Hadeeth of Jibreel : Islaam, Eemaan, Ihsaan & the Signs of the Hour – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

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Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah : Lessons 37 (Part B) , 38 & 39
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

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Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

والدليل من السنة حديث جبريل المشهور:

»عن عمر  رضى الله عنه قال : بينما نحن جلوس عند رسول الله  صلى الله عليه وسلم  إذ طلع علينا رجل ، شديد بياض الثياب ، شديد سواد الشعر«

And the proof from the Sunnah is the famous hadeeth of Jibreel:

From `Umar radiyallaahu`anhu who said: «Whilst we were sitting with Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam, a man came to us whose clothing was very white and whose hair was very black [48]


[48] Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

Speech with regard to Islaam, eemaan and ihsaan has preceded and the pillars of each level. The Shaykh (rahimahullaah) has mentioned the evidences for each level from the Qur`aan. All of that has preceded and finished.

Then, the Shaykh (rahimahullaah) mentioned a proof for these levels from the Sunnah, the Sunnah of the Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam; so he mentioned the hadeeth of Jibreel.

He [Jibreel] came to the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam whilst he was with his companions. He came to them in the form of a man and he sat with the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam, and asked him about Islaam, eemaan, and ihsaan. Then, he asked him about the Last Hour and its signs.

This is called the hadeeth of Jibreel or it is called the hadeeth of `Umar. It is a hadeeth which occurs through a number of chains of narration from a group of the companions, so it is an authentic hadeeth. The Shaykh (rahimahullaah) mentioned the narration of `Umar ibn al-Khattaab [1] of this hadeeth. There is variations in the wordings of the hadeeth in other narrations. However, the meaning is one and the same.

[1] Hadith Reported in Saheeh Muslim no. 8. Refer to Jaami` al-Uloom wal-Hikam of Ibn Rajab 1/93, second hadeeth.

«Whilst we were sitting with Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam» It was from their usual practice, may Allaah be pleased with them, that they would gather together in the presence of the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam in the mosque, and that they would take knowledge from him and listen to his (sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam) answers when he responded to questions. So, whilst they were like that in their normal condition, a man entered upon them through the door.

A man «whose clothing was very white and whose hair was very black.» Meaning: Jibreel `alaihissalaam. He came in the form of this man and he did not come to them in his angelic form, because they would not have been able to look upon him in his angelic form.


Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

»لا يرى عليه أثر السفر ، ولا يعرفه منا أحد ، حتى جلس إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم  فأسند ركبتيه إلى ركبتيه ، ووضع كفيه على فخذيه ، وقال : يا محمد أخبرني عن الإسلام «.

«No signs of having traveled could be seen upon him and none of us knew him until he sat with the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam. He placed his knees against his knees and placed his hands upon his thighs and said:

‘O Muhammad, inform me about al-Islaam.’»[49]


[49]: Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

«No signs of having traveled could be seen upon him and none of us knew him»: Meaning: from those who were present. This was something amazing: he had not arrived from a journey so that it could be said: “He is from other than the people of al-Madeenah.” Yet, they did not recognize him. He was not from the people of the city so that they could recognize him. So, they were confused about him. He was not someone who had come from a journey nor was he someone from the people of the town. If he had arrived from a journey, then the signs of having traveled would have appeared upon him, his clothing and his color, because the effects of traveling appear upon a traveler. No one from those present recognized him, so he was not from the people of the city. Yet he had not arrived from a journey. So what could this man be? This is what they found strange.

«He sat with the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam»: In front of him with the sitting of a student with his teacher.

«He placed his two knees against the two knees of the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam»: Meaning: He was very close to him.

«He placed his two hands upon his thighs»: Meaning: Upon the thighs of the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam.

So «he said: ‘O Muhammad’»: He addressed him by his name and he did not say: ‘O Messenger of Allaah.’ Perhaps he did that, `alaihissalaam, in order that the companions should think that he was from the people of the desert (i.e. Bedouin), because it was from the habit and custom of the people of the desert that when they used to address the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam, they would do so by his name. This is because the people of the desert have their own nature and customs. And it was also an addition in rendering it something strange and obscure so that they would not recognize him.

«He said: ‘O Muhammad, inform me about al-Islaam‘»: Meaning: explain to me the meaning of AlIslaam.


Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

قال» : أن تشهد أن لا إله إلا الله ، وأن محمدا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم  وتقيم الصلاة ، وتؤتي الزكاة ، وتصوم رمضان ، وتحج البيت إن استطعت إليه سبيلا ، «فقال : صدقت ، فعجبنا له يسأله ويصدقه .

He said: «It is that you testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alaihiwasallam, and you establish the prayer, give Zakaah, fast Ramadaan, and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House if are able to make your way to it.» He said: ‘You have spoken the truth.’

So we were amazed at him, asking him the question and then stating that he had spoken the truth.[50]


[50] Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

«Islaam is that you testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alaihiwasallam, and you establish the prayer, give Zakaah, fast Ramadaan, and perform pilgrimage to the House if are able to make your way to it» The Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam mentioned to him the pillars of Islaam which are essential and are such that if they are implemented, Islaam is brought about. And whatever is extra to them from the other matters, then they are matters of completion. The Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam limited himself to an explanation of the pillars of Islaam since the shorter an answer is, the easier it will be for the student and the listener. It will be easy for him to memorize and preserve it. Whereas, if the answer is prolonged, it becomes difficult and confusing for those who are present, and perhaps most of them will not comprehend it. Therefore, this is a proof that a person who is questioned – it is befitting that he should strive to make an abridgement as far as he is able to and he should limit himself to that which is necessary. Otherwise, the fact is that Islaam is more than that. These are its pillars and its supports which it stands upon.

«He said: You have spoken the truth» This was a second amazing thing.

He said: «We were amazed at him, asking him a question and then saying that he had spoken the truth» It showed that he was a person of knowledge. He was not asking in the manner of a person who is ignorant, rather he was asking and he had knowledge as is shown by the fact that he said: «You have spoken the truth.» That proves that he was a person of knowledge. Therefore, why he did ask the question?


Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

قال : فأخبرني عن الإيمان ، قال» :أن تؤمن بالله ، وملائكته ، وكتبه ، ورسله ،  واليوم الآخر ، وتؤمن بالقدر خيره وشره «، قال : صدقت.

He said: ‘Inform me about eemaan.’

He said: «It is that you have eemaan (truly believe) in Allaah, in His Angels, in His Books, in His Messengers, in the Last Day, and you have eemaan in the pre-decree, the good of it and the bad of it

He said: ‘You have spoken the truth.’ [51]


[51Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

«He said: ‘Inform me about eemaan.’ He said: «It is that you have eemaan (truly believe) in Allaah, in His Angels, in His Books, in His Messengers, in the Last Day, and you have eemaan in the pre-decree, the good of it and the bad of it»

The Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam mentioned to him the six pillars of eemaan after he mentioned the pillars of Islaam. 

Islaam and eemaan, when they are mentioned together, Islaam means outward actions and eemaan means inward actions, the actions of the heart and what occurs in it with regard to tasdeeq (affirmation) and `ilm (knowledge). Both Islaam and eemaan are essential together, Islaam being the outward actions and eemaan being the inward actions, because of his saying sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam:

»الإسلام علانية ، والإيمان في القلب«

«Islaam is apparent and eemaan is in the heart[2]

If both are mentioned together, each one has a separate and specific meaning to it.

If one of them is mentioned on its own, the other one enters within it. If eemaan is mentioned on its own, Islaam enters within it. If Islaam is mentioned on its own, eemaan enters into it, because Islaam will not be correct without eemaan and eemaan will not be correct without Islaam. Both are essential.

They are inseparably linked, therefore they say: Islaam and eemaan are from those titles which when they come together, they separate, and when they occur singularly, they come together. Meaning: each of them enters into the other one, because they are inseparably linked and one cannot be separated from the other.

So, he asked him about the outward actions and about the inward actions. And he sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam explained to him the pillars of both Islaam and eemaan.


Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

قال : أخبرني عن الإحسان ، قال» : أن تعبد الله كأنك تراه ، فإن لم تكن تراه فإنه  يراك ، «قال : فأخبرني عن الساعة ، قال» : ما المسئول عنها بأعلم من السائل.  «

He said: Inform me about ihsaan.

He said: «That you worship Allaah as if you were seeing Him, and even though you do not see Him, He, certainly, sees you

He said: ‘Inform me about the Last Hour.’

He said: «The one who is being asked about it does not know any better than the one who is asking[52]


[52] Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

He said: Inform me about ihsaan. He said: «That you worship Allaah…» It has already preceded that the person of ihsaan is the person who worships Allaah as if He were actually seeing Him, and upon certainty as if he were seeing Allaah. Or that he worships Him upon the basis of his being observed and he knows that Allaah sees him, therefore he perfects the action, because Allaah is observing him. So, the person of ihsaan worships Allaah, either seeing Him with his heart – and that is more complete – or upon the basis that he is being watched. And he knows that Allaah is seeing him in whatever place and with whatever action he is doing. This is Al ihsaan.

He said: ‘You have spoken the truth. Inform me about the Last Hour.’ Meaning: about the establishment of the Hour. When will it be? This question – the answer of it is not known to anyone, except to Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, because the establishment of the Hour – its appointed time is not known except to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.

We know that the Hour will be established. We have no doubt about that. Whoever doubts that, then he is a disbeliever. We know that the Hour will be established and it will certainly occur. However, the time at which Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, will establish the Hour, He has not informed us about it and He has not explained it to us. He has kept it secret within His Knowledge. He the Most High said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ

«Allaah! With Him is the knowledge of the Hour.» [31:34]

And He, the Most High, said:

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرْسَاهَا ۖ قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِندَ رَبِّي ۖ لَا يُجَلِّيهَا لِوَقْتِهَا إِلَّا هُوَ

«They ask you about the Hour: ‘When will it come about?’ Say: ‘Its knowledge is with my Lord alone. None can reveal its time but He.’» [7:187]

He is the One who knows it, He the Perfect.

He, the Most High, said:

وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَا إِلَّا هُوَ

«And with Him are the keys to the hidden and unseen, none knows them but He.» [6:59]

From it [the hidden and unseen] is the time and establishment of the Hour.

He sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam said to Jibreel: «The one who is being asked about it does not know any better than the one who is asking» Meaning: I and you are the same. We do not know when the Hour will be established. Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, did not make anyone aware of that, neither the Angels, the Messengers, nor anyone. Rather, He kept it secret in His Knowledge, He the Perfect and most High.


Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

قال : فأخبرني عن أماراﺗﻬا ، قال» : أن تلد الأمة ربتها«

He said: ‘Then inform me about its signs.’

He said: «That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress[53]


[53] Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

He said: ‘Then inform me about its signs’: (الأمارات) is the plural of (أمارة). It means the sign. As for (الإمارة) with the kasrah, then it means al-wilaayah (leadership). 

‘Inform me about its signs’: Meaning: the signs which indicate the closeness of its Establishment. Yes. The Hour has signs, and Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, has made them clear. From them are the smaller signs, from them are major signs and from them are the intermediate signs. And from them are signs which are very close to the Hour that will occur at its establishment. They will be close to its establishment. As for the other signs, then they come before that.

The scholars say: The signs for the hour are of three types: Smaller signs which come [quite some time] before it, intermediate signs, and major signs. The lesser and intermediate signs have already occurred or most of them have occurred. As for the major signs: the appearance of the Dajjaal, the descent of `Eesaa (`alaihissalaam), the emergence of the beast, and the emergence of Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj. These will occur at the actual establishment of the Hour and will quickly follow on in succession. 

