Hadeeth 5 – ‘…the heart of my believeing servant can contain Me…’
The hadeeth, “Allaah says, ‘neither My Heaven or My earth can contain Me, but the heart of My believing servant can contain Me.'”
Al-Ghazaalee mentioned this in his ‘Ihyaa Ulum ad-Deen’ with the wording, “Neither My Heaven nor My earth can contain Me, but the soft humble heart of my believing servant can contain Me”.
Al-Haafidh al-Iraaqee (the Shaykh of ibn Hajr) said in his notes to ‘al-Ihyaa’, “I find no basis for it.” And as-Suyutee agreed with him, following az-Zarkashee.
Al-Iraaqee then said, “but in the hadeeth of Abu Utbah in at-Tabaraanee there occurs, ‘the vessels of your Lord are the hearts of the righteous servants, and the most beloved to Him are the softest and most tender ones'”
ibn Taymiyyah said, “it (the original hadeeth) is mentioned in the Israelite traditions, but there is no known isnaad from the Prophet ( ﷺ ) for it.”
as-Sakhaawee said, agreeing with as-Suyutee, “there is no known isnaad from the Prophet ( ﷺ ), and it’s meaning is that his heart can contain belief in Me, love of Me and gnosis of Me. But as for the one who says that Allaah incarnates in the hearts of the people, then he is more of an infidel than the Christians who specified that to Christ alone.”
Az-Zarkashee said that one of the scholars said that it is a false hadeeth, fabricated by a renegade from the religion. He also said that at-Tabaraanee has related from Abu Utbah al-Khawlaanee from the Prophet ( ﷺ ) that, “Truly, Allaah has vessels from amongst the people of the earth, and the vessels of your Lord are the hearts of his righteous slaves, and the Most beloved of them to Him are the softest and most tender ones” [ ‘Kash al-Khafaa’ (no.2256)]
al-Albaanee declared the last mentioned hadeeth to be hasan (good) [‘Silsilah as-Saheehah’ (no.1691)]