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20 June 2019 CE | 17 Shawwal 1440 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation

The Insolent

Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There were two men of the Bani Israil who were very close friends. One of them was a great sinner while the other exerted himself to perform pious deeds. The man who exerted himself in worship continued to see the other in sin and would say, ‘Refrain from sin.’ One day on finding him in sin, he said, ‘Keep away from it,’ but he said, ‘Leave me alone, for God’s sake. Are you sent as a watchman over me?’ He said, ‘I swear by Allah, He will not forgive you nor will he admit you to Paradise.’ Then their  souls were taken away and were presented before the Lord of the worlds. He said to him who had striven hard in worship, ‘Did you have knowledge about Me or did you have power over that which I had in My Hand?’ He said to the sinner, ‘Go, and enter Paradise by My Mercy.’ And for the other, He said, ‘Take him to Hell.’”

Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, he spoke a word which destroyed him in this world and the next.” [Abu Dawud]

People often pre-suppose that a sinner will not be forgiven and continue to rebuke him that he will not be forgiven considering him inferior and lowly. While it is a sign of faith to despise sin, this does not mean that the sinner too must be despised. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) may guide a sinner to the Right Path at any time or take away from a righteous person the inclination to practice piety at any moment. It may also be that a sinner does certain deeds that earn him Allah’s forgiveness and Paradise.

Considering someone inferior is a dangerous sin that derives from arrogance. Shaytaan often prompts those who have taken their first steps in piety to act in this manner. To command the right and forbid the wrong is an obligation on all Muslims; but we learn from this hadith that the man who lost his temper after constant preaching and swore by Allah’s name that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) would not forgive the man, destroyed all his good deeds by doing so.

The man disgraced the sinner, made him despair of Allah’s Mercy, and swore that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) would do or not do something. Only Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) knows what He will do. We do not know what He knows, we are nothing compared to Him, and we do not know what He will do. To claim to know what Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) will do is insolence against Him. [Stories From The Hadith by Mohammad Zakariya Iqbal]

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