Hadith 17

Chapter: Loving the Ansaar is a sign of eemaan

Abu Al-Waleed said that Shu’ba informed us from ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abdullah Ibn Jabir that he heard Anas say that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said “Love for the Ansar is a sign of eemaan (faith) and hatred for the Ansaar is a sign of hypocrisy.”

Ibn Hajar’s explanation

This is similar to the statement in the last narration, “and he loves him only for Allah’s sake.”  The love of the Ansaar is also love for the sake of Allah, as they are the ones who aided Allah’s religion, so loving them falls into the generality of the statement, “and he loves him only for Allah’s sake”. The reason it was mentioned specifically here was to show its particular importance.

His saying, “is a sign of eemaan”

Abu Al-Baqaa’ Al-‘Akbare said according to the language rules it means, “Loving the Ansaar is eemaan”, or it is the purpose of eemaan. However, this understanding is doubtful because eemaan would then be restricted to loving the Ansaar which is untrue.

-If it is said that the original narration also confines eemaan to loving the Ansaar and the author (Bukhari) himself recorded in the chapter ‘Virtues of the Anssar’, the narration of Al-Bara’ Ibn ‘Aazib, “None except a believer loves the Ansaar”.

The answer is that the restriction can be used (in the Arabic language) as an overstatement to show importance or it may be an actual restriction. The end result is that only a true believer loves the Ansaar, however this does not completely negate eemaan from a person who doesn’t love the Ansaar while it can be understood that a disbeliever does not love the Ansaar.

-If it is asked, is a person who hates them (the Ansaar) considered a hypocrite even if he believes (in Islam)?

The answer is that according to the wording (of the hadith) this would seem to be true, although that was not the objective. We may conclude that hating them based upon the fact that they aided and supported the messenger of Allah is definitely hypocrisy, as is also understood from the addition recorded by Abu Nu’aym in ‘Al-Mustakhraj’ from the narration of Al-Bara` Ibn ‘Aazib, “Whoever loves the Ansaar loves them because of his love for me, and whoever hates the Ansar does so because of his hate for me.”

Muslim narrated from the narration of Abu Sa’eed, “A man who believes in Allah and the last day does not hate the Ansaar”, and Imam Ahmad recorded similarly, “Love of the Ansaar is eemaan and hating them is hypocrisy.” It may also be said that the literal meaning was not intended, otherwise kufr (disbelief) would have been referred to (rather than hypocrisy) since it is the opposite of eemaan. The fact that ‘hypocrisy’ was used indicates that the advice was being given to those who exhibit eemaan outwardly (while the inward may be different), even though kufr is worse than that.

His saying, “The Ansaar”

Ansaar is the plural of the word (ناصر) which means supporter; technically it means the supporters of the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم referring to the tribes of Aws and Khazraj.  These two tribes were previously known as Banee Qayla, the mother of the two tribes, until the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم named them Al-Ansaar, and they became commonly known as such. This great title was given to them because of the effort they put forth in accommodating the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم and those with him, at a time when no other tribes did so. They aided and supported Allah’s messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم with both money and effort, often times preferring them (the Muhajiroon or immigrants) over themselves.  This caused hostility to build towards them from Arabs and non-Arabs alike, until it reached outright hatred and envy due to their preference and virtue (with the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم). In light of this, hating them became warned against and considered from nifaaq, while loving them became a virtue and a part of eemaan in tribute to their high merit and righteous actions.

The individual merit and virtue of each particular person from the Ansaar is in accordance to that which he put forward. Muslim recorded from ‘Ali that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said to the Ansaar, “None loves you but a believer and none hates you except a hypocrite.”  This also generally applies to all of the Prophet’s companions due to their honorable status in the religion.

Al-Qurtubi said, “With regards to the battles waged amongst themselves (the believers), the hatred that may have been felt towards the other does not fall into the category of hate mentioned here. Those battles were waged during a state of emergency, and thus none ruled that the other was a hypocrite. The situation (of the wars waged) falls into the category of one who strives to reach a ruling in the religion, he who was correct received two rewards, while the one who erred received one reward.”

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