When the Reward Equals Fifty

In ‘ad-Durar as-Saniyyah’ (8/91-95), Shaykh Hasan bin Husayn (a grandson of Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab) was asked about the hadith: “…the one who does this will have the reward of fifty.” So, he replied:

“First of all, you should know that the hadith in question was reported by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah from ‘Utbah bin Hakim, from ‘Amr bin Harithah, from Abi Umayyah ash-Sha’bani, from Abi Tha’labah al-Khushani who commented on the verse: {“O you who believe! Take care of your ownselves. If you follow the right guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who are in error…”} [al-Ma’idah; 105] He said:

“By Allah, I asked the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) about this, and he said: “Rather, what this means is enjoin the good and prevent the bad until you see people succumb to covetousness, follow their desires, become corrupted by the worldly life, every one impressed with his own opinion, and you see that there is nothing else you can do. At that point, take care of yourself and don’t worry about the affair of the general populace, because there are indeed ahead of you days that require patience. Whoever is patient during those days will be like someone holding to a burning coal. And the one who does this from them will have the reward of fifty men who do what he is doing.” The Companions asked: “Messenger of Allah, the reward of fifty of those with him?” He said: “The reward of fifty of you.”

…If you know this, you will see that the reason such a person deserves this great reward and his virtue is made equal to fifty of the Companions is that he has no helpers or aides, according to al-Hafidh Sulayman al-Khattabi and Abu al-Faraj ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin Rajab and others.

And the one who clings to the stable and Prophetic path during corrupt times and confusion in beliefs is a stranger, even if he is in the presence of loved ones. Obstacles are everywhere, wrongdoing is rampant, ugliness and corruption have emerged, the Religion has been transformed and changed, desires and misguidance are followed, there is nobody to accompany and assist you, it is rare to find a Muwahhid whose company to enjoy, people have become like withering straw, the winds of war and conflict have blown everywhere, the evil of the hypocrites has spread, the patience of the righteous has worn thin, the paths to good have been cut off, the paths to misguidance and destruction have been made easy, there seems to be no way out, and it all seems inescapable.

So, the Muwahhid is in the midst of all this more noble than a red gem. Despite this, none respond to him and what he says. The banners of opposition have been rolled out against him, he is attacked with the arrows of enmity, the most spiteful eyes observe him, harm comes at him from every hypocrite, he has been made into a stranger, his heart is torn apart because of what has happened to the religion of Islam, falsehood has lit its fire, and its evil fills the sky.

With all of this, he follows the pure, straight religion, supported by the proofs and signs from Allah. So, tell me, by Allah: can this be except from one who has certainty and sincerity as high as a mountain in his heart, and has Tawhid, patience, faith, acceptance and submission to Allah’s Decree? And Allah has promised the patient an overwhelming reward: {“The patient will receive their reward without any limit…”} [az-Zumar; 10]

And some of the scholars – may Allah have Mercy on them – said: “Whoever follows the Qur’an and the Sunnah, migrates with his heart to Allah, and follows the footsteps of the Companions, the Companions will have nothing over him other than that they saw the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم).”

And in that era, they all had helpers, brothers, and people who stood by them. This is why ‘Ali bin al-Madini said, as mentioned by Ibn al-Jawzi in his book ‘Sifat as-Safwah’: “Nobody stood up for Islam after the Messenger of Allah the way Ahmad bin Hambal did.” He was asked: “O Aba al-Hasan, not even Abu Bakr?” He replied: “Abu Bakr had companions and helpers. Ahmad bin Hambal was accompanied by nobody.”

And al-Imam Ahmad reported from ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Islam began as something strange, and it will return to being strange as it began. So, glad tidings for the strangers.” He was asked: “Messenger of Allah, who are the strangers?” He replied: “Those who are outcasts from their tribes.” And this was narrated by Abu Bakr al-Ajuri with the wording: “Those who are righteous when the people are corrupt.” And others narrated this, and he also has the wording: “Those who flee for the sake of their religion from trials and tribulations.”

