Like an utrujj (citron)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه


Abu Musa al-Ash’ari رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

مثل المؤمن الذي يقرأ القرآن كمثل الأترجة ريحها طيب وطعمها طيب, ومثل المؤمن الذي لا يقرأ القرآن كمثل التمرة لا ريح لها وطعمها حلو، ومثل المنافق الذي يقرأ القرآن كمثل الريحانة ريحها طيب وطعمها مر، ومثل المنافق الذي لا يقرأ القرآن كمثل الحنظلة ليس لها ريح وطعمها مر

“The example of a believer, who recites the Qur’an and acts on it, is like the utrujjah* that smells good and tastes good. And the example of the believer who does not recite the Qur’an but acts on it is like the date that has no smell but tastes sweet. And the example of the hypocrite who recites the Qur’an is like the basil that smells good but tastes bitter. And the example of a hypocrite who does not recite the Qur’an is like a colocynth that has a bad smell and tastes bitter.”

[Al-Bukhari, 5111 and 7121; Muslim, 797; also found with slight variation in Nasa’i, 5038; Ahmad, 49927 and others]

* Utrujj (أترج) is a citron – a fragrant citrus fruit (similar to an orange or a lemon) – see what a citron looks like here


1. Why was the citron fruit used to exemplify a mighty comparison with a believer who recites and acts upon the Book of Allaah? In his sharh of Sunan an-Nasa’i (Al-Hashiyah, 6/440 [#3058]), As-Sundi said regarding the example of the citron thus:

مثل الأترجة بضم همزة وراء وتشديد جيم وهي من أفضل الثمار لكبر جرمها وحسن منظرها وطيب طعمها ولين ملمسها ولونها يسر الناظرين وفيه تشبيه الإيمان بالطعم الطيب لكونه خيرا باطنيا لا يظهر لكل أحد والقرآن بالريح الطيب ينتفع بسماعه كل أحد ويظهر سمحا لكل سامع والله تعالى أعلم

“The example of the citron is related to it being one of the best fruits that has good surface texture and (good) taste and colour. It is pleasing to the eye and hence its good taste exemplifies the goodness of faith with no flaw in its smell and (being) fragrant like the Qur’an…”


2. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said in his ‘Fath al-Baari’ (9/81-82) regarding the wisdom of using the citron as example:

قيل الحكمة من تخصيص الأترجة بالتمثيل دون غيرها من الفاكهة التي تجمع طيب الطعم والريح كالتفاحة لأنه يتداوى بقشرها وهو مفرح بالخاصيَّة ، و يستخرج من حبِّها الدهن وله منافع

“The wisdom behind using the citron as a representation (of the Qur’an) than any other fruit is because it combines good taste and smell and can also be used for medicinal purposes due to its delightful characteristics…”


3. Ibn Battaal said: “The meaning of this hadith is that the recitation of the wicked person and the Hypocrite will not be raised to Allah, and it will not grow and increase with Him. Rather those deeds which are done seeking his face, and which are done upon(correct) intention, and as an act done to draw closer to him- The Most High , these alone will grow and increasewith him and will be raised to him.

Do you not see how he likened the wicked person who recites the Quran to sweet basil whose fragrance is good but whose taste is bitter? So he does not benefit from the blessings of the Quran, and he does not succeed in attaining the sweetness of reward for it.

The good taste does not pass beyond their throats, and the throat is the place of the voice, so the good taste does not reach their hearts. This is because the taste of their hearts is bitter , and it is their hidden hypocrisy, just as the taste of the sweet basil lies hidden in its stems despite its fragrance…” [taken from here]


4. When providing the benefits of the citron, Ibn Qayyim wrote in his ‘Tibb an-Nabawi’ (and Zaad al-Ma’ad) thus:

وفي الأترج منافع كثيرة من قشر ولحم وبزر ومن منافع قشره أن رائحته تصلح فساد الهواء، ويطيب النكهة إذا أمسها بالفم وإذا جعل في الطعام أعان على الهضم. وأما لحمه فملطف للمعدة. وقال الغافقي: أكل لحمه ينفع من البواسير. وأما حماضه فقابض، كاسر للصفراء ومسكن للخفقان، نافع من اليرقان، مشه للطعام ونافع من الإسهال الصفراوي، وتنفع طلاء من الكلف، وله قوة تطفئ حرارة الكبد وتقوي المعدة وتسكن العطش … وأما بزره فله قوة مجفف

Full translation can be found here


May Allaah make our example like the citron.


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