Fatwa: # 45796
Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings...
Country: African Country
Date: 22nd July 2020

Title

The Hadith about obedience to leaders

Question

It has been narrated on the authority of Hudhaifa b. al-Yaman who said:

Messenger of Allah, no doubt, we had an evil time (i. e. the days of Jahiliyya or ignorance) and God brought us a good time (i.e. Islamic period) through which we are now living Will there be a bad time after this good time? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Yes. I said: Will there be a good time after this bad time? He said: Yes. I said: Will there be a bad time after good time? He said: Yes. I said: How? Whereupon he said: There will be leaders who will not be led by my guidance and who will not adopt my ways? There will be among them men who will have the hearts of devils in the bodies of human beings. I said: What should I do. Messenger of Allah, if I (happen) to live in that time? He replied: You will listen to the Amir and carry out his orders; even if your back is flogged and your wealth is snatched, you should listen and obey.

Explanation from Ibn Malak RA (d. 854 Hijri)

 إلا إذا أمرَك بمعصيةٍ فحينَئذٍ لا تُطِعْه، ولكن لا تقاتِلْه، بل فرَّ منه

Unless they order you to do any act of disobedience, then in that case do not obey.......

It’s on this Hadith the Saudi Public do not go against their leadership even if things are not right

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The following is the hadith in reference,

قَالَ حُذَيْفَةُ بْنُ الْيَمَانِ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّا كُنَّا بِشَرٍّ فَجَاءَ اللَّهُ بِخَيْرٍ فَنَحْنُ فِيهِ فَهَلْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ هَذَا الْخَيْرِ شَرٌّ قَالَ نَعَمْ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ هَلْ وَرَاءَ ذَلِكَ الشَّرِّ خَيْرٌ قَالَ ‏"‏ نَعَمْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ فَهَلْ وَرَاءَ ذَلِكَ الْخَيْرِ شَرٌّ قَالَ ‏"‏ نَعَمْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ كَيْفَ قَالَ ‏"‏ يَكُونُ بَعْدِي أَئِمَّةٌ لاَ يَهْتَدُونَ بِهُدَاىَ وَلاَ يَسْتَنُّونَ بِسُنَّتِي وَسَيَقُومُ فِيهِمْ رِجَالٌ قُلُوبُهُمْ قُلُوبُ الشَّيَاطِينِ فِي جُثْمَانِ إِنْسٍ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ كَيْفَ أَصْنَعُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنْ أَدْرَكْتُ ذَلِكَ قَالَ ‏"‏ تَسْمَعُ وَتُطِيعُ لِلأَمِيرِ وَإِنْ ضُرِبَ ظَهْرُكَ وَأُخِذَ مَالُكَ فَاسْمَعْ وَأَطِعْ ‏"

Translation: “Hudhaiyfa Ibnul Yamaan (Radhiyallahu Anhu) says, I said, O Messenger of Allah, no doubt, we had an evil time and God brought us a good time in which we are now living. Will there be a bad time after this good time? He said: Yes. I said: Will there be a good time after this bad time? He said: Yes. I said: Will there be a bad time after the good time? He said: Yes. I said: How? Whereupon he said: There will be leaders who will not be led by my guidance and who will not adopt my ways. There will be among them men who will have the hearts of devils in the bodies of human beings. I said: What should I do, if I happen to live in that time? He replied: You will listen to the Ameer and carry out his orders; even if your back is flogged and your wealth is snatched, you should listen and obey.” (Muslim-1847)

As a principle, each hadith must be understood in its context and in light of other Ahadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) which would clarify the subject matter.

Consider the following,

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ قَالَ ‏ "‏ عَلَى الْمَرْءِ الْمُسْلِمِ السَّمْعُ وَالطَّاعَةُ فِيمَا أَحَبَّ وَكَرِهَ إِلاَّ أَنْ يُؤْمَرَ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ فَإِنْ أُمِرَ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ فَلاَ سَمْعَ وَلاَ طَاعَةَ

Translation: “Ibn Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, it is obligatory upon a Muslim to listen and obey (a ruler appointed over him) whether he likes it or not, unless he is ordered to do a sinful thing. If he is ordered to do a sinful act, a Muslim should neither listen to him nor should he obey his orders.” (Muslim-1839)

عَنْ عَلِيٍّ، أَنَّه صلي الله عليه وسلم بَعَثَ جَيْشًا وَأَمَّرَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَجُلاً فَأَوْقَدَ نَارًا وَقَالَ ادْخُلُوهَا ‏.‏ فَأَرَادَ نَاسٌ أَنْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَقَالَ الآخَرُونَ إِنَّا قَدْ فَرَرْنَا مِنْهَا ‏.‏ فَذُكِرَ ذَلِكَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ لِلَّذِينَ أَرَادُوا أَنْ يَدْخُلُوهَا ‏"‏ لَوْ دَخَلْتُمُوهَا لَمْ تَزَالُوا فِيهَا إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ لِلآخَرِينَ قَوْلاً حَسَنًا وَقَالَ ‏"‏ لاَ طَاعَةَ فِي مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّمَا الطَّاعَةُ فِي الْمَعْرُوفِ ‏"

Translation: “Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) sent a force (on a mission) and appointed over them a man. He (the ameer) kindled a fire and said (to his companions): Enter it. Some people made up their minds to enter it (the fire), (carrying out the order of their commander), but the others said: We fled from the fire (which is why we have come into the fold of Islam). The matter was reported to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He said to those who contemplated entering (the fire at the order of their commander): If you had entered it, you would have remained there until the Day of Judgment. He commended the act of the latter group and said: There is no submission in matters involving Allah’s disobedience or displeasure. Submission is obligatory only in what is good and reasonable.” (Muslim-1840)

 

There are two aspects to consider when speaking of obedience to one’s lawful ruler/Ameer.

Firstly, each believer is required to obey the commands of the Ameer provided he does not give a command contrary to the Quran and Sunnah. If he does so, it is no longer obligatory to obey him in this command. This is clearly understood from the Ahadith cited above.

Secondly, the believers have been prohibited from revolting and rebelling against their Ameer except in instances where he openly and clearly renounces the faith. Accordingly, even if the Ameer were to give a command against the Quran and Sunnah, although he will not be obeyed in that command, it will still not be permissible to rebel and try to depose him. This is understood from the following Ahadith,

عَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ، زَوْجِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ قَالَ ‏"‏ إِنَّهُ يُسْتَعْمَلُ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَرَاءُ فَتَعْرِفُونَ وَتُنْكِرُونَ فَمَنْ كَرِهَ فَقَدْ بَرِئَ وَمَنْ أَنْكَرَ فَقَدْ سَلِمَ وَلَكِنْ مَنْ رَضِيَ وَتَابَعَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَلاَ نُقَاتِلُهُمْ قَالَ ‏"‏ لاَ مَا صَلَّوْا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ أَىْ مَنْ كَرِهَ بِقَلْبِهِ وَأَنْكَرَ بِقَلْبِهِ ‏

Translation: “Umm Salamah (Radhiyallahu Anha) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, Ameers will be appointed over you, and you will find them doing good as well as bad deeds. One who hates their bad deeds is absolved from blame. One who disapproves of their bad deeds is (also) safe (so far as Divine wrath is concerned). But one who approves of their bad deeds and imitates them (is doomed). People asked: O Messenger of Allah, shouldn’t we fight against them? He replied: No, as long as they say their prayer (Salah).” (Muslim-1854)

عَنْ عَوْفِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏"‏ خِيَارُ أَئِمَّتِكُمُ الَّذِينَ تُحِبُّونَهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَكُمْ وَيُصَلُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَتُصَلُّونَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَشِرَارُ أَئِمَّتِكُمُ الَّذِينَ تُبْغِضُونَهُمْ وَيُبْغِضُونَكُمْ وَتَلْعَنُونَهُمْ وَيَلْعَنُونَكُمْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفَلاَ نُنَابِذُهُمْ بِالسَّيْفِ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ لاَ مَا أَقَامُوا فِيكُمُ الصَّلاَةَ وَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ مِنْ وُلاَتِكُمْ شَيْئًا تَكْرَهُونَهُ فَاكْرَهُوا عَمَلَهُ وَلاَ تَنْزِعُوا يَدًا مِنْ طَاعَةٍ ‏"‏

Translation: “Awf ibn Maalik (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, the best of your rulers are those whom you love and who love you, who invoke Allah’s blessings upon you and you invoke His blessings upon them. And the worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and who hate you and whom you curse and who curse you. It was asked (by those present): Shouldn't we overthrow them with the help of the sword? He said: No, as long as they establish prayer among you. If you then find anything detestable in them, you should hate their administration, but do not withdraw yourselves from their obedience.” (Muslim-1855)

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، يَرْوِيهِ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ مَنْ رَأَى مِنْ أَمِيرِهِ شَيْئًا يَكْرَهُهُ فَلْيَصْبِرْ فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ فَارَقَ الْجَمَاعَةَ شِبْرًا فَمَاتَ فَمِيتَةٌ جَاهِلِيَّةٌ ‏"‏

Translation: “Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, one who finds in his Ameer something he dislikes should hold his patience, for one who separates from the main body of the Muslims (i.e. revolts against the ruler) even to the extent of a handspan and then dies would die the death of one belonging to the days of Jaahiliyya.” (Muslim-1849)

 

عَنْ نَافِعٍ، قَالَ جَاءَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ إِلَى عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مُطِيعٍ حِينَ كَانَ مِنْ أَمْرِ الْحَرَّةِ مَا كَانَ زَمَنَ يَزِيدَ بْنِ مُعَاوِيَةَ فَقَالَ اطْرَحُوا لأَبِي عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ وِسَادَةً فَقَالَ إِنِّي لَمْ آتِكَ لأَجْلِسَ أَتَيْتُكَ لأُحَدِّثَكَ حَدِيثًا سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُهُ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ مَنْ خَلَعَ يَدًا مِنْ طَاعَةٍ لَقِيَ اللَّهَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ لاَ حُجَّةَ لَهُ وَمَنْ مَاتَ وَلَيْسَ فِي عُنُقِهِ بَيْعَةٌ مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً ‏"‏ ‏.‏

Translation: “Ibn Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) says that I heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying, one who withdraws his hand from obedience (to the Ameer) will find no argument (in his defence) when he stands before Allah on the Day of Judgment, and one who dies without having bound himself by an oath of allegiance (to the Ameer) will die the death of one belonging to the days of Jaahiliyya.” (Muslim-1851)

Islam seeks to create unity and harmony within the Ummah. Rebellion, revolution and civil unrest are causes of mass chaos disrupting the lives of millions of believers.

In light of the above, the phrase “You will listen to the Ameer and carry out his orders; even if your back is flogged and your wealth is snatched, you should listen and obey.”  in the very first hadith means that one is required to obey the Ameer in permissible matters, not impermissible ones. Furthermore, it is not permissible to rebel against the Ameer even if he is unjust (to the extent that he has people flogged and takes their wealth). One is required to be patient.

Being patient does not mean one submits to a wrong and violation of Shari’ah. However, one will not rebel against the Ameer as the consequences of that are serious and may be worse than the initial wrong that one resents. In that instance, one is advised to practice on اقل البليتين “Lesser of the two evils.”

The initial wrong is evil but the consequences of rebelling are worse. It is in this handicapped context; we are advised to be patient. This does not mean we listen and obey the Ameer in issues against Shari’ah. Where it is possible to correct a wrong with dignity and maintain unity, that should be done.

This has been the understanding of the vast majority of the Muhadditheen.[1]

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Bilal Yusuf Pandor

Student Darul Iftaa

Lusaka, Zambia


Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai

 


المفهم لما أشكل من تلخيص كتاب مسلم (4/ 39) [1]

فأمَّا قوله في حديث حذيفة اسمع وأطع، وإن ضرب ظهرك وأخذ مالك (3) فهذا أمر للمفعول به ذلك للاستسلام والانقياد، وترك الخروج عليه مخافة أن يتفاقم الأمر إلى ما هو أعظم من ذلك

ويحتمل أن يكون ذلك خطابًا لمن يُفعل به ذلك بتأويل يسوّغ للأمير بوجهٍ يظهر له ولا يظهر ذلك للمفعول به، وعلى هذا يرتفع التعارض بين الأحاديث ويصحّ الجمع، والله تعالى أعلم

 

المفهم لما أشكل من تلخيص كتاب مسلم (4/ 59)

قوله من خرج عن الطاعة وفارق الجماعة فميتته جاهلية، يعني بالطاعة طاعة ولاة الأمر، وبالجماعة جماعة المسلمين على إمام أو أمر مجتُمِعُ عليه، وفيه دليل على وجوب نصب الإمام وتحريم مخالفة إجماع المسلمين، وأنَّه واجب الاتباع. ويُستَدلُ بظاهره من كَفَّر بخرق الإجماع مطلقا

والحق التفصيل، فإن كان الإجماع مقطوعًا به فمخالفته وإنكاره كفر، وإن كان مظنونًا فإنكاره ومخالفته معصية وفسوق، ويعني بميتة الجاهلية أنهم كانوا فيها لا يبايعون إمامًا ولا يدخلون تحت طاعته، فمن كان من المسلمين لم يدخل تحت طاعة إمام فقد شابههم في ذلك، فإن مات على تلك الحالة مات على مثل حالهم مرتكبًا كبيرةً من الكبائر ويخاف عليه بسببها ألاَّ يموت على الإسلام

 

المفاتيح في شرح المصابيح (5/ 351)

"تسمعُ وتطيعُ"؛ يعني: طريق النجاة في ذلك الوقت: أن تسمعَ ما يأمرُكَ الأميرُ، وتطيعُه ولا تعصيه، إلا إذا أمرك بمعصية، فإنك حينئذ لا تطيعه، ولكن لا تقاتله، بل فرَّ منه

 

شرح سنن أبي داود لابن رسلان (16/ 659)

(قلت: يا رسول اللَّه ماذا) أي: أي شيء أفعل في ذلك الوقت إن عشت فيه؟ (قال: إن كان) للَّه (خليفة) بالرفع (في الأرض فضرب ظهرك) أو غيره (وأخذ مالك) كله أو بعضه أو أكرهك على أن تعطيه إياه (فأعطه) (4) إياه، واحتسبه عند اللَّه تعالى [طالبًا ثوابه وأجره من اللَّه تعالى] (5) من غير كراهة ولا تسخط.

 

نيل الأوطار (7/ 203)

قَوْلُهُ: (ثُمَّ أَعْطُوهُمْ حَقَّهُمْ) أَيْ ادْفَعُوا إلَى الْأُمَرَاءِ حَقَّهُمْ الَّذِي لَهُمْ الْمُطَالَبَةُ بِهِ وَقَبْضُهُ، سَوَاءٌ كَانَ يَخْتَصُّ بِهِمْ أَوْ يَعُمُّ، وَذَلِكَ مِنْ الْحُقُوقِ الْوَاجِبَةِ فِي الْمَالِ كَالزَّكَاةِ، وَفِي الْأَنْفُسِ كَالْخُرُوجِ إلَى الْجِهَادِ، وَظَاهِرُ الْحَدِيثِ الْعُمُومُ فِي الْمُخَاطَبِينَ، وَنَقَلَ ابْنُ التِّينِ عَنْ الدَّاوُدِيّ أَنَّهُ خَاصٌّ بِالْأَنْصَارِ، وَكَأَنَّهُ أَخَذَهُ مِنْ كَوْنِ الْمُخَاطَبِ بِذَلِكَ الْأَنْصَارَ كَمَا فِي حَدِيثِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ زَيْدٍ وَلَا يَلْزَمُ مِنْ مُخَاطَبَتِهِمْ بِذَلِكَ أَنْ يَخْتَصَّ بِهِمْ فَإِنَّهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِهِمْ بِالنِّسْبَةِ إلَى الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَيَخْتَصُّ بِبَعْضِ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ دُونَ بَعْضٍ، فَالْمُسْتَأْثِرُ مَنْ يَلِي الْأَمْرَ وَمَنْ عَدَاهُ هُوَ الَّذِي يُسْتَأْثَرُ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَمَّا كَانَ الْأَمْرُ يَخْتَصُّ بِقُرَيْشٍ وَلَا حَظَّ لِلْأَنْصَارِ فِيهِ خُوطِبَ الْأَنْصَارُ فِي بَعْضِ الْأَوْقَاتِ، وَهُوَ خِطَابٌ لِلْجَمِيعِ بِالنِّسْبَةِ إلَى مَنْ لَا يَلِي الْأَمْرَ وَقَدْ وَرَدَ مَا يَدُلُّ عَلَى التَّعْمِيمِ، فَفِي حَدِيثِ يَزِيدَ بْنِ سَلَمَةَ الْجُعْفِيِّ عَنْ الطَّبَرَانِيِّ أَنَّهُ قَالَ: «يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إنْ كَانَ عَلَيْنَا أُمَرَاءُ يَأْخُذُونَا بِالْحَقِّ وَيَمْنَعُونَا الْحَقَّ الَّذِي لَنَا أَنُقَاتِلُهُمْ؟ قَالَ: لَا، عَلَيْهِمْ مَا حُمِّلُوا وَعَلَيْكُمْ مَا حُمِّلْتُمْ» .

