The Obligatory Religious Practices of Islam

The Obligatory Religious Practices of Islam


Hadīth

(This write-up has been prepared by the Hadīth Cell of Jāved Ahmad Ghāmidīwhich includes Moiz Amjad, Izhār Ahmad, Muhammad Aslam Najmi and Kaukab Shehzad)

روي أنه قال رجل من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: نهينا أن نسأل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن شيء فكان يعجبنا أن يجيء الرجل من أهل البادية العاقل فيسأله ونحن نسمع. فجاء رجل إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من أهل نجد ثائر الرأس يسمع دوي صوته ولا يفقه ما يقول حتى دنا فإذا هو يسأل عن الإسلام فقال: يا رسول الله، أخبرني ماذا فرض الله علي من الصلاة. فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: خمس صلوات في اليوم والليلة. فقال: هل علي غيرها؟ قال: لا إلا أن تطوع.

فقال: أخبرني ما فرض الله علي من الصيام. قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: صيام شهر رمضان. قال: هل علي غيره؟ قال: لا إلا أن تطوع.

فقال: أخبرني بما فرض الله علي من الزكاة. قال: وذكر له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم الزكاة قال: هل علي غيرها؟ قال: لا إلا أن تطوع.

قال: فأدبر الرجل وهو يقول: والله لا أزيد على هذا ولا أنقص منه. قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: أفلح إن صدق.

It is reported that one of the companions[1] of the Prophet (sws) said: "We were directed to refrain from asking any questions[2] from the Prophet (sws). Due to this, we were glad when an intelligent Bedouin would come to the Prophet (sws) and ask him questions [about Islam], while we could hear [the Prophet's answers]. So, one day [while we were present,] a man from the Najd came to the Prophet (sws). His hair was tangled and he had a rumbling sound in his voice. We could not understand what he was saying, till he came near us. It was then that we realized that he was asking about [some of the obligatory practices of] Islam. He asked: 'Prophet of God, tell me, what has God prescribed upon me in the case of ṣalāh?' The Prophet (sws) replied: 'Five prayers during a day and night [are obligatory upon you].' He asked: 'Is there any thing else in this regard that is obligatory upon me?' The Prophet replied: 'No, except that you desire to offer supererogatory prayers.'"

He continued: 'Tell me, what has God prescribed upon me in the case of fasting?' The Prophet (sws) replied: 'Fasting during the month of Ramadān.' He asked: 'Is there anything else in this regard that is obligatory upon me?' The Prophet replied: 'No, except that you offer supererogatory fasting.'

Then he asked: 'Tell me, what has God prescribed upon me in the case of zakāh?' The Prophet (sws) told him about the law relating to zakāh. He asked: 'Is there anything else that is obligatory upon me, in this connection?' The Prophet (sws) replied: 'No, except that you wish to offer supererogatory charity.'

At this the man turned around to leave[3], saying: 'By God, I [shall fulfill these obligations, but] shall neither offer anything of my own accord nor reduce anything from these [practices].' The Prophet (sws) said: 'He shall be successful [in the hereafter], if he can do as he says.'"

Notes on the Text of the Narrative:

This narrative or a part of it, with some variations, has been reported in Bukhārī (nos. 46, 1792, 2532 and 6556), Muslim (nos. 11, 12), Tirmidhī (no. 619), Nasā'ī(nos. 458, 2090, 2091, 5028), Abū Dā'ūd(nos. 391, 392, 3252) Ahmad ibn Hanbal (nos. 1390, 2254, 2380, 12479, 13034, 13842), Mālik (no. 423), Dārimī(nos. 650, 651, 652, 1578), Nasā'ī's al-Sunan al-Kubrā(nos. 319, 2400, 2401, 5863, 11759), Ibn Khuzaymah (nos. 306, 2074), Bayhaqī (nos. 1572, 2057, 4235, 4237, 7692, 8394), Ibn Hibbān(nos. 155, 1724, 3262), Abū Ya'lā(no. 3333). Except where otherwise specified, the preferred text is the one reported in Bukhārī (no. 46).

