The Qudsi (Sacred) Hadith

Ahadith from a forthcoming book, Miftah-ul-Ma`ani, by Syed Iqbal Zaheer

Hadith 1:

Abu Hurayrah (ra) reports that the Prophet (saws) said:

“There are angels1 of Allah who stroll around in the streets looking for those engaged in the remembrance (of Allah).2 If they happen to find a people in Allah’s remembrance they call out, ‘Come on briskly to your need.’ He added, thereupon they surround them with their wings, (rising) above (in stacks), right up to the first constellation.

Then he added, their Lord asks them – although He knows better than them3 – ‘What do My slaves say?’

They reply, ‘They sing Your glory, declare Your greatness, sing out Your praises and chant Your eminence.’4

He asks, ‘Have they seen Me?’5

They reply, ‘No, by Allah, they haven’t seen You.’

He asks, ‘How would it be like were they to see Me?’

They reply, ‘Were they to see You, they would be more intense in Prayers, more ardent in chanting eminence, more passionate in praise, and greater in singing glory.’6

He asks, ‘So what is it they ask of Me?’

They reply, ‘They ask of You Paradise.’7

He asks, ‘Have they seen it?’8

They reply, ‘No, by Allah, our Lord, they haven’t seen it.’

He asks, ‘How would it be if they were to see it?’

They reply, ‘Were they to see it, they would be greedier of it, more persisting in asking, and greater the craving (for it).’9

He asks, ‘What is it that they are seeking refuge from?’

They say, ‘They seek refuge from the Fire.’

He asks, ‘Have they seen it?’

They reply, ‘No, by Allah, our Lord, they haven’t seen it.’

He asks, ‘How would be it be if they were to see it?’

They answer, ‘Were they to see it, they would be more intensive in fleeing from it, and more intensive in fear of it.’

He says, ‘Bear you witness that I have forgiven them.’10

There at, one of the group of angels says, ‘Among them is so and so, who is not of them. He had come to them for an errand!’

He declares, ‘They are a company whose associate also does not go unblessed.’”11 (Bukhari, Muslim)

Commentary

1.Made of Nur, and invisible to the humans, angels have no stomachs – so they neither eat nor drink; as against the Jinn who, although made of fire, eat and drink. Allah’s Dhikr is the means of sustenance for the angels.

These angels fear Allah much, and avoid entering areas and places where Allah’s scourge could come down because He had been sinned against there. For instance, they do not enter homes where pictures, statues or images are found. Those assigned to the earth, go about in search of their spiritual nourishment. (Ibn Hajr in Fath; Sharh Riyad al-Saliheen)

2. Some Gnostics have expounded that Dhikr is of seven kinds:

  • Dhikr of the eyes, which is in weeping;
  • of the ears, which is in careful listening;
  • iii. of the tongue, which is in glorifications;
  • of the hands, which is in bestowals;
  • of the body, which is in honoring the trusts;
  • of the heart, which is in hope and fear, and,
  • of the soul, which is in submission and satisfaction (with the fate) – Subul al-Salam.

3. He asks them, even though He knows, perhaps to retort and remind them of their objection at the time of Adam’s creation, when they said, ‘Will you place therein someone who will spread corruption in it?’ (2: 30) [Qari, Mirqat al-Masaabeeh]; having overcome their carnal desires and despite their engagements in the affairs of the world. (Ibn Hajr, Fath)

4. This report does not mention ‘Tahleel’ (which is to say ‘Laa ilaaha illaAllah’) but another version in Muslim has ‘Tahleel’ instead of ‘Tamjeed’ which has almost the same connotation. But it appears that the word Dhikr here is in the general sense covering all of its kinds (Qari, Mirqat al-Masaabeeh); such as participation in Hadith circles; delivery of lectures; etc.

5. This shows that the glorification of the humans is of superior quality and higher value when compared to that of the angels, since humans glorify someone who is in the Unseen for them (`Aalamu al-Ghayb), whereas angels glorify Him who is in the sphere of the Seen (`Aalamu al-Shahadah) for them. (Qari, Mirqat al-Masaabeeh)

6. Which goes to prove that the strength to bear hardships is proportionate to the amount of (spiritual) knowledge that one has, and the love he carries. (Qari, Mirqat al-Masaabeeh)

7. This demonstrates that there is no harm in worshipping Allah seeking Paradise or avoiding Hellfire. What invites criticism is to worship Him for no other reason but to win Paradise or avoid Hellfire; for, Allah deserves to be worshipped for no other reason but that He is the Lord of the worlds. (Qari, Mirqat al-Masaabeeh)

8. This implies that Paradise has already been created and is in existence. (Qari, Mirqat al-Masaabeeh)

9. For, to see is different from hearing about it. (Qari, Mirqat al-Masaabeeh)

10. For, ‘Good deeds wipe out evil ones.’ (11: 114) – (Qari, Mirqat al-Masaabeeh)

11. Accordingly, Allah has directed us: ‘Believers! Fear Allah and remain in the company of the truthful’ (9: 119); and the Gnostics have said, ‘Seek Allah’s company. If you cannot, aspire to remain in the company of those who dwell in Allah’s company. (Qari, Mirqat al-Masaabeeh)

Hadith: 2

Allah said: “Adam’s son. Free yourself for devotion to Me,1 I shall fill your heart with self-sufficiency and will block your poverty.2 If you did not attempt, I shall fill your heart with (material) concerns and will not block your poverty.”3

Commentary

1. What happens when a man frees his heart for devotional acts, and chases away other concerns from the heart, is that Allah fills his heart with the feeling of self-sufficiency, so that he is not allured by the world’s richness and its charms.

The worldly things remain in his hands without ever entering his heart. (‘Al Ittihafaat al Saniyyah ..’ with notes by Muneer b. `Abduhu and Arna’ut, Mirqat).

What’s meant by ‘freeing’ for devotional acts is to give them priority over the charms of the world … and not allow the heart to be in a state of heedlessness. It does not mean indulgence in worshipful acts alone, and nothing else. (Al Tanweer, Sharh Al Jami` al-Sagheer)

Al Teebi writes: Freeing means to free oneself of the concerns of life, and getting busy with devotional acts, so that Allah may relieve you of your concerns. (Sharh li al-Mishkat)

2. By blocking of poverty, the allusion is to he not finding any reason to beg of others – something he despises. (‘Al Ittihafaat al-Saniyyah …’ with notes by Muneer b. `Abduhu and Arna’ut, Mirqat)

3. If he doesn’t do that, his heart is filled with worries of the world – his heart never satiated with whatever he obtains, and poverty always dances before his eyes – even if he has wealth in his hand. (‘Al Ittihafaat al-Saniyyah …’ with notes by Muneer b. `Abduhu and Arna’ut, Mirqat)

Ibn `AtaAllah said, “Empty your heart of the dust, He will fill it with gnosis and secrets. Quite often, epiphanies pass by you but find the heart covered with images of the material things, so it departs to its origin… and loss upon loss that you should free yourself of concerns but not turn to Him, and barriers are reduced but you do not take up the journey.” (Fayd al-Qadeer, shortened)

(In connection with what fate holds in hand), Imam al Baghawi reports `Umar ibn al-Khattab: “I do not care how I begin my day: whether on what I like, or what I dislike, because I do not know whether the good is hidden in what I like, or in what I dislike.” (Sharh al-Sunnah)