The Twenty Eighth Narration
Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يا بلال ما أرجى عمل عملته عندك منفعة في الإسلام قال بلال ما عملت في الإسلام عملا أرجى عندي منفعة أني لم أتطهر بطهور من ليل أو نهار إلا صليت بذلك الطهور لربي ما كتب لي أن أصلي قال فإني سمعت الليلة خشف نعليك بين يدي في الجنة
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O Bilal, what act have you done in Islam that you hope to receive the best reward for?”
Bilal said, “I have not done any act in Islam upon which I hope for more reward than the act of performing however many units of prayer that my Lord wishes after every ablution, be it in the day or night.”
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Because I have most definitely heard your footsteps ahead of me in Paradise.”
This narration has been recorded in Musnad Abu Ya’la with an authentic chain of narration. It has also been recorded in Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.
Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:
1. There is great virtue and honour in favour of Bilal radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this narration:
a. Glad tidings of Jannat, as the dreams of the Prophets ‘alayh al Salam are revelation.
b. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave testimony to the acceptance of his good deeds, whilst demonstrating how exemplary they are.
c. His good deeds are beloved to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.
d. He was the reason for enacting the act of praying two rak’ah after performing ablution for this ummah. The narration of Buraydah ibn al Hasib has the following wording:
يا بلال بم سبقتني إلى الجنة ؟ فقال بلال ما احدثت إلا توضأت وصليت ركعتين ، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بهذا
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O Bilal, with what act did you lead me in Jannat.”
Bilal said, “I have never broken my ablution except that I made ablution and performed two rak’ah.”
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “It is through this.”
2. The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were in the forefront in recognising those acts that would please Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.
3. This narration emphatically refutes the notion of some deviants who claim that Bilal radiya Llahu ‘anhu turned renegade after the passing of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. [Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala save us from such folly!]
The dream of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was of the unseen and was a true prophecy that would be realized in the next life. This dictates the true faith of Bilal radiya Llahu ‘anhu till he left this world; attaining this lofty stage.
4. The great status of salah. It is of the most beloved actions in the sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.
5. The desirability of performing ablution at breaking it. Staying pure and clean is an act loved by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِيْنَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِيْنَ
Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:
من توضأ ، فأحسن الوضوء خرجت خطاياه من جسده حتى تخرج من تحت أظفاره
He who performs ablution well, his sins leave his body even from under his finger nails.
6. The scholar should continue motivating those in his circles to continue doing good actions.
7. Steadfastness on voluntary acts are the quickest way to gaining the love of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. The following Hadith Qudsi recorded in Sahih al Bukhari attests to this:
وما يزال عبدي يتقرب إلي بالنوافل حتى أحبه
My slave keeps on coming closer to me through voluntary acts until I love him.
8. This narration indicates the desirability of having one’s dreams interpreted, especially in the case of good dreams. The fact that this was a dream of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is supported by another narration in which there is mention that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had spoken to Bilal radiya Llahu ‘anhu at the time of Fajr. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would do this as narrated on the authority of Samurah radiya Llahu ‘anhu by Imam al Bukhari. The narration is as follows:
كان النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – إذا صلى الصبح أقبل عليهم بوجهه فقال: هل رأى أحد منكم البارحة رؤيا
When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would complete his Fajr prayer he would face the people say, “Did anyone see a dream last night?”
This would be to interpret any dreams seen by the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He would ask after Fajr as dreams are still fresh in the mind when one wakes up and so the interrelation would be complete and intact.
9. Similarly, it is desirable to give the glad tidings of a good dream as soon as possible. This especially rings true when the recipient is one who is not likely to fall into vice.
10. The desirability of performing two rak’ah of prayer after performing ablution.
11. Performing voluntary acts in secret is better than doing so in public.
 Musnad Abu Ya’la, Hadith: 6060.
 Al Mustadrak li al Hakim, Hadith: 1220.
 Surah al Baqarah: 222.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 5982.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 6137.