The Highest Level: Ihsan

قال الله عز وجل: { هَلْ جَزَاء الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ} سورة الرحمن 60.

God the Exalted says: {Is the reward for good (Ihsan) anything other than good?} (Surah 55, verse 60).

Narrated Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him: “Once while we were sitting with the Messenger of God ﷺ, a man appeared before us, dressed in pure white clothes, with dark black hair, without any sign of travel. None of us recognized him. He sat with the Messenger of God ﷺ, resting his knees against the knees of the Messenger of God ﷺ, and placed his palms on the thighs of the Messenger of God ﷺ, and said: ‘O Muhammad, inform me about Islam.’  Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: ‘Islam is to testify that there is no god worthy of worship but God and that Muhammad ﷺ is the messenger of God, and to establish prayer, to pay Zakah (the obligatory charity), to fast the month of Ramadan, and to perform pilgrimage to Makkah if you are capable of it.’ The man said: ‘You have said the truth.’  Omar said: We wondered at him, first asking and then confirming it as the truth!

Then the man said: ‘Inform me about faith (Iman).’  Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: ‘It is to truly believe in God, in His angels, in His Books, in His messengers, in the Hereafter, and in the Divine Decree, the good of it and the bad of it.’

The man said: ‘You have said the truth. [Now] inform me about Ihsan.’  The Messenger of God ﷺ said:

‘It is to worship God as if you are seeing Him, for though you do not see Him, He, verily, sees you.’

The man said: ‘Inform me about the Hour (of the Day of Judgment).’  Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: ‘The one asked about it knows no more than the inquirer.’ The man said: ‘Tell me some of its indications and signs.’  The Messenger of God ﷺ said: ‘That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and master, and that you will find barefooted, destitute goat-herders vying with one another in the construction of magnificent buildings.’  Omar said: Then the man went on his way and I stayed with Prophet Muhammad for a long while.

The Messenger of God then said to me: ‘O Omar, do you know who the inquirer was?’ I replied: God and His Messenger know best.’  He said: ‘That was Angel Gabriel who came to you in order to instruct you in matters of your religion.’ ”

(Related by Muslim, Abu Dawud, and Ahmad).

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In this beautiful and eloquent hadith, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ summarizes the main tenets of Islam and its major foundation.  The scholars said this incident occurred towards the end of the Prophet’s life, to clarify and summarize the important pillars of this deen.  Angel Gabriel and the Prophet ﷺ divided the tenets of Islam into three levels: Islam, Iman (faith), and Ihsan.  If we think of them as levels, then the basic level is Islam, the middle higher level is Iman, and the highest level is Ihsan.  Like any other structure, the highest level can be reached only after perfecting the levels before it.

The three concepts of Islam, Iman, and Ihsan are not limited to the spiritual heart; rather, they are firm beliefs of the heart but also actions by the limbs.  In other words, the belief in the heart must translate into good deeds and acts.  For example, one of the pillars of Islam is the Prayer. So the Muslim must believe in the importance and obligation of the Five Daily Prayers, but his Islam would not be perfect until he physically perfects his prayer.  Likewise, one of the pillars of Iman is the belief in Qadr (Divine Decree or pre-destiny), but Iman would not be perfect until the Muslim learns not to complain in the face of adversaries and calamities but instead to bear them patiently and seek God’s help. Finally, the Muslim has firm belief in the concept of Ihsan, and that God the Exalted is always watching him and his actions, but the Muslim’s Ihsan would not be complete until he translates that belief into action and starts fulfilling God’s commands by performing obligations (wajibat) and avoiding actions God has forbidden (sins).

