Compiled, Translated & Annotated
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansari
READ >>> PART 1
- The weakness of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ.
- Rawhū is alone in reporting it.
- Most of the narrations from Rawhū are reprehensive and rejected
INTERESTING BENEFIT – Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ is Weak According to the Principles of Shaikh Ẓafar Aḥmad Thānwī
Understanding Hāfiz al-Haithami’s Words
Rijāluhu Rijāl al-Ṣaḥīḥ
Those Who Authenticated Rawhū in Ṣalāḥ and the Chain
Imām Ibn Ḥibbān’s Authentication of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ
The Leniency – Tasāhul of Imāms Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim
- The report has a broken or disconnected chain ie inqitʿa
The First Indicative Factor – Timeline
The Second Indicative Factor – Country
BENEFIT – Revisiting Imām Ibn Ḥibbān’s Authentication
- Matters of belief are not accepted if they are lone reports according to the principles of the detractors. The Ḥanafī madhab,the Ashʿarī’s and Maturidī’s.
Other Chains for this report
Answering the Fallacious Claim of Necrophilia
ʿAudhu Billāhi min ash-Shayṭān al-Rajīm
Bismillāh al-Raḥmān al-Raḥīm
Alḥamdullilāhi Rabbil ʿAlamīn, Waṣalatu Wassalām ʿAla Rasūlillahil Karīm, Wa ʿAla Alihī Wa Aṣḥābī Wa Man Tabiāhum Bi-Eḥsan Ilaʾ Yaum al-Dīn; Wa Baʿd
All Praise belongs and is directed to the Rabb of everthing
that exists, Praise and Salutations be upon His
Final beloved Messenger, his revered family
and his noble Companions and upon
those who follow them in good
until the end of times,
One of the main aims of Salafi Research Institute is to uphold the views of Ahl al-Sunnah wa Ahl al-Ḥadīth with regards to the matters of creed and manhaj as established by the pious predecessors namely the Salaf us-Ṣāleḥ. In serving this aim we within SRI continuously strive to rebut and clarify the doubts posed by deviant ideologies based on authentic clear and pristine teachings of the Qurʾān and Ḥadīth.
In line with the above; we present to you the second part in a series answering the false arguments presented for the impermissible forms of Tawassul and Istighātha.
This and other research papers, we hope In-Shāʾ-Allāh, will aid the Sunnī Muslim to protect himself from the misinterpretations, distortions and alterations of the people of deviation and innovation. With the aid and assistance of Allāh, The Most Merciful; these articles and research papers will be released and shared on a periodic basis. May Allāh have Mercy on us and grant us the understanding of the correct ʿAqīdah of Ahl al-Sunnah waʾl Jamaʿah and the Salaf us-Ṣāleḥ.
Abuʾl ʿĀliyyah & Abū Rumaiṣah
Salafi Research Institute
The Sūfī’s, including the likes of the Barewlī’s and Deobandī sects use this ḥadīth of Fātimah bint Asad RaḍiAllāhū ʿAnha as proof for making Tawassul through the Messenger of Allāh (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Prophets. They claim the wording of the ḥadīth is proof for the permissibility of wasīlah through the Prophets. The proceeding discourse investigates this ḥadīth by looking at its authenticity and a brief overview of the text.
At the end, we have touched on the ridiculously despicable claim made by some desperate abhorrent people, who tried to allege our beloved and beautiful Prophet, Muḥammad (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) committed necrophilia. When such people have no share of any academic discourse they always resort to such despicable lies and weak arguments to defame Islām. This then is an answer to the Ḥadīth of Fātimah bin Asad; The mother of ʿAlī RaḍiAllāhū ʿAnhumā
عن أنس بن مالك قال: لما ماتت فاطمة بنت أسد بن هاشم أم علي رضي الله عنهما دخل عليها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فجلس عند رأسها فقال: ”رحمك الله يا أمي، كنت أمي بعد أمي، تجوعين وتشبعيني، وتعرين وتكسيني، وتمنعين نفسك طيباً وتطعميني، تريدين بذلك وجه الله والدار الآخرة”. ثم أمر أن تغسل ثلاثاً فلما بلغ الماء الذي فيه الكافور سكبه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بيده، ثم خلع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قميصه فألبسها إياه، وكفنها ببرد فوقه، ثم دعا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أسامة بن زيد وأبا أيوب الأنصاري وعمر بن الخطاب وغلاماً أسود يحفرون، فحفروا قبرها، فلما بلغوا اللحد حفره رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بيده وأخرج ترابه بيده، فلما فرغ دخل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فاضطجع فيه فقال: ”الله الذي يحيي ويميت، وهو حي لا يموت، اغفر لأمي فاطمة بنت أسد، ولقنها حجتها، ووسِّع عليها مدخلها بحق نبيك والأنبياء الذين من قبلي فإنك أرحم الراحمين”. وكبر عليها أربعاً، وأدخلوها اللحد هو والعباس وأبو بكر الصديق رضي الله عنهم
It is narrated by Anas bin Mālik. He said: When the mother of ʿAlī bin Abū Ṭālib — Fātimah bint Asad bin Hāshim (RaḍiAllāhū ʿAnhumā— died, Allāh’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) called on her and sat down by the head of the bed and said, “O dear mother, may Allāh have mercy on you. After my mother, you were the one I regarded as my mother. When I was hungry you fed me to the point of saturation while you yourself remained hungry. Then you helped me put on clothes and instead of eating yourself, you gave me nice things to eat. You did all this for Allāh’s pleasure and for a good reward in the Hereafter.” Then he (the Prophet) commanded to bathe her three times. When camphor water was brought, Allāh’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) poured some water into his hands. Then Allāh’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) took off his shirt and clothed her with it and used his own sheet of cloth as her coffin. Then Allāh’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) sent for Ūsāmah bin Zayd, Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī and ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb and the Abyssinian slave to dig up the grave. So they dug her grave. When they reached near the laḥd, Allāh’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) dug it up and drew the soil out with his own hands. When he finished, Allāh’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) entered and lay down in (the grave), and said, “It is Allāh Who controls life and death, and He is Ever living and will never die. (O Allāh,) forgive my mother—Fātimah bint Asad— and help her answer properly at the time of questioning and through the mediation/right of Your Prophet (Muḥammad) and the former Prophets, Surely You are infinitely Merciful.” Then he repeated, “Allāh is Great” four times (i.e. led the funeral prayer). Then he, ʿAbbās and Abū Bakr as-Ṣiddīq lowered her into the grave.
