LESSON TWENTY-EIGHT | 40 Ahâdeeth | Arba’een | of Imaam Nawawi رحمة الله عليه

November 9, 2017



DOWNLOAD AUDIO > Hadith 27 | Righteousness and Sin



 Lessons from Ahâdeeth Shareef by Moulana Naeem Motala  | Commentary on 40 ahâdeeth | Arba’een | of Imaam Nawawi رحمة الله عليه with emphasis on perfecting one’s character


 |  Lesson Twenty-Eight  |

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ وَنُؤمِنُ بِهِ وَ نَتَوَ كَّلُ عَلَيهِ ، وَنَعُوْذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شُرُوْرِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا، مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللَّهُ فَلاَ مُضِلَّ لَهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلاَ هَادِيَ لَهُ ، وَنَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ ، وَنَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَناَ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ 

Verily all praise is for Allah, we praise Him and seek His aid and ask for His forgiveness and we believe in Him and we place our trust upon Him, and we seek refuge with Allah from the evils of ourselves and our evil actions. Whomsoever Allah guides there is none who can misguide him, and whomsoever Allah misguides there is none who can guide him, and we bear witness that none has the right to be worshiped except Allah alone, having no partner, and we bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِناَ مُحَمَّدٍ ، وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِناَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَبَارِكْ وَسَلِّمْ

Allahumma Salli ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammad Wa’ala Aali Sayyidina Muhammadin Wa Baarik Wa Sallim | Oh Allah shower blessings and peace upon our Master Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam and upon the family of Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam


|  Hadith 27  |

Righteousness and Sin

عَنْ النَّوَّاسِ بْنِ سَمْعَانَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه و سلم قَالَ: “الْبِرُّ حُسْنُ الْخُلُقِ، وَالْإِثْمُ مَا حَاكَ فِي صَدْرِك، وَكَرِهْت أَنْ يَطَّلِعَ عَلَيْهِ النَّاسُ” رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ

[رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ]

وَعَنْ وَابِصَةَ بْنِ مَعْبَدٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: أَتَيْت رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم فَقَالَ: “جِئْتَ تَسْأَلُ عَنْ الْبِرِّ؟ قُلْت: نَعَمْ. فقَالَ: استفت قلبك، الْبِرُّ مَا اطْمَأَنَّتْ إلَيْهِ النَّفْسُ، وَاطْمَأَنَّ إلَيْهِ الْقَلْبُ، وَالْإِثْمُ مَا حَاكَ فِي النَّفْسِ وَتَرَدَّدَ فِي الصَّدْرِ، وَإِنْ أَفْتَاك النَّاسُ وَأَفْتَوْك

Hazrat an-Nawas bin Sam’an Radiallahu Anhu, narrates that Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said: Righteousness is in good character, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in your soul, and which you dislike people finding out about. [Muslim]

And on the authority of Hazrat Wabisah bin Ma’bad Radiallahu Anhu, who said: I came to Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam and he (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “You have come to ask about righteousness.” I said, “Yes.” He (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “Consult your heart. Righteousness is that about which the soul feels tranquil and the heart feels tranquil, and sin is what creates restlessness in the soul and moves to and fro in the heart, even though people give you their opinion (in your favour) and continue to do so.”

. . .


This Hadith explains Birr (righteousness) and Ithm (vice), which are literally translated as good deeds and bad deeds.


• Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala explains Al-Birr in this verse of the Noble Qur’aan :

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ وَآتَى الْمَالَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ ذَوِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَالسَّائِلِينَ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُوا ۖ وَالصَّابِرِينَ فِي الْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَحِينَ الْبَأْسِ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveller, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives Zakaah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous. ~ Surah Al-Baqarah 2:177


• Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala mentions Al-Birr (ie: treating people well and having a good behaviour) in the Noble Qur’aan : 

وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ

Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); ~Surah Al-Mā’idah 5:2

• Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam explained Birr as good character and that which towards the heart and the self are at rest. Treating people with good and kind behaviour, especially being dutiful to one’s parents, and to help each other in goodness are some meanings of Birr, from different Nussoos (texts) of Hadith and verses of the Qur’aan.

• Birr is the performance of all inward and outward acts of obedience, ie; it comprises of Imaan in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, establishing Salaah, Zaakah, fulfilling contracts, being patient, accepting destiny … etc. 

• In this particular Hadith, Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam mentioned Birr as good character, since good character may mean taking on the qualities of character of the Shariah and taking on the courtesy which Allah teaches His slaves in the Qur’aaan.

• In the second narration of this Hadith, Birr is referred to as that with which the self is at rest and the heart is at ease with. This shows that  Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala  has created His servants with the ability or disposition to recognize the truth, to be at ease with it and to accept it. And, He fixed in the heart the aversion of it’s opposite.

• The heart of a Mu’min is tranquil and at rest when the light of Imaan enters it. It becomes at ease, tranquil and accepting to the truth. And, it flees in aversion and detests falsehood and is unaccepting to falsehood. Thus, the affair of truth and falsehood is not confusing to a Mu’min who has gained this insight from Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala.


Ithm is that which the heart becomes agitated with. It experiences difficulty, constriction, unease, disturbance… It does not expand towards acceptance and regards righteousness as being wrong. A person would not like people to discover this about himself because, he knows that if people become aware of his unaccepting characteristic, they will also regard this particular act or deed of his as wrong.

Even though some people give a judgment in favour of this persons action, one may find that such people issue fatwas according to their own whims and not based on sound knowledge from Qur’aan and Sunnah.

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