The chapter of angels continues. Today’s ahadith mention some specific actions of Jibreel (`alayhissalaam) and other actions of angels in general. Most of them are self-explanatory but I will add some details and links for further information where necessary. Fix yourself a cup of tea and enjoy reading! :)
Gabriel, the teacher
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 443 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to be more generous in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel used to meet him. Gabriel used to meet him every night in Ramadan to study the Holy Quran carefully together. Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to become more generous than the fast wind when he met Gabriel.
Gabriel, the imam
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 444 :
Narrated by Ibn Shihab
Once Umar bin Abdul Aziz delayed the ‘Asr prayer a little. ‘Urwa said to him, “Gabriel descended and led the prayer in front of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)”. On that ‘Umar said, “O Urwa! Be sure of what you say.” “Urwa, “I heard Bashir bin Abi Masud narrating from Ibn Masud (radiallaahu `anhu) who heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, ‘Gabriel descended and led me in prayer; and then prayed with him again, and then prayed with him again, and then prayed with him again, and then prayed with him again, counting with his fingers five prayers.”
Gabriel, the harbinger of good news
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 445 :
Narrated by Abu Dhar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Gabriel said to me, ‘Whoever amongst your followers die without having worshipped others besides Allah, will enter Paradise (or will not enter the (Hell) Fire).” The Prophet asked. “Even if he has committed illegal sexual intercourse or theft?” He replied, “Even then.”
This hadith, when studied with other similar ones brings us to this conclusion: a Muslim who never committed shirk won’t stay in hell-fire forever. Best case scenario: Allah forgives him for all his sins and mistakes and enters him into Paradise directly. Worst case scenario: Allah decides to punish him for his sins and then, after some time, removes him from hell-fire and enters him into Paradise, where he spends the remaining of his eternal life.
Angels, our keepers
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 446 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Angels keep on descending from and ascending to the Heaven in turn, some at night and some by daytime, and all of them assemble together at the time of the Fajr and ‘Asr prayers. Then those who have stayed with you over-night, ascent unto Allah Who asks them, and He knows the answer better than they, “How have you left My slaves?” They reply, “We have left them praying as we found them praying.” If anyone of you says “Amin” (during the Prayer at the end of the recitation of Surat-al-Faitiha), and the angels in Heaven say the same, and the two sayings coincide, all his past sins will be forgiven.”
Angels, a symbol of Mercy
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 447 :
Narrated by ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa)
I stuffed for the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) a pillow decorated with pictures (of animals) which looked like a Namruqa (i.e. a small cushion). He came and stood among the people with excitement apparent on his face. I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is wrong?” He said, “What is this pillow?” I said, “I have prepared this pillow for you, so that you may recline on it.” He said, “Don’t you know that angels do not enter a house wherein there are pictures; and whoever makes a picture will be punished on the Day of Resurrection and will be asked to give life to (what he has created)?”
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 448 :
Narrated by Abu Talha (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying; “Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture of a living creature (a human being or an animal).”
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 449 :
Narrated by Busr bin Said
That Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani narrated to him something in the presence of Said bin ‘Ubaidullah Al-Khaulani who was brought up in the house of Maimuna (radiallaahu `anhaa), the wife of the Prophet. Zaid narrated to them that Abu Talha (radiallaahu `anhu) said that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a picture.” Busr said, “Later on Zaid bin Khalid fell ill and we called on him. To our surprise we saw a curtain decorated with pictures in his house. I said to Ubaidullah Al-Khaulani, “Didn’t he (i.e. Zaid) tell us about the (prohibition of) pictures?” He said, “But he excepted the embroidery on garments. Didn’t you hear him?” I said, “No.” He said, “Yes, he did.”
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 450 :
Narrated by Salim’s father (radiallaahu `anhu)
Once Gabriel promised the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) (that he would visit him, but Gabriel did not come) and later on he said, “We, angels, do not enter a house which contains a picture or a dog.”
No angels = no mercy.
Read the ruling on images and pictures/toys around the house here.
Angels, our well-wishers
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 451 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “When the Imam, during the prayer, says, “Allah hears him who praises Him’, say: ‘O Allah! Our Lord! All the praises are for You’, for if the saying of anyone of you coincides with the saying of the angels, his past sins will be forgiven.”
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 452 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “As long as any-one of you is waiting for the prayer, he is considered to be praying actually, and the angels say, ‘O Allah! Be merciful to him and forgive him’, (and go on saying so) unless he leaves his place of praying or passes wind (i.e. breaks his ablution).”
