Is the Quran or Bible the Word of God? Christianity or Islam?

Islam Hadiths, Hadith 20 and 21, Nawawi

Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths: Hadiths 20 and 21 taught by Sheikh Gomaa: Modesty and Belief in Allah

I have have been studying the hadiths. According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, “Hadith (narrative, talk [plural ahadith]) with the definite article (al-hadith) is used for Tradition, being an account of what the Prophet said or did, or of his tacit approval of something said or done in his presence.”  The study of Tradition is called Ulum al-hadith (the sciences of Tradition).

There are thousands of traditions and to get my feet wet I’ve been studying forty-two chief traditions compiled by the eminent Muslim scholar  Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi (631 – 676 A.H. / 1234 – 1278 A.D.).  It has been said by some that al-Nawawi “is still living in the hearts of Muslims. His works are of everlasting value” (Islamic Network).   In order to gain a Muslim perspective on al-Nawawi, I’ve been watching and learning from Grand Mufti of Egypt, Ali Gomaa.  This marks the half way point in our study of Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths – which are really 42 in number.

The twentieth chief tradition related by al-Nawawi

عن أبي مسعود عقبة بن عمرو الأنصاري البدري رضى الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلي الله علية وسلم : ( إن مما أدرك الناس من كلام النبوة الأولى : إذا لم تستح فاصنع ما شئت ).
رواه البخاري [ رقم : 3483 ]

It was related by Bukhari (صحيح البخاري)

On the authority of Abu Mas’ood ‘Uqbah bin ‘Amr al-Ansaaree al-Badree (radi allahu ‘anhu1) who said: The Messenger of Allah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) who said : The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam2) said :

Verily, from what was learnt by the people from the speech of the Earliest Prophecy is : If you feel no shame, then do as you wish.

Hadith 21

عن أبي عمرو ، وقيل أبي عمرة ؛ سفيان بن عبد الله الثقفي رضي الله عنه ، قال : قلت : يا رسول الله ! قـل لي في الإسـلام قـولا لا أسـأل عـنه أحــدًا غـيـرك ؛ قـال : ( قــل : آمـنـت بـالله ، ثـم اسـتـقم ).
رواه مسلم [ رقم : 38 ]

On the authority of Aboo ‘Amr – and he is also called Aboo ‘Amrah – Sufyaan bin Abdillaah ath-Thaqafee (radi allahu anhu3) who said :

I said : “O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about al-Islam which I can ask of no one but you.”
He said : “Say: I believe in Allah – and then be Steadfast”

It was related by Muslim (صحيح مسلم).


Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa’s Explanation of An-Nawawi’s Hadith 20 and Hadith 21

In the following video Ali Gomaa teaches about the twentieth (0:00-6:44) and twenty-first (6:45-9:30) hadiths compiled by an-Nawawi.  My notes follow.

Ali Gomaa discusses hadith 20


“This is an important hadith that sums a righteous manner, that the Prophet (SAWS)4 ordered us to have, that is ‘modesty’.  The Prophet (SAWS) used to say, “faith is seventy and something degrees; the highest: there is no god to be worshipped but Allah; the least: removing harmful things from people’s pathways; modesty is a division of faith.””

“Once, someone told the Prophet (SAWS) that his brother is bashful.  The Prophet (SAWS) then said, “Modesty is all good.”  Here, Allah’s Prophet shows that modesty comes from Allah (SWT) and from the self.”

“Once, the Prophtet was sitting on a well, then Abu-Bakr, Omar, and Ali entered.  A part of his honorable thight was showing while he was sitting.  Yet, when Othman entered, the Prophet covered that part.  He was asked about it.  He said, “Shouldn’t I be bashful from a man, of whom the angels are bashful?” ”

“Othman used to be very bashful that he equipped the Usra army.  It is then that the Prophet said, “from this day Othman will not be harmed by anything he does.”  He even married him off to two of his daughters: Lady Ruqayya and Lady Umm-Kulthoum.  Therefore, Othman was named “Thoe an-Norayn.”  When Ruqayya died and then Umm-Kulthoum, the Prophet consoled him saying, “O Othman, had I a third daughter, I would have married her to you.”  Othman (RA) was rich but modest.  He was very bashful from Allah and people.”


