Hope in Allah’s Mercy

Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 51
Hope in Allah’s Mercy

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“Say: O `Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”. (39:53)

“And never do We requit in such a way except those who are ungrateful (disbelievers)”. (34:17)

‘(Say:) `Truly, it has been revealed to us that the torment will be for him who denies (believes not in the Oneness of Allah, and in His Messengers), and turns away (from the truth and obedience of Allah)”. (20:48)

“And My Mercy embraces all things”. (7:156)

412. `Ubadah bin As-Samit (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “He who bears witness that there is no true god except Allah, alone having no partner with Him, that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger, that `Isa (Jesus) is His slave and Messenger and he (Jesus) is His Word which He communicated to Maryam (Mary) and His spirit which He sent to her, that Jannah is true and Hell is true; Allah will make him enter Jannah accepting whatever deeds he accomplished”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Another narration in Muslim is: the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whosoever testifies that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Allah (SWT) saves him from the Fire (of Hell)”.

413. Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah, the Almighty, says: `Whosoever does a good deed, will have (reward) ten times like it and I add more; and whosoever does an evil, will have the punishment like it or I will forgive (him); and whosoever approaches Me by one span, I will approach him by one cubit; and whosoever approaches Me by one cubit, I approach him by one fathom, and whosoever comes to Me walking, I go to him running; and whosoever meets Me with an earth-load of sins without associating anything with Me, I meet him with forgiveness like that”.
[Muslim]

414. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A bedouin came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, what are the two imperatives which lead to Jannah or Hell”.  He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, “He who dies without associating anything with Allah will enter Jannah, and he who dies associating partners with Allah will enter the Fire”.
[Muslim]

415. Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Mu`adh bin Jabal was riding on the beast with the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), when he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said to  him, “O Mu`adh!” Mu`adh replied, “Here I am responding to you, and at your pleasure, O Messenger of Allah.” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) again called out, “O Mu`adh.” He (again) replied, “Here I am responding your call, and at your pleasure.” He (Messenger of Allah) addressed him (again), “O Mu`adh!” He replied, “Here I am responding to you, and at your pleasure, O Messenger of Allah.” Upon this he (the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)) said, “If anyone testifies sincerely that there is no true god except Allah, and Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, truly from his heart, Allah will safeguard him from Hell.” He (Mu`adh) said, “O Messenger of Allah, shall I not then inform people of it, so that they may have glad tidings.” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, “Then they will rely on it alone (and thus give up good works altogether).” Mu`adh (May Allah be pleased with him) disclosed this Hadith at the time of  his death, to avoid sinning for concealing.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

416. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) or may be Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: On the day of the battle of Tabuk, the Muslims were hard pressed by hunger and they asked Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam): “O Messenger of Allah, grant us permission to slaughter our camels to eat and use their fat”. He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) accorded permission. On this `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) came and said: “O Messenger of Allah, if it is done, we shall suffer from lack of transportation. I suggest you pool together whatever has been left and supplicate Allah to bless it.” Allah will bestow His Blessing upon it. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) agreed and called for leather mat and had it spread out, and asked people to bring the provisions left over. They started doing it. One brought a handful of corn, another brought a handful of dates, a third brought a piece of bread; thus some provisions were collected on the mat. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) invoked blessings, and then said, “Now take it up in your vessels”. Everyone filled his vessel with food, so that there was not left a single empty vessel in the whole camp. All of them ate to their fill and there was still some left over. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Any slave who meets Allah, testifying there is no true god except Allah, and that I am His Messenger, without entertaining any doubt about these (two fundamentals), will not be banished from entering Jannah.”
[Muslim].

417. `Itban bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported, who was with Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) in the battle of Badr: I used to lead my people at Bani Salim in Salat (prayer) and there was a valley between me and those people. Whenever it rained, it became difficult for me to cross it for going to their mosque. So I went to Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and said, “I have weak eyesight and the valley between me and my people flows during the rainy season and it becomes difficult for me to cross it. I wish you to come to my house and offer Salat at a place so that I could reserve that as a Musalla (place for prayer).” Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “I will do so”. So Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) came to my house the (next) morning after the sun had risen high. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) asked my permission to enter and I admitted him. He did not sit before saying, “Where do you want us to offer Salat in your house?’‘ I pointed to the place where I wanted him to offer prayers. So Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) stood up for the prayer and started the prayer with Takbir and we aligned in rows behind him; and he offered two Rak`ah prayer and finished them with Taslim, and we also performed Taslim with him. I detained him for a meal called Khazirah which I had prepared for him. (Khazirah is a special type of dish prepared from barley flour and meat soup). When the neighbours got the news that Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) was in my house, they started coming till a large number of men gathered in my house. One of them said, “What is wrong with Malik, for I do not see him?” One of them replied, “He is a hypocrite and does not love Allah and His Messenger”. On that Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Don’t say this. Haven’t you seen that he testified that there is no true god except Allah,’ for Allah’s sake only.” The man replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better, but by Allah, we never saw him but helping and talking with the hypocrites.” Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, “No doubt, whosoever testifies that there is no true god except Allah, seeking by so professing the pleasure of Allah only, Allah will safeguard him against (Hell) Fire.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

418. `Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Some prisoners were brought to Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) amongst whom there was a woman who was running (searching for her child). When she saw a child among the captives, she took hold of it, pressed it against her belly and gave it a suck. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Do you think this woman would ever throw her child in fire?” We said, “By Allah, she would never throw the child in fire.” Thereupon Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah is more kind to his slave than this woman is to her child”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

419. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “When Allah created the creatures, He wrote in the Book, which is with Him over His Throne: `Verily, My Mercy prevailed over My Wrath”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Another narration is: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “(Allah wrote) `My Mercy dominated My Wrath”.

Still another narration is: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “(Allah wrote) `My Mercy surpasses My Wrath”.

420. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah has divided mercy into one hundred parts; and He retained with Him ninety-nine parts, and sent down to earth one part. Through this one part creatures deal with one another with compassion, so much so that an animal lifts its hoof over its young lest it should hurt it”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Another narration is: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah has one hundred mercies, out of which He has sent down only one for jinn, mankind, animals and insects, through which they love one another and have compassion for one another; and through it, wild animals care for their young. Allah has retained ninety-nine mercies to deal kindly with His slaves on the Day of Resurrection.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

 Another narration in Muslim is reported: by Salman Al-Farisi: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah has hundred mercies, out of which one mercy is used by his creation for mutual love and affection. Ninety-nine mercies are kept for the Day of Resurrection.”

 Another narration is: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah created one hundred units of mercy on the Day He created the heavens and the earth. Each one of them can contain all that is between the heaven and the earth. Of them, he put one on earth, through which a mother has compassion for her children and animals and birds have compassion for one another. On the Day of Resurrection, He will perfect and complete His Mercy”. (That is He will use all the hundred units of mercy for his slaves on that Day).

421. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious said: `A slave committed a sin and he said: O Allah, forgive my sin,’ and Allah said: `My slave committed a sin and then he realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives the sins and punishes for the sin.’ He then again committed a sin and said: `My Rubb, forgive my sin,’ and Allah (SWT) said: `My slave committed a sin and then realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives his sin and punishes for the sin.’ He again committed a sin and said: `My Rubb, forgive my sin,’ and Allah (SWT) said: `My slave has committed a sin and then realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives the sin or takes (him) to account for sin. I have granted forgiveness to my slave. Let him do whatever he likes”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The last sentence “let him do..”. means, as long he keeps asking for forgiveness after the commission of sins, and repents, Allah will forgive him because repentance eliminates previous sins”. (Editor’s Note)

422. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “By the One in Whose Hand my soul is, were you not to commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and then seek forgiveness from Allah; and Allah would forgive them”.
[Muslim].

423. Abu Ayyub Khalid bin Zaid (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Were you not to commit sins, Allah would create people who would commit sins and ask for forgiveness and He would forgive them”.
[Muslim].

424. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: We were sitting with Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). Abu Bakr and `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) were also there among the audience. In the meanwhile Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) got up and left us. We waited long for his return: When we were worried about his safety, and got scared, we got up. I, therefore, went out to look for Messenger of Allah and came to a garden which belonged to the Ansar. He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said to me “Go and give glad tidings of Jannah to anyone who testifies `La ilaha illallah (There is no true god except Allah),’ being whole-heartedly certain of it”
[Muslim].

