Hadith on Yahya: John’s five commands to the Children of Israel

Al-Harith ibn al-Ash’ari reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Allah commanded John, the son of Zechariah, with five words to practice and to command the Children of Israel to practice. He was nearly slow to act, so Jesus said: Verily, Allah has commanded you with five words to practice and to command the Children of Israel to practice, either command them or I will. John said: I am afraid if you precede me with them, I will be swallowed by the earth or punished! So he gathered the people in the sacred house and the mosque filled as they sat upon the balcony. John said: Verily, Allah has commanded me with five words for me to practice and I command you to practice them. First, that you worship Allah without associating any partners with Him, for the parable of one who associates with Allah is that of a man who purchases a servant with his own gold or currency and he says, ‘This is my house and this is my business, so get to work and send me the profits.’ The servant gets to work, but he gives the profits to another master. Which of you would be pleased to have a servant like that? Second, Allah commands you to pray. If you pray, then do not fidget, for Allah set His face towards His servant in his prayer as long as he does not fidget. Third, I command you to fast, for the parable of that is a man amongst others with a satchel of musk. All of them are pleased and enjoy its scent, for the scent of a fasting person is more pleasant to Allah than musk. Fourth, I command you to give charity, for the parable of that is a man whose enemy has captured him and tied his hands to his neck. As they approach to strike his neck, he says, ‘I will ransom myself for a little or a lot!’ So he ransoms himself from them. Fifth, I command you to remember Allah, for the parable of that is a man who goes out with his enemy quickly following his steps, until he comes to a protected fortress and barricades himself from them. Such a servant cannot barricade himself from Satan but by remembering Allah.

The Prophet said, “And I command you with fives words with which Allah commanded me: to listen, to obey, to perform jihad, to perform emigration, and to unite with the community. For whoever splits away from the community as much as a hand span has cast off the yoke of Islam from his neck until he returns. Whoever calls to the ways of ignorance will surely be among the rubble of Hell.” A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, even if he prays and fasts?” The Prophet said, “Even if he prays and fasts, so call to the ways of Allah who has named you the Muslims, the believers, the servants of Allah.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2863

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Tirmidhi

عَنْ الْحَارِث الْأَشْعَرِيَّ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَ يَحْيَى بْنَ زَكَرِيَّا بِخَمْسِ كَلِمَاتٍ أَنْ يَعْمَلَ بِهَا وَيَأْمُرَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنْ يَعْمَلُوا بِهَا وَإِنَّهُ كَادَ أَنْ يُبْطِئَ بِهَا فَقَالَ عِيسَى إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَكَ بِخَمْسِ كَلِمَاتٍ لِتَعْمَلَ بِهَا وَتَأْمُرَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنْ يَعْمَلُوا بِهَا فَإِمَّا أَنْ تَأْمُرَهُمْ وَإِمَّا أَنْ آمُرَهُمْ فَقَالَ يَحْيَى أَخْشَى إِنْ سَبَقْتَنِي بِهَا أَنْ يُخْسَفَ بِي أَوْ أُعَذَّبَ فَجَمَعَ النَّاسَ فِي بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ فَامْتَلَأَ الْمَسْجِدُ وَتَعَدَّوْا عَلَى الشُّرَفِ فَقَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَنِي بِخَمْسِ كَلِمَاتٍ أَنْ أَعْمَلَ بِهِنَّ وَآمُرَكُمْ أَنْ تَعْمَلُوا بِهِنَّ أَوَّلُهُنَّ أَنْ تَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا وَإِنَّ مَثَلَ مَنْ أَشْرَكَ بِاللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ اشْتَرَى عَبْدًا مِنْ خَالِصِ مَالِهِ بِذَهَبٍ أَوْ وَرِقٍ فَقَالَ هَذِهِ دَارِي وَهَذَا عَمَلِي فَاعْمَلْ وَأَدِّ إِلَيَّ فَكَانَ يَعْمَلُ وَيُؤَدِّي إِلَى غَيْرِ سَيِّدِهِ فَأَيُّكُمْ يَرْضَى أَنْ يَكُونَ عَبْدُهُ كَذَلِكَ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَكُمْ بِالصَّلَاةِ فَإِذَا صَلَّيْتُمْ فَلَا تَلْتَفِتُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَنْصِبُ وَجْهَهُ لِوَجْهِ عَبْدِهِ فِي صَلَاتِهِ مَا لَمْ يَلْتَفِتْ وَآمُرُكُمْ بِالصِّيَامِ فَإِنَّ مَثَلَ ذَلِكَ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ فِي عِصَابَةٍ مَعَهُ صُرَّةٌ فِيهَا مِسْكٌ فَكُلُّهُمْ يَعْجَبُ أَوْ يُعْجِبُهُ رِيحُهَا وَإِنَّ رِيحَ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ وَآمُرُكُمْ بِالصَّدَقَةِ فَإِنَّ مَثَلَ ذَلِكَ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ أَسَرَهُ الْعَدُوُّ فَأَوْثَقُوا يَدَهُ إِلَى عُنُقِهِ وَقَدَّمُوهُ لِيَضْرِبُوا عُنُقَهُ فَقَالَ أَنَا أَفْدِيهِ مِنْكُمْ بِالْقَلِيلِ وَالْكَثِيرِ فَفَدَى نَفْسَهُ مِنْهُمْ وَآمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تَذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ فَإِنَّ مَثَلَ ذَلِكَ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ خَرَجَ الْعَدُوُّ فِي أَثَرِهِ سِرَاعًا حَتَّى إِذَا أَتَى عَلَى حِصْنٍ حَصِينٍ فَأَحْرَزَ نَفْسَهُ مِنْهُمْ كَذَلِكَ الْعَبْدُ لَا يُحْرِزُ نَفْسَهُ مِنْ الشَّيْطَانِ إِلَّا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ

قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَأَنَا آمُرُكُمْ بِخَمْسٍ اللَّهُ أَمَرَنِي بِهِنَّ السَّمْعُ وَالطَّاعَةُ وَالْجِهَادُ وَالْهِجْرَةُ وَالْجَمَاعَةُ فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ فَارَقَ الْجَمَاعَةَ قِيدَ شِبْرٍ فَقَدْ خَلَعَ رِبْقَةَ الْإِسْلَامِ مِنْ عُنُقِهِ إِلَّا أَنْ يَرْجِعَ وَمَنْ ادَّعَى دَعْوَى الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْ جُثَا جَهَنَّمَ فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَإِنْ صَلَّى وَصَامَ قَالَ وَإِنْ صَلَّى وَصَامَ فَادْعُوا بِدَعْوَى اللَّهِ الَّذِي سَمَّاكُمْ الْمُسْلِمِينَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عِبَادَ اللَّهِ

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