Narrated ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amr ibnu-l’Aas and Abu Hurayrah and ‘Aa’ishah (May Allaah be pleased with them), who said that Allaah’s Apostle (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Woe to dry heels because of Hellfire.” [Sahih Muslim, Book 002, Number 0473]
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‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibnu-l’Aas ibn Waa’il al-Qurayshi. He was a devout worshipper, memorizing narrations from the Prophet (`alayhi salaatu wassalaam), but limited are the narrations from him. His narrations were not as many as those reported by Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with all of them), because he was a worshipper utilising much of his time in worship. As to his date of death; there is differences among the historians as to when and where did he die. It is reported from Imaam Ahmad, that he died at the end of Dhul-Hijjah the year 63 AH (may Allaah be please with him).
Abu Hurayrah was spoken about earlier.
‘Aa’ishah, Ummul-Mu’mineen (the mother of the believers), the daughter of Abi Bakr ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Aamir al-Qurayshi at-Taymee (may Allaah be pleased with her and her father), was born in Islaam and the Prophet (`alayhi salaatu was-salaam) married her in Makkah following the death of Khadeejah and before his marriage to Sawdah. The marriage contract was done when she was six and the commencement of the marriage took place in Madeenah when she was nine. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi was-sallam) died when she was eighteen years of age. The marriage of ‘Aa’ishah in knowledge and wisdom and understanding is well known. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi was-sallam) spoke about her saying: “The merits of ‘Aa’ishah and her excellence over the rest of women is like the excellence of ath-Thareed (a meat dish) over the rest of food. [Bukhaaree and Muslim].
Many used to consult with her concerning aspects of knowledge. She died in the city of Madeenah in the month of Ramadaan 58 years AH, after a life spent propagating much knowledge that benefited the Ummah. May Allaah be pleased with her.
The Subject and Overall Explanation
The subject of this hadeeth is improperly performing wudhuu’. As to the meanings of some of the words:
• waylun : This is a threat (wa’eed). And it is said that this could be a valley in Hellfire, and the other opinion is that it means punishment.
• Al-a’qaab – The plural of‘ aqib (heel). This refers to the heels which were left not completely wet in wudhuu’.
The overall meaning is that since taharah (purification) is one of the greatest and most important conditions for salaah, improperly doing it will take away from the salaah. That is why the Prophet (`alayhi salaatu was-salaam) warned against incompletion or improperly making the purification to the degree that he gave such a threat regarding improper handling of one of the parts upon which wudhuu’ is to be made; a threat of Punishment in Hell on that particular part. Why did the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi was-sallam) particularize the heels as the part? This is because it was the place where the wudhuu’ on it was not completed as in the hadeeth referring to this incident.
In the version reported by ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr he said: “We returned from Makkah to Madeenah with the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and when we came to some water on the way, some of the people were in a hurry at the time of the afternoon prayer and performed ablution hurriedly; and when we reached them, their heels were dry, no water had touched them. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Woe to (dry) heels, because of Hell-fire. Make your ablution thorough’.” [Muslim]. In another narration also by ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) lagged behind us on a journey. We travelled (back) and we took him; and then came the time of the afternoon prayer, and as we were going to wipe our feet he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) called out: ‘Woe to the heels because of Hell-fire’.” [Muslim]. So this is the reason behind the hadeeth, and in the version by Abi Hurayrah, he reported that: “Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw a man who did not wash his heel and he remarked: ‘Woe to the heels because of Hell-Fire’.” [Muslim].
From the Benefits of this Hadeeth
1. It is obligatory to complete the wudhuu’ on each part of the parts of wudhuu’ thoroughly, leaving no dry spots.
2. There is a warning and a threat as to the one who neglects this and improperly handles it.
3. Since there is a threat, then negligence regarding this matter is a major sin.
4. Washing the feet in wudhuu’ is obligatory if they are uncovered.
5. Affirming the recompense on the actions. The recompense is related to the kind of action.
The Questions for this Hadeeth
1. Why is it that ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibnu-l’Aas did not report many narrations?
2. When did ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) die?
3. What is intended in this hadeeth?
4. True or False
a. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi was-sallam) died when ‘Aa’ishah was a teen.
b. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi was-sallam) particularized the heels because they are the places of accumulation of filth.
c. Washing the feet in wudhuu’ is mandatory if they are uncovered.
d. Negligence concerning any of the parts of wudhuu’ is from the minor sins.