The Qudsi (Sacred) Hadith

There is yet another kind of revelation in which no angel is involved. Allah sends the revelation directly to the Prophet or speaks to him, or reveals to his heart, or occasionally through an angel who says to the Prophet, ‘Your Lord says so and so.’ The Prophet then narrates them to say, “Allah said so and so …” They are not part of the Qur’an, but quite close to it, and definitely revelations. Their meaning is from Allah, but the words are of the Prophet.

Of some two hundred or more of this kind, here are a few examples:

I. `Abdullah b. `Abdur Rahman b. Bahraam al Daarimi said that Marwan, that is, Ibn Muhammad the Damashqian said: Sa`eed b. `Abd al-`Aziz narrated from Rabi`ah b. Yezid, who reported Abu Idrees al Khawlani1 who said that Abu Dharr (ra) narrated the Prophet (saws) in what he narrated from his Lord,2 tabaaraka3wa ta`aalaa,4 the words:5

“O My slaves!6 I have forbidden7 injustice and oppression unto Myself8 and have forbidden it unto you.9 Therefore, oppress not one another.10 O My slaves! All of you are unguided,11 save he whom I have guided, so seek guidance of Me,12 I shall guide you.13 O My slaves! All of you are hungry14 save he whom I have fed, so seek food of Me, I shall provide you.15 O My slaves! All of you are naked, save he whom I have clothed, so seek clothes of Me, I shall clothe you. O My slaves! You sin by night and by day, and I forgive you your sins, so seek forgiveness of Me, I shall forgive you your sins.16 O My slaves! You will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, and you will not attain benefitting Me so as to benefit Me. O My slaves! Were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the Jinn of you to become as pious as one of the most pious among you, that will not cause increase in My kingdom in the least.17 O My slaves! Were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the Jinn of you to become like the most wicked among you, that would not cause decrease in My kingdom in the least.18 O My slaves! Were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the Jinn of you were to gather in one place and ask of Me,19 and I give every one of you his asking, that will not cause a decrease in what I have, any more than a needle will cause a decrease in the sea if dipped into it (and pulled out).20 O My slaves! It is but your deeds that I reckon for you and then recompense for them. So let him who finds good (consequence) praise Allah,21 and let him who finds other than that22 may not blame any but himself.”23

Sa`eed said, “Whenever Abu Idrees al-Khawlani narrated this hadith, he fell on his knees.24

Commentary

1. Imam Ahmed (who has also preserved this report) has remarked that Syrians have not narrated a hadith nobler than this one (Fayd al-Qadir).

All the narrators in this chain of narrators are Syrians. (Au.)

2. This hadith (Prophetic statement) is of the Qudsi kind which does not involve any narrator between Allah (swt) and the Prophet (saws) but which narration is not in the Qur’an.

3. The textual word “tabaaraka” stands for opulent good, out of which ‘good’ a mere part has become apparent. (Mishkatu al-Masaabeeh, Mulla `Ali Qari)

4. The word “ta`aalaa” means, ‘He is above any likeness and any association with Him.’ (Mishkatu al-Masaabeeh, Qari, in substance)

5. In this instance, the narration could have been direct or through an intermediator, in wakefulness or in sleep, in exact words, or in substance. (Mishkatu al-Masaabeeh, Qari)

6. Primarily, as Al Teebi has said, it is humans and Jinns who are addressed, but it could include the angels as well. (Qari)

7. Allah (swt) bids Himself some things and forbids unto Himself some things. Of the things he has bid Himself, one is mercy. He said, “Your Lord has bid unto Himself mercy.” (6: 54); and of the things He has forbidden Himself, one is injustice and oppression. (Sharh Riyad al Saaliheen, Ibn `Uthaymeen)

As Allah said in the Qur’an: “Surely, Allah does not do injustice even by the weight of an atom” (4: 40) – [Au.]

Although any injustice on His part is out of the question, Ubayy b. Ka`b asserted, (as in the collection of Abu Da’ud, Ibn Majah and others) in presence of a few Companions, that if Allah chose to do wrong to anyone, He would still be right because they are His creation (and so, logically, He has the right to deal with them as He likes: Au.), and if He shows them mercy, then, that is better than they should earn His mercy with the help of their good deeds. (Zakheeratu al-`Uqba fi Sharh al Mujtabaa)

8. Zulm of Arabic is to place a thing where it does not belong. An additional meaning is to encroach upon another’s right. (That is why we translate ‘Zulm’ as injustice and oppression).

