وعن عَمرو بن عَبَسَةَ قال اتيتُ رسولَ اللهِ صلّى اللهُ عليه وسلّم فقلتُ يا رسولَ الله مَن مَّعكَ على هذا الامرِ قال حرٌّ وعبدٌّ قلتُ ما الاسلام قال طيب الكلامِ واِطعام الطعامِ قلتُ ما الايمان قال الصبر والسماحة قال قلتُ ايُّ الاسلامِ افضل قال من سَلِمَ المسلمون مِن لِّسانِه ويدِه قال قلتُ ايُّ الايمانِ افضل قال خُلُقٌ حَسَنٌ قال قلتُ ايُّ الصلٰوةِ افضل قال طُولُ القُنُوتِ قال قلتُ ايُّ الهِجرةِ افضل قال اَن تَهجُرَ ما كَرِهَ رَبُّكَ قال قلتُ ايُّ الجِهادِ افضل قال مَن عُقِرَ جَوادُهُ واُهْرِيقَ دَمُهُ قال قلتُ ايُّ السّاعاتِ افضل قال جَوفُ اللَّيلِ الآخِر

[رواه احمد]

Sayyidunā ʿAmr ibn ʿAbasah RadiyAllāhu ʿAnhu [1] narrates:

I presented myself in the court of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ and I asked, “O Messenger of Allāh, who is with you in Islām?” He ﷺ replied, “One free man and one slave.” [2] I asked, “What is Islām?” [3] He ﷺ said, “To speak good and to feed food.” [4] I asked, “What is Īmān?” [5] He ﷺ answered, “Patience and generosity.” [6] I asked, “Which Islām is the best?” He ﷺ replied, “He from whose tongue and hand Muslims are safe.” I asked, “Which Īmān is the best?” He ﷺ said, “Good manners.” [7] I asked, “Which Ṣalāh is the best?” [8] He ﷺ replied, “Prolonging of the qiyām (the standing position).” [9] I asked, “Which Hijrah (emigration) is the best?” [10] He ﷺ said, “Leaving that which your Lord dislikes.” [11] I asked, “Which Jihād is the best?” He ﷺ replied, “The one where the legs of his horse are cut and his blood is shed.” [12] I asked, “Which time is the best? [13] He ﷺ replied, “The middle of the last part of the night.” [14] – Aḥmad

1. His Kuniyah is Abū Shaykh. He is from the Banū Salamah tribe. He is from among the companions of the early days of Islām, thus the fourth person to accept Islām. He stayed in the Banū Salamah as per the order of the Prophet ﷺ. He came to al-Madinah al-Munawwarah after the Battle of Khaybar and he then resided there.

2. Meaning Sayyidunā Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq and Sayyidunā Bilāl RadiyAllāhu ʿAnhumā had accepted Islām. As Sayyidunā ʿAlī RadiyAllāhu ʿAnhu was a child and Sayyidatunā Khadījah RadiyAllāhu ʿAnhā was his wife, he ﷺ did not mention them. It means that all types of people have accepted Islām, from slaves to the free folk, this meaning is much stronger.

3. Meaning what are the specific traits of a Muslim, or what is the excellence of Islām?

4. These are Islamic etiquettes. The former (speaking good) includes the Kalimah; spreading the Dīn; preventing people from bad with harshness; speaking softly. The latter (feeding food) includes attending to guests; feeding travellers and the hungry; nurturing children.

5. Meaning the result of Īmān, its fruits, and the sign of a Mu’min.

6. There are many types of ṣabr (patience): ṣabr in ‘Ibādah (worship); ṣabr from sins; ṣabr in afflictions – meaning to persist in ‘Ibādah; to never sin; to not be unsettled while afflicted. Like this, generosity in ‘Ilm (knowledge); generosity in wealth; generosity in the Dīn – they are all included in this.

7. Good manners are a great favour of Allāh ﷻ. The Prophet ﷺ has been granted these as a Mu’jizah (miracle). Allāh ﷻ states:

 وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيم

 And indeed you possess an exemplary character. [68:4]

Good manners are those things by which the Creator is pleased and the creation is pleased as well. Meaning to overlook and forgive in matters concerning oneself, and to be strict in matters of the Dīn.

8. Meaning which position of Ṣalāh or which characteristic of Ṣalāh is best? From this it is understood that the positions of Ṣalāh are not equal.

9. Qunūt can mean obedience, humility, Ṣalāh, Duʿā’, silence and qiyām. Here, humility, sincerity or qiyām are meant, with qiyām more apparent. Note that sajdah is the best position according to some, and qiyām is the best according to others. According to some, prolonging the qiyām in Ṣalāh at night is best and more sujūd in the day are best; however, according to Imām e Aʿẓam, prolonging the qiyām is better because in it is effort and service. Meaning if one is to perform nafl Ṣalāh for one hour, one should perform four long rakʿāt instead of 20 short rakʿāt. This Ḥadīth is the proof of Imām e Aʿẓam. Where it has been mentioned that the Sajdah is best, there are specific reasons.

10. There are many types of Hijrah: Hijrah from Makkah al-Mukarramah to Ḥabshah (Abyssinia); from Makkah al-Mukarramah to al-Madinah al-Munawwarah; from a non-Muslim country to a Muslim country; from a place of ignorance to a place of knowledge; Hijrah to seek knowledge; Hijrah from sins to good deeds; from kufr to Islām. [Mirqāt]

11. Keep away from ḥarām, makrūh-taḥrīmī and makrūh-tanzīhī as this is the greatest Hijrah. Note that Allāh ﷻ also dislikes that which the Prophet ﷺ dislikes.

12. Meaning a warrior does not preserve his life or protect his wealth in the battlefield.  The question of spoils does not arise at all [in his mind]. The more fervour in Jihād, the more the reward.

13. Meaning which time is best for nafl Ṣalāh? It is not a question regarding Farḍ Ṣalāh as is understood from the answer.

14. Meaning the last third. Split the night into three parts. Perform Tahajjud Ṣalāh in the middle of the last part, as though the sixth part of the night. It is best to eat saḥrī, make Duʿā’ and also to do istighfār (seeking forgiveness) in this part because the mercy of Allāh ﷻ is more focused on the earth at that time, and being awake at that time is difficult on the nafs.

Mir’āt al-Manājīḥ