Imām al-Ṭabarānī transmits it in Muʿajam al-Kabīr (24:351 no.871), Muʿajam al-Awsaṭ (1:67-68 no.189), Majmaʿa al-Baḥrayn Fi Zawaʿid al-Muʿjamayn (6:361-362 no.3841) and Majmaʿa al-Zawāʿid (9:256) of Shaikh Nūr al-Dīn al-Haythamī, Shaikh Abū Nuʿaym in Ḥilyahtul Awliyāʾ (3:121) from al-Ṭabarānī. Ḥāfiẓ al-Suyūṭī also transmits it in his Jāmʿe al-Saghīr and ʿAlī al-Muttaqī al-Hindī transmits it from him in his Kanz al-ʿAmāl. It has also been transmitted with a continuous chain to Anas, Ibn ʿAbbās and Jābir RaḍiAllāhū ʿAnhum and in mursal form from Muḥammad bin Ḥanafiyyah and Muḥammad bin ʿUmar bin ʿAlī, all of which are weak.
This report is weak and also munkar ie rejected.
The chain in al-Ṭabarānī’s Muʿajam al-Kabīr and in his Muʿajam al-Awsaṭ which also leads to the same chain by default in the Majmaʿa al-Baḥrayn
al-Ṭabāranī says transmitted to us Aḥmad bin Ḥamād bin Zugbah from Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ from Sufyān al-Thawrī from (ʿAnn) ʿĀṣim al-Aḥwal from Anas bin Mālik (RaḍiAllāhū ʿAnhū) who said……
This narration has five defects;
- The weakness of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ.
- Rawhū is alone in reporting it.
- Most of the narrations from Rawhū are reprehensive and rejected.
- The report has a broken or disconnected chain ie inqitʿa.
- Matters of belief are not accepted if they are lone reports according to the principles of the detractors. The Ḥanafī madhab, the Ashʿarī’s and Maturidī’s.
The Weakness of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ and the Scholars of Ḥadīth
Rawhū is Alone in Reporting this Report
Most of the narrations from Rawhū are reprehensive and rejected.
Imām Ṭabārani after transmitting in in Muʿajam al-Awsaṭ said,
“No one has transmitted this Ḥadīth from ʿĀṣim al-Aḥwal except Sufyān and it’s the lone report of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ.” (Muʿajam al-Awsaṭ (1:68), Cairo: Dar al-Ḥaramayn, 1415H/1995)
Shaikh Abū Nuʿaym al-Aṣfahānī said after transmitting the report,
“It is Gharīb from the Ḥadīth of ʿĀṣim and al-Thawrī and we do not write it except it being the lone report of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ.” (al-Ḥilyah ul-Awliyāʾ wa Ṭabaqāt al-Aṣfiyā (3:121, under the entry of ʿĀṣim bin Suleimān al-Aḥwal no.226), Beirut: Maktabah Khanjī/Dār al-Fikr, 1416H/1996)
He also transmits it with the same chain in Maʿrifah al-Ṣahābah and he cites the same chain as the Ḥilyah. (Maʿrifah al-Sahābah (6:3408, tarjamah no. 3970 no.7783), Riyadh, Dār al-Waṭan, 1419H/1998)
Shaikh Nūr al-Dīn al-Haythamī said after transmitting it,
“No one narrates it from ʿĀṣim except Sufyān and it is a lone report of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ.” (Majmaʿa al-Baḥrayn (6:362), Riyadh: Maktabah Ibn Rushd, 1413H/1992)
He, al-Haythamī also said after transmitting it in his Majmaʿa al-Zawāʿid said,
“Transmitted by Ṭabarānī in al-Kabīr and in al-Awsaṭ and Rawhū ibn Ṣalāḥ is in the chain who was declared trustworthy by Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim, however he has weakness with him and the remaining narrators are the narrators of the Ṣaḥīḥ.” (Majmaʿa al-Zawāʿid (9:256-257), Cairo: Maktabah al-Quddūsī, 1414H:1994)
Ḥāfiẓ Yaʿqūb bin Sufyān al-Fasawī narrates from Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ (Kitāb al-Maʿrifah wal-Tārīkh (3:513), Madīnah: Maktabah al-Dār, 1410H), Mawḍeḥ al-Awhām al-Jamʿa waʿl Tafrīq (2:96-97)
He said he wrote narrations from 1,000 teachers and all of them were trustworthy as stated by Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajr in his Tahdhīb al-Tahdhīb under the entry of Yaʿqūb bin Sufyān (Tahdhīb al-Tahdhīb 11:337 no.8138), Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1415H/1994).
Thus, this renders Rawhū to be trustworthy according to Yaʿqūb bin Sufyān al-Fasawī.
Imām Abū Aḥmad al-Ḥākim al-Kabīr brings his entry in his book of names and kunyahs, without any praise or criticism. (Kitāb al-Asāmī wal-Kuna (3:419 no.1637), Madīnah: Maktabah al-Ghurabāʿ al-Athariyyah, 1414H/1994)
Imām Ibn ʿAdiyy brings under Rawhū bin Ṣalāh’s entry says,
“Weak…. he does not have many ḥadīth narrated from (names of narrators) and some of them are rejected.” He also cites a few other reports under Rawhū’s biographical entry and says these two aḥadīth are unpreserved.” (al-Kāmil Fiʾl Duʿafaʾ al-Rijāl (4:553-554 no.668), Riyādh: Maktabah al-Rushd, Edn. Māzin al-Sarsāwī)
Imām Ibn ʿAdiyy thus further indicates the weakness of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ by mentioning two unpreserved chains.
Imām al-Dāraquṭnī brings his entry in his book and says,
“Rawhū ibn Ṣalāḥ bin Sayābah, he narrates from Ibn Lahiyyʿah and from al-Thawrī and others, he was weak in ḥadīth and he resided in Miṣr.” (al-Muʿtalif waʾl Mukhtalif (3:1377), Beirut: Dār al-Gharb al-Islāmī, 1406H/1986)
In Ḥāfiẓ al-Burqānī’s question to Imām al-Dāraquṭnī he said,
“Abuʾl Ḥasan (ie Imām Dāraquṭnī) said to me, I heard Abū Ṭālib say, the brother of Maymūn, his name was Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Zakariyyah Abū Bakr al-Baghdādī, he was a resident of Miṣr, he said to me, “We are in agreement (ie the people of ḥadīth) that we do not write the ḥadīth of three people of Miṣr, (1) ʿAlī bin al-Ḥasan al-Sāmī (2) Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ and (3) ʿAbd al-Munʿim bin Bashīr.” (Suwālāt Abī Bakr al-Burqānī lil-Dāraquṭnī Fī al-Jarḥ waʾl Taʿdīl (p.56-57 no.18), Cairo: Maktabah al-Qurʿān, ?)
