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This Is Why You Can’t Judge Anyone (Hadith No. 2542)

Bismillah.

Let’s do an exercise. Pause and think about the most pious person you know of. Think about the good that they do, the devoutness in their worship, the unfailing motivation they’re blessed with.. What comes to mind when you think of their result in the Hereafter? Hold that thought.

Now think of a person who’s the least practicing in your circle. The person who struggles with the daily prayers, the one who can barely read Quran, the one who has ‘issues’ with his/her faith. What do you think about their result? And stop right there!

Did you instantly brand the first one as Jannati and the other one Jahannami? If yes, know that you can be completely wrong. The first one can end up in Hell despite all their good and worship. And it’s because of the following hadith:

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 147 :
Narrated by Sahl bin Sad As-Sa’idi (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and the pagans faced each other and started fighting. When Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) returned to his camp and when the pagans returned to their camp, somebody talked about a man amongst the companions of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) who would follow and kill with his sword any pagan going alone. He said, “Nobody did his job (i.e. fighting) so properly today as that man.” Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Indeed, he is amongst the people of the (Hell) Fire.” A man amongst the people said, “I shall accompany him (to watch what he does)” Thus he accompanied him, and wherever he stood, he would stand with him, and wherever he ran, he would run with him. Then the (brave) man got wounded seriously and he decided to bring about his death quickly. He planted the blade of the sword in the ground directing its sharp end towards his chest between his two breasts. Then he leaned on the sword and killed himself. The other man came to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and said, “I testify that you are Allah’s Apostle.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) asked, “What has happened?” He replied, “(It is about) the man whom you had described as one of the people of the (Hell) Fire. The people were greatly surprised at what you said, and I said, ‘I will find out his reality for you.’ So, I came out seeking him. He got severely wounded, and hastened to die by slanting the blade of his sword in the ground directing its sharp end towards his chest between his two breasts. Then he eased on his sword and killed himself.” when Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “A man may seem to the people as if he were practicing the deeds of the people of Paradise while in fact he is from the people of the Hell) Fire, another may seem to the people as if he were practicing the deeds of the people of Hell (Fire), while in fact he is from the people of Paradise.”

Deception.

So no matter what you see in people, do not judge them based on their appearances. Always hope for the best, yes, make dua for their success in this world and the next, but never say for sure that such and such will go to Paradise and so and so to Hell. That is for Allah alone to decide. He knows the apparent and the hidden and He is the best of all judges.

Killer in Paradise (Ahadith 2474 – 2475)

Bismillah.

Hadith no. 2473 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 79 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
On the day of the Conquest (of Mecca) the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “There is no emigration after the Conquest but Jihad and intentions. When you are called (by the Muslim ruler) for fighting, go forth immediately.”

Today’s Hadith:

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 80 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Allah welcomes two men with a smile; one of whom kills the other and both of them enter Paradise. One fights in Allah’s Cause and gets killed. Later on Allah forgives the killer who also gets martyred (in Allah’s Cause).”

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 80 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
I went to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) while he was at Khaibar after it had fallen in the Muslims’ hands. I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Give me a share (from the land of Khaibar).” One of the sons of Sa’id bin Al-‘As said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Do not give him a share.” I said, “This is the murderer of Ibn Qauqal.” The son of Said bin Al-As said, “Strange! A Wabr (i.e. guinea pig) who has come down to us from the mountain of Qaduim (i.e. grazing place of sheep) blames me for killing a Muslim who was given superiority by Allah because of me, and Allah did not disgrace me at his hands (i.e. was not killed as an infidel).” (The sub-narrator said “I do not know whether the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) gave him a share or not.”)

The scenario is somewhat similar to what we discussed about a companion named Hartha (radiallaahu `anhu). The one who gets killed in Allah’s Cause is a martyr, no doubt. But what’s this about the killer going to Jannah (after getting martyred)?

Well, it’s about repentance. The killer seeks forgiveness for killing the first guy, Allah forgives him (maybe he was a non-Muslim before and now he has accepted Islam, or maybe he was a robber before and now he has repented). Once he’s forgiven, he participates in Jihad and gets martyred. Bingo!