وَأَخْرَجَ مُسْلِمٌ مِنْ حَدِيثِ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ مَرْفُوعًا: «سَيَكُونُ أُمَرَاءُ فَتَعْرِفُونَ وَتُنْكِرُونَ، فَمَنْ كَرِهَ بَرِئَ، وَمَنْ أَنْكَرَ سَلِمَ، وَلَكِنْ مَنْ رَضِيَ وَبَايَعَ قَالُوا: أَفَلَا نُقَاتِلُهُمْ؟ قَالَ: لَا، مَا صَلَّوْا» وَنَحْوُهُ حَدِيثُ عَوْفِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ الْآتِي.

وَفِي مُسْنَدِ الْإِسْمَاعِيلِيِّ مِنْ طَرِيقِ أَبِي مُسْلِمٍ الْخَوْلَانِيِّ عَنْ أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ بْنِ الْجَرَّاحِ عَنْ عُمَرَ رَفَعَهُ قَالَ: «أَتَانِي جِبْرِيلُ فَقَالَ: إنَّ أُمَّتَك مُفْتَتَنَةٌ مِنْ بَعْدِك، فَقُلْت: مِنْ أَيْنَ؟ قَالَ: مِنْ قِبَلِ أُمَرَائِهِمْ وَقُرَّائِهِمْ، يَمْنَعُ الْأُمَرَاءُ النَّاسَ الْحُقُوقَ فَيُبْطِلُونَ حُقُوقَهُمْ فَيُفْتَنُونَ، وَيَتْبَعُ الْقُرَّاءُ الْأُمَرَاءَ فَيُفْتَنُونَ، قُلْت: فَكَيْفَ يَسْلَمُ مَنْ سَلِمَ مِنْهُمْ؟ قَالَ: بِالْكَفِّ وَالصَّبْرِ، إنْ أُعْطُوا الَّذِي لَهُمْ أَخَذُوهُ وَإِنْ مُنِعُوهُ تَرَكُوهُ» .

 

الكوكب الوهاج شرح صحيح مسلم (20/ 59)

فأما لو أمر بمعصية مثل أخذ مال بغير حق أو قتل أو ضرب بغير حق فلا يطاع في ذلك ولا ينفذ أمره ولو أفضى ذلك إلى ضرب ظهر المأمور وأخذ ماله إذ ليس دم أحدهما ولا ماله بأولى من دم الآخر ولا ماله وكلاهما يحرم شرعًا إذ هما مسلمان ولا يجوز الأقدام على واحد منهما لا للآمر ولا للمأمور لقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا طاعة لمخلوق في معصية الخالق كما ذكره الطبري ولقوله ها هنا فإن أمر بمعصية فلا سمع ولا طاعة فأما قوله في حديث حذيفة اسمع وأطع وإن ضرب ظهرك وأخذ مالك فهذا أمر للمفعول به ذلك للاستسلام والانقياد وترك الخروج عليه مخافة أن يتفاقم الأمر إلى ما هو أعظم من ذلك وبحتمل أن يكون ذلك خطابًا لمن يفعل به ذلك بتأويل يسوغ للأمير بوجه يظهر له ولا يظهر ذلك للمفعول به وعلى هذا يرتفع التعارض بين الأحاديث ويصح الجمع والله تعالى أعلم اهـ من المفهم وشارك المؤلف في رواية هذا الحديث البخاري [7144]، وأبو داود [2626]، والترمذي [1707]، والنسائي [7/ 160]، وابن ماجه [2864]، ثم ذكر المؤلف المتابعة في هذا الحديث فقال...

 

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