What is the authenticity of this incident?
Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Two people were crossing a desert. One was an ‘Abid (worshipper) while the other was a shameless person/sinner. The ‘Abid was extremely thirsty to such an extent that he fell down due to dehydration. The sinner saw him lying unconscious. He thought, ‘If this ‘Abid dies out of dehydration and I have water, I will never attain any goodness from Allah and if I serve him water, then I will die’.
However, he trusted Allah and made his intention to help the ‘Abid. He splashed some water on him and let him drink the rest. The ‘Abid stood up and then they crossed the desert.
When the accountability of the sinner will be carried out, (after his death) he would be ordered to be thrown into Jahannam. While the Angels are taking him, he will see the (same) ‘Abid. The sinner will say, ‘O so-and-so! Don’t you recognise me?’ He (‘Abid) will say, ‘Who are you?’ He will reply, ‘I am the same person who preferred your life over my life on that day in the desert.’
Then the ‘Abid will say, ‘Yes, I have recognised you.’ The ‘Abid will say to the angels, ‘Stop!’ So they will stop.
Then the ‘Abid will call unto Allah , ‘O my Rabb! You know that this person had favoured me and preferred my life over his! O Allah! Gift him to me.’
So Allah will say, ‘He is your’s.’ The ‘Abid will then take hold of the hand of his brother (who had served him water) and take him to Jannah.”
Imam Abu Ya’la and Imam Tabarani (rahimahumallah) have recorded this narration on the authority of Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (radiyallahu ‘anhu).
(Musnad Abu Ya’la, Hadith: 4212 and Al Mu’jamul Awsat, Hadith: 2927)
‘Allamah Busiri (rahimahullah) has declared the chain of narrators weak. The Hadith however, is suitable to quote as is the case with narrations of this nature.
(Refer: Mukhtasar Ithafus Sadah Al Maharah, vol. 10 pg. 615/6. Also see Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 3 pg. 132 and vol. 10 pg. 382, Tahdhibut Tahdhib, vol. 11 pg. 85 and Al Matalibul ‘Aliyah, Hadith: 4583)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar