Forty Hadith on the Merits of Saying “La ilaha illAllah”

6. Ma`bad ibn Hilal al-`Anazi relates: Some of us from Basra gathered and went to Anas bin Malik in company with Thabit al-Bunani so that he might ask Anas about the Hadith of Intercession on our behalf. Anas was in his palace, and our arrival coincided with his late morning (Duha) prayer. We asked permission to enter and he admitted us, sitting on his bed. We said to Thabit, “Do not ask him about anything else first but the Hadith of Intercession.” He said, “O Abu Hamza! Here are your brethren from Basra coming to ask you about the Hadith of Intercession.” Anas then said: The Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — talked to us saying: On the Day of Resurrection the people will surge one group after another like waves, and then they will come to Adam and say: “Please intercede for us with your Lord.” He will say: “I am not fit for this. You should go to Ibrahim as he is the Intimate Friend (khalil) of the Beneficent.” They will go to Ibrahim and he will say: “I am not fit for this, but you should go to Moses as he is the one to whom Allah spoke directly.” So they will go to Musa and he will say: “I am not fit for this, but you should go to `Isa as he is a soul created (directly) by Allah, and His Word (Be!).” They will go to `Isa and he will say: “I am not fit for this, but you should go to Muhammad.” They will come to me and I will say: “I can do it.” Then I will ask for my Lord’s permission and it will be given; then He will inspire me to praise Him with such praises as I cannot fathom. So I will praise Him with those praises and will fall down prostrate before Him. Then it will be said: “O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be heard; ask, for your will be granted your request; intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.” I will say: “O Lord, my Community! My Community!” And then it will be said: “Go and take out of the Fire all those who have in their hearts faith the weight of a barley grain.” I will go and do so and return to praise Him with the same praises, and fall down prostrate before Him. Then it will be said: “O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be heard; ask, for your will be granted your request; intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.” I will say: “O Lord, my Community! My Community!” And then it will be said: “Go and take out of the Fire all those who have in their hearts faith the like of a small ant or a mustard-seed.” I will go and do so and return to praise Him with the same praises, and fall down prostrate before Him. Then it will be said: “O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be heard; ask, for you will be granted your request; intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.” I will say: “O Lord, my Community! My Community!” And then it will be said: “Go and take out of the Fire all those who have in their hearts the smallest iota of faith.” I will go and do so.

When we left Anas, I said to some of my companions: “Let us pass by al-Hasan (al-Basri) who is hiding himself in the house of Abu Khalifa and request him to recount to us what Anas ibn Malik has just told us.” So we went to him and we greeted him and he admitted us. We said to him: “O Abu Sa`id! We came to you from your brother Anas ibn Malik and he related to us a Hadith about the intercession the like of which I have never heard.” He said: “What is that?” We told him of the Hadith and at the end we said: “He stopped at this point.” He said: “What then?” We said: “He did not add anything after that.” He said: “Anas related the Hadith to me twenty years ago when he was a young fellow. I don’t know whether he forgot or if he did not like to let you depend overly on what he might have said.” We said, “O Abu Sa`id! Do tell us.” He smiled and said: “Man was created hasty. I only mentioned it because I was going to inform you of it. Anas told me the same as he told you and said that the Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — added: I will then return for a fourth time and praise Him similarly and prostrate before Him the same as before. And then it will be said: “O Muhammad, raise your head and speak, for you will be heard; ask, for your will be granted your request; intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.” I will then say: “O Lord, allow me to intercede for whoever said: La ilaha illallah.” Then Allah will say: By My Power, by My Majesty, by My Supremacy, and by My Greatness, I shall take out of the fire whoever said: La ilaha illallah. [6]

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