An-Nawawi's Hadith # 02
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Guide to Understanding An-Nawawi's 40 Hadeeth
Hadeeth # 02
Also on the Authority of `Umar , who said:
One day while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah there
appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and
whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of journey were to be seen
on him and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the
Resting his hands against his and placing the palms of his hands on
his thighs he said: O Muhammad, tell me about Islaam. The Messenger
of Allah said: Islaam is to testify that there is no deity worthy of
worship but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to perform
prayers, to make zakaah, to fast in Ramadaan, and to make the
pilgrimage to the House if you were able to do so.
He said: You have spoken rightly; and we were amazed at him asking him
and saying that he had spoken rightly. He said: Tell me about eeman.
He said: It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His
messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both
the good and the evil thereof. He said: You have spoken rightly.
He said: Then tell me about ihsaan. He said: It is to worship Allah
as though you are seeing Him and while you see Him not, yet truly He
He said: Then tell me about the Hour. He said: The one questioned
about it knows no better than the questioner. He said: Then tell me
about its signs. He said: that the slave-girl will give birth to her
mistress and that you will see barefooted, naked destitute herdsmen
competing in constructing lofty buildings.
Then he took himself off and I stayed for a time. The he said: O
`Umar, do you know who the questioner was? I said: Allah and His
Messenger know best. He said: It was Gabriel, who came to teach you
It was related by Muslim.
Explanation of Hadeeth # 02
That the Angel Gabriel himself came to teach the fundamentals of the
Faith to the Companions by asking questions to the Messenger .
That an angel can come in the shape of a man who can bee seen by
That as part of the Islamic manners, one of the good ways of sitting
with the teacher is to sit with one's knees against that of him and
placing his hands together on the thighs of the teacher.
That one can teach others by asking about that which he already knows.
That the teacher should answer the questions even if he knows that the
questioner is aware of the answers.
That although the thigh is part of the awrah, one can touch it if it
That if someone wants to know about Islam generally, then he should be
made aware of the pillars which constitute it.
That Islaam is built on the five pillars which have to be acted upon
with iman and ihsan. Denying any one of these pillars and not
wishing to fulfill any one of them makes you a non-Muslim.
That belief in what Allah has destined for us, whether it is perceived
to be good, or bad, is part of iman, and without believing in it, our
iman is incomplete and defective.
That one may believe in Allah but one has to be always conscious of
the Last Day too.
That one must accept the Messengers sent by Allah.
That as part of the Islamic manner, the questioner can approve of the
teacher's answer by saying that the answer is correct.
That one must develop ihsaan in all that he does so that he is as much
aware as he can be that Allah is indeed watching every move that he
That as part of the Islamic manner the teacher should be ready to
accept and say that he does not know the answer or that he does not
know it better than the enquirer.
That it is permissible to talk about the signs of the Last Hour.
That the signs of the Last Hour are real and cocern how we live and
That if someone comes to a people and goes away from them without the
people knowing who he was, the he can be identified to the people.
That although the Companions were the best of the people and were the
most knowledgeable, they did not interrupt with their own answers, nor
did they show impatience at the questioner. Therefore as part of the
Islamic manners, if someone asks a question to the teacher in a group,
then the others in the group should keep quiet until one of them is
asked for help.
It is not permissible to say that there is a certain length of time
left before the end of the world, for none knows but Allah, not even
the Messenger . [Sharh Nawawi]