Abu Dawud Book 36, Hadith Number 4886.

Chapter : Not known.

Narated By Anas ibn Malik : Sahl ibn AbuUmamah said that he and his father (AbuUmamah) visited Anas ibn Malik at Medina during the time (rule) of Umar ibn AbdulAziz when he (Anas ibn Malik) was the governor of Medina. He was praying a very short prayer as if it were the prayer of a traveller or near it.

When he gave a greeting, my father said: May Allah have mercy on you! Tell me about this prayer: Is it obligatory or supererogatory?

He said: It is obligatory; it is the prayer performed by the Apostle of Allah (PBUH). I did not make a mistake except in one thing that I forgot.

He said: The Apostle of Allah (PBUH) used to say: Do not impose austerities on yourselves so that austerities will be imposed on you, for people have imposed austerities on themselves and Allah imposed austerities on them. Their survivors are to be found in cells and monasteries. (Then he quoted:) “Monasticism, they invented it; we did not prescribe it for them.”

Next day he went out in the morning and said: will you not go out for a ride, so that you may see something and take a lesson from it?

He said: Yes. Then all of them rode away and reached a land whose inhabitants had perished, passed away and died. The roofs of the town had fallen in.

He asked: Do you know this land? I said: Who acquainted me with it and its inhabitants? (Anas said:) This is the land of the people whom oppression and envy destroyed. Envy extinguishes the light of good deeds, and oppression confirms or falsifies it. The eye commits fornication, and the palm of the hand, the foot, body, tongue and private part of the body confirm it or deny it.

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