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4th Hadith - Allah's Creation and Faith (Bukhari: 3208)

الحديثُ الرابعُ

 عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ بنِ مَسْعُوْدٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهُوَ الصَّادِقُ الْمَصْدُوْقُ : إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ يُجْمَعُ خَلْقُهُ فِي بَطْنِ أُمِّهِ أَرْبَعِيْنَ يَوْماً نُطْفَةً، ثُمَّ يَكُوْنُ عَلَقَةً مِثْلَ   ذَلِكَ، ثُمَّ يَكُوْنُ مُضْغَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ، ثُمَّ يُرْسَلُ إِلَيْهِ الْمَلَكُ فَيَنْفُخُ فِيْهِ الرُّوْحَ، وَيُؤْمَرُ بِأَرْبَعِ كَلِمَاتٍ: بِكَتْبِ رِزْقِهِ وَأَجَلِهِ وَعَمَلِهِ وَشَقِيٌّ أَوْ سَعِيْدٌ. فَوَ اللهِ الَّذِي لاَ إِلَهَ غَيْرُهُ إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُوْنُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلاَّ ذِرَاعٌ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا، وَإِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُوْنُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلاَّ ذِرَاعٌ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ  الْجَنَّةِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا

[رواه البخاري ومسلم]


4th Hadith Translation

On the authority of Abdullah-Bin-Masud (R.A.) who said: Allah's Messenger (S.A.W.), the true and truly inspired, said

"Verily the creation of any one of you takes place when he is assembled in his mother's womb; for forty days he is as a drop of fluid, then it becomes a clot for a similar period. Thereafter, it is a lump looking like it has been chewed for a similar period. Then an angel is sent to him, who breathes the Ruh (spirit) into him. This Angel is commanded to write Four decrees: that he writes down his provision (Rizq), his life span, his deeds, and whether he will be among the wretched or the blessed.

I swear by Allah - there is no God but He - one of you may perform the deeds of the people of Paradise till there is naught but an arm's length between him and it, when that which has been written will outstrip him so that he performs the deeds of the people of the Hell Fire; one of you may perform the deeds of the people of the Hell Fire, till there is naught but an arm's length between him and it, when that which has been written will overtake him so that he performs the deeds of the people of Paradise and enters therein." (Bukhari: 3208)


Brief Narration

This hadith was not only recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim but by other Scholars as well. Apart from Abdullah-bin-Masud (R.A.), this hadith was also narrated by many other “Sahaba” [companions of our Prophet (S.A.W.)].


This above hadith is about Allah's Creation. The three stages of the fetus consist of forty days each, equaling to a total of 120 days for the stages to complete. It is only after the 120 days that the spirit is breathed into the fetus, as well as the recording of the fetus’s provision life span, deeds and destiny. This view, the inclusion of the word "Nuftah", is the view held by the majority of the Scholars.


The Prophet's (S.A.W.) words here are generic and can be used for all situations. If we are honest with Allah, Allah will not leave us - He will help us - He will guide us, etc. The closer we are to Allah, the more He will help us and guide us. Thus, the last section of this hadith is an exception and applies only to few people such as the “Munafiqin” (person who leaves right path).

(Reference: Commentary of Forty Hadiths of An-Nawawi by Dr. Jamal Ahmed Badi)

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