All these narrations that talk about ‘unlikely’ people entering Jannah make me think more and more about how we can’t judge anyone’s fate. We can’t know for sure about anyone. The most pious person in the world can end up in Hell due to a bad end and the worst of all men can be blessed with gardens of Paradise. There’s just no saying.

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How to Judge Someone’s Character (Hadith No. 2307)

Bismillah.

Hadith no. 2306 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.

Volume 3, Book 48, Number 808 :
Narrated by Abdullah bin Abu Mulaika from ‘Uqba bin Al-Harith (radiallaahu `anhu)
Uqba married the daughter of Abu Ihab bin Aziz, and then a woman came and said, “I suckled ‘Uqba and his wife.” ‘Uqba said to her, “I do not know that you have suckled me, and you did not inform me.” He then sent someone to the house of Abu Ihab to enquire about that but they did not know that she had suckled their daughter. Then ‘Uqba went to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) in Medina and asked him about it. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said to him, “How (can you keep your wife) after it has been said (that both of you were suckled by the same woman)?” So, he divorced her and she was married to another (husband).

Today’s Hadith:

Volume 3, Book 48, Number 809 :
Narrated by ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (radiallaahu `anhu)
People were (sometimes) judged by the revealing of a Divine Inspiration during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) but now there is no longer any more (new revelation). Now we judge you by the deeds you practice publicly, so we will trust and favor the one who does good deeds in front of us, and we will not call him to account about what he is really doing in secret, for Allah will judge him for that; but we will not trust or believe the one who presents to us with an evil deed even if he claims that his intentions were good.

It’s plain simple really. Whatever you show people is how they identify you and judge you because they’re witnesses to your deeds. Whatever you hide is between you and Allah.

The other angle: judge people based on what you’ve “witnessed” of their actions. Don’t believe hearsay, it’s not fair to them. :)

They Can Have No Faith Until.. (Ahadith 2045 – 2047)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 40, Number 548 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu)
An Ansari man quarrelled with Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) in the presence of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) about the Harra Canals which were used for irrigating the date-palms. The Ansari man said to Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu), “Let the water pass’ but Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) refused to do so. So, the case was brought before the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) who said to Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu), “O Zubair! Irrigate (your land) and then let the water pass to your neighbor.” On that the Ansari got angry and said to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), “Is it because he (i.e. Zubair) is your aunt’s son?” On that the color of the face of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) changed (because of anger) and he said, “O Zubair! Irrigate (your land) and then withhold the water till it reaches the walls between the pits round the trees.” Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “By Allah, I think that the following verse was revealed on this occasion”: “But no, by your Lord they can have no faith until they make you judge in all disputes between them.” (4.65)

Volume 3, Book 40, Number 549 :
Narrated by ‘Urwa (radiallaahu `anhu)
When a man from the Ansar quarrelled with AzZubair (radiallaahu `anhu), the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “O Zubair! Irrigate (your land) first and then let the water flow (to the land of the others).” “On that the Ansari said, (to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)), “It is because he is your aunt’s son.” On that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “O Zubair! Irrigate till the water reaches the walls between the pits around the trees and then stop (i.e. let the water go to the other’s land).” I think the following verse was revealed concerning this event: “But no, by your Lord they can have no faith until they make you judge in all disputes between them.” (4.65)

Volume 3, Book 40, Number 550 :
Narrated by ‘Urwa bin Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu)
An-Ansari man quarrelled with Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) about a canal in the Harra which was used for irrigating date-palms. Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), ordering Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) to be moderate, said, “O Zubair! Irrigate (your land) first and then leave the water for your neighbor.” The Ansari said, “Is it because he is your aunt’s son?” On that the color of the face of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) changed and he said, “O Zubair! Irrigate (your land) and withhold the water till it reaches the walls that are between the pits around the trees.” So, Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) gave Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) his full right. Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “By Allah, the following verse was revealed in that connection”: “But no, by your Lord they can have no faith until they make you judge in all disputes between them.” (4.65) (The sub-narrator,) Ibn Shihab said to Juraij (another sub-narrator), “The Ansar and the other people interpreted the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), ‘Irrigate (your land) and with-hold the water till it reaches the walls between the pits around the trees,’ as meaning up to the ankles.”

The ayah:

فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُواْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجاً مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً

But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. [Quran 4:65]

Ibn Katheer’s commentary:

One Does not Become a Believer Unless He Refers to the Messenger for Judgment and Submits to his Decision

Allah said,

﴿فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ﴾

(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them,) Allah swears by His Glorious, Most Honorable Self, that no one shall attain faith until he refers to the Messenger for judgment in all matters. Thereafter, whatever the Messenger commands, is the plain truth that must be submitted to inwardly and outwardly. Allah said,

﴿ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُواْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجاً مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً﴾

(and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.) meaning: they adhere to your judgment, and thus do not feel any hesitation over your decision, and they submit to it inwardly and outwardly. They submit to the Prophet’s decision with total submission without any rejection, denial or dispute. Al-Bukhari recorded that `Urwah said, “Az-Zubayr quarreled with a man about a stream which both of them used for irrigation. Allah’s Messenger said to Az-Zubayr,

«اسْقِ يَا زُبَيْرُ ثُمَّ أَرْسِلِ الْمَاءَ إِلى جَارِك»

(O Zubayr! Irrigate (your garden) first, and then let the water flow to your neighbor.) The Ansari became angry and said, `O Allah’s Messenger! Is it because he is your cousin’ On that, the face of Allah’s Messenger changed color (because of anger) and said,

«اسْقِ يَا زُبَيْرُ ثُمَّ احْبِسِ الْمَاءَ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ إِلَى الْجَدْرِ،ثُمَّ أَرْسِلِ الْمَاءَ إِلى جَارِك»

(Irrigate (your garden), O Zubayr, and then withhold the water until it reaches the walls (surrounding the palms). Then, release the water to your neighbor.) So, Allah’s Messenger gave Az-Zubayr his full right when the Ansari made him angry. Before that, Allah’s Messenger had given a generous judgment, beneficial for Az-Zubayr and the Ansari. Az-Zubayr said, `I think the following verse was revealed concerning that case,

﴿فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ﴾

(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad ) judge in all disputes between them.)”’ Another Reason In his Tafsir, Al-Hafiz Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin `Abdur-Rahman bin Ibrahim bin Duhaym recorded that Damrah narrated that two men took their dispute to the Prophet , and he gave a judgment to the benefit of whoever among them had the right. The person who lost the dispute said, “I do not agree.” The other person asked him, “What do you want then” He said, “Let us go to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq.” They went to Abu Bakr and the person who won the dispute said, “We went to the Prophet with our dispute and he issued a decision in my favor.” Abu Bakr said, “Then the decision is that which the Messenger of Allah issued.” The person who lost the dispute still rejected the decision and said, “Let us go to `Umar bin Al-Khattab.” When they went to `Umar, the person who won the dispute said, “We took our dispute to the Prophet and he decided in my favor, but this man refused to submit to the decision.” `Umar bin Al-Khattab asked the second man and he concurred. `Umar went to his house and emerged from it holding aloft his sword. He struck the head of the man who rejected the Prophet’s decision with the sword and killed him. Consequently, Allah revealed,

﴿فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ﴾

(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith).

Imam Bukhari derives three benefits from these three ahadith:

  1. permissibility of making river dams
  2. the land near the source of water to be irrigated first
  3. the land to be covered with water up to the ankles

Don’t Abuse the Dead (Hadith No. 1175)

Bismillah.

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 476:

Narrated ‘Aisha :

The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “Don’t abuse the dead, because they have reached the result of what they forwarded.”

Abusing here refers to verbal abuse, using harsh words against a person.

Most scholars say that this is for the believers, i.e. don’t abuse the dead believers. But anyhow, taking the hukm (commandment) of the Prophet (SAW), one must be careful as to not talk bad about any dead person, especially the believers.
This also implies not judging them, i.e. not deciding where they ended up. Because. We. Don’t. Know.

No matter how pious you knew the person to be, you are not allowed to say (even about a martyr) that he/she definitely went to Jannah, or in the case of a wicked one, that he/she definitely went to Hell.

Prophet (SAW) said:

والله ما أدرى وأنا رسول الله ما يفعل بى

[roughly translated:] By Allah, I do not know what will be done with me, even though I’m the Messenger of Allah.

If Prophet (SAW) wasn’t so sure, how can we claim to know about a person’s fate? Do we have angels coming to us as reporters? :)

Side question: is it okay to organize a gathering to remember the deceased? Find the answer here.

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