Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked, “Which deed is the best?” He (PBUH) replied,
“Faith in Allah and His Messenger.” He (PBUH) was asked, “What is next?” He (PBUH) replied, “Jihad (holy fighting) in the Cause of Allah.” Then he was asked: “What is after that (in goodness)?” He (PBUH) replied, “Hajj Mabrur (which is accepted by Allah).”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Different acts have been regarded more meritorious in different Ahadith. For this reason, some scholars have performed the justification that the word mun “whoever” is the keynote in such cases. That is, such and such acts come in the category of eminent acts or they have been mentioned with reference to circumstances and time or place. For instance, at certain times or at certain places or for certain persons, performing Salat in the early prescribed hours is more meritorious, or Hajj through representative or Jihad is more meritorious, etc.
Some scholars are of the opinion that the eminence of different acts has been stressed keeping the person addressed in view.
Riyad-us-Saliheen – Hadith No: 1285
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