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Iman being taken away

Question

I have a question with regards to the following Hadith in Mishkah:

عن حذيفة رضي الله عنه قال : حدثنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حديثين رأيت أحدهما وأنا أنتظر الآخر ، حدثنا أن الأمانة نزلت في جذر قلوب الرجال ثم علموا من القرآن ثم علموا من السنة وحدثنا عن رفعها قال ينام الرجل النومة فتقبض الأمانة من قلبه فيظل أثرها مثل أثر الوكت ثم ينام النومة فتقبض فيبقى أثرها مثل المجل كجمر دحرجته على رجلك فنفط فتراه منتبرا وليس فيه شيء فيصبح الناس يتبايعون فلا يكاد أحد يؤدي الأمانة فيقال إن في بني فلان رجلا أمينا ويقال للرجل ما أعقله وما أظرفه وما أجلده وما في قلبه مثقال حبة خردل من إيمان ، ولقد أتى علي زمان وما أبالي أيكم بايعت لئن كان مسلما رده علي الإسلام وإن كان نصرانيا رده علي ساعيه فأما اليوم فما كنت أبايع إلا فلانا وفلانا.

 

My question relates to the following portion of the Hadith:

“ينام الرجل النومة فتقبض الأمانة من قلبه فيظل أثرها مثل أثر الوكت ثم ينام النومة فتقبض فيبقى أثرها مثل المجل كجمر دحرجته على رجلك فنفط فتراه منتبرا وليس فيه شيء”

 

I do not understand the connection between the two instances of the person going to sleep. Do these blessed words of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) mean that when Iman was first taken out, it was less compared to when it was taken out for the second time? If so, then how do these words explain this meaning as the effect of the remaining Iman in the second instance is more in size than the first instance?

 

Answer

This Hadith has been recorded on authority of Sayyiduna Hudhayfa ibnul Yaman (radiyallahu ‘anhu) in both Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim amongst other sources.

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 6497 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 230)

 

The translation is as follows:

Sayyiduna Hudhayfa (radiyallahu anhu) has narrated the following:

“Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) has mentioned two Hadiths to us. I have seen one [of them unfold] and I am waiting for the other.

He narrated to us that ‘Amanah’ [one of the meanings of which is Iman] has descended upon [and entered] the core of people’s hearts. It was then that they learned some of the Quran and Sunnah.

He also spoke to us about Iman vanishing [from the hearts]. He said: “A person will go to sleep, and whilst sleeping the Iman in his heart will be seized. Thereafter, [the Iman will become such that] only a trace of it will remain like the residue of a fire. Subsequently, he’ll sleep again and even more of it will be taken [resulting in a more damaging effect] such that it will leave a mark resembling a blister similar to that of a burning ember that fell on to your foot leaving an engorged bulging sore [yet] void of anything inside [i.e it will result in an engorged wound full of water and pus; nothing of benefit]. The people will then begin dealing with one another but hardly anyone will discharge [and deal with] ‘Amanah’. [In fact, it will become so rare that people will be singled out and famously spoken about for this characteristic] It will be said: “Indeed there is a trustworthy person amongst so and so’s progeny” [It will become so rare that people will be singled out because of being thought to have Amanah whereas before it was a general quality found in multiple people]. A person would be praised and it would be said about him: So intellectual he is! So elegant he is! So strong [and/or steadfast] he is! [All of this will be said] whereas there wouldn’t even be a single mustard seed of Iman in his heart.”

Sayyiduna Hudhayfa (radiyallahu ‘anhu) went on to say:

“Such a time has passed me [i.e I have lived in such a time] where I never bothered about who I was dealing with; If it was a Muslim, the Islam [in him, i.e his Din] would have returned it [i.e my right] to me. And if it was a Christian, then his supervisor [the one in charge of him] would have returned it [i.e my right] to me.

[He basically said: I lived in a time where “Amanah” was still generally found amongst people. Thus, I used to proceed in dealing with those I believed in, trusting their quality of “Amanah”, without further investigating their condition. And I knew that if he was a Muslim then his Din [religion] would prevent him from treachery and it would spur him on to transact and deal with “Amanah”. And I knew that if he was a non-Muslim, then his governor or supervisor would ensure that I received my due right and was dealt with fairly.]

“As for today [i.e this day of an age], I only deal with “so and so” and “so and so” [i.e due to the general decrease in “Amanah” as Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) prophesied, I only deal with specific people I know about thoroughly].

(See: Fathul Bari, Hadith: 6497 and 7086. Also see Umdatul Qari, Hadith: 6497)

 

The Hadith above does not describe the amounts of Iman taken out. Rather, it mentions the effect that the diminishing of Iman has on the hearts. In the first stage, when the primary portion of Iman vanishes, it takes with it some of the nur [light] residing in the heart and leaves a type of darkness. The damage then worsens when another portion disappears and leaves the heart. The more Iman [and nur] that vanishes, the greater and more severe the effect, resulting in the damage of which Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) has likened to that of an engorged blister full of water and pus [as seen above].

It can be understood through the Hadith that the person’s cumulative Iman lessened each time he slept; the more Iman [and nur] that diminished, the more ill of an effect it left behind. Thus, there is indeed a difference between the two periods of sleeping mentioned in the Hadith.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar