah’ [Praise be to Allah] fills the scales” then its meaning is that due to the great reward for reciting the Praise of Allah, the scale of good deeds of the worshipper is filled. And it is apparent from the texts of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah that the deeds of the slave will be weighed on the Day of Judgement, and will either be heavy or light.

And similar to this is his ﷺ statement “and ‘subhaanAllah’ [How far is Allah from every imperfection] and ‘al-Hamdu lillaah’ fill that which is between heaven and earth” and the reason for its great virtue is that it combines within it the denial for Allah of all forms of deficiency and imperfection, and establishes our complete dependence upon Him and need of Him.

And his ﷺ statement “the Salaah (Prayer) is a Light” means that it prevents a person from sin, forbids him from fahshaa’ (lusts) and guides him towards that which is Right, just as one uses a light to illuminate ones way. And it has also been said that it means that its reward will be a light for the worshipper on the Day of Resurrection, or that it will be a clear and apparent light on the face of the worshipper on the Day of Resurrection, and also in this life in the form of beauty and radiance in his face. And this is the opposite of those who do not Pray, and Allah knows best.

And as for his ﷺ statement “charity is a Proof” then the author of at-Tajreed said : Its meaning is that safety and refuge is sought through it, just as safety and refuge is sought through proofs [of the truth]. And when the slave will be asked on the Day of Resurrection about how he spent his wealth, then his spending in charity will be a proof for him in answering that question, so he will say “I spent it in charity”.
And others have said that its meaning is that charity is a proof showing the Iman of the giver, since the hypocrite does not give charity as he does not believe in its prescription or benefit. So whoever spends in charity, then this is an indication of the strength of his Iman, and Allah knows best.

And as for his ﷺ statement “and Patience is Illumination” then it refers to that Patience which is loved and recommended by the Sharee’ah, and that is Patience upon obedience of Allah ta’aalaa, and Patience upon avoiding His disobedience. And it also includes Patience with the different difficulties that one must face in the world. And the implication of all this is that Patience is praiseworthy, and always shows the correct path, and always guides to that which is right.

Ibraaheem al-Khawaas (rahimahu Allah) said : Patience is having steadfastness upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. And it is said that patience is restraining oneself in times of difficulty with the best manner and character. And Abu ‘Alee ad-Diqaaq (rahimahu Allah) said that patience is not remonstrating against that which Allah decrees for us. However, making apparent ones difficulty through complaining [to Allah] about it does not negate ones patience. For Allah ta’aalaa said about Ayyoob (alayhi as-salaam) “Truly! We found him patient. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)!” [Surah Saad, 44], while also saying “And (remember) Ayoob, when he cried to his Lord: Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” [Surah al-Anbiyaa’, 83], and Allah knows best.

And as for his ﷺ statement “and the Qur’aan is a Proof either for you or against you” then its meaning is clear that if one recites it and acts upon it, then one will attain great benefit from it, and if not then it will be a proof against us.

And his ﷺ statement “Every person starts his day as a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or causing its ruin” means that every person strives for his soul, so amongst mankind are those who sell themselves for Allah through their obeying Him, and thus free their souls from the Punishment, as Allah ta’aalaa has said : “Verily, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be Paradise” [Surah at-Tawbah, 111]. And whoever sells his soul for Shaytaan and his desires through his following them, then he has destroyed his soul.

O Allah ! Grant us that we act in Your Obedience, and save us from destroying ourselves through opposing You.

Summary :

  • That cleanliness according to the requirements of Islaam is half of Faith
  • That realisation and acknowledgement of Allah as the One deserving all Praise adds weight in our favour to the Scale of Judgment [al-Meezaan]
  • That the above coupled with the realisation and acknowledgement of Allah as the Most Perfect is of great value and ensures justice to the creation from the worshipper
  • That Prayer builds Faith and shows the Way
  • That charity is a proof of our faith which will be given credit on the Last Day
  • That patience in our affairs beautifies them and is a sign of wisdom
  • That everything is to be judged by the Qur’aan
  • That taking the Qur’aan as a judgement of authority either proves our case or convicts us
  • That we are ourselves responsible for our actions and Paradise or Hell very much depends on what we have done, how we have done it and with what sort of faith
(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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