Belief in Kalimah finally Leads to Paradise

A Selection from the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad (saws) which pertains to the finality of the Testimony of Faith in Allah (swt) as the yardstick for a believer’s salvation in the Hereafter.

Abu Dharr1 reports: “I went up to the Prophet. He was asleep. He had a white shirt on him. I went up to him again and he was asleep. Then I went again and he had woken up.2 I sat by him. He said, ‘There is no bondman who said, ‘There is no deity save Allah3 and then died4 on it but entered Paradise.’5 I said, ‘Even if he committed (sexual) adultery and committed theft?’ He said, ‘Even if he committed adultery and committed theft.’6 I said, ‘Even if he committed adultery and committed theft?’ He said, ‘Even if he committed adultery and committed theft.’ That happened three times.7 At the fourth time he added, ‘Even to Abu Dharr’s discomfort.’ (The narrator said), Abu Dharr left and he was repeating, ‘Even to Abu Dharr’s discomfort.’”8 ~ Muslim


1. Abu Dharr is Jundub b. Junada of Ghifaar tribe. He belongs to the top cadre of the Companions, and one of their ascetics. He was an early convert: some say, the fifth in Islam. He went back to his people and stayed with them migrating to the Prophet after the battle of the Trench. Later, during the reign of `Uthman b. `Affan he took residence in Rabdha (about fifteen miles from Madinah), dying there in the 32nd year Hijri. (Mirqaat al-Mafateeh)

2. This detail is not one of those trivial things that people say but rather the narrator wishes to emphasize his sharp ability to note every detail in order to impress on the listener the mien of the Prophet to make him feel as if he, the listener, was well nigh himself present, standing before him. (Mirqaat al-Mafateeh)

3. The Prophet did not include belief in him as a Messenger perhaps because it is a well-known matter. (Mirqaat al-Mafateeh)

4. The word ‘then,’ of ‘then died’ is in keeping with the rule that the judgment will be by the final state (of body and heart). (Mirqaat al-Mafateeh)

5. The final fate would depend on whether Allah (swt) forgives all his sins to usher him into Paradise – if He (swt) so wills – or punishes him according to his sins and then allows him into Paradise. (Mirqaat al-Mafateeh)

6. The Prophet saying, ‘even if he committed adultery and even if he committed theft,’ is to make it comprehensive since sins are of two kind, either against the rights of Allah (swt), such as adultery, or against the rights of the humans, such as theft. [So, both classes of sins are included as forgivable: Au.]. (Mirqaat al-Mafateeh)

The statement, ‘even if he committed adultery and even if he committed theft’ implies that those who committed major sins cannot be denied the possession of ‘Imaan.’ (Mirqaat al-Mafateeh, `Umdatu al-Qari, Fath al-Baari)

And that people’s rights cannot be annulled because of death nor does it mean that those rights will never be compensated for by Allah (swt), in favor of anyone He intends to send to Paradise. (`Umdatu al-Qari)

7. One other derivable lesson is that those who commit major sins cannot be treated as the dwellers of Fire, and that if they entered, they would ultimately come out. (`Umdatu al-Qari)

But which does not mean at all that a man will enter Paradise even if he continued to commit adultery and theft. (Fayd al-Baari)

8. That is, would you like to limit Allah’s mercy? But His mercy is towards His creations, whether you like it or not. (Mirqaat al-Mafateeh)

The literal meaning of ‘raghima anfu’ Abi Dharr would be, ‘even if Abu Dharr’s nose be in the dust,’ but proverbial meaning is, ‘even if Abu Dharr disapproves, or feels uncomfortable.’ (Mirqaat al-Mafateeh)

Al-Teebi has said that some scholars have noted that some people make use of this hadith and others of this kind to go loose on deeds of obligation believing that abandoning Shirk (association) is enough to win salvation. This leads to folding up the Shari`ah’s blanket, erasing of the boundaries of illegalities, and that the encouragement to do good, or warnings over sins and disobedience have no meaning or purpose.

In fact, it leads to complete egress from the religion, disregard of the rules and principle, and entry into confusion and chaos, resulting in the destruction of this world and the Next. The effort should be to get the reports of this kind together to arrive at a conclusion which does not ignore any detail and reconciles every detail. (Fath al-Baari)

As for he who died on persisting with sins, the majority opinion is that, if he was of the believers, he will be under Allah’s own discretion. He might forgive him or punish him: ‘He cannot be questioned about what He does.’ (Irshaad al-Sari)

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