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!
The majority of scholars say that it is permissible to make pictures of inanimate objects such as trees, buildings, etc, and they quote several texts as evidence for that. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) issued a fatwa regarding this:
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 428 :
Narrated by Said bin Abu Al-Hasan
While I was with Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu) a man came and said, “O father of ‘Abbas! My sustenance is from my manual profession and I make these pictures.” Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “I will tell you only what I heard from Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). I heard him saying, ‘Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.‘ ” Hearing this, that man heaved a sigh and his face turned pale. Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu) said to him, “What a pity! If you insist on making pictures I advise you to make pictures of trees and any other inanimate objects.”
This hadith indicates that the punishment has to do with images of animate beings, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that they will be told, “Bring to life that which you have created!”
Read more on it here.
Hadith no. 1793 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 298:
Narrated Samura bin Jundab (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “This night I dreamt that two men came and took me to a Holy land whence we proceeded on till we reached a river of blood, where a man was standing, and on its bank was standing another man with stones in his hands. The man in the middle of the river tried to come out, but the other threw a stone in his mouth and forced him to go back to his original place. So, whenever he tried to come out, the other man would throw a stone in his mouth and force him to go back to his former place. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ I was told, ‘The person in the river was a Riba-eater.”
The Forbidden Four
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 299:
Narrated ‘Aun bin Abu Juhaifa:
My father bought a slave who practiced the profession of cupping. (My father broke the slave’s instruments of cupping). I asked my father why he had done so. He replied, “The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) forbade the acceptance of the price of a dog or blood, and also forbade the profession of tattooing, getting tattooed and receiving or giving Riba, (usury), and cursed the picture-makers.”
- A detailed study on the ahadith about cupping show that doing it and charging money for it is not exactly haraam.
- The prohibition on the price of a dog and the fact that it is among the most evil of earnings and is something vile indicates that it is haraam to sell dogs; the transaction is not valid and the price is not halaal and the one who destroys it is not obliged to repay its value, regardless of whether the dog is trained or not, or whether it is one that it is permissible to keep or not. This is the view of the majority of scholars.
- Tattooing, in which the skin is pierced with a needle and a blue or other coloured dye is injected, is haraam in all forms, whether it causes pain or not, because it involves changing the creation of Allaah, and because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who does tattoos and the one for whom that is done.
- Riba (which means adding something extra to certain products, like selling gold for gold, or by not receiving something when a contract is signed, or paying extra in return for extension of a loan) is haraam because Allaah – who rules as He wills – has forbidden it.
- It is well established from clear, saheeh mutawaatir ahaadeeth that image-making is not allowed, and that the one who does this is cursed and is warned of torment in Hell, as in the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas which is attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Every image maker will be in Hell, and a soul will be given to every image which he made so that it might torment him in Hell.” (Narrated by Muslim).
Hadith no. 1123 is a repeat. Read it here.
Question: why is there no picture available of the Prophet (SAW)?
Islam came to prevent all means that may lead to shirk or the association of others in worship with Allaah. Among these means is the making of images, so sharee’ah forbids making images, and curses the one who does that, and a strong warning is issued to the one who does that.
When the Prophet became ill, some of his wives talked about a church which they had seen in Ethiopia and it was called Mariya. Um Salma and Um Habiba had been to Ethiopia, and both of them narrated its (the Church’s) beauty and the pictures it contained. The Prophet raised his head and said, “Those are the people who, whenever a pious man dies amongst them, make a place of worship at his grave and then they make those pictures in it. Those are the worst creatures in the Sight of Allah.”
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came back from a journey and I had placed a curtain of mine that had pictures on it over (the door of) a room of mine. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw it, he tore it and said, ‘The people who will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection will be those who try to make the like of Allaah’s creation.’ So we turned it (the curtain) into one or two cushions.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Libaas, 5498).
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: “I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘The people who will be most severely punished on the Day of Resurrection will be the image-makers.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Libaas, 5494).
So how could he grant permission to make a picture of him? Hence none of the Sahaabah dared to make a picture or image of him, because they knew the ruling that doing so was haraam.
Allaah warns against exaggeration, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
O people of the Scripture (Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion.
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against doing anything that may involve exceeding the limits concerning him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). He said: “Do not exaggerate about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam, for I am just a slave, so say ‘The slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Ahaadeeth al-Anbiya’, 3189).
Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab wrote a chapter entitled “Maa jaa’a ‘an sabab kufr Bani Adam huwa al-ghulw fi’l-saaliheen (What was narrated stating that the reason for the kufr of the sons of Adam was their exaggeration concerning the righteous).”, in which he said: “In al-Saheeh it is narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, concerning the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And they have said: ‘You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwaa‘, nor Yaghooth, nor Ya‘ooq nor Nasr’ (these are the names of their idols).” [Nooh 71:23]
These were the names of righteous men among the people of Nooh. When they died, the Shaytaan inspired their people to set up stone altars in the places where they used to sit, and call them by their names. They did that but they did not worship them, until those people died, then the knowledge was forgotten and they were worshipped.
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
More than one of the salaf said: ‘when they died, the people started to frequent their graves, then they made statues of them, then as time passed they started to worship them.
(Fath al-Majeed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed by ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Hasan, p. 219)
For this reason there are no pictures of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because he forbade doing that, lest it lead to shirk.
The implication of the testimony that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is that we believe in him and in the message that he brought, even though there are no pictures of him. The believers do not need a picture of him in order to follow him. The description of him that is given in the saheeh reports means that we have no need of his picture. Among the descriptions of him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that have been narrated are the following:
- He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the most handsome of face of all people.
- He had wide shoulders.
- He was neither tall nor short (of average height).
- He had a round face with a ruddy complexion.
- His eyes were intensely black.
- He had long eyelashes.
- He was the Seal of the Prophets, the most generous of people in giving, he was the most forbearing and content of all people, he was the most sincere in speech of all people, he had the gentlest nature of all people and was the most easy-going with others. Those who saw him suddenly stood in awe of him and those who mixed with him came to love him. Those who described him said they had never seen anyone like him before or since.
See Sunan al-Tirmidhi, al-Manaaqib, 3571 and other books of Sunnah which give descriptions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Undoubtedly the believers wish that they could have met the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Hence it says in the hadeeth narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
The people most loved by me among my ummah will be those who would come after me, but every one amongst them would have the keenest desire to catch a glimpse of me even at the expense of his family and his wealth.
(Narrated by Muslim, al-Jannah wa Sifat Na’eemihaa, 5060).
Undoubtedly love of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and following him are the means of being brought together with him in Paradise. Part of loving him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is seeing him in a dream, which means seeing him in his real form. It was reported that Abu Hurayrah said: “I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘Whoever sees me in a dream will see me when he is awake, for the Shaytaan cannot take my form.’”
Abu ‘Abd-Allaah said, Ibn Seereen said: this applies if one sees him in his true form. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Ta’beer, 6478).
[Taken from IslamQA.]