Can your lifespan be lengthened?

Sep 30, 2021 | Miscellaneous

Q: It was narrated from Aishah that the Prophet [ﷺ] said to her:

إنه من أُعطِيَ حظَّه من الرِّفقِ فقد أُعطِيَ حظَّه من خيرِ الدنيا والآخرةِ، وصلةُ الرَّحم، وحسنُ الخُلُقِ وحسنُ الجوارِ يٌعمَّرانِ الدِّيارَ ويزيدانِ في الأعمارِ

“Certainly whoever has been given a portion of gentleness, has been given his portion of goodness in the world and the hereafter. Having good relations with relatives, good manners and being good to neighbours blesses your dwellings and lengthens your life.”

[Silsilah Ahadeeth As-Saheehah, (No. 519) | Translated By Abbas Abu Yahya Miraath Al-Anbiyya]

What is the grading of this hadith? Also if it sahih how do we understand the ‘lengthens your life’?

A: This hadith in particular is controversial amongst hadith scholars. But anyway, the meaning has been narrated in several other narrations for example the following in Al-Bukhari:

ﻣﻦ ﺳﺮﻩ ﺃﻥ ﻳﺒﺴﻂ ﻟﻪ ﻓﻲ ﺭﺯﻗﻪ، ﻭﺃﻥ ﻳﻨﺴﺄ ﻟﻪ ﻓﻲ ﺃﺛﺮﻩ، ﻓﻠﻴﺼﻞ ﺭﺣﻤﻪ

البخاري ٥٩٨٥

“Whoever is pleased to have his sustenance expanded and his trace to be delayed, then let him keep family ties.”

It is understood by the ulama in 2 ways (neither totally literal):

1. “Increase” is an allusive statement to mean blessings in one’s life by being given the tawfiq (guidance) to remain in obedience of Allah ﷻ and the filling of one’s time on Earth with that which benefits the Hereafter. Therefore, the person will have a good remembrance after they die, as if they did not die.

2. The increase is in relation to the knowledge of the angel appointed to observe lifespans, not in the knowledge of Allah ﷻ. So, Allah ﷻ may make it conditional with the angel even though it is already in the prior knowledge of Allah ﷻ what choice the individual will make and when they will die etc.

Answered by Shaykh Bilal Brown



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