And at-Tirmidhi reported it from Kathir, from ‘Abdullah al-Muzani, from his father, from his grandfather, from the Prophet with the wording: “Those who correct what the people have corrupted of my Sunnah.” And al-Imam Ahmad reported it as well from Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas, and at-Tabarani reported from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar that the Prophet said: “Glad tidings to the strangers.” It was asked: “Who are the strangers?” He replied: “A tiny group of righteous people in the midst of a large number of corrupted people. Those who go against them are more than those who go along with them.” al-Awza’i explained this, saying: “Indeed, Islam does not fade away. Rather, Ahl as-Sunnah fade away, to the point that there will not remain in a particular land except one or two of them.”

And al-Bukhari reported from Mirdas as-Salami who said that the Messenger of Allah said: “The righteous will fade away one after the other, and only the useless remnants like straw or date fibers will remain. Allah will not care for them in the least.” And al-Hasan al-Basri would say to his companions: “O Ahl as-Sunnah! Be soft with each other, may Allah have Mercy on you, because you will be the first to fade away.” And Yusuf bin ‘Ubayd said: “There is nothing stranger than the Sunnah, and what is stranger than it is the one who knows it…”

And Muslim reported in his ‘Sahih’ from Mu’aqqal bin Yasar that the Messenger of Allah said: “Worship during the time of tribulation and confusion is like migration to me.” And al-Hasan al-Basri said: “If a man from the first generation was to be resurrected today, he wouldn’t recognize anything from your Islam except the prayer.” He then said: “By Allah, as for the one who lives in the midst of these vices, sees the innovator calling to his innovation and the one infatuated with the worldly life calling to it, yet he remains protected by Allah with his heart yearning for this earlier generation, and he follows in their footsteps and traditions and way of life – such a person will have a great reward.”

And al-Mubarak bin Fudalah – one of the scholars of Hadith in al-Basrah – related that al-Hasan al-Basri was asked about a wealthy man living in luxury who had authority and would take people’s wealth claiming that there was nothing wrong with this, and a misguided innovator Khariji who applied the verses about the kuffar on the Muslims. So, he said: “Your Sunnah, by Allah besides Whom none is worthy of worship. It is neither with the extreme or the negligent, the indulgent or the ignorant. So, be patient in sticking to it, as Ahl as-Sunnah are the fewest of people. They don’t indulge with the people of indulgence, and they don’t follow their desires along with the innovators. They were patient in sticking to their path until they met their Lord. So, be the same way, if Allah Wills.” He then said: “If a man saw these vices – this one calling him to itself, and that one calling him to itself – and he says ‘I don’t want anything but the Sunnah of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم),’ and he goes around seeking it out, such a person will have a great reward. So, be this way, if Allah Wills.”

And Muwarraq said: “The one who clings firmly to the obedience of Allah when others put it to the side is like the one who sticks around when everyone else has retreated.” Abu as-Sa’adat Ibn al-Athir said in ‘an-Nihayah’: “This means that if people abandon obedience to Allah and turn away from it, the person who holds tightly to it will have the same reward as one who stays firm in a battle after everyone has run away.””

(This was written over two hundred years ago. How much more would this apply today?)

19 Responses to “When the Reward Equals Fifty”

  1. Bint AbdelHamid Says:

    Cannot really describe how profound and inspirational — how moving, how grounding, how uplifting — these last two posts have been. Barak Allahu feek, wa ahsana ilayk.

    • Nasr Qareeb Says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

      I ask Allah to continue to elevate your rank and grant you the best in this life and in the next.

  2. Bint Adam Says:

    BarakAllaahu feek ya akhi and may Allaah add the reward of sharing this with us in your good deeds and forgive you and have His mercy upon you, wa kaman ahsan min hakaza

  3. Ghurabaa Says:

    Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatuallah

    jazakallahu khair

    Mashallah i love this fifty reward deal.

    may Allah make easy for all to gain it.


  4. JazakAllah a load and load, for this inspiring and amazingly hopeful blogpost. It at least tells us, that we have a choice. In this murky world, that seems so very burdensome, we have a choice to at least make our hearts lighter…

    And become the one on whom Allah (Swt) will Bestow the 50 times normal sawaab.

    JazakAllah once more.

    One more thing, could you please tell me which book is this? Is it available in English?