425. `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`as (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) recited the Words of Allah, the Exalted, and the Glorious, about Ibrahim (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) who said: “O my Rubb! They have led astray many among mankind. But whosoever follows me, he verily, is of me”. (14:36) and those of `Isa (Jesus) (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) who said: “If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily, You, only You, are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”. (5:118). Then he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) raised up his hands and said, “O Allah! My Ummah, my Ummah,” and wept; Allah, the Exalted, said: “O Jibril (Gabriel)! Go to Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and ask him: `What makes you weep?” So Jibril came to him and asked him (the reason of his weeping) and the Messenger of Allah informed him what he had said (though Allah knew it well). Upon this Allah said: “Jibril, go to Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and say: `Verily, We will please you with regard to your Ummah and will never displease you”.
[Muslim].

426. Mu`adh bin Jabal (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I was riding a pillion with the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) on a donkey. He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “O Mu`adh, do you know what is the right of Allah upon His slaves, and what is the Right of His slaves upon Allah?” I said: “Allah and His Messenger know better”. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah’s Right upon His slaves is that they should worship Him Alone and associate nothing with Him; and His slaves’ right upon Him is that He should not punish who does not associate a thing with Him.” He (Mu`adh) added: I said to the Messenger of Allah: “Shall I give the glad tidings to people?” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Do not tell them this good news for they will depend on it alone”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

427. Bara’ bin `Azib (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “When a believer is questioned in the grave, he testifies that, `there is no true god except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.‘ About him the Words of Allah, the Exalted, are: `Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the firm statement (The Testimony of Faith) in this world and the Hereafter)”.  (14:27)
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

428. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “When an infidel accomplishes any good deed, he is rewarded for it in this world; and in the case of a Muslim, Allah stores up his good acts for him in the Hereafter and provides him with subsistence in this life due to his obedience.”

Another narration is: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah does not wrong a believer a good deed because he is given blessings for it in this world and will be rewarded for it in the Hereafter. But the infidel is given in the world the reward for good deeds, he has performed for the sake of Allah and when he comes to the Hereafter, there is no good deed for which he can be rewarded”.
[Muslim].

429.  Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The five daily Salat (prayers) are like a great river running by your door in which you take a bath five times a day.”
[Muslim].

430. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Any Muslim dies and forty men who do not associate anything with Allah (in worship), perform his funeral prayer, Allah makes them intercede for him”.
[Muslim]

431. `Abdullah bin Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: There were, about forty of us with Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) in a camp when he said, “Aren’t you pleased that you will constitute one-fourth of the inhabitants of Jannah?” We said, “Yes”. He again said, “Aren’t you pleased that you will constitute one-third of the inhabitants of Jannah?“. We said: “Yes.” Upon this he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “By Him in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is, I hope that you will constitute one-half of the inhabitants of Jannah; and the reason is that only Muslims will be admitted into Jannah; and you are no more compared to the polytheists than as a white hair on the skin of a black ox, or a black hair on the skin of a white ox.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

432. Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will deliver to every Muslim, a Jew or a Christian and say: `This is your ransom from Hell-fire.”’

Another narration is: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with sins as heavy as a mountain, and Allah would forgive them”.
[Muslim].

433. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “A believer will be brought close to his Rubb on the Day of Resurrection and enveloping him in His Mercy, He (SWT) will make him confess his sins by saying: `Do you remember (doing) this sin and this sin?’ He will reply: `My Rubb, I remember.’ Then He (SWT) will say: `I covered it up for you in the life of world, and I forgive it for you today.’ Then the record of his good deeds will be handed to him”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

434. `Abdullah bin Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man kissed a woman and he came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and made a mention of that to him. It was (on this occasion) that this Ayah was revealed:

“And perform As-Salat (Iqamat-As-Salat), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e., the five compulsory Salat (prayers)]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e., small sins)”. (11:114)

That person said, “O Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), does it concern me only?”. He (Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)) said, “It concerns the whole of my Ummah”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

435. Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I have committed a sin liable of ordained punishment. So execute punishment on me”. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) did not ask him about it, and then came the (time for) Salat (prayers). So he performed Salat with Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). When Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) finished Salat, the man stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah! I have committed a sin. So execute the Ordinance of Allah upon me”. He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) asked, “Have you performed Salat with us?” “Yes”, he replied. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Verily, Allah has forgiven you”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

436. Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah is pleased with His slave who eats a meal and praises Him for it; and takes a drink and praises Him for it”.
[Muslim].

437. Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah, the Exalted, stretches His Hand during the night so that those who commit sins by day may repent, and He stretches His Hand in the day so that those who commit sins by night may repent. He keeps doing so until the sun rises from the West”.
[Muslim].

438.  Abu Najih `Amr bin `Abasah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: In the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance, I used to think that people who used to worship idols, were deviated and did not adhere to the true religion. Then I heard of a man in Makkah who was preaching a message. So I mounted my camel and went to him. I found that (this man who was) Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) remained hidden because of the persecution by his people. I had entered Makkah stealthily and when I met him I asked him, “Who are you?” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “I am a Prophet.” I asked; “What is a Prophet?” He said, “Allah has sent me (with a message)”. I asked, “With what has He sent you?” He said, “He sent me to strengthen the ties of kinship, to destroy idols so that Allah alone should be worshipped and nothing should be associated with Him”. I asked, “Who has followed you in this?” He said, “A freeman and a slave”. (At that time only Abu Bakr and Bilal (May Allah be pleased with her) were with him). I said, “I shall follow you”. He said, “You can not do that now. Do you not see my situation and that of the people? Go to your people, and when you hear that my cause has prevailed, come to me”. So I went back to my people, and while I was with my people, Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) emigrated to Al-Madinah. I continued to ask people about him till some of my people visited Al-Madinah. On their return, I asked them, “How is that man who has arrived in Al-Madinah faring?” They said, “People are hastening to him. His own people had planned to kill him but did not succeed.” Then I went to Al-Madinah and came to him and said, “O Messenger of Allah, do you recognize me?” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Yes, you are the one who met me in Makkah.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, tell me of that which Allah has taught you and of which I am unaware. Tell me about Salat first.” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, “Perform the Fajr (morning) Salat, then stop Salat until the sun has risen up to the height of a lance, for when it rises, it rises up between the horns of the devil, and the infidels prostrate themselves before it at that time. Then perform Salat, for Salat is witnessed and angels attend it, until the shadow becomes equal to the length of its object; then stop Salat, for at that time Jahannam (Hell) is heated up. Then pray when the shadow becomes longer, for the prayer is witnessed and angels attend it, until you perform `Asr prayer; then stop Salat till sun sets, for it sets between the horns of a devil. At that time the infidels prostrate themselves before it.” I then asked the Messenger of Allah to tell me about Wudu’, and he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “When a person begins the Wudu’ and washes his mouth and nose, the sins committed by his face, mouth and nostrils are washed out. Then when he washes his face as commanded by Allah, the sins of his face are washed out with the water from the sides of his beard. Then when he washes his hands up to elbows, the sins of his hands are washed out through his fingers with water. Then he passes his wet hands over his head and the sins of the head are washed out through the ends of his hair with water. Then he washes his feet up to the ankles, the sins of his feet are washed out through his toes with water. Then, if he stands up for Salat and praises Allah, glorifies Him, proclaims His Greatness as He deserves and devotes his heart wholly to Allah, he emerges sin free as the day he was born”.

When `Amr bin `Abasah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated this Hadith to Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) a Companion of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), the latter said to him, “Watch what you are saying. O `Amr bin `Abasah, a man will be getting all of this in one shot?” `Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) replied, “O Abu Umamah, I have attained old age, my bones have become dry, my death is approaching and there is no need for me to tell lies concerning Allah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). Had I not heard this from the Messenger of Allah only once, twice, thrice (and he counted up to seven) I would never have reported it. Indeed I have heard this frequently”.
[Muslim].

439. Abu Mu sa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “When Allah intends to show mercy to a people, He collects their Prophet before them and makes him a herald to happiness for them in the Hereafter; and when He intends to destroy a people, He punishes them while their Prophet is alive, and destroys them while he is alive and watches them and makes him witness their destruction because they disbelieved in him and disobeyed his commands”.
[Muslim].