The excellence of the weak, poor and obscure Muslims

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

32. Chapter: On the excellence of the weak, poor and obscure Muslims

Allah Almighty says, "Restrain yourself with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face, and let not thine eyes pass beyond them." (18:28)

252. Haritha ibn Wahb said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "Shall I inform you about the people of the Garden? All who are weak and thought to be weak. If they were to take an oath by Allah, Allah would carry it out Shall I tell you about the people of the Fire? All those who are coarse, domineering, and arrogant.'" [Agreed upon]

253. Abu'l-'Abbas Sahl ibn Sa'd as-Sa'idi said, "A man passed by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who said to the man who was sitting with him, 'What do you think of this one?' He replied, 'A man who is one of our nobles. This man, by Allah, if he proposes marriage, his proposal is accepting, and if he intercedes his intercession would be granted.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was silent. Then another man passed by and the Messenger of Allah asked him, 'What do you think of this one?' He answered, 'O Messenger of Allah, this is just one of the poor Muslims. If he were to propose marriage, his proposal would not be worth accepting, and if he were to intercede, his intercession would not be granted, and if he were to speak, his words would not be listened to.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'This one is better than the whole earth full of the first one." [Agreed upon]

254. Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The Garden and the Fire had an argument. The Fire said, 'I contain the arrogant and the proud,' and the Garden said, 'I contain the weak and the poor.' So Allah decided between them, 'You, the Garden, are My mercy. I show mercy through you to whomever I wish. You, the Fire, are My punishment. I punish by you whomever I wish. Both of you will be filled by Me.'" [Muslim]

255. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "On the Day of Rising, a great, hefty man will be brought forward who is not worth the weight of a gnat's wing in the sight of Allah." [Agreed upon]

256. Abu Hurayra also reported that a black woman or youth used to sweep the mosque. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, missed her and asked after her or him. They said, "She died." He said, "Why did you not inform me?" It was as if they thought little of her or him. He said, "Show me the grave." They directed him to it and he prayed over it. Then he said, "These graves are filled with darkness surrounding their inhabitants. Allah Almighty illuminates them for them by my praying over them." [Agreed upon]

257. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There is many an unkempt person, driven away from doors, but if he were to swear an oath by Allah, He would fulfil it." [Muslim]

258. Usama reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I stood at the entrance to the Garden and most of the people who entered it were the poor whereas the people of wealth were held back. The people of the Fire were ordered to the Fire, and I stood at the entrance to the Fire and most of those who entered it were women." [Agreed upon]

259. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Only three people talked in their cradles: 'Isa son of Maryam and the companion of Jurayj. Jurayj was a man of assiduous worship who went to live in a hermitage. While he was there, his mother came while he was praying and said, 'Jurayj!' He said, 'O Lord, my mother or my prayer!' He continued in his prayer and she went away. The next day she came while he was praying and she said, 'Jurayj!' He again said, 'O Lord, my mother or my prayer!' He continued in his prayer and she went away. The next day she came while he was praying and she said, 'Jurayj!' He said, 'O Lord, my mother or my prayer!' He continued in his prayer.She said, 'O Allah, do not let him die without having looked into the face of a prostitute!' Jurayj and his worship became a subject of discussion among the Children of Israel and among them was a wanton woman whose beauty was proverbial. She said, 'If you like, I will seduce him.' She displayed herself to him, but he did not look at her. She went to a shepherd who had taken shelter in his hermitage and offered herself to him. He had intercourse with her and she became pregnant. When she gave birth, she said, 'It is from Jurayj.' They went to him and forced him down from his hermitage, demolished it, and began to beat him. He said, 'What is wrong with you?' They said, 'You committed fornication with this prostitute and she has given birth to your child.' He said, 'Where is the child?' They brought him and he said, 'Let me pray first.' He prayed and when he had finished, the child was brought and put in his lap. He said, 'Boy, who is your father?' The boy said, 'So-and-so the shepherd.' They began to kiss Jurayj and stroke him. They said, 'We will build you a hermitage of gold.' He said, 'No, rebuild it from clay as it was before.' They did this.

"While a child was feeding from its mother, a man of good appearance passed by riding a fast mount. She said, 'O Allah, make my son like this man.' He left the breast and turned to look at him and said, 'O Allah, do not make me like him.' Then he turned back to the breast and began to feed." It is as if I could see the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, describing his feeding by putting his forefinger in his house and sucking it. He said, "Then they brought along a slavegirl and were beating her, saying, 'You committed fornication and stole.' She was saying, 'Allah is enough for me and the best guardian!' His mother said, 'O Allah, do not make my son like her!' He stopped feeding and looked at her and said, 'O Allah, make me like her.' They began to talk together and she said, 'A man of handsome appearance passed by and I said, '"O Allah, make my son like him!" and you said, "O Allah, do not make me like him." Then they brought this slavegirl whom they were beating, saying, "You committed fornication and stole." I said, "O Allah, do not make my son like her!" and you said, "O Allah, make me like her."' He said, 'That man was a tyrant, so I said, "O Allah, do not make me like him!" They said to this woman, "You committed adultery" when she had not, and "you stole" when she had not stolen, so I said, "O Allah, make me like her."'" [Agreed upon]