the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, may His Salaah
and Salaam Be upon His Messenger Muhammad, to
On the authority of Aboo Hurayrah (radhiyallaahu `anhu),
the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:
" The strong believer is better and more beloved to
Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in
both. Guard over that which benefits you, seek
Allah's assistance, wa laa t`ajiz (don`t lend
yourself to things devoid of benefit, and this could
carry many meanings), and if something befalls you,
then don`t say `If only I would have done such and
such,` rather say,, `Qaddarallaahu wa ma shaa` fa`al`
(Allah ordained (this) and He does what He wills),
for verily the phrase `If I would have` makes way
for the work of Shaytaan."
The takhreej of the Hadeeth (where it can be found):
As-Syootee gathered it in Al-Jaami`us-Sagheer, and
Al-Albaanee numbered it #6650 and called it `hasan`.
He traced it to Saheeh Muslim, Ibn Maajah, and
Ahmad. He brought it in his summarized Muslim #1840
but doesn't mention why it is hasan, but he mentions
in his takhreej of As-Sunnah of Ibn Abee `Aasim that
As-Suyootee found a problem with Rabee`ah bin `Uthmaan
(one of the narrators).
What are the characteristics of the "strong
Imaam An-Nawawee (may Allah have mercy on him): "The
intended meaning of strength here is a firm will and
a desire to work for the Hereafter. So the one being
described as a strong believer is more bold and
stern against the enemy in Jihad, quicker to go out
(to fight) and searching for it (Jihaad), more firm
in the way he enjoins the good and forbids the evil,
(more firm) in his patience with the harm he faces
throughout all of that, and stronger in the way he
carries out difficult tasks for Allah's Sake. He
loves to pray, to fast, make thikr, and perform the
rest of the acts of worship, and he is more active
in seeking after these affairs, and he keeps a
closer watch over his performance of them." [Sharh
Muslim v.9, p.341, Daar Al-Ma`rifah printing].
Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-`Uthaymeen (may Allah
have merci on him): The strong believer is regarding
his emaan (Faith), as the intended meaning is not
physical strength. This is because physical strength
is harmful to a person who uses it to disobey Allah.
So physical strength is neither praiseworthy nor
blameworthy in itself. If he uses this strength for
what benefits him in this life and the Next, then it
is praiseworthy. But if he uses it to disobey Allah,
it becomes blameworthy.
So the meaning of strength in his statement (sallallaahu
`alayhe wa sallam), `The strong believer...` is
strength in eemaan, since the word `strong` refers
to the word `believer`, someone who has eemaan.
Similarly, one who would say `a strong man` if he
was referring to his manhood and masculinity. Along
the same line, the strong believer is strong in his
eemaan, because the strong believer has the strength
to carry out what Allah ordered him to do, and to
increase upon that by doing extra good deeds however
Allah likes. As for the weak believer, his eemaan is
weak, and that hinders him from performing his
duties and avoiding what is prohibited, so he is
always falling short." [Sharh Riyaadhis-Saaliheen,
Shaykh Saleem Al-Hilaalee (may Allaah preserve him):
"Strong (as found in this Hadith refers to) strength
in his Deen, body, soul, and intellect, that which
helps him carry out (the deeds in) his Deen, call to
it, and defend it." [Bahjatun-Naathireen v.1, p.
"Verily (the believer's) strength and weakness is
found in how much he pushes himself, keeps himself
firm on obedience, and how much he works to benefit
the people and to keep evil away from them."
[Bahjatun-Nathireen v.1, p.183]
To summarize :
If one looks at the text of the Hadith itself, he
will find something very interesting. Notice that
the Prophet (pbuh) started by saying, "The strong
believer is better and more beloved to Allah than
the weak believer, while there is good in both..."
and then it may seem like the subject of the Hadith
shifts to something else. Rather, this Hadith is an
encouragement to be a strong believer from the
beginning to the end! Yes, after informing us about
the superiority of the strong believer, the Prophet
(pbuh) detailed some ways to become a strong
believer, giving us four pieces of advice, all of
them related to emaan:
1. Guard over what benefits you.
2. Seek Allah's assistance.
3. Don't lend yourself to things devoid of benefit.
4. Say "Qaddarllaahu wa ma shaa` fa`al" through