Also on the authority of `Umar, who said:[One day] while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (), a man came over to us whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of travel were seen on him, but none of us knew him. He came and sat down opposite the Prophet () and rested his knees against his, placing the palms of his hands on his thighs. He said, “O Muḥammad , inform me about Islam.” The Messenger of Allah () said, “Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish prayer, to give zakāh, to fast Ramadhān, and to make the pilgrimage to the House 6 if you are able to do so.” He said, “You have spoken the truth,” and we wondered at his asking him and confirming it. He said, “Then inform me about īmān.”7 He said, “It is to believe in Allah, His angels,His books,His messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in predestination, both them good and the evil thereof.” He said, “You have spoken the truth.” He said,”Then inform me about iḥsān.”8 He said, “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him; if you do not see Him, indeed, He sees you.” He said, “Then inform me about the Hour.”9 He said, “The one questioned about it knows no more than the questioner.” He said, “Then inform me of its signs.” He said, “That the slave-woman will give birth to her mistress and that you will see
barefooted,naked, destitute shepherds competing in the loftiness of constructions.” Then he departed, and I stayed for a time. Then he said, “O `Umar, do you know who the questioner was?” I said, “Allah and His Messenger are more knowing.” He said, “It was Gabriel. He came to you to teach you your religion.”(Narrated by Muslim)6 The Ka`bah in Makkah.7 Faith, belief.8 Good conduct, proficiency in religion.9 The time of resurrection.6 1)belief in Allah – i.e., in His existence, His perfect and absolute attributes, His superiority over all creation, and that there is nothing similar to Him 2)belief in His angels – noble creatures created from light who have no free will but execute the commands of Allah and orship Him continuously. 3)belief in His books – Allah revealed scriptures 11 to certain of His messengers, and He revealed the Qur’ān as the final message to mankind 4)belief in His messengers – that they were truthful in what they conveyed about Allah, that they were supported by Him with miracle s, and that they faithfully delivered His messages to the people 5)belief in the Last Day, i.e., the Day of Resurrection and what was revealed concerning it: destruction of the present universe , renewed creation, emergence from the graves, the Gathering, the Judgement, Paradise and Hellfire, etc. 6)belief in al-qadar (predestination), i.e., in Allah’s knowledge of all that is to be and in the fact that He (subḥānahu wa taʽālā ) has originated and is the primary cause of all things and occurrences. Al-Imām an-Nawawi has mentioned four kinds of qadar :a. Allah’s knowledge and decree which have always existed, having had no beginning b. His decree registered in al-Lawḥ al-Maḥfūth 12 which is subject to change, as He says in the Qur’ān:”Allah eliminates what He wills or affirms.”13 c. What is decreed while one is in the womb and recorded by an angel 14 d. What is decreed while another decree is approaching its time and place, such as when a disaster is prevented or lessened through the mercy of Allah or because of supplication 15 The third and highest degree of religion is that of iḥsān.The Prophet’s description,worshipping Allah “as if you see Him” with the reminder that “He sees you,” alludes to worship accompanied by an acute consciousness of Allah which leads to sincerity and precision in deeds. In reality,iḥsān is that which perfects every deed of both islām and īmān.It is reflected in a willingness to do more than one’s duty and being satisfied with less than one’s right while seeking the acceptance of Allah. In this way everyday dealings with others become acts of worship and are rewarded as such. Iḥsān is an outward xpression of taqwā 16 and awareness of the Creator’s all-pervading knowledge.11 Although their original forms have not been preserved. No number is given, but they include those sent down to Ibrāheem, Mūsā, Dāwūd and ‘Isā (peace be upon them).12 The “Preserved Slate,” which is with Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) in which all things are recorded.13 Sūrah ar-Raʽd, 13:39.14 See Ḥadīth No. 4.
15 In a ḥadīth graded as ḥasan (accepted), the Prophet () said, “Nothing repels decree except supplication.” (Narrated by at-Tirmidhi and al-Ḥākim)16 i.e., inner piety, love and fear of Allah, and caution in order to avoid displeasing Him.7 The request, “Inform me about the Hour,” and the answer given bring attention to the fact that this is information which Allah (subḥānahu wa taʽālā) has kept to Himself,dispelling any speculation that prophets, angels or any other creatures possess knowledge of its time. Therefore, any who make claims to that effect testify to their own untruthfulness. Additionally, it is shown from the Prophet’s example that there is nothing shameful in admitting that one does not know a particular were when asked;on the contrary, it is an obligation to do so.”Then inform me of its signs” implies that certain conditions will precede the time of resurrection which will be recognized by people on earth. Although the signs enumerated in various other ḥadīths are many, on this occasion the Prophet () mentioned only two. The first of these is that the slave-oman will give birth to her mistress. Among the interpretations given are that there will be conquests resulting in a great number of war captives whose children born to the conquerors will be nobles through the lineage of their fathers that ignorance of the law will become widespread so that masters will sell those slaves who have born them children;
then after a time, a daughter (or son) might unknowingly purchase her mother from the slave market that slaves will give birth to future kings that disrespect for parents will reach the point where children treat their mothers as if they were slaves – insulting and humiliating them.As for the second sign, certain conclusions are drawn from it as well:
The weakest and poorest class of people will become rich, ostentatious, and dominant in the land Unqualified people will become rulers and occupy positions of responsibility – In another ḥadīth the Prophet ) stated that among the signs of the Hour is the disappearance of knowledge and spread of ignorance. Ignorant rulers will then corrupt the religion and the world, denying people their rights and taking over their properties. In the prevailing corruption all conditions will be reversed: the liar will be believed while the truthful is denied; the trait or will be entrusted while the trustworthy is considered a traitor; the ignorant will speak while the knowledgeable will remain silent – or will be eliminated altogeth er, as the Prophet ) explained:Knowledge will be taken away by the scholars being
taken [in death].ʽUmar, who related the ḥadīth continued with the observation that he remained with the other companions for some time after the departure of the stranger,
whereupon they were informed by the Prophet () that the questioner was none but the angel Gabriel who had come for the purpose of instructing them. Thus, it is shown as well that a lesson may be emphasized by the use of varied teaching methods, among
them the posing of questions to students.