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Following the ways of the Banu Israil, handspan by handspan

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by HadithAnswers.com
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Question

Kindly provide the reference, authenticity, and explanation of the following narration:

Sayyiduna Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (radiyallahu ‘anhu) has narrated that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: ‘You will most definitely follow the ways of those before you, handspan by handspan, arm’s length by arm’s length, so much so that if they were to enter a lizard’s hole, you would certainly enter it [as well].’

We asked: ‘O Rasulullah [sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam], [Are you referring to] the Jews and Christians?

He replied: ‘Whom else?’

 

Answer

Imam Bukhari, Muslim, and others (rahimahumullah) have recorded this narration on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (radiyallahu ‘anhu). The Hadith is therefore authentic (sahih).

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 3456, and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2669)

 

This Hadith is essentially a prophecy in which Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) has prophesized the onset of an era wherein Muslims will follow the Ahlul Kitab [Jews and Christians] by engaging in every matter which the Shari’ah has discouraged and prohibited.

The Muslims, themselves, will attempt to alter their Din [religion], just as those before them. They will end up concocting erroneous misinterpretations, lies and fabrications, all in an attempt to justify and fulfill their whims and desires. Endeavoring to do so, they will end up falling into all the same pitfalls as the Jews and Christians before them, leaving no stone unturned.

A “lizard’s hole” depicts an extremely constricted and repulsive dwelling. In other words, regardless of how wretched, vile, and repulsive of a sin, or stance/alteration/misinterpretation, etc. that transpired from the Ahlul Kitab, a group of Muslims will also end up doing the same.

(Refer: Fathul Bari, Hadith: 3456, 7320, and Mirqat, Hadith: 5361; Also see: here)

 

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist. 

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