Imam Al-Nawawi's Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 238
The Merit of the Dutiful Slave

 

1362.   Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, "When a slave is sincere to his master and worships Allah well, He will have a double reward.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: Looking to the welfare of the master mean that the slave serves his master honestly and takes good care of his possessions. Worship of Allah here means obedience of Islamic injunctions and obligations. A slave who is loyal to his master and adheres to religious injunctions stands to earn a double reward.

 

1363.   Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "The faithful and diligent slave will have a double reward.'' (Abu Hurairah added:) By Him in Whose Hand the soul of Abu Hurairah is! but for Jihad in the Cause of Allah, and Hajj and kindness to my mother, I would have preferred to die as a slave.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: "Muslih'' translated here as "faithful'' is that slave who is a well-wisher of his master and a devout worshipper of Allah. When a person is a slave he can neither take part in Jihad on his own nor perform Hajj nor serve his parents because he is bound by the will of his master. What Abu Hurairah has stated here is that had it not been of the excellence of Jihad, Hajj and righteousness to the parents, he would have liked to be a slave because then he would have got double reward promised by the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).

 

1364.   Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "A slave who worships his Rubb (Allah) well and discharges efficiently and faithfully the duties which are assigned to him by his master, will have a double reward.''
[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary: In this Hadith the services of the master, his obedience and loyalty are subject to the condition that in all these matters the slave does not go against the Divine injunctions. That is, he obeys only such orders of his master which do not incur the disobedience of Allah because in that case obedience of anyone is forbidden. In fact, the disobedience of unlawful orders is essential.

 

1365.   Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "Three kinds of people will have a double reward: A man from the People of the Book who believes in his Prophet and (also) believes in Muhammad; a slave who discharges properly the duties towards Allah and towards his master; and a man who possesses a slave-girl and teaches her manners, educates her well, and frees her and then marries her.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:
1. Ahlul-Kitab means the people of the Scriptures, that is the Jews and the Christians. This Hadith has an inducement for them that if they embrace Islam, they will be entitled to a double reward.

2.   Similarly, a sincere and well-wishing slave will also be entitled to a double reward because, on the one side, he obeys his master and bears all the trouble that is involved in his obedience, and on the other side, he also does justice to the worship of Allah.

3.   Muslims have been enjoined to impart proper education and training to their slaves, especially their slave-girls. In the latter case, they have been advised to liberate and marry them with all the essentials of marriage. That is, they should be given a dower and all other rights to which wives are entitled. There is a double reward for all these types of people.