The 4 Gems

Ishaq ibn Rahawayah said:

“The foundations of the religion are upon four hadith:

  1. The hadith of ‘Umar, ‘Verily actions are by intention’;
  2. The hadith, ‘The halal is clear, and the haram is clear’;
  3. The hadith, ‘Verily the creation of one of you comes together in the stomach of his mother for 40 days’; and
  4. The hadith, ‘Whosoever invents into this affair of ours anything which is not part of it, then it is rejected’.”


And in another narration from Abu Dawud:

Fiqh revolves around 5 ahadith:

  1. ‘The halal is clear and the haram is clear’;
  2. ‘Do not harm and do not reciprocate harm’;
  3. ‘Verily actions are by intentions’;
  4. ‘The religion is advice/sincerity’; and
  5. ‘What I forbade you from then stay away from it, and what I ordered you with then do as much of it as you can’.”

Highlights on the above ahadhith:

1. Fadl ibn Ziyad said, “I asked Abu ‘Abdullah (i.e. Ahmad) about the intention in action, how should it be? He said, ‘One should treat his self when he intends to do an action, not desiring by it the people (i.e. showing off).’ ”

And in the Qur’an often it describes intention with the word iradah as in His saying:

“Among you are some that desire (yurid) this world and some that desire the hereafter.”

Al-Qur’an 3:152

“Whosoever desires the life of this world and it’s adornment.”

Al-Qur’an 11:15

“And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and evening seeking (yuriduna) His Face, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of this life.”

Al-Qur’an 18:28

And sometimes niyyah is described with the word ibtiga (desire) as in His saying:

“Except only the desire (ibtiga) to seek the Face of His Lord, the Most High.”

Al-Qur’an 92:20

“And you spend not except seeking (ibtiga) the Face of Allah.”

And Yahya ibn Abu Kathir said, “Learn your intention for it is more serious than the action.”

Zayd ash-Shami said, “Verily I like that I have an intention for everything even if it be eating and drinking.”

And he also said, “Have intention for everything, desiring the good, even if it be leaving for the toilet.”

Sufyan ath-Thawri said, “I have not treated anything more difficult then my intention, because it keeps changing.”



2. On the authority Abi Ab’dillahi al-Nu’man ibn Basheer (ra) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: “That which is lawful is clear and that which is unlawful is clear and between the two of them are doubtful [or ambiguous] matters about which not many people are knowledgeable. Thus, he who avoids these doubtful matters certainly clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor. But he who falls into the doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Verily every king has a sanctuary and Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibition. In the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be sound, all the body is sound and which, if it be diseased, all the body is diseased. This part of the body is the heart”.


[Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim]

There are many reasons why a matter may be doubtful, examples of such include:

  • An action being doubtful due to the person not understanding the ruling properly, therefore the deficiency is not in the ruling itself, but in the understanding of that person. In this example, the action is not doubtful to everyone, as it would be clear to the scholars.
  • Not knowing the background information behind the matter e.g. you hunt a bird by shooting it, but when you arrive, you see the bird dead in a pond and you are unsure if it died from being shot or it died from drowning (which would make it haram). In this example, the matter is doubtful to everyone as there is no way of ascertaining the truth.
  • A doubtful action which leads to a haram e.g. going out with friends who you know may lead you to sin. In this example, doing the action will not necessarily be haram, but due to the risk associated with it, you should avoid it.


  • The hadith finished off by talking about the heart, because if you go near the boundary, you will end up with a corrupt heart
  • Signs of a pure heart:
    • Considering oneself a resident of the hereafter
    • Continuously feeling upset until you repent from the sin
    • Feeling upset if you forget to read your daily recitation/dhikr as if you had lost something from the dunya
    • Finding greatest pleasure in worshipping Allah
    • When you begin prayer, everything from the dunya leaves your heart
    • Your only concerns and worries are with pleasing Allah
    • You are more stingy with wasting time than a stingy man with his wealth
    • You are very concerned with the correctness of your actions
  • Signs of a dead heart:
    • Feeling no pain/hurt once doing a sin
    • Finding pleasure in sinning and peace of mind after it
    • Looking into less important matters and prioritising them over important ones
    • Not finding comfort when around the righteous but finding comfort with timewasters
    • You are easily led into misconceptions and doubt, and you like to debate these issues
    • You are not affected by reminders/talks

Benefits and action points to take from the hadith:

  • Encouragement to do more good deeds
  • Discouragement from doing haram actions
  • Not all matters will be evidently halal or haram, so we should abstain from the doubtful matters so that we can be safe
  • Whoever doesn’t stay away from the doubtful matters has exposed himself for others to think badly of him/her
  • It is better to leave the doubtful matters even though they may be halal to ensure that the doors for haram are closed
  • When it comes to sins, if we are near the boundary, we will be like sheep who do not know right from wrong, so we should never approach the boundary i.e. approach doubtful matters
  • The heart is a very important part of the body which we should all seek to purify

To be continued, inshallah ta’ala


This entry was posted in Ilm.

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