The Jibril Hadith Explained The Essentials of Islam, Iman & Ihsan

The Jibril Hadith Explained The Essentials of Islam, Iman & Ihsan

by Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Jami' al-'Ulum wa'l-Hikam by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali Commentary on the Second Hadith of Imam Nawawi's "Forty"

http://www.sunnah.org/ibadaat/Rajab_commentary40hadith.htm  
 

Also from 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, there is that he said, "While we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless with him and grant him peace, one day a man came up to us whose clothes were extremely white, whose hair was extremely black, upon whom traces of travelling could not be seen, and whom none of us knew, until he sat down close to the Prophet, may Allah bless with him and grant him peace, so that he rested his knees upon his knees and placed his two hands upon his thighs and said, 'Muhammad, tell me about Islam.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless with him and grant him peace, said, 'Islam is that you witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and you establish the prayer, and you give the Zakat, and you fast Ramadan, and you perform the hajj of the House if you are able to take a way to it.' He said, 'You have told the truth,' and we were amazed at him asking him and [then] telling him that he told the truth. He said, 'Tell me about iman.' He said, 'That you affirm Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and that you affirm the Decree, the good of it and the bad of it.' He said, 'You have told the truth.' He said, 'Tell me about ihsan.' He said, 'That you worship Allah as if you see Him, for if you don't see Him then truly He sees you.' He said, 'Tell me about the Hour.' He said, 'The one asked about it knows no more than the one asking.' He said, 'Then tell me about its tokens.' He said, 'That the female slave should give birth to her mistress, and you see poor, naked, barefoot shepherds of sheep and goats competing in making tall buildings.' He went away, and I remained some time. Then he asked, 'Umar, do you know who the questioner was?' I said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'He was Jibril who came to you to teach you your deen'." Muslim (8) narrated it.
Muslim alone narrated this hadith apart from al-Bukhari. He narrated it by way of Kahmas from 'Abdullah ibn Buraydah from Yahya ibn Ya'mar who said, "The first to speak about the Decree in Basrah was Ma'bad al-Juhani. I and Humayd ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman al-Humayri went on hajj or 'umrah saying [to ourselves], 'If we meet anyone of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, we will ask him about what these people say about the Decree.' We were fortunate to meet 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with both of them, as he entered the mosque. We went in shoulder to shoulder with him, I and my companion, one on his right and the other on his left. I thought my companion would delegate the talking to me and so I said, 'Abu 'Abd ar-Rahman, people have appeared among us who recite the Qur'an and seek out and follow knowledge...'" and he told some of their story and that they claimed that there is no Decree and that the matter is happening for the first time without any prior decree. "He [Ibn 'Umar] said, 'When you meet those people tell them that I have nothing to do with them and that they are free of me. By the One whom 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar swears by, if one of them has the like of Uhud in gold and spends it, Allah will not accept it until he has iman in the Decree!' Then he said, 'My father, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, told me, "While we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless with him and grant him peace..."'" and he mentioned the rest of the hadith completely. Then he [Muslim] narrated it by other paths some of which return to 'Abdullah ibn Buraydah and some to Yahya ibn Ya'mar, and mentioned that in some of their narrations there were things added in and things left out.
Ibn Hibban narrated it in his Sahih from Sulayman at-Taymi from Yahya ibn Ya'mar, and Muslim had already narrated [that he had] it from this same path but he didn't mention their wording of it. In it there is some extra about Islam. He said, "That you perform the hajj and the 'umrah, and that you do ghusl for purification from sexual intercourse, and that you perfect wudu [and fast Ramadan]." He asked, "Then if I do that, am I a Muslim?" He said, "Yes." He said about iman, "and that you have iman in the Garden and the Fire and the Scales." He asked about it, "Then if I do that, am I a mumin?" He said, "Yes." He said at the end of it, "This was Jibril who came to you to teach you your deen. Take it from him. By the One in Whose hand is my self, he was disguised to me since he [first] came to me before this occasion, and [so] I did not recognise him until he turned away."
The two of them narrated in the two sahih books the hadith of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came out to people and a man came to him and asked, 'What is iman?' He said, 'Iman is that you believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, the meeting with Him, His Messengers and that you believe in the last rising [from the grave].' He asked, 'Messenger of Allah, what is Islam?' He said, 'Islam is that you worship Allah without associating anything with Him as a partner, establish the obligatory prayer, pay the obligatory zakat and fast Ramadan.' He asked, 'Messenger of Allah, what is ihsan?' He said, 'That you worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you do not see Him then He sees you.' He asked, 'Messenger of Allah, when is the Hour?' He said, 'The one asked about it knows no more than the questioner, but I will tell you about its signs: when the female slave gives birth to her lord that is one of its signs. When you see naked barefoot ones becoming the leaders of men, that is one of its signs. When the shepherds of lambs compete in constructing tall buildings that is one of its signs [and it, the Hour, is] among five [things] which none know but Allah,' and then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recited, 'Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour and sends down abundant rain and knows what is in the womb. And no self knows what it will earn tomorrow and no self knows in what land it will die. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.' (Surah Luqman: 33). Then the man went away and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, 'Bring the man back to me,' and so they went to try and bring him back but saw nothing. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'This was Jibril who came to teach people their deen.'"
Muslim narrated it in a more complete form in which there is in the description of iman, "That you believe in all of the Decree," and he said about ihsan, "That you fear Allah as if you see Him."
Imam Ahmad narrated in his Musnad the hadith of Shahr ibn Hushab from Ibn 'Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them [Ibn 'Abbas and al-'Abbas], and also the hadith of Shahr ibn Hushab from Ibn 'Amir or Abu 'Amir or Abu Malik from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and in this version of the hadith there is that he said, "And we heard the replies of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, but we could not see the one who was talking to him nor hear his words," but this is refuted by the hadith of 'Umar which Muslim narrated which is more sound. The [sense of the] hadith of 'Umar from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has also been narrated by Anas ibn Malik, Jarir ibn 'Abdullah al-Bajli and others.
It is a hadith of tremendous importance which comprises an explanation of the whole deen. For this reason, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said at the end of it, "This was Jibril who came to you to teach you your deen," after explaining the degree of Islam, the degree of iman and the degree of ihsan, all of which he called 'deen'.
The narrations differ on whether Islam comes first before iman or vice-versa. In the hadith of 'Umar which Muslim narrated, he began by asking about Islam. In the hadith of at-Tirmidhi and others, he began by asking about iman, as for example in the hadith of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him. In some of the narrations of the hadith of 'Umar which Muslim narrated there is that he asked about ihsan between Islam and iman.
As for Islam, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, explained it as the outward actions of the limbs such as words and deeds, the first of which is witnessing [shahadah] that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, which is an action of the tongue. Then there is establishing the prayer, paying zakat, fasting Ramadan and hajj of the House for whoever is able to take a way to it.
They divide into physical actions such as prayer and fasting, actions involving wealth, which is the production of the zakat, and one compounded of both of them such as the hajj with respect to those who are far away from Makkah [since it involves spending a great deal of money and physical worship]. In the narration of Ibn Hibban he added to that the performance of 'umrah, ghusl from sexual intercourse or emission, and completing wudu, which draws our attention to the fact that all of the outward duties comprise that which is named Islam. But we only mention here the principles of the actions of Islam on which it is based, as the commentary of that will come in the hadith of Ibn 'Umar,"Islam is built on five" in its place, if Allah wills, exalted is He.
His words in one of the narrations, "'Then if I do that will I be a Muslim?' He said, 'Yes.'" These show that whoever completes his performance of the five pillars of Islam has really become a Muslim, along with the fact that whoever affirms the two shahadahs has legally become a Muslim. If someone enters Islam by that means, he is bound to undertake the establishment of the rest of the characteristics of Islam. Whoever leaves out the two shahadahs has gone out of Islam. There is a well-known disagreement among people of knowledge as to whether someone's abandoning the prayer means that he has gone out of Islam, and similarly with respect to all the rest of the five pillars of Islam, which we will mention in its appropriate place, if Allah wills, exalted is He.
One of the things which show that all outward actions are comprised under the name Islam are his words, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe." In the two sahih books there is from 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that a man asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "Which part of Islam is the best?" He said, "That you feed [people] food and greet with the greeting of peace whomever you recognise and whomever you do not recognise."