He said: ‘Inform me about its signs’: Since its signs are known, the Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam answered him and said: «That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress.» This is from the signs of the Hour. The slave girl [meaning] one who is owned and rabbataha means her female-owner (mistress).


Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

»وأن ترى الحفاة العراة العالة رعاء الشاء يتطاولون في البنيان «.

«And that you will see barefoot, unclothed, destitute shepherds vying with each other in building tall buildings[54]


[54] Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

«That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress.» The explainer said: Its meaning, and Allaah knows best, is that towards the end of time, there will be many captives or slaves taken, meaning: there will be many occurrences of intercourse with slave-girls, meaning: the owned slave-girls. They will give birth to daughters and the slave-girl’s daughter will be a free woman and she will be a mistress to her mother and an owner of her.

It is also said: Its meaning is that disobedience to parents will be abundant such that the daughter will act as if she is a mistress to her mother.

«And that you will see barefoot»: This is a second sign.

«Barefoot»: Those who have no shoes because of poverty and destitution.

«Unclothed» Those who do not have clothing.

«Destitute» The poor and needy people.

«Shepherds» (رعاء) is the plural of (راع), those who shepherd the sheep. In origin, those people are found in the desert areas, in their own dwellings and they move about from one place to another. But at the end of time, they will take residence in the cities and they will build tall palaces and towering buildings. This is from the signs of the Hour, when the desert people change and become modern and they start to vie with each other in tall buildings. They compete with each other in adorning them. This was not from their custom in any way. They will change to be rich people, having wealth and people who manifest it [i.e. what they have]. This is from the signs of the Hour.

And as you know, the Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam did not speak from his own desires, just as you know today, how the condition of the people is. The peoples conditions have changed. The poor have turned into rich people having vast riches. The desert people have become modernized and they have competed in building tall buildings. This is in confirmation of the truth of what Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam said.


Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

قال : فمضى ، فلبثنا مليا ، فقال» : يا عمر أتدري من السائل ؟ «قلت : الله ورسوله أعلم ، قال» : هذا جبريل أتاكم يعلمكم أمر دينكم «

He said: Then he went away and we remained for some time. So he said: «O’ `Umar! Do you know who the questioner was?» I said: ‘Allaah and His Messenger know best.’ He said: «This was Jibreel, he came to you to teach you the affair of your religion[55]


[55] Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

He said: Then he went away and we remained for some time: Meaning: for a short time. 

So the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam then said: «O `Umar! Do you know who the questioner was?» Do you [people] know who the questioner was?

In one narration the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam said:

»علي بالرجل«

«Bring the man to me[3]

So, they looked for him, but could not find him. 

He said: «This was Jibreel, he came to you to teach you the affair of your religion.» The one who entered and asked these questions was Jibreel `alaihissalaam. He came in the form of a man, just as was described, in order to teach those present the affairs of the religion in the manner of question and answer.


This hadeeth proves a number of tremendous matters: 

Firstly: The religion is divided into three levels: Islaam, eemaan, and ihsaan, each level being higher than the one before it. Each level has pillars: The pillar of Islaam, the pillars of eemaan, and ihsaan is a single pillar. 

Secondly: It shows teaching by way of questions and answers. This is a teaching method which succeeds, because it is better for arousing attention and conveying knowledge if the person is questioned. His mind is therefore made ready and he seeks the answer. So, he seeks the answer and then he gives the answer to him, and he is desiring it, so this will establish it firmly. 

Thirdly: In the hadeeth there is a proof that whoever is asked about some knowledge and he does not know, then it is upon him to say: Allaah and His Messenger know best. He should refer knowledge back to the one who knows it. He should not speak with an answer when he does not know it and he should not make a guess. This is not permissible. The Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam, when he was asked about the Hour, he said: «The one who is being asked about it does not know any better than the one who is asking.» And when he said to the Companions: «Do you know who the questioner was?» They did not know him, they said: Allaah and His Messenger know best.

