On a Believer’s Simplicity and Hope for the Hereafter

Presented herein under are Ahadith from the Chapter, Kitabl al-Iman, of a forthcoming book – Miftah al-Ma`ani– by Syed Iqbal Zaheer.

1. `A’isha (ra) reports the Prophet: “A believer attains the level of (constantly) fasting person and a (constantly) praying person through his good character.” (Sahih ibn Hibban)


This hadith tells us firmly, that although reports say that human are endowed with a share of good character at the time life is blown in him in the womb, they are actually rewarded only according to what they earn of the good deeds. (Ibn Battal)

A believer occupies higher levels than he devoted to rituals like Prayers and fasts because the latter struggles against his inner self alone whereas someone of good character and behavior struggles against several people at a time in his variety of interactions. (`Awn al-Ma`bud)

2. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet said, “This world is a believer’s prison and an unbeliever’s Paradise.”(Muslim)


It is because there are so many restrictions on a believer, involving what is lawful to him and what is not. On the other hand, an unbeliever is free to do, live, indulge as he likes, with no restrictions on him. Another meaning is that compared to the blessings and benefits of Paradise, and the freedom he will enjoy there, this world is a prison for a believer, while, compared to the hardships that the unbeliever is destined to face in the Hereafter, he is in heaven now, in this world, (even if he faces some difficulties in life here). – Fayd al-Qadir

When Da’udTa’ee was dying, a voice was heard saying, “Da’ud has been released from the prison (Mirqah).”

It is reported that during the time Hafiz ibn Hajr was the Chief Justice, he passed by the market square followed by a huge caravan, and himself in a lordly attire. A Jew, an oil merchant, who was in a bad shape with tattered clothes covered in oil, caught hold of his mule’s reins and said to him, “Ya Sheikh al-Islam! You claim that your Prophet said, “This world is a believer’s prison, while it is a Paradise for the unbeliever.’ But what kind of prison it is for you and what kind of Paradise is it for me?” Ibn Hajr replied, “Compared to what Allah (swt) has prepared for me in the Hereafter in terms of blessings, I am, at present, in a prison; whereas what Allah (swt) has prepared for you in the Hereafter in terms of tortures and punishments, you are, at present, in Paradise.”The Jew became a Muslim. (Fayd al-Qadir)

Another version says, “Allah (swt) will not look at a man who let down his lower garment out of pride.” (Ibn Majah – Sahih)

In fact, the prohibition is not related to the garments let down alone. According to a hadith in Abu Da’ud and Nasa’I, another report from the Prophet is, “Isbal (lowering down) applies to lower garments, shirts, and headgear. Whoever let any of them down, out of pride, will not have Allah look at him on the Day of Judgment.” (Istifa’ al-Aqwal fi Tahrim al-Isbal)

The direction appears to be aimed at the situation when lowering the garments is done out of pride. If it is done because of a reason (such as the garment is long, and he has no other), or for any other reason, then the threat is not addressed to him. It is reported that Abu Bakr said, “Messenger of Allah, the two ends of my lower garment go below the ankles. Should I cut them out?” He answered, “You are not of those who do it out of pride.” (Al-Muntaqa)

Ibn Hajr disagrees and says that it should not be let down for any reason. (Fath)

3. Abu Sa`eed reported the Prophet, “A believer’s trousers are up to middle of the calf. There is no harm if it is between it and the ankles. That which is below the ankles is in the Fire.” (Sahih of narrators)

4. `Abdul Rahman b. `Abd Rabbi al-Ka`bah said, “I ended up with `Abdullah ibn `Amr while he was squatting under the Ka`ba’s shade. I heard him saying, ‘Once we were with the Prophet in a journey when we alighted at a place. While one of us was pitching his tent, another sharpening his arrows, yet another busy with his horse, when a caller called out, “Congregational Prayers.” So we assembled. The Prophet stood up and addressed us, “There hasn’t been a Prophet before me except that it was incumbent on him that he should show his followers doing what was good for them, and warn them about doing what was evil for them. As for this your Ummah, security (from it) is written for the firsts of them; but the last of them, well, trials is their share; and things that you will disapprove. Then will come trials some of which will soften others; so that a believer will say, ‘This is my destroyer.’ It will pass away. Then will come another and the believer will say, ‘This is my destroyer.’ It will pass away. So whosoever wishes to be relieved of the Fire, and allowed entry into Paradise, let him see to it that his death meets him while he is a believer in Allah and the Last Day. Let him take across to the people what he wishes to be brought to him. And, whosoever pledged his hand to a leader, and gave him his right-hand clasp, and the fruit of his heart, in that case, let him obey to his best, and then, if another turns back disputing him, in that event (you may – the community) strike at the neck of the other.’”

`Abdul Rahman said: “I put forth my head between the people and asked, “I adjure you by Allah, did you hear this from the Messenger of Allah?” He pointed to his two ears (in response), and said, ‘My two ears heard it and my heart preserved it.” (Ibn Majah – Sahih)