Riyadh as-Salihin of Imam Nawawi
Translated from the Arabic by Muhammad Zafrulla Khan
Gardens of Righteous
The salutation to the Holy Prophet in the words ‘upon whom be peace and blessings of Allah’ after his name, and the invocation ‘may Allah be pleased with him’ after the names of his companions are expressly set out in the manuscript but are omitted in print in order to accomodate the text to the modern reader. They should, nevertheless, be understood as repeated in each case.
In this translation the form ibn has been used in both initial and medial positions in the names of persons, in order to conform with current usage, although bin occurs medially in the originally text.
Allah, the Exalted, has said:
- Who sees thee when thou standest alone for prayer, and also sees thy movements in the company of those who prostrate themselves in Prayer along with thee (26.219-22).
- He is with you wheresoever you may be (57.5).
- Nothing is hidden from Allah, in the earth or in the heaven (3.6).
- Surely, thy Lord is on the watch (89.15).
- He knows the treachery of the eyes and that which the minds conceal (40.20).
- Umar ibn Khattab relates: We were sitting one day with the Holy Prophet when a man appeared among us whose clothes were of an intense whiteness, whose hair was very black, who bore no mark of travel and who was not known to any of us. He sat down in front of the Holy Prophet, their knees touching, and placing his hands on his thighs he said: Muhammad, tell me about Islam. The Holy Prophet said: Islam is that you should bear witness that there is none worthy of worship save Allah alone and that Muhammad is His Messenger, and that you should observe Prayer, pay the Zakat, observe the fast during Ramadhan, and perform the Pilgrimage to the House if you can afford the journey thither. The man said: That is right. We were surprised that he inquired and also confirmed the correctness of the answer. He then said: Tell me about faith. The Holy Prophet said: That you should believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and that you should believe that He determines the measure of good and evil. The man said: That is right. Now tell me about the due performance of obligations. The Holy Prophet said: That you should worship Allah as if you are beholding Him, and if not then in the consciousness that He is watching you. The man said: Now tell me about the Hour of Judgment. The Holy Prophet said: He who is being asked knows no more about it than the one who asks. The man then said: Well, tell me some of the signs of its approach. The Holy Prophet made answer: That the hand-maiden should give birth to her master and that barefooted, barebodied, penurious goatherds should be seen lording it in great mansions. Then the man departed, and I remained a while. The Holy Prophet said to me: Umar, do you know who the questioner was? I said: Allah and His Messenger know best. He said: It was Gabriel who came to instruct you in your faith (Muslim).
- Abu Dharr and Mu’az ibn Jabal relate that the Holy Prophet said: Mind your duty to Allah, wherever you are; and follow up evil with good, the latter will wipe out the former; and behave well towards people (Tirmidhi).
- Ibn Abbas relates: I was riding behind the Holy Prophet one day when he said: Boy, I would instruct thee in some matters. Be watchful of Allah, He will be watchful of thee. Safeguard His commandments. He will be ever with thee. When thou must ask, ask of Allah alone; and when thou must seek help, implore Allah alone for help. Remember that if all the people were to combine to bestow some benefit upon thee, they would not be able to bestow anything upon thee except that which Allah has appointed for thee, and that if all of them were to combine to do thee harm, they would not be able to afflict thee with anything except that which Allah has decreed against thee. The pens have been lifted and the ink of the books has become dry (Tirmidhi). Another version has it: Safeguard the commandments of Allah, you will find Him before you; remember Him in prosperity. He will remember you in adversity. Be sure that that which has led you into error will not lead you aright, and that which has guided you to good will not lead you astray. Remember that help comes with steadfastness, there is prosperity after adversity and that hardship is followed by ease.
- Anas has said: You indulge in things which you account as less than a hair whereas in the time of the Holy Prophet we shunned them as fatal (Bokhari).
- Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: Allah is jealous, and His jealousy is aroused by a person indulging in that which He has forbidden (Bokhari and Muslim).
- Abu Hurairah relates that he heard the Holy Prophet narrate the following: Allah having determined to try a leper, a bald one and a blind one from among the Bani Israel sent an angel to them. The angel came to the leper and asked him: What is it that you would like the best? He said: A good complexion and a clear skin and removal of my affliction on account of which people shun me. The angel passed his hands over him and his affliction left him and he acquired a good complexion. Then the angel asked him: What property would you like the best? The man said: Camels. He was given a she-camel ten months pregnant; and the angel said: May Allah bless it for thee. Then the angel came to the bald one and asked him: What is it that you would like best? He said: Lovely hair and removal of the affliction on account of which people avoid me. The angel passed his hands over him and his affliction was removed and he acquired lovely hair. Then the angel asked him: What property would you like best? The man said: Cattle. He was given a cow which was carrying a calf; and the angel said: May Allah bless it for thee. Then the angel came to the blind one and asked him: What is it that you would like best? He said: That Allah may restore my sight so that I may see people. The angel passed his hands over his eyes and Allah restored his sight. Then the angel asked him: What property would you like best? The man said: Goats. He was given a she-goat which was carrying a kid. The animals multiplied greatly, so that one had a valley full of camels, the other valley full of cattle and the third a valley full of goats.
Thereafter the angel came in his old guise to the leper and said: I am a poor man bereft of all resources in the course of my journey, and I have no means left for the completion of my journey save Allah. I beg you in the name of Allah Who has given you a good complexion and a clear skin and great wealth to furnish me with a camel that might help me to reach the end of my journey. The man said: I have many obligations. The angel said: I seem to recognise you. Were you not a leper, shunned by people and indigent, enriched by Allah? The man said: My wealth is inherited through generations. The angel said: If you are lying, may Allah restore you to the condition in which you were. Then he came to the bald one in his old guise and said to him the same as he had said to the leper and received a reply similar to the one he had received from the leper. To this one also he said: If you are lying, may Allah restore you to the condition in which you were.
Then the angel came to the blind one in his old guise and said to him: I am a poor man on a journey. My resources have all given out and I cannot reach the end of my journey save with the help of Allah. I beg you in the name of Him Who has restored your sight to you to give me a goat that might prove of help to me in reaching the end of my journey. The man said: Indeed I was blind and Allah restored my sight to me. Then take what you will and leave what you will. I shall not constrain you in any way in respect of whatever you may wish to take in the name of Allah, the Lord of honour and glory. The angel said: Keep all you have. All three of you were being tried. Allah is, indeed, pleased with thee and is wroth with thy companions (Bokhari and Muslim).
- Shaddad ibn Aus relates that the Holy Prophet said: A wise person is one who watches over himself and restrains himself from that which is harmful and strives for that which will confront him after death; and a foolish one is he who gives rein to his cravings and seeks from Allah the fulfilment of his vain desires (Tirmidhi).
- Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: It is part of the excellence of a person’s Islam that he should eschew that which is of no benefit to him (Tirmidhi).