Chapter 55: Excellence of Leading an Ascetic Life, and Virtues of Simple Life
allah, the exalted, says:
"verily, the likeness of (this) worldly life is as the water (rain) which we send down from the sky; so by it arises the intermingled produce of the earth of which men and cattle eat: until when the earth is clad in its adornments and is beautified, and its people think that they have all the powers of disposal over it, our command reaches it by night or by day and we make it like a clean-mown harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday! thus, do we explain the ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, laws, etc.) in detail for the people who reflect.'' (10:24)
"and put forward to them the example of the life of this world: it is like the water (rain) which we send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. but (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. and allah is able to do everything. wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. but the good righteous deeds that last, are better with your rubb for rewards and better in respect of hope.'' (18:45,46)
"know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children. (it is) as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. but in the hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers-evildoers), and (there is) forgiveness from allah and (his) good pleasure (for the believers-gooddoers). and the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment". (57:20).
"beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. this is the pleasure of the present world's life; but allah has the excellent return (jannah with flowing rivers) with him.'' (3:14).
"o mankind! verily, the promise of allah is true. so let not this present life deceive you, and let not the chief deceiver (satan) deceive you about allah.'' (35:5).
"the mutual rivalry (for piling up of worldly things) diverts you. until you visit the graves (i.e., till you die). nay! you shall come to know! again nay! you shall come to know! nay! if you knew with a sure knowledge (the end result of piling up, you would not have been occupied yourselves in worldly things)". (102:1-5).
"and this life of the world is only amusement and play! verily, the home of the hereafter is the real life if they but knew". (29:64).
457. `amr bin `auf al-ansari (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) sent abu `ubaidah bin al-jarrah (may allah be pleased with him) to bahrain to collect (jizyah). so he returned from bahrain with wealth. the ansar got news of it and joined with the prophet (pbuh) in the fajr prayer. when the prophet (pbuh) concluded the prayer, they stood in his way. when he saw them, he smiled and said, "i think you have heard about the arrival of abu `ubaidah with something from bahrain". they said, "yes! o messenger of allah!". he (pbuh) said, "rejoice and hope for that which will please you. by allah, it is not poverty that i fear for you, but i fear that this world will be opened up with its wealth for you as it was opened to those before you; and you vie with one another over it as they did and eventually it will ruin you as it ruined them".
commentary: we learn from this hadith that, from the religious angle, poverty of an individual or nation is not as dangerous as its affluence. for this reason, the prophet (pbuh) cautioned his ummah against the consequences of abundance of wealth and warned his followers to save themselves from its evils. we witness today that all his fears have come true. the excess of wealth has made the majority of rich extremely careless about their religious obligations. it is this negligence and evasion from religion about which the prophet (pbuh) had expressed grave fear.
458. abu sa`id al-khudri (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) sat on the pulpit and we sat around him. he said: "what i am concerned most is the flourishment and the beauty of this world will be available to you".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
459. abu sa`id al-khudri (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said: "the world is sweet and green (alluring); and verily, allah is making you to succeed each other, generations after generations in it in order to see how you act. so beware of this world and beware of women".
commentary: this hadith has already been mentioned under chapter 6, "piety". the stress that it lays on guarding against the evil of women shows how grave a mischief woman is for man. the warning it contains is intended to alert men against the cunning and deceit of women and induces them to take preventive measures prescribed by the shari`ah in this behalf. those who disregard the injunctions of shari`ah in this respect generally become a victim of the seduction, wiles and guiles of women. may allah save us from their amorous ways.
460. anas (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said: "o allah, there is no true life but the life of the hereafter".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: the saying of the prophet (pbuh) quoted in this hadith relates to two different occasions.
firstly, to the ghazwah of al-khandaq (the battle of the trench) when muslims were engaged in digging the trench under very difficult circumstances. it was intended to impress upon them the need for patience and boost their morale. they were made to understand that they should not be perplexed by the strenuous period they were passing through because these were transitory and temporary phases of life after which lay the everlasting life, the real life that was not only permanent but also full of perpetual luxuries.
secondly, to the occasion of hajjat-ul-wada` (last hajj performed by the prophet (pbuh)) when he saw around him a large crowd of muslims. then he warned them against becoming proud or overjoyed by their strength and power. the grandeur and majesty being witnessed by them would come to an end. the real life was of al-'akhirah (hereafter) and they should do their utmost to reform it.
461. anas (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said: "three (things) follow a dead person: members of his family, his property and his deeds. two of them return; and one remains with him. the people and his wealth return; his deeds remain with him".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: this hadith has a warning for the muslims that they should adopt the way of piety and fear (of allah), not of sin and impiety because those are actions which will go with him to the grave and which decide his fate in the life after death. if he carries with him good deeds, he will have a comfortable sojourn in barzakh (the intervening stage between death and resurrection). on the contrary, if the record of his life is devoid of good deeds, all the wealth that he leaves behind, even if it is beyond calculation, will be of no avail to him because what he will be having with him will be the bad deeds which he performed during his life. these bad deeds will be a constant source of torture for him during his stay in barzakh.
462. anas bin malik (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "among the inmates of hell, a person who had led the most luxurious life in this world will be brought up on the day of resurrection and dipped in the fire and will be asked: `o son of adam! did you ever experience any comfort? did you happen to get any luxury?' he will reply: `by allah, no, my rubb.' and then one of the people of jannah who had experienced extreme misery in the life of this world will be dipped in jannah. then he will be asked: `o son of adam! did you ever experience any misery? did you ever encounter difficulty?' he will say: "by allah, no my rubb, i neither experienced misery nor passed through hardship".
commentary: this hadith also induces one to work for the life of the hereafter, as the amenities of this world which one strives hard to attain, and for which one violates the injunctions of shari`ah, will be forgotten with a glimpse of the hell-fire. therefore, the sensible course is that one should adopt a way of life which is full of true faith and good deeds so that one becomes eligible for the eternal blessings and joys of the life of the hereafter.
463. al-mustaurad bin shaddad (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "this world (i.e., its pleasures and duration) in comparison with the hereafter is (similar to the amount of water) one gets when he puts his finger in the sea. let him then see what it returns with".
commentary: this hadith shows the value of the hereafter and its blessings compared to the worldly life. the proportion between the two is that the former is like an ocean while the latter is like the proportion of water left on one's finger when dipped in the sea!.
464. jabir bin `abdullah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) was passing through the bazaar with his companions on his both sides, when he saw a dead skinny lamb. he held its ear and said, "who of you would like to have it for a dirham". they replied, "we do not like to get it for nothing, and what shall we do with it?". then he (pbuh) asked, "would you like to have it for nothing?". they replied, "had it been alive, it would have been defective because it is skinny; but when dead it is of no use". messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "truly, the world is more contemptible to allah than this (the dead lamb) is to you".
commentary: this hadith also shows the futility of this world for which one struggles so madly throughout his life. it is also an indication that the prophet (pbuh) used to seize the right opportunities to guide and teach his followers.
465. abu dharr (may allah be pleased with him) reported: i was walking with the prophet on the stony ground in al-madinah in the afternoon when uhud mount came into sight. messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "o abu dharr!'' i said, "o messenger of allah, here i am responding to you". he said, "if i had as much gold as the weight of uhud, it would not please me to have a single dinar out of it with me after the passage of three days, but i would hold back something for the repayment of a debt. i would distribute it among the slaves of allah like this and like this and like this.'' and he (pbuh) pointed in front of him, and on his right side and on his left side. we then walked a little further and he (pbuh) said: "the rich would be poor on the day of resurrection, except he who spent like this and like this and like this,". and he pointed as he did the first time. "but such persons are few". then he said, "stay where you are till i come back to you". he (the prophet (pbuh)) walked ahead a little further in the darkness of the night and disappeared from my sight. i heard a loud voice. i said (to myself): "the messenger of allah might have met (mishap or an enemy)". i wished i could go after him but i remembered his commanding me to stay till he came back. so i waited for him; and when he came, i made mention of what i had heard. he asked, "did you hear it?". i said, "yes". then he said, "it was jibril (gabriel), who came to me and said: `he who dies among your ummah without having associated anything with allah (in worship) will enter jannah.' i said: `even if he committed illicit sexual intercourse or steals?' he (jibril) said: `even if he has committed illicit sexual intercourse or steals".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: the last portion of this hadith means that a muslim, having firm faith in the oneness of allah, will go to jannah even if he has committed major sins in his life. if allah wills, he will be sent straight to jannah, or he will be sent there after suffering punishment in hell for sometime. some scholars have associated this hadith with such persons who make repentance at the time when they are close to death and then they do not get time to do good or bad deeds. almighty allah will pardon even their major sins without giving them any punishment.
this hadith also tells us that it is permissible, rather essential, to reserve some money for the payment of loan because its repayment is far more important than giving (voluntary alms).
it also mentions the piety of the prophet (pbuh) and his passion for spending in the way of allah.
466. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said: "if i had gold equal to mount uhud (in weight), it would not please me to pass three nights and i have a thing of it left with me, except what i retain for repayment of a debt".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: the words of the prophet (pbuh) speak eloquently for his matchless piety and prove that he did not like to keep worldly goods with him. this hadith also shows that expression of a pious desire is permissible.
467. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "look at those who are inferior to you and do not look at those who are superior to you, for this will keep you from belittling allah's favour to you.''
[al-bukhari and muslim].
this is the wording in sahih muslim. the narration in al-bukhari is: messenger of allah (pbuh) said: "when one of you looks at someone who is superior to him in property and appearance, he should look at someone who is inferior to him".
commentary: by looking at the worldly goods and riches of others, a person gradually becomes unthankful for the blessings which allah has bestowed on him. the best remedy for this "disease" is that which has been prescribed by messenger of allah (pbuh) in this hadith. the remedy is that one should look at the people who have lesser worldly goods and riches than one's own. if a person has a small house of his own which can protect him from the harshness of weather, then he has no need to see enviously towards sky-high buildings and palatial houses of others. he should look at the homeless people who spend their nights on footpaths and live in huts which in rain leak like sieve and are swept away by a wave of flood water, etc. but from a religious angle, one should see towards those who are more fearful of allah and observe their salat meticulously so that one becomes more fond of obedience of allah, has a greater fear of him and devotes more time to prayer and devotion. this dispensation is also given in other ahadith.
468. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with ihm) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "may he be miserable, the worshipper of the dinar and dirham, and the worshipper of the striped silk cloak. if he is given anything, he is satisfied; but if not, he is unsatisfied".
commentary: "a slave of dinar and dirham and silk cloaks (clothes)" here means a person who prefers these things to the divine injunctions and commands and strives day and night to amass worldly goods. instead of worshipping allah, he worships such things and is thus guilty of worship of others besides allah, a condition which causes his ruin.
469. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: i saw seventy of the people of the suffah and none of them had a cloak. they had either a lower garment or a blanket which they suspended from their necks. some (cloaks) reached halfway down to the legs and some to the ankles; and the man would manage to keep it in his hand to avoid exposing his private parts.
commentary: the term "people of the suffah" mentioned in the hadith refers to those companions of the prophet (pbuh) who were poor. they used to resort to "the suffah", a shady place at the back of the prophet's mosque (in al-madinah).
470. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said: "the world is the believer's prison and the infidel's jannah".
commentary: as compared with the pleasures and luxuries, which are in store for a true believer in jannah in the hereafter, this world is a prison; and against the ceaseless torture that awaits the kuffar (disbelievers) in hell, this world is a jannah for them. it can also mean that the way a muslim saves himself in life from lusts and desires and leads a pious life with fear of allah, this world is a prison for him because he is fettered in the chains of rules and regulations, while a kafir (disbeliever) is free from all kinds of restrictions and is completely given to lusts and desires, and this is how this world is a jannah for him. the purpose of this hadith is to induce muslims for the preparation of al-akhirah (the hereafter) and prevent them from unlawful luxuries of this world.
471. `abdullah bin `umar (may allah be pleased with them) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) took hold of my shoulders and said, "be in the world like a stranger or a wayfarer".
ibn `umar (may allah be pleased with them) used to say: "when you survive till the evening, do not expect to live until the morning; and when you survive until the morning, do not expect to live until the evening; (do good deeds) when you are in good health before you fall sick, and (do good deeds) as long as you are alive before death strikes".
commentary: a person who will consider this world as a temporary stage, will certainly not like that his clothes be entangled in thorny bushes of this world. the greatest fault of man is that he does not understand this status of the world. in spite of the fact that he is not sure of a moment's life here, he occupies himself in amassing goods and riches which would last for a hundred years.
472. sahl bin sa`d as-sa`idi (may allah be pleased with him) reported: a man came to the prophet (pbuh) and said, "o messenger of allah, guide me to such an action which, if i do allah will love me and the people will also love me.'' he (pbuh) said, "have no desire for this world, allah will love you; and have no desire for what people possess, and the people will love you.''
commentary: "zuhd'' (ascetism) does not mean renunciation of the world and obligations of life. what it really means is that one should be contented with what he possess and rid himself of greed. islam neither permits renunciation of the world nor does it condemn genuine struggle to acquire wealth and riches. therefore, involvement in worldly affairs and struggle for lawful means of livelihood are not against zuhd. a person who is contented with the lawful means of income is a distinguished person as all his activities are exalted to the level of worship. similarly, unconcern with the wealth and riches of others and ignoring them is a part of zuhd and contentment. one additional advantage of it is that such a person wins the love and respect of the people because he who begs people, rather than allah, has to suffer disgrace and is disliked by the people. the case of begging from allah is just the opposite. the more a person begs him, the more pleased he will be with him. in fact, he is displeased if someone does not beg him. this has been exquisitely stated in an arabic verse, the meaning of which is:
"do not stretch your hands before anyone for your needs, but beg from him (allah) whose door is always open".
"if a person does not beg him (allah), he is displeased, while if one begs someone he becomes furious".
473. an-nu`man bin bashir (may allah be pleased with them) reported: `umar bin al-khattab (may allah be pleased with him) spoke at length regarding the worldly prosperity that people had achieved and said: "i saw that the messenger of allah (pbuh) would pass his days in hunger and could not get even degraded dates to fill his stomach".
commentary: during the reign of `umar (may allah be pleased with him), when people became more prosperous on account of frequent victories, he asked them to remember the early period of islam in which they were poor and faced very difficult circumstances, to the extent that even the prophet (pbuh) was placed in the situation mentioned in this hadith. the purpose of mentioning it was to warn the people against the evils of abundance of wealth and luxuries. they were exhorted to beware of the love of the world which could make them forget about al-akhirah (afterlife).
474. `aishah (may allah be pleased with her) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) died when my house was void of any edible thing except for a small quantity of barley i had on a shelf and from which i kept eating it for a long time. then when i measured what was left of it, it soon finished.
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: during the last days of the prophet (pbuh) the financial position of the muslims had largely improved due to the spoils of war and he could have lived a comfortable life if he liked, but he stuck to the same austere life which he had led earlier. in this hadith, `aishah (may allah be pleased with her) has related an account of the extremely austere and pious life of the prophet (pbuh) although her house was the house of his most beloved wife.
this hadith also tells us that in spite of his profound love for `aishah (may allah be pleased with him), the prophet (pbuh) did not accord her any preferential treatment. he treated all his wives equally. thus, this hadith has a lesson for `ulama' and their families that they should not look towards worldly riches and the amenities enjoyed by them but keep in view the life of the prophet (pbuh) and his wives and learn to keep themselves contented with minimum income.
475. `amr bin al-harith (may allah be pleased with him) the brother of juwairiyah (may allah be pleased with her), the mother of believers) reported: (when he died) messenger of allah (pbuh) left neither a dinar nor a dirham nor a male slave nor a female slave, nor anything else except his white riding mule, his weapons and his land which he had given in charity to wayfarers.
commentary: banu al-mustaliq battle took place in the year 5 a.h. men and women who were made captives in it, included jawairiyah, and she came to the share of the prophet (pbuh). she embraced islam and the prophet (pbuh) married her. when the companions of the prophet (pbuh) learnt about it they released all the prisoners of banu mustaliq, who were about one hundred, in consideration of their being in-laws of the noble prophet (pbuh).
weapons here means lance and sword while land signifies that portion of land which the prophet (pbuh) had got as his share from fadak, and khaibar and al-qura valley, etc. he gave it in sadaqah saying that he was from the class of the prophets of allah who have no descendants. whatever is left by them is sadaqah (charity). at the time of his death, the prophet (pbuh) did not have any male or female slave whom he had not set free.
