Radiance of the Hearts (2) – al-Saʿdi

Bahjat Qulūbi’l-Abrār wa Qurratu ʿUyūni’l-Akhyār

fī Sharḥ Jawāmiʿ al-Akhbār

ʿAbdu’l-Raḥmān b. Nāṣir al-Saʿdī



3.   Tamīm ad-Dārī (RA) reports that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “The religion is sincerity and sincere advice. The religion is sincerity and sincere advice. The religion is sincerity and sincere advice.” They asked, ‘Messenger of Allāh, to whom?’ He replied, “To Allāh, to His Book, to His Messenger, to the leaders or the Muslims, and the generality of Muslims.” Recorded by Muslim.[1]


The Prophet (SAW) repeated this statement to emphasise its importance and to show the nation that they must truly realise that the whole religion, the inner and outer, is sincerity and sincere advice and that is realised by fulfilling the five rights mention in the ḥad”th.


Sincerity to Allāh is to acknowledge His oneness, His uniqueness in His perfect Attributes, to worship Him inwardly and outwardly, to be in a continual state of penitence, to ask of Him while combining fear with hope, and to repent to Him and ask His forgiveness at all times. The servant will fall short in enacting some or part of the obligations, or fall into some prohibitions, and as such he is need of repentance so as to fix the defect and prefect his actions.


Sincerity to the Book of Allāh is to memorise it and ponder it, to understand its meaning and to strive ones utmost in trying to live by it.


Sincerity to the Messenger is to believe in him, to love him, to give him precedence over oneself, children and wealth, to follow him in the foundations of the religion and its subsidiary issues, to give precedence to his word over the word of all others, striving to follow his guidance, and to aid his religion.


Sincerity to the Muslim leaders, the leader of the state to local leaders and judges, is to believe that they are indeed leaders, to listen to them and obey them, to encourage the people towards the same, informing them of what will bring them benefit and the general masses benefit, and to establish their rights.


Sincerity to the generality of the Muslims is to love for them what one loves for himself, to detest for them what one detests for himself and to try his utmost to bring this about. This is because whoever loves something will strive to achieve it and perfect it.


The Prophet (SAW) explained sincerity and sincere advice to encompass these five matters that comprise establishing the rights of Allāh, the rights of His Book, the rights of His Messenger, and the rights of all the Muslims. This then encompasses the whole religion, hence there remains nothing except that these succinct and comprehensive cover it. Allāh knows best.



4.   Abū Hurayrah reports that a Bedouin came to Prophet (SAW) and asked, ‘Guide me to an action which I can perform and enter Paradise.’ He (SAW) said, “Worship Allāh without associating anything with Him, establish the prescribed prayers, give the obligatory zakāt, and fast the month of Ramaḍān.” He said, ‘By the One in whose hand is my soul, I will add nothing more to this nor will O detract from this.’ When he had left, the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever wants to look at a person from the inhabitants of Paradise, let him look at this man.” Agreed upon.[2]


There are many aḥādīth that further prove the great principle articulated in this ḥadīth. They all lend to the meaning that the one who fulfils what is obligatory upon him to do and avoids the unlawful matters deserves to enter Paradise and be saved from the Fire. Whoever has this quality is deserving of being called a Muslim and a Muʾmin, indeed he has become from the Muttaqūn, the successful, from amongst those who are traversing the Straight Path.


The next ḥadīth conveys a similar meaning:


5.   Sufyān b. ʿAbdullāh al-Thaqafī said, ‘Messenger of Allāh, tell me something about Islām such that I would have no need to ask any other after you.’ He (SAW) said, “Say: I have faith in Allāh, then remain firm upon this.” Recorded by Muslim[3]


This man asked the Prophet (SAW) for some succinct, all-encompassing advice that would direct him to goodness and success. The Prophet (SAW) ordered him to have faith in Allāh which comprises all that is necessary to believe and what leads on from this of the actions of heart and submission to Allāh, inwardly and outwardly. Then after this to remain steadfast upon this until death, as such this ḥadīth is similar in meaning to His saying,

“The angels descend on those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allāh,’ and then go straight: ‘Do not fear and do not grieve but rejoice in the Garden you have been promised…’” [Fuṣṣilat (41): 30]


So ensuing from faith and steadfastness is security from all evil, the attainment of Paradise, and the attainment of all that one loves. Many texts of the Book and Sunnah prove that faith comprises the beliefs of the heart; the actions of the heart such as hope and fear, and desire for good and hatred of evil; and actions of the limbs. All of this is perfected by remaining firm upon it.


6.  ʿAbdullāh b. ʿAmr (RA) reports that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said, “The Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe. The Muhājir is one who migrates from that which Allāh has prohibited.” Agreed upon. Tirmidhī and Nasāʾī add, “The believer is one in whom the people would entrust their blood and wealth.” Bayhaqī adds, “The Mujāhid is one who strives his utmost in the obedience of Allāh.”[4]


This ḥadīth mentions the peaks of these noble names ensuing from which is felicity in this world and the next; it talks about Islām, īmān, Hijrah and Jihād and mentions their definitions in the most concise of ways.


The Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe. This is because true Islām is submission to Allāh and perfecting His servitude and establishing His rights and the rights of the Muslims. Islām is not perfected except by loving for the Muslims what one loves for himself. This in turn can only come about if he saves the Muslims from the evil of his tongue and hand, for this is the foundation of this obligation. How can one who does not save the Muslims from his tongue and hand establish the obligation of loving for them what he loves for himself?


The believer has been explained to be one who the people would entrust their blood and wealth to. When faith enters the heart and fills it, the one who possesses this heart establishes the rights of faith fully. From amongst the most important of this rights is safeguarding trusts, being truthful in dealings, and being wary of oppressing people in any way. The people will know anyone who has such qualities and they will feel comfortable in entrusting him with their blood and wealth and they will trust him. The Prophet (SAW) said, “There is no faith for the one who has no trustworthiness and integrity.”[5]


The Hijrah which is an individual obligation upon every Muslim has been explained to be the hijrah from sins. This obligation is never lifted from the legally responsible Muslim (mukallaf) for Allāh has prohibited his servants from committing the unlawful. As for the hijrah from a land of disbelief, or innovation, to the land of Islām, this is not obligatory upon every individual, but only becomes obligatory in some situations.


The Mujāhid has been explained to be the one who strives his utmost in the obedience of Allāh. The soul natural inclines towards laziness when it comes to doing good, it incites towards evil and is quick to complain at the onset of calamity. One requires patience, steadfastness and hard work in making it adhere to the obedience of Allāh and remain constant upon this; in making it avoid unlawful; and meeting calamity with patience. These are the levels of obedience: enacting the commanded, avoiding the prohibited, and bearing calamity with patience. The true Mujāhid is the one who strives against his soul that it may fulfil these three matters. The noblest undertaking of the Mujāhid is to exert his soul in fighting the enemies in speech and deed for Jihād is the apex of this religion.


Whoever lives by what this ḥadīth teaches has lived by the religion, for there is no good related to this world or the Hereafter than he will not have performed, and there is no evil except that he will have left it. Allāh Alone is the One who grants accord (tawfīq).




[1] Muslim [#55] but he does not have the sentence repeated three times, this is to be found in the version recorded by Abū Dāwūd [#4944] and the ḥadīth of Abū Hurayrah recorded by Tirmidhī [#1926].

[2] Bukhārī [#1397] and Muslim [#14]

[3] Muslim [#38]

[4] Bukhārī [#53] and Muslim [#40].

The first addition is recorded by Tirmidhī [#2629] and Nasāʾī [8/104] on the authority of Abū Hurayrah.

The first and second additions are recorded by Aḥmad [#23958] and Bayhaqī, Shuʿab al-Īmān [#11123] on the authority of Faḍālah b. ʿUbayd and was declared ṣaḥīḥ by Albānī, al-Ṣaḥīḥah [#549].

[5] Aḥmad [#12383] on the authority of Anas. It was declared ṣaḥīḥ by ibn Ḥibbān [#47] and Albānī, Takhrīj al-Īmān

[6] Bukhārī [#34] and Muslim [#58]



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