An-Nawwas ibn Sam`an Al Ansary (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Allah gave the parable of the Straight Path as having walls on either side with several open doors over which curtains hang down. At the head of the path is one who invites people saying: O people enter the (Straight) Path and do not leave it. Another one is inviting from the bottom of the Path. Whenever a person wants to open any of these doors, the latter inviter says to him: Woe to you, do not open it because if you open it, you shall enter. The Straight Path is Islam, the walls are the limits set by Allah (Glory be to Him), the open doors are the prohibited things of Allah, the caller on the head of the path is the Book of Allah (Glory be to Him), and the caller over the path is the admonisher (an angle) from his Lord." (1)
The meaning of the Hadith:
The Hadith exhorts to adhering to the Straight Path of Allah and warning against turning away, committing sins, and following the ways of Satan. At-Tayby said: The smiliar narration of this Hadith is the Hadith of "Beware! Every king has a Hima and the Hima of Allah on the earth is His illegal (forbidden) things." So, the wall or fence surrounds and protects private ownerships, curtains are the limits set by Allah that separate between a person and the prohibited things of Allah, and the admonisher of Allah is the angle who throws good in the heart of a believer against the calls and temptations of Satan. The admonish of the angle takes precedence over the admonisher of the Qur'an because the Qur'an affects a person when his heart is ready to receive the guidance of Allah, therefore Allah (may He be Exalted) says: (A guidance for the pious). (2)
Lessons gained from the Hadith:
1- Holding firm to the book of Allah is the cause of salvation against all temptations and seditions.
2- Showing the Mercy of Allah (may He be Exalted) to His Servants by placing an admonisher of angles in the heart of each Muslim to guide him to goodness, adorn it to him, and make it lovable to him.
3- A Muslim should stick to the Straight Path and should keep away from the callers of mischief who decieve those who respond to their call and lead them astray to things that do no please Allah (may He be Exalted).
(1) Jami` At-Tirmidhy, No. (2859) and Musnad Imam Ahmad 29/181-182, No. (17634) and Al Albany graded it as authentic. See: Sahih At-Targhib wat-Tarhib, 2/ 294, No. (2348)
(2) Fayd Al Qadir 4 / 253.