The Good from Satan (Hadith No. 2002)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 38, Number 505 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) deputed me to keep Sadaqat (al-Fitr) of Ramadan. A comer came and started taking handfuls of the foodstuff (of the Sadaqa) (stealthily). I took hold of him and said, “By Allah, I will take you to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).” He said, “I am needy and have many dependents, and I am in great need.” I released him, and in the morning Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) asked me, “What did your prisoner do yesterday?” I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! The person complained of being needy and of having many dependents, so, I pitied him and let him go.” Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Indeed, he told you a lie and he will be coming again.” I believed that he would show up again as Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) had told me that he would return. So, I waited for him watchfully. When he (showed up and) started stealing handfuls of foodstuff, I caught hold of him again and said, “I will definitely take you to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). He said, “Leave me, for I am very needy and have many dependents. I promise I will not come back again.” I pitied him and let him go. In the morning Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) asked me, “What did your prisoner do.” I replied, “O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! He complained of his great need and of too many dependents, so I took pity on him and set him free.” Allah’s Apostle said, “Verily, he told you a lie and he will return.” I waited for him attentively for the third time, and when he (came and) started stealing handfuls of the foodstuff, I caught hold of him and said, “I will surely take you to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) as it is the third time you promise not to return, yet you break your promise and come.” He said, “(Forgive me and) I will teach you some words with which Allah will benefit you.” I asked, “What are they?” He replied, “Whenever you go to bed, recite “Ayat-al-Kursi”– ‘Allahu la ilaha illa huwa-l-Haiy-ul Qaiyum’ till you finish the whole verse. (If you do so), Allah will appoint a guard for you who will stay with you and no satan will come near you till morning. ” So, I released him. In the morning, Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) asked, “What did your prisoner do yesterday?” I replied, “He claimed that he would teach me some words by which Allah will benefit me, so I let him go.” Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) asked, “What are they?” I replied, “He said to me, ‘Whenever you go to bed, recite Ayat-al-Kursi from the beginning to the end —- Allahu la ilaha illa huwa-lHaiy-ul-Qaiyum—-.’ He further said to me, ‘(If you do so), Allah will appoint a guard for you who will stay with you, and no satan will come near you till morning.’ (Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) or another sub-narrator) added that they (the companions) were very keen to do good deeds. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “He really spoke the truth, although he is an absolute liar. Do you know whom you were talking to, these three nights, O Abu Huraira?” Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “No.” He said, “It was Satan.”

I sometimes wonder what Abu Hurairah’s (radiallaahu `anhu) reaction to this information would’ve been.. Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) telling him he was interacting with Shaytan (Satan) for the past three nights. Would he have been surprised, amused, scared..? Definitely not scared, I presume. Satan was the one scared. So scared he taught him something that would benefit him too much against Satan himself. Now, isn’t that amusing? Lol.

This hadith teaches us many things, some of which I’ll mention here:

  • We, the believers, are not “rejectors” of the truth, or khayr (good). We accept it from wherever we get it, even from the worst of people. Because the criterion for something to be good or bad is not based on its carrier/messenger but on the thing itself. If it’s a piece of information, we check its authenticity to decide whether we’re going to accept it or not. As in this case, Abu Hurairah (radiallaahu `anhu) confirms what he had heard with the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) to make sure what he had been told was right or not. It didn’t matter to him whether the teller was a thief, or worse, Satan himself!
  • We are keen to do good deeds and to learn more. Abu Hurairah (radiallaahu `anhu) let the thief go when he offered to teach him something. Isn’t that fair trade?
  • We say Ayat ul Kursi before going to sleep so Allah’s appointed guard doesn’t let Satan even come near us, let alone harm us or give us nightmares. It’s for our protection, and we’re smart enough to make a habit out of it.
  • We are honest with our jobs. If we’re on night duty, we’re wide awake and alert. And if we’re put in charge of food/money, we do what we can to protect it from being stolen, or worse, stealing it ourselves.
  • We believe the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and every word he said. He predicted (given knowledge of it by Allah, of course) that the thief would come again, and Abu Hurairah (radiallaahu `anhu) believed it to be true. That made him be even more cautious and alert during his night vigil.

Can you think of some more lessons from this hadith? Do share! Were it not for sharing, we wouldn’t be reading this hadith today. :)

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About Yumna

Bukhari Blogger | Student and teacher of the Qur'an | Studying BAIS from IOU.

Posted on May 17, 2014, in iLook and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I could guess it was this Hadith from the title! Felt so good to read it completely, Alhamdulillah.

    Some lessons I could think of:

    1. We should be merciful to those in need and try our best to help them.

    2. We should pardon the shortcomings of others.

    3. We should keep others’ shortcomings hidden.

    4. We shouldn’t get bitten by the same hole twice.

  2. Amal Javed Abdullah

    Knowledge can come from anyone, even someone whose purpose in life is for people to never learn knowledge about the deen!

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