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Hadiths’ Meanings and Explanations

‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) narrated:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) observed: “Four characteristics make anyone, who possesses them, a sheer hypocrite; anyone who possesses one of them possesses a characteristic of hypocrisy till he abandons it: If he is entrusted with any thing he betrays the trust, when he talks he lies, when he makes a covenant he acts treacherously, and when he quarrels he deviates from the truth.

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 34, and by Muslim, Hadith no.58].

Meaning / Explanation

Hypocrisy means the difference between the outward and the inward and this also includes the use of Taqiyyah (which is commonly practiced by the Shiites) while dealing with Muslims.

If hypocrisy occurs in faith, then it is the hypocrisy of disbelief and if it occurs in acts, then it is the hypocrisy of actions.

Hypocrisy may involve any acts of commission or omission, and it is of various degrees.

An-Nawawi said that the traits mentioned in the Hadith are the traits of hypocrisy and the person who commits any of these traits is similar to the hypocrites who are characterized by these traits and as such adopts the manners of the hypocrites. Hypocrisy is to do things in public that contradict one’s inwards beliefs. This is applicable to the one who has any of the four qualities mentioned above. He will be regarded as committing hypocrisy against those with whom he deals, either by talking, promising, receiving his trust or disputing. However, he will not be on equal footing with the hypocrite who claims Islam and hides disbelief.

On the other hand, some scholars said that this ruling is applied only to the person who is accustomed to these traits, but not the one who rarely practices them.


On the authority of Abu Sufyan bin Harb (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that Heraclius after questioning him about the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“I asked you about his commandments to you and you said that he commands you to worship Allah and not to associate any other partner with him and forbids for you the worship of idols. He also commands you to perform prayer, to stick to truthfulness and chastity. If what you say is true, he will seize the place upon which I tread with my feet”.

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 6, and by Muslim, Hadith no. 1773].

Meaning / Explanation

The word chastity means to keep away from the prohibitions and the deficiencies of noble character.

This text is a quotation from a lengthy Hadith including the most important issue of the mission of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), which is Monotheism. Monotheism means the sincere worship of Allah and the prohibition of worshipping other than Him. After Monotheism, follows the most important kind of worship, i.e. prayer. There are some other vital Islamic issues of importance also included in that Hadith. It also included that Heraclius, having directed such questions to Abu Sufyan (may Allah be pleased with him) realised that all what he (Abu Sufyan) said represented the qualities of a coming prophet as mentioned in their own scriptures.

An-Nawawi reported the scholars’ saying:

“What Heraclius said was taken from the previously revealed Books. In the Torah there were some of the signs of the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and thus Heraclius knew him through these signs”

[Commentary on Sahih Muslim, Vol. 12 p. 107].

Furthermore, showing the acquaintance of the People of the Book of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the existence of his full description in their Books, Allah [may He be Glorified] said:

“Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognise him (Muhammad (peace be upon him) or the Ka’bah at Makkah) as they recognise their sons. But verily, a party of them conceal the truth while they know it – [i.e. the qualities of Muhammad (peace be upon him) which are written in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)].” (2:146).


On the authority of Hudhaifah Ibn Al-Yamân (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) who reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“By Allah in whose Hand my soul is, you’d better enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong or Allah will descend upon you His severe punishment and then you supplicate Him but He will not answer your supplication”

[Narrated by At-Tirmidhi, Hadith no.2169]

Meaning / Explanation

Al-Ma’rûf is a comprehensive term including the obedience of Allah, nearness to Him, showing kindness to people and performing all that which the religion recommends and avoiding all that which the religion prohibits.

This Hadith signifies that one of two possibilities will occur; whether to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong or to incur the severe punishment from Allah and the Du’a [supplication] to remove this punishment will be rejected.

There is a severe threatening resulting from neglecting this duty.

It is also deduced from the Hadith that when the punishment descends the well-mannered person will not be distinguished from the evil-mannered one.

The commandment to stop the foolish from doing unwise acts. This is to be conducted by those who have the upper hand and authority in the community; the ruler should control his subjects and the father should check the deeds of his dependants. Every responsible person will be asked about his responsibility.


On the authority of Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) who requested the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to appoint him in charge of certain responsibility.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) patted him on the shoulder and said: “O Abu Dharr! You are weak and it is a trust and thus will be shame and regret for the people on the Day of Judgement, except for those who undertake it in a right way and perform the duties thereof”. In another narration, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “O Abu Dharr I notice that you are weak and I wish for you what I wish for myself. Do not be a ruler of two persons, nor a guardian of the orphan’s property”

[Narrated by Muslim, Hadiths no. 1825, 1826].

Meaning / Explanation

An-Nawawi said that this Hadith is a strong excuse for those who want to avoid leadership and especially those who are unable to implement the responsibilities of these positions. As for shame and regret on the Day of Judgement, it will be on the side of those who are not efficient for these positions and yet undertake them, and also on the side of the efficient for such positions but do not discharge justice. This kind of people will be disgraced on the Day of Judgement and will regret what they have done in this world. On the other hand, the person who is capable of assuming the leadership responsibilities and implements justice will be rewarded with the best reward as referred to in the sound Ahadith and the consensus of opinion of the scholars.

In spite of all this, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) warned Abu Dharr against assuming such positions because of the danger involved therein. Moreover, a lot of scholars among the worthy ancestors similarly warned against assuming them, and even refused to assume such positions and endured the persecution inflicted upon them because of their refusal.

[Commentary on Sahih Muslim, Vol. XII, Hadith no. 210].


On the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Render back the trust to those to whom they are due and do not betray the person who betrays you”

[Narrated by Abu Dawud, Hadith no. 3535 and At-Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 1246]

Meaning / Explanation


“Render back the trust” is a commandment that must be implemented. Allah [may He be Glorified] said: “Verily! Allâh commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due.” (4:58)

“Trust” means everything that must be fulfilled.

“do not betray the person who betrays you” means that a Muslim should not mistreat people even though they might have mistreated him; and thus he should not betray those who might have betrayed him.

Furthermore, this is a comprehensive commandment for rendering back the trust, which can be something borrowed, a deposit or anything else.

The Hadith also directs people not to return mistreatment with similar conduct. This issue is disputable among the scholars, but forgiving mistreatment takes priority, as Allah [may He be Glorified] said:

“The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof; but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allâh. Verily, He likes not the Zâlimûn (oppressors, polytheists, and wrong-doers .” (42:40)

[See Subul As-Salam, Vol. III, Hadith no. 89]


On the authority of Anas bin Mâlik (may Allah be pleased with him) who reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“For every Ummah there is an Amin (trustee) and the Amin (trustee) of our Ummah is Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Al-Jarah”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 3744 and by Muslim, Hadith no. 2419]

Meaning / Explanation

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said while commenting on this Hadith: “Amin” stands for the trustworthy person, whose trust is not disputed. This characteristic seems to be shared by other persons too, but Abu ‘Ubaidah was superior to everyone else in this quality to the extent that he became distinguished with it among other Companions. For this reason, we find that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) distinguished some of his Companions with some traits though other Companions owned them as well.

For example, ‘Uthman was characterised with modesty.

‘Ali was characterized with his sound judgement.

Zaid bin Thâbit was characterised with knowledge of inheritance.

Although, there were many others who shared with them these qualities, the above-mentioned Companions excelled all others in those areas. In the same way, Abu ‘Ubaidah was distinguished by being the most trustful person (may Allah be pleased with them all).


On the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that the Companions were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) when a Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and asked him about the exact date of the Hour. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) however proceeded with his speech to the audience. Some of the audience thought that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) heard what the man said but disliked his question and some others thought that he did not hear it. When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) finished his talk, he said: “Where is the one who asked about the date of the Hour? The man informed him of his existence. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) then said: “If the trust is betrayed and neglected, then expect the coming of the Hour”. The man further asked about the trust and how it can be wasted or betrayed. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “When the matter is entrusted to those who are unqualified to implement its duties, then wait for the Hour”

(Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Hadiths no.59, 6496)

Meaning / Explanation

An example of this is the conduct of some people in authority, who charge unqualified persons with the religious affairs, such as judicial office, Ifta’ (issuing legal judgements, etc.).

Allah entrusts the people in authority with the affairs of the people and commands them to take care of their interests. So, if they employ unqualified persons, this will mean that they misuse the responsibility which Allah has entrusted them with.

There will not be a sign of the Hour unless after the disappearance of knowledge and the spread of ignorance.

If this happens, it will be a sign of the Day of Judgment as mentioned in the Hadith.

In Fath Al-Bari (1/142,143) (11/334) Imam Ibn Hajar mentioned some great benefits of this Hadith.


On the authority of Abu Sa’îd Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) who reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Allah never sent a Prophet nor appointed a sovereign except that two kinds of retinue will be with him. One urges him to do good deeds and the other entices him to do bad deeds. None will escape trial, except one whom Allah protects.”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 7198].

Meaning / Explanation

Lessons deduced from the above Hadith include:

1. Attributing all matters to Allah as He is the Only One that protects those whom He wills from among His servants by His Grace and Generosity.

2. The attitude of the rulers towards their retinues is of three kinds:

* The one who always accepts the good retinue to the exclusion of the bad retinue. This is peculiar only to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) as he is infallible.

* The one who accepts the bad retinue to the exclusion of the good one. This always happens with the disbeliever.

* The one who oscillates between accepting the good and bad retinues.

In the Hadith there is a warning for those in authority to appoint righteous ministers. In another Hadith narrated by ‘A’ishah, the Mother of the Believers, (may Allah be pleased with her) it is said: “If any of you assumes a position and Allah destines goodness for him, he will be supported by a good minister; to remind him if he forgets and to help him in undertaking his responsibilities”.

[See Fath Al-Bari, Vol. XIII, pp. 189-191.]


On the authority of Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“A man who has sexual relation with his wife, then reveals the secrets between them to other people is one of the most vicious and evil persons in the sight of Allah on the Day of Judgement.”

[Narrated by Muslim, Hadith no. 1437]

Meaning / Explanation

Imam An-Nawawi said in his commentary on Sahih Muslim Vol.10 p.8 that this Hadith includes the prohibition of spreading details of intimate relations which take place between husband and wife and details of other related talk or actions.

The mere mentioning of sexual intercourse without a benefit is detestable as it is against the principles of manhood. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day should either utter good words or keep silent”.

But it is permissible to mention the details of sexual intercourse if there is a benefit from this, such as in the case of reproaching a husband for not having sex with his wife, or when a wife claims her husband’s impotence.


The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: O Allah, to You be the praise; You are the Light of the heavens and the earth. To You be the praise; You are the Supporter of the heavens and the earth. To You be the praise; You are the Lord of the heavens and the earth and whoever is therein. You are the Truth; Your promise is True, Your word is the Truth, the meeting with You is True, Paradise is true, Hell is true, the Hour is true. O Allah, I submit to You; affirm my faith in You; repose my trust in You, and I return to You for repentance; by Your help I have disputed; and to You I have come for decision, so forgive my earlier and later sins, the sins that I committed in secret and openly. You are my Lord. There is no deity worthy of worship but You.

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari (Fath Al-Bari) Vol. XIII, p.371, Hadith no.7385, and by Muslim Vol. I, p. 532, Hadith no.769] and the wording is for Muslim.

Meaning / Explanation

“The Supporter” is similar in meaning to Allah’s saying (Al-Hayyul-Qayyum (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists). The phrase “Qayyum” means that He is the Only One, Who is Self-Sufficient, Who is not in need of any of His creatures and the One Who has absolute control over His creatures. He is the Creator of everything, the Sustainer of every creature and the Provider Who supplies His creatures with the means of existence and survival.


On the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari who reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“An honest Muslim store-keeper who carries out the orders of his master and pays fully what he has been ordered to give with a good heart and pays to that person to whom he was ordered to pay, is regarded as one of the two charitable persons.”

(Reported by Al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 1438, and by Muslim Hadith no. 1023)

Meaning / Explanation


One who participates in charitable deeds will have a definite portion of reward as one who is the giver of property or money meant for charity, without any decrease of the latter’s reward. This does not necessarily mean that both will receive equal reward; the participant in a charitable deed will get a reward of participation and the giver will get a reward suitable to the giving of charity. However, there will be no decrease of the reward of either of them that might be to the benefit of the other.

Imam Al-Nawawi said in his commentary on Sahih Muslim Vol. II, p. 202: Know that a treasurer should not dispose of the property he is entrusted without a prior permission of the owner of such property. If he is not permitted by the owner, he will get no reward; even he will be sinful.

Ibn Hajar said in Fath Al-Bari Vol. III, p. 203: A treasurer in the Hadith is qualified as being (1) a Muslim to exclude a disbeliever; as the latter’s intention is void, and as being (2) trustworhty to exclude a traitor; as the latter will be sinful, and as being (3) willingly and contentedly carrying out that order to procure the intention of the deed, without which he will get no reward. These three qualifications are a must in order that the deed may be rewarded.


On the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari who reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Sadaqah (alms) is enjoined on every Muslim.” They (the people) said, “Suppose one cannot afford it?’ He said, “He should work with his hands so that he may benefit himself and give in charity.” They said, “If he cannot work or does not work?” He said, “Then he should help the oppressed unhappy person (by word or action or both).” They said, “If he does not do it?” He said, “Then he should enjoin what is good.” They said, “If he does not do that?” He said, “Then he should refrain from doing evil, for that will be considered for Him as a Sadaqah (charity). “

(Reported by Imam Al-Bukhari Hadith no. 6022 and by Imam Muslim Hadith no. 1008)

Meaning / Explanation

The phrase “charity is incumbent on every Muslim” does not signify that giving charity is obligatory, rather it is, according to the unanimous agreement of scholars, a merit that every Muslim is encouraged to foster. Charity originlly signifies giving out of one’s property or money voluntarily. The obligatory Zakah can also be termed as Sadaqah (charity), to show that each giver of Zakah should be keen to achieve Sidq (truthfulness) when giving Zakah.

This Hadith states that every good deed or word is counted as a charity. Likewise, abstaining from doing evil is counted as a charity.

* The Hadith also urges Muslims to work and earn lawfully, in order to have money from which one can give charity and save himself the humiliation caused by begging.

* The Hadith urges Muslims to do good according to their means; if a certain good deed is difficult to achieve, one can turn to that which is easier for him.


On the authority of, Umar bin al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

I heard the Messenger of Allah, (Peace Be Upon Him) say:”Actions are (judged) by motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.”

Reported by [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

Meaning / Explanation

This hadith was said by the Prophet, (Peace Be Upon Him), at the time when a man emigrated from Makkah to Madinah during the Hijrah for the sake of marrying someone and not for the sake of Islam.

It is considered to be one of the greatest hadiths in Islam.

The Prophet, (Peace Be Upon Him), starts the hadith with the principle (“Actions are judged by intentions”) and then gives three examples. This is the methodology of the Prophet, (Peace Be Upon Him). The examples help illustrate the principle so that it is easier for people to understand and they can apply the principle to other similar situations.

The three examples consist of one of good intention (migration for the sake of Allah and His Messenger) and two of bad intentions (migration for the sake of worldly gains or for marriage).


On the authority of Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar bin al-Khattab, radiyallahu ‘anhuma, who said:

I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, say: “Islam has been built upon five things – on testifying that there is no god save Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger; on performing salah; on giving the zakah; on Hajj to the House; and on fasting during Ramadhan.”

[Al-Bukhari & Muslim].

Meaning / Explanation

This hadith is part of the previous Hadith (2). Most Scholars say that the reason why al-Imam al-Nawawi included this hadith in his collection, even though it seems that it repeats some portions of Hadith 2, is because of the importance of the 5 pillars of Islam.

This Hadith stresses the fundamental aspects of the outward submission to Allah. This submission is based on some pillars, similar to a structure. If a person fulfills these aspects, he has laid a solid foundation for his deen as a ‘home’.

The other acts of Islam, which are not mentioned in this hadith, can be taken as fine touches to complete this structure.

If a person fails to fulfill these obligations (building the pillars), then the entire structure of his deen/iman may be threatened. This depends on how much is being violated – e.g. violation of the shahadah is the most dangerous.


On the authority of Abu Hurairah, who said :

The Messenger of Allah, said:Part of the perfection of someone’s Islam is his leaving alone that which does not concern him.

[Recorded by Tirmidhi]

Meaning / Explanation

This hadith states that a believer should avoid things that are of no concern to him. They are of no benefit to this life nor to the hereafter, in terms of belief, speech or actions. In justifying this point, the Maliki jurist Imam Ibn Al-Arabi said that a person is not able to take care of all the necessary matters, why would he then get involved in the unnecessary matters that are of no real concern.



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