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Warning against degrading another Muslim

Question

Can you kindly explain the meaning of this hadith?

“Whoever eats a meal at the expense of a Muslim, then Allah will feed him a like amount of Jahannam. Whoever clothes himself at the expense of a Muslim, then Allah will clothe him with a like amount of Hellfire. Whoever gains a position at the expense of a man and for the sake of showing off, Allah will place him among the show-offs on the Day of Resurrection.”

Al-Adab Al-Mufrad

Answer

Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has recorded this Hadith in Al Adabul Mufrad, under the chapter ‘A believer is a mirror of his brother’. Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration under the chapter of backbiting.

The Hadith in question discusses a person who is not a mirror to his Muslim brother by advising him in private regarding some fault of his, rather he exposes his faults and back bites him to a third person in exchange of food or some clothing. This clothing or food will in fact be morsels and clothing of Jahannam.

The second part of the Hadith has a few explanations:

1) A man who falsely praises someone so that he may become famous and so that people begin to love him and shower them both with wealth, will be exposed by Allah Ta’ala on the Day of Qiyamah.

2) A man wanting to expose his piety and Taqwa to a leader or king, so that this king may grant him some wealth will be disgraced by Allah on the Day of Qiyamah.

3) A person who people usually listen to, stands up haughtily and proudly to disgrace another Muslim will be disgraced by Allah on the Day of Qiyamah.

(Al Adabul Mufrad, Hadith: 240 and Fadhlullahis Samad, vol. 1 pg. 334. Also see Badhlul Majhud, Hadith: 4881)

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar