Hadith 11. The concept of wara’

On the authority of Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, the grandson of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his beloved (may Allah be pleased with both of them), who said: I memorised from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “Leave that which makes you doubt for what that which does not make you doubt”.

Reported by at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasaa’i. At-Tirmidhi said: “It is a Hasan Sahih hadith”


Brief Commentary:

  • The main topic of the hadith is to leave the doubtful matters, and therefore by this, it also talks about the concept of ورع  (wara’)
  • ورع is leaving something that is halal, out of fear it will harm you in the aakhira
  • Abdullah ibn Umar said “I like to put a barrier of halal between me and that which is haram, and I do not break this barrier” i.e. he will avoid some halal actions so that he ensures he does not fall into haram
  • This hadith lays out the method which will leave us with peace and tranquillity in our hearts
  • It helps remove someone from shakiness in their attitudes and behaviour, and keeps them confident
  • We shouldn’t leave out matters which are clearly halal (الحلال المحض), but leave out the matters which are doubtful
  • The hadith nurtures someone so that if they can leave what is halal but doubtful, it will be easy to leave what it haram
  • Hassan bin Abi Sinan said, “Nothing is easier than ورع, if you doubt something, then just leave it”
  • The second part of the hadith cannot be applicable for sinners or ignorant people as they will not have fear in their hearts so will find tranquillity in doing haram actions and not have any doubt, hence it is in reference to those who have piety
  • The hadith also helps in telling us and nurturing us to avoid anything  that is makrooh (disliked)
  • A true believer will only find tranquillity in halal actions, so the hadith can be used to know if you are a true believer or not
  • The hadith backs up the principle “certainty is not removed by doubt”
  • Benefits of ورع:
    • It saves oneself from the punishment of Allah
    • It leade to tranquillity of the heart and mind
    • It distances oneself from that which does not benefit as you would usually doubt between a makrooh or haram action
    • It leads to Allah loving us, as He loves those who are cautious in following His orders
    • It helps in being someone who his du’aas are always answered as most likely everything you do will be halal

Benefits and Action points to take from this hadith:

  • Truthfulness sets in the heart very easily, hence we find the aqeedah books of ahlu-sunnah to be very short, while other aqeedah books are very lengthy as they need to write so much to try and get their point across
  • If you find that a matter is doubtful, then leave it even if others tell you it is halal
  • Do not do this while you are still committing many haram actions. ورع is for those with a high status so focus first on reducing your sins, then on avoiding the makrooh, then on leaving the doubtful
  • Remember that the best process is the gradual process so don’t jump to this all at once, but start gradually

12 thoughts on “Hadith 11. The concept of wara’

  1. May the Almighty ALLAH SWT guide us on a path which is right as per His accord and not per our own understanding………..seek this with passion and sincerity from the Creator ALLAH SWT in the later part of the night…….
    i think knowledge opens to the individual is proportionate to seekers’ sincerity……
    Once again…..May we all be guided aright……..Aameen

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