 

One of the ninety-nine Honorable Names of God is: الرقيب (the Ever-Watchful).  God is also: البصير (the All-Seeing), السميع (the All-Hearing), العليم (the All-Knower), and الخبير (the All-Aware).  That is, every creature is under the constant watch and continuous surveillance of God, the Exalted.  This watch never ceases and is never interrupted, as God is the Perfect God and neither sleeps nor slumber ever affects Him.  Furthermore, God the Almighty has assigned two angels for every human, who write his good and bad deeds in a special record that will be presented to the slave on the Day of Judgment.  Thus, nothing of the slave’s actions is ever missed by God, the Lord of the Worlds.  God the Exalted says in Qur’an:

{Truly, nothing is hidden from God, in the earth or in the heavens} (Surah 3, verse 5).

This sense of being under the constant watch of God the Most High, and the resulting attention to one’s actions, is called Ihsan.  Ihsan has two parts: First is the belief that we are being watched by God the Exalted all the time. And second is the sense of shyness and the effort to follow God’s commands and avoid sins that results from realizing God is watching at all times.

 

Once the Muslim realizes he or she is under the constant watch of God, the Muslim tries his best to show respect and reverence to the One Who is watching. The Muslim feels shy of disobeying the Mighty One who is watching. Moreover, the Muslim tries her best to be in the best form and shape before the Only Lord and true God. So the Muslim tries to do as many good deeds as possible and do them only to please God Who is watching him during the day and night, during the morning and evening, in public and in private and on all occasions. This then develops into him a deep and heightened sense of Divine awareness that brings with it a higher level of piety (taqwa), righteousness (salah), and Iman (faith) such that he feels close to God all the time and spends most of his time trying to please his Lord by doing good deeds and avoiding sins. This condition then is called Ihsan, and it is as mentioned above the highest level of the religion.

This elevated level of Ihsan requires struggle and fending off the desires of the Evil tempting Self and the temptations of Satan and the devils.  Ihsan requires perfecting the stages of Islam and Iman (faith) first, then gradually building one’s Ihsan. Ihsan requires constant reminder of this continued watch by making Dhikr and glorifying God all the time, as well as daily repentance and frequent istighfar (seeking forgiveness from God) and asking God for the favor of this special state.

It is not an easy task, but God’s rewards are not cheap, either. In return for this struggle, God provides blessings both in this world, represented by a peaceful contented life, and in the Hereafter through the highest levels in Jannah or Paradise.  We pray God to guide us to the Right Path and grant us from His Favor.  And God knows best.

Birr al-Walidayn: Islam’s Emphasis on Parents

عن أبى هُرَيْرَةَ عنِ النَّبِي صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: « لَمْ يَتَكَلَّمْ فِى الْمَهْدِ إِلاَّ ثَلاَثَةٌ: عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ، وَصَاحِبُ جُرَيْجٍ. وَكَانَ جُرَيْجٌ رَجُلاً عَابِدًا، فَاتَّخَذَ صَوْمَعَةً، فَكَانَ فِيهَا، فَأَتَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّى. فَقَالَتْ: يَا جُرَيْجُ.  فَقَالَ: يَا رَبِّ أُمِّي وَصَلاَتِي. فَأَقْبَلَ عَلَى صَلاَتِهِ، فَانْصَرَفَتْ.
فَلَمَّا كَانَ مِنَ الْغَدِ أَتَتْهُ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّي، فَقَالَتْ: يَا جُرَيْجُ. فَقَالَ: يَا رَبِّ أمي وصلاتي، فَأَقْبَلَ عَلَى صَلاَتِهِ، فَانْصَرَفَتْ.
فَلَمَّا كَانَ مِنَ الْغَدِ أَتَتْهُ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّي، فَقَالَتْ: يَا جُرَيْجُ . فَقَالَ: أَي رَبِّ أُمِّي وصلاتي، فَأَقْبَلَ عَلَى صَلاَتِهِ.
فَقَالَتِ: اللَّهُمَّ لاَ تُمِتْهُ حَتَّى يَنْظُرَ إِلَى وُجُوهِ الْمُومِسَاتِ.
فَتَذَاكَرَ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ جُرَيْجًا وَعِبَادَتَهُ، وَكَانَتِ امْرَأَةٌ بَغِىٌّ يُتَمَثَّلُ بِحُسْنِهَا، فَقَالَتْ: إِنْ شِئْتُمْ لأَفْتِنَنَّهُ لَكُمْ. قَالَ: فَتَعَرَّضَتْ لَهُ، فَلَمْ يَلْتَفِتْ إِلَيْهَا. فَأَتَتْ رَاعِيًا كَانَ يَأْوِي إِلَى صَوْمَعَتِهِ، فَأَمْكَنَتْهُ مِنْ نَفْسِهَا، فَوَقَعَ عَلَيْهَا، فَحَمَلَتْ. فَلَمَّا وَلَدَتْ ، قَالَتْ: هُوَ مِنْ جُرَيْجٍ.
فَأَتَوْهُ فَاسْتَنْزَلُوهُ، وَهَدَمُوا صَوْمَعَتَهُ، وَجَعَلُوا يَضْرِبُونَهُ، فَقَالَ: مَا شَأْنُكُمْ؟ قَالُوا: زَنَيْتَ بِهَذِهِ الْبَغِي فَوَلَدَتْ مِنْكَ.  فَقَالَ: أَيْنَ الصبي؟  فَجَاءُوا بِهِ، فَقَالَ: دعوني حَتَّى أُصَلِّىَ، فَصَلَّى. فَلَمَّا انْصَرَفَ أَتَى الصَّبيَّ فَطَعَنَ فِى بَطْنِهِ، وَقَالَ: يَا غُلاَمُ مَنْ أَبُوكَ؟  قَالَ: فُلاَنٌ الراعي.
قَالَ: فَأَقْبَلُوا عَلَى جُرَيْجٍ يُقَبِّلُونَهُ، وَيَتَمَسَّحُونَ بِهِ، وَقَالُوا: نَبْنِي لَكَ صَوْمَعَتَكَ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ.  قَالَ: لاَ أَعِيدُوهَا مِنْ طِينٍ كَمَا كَانَتْ، فَفَعَلُوا» . رواه البخاري ومسلم.
قال النووي: وفي حديث جريج هذا فوائد كثيرة؛ منها عظم بر الوالدين، وتأكد حق الأم، وأن دعاءها مجاب.  وأنه إذا تعارضت الأمور بدئ بالأهم.  وأن الله تعالى يجعل لأوليائه مخارج عند ابتلائهم بالشدائد غالبا . قال الله تعالى: {وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا} [الطلاق 2]، وقد يجري عليهم الشدائد بعض الأوقات زيادة في أحوالهم، وتهذيبا لهم، فيكون لطفا .

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Narrated Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “None spoke in the cradle except three (persons): Jesus the son of Mary, and [the second one is] the companion of Jurayj.  Jurayj was a man [from the Children of Isra’il] who devoted himself to worshiping God.  He confined himself in a hermitage and used to worship God in it.  His mother once came to him as he was busy in prayer and called him: ‘Jurayj.’  He said: ‘My Lord, my mother [is calling me while I am engaged in] my prayer.’  Then he chose to continue with the prayer, and she left.

She returned the next day and he was busy in prayer, and she called him again: ‘Jurayj’.  He said: ‘My Lord, my mother [is calling me while I am engaged] in prayer,’ and he chose to continue with the prayer, and she left.

She came back the third day as he was busy in prayer and called him: ‘Jurayj.’  He said: ‘My Lord, my mother [is calling me while I am engaged in] my prayer,’ and he chose to continue with the prayer.  So she said: ‘My Lord, do not let him die until he sees the faces of prostitutes.’

The Children of Isra’il talked about Jurayj and his great worship. There was a prostitute who was known for her beauty who said [to the people]: ‘If you like, I can entice him.’  She presented herself to him but he paid her no heed.  So she went to a shepherd who used to live near the hermitage and offered herself to him. The shepherd shared bed with her and she became pregnant.  When she gave birth to a child she said: ‘This is from Jurayj.’

People went to Jurayj, asked him to get down, demolished his hermitage, and began to beat him.  He said: ‘What is the matter with you?’  They said: ‘You have committed fornication with this prostitute, and she has given birth to your child.’  He said: ‘Where is the baby boy?’  They brought the baby boy and he said: ‘Let me offer prayer to my Lord.’  He observed prayer and when he finished, he went to the baby boy.  Juriaj struck his stomach and said: ‘O boy, who is your father?’ The baby boy spoke and said: ‘So and so the shepherd.’  Thereupon, the people turned towards Jurayj, kissed him and touched him [seeking blessing].  They said: ‘We will construct your hermitage with gold.’ He said: ‘No, just rebuild it with mud as it had been,’ and they did that.” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

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The above hadith indicates the great emphasis Islam has placed on the obligations and rights of parents.  In Islam the concept of gratefulness to God is stressed time and again. Thus, the Muslim should feel and express gratitude to Allah, Who has granted him innumerous blessings and countless favors.  As mentioned in the hadith, each blessing requires thankfulness and gratitude.  And the more the slave thanks Allah and admits his constant need of Him, the more Allah grants the slave; meanwhile, the ungrateful slave will find his recompense both in this life and the Hereafter.

Parents have been given such high status in Islam partially due to the concept of gratitude.  It is logically explained in the Qur’an that as the mother bears her child for nine months, and endures the hardships throughout her pregnancy, and then both parents take care of the baby while he or she is growing up, the parents deserve a similar attitude of care and respect from the child. In the Qur’an, Allah the Exalted states: { And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and good to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years.  Be grateful to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination} (Surah 31, verse 14).

Thus, Allah the Exalted ties giving thanks and being grateful to Him, to giving thanks and being grateful to one’s parents. The scholars said that this verse indicates that the opposite is true, too. So the person who does not thank his parents and does not express gratitude by taking care of them, and does not show respect and reverence to them–that person has not expressed real gratitude to God. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ called undutifulness to one’s parents a major sin, and one of the seven deadly sins in Islam. The following hadith in fact tells us that the greatest major sin after disbelief is bad treatment of parents (‘uquq):

عن عبد اللَّهِ بنِ عمرو بن العاص رضي اللَّه عنهما عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « الكَبَائرُ: الإِشْرَاكُ بِاللَّهِ، وعُقُوقِ الوَالِديْنِ، وقَتْلُ النَّفْسِ، واليَمِينُ الغَمُوسُ» .  رواه البخاري.

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with them, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The major sins are: Associating any partner in worship with Allah (shirk), undutifulness to one’s parents (uqooq), killing the soul, and taking a false oath that will take him deep into Hell (Al-Yameen Al-Ghamoos).”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

Despite this emphasis in the religion on parents’ rights, we see some abandoning this Divine command and preferring self-interest and personal family needs over their parents’ needs.

It is as if they have forgotten the extra care their parents took and the years they spent to raise them.

Thus, not only do they neglect an honorable duty and a moral obligation, but they also end up committing a major sin whose consequences are felt both in this life and the Hereafter–may Allah keep us safe.  The following hadith conveys some of the gravity of the matter:

عن جابِرِ بنِ سَمُرَةَ رضي اللَّهُ عنه قالَ: ( صَعِدَ النَّبِيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم الْمِنْبَرَ فَقَالَ: « آمِينَ، آمِينَ، آمِينَ». فَلَمَّا نَزَلَ سُئِلَ عَنْ ذَلِكَ ؟ فَقَالَ: « أَتَانِي جِبْرِيلُ، فَقَالَ: رَغِمَ أَنْفُ مَنْ أَدْرَكَ رَمَضَانَ فَلَمْ يُغْفَرْ لَهُ، قُلْ: آمِينَ، قُلْتُ: آمِينَ.  وَرَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ ذُكِرْتَ عِنْدَهُ فَلَمْ يُصَلِّ عَلَيْكَ، قُلْ: آمِينَ، فَقُلْتُ: آمِينَ.  وَرَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ أَدْرَكَ وَالِدَيْهِ أَوْ أَحَدَهُمَا فَلَمْ يُغْفَرْ لَهُ، أَوْ لا يُدْخِلانِهِ الْجَنَّةَ، قُلْ: آمِينَ. قُلْتُ: آمِينَ»). رواه البزار واللفظ له، ورواه الترمذي وابن حبان والطبراني وأحمد.

