The Number Three in Ahadith – II
Herewith such reports of the Prophet as use number three. However, as usual, we begin with Qur’anic occurrences. There are altogether seventeen verses that have used the number three. We shall present three with every selection of hadith: Compiler
Fourth occurrence of number three in the Qur’an: “When you were saying to the believers (at Badr), ‘Does it not suffice you that your Lord extend you help with three thousand angels descending down (from the heavens)?’” – Aal-`Imran, 124.
Fifth occurrence: “O people of the Book! Do not overstep the bounds of your religion, and utter not aught concerning Allah save the truth. Surely, Masih, `Isa, the son of Maryam, was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, His Word that He conveyed unto Maryam, and a Spirit from Him, Therefore, believe in Allah and His Messengers. Do not say (God is) ‘three.’ Desist. It is better for you. Surely Allah is One God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the Heaven and the earth. And Allah suffices for a Guardian.” (Al-Nisa’, 171)
Sixth occurrence: “Surely, those people disbelieved who declared that God is the third of the three. There is no deity save one God. If they do not desist from what they say, soon a painful chastisement shall afflict those of them who disbelieve.” (Al-Ma’idah, 73)
6. Anas reported the Prophet as having said, “There is no land which Dajjal will not trample except Makkah and Madinah. It has (Madinah) no opening but rows of angels are guarding it. Then Madinah will shake with its inhabitants three times. Thus will Allah remove (from it) every unbeliever and hypocrite.” (Muslim).
7. On Abu Hurayrah’s authority, “The Prophet appointed me to look after Ramadan zakah goods. And lo! Someone came and started grabbing food items from it. I caught him and said: `I’ll take you straight to the Prophet.’ He pleaded: `Forgive me, for I’m destitute. I have a big family and at the moment my need is very great.’ I let him go. In the morning the Prophet asked me: `Abu Hurayrah. What did your prisoner say last night?’ I said: `O Apostle of Allah. He complained of poverty and great need and so forth, and so I let him go out of kindness.’ He said: `He lied to you. He will come again.’ So I kept watch, and for sure he was there, the next night, grabbing food items. I told him: `For sure today I’ll take you to the Prophet.’ He said: `Let me go for I am in great need and after this I will not return.’ So I let him go and the Prophet asked me in the morning: `What did your prisoner do last night?’ I told him that the man complained of poverty and so forth and so I let him go. He said: `He lied and he will come back.’ So I kept watch and he reappeared. I caught him while he was helping himself and told him: `That’s it. Today I’m going to present you to the Prophet for this is the third time I’ve caught you although every time you promise me you will not come back.’ He said: `Let me go and in return I’ll teach you some words that will benefit you a lot.’ `What are they?’ I demanded to know. He said: `When you go to bed say Ayah al-Kursi: “Allah! There is no god save He … until the end of the verse.” (Verse 255 of Al-Baqarah). With that you will have a guardian (angel) from Allah by your side, and Shaytan will not come near you until the morning.’ So I let him go. The Prophet inquired in the morning: `What did your prisoner say last night?’ I gave him the story. He said: `He spoke the truth although a liar.’ Then he asked, ‘Abu Hurayrah, do you know who it was speaking to you for three nights?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘That was Shaytan.’”
8. Abu Hurayrah said (according to other reports, the Prophet said), “Ibrahim did not lie but three times. Twice they were in Allah’s path. First, when he said, ‘Nay, it is this – the chief one – who did it.’ Second, when he said, ‘Indeed, I am unwell.’ Third, he was passing through the land of a tyrant – one of a dynasty of tyrants – with Sarah in his company. When he broke his journey, a man went up to the tyrant and told him, ‘A man has broken his journey in your land. He has one of the most beautiful women in his company.’ So he sent for Ibrahim and he went to him. He asked, ‘What woman is this with you?’ He said, ‘My sister.’ He said, ‘Go back and send her to me.’ So he went to Sarah and told her, ‘The tyrant asked me about you and I have told him that you are my sister. So, do not expose me before him. You are my sister in Allah’s Book and there isn’t a Muslim on the face of the earth except me and you.’ (That he said because by rule the king killed a husband when he wished to take his wife away: au.). [After she was gone] Ibrahim stood up for Prayers. When she entered upon him, he (the king) desired after her and tried to take hold of her. But he was seized, strongly. He said, ‘Pray to Allah for me and I shall do you no harm.’ She prayed for him. He was released but again desired after her and again tried to take hold of her. But he was again seized, strongly, or even more. That happened three times, and every time he was seized. Finally, he pleaded, ‘Pray to Allah and I will do you no harm.’ She prayed and he was released. He called in his attendant and told him, ‘You haven’t brought me a human. It is a devil. Send her away and give her Hajar (as a gift).’ So she was sent away and given Hajar whom she accepted. When Ibrahim felt her coming, he terminated his Prayers and asked what had happened. She said, ‘Allah proved sufficient against the mischief of the unbelieving transgressor, and took away from him Hajar.’”
Abu Hurayrah ended (the narration) by saying, ‘That was your mother O men of the heavenly waters.’” (Muslim).
[Other reports give the detail that when the tyrant was seized, he fell, and struggled. Sarah would say, ‘O Allah, if this man died, I’ll be blamed, so release him. Scholars also explain that Ibrhahim (asws) was sure – probably on assurance from Allah – that no harm would come to her, and so sent her to the tyrant without hesitation].
9. ‘A’isha says that when the Prophet went to his bed, he would, every night, bring together his two palms, and blow in them after reciting the chapter 112, 113 and 114. Then he would rub his two hands on his body, so far as possible, starting with his head, face, and the front part of his body. He did it three times” (Bukhari)
10. Anas reports the Prophet as having said, “Do not bear hatred for each other, do not be envious, do not quarrel, but rather be Allah’s slaves, brothers. And it is not allowed for a Muslim to abandon his brother for more than three days.” (Muslim)