Sahih Muslim | Book 1 | Chapter 37

Narrated by Abu Huraira
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah was asked about the best of deeds. He observed: Belief in Allah. He (the inquirer) said: What next? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Jihad (struggle to the utmost) in the cause of Allah. He (the inquirer) again said: What next? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Pilgrimage accepted into the grace of the Lord. In the tradition narrated on the authority of Muhammad b. Ja'far (the words are) that he (the Holy Prophet) said: Belief in Allah and His Messenger. Muhammad b. Rafi and 'Abd b. Humaid, 'Abdur-Razzaq and Ma'mar and Zuhri have narrated a hadith like this on the authority of the same chain of transmitters.

Narrated by Abu Dharr
Abu Dharr reported: I said: Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds is the best? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause. I again asked: Who is the slave whose emancipation is the best? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: One who is valuable for his master and whose price is high. I said: If I can't afford to do it? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Help an artisan or make anything for the unskilled (labourer). I (Abu Dharr) said: Messenger of Allah, you see that I am helpless in doing some of these deeds. He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Desist from doing mischief to the people. That is the charity of your person on your behalf.

Narrated by Muhammad b. Abu Rafi'
Muhammad b. Abu Rafi' narrated the hadith on the authority of Abu Dharr with a slight difference.
Narrated by 'Abdullah b. Mas'ud
It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah b. Mas'ud that he observed. I asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) which deed was the best. He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Prayer at its appointed hour. I (again) said: Then what? He (the Holy

Prophet) replied: Kindness to the parents. I (again) said: Then what? He replied: Earnest endeavour (Jihad) in the cause of Allah. And I would have not ceased asking more questions but out of regard (for his feelings).

Narrated by 'Abdullah b. Mas'ud
'Abdullah b. Mas'ud reported: I said: Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds (takes one) nearer to Paradise? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Prayer at its proper time, I said: What next, Messenger of Allah? He replied: Kindness to the parents. I said: What next? He replied: Jihad in the cause of Allah.

Narrated by Abu 'Amr Shaibani
It was heard from Abu 'Amr Shaibani that, pointing towards the house of Abdullah, he said: The owner of this house told me that he asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him): Which of the deeds are liked by Allah? He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Prayer at its proper time. I (again) said: What next? He replied: Then goodness to the parents. I (again) said: What then? He replied: Then Jihad in the cause of Allah. He ('Abdullah) said: This is what I was told (by the Holy Prophet). Had I questioned further, he would have made additions for me.

Narrated by Muhammad b. Bashshar, Muhammad b. Ja'far Shu'ba
This hadith has been transmitted by Muhammad b. Bashshar, Muhammad b. Ja'far Shu'ba with this chain of narrators, with the addition that he pointed towards the house of 'Abdullah, but he did not mention his name for us.
Narrated by 'Abdullah
It is reported on the authority of 'Abdullah that the Apostle of Allah observed: The best of' the deeds or deed is the (observance of) prayer at its proper time and kindness to the parents.