Ḥāfiẓ al-Burqānī further said,
“And then Abuʾl Ḥasan (ie Imām Dāraquṭnī) said to me, Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ, he is also referred to as Rawhū bin Sayābah Miṣrī, likewise ʿAbd al-Munʿim Miṣrī and ʿAlī bin al-Ḥasan al-Sāmī Miṣrī.” (Suwālāt Abī Bakr al-Burqānī lil-Dāraquṭnī Fī al-Jarḥ waʾl Taʿdīl (p.57)
The people of a country know its people better, especially when it comes to praise and criticism and this is a general principle. Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Zakariyyah Abū Bakr al-Baghdādī was given the title of al-Ḥāfiẓ and he was also a resident of Miṣr, the likes of Imām al-Ṭabarānī narrated from him. He died in the year 296H. (Tārīkh Baghdād (5:8).
This is why Imām al-Dāraquṭnī specifically mentions Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Zakariyyah Abū Bakr al-Baghdādī as a resident of Miṣr and he further emphasises this by mentioning the names of the three narrators and refers to them as al-Miṣrī. The affair of the other two narrators is very disparaging which gives us an indication of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ. (refer to the general books of Rijāl)
Imām Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī brings his entry in his book on making distinctions between narrators without mentioning any praise or criticism and clarifies Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ, is also Rawhū bin Sayābah al-Ḥarithī and then brings the statement of Imām al-Dāraquṭnī, where he says,
“Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ bin Sayābah.” (Mawḍeḥ al-Awhām al-Jamʿa waʾl Tafrīq (2:96-97) Beirut: Dār al-Fikr al-Islāmī, 1405H/1985)
Imām Ibn Ḥibbān added his biographical note in his book of trustworthy narrators, he said,
“Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ, from the people of Miṣr, he narrates from Yaḥyā bin Ayūb and his countrymen and Muḥammad bin Ibrāhīm al-Bawshanjī narrates from him, he was from the people of Miṣr.” (Kitāb al-Thiqāt (8:244), Hyderabād: Daʾirah al-Maʿārif al-Uthmāniyyah, 1393H/1973)
Ḥāfiẓ al-Sijzī asked Imām al-Ḥākim about him and he replied,
“Rawhū bin Ṣalāh, trustworthy and safe, he was from the people of Shām.” (Suwālāt Masʿud bin ʿAlī al-Sijzī Maʿa Asilah al-Baghdadiyīn ʿAnn Aḥwāl al-Rūwāt Lil Ḥākim (p.98 no.68), Beirut, Dār al-Gharb al-Islāmī, 1408H/1988)
Imām Ibn Mākūlā after mentioning him says,
“Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ bin Sayābah, who narrates from Ibn Lahiyyʿah, al-Thawrī and others, he was declared weak in ḥadīth and was a resident of Miṣr.” (al-Ikmāl Fī Rafʿa al-Irtiyāb ʿAnn Muʿtalif Fī al-Asmā wal-Kunā waʾl-Ansāb (5:15), Hyderabād: Daʾirah al-Maʿārif al-Uthmāniyyah, 1383H/1963)
The words of Imām Ibn Mākūlā, “He was declared weak ie Ḍaʿfūhu.” Indicates a number of scholars of Ḥadīth declared him to be weak and hence indicates a general agreement.
Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajr al-ʿAsqalānī said under his entry,
“Ibn ʿAdiyy weakened him, Ibn Ḥibbān mentioned him in his al-Thiqāt, al-Ḥākim said he was trustworthy and safe, Ibn Yūnus mentioned in Tārīkh al-Ghurabāʿ he was from the people of Moṣul and resided in Miṣr and they narrate from him, and narrations which are rejected have been transmitted from him (ie he would narrate rejected narrations). al-Dāraquṭnī said he was weak in ḥadīth. Ibn Mākūlā said they have declared him to be weak and Ibn ʿAdiyy said after transmitting two of his ḥadīth, he has many aḥadīth and some of them are rejected.” (Lisān al-Mizān (2:539-540 no.3433), Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1416H/1996)
We looked at the Tārīkh al-Ghurabāʿ of Ibn Yūnus and were unable to find his statement on Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ, this does not indicate in any form that Ibn Ḥajr erred but rather that we were unable to find it, therefore, if anyone does find Ibn Yūnus’s statement please do inform us.
Imām al-Dhahabī said in his biographical note on Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ,
“Ibn ʿAdiyy weakened him, Ibn Ḥibbān mentioned him in his al-Thiqāt, al-Ḥākim said he was trustworthy and safe.” (Mizān al-ʿEitidāl (3:87 no.2804), Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1416H/1995)
In his reference work on the history of Islām, Imām al-Dhahabī includes an entry for him, after mentioning the people he narrated from as well as those who narrated from him, he says,
“He has reprehensive (Manākīr-narrations), Ibn ʿAdiyy said he is weak, Ibn Ḥibbān mentioned him in his al-Thiqāt, he died in Ramaḍhān in Miṣr in (2)33H, he was from the last people who narrated from Musā, Yaḥyā and Saʿīd. al-Ḥākim said he was trustworthy and safe and a Shāmī.” (Tārīkh al-Islām wa Wafyāt al-Mashāhīr al-ʿAlām (17:160-161 no.138), Beirut: Dār al-Kitāb al-ʿArabī, 1411H/1991)
Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajr, Imām al-Dhahabī and others have taken al-Ḥākims view from al-Sijzī and mentioned it in their respective books. Likewise, it is possible that Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajr also quoted the view of Ibn Yūnus from his Tārīkh al-Ghurabāʿ. The intent here is to show Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajr in his Lisān takes the statement from the books of the earlier scholars.
Imām al-Dhahabī further brings his entry in his book of weak and abandoned narrators.
“Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ, he narrates from Ibn Lahiyyʿah, Ibn ʿAdiyy said he is weak.” (Diwān al-Ḍuʿafāʾ wal-Matrūkīn (1:294 no.1427), Beirut: Dār al-Qalam, 1408H/1988)
He also brings him in his other book on weak narrators, wherein he says,
“Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ al-Miṣrī, he narrates from Ibn Lahiyyʿah, Ibn ʿAdiyy weakened him and he is also called Ibn Yasābah (this is a typo it should Sayābah).” (al-Mughnī Fiʾl Ḍuʿafāʾ (1:356 no.2139), Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1418H/1997), Edn. Nūr al-Dīn al-ʿIttar (1:339 no.2139), Qatar: Idārah Ihyāʿ al-Turāth, 1407H/1987)
Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Jawzī has also classed him as a weak and abandoned narrator, he mentions,
“Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ, or they say Rawhū bin Shibābah (it should be Sayābah), his kunyah is Abaʾl Ḥārith, he narrates from Ibn Lahiyyʿah, Ibn ʿAdiyy said he is weak.” (Kitāb al-Ḍuʿafāʾ wal-Matrūkīn (1:287 no.1643), Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah,?)
