Two narrations of the hadîth of Jibrîl.
25 Aug 2011 12:16 GMT
 
I was confused about the narrations of the hadîth of Jibrîl, since the narration in Sahîh al-Bukhârî and one in Sahîh Muslim are different concerning the question "What is faith?". One shaykh explained to me that Jibrîl came on two occassions, in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) explained it in different ways. Is this correct?

Answered by

the Fatwa Department Research Committee - chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî

The hadîth of Jibrîl is related by Abû Hurayrah in Sahîh al-Bukhârî.

It reads:

One day while the Prophet was sitting in the company of some people, a man approached him and asked: “What is faith?”

He replied: “Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Messengers, and to believe in Resurrection."

Then he further asked: “What is Islam?”

He replied: “To worship Allah alone without partner, to establish prayer, to pay the Zakâh, and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan.”

Then he further asked: “What is ihsân (perfection)?”

He replied: “To worship Allah as if you see Him, and though you cannot see Him, know that He sees you.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

The same hadîth is related by `Umar in greater detail in Sahîh Muslim with Jibrîl asking about Islam first, then faith. However, the answer given is the same, albeit related in greater detail. Only the order of questioning is different.

It reads:

One day while we were sitting with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), a man approached us who had very white clothes and very black hair. No sign of travel was visible upon him. None of us knew him. He said: “O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.”

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Islam is to bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish prayer, to pay the Zakâh, to fast during the month of Ramadan, and to make a pilgrimage to the house if you have the ability to do so.”

He said: “You have spoken the truth.” We were surprised to see him ask then confirm what he said. He then asked: “Tell me about faith.”

He replied: “To believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, and the last Day, and to believe in divine decree, the good and the bad of it.”

He said: “You have spoken the truth. Tell me about ihsân.”

He replied: “To worship Allah as if you see Him, and though you cannot see Him, know that He sees you.” [Sahîh Muslim]

Ibn Hajar, in his commentary on Sahîh al-Bukhârî, writes: “There is no doubt that the event is the same, but the narrators related the story in a different order… The variation in the order of questions is from the narrators.” [Fath al-Bârî (1/117)]

We cannot see how the explanation of the sheikh whom you asked has any relevance to these different narrations. In both narrations, the question about faith is answered with matters of belief and the question about Islam is answered with outward actions. The two hadîth are basically the same.

And Allah knows best.

Source: Islam Today



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