In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Fadhaalah Ibn ‘Ubayd [radiyallaahu-anhu] said that during the farewell Hajj the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said, “Should I not inform you regarding who the believer is? He is the one who the people feel safe with regards to their wealth, the Muslim is the one who the people are safe from his tongue, the Mujaahid is the one who strives against his soul in obedience to Allaah and the Muhaajir is the one who abandons sin and sinful behaviour”. [Ref 1]
This hadeeth is one of the commands and teachings of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] during the farewell hajj. In this hadeeth there a clarification of the meanings of these lofty nouns, namely Al-Imaan, Al-Islaam, Al-Jihaad and Al-Hijrah; a clarification regarding those who are deserving of these names in reality and their perfect outcomes in this worldly life and the hereafter.
The (complete) believer is that one who the people feel safe with regards to their blood and wealth, for indeed when Imaan is firmly established in the heart and the heart is filled with it, it then compels a person to fulfil the rights of Imaan, and the most important of it is to preserve the Amaanaat [trusts, moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained], truthfulness in mutual dealings and having fear of Allaah which stops a person from oppressing the people physically and financially. Whoever is as such, the people will know this about him, feel safe with him with regards to their blood and wealth, and trust him due to that which they know about him with regards to fulfilment of trusts.
And the Muslim is the one who the Muslims are safe from his tongue and hand. This is because real Islaam is to submit to Allaah, perfect one’s servitude to Allaah and fulfil the rights of the Muslims. A person’s Islaam will not be perfect until he loves for the Muslims what he loves for himself, and this cannot be accomplished until they are safe from the evil of his tongue and hand, because it is the basis of this obligation owed to the Muslims. Therefore, the one whom the Muslims are not safe from his tongue and hand, then how can he fulfil the obligation which he owes his Muslim brothers. Whoever unleashes his hand and tongue by way of harm and transgression against the Muslims, then where is his fulfilment of true Islaam? Therefore, their safety from his evil by way of speech and deeds is a symbol of the perfection of his Islaam.
And in this hadeeth there is evidence to show that a Mu’min [true believer] is higher in status than a Muslim, because the one who the people feel safe with regards to their blood and wealth, they will also be safe from his tongue and hand, for they would not have trusted him had they not been safe from him. However, not everyone who the people are safe from his tongue and hand is a believer, because indeed one might abandon oppression, but the people are still not safe from him; rather he abandons oppression out of fear of something he hates, due to desiring something or out of extreme fear of something that is in opposition to what he desires, and not that he abandoned oppression due to the Imaan in his heart.
And the Mujaahid is the one who strives against his soul in obedience to Allaah, because the soul inclines towards laziness and is diverted from good, commands evil and is quickly affected during calamities; therefore it is in need of patience and striving to make it adhere to obedience to Allaah, keep it firmly upon that, make it strive against disobedience and turn it away from it, and strive to exercise patience during calamities. [Ref 2]
Striving against the Nafs is four levels as follows:
Firstly: striving in the path of learning Allaah’s Sharee’ah – learning the religion ordained by Allaah, exercise patience whilst learning and seeking understanding. If you do not strive to acquire Ilm, your soul will remain upon ignorance; and even if you perform acts of worship and preoccupy yourself in worship, you’ll do so based on acts of worship that are unacceptable, because one of the conditions of worship is Al-Mutaaba’ah [i.e. adherence to the authentic Sunnah of the Messenger], and one cannot be acquainted with Al-Mutaaba’ah except through Ilm. And due to this, it has been reported in a hadeeth: ‘’Whoever Allaah wishes good for, He grants him understanding in the religion’’. In another narration: ‘’Whoever follows a path towards acquiring knowledge, Allaah will make easy for him the path to paradise’’. Therefore, one must acquire a portion of knowledge every day, and let not a day elapses except that you gain a portion of knowledge. Everyday the Prophet used to supplicate – after the fajr prayer- saying: ‘’O Allaah! I ask you for beneficial knowledge, good provision and deeds that are accepted’’. This shows that seeking knowledge is a daily pursuit.
Secondly: striving against the soul to act upon the knowledge you have acquired and adhering to it. This is the purpose of knowledge, because the purpose of knowledge is to act. If one does not act upon the knowledge he has acquired, then even if does not harm him, it will not benefit him. The Prophet sought refuge with Allaah against the knowledge that does not benefit. Therefore, after a person strives to acquire knowledge, he must strive to act upon it.
Thirdly: A person should call to knowledge [i.e. convey what he has learnt]. [Ref 3]
Fourthly: He should exercise patience in this path.
And the Muhaajir is the one who abandons sins and sinful behaviour.
This is obligated on every Muslim and its obligation is not lifted from anyone who has reached the age of responsibility, because Allaah has forbidden the servants from committing what He has forbidden and obligated on them to obey Him and His Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam]. This Hijrah is based on leaving something and proceeding towards another thing; therefore, a person abandons – by way of his heart – love of other than Allaah and turn towards love of Allaah, abandons servitude to other than Allaah and turns towards servitude to Allaah etc [Ref 4]
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“The strong are not the best wrestlers, rather the strong are only those who control themselves when they are angry.” [Ref 5]
If one says, “By way of what should I strive against my soul until I overcome it?” It is said to him, “Strive against it until it fulfils the duties obligated by Allaah and keeps away from what Allaah has forbidden”. If the person says, “Describe for me the traits that the soul tends to incline towards, which are not good, so that I can be cautious of them, hate them and strive against them if I know that there is something of these traits in my soul”; then it is said to him, “The (evil of the) soul is deserving of being hated for the sake of Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic], and whoever hates (the evil) of his soul for the sake of Allaah, it is hoped that he will be saved from being hated by Allaah, just as it has been reported from Imaam Fudayl Ibn Iyaadh [rahimahullaah] that he said, ‘Whoever hates (the evils) of his soul for the Sake of Allaah is saved from being hated by Allaah’”.
[An Excerpt from Adabun Nufoos. Pages 2-3. Slightly paraphrased]
To be continued InShaaAllaah
[Ref 1: Tirmidhee. 1621]
[Ref 2: https://www.al-badr.net/muqolat/2755. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (hafidhahullaah). Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 3: Sharh Adabun Nufoos. Lesson 2- By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (hafidhahullaah)]
[Ref 4: https://www.al-badr.net/muqolat/2755. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (hafidhahullaah). Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 5: Ṣaḥeeh al-Bukhari 5763 & Ṣaḥeeh Muslim 2609]