Translation of Imam An-Nawawi's Book
This is the book of the Islamic scholar Yahia bin Sharaful-Deen An-Nawawi. The book is now known as "An-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths". This is a popular small book in which the author gathered forty two of the sayings of prophet Muhammed salla Allahu alihi wa sallam.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds. Eternal Guardian of the heavens and the earths, Disposer of all created beings, Despatcher of Messengers (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them all) who were sent to those they have been entrusted to guide and to reveal the religious laws to, with positive signs and clear-cut proofs. I praise Him for His favours and ask Him to increase His grace and generosity. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, He having no associate, the One, the Subduer, the Generous, the Pardoner, and I bear witness that our master Muhammed is His servant and His messenger, His dear one and His beloved, the best of created beings, who was honoured with the precious Quran, the enduring miracle through the passing of the years, and with the sunnahs that enlighten spiritual guides; our master Muhammed, singled out for pithiness of speech and tolerance in religion may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, upon the rest of the prophets and messengers, and upon all their families and upon the rest of godly persons.
To proceed: It has been transmitted to us on the authority of Ali bin Abi Talib, Abdullah bin Masud, Muadh bin Jabal, Abu Al-Darda, Ibn Omar, Ibn Abbas, Anas bin Malik, Abu Hurairah and Abu Saeed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with them all, through many chains of authorities and in various versions, that the messenger of Allah said: "Whosoever memorises and preserves for my people forty hadith relating to their religion, Allah will resurrect him on the Day of Judgment in the company of jurists and religious scholars ".
In another version it reads: "Allah will resurrect him as a jurist and religious scholar ". In the version of Abu Al-Darda it reads: "On the Day of Judgment I shall be an intercessor and a witness for him". In the version of Ibn Masud it reads: "It will be said to him: Enter by whichever of the doors of Paradise you wish ". In the version of Ibn Omar it reads: " He will be written down in the company of the religious scholars and will be resurrected in the company of the martyrs ". Scholars of hadith are agreed that it is a weak hadith despite its many lines of transmission.
The religious scholars, may Allah be pleased with them, have composed innumerable works in this field. The first one I knew of who did so was Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak, followed by Ibn Aslam Al-Tusi, the godly scholar, then Al-Hasan bin Sufiyan Al-Nasai, Abu Bakr Al-Ajurri, Abu-Bakr Mubammad bin Ibrahim Al-Asfihani, Al-Daraqutni, Al-Hakim, Abu Nuaim, Abu Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sulami, Abu Saeed Al-Malini, Abu Uthman Al-Saboni, Abdullah bin Muhammed Al-Ansari, Abu Bakr Al-Baihaqi, and countless others, both ancient and modern.
I have asked Allah Almightly for guidance in bringing together forty hadith in emulation of those eminent religious leaders and guardians of Islam. Religious scholars are agreed it is permissible to put into practice a weak hadith if virtuous deeds are concerned; despite this, I do not rely on this hadith but on his having said the [ following ] sound hadith: "Let him who was a witness among you inform him who was absent", and on his having said : "May Allah make radiant [the face of] someone who has heard what I have said, has learnt it by heart and has transmitted it as he heard it". Furthermore, there were some religious scholars who brought together forty hadiths on the basic rules of religion, on subsidiary matters, or on jihad, while others did so on asceticism, on rules of conduct or on sermons. All these are godly aims-may Allah be pleased with those who pursued them. I, however, considered it best to bring together forty hadith more important than all of these, being forty hadith which would incorporate all of these, each hadith being one of the great precepts of religion, described by religious scholars as being "the axis of Islam " or "the half of Islam" or "the third of it ", or the like, and to make it a rule that these forty hadith be [classified as] sound and that the majority of them be in the sahihs of Al-Bukhari and Muslim. I give them without the chains of authorities so as to make it easier to memorise them and to make them of wider benefit if Allah Almighty wills, and I append to them a section explaining abstruse expressions.(Note here) every person wishing to attain the Hereafter should know these hadith because of the important matters they contain and the directions they give in respect of all forms of obedience, this being obvious to anyone who has reflected upon it. On Allah do I rely and depend and to Him do I entrust myself; to Him be praise and grace, and with Him is success and immunity [to errors].
|01) On the authority of Omar bin Al-Khattab, who said : I heared the messenger of Allah salla Allah u alihi wa sallam say : |
"Actions are but by intentions and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah and His messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated."
related by Bukhari and Muslim
|(02) Also on the authority of Omar, who said : |
One day while we were sitting with the messenger of Allah there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of journeying were to be seen on him and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the prophet. Resting his knees against his and placing the palms of his hands on his thighs, he said:"O Muhammed, tell me about Islam". The messenger of Allah said: "Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and Muhammed is the messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast in Ramadhan, and to make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so." He said:"You have spoken rightly", and we were amazed at him asking him and saying that he had spoken rightly. He said: "Then tell me about eman."He said:"It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof." He said:"You have spoken rightly". He said:"Then tell me about ehsan." He said: "It is to worship Allah as though you are seeing Him, and while you see Him not yet truly He sees you". He said: "Then tell me about the Hour". He said: "The one questioned about it knows no better than the questioner." He said: "Then tell me about its signs." He said: "That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and that you will see the barefooted, naked, destitute herdsman competing in constructing lofty buildings." Then he took himself off and I stayed for a time. Then he said: "O Omar, do you know who the questioner was?" I said: "Allah and His messenger know best". He said: "He was Jebreel (Gabriel), who came to you to teach you your religion."
narrated by Muslim
|(03) On the authority of Ibn Omar, the son of Omar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with both, who said : I heared the messenger of Allah say : |
"Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammed is the messenger of Allah, performing the prayers, paying the zakat, making the pilgrimage to the House, and fasting in Ramadan."
related by Bukhari and Muslim
|(04) On the authority of Abdullah bin Masud, who said : the messenger of Allah, and he is the truthful, the believed narrated to us : |
"Verily the creation of each one of you is brought together in his mother's belly for forty days in the form of seed, then he is a clot of blood for a like period, then a morsel of flesh for a like period, then there is sent to him the angel who blows the breath of life into him and who is commanded about four matters: to write down his means of livelihood, his life span, his actions, and whether happy or unhappy. By Allah, other than Whom there is no God, verily one of you behaves like the people of Paradise until there is but an arm's length between him and it, and that which has been written over takes him and so he behaves like the people of Hell-fire and thus he enters it; and one of you behaves like the people of Hell-fire until there is but an arm's length between him and it, and that which has been written over takes him and so he behaves like the people of Paradise and thus he enters it."
related by Bukhari and Muslim