Tawheed First !

“Verily, Gabriel, Himself, Who Came to Teach Muhammad SAW The Three Levels of Islam, Imaan and Ihsaan” [Strengthen the Faith by Achieving Its Meaning] – Part 1

Umar bin Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“One day we were sitting in the company of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), when there appeared before us a man dressed in extremely white clothing; his hair was extraordinarily black. There were no signs of travel on him and none of us knew him. He [proceeded until] he sat before the Messenger (peace be upon him), his knees supported against the Prophet’s, his palms placed on his thighs, and said:

“O Muhammad,  tell me about Islam.”

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Messenger of Allah; and that you establish prayer, pay zakah (obligatory charity), observe the fast of Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to [Allah’s] House if you have the means to do so.”

[The inquirer] said, “You have told the truth.”

[Umar bin Al-Khattab] commented, “It astonished us that he would ask and then verify the truth.”

[The inquirer] said, “Inform me about imaan (faith).”

[Messenger of Allah] replied, “It is that you believe in Allah, His angels, His Book, His Messengers, the Day of Judgment, and that you believe in Divine Preordination, whether good or bad.”

[The inquirer] responded, “You have told the truth.”

He then said, “Inform me about Ihsaan (beneficence).”

[Allah’s Messenger] said, “[It is] that you worship Allah as if you see Him, for though you dont see Him, [you know] He sees you.”

[The inquirer] said, “Inform me about the hour [of the Day of Judgement].”

[The Messenger of Allah] remarked, ” The one being asked knows no more than the questioner.”

[The inquirer] said, “Tell me some of its signs.”

He [the Holy Prophet] said, “[They are] that the slave girl will give birth to her mistress [or master], and that you will find barefooted, destitute goat-herders vying with one another in the construction of magnificent building.”

[The narrator, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab] said, “Then he [the inquirer] went on his way, but i stayed with him [Allah’s Messenger] for a long while.”

He then said to me, “‘Umar, do you know who this inquirer was?”

I replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best.”

He remarked, “It was [the angel] Gabriel. He came to you [people] in order to teach you your religion.” (Recorded by Muslim (1))

The Previous hadith was recorded only by Muslim, however, both Muslim and Al-Bukhari have recorded the narration of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who reported,

“One day the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) appeared before the people when a man came to him and ask,

“What is imaan (faith)?”

So he (the Holy Prophet) said, “Imaan is that you believe in Allah, His angels, His books, the meeting with Him, and His Messengers; and that you believe in the Resurrection in the Hereafter.”

He [the inquirer] said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is Islam?”

He replied, “Islam is that you worship Allah alone and none other, perform the prescribed prayers, pay the obligatory charity, and fast [the month of Ramadaan].”

He then asked, “What is Ihsaan (beneficence)?”

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) replied, “[It is] that you worship Allah as if you see Him, for though you dont see Him [you know] He sees you.”

[Then] he asked, “When will the Hour [of Judgement] be established?”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “The one being asked knows no better than the questioner, however, I will inform you of its portents. One of its signs is that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress (or master). Another sign is when you see those who are naked and barefoot become the leaders of people. And when the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of tall building, this is one of the sign of the Hour. And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) then recited,

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عِندَهُ ۥ عِلۡمُ ٱلسَّاعَةِ وَيُنَزِّلُ ٱلۡغَيۡثَ وَيَعۡلَمُ مَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡحَامِ‌ۖ وَمَا تَدۡرِى نَفۡسٌ۬ مَّاذَا تَڪۡسِبُ غَدً۬ا‌ۖ وَمَا تَدۡرِى نَفۡسُۢ بِأَىِّ أَرۡضٍ۬ تَمُوتُ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرُۢ

which mean, “Verily! Allah! With Him is knowledge of the Hour. He sendeth down the rain, and knoweth that which is in the wombs. No soul knoweth what it will earn to-morrow, and no soul knoweth in what land it will die. Verily! Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Lukman, 31:34)

Then the man [Gabriel] left and the Prophet (peace be upon him) said [to his Companions], “Bring that man to me.”

Hoewever when the set out to bring him back, they didn’t find any trace [of him]. Then the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

“That was Gabriel, who came to teach the people their religion.”(2)

Importance of This Hadith

This is a hadith of very great importance because of its comprehensive explanation of every aspect of the religion. After having explained the Three Levels of Islam, Imaan and Ihsaan, he referred to them all together as a single religion, concluding the hadith by saying,

“That was Gabriel, who came to teach you your religion.”

Thus, this hadith includes all the braches of Islamic knowledge and science, just as it also encompasses elements of Islamic jurisprudence, theology, asceticism, softening of the heart, performing good deeds, and Islamic knowledge.

The Meaning of Islam

The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained Islam as the outward acts performed by the different part of the body, i.e. speech and actions. The first of these actions is that of the tongue; to profess that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. After which, one is obliged to establish prayer, pay zakah, fast [the month of] Ramadaan, and perfom pilgrimage to the House [of Allah] if he has the means to do so.

Islam is Divided into the Following Categories:

  • The actions of the body (i.e. prayer and fasting)
  • Financial deeds (i.e. paying zakah)
  • What entails the combination thereof (i.e. performing hajj [pilgrimage] for those who are far from Makkah)

The statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him),

“A Muslim is one who avoids harming Muslims by his tongue or hands”,(3)

is an is an indication that all external actions are included under the category of Islam.

Also it was reported on the authority of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr that a man asked to the Prophet,

“What short of deeds [or what qualities of] Islam are good?”

The Prophet replied, “To feed [the poor] and to give the greeting of ‘salaam’ (peace) to those whom you know and tho those whom you do not know.”(4)

Similarly, leaving those things that are prohibited is also included under the classification of Islam, as it was narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“One of the best [characteristics of] an individual’s Islam is that he leaves what doesn’t concern him.”(5)

Also it was reported on the authority of Nawas bin Sam’an (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

“Allah set forth the simile of a straight path, enclosed by walls on both side. Along the walls, there are open doors from which curtains are hung. At the entrance to the path is a caller who says, ‘O you people, enter the path, all of you, and don’t go astray.’ From inside the path is another caller who pleads to all who desire to open any of the doors, ‘Woe be upon you; don’t open it!’ This path is Islam, and the walls are the boundaries of Allah, Exalted and Glorified is He. The open doors are those things that Allah has prohibited, and the caller at the head of the path is the Book on Allah, whereas the caller from inside the pasth is Allah’s Exhortation in the heart of every Muslim.”(6)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) demonstrated by way of the simile that Islam is the Straight Path to which Allah has ordered us to stick, and prohibited us from going beyond its limits. Thus, whoever does something that has been forbidden has transgressed His boundaries.

The Meaning of Imaan

In this hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) defined Imaan(faith) as inner belief, saying,

“[It is] to believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Prophets, the resurrection after death, and to believe in the good and bad of Qadar (Devine Preordination).”

Allah has mentioned belief in these five things in various part of the Quran, such as His Words,

ءَامَنَ ٱلرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡهِ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ‌ۚ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَتِهِۦ وَكُتُبِهِۦ وَرُسُلِهِۦ

which means, “….(The Messenger of Allah) believes in that which has been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers…” (Al-Baqarah,2:285)

and His words,

وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلۡبِرَّ مَنۡ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِ وَٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةِ وَٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ وَٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ

which means, “….but righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets…”(Al-Baqarah,2:177)

and His words,

ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقۡنَـٰهُمۡ يُنفِقُونَ

which means, “Who believe in the Ghayb (7), and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them.”(Al-Baqarah,2:3)

Belief in the Prophets necessitates the belief in everything that was ordered to to be promulgate. This includes belief in Angels, Prophets, the Book (Glorious Quran), the Resurrection, Divine Preordination, as well as other things such as Allah’s Attributes, the Day of Judgement, As-Siraat (8), the Scale, Paradise and Hell.

Also included the definition of Faith is belief in Al-Qadar (Divine Preordination), the good and evil thereof. Base on this ‘Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated this hadith as evidence against those who deny Qadar.

Yahya bin Ya’mur (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

“The first man who spoke about Al-Qadr (Divine Preordination) in Basra was Ma’bad Al-Juhany. I [Yahya] along with Humayd bin ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Himyary set out of pilgrimage or ‘Umrah and said, ‘Should it so happen that we meet one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) we shall ask him concerning what they are saying about Al-Qadar.’ Unexpectedly we came upon ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, while he was entering the mosque. My companion and I approached him. One of us [stood] on his right and the other on his left. I expected that my companion would authorize me to speak.

“Therefore, I said, ‘O Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan [‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar], some people have appeared in our land who recite the Quran and pursue knowledge.’ After explaining some of their affairs, I said, ‘They claim that there is no such thing as Devine Preordination and that events are not predestined.’

“He [‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar] said, ‘If you happen to meet such people tell them that I have nothing to do with them and they have nothing to do with me. And verily, they are in no way responsible for my [belief].’

“‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar swore by Allah [and said], ‘If any one of them (who does not believe in Devine Preordination) had with him gold equal to [the mountain] of Uhud and spent it in the way of Allah, Allah would not accept it unless he affirmed hi faith in Devine Preordination.'” (9)

Deeds are included under the classification of Imaan, as is indicated in Allah’s words,

إِنَّمَا ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ ٱللَّهُ وَجِلَتۡ قُلُوبُہُمۡ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتۡ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ءَايَـٰتُهُ ۥ زَادَتۡہُمۡ إِيمَـٰنً۬ا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ (٢) ٱلَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقۡنَـٰهُمۡ يُنفِقُونَ (٣) أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ حَقًّ۬ا‌ۚ لَّهُمۡ دَرَجَـٰتٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ وَمَغۡفِرَةٌ۬ وَرِزۡقٌ۬ ڪَرِيمٌ۬ (٤)

which means, “They only are the (true) believers whose hearts feel fear when Allah is mentioned, and when revelations of Allah are recited unto them they increase their faith, and who trust in their Lord; (2) Who establish worship and spend of that We have bestowed on them. (3) Those are they who are in truth believers. For them are grades (of honour) with their Lord, and pardon, and a bountiful provision. (4).” (Al-Anfal,8:2-4)

It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to a delegation from the tribe of ‘Abd Al-Qays,

“I order you to do four things: To believe in Allah alone. Do you know what it meant by believing in Allah alone? It means to testify that no one has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay zakah, and to pay Al-Khumus (one fifth of the booty fallen to your lot.”(10)

Abu Hurayrah related that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

“Faith has sixty or seventy-some branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no god but Allah, and the humblest of which is the removal of what is injurious from the path; and modesty is a branch of faith.”(11)

Abu Hurayrah also narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) sad,

“An Adulterer, at the time of committing illegal sexual intercourse is not a believer; and a thief at the time of stealing, is not a believer; and a person at the time of drinking an alcoholic drink is a not a believer.”(12)

Thus, if leaving the major sins was not part of belief (Imaan), the term “believer” would not be negated from the one who commits any of these sins. This is because the term [believer] is not negated unless the pillars or obligations of that term are negated.

Difference Between Imaan and Islam

The difference between Imaan and Islam is that Imaan is the belief, confession and knowledge of the heart, Islam, however, is the submission of the slave of Allah, as well as his humility and surrender to Him.

Thus, Islam is action [as opposed to belief and knowledge]. It is this action which Allah has labeled as “the religion” (Ad-Deen) in the Quran. Whereas in the hadith of Gabriel, the Prophet (peace be upon him) called Islam, Imaan, and Ihsaan a religion.

This proves that if one of the two term is used individually, the meaning of the other is included. They differ, however, when one is compared with the other, in which case the definition of Imaan is the category of the belief of the heart, and Islam is the category of actions.

In his supplication when praying over the dead, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would say,

“O Allah, to whomsoever of us Thou givest life, grant him life in the state of Islam, and to whomsoever of us Thou takest in death, take him in death while he is in the state of Imaan.”(13)

This is because one is able to perform the deeds of the limbs during life, whereas at the time of death, nothing remains except the belief of the heart.

From this point,  the trustworthy scholar have said, every Mu’min is a Muslim. For whoever has achieved Imaan, and it has become firmly established in his heart, sets out to do the deeds of Islam.”

This is as the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned,

“Beware! There is a pieace of flesh in the body. If it becomes good reformed, the whole body becomes good, but if it gets spoilt, the whole body gets spoilts; and that is the heart.”

Thus, the heart does not achieve Imaan, except if the limbs pursue the deeds of Islam. However, not every Muslim is a Mu’min. For his Imaan could be weak, having not yet achieved complete faith, despite his performance of the acts of Islam by the parts of his body. In which case he is a Muslim, and not a Mu’min with complete faith. This is just as Allah the Exalted said,

  قَالَتِ ٱلۡأَعۡرَابُ ءَامَنَّا‌ۖ قُل لَّمۡ تُؤۡمِنُواْ وَلَـٰكِن قُولُوٓاْ أَسۡلَمۡنَا وَلَمَّا يَدۡخُلِ ٱلۡإِيمَـٰنُ فِى قُلُوبِكُم

which means, “The bedouins say: ‘We believe’. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): ‘You believe not, but you only say “We have surrendered [in Islam], ‘for Faith [Imaan] has not yet entered your heart…'” (Al-Hujuraat,49:14)

Thus, according to the most correct commentators, the Bedouins were not complete hypocrites. Rather, their faith was weak. This is the opinion of Ibn ‘Abbas and others. This is indicated by the statement of Allah the Exalted,

 وَإِن تُطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ لَا يَلِتۡكُم مِّنۡ أَعۡمَـٰلِكُمۡ شَيۡـًٔا‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ

which means, “…..But if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not decrease anything in reward for your deeds. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Hujuraat,49:14)

That demonstrates that the Bedouins had some faith by which their deeds were accepted. Similarly, the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas when he said to him,

“You didnt give to so and so, and he is a believer (Mu’min). The Prophet (peacebe upon him)”or a Muslim”.(14),

indicates that he did not reach the level of Imaan. According to what could be judged externally, he was at the level of Islam.

There is no doubt that whenever Imaan weakens internally, it causes the weakening of the deeds of the limbs externally. However, the term of Imaan is negated by one who neglects its obligations, such as in the statement, “An Adulterer, at the time of committing illegal sexual intercourse is not a believer.”(15)

The Meaning of Ihsaan

Ihsaan is mentioned in various places in the Quran, sometimes together with Imaan. It is also mentioned in conjunction with Islam, taqwa (piety), or righteous deeds. It is mentioned with Imaan, as in Allah’s words,

لَيۡسَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ جُنَاحٌ۬ فِيمَا طَعِمُوٓاْ إِذَا مَا ٱتَّقَواْ وَّءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ ثُمَّ ٱتَّقَواْ وَّءَامَنُواْ ثُمَّ ٱتَّقَواْ وَّأَحۡسَنُواْ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ

which means, “Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate [in the past], if they fear Allah [by keeping away from His forbidden things], and believe and do righteous good deeds, and again fear Allah and believe, and once again fear Allah and do good deeds with Ihsaan. And Allah loves the good-doers.” (Al-Ma’idah,5:93)

and,

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجۡرَ مَنۡ أَحۡسَنَ عَمَلاً

which means, “Verily, for those who believed and did righteous deeds, certainly We shall not make the reward of anyone who does his [righteous] deeds in the most perfect manner [ahsana] to be lost.” (Al-Kahf,18:30)

It is used in conjunction with Islam in verses such as,

بَلَىٰ مَنۡ أَسۡلَمَ وَجۡهَهُ ۥ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحۡسِنٌ۬ فَلَهُ ۥۤ أَجۡرُهُ ۥ عِندَ رَبِّهِۦ

which means, “Yes, but whoever submits his face [himself] to Allah, and he is a Muhsin (16), then his reward is with his Lord [Allah].” (Al-Baqarah,2:112)

and,

  وَمَن يُسۡلِمۡ وَجۡهَهُ ۥۤ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحۡسِنٌ۬ فَقَدِ ٱسۡتَمۡسَكَ بِٱلۡعُرۡوَةِ ٱلۡوُثۡقَىٰ‌ۗ وَإِلَى ٱللَّهِ عَـٰقِبَةُ ٱلۡأُمُورِ

which means, whosoever submits his face [himself] to Allah, while he is a Muhsin, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold. And all matters return to Allah for decision.” (Luqmaan,31:22)

