The Best of The People Are Those Living In My Generation: [Brief Fawaa’id From This Hadeeth By Imaam An-Nawawi, Imaam Ibn Hajr, Shaikh Rabee and Shaikh Uthaymeen]
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
The Prophet [alayhis salaatu wassalaam] said: ‘’The best of the people are those living in my generation, then those who will follow the latter and then those who come after them. Then there will come after them people who will be treacherous and will not be trustworthy, they will bear witness without being asked to do so, and they will vow, but will never fulfil their vows, and fatness will appear among them’’.
Shaikh Rabee Bin Haadi [rahimahullaah] said: ‘’They give false testimony, act treacherously and deceitfully. They behave in a very sinful manner and follow evil desires, except those whom Allaah safeguards amongst the Taa’ifatul Mansoorah [i.e. the aided group of Muslims upon the straight path] – those whom Allaah’s Messenger [alayhis salaatu wassalaam] praised. Therefore, it is obligated on us to acquire knowledge for the sake of Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] and act upon it. Ignorance is a deadly disease and knowledge is a weapon that will destroy you if you do not act upon it, and Allaah’s refuge is sought. [Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm pages 268-270]
Imaam An-Nawawi [rahimahullaah] stated regarding the statement, ‘’They will bear witness without being asked to do so’’- This can mean that they bear witness before being asked, or they bear witness based on falsehood, or they give witness without being from those who are worthy of it. [For further details see Sharh Saheeh Muslim 12/17]
However, there is another Hadeeth in which the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] stated: ‘’Should I not inform you about the best of witnesses, they are those who bear witness before being asked.’’ The scholars say that what is intended by this hadeeth is for example: someone has a witness to give on behalf of another person based on truth, but the person does not know about it, so he [i.e. the one who should give the witness] informs the person about it; or for example, a person has already passed away and another person knows what the deceased person has left behind as inheritance, so he bears witness to that and makes it known. [For further details see Fat-hul Baari 5/260]
And regarding the statement, ‘’And fatness will appear among them.’’ – Meaning: These people give importance to the means of fattening themselves – food, drink and over-abundance. So, their only concern is their bodies and fattening themselves. As for being fat without choice, then one cannot be blamed for that, just as a person cannot be blamed for being tall, short, black or white…[For further details, see Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 10/1056 -By Shaikh Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)]