Hadith 2 from An-Nawawi
BismiLlah Al Rahman Al Rahim,
Also on the authority of ‘Umar, radiyallahu ‘anhu, who said:
“While we were one day sitting with the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, there appeared before us a man dressed in extremely white clothes and with very black hair. No traces of journeying were visible on him, and none of us knew him.
He sat down close by the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, rested his knee against his thighs, and said, O Muhammad! Inform me about Islam.” Said the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, “Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah (ritual prayer), pay the zakah, fast during Ramadan, and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah), if you can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey to it).” Said he (the man), “You have spoken truly.”
We were astonished at his thus questioning him and telling him that he was right, but he went on to say, “Inform me about iman (faith).” He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, “It is that you believe in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and in the Last Day, and in fate (qadar), both in its good and in its evil aspects.” He said, “You have spoken truly.”
Then he (the man) said, “Inform me about Ihsan.” He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, ” It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet He sees you.” He said, “Inform me about the Hour.” He (the Messenger of Allah) said, “About that the one questioned knows no more than the questioner.” So he said, “Well, inform me about the signs thereof (i.e. of its coming).” Said he, “They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress, that you will see the barefooted ones, the naked, the destitute, the herdsmen of the sheep (competing with each other) in raising lofty buildings.” Thereupon the man went off.
I waited a while, and then he (the Messenger of Allah) said, “O ‘Umar, do you know who that questioner was?” I replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” He said, “That was Jibril. He came to teach you your religion.””
This hadith covers more or less all of one’s faith.
‘Umar’s remarks: the extreme whiteness, the jet black hair, no sign of travel, the fact that he’s unrecognizable are signs for people to notice and pay attention. Because if this man was a locale, they would’ve known him, and if he was traveling, you’d see him out of form but he’s actually very clean. And he sits right next to the Prophet (pbuh).
His remark “You have spoken truly” also amazed the Companions. How could he say that? Why would he ask if he already knew the answer?
Ihsan. This dimension defines it all, it puts everything in place. Allah (swt) sees you so you have to remain straight. Try to be consistent in your external/outer actions (five pillars).
The hadith is considered the Mother of the Sunnah. (Umm Al Sunnah). It teaches us:
- Ethics: how to clothe ourselves, remain in a state of ablution (wudu’)
- Ask questions for better understanding
- Believe in your heart
- And then the saying with your tongue. From belief to action. The Sajdah is the loftiest position for Allah (swt). We could at least begin with the best connection with Him. We are actually the only religion where prayer has not been altered. It’s given to us by God.