In the Sahih of al-Hakim there is from Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, that he said, "Islam has signs and waymarks of guidance like those of the roads, of which there is that you should worship Allah without associating anything with Him, establish the prayer, produce zakat, fast Ramadan, command the well-recognised virtues and forbid the repudiated vices, and that you greet the descendants of Adam when you meet them, and greet your family when you enter where they are. Whoever is deficient in anyone of them in any way, then it is a portion of Islam which he has left out. Whoever leaves out [all of] them has cast Islam behind his back."
Ibn Mardawiyah narrated the hadith of Abu'd-Darda', may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Islam has radiance, light and marks like the waymarks on the road. The head of them and the one which encompasses them is the witnessing that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, [then there is] the establishment of prayer, the production of zakat, completion of wudu, judging by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, obeying those charged with governance, greeting each other and greeting your families when you enter your houses, and greeting the descendants of Adam whenever you meet them." There is weakness in its chain of transmission, and perhaps it is mawquf [and thus a saying of Abu'd-Darda' which he did not explicitly attribute to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.]
There is a sound hadith from Abu Ishaq from Silah ibn Zufar from Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, "Islam has eight portions: Islam is a portion, prayer is a portion, zakat is a portion, hajj of the House is a portion, jihad is a portion, fasting Ramadan is a portion, commanding the well-recognised virtues is a portion, and forbidding the repudiated vices is a portion, and whoever has no portion has failed." Al-Bazzar narrated it as a marfu' hadith [attributed by Hudhayfah to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace] but it is more authentic to say that it is mawquf [something Hudhayfah himself said without explicitly attributing it to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace].
Someone narrated it from Abu Ishaq from al-Harith from 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and that was narrated by Abu Ya'la al-Mawsili and others. However, it is more authentic that it is a saying of Hudhayfah's, and that was the position ad-Daraqutni and others took.
When he said, "Islam is a portion" he meant the two shahadahs because they are the sign of Islam by which a person becomes a Muslim. Similarly, leaving those things which are forbidden is also comprised under the name 'Islam', as it has been narrated of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, that he said, "A part of the excellence of a man's deen is his leaving what does not concern him." That will come in its proper place, if Allah wills, exalted is He.
What also demonstrates that is that which Imam Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasa'i narrated from the hadith of an-Nawaws ibn Sam'an, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah strikes a similitude: a straight path and on its two sides are two walls in which there are open doors and over the doors are loose curtains. Over the door of the path there is a crier saying, 'People! Enter the path, all of you! And do not deviate.' There is a crier calling out above the path. Whenever anyone intends to open any of those doors, he says, 'Woe to you! Do not open it, for if you open it you will enter it.' The path is Islam, the two walls are the limits of Allah, mighty is He and majestic, the open doors are what Allah has forbidden, that crier at the beginning of the path is the Book of Allah, and the crier above the path is the admonisher of Allah in the heart of every Muslim." At-Tirmidhi added to it, "Allah calls to the Abode of Peace and He guides whom He wills to a straight path." (Surah Yunus: 25)
In this metaphor which the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, struck, there is that Islam is the straight path upon which Allah, exalted is He, has ordered us to go straight, and has forbidden that we exceed its limits, and that whoever commits any of the things which are forbidden has crossed over its limits.
Section - Iman
As for iman, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, explained it in this hadith as inward beliefs, saying, "That you have iman in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Rising after death, and that you have iman in the Decree, the good of it and the bad of it." Allah has mentioned iman in His Book with these five fundamental principles in many places, such as in His words, exalted is He, "The Messenger has iman in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and so do the muminun. Each one has iman in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers. We do not differentiate between any of His Messengers." (Surat al-Baqarah: 285) And He says, exalted is He, "Rather, those with true devoutness are those who have iman in Allah and the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets." (Surat al-Baqarah: 177) And He says, exalted is He, "Those who have iman in the Unseen and establish salat and give of what We have provided for them; those who have iman in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down before you, and are certain about the akhira." (Surat al-Baqarah: 3-4)
Iman in the Messengers requires that one believes in everything of which they have informed us: the angels, the Messengers, the Book, the Rising and the Decree, and other things of the details of which they have informed us of the attributes of Allah, exalted is He, and the attributes of the Last Day, such as the Sirat [the narrow path laid over the top of the Fire which the muminun pass across to reach the Garden and from which the kafirun and munafiqun fall into the Fire], the Scales [for weighing deeds], the Garden and the Fire. Included in iman in the Decree is the good of it and the bad of it. Because of this phrase Ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, narrated this hadith as a proof against whoever repudiates the Decree and claims that the affair is only happening now for the first time without a prior decree from Allah, mighty is He and majestic. 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar was tough with them and absolved himself of any connection to them, and he said that their actions would not be acceptable without belief in the Decree.
Belief in the Decree has two degrees: first, belief that Allah, exalted is He, has prior knowledge of what good and evil the slaves do, their obedience and disobedience, before creating them and bringing them into existence, knowing who of them are people of the Garden and who of them are for the Fire. He created reward and punishment for them as recompense for their actions before creating them and making them be, and He wrote that down with Him and enumerated it, and the slaves' actions run according to what is previously decreed in His knowledge and in His Book.
The second degree is that Allah, exalted is He, created all of the slaves' actions, good and bad, kufr, iman, obedience and disobedience, and willed them for them. This is the degree which the people of the Sunnah and of the Community affirm, but which the people of free-will (al-Qadariyyah) reject and deny. The first degree is affirmed by many of the people of free-will, although their extremists such as Ma'bad al-Juhani, the one about whose words Ibn 'Umar was asked, 'Amr ibn 'Ubayd and others, deny it.
Many of the imams of the first right-acting generations said, "Reason with the people of free-will with knowledge, and if they affirm it [the Decree but deny that Allah creates the slaves' actions] they should be argued with, and if they reject it [the Decree] they have become kuffar," meaning that whoever negates the prior and pre-time knowledge of the slaves' actions and that Allah, exalted is He, apportioned them before creating them to be those who are grievous [in that their end is the Fire] and those who are happy [in that their end is the Garden], and that He wrote that down with Him in a well-protected book, then they have denied the Qur'an and thus become kuffar. If they affirm it and yet deny that Allah creates the slaves' actions and wills them from them with a willing which is a decreeing cosmic will then they are to be argued with, because that which they affirm is a proof against them in this denial of theirs. In attributing kufr to them there is a well-known disagreement among the people of knowledge.
As for someone who denies the pre-existent knowledge [of Allah], then both ash-Shafi'i and Ahmad took the position that he is a kafir, and similarly other imams of Islam.
If someone says that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made a distinction in this hadith between Islam and iman, and regarded all the actions as a part of Islam but not of iman, then [we say that] the well known position of the right-acting first generations and the people of hadith is that iman is word, deed and intention, and that all of the actions are comprised under iman. Ash-Shafi'i recounted that that was the consensus of the Companions and the Followers and those after them who had reached them.
The first right-acting generations strenuously rejected whoever excludes deeds from iman. Some of those who rejected and repudiated that and regarded it as an innovated phrase were Sa'id ibn Jubayr, Maymun ibn Mahran, Qatadah, Ayyub as-Sikhtiyani, Ibrahim an-Nakha'i, az-Zuhri, Yahya ibn Abi Kathir and others. Ath-Thawri said, "It is an innovated view, and we found people [before us] holding another view." Al-Awza'i said, "Those of the right-acting first generations who preceded us did not make any distinction between action and iman."
'Umar ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz wrote to the people of the outlying provinces: "Iman has obligations, legal matters, [limits] and sunnahs which whoever completes has completed iman, and whoever does not complete has not completed iman." This is mentioned by al-Bukhari in his Sahih.
Someone said, "The matter is as he said." What shows that actions are a part of iman is His words, exalted is He, "The muminun are those whose hearts tremble when Allah is mentioned, whose iman is increased when His Signs are recited to them, and who put their trust in their Lord; those who establish salat and give of what We have provided for them. They are in truth the muminun." (Surat al-Anfal: 2)
In the two sahih books there is from Ibn 'Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to the deputation from 'Abd al-Qays, "I order you to do four things: have iman in Allah, and do you know what iman in Allah is? [It is] witnessing that there is no god but Allah, establishing the prayer, producing the zakat, fasting Ramadan, and giving the fifth of the booty."
In the two sahih books there is from Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Iman is more than sixty," or, "more than sixty branches, the best of which is the saying, 'There is no god but Allah,' and the least of which is removing something that would cause harm from the road. And modesty is a branch of iman." The wording is taken from Muslim.
In the two sahih books there is from Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The adulterer does not commit adultery when he does so while being a mumin, nor does the one who drinks wine do so while he is a mumin. The thief does not steal when he does so while being a mumin." If leaving these great wrong actions does not come under the name 'iman' he would not have rejected the application of the term 'iman' to the one who does any of these things, because the term is only denied because of absence of the elements of that which is named [by the term] or its requirements.
As for the aspect of unifying these texts with the hadith of the questioning of Jibril, peace be upon him, about Islam and iman, and the distinctions the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made between them, and his including actions under Islam rather than under iman, it becomes clear by the determination of a principle, which is that some names comprise many named things when they are used by themselves and unrestrictedly. However, when that name is paired with another then it comes to designate only some of those named things while the name which is coupled with it designates the rest of them, for example, the nouns 'faqir Ð poor, needy' and 'miskin ÐÊbereft'. If either one is used singly it designates all those who are in need, but if one is used along with the other then one of the two designates some of those who are in need and the other designates the rest of them. It is similar with the terms Islam and iman. If one of the terms is used alone it comprises the meanings of the other, and by being used singly it designates what the other would designate if used singly. If they are coupled one of them designates only some of that which it would designate if used singly, and the other designates the rest.
A group of the imams have stated this clearly. Abu Bakr al-Isma'ili said in his letter to the people of the mountain, "Many of the people of the Sunnah and the Community say that iman is word and deed, and that Islam is doing that which Allah has made obligatory for the human to do, in the case where the two terms are mentioned coupled. So it is said that the 'muminun' and the 'muslimun' together each takes a particular meaning, so that what is meant by one of them is not what is meant by the other, but that if one of the two terms is mentioned it comprises everything and is generally true of all of them [the muslims or the muminun]."
Al-Khattabi also mentions this sense in his book Ma'alim as-Sunan "Waymarks of the Sunnahs", and a group of the people of knowledge afterwards emulated him in that. What indicates the correctness of that is that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, explained the term iman when he mentioned it by itself, in the hadith about the deputation of 'Abd al-Qays, in the same way that he explained Islam when conjoined to iman in the hadith about Jibril. In another hadith he explained Islam in the same way as he had explained iman, as it is reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad from 'Amr ibn 'Abasah that he said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked, 'Messenger of Allah, what is Islam?' He said, 'That you surrender your heart to Allah, and that the Muslims are safe from your tongue and your hand.' He asked, 'Which [part of] Islam is better? He said, 'Iman.' He asked, 'What is iman?' That you believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Rising after death.' He asked, 'What [part of] iman is better?' He answered, 'Emigration.' He asked, 'What is emigration?' He replied, 'That you give up evil.' He asked, 'Which [type of] emigration is better?' He said, 'Jihad.'" The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said that iman is the best part of Islam and included actions within it.
By this detailed statement, the exact determination of the meaning of the statement as to whether iman and Islam are one thing or two different things becomes clear.
The people of the Sunnah and of the hadith differ on it, and they have compiled numerous works about it. Some of them claim that the majority of the people of the Sunnah agree that they are one thing, among them Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi and Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, and this position has been narrated by Ayyub ibn Suwayd ar-Ramli as that of Sufyan ath-Thawri, but Ayyub has some weakness [as a narrator]. Some say, among them Abu Bakr ibn as-Sam'ani and others, that the people of the Sunnah make a distinction between the two. This distinguishing between the two is narrated of many of the right-acting first generations, for example Qatadah, Dawud ibn Abi Hind, Abu Ja'far al-Baqir, az-Zuhri, Hammad ibn Zayd, Ibn Mahdi, Shurayk, Ibn Abi Dhi'b, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Khaythamah, Yahya ibn Ma'in and others, although there exist disagreements among them as to the nature of the difference between them [Islam and Iman]. Al-Hasan and Ibn Sirin used to say, "[I am a] Muslim," and they would be in awe of using the term, "Mu'min."
By means of the detailed explanation we have mentioned above the [apparent] disagreement is removed, since we are saying that if either term is mentioned by itself then at that time there is no difference between them, but that if the two terms are coupled, then there is a distinction between them.
The exact nature of the difference between them is that iman is the affirmation of the heart, its confirmation, and its recognition, whereas Islam is the surrender of the slave to Allah, his humility and his compliant submission, which is expressed in actions, and that is the deen, just as Allah called Islam 'deen' in His Book. In the hadith of Jibril, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called Islam, iman and ihsan 'deen'. This is another clear indication that when one of the two terms is used singly it includes [the meanings of] the other, and that a distinction is only made between them when one of the two terms is coupled with the other, at which time what is meant by iman is everything that comprises affirmation from the heart, and by Islam everything that comprises action.
In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad there is from Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Islam is public, whereas iman is in the heart." That is because actions are manifest publicly, and affirmation, which is in the heart, does not become manifest. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to say in his supplication when performing the prayer over the dead, "O Allah, whomever of us you make to live, let him live in Islam, and whomever of us you make to die, let him die in iman," because deeds are done by the limbs which one is only able to do while alive. Then, at death, nothing remains but the heart's affirmation.
From this the people of knowledge who ascertain the fine details of knowledge say that every mumin is a Muslim, because whoever makes a reality of iman and it becomes firmly established in his heart will undertake the actions of Islam, as he said, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "Certainly, in the body there is a morsel of flesh, which if it is sound then the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt the whole body is corrupt. Certainly it is the heart." If the heart makes iman a reality then the limbs proceed to the actions of Islam. Not every Muslim is a mumin, since perhaps iman may be weak so that the heart does not realise it completely, along with the limbs' performance of the actions of Islam, so that such a person is a Muslim because he is not a mumin with a complete iman, as Allah, exalted is He, says, "The desert Arabs say, 'We have iman.' Say: 'You do not have iman. Say rather, "We have become Muslim," for iman has not yet entered into your hearts.'" (Surat al-Hujurat: 14) They were not complete hypocrites according to the more authentic of the two interpretations, the statement of Ibn 'Abbas and others, but their iman was weak, which is indicated by His words, exalted is He, "If you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not undervalue your actions in any way," (Surat al-Hujurat: 14) meaning that He will not deprive you of anything of your rewards which shows they had enough iman for their actions to be accepted.
Similarly, there are the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas when he asked him, "Why did you not give to so when he is a mumin?" and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Or a Muslim?" indicating that he had not realised the station of iman but was only in the station of outward Islam. There is no doubt that whenever inward iman is weak it necessarily follows that outward actions will be weak as well, but use of the term iman is precluded for whoever leaves out any of his duties, just as in his words, "The adulterer does not commit adultery when he does while being a mumin."
The people of the Sunnah differ over whether such a person is termed 'a mumin with a shortcoming in his iman' or whether he is said not to be a mumin but a Muslim, according to two distinct positions both of which are narrated of Ahmad.
As for the term Islam, its use is not precluded because of a person's failure with respect to some of his duties or his undertaking some of the things which are forbidden, but it is only precluded if he does something that negates it completely. There is nothing known in the authentic Sunnah which implies that someone who gives up one of Islam's requirements is not a Muslim, in the way that use of the term iman is precluded for someone who gives up any of its requirements, even though the term kufr has been used categorically for doing some of those things which are forbidden, and similarly hypocrisy has also been used categorically.
The people of knowledge differ as to whether someone who perpetrates one of the great wrong actions is called a kafir with a lesser kufr or a hypocrite with a lesser hypocrisy, but I know of none of them who permit the unqualified negation of the application of the term Islam to such a person [i.e. to say that he is not a Muslim], except for what is narrated from Ibn Mas'ud, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, "The one who gives up zakat is not a Muslim," and it is possible that because of that he regarded him as a kafir who had gone out of Islam.
Similarly, it is narrated of 'Umar about people who are able to do the hajj but do not do it, that they are not Muslims, and the apparent outward meaning is that he believed that they are kuffar. So for that reason he wanted to impose the jizyah tax on them, saying, "They haven't yet entered into Islam, and they continue in their condition of being people of the Book." Since it has become clear that use of the term Islam is not precluded except because of the existence of something which precludes it [Islam] and which removes someone entirely from the deen, then if the term Islam is used unrestrictedly or paired with some praise it also includes all of iman, affirmation and everything else, as we saw before in the hadith of 'Amr ibn 'Abasah.
An-Nasa'i narrated the hadith of 'Uqbah ibn Malik, "That the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent a raiding party which attacked some people, one man of whom said, 'I am a Muslim,' and whom one of the raiding party then killed. The story was told to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who spoke to him severely. The man said, 'The man only said it seeking refuge from being killed.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Allah refused me to kill a mumin,' three times." If it were not that the unqualified use of the term Islam comprises iman and affirmation of the five principles, one who said 'I am a Muslim' would not become a mumin by simply saying these words. Allah, exalted is He, told us that the Queen of Saba entered Islam with these words, "My Lord, I have wronged myself but I have submitted with Sulayman to the Lord of all the worlds." (Surat an-Naml: 46). He told us that Yusuf, peace be upon him, supplicated that he should die in Islam, all of which shows that Islam used unqualifiedly comprises everything of affirmation which iman comprises.
In the Sunan of Ibn Majah there is that 'Adi ibn Hatim said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me, 'O 'Adi, submit [in Islam] and you will be safe.' I asked, 'What is Islam?' He replied, 'That you witness that there is no god but Allah, and you witness that I am the Messenger of Allah, you believe in the Decrees, all of them, the good of them and the bad of them, those which are sweet and those which are bitter." This is a clear textual proof that iman in the Decree is a part of Islam.
Moreover, the two shahadahs are indisputably some of the features of Islam, but it is not meant that one should merely articulate them without affirming them to be true, so we know that affirmation of them is comprised under Islam. The Islam mentioned in His words, exalted is He, "The deen with Allah is Islam," (Surah Ali 'Imran: 19) is explained by a party of the right-acting first generations, one of whom is Muhammad ibn Ja'far ibn az-Zubayr, as tawhid and affirmation.
If use of the term iman is precluded for someone whose Islam is established, such as the desert Arabs about whom Allah informs us, then what is precluded is the first establishment of iman in the heart although it is established that he shares in the outward actions of Islam along with a type of iman which renders his actions sound for without this measure of iman he would not be a Muslim. They [the desert Arabs] were only excluded from use of the term iman because they lacked the tasting of some of its realities and because of shortcomings in some of its requirements. This is based on the fact that iman which is established in the hearts has different degrees, and this is the correct answer and it is also the most authentic of the two narrations related from Abu 'Abdullah Ahmad ibn Hanbal. The iman of the siddiqun [the completely truthful people who unhesitatingly affirm the truth]Êto whose hearts the Unseen manifests itself so much that it becomes as if direct witnessing, in so much as it does not admit of any kind of doubt, is not the same as the iman of others who have not reached this degree, since if something causes them doubt they come to doubt. For this reason, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, defined the degree of ihsan as that the slave should worship and serve his Lord as if he sees him, and this is not obtained by the generality of the muminun. One of them said, "Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, does not have precedence over you because of a great amount of fasting and prayer, but because of something which settled in his breast."
Ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, was asked, "Did the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, use to laugh?" He said, "Yes, and the iman in their hearts was like mountains." What relationship does this have to those in whose hearts iman weighs as much as the egg of an ant or a seed of barley? Or such as those people from among the people of tawhid who will emerge from the Fire? These are the ones about whom one could correctly say, "Iman has not entered into their hearts," because of its feebleness with them.
These issues Ð I mean the issues of Islam and iman, kufr and hypocrisy Ð are tremendously important, because Allah, mighty is He and majestic, has connected [eternal] blessed good fortune and [eternal] misery, and proving worthy of the Garden or the Fire, to these terms. The disagreements as to what they designate were the first disagreements to arise in this community, which was the disagreement of the Khawarij with the Companions, since they regarded disobedient people possessed tawhid as entirely out of Islam and counted them as being in the circle of kufr and treated them as they would kuffar, by which they declared it permissible to shed the blood of Muslims and seize their property. Then after them there arose the opposition of the Mu'tazilah and their assertion of the existence of a station between the two stations [of the Garden and the Fire]. Then there arose the disagreements of the Murji'ah and their taking the position that corrupt people are muminun with perfect iman.
The people of knowledge, in early times and in later times, compiled numerous works on these issues, among whom there were Imam Ahmad, Abu 'Ubayd al-Qasim ibn Salam, Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah and Muhammad ibn Aslam at-Tusi from the imams of the right-acting first generations. All groups after them compiled great numbers of works on it. In this I have mentioned some comprehensive points which cover many principles of these issues and the disagreements that there are respecting them, and there is in it, if Allah wills, sufficiency.
Section - Actions
We have already said that actions are comprised under Islam and also under iman, and we mentioned what outward actions of the limbs' that includes, and that also included under it are the inward limbs' actions.
Some of the actions of Islam are: to make the deen purely for the sake of Allah, exalted is He, and to be sincere to Him and to His slaves, and guard the heart from deceiving or envying them or being spiteful to them and from all the other forms of harm. Comprised under iman there is the trembling of the hearts at the remembrance of Allah, and their humility at hearing His mention and His Book, and increasing in iman from that, making reliance on Allah, mighty is He and majestic, a reality, fear of Allah in secret and in public, contentment with Allah as Lord, with Islam as deen and with Muhammad as Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, preferring the destruction along with the greatest types of pain to kufr, being conscious of the Allah's nearness to the slave and perpetually calling Him to mind, preferring the love of Allah and His Messenger over the love of everything other than them, love for the sake of Allah and hatred for His sake, giving for His sake and withholding for His sake, and to make all of one's movements and moments of stillness for His sake, generosity of person in obedience both financially and physically, rejoicing and finding joy in one's good actions, and distress at and grief over one's wrong actions, the muminun's preferring the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, over themselves and their wealth, extreme modesty and good character, and loving what one loves for oneself for one's brothers the muminun, sharing equally with the muminun particularly one's neighbours, supporting and helping them and grieving over what grieves them.
We will mention some of the texts narrated about that. As for that which is narrated about what comes under the term Islam, there is in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad and in an-Nasa'i that Mu'awiyyah ibn Haydah said, "I asked, 'Messenger of Allah, by the One Who sent you with the Truth, what did Allah send you with?' He answered, 'Islam.' I asked, 'What is Islam?' He replied, 'That you should resign your heart to Allah, exalted is He, that you direct your self towards Allah, that you pray the obligatory prayers, and pay the obligatory zakat.'" In a narration of his there is, "I asked, 'What is the sign of Islam?' He said, 'That you should say, "I surrender myself to Allah" and confine yourself exclusively [to that], that you establish the prayer and pay the zakat, and [remember that] all of the Muslim is sacred to the Muslim.'"
In the Sunan there is from Jubayr ibn Mut'im that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said in his khutbah in al-Khayf at Mina, "[There are] three [habits] which, [as long as he holds to them], the heart of a Muslim will not become affected by malice or rancour: doing actions purely for the sake of Allah, giving good counsel to those entrusted with the affairs of the Muslims, and clinging to the community of the Muslims, because their invitation encompasses those beyond them." He informed us that these three things remove malice and rancour from the Muslim's heart.
In the two sahih books there is from Abu Musa that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, "Who is the best of the Muslims?" and he replied, "The one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe."
In Sahih Muslim there is from Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim and so he does not wrong him, forsake him or despise him. It is sufficient evil for a man that he despise his Muslim brother. All of the Muslim is sacred for the Muslim: his blood, property and honour."
As for that which is related as being comprised under the term iman, for example, His words, "The muminun are those whose hearts tremble when Allah is mentioned, whose iman is increased when His Signs are recited to them, and who put their trust in their Lord; those who establish salat and give of what We have provided for them. They are in truth the muminun." Surat al-Anfal: 2-4) And there are His words, "Has the time not arrived for the hearts of those who have iman to yield to the remembrance of Allah and to the truth He has sent down, so they are not like those who were given the Book before for whom the time seemed over long so that their hearts became hard?" (Surat al-Hadid: 15) And there are His words, "It is in Allah that the muminun should put their trust." (Surat at-Tawbah: 51). And there are His words, "Put your trust in Allah if you are muminun." (Surat al-Ma'idah: 23). And there are His words, "fear Me if you are muminun." (Surah Al 'Imran: 175)
In Sahih Muslim there is from al-'Abbas ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "He who is contented with Allah as Lord, with Islam as deen, and with Muhammad as Messenger has tasted the savour of iman." Contentment with the lordship of Allah comprises contentment with worshipping Him alone without any partner, and contentment with His managing affairs on behalf of His slave and His choosing for him. Contentment with Islam as deen comprises choosing and preferring it over all other deens. Contentment with Muhammad as Messenger involves contentment with everything that he brought from Allah and accepting it with surrender and joy, as He says, exalted is He, "No, by your Lord, they are not muminun until they make you their judge in the disputes that break out between them, and then find no resistance within themselves to what you decide and submit themselves completely." (Surat an-Nisa': 64)
In the two sahih books there is from Anas that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "[There are] three things which whoever has them within him will find because of them the sweetness of iman: for whomever Allah and His Messenger are more beloved than any other than them, and whoever loves a man only loving him for the sake of Allah, and whoever dislikes returning to kufr after Allah had rescued him from it as much as he would dislike being cast into the Fire." In a version of it there is, "He will find by them the savour of iman," and in other versions, "...the savour of iman and its sweetness."
In the two sahih books there is from Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "None of you have iman until I am more beloved to him than his child, his parent and mankind altogether." In another version there is, "...than his family, his property and mankind altogether."
In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad there is from Abu Razin al-'Uqayli that he asked, "Messenger of Allah, what is iman?" He said, "That you witness there is no god but Allah alone without partner and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger, that Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to you than anything else, that you prefer being burnt to associating anything with Allah, and that you love people without any kinship [to you] only loving them for the sake of Allah. If you are like that, then the love of iman has already entered your heart as love of water has entered [the heart of] the thirsty person on a scorching hot day." I asked, "Messenger of Allah, how can I know whether I am a mumin?" He answered, "Any of my community Ð or he said 'this community' Ð who does a good deed knowing that it is a good deed and that Allah will recompense him with better for it, or who does a bad action knowing that it is a bad action and so seeks forgiveness of Allah for it, knowing that only Allah can forgive it, is a mumin."
In the Musnad and elsewhere there is from 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever is pleased by his good actions and grieved at his wrong actions is a mumin."
In the Musnad of Baqi ibn Mukhallad there is from a man who heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying, "Clear iman is that when you hurt or wrong anyone, your male or female slave, or anybody at all, you fast or give sadaqah, and that when you do good actions you rejoice."
In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad there is from Abu Sa'id that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There are three types of muminun in the world: those who have iman in Allah and His Messenger and then do not doubt and they struggle with their wealth and their lives in the way of Allah; then there is the one whom people trust with their wealth and their lives, and then there is the one who when he is on the point of [achieving] a desire he gives it up for the sake of Allah, mighty is He and majestic."
In it also there is from 'Amr ibn 'Abasah that he asked, "I asked, 'Messenger of Allah, what is Islam?' He answered, 'Good words, and feeding [people] food.' I asked, 'What is iman?' He replied, 'Patience and gentle generosity.' I asked, 'Which Islam is better?' He said, '[The Islam of] him from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe.' I asked, 'Which iman is better?' He said, 'Good character.'" Al-Hasan al-Basri explained 'patience and gentle generosity' saying, "It is being patient [doing] without what Allah has forbidden, and gently and generously discharging the obligations of Allah, mighty is He and majestic."
In at-Tirmidhi and elsewhere there is from 'Aishah that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The most perfect of the muminun in iman is the best of them in character." Abu Dawud and others narrate it as a hadith of Abu Hurairah.
Al-Bazzar narrated in his Musnad from the hadith of 'Abdullah ibn Mu'awiyyah al-Ghadiri that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There are three things which whoever does them will taste the savour of iman: whoever worships Allah alone because there is no god but Allah, and gives the zakat of his property while he himself is pleased with that, every year..." and at the end of it there is, "So the man asked, 'What is a man's purification of the self, Messenger of Allah?' He replied, 'That he knows that Allah is with him wherever he is.'" Abu Dawud narrated the beginning of the hadith but not the end.
At-Tabarani narrated the hadith of 'Ubadah ibn as-Samit that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The best of iman is that you know that Allah is with you wherever you are."
In the two sahih books there is from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Modesty is a part of iman."
Imam Ahmad and Ibn Majah narrated a hadith of al-'Irbad ibn Sariyah, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The mumin is just like a camel which has a nose-ring and a tender nose; wherever he is led he goes submissively." Allah, mighty and is He and majestic, says, "The muminun are brothers, so make peace between your brothers." (Surat al-Hujurat: 10)
In the two sahih books there is from an-Nu'man ibn Bashir, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The simile for the muminun in their mutual affection, mercy and kindness is [that they are] like a single body; if a single organ or limb of it has a complaint, the rest of the body collapses in fever and sleeplessness." In Muslim's version, "The muminun are like one man." In another version of his, "The Muslims are like a single man; if his eye has a complaint, all of him complains, and if his head has a complaint, all of him complains."
In the two sahih books there is from Abu Musa, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The mumin with respect to the mumin is like a building part of which strengthens other parts," and he intertwined his fingers.
In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad there is from Sahl ibn Sa'd, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The mumin among the people of iman is in the position of the head in the body: the mumin suffers pain for the people of iman just as the body suffers pain because of what is in the head."
In the Sunan of Abu Dawud there is from Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The mumin is the mumin's mirror. The mumin is the mumin's brother: he keeps destruction away from him, and protects him from behind."
In the two sahih books there is from Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "None of you has iman until he wants for his brother what he wants for himself."
"By Allah, he does not have iman! By Allah, he does not have iman! By Allah, he does not have iman!" They asked, "Who is that, Messenger of Allah?" He said, "He whose neighbour is not safe from his calamities."
Al-Hakim narrated from a hadith of Ibn 'Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "He who eats to satisfaction while his neighbour is hungry is not a mumin."
Imam Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi narrated from a hadith of Sahl ibn Mu'adh al-Juhani from his father that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever gives for the sake of Allah and withholds for the sake of Allah, and loves for the sake of Allah and hates for the sake of Allah " Imam Ahmad added, "and gives in marriage for the sake of Allah, has completed and perfected his iman." In a version of Imam Ahmad there is that, "He asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about the best [part] of iman and he said, 'That you love for the sake of Allah and hate for the sake of Allah and you exercise your tongue with the remembrance of Allah.' He asked, 'What else, Messenger of Allah?' He answered, "That you want for people what you want for yourself, and you dislike for them what you dislike for yourself.'" In another version of his there is, "and that you speak well or be quiet." In this hadith there is mentioned that a great deal of remembrance of Allah is one of the best parts of iman.
He also narrated the hadith of 'Amr ibn al-Jumuh that he heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying, "The slave is not fit for complete and pure iman until he loves for the sake of Allah and hates for the sake of Allah. When he loves for the sake of Allah and hates for the sake of Allah he has become worthy of friendship from Allah, exalted is He." He also narrated the hadith of al-Bara' ibn 'Azib, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The strongest handhold of iman is that you love for the sake of Allah and hate for the sake of Allah." Ibn 'Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, said, "Love for the sake of Allah and hate for the sake of Allah, take friends for the sake of Allah and make enemies for the sake of Allah, for you will only attain the friendship of Allah by that. The slave will never find the savour of iman, even if he does a great deal of prayer and fasting until he is like that. Most of the brotherhood [between] people has become because of something to do with the world, and that doesn't help His people at all." Ibn Jarir at-Tabari and Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi narrated it.
Section - Ihsan
As for ihsan, it has been mentioned in Qur'an in many places, sometimes coupled with iman, sometimes with Islam, and sometimes coupled with taqwa or right action.