Both are unthinkable of Allah because He is praiseworthy in everything He does. His every act is either ‘just’ or ‘graceful.’ (Qari)

9. As Ibn Hajr said, the textual words imply a strict and uncompromising prohibition. (Qari)

10. If you did, He will keep His promise expressed in another hadith: “I shall surely avenge for the oppressed, even if it is after a while.” He also said in the Qur’an, “Think not that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He is reprieving them until the Day when the sights will be staring fixed in horror” (14: 42); and as the Prophet said, “He extends reprieve, but does not ignore.” (Qari)

11. That is, all of you miss every this-worldly and next-worldly blessing. (Qari) The implied meaning is that if the Jinn and mankind are left to their innate corrupt nature, they would ever remain unguided to the perennial truths bearing which they had taken births. (Qari)

Dhalaalah (or Zalaalah) is to veer away from the straight path, whether willfully or forgetfully, whether by a little or by a big margin, for, the straight path, which is the acceptable way, is quite hard to remain on. Sometimes we remain true to it, but not at other times, yet, missing it most of the time. To that, the Prophet was alluding when he said, “Try to be plumb-straight, but you will never be able to hit the center of the target.” That considered, it is right to use the word ‘zalaal’ for any minor error. It is in this sense that Prophets have been alluded to as committing a ‘dalaal’ along with its application to the unbelievers, although the connotations are wide apart. (Al Teebi in Sharh Miskhaat, who took it from Raaghib)

12. It means, “Seek Me every kind of guidance,” (Qari); for, a blessing given without being asked for, goes thankless (Au.).

13. That is, He will guide you in every little detail. (Qari)

An implication is that when a man finds himself doing good, he should be grateful to his Lord, for, it is He who led him to it. (Al Ifsaah fi Ma`aani al Sihaah)

14. After the spiritual need, the attention is turned to physical needs. (Qari)

15. Seek not providence from anyone, for, they also get their providence from Allah (Al Ifsaah fi Ma`aani al Sihaah), and “remember that power and providence flow out of My door.” (Qari)

Seeking providence from Allah should be with the help of word and deed. He said, “Had the people of the town believed and adopted piety, We would have opened for them the blessings of the heaven and earth.” (7: 96) – (Ibn `Uthaymeen)

16. The Prophet himself sought Allah’s forgiveness so often that Ibn `Umar reported, as in Tirmidhi, Abu Da’ud and others that: “In a single sitting, we could count the Prophet saying a hundred times, ‘Forgive me, my Lord, and turn to me, You are indeed the oft-turning, the Merciful.’ (Zakheeratu al-`Uqba fi Sharh al Mujtabaa)

17. That is if every single individual were to become as pious as the most pious of you (for example, like the heart of Prophet Muhammad, on him be peace), that will not cause an increase in My power by a bit. (Qari)

18. That is if every single individual were to become as wicked as the most wicked of you (for example, the heart of Iblees), that will not cause a decrease in My power by a bit. (Qari)

19. They have been asked to gather together because a whole lot asking at one time would be a challenging situation for any but for Allah, for it would be of no concern to Him because the execution of His command happens between ‘kaaf’ and ‘noon’ (of Kun). [Qari from Teebee, and Munawi in Fayd]

20. Accordingly, Abu Sa`id al Khudri used to say, ‘When you ask Allah, ask Him to the highest limits because what He has, cannot be exhausted; and when you ask, stay assured, that you will be granted.’ (Zhakheeratu al-`Uqba fi Sharh al Mujtabaa)

21. Because of the good word, or deed, that issued from you, did not but by the grace and mercy of Allah and His guidance. (Qari)

22. Note that the word “sharr” was not employed, but only alluded to with words, “other than that.” (Al Ifsaah fi Ma`aani al Sihaah)

23. Because the evil word or deed that issued from you, did not but because you have remained on the original misguidance (mentioned above). (Qari)

As for Allah, it matters to Him aught, either way. (Munawi, Fayd)

At all events, all deeds are originated and created by Allah (khalqan), and earned (by choice) by His slaves (kasban). [Qari]

24. He used to do that either out of deep respect (Qari), or out of fear and show of submission (Au.).