Hadith 22. Requirements to Enter Paradise

On the authority of Abi Abdillah Jabir ibn Abdillah al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with both of them) who said: “A man asked the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam), “Tell me if I were to perform the obligatory [prayers], fast in Ramadhan, treat the lawful as permissible and treat the forbidden as unlawful and I do not add anything to that, would I enter Paradise?” He [the Prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam)] answered, “Yes”.

Recorded by Muslim

The meaning of “treat the forbidden as unlawful” is to stay away from it and the meaning of “treat the lawful as permissible” is to perform them believing that they are permissible.

Brief Commentary:

  • This is the only hadith in which Imam Al-Nawawi explained the meaning of some of its words. He felt it was of paramount importance to explain it is not talking about استحلال  (making things which are haram to be halal), which is a right that only Allah has
  • Replacing Allah’s laws with man-made laws is استحلال  and is therefore kufr
  • This hadith revolves around what enters us into paradise
  • It is well known that Salah is the most virtuous of actions, but some scholars actually say the most virtuous of actions is fasting, not prayer. This is because it involves the whole body and takes up more time
  • Zakah and Hajj were not mentioned because maybe they were not legislated at that time, or maybe because the sahabi that asked the question was poor so they did not apply to him
  • The hadith didn’t mention other actions because maybe the sahabi was a new Muslim, or maybe he was a mujahid so did not have much time
  • The prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would not say the same thing to other sahabah. In fact, he told Abdullah ibn Umar, “What a good man Abdullah is, only if he prays qiyam-ul-layl” (Reported in Bukhari)
  • We need to be very careful when giving out knowledge, which is why the prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) did not tell the Bedouins to do much to attain Jannah as that may put them off
  • Abandoning sunnah actions is not a sin, but is highly disliked and is not befitting for a true believer
  • Imam Al-Nawawi did not put this hadith so that we adhere to the basics only, but to learn from the eagerness of the sahabi to attain Jannah, and his truthfulness in admitting his weakness
  • We learn that Allah has not really asked much from us so we love Him as He has made it easy for us to attain Jannah
  • This hadith does not negate having high aspirations, as the sahabi was longing paradise and maybe not many obligations were prescribed then.  Also, the answer of the prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) depends on the questioner
  • Allah always encourages lofty aspirations. The prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was guaranteed Jannah but still worshipped a lot


Benefits and Action points to take from this hadith:

  • Allah has made it easy for us to attain Jannah so we must avoid the prohbitions
  • Never think that a man-made law is better than Allah’s laws, as this is kufr
  • When asked a question, give consideration to the state of the questioner when answering
  • Always have loft aspirations no matter what happens
  • Reasons people have low aspirations:
    • Loving the dunya and hating death
    • Laziness
    • Fatigue
    • Wasting time
    • Deviation in aqeedah
    • Becoming preoccupied with looking after the family and earning a living
  • How to improve our aspirations:
    • Increasing in knowledge
    • Reflecting upon the hereafter
    • Reflecting upon death and life in the grave
    • Making constant du’aa to increase in good
    • Focusing on higher matters
    • Surrounding ourselves with a righteous environment. Ibn Abbas said, “They are the ones whom you remember Allah upon seeing them”

10 thoughts on “Hadith 22. Requirements to Enter Paradise

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