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Hadith-e-Jibraeel (A.S.)

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The summary of the Hadith-e-Jibraeel, as reported in books of Hadith, is that one day Rasulullah (SAW) was sitting amidst his companions (j), when a stranger suddenly appeared, with jet-black hair, very white clothes and with no apparent signs of the effects of travel.

The man passed through the companions (j) that were present, and then sat before the Prophet e , in such a manner that his knees touched the knees of the Prophet e and his hands were placed on his thighs.

It has been recorded by Hazrat Umar (j ) that the stranger asked Nabi : “O Muhammad, tell me what is Islam ?”

Nabi replied : “Islam is that you affirm that there is no deity but Allah and Muhammad is His Apostle, and that you establish Salaah, and pay Zakaat, and observe fasting during the month of Ramadaan, and perform the Haj, if you can afford the journey.”

He said : “You have spoken the truth.”

The Sahabah-e-Kiraam (j) were surprised that a stranger asks a question, only to confirm the answer as correct…

He thereupon enquired : “Now tell me, what is Imaan?”

Rasulullah (SAW) replied : “Imaan is to believe in Allah, and His angels, and His scriptures, and His apostles, and to believe in the Resurrection, and the Last Day, and the Divine predestination of good and evil.”

Yet again, he affirmed the reply : “You have spoken the truth.”

He thereafter asked : “What is Ihsaan ?”

Rasulullah (SAW) replied : “Ihsaan means that you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, and if you cannot see Him, then He sees you (i.e. that you at least have that conscious awareness of Allah Ta’ala watching you).”


He then asked questions in regard to Qiyaamah and its signs, and Nabi made mention some signs which indicate to the proximity of Qiyaamah. On confirming this as well, the stranger left.

When the Prophet e enquired of Hazrat Umar  (j) if he knew as to who the questioner was, he replied in the negative.

Rasulullah (SAW)   said : “He was Jibraeel, who had come to you to teach you your religion.”

The Hadith has a lengthy commentary and explanation; however, just as Rasulullah (SAW) has emphasized the importance of Islam and Imaan in this Hadith, so too has Rasulullah (SAW) emphasized Ihsaan.

The fact that Nabi presents to us the definition of Ihsaan after the definitions of Imaan and Islam, establishes its great importance. Just as we have to make an effort to acquire the knowledge of Islam and Imaan, we should endeavour to obtain the lofty stage of Ihsaan.

Thus, we can say that Ihsaan is realised via Islam and Imaan –   because one cannot attain the stage of Ihsaan without correct beliefs (Aqaa`id) and practice upon the Shariah, which is Islam. However, a very salient condition and requirement of Ihsaan is the Suhbat of the Ahlullah (Friends of Allah Ta'ala).


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