عن عبد الله بن مسعود -رضي الله عنه- قال: (سَأَلتُ النبِيَّ -صلى الله عليه وسلم-: أَيُّ العَمَلِ أَحَبُّ إلى الله؟ قال: الصَّلاَةُ عَلَى وَقتِهَا. قلت: ثم أَيُّ؟ قال: بِرُّ الوَالِدَينِ. قلت: ثم أَيُّ؟ قال: الجِهَادُ في سَبِيلِ الله. قال: حَدَّثَنِي بِهِنَّ رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- ولو اسْتَزَدْتُهُ لَزَادَنِي).
[صحيح.] - [متفق عليه.]
المزيــد ...

‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: I asked the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him: “Which deed is dearest to Allah?” He said: “Offering prayer at the appointed time.” I said: “Then, what comes next?” He said: “Dutifulness to one's parents.” I said: “Then, what comes next?” He said: “Jihad in the way of Allah.” These were the things the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said to me, and if I had asked him for more, he would have given me more.

Explanation

Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, asked the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, about the acts of worship, as to which of them is dearest to Allah the Almighty. The dearest an act to Allah, the greatest its reward will be. The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, clarified that the dearest act to Allah is offering the obligatory prayer at the appointed time which was prescribed by the Almighty Legislator. This is because in doing so a slave actually hastens to answer the call of his Lord, obey His command, and observes this important obligation. Out of his desire to attain goodness, Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, did not stop at that point; rather, he asked him about the deed that falls in the next degree, and the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, replied that being dutiful to one's parents comes next. So, the first deed is an exclusive right of Allah, and the next one is an exclusive right of parents, and it directly follows the right of Allah. Moreover, attaching great importance to this right, Allah the Almighty associates the duty to show kindness and obedience to one’s parents along with His Oneness in numerous places in the noble Qur’an. Indeed, a person’s parents deserve this right in return for being the means of his existence and for bringing him up, feeding him, and showing him love and affection. Then, Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, asked the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, about the act falling in the next degree within this series of virtuous deeds. The Prophet replied: “Jihad in the way of Allah.” In fact, Jihad is the highest peak in Islam and its pillar without which it would not stand, and through it the word of Allah rises and His religion spreads. If Jihad were to be abandoned – Allah forbid – Islam would be destroyed and Muslims would decline and their glory, sovereignty, power, and sovereignty would go away and vanish. Jihad is a confirmed obligation on every Muslim. If a Muslim does not participate in Jihad or did not have a thought of going for it, he will die while being guilty of some kind of hypocrisy.

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