In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Imam Malik (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates on the authority of Anas ibn Malik (RA) who said, “We were sitting in the company of the Prophet (SAW) when he said, ‘Soon there will appear before you a person from among the dwellers of Paradise.’ Soon thereafter, a person from the Ansar (Helpers of Medina) appeared – his beard was dripping with water which he had used to perform ablution, holding his sandals with his left hand. The next day, the Prophet (SAW) said the same thing. And the same person appeared in the same manner [as he had appeared the first time]. On the third day, the Prophet (SAW) said the same thing again, ‘Soon there will appear before you a person from among the dwellers of Paradise.’ And the same person appeared in the same manner as he had appeared the previous two times.
“When the Prophet (SAW) got up and left, Abdullah ibn Amr (RA) followed the man – he then said to him, ‘I had a dispute with my father and so I took an oath that I will not go to him for three days. [Now that I have no place to stay] Is it possible for you to accommodate me till the three days pass?
“The man replied, ‘Yes.’
“Anas (RA) says: “Abdullah ibn Amr (RA) used to say that he stayed with that man for three days. He did not see him getting up at night [for qiyaam-ul-layl]. However, when he used to toss and turn in his bed, he used to engage in the remembrance of Allah and say ‘Allahu Akbar’. He would eventually get up for the Fajr salah.
“Abdullah ibn Amr (RA) says: “However, I never heard him say anything but good. When the three days passed and I was on the verge of considering his good deeds to be very few and insignificant, I said to him, ‘O servant of Allah! There was neither any dispute nor any separation between me and my father. Rather, I heard the Prophet (SAW) say on three occasions about you: ‘Soon there will appear before you a person from among the dwellers of Paradise.’ And on each of these three occasions, it was you who appeared. I therefore decided to live with you and see what deeds you do that I could emulate you. However, I did not see you doing many good deeds. How, then, have you reached the rank concerning which the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said about your being from among the dwellers of Paradise?’
“The man replied, ‘I do not do anything more than what you have seen. However, I do not bear any deceit to any Muslim nor do I envy anyone for the good which Allah has given him.’
“Abdullah ibn Amr (RA) said, ‘This is the quality that has conveyed you to such a high rank and this is the quality which we cannot inculcate.'”
The person referred to as the person from among the dwellers in Paradise in this hadith is Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas (RA). He was from among the ten blessed companions who were given the glad tidings of Jannah by the Messenger of Allah (SAW) while they were still alive (the others being, Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA), Umar ibn Khattab (RA), Uthman bin Affan (RA), Ali bin Abi Talik (RA), Talhah bin Ubaidullah (RA), Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (RA), Abdur Rahman bin Awf (RA), Zubair bin Awwam (RA), Sai’d bin Zayd (RA)).
It is noteworthy how the Messenger of Allah (SAW) urged his followers to do good by praising someone from among them in such a way that the others’ curiosity was sparked so that they made an effort to determine what qualities in that person deserved such high praise. In this way, whatever they learned had a greater impact on them and their lives. Of course, this also shows the virtue of purifying and cleansing one’s heart from deceit and envy – the reward for such purification is no less than Paradise! Subhan Allah!