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Islam Hadiths, Hadiths 32-34, Nawawi

Imam Nawawi’s Forty Hadith: Hadith 32, 33, and 34: Do not harm, Burden of proof, Resisting evil

Here is the thirty-second hadith compiled by al-Nawawi, first in Arabic and then the English translation of the Arabic,

عن أبي سـعـيـد سعـد بن مالك بن سنان الخدري رضي الله عنه ، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ( لا ضرر ولا ضرار ).
حديث حسن ، رواه ابن ماجه [راجع رق : 2341 ] والدارقطني [ رقم : 4/ 228] وغيرهـما مسندا.
ورواه مالك [ 2 / 746 ] في (الموطأ) عـن عـمرو بن يحي عـن ابيه عـن النبي صلي الله عـليه وسلم مرسلا ، فـأسـقـط أبا سعـيد ، وله طرق يقوي بعـضها بعـضـًُا

On the authority of Abu Sa’Eed Sa’ad bin Sinaan al-Khudree (radi allahu anhu1) that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)2 said :

There should be neither harming [darar] nor reciprocating harm [diraar].

A Hasan hadeeth related by Ibn Maajah, ad-Daaraqutnee and others as a musnad hadeeth. It was also related by Maalik in al-Muwatta in mursal form from ‘Amr bin Yahyaa, from his father from the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), but leaving Abu Sa’eed from the chain. And it has other chains of narrations that strengthen one another.

Here is the thirty-third hadith compiled by al-Nawawi, first in Arabic and then the English translation of the Arabic,

عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما ، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، قال : ( لو يعطى الناس بدعواهم ،لادعى رجال أموال قوم ودماءهم ، لكن البينة على المدعي واليمين على من أنكر). حديث حسن ، رواه البيهقي [ في (السنن)10/ 252 ] وغيره هكذا ، وبعضه في (الصحيحين)

On the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas, radiAllahu anhumaa, that the Messenger of Allah ((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.))) said :

Were people to be given everything that they claimed, men would [unjustly] claim the wealth and lives of [other] people. But, the onus of proof is upon the claimant, and the taking of an oath is upon him who denies.

A Hasan hadeeth narrated by al-Baihaqee and others in this form, and part of it is in the two Saheehs.

Here is the thirty-fourth hadith compiled by al-Nawawi, first in Arabic and then translated into English,

عن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه ، قال : سمعت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول : ( من رأى منكم منكرًا فلغيره بيده ، فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه ، فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه ، وذلك أضعـف الإيمان ).
رواه مسلم [ رقم : 49 ]

On the authority of Abu Sa’Eed al-Khudree (radi allahu ‘anhu3) who said : I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) say :

Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.

It was related by Muslim (صحيح مسلم).

In the following video Ali Gomaa teaches about hadith 32 (0:00-4:45), hadith 33 (4:46-7:58) and hadity 34 (7:59-10:19).  My notes follow.

Hadeeth 32: Do not harm or reciprocate harm


“Jurisprudence derived a rule from this hadith, which they found to be deep-rooted in Islamic law, jurisprudence, Qur’an and sunnah.  That is: there should be no harm to all.  Don’t harm yourself or the others.  So, it has become one of the five great rules: Harm must be removed.”


“The word “no harming” stands for self-s harm.  “Reciprocating harm” means harming others.”

Hadith 33: The Burden of Proof


“This is one of the basics of judiciary and witnessing.  It is an organized matter.  If people claim things without proof, evidence, testimony, or documents, men would claim the fortunes and lives of [other] people without any right.  So there should be proof and judiciary should be involved.”

My Christian comments about Hadith 33

The Scriptures also teach the same principle about the burden of proof and the importance of lawful testimony and oaths.  This is rooted in the Ninth Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness…” and the Third Commandment, “You shall not take the Name of the LORD your God in vain.”  In fact, large sections the Bible is in the form of sworn testimony.

There are at least 15 witnesses John brings forth in the Gospel of John about Jesus. John uses judicial/legal terminology some 150 times with terms like: testify, confess, witness, law, truth, testimony, prove, condemned, certified, verdict, judges, judgment, authority to judge, accuse, seal of approval, guilty, charges, criminal, execute. The concluding verses of the Gospel end on a note of testimony, “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24).  Not believing the testimony presented in the Gospel is to judge the author and witnesses mistaken, at best, or, at worst, liars.

The Gospel of John comes to an end with an ironic twist.  It turns out that it really isn’t Jesus Who is on “trial”, but each one of us.  Belief or unbelief in the evidence reveals our eternal destiny (see John 3:16-21; 8:24; 10:10; 20:30,31).

One of the most important oaths ever taken was by Jesus when He stood before the High Priest and the High Court of Israel,

 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;
what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!”
Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,
and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?” (Matthew Chapter 26 verses 63-68)

Wheres the beef?When I was a boy there used to be a popular TV commercial in which a little old lady would ask about hamburgers, “Where’s the beef?

In a similar way, the burden of proof asks the question, “Where’s the proof?”  I’ve been asking Muslims for years, “Where’s your proof for rejecting the evidence and testimony for Jesus’ death on the cross?”  They still haven’t supplied the judiciary requirement for denying God’s work in history in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Hadeeth 34: Resisting Evil


“Enjoining virtue and prohibiting vice are of the main basics of Islam.  This, this hadith, too, is one of the basics of Islam.  A vice may be in the realm of my authority.  So, I can change it with my hand without delay.  But if it is outside the realm of my control, I may or may not be able to change it.  If I can’t, I’d resort to sincerity, for religion is sincerity.  I have to enjoin virtue and prohibit vice.  I’d use my tongue through sermons, guidance, order, or encouragement.  If I couldn’t do all this, and there were some obstacles and restrictions, which hinder me to utter, then I have to deny this action with my heart.  This is the weakest of faith or the least fruitful.  So, it is the lowest rank.”

Christian comments about Hadith 34

There is some similarity between the 34th hadith and James 4:17.  I wish Ali Gomaa had given examples about what kind of obstacles and restrictions might prevent a person from opposing evil.  The Scriptures give examples of people putting their life on the line to help others.  One of the most famous examples was the story Jesus told about the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).

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Related Hadith Posts


  1. Arabic to English translation, 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. []

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