With the blood of Muslims flowing in many parts of the world, this is a hadith that is ever so relevant in our times. The Messenger of Allah’s (ﷺ) awe of the Ka’bah as he circles it brings out from him (ﷺ) praises of the Ka’bah’s scent, magnificence and its sanctity. However, his immediate comparison of the Ka’bah’s scent, magnificence and sanctity to the sanctity of a Muslim, his wealth and blood immediately displaces the humanly awe of one of the most sanctimonious symbols of Islam.
فعن عبد الله بن عمر رضي الله عنه قال رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يطوف بالكعبة ويقول: ( ما أطيبك وأطيب ريحك ما أعظمك وأعظم حرمتك والذي نفس محمد بيده لحرمة المؤمن أعظم عند الله حرمة منك ماله ودمه وأن نظن به إلا خيراً ) رواه ابن ماجة
Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) narrated that he saw the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) making tawaf of the Ka’bah and saying, “How delightful you are, and how great is your scent! How magnificent you are, and how great is your sanctity! But by the one in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the sanctity of a believer, his wealth and his blood, is greater in the sight of Allah than your sanctity, and we do not think of him except good.” (Ibn Majah)
Rasulullah (ﷺ) reiterates this same message in other ahadith:
(كل المسلم على المسلم حرام , دمه وماله وعرضه” (مسلم“
“The blood, wealth and honour of the Muslim are sacred to all Muslims” (Muslim)
Here Rasulullah (ﷺ) issues a general declaration of the sanctity of each and every Muslim’s blood, wealth and honour for each and every Muslim.
“إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَأَمْوَالَكُمْ كَحُرْمَةِ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا فِي بَلَدِكُمْ هَذَا فِي شَهْرِكُمْ هَذَا” (البخاري)
“Allah has made sacred upon you the blood, wealth and honour of each other, just as the sacredness of this day of yours in this land of yours in this month of yours. “ (Bukhari)
Here the sanctity of Muslim blood is emphasised as it is compared to the sanctity of the Day of ‘Arafah, the land of Makkah, and the month of Dhul Hijjah.
Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani notes in Fath al-Bari (one of the most authoritative commentaries on Sahih Bukhari) that the intent of ‘blood, wealth, and honour’ is the spilling blood, wrongful acquisition of wealth and defamation of honour. He also explains that the mention of the sacredness of the land, month and day is mentioned and compared to because the sacredness of these things was established in the minds of the Arabs even before Islam, as opposed to the sanctity of blood, wealth and honour which was an accepted target in Jahiliyyah. Thus the Shari’ah emphasised to them that the sanctity of Muslim blood, wealth and honour is even greater than the sanctity of the land, month and day.
This emphasis is also communicated in the saying of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى):
[وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِناً مُّتَعَمِّداً فَجَزَآؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِداً فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَاباً عَظِيماً]
“And whosoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein forever, and the Wrath of Allah is upon him, and His curse; prepared for him is a grievous torment” (al-Nisaa’: 93).
In fact the life of a Muslim outweighs the world to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), as Rasulullah (ﷺ) informs us:
(لزوال الدنيا أهون على الله من قتل رجل مسلم” (رواه الترمذي”
“The destruction of the world is lighter on Allah than the killing of one Muslim man”, (Tirmidhi)
Shaykh al-Mubarakpuri, in his commentary of Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, relates that saying of Allamah al-Tibi where he explains the hadith by saying that:
‘The ‘dunya’ is an expression denoting the nearest abode, which is a passage to the abode of the hereafter, and it is the place of cultivation (of deeds) for the hereafter. The heavens and the earth have not been created except that they be a theatre for the reflections of the perceptive and the worships of the obedient, and to this is the indication of Allah’s saying, “and they reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth (saying) ‘Our Lord! You have not created this in vain’” that is, without a wisdom. Nay, you have created it in order to make the residence of the legally responsible (such that they may fulfil their obligations) and as an evidence for them upon your existence. Thus he who attempts to kill him for whom the dunya has been created (the believer) indeed attempts to destroy the dunya itself.” [Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, 4:543]
If this is the weight of ONE Muslim, what would the weight be of hundreds? A hundred worlds? And that of a thousand; a thousand worlds?
These words are a matter of serious contemplation for every Muslim today as we witness hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Palestine, Pakistan, Chechnya, Burma and other Islamic lands being slaughtered, starved and humiliated.
Would it be honourable for us today to make tawaf around the Ka’bah and not contemplate the words of Rasulullah (ﷺ) as we take in its awe, its scent, its magnificence?
Rasulallah (ﷺ) swore by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) that the sanctity of the Muslims, their wealth and their blood is greater than that of the Ka’bah. The seriousness of this matter is evident in that fact alone.