Furthermore, Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Jawzī cites this report in his book of fabricated and weak narrations under the chapter of the virtues of Fātimah bint Asad, and then transmits it with his chain through to al-Ṭabarānī and thereafter says,
“The author (ie referring to himself) says this is a lone report of Rawhū ibn Ṣalāḥ who is from the unknown narrators and furthermore, Ibn ʿAdiyy has declared him to be weak.” (al-ʿEllal al-Mutānahiyyah Fīʾl Aḥadīth al-Wahiyyah (1:268-269 no.433), Faiṣalabād: Idārah ʿUlūm al-Atharīyyah, 1399H/1979), Cf. Edn. Khalil al-Mayyis, (1:269-270 no.433), Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1403H/1983)
Imām Dhahabī in his summary of the al-ʿEllal al-Mutānahiyyah Fīʾl Aḥadīth al-Wahiyyah of Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Jawzī again grades Rawhū weak thus showing his consistency. (Talkhīs Kitāb al-ʿEllal al-Mutānahiyyah Li-Ibn al-Jawzī (p.91 no. 218), Riyadh: Maktabah al-Rushd, 1419H/1998)
Shaikh Irshād ul-Ḥaq al-Atharī said in his notes to al-ʿEllal after mention the statements of Imām Ibn ʿAdiyy, Imām al-Dāraquṭnī, Imām Ibn Mākūlā, Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Yūnus, the authentication of Imām al-Ḥākim and the entry of Imām Ibn Ḥibbān in his al-Thiqāt as mentioned in Lisān (2:465),
“I say their leniency (tasāhul ie of al-Ḥākim and Ibn Ḥibbān) is well known and al-Shaikh al-Albānī has mentioned in Silsilah al-Daʿīfaʾ no.23 so refer to it.” (al-ʿEllal al-Mutānahiyyah Fīʾl Aḥadīth al-Wahiyyah (1:269 footnote no.5), Edn, Khalīl Mayyis (1:270 footnote no.8)
Shaikh Ḥamdī ʿAbd al-Majid al-Salafī said in his footnotes to to Muʿajam al-Kabīr,
“Ṭabāranī transmits in in his al-Awsaṭ p.356-357 part of the Majmaʿa al-Baḥrayn and he said, “no one has transmitted this from ʿĀṣim except Sufyān and it’s the lone report of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ and it is mentioned in Majmaʿa 9:257 that Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ is in the chain, who was declared trustworthy by Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim, however he has weakness in him and the rest of the narrators are the narrator of the Ṣaḥīḥ and Abū Nuʿaym also transmitted it from the author in al-Ḥilyah 3:121.
My Shaykh (ie Shaykh al-Albānī) has challenged the statement of Ḥāfiẓ al-Haythami in his Silsilah Āḥadith al-Ḍaʿīfahʾ no.23, where he says in Majmaʿa the rest of the narrators are the narrators of the Ṣaḥīḥ, that Aḥmad bin Ḥamād (bin Zughbah), who although is in himself trustworthy the authors of the Ṣaḥīḥs have not transmitted from him as only al-Nasāʿī transmits from him.
Shaykh Ḥamdi ʿAbd al-Majīd al-Salafī answers the authentication of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ and says,
“As for Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ who has been declared to be trustworthy by Ibn Ḥibbān and Hakim, then it is well known about both of them that they are mutasāhil ie lenient. He was declared to be weak by Ibn ʿAdiyy and Ibn Yūnus said he would narrate rejected narrations. Darāquṭnī said he is weak in Ḥadīth and Ibn Mākūlā weakened him and Ibn ʿAdiyy said after transmitting two of this ḥadīth he has many āḥadīth and some of them are abandoned.
Thus, this is detailed criticism from the specialist critical analysts, furthermore, his narrations are rejected and this is the case with this narration and when he is alone in reporting such ḥadīth they are rejected and cannot be used as evidence therefore, the ḥadīth is is weak.” (Muʿajam al-Kabīr (24:351-352), Cairo: Maktabah Ibn Taymiyyah, 1415H/1994)
The verifier of Majmaʿa al-Baḥrayn Fi Zawāʿid al-Muʿajamayn, ʿAbd al-Quddus bin Muḥammad Naẓīr also declared the chain to be weak as well as the narrator Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ. (Majmaʿa al-Baḥrayn (6:361)
Shaikh ʿAbd Allah bin Ṣiddīq al-Ghumārī also acknowledges that Rawhū has some weakness with him and says,
“Rawhū, his weakness is light.” (Ittihāf al-Azkiyaʾ Bijawāj al-Tawassul bil-Anbiyāʾ waʾl Awliyāʾ (p.11) (?: ʾAlī Raḥmī, p.11) and (p.20) cited from Mafāhīm Yajib ʿAnn Tuṣaḥaḥ (p.146)
Shaikh al-Albānī also categorically grades it to be weak. He quotes the references first and then the chain followed by the words of Imām al-Ṭabarānī and Ḥāfiẓ al-Haythamī and then proceeds to answer al-Haythamī’s claim. We have quoted the words of Shaikh al-Albānī via the words of Shaikh Ḥamdī ʿAbd al-Majīd al-Salafī that only al-Nasāʿī transmits from Aḥmad bin Ḥamād bin Zughbah. Shaikh al-Albānī said,
“and his statement “the rest of the narrators are the narrators of the Ṣaḥīḥ” is highly disputable as Zugbah is not from the narrators of the Ṣaḥīḥ’s, rather they did not transmit from him except al-Nasāʿī, I say we know from this that he is in of himself trustworthy. What therefore remains is the affair of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ, and he is a lone reporter as al-Ṭabarānī said and also what al-Haythamī mentions the authentication of Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim but his weakening (by al-Ṭabarānī) has precedence over their statements due to two issues.
The First: He is criticised and criticism takes precedence over praise with conditions.
The Second: Ibn Ḥibbān is lenient in his authentication of narrators and he has authenticated many narrators who are unknown to the extent that at times he clarifies he does not know who they are nor their fathers as Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī has mentioned in al-Ṣārim al-Munkī.
