Imām al-Bukhāri (رحمه الله) said:
Narrated by Anas (رضي الله عنه): A man asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) concerning the Hour, saying: “When is the Hour?” He replied: “What have you prepared for it?” He said: “Nothing except for the fact that I love Allāh and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم).” He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied: “You will be with those who you love.” Anas said: “There was nothing that made us happier than the happiness we felt because of the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “You will be with those you love.” Anas said: “As I love the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Abū Bakr and ʿUmar. I hope to be with them by means of my love for them, even if I have not done as much as they have.”1
Shaykh ʿAbd al-Muḥsin al-ʿAbbād explains:
His saying: ‘A man asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) concerning the Hour’ in some of the narrations of the ḥadīth of Anas in al-Bukhārī, it specifies: “A man from among the bedouins.” This man, as mentioned by al-Ḥāfiẓ [Ibn Ḥajar] in al-Fatḥ [al-Bārī], was named Dhū al-Khawṣirah; the same man who urinated in the masjid. He [Ibn Ḥajar] said: The ḥadīth concerning this matter is also narrated by al-Dāraquṭnī.
As for the ḥadīth narrated by al-Dāraquṭnī: Narrated by ʿAbdullāh ibn Masʿūd (رضي الله عنه) who said: “ An old bedouin man came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and said: “O Muḥammad, when is the Hour?” He replied: “What have you prepared for it?” He said: “Nay, by the one who has raised you as a prophet, I have not prepared much ṣalāh or fasting. Except that I love Allāh and His Messenger.” He said: “Then you will be with those you love.” So the old man left, and began urinating in the masjid.”2
His saying: “What have you prepared for it?” That is, what acts of righteousness have you prepared such that you may be rewarded when the Hour does come. Al-Hāfiẓ [Ibn Ḥajar] said: al-Karmānī said: He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) adopted the convention used by the wise in his answering the query with that which is outside the parameters of the question in order to turn his attention to that which is more concerning and important.
His saying: “You will be with those who you love”. Al-Ḥāfiẓ [Ibn Ḥajar] said: That is, attached to them to where you will be from among their crowd. In this, we can clarify the confusion surrounding the disparity in levels [within Paradise] among them. How can we say ‘with’ [if the beloved is deserving of a level higher than those who love him]? We answer: Being with them shall occur simply by means of being together upon something [which is here, Paradise]. This does not stipulate togetherness in every aspect of it. If all of them [the lovers and those they love] enter Paradise then this togetherness is achieved, even if they all occupy differing levels.
The saying of Anas (رضي الله عنه): “There was nothing that made us happier than the happiness we felt because of the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) “You will be with those you love”. In the narration of Muslim, Anas (رضي الله عنه) said: “After our acceptance of Islām, we did not feel a more greater happiness than when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “You will be with those who you love.””
His saying: “As I love the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Abū Bakr and ʿUmar”. Anas (رضي الله عنه) professes his love for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in conjunction with his two companions. This indicates that loving the two of them is a result of loving the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). This is because true love stipulates that one loves that which is beloved to the one he loves, just as it commands one to hate what is hated by his beloved. Abū Bakr and ʿUmar are both among his (صلى الله عليه وسلم) beloved companions. Allāh—the Most High—has said:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ
“Say (O Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to mankind): “If you (really) love Allāh then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qurʾān and the Sunnah), Allah will love you.”
Just as Allāh has allowed His Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his two companions to be together in this worldly life, and together under the ground in their graves, they will be with him in Paradise. For they are the best that any woman has ever birthed after the prophets and messengers. The better of the two being Abū Bakr (رضي الله عنه). Then following him in goodness is ʿUmar, then ʿUthmān, then ʿAlī, then the rest of the companions (رضي الله عنهم).
From the fiqh lessons of the ḥadīth and its benefits:
- Returning to the scholars and seeking knowledge with regards to religious matters
- Compassion of the knowledgeable ones with those who ask them questions in turning the attention of the seeker of knowledge towards that which will result in a greater and more potent benefit for them
- Perfection by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in terms of the content and manner of giving advice and his compassion for his ummah in guiding them to that which will bring about their ultimate success and happiness
- From among the exemplary Islamic characteristics of a man is concerning himself with that which holds relevance to him, and leaving that which does not
- Making preparations for the hereafter and carrying out actions aimed at that which follows death is of the utmost importance and is therefore deserving of our attention [rather the actual time of the Hour]
- A person seeing his actions as small, never falling into self-amazement, always assured of his own deficient state
- The greatness of possessing love for Allāh and His messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). In an authentic ḥadīth: “Three characteristics allow the one who possesses them to taste the sweetness of īmān: Allāh and His messenger are more beloved to a person than anything else.”3
- Treating the enquirer with goodness, correcting the posed question in the answer, and clarifying the important aspect of the question being asked
- Guiding the attention of the Muslim towards possessing love for the truth and its people such that they may attain true happiness, as every man is with the one he loves
- The great station occupied by the companions (رضي الله عنهم), their attention and aspirations towards goodness, and their distancing themselves from evil. This is exemplified in their extreme happiness connected to the statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “You will be with those who you love.”
- The statements of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) directed at specific persons apply to everyone as long as no evidence exists to prove otherwise.
- The blessed standing of Abū Bakr and ʿUmar al-Fārūq (رضي الله عنهما). It is for this reason that al-Bukhārī narrates this ḥadīth in the chapter concerning the great attributes of ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb (رضي الله عنه)
- The perceived greatness of Abū Bakr and ʿUmar by the rest of the companions, their love for the two of them, and their recognition of their station
- In the saying of Anas (رضي الله عنه): “I hope to be with them by means of my love for them”, there is an evidence that supports a person seeking a means towards the pleasure of Allāh through carrying out acts of righteousness. This is also evidenced by the ḥadīth of the three companions who sought refuge in the cave.
 Authentic: narrated by al-Bukhārī: 5819.
 Narrated by al-Dāraquṭnī: 478
 Authentic: narrated by al-Bukhārī: 6941 and Muslim: 67.
Source: Majmūʿ al-Rasāʾil 1: 117-119
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī