A question by muadh ibn jabal whose answer can save you from hellfire

by: Shaykh Zafar ul Hasan
Translated by: Nisaar Nadiadwala
A Question whose answer can save you from Hellfire

An initial part of a lengthy Hadith compiled in Sahih Tirmidhi is the subject of our discussion today. The incident is a conversation between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and a very prominent companion Muadh ibn Jabal (Allah be pleased with him): Once while we were returning from a journey along with the Prophet (peace be upon him), I got some chance to have personal discussion with the Prophet (peace be upon him). “O Messenger of Allah, kindly inform me about a deed which will get us enter in Jannah and save us from Hellfire.”

The answer given to Muadh ( Allah be pleased with him) offers benefit to us all

Muadh was a man who was the companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for more than twenty years  and he was eager to know about the virtues of being in such a company. In spite of his life full of obedience to Allah and His Messenger, Muadh was still looking for a deed which can qualify him to enter Paradise and save him from the Hellfire.

Entering Paradise is difficult unless Allah makes it easy for someone

The Prophet (peace be upon him) responded, “You have asked a very difficult question, (It is difficult to attain Paradise) unless Allah makes it easy for someone (to enter Paradise),”  Then he prayed for Muadh (Allah be pleased with him) that may Allah make it easy for him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) continued informing him about the deeds that will lead one to Paradise and deeds that would save one from Hell fire.

He said, : Rejecting false deities  and testifying the oneness of Allah and offering five times prayers at their fixed time, give zakat, fasting in the month of Ramadhan, and perform Hajj.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) then addressed Muadh, “O Muadh, Shall I show you the doors of rewarding deeds?  He replied eagerly, “Yes.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “ Fasting, giving charity because charity extinguishes the hell fire the way water extinguishes fire, offering salatul Tahajjud,and he recited, "Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hidden for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do".

  The Prophet (peace be upon him) continued, " Shall I not tell you of the peak of the matter, its pillar, and its head?" I said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah." He said: "The peak of the matter is Islam; the pillar is prayer; and its topmost part is jihad." Then he said: "Shall I not tell you of the controlling of all that ?" I said:"Yes, O Messenger of Allah", and he took hold of his tongue and said: "Restrain this." I said: "O Prophet of Allah, will what we say be held against us ?" He said: "May your mother be bereaved of you, Muadh ! Is there anything that topples people on their faces - or he said on their noses into Hell-fire other than the jests of their tongues ?”

The above hadith shows how all good deeds need to be protected only if one protects his tongue. One must control his tongue. Everything that is spoken will be accounted. Even huge good deeds like Tahajjud can be annulled if the tongue is not reigned.