Hadith 21: Jabir’s Journey for a Hadith on Retaliation
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Aqil heard Jabir bin Abdullah say, “I was told about a Hadith which a man heard from the Prophet(صلى الله عليه وسلم) , so I bought a camel and put my saddle on it, then I traveled on it for a month until I came to the Levant, where Abdullah bin Unays was. I said to the doorkeeper, ‘Tell him that Jabir is at the door.’ He said, ‘Jabir bin Abdullah’ I said, ‘yes.’ So he came out, still putting his garment on, and embraced me, I embraced him, and said: ‘I heard a hadith narrated by you, that you heard from the Messenger of Allah about reciprocal punishments. I was afraid that you or I would die before I could hear it. He said, ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger say: (Allah will gather the people – or His servants – on the Day of Resurrection, named, uncircumcised and Buhman.) I asked, ‘what is Buhman’ He sadi, ‘they will have nothing on them. Then a voice will call out to them that will be heard by those far away just as easily as it will be heard by those near: “I am the Sovereign, I am the Judge. None of the people of Hell should enter Hell if he is owed something by one of the people of Paradise, until I have settled the matter, and none of the people of Paradise should enter Paradise if he is owed something by one of the people of Hell, until I settle the matter -- even if it is only the case of slap.’) We said, ‘How will that be, when we have come before Allah barefooted, naked and uncircumcised and having nothing with us.’ He said, (By (merit for) good deeds, and (recompense) for evil deeds.)
Narrated by Ahmed in his Musnad, and by al-Bukhari in his Sahih.
1. He said “servants” which includes the believers and nonbelievers, what is meant here is the compulsory submission of all the creation, for they are created to be submissive to Allah. This kind of submission does not benefit the person on the Day of Resurrection. Reward, punishment, Paradise and Hell are for the voluntary submission that humans should dedicate to Allah based on their will, in the worldly life. This voluntary submission should be only for Allah, the One and Only true God.
2. People shall be gathered on the Day of Resurrection, naked and uncircumcised, with nothing whatsoever. The hadith explains what Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Just as We produced the first creation, ˹so˺ shall We reproduce it. That is a promise binding on Us. We truly uphold ˹Our promises˺! (Surat 21: 104)
3. All humans are equal on the Day of Resurrection, they return to their Creator without positions, wealth, offspring or lineage, in a state of terror, fear and awe due to being gathered to face Allah for judgment and retribution.
4. Ad-Dayyan (The Reckoner) is a Name of Allah confirmed in this hadith.
5. Allah, the Almighty, calls the creation on the Day of Resurrection and talks to them, in a voice that will be heard by those far away just as easily as it will be heard by those near:
“There is nothing like Him, for He ˹alone˺ is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” (Surat 42: 11)
6. Retaliation will take place between the right-holders and their oppressors on the Day of Resurrection.
7. The impeccable justice of Allah Almighty and His Wisdom is reflected in fulfilling retaliation for every one that was oppressed, even if this one is from the people of Hell, Allah shall give them their rights, even from the people of Paradise, in case they owe them.
8. Retaliation on the Day of Resurrection is not limited to major issues, any kind of oppression whether minor or major shall be settled, even if it seemed trivial for people such as a slap.
9. Good deeds and bad deeds are the currency of the Hereafter, with which retribution shall be settled.
1. Giving rights back to people in the worldly life is obligatory.
2. The oppressor has to seek forgiveness for wrongdoing before scores are settled among people on the Day of Reckoning, when scores will be settled with hasanat and sayyiat (good and bad deeds) and true losses will be borne by those who wronged people with regard to their wealth, honor and blood.
1. Verifying the chain of narration, and making sure of the authenticity of hadith narrations and religious rulings is part of the Islam, Jabir heard the hadith from a man before traveling, but he left to check the authenticity of the hadith and to seek a high chain of narration (shortest chain of narration between the narrator and the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him))
1. Taking the journey and exerting the efforts and wealth to seek knowledge is quite evident in what Jabir bin Abdullah did, as knowledge cannot be attained through comfort of the body.
2. There are other narrations of the hadith in which it is stated that Jabir’s journey was to Egypt, not the Levant. If so, that means he traveled from Medinah to Egypt just to listen to one hadith that he already had heard, but he wanted to seek high chain of narration of this prophetic saying.
3. There is a big difference between the early adherents of Islam and their efforts to seek knowledge in comparison to us, even though their days were harder and ours are easier.
4. The good manners of Jabir are quite obvious in asking permission first before entering, then waiting till he was granted entry.
5. The companions of the Prophet, Peace Be upon Him, loved each other for the sake of Allah.
6. The companions felt overjoyed when they met each other, Jabir was warmly welcomed by Abdullah bin Unays who quickly went out to Jabir while he was still putting his garment on.
7. The virtue of visiting each other for the sake of Allah and traveling for that.
8. Musafaha (shaking hands) when meeting is sunnah, it is part of the etiquette of Islam and its morals, while embracing should be for the one who arrives and on special occasions like weddings.
9. Acquiring knowledge should continue till death, it has nothing to do with a certain age.
10. No one has all the knowledge; the people of knowledge are in constant need for seeking knowledge from one another.
11. The knowledgeable person might be unaware of a certain topic or its evidence.
12. The intensity of terror makes a person forgets his instincts and desires, 'A'isha reported that she heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: The people would be assembled on the Day of Resurrection barefooted, naked and uncircumcised. I said: Allah's Messenger, will the male and the female be together on the Day and would they be looking at one another? Upon this Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: 'A'isha, the matter would be too serious for them to look to one another.
13. The despicableness of the worldly life and the trivial matters people dispute over, nothing of this worldly life will benefit them on that day, and nothing will be transferred from it on the Day of Resurrection at all, except for good and bad deeds.
14. The gravity of committing sins towards other people; you may refer to the second hadith: “Do you know who the bankrupt is?”
Buhman has several meanings:
1. Sound and void of any worldly deformity or disability such as blindness, having a limp, etc. Whoever has an amputated organ or limb shall be resurrected with it (restored).
2. Similar to animals in terms of having nothing.
3. Similar to animals in terms of muteness:
(None will talk, except those granted permission by the Most Compassionate and whose words are true.) (Surat 78: 38)