Allah mentions it in conjunction with taqwa (piety):

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْ وَّٱلَّذِينَ هُم مُّحۡسِنُونَ

which means, “Trully, Allah is with those who fear Him, and those who are good-doers (Muhsinuun) (17).” (An-Nahl,16:128)

It is also mentioned alone, as in Allah’s words,

 لِّلَّذِينَ أَحۡسَنُواْ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ وَزِيَادَةٌ۬‌ۖ وَلَا يَرۡهَقُ وُجُوهَهُمۡ قَتَرٌ۬ وَلَا ذِلَّةٌ‌ۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ أَصۡحَـٰبُ ٱلۡجَنَّةِ‌ۖ هُمۡ فِيہَا خَـٰلِدُونَ

which means, “For those who have done good(ahsanuu) is the best [reward, i.e. Paradise] and even more [i.e. having the honor of gazing at the Countenance of Allah].” (Yunus,10:26)

It has been reported in Sahih Muslim from the Prophet (peace be upon him), that the meaning of “more” in this verse is to gaze upon the Countenance of Allah in Paradise (18).

This rank is the reward for the people of Ihsaan. The reasoning behind this reward is that Ihsaan is the believer’s worship of his Lord in this life, as if He is present. He fears Him as if he sees Him with his heart, and looks toward Him while in the state of worship. Thus, in the hereafter, his reward is to gaze at the face of Allah (with his eyes).

This reflects what Allah the Exalted says about His recompense for the disbelievers in the Hereafter,

كَلَّآ إِنَّہُمۡ عَن رَّبِّہِمۡ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ لَّمَحۡجُوبُون

which means, “Nay! Surely they (evil-doers) will be veiled from seeing their Lord that Day.” (Al-Mutaffifin,83:15)

Allah made the recompense of the evil-doers based upon their state in this life (accumulating layer of sins and evil deeds in their hearts, until they become veiled from knowing and fearing Him). Thus, their reward is that they are veiled from seeing Him in the Hereafter.

The statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) explaining ihsaan ([it is] that you worship Allah as if you see Him…) indicates that the slave worships Allah the Exalted, summoning His closeness, and feeling that he is between His Hands, as if he sees Him. This produces fear, awe, and exaltation, as well as faultlessness in worship, and exertion of effort in improving and perfecting it.

“For though you dont see Him, [you know] He sees you”

It is said that this part of the hadith is the reason behind the first part [that you worship Allah as if you see Him]. When ordered the slave might find difficulty in fearing Allah the Exalted in his worship, and feeling the presence of His closeness until it is as if he sees Him. Thus, his resorts to his faith that Allah sees him and is aware of his secrets and intentions, what is hidden and what is exposed and that none of his affairs are concealed from Him. Then, if he achieves this stage, it is easy for him to move on to the second stage, which is the constant certainty of Allah’s aid and closeness to Him, until it is as if he sees Him.

However, other said, “Rather, it is direction to he who finds difficulty in worshipping Allah as if he sees Him, to worship Allah knowing that Allah is watching him.”

This knowledge causes him to feel shy before Allah’s gaze; just as some of the scholars said, “Fear Allah in order that He not become the least of those who re watching you [with regard to your shyness from those who see you].”

Other scholars said, “Fear Allah to the extent of His power over you and feel shy before Allah to the extent of His closeness to you.”

It was mentioned by the knowledgeable people from among the Pious Predecessors, “Whoever sees Allah [with his heart] while he acts, is one of the cognizant [of Allah], whoever acts knowing that Allah is watching him, he is one of the sincere. In this last statement is a reference to the two ranks which were mentioned previously:

  •  The position of sincerity;

That the slave’s acts, summoning Allah’s observation, desiring Him to see all which is within and without, and to draw near to Him. When the slaves desires Allah’s observation of his deeds, and works towards this end, he is trully sincere for the sake of Allah the Exalted. This is because seeking Allah in his deeds, prevents him from turning to other than Allah and His pleasure, with his deeds.

  •  The position of seeing;

That the slave’s striving is based on what causes the heart to contemplate and looks toward Allah, and that which enlighthens the heart with imaan.The inner vision penetrates knowledge until it become like the eyes. This is the reality of Ihsaan which is referred to in the hadith of Gabriel (peace be upon him) and the people of this position, rise according to the penetrative strength of their vision.

The Quran points to these meaning in many places such as His statement:

‌‌ۖ وَهُوَ مَعَكُمۡ أَيۡنَ مَا كُنتُمۡ‌ۚ

which means, “….And He is with you [by His knowledge] wheresoever you may be….” (Al-Hadid,57:4)

and,

 أَلَمۡ تَرَ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۖ مَا يَڪُونُ مِن نَّجۡوَىٰ ثَلَـٰثَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ رَابِعُهُمۡ وَلَا خَمۡسَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ سَادِسُہُمۡ وَلَآ أَدۡنَىٰ مِن ذَٲلِكَ وَلَآ أَڪۡثَرَ إِلَّا هُوَ مَعَهُمۡ أَيۡنَ مَا كَانُواْ‌ۖ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُواْ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيمٌ

which means, “Hast thou not seen that Allah knoweth all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth? There is no secret conference of three but He is their fourth, nor of five but He is their sixth, nor of less than that or more but He is with them wheresoever they may be; and afterward, on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they did. Lo! Allah is Knower of all things.”(Al-Mujadilah,58:7)

and,

وَمَا تَكُونُ فِى شَأۡنٍ۬ وَمَا تَتۡلُواْ مِنۡهُ مِن قُرۡءَانٍ۬ وَلَا تَعۡمَلُونَ مِنۡ عَمَلٍ إِلَّا ڪُنَّا عَلَيۡكُمۡ شُہُودًا إِذۡ تُفِيضُونَ فِيهِ‌ۚ وَمَا يَعۡزُبُ عَن رَّبِّكَ مِن مِّثۡقَالِ ذَرَّةٍ۬ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَلَآ أَصۡغَرَ مِن ذَٲلِكَ وَلَآ أَكۡبَرَ إِلَّا فِى كِتَـٰبٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ

which means, “And thou (Muhammad) art not occupied with any business and thou recitest not a Lecture from this (Scripture), and ye (mankind) perform no act, but We are Witness of you when ye are engaged therein. And not an atom’s weight in the earth or in the sky escapeth your Lord, nor what is less than that or greater than that, but it is (written) in a clear Book.” (Yunus,10:61)

and,

ۥ‌ۖ وَنَحۡنُ أَقۡرَبُ إِلَيۡهِ مِنۡ حَبۡلِ ٱلۡوَرِيد

which means, “….and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.” (Qaf,50:16)

and,

ِ وَلَا يَسۡتَخۡفُونَ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ وَهُوَ مَعَهُم

which means, “…but they cannot hide [their crimes] from Allah; for He is with them [by His knowledge]….” (An-Nisaa,4:108)

Authentic hadiths were mentioned encouraging Muslims to seek this closeness to Allah in their state of worship, such as the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him),

“Whenever anyone of you stands for the prayers, he is speaking in private to His Lord, or his Lord is between him and his Qiblah.” (19)

This is also found in his words (peace be upon him),

“Whenever one of you is in prayer, Allah is in front of him.” (20)

The same meaning is expressed in his words to those who raised their voices while praising Allah,

“You are not praying to One who is deaf or absent. Verily, you are calling One who is All-Hearing [and] Near to you and is with you.” (21)

And in another narration it states,

“And He is closer to one of you than the neck of your mount.” And in another, “And He is closer to one if you than your jugular vain.” (22)

Abu Hurayrah reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious said,

“I am just as My slave thinks I am [i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him] and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly, I remember him in assembly, better than his [remembrance], and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near Me by the cubit, I near him by the space [covered by] two hands. And if he walks toward Me, I rush toward him.” (23)

Whoever understood that these texts indicate atheism, incarnation, or unification of Allah with His creation, has derived this conclusion from his own ignorance and deficient understanding of Allah and His Prophet. Verily, Allah and His Prophet are innocent of such things and Exalted be He Who there is none like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.

Insha Allah will be continue into Part-2, in the next topic which mentioned in [Angel] Gabriel’s hadith, ‘When is the Hour?’  and ‘Signs of the Hour’

Footnote:

  1. Recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith) no.1/8.
  2. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith), hadith no.50, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith) hadith no.5/9
  3. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith), hadith no.10, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith) hadith no.40/64 from the hadith of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr
  4. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith), hadith no.12, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith) hadith no.39/63
  5. Recorded by At-Tirmidhi in Kitab Az-Zuhud (Book of Asceticism, hadith no.2317, also recorded by IbnMajah Kitab Al-Fiqh (Book on Islamic Jurisprudence) hadith no.3976
  6. Recorded by Ahmad in his Musnad, 4/182, 183, also recorded by At-Tirmidhi in his Kitab Al-Amthal (Book on Metaphors) no.2859 and An-Nasa’y in Kitab At-Tafsir (Book of Interpretation) of his Al-Kubra no.11233
  7. Al-Ghayb: literally means a thing not seen. But this word includes vast meaning: Belief in Allah, Angels, Holy Book, Allah’s Messengers, the Day of Resurrection, and Al-Qadar (Divine Preordination). It also includes what Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) informed man of the knowledge of matters of past, present and future, e.g. news about the creation of the heavens and earth, plant and animal life, news of the nations of the past, and about the Paradise and Hell.(The Quran)
  8. As-Siraat: The bridge which must be crossed before entering Paradise. It is thinner than a hair and under it blazes the Hell-fire.
  9. Recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith) no.1/8.
  10. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith), hadith no.53, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith) hadith no.17/23
  11. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith), hadith no.9, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith) hadith no.35/58
  12. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab Al-Mazhalim (Book on Injustice), hadith no.2475, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith) hadith no.57/100
  13. Recorded by Ahmad in Al-Musnad (vol.2 no.368); and Abu Dawud in Kitab Al-Jana’iz (Book on Funerals) no.3201; and Ibn Majah in Kitab Al-Jana’iz (Book on Funerals) no.1498; all are from the hadith Abu Hurayrah
  14. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith), hadith no.27, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith) hadith no.150
  15. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab Al-Mazhalim (Book on Injustice), hadith no.2475, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith) hadith no.57/100
  16. Muhsin: a good-doer who performs good deeds totally for Allah’s sake only, without any showing-off  or to gain praise or fame, and in accordance with the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him)
  17. Muhsinuun: plural form of Muhsin
  18. Recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Imaan (Book on Faith), hadith no.181/298, also recorded by Ahmad in his Musnad chapter 4/332, 333
  19. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab As-Salaah (Book on Prayer), hadith no.405, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Masajid (Book on Mosque) hadith no.54/551, from the hadith of Anas
  20. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab As-Salaah (Book on Prayer), hadith no.406, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Al-Masajid (Book on Mosque) hadith no.50/547, from the hadith of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar
  21. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab Al-Qadr (Book on Divine Preordination), hadith no.6610, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Adh-Dhikr wad-Du’a (Book on Praise and Supplication) hadith no.44/2407
  22. Recorded by Muslim in Kitab Adh-Dhikr wad-Du’a (Book on Praise and Supplication) hadith no.46/2704
  23. Recorded by Al-Bukhari in Kitab At-Tawheed (Book on Allah’s Oneness), hadith no.7405, also recorded by Muslim in Kitab Adh-Dhikr wad-Du’a (Book on Praise and Supplication) hadith no.21/2675, from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah
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One thought on ““Verily, Gabriel, Himself, Who Came to Teach Muhammad SAW The Three Levels of Islam, Imaan and Ihsaan” [Strengthen the Faith by Achieving Its Meaning] – Part 1

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