“This modesty is all good in this world and the hereafter.  People lauded Othman, Thoe an-Norayn, because of his bashfulness.”

If you feel no shame, then do as you wish.


“This is the affliction of the age we live in.  There is no modesty.  Ramadan is supposed to be the month of piety and worship.  Fasting, prayers, remembrance of Allah, Qur’an at night and in the morning; yet, there comes a sweeping attack of T.V. series, which may reach up to more than 300 [episodes] this year; 300 [episodes]!  Why don’t they choose another month, such as January, and dedicate it for such afflictions!  If you speak of such, all close and distant people will jump at you; and without modesty or shame.  There is no shame of the assault on the time, which is assigned in Ramadan for reassessing one’s self, in order to fill the heart with doses of faith; there is no shame.  Thus, they do as they wish.

Ali Gomaa discusses hadith 21


Speaking about the 21st hadith compiled by Imam Nawawi Ali Gomaa states, “The honorable companions used to like the key actions, which when done it is as if fulfilling everything in the religion.  Therefore, they used to ask the Messenger (SAWS) about the most beloved works to Allah.  The Prophet’s answers differed from one time to another, based on the inquirer.  He would once say, “The most beloved work for Allah is praying on time.”  At another time he would say, “The most beloved work for Allah is the glorifying words.”  And he would say, “The most beloved work for Allah is being dutiful to one’s parents.”  He would also say, “The most beloved work for Allah is jihad for Allah’s cause.”  In addition, there is, “Say: I believe in Allah and then be upright.”  Faith and good work are keys that if one holds onto them, one can remain steadfast and upholds all good and all of Islam.  Islam is like a circle.  If you placed your hand on one of its entries, or one of its rulings, and you perfected it, you would witness all of Islam becoming perfect for you.”

“Begin by remembering Allah, “your tongue should remain damp with the remembrance of Allah”; you would find Islam wholly at your hands.  Begin with prayers, jihad, being dutiful to your parents, good manners or righteousness, and you would find Islam coming to you, and you have fulfilled it bit by bit.”

My Christian comments about Islam hadiths

Without doubt, the centerpiece of Christianity is Jesus and the most important “work” we can do is to believe that He is the Christ, the Son of God (John 6:28-29).  The Scriptures call Him the Alpha and Omega.  These are the last letters of the Greek alphabet which means, beginning and end (Revelation 22:13).  In Christian theology if you take away Jesus then you take away everything; if you have Jesus then you have everything (cf. Romans 8:32).

Historian Alister McGrath wrote,

The Figure of Jesus Christ is central to Christianity.  Indeed, there is a sense in which Christianity is Jesus Christ.  Christianity is not a set of self-contained and freestanding ideas; it represents a sustained response to the questions raised by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Christianity is a historical religion, which came into being in response to a specific set of events, which center upon Jesus Christ, and to which Christian theology is obliged to return in the course of its speculation and reflection.

Yet the importance of Jesus far exceeds his historical significance.  For Christians, Jesus is more than the founder of their faith: he is the one who makes God known, who makes salvation possible, and who models the new life with God that results from faith. (Christianity: An Introduction, 4).

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  1. English Translation from Arabic, May Allah be pleased with him. []
  2. Arabic to English translation meaning, May Allah bless him and grant him peace.  Often abbreviated SAWS.  This Arabic phrase is used after references to Muhammad and his titles. []
  3. Arabic to English translation, May Allah be pleased with him. []
  4. Abbreviation for the Arabic phrase transliterated, Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.  This phrase is used after references to Muhammad and his titles.  It means May Allah bless him and grant him peace. []

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