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  3. Hadeeth 31 : The Reality of Asceticism

Hadeeth 31 : The Reality of Asceticism

Auther : Abu Zakaria An-Nawawi
23206 2008/02/07 2024/07/24

on the authority of abu al-'abbaas sahl bin sa'ad as-saa'idee (radiallaahu anhu) who said :

a man came to the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and said : o messenger of allaah, direct me to an act which, if i do it, [will cause] allaah to love me and the people to love me. so he (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said :

renounce the world and allaah will love you, and renounce what the people possess and the people will love you.

a hasan hadeeth related by ibn maajah and others with good chains of authorities.

explanation of hadeeth number 31

know that the messenger of allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to encourage his companions upon making do with little from worldly possessions and upon abstemiousness, and said : "remain in the world as though you are a stranger, or a passing traveller." and it has been narrated that he (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said : "love of the dunyaa (worldly pleasures) is the head of all sins" [however, this narration is traceable back only to al-hasan al-basree, and not to the prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam]. and in another hadeeth : "verily the ascetic in this life finds his heart contented in this world and in the hereafter, while the seeker of the dunyaa finds his heart weary in this world and in the hereafter".

and know that whosoever lives in the world lives like a guest, and whatever he holds in his hand is but a loan; the guest will ultimately depart, and the loan will ultimately be returned. and 'alee (radiallaahu anhu) said : "the dunyaa is the land that you see before you - from it eat the pious and the evil ones", and it is hated by the awliyaa (friends) of allaah and loved by the people of the dunyaa. so whosoever joins them in their love of it (the dunyaa) then they too are hated.

and the messenger of allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has guided the questioner in this hadeeth to leave the dunyaa by being abstemious of it, and as a consequence of that has promised for him the love of allaah, the most high - and that is his being pleased with him, for verily the love of allaah for his slaves is his being pleased with them. and he (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) also guided him towards being abstemious of that which the people possess, if he wishes to obtain the love of the people. and wealth is from love of the dunyaa, and verily there is nothing that the people possess and they hate one another because of it or compete with one another for it, except the wealth of the dunyaa.

and he (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said : "whoever makes the hereafter his pre-occupation, then allaah gathers together his affairs, and places freedom from want in his heart, and the dunyaa comes to him despite being reluctant to do so. and whoever makes the dunyaa his pre-occupation, then allaah breaks up his affairs, and places his poverty before his eyes, and nothing of the dunyaa comes to him except that which has been decreed for him. and the happy one is he who chooses that whose blessings will remain forever over the trial whose punishments shall never cease".

summary :

  • that renouncing the world secures the love of allaah
  • that renouncing the world means not to take it itself as a goal in life and not to be captivated and misled by it
  • renouncing the world means to leave those things which are non-essential even though they are permissible, and to keep to the necessities of life [sharh an-nawawi]
  • that renouncing what people have will secure their love for you
  • that renouncing what people have means not to compete in having what they own, thus saving one from mutual rivalry for gain at the cost of others and their jealousy
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