This shows that with regard to matters relating to the Islaamic legislation and that of the religion, it is not permissible to speak about them based upon conjecture, because this will be a case of takalluf (unnecessary overburdening oneself). However, whoever has knowledge should respond and whoever does not have knowledge should say: ‘Allaah knows best.’ And whoever says: ‘I do not know,’ has given a response. 

Imaam Maalik (rahimahullaah) was asked forty questions and he gave an answer to six of them. With regard to the rest, he said: ‘I do not know.’ So questioner said to him: ‘I have come from such-and-such place. I have traveled and tired out my riding animal and you say: ‘I do not know?’ So he said: ‘Ride your animal and go back to the land which you came from and say: ‘I asked Maalik and he said: ‘I do not know.”

This is not a defect that when a person does not know an answer regarding matters of the Islaamic legislation that he should say: ‘I do not know.’ Even if he is a scholar. The Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam said: «The one who is being asked about it does not know any better than the one who is asking

He sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam, when he was asked certain questions and he did not possess revelation from Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, he would wait until the revelation descended from Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. Do you not recite [a number of times]: ‘They ask you about such-and-such. They ask you about such-and-such. Then say: ‘Such-and-such.’

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ ۖ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ

«They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say: “In them is a great sin.» [2:219]

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْأَهِلَّةِ ۖ قُلْ هِيَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَالْحَجِّ

«They ask you about the crescent moons. Say: “They are signs to mark time periods for the people and for the Hajj.“» [2:189]

So, the Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam, when he was asked a question and he did not have an answer, he would wait until revelation came down to him from Allaah. So that should be even more the case with anyone else besides him. He should wait until he asks someone else or until he researches the matter in the books of the people of knowledge to attain the answer. As for being hasty, then this is extremely dangerous and it contains showing bad manners towards Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, since the one who gives the answer is answering about Allaah’s legislation. He is saying: ‘Allaah has made such-and-such permissible,’ or ‘He has made such-and-such forbidden,’ or ‘He has legislated such-and-such.’ So the matter is extremely dangerous. 

The fourth matter: The hadeeth contains a proof for the manners of the student. Jibreel was the noblest one of the angels, he sat in front of the Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam and placed his knees against the knees of the Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam and placed his hands upon his thighs and asked with good manners. This was in order to teach the people good manners with which they should adopt towards the scholars.

This is a part of what the hadeeth indicates and it contains. 

The fifth matter: It is an explanation of some of the signs of the Hour. He mentioned two signs: that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and some of the scholars say: its meaning «the slave-girl will birth to her mistress» is that disobedience and bad treatment towards the parents will be frequent at the end of time. So the daughter becomes as if she is one in charge of her mother, commanding her and forbidding her and being stern with her.

Footnotes:

[2] Reported by Imaam Ahmad as a hadeeth of Anas, radiyallaahu `anhu. [Shaykh al-Albaanee mentioned in his Da`eeful-Jaami` that this particular hadeeth is da`eef (weak). And in his explanation of at-Tahawiyyah, he said: Its chain of narration is weak, it contains `Alee ibn Mas`adah, about whom al-Uqayri said: He is from the du`afaah. Al-Bukhaaree said: He is a person of suspect. `Abdul-Haqq al-`Azdi said in his book al-Ahkaam al-Kubraa about this hadeeth: This hadeeth is not correctly preserved. And Allaah knows best.]

[3] Reported by an-Nasaa`eee in Sunan al-Kubraa as a hadeeth of Ibn `Umar, radiyallaahu `anhumaa. It has also been reported by Ibn Hib-baan and ad-Daaraqutnee as a hadeeth of `Umar ibn al-Khattaab, radiyallaahu `anhu. [Shaykh al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) said in his checking of Ibn Hib-baan: [This addition], it is saheeh (authentic).

Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah. Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah. Translated by  Daawood  Burbank, rahimahullaah

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

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