What is the authenticity and explanation of the following narration:
لكل عمل شرة ولكل شرة فترة فمن كانت فترته إلى سنتي فقد اهتدى ومن كانت فترته إلى غير ذلك فقد هلك
The Hadith in question is recorded in Musnad Ahmad. Imam Ibn Khuzaymah and Imam Ibn Hibban (rahimahumallah) have declared the Hadith authentic. The translation of the part in question is in bold below.
(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 2 pg. 188, Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, Hadith: 2105 and Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 11. Also see Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1159)
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (radiyallahu ‘anhuma)’s father had got him married. However he was an extremely pious man and devoted his day to fasting and nights to worship Allah Ta’ala and thus had neglected his wife. When Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) became aware of this, he ordered him to decrease his recitation of Quran and to fast for three days a month only. However ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) repeatedly requested Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to increase this quota. Finally Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) permitted him to complete one Quran recitation in three days (Some versions state seven days), and then said,
“For every action there is a motivation/enthusiasm/vivacity and after every motivation there will be a decline/laxity. If after the decline one’s action still conforms to my Sunnah then he will be rightly guided. If after the decline his actions [do not conform to the Sunnah] then he will be destroyed”
The narration in Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah further states that after Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) had become old and frail he would say, “Had I accepted the concession of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), this would have been more beloved to me than my family and wealth. However I dislike to discontinue any act that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) commanded me to do”
This Hadith explains that there will definitely be times wherein a person is enthusiastic and motivated to carry out many good deeds. But once this enthusiasm wanes and he carries out fewer good deeds or he decreases the quantity of his good deeds he should ensure that he remains on Sunnah.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar