Hadith on Islam: Its pillar is prayer, its peak is jihad

Mu’adh ibn Jabal reported: I was travelling with the Prophet one morning, close to him as we journeyed together, and I said, “O Messenger of Allah, tell me of a deed that will admit me into Paradise and keep me away from the Hellfire.” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “You have asked about an enormous matter, yet it is easy upon those for whom Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything with him, establish the prayer, give the charity, fast the month of Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to the House.” Then, the Prophet said, “Shall I not tell you about the gates of goodness? Fasting is a shield, charity extinguishes sins as water extinguishes fire, and the prayer of a man in the late night,” and the Prophet recited the verse, “They arise from their beds and supplicate to their Lord in fear and hope. They spend from what We have provided them, for no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort as reward for what they used to do.” (32:16) Then, the Prophet said, “Shall I not tell you about the head of the matter and its peak?” I said, “Of course, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet said, “The head of the matter is Islam, its pillar is prayer, and jihād is its peak. Shall I not tell you how to achieve all of this?” I said, “Of course, O Prophet of Allah.” The Prophet pointed to his tongue and he said, “Restrain this.” I said, “O Prophet of Allah, will what we say be held against us?” The Prophet said, “May your mother be bereaved of you, O Mu’adh! Is there anything that topples people onto their faces into the Hellfire but the harvest of their tongues?

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2616

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to At-Tirmidhi

عَنْ مُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ قَالَ كُنْتُ مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي سَفَرٍ فَأَصْبَحْتُ يَوْمًا قَرِيبًا مِنْهُ وَنَحْنُ نَسِيرُ فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَخْبِرْنِي بِعَمَلٍ يُدْخِلُنِي الْجَنَّةَ وَيُبَاعِدُنِي عَنْ النَّارِ قَالَ لَقَدْ سَأَلْتَنِي عَنْ عَظِيمٍ وَإِنَّهُ لَيَسِيرٌ عَلَى مَنْ يَسَّرَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ تَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكْ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَتُقِيمُ الصَّلَاةَ وَتُؤْتِي الزَّكَاةَ وَتَصُومُ رَمَضَانَ وَتَحُجُّ الْبَيْتَ ثُمَّ قَالَ أَلَا أَدُلُّكَ عَلَى أَبْوَابِ الْخَيْرِ الصَّوْمُ جُنَّةٌ وَالصَّدَقَةُ تُطْفِئُ الْخَطِيئَةَ كَمَا يُطْفِئُ الْمَاءُ النَّارَ وَصَلَاةُ الرَّجُلِ مِنْ جَوْفِ اللَّيْلِ قَالَ ثُمَّ تَلَا تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنْ الْمَضَاجِعِ حَتَّى بَلَغَ يَعْمَلُونَ ثُمَّ قَالَ أَلَا أُخْبِرُكَ بِرَأْسِ الْأَمْرِ كُلِّهِ وَعَمُودِهِ وَذِرْوَةِ سَنَامِهِ قُلْتُ بَلَى يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ رَأْسُ الْأَمْرِ الْإِسْلَامُ وَعَمُودُهُ الصَّلَاةُ وَذِرْوَةُ سَنَامِهِ الْجِهَادُ ثُمَّ قَالَ أَلَا أُخْبِرُكَ بِمَلَاكِ ذَلِكَ كُلِّهِ قُلْتُ بَلَى يَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ فَأَخَذَ بِلِسَانِهِ قَالَ كُفَّ عَلَيْكَ هَذَا فَقُلْتُ يَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ وَإِنَّا لَمُؤَاخَذُونَ بِمَا نَتَكَلَّمُ بِهِ فَقَالَ ثَكِلَتْكَ أُمُّكَ يَا مُعَاذُ وَهَلْ يَكُبُّ النَّاسَ فِي النَّارِ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِمْ أَوْ عَلَى مَنَاخِرِهِمْ إِلَّا حَصَائِدُ أَلْسِنَتِهِمْ

2616 سنن الترمذي كِتَاب الْإِيمَانِ بَاب مَا جَاءَ فِي حُرْمَةِ الصَّلَاةِ

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