Narrated Jabir Ibn Samurah, may Allah be pleased with him: “The Prophet ﷺ climbed the pulpit once and then said: ‘Amen. Amen. Amen.’  When he climbed down, he was asked about that, so he replied: ‘Gabriel came to me and said: ‘Humiliated is he who attained the month of Ramadan, but was not forgiven, say Amen.’  I said Amen.  He said: ‘Humiliated is he in whose presence you are mentioned, but he does not send prayer upon you, say Amen.’  I said Amen.  He said: ‘And humiliated is he who is with his parents or one of them, but was not forgiven, or they did not make him enter Paradise, say Amen.’  I said Amen.’ ”  Related by Al-Bazzar (his narration), as well as Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban, Al-Tabarani, and Ahmad with good narration.

Respect for parents extends to the degree that Allah has prohibited us from even expressing annoyance to them.  Rather, the Muslim should be patient with his parents and swallow any anger or frustration he may feel and remember their great rights and obligation. Allah the Exalted says: {And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents.  If one of them or both of them attain old age while with you, say not to them a word of disrespect (uff), nor reprimand them but address them in terms of honor.  And lower to them the wing of humility and mercy, and say: “My Lord, bestow upon them Your mercy as they brought me up when I was young.”} (Surah 17, verses 23-24).

Ibn Kathir said: “The meaning of the verse is: Do not let your parents hear any bad speech from you, not even to say ‘Uff’, which is the mildest level of disrespect and bad speech.

On the other hand, a great reward and good recompense is promised to the one who treats her parents with good manners, obeys them, and tries to fulfill their needs.  Such a dutiful child is promised goodness in this life and great reward in the Hereafter, as the following hadith shows:

عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسولُ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « مَنْ سَرَّهُ أَنْ يُمَدَّ لَهُ فِي عُمُرِهِ ويُزَادَ فِي رِزْقِهِ فَلْيَبِرَّ وَالِدَيْهِ وَلْيَصِلْ رَحِمَهُ» .  رواه أحمد.

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever wishes for his age to be extended, and for his livelihood to be increased, then let him be dutiful to his parents and maintain relationship with his kin.”  Related by Imam Ahmad.

This goes to the extent that some scholars said that being dutiful to parents erases major sins.  It is related that Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said: “Dutifulness to parents is an expatiation of major sins.”   And great stories have been narrated of the Companions of the Prophet and how they used to respect their parents and do everything they could to serve their parents and fulfill their needs.  Indeed, the righteous people realized the great reward in treating parents with good manners and being dutiful to them, and learned of its benefits both in this life and the Hereafter, so they took every effort to fulfill their parents’ needs and spent what they had to serve their parents.

Finally, we see the keenness of Companions to be dutiful to their parents even after death, as the following hadith shows:

‏عن أبي أُسَيْدٍ مالكِ بنِ ربيعةَ السَّاعِدِيِّ ‏قال: بَيْنَا نَحْنُ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم إِذْ جَاءَهُ رَجُلٌ مِنْ ‏بَنِي سَلَمَةَ فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ هَلْ بَقِيَ مِنْ بِرِّ أَبَوَيَّ شَيْءٌ أَبَرُّهُمَا بِهِ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهِمَا؟ قَالَ: « ‏نَعَمْ الصَّلَاةُ عَلَيْهِمَا، وَالِاسْتِغْفَارُ لَهُمَا، وَإِنْفَاذُ عَهْدِهِمَا مِنْ بَعْدِهِمَا، وَصِلَةُ الرَّحِمِ الَّتِي لَا تُوصَلُ إِلَّا بِهِمَا، وَإِكْرَامُ صَدِيقِهِمَا».  رواه أبو داود وابن ماجه.

