Hadith 19

Chapter: Fleeing from trials is part of the religion

‘Abdullah Ibn Maslamah narrated from Malik from ‘Abd Ur-Rahman Ibn ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abd Ur-Rahman Ibn Abi Sa’sa’ah from his father from Abi Sa’eed Al-Khudrie who said that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “The time will soon come when the best wealth of a Muslim will be some sheep which he takes to the peaks of the mountains to places where the rain falls, in order to flee from trials with his religion.”

Ibn Hajar’s explanation

His saying, “Fleeing from trials is part of the religion”

The author (Bukhari) went away from the subject of eemaan (with this narration); although he added the narration in the chapter of eemaan since it contains the word ‘eemaan’.  Eemaan and Islam are synonymous in the Shariah[1] and Allah says,

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الْأِسْلامُ

Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam

Therefore it is acceptable to use the word ‘deen’ (الدِّينَ) in the place of eemaan.

This is one of the narrations recorded by Bukhari that was not recorded by Muslim, although Muslim did record in (the book of) jihad, from Abu Sa’eed in the hadith of the desert arab (الأعرابي) who asked, “which of the people is best?” The Prophet replied, “A believer who strives in the way of Allah with his self and his wealth. He asked, “Then who?” He (the Prophet) replied, “A believer in a part of the mountain who fears Allah and avoids harming people.”

The mention of trials did not come in this narration, it came as an addition to specify that which was general.  There is also proof for the addition of the word ‘trials’ (فتن) in the hadith of Abu Hurairah recorded by Al-Hakim and the hadith of Umm Malik Al-Bahziyya recorded by At-Tirmithi and others as will be mentioned in the book of trials.

His saying, “places where the rain falls”

This is reference to the middle of valleys which are the habitat and grounds for the grazing animals.

His saying, “in order to flee from trials with his religion”

Meaning that the reason he flees from the (places of) trials is to protect his religion.  Al-Nawawi said, “It isn’t necessary according to the wording of the hadith to consider the fleeing as part of the religion, rather it is for the preservation of the religion, so perhaps when he considered it a means of preservation of the religion he called it “religion.”

The author (Bukhari) also recorded this narration in the chapter of trials and it is more befitting place for it and further explanation will be provided there.


[1] The terms ‘eemaan’ and ‘Islam’ carry the same technical meaning when used separately. They can be used interchangeably in the context of the Shariah, such that if we refer to someone as a Muslim, it is equivalent to saying he is a Mu’min. When both terms are mentioned together they each have a different meaning. Islam means surrender and submission to the commands of Allah, while eemaan is affirmation and confirmation in the heart combined with correct knowledge.

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