It is coupled with iman in His words, exalted is He, "Those who have iman and do right actions are not to blame for anything they have eaten provided they have taqwa and iman and do right actions, and then again have taqwa and iman, and then have taqwa and do good (ahsanou). Allah loves good-doers (muhsinun)," (Surat al-Ma'idah: 93), and in His words, exalted is He, "But as for those who have iman and do right actions, We will not let the wage of good-doers (muhsinun) go to waste." (Surat al-Kahf: 30)
It is paired with Islam as in His words, exalted is He, "Not so! All who submit themselves completely to Allah and are good-doers (muhsinun) will find their reward with their Lord," (Surat al-Baqarah: 111), and in His words, exalted is He, "Those who submit themselves completely to Allah and do good (ahsanou) have grasped the Firmest Handhold." (Surah Luqman: 21)
It is paired with taqwa in His words, exalted is He, "Allah is with those who have taqwa of Him and with those who are good-doers (muhsinun)." (Surat an-Nahl: 128)
It is mentioned alone by itself in His words, exalted is He, "Those who do good (ahsanou) will have the best and more!" (Surah Yunus: 26) It is established in Sahih Muslim from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, that the explanation of the 'increase' is gazing upon the face of Allah, exalted is He, in the Garden, which is commensurate with His making it a recompense for the people of ihsan, because ihsan is that the mumin should worship his Lord in the world in the manner of being present and with fearful watchfulness as if he sees Him with his heart and gazes on Him during his worship. The reward of that is gazing upon Allah with the eyes in the next life. The opposite of this is that which Allah, exalted is He, informs us of the recompense of the kuffar in the next life, "No indeed! Rather that Day they will be veiled from their Lord," (Surat al-Mutaffifin: 15) which He makes their reward for their condition in the world, because their reward for that state is that they are veiled from seeing Him in the next life.
His words, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on ihsan, "That you should worship Allah as if you see Him..." indicate that the slave worships Allah, exalted is He, in this way, which is bearing in his consciousness His nearness and that he is in front of Him as if he sees Him, and that requires that one have fear, awe and exaltation [of Allah], as has been narrated in the version of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, "That you should fear Allah as if you see Him." It also requires that one be sincere in one's worship and exert oneself to make it good, whole and complete. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, counselled a group of his companions with this piece of advice, as Ibrahim al-Hijri narrated from Abu'l-Ahwas that Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "My intimate friend, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, counselled me to fear Allah as if I see Him, for if I do not see Him, then He sees me."
It has been narrated from Ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that he said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took hold of a part of my body and said, 'Worship Allah as if you see Him!'" An-Nasa'i narrated it from a hadith of Zayd ibn Arqam both attributing it [to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace] as a marfu' hadith and stopping short [with it at Zayd] as a mawquf hadith, "Be as if you see Allah, for if you do not see Him He sees you."
At-Tabarani narrated from a hadith of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, that, "A man said, 'Messenger of Allah, tell me something and make it comprehensive!' He replied, 'Pray the prayer as if you were bidding farewell, for if you do not see Him, He sees you.'"
The famous hadith of Harithah has been narrated in various ways, in some of which it is mursal [attributed to the Prophet but without the connecting link of the person among the Followers who narrated it from the Companion] and also with a full chain of transmission, but the mursal form is more authentic. There is in it that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked him, "Harithah, how are you this morning?" He said, "This morning I have become a true mumin." He said, "Think about what you are saying! Because every statement has a reality." He said, "Messenger of Allah, my self dislikes the world, so that it is sleepless at night and thirsty in the day, and it is as if I am gazing upon the Throne of my Lord appearing, and it is as if I am gazing upon the people of the Garden in the Garden and how they visit each other in it, and as if I am gazing upon the people of the Fire and how they howl in it." He said, "You have seen, so remain firm. [You are] a slave whom Allah has illuminated the iman in his heart."
It is narrated of the hadith of Abu Umamah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with him, advised a man saying, "Be modest before Allah with the modesty you would have before two right-acting men of your close family who never leave you." It is narrated in another version, "Be modest before your Lord."
It is narrated of Mu'adh that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, counselled him when he sent him to the Yemen and said, "Be modest before Allah as you would be modest before a man of your family of whom you have some awe." The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked about unrestrainedly uncovering the private parts and he said, "Allah has more right that one should have modesty before Him."
Abu'd-Darda' advised a man and said to him, "Worship Allah as if you see Him." 'Urwah ibn az-Zubayr asked Ibn 'Umar for his daughter's hand while the two of them were doing tawaf and he didn't answer him. Later he met him and apologised saying, "We were in tawaf visualising Allah before our eyes." Abu Nu'aym and others narrated it.
About his saying, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "For if you do not see Him, He sees you," it is said that it [the latter] is like a cause of the first, because when the slave is commanded to be fearfully watchful of Allah, exalted is He, in his worship and to bear in his heart His nearness to His slave to such an extent that it is as if the slave sees Him, then that is difficult for him and he can seek help in that with his trust that Allah sees him and watches over his private and his public lives, his inward and his outward, and that nothing of him is hidden from Him. When he makes a reality of this station then it becomes easier for him to move on to the second station, the perpetual fixing of the gaze of his inner sight on the nearness of Allah to His slave and His 'withness' [the fact that He is 'with' His slave when he remembers Him] so that it is as if he sees Him. Someone said that rather it indicates that whoever finds it difficult to worship Allah, exalted is He, as if he sees Him, then let him worship Allah on the basis that Allah sees him and watches over him, and let him be modest before His gaze towards him, as one of the gnostics said, "Fear Allah, lest He should become the most insignificant of those who look at you."
One of them said, "Fear Allah according to the measure of His power over you, and be modest before Allah according to the measure of His nearness to you."
One of the women gnostics of the first right-acting generations said, "Whoever acts for the sake of Allah as one who has direct witnessing is a gnostic, and whoever acts on the basis of Allah's witnessing him is sincere." She indicated the two above-mentioned stations: first the station of sincerity, which is that the slave should act keeping in consciousness His witnessing of him, watching over him and nearness to him. When the slave seeks to keep this in his consciousness during his actions, and he works on that basis then he is sincere towards Allah, exalted is He, since his seeking to keep that in his consciousness during his action prevents him from turning to other than Allah and intending any other in his action. Second, [she indicated] the station of witnessing, which is that the slave acts according to the requirements of his witnessing of Allah, exalted is He, in his heart, and it is that the heart is illuminated by iman, and the inner sight pierces through to gnosis, so much so that the Unseen becomes as if it were right in front of the eyes. This is the reality of the station of ihsan indicated in the hadith of Jibril, peace be upon him, and the people of these stations have different degrees according to the strength of penetration of their inner sight.
A party of the people of knowledge explained the "most exalted designation" mentioned in His words, exalted is He, "His is the most exalted designation in the heavens and the earth," (Surat ar-Rum 27) with this meaning, and similarly His words, exalted is He, "Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The metaphor of His Light is that of a niche in which there is a lamp." (Surat an-Nur: 35) What is meant by "the metaphor of His Light" is "in the heart of the mumin", which is what Ubayy ibn Ka'b and others of the right-acting first generations said. There has already been mention of the hadith that "The best [part] of iman is that you know that Allah is with you wherever you are," and the hadith, "What is a man's purification of himself?" He said, "That he knows that Allah is with him wherever he is."
At-Tabarani narrated the hadith of Abu Umamah that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Three [people] will be in the shade of Allah, exalted is He, on the Day of Resurrection, the Day on which there is no shade but His shade: a man who knows that Allah is with him wherever he turns..."
The Qur'an expresses this same sense in numerous places, such as in His words, exalted is He, "He is with you wherever you are," (Surat al-Hadid: 4) and His words, "If My slaves ask you about Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me," (Surat al-Baqarah: 186) and His words, "Three men cannot confer together secretly without Him being the fourth of them, or five without Him being the sixth of them, or fewer than that or more without Him being with them wherever they are," (Surat al-Mujadilah: 7) and His words, "You do not engage in any matter or recite any of the Qur'an or do any action without Our witnessing you while you are occupied with it," (Surah Yunus: 61) and His words, "We are nearer to him than his jugular vein," (Surah Qaf: 16) and His words, "And they cannot conceal themselves from Allah. He is with them ...." (Surat an-Nisa': 107)
Authentic ahadith are narrated recommending that one should seek to remain conscious of this nearness during the acts of worship, such as his words, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "If any of you stands praying he hold intimate discourse with his Lord" or "his Lord is between him and the qiblah," and his words, "Truly Allah is before his face when he prays," and his words, "Allah directs His face towards the face of His slave in his prayer as long as he does not turn away."
