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Aspects Of Islamic Faith - 83: A Sure Way To Heaven - Way Of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi

ABU Hurayrah reports that a Bedouin came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked him to point out to him an action which would guarantee his admission into heaven. The Prophet said to him: "Worship God alone, associating no partners with Him, attend to your obligatory prayers, pay what is due of zakat and fast the month of Ramadan." The man said: "By Him who holds my soul in His hand, I will not do any more." When the man went away, the Prophet said: "Whoever would like to see someone who belongs to heaven should see this man." (Related by Al-Bukhari).

There are several versions of this Hadith. One of the more detailed ones quotes a man from the tribe of Qays saying that some people described the Prophet to him and he looked for him until he found him at Arafat with many people around him. He tried to find his way through them, but they kept pushing him away. The Prophet told them to let him draw nearer. The man continues: "I took hold of the reign of his she-camel and his face showed no displeasure. He asked me what I wanted. I said: "Messenger of God, I am requesting you to point out to me two things to draw me closer to heaven and keep me away from hell." He said: "You have certainly put your question in brief words, but you are asking about something great. So, listen to me carefully. Worship God alone, associating no partners with Him. Attend regularly to your obligatory prayers: five every day and night. Pay your zakat duty and fast in Ramadan." I said: "By Him who holds my soul in His hand, I will not do anything further than these orders and will not miss any of them ever." When the man turned away, the Prophet said to his companions: "If any of you wish to see a man who is destined to heaven should see this man. If he holds on to what he has been bid, he will be in heaven."

What is clearly noted in this Hadith is that it makes admission into heaven the result of doing the duties God has required of every believer. Yet it is also contingent on refraining from doing what God has forbidden. This is certainly true, but it is not mentioned in the Hadith as it is well known. No one truly worships God unless they refrain from what is forbidden and fulfill what is required. Moreover, the man was asking about what he should do in order to be admitted into heaven. Hence, the Prophet outlined the most important duties, as these are the actions to fulfill, while the prohibitions should be abandoned.

It may be asked why the Prophet's answer did not include the pilgrimage. The answer is that the man was already performing the pilgrimage with the Prophet, since he states that he was at Arafat.

One thing needs to be clarified. The Prophet limited his answer to the fulfillment of what God has made duties. He did not include what is recommended as voluntary worship, such as the sunnah prayers, the voluntary charity, or sadaqah, and fasting on certain recommended days. There is no doubt that voluntary worship of all these types will increase the reward a person receives from God on the Day of Judgment. However, they are not a condition for entry into heaven. Otherwise they become incumbent duties. We should do as much voluntary worship as we can, because their reward will offset some of the errors we may make or sins we may commit. They facilitate our admission into heaven.



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