[15] Hadith Fifteen

The Prophet's Description of the States of People in the World and Their Consequences in the Hereafter

It is narrated from Abu Kabsha al-Anmari -- Allah be well-pleased with him -- that he heard the Prophet say: "I shall swear an oath to three things. I shall tell you what these three things are, so remember this well:

  1. No property is ever diminished by the giving of charity.
  2. No servant [of Allah] is ever unjustly mistreated and yet bears it patiently, except Allah shall increase him in good reputation.
  3. No servant [of Allah] begins to solicit charity except Allah Almighty and Exalted initiates poverty for him."

He also said: "I shall tell you something which you must remember well. The world belongs to one of four kinds exclusively:

  1. A servant [of Allah] upon whom Allah Almighty and Exalted bestowed property and knowledge, by means of which he seeks to protect himself from His Lord's displeasure and strengthen family ties, knowing that Allah Almighty and Exalted owns rights over that property and knowledge. This is truly the best of stations.
  2. A servant [of Allah] upon whom Allah Almighty and Exalted bestowed knowledge but not property, who is truthful in his intention and says: 'If I had property I would do the deeds of So-and-so.' His status is according to his intention, and the reward of each of the two is exactly the same.
  3. A servant [of Allah] upon whom Allah Almighty and Exalted bestowed property but not knowledge, who gropes aimlessly with his property without knowledge, not seeking to protect himself from His Lord's displeasure with it, nor strengthening family ties with it, not recognizing that Allah Almighty and Exalted owns rights over that property. This is truly the worst of stations.
  4. A servant [of Allah] upon whom Allah Almighty and Exalted bestowed neither property nor knowledge, who says: 'If I had property, I would use it to do the [evil] deeds of So-and-so.' His status is according to his intention, and the burden of each of the two is exactly the same."

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi who declared it hasan sahih, and Ibn Majah.

The meaning of "begins to solicit charity" is: begging and asking for people's property when one is not pushed by necessity. As for one pushed by necessity, he is allowed to ask to whatever extent is necessary if unable to meet his need through work and the like.

The meaning of "I would do the deeds of So-and-so" in the first instance is: I would give in charity and perform good deeds just as that wealthy, generous, and Godwary person is doing. In the second instance it means that he formed the intention, if he had property, to grope aimlessly and commit transgressions with it such as So-and-so does, squandering and sinning with it. Through such an intention, the other person's offense becomes his also.

Allah's blessings and peace on the Prophet., his Family, and his Companions

Dr. G.F. Haddad

© As-Sunnah Foundation of America, 2003