476. al-khabbab bin al-aratt (may allah be pleased with him) reported: we emigrated with messenger of allah (pbuh) seeking the pleasure of allah and expecting our reward from him. some of us died without enjoying anything of it. among them was mus`ab bin `umair (may allah be pleased with him), who was killed in the battle of uhud, leaving only a small coloured sheet of wool (which we used as his shroud). when we covered his head with it, his feet were exposed, and when we covered his feet with it, his head was uncovered. so the prophet (pbuh) told us to cover his head and to put some idhkhir (i.e., fragrant grass) over his feet. others among us enjoy prosperity.
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: this hadith tells us about the distinction of hijrah (emigration) and jihad and their reward. in this world this reward is given to those mujahidun of islam who gain victory and will also be given to them in al-akhirah (hereafter). as for those mujahidun who get martyred on the battlefield, they will get all their rewards on the day of resurrection.
477. sahl bin sa`d (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "were this world worth a wing of mosquito, he would not have given a drink of water to an infidel.''
commentary: this hadith makes it clear that the world and its wealth and riches has no significance to allah. thus, it should not have much significance to the believers. it should be considered a means to reform the afterlife, or a place of trial.
478. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "verily! the world is accursed and what it contains is accursed, except remembrance of allah and those who associate themselves with allah; and a learned man, and a learning person.''
1. this hadith does not mean that this world is totally condemned. what it really means is that such things of this world are cursed which take a person away from allah and make him careless about his obedience. thus, anything of this world can be good and evil. for instance, worldly goods are auspicious if one acquires them through lawful means and spends them in a permissible manner, otherwise, they are condemnable. similar is the case of other things of this world.
2. that knowledge is good which brings one closer to allah and is a source of benefit for mankind, otherwise, it is also condemnable.
3. this hadith also brings into prominence the distinction of men of learning, especially scholars of religious disciplines.
479. `abdullah bin mas`ud (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said: "do not crave for property lest you should be absorbed in the desire of worldly life.''
commentary: the word "dai`ah'' translated here as "property'' means land, industry, agriculture or business. one should not be so engrossed in them to the extent that, they become the sole purpose of one's life and all one's efforts are exhausted to acquire them, thus forgetting all about the hereafter. to the extent of one's genuine needs and self-sufficiency, making and maintaining of property, land, industry, agriculture and commerce come in permissible acts. none of them is forbidden provided the means employed for making and maintaining them are fair and do not distract one's attention from allah and the hereafter.
480. `abdullah bin `amr bin al-`as (may allah be pleased with them) reported: we were repairing our thatchy hut when messenger of allah (pbuh) passed by and asked us, "what are you doing?'' we said, "the thatch had gone weak and we are repairing it.'' he (pbuh) said, "i see the sure thing (death) approaching sooner than this.''
commentary: the word "khuss'' means a hut or a house which is made of wood and reed/bamboo and plastered with mud. the hadith reminds us to be mindful of death at all times and be certain that there is nothing nearer to us than it. it also tells us that we should not engage in those worldly things which are bound to make us forget about our appointed term in this world.
481. ka`b bin `iyad (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "verily, there is a fitnah (trial) for every nation and the trial for my nation (or ummah) is wealth.''
commentary: the word "fitnah'' means trial. anything with which a person is tried is a fitnah for him. for this reason children and property have been regarded fitnah for mankind in the noble qur'an. this hadith strongly urges the muslim ummah to exercise moderation in their love for worldly goods and riches otherwise all these things, which are gifts of allah, can become a source of woeful torture for them.
482. `uthman bin `affan (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "there is no right for the son of adam except in these (four) things: a house to live in, a cloth to cover therewith his private parts, bread and water.''
