Forty Hadith Imam Nawawi

Topics: Islam, Muhammad, Qur'an Pages: 68 (23257 words) Published: March 31, 2013

Commentaries on Imam Nawawi's Forty Hadith

The collection of Forty Hadith by al-Imam al-Nawawi (or Imam Nawawi) has been known, accepted and appreciated by Muslim scholars for the last seven centuries. Its significance lay in the fact that these selected forty hadiths comprise the main essential and fundamental concepts of Islam which, in turn, construct the minimum level of required revealed knowledge for every single Muslim. Since having good knowledge of the various fundamental aspects of the religion is key to a Muslim's practice and application of Islam, this web site attempts to provide simple and practical commentaries to the collection of Imam Nawawi's Forty Hadith. Various principles are contained in these hadiths, such as belief, Muslim ethics and fiqh. As such, it is very important to have a good understanding of these hadiths based on scholarly interpretations. In addition, these commentaries also try to offer discussions on related contemporary issues pertaining to certain concepts mentioned in these hadiths.

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1. Actions are judged by intentions

It is narrated on the authority of Amirul Mu'minin, Abu Hafs 'Umar bin al-Khattab, radiyallahu 'anhu, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, say: "Actions are (judged) by motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated." [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

This hadith was said by the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, at the time when a man emigrated from Makkah to Madinah during the Hijrah for the sake of marrying someone and not for the sake of Islam. It is considered to be one of the greatest hadiths in Islam. Al-Imam al-Shafie said: This Hadith is one third of the knowledge of Islam; related to about 70 topics of Fiqh. Al-Imam Ahmad (with reference to al-Imam al-Shafie's statement) said: Islam is based on three fundamentals (all are among the 40 hadiths ): i. Hadith 1: which is stated above.

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Hadith 5: "Whosoever introduces into this affair of ours (i.e. Islam) something that does not belong to it, it is to be rejected." Hadith 6: "Truly, what is lawful is evident, and what is unlawful is evident, and in between the two are matters which are doubtful which many people do not know……"

These three hadiths are agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. These hadiths can be seen as three criteria to help Muslims evaluate and judge what they do and say "as an ibadah" in their daily life: i. ii. Hadith 1 - To evaluate and judge our internal actions (actions of the heart). Hadith 5 - To evaluate and judge our external actions (actions of the limbs). Hadith 6 - To evaluate and judge our dealings "mu'amalat" (interaction between people).


Niyyah (intention) has two meanings: i. The intention before an ibadah (e.g. prayer) The willingness


The second meaning (ii.) is what is meant in this hadith.

The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, starts the hadith with the principle ("Actions are judged by intentions") and then gives three examples. This is the methodology of the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam. The examples help illustrate the principle so that it is easier for people to understand and they can apply the principle to other similar situations. The three examples consist of one of good...
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