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Every Muslim tries his best to do deeds that will lead him to paradise. Similar was the desire of the companions of Prophet (PBUH), as is narrated in the following hadith: On the authority of Muadh bin Jabal (RA) who said: I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an act which will take me into Paradise and will keep me away from the Hellfire.’ He (PBUH) said, ‘You have asked me about a great matter, yet it is easy for him for whom Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah without associating any partners with Him; establish the prayer; pay the Zakat; fast in Ramadan; and make the pilgrimage to the House. “Then He (PBUH) said, ‘Shall I not guide you towards the means of goodness? Fasting is a shield, charity wipes away sin as water extinguishes fire, and the praying of a man in the depths of the night.’ Then He (PBUH) recited: ‘[Those] who forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (charity in Allah’s cause) out of what We have bestowed on them. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do’ [Surah As-Sajdah, 16-17]. “Then He (PBUH) said, Shall I not inform you of the head of the matter, its pillar and its peak?’ I said, ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah.’ He (PBUH) said, ‘The head of the matter is Islam, its pillar is the prayer and its peak is
jihad.’ Then He (PBUH) said, ‘Shall I not tell you of the foundation of all of that?’ I said, ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah.’ So he took hold of his tongue and said, ‘Restrain this.’ I said, ‘O Prophet of Allah, will we be taken to account for what we say with it?’ He (PBUH) said, ‘May your mother be bereaved of you, O Muadh! Is there anything that throws people into the Hellfire upon their faces, or on their noses, except the harvests of their tongues?’ [Tirmidhi]

The hadith, while simple to understand, has some deep messages. Firstly when the companion asked the Prophet (PBUH) how to achieve paradise, before mentioning the acts he told them that they were difficult except for those whom Allah makes it easy. This teaches us that whenever someone comes to us with a difficulty we should always encourage them, give them hope and spread positive energy. Also, ease in everything comes from Allah alone. If He wishes, difficult things become easy and vice versa.

Secondly, the first act that Prophet (PBUH) advised was to establish the five pillars of Islam. This signifies the importance of upholding the five pillars of Islam firmly. Also, one can only be on the correct lane to Paradise if he obeys them. Once on the road to Paradise, in order to reach our destination, Prophet (PBUH) mentioned the superlative forms of the three pillars Prayer, Fasting and Zakat. After establishing the five prayers, one who offers the additional night prayers i.e. Tahujjud, invokes the blessing of Allah. Similarly, after paying Zakat, gives additional charity or does good deeds, also known as sadaqa, and has his sins erased. Moreover, while fasting, not only refrains from things that are prohibited, but also refrains from sins of the tongue like
lying, backbiting, etc., has his fast becomes like a shield against sins. All of which in turn lead us closer to Paradise.

In addition to this, the Prophet (PBUH) then mentioned the head, pillar and peak of this route namely Islam, Prayer and Jihad. Islam means total submission to Allah.  Prayer is the first thing to be questioned about on the Day of Judgement. Jihad is the effort that one makes while doing a good deed and resisting from sins. All of the
above three are of extreme importance in fulfillment of our obligations to Allah and His deen.

The Prophet (PBUH) concluded by mentioning the basis on which the success and failure of the journey to Paradise is dependent– safeguarding the tongue. All the above factors are dependent on the tongue because the tongue is a reflection of what is in the heart and hence as it comes in a hadith of Ibn Majah and Ahmed: The spoken word of the son of Adam will go against him, except that he uses his tongue for enjoining good, forbidding evil and the remembrance of Allah.


By Farhat Aziz,

Student, 1st Year, Essentials Program


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