Shaikh al-Albānī adds a footnote at this point and says,
“I have mentioned some examples (of Imām Ibn Ḥibbāns leniency) in ‘al-Radd ʿAla al-Taʿqub al-Ḥathīth (p.18-21) and then in the introduction of my book, ‘Taysīr Intifāʿ al-Khalān Bikitāb Thiqāt Ibn Ḥibbān’
Shaikh al-Albāni continues and says,
“The affair is the same with al-Ḥākim and his lapses which are not hidden from the one who is well acquainted with biographies and narrators. Therefore, their statements do not hold weight when there are contradictions even when there is undetailed criticism and the reasons for the criticism is not mentioned but then how about the affair with Ibn Ṣalāḥ when the details are mentioned…”
Then Shaikh al-Albānī then mentions the criticism and disparaging remarks of the scholars of ḥadīth which have preceded. He continues and says,
“You have seen how the Imams of criticism (Aiʿmah al-Jarḥ) are in agreement in their words in the weakening of this narrator and they clarify the reason for his weakness due to him narrating rejected reports. The same applies to this report in which he is alone in reporting and thus he is rejected and not used as evidence and therefore, no one is deceived by this praise and authentication except the ignorant or the one with other agenda’s.
After what has preceded it is apparent to a fair minded person that when Shaikh Zāhid al-Kawtharī spoke about this ḥadīth he was not just with the knowledge of this science. He attempts to strengthen this ḥadīth and he only mentioned the praise and authentication of Rawhū ibn Ṣalāḥ and totally failed to mention the criticism and disaparaging remarks which were greater than those who authenticated him. (Refer to (p.379) Maqalāt al-Kawtharī) (Silsilah Āḥadīth al-Ḍaʿīfahʾ (1:79-82 no.23), Riyadh, Maktabah al-Māʿrif, 1412H/1992)
Shaikh al-Albāni continues and shows the contradictions of al-Kawtharī and his principles and takes charge of the claims, showing his double standards on the authentications of Imāms Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim. He also answers the claim the reason for the criticism is not mentioned and proceeds to mention the reasons. Shaikh Mamḥūd Saʿīd Mamduḥ despite his valiant digressive efforts fails to answer the reason for the criticism as he gracefully glosses over it in his Rafʿ al-Minārah.
It must be noted Shaikh Maḥmūd Saʿīd Mamduḥ’s response to Shaikh al-Albānī’s answer to this report are significantly inadequate and falls short of being even remotely convincing.
Shaikh al-Albānī further answered some of their retorts and replied directly back to them in his book on Tawassul and went onto to say some of their points were laughable, he said after quoting the text of the ḥadīth,
“al-Haythamī said in Majmaʿa al-Zawāʿid (9:257) “al-Ṭabarānī reports it in al-Kabīr and Awsaṭ and it contains Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ who is declared reliable by Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim, but is somewhat weak. Then the rest of its narrators are those of the Ṣaḥīḥs.”
I say: by the way of Ṭabarānī it is reported in Abū Nuʿaym in Ḥilyahtul Awliyāʾ (3:121) and their chain of narration is weak since Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ who is one its narrators is alone in narrating it as Abū Nuʿaym himself said. Then Rawhū is declared to be weak by Ibn ʿAdiyy, and Ibn Yūnus said, “Weak and reprehensible things are reported from him.”al-Dāraquṭnī said, “He is Ḍaʿīf (weak) in ḥadīth.” Ibn Mākūlā said, “They declare him weak.” Ibn ʿAdiyy said after quoting two of his ḥadīth, “He reports many Āḥadith and some of them are reprehensible.”
So they agree upon his weakness, so the ḥadīth is weak ie munkar since he is alone in reporting it. There are some people who try to strengthen this ḥadīth based upon the declaration of Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim that Rawhū is reliable. However, this will not benefit them due to what is known with regard to their leniency in declaration of reliability.
So this saying of theirs when opposed by sayings of other scholars does not carry any weight even if the declaration of weakness by the other scholars is not explained, so how about when the reason for weakness is made clear as is the case here? I have also fully explained the weakness of this Ḥadīth in al-Ḍaʿīfah no.23 and so I will not repeat that here.
The antagonists whom we have indicated quote that which can only cause laughter, saying, “Shaikh Nāṣir judged it to be weak, so we ask that he tell us who from the scholars of ḥadīth has declared this ḥadīth to be weak.” We quoted those who declare its narrator Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ to be weak, and he is alone in reporting it. This automatically means weakness of the ḥadīth unless someone is found to report it along with him, and Abū Nuʿaym had denied that there is anyone supporting this narration, unless another narration of it is found, and that is not the case!
Then they say, “Even if we accept that it is weak, then it is only slightly weak which would not prevent action upon it, since it is a case of acting on a ḥadīth whose weakness is not severe in that which relates to mere encouragement and warnings, which is allowed by the scholars of Ḥadīth and Fiqh.”
I say: there is no encouragement in this ḥadīth, nor does it explain some excellent for an action which is already established as being practised in the sharīʿah. Rather it is speaking about something which may be permissible or may not be permissible, therefore it is being used to establish a sharīʿah ruling, if it were authentic. Furthermore, these people are quoting it as a proof for this form of Tawassul about which there is disagreement. So when you accept its weakness then it is not permissible to use it as proof. I do not think any intelligent person would agree that it pertains tore encouragement and warnings. Rather this is the way of those who flee away from submission to the truth, they say things which no intelligent person would say.” (Tawassul: It’s Types and Its Rulings (p.101-102) Eng. Trans. Abū Talhah Ronald Burbank, Birmingham: al-Hidāyah)
INTERESTING BENEFIT – Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ is Weak According to the Principles of Shaikh Ẓafar Aḥmad Thānwī
According to the principle of Shaikh Ẓafar Aḥmad Thānwī any narrator not mentioned in The Līsan al-Mizān of Ḥāfiẓ and in the Mizān al-ʿEitidāl of Imām Dhahabī is considered to be trustworthy. Then we say the opposite must also be true by natural default according to Shaikh Ẓafar Aḥmad Thānwī, meaning that any narrator mentioned in the Lisān and Mizān is rendered to be untrustworthy. (Iʿla al-Sunan (7:256)
Understanding Hāfiz al-Haithami’s Words Rijāluhu Rijāl al-Ṣaḥīḥ
ie and “the remaining narrators are the narrators of the Ṣaḥīḥ” sometimes when the words of Ḥāfiẓ al-Haythamī are quoted like this after a ḥadīth has been mentioned, a reader’s natural inclination is that the remaining narrators are trustworthy and in turn the narration is authentic.
The Ḥanafī scholar, Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī has explained this is not the case and says in very clear words,
“If a narrator has been utilised as evidence in the Ṣaḥīḥ, it does not necessitate that every ḥadīth he is in (as a narrator) will fulfil the conditions of an authentic ḥadīth.” (Naṣb al-Rāyah (1:342)
Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajr also said the same with almost identical words in his al-Nukt ʿAla Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ (1:275) as does Imām Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī in his Ṣārim al-Munkī (p.256, 259)
Those Who Authenticated Rawhū in Ṣalāḥ and the Chain
From those who have authenticated the chain are,
Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajr al-Haythamī wherein he says,
“Narrated by al-Ṭabarānī with a good chain…” (Ḥāshiyyah al-ʿAllāmah Ibn Ḥajr al-Haythamī ʿAla Sharḥ al-Ayḍaḥ Fi Manāsik al-Ḥajj Lil Imām al-Nawawī (p.500), Beirut: Dar al-Ḥadīth, ?)
He also said the same in his al-Jawhar al-Munaẓẓam Fī Ziyārah al-Qabr al-Sharīf al-Nabawī al-Mukarram (p.110-111), Cairo: Maktabah Madbūlī, 2000)
An infamous writer Abul Hasan Hussain Ahmed has alleged, ‘Imām al-Samhūdī in his Khulaṣatul Wafāʾ bi-Akhbār Dār al-Muṣtafā has apparently mentioned that this Ḥadīth has a Jayyid Sanad.’ However, al-Samhūdī said the opposite, wherein he asserts and acknowledges weakness in the chain as is evident from his words.
“Transmitted in al-Kabīr and Awsaṭ with a chain containing Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ who was declared trustworthy by Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim however he has weakness whereas the remaining narrators are the narrators of the Ṣaḥīḥ.” (Wafāʾ al-Wafā Biakhbār Dār al-Muṣtafā (3:898-899), Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1404H/1984), Cf. Khulāṣah al-Wafā Biakhbār Dār al-Muṣtafā (p.421), Madīnah: al-Maktabah al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1392H/1972), another edition (2:369), Dr. Muḥammad al-Āmīn)
None of the earlier scholars authenticated the chain except the later ones as mentioned above and they were from the 8th-9th century. This authentication of the later scholars has to be scrutinised and investigated before it is taken as accepted. Even this in the current state only leaves the view of Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajr al-Haythamī to be investigated as Ḥāfiẓ Samhūdī pointed to its weakness.
Naturally al-Kawtharī cites the significant words of this report and says,
“The narrators of this ḥadīth are trustworthy except Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ and al-Ḥākim said he was trustworthy and safe and Ibn Ḥibbān brings his entry in his al-Thiqāt.” (Maḥqū al-Taqawwūl Fī Masalāḥ al-Tawassūl (p.4), Cairo: al-Maktabah al-Azhariyyah lit-Turāth, 2006), also from Maqalāt al-Kawtharī (p.340), Cairo: Maktabah al-Tawfiqia, ?)
However, al-Kawtharī himself acknowledges the leniency of Imām Ibn Ḥibbān and Imām al-Ḥākim in the same book al-Maqalāt as mentioned by Imām al-Albānī in Silsilah al-Ḍaʿīfahʾ (1:81), yet here they take and accept the same leniency as evidence.
Muḥammad ibn ʿAlawī al-Malikī quotes it in his book and says,
“There is a difference of opinion regarding one of the narrators, Rawhū ibn Ṣalāḥ, however Ibn Ḥibbān mentions him in his al-Thiqāt and al-Ḥākim said he was safe and trustworthy. So both of them, the two Ḥāfiẓs authenticated the ḥadīth. Likewise al-Haythamī followed up on this in (Majmaʿa al-Zawāʿid) and said Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ is in the chain, Ibn Ḥibbān declared him to be trustworthy as did al-Ḥākim, however, he has some weakness and the remaining narrators are the narrator of the Ṣaḥīḥs.” (Mafāhīm Yajib ʿAnn Tuṣaḥaḥ (p.146), Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1430H/2009)
Maḥmūd Saʿīd Mamdūḥ does the same and claims the narration is Ḥasan. He also quotes the statements of the scholars as we have mentioned above. He says the scholars have differed over Rawhū, some have said he is weak and others have declared him trustworthy. (Rafʿ ul-Minārah Li-Takhrīj Aḥadīth al-Tawassul wal-Ziyārah (p.147-148), Cairo, Maktabah al-Azhariyyah Lit-Turāth, 2006)
ʿIsā Himyarī jubilantly went on to assert the Ḥadīth is Ṣaḥīḥ ie authentic according to the conditions of Imām Ibn Ḥibbān and Imām al-Ḥākim and Ḥasan according to the conditions of others. (al-Tāʾmul Fī Ḥaqīqah al-Tawassul, p.214-215)
It is a little imaginative of Himyarī to say the ḥadīth is authentic according to the condition of both Imām Imām Ibn Ḥibbān and Imām al-Ḥākim!
G.F. Ḥaddād has also attempted to authenticate this report while relying on the works of Maḥmūd Saʿīd Mamduḥ and Muḥammad bin ʿAlawī al-Malikī. He pushes the line of argument of Maḥmūd Saʿīd Mamduḥ that the criticism is undetailed which is laughable as we have shown in this discourse. The Sūfī Aḥmad Daḥlān has also attempted to authenticate this report as does al-Ḥabīb al-Jifrī.
The central argument of the detractors is that Rawhū is differed over and that the criticism levied against him is not detailed but rather general and therefore we take the general praise and authentication of him.
It is well known and accepted by the detractors themselves that Imām Ibn Ḥibbān and Imām al-Ḥākim are both mutāsahil ie lenient with their gradings and authentication. It does not make sense for them to accept this and leave the criticism. They couple this argument with the fact the criticism and discrediting is undetailed and vague, therefore one retorts to the position of praise.
This has been answered by Shaikh al-Albānī and the scholars before him wherein he mentions the reasons Rawhū is weak. The main reason being he would narrate rejected narrations and that his narrations were rejected themselves. At times he would be a lone reporter of narration without any support.
Shaikh ʿAmr bin ʿAbd al-Munʿim explains that Imāms al-Ṭabarānī, Abū Nuʿaym and Ḥāfiẓ al-Haythamī have all declared this to be a lone report of Rawhū ibn Ṣalāḥ and none of the other students and companions of Sufyān narrates this from except Rawhū ibn Ṣalāḥ and these other students of Sufyān were memorisers and trustworthy narrators.
As for Imām Ibn Ḥibbān citing Rawhū in his al-Thiqat, it is not tantamount to trustworthiness as he is known to be lenient ie Mutasāhil. Whatever he mentions under his entry in his al-Thiqāt does not clarify the affair of Rawhū except that it is information as we have shown under his entry, which has preceded. Rather we find this entry alludes to all of his narrations being of the rejected type.