  5. Umm… Okay. Thanks

    One more thing. If somebody starts learning Arabic… really really diligently.. :S From books like Abdur Rahim V, (three-part series).. do you think we can THEN begin understanding these books?

    • Yes you could, but after catching up with the vocab used in these books. The Madinah series you mentioned are from beginner to the level when you are able to get a hang of moderately complex arabic constructs. In order to read the real stuff, you will need to gather a slightly larger chunk of arabic expressions, idioms, proverbs etc…

      This is surely not to discourage you but rather help you not to be discouraged if you think you are not getting instant results! It is kinda like you don’t expect a second grader who has just learned simple English to understand Shakespeare.

      Lastly, if you are up for self-study then you might need to do some basic grammar first through some all english or urdu text as Abdur Rahim’s series is all in Arabic. That is my experience say, at least. Wish you all the best!

    • And last but not the least, keep practicing to see what method works best for you. It’s with practice that you will see the results and change in your understanding of Arabic language.

  6. keep the good articles coming akhi! jzk.

  7. Jazak Allah for the advice. I will try to start this learning. The problem arises, when one leaves the books/lectures for a few days and all Arabic learning is erased in that time period. Then one has to restart it… right from the beginning.

    But anyway, I am inspired to learn the language. It’s preposterous that we’re missing out on all the great treasures of Arabic text, JUST because we’be been too lazy to learn the language.

    Jazak Allah

    • zahratein Says:

      Also, try to think in the language that you are learning.. If you can think of independent sentences after your practice, then it will stick in your head.. Let’s say, you are reading a book, so think in your mind in Arabic, Ana aqra’ ul kitaab (I’m reading a book) and so on. Keep building on such little by little, and also whenever you read a hadith in english, make sure you read the arabic text first and see what you understood out of it, and then check it with the english translation whether you were accurate or not.

      May Allaah make the learning of this noble language easier for you dear sister. Ameen
      Do you know any language that’s similar to Arabic? It could aid you in learning the language.

  8. Think in Arabic???

    Listen. This is not possible. The only thing that I can do (so that sentences stick to my brain) is to learn them! :S how will I know that “whatever I am doing” translates to a “particular sentence in Arabic” … when I don’t KNOW Arabic…? :'(

    And about the hadith thing you mentioned, that’s what I usually always try to do! And 100% of the times, I get it wrong. I understand the vocab. Because I know Urdu (and Urdu vocabulary is close to Arabic one)… but I don’t understand the connectives. (like, in your sentence, I would only understand the word kitab, because its an Urdu word :S). I wouldn’t be able to figure out what ‘ana’ and ‘aqra ul’ means…

    You get my dilemma? :(

    Thanks so very much, and JazakAllah for the advice!

    • zahratein Says:

      Ooo, I get it.. it can be worked out.. You need a lot of practice.. Ana = I
      I know Urdu as well, and Urdu has many many words from the Arabic language, but I knew conversational Arabic since my childhood so it kind of helped me when I began reading the proper Arabic.

      Do you know Br. Nouman Ali Khan_ Have you heard this lecture of his_ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAE3BNkFqDk
      It’s about why and how to learn Arabic. If you like it, you can check the “Divine Speech Prologue” by him as well. They are awesome lectures. Insha Allaah they will motivate you. And he knows Urdu too by the way, we all have to start somewhere!

  9. Thanks sooo much for the encouragement. I have heard this lecture before :) :) :). In fact, this was the lecture that got me seriously seriously thinking about learning Arabic. It’s a shame we’re missing out on so much of the Holy Quran …:S:S

    Yes we surely do have to start somewhere.. :)
    JazakAllah loads. I will make a plan to learn the basics in Ramadan Insha Allah!

    • zahratein Says:

      Hey stop delaying it to Ramadhan, start a little today… don’t fall into the trap of procrastination!!

  10. Er…
    **conscience berating badly**.. you see..

    I have this midterm on Wed. And um, class on Sat. And there is only ONE week before Ramadan isn’t it…

    **trails off lamely**

    Well thanks for the reminder … JazakAllah

  11. JazakhAllah Khair such beneficial article, May Allah bless who have done translation of this,

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