Narrated Abu Usaid Malik Ibn Rabi’a Al-Sa’idi : “While we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, a man from the tribe of Bani Salama came to him and asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, is there anything of filial devotion left with which I can be dutiful to my parents after their death?’  He replied: ‘Yes, praying for them, asking Allah to forgive them, fulfilling their pledge after them, maintaining relationship with the kinfolk not maintained except by them, and honoring their friends.’ ”  Related by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.

Islam has thus placed enormous emphasis on respect for and obedience to parents, with great rewards promised to righteous children, and severe punishment in both lives warned of those who mistreat their parents. We ask Allah to forgive us in our shortcomings to our parents, and we ask Him to reward them and raise their ranks for all their services on our behalf.

The Foundations of Islam

‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: “Once while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, a man dressed in pure white clothes, with very black hair, without any sign of travel, and whom none of us recognized, appeared before us.  He sat with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. He rested his knees against the knees of the Messenger of Allah  ﷺ, placed his palms on the thighs of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and said:

‘O Muhammad, inform me about Islam.’  The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

‘Islam is to testify that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, to establish the prayer, to pay Zakah (the obligatory charity), to fast the month of Ramadan, and to perform pilgrimage to Makkah if you are capable of it.’

The man said: ‘You have said the truth.’  ‘Umar said: We wondered at him, asking him and then confirming it as the truth!

Then the man said: ‘Then inform me about faith (Iman).’  The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

‘It [Iman] is to believe truly in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, in His messengers, in the Hereafter, and to believe truly in the Divine Decree, the good of it and the bad of it.’

The man said: ‘You have said the truth.  Then inform me about Ihsan.’  The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

‘It [Ihsan] is to worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, for though you do not see Him, He, verily, sees you.’

The man said: ‘Then Inform me about the Hour (of the Day of Judgment).’  The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘The one questioned knows no more than the questioner.’   The man said: ‘Tell me some of its indications and signs.’  The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and master, and that you will find barefooted, destitute goat-herders vying with one another in the construction of lofty buildings.’

‘Umar said: Then the man went on his way and I stayed with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ for a long while.  The Messenger of Allah ﷺ then said to me: ‘O ‘Umar, do you know who the questioner was?’ I replied: Allah and His Messenger know best.’  He said: ‘That was the Angel Gabriel, who came to you in order to instruct you in matters of your religion.’ ”  (Muslim, Abu Dawud,Tirmidhi, Al-Nisa’i, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad).

 

THE scholar Al-Baghawi said: “The Prophet ﷺ defined Islam as a term that describes outer good deeds, and he defined Iman as a term that describes inner beliefs.”

Imam al-Nawawi said: “The scholar Abu ‘Amr Ibn As-Salah said: ‘This hadith states the origin of Iman, and that is inner affirmation and belief; and it states the origin of Islam, and that is outer surrender and submission to Allah. Islam is determined and judged by the outer testimony that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger.  But the Prophet ﷺ added into the [basic] definition of Islam the five daily prayers, Zakah, Hajj, and fasting of Ramadan because these are the most apparent and greatest rituals of Islam.  Thus, complete surrender is achieved by their performance, while leaving them makes submission incomplete or deficient.’”

Al-Mubarakpuri said in his book Mir’at al-Mafatih (a commentary on Mishkat al-Masabih): “The coming of this man happened at the end of the Prophet’s life ﷺ, as indicated by the narration of Ibn Mandah in the Book of Faith.  So this event took place after the revelation of all the rulings of Islam that had been conveyed at different times, to state and summarize the essential points of Islam in one setting to ensure they are preserved and retained.”

Qadi ‘Iyad said: “This hadith contains all the kinds of outer and inner forms of worship, including the conditions of Faith (Iman), outer good deeds performed by the limbs, sincerity of the inner self, and the avoidance of major sins; therefore, all religious knowledge is based on this hadith and branches out from it.”