Before we mention the hadith, take a few seconds to ask yourself this question: who in your opinion is the noblest person you know? Why do you think he is the most noble?
Many a times, we judge people by certain societal criteria and external factors, but is this really the most accurate way of judging people? Let’s see by recalling this hadith.
Narrated Sahl bin Sa`d As-Sa`id:
A man passed by Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and the Prophet (ﷺ) asked a man sitting beside him, “What is your opinion about this (passer-by)?” He replied, “This (passer-by) is from the noble class of people. By Allah, if he should ask for a lady’s hand in marriage, he ought to be given her in marriage, and if he intercedes for somebody, his intercession will be accepted. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) kept quiet, and then another man passed by and Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) asked the same man (his companion) again, “What is your opinion about this (second) one?” He said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! This person is one of the poor Muslims. If he should ask a lady’s hand in marriage, no-one will accept him, and if he intercedes for somebody, no one will accept his intercession, and if he talks, no-one will listen to his talk.” Then Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “This (poor man) is better than such a large number of the first type (i.e. rich men) as to fill the earth.” [ Sahih A Bukhari]
This is a very strong reminder for us. We all know the following ayah:
“Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” [Qur’an 49: 13]
Nevertheless, often times we do not think highly of people based on their good character, taqwa and humility. Rather, we think highly of them based on their wealth and status.
The issue here is that wealth and status are aspects that Allah gifted some people with as a test. They are not the sign of ultimate success in-and-of themselves. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and to your deeds.” [Sahih Muslim]
Allah is The One who gave people beautiful bodies and/or wealth as a test and Allah wants to see what people will do with these gifts that He granted them with.
This is a reminder because we often fall into this mistake; we get impressed by people’s external appearance, degrees, wealth, clothes/brands, cars, social rank… and we assume that this is nobility.
But Allah and His Messenger taught us that this is not the measure of nobility.
Now, it is not bad at all to have wealth and high social position….etc, however, this is NOT what guarantees your high status with Allah or your rank in Jannah. These aspects are tests that we will be asked about. “Then you will surely be asked that Day about pleasure” (102: 8)
It these aspects increased us in humility, closeness to Allah and desire to service His deen and serve humanity, then this is a great indicator of goodness. But if these aspects are for fame among people, arrogance, pride, transgression, disobedience…etc, then this is a sign of destruction.
So let us recall the criteria that truly matter and is truly everlasting.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The dearest and nearest among you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be one who is the best of you in manners [ At-Tirmidhi].
May Allah grant us the ability to seek and appreciate true noble qualities that earn us His Closeness in Jannah for eternity.