Hadith 23. Good deeds Part A

On the authority of Abi malik al-Harith ibn Aasim al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“Purification is half of faith. The phrase al-Hamdulillah (‘All praise be to Allah’) fills the scale. The phrases Subhanallah (‘High is Allah above every imperfection and need; He is pure and perfect’) and al-Hamdulillah (‘All praise be to Allah’) together fill – or each fill – what is between the heavens and the earth. Prayer is a light. Charity is a proof. Patience is brightness. The Qur’an is either an argument for or against you. And everyone goes in the morning and sells himself,  thereby setting himself free or destroying himself”

Recorded by Muslim


Brief Commentary:

  • Imam Al-Nawawi said this hadith is a great hadith which covers many of the core aspects of this religion
  • Purification mentioned in the hadith can refer to both physical and spiritual purity
  • Our religion is based on removing filth and replacing it with purity, known as the concept of تحلية وتخلية
  • Some scholars have said the purification mentioned in this hadith is in reference to spiritual purification i.e. abstaining from sins and repenting from them
  • Other scholars have interpreted “faith” mentioned in this hadith as Salah due to the verse in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Baqarah [2:143], hence have said that the purification mentioned in the hadith is in reference to physical purification i.e. performing wudhu
  • The outer appearance is a reflection of the inner appearance, hence a believer who is spiritually pure always tries to keep his outer appearance pure by being in a state of wudhu
  • If purification is half of faith, then the reverse understanding is that not being pure is something bad, whether it is physical purity or spiritual purity
  • You can praise someone for their attribute or for what they have done, but alhamd is a combination of both so is a greater form of praise, hence we say alhamdulillah
  • Alhamdulillah is placed strategically in Surah Al-Fatiha because it is placed after we say بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم so we know Allah’s attributes, and after رب العالمين  so we know what He has done for us and justify why we gave Him the highest form of praise, which is to say alhamdulillah
  • There are many ahadith which talk about the scales so we believe in the scales and believe that they are in fact a physical entity that will be present on the day of judgement
  • By saying alhamdulillah fills the scales, it can mean:
    • If the reward of saying it was made into a physical entity, it would fill the scales
    • If alhamdulillah was made into a physical entity, it would fill the scales
    • Alhadmulillah will come as a physical entity on the day of judgement that will fill the scales
  • Subhanallah means to free Allah from any imperfection and need
  • The light that we get from Salah can be interpreted as metaphorical in the sense that it prevents us from obscenity and sins
  • The light that we get from Salah can be interpreted as physical as the believers will get light during the darkness of the day of judgement and this light will be in the areas that they used to wash when performing wudhu
  • It would make sense to interpret it both ways as Salah brings both metaphorical and physical lights
  • It was mentioned that charity is proof, but in the Arabic language, proof also means the rays which emanate from light
  • You cannot have light rays without light, so you cannot have charity without Salah
  • Rays are an indication of light, so charity is an indication of Iman
  • Charity is proof that you love Allah more than you love your wealth as you are parting from that which you love for that whom you love more
  • Brightness is light which emanates from itself and gives warmth
  • Brightness wasn’t mentioned with Salah because it is hard while Salah isn’t hard, but patience is
  • The Moon brings light, while the Sun brings brightness. The moon is very soothing and pleasing to watch, while the Sun harms you. The same is extrapolated for Salah and patience in that Salah is soothing and patience is difficult
  • Allah referred to our laws as light and to Musa’s (alayhisalaam) laws as brightness because their laws were difficult but Allah made our laws easy


Benefits and Action points:

  • This hadith shows the importance of remembrance of Allah
  • Read “Invocation of God” by ibn al-Qayyim to know more about the remembrance of Allah
  • Remember Allah in all 3 possible ways:
    • Praise Allah e.g. SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu akbar
    • Make du’aa
    • Mention His blessings over you and over mankind and remember Him all the time throughout your life knowing that He is with you and watching over you
  • You should give charity to:
    • Free yourself from miserliness
    • Prove to Allah/yourself that He is more beloved to you than yourself
    • Purify your wealth
  • You should have the three reasons above when giving charity to feel its blessings
  • Adhere to all three types of patience:
    • Patience when faced by a calamity
    • Patience in staying away from sins
    • Patience in doing good deeds
  • light, light rays, and brightness are all essentially part of the same thing, so a believer should strive to attain all three

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