ABANDONING PERMISSIBLE ACTS TO GAIN TRUE TAQWA
As salamu Alaykum Please what is the principle of this hadith, can you give the adab to act like that :
Sayyiduna ‘Atiyyah As Sa’di (radiyallahu ‘anhu): “A man will not be from the Muttaqin [Those who truly fear Allah Ta’ala] until he abandons permissible acts out of fear that he engage in impermissible acts”
(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2451, Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 4215 and Mustadrak Hakim, vol. 4 pg. 319)
Imam Tirmidhi has graded the Hadith as sound (hasan). Imam Hakim has declared the Hadith authentic (sahih) and Hafiz Dhahabi concurs.
Wa Alaikum Assalaam,
الجواب و بالله التوفيق
In the hadith, the Prophet (S.A.S) explained that a person will not be able to reach the level and rank of true piety until he leaves out such things which are deemed to be permissible, in order to safeguard and completely protect himself from falling into anything which is unlawful, abominable or detestable.
Therefore, by abandoning such things/actions which are deemed to be allowed and permissible, the person trains himself to refrain from such things/actions that are impermissible. Indeed, those who can restrain themselves from even such things which are lawful, will be better able to restrain themselves from the unlawful.
Abandoning that which is permissible does not mean that one refrains from that which is halal (lawful) and that which Allah has allowed. The hadith indicates to leaving off things that are known as ‘لا بأس به’. The wording of the hadith is:
قال النبي صلي الله علي و سلم “لا يبلغ العبد ان يكون من المتقين حتي يدع ما لا بأس به حذرا لما به بأس”
Translation: The Prophet (S.A.S) said ‘the servant cannot reach (the State) to be from among the Muttaqeen (the pious ones) until he leaves off that which have no harms in them (لا بأس به), (as a means of) guarding against that which have harms.’
This term ‘لا بأس به’ refers to such things/actions which have no harms in them (in the Shariah), but may not necessarily be the best to do, and that which are preferred and loved by Allah.
When this term is used by the Jurist for anything, it indicates that ‘leaving off that thing is better than doing it.’ So, it means that the thing/action itself may be permissible since there is no evidence to deem it as unlawful or detestable, however, since it may not be the best in line with the spirit and value of piety and righteous, abandoning it is far better than doing it.
It is for this reason while speaking about one who wishes to gain the level of true piety, the Prophet (S.A.S) instructed him to leave off such things/actions which are not the best, (although permissible). When one develops within himself the strength and will power to refrain from even such permissible things, then he will certainly possess the ability to stay away from the impermissible things.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.