Hadeeth Four: Striving Against One’s Desires
al-‘Alaa ibn Ziyaad who said:
man asked ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas, saying: Which of the Believers
is best in his Islaam? He replied: He from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are
safe. He asked: Then what is the best Jihaad? He replied: He who strives
against his own self [and desires] for Allaah. He asked: Then which of those who
migrates (performs hijrah) is best? He replied: He who strives against
his own self and desires for Allaah. He asked: Is it something you have said O
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, or Allaah’s Messenger ()? He said: Rather Allaah’s
Messenger () said it.
striving against one’s own self is one of the highest and most valuable means
of increasing one’s eemaan and causing the servant to draw closer to
his Lord, the One free of all imperfections. Concerning this He the Blessed and
Most High says:
for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our
Paths (i.e. Allaah’s Religion)”
So a Muslim’s striving against his own self and his
desires causes his spirit to rise higher, his eemaan to increase and his
soul to become purified. Furthermore this striving crowns the Muslim with a very
great crown worn in his life, which is:
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 Reported by Ibn Nasr al-Marwazee
in Ta‘zeem Qadris Salaat (no. 639). Its isnaad is good, all of
its narrators are reliable except for the shaikh of the author (Ibn Nasr) Ahmad
ibn Hafs ibn ‘Abdullaah. An-Nasaa’ee said, “He is all right,” and others
declare him reliable. Refer to Faidul-Qadeer (2/48) of al-Manaawee.
note: The narration reported by at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer
from the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr has the wording: “…The
best of those who perform hijrah are those who abandon that which Allaah
has prohibited, and the best jihad is the one who strives against his own self
for Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.” Declared saheeh by Shaikh al-Albaanee
(Saheehul Jaami‘: no. 1129; and Silsilatus Saheehah: no.1491).
 Soorah al-Ankaboot (29):69.