Hadeeth about different types of striving in the cause of Allaah
Fatwa No: 322663

Question

Assalaamu alaykum.There is a hadith that states that once the companions of the prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, saw a young man who worked hard. The companions wished that the man would have received a greater award if he would work for the sake of Allaah. The prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, then informed the companions that if the young man was doing his job to feed his family or save himself from poverty, then he was doing his job for the sake of Allaah. Could you kindly provide me with the full narration of this hadith with the reference? May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger. 

At-Tabaraani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him reported in his three Ma’aajim (Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabeer, Al-Mu’jam Al-Awsat and Al-Mu’jam as-Sagheer) that Ka’b ibn ‘Ujrah narrated:

A man passed by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and the Companions of the Prophet of Allaah saw his vigor and hard work. They said, 'O Messenger of Allaah, if only this was done in the cause of Allaah.' The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, 'If he goes out striving to provide for his young children, then it is in the cause of Allaah. If he goes out striving to provide for his elderly parents, then it is in the cause of Allaah. If he is striving in order to suffice himself against begging from others, then it is in the cause of Allaah. But if he goes out to show off and boast, then it is in the cause of Satan.'

This hadeeth was graded as saheeh (sound) by Al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb.

Allaah knows best.

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