483. `abdullah bin ash-shikhkhir (may allah be pleased with him) reported: i came to the prophet (pbuh) while he was reciting (surat at-takathur 102):
"the mutual rivalry (for hoarding worldly things) preoccupy you. until you visit the graves (i.e., till you die). nay! you shall come to know! again nay! you shall come to know! nay! if you knew with a sure knowledge (the end result of hoarding, you would not have been occupied in worldly things). verily, you shall see the blazing fire (hell)! and again, you shall see it with certainty of sight! then (on that day) you shall be asked about the delights (you indulged in, in this world)!'' (102:1-8)
(after reciting) he (pbuh) said, "son of adam says: `my wealth, my wealth.' do you own of your wealth other than what you eat and consume, and what you wear and wear out, or what you give in sadaqah (charity) (to those who deserve it), and that what you will have in stock for yourself.''
commentary: this hadith enjoins that if a person is given wealth, he should spend it in the ways liked by allah because it is this sadaqah which will be a valuable treasure in the afterlife. whatever else he consumes in this world, will finish or rot in this world and will be of no avail in hereafter.
484. `abdullah bin mughaffal (may allah be pleased with him) reported: a man came to the prophet (pbuh) and said, "o messenger of allah! by allah, i love you.'' he (pbuh) said, "think about what you are saying.'' the man repeated thrice, "i swear by allah that i love you.'' he (prophet (pbuh)) said, "if you love me, you should be ready for acute poverty; because poverty comes to those who love me, faster than a flood flowing towards its destination.''
485. k`ab bin malik (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "two hungry wolves sent in the midst of a flock of sheep are no more destructive to them than a man's greed for wealth and fame is to his deen.''
commentary: the havoc played by wealth, rank and position, which have been mentioned in this hadith, can be seen everywhere today. even some `ulama' and self-proclaimed pious men have a craze for these things and they have not been able to save themselves from the ruin caused by it. may allah save us from these evils. greed for wealth and fame are doubtless detrimental to religion as preference of the life of the world over religion is explicit in such a trivial pursuit.
486. `abdullah bin mas`ud (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) slept on a straw mat and got up with the marks left by it on his body. ibn mas`ud (may allah be pleased with him) said, "o messenger of allah! would that you make us spread out a soft bedding for you.'' he (pbuh) replied, "what have i to do with the world? i am like a rider who had sat under a tree for its shade, then went away and left it.''
commentary: beside mentioning the piety of the prophet (pbuh), this hadith tells in a very eloquent manner the reality of this world by means of an example.
487. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "the poor will enter jannah five hundred years before the rich.''
commentary: al-fuqara' (the poor) means those fuqara' who are perfect in faith. such people will go to jannah five hundered years before the rich because the latter will have to account for their wealth, from where they had got it and how they had spent it, while the former will not be answerable for any such thing.
488. ibn `abbas and `imran bin al-husain (may allah be pleased with them) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "i looked into jannah and saw that most of its dwellers are the poor; and i looked into hell and saw that most of its inmates were women.''
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: the prophet (pbuh) had observed jannah and hell either on the eve of mi`raj (ascension to heavens), or of salat-ul-kusuf (eclipse prayer) in which he (pbuh) was shown jannah and hell. a large majority of fuqara' will go to jannah. the rich people do not attach much importance to the requirements of faith and its practice.
the reason women are the majority in hell is because they are given to taunts and curses and are ungrateful to their husbands. the hadith urges women to try to overcome these serious defects in order to be saved from the hell-fire.
489. usamah bin zaid (may allah be pleased with them) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "i stood at the gate of jannah and saw that most of those who enter it were poor, whereas the rich were held back; but those who were destined to go to hell were ordered to be sent there (immediately).''
[al-bukhari and muslim].
490. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "the most truthful statement a poet has ever made is the saying of labid: everything besides allah is vain.''
[al-bukhari and muslim].
1. we learn from this hadith that to compose, recite and quote good verses, as evidence, is permissible.
2. the verse of labid, quoted in this hadith, is the asme effect as the verdict of the noble qur'an:
"whatsoever is on (the earth) will perish." (55:26).
this verse accepts the elernity of the afterlife and the transitory nature of this world.