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Assalamualaikum SS Dato’ Seri Mufti. Can you explain the meaning of zuhud as stated in the hadith of the Prophet PBUH in a narration of Abi Said al-Khudri?


Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

From Abu Abbas Sahl bin Sa’ad al-Sa’idi RA, he said: A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, direct me to an act which, if I do it, [will cause] Allah to love me and the people to love me.” So, he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, 

ازْهَدْ فِي الدُّنْيَا يُحِبَّك اللهُ، وَازْهَدْ فِيمَا عِنْدَ النَّاسِ يُحِبَّك النَّاسُ

“Renounce the world and Allah will love you, and renounce what the people possess and the people will love you.”

A hasan hadith related by Ibn Majah (4102) and others with good chains of authorities.

Prophetic Guidance and Wisdoms

Among them are:

First: The hadith came from a man without his name or lineage being mentioned, for the more important issue is the question he asked to the Prophet PBUH; which is how to attain the love of Allah SWT and the affection of people.

Second: The meaning of zuhud. Literally, zuhud is turning away from or does not desire or want something, for it is of no value. While according to syara’, it means taking something that is only out of necessity which is halal (that is permissible).

The explanation for the meaning of zuhud according to how the term is used is described as the following:

Third: Zuhud for the worldly matters. Zuhud for the worldly matters is divided into three:

Fourth: The words of scholars regarding zuhud, some of them are:

Fifth: Scholars divided zuhud as the following:

Some salaf scholars divided zuhud to three types:

Zuhud for the first and second divisions are obligatory while the third division is not obligatory.

Ibn al-Mubarak said: Ma’la bin Abu Muthi’ said: “There are three types of zuhud:

Ibrahim bin Adham said: “There are three types of zuhud: obligatory zuhud, prioritized zuhud and safety zuhud. Obligatory zuhud is zuhud towards matters that are prohibited. Prioritized zuhud is zuhud towards permissible matters. While safety zuhud is zuhud towards syubhat (doubtful).”

Imam Ahmad said: “There are three types of zuhud:

May Allah SWT make us form among the zuhud people as stated by the Prophet PBUH and explained by salafus soleh. We end this discussion with the supplication:

اللهم اجْعَلِ الدُنْيَا فِى اَيْدِيْنَا وَلَا تَجْعَلْهَا فِى قُلُوْبِنَا

“O Allah, make this world be in our hands (as ours) but not in our hearts that will lead to love of worldly matters.”