Saturday, June 16, 2007

Strong believer vs weak believer

Strong Believer vs. Weak Believer
Answered by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacherhttp://qa.sunnipath .com/issue_ view.asp? id=14428&hd=7&cate=3120&t=rss

Q - Our beloved Prophet, sallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, said that a strong believer is more beloved in the sight of Allah than a weak believer but there is good in both. What is the essence in one's character that makes them strong or weak? Perhaps if you could answer this on a very practical level in dealing with one's trials and relationships? Also, when Allah says that there is good in both, is referring to faith?

A - In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh
Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) mentioned this hadith in the Chapter of Striving of Riyad al-Salihin (it is listed as hadith #100 in Riyad al-Salihin):
100. Abu Hurayra said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer although there is good in each. Desire that which will bring you benefit, and seek help from Allah and do not give way to incapacity. If something happens to you, do not say, 'If only I had done such-and-such. ' Rather say, 'The decree of Allah. He does what He will.' Otherwise you will open yourself up to the action of Shaytan." [Muslim]What is meant by "strength" and "weakness" in the believer is "strength of faith" and "weakness of faith." The rest of the hadith explains some of the the signs of strong faith: to be avid for what brings one true benefit in the next life, to not give up when striving to fulfill the rights that Allah Most High has over one, and to bear patiently with the trials of destiny.Shaykh Muhammad Ibn `Allan (Allah have mercy on him) mentions in his commentary on Riyad al-Salihin that the strong believer is the one whose faith is so strong that the wordly causes and effects do not distract him from the One who is really running the world, so that he has complete reliance on his creator. The outward sign of strong faith is increased worship: the stronger a believer is in his faith, the more he will busy himself with the worship of His Loard.By mentioning this hadith in the Chapter of Striving (mujahadah), Imam Nawawi is explaining to us that the point of the hadith is to get us to roll up our sleeves and get busy in trying to purify ourselves from disobedience to Allah Most High--inwardly and outwardly--and to adorn ourselves with His obedience--inwardly and outwardly.As for the final part of your question, when the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said that there is "good in both", he meant--as explained by Shaykh Ibn `Allan--that the good that is in both of them is the faith that is in their hearts. In other words, although the faith of the strong believer is stronger than the faith of the weak believer, both are, at the end of the day believers, and belief is a tremendous blessing from Allah Most High.And Allah Most High knows best.

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Above are the intention for studying from Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad (RahimuLlah) translated as: All praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And salutations and greetings upon our master Muhammad and upon his family and companions. I intend to study and teach, take and give a reminder, take and give benefit, take and give advantage, to encourage the holding fast to the book of Allah and the way of his messenger, and calling to guidance and directing towards good hoping for the countenance of Allah and His pleasure, proximity and reward, transcendent is He. (Our thanks to


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