Regarding the following Hadith in Sahih Bukhari,
“Whoever prays our prayer and faces our qibla and eats what we slaughter, he is a Muslim and is under the protection of Allah and the protection of His Messenger. Do not act treacherously against Allah with respect to those under His protection”
Please explain why these actions are mentioned and other important pillars of Islam are not mentioned?
Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration as you have stated several times with variation in the wording.
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 391, 392 and 393)
Clarification regarding ‘faces our qiblah’
‘Allamah ‘Ayni (rahimahullah) says, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentioned ‘faces our qiblah’ separately, whereas facing the qiblah was already included in the previous statement; ‘performs our Salah’. The reason for this is to show the importance of the qiblah. He further adds, ‘facing the qiblah’ is not restricted to Salah. Rather it is general. [Therefore ‘faces our qiblah’ would mean ‘acts according to our way’ and will include all other important pillars of Islam].
Wisdom behind these deeds being mentioned specifically
1) Hafiz ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) explains that the wisdom behind mentioning these acts of worship specifically is that we have a certain manner of carrying out these acts. The Jews and Christians may perform some sort Salah, face a qiblah and slaughter, however they do not carry out these acts in accordance to how we carry them out. Therefore to be under Allah’s protection, a person needs to carry out these deeds according to how Islam demands they be carried out.
2) From this Hadith we deduce that we can pass a ruling based on what is apparent to us. Thus, whomsoever carries out these deeds [according to how Islam demands they be carried out] we will say they are Muslims. ‘Allamah ‘Ayni and Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahumallah) state that the deeds mentioned in this Hadith are easy to detect and we will become aware instantly if a person is a Muslim or not, simply by him performing Salah and eating Halal. Other deeds like Haj, Zakah and Fasting may not be detectable so easily as these deeds depend on various other factors.
(Refer: ‘Umdatul Qari and Fathul Bari, under Hadith: 391 and 392)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar