18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

Hating or Honouring Somebody

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Do not hate one another, nor be jealous of one another.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Bilal (radi Allahu anhu), one of the earliest converts to Islam, had been appointed by Rasul Allah to be the Muaddhin (the one who makes the Adhan – call to prayer). He was of African descent and had been a slave before being bought and freed by Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu). Once, after the conquest of Makkah, while Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) was calling the Adhan, three men belonging to the Quraish tribe began to comment on him. These people had only just accepted Islam, in order to be with the winning side, and had not yet been cleansed by its teachings.

One of the men remarked how happy he was that his parents were not around to see such a disgusting sight. The second man sarcastically called Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) a black crow and wondered how the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) couldn’t have found anyone other than him to appoint as the Muaddhin. The third man was afraid that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) would make known their comments to Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and so did not say anything.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) did reveal this conversation to Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and in addition revealed this ayat of the Quran: “O mankind, truly we have created you from a male and a female, and made you peoples and tribes, so that you may recognize each other. Truly, the most honoured of you to Allah is (he who) safeguards himself against evil with full awareness of Allah’s Laws. Truly, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” [Quran 49:13]

The three men had been discriminating against Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) because of the colour of his skin, because of his lineage as he wasn’t of the Quraish or even Arab, and because of what his social status had been before Islam. What this ayat clarified is that regardless of whether the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) finds out or not, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is always aware of everything you say and do.

Additionally, in Allah’s sight a person’s colour, lineage, and social status have no importance. It is only piety that makes a person respectable or lovable in the sight of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and the ones who lack it, detestable in the sight of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Thus, colour, lineage and social status are not parameters that Muslims should be using either, to honour or humiliate one another, nor are these valid reasons to love or hate one another.

Judge your relationships and see what criteria you use: Piety or something else?

Hadith Online    Islamic Books    News/Articles    Send Email    Add to Favorite    Subscribe