Hadith 24: O My Servants

On the authority of Abu Dharr al-Ghifaari, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), from among the sayings he relates from His Lord (may He be glorified) that He said, “O My servants, I have forbidden wrongdoing for Myself and I have made it forbidden for you. Therefore, do not wrong one another. O My servants, all of you are lost except those whom I have guided. Therefore, seek guidance from Me and I will guide you. O My servants, all of you are hungry except those whom I have fed. Therefore, seek food from Me and I will feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked except those whom I have clothed. Therefore seek clothing from Me and I will clothe you. O My servants, you sin by day and by night, and I forgive all sins. Therefore seek forgiveness from Me and I will forgive you. O My servants, you will not be able to harm Me so as to bring any harm to Me and you will be able to benefit Me so as to bring any benefit to Me. O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were as pious as the most pious heart of anyone among you, it would not add anything to My dominion. O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were as wicked as the most wicked heart of anyone among you it would not decrease anything from My dominion. O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were to gather together on [the same sector] of land and all asked Me and if I were to give everyone of them what he asked, that would not decrease what I have any more than a needle decreases what is in the ocean when it is put into it. O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon for you. Then I recompense you for them. The one who finds good is to give praises to Allah. The one who finds other than that should not blame anyone but himself.” (Recorded in Muslim)

The Narrator

Abu Dharr al-Ghifaari (r) was one of the earliest Muslims, being perhaps the fifth person to embrace Islam.  He (r) moved to Madinah after the Hijrah, and was present at many of the battles of the Prophet (s). He narrated approximately 281 hadith.

” from among the sayings he relates from His Lord (may He be glorified)”

This statement shows us that this is a qudsi hadith, in which the Prophet (s) directly related words of Allah (swt) that were not to be contained in the Qur’an.

“O My servants”

Allah (swt) begins His statement by calling to humans with the term ‘O My servants’. This is significant for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it highlights for us what our relationship with Allah (swt) is. Allah (swt) is our Lord and Master and we are His servants and slaves. The fact that we are addressed in this way should make us attentive to what is to follow, because the words are coming from our Master.

Secondly, this type of address demonstrates to us that Allah (swt) is not in need of us at all. He (swt) is the Master and Lord of all the creation and He (swt) does with them what He (swt) wills. He (swt) has power over all things, and we are totally dependent on Him (swt). 

Finally, we see that the address is made to all of mankind, not just the believers. The statements are not specific to any people, time or place. The prohibition of wrongdoing is for all people for all time. This was the message from Allah (swt) conveyed by all of the Prophets.

So the message is addressed to each and everyone of us, to remind us of our relationship with and total dependence on our Creator, and to guide us to what is best for us in relation to our religion, life and end.

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