عن النعمان بن بشير -رضي الله عنهما- مرفوعًا: «مَثَلُ القَائِم في حُدُود الله والوَاقِعِ فيها كمَثَل قَوم اسْتَهَمُوا عَلَى سَفِينَة فصارَ بعضُهم أَعلاهَا وبعضُهم أسفَلَها، وكان الذين في أسفَلِها إِذَا اسْتَقَوا مِنَ الماءِ مَرُّوا على من فَوقهِم، فَقَالُوا: لَو أَنَّا خَرَقْنَا فِي نَصِيبِنَا خَرْقاً وَلَم نُؤذِ مَنْ فَوقَنَا، فَإِنْ تَرَكُوهُم وَمَا أَرَادُوا هَلَكُوا جَمِيعاً، وَإِنْ أَخَذُوا عَلَى أَيدِيهِم نَجَوا وَنَجَوا جَمِيعاً».
[صحيح.] - [رواه البخاري.]
المزيــد ...

An-Nu‘mān ibn Bashīr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) say: “The example of the one who abides by the limits prescribed by Allah and the one who transgresses them is like the example of a people who boarded a ship after casting lots. Some of them were in its lower deck and others were in its upper deck. When those in the lower deck needed water, they had to go up and pass by those above them. So they said: 'If we could make a hole in our share of the ship, so that we would not bother those above us.' If those in the upper deck leave them do as they wish, they will all perish, but if they stop them, they will all survive.”

Explanation

The Hadīth of An-Nu‘mān ibn Bashīr al-Ansāri (may Allah be pleased with him) deals with the principle of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. It was reported from the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) that he said: "The example of the one who abides by the limits prescribed by Allah and the one who transgresses them"; the one who abides by them means the one who is steadfast upon the religion of Allah, fulfilling the obligations and avoiding what is unlawful, while the one who transgresses them means the one who commits what is unlawful, or does not fulfill the obligations. "is like the example of a people who boarded a ship after casting lots (to determine their positions)" i.e. they drew lots so as to see who will be in the upper deck. "So some of them were in its lower deck and others were in its upper deck. When those in the lower deck needed water" i.e. when they requested water to drink, "they had to go up and pass by those above them" i.e. the people on the upper deck, since they cannot get water except from the upper deck. "And said: If we could make a hole in our share of the ship" i.e. if we make a hole in the place where we are staying, we can get water from it, so that we would not bother those above us. This is what they decided, wished and hoped for. The Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) said: "If those in the upper deck leave them do as they wished, they would all perish", because if they made a hole in the lower part of the ship, water would break through and the entire ship would sink. "But if they stop them" and prevent them from doing so, "then they will all be saved." This example that the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) set is one of great significance and sublime meaning, as the people with regard to Allah's religion are like those people in the ship in the depths of the river with the waves throwing them here and there. If they are numerous, then some must be in the lower deck and others in the upper deck; in order to balance the load of the ship, and not to be crowded around one another. Another meaning is that this ship is shared between all these people, and if one of them tries to ruin it, they must stop him from doing so in order for everyone to be saved. And if they do not, they all will perish. This is how Allah's religion is. If those who are wise, knowledgeable, and religiously committed stop the ignorant and foolish, all will be saved. But if they leave them do whatever they wish, they will all perish. Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {And fear a trial which will not strike those who have wronged among you exclusively, and beware that Allah is severe in punishment.} [Sūrat al-Anfāl: 25

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