Maalik, the guardian of hell-fire
Volume 4, Book 54, Number 453 :
Narrated by Yali (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) reciting the following Verse on the pulpit: “They will call: O Mali……’ and Sufyan said that ‘Abdullah recited it: ‘They will call: O Mali..’. (43.77)
The ayah reads:
And they will call, “O Malik, let your Lord put an end to us!” He will say, “Indeed, you will remain.”
The angel Maalik is said to have no mercy in his heart (figure of speech, not sure if angels have hearts.. just saying). The people in hell-fire will call out to him and he won’t even respond for forty years, let alone do their bidding. Plus, he’s said to have never smiled. That says a lot about him.
Why should we care about Maalik and his personality, you ask? The relationship between him and the dwellers of hell-fire is almost the same as that of a boss and his employees. Having a good boss despite the troubles and difficulties of work makes for an overall good experience. But if the boss is heartless, the torture is multiplied! So having a merciless guard over hell adds to the punishment of those dwelling in it. It gives them hopelessness, and that’s the greatest torture of them all. May Allah protect us all!
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 110 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying. “Evil omen is in three things: The horse, the woman and the house.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 111 :
Narrated by Sahl bin Sad Saidi (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said “If there is any evil omen in anything, then it is in the woman, the horse and the house.”
What is proven in the Sunnah is that it is forbidden to believe in bad omens (tatayyur) or warn others about them, and that this is a kind of shirk. For example, al-Bukhaari (5776) and Muslim (2224) narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no ‘adwa (transmission of infectious disease without the permission of Allaah) and no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens), but I like optimism.” They said, “What is optimism?” He said, “A good word.”
Ahmad (4194), Abu Dawood (3910), al-Tirmidhi (1614) and Ibn Maajah (3538) narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Tiyarah (belief in evil omens) is shirk.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Ahmad (7045) and al-Tabaraani narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets tiyarah stop him from doing something is guilty of shirk.” They said, “What is the kafaarah for that?” He said, “To say: Allaahumma la khayra illaa khayruka wa laa tayra illaa tayruka wa laa ilaaha ghayruka (O Allaah, there is no good except Your good, no birds (omens) except from You, and there is no god beside You).” [Classed as hasan by al-Arna’oot and as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 6264]
Al-Tabaraani narrated in al-Kabeer from ‘Imraan ibn Husayn that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “He is not one of us who practices augury [seeking omens in birds] or has that done for him, or who practices divination or has that done for him, or who practices witchcraft or has that done for him.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 5435.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Muslim, no. 2224:
Tatayyur (belief in bad omens) is pessimism, and is based on something disliked, be it a word or action or something seen… They used to startle birds to make them move; if they went to the right they would regard that as a good omen and go ahead with their journeys or other plans, but if they went to the left they would cancel their journeys and plans, and regard that as a bad omen. So it would often prevent them from doing things that were in their interests. Islam cancelled out all that and forbade it, and said that it had no effect, whether good or bad. This is what is meant by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “There is no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens),” and in another hadeeth, “Tiyarah is shirk” – i.e., the belief that it can bring benefit or harm, if they act upon it believing that it has any effect, then this is shirk, because they think that it has an effect on what one does or that it can make things happen.
This is the basic principle regarding bad omens (tatayyur). But there are ahaadeeth which indicate that a bad omen may be in a woman, a house or a horse.
Al-Bukhaari (5093) and Muslim (2252) narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Bad omens are in a woman, a house and a horse.”
Al-Bukhaari (5094) and Muslim, (2252) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: Mention of bad omens was made in the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If bad omens are to be found in anything, it is in a house, a woman and a horse.”
Abu Dawood (3924) narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: A man said: “O Messenger of Allaah, we were in a house and our numbers and wealth were great, then we moved to another house where our numbers and wealth decreased.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Leave it, it is bad.” This hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
The scholars differed concerning these ahaadeeth and how to reconcile them with the ahaadeeth that forbid tatayyur. Some of them interpreted them as they appear to be, and said that this is an exception from the ruling on tatayyur, i.e., that tatayyur is forbidden unless a person has a house which he does not want to live in, or a wife whom he does not want to keep company with, or a horse or servant, all of which he should get rid of by selling them, or by divorcing the wife.
Others said that a house may be regarded as a bad omen when it is too small, or there are bad neighbours who cause trouble; a woman may be regarded as a bad omen when she does not produce children, or she has a sharp tongue, or she behaves in a suspicious manner; a horse may be regarded as a bad omen when it is not used in jihad, or it was said, when it is difficult to handle or it is too expensive; and a servant may be regarded as a bad omen when he has a bad attitude or is not trustworthy or reliable.
