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Classifying the Hadith on Rectifying Faith Through Poverty and Affluence, Sickness and Good Health, and Prevention from Extra Worship

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Is this hadith qudsi correctly attributed attributed to imam tabarani? Has he classed is authentic?

“Allah said, “Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by being inflicted with poverty, and were I to enrich him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by wealth and affluence, and were I to deprive him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by good health, and were I to make him sick, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by disease and illness, and were I to make him healthy, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he who seeks worship by a certain act but I prevent that from him so that self-amazement does not enter his heart. Certainly, I run the affairs of My slaves by My Knowledge of what is in their hearts. Certainly, I am the All-Knower, All-Awareā€™.ā€

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

The narration you mention has been cited with different wordings.

1. The wording you mention was related from Anas ibn Malik (Allah be well pleased with him) by Ibn `Asakir in his Tarikh, Ibn Abi al-Dunya in Kitab al-Awliya’, Abu Nu`aym in the Hilya, Bayhaqi in Asma wa’l Sifat, Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna, and others.

This narration is weak due to the weakness of some its narrators, namely Hasan ibn Yahya al-Khushani and Sadaqat al-Dimashqi. [Mizzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal; Ibn Hajar, Taqrib al-Tahdhib]

2. It was also related by `Umar (Allah be well pleased with him) by Khatib in his Tarikh. The chain of this narration, however, is not free from blemish.

3. There is a similar narration relating to poverty and richness, without mentioning health, sickness, or worship, related from Ibn `Abbas by Tabarani in his Mu`ajam al-Kabir, with some additions. In the Majma` al-Zawa’id, al-Haytami says that there are people unknown to him within the chain. In addition to this, some of the narrators are weak and abandoned (matruk), such as `Ubayd ibn Kathir. [Ibn Hajar, Lisan al-Mizan]

To conclude, the narration you inquired about is present in the works dedicated to gathering the prophetic narrations. However, the chains of each are not free from defects of varying degrees, which would require a deeper analysis by a specialist in the field.

Wassalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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