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Hadith on Faith: The Most Honorable Person and Piety in Islam

📖Sahih al-Bukhari 3374
Narrated Abu Huraira: Some people asked the Prophet: “Who is the most honorable amongst the people?” He replied, “The most honorable among them is the one who is the most Allah-fearing.” They said, “O Allah’s Prophet! We do not ask about this.” He said, “Then the most honorable person is Joseph, Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Khalil.” They said, “We do not ask about this.” He said, “Then you want to ask me about the Arabs’ descent?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “Those who were best in the pre-lslamic period, are the best in Islam, if they comprehend (the religious knowledge).

  • This hadith narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari 3374 is a conversation between Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and a group of people who asked him who among the people is the most honorable. The Prophet’s initial response was that the most honorable person is the one who is the most Allah-fearing. However, the group was not satisfied with this answer, and they wanted a more specific response. The Prophet then mentioned Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him) as the most honorable person, emphasizing his noble lineage. He explained that Joseph was the son of a Prophet, who was the son of a Prophet, who was the son of Allah’s Khalil. The group still did not understand the point the Prophet was making, so he asked them if they wanted to know about Arab lineage. They said yes, and the Prophet explained that the best people in the pre-Islamic period (i.e., Jahiliyyah) are the best in Islam if they understand the religious knowledge. The reason the Prophet did not give the group a straightforward answer at first is that he wanted to emphasize that piety and devotion to Allah are the most important qualities that make a person honorable. The Prophet wanted to redirect the group’s focus from worldly status and lineage to spiritual growth and devotion to Allah. Furthermore, by mentioning Prophet Joseph and his noble lineage, the Prophet wanted to show that Allah honors and elevates those who are righteous and obedient to Him. The Prophet also wanted to emphasize the importance of understanding religious knowledge and how it can lead to true honor and success in Islam.

Overall, this hadith teaches us the importance of piety and religious knowledge in determining one’s honor and success in Islam, and it reminds us to focus on our spiritual growth and devotion to Allah rather than getting caught up in worldly status or external appearances.