The opening part of the narrative,نهينا أن نسئل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم... ونحن نسمع. فجاء (We were directed to refrain from asking… so, one day a man came) has been reported in Muslim (no. 12), but has been omitted in Bukhārī (no. 46). In Bukhārī (no. 46), the phrase فجاء has been reported as حاء, as the narrative starts with this word. There are a few other differences as well in the reporting of the incident, as recorded in some narratives of Muslim, Tirmidhī, Ahmad ibn Hanbal etc. Ahmad ibn Hanbal (no. 2380) gives the most comprehensive picture of this alternative reporting. The complete narrative is given below:

روي أنه بعثت بنو سعد بن بكر ضمام بن ثعلبة وافدا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقدم عليه وأناخ بعيره على باب المسجد ثم عقله ثم دخل المسجد ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم جالس في أصحابه وكان ضمام رجلا جلدا أشعر ذا غديرتين فأقبل حتى وقف على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في أصحابه فقال أيكم بن عبد المطلب فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أنا بن عبد المطلب قال محمد قال نعم فقال بن عبد المطلب انى سائلك ومغلظ في المسألة فلا تجدن في نفسك قال لا أجد في نفسي فسل عما بدا لك قال أنشدك الله الهك واله من كان قبلك واله من هو كائن بعدك آلله بعثك إلينا رسولا فقال اللهم نعم قال فأنشدك الله الهك واله من كان قبلك واله من هو كائن بعدك آلله أمرك ان تأمرنا ان نعبده وحده لا نشرك به شيئا وان نخلع هذه الأنداد التي كانت آباؤنا يعبدون معه قال اللهم نعم قال فأنشدك الله الهك واله من كان قبلك واله من هو كائن بعدك آلله أمرك ان نصلى هذه الصلوات الخمس قال اللهم نعم قال ثم جعل يذكر فرائض الإسلام فريضة فريضة الزكاة والصيام والحج وشرائع الإسلام كلها يناشده عند كل فريضة كما يناشده في التي قبلها حتى إذا فرغ قال فإني أشهد أن لا إله الا الله واشهد أن سيدنا محمدا رسول الله وسأؤدي هذه الفرائض وأجتنب ما نهيتني عنه ثم لا أزيد ولا أنقص قال ثم انصرف راجعا إلى بعيره فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حين ولى ان يصدق ذو العقيصتين يدخل الجنة.

It is reported that the tribe of Banū Sa'd ibn Bakr sent Damām ibn Tha'labah as their representative to the Prophet (sws). He made his camel sit at the entrance of the mosque and tied it. Then he entered the mosque. At that time, the Prophet (sws) was sitting among his companions. Damām was a strong man with long hair. He was wearing his hair in two plaits. He approached us till he reached where the Prophet (sws) was sitting among his companions. Then he asked: "Who, among you, is the son of Abd al-Muttalib?" The Prophet (sws) replied: "I am the son of 'Abd al-Muttalib." He asked: "Is your name Muhammad?" The Prophet (sws) replied in the affirmative. He said: "Son of 'Abd al-Muttalib! I am going to ask you a few questions very bluntly. Do not be offended by my questions." The Prophet (sws) replied: "I will not be offended. You may ask what you desire." He said: "Then I ask you in the name of the one God – your God, the God of those, who have passed before you and the God of all those, who are to come after you – Has God made you a Messenger to us?" The Prophet replied: "By my God! Yes [He has]." He said: "I ask you in the name of the one God – your God, the God of those, who have passed before you and the God of all those, who are to come after you – Has God directed you to tell us that we should worship Him alone and that we should not ascribe partners to Him and that we should leave the gods – held as equals – that our ancestors used to worship?" The Prophet (sws) replied: "By my God! Yes [He has]." He said: "I ask you in the name of the one God – your God, the God of those, who have passed before you and the God of all those, who are to come after you – Has God directed you to tell us to offer these Five [obligatory] prayers?" The Prophet (sws) replied: "By my God! Yes [He has]." Then he started asking about the obligatory practices of Islam, one after the other. [He asked about] zakāh, fasting, hajj and all the laws of Islam, every time he put the Prophet (sws) under oath, just as he had done in his previous questions. This went on till he had asked all his questions. Then he said: "I bear witness that there is no god, besides the One God and that our leader – Muhammad – is a messenger of God. I shall carry out all these obligatory practices and shall refrain from all that you have stopped me from, but I shall neither add any thing to these practices of my own accord, nor shall I reduce anything from these." Then he turned, walking towards his camel. When he turned, the Prophet (sws) said: "If this man with two plaits can do as he says, he shall enter the [everlasting bliss of] Paradise."

Besides Ahmad ibn Hanbal (no. 2380), almost the same version of the narrative is reported in Muslim (No. 12) Tirmidhī (no. 619), Nasā'ī(no. 2091) Ahmad ibn Hanbal (nos. 12479, 13034), Dārimī(nos. 650, 651, 652), Nasā'ī's al-Sunan al-Kubrā(nos. 2401, 5863), Bayhaqī (no. 8394), Ibn Hibbān(no. 155), Abū Ya'lā (no. 3333).

In some narratives, as for instance, in Bukhārī (no. 1792), the phrase رجل من أهل نجد (a man from the people of Najd) is replaced by أعرابيا (a Bedouin) and by رجل من أهل البادية(a man from the people of the desert), as for instance, in Muslim (no. 12).

The sentence فقال يا رسول الله أخبرني ماذا فرض الله علي من الصلاة (He said: Prophet of God, tell me, what has God prescribed upon me in the case of salāh?) – as reported in Bukhārī (no. 1792) – has been reported as a question regarding Islam, in general, in Bukhārī (no. 46), in the words فإذا هو يسأل عن الإسلام (we realized that he was asking about Islam).

The sentence فقال أخبرني ما فرض الله علي من الصيام (He said: Tell me what has God prescribed upon me in the case of fasting?) has been reported in Bukhārī (no. 1792).

The phrase صيام شهر رمضان (fasting during the month of Ramadan) has been reported in Bukhārī (no. 2532). In Bukhārī (no. 46), the phrase صيام شهر رمضان (fasting during the month of Ramadan) has been replaced with وصيام رمضان (fasting during Ramadan), while in Bukhārī (no. 1792), the phrase has been reported as شهر رمضان (the month of Ramadan).

The sentence فقال أخبرني بما فرض الله علي من الزكاة (He said: Tell me what has God prescribed upon me in the case of zakāh?) has been reported in Bukhārī (No. 1792).

In some narratives, as for instance in Bukhārī (no. 1792), the word الزكاة (zakāh) has been replaced by the phrase شرائع الإسلام (laws of Islam [relating to zakāh]), while in Abū Dā'ūd(No. 391), the word has been replaced by الصدقة(sadaqah), which is also used for zakāh.

In some narratives, as for instance in Bukhārī (no. 1792), the sentence لا أزيد على هذا ولا أنقص (I shall neither offer anything of my own accord nor reduce anything from these) has been reported as لا أتطوع شيئا ولا أنقص مما فرض الله علي شيئا (I shall neither offer any supererogatory practices, nor reduce anything from what God has prescribed upon me).

The words منه after the phrase لا أزيد على هذا ولا أنقص has been reported in Muslim (no. 11).

In some narratives, as for instance in Bukhārī (no. 1792), the sentence أفلح إن صدق (If he can do as he says, then he shall be successful) has also been reported as: دخل الجنة إن صدق (If he can do as he says, he shall enter paradise). While in some narratives, this phrase has been recorded as أفلح وأبيه إن صدق (If he can do as he says, then he and his father shall be successful), which, obviously, seems to be a mistake of the narrators.




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