Bismillah. This is a continuation of the 40 hadith of An-Nawawi that we were covering. Next up is hadith #6, which says “That which is lawful is clear…”
On the authority of Abu Abdullah al-Nu’maan ibn Basheer (may Allah be pleased with them both) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: “That which is lawful is clear and that which is unlawful is clear and between the two of them are doubtful [or ambiguous] matters about which not many people are knowledgeable. Thus, he who avoids these doubtful matters certainly clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor. But he who falls into the doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful like the shepard who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Verily every king has a sanctuary and Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions. In the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be sound, all the body is sound and which, if it be diseased, all of the body is diseased. This part of the body is the heart.” Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
This hadith is sahih. It was recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, ibn Maajah, al-Nasaai and numerous others. Hadith with very similar meaning have been narrated by the companions Abdullah ibn Umar, Ammaar ibn Yaasir, Jaabir, ibn Masood and ibn Abbaas. Many of those narrations from other companions, however, have weak chains to them.
This hadith lays down some of the most important principles of Islam. As we mentioned earlier, Abu Dawood (the scholar of hadith) had said that Islam was built upon four hadith, and this was one of those hadith. This hadith covers all of the possible acts: the permissible, the forbidden and the doubtful. It also shows how to protect our religion and honor. It also points out the key to following the permissible and staying away from what will harm us.