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      Explanation of Selected Hadith

Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, what translated means,


Allah, the Exalted, is Tayyib (Good and Pure) and He only accepts that which is Tayyib. Allah has indeed Commanded the believers with what He has Commanded the Messengers, He said, “0 (you) Messengers! Eat of at-Tayyibat (all things good and pure), and do righteous deeds. [23:51] and, “O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you”[2:172]. Then he (the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) mentioned a man —who has been traveling for such a long time, that his hair has become messed up and he has become covered in dust— and who is raising his hand towards heaven (and praying), ‘0 my Lord. 0 my Lord,’ while his food is from Haram (impermissible source), his drink is from Haram, his clothes are from Haram and he was fed (and grew up) from Haraam therefore, how can his pleas be accepted?” [Related by Muslim]


Status of the Hadeeth

This Hadith has a high ranking in Islam. It is cornerstone of the religion as it involves all the righteous, good deeds that are a means of approach (and drawing closer) to Allah. This Hadeeth explains the conditions, which ensure the acceptance of the righteous, good deeds.


This Hadith encourages Muslims to eat, drink and wear clothing from pure and permissible sources. It also discourages Muslims from partaking in what is impure and impermissible; such an evil attitude will lead to the rejection of their pleas and Du’aa (supplication). Du’aa is one of the greatest forms and acts of that one can and should perform to please Allah, the Exalted.


“Allah is Tayyib”  - Praising Allah From Imperfections

Allah, the Exalted, rejects all misconceptions and ill descriptions of Him, such as when He praised Himself from having a wife or children:

“And they say, “The Most Beneficent has begotten a son (or offspring or children) “Indeed you have brought forth a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins. That they ascribe a son to the Most Beneficent. But it is not suitable for the Most Beneficent (Allah) that He should beget a son.” [Soorah Maryam (19): 88-92].

Allah has also praised Himself from dealing injustice to anyone: “Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom” [Soorah An-Nisa (4): 40].


Further, Allah has praised Himself from slumber and sleepiness: “Neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him” [Soorah Al-Baqarah (2): 255].

There are many other Ayat in the Quran that contain praising Allah from all negative descriptions that are not suitable to His Majesty and perfect Attributes.


“Allah is Tayyib” contains praising Allah from all negative descriptions and limitations. At-Tayyib is the Pure and the Exalted One, and most certainly, no limitations or shortcomings can ever touch Allah.


Meaning of Accepting the Tayyib

Allah only accepts the Tayyib, that is, the good and pure, and this meaning can be found in numerous ahadeeth of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). This fact indicates that some sayings or deeds will be rejected, because whoever says or performs them has fallen into some forbidden actions (which are impure and evil). This rejection of the righteous deeds can occur as a result of not fulfilling all the conditions or the cornerstones of a certain good deed that one performs for the sake of Allah. So, what are the results that this rejection entails?


Rejection of a certain deed means that no reward will be awarded to whoever fails to perfectly fulfill all the conditions that ensure the acceptance of such a deed. If, in certain situations, one performs an obligatory act of worship under less than perfect circumstances (which does not include totally abandoning a cornerstone or a condition of this certain act of worship), he will have fulfilled the obligation itself, but is given no reward beyond that. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, what translated means:

“A woman who wears perfume to this masjid will have her prayer rejected, unless she goes (back home) and performs Ghusl (purification) as if performing Ghusl from Janabah (impurity).” [Sahih Al-Jami’]


Furthermore, rejection of a certain good deed may entail the rejection of the deed altogether. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, what translated means:

“Allah does not accept the prayer from any of you, if he A‘hdath (lost his ablution), unless he performs Wudhu (ablution).” [Saheeh Muslim]

The prayer is not accepted unless Wudhu is performed beforehand and, therefore, the prayer will still be an obligation if one has no Wudhu, but he still prays.


Therefore, what the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) meant by:

“And He only accepts that which is Tayyib” is that, the reward will not be granted, the praise will not be directed and the angels will not be told of one good deed, unless he fulfills all the conditions of a certain good deed. Furthermore, Allah will not accept the charity from impermissible means, as the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) has stated, what translated means: “Allah neither accepts the prayer without performing Tahur (purity, washing up for prayer) nor the charity from Ghalul (theft, especially from war possessions).” [Saheeh Muslim].


Imam Ash-Shafi’I (rahimahullah) said that impure or stolen money must not be spent, even in charity, and must instead be returned to its rightful owners.


The Permissible Foods

The hadeeth states, “Allah has indeed commanded the believers with what He has Commanded the Messengers. He said, “O (You) Messengers! Eat of At-Tayyibat. And do righteous deeds.” And “0 you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you.”


This section of the hadeeth contains Allah’s order to eat from He has made permissible, and to use permissible means to obtain necessities. One must avoid all impermissible things, as Allah ordained, “He has forbidden you only dead animals, and blood, the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice to other than Allah.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 173]

What Allah has made Haram is much less and is indeed more limited than what He has made Halal. Therefore, one must always seek the good and pure in what he eats, drinks and earns. Eating from Haram is reason enough to ensure the rejection of one’s supplication and his acts of worship.


Conditions for the Acceptance of Good Deeds


Allah has commanded Muslims to perform righteous, good “So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” [Soorah al-Kahf (18): 10]

Allah has also set certain conditions that will ensure the acceptance of one’s righteous, good deeds. Some of these conditions were mentioned in the above hadeeth, “He only accepts that which is Tayyib.”

Being Tayyib is a condition that must exist in every deed, including charity, “Whoever donates the weight of one date in Sadaqah (charity) from Halal means, and Allah only accepts which is Tayyib, then Allah will accept it (the charity) in His Right (Hand) and will then raise it for its giver, like when one of you raises his camel, until it (the charity) becomes like a mountain.” [Al-­Bukhari and Muslim]


“And He only accepts that which is Tayyib”, is a general rule that encompasses all the types of good deeds and sayings that one performs to worship Allah. Allah said, what translated means, “To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it” [Soorah Fatir (35): 10].

Remembering Allah, reading the Qur’aan and reciting various supplications are but some types of the righteous deeds contained in the meaning of this Ayah.


The Tayyib of deeds and sayings also include performing the deeds for the sake of Allah, alone, and not having any feelings of arrogance or worldly purpose. Also, these good deeds must be performed with perfection and according to the way Allah has ordained on the believers to perform them.


Conditions and Ways that will Ensure the Acceptance of Du’aa’

1 -- Traveling for a long time, as in this Hadith, the Prophet mentioned a man who has been traveling for a long period of time. This means that traveling is a cause for the acceptance of the Du’aa’ (supplication). Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, what translated means, “(There are) three types of accepted supplication, no doubt about that: Du‘aa from one who was dealt injustice, Du’aa of the traveler and the Du’aa of a parent against his offspring.” [At-Tirmithi and Abu Dawood]

Traveling is usually accompanied by hardships and humbleness, and enduring these hardships may win the traveler Allah’s answering of his supplication.


2 --    Modesty and humbleness in one’s clothes and appearance will also ensure the acceptance of his or her supplication. Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, what translated means: “There may be a person hair is messed up and whose appearance at doorsteps is not welcome yet, if he swears that Allah does a thing, Allah will fulfill (his pledge) for him.” [Sahih Al-Jami’]

And “There may be a person who own two old shirts; nobody cares for him; yet, if he swears that Allah does a thing, Allah will fulfill (his pledge) for him.” [Sahih Al-Jami]

The Prophet used to perform the prayer of Istisqa’ (asking Allah to send down the rain) with humbleness in his appearance and his speech.


A nephew of Mutarrif ibn Abdillah’s was once imprisoned. I then went out of his house wearing old, humble clothes and a stick to support himself. He was asked, “Why is this (show of humbleness)?” He said, “I want to feel and look humble, so that Allah may accept my Du’aa’ for my nephew (to be freed from jail).” [Jami’ Al-U1oom Wal-’Hikam]


3 -- Raising the hands upwards while performing Du’aa’. Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said in this hadeeth: “Raising his hands towards (saying), ‘0 my Lord.”  He also said in another hadeeth: “Allah is Shy and Most Generous. He is Shy that when a man raises his hands to Him (in Du’aa), He does not allow him to put them empty in failure.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhee]

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to raise his hands during the prayer of Istisqa’. He also raised his hands in Du’aa during the battle of Badr. There are several ways and methods for raising the hands while in Du’aa:


a) Pointing to the sky with the index finger only, as the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to do while on the Minbar (podium).


b) Raising the hands while facing the Qiblah (direction of Al Kaa’bah in Makkah) with the back of the hands. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) did this while performing Al-Istisqa’ prayer.


Raising the hands with the backs of the hands facing upward. Anas (radhi allahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (radhi allahu anhu) prayed Al-Istisqa’ prayer once and that he pointed to the sky with the back of his hands.


4 -- To insist (on asking for your need from Allah) white making Du’aa, by continually mentioning Allah’s Lordship, saying “0 my Lord. 0 my Lord.” This method demonstrates the strong eagerness by the slave for his Du’aa’ to be accepted. Ibn Mas’ud (radhi allahu anhu) said: “When the Prophet (radhi allahu anhu) used to make Du’aa’, he would repeat it thrice. If he wanted to ask for something, he would ask thrice, saying, ‘0 my Lord, take care of (defeat) Quraysh, (his disbelieving tribe). 0 my Lord, take care of Quraysh. 0 my Lord, take care of Quraysh.”’ [Muslim].


5 -- To eat, drink and wear only from Tayyib sources. This can be understood from, “While his food is from Haram, his drink is from Haram, his clothes are from Haram and he was fed from Haram, therefore, how can his pleas be accepted?” This question in he Hadeeth is meant to show wonder as to how this man expects his pleas and supplication to be accepted, while he lives on and by Haram! Saa’d (radhi allahu anhu) once requested from the Prophet (radhi allahu anhu) that he asks Allah that He makes Saa’d’s Du’aa’ always accepted. The Messenger of Al;lah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) responded saying: “Eat from At- Tayyib, and your pleas will be accepted”


Above are some conditions that, if met, will lead to the acceptance of Du’aa’, Insha’Allah. There are many other ways and conditions that need to be met in order for the Du’aa’ to be accepted. In this regard, Ad-Du’aa’, by Abdullah Al-Khudhari, is a beneficial book to read about the subject of the acceptance of Du’aa. 

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