There are also his words to those who raised their voices in dhikr, "You are not calling on one who is deaf or absent. You are calling on One Who Hears, Who is Near," and in another version, "...and He is nearer to you than the neck of your riding beast," and in another version, "...and He is nearer to you than the jugular vein." There are his words, "Allah, mighty is He and majestic, says, 'I am with My slave when he remembers Me and his lips move with [mention of] Me.'" And his words, "Allah, mighty is He and majestic, says, 'I am in the opinion My slave has of Me, and I am with him wherever he remembers Me. If he remembers me in his self, I remember him in Myself. If he remembers me in an assembly, I remember him in an assembly better than it. If he draws nearer to me by the span of a hand, I draw nearer to him by a cubit. If he draws nearer to Me by a cubit, I draw nearer to him by a fathom [the distance between the fingertips of the two hands when the arms are stretched wide open]. If he comes to me walking, I rush towards him."
Whoever understands anything of these texts anthropomorphically, or in the sense of incarnation, or as a form of monism has only been taken away from Allah, mighty is He and majestic, and from His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, by his ignorance and poor understanding. Allah and His Messenger are free from all of that. Glorious is the One whom nothing resembles and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.
Bakr al-Muzani asked, "Who is like you, son of Adam? My Intimate Friend is between you and the mihrab and water. Whenever you wish you can go to Allah, mighty is He and majestic, without an interpreter between you and Him." Whoever manages to keep this in his consciousness during dhikr of Allah and during His worship, necessarily becomes at ease with Allah and becomes averse to His creation.
Thawr ibn Yazid said, "I read in a book that 'Isa, peace be upon him, said, 'Disciples [Hawariyyun], speak to Allah a great deal and speak little to people!' They asked, 'How can we speak to Allah a great deal?' He answered, 'Go alone and hold intimate discourse with Him. Go alone and supplicate Him.'" Abu Nu'aym narrated it.
He also narrated with an chain of transmission that Riyah said, "There was a man among us who used to pray a thousand raka'ats every day and night until he became crippled in his legs. Then he would pray a thousand raka'ats every night seated. When he prayed the afternoon prayer he would draw up his legs and, while wrapped in his garments and facing the qiblah, say, 'I am astonished at people who can be intimate and at ease with anyone other than You. Even more so am I amazed that people's hearts can be at ease remembering anyone other than You.'"
Abu Usamah said, "I went to see Muhammad ibn an-Nadr al-Harithi, and saw that it was as if he was ill at ease. So I asked, 'It is as if you do not like to be visited?' He said, 'That is true.' I asked, 'Do you not become lonely?' He said, 'How could I be lonely when He says, "I sit with whoever remembers Me"?'"
Someone asked Malik ibn Mighwal when he was sitting alone in his house, "Do you not become lonely?" He replied, "Does anyone become lonely with Allah?"
Habib Abu Muhammad used to withdraw in solitude into his house saying, "Whoever's eye does not find rest with You, then his eye will not find rest."
Ghazwan said, "I have found my heart's rest and ease in sitting with the One who has my necessities."
Muslim ibn Yasar said, "Pleasure-seekers find no pleasure like withdrawal for the purpose of intimate discourse with Allah, mighty is He and majestic."
Muslim al-'Abid (the worshipper) said, "If it were not for the congregational prayer I would never go out of my door until I die." He said, "Those who obey Allah find no pleasure sweeter than withdrawal to converse with their Lord, nor anything which they eagerly anticipate more of all the tremendous rewards in the next life which is more important in their breasts and sweeter to their hearts than gazing towards Him," and then he swooned.
Ibrahim ibn Adham said, "The highest of ranks is that you should be cut off from others for the sake of your Lord, and at ease with Him with your heart and consciousness and all of your limbs so much so that you hope for nothing but your Lord and fear nothing but your wrong action, and His love becomes so firmly established in your heart that you will never prefer anything to it. If you are like that you will not care whether you are on land or sea, on the plains or in the mountains. Your longing to meet your Beloved will be like the longing the thirsty person has for cold water, and the longing the hungry person has for wholesome food, and the remembrance of Allah will be sweeter to you than honey and more delicious than pure water to the thirsty person on a hot summer's day."
Al-Fudayl said, "Good fortune to whoever becomes alienated from people and with whom Allah sits."
Abu Sulayman, "Allah has never made me at ease with any but Him."
Ma'ruf [al-Kharki] said to a man, "Rely on Allah so much that He becomes the One with Whom you sit, the Companion Who gladdens you and the One to Whom you bring your complaint."
Dhu'n-Nun said, "One of the signs of those who love Allah is that they are not cheerfully at ease with anyone other than Him, and they are never lonely with Him." Then he said, "When love of Allah, exalted is He, takes up its abode in the heart then one becomes cheerfully at ease with Allah, because Allah is more sublime in the breasts of the gnostics than that they should love anyone other than Him." There has been a great deal said by the People in this section which would be very lengthy to mention, and in that which we have mentioned here there is enough, if Allah, exalted is He, wills.
Whoever considers what we have indicated of that which this tremendous hadith shows will know that all the sciences and gnoses originate in this hadith and are comprised under it. All the sciences of the different groups of the men of knowledge of this community on which they discourse do not go beyond this hadith and what it shows, neither in general nor in specific details. The people of the science of fiqh only talk about the acts of worship which are among the general features of Islam and in addition they discuss judgements and rules about wealth, marriage contracts, injuries and homicides. All of that is a part of the science of Islam to which we previously drew attention. There remains a great deal of the science of Islam Ð courtesy, good character, and so on Ð about which only a few talk. Neither do they talk about the meanings of the two shahadahs and yet they are the source of all of Islam. However, those who talk about the principles and sources of the deen discuss the meaning of the two shahadahs and of iman in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and iman in the Decree. Those who discuss the science of gnoses and behaviour discuss the station of ihsan and also the inward acts which are comprised under iman such as fear, love, reliance, contentment, patience, etc. So that all the revealed sciences about which the different Muslim groups talk are concentrated in this hadith and all of them originate in it. In this hadith by itself there is sufficient, praise and the blessing belong to Allah.
There only remains to discuss the mention of the Hour in this hadith.
The words of Jibril, peace be upon him, "Tell me about the Hour," so that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The one asked about it knows no more about it than the one who asks," meaning that created beings' knowledge of the moment of the Hour are all equal. This indicates that Allah, exalted is He, has exclusive knowledge of it. For this reason it is usual that when the person of knowledge is asked about something which he doesn't know that he should say, "I do not know," and that does not diminish him at all. On the contrary it is from his scrupulousness and from his deen, since above every possessor of knowledge there is an All-Knowing One. In the hadith of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, there is that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, spoke about, "Five [things] which only Allah, exalted is He, knows, and then he recited, 'Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour and sends down abundant rain and knows what is in the womb. And no self knows what it will earn tomorrow and no self knows in what land it will die. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.'" (Surah Luqman: 33)
Allah, mighty is He and majestic, says, "They will ask you about the Hour: when is it due? Say: 'Knowledge of it rests with my Lord alone. He alone will reveal it at its proper time. It hangs heavy in the heavens and the earth. It will not come upon you except suddenly.'" (Surat al-A'raf: 187)
In Sahih al-Bukhari there is from Ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There are five keys of the Unseen which no one knows but Allah," then he recited this ayah: "Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour..."
Imam Ahmad also narrated it and his wording is: "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'I have been given the keys of everything except for five: "Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour..."'" He also narrated with its chain of transmission from Ibn Mas'ud, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, "Your Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was given the keys of everything except for five: 'Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour...'"
His words, "Then tell me about its tokens (amarat)," meaning its signs ('alamat) which indicate that it has drawn close. In the hadith of Abu Hurairah there is that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I will tell you about its portents (ashrat)," which are also its signs.
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, mentioned two signs of the Hour. First, "That the female slave should give birth to her mistress." What is meant by mistress is her lady and her female owner. In the hadith of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, there is, "her lord". This is an indication of the conquest of the lands and the great number of slaves gained so that female slaves and their children are in great numbers. The female slave is owned by her master, but his children by her are of his status, for the child of a master has the status of the master, and thus the female slave's child's status is that of her [his mother's] lord and master.
Al-Khattabi mentioned that some find a proof for the position they take that the slave-mother of the master's child is only set free at the expense of her child out of his portion from the inheritance of his father, and that her ownership is transferred to her children by inheritance and she is freed by them, and that she may be sold before the death of her owner, but he said, "There are views on this proof."
I say that some of them try to prove the opposite, that the slave-mother of the child is not sold and that she is freed on the death of her owner in every case, because he made the child of the slave-woman her owner, so that it is as if her child is the one who frees her and her becoming free is ascribed to him, because it is as if he were the cause of her being set free and so becomes as if he were her mawla [the master who had set her free]. This is like what is related of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, that he said about Mariyah, the mother of his child, when she gave birth to Ibrahim, peace be upon him, "Her son set her free."