Sharh al-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim.
The correct view is that all types of belief in bad omens are condemned, and that no kinds of women, houses or animals can cause harm or bring benefit except by Allaah’s leave. Allaah is the Creator of both good and evil. A person may be tested with a wife who has a bad attitude, or a house in which there is a lot of problems, in which case it is prescribed for him to rid himself of these things, fleeing from the decree of Allaah to the decree of Allaah, and so as to avoid falling into pessimism and belief in bad omens which is forbidden.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“Another group said: regarding these three as bad omens only affects those who believe in that. Whoever puts his trust in Allaah and does not believe in omens and superstition, that does not affect him. They said: this is indicated by the hadeeth of Anas, ‘A bad omen only affects the one who believes in it.’ If a person believes in bad omens, Allaah may make that the cause of bad things happening to him, just as He may make trust in Him and making Him alone the focus of one’s fear and hope one of the main causes of warding off evil that people may superstitiously expect.
The reason for that is that tiyarah (superstitious belief in omens) implies shirk or associating others with Allaah, fearing others besides Him and not putting one’s trust in Him. The superstitious person attracts evil to himself, so the superstition affects him more, because he did not protect himself with belief in Allaah alone and trust in Allaah. If a person fears something other than Allaah, it gains control over him and he is tormented by it; if he loves something else as well as Allaah, he will be tormented by it; if he puts his hope in something alongside Allaah he will be let down by it. These matters are well known from real life and there is no need to provide further evidence. Everyone inevitably feels superstitious but the strong believer wards off those superstitious feelings by putting his trust in Allaah. Whoever puts his trust in Allaah, He will suffice him and he will have no need of anyone or anything else. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So when you want to recite the Qur’aan, seek refuge with Allaah from Shaytaan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one).
Verily, he has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord (Allaah).
His power is only over those who obey and follow him (Satan), and those who join partners with Him (Allaah, i.e. those who are Mushrikoon, i.e., polytheists)”
Hence Ibn Mas’ood said: “All of us sometimes feel superstitious, but Allaah causes it to disappear when we put our trust in Him.” They said: superstition with regard to houses, women and horses may affect only those who believe in it; as for the one who puts his trust in Allaah and fears Him alone, and does not believe in bad omens, then horses, women and houses cannot be bad omens for him.
Then he said:
Whoever believes that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) attributed a superstitious effect to anything in the sense that it may have an effect in and of itself independently of Allaah is telling a serious lie against Allaah and His Messenger and has gone far astray. His speaking of bad omens existing in these three things does not constitute proof of what he had denied before. All it means is that Allaah may a superstitious effect in objects for those who come near them or live in them, and there may be some blessing in some objects, and anyone who comes nears them is not affected by bad omens or anything bad. This is like when Allaah gives parents a blessed child and they experience goodness because of him, whilst He gives others a mean child and they experience bad things because of him. This applies to what may Allaah may bestow on His slave of houses, wives and horses. Allaah is the Creator of good and evil, good luck and bad luck. So some of these things may be “lucky” and blessed and bring happiness for those who come into contact with them, so they are blessed; and some of them may be “unlucky” and bring “bad luck” to those who come into contact with them, all by the will and decree of Allaah, just as He has created all other causes and effects which may vary. So He has created musk and other fragrant substances, which give delight to all those who come into contact with them, and He has created their opposites which cause disgust to all those who come into contact with them. The difference between the two types is known from experience. The same applies to houses, women and horses. This is one thing, and the shirki belief in bad omens is something else altogether.
He said concerning the Prophet’s command to that family to leave that house, as mentioned in the hadeeth quoted above:
This is not the kind of superstition that is forbidden. Rather he told them to leave it when they started to think along these lines, in order to achieve two aims and two benefits:
1 – It was so that they would leave a place that they disliked and felt scared in because of what had happened to them there, so that they might find relief from the panic, grief and depression that assailed them there, because Allaah has made it man’s nature to hate that which causes him harm even though it is not the fault of that thing, and to love that which brings him happiness, even though the thing itself does not intend to do good. So he commanded them to leave that which they disliked, because Allaah sent him as a mercy, and did not send him as a torment. He sent him to make things easy, not to make things hard. So how could he have told them to stay in a place where they were unhappy and felt scared to stay because of the great losses they had suffered there, when that would serve no purpose of worship or increase their piety or guidance, especially when they had stayed there for so long after they had begun to feel uncomfortable there which made them superstitious. So this protected them from two serious things:
1 – Committing shirk
2 – Protecting them from something bad happening to them because of their superstition, which usually affects those who believe in it. So he protected them because of his great mercy and kindness from these two disliked things, by telling them to leave that house and move to another without any harm coming to them with regard to either their worldly or religious interests.
Miftaah Daar al-Sa’aadah, 2/258
And Allaah knows best.
Taken from IslamQA
Volume 3, Book 30, Number 107:
Narrated Jabir (radiallaahu `anhu):
A bedouin came to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and gave a pledge of allegiance for embracing Islam. The next day he came with fever and said (to the Prophet ), “Please cancel my pledge.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) refused (that request) three times and said, “Medina is like a furnace, it expels out the impurities (bad persons) and selects the good ones and makes them perfect.”
There are two opinions among the scholars concerning this, that the Bedouin wanting to cancel the pledge meant that:
- he wanted to revert back to paganism and leave Islam
- he wanted to leave the city Madinah
The second one seems more correct because if he were to renounce Islam, Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) would’ve prescribed a punishment for him according to the Shari`ah, but he didn’t. He said these words to him because the Bedouin wanted to leave the city due to his dislike for it. A good Muslim has to love Madinah and there are no two ways about it.
So if someone gets the opportunity to live in Madinah and he lives there despite its hardships and trials even though he’d be better off somewhere else, then the glad tiding in the above hadith “..selects the good ones and makes them perfect” is for him. And if someone leaves it due to his dislike for it, then the wa`eed “..expels out the impurities” is for him.
Volume 3, Book 30, Number 108:
Narrated Zaid bin Thabit (radiallaahu `anhu):
When the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) went out for (the battle of) Uhud, some of his companions (hypocrites) returned (home). A party of the believers remarked that they would kill those (hypocrites) who had returned, but another party said that they would not kill them. So, this Divine Inspiration was revealed: “Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties concerning the hypocrites.” (4.88) The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Medina expels the bad persons from it, as fire expels the impurities of iron.”
Some scholars have said that this virtue of Madinah was specific to the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) because trials and revelation used to distinguish between the believers and the hypocrites clearly. After the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), all kinds of people started living in Madinah.
Near the end of times, this virtue will become strong and active again because Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said:
“Verily, Belief returns and goes back to Medina as a snake returns and goes back to its hole (when in danger).”
Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “I was ordered to migrate to a town which will swallow (conquer) other towns and is called Yathrib and that is Medina, and it turns out (bad) persons as a furnace removes the impurities of iron.
So bad people can’t live in Madinah.. and whoever is living or has lived there has good in them.. Wow, lucky (of good qismat/sa`eed) people! Makes me want to stay there forever. May Allah give me the sa`aadah. <3
I wonder if the residents of Madinah allowed to brag about it.. :P
Narrated ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa), the wife of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam):
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) called the salamander a bad animal, but I did not hear him ordering it to be killed.”
Wikipedia says Salamanders are typically characterized by a superficially lizard-like appearance, with slender bodies, short noses, and long tails.
Why are Salamanders bad?
In al-Saheehayn and elsewhere it is narrated via Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib that Um Shareek told him that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told her to kill salamanders. According to the report narrated by al-Bukhaari, he said: “It (the salamander) used to blow on Ibraaheem, peace be upon him.”
In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated via ‘Abd al-Razzaaq, Mu’ammar told us from al-Zuhri from ‘Aamir ibn Sa’d from his father that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined the killing of salamanders and called them mischief doers.
To Kill or not to Kill?
Killing salamanders is prescribed because there is a great deal of evidence to that effect.
Killing salamanders with one blow brings more reward than killing them with two blows. This was narrated in Saheeh Muslim via Khaalid ibn ‘Abd-Allaah from Suhayl ibn Abi Saalih from his father from Abu Hurayrah, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
Whoever kills a salamander with one blow will have such and such hasanah (good deeds); whoever kills it with the second blow will have such and such hasanah, less than the first; and whoever kills it with three blows will have such and such hasanah – less that the second.
Ibn Maajah (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrated in his Sunan from Saa’ibah the slave woman of al-Faakih ibn al-Mugheerah that she entered upon ‘Aa’ishah and saw a spear sitting there in her house. She said, “O Mother of the Believers, what do you do with this?” She said, “We kill these salamanders with it, because the Prophet of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us that when Ibraaheem was thrown into the fire, there was no animal on earth but it tried to extinguish the fire, except for the salamander, which was blowing on the fire (to keep it burning). So the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded that they should be killed.”
(Sunan Ibn Maajah, 3222. He said in al-Zawaa’id, the isnaad of ‘Aa’ishah’s hadeeth is saheeh, its men are thiqaat (trustworthy).)
Taken from IslamQA