This is because Imām Ibn Ḥibbān in his entry states he narrates from the people of Misr and the people of Miṣr narrate from him, however in this report Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ narrates from Sufyān al-Thawrī, who was not from the people of Miṣr, therefore this alludes to it being strange and odd as Abū Nuʿaym has highlighted with his words when he said, “It is Gharīb from the ḥadīth of ʿĀṣim and al-Thawrī and we do not write it except it being the lone report of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ.”
Imām al-Ḥākim is even more lenient than Imām Ibn Ḥibbān, ie more mutasāhil, as al-Suyūṭī has quoted from Ḥāfiẓ al-ʿIrāqī who said,
“al-Ḥākim is more lenient than him (ie Ibn Ḥibbān)” (al-Tadrīb al-Rāwī (1:108)
Shaikh ʿAmr bin ʿAbd al-Munʿim goes into detail answering the authentication of Imām al-Ḥākim and answers Maḥmūd Saʿīd Mamduḥ’s discussion on the validity of al-Ḥākim’s statement.
As for Yaʿqūb bin Sufyān’s authentication. This is also inaccurate and needs investigation, in fact such a point is rejected. Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajr quotes the statement of Yaʿqūb bin Sufyān al-Fasawī that he wrote narrations from 1,000 teachers from Ḥāfiẓ al-Mizzī’s Tahdhīb al-Kamāl (23:324).
Ḥāfiẓ al-Dhahabī rejects this assertion and claims and says,
“I say he does not have that many teachers except roughly about 300, so where are the remainder? And the ones which are mentioned a group (of scholars) have weakened them.” (Siyar ʿAlām al-Nabulāʾ (13:181)
(Summarised from ʿAmr ʿAbd al-Munʿim Salīm’s, Hadmul Minārah Liman Ṣaḥḥaḥa Āḥadīth al-Tawassul wal-Ziyārah (p.126-134), Ṭanṭā: Dār ul-Dhiyāʿ, 1422H/2001)
Shaikh Fawzān bin Sābiq bin Fawzān al-Fawzān (d.1373H) also weakened Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ and this report. (al-Bayān waʾl Ishār Likashf Zaig al-Mulḥid al-Hāj Mukhtār (p.363), Beirut, Dār al-Gharb al-Islāmī, 1422H/2001)
Shaikh Muqbil also alludes to Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ being weak in his checking of the narrators in Sunan al-Dāraquṭnī. (Tarājim Rijāl al-Dāraquṭnī Fi Sunan (1:225 no.550), Ṣanʿa, Dār al-Athār, 1420H/1999)
Shaikh Zubair ʿAlī Zaʾī graded the report to weak on account of the weakness of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ according to the scholars of Ḥadīth. He also argued, even if he was authentic the second problem is the tadlīs of Sufyān al-Thawrī. Shaikh Zubair said seven scholars of Ḥadīth classed Rawhū to be weak,
(1) Ibn ʿAdiyy, (2) Ibn Yūnus, (3) al-Dāraquṭnī, (4) Ibn Mākūlā, (5) al-Dhahabī, (6) Ibn al-Jawzī, (7) Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Zakariyyah al-Baghdādī
While Imāms Ibn Ḥibbān, al-Ḥākim authenticated him and Yaʿqūb bin Sufyān al-Fasawī narrated from him. These three authentications are rejected based on the criticism of the majority of the scholars of ḥadīth. (al-Ḥadīth no.76, Ramaḍḥān 1431H/September 2010, p.9-12).
In fact, rather it is argued there is only actually one scholar who praised him and that is Imām al-Ḥākim with two words of Thiqah al-Māmūn and therefore holding onto just the words of al-Ḥākim, whose authentication is known to be unreliable.
Imām Ibn Ḥibbān’s Authentication of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ
The detractors rely on the alleged authentication of Imām Ibn Ḥibbān, that he entered Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ in his al-Thiqāt.
Firstly: We have shown and mentioned from the words of the scholars it is generally well known that Imām Ibn Ḥibbān was lenient in his gradings, and even the detractors have admitted and accepted this.
Secondly: Imām Ibn Ḥibbān renders this report to be weak on account of saying Rawhū only narrated from the people of Miṣr, where as in this narration he narrates from Sufyān, who was a Kūfan.
Thirdly: Imām Ibn Ḥibbān entering Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ in his al-Thiqat does not necessitate he did not have reprehensive weak and or rejected narrations. This is because Imām Ibn Ḥibbān includes other narrators who have reprehensible and rejected narrations in the same book. For example, he includes Muḥammad bin ʿAbd Allāh bin ʿAmr in his al-Thiqāt and says about him that some of his Āḥadīth are manākīr ie of the reprehensible rejected type. (al-Thiqāt (7:417)
The Leniency – Tasāhul of Imāms Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim
The statement of Ḥāfiẓ Suyūṭī quoting Ḥāfiẓ al-ʿIrāqī has preceded where both Imams Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim were declared to be lenient as quoted by Shaikh ʿAmr bin ʿAbd al-Munʿim.
Ḥāfiẓ al-Dhahabī is also of the view that Imām al-Ḥākim was lenient. (Zikr Man Yuʿtamad Qawlihi Fiʾl Jarḥ wat Taʿdīl (p.159) Cf. al-Muwaʿqizah (p.83)
Ḥāfiẓ al-Sakhawī also categorises Imām al-Hākim to be lenient. (al-ʿAlān Bil-Tawbih Liman Zam al-Tārīkh (p.168), al-Mutakallimūn Fiʾl Rijāl (p.137)
Shaikh ʿAbd al-Rahman Yahyā al-Muʿallamī al-Yamānī outlined the methodology of Imām Ibn Ḥibbān and his categorisation of trustworthy narrators and those who he includes in his book, amongst them are those who are unknown ie majhul, because they do not fit the other categories. (al-Tankīl Bimā Fī Ṭanīb al-Kawtharī Min al-Abāṭīl (1:437-438 no.199)
The detractors have again themselves admitted and clearly acknowledged in their various writings that both Imāms Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim are lenient and mutasāhil. For example, Muḥammad Zāhid al-Kawtharī has admitted this himself in his Maqalāt (p.185) as mentioned by Shaikh al-Albānī in his Silsilah aḤadīth al-Ḍaʿīfahʾ (1:81).
