Narrated By Abu Huraira : The Prophet said, “But for the Israelis, meat would not decay and but for Eve, wives would never betray their husbands.”
In the Nam of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-giving.
All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Were it not for the Children of Israel, meat would not decay; and were it not for Eve, no woman would ever betray her husband. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
As the hadith is reported by both Al-Bukhari and Muslims, it entertains the highest level of authenticity.
Scholars searched for the proper interpretation of this hadith to harmonize it into the general context of Shariah norms and principles. The first part of the hadith bears a warning against greed, insatiability, and disobedience of the children of Israel.
Out of their impatience and greed, they stored meat during their 40 years in the wilderness, although they were forbidden by their prophet to do so.
As a divine punishment for their disobedience, the meat decayed. According to one interpretation, the Children of Israel were the first to store meat, whereas, according to another interpretation, people had stored meat before but the disobedience of the Children of Israel caused meat to decay faster.
This part thus shows the evil consequences of disobedience and how it may affect humanity in general. The Quran tells us how corruption and disobedience affect the whole globe “Corruption prevails in the land and the sea because of (all the evil) that the hands of humanity have earned- so that He may cause them to taste something of that which they have done- so that they may return (in penitence to Allah).” (30:41)
When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked by his wife “Should we be destroyed in spite of the existence of righteous people among us?” He replied, “Yes, when evil prevail.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The second part of the hadith warns against the wives’ negligence of giving advice to their husbands when they disobey Allah. Eve was an example of this attitude, when she did not advise her husband Adam and ate with him from the tree. The hadith draws attention to such tendency so that women should avoid and combat it as much as possible and that men should be aware of it and forgive their wives when they yield to it.
Almighty Allah knows best.
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