A hadith everyone should know

Posted on December 18, 2011

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One day while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of journey were to be seen on him and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down in front of the Prophet (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam), with his knees touching against the Prophet’s (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) and placing the palms of his hands on his thighs he said: “O Muhammad, tell me about Islaam.”
 
The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Islaam is to testify that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allaah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, to perform prayers, to give zakaah, to fast in Ramadaan, and to make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so.”

He said: “You have spoken rightly”; and we were amazed at him asking him and saying that he had spoken rightly.
He (the man) said: “Tell me about Eemaan.”
He (the Prophet, sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “It is to believe in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny (qadr), both the good and the evil of it.”
He said: “You have spoken rightly.”
He (the man) said: “Then tell me about Ihsaan.”
He (the Prophet, sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “It is to worship Allaah as though you see Him, and if you do not see Him, then (knowing that) truly He sees you.”
He said: “Then tell me about the Hour.”
He said: “The one questioned about it knows no better than the questioner.”
He said: “Then tell me about its signs.”
He said: “That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress, and that you will see barefooted, naked destitute shepherds competing in constructing lofty buildings.”
 
Then he (the man) left, and I stayed for a time. The he (the Prophet, sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “O `Umar, do you know who the questioner was?”
I said: “Allaah and His Messenger know best.”
He said: “It was Jibreel, who came to teach you your religion.”
It was related by Muslim.
 

Summary

* That the Angel Jibreel himself came to teach the fundamentals of the Faith to the Companions by asking questions to the Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam).
 
* That one can teach others by asking about that which he already knows.
 
* That if someone wants to know about Islaam generally, then he should be made aware of the pillars which constitute it.
 
* That Islaam is built on the five pillars which have to be acted upon with eemaan and ihsaan. Denying any one of these pillars and not wishing to fulfill any one of them makes one a non-Muslim.
 
* That belief in what Allaah has destined for us, whether it is perceived to be good, or bad, is part of eemaan, and without believing in it, our eemaan is incomplete and defective.
 
* That one must accept the Messengers sent by Allaah.
 
* That one must develop ihsaan in all that he does so that he is as much aware as he can be that Allaah is indeed watching every move that he makes.
 
* That as part of the Islaamic manner the teacher should be ready to accept and say that he does not know the answer or that he does not know it better than the enquirer.
 
* That the signs of the Last Hour are real and cocern how we live and behave.
 
* That although the Companions were the best of the people and were the most knowledgeable, they did not interrupt with their own answers, nor did they show
impatience at the questioner. Therefore as part of the Islaamic manners, if someone asks a question to the teacher in a group, then the others in the group should keep quiet until one of them is asked for help.
 
* It is not permissible to say that there is a certain length of time left before the end of the world, for none knows but Allaah, not even the Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam).
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