Hadith 29. Path to Jannah Part A


On the authority of Mu’adh bin Jabal (radhiyAllahu ‘anhu) who said: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, tell me of a deed which will take me into Paradise and will keep me away from the Hell-fire.” He said: “You have asked me about a great matter, yet it is, indeed, an easy matter for him to whom Allah Almighty makes it easy. (It is ) that you worship Allah without associating anything with Him, that you perform the prayers, that you pay the zakat, that you fast during Ramadhan, and that you make the pilgrimage to the House.” 
Then he said: “Shall I not guide you to the gates of goodness? 
Fasting is a shield; charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire; and a man’s prayer in the middle of the night.” Then he recited: “Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knoweth what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do”. [Al-Sajdah, 32:16-17] 
Then he said: “Shall I not also tell you of the peak of the matter, its pillar, and its topmost part?” I said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.” He said: “The peak of the matter is Islam (submission to Allah), the pillar is prayer; and its topmost part is jihad.” Then he said: “And shall I not tell you of the controlling of all that ?” I said:” Yes, O Messenger of Allah”. So he took hold of his tongue and said: “Restrain this.” I said: “O Prophet of Allah, will we be held accountable for what we say?” He said: “May your mother be bereft of you! Is there anything that topples people on their faces (or he said, on their noses) into the Hell-fire other than the jests of their tongues?

(Related by Al-Tirmidhi, who said it was a fine and sound hadith)

 Brief Commentary

  • This hadith revolves around many principles and goes through the many paths that can lead to Jannah
  • Muadh was a great sahabi who was the most knowledgeable in halal and haram, yet he still asked simple questions so we shouldn’t feel shy to ask about matters which are important but may sound simple
  • Muadh asked about an action that leads to entering Jannah so it is understood that actions can help in entering Jannah
  • This does not contradict the sahih hadith that none of us enters Jannah by our actions. Ibn Rajab said regarding this, “What is being alluded to, and Allah knows best, is that actions alone do not make a person deserving of Jannah, but Allah glorified may He be has with His bounties and mercy made it a reason (for entering Jannah). Also, actions are in of themselves from the bounties and mercy of Allah over His slave, so Jannah and what leads to it (actions) are all from the bounties and mercy of Allah”
  • Actions alone do not cause us to enter Jannah, but it is by Allah facilitating them, accepting them, and making them a cause, so it isn’t the action, but Allah’s acceptance and decision
  • Another opinion is that Allah’s mercy enters us Jannah, and our actions decide our level in Jannah
  • The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) responded by praising the question, which is a great method of teaching that encourages the questioner to ask more by showing the importance of what he asked about. It also shows the questioner that you are interested in the question
  • The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said that the answer is easy, which gives glad tidings to the questioner and encourages him to do more good deeds and ask Allah for help
  • Guidance is in the hands of Allah, if He wants to guide us, then we will be guided, and if He doesn’t, then no one can guide us
  • The prophet’s (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) reply to what causes us to enter Jannah was to list the five pillars of Islam. This shows the great importance of these actions as they are the obligations, and the most beloved actions to Allah are the obligatory actions
  • The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) then offered to direct him to the doors of good. This shows another great quality in his teaching method, in that he is teaching in a progressive manner, not just lecturing the student. This way, the student is more involved and engaged

Benefits and Action points:

  • Do not feel shy to ask simple questions if the topic is very important
  • When meeting someone who is knowledgeable, ask them for advice for they will direct you to the quickest and easiest path to Jannah. Do not restrict your questions to fiqhi rulings or aqeedah matters only
  • Increase in righteous actions for they are what will lead you to entering Jannah and determine your level in it
  • When being asked a question, reply in a similar manner as the prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) did, which is by encouraging the question and questioner
  • If you want guidance, then all you need to do is take that step towards Allah and Allah will run towards you and help you and guide you, but you must take that step first, “ an easy matter for him to whom Allah Almighty makes it easy
  • When teaching someone, do it in a progressive manner, as the prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) did, so teach the basic things before the detailed ones

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