Imam Ahmad sought a proof in this, for he said in the narration of Muhammad ibn al-Hakam from him, "That the slave woman gives birth to her mistress: i.e. there will be a great number of slave-mothers of children by their masters," saying, "When she gives birth she is freed because of her child," and he said, "In it there is a proof that the slave-mothers of children by their masters may not be sold."
His words, "The slave-woman gives birth to her mistress" has been explained as meaning that trade in slaves will increase so much that a daughter will be transported for the sake of trade and later freed, and then later her mother will be transported for the sake of trade and the daughter will buy her and make use of her services unaware that she is her own mother, and this has indeed happened in Islam.
It has also been said that it means that slave-women will give birth to kings. Waki' said that it means that non-Arabs will give birth to Arabs, and the Arabs are the kings over the non-Arabs and their lords.
The second sign:
In "that you see poor, naked, barefoot..." what is meant by the poor ('aalah) is needy people as in His words, exalted is He, "Did He not find you impoverished ('aa'ilan) and enrich you?." (Surat ad-Duha: 8).
His words, "...shepherds of sheep and goats competing in raising tall buildings" are thus narrated in the hadith of 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him. What is meant is that the least of the people will become their leaders with a great deal of wealth, to such an extent that they will boastfully compete in a great deal of building, and in decorating and bringing it to perfection.
In the hadith of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, there is mention of three signs, of which there is that naked barefoot people will be the top people, and of which there is that the shepherds of sheep will compete in building.
'Abdullah ibn 'Ata narrated this hadith from 'Abdullah ibn Buraydah and he said in it, "And that you see deaf, dumb, blind, barefoot shepherds of sheep competing with each other in building as if the kings of people." He said, "So the man [Jibril] stood up and left, and we asked, 'Messenger of Allah, who are these you describe?" He answered, "They are the Arabs." This is how this hadith is narrated with these last words by 'Ali ibn Zayd from Yahya ibn Ya'mar from Ibn 'Umar. As for the first wording it is in the Sahih from the hadith of Abu Hurairah.
His words, "Deaf, dumb, blind" indicate their ignorance and lack of knowledge and understanding. There are many ahadith with this sense. Imam Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi narrated from a hadith of Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The Hour will not arise until the most fortunate man in the world will be Fool son of Fool (Luka' ibn Luka')." In the Sahih of Ibn Hibban there is from Anas that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The world will not end until it belongs to Fool son of Fool."
At-Tabarani narrated a hadith of Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The Hour will not arise until Fool son of Fool overcomes the world."
Imam Ahmad and at-Tabarani narrated a hadith of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Just before the Hour there will be treacherous years in which the trustworthy one will be suspect and the suspect one will be trusted and in which ar-Ruwaybidah will speak." They asked, "Who is ar-Ruwaybidah?" He said, "The foolish person who talks about the community's business." In another narration there is, "The corrupt person who talks about the community's business." In a version of Imam Ahmad there is, "that just before the Dajjal there will be treacherous years in which the liar will be believed and the truthful person disbelieved, and the trustworthy person will be regarded as unreliable and the unreliable person will be trusted..."
The general nature of what is mentioned in this hadith of the signs of the Hour is that affairs will be entrusted to the wrong people, as the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to the one who asked him about the Hour, "When the affair is entrusted to the wrong people, then expect the Hour," because when the barefoot naked shepherds of sheep Ð and they are useless ignorant people Ð become the top people and owners of wealth and property to such an extent that they compete with each other in building, then because of that the organisation of the world and of the deen become corrupted. If one who was impoverished and needy is one of the top people he has become a king over people, whether his kingship is universal or only in some particular things, and then he will hardly be able to give people their due rights. On the contrary, he will prefer himself over them because of the wealth he owns. One of the right-acting first generations said, "That you should stretch out your hands to the mouth of the serpent for him to gnaw it is better for you than for you to stretch it out to the hand of a wealthy man who had undergone poverty." If, along with that, he is useless and ignorant then the deen will become corrupted by that, because he has no desire to put people's deen right nor to teach them, on the contrary he desires to collect wealth and store it as treasure and is totally unconcerned whether people's deen becomes corrupt, nor [does he care about] whoever of his family squanders basic necessities.
He said in another hadith, "The Hour will not arise until every tribe is led by its hypocrites." When the kings and leaders of people are in this circumstance every other circumstance will be reversed: the liar will be believed and the truthful person disbelieved, the unreliable person will be trusted and the trustworthy person distrusted, the ignorant person will speak and the knowledgeable person will be silent or totally non-existent, as is authentically narrated that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Some of the signs of the Hour are that knowledge will be removed and ignorance will dominate," and he advised, "that knowledge will be removed with the death of people of knowledge so that when not one person of knowledge remains, people will take ignorant leaders who will be asked and thus give judgement without knowledge and will go astray and lead others astray." Ash-Sha'bi said, "The Hour will not arise until knowledge becomes ignorance and ignorance becomes knowledge." All of this is a part of the reversal of realities and the inversion of affairs at the end of time.
In the Sahih of al-Hakim there is that 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ascribed [to the Prophet], "Truly of the signs of the Hour there is that the best will be disparaged and the worst will be honoured."
In his words, "...competing with each other in making tall buildings" there is proof that it is blameworthy to compete boastfully, particularly in making tall buildings. Building tall structures was not known in the time of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and his companions, may Allah be pleased with them. On the contrary, their buildings were small according to necessity. Abu'z-Zinad narrated from al-A'raj that Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'The Hour will not arise until people compete with each in making tall buildings.'" Al-Bukhari narrated it.
Abu Dawud narrated a hadith of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, that, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out and saw an elevated dome and asked, 'What is this?' They said, 'This is so and so's,' naming one of the Ansar men. Its owner came and greeted the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, but he turned away from him repeatedly, and so the man demolished it." At-Tabarani narrated through another route also from Anas, and his version has, "So the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Every building,' and he gestured with his hand like this above his head, 'which is more than this is unwholesome.'" Hareeth ibn as-Sa'ib said from al-Hasan, "I used to enter the houses of the wives of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, during the khalifate of 'Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, and I could reach the ceiling with my hand."
It is narrated from 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that he wrote, "Do not make your buildings tall, because it is the worst of your days."
Yazid ibn Abi Ziyad said, "Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, asked Salman, 'Should we not build you a house, Abu 'Abdullah?' He asked, 'You are not making me a king?' He replied, 'No. We will build you a house of cane, which we will roof with reeds that will almost touch your head when you stand, and will almost touch both of your extremities when you sleep.' He said, 'It is almost as if you had been within my self [and seen what I desired].'"
'Ammar ibn Abi 'Ammar said, "If a man erects a house taller than seven cubits, he is called, 'O most deviant of the deviant, where are you going?'" Ibn Abi'd-Dunya narrated all of it.
Ya'qub ibn Abi Shaybah said in his Musnad , "It has reached me from Ibn 'Aishah that he said, 'Ibn Abi Shumaylah told us, "The Muslims resided around the mosque,"ÐÊmeaning in Basrah ÐÊ"in hair tents and then theft spread among them. So they wrote to 'Umar and he gave them permission to use cane. They built with cane and then fire spread among them. So he gave them permission to use clay bricks but he forbade anyone to lift the roof above seven cubits, saying, 'If you build your houses with it, then build the mosque with it.'"' Ibn 'Aishah said, 'Utbah ibn Ghazwan built the mosque of Basrah from cane and he said, "Whoever prays in it when it is made of cane is better than whoever prays in it when it is made of adobe. Whoever prays in it when it is made of adobe is better than whoever prays in it when it is made of baked brick."'"
Ibn Majah narrated the hadith of Anas that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The Hour will not arise until people boastfully compete with other [in building] mosques," and a hadith of Ibn 'Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I see that you will exalt your mosques after me just as the Jews exalted their synagogues and the Christians their churches."
Ibn Abi'd-Dunya narrated from Isma'il ibn Muslim that al-Hasan, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, built the mosque he said, 'Build it as a shelter made of palm-sticks covered with panic grass like the shelter of Musa, peace be upon him.'" Someone asked Hasan, "What was the shelter of Musa?" He said, "When he raised his hand he could reach the shelter," meaning "the ceiling."