Regarding another ḥadīth and the narrator contained, Shaikh al-Albānī quotes Muḥammad Zāhid al-Kawtharī as saying,
“Yes Imām Ibn Ḥibbān mentioned him in his al-Thiqāt however his method in al-Thiqāt is that he mentions narrators in it when he is unaware of any criticism against them but this does not take them out of the condition in being unknown according to the other scholars and thus Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajr has refuted Imām Ibn Ḥibbān’s inconsistencies in his Lisān al-Mizān.” (Maqalāt (p.309)
I say: we find the madhab from the words of al-Kawtharī, which is, that he does not rely on the authentication of Ibn Ḥibbān and al-Ḥākim because both of them are lenient ie mutasāhil. Therefore, how is that he can declare the ḥadith under discussion to be authentic and he does this just on the basis of them authenticating Rawhū ibn Ṣalāh, especially since others who are more knowledgable than them in terms of narrators declare him weak.” (Silsilah Āḥadīth al-Daʿīfahʾ (1:82)
Shaikh Ẓafar Aḥmad Uthmānī has also categorised Imām al-Ḥākim as being lenient in two of his works. (Iʿla al-Sunan (2:107), Qawaʾid ʿUlūm al-Ḥadīth (p.189)
So they apply the rule when it suits their needs and desires while rejecting and overlooking it when it does not serve their intent and purposes in promoting the incorrect type of Tawassul and Wasīlah. Shaikh al-Albānī has yet again highlighted their inconsistencies and discrepancies while they play non the wiser card.
Shaikh Muḥibullāh Shāh al-Rāshidī al-Sindhī has also indicated the leniency of Imām Ibn Ḥibbān SEE HERE
Shaikh Muḥammad Bashīr Sehaswānī also discusses the narration and we conclude with his words,
“We find that Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ is in the chain who is weak. He was declared to be weak by Ibn ʿAdiyy and according to Sakhawī he was of the intermediate level of criticised narrators. There is no reliance on Ibn Ḥibbān mentioning him in his al-Thiqāt because he is well known to authenticate unknown narrators which we have already mentioned from Mizān al-ʿEitidāl. Likewise, al-Ḥākim’s lone authentication is also unworthy to be relied upon as he is from the lenient ones.” (Ṣiyānatul Insān ʿAnn Waswasah al-Shaikh Daḥlān (p.132)
The Report has a Broken or Disconnected Chain ie inqitʿa.
Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ hearing this report from Sufyān al-Thawrī is suspect and questionable from two separate indicative factors, both of which allude to Rawhū not hearing or even meeting Sufyān al-Thawrī let alone reporting this narration.
The First Indicative Factor – Timeline
The time difference between Sufyān’s death and Rawhū’s is contentious. Sufyān died according to most reports in 161H and Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ died in 233H (Lisān al-Mizān (2:540), Mizān al-ʿEitidāl (3:87), Tārīkh al-Islām (17:161 no.138)
Thus, there is a difference of approximately 72-73 years between their deaths and if Rawhū heard this report from Sufyān, he would have least been 16-20 years old making his birth date approximately 141-145H, taking Rawhū’s age to the late 80’s and early 90’s. It would also lead to the idea of Rawhū hearing from Sufyān al-Thawri during his later life.
This should also be coupled with the fact that Sufyān al-Thawrī was a Mudallis. It is known that Imām, ʿAmīr al-Muʿminin Fil-Ḥadīth, al-Hujjah, al-ʿAbid, Sufyān al-Thawrī was an Imām of Ahl al-Sunnah and a preserver of ḥadīth of the highest level yet still he was a mudallis.
Imām al-Dhahabī said,
“Sufyān would to tadlīs from weak narrators.” (Mizān ul-ʿEitidal (2:169), Siyar ʿAlām an-Nabulāʾ (7:242, 7:274).
Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajr also said he was a mudallis. (Ṭabaqāt al-Mudallisīn (p.32 no.51) and Taqrīb ut-Tahdhīb (no.2458 pg.394) in another ed. (p.197), an-Nukt (2/621), Irshād al-Sārī (1:286)
Imām ʿAbdullāh ibn al-Mubārak also said Sufyān al-Thawrī would do tadlīs. (Tahdhīb ut-Tahdhīb (4/102)
As well as the following Imāms,
Bukhārī (al-ʿEllal al-Kabīr (2:966) of Tirmidhī, at-Tamhīd (1:34)
Nasāʿī (Ṭabaqāt al-Mudallisīn (p.32 no.51)
Yaḥyā ibn Maʿīn (Sharḥ ʿEllal at-Tirmidhī (1:357), al-Kifāyah Fī ʿIlm ar-Riwāyah (p.361)
Yahyā al-Qaṭṭān (Tahdhīb al-Tahdhīb (11:192)
Ḥākim (Maʿrifah ʿUlūm al-Ḥadīth (p.105)
Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī (al-Kifāyah Fī ʿIlm ar-Riwāyah (p.361)
Ibn as-Ṣalāḥ (Muqaddimah pg.60)
Abū Maḥmūd al-Maqdisī (Qaṣīdah Fiʾl Mudallisīn (p.47, second poem)
Ṣalāḥ ud Ḍīn al-Laʿī (Jāmʿe at-Taḥṣīl Fi Aḥkām al-Marāsīl (p.99)
Ibn Rajab (Sharḥ ʿEllal at-Tirmidhī (1:358)
Nawawī and Suyūṭī (Tadrīb ar-Rāwī Sharḥ Taqrīb (1:263) in another ed. (1:230)
The Second Indicative Factor – Country
Rawhū could not have heard from Sufyān al-Thawrī because Rawhū only narrated from the people Miṣr and only they narrated from him, whereas Imām Sufyān was from Kūfah! Remember Imām Ibn Ḥibbān said,
“Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ, from the people of Miṣr, he narrates from Yaḥyā bin Ayūb and his countrymen and Muḥammad bin Ibrāhīm al-Bawshanjī narrates from him, he was from the people of Miṣr.” (al-Thiqāt (8:244)
Some of the other scholars have also alluded to Rawhū only narrating from the people of Miṣr, like Ibn Yūnus, Ibn Mākūlā and al-Dāraquṭnī. These two important factors further indicate the weakness of this report based on the chain and the narrator. Furthermore, Ḥāfiẓ al-Mizzī brings a detailed entry of Sufyān al-Thawrī and lists all the people who narrated from him without mentioning Rawhū as his student or from the people who narrated from Sufyān. (Tahdhīb al-Kamāl Fī Asmāʿ al-Rijāl (11:161-164 no.2407), Beirut, Muassisah al-Risālah, 1408H/1987)
It can be argued with regards to the first point, that the meeting between Rawhū and Sufyān is still possible, however based on general norms it seems highly unlikely, norms like lifespans, travelling to different lands, possible meetings etc.
If someone says the Imāms have mentioned Rawhū narrates from Sufyān, then we say they have mentioned this based on the chains of narration or transmission of reports where Rawhū reports on Sufyān’s authority, it does not however make this a reality or fact.
BENEFIT – Revisiting Imām Ibn Ḥibbān’s Authentication
It is highly pertinent to mention according to Imām Ibn Ḥibbān