Hadith 22

Chapter: The people of eemaan are of various levels based upon their deeds.

Isma’eel reported from Malik from ‘Amr Ibn Yahya Al-Maazinie from his father from Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “When the people of paradise enter it and the people of the fire enter it, Allah will say, ‘Remove from the fire anyone who has the weight of a mustard seed of belief in his heart’. They will be brought out after having been blackened by it, and they will be dropped into the river of life and they will grow like a seed would grow near a (water) bank. Don’t you think that it would come out yellow and twisted?”

Ibn Hajar’s explanation

His saying, “When the people of paradise enter it”

Ad-Daraqutni recorded from Isma’eel and others, “When Allah causes the people to enter…” and he added from the narration of Ma’n, “He (Allah) admits whoever he pleases into his mercy”

His saying, “the weight of a mustard seed”

This is to indicate the smallest amount, of which there is no less. Al-Khattabe said, “The example gives a perception (of the smallest amount) and is not indicative of actual weight, but was portrayed this way for easier comprehension.” Imamul-Haramayn (Abul Ma`ali Al Juwainy) said, “The weight represents the pages (books) of deeds, and the reward for the deeds will be in accordance to the weight.” Others mentioned the possibility that the deeds will be given a physical weight in order to be weighed.

One should avoid attempting to conceptually perceive matters of the hereafter that have been confirmed by authentic sources (i.e. the quran and the sunnah). The weight of a mustard seed is in reference to the amount of good performed once tawheed has been established, as he (the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم) said in another narration, “Remove (from the fire) whoever said La-Ilaha-Il-Allah and performed an atoms weight of good.” This will be expounded upon in the hadith of the intercession which the author (Bukhari) placed in ‘the book of Riqaq’ (narrations which produce mercy in the heart).

Muslim recorded this hadith as narrated by Malik.

The author (Bukhari) used this narration as it is a refutation of the Murji’a[1] because it shows the harmful effect that sins have on eemaan and as a refutation of the Mu’tazilla[2].

[1] The Murji’a do not consider actions as part of eemaan, nor do they consider the eemaan to increase or decrease. Sufyan Ath-Thawri said, “The Murji’a differed from us (Ahl-Us-Sunnah) in three matters: We say eemaan is sayings and actions and they say that eemaan is sayings without actions. We say that it increases and decreases and they say that it does not increase nor decrease. We say that we are believers with the acceptance of Allah, and they say we are guaranteed believers in the eyes of Allah.”

[2] The Mu’tazila do not consider the one who commits a major sin to be a believer or a kafir, rather they say he is in a station between the two stations. He has left eemaan, however he is not a kafir. This station between the two stations is an innovation which has no proof in the book of Allah, nor in the sunnah of his messenger.


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