Belief in Kalimah finally Leads to Paradise
VI. Sa`eed al-Maqburi reports Abu Hurayrah, who narrated the Prophet as being asked, “Who is the most fortunate of men to earn your intercession on Judgment-day?” He replied, “Noting your eagerness for hadith, I had guessed, O Abu Hurayra, that you would be the first to ask me this question.1 The most fortunate to earn my intercession2 on Judgment-day will be he who would have said in complete sincerity, ‘There is no deity save Allah.’”3
1. Plain and simple matters of religion are there aplenty in the sources for one and all to look into and seek answers for. But there are complicated affairs, subtle, and, profound that are not for everyone to get to the bottom of, which are for the researchers and those of depth of knowledge. It is they who will delve deep, seek solutions, for their own benefit and for the rest of mankind. They will have the reward for their own actions, and of those who will act in their light, until the Judgment-day. (Ibn Battal)
2. Intercession of/ by the Prophet on Judgment-day will be of five kinds:
a. It would be for mankind to be released of the eons of torturous waiting state in which they will find themselves after being raised. His intercession will help start the Reckoning. Nawawi has added that this is the Great Intercession (Shafa`ah al-`Uzma) that the ahadith of this reference speak of to which we can add that this is the Praiseworthy Position (Maqamam Mahmuda) that is mentioned in a hadith.
b. Ushering in of a group of people into the right-hand side door of Paradise, without they undergoing any reckoning.
c. A people destined to the Fire, but given entry into Paradise by his intercession.
d. A people who would have entered the Fire because of their sins. They would be brought out by the intercession of the Prophet. This prerogative will be shared by other Prophets, angels and even other Believers, and
e. Intercession by which ranks of some people would be raised in Paradise. This last kind even the Mu`tazilah did not deny. (Badruddin `Ayni, Qastalani in Irshad al Saari).
3. If it is asked, would utterance of just the first part of the testimony suffice? The answer is a no. Utterance of just the first part of the testimony represents the rest. For example, you say, “Recited: Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad…” (being the first line of 112th chapter of the Qur’an) conveys the meaning that you recited whole of the chapter.
If it is asked, ‘Iman is testification of the heart. Now, if the heart has testified, but did not actually say it, will that earn the right to be interceded for?’ The answer is, yes, so long as there was nothing that contradicted the testimony. For, the testimony is between a man and his Lord and He knows what is in the hearts. As for life in this world, a mere attestation at the heart-level is not enough. One must speak it out with his tongue, to be treated as a Muslim obliged with the general demands of Islam.
Sincerely Said Testimony Prohibits the Fire
VII. Sunabihi1reported that he entered upon `Ubadah b. Thabit2while he was in his last hour. He said, “I broke into tears.” He said, “Go easy. What makes you cry? By Allah, if I am asked to bear witness for you, I shall bear witness.3 If I am allowed to intercede for you, I would. If I could benefit you (in some way) I would. By Allah! I have not heard a hadith from the Prophet which is of your benefit4 but I have narrated it to you, except for a single hadith. I shall narrate it to you now seeing that my soul has been overwhelmed. I heard the Prophet say, ‘Whosoever bore witness that there is no deity save Allah (swt), and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger, Allah (swt) has forbidden the Fire unto him.’”5
(Tirmidhi: Hasan Sahih)
1. `Abdullah Sunabihi was a well-known Follower. (Fath al-Mun`im)
2. `Ubadah b. Thabit was prominent Companion of the Prophet (saws). He had pledged his hand to the Prophet at `Aqabah and was appointed, among twelve, one of the Nuqaba’ (leaders). He participated in the Battle of Badr, and in many battles thereafter. He was sent to Syria as a Qur’an teacher by `Umar (ra). This was his last meeting with his followers, in Bayt al-Maqdis, in 45 AH. (Fath al-Mun`im)
3. It appears that seeing him in death pangs, the events of death and after-death, such as Questioning, Resurrection etc. began to flash before Sunabihi. `Ubadah could read that in his face and said, “By Allah, if I am asked to bear witness…” to the end. (Fath al-Mun`im)
But it is also possible that Sunabihi’s cry was because of his observation in/of death-pangs, or for fear that he will lose `Ubadah’s company and tutorship, although the meaning above seems to be more appropriate. (Al-Kawkab al-Wahhaj)
4. At this point, `Ubadah used plural form meaning, ‘you all,’ which means that there were other people around him. (Fath al-Mun`im)
5. Zuhri (Ibn Shihab) was asked about the Prophet’s words, ‘Whosoever said, ‘There is no deity save Allah, entered Paradise.’ He replied, “That was in the early days of Islam, before the revelation of obligations, and the injunctions to do or not to do.” (Fath al-Mun`im)