“That is your rescue from the hell-fire”: Sharh al-Nawawi

Imam Muslim records in his Saheeh that Abu Moosaa reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ دَفَعَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ يَهُودِيًّا أَوْ نَصْرَانِيًّا فَيَقُولُ هَذَا فَكَاكُكَ مِنَ النَّارِ

“On the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from Hell-Fire.”

[Saheeh Muslim #2767]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, writes the following concerning this hadeeth:

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( إذا كان يوم القيامة دفع الله تعالى إلى كل مسلم يهوديا أو نصرانيا فيقول هذا فكاكك من النار ) وفي رواية : ( لا يموت رجل مسلم إلا أدخل الله مكانه النار يهوديا أو نصرانيا ) وفي رواية ( يجيء يوم القيامة ناس من المسلمين بذنوب أمثال الجبال فيغفرها الله لهم ويضعها على اليهود والنصارى ) . .

His statement (ﷺ), “On the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from Hell-Fire“, and in another narration, “No Muslim would die but Allah would admit in his stead a Jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire” [Muslim #2767b], and in another narration, “There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with sins the likeness of a mountain, and Allah would forgive them and He would place in their stead the Jews and the Christians” [Muslim #2767d].

( الفكاك ) بفتح الفاء وكسرها الفتح أفصح وأشهر ، وهو : الخلاص والفداء . ومعنى هذا الحديث ما جاء في حديث أبي هريرة لكل أحد منزل في الجنة ومنزل في النار فالمؤمن إذا دخل الجنة خلفه الكافر في النار لاستحقاقه ذلك بكفره .

Your rescue” is deliverance and ransom. And the meaning of this hadeeth is what has come in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah “There is no one among you who does not have two abodes: An abode in Paradise and an abode in Hell” [1]. So when the believer enters al-Jannah, then the kaafir takes his place in the hell-fire, deserving it by virtue of his kufr (disbelief).

معنى ( فكاكك من النار ) أنك كنت معرضا لدخول النار ، وهذا فكاكك ; لأن الله تعالى قدر لها عددا يملؤها ، فإذا دخلها الكفار بكفرهم وذنوبهم صاروا في معنى الفكاك للمسلمين

The meaning of “That is your rescue from Hell-Fire” is that verily you were vulnerable to entering the hell-fire, so this is your rescue; for verily Allah the Exalted has ordained for the Hell-fire a number that will fill it, so when the disbelievers enter it due to their disbelief and their sins, so they became – according to this meaning – a rescue for the Muslims.

وأما رواية : ( يجيء يوم القيامة ناس من المسلمين بذنوب ) فمعناه : أن الله تعالى يغفر تلك الذنوب للمسلمين ، ويسقطها عنهم ، ويضع على اليهود والنصارى مثلها بكفرهم وذنوبهم ، فيدخلهم النار بأعمالهم لا بذنوب المسلمين ، ولا بد من هذا التأويل لقوله تعالى : ولا تزر وازرة وزر أخرى  .

And as for the narration, “There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with sins“, then its meaning is: that Allah the Exalted forgives those sins for the Muslims and remove it from them, and place the likes of it upon a Jew or a Christian as recompense for their disbelief and their sins. And they will be entered in the Hell-fire due to their own actions, and not due to the sins of the Muslims, and this fits with the interpretation of Allah’s statement, “and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another“.

وقوله : ( ويضعها ) مجاز والمراد : يضع عليهم مثلها بذنوبهم كما ذكرناه لكن لما أسقط سبحانه وتعالى عن المسلمين سيئاتهم ، وأبقى على الكفار سيئاتهم ، صاروا في معنى من حمل إثم الفريقين لكونهم حملوا الإثم الباقي ، وهو إثمهم ، ويحتمل أن يكون المراد آثاما كان للكفار سبب فيها ، بأن سنوها فتسقط عن المسلمين بعفو الله تعالى ، ويوضع على الكفار مثلها ، لكونهم سنوها ، ومن سن سنة سيئة كان عليه مثل وزر كل من يعمل بها . والله أعلم

And his statement, “He would place in their stead“, – a metaphor is intended: place the likes of their sins upon them, just as we had mentioned, however He – Exalted and High is He – removes the sins from the Muslims, and the sins of the disbelievers remain on them. So they become – in this meaning – those who carry the sins of both groups since they are carrying the remaining sins, and those are their sins, and it is possible that the sins are attributed to the disbelievers due to their role in it – i.e. because they initiated it. So it is removed from the Muslims by the pardon of Allah the Exalted, and the likes of it is placed on the disbelievers because they initiated the practice of that sin. For whoever introduces an evil practice, then upon him is the likes of the burden [of sin] of everyone who follow him in that. And Allah knows best.

قوله : ( فاستحلفه عمر بن عبد العزيز أن أباه حدثه ) إنما استحلفه لزيادة الاستيثاق والطمأنينة ، ولما حصل له من السرور بهذه البشارة العظيمة للمسلمين أجمعين ، ولأنه إن كان عنده فيه شك وخوف غلط أو نسيان أو اشتباه أو نحو ذلك أمسك عن اليمين ، فإذا حلف تحقق انتفاء هذه الأمور ، وعرف صحة الحديث ، وقد جاء عن عمر بن عبد العزيز والشافعي – رحمهما الله – أنهما قالا : هذا الحديث أرجى حديث للمسلمين ، وهو كما قالا لما فيه من التصريح بفداء كل مسلم ، وتعميم الفداء ولله الحمد .

His statement, “‘Umar b. Abd al-‘Aziz took an oath: By One besides Whom there is no god but He, thrice that his father had narrated that to him from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)“, this is only an oath in order to add to its certainty and peace of mind, and what he experienced of joy at this great glad tiding to all of the Muslims. And that is because if he had had doubt, fear, uncertainty, forgetfulness, suspicions, etc., about it, he would had withheld, so when he swore, it confirmed the absence of these things and he knew the veracity of the hadeeth. And it has come from ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez and al-Shaafi’ (rahimahuma Allaah) that they both said, “This hadeeth is the most hopeful hadeeth for the Muslims”, and they both said that concerning the announcement of the ransom of every Muslim, and the generality of the ransom, and to Allah belongs all praise.

[Al-Minhaaj bi Sharh Saheeh Muslim #2767]

[1] Sunan ibn Maajah #4341, graded as Saheeh by Imam al-Albaani. The hadeeth in full reads:

مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلاَّ لَهُ مَنْزِلاَنِ مَنْزِلٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَمَنْزِلٌ فِي النَّارِ فَإِذَا مَاتَ فَدَخَلَ النَّارَ وَرِثَ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ مَنْزِلَهُ فَذَلِكَ قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى ‏{أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْوَارِثُونَ }‏

“There is no one among you who does not have two abodes: An abode in Paradise and an abode in Hell. If he dies and enters Hell, the people of Paradise inherit his abode. This is what Allah says: ‘These are indeed the inheritors.’” [23:10]

For a wonderful discussion of this and similar aahaadeeth, as well as a refutation of doubts concerning its interpretation, please visit this page. BaarakAllaahu feekum

See also: Inheriting al-Jannah: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

One thought on ““That is your rescue from the hell-fire”: Sharh al-Nawawi

  1. Pingback: Inheriting al-Jannah: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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