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(The Book of Faith)
CHAPTER: WHAT IS IMAN AND WHAT ARE ITS CHARACTERISTICS  

No. 4

Abu Huraira reported: One day the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) appeared before the public that a man came to him and said: Prophet of Allaah, (tell me) what is Iman. Upon this he (the Prophet) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His meeting, His Messengers and that you affirm your faith in the Resurrection hereafter. He (again) said: Messenger of Allaah, (tell me) what does al-Islam signify. He (the Prophet) replied: Al-Islam signifies that you worship Allaah and do not associate anything with Him and you establish obligatory prayer and you pay the obligatory poor-rate (Zakat) and you observe the fast of Ramadan. He (the inquirer) again said: Messenger of Allaah, what does al-Ihsan imply? He (the Prophet) replied: That you worship Allaah as if you are seeing Him, and in case you fail to see Him, then observe prayer (with this idea in your mind) that (at least) He is seeing you. He (the inquirer ) again said: Messenger of Allaah, when would there be the hour (of Doom)? He (the Prophet) replied: The one who is asked about it is no better informed than the inquirer. I, however, narrate some of its signs (and these are): when the slave-girl will give birth to he master, when the naked, barefooted would become the chiefs of the people - these are some of the signs of (Doom). (Moreover) when the shepherds of the black (camels) would exult themselves in buildings, this is one of the signs of (Doom). (Doom) is one of the five (happenings wrapped in the unseen) which no one knows but Allaah. Then he (the Messenger of Allaah) recited (the verse):" Verily Allaah! with Him alone is the knowledge of the hour and He it is Who sends (down the rain) and knows that which is in the wombs and no person knows whatsoever he shall earn tomorrow, and a person knows not in whatsoever land he shall die. Verily Allaah is Knowing, Aware. He (the narrator, Abu Huraira) said: Then the person turned back and went away. The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: Bring that man back to me. They (the Companions of the Prophet present there) went to bring him back, but they saw nothing there. Upon this the Messenger of Allaah remarked: he was Gabriel, who came to teach the people their religion.

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No. 5

This hadith is narrated to us on the authority of Muhammad b. 'Abdullah b. Numair, on the authority of Muhammad b. Bishr, on the authority of Abd Hayyan al-Taymi with the exception that in this narration (instead of the words (Iza Waladat al'amah rabbaha), the words are (Iza Waladat al'amah Ba'laha), i, e, when slave-girl gives birth to her master.

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No. 6

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: Ask me (about matters pertaining to religion), but they (the Companions of the Prophet) were too much overawed out of profound respect for him to ask him (anything). In the meanwhile a man came there, and sat near his knees and said: Messenger of Allaah, what al-lslam is? -to which he (the Prophet) replied: You must not associate anything with Allaah, and establish prayer, pay the poor-rate (Zakat) and observe (the fasts) of Ramadan. He said: You (have) told the truth. He (again) said: Messenger of Allaah, what al-Iman (the faith) is? He (the Prophet) said: That you affirm your faith in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His meeting, His Prophets, and that you believe in Resurrection and that you believe in Qadr (Divine Decree) in all its entirety, He (the inquirer) said: You (have) told the truth. He (again) said: Messenger of Allaah, what al-Ihsan is? Upon this he (the Prophet) said: (Al-Ihsan implies) that you fear Allaah as if you are seeing Him, and though you see Him not, verily He is seeing you. He (the inquirer) said: You (have) told the truth. He (the inquirer) said: When there would be the hour (of Doom)? (Upon this) he (the Prophet said: The one who is being asked about it is no better informed than the inquirer himself. I, however, narrate some of its signs (and these are): when you see a slave (woman) giving birth to her master - that is one of the signs of (Doom) ; when you see barefooted, naked, deaf and dumb (ignorant and foolish persons) as the rulers of the earth - that is one of the signs of the Doom. And when you see the shepherds of black camels exult in buildings - that is one of the signs of Doom. The (Doom) is one of the five things (wrapped) in the unseen. No one knows them except Allaah. Then (the Prophet) recited (the folowing verse):" Verily Allaah! with Him alone is the knowledge of the hour and He it is Who sends down the rain and knows that which is in the wombs and no person knows whatsoever he shall earn on morrow and a person knows not in whatsoever land he shall die. Verily Allaah is Knowing, Aware. He (the narrator, Abu Huraira) said: Then the person stood up an (made his way). The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: Bring him back to me. He was searched for, but they (the Companions of the Prophet) could not find him. The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) thereupon said: He was Gabriel and he wanted to teach you (things pertaining to religion) when you did not ask (them yourselves).

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