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The most virtuous of people

Question

What is the source and the authenticity of this Hadith?

Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) says, “Once I was seated with Nabi (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when he asked, ‘Do you know, of all those who have Iman, who has the best Iman’? The Sahabah replied, ‘O Rasulullah, the Angels. Nabi (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘They are rightfully like that but what prevents them [from having the best Iman] when Allah has awarded them with the rank that has awarded them?, Rather, [I did not intend the Angels]. The Sahabah then said, ‘The Ambiya, those who Allah has favored with Prophet hood’.   Nabi (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘They are rightfully like that but what prevents them [from having the best Iman] when Allah has awarded them with the rank that has awarded them?, Rather, [I did not intend the Ambiya].

The Sahabah then said, ‘Who are they O Rasulullah’?

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied: ‘They are the people who will come after me, believe in me whilst they have not seen me, they are the ones who take their knowledge from the hanging books. They are the people with the best Iman.”

 

Answer

Imam Hakim (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration in Al Mustadrak with a weak chain.

(Mustadrak Hakim, vol. 4 pg. 85/6. Refer: Tahdhibut Tahdhib, vol. 9 pg. 132)

 

However Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has cited a few similar narrations, which do strengthen the narration in question.

(Al Amalil Mutlaqah, pgs. 37-40)

 

Note: This Hadith does not prove that those who come after Sahabah are better than the Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum).

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is merely expressing amazement at those who will believe in him without seeing him, his miracles and without witnessing the Holy Quran being revealed.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar