Hadrat Mu’az bin Jabel (Radi Allaahu Ta’ala Anhu) narrated that one day he requested the Messenger of ALLAH, Inform me, Messenger of ALLAH of an act which will cause me to enter paradise and remove me far from hell”. He said, “You have asked a serious question, but it is easy for the one whom ALLAH helps to answer it. Please listen, it is of primary importance, these basic requirements of religion should be met with care and determination. Worship of ALLAH and associate nothing with Him, observe the prayer in the proper manner single – mindedly. Pay the Zakat, fast during Ramadhan, and perform Hajj. He then said, “Shall I not guide you to the gateways of what is good? (i.e. whatever he had told were the pillars of faith and obligations – Faraiz) He then said, “Shall I not guide you to other gateways of what is good?” (Perhaps he meant voluntary Salaah) so, he appreciating the eargerness of Hadrat Mu’az narrated, “Fasting is a protection (from sins and hell fire) and alms – giving extinguishes fire, and Salaah in the middle of night (Tahajjud Salaah) has the same effect and has a special place in the gateways of what is good. After that he (in connection with the eminence of Tahajjud Salaah and Sadaqa) recited the following verse of Surah.
“Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knoweth what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.” (32 / 16— 17 )
Then he said, “Shall I not guide you to the head and support of the matter and the top of its hump”. (Mu’az says) I said, “Yes Sir,” He said “The head of the matter (religion) is Islam, its supportis Salaah and the top of its hump is Jihad. Then the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), said, “Shall I not tell you that on which all this is based’ (and without which all these are weightless and useless)’ Hadrat Mu’az says, I said “Sir tell me that as well”. So he took hold of his tongue and said, “Restrain it (i.e. keep it under control. This should not go astray). Mu’az says that he said, “Sir, Shall we really be punished for what we talk about. The Messenger of ALLAH said, “O Mu’az! Thine mother should not have given birth to thee. (According to Arab dictum, this is an expression of love). People will be overthrown in hell on their faces (or on their nostrils) mostly due to their unthoughiful utterances”. [Musnad Imam Ahmad, Tirmizi]