Hadith 24. Attributes of Allah Part A

On the authority of Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari, of the prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is that among the sayings he relates from his Lord is that He said:

“O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another. O My servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance of Me and I shall guide you. O My servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food of Me and I shall feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing of Me and I shall clothe you. O My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you. O My servants, you will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, and you will not attain benefiting Me so as to benefit Me. O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to become as pious as the most pious heart of any one man of you, that would not increase My kingdom in anything. O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of any one man of you, that would not decrease My kingdom in anything. O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more than a needle decreases the sea if put into it. O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon up for you and then recompense you for, so let him who finds good praise Allah, and let him who finds other than that blame no one but himself.”

Reported by Muslim

Brief Commentary:

  • Abu Idris Al-Khawlani who narrated this hadith from Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari used to drop to his knees out of veneration of Allah when narrating this hadith
  • This is a hadith qudsi so its meaning came from Allah, but the wording was that of the prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam)
  • The difference  between a hadith qudsi and the Qur’an is:
    • The Qur’an was sent down in wording and meaning ,but a hadith qudsi was sent down only in meaning
    • The Qur’an is a miracle whereas a hadith qudsi is not considered as one
    • The Qur’an is accurate in terms of its narration but a hadith qudsi is not necessarily that. It has different strengths as with all other ahadith; some are sahih, hasan, weak, etc. so it has not all been preserved
    • The Qur’an can be read in salah, but a hadith qudsi cannot
  • The Arabic language is a language of summarisation/simplification, as it aims to reduce the number of words used so you don’t necessarily hear something repeated again, but in this hadith, the phrase “O My servants” has been repeated many times
  • Benefits  of repeating “O My servants”:
    • It reminds the listener of his/her status. They are the slaves of Allah
    • It reminds them that they are lowly in front of Allah. “عبد” means something trodden upon
    • It reminds us of the nature of our relationship with Allah
    • It makes it stick to our minds and alerts us
    • We know that what will be said is very important and significant
  • There is no repetitive hadith like this in the 40 nawawi collection
  • Ibn Rajab said that oppression is to place things where they should not be placed, or to punish someone for the wrongdoings of others. From this we know that Allah is capable of oppression but He chooses not to do it out of His grace and mercy. We do not fall into the errors of misguided sects who say that Allah cannot commit oppression as by that we are saying that there is something which Allah cannot do and have degraded Allah’s abilities
  • Allah didn’t literally affirm His justice because the mere fact of negating  its opposite (oppression)is its affirmation
  • The messengers (alayhim assalam)were sent to establish justice and we are here to establish justice so it is from the major objectives of the shari’ah
  • When the Muslims went to Persia and were asked what brought them, they replied, “We have been sent to take the slaves from worshipping the slaves to worshipping the Lord of the slaves, and from the narrowness of the dunya to the wideness of the hereafter, and from the oppression of religions to the justice of Islam”
  • The Muslims had it clear in their minds what their objective is and what they must do, which is to establish justice
  • The greatest form of justice is tawheed (giving Allah His oneness) and the greatest form of oppression is shirk (associating partners with Allah)
  • Types of oppression:
    • Oppression to oneself: This is when you commit sins as you can not harm Allah so you are only harming yourself. No matter how good a person is, if they are a non-believer then they are indeed oppressors
    • Oppression to others: This is what the hadith is referring to, and it is to be unjust to others
    • Oppression to animals: The prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) cursed anyone who mutilates an animal
  • Oppression can be:
    • Not forgiven: e.g. shirk. Anyone who commits shirk will not be forgiven if he does not repent from it before he dies. If he repents before he dies then he will inshaAllah be forgiven
    • Forgiven only if you pay back: e.g. borrowing money and not paying it back on time. You can repent from this but you will only be forgiven if you pay it back
    • Forgiven: If you sin, Allah may forgive you


Benefits and Action points:

  • Avoid all forms of oppression, and deal with each one accordingly. If you sin, then repent. If you take someone’s right then you repent and give their right back, otherwise your repentance will not save you
  • Ensure you have not taken anyone’s rights in this dunya as the prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) spoke about what will happen on the day of judgement regarding oppression and said, “Whoever has oppressed his brother then he should seek forgiveness from him for there will be no dinar nor dirham that will be taken from him. It will be taken from his good deeds and given to his brother, and if he has no more good deeds, then it will be taken from his brother’s bad deeds and put on him” (Bukhari & Muslim)
  • The prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also said that there is no veil between the du’aa of an oppressed person and Allah. So ensure there are no oppressed people that are oppressed by you as their du’aa will no doubt reach Allah
  • Do not have an attitude in which you take the rights of your brothers and say they are easy-going brothers who would not mind
  • Protect yourself from oppression by:
    • Humbleness. It is when you realise your weakness and need for Allah
    • Removing envy and hatred
    • Contemplating on the consequences of oppression in the hereafter

4 thoughts on “Hadith 24. Attributes of Allah Part A

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