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Hastening to Do Good

Hadith 23

On the authority of Abu Malik al-Harith bin Asim al-Ashari (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

"Purity is half of Iman. Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) fills the scales, and subhan-Allah (how far from imperfection is Allah) and Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) fill that which is between heaven and earth. And the Salah (prayer) is a light, and charity is a proof, and patience is illumination, and the Qur'an is a proof either for you or against you. Every person starts his day as a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or bringing about its ruin."


عَنْ أَبِي مَالِكٍ الْحَارِثِ بْنِ عَاصِمٍ الْأَشْعَرِيِّ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم

"الطَّهُورُ شَطْرُ الْإِيمَانِ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلَأُ الْمِيزَانَ، وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلَآنِ -أَوْ: تَمْلَأُ- مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ، وَالصَّلَاةُ نُورٌ، وَالصَّدَقَةُ بُرْهَانٌ، وَالصَّبْرُ ضِيَاءٌ، وَالْقُرْآنُ حُجَّةٌ لَك أَوْ عَلَيْك، كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو، فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا".

[رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ].

Commentary Summary

This Hadith encompasses fundamental principles of the religion. The Hadith shows the importance of performing good deeds in Islam, through which every Muslim can free himself from the punishment of Allah (swt) in the Hereafter. This includes freeing oneself from servitude to anything other than Allah (swt).

Purification is Half of Iman (faith)

There are two ways to understand the meaning of “Purification is half of iman.” The first way to understand purification is in terms of physical cleanliness. Although Islam teaches cleanliness in all things, our homes and masajid are not always a reflection of this. We should strive for cleanliness in all things, whether it is keeping our homes clean or our masjids orderly.

The word iman is also used to mean prayer, which reflects the importance of prayer as the foundation for iman (faith). Prayer is the distinguishing factor between belief and disbelief. When one goes to pray, they must first make wudu (abolution). Therefore, the second way to understand the concept of purification is that it is half of the prayer. A physical act of purification enables us to prepare for prayer externally and internally.

The Significance of Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah

Dhikr is the remembrance of God, often expressed through phrases such as “Al-Hamdulillah” (praise be to God) and “Subhanallah” (glory be to God). The hadith mentions that Al-Hamdulillah fills the mizan (scales), and the phrase “Subhanallah wa bihamdi” (exalted be Allah and to Him belongs all praise) fills the space between the heavens and the earth. The hadith shows the importance, greatness, and significance of dhikr for every Muslim. For example, merely reciting one phrase such as Subhanallah gives a reward that fills the heavens!

Al-Haithamy, one of the great Muslim scholars, stated that the full reward of reciting dhikr will be given to the person who recites these phrases while thinking of their meaning and submitting to their implication.

Salah (prayer) is a Light

The Prophet (sas) said Prayer is a light by which we are guided spiritually. Knowing right and wrong is half the struggle, but the real struggle lies in the action of doing that which is right. Prayer is something that disciplines us spiritually so that we are able to correctly follow that which is pleasing to Allah. That is why prayer is the light that guides us through our journey towards Allah (swt).

Sadaqah (charity) is a Proof

When one gives in charity, one is trusting in Allah’s promise that He will return the wealth in multifold. In a material sense, one may be losing money, but in a spiritual sense one is gaining reward. Allah (swt) says many times in the Quran that charity doesn’t diminish, but rather increases our wealth.

Charity is a burhan (proof) for the Muslim. The term burhan literally means 'sunlight' in Arabic. This linguistic definition is adding a depth of meaning to the definition of burhan as a proof; it is not just a proof, it is a shining and clear proof of one’s iman as a Muslim. Imam Ibn Rajab said that the reason why charity is an evidence of iman, is that people usually love wealth, and if they overcome this love of material things for the sake of Allah, this is a clear proof of their strong iman.

Sabr (patience) is a Shining Light

Patience is a shining, bright light that guides us in tough moments. It is always inspiring when we are around people who exercise patience in the face of adversity and difficulty.

Being patient requires a lot of internal effort and struggle. Overcoming impatience develops our self-control and accountability. Patience leads to self-control, which is the goal of al-sabr (patience).

The Qur'an is Either Evidence For or Against You

Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim, and the core of all knowledge is the Quran. With knowledge comes responsibility. That is why the Prophet (sas) said that "The Qur'an is either evidence for or against you.” People who recite, learn and practice the Qur'an, become the people of Quran and the Quran will be a proof for them. However, on the Day of Judgment, the Quran will stand against those who never read or practiced it in their lives.

Every Day is a New Opportunity

We go out every day and Allah (swt) gives us life, energy and new opportunities to come closer to Him. Imam Ibn Rajab, while commenting on this meaning, said the person who struggles to worship Allah and obeys Him is the one who frees himself, while the person who indulges in sins is the one who destroys himself.

Every morning, when people go out of their homes, they are either gaining reward or suffering losses. If they work for Allah and obey Him, they are winners; but if they violate the rules of Allah and disobey Him, then they gain nothing but loss after loss.


This hadith guides us in how to gain great rewards in our lives and also how to save ourselves from Allah's punishment. Practicing the acts of purification, dhikr, prayer, charity, and many other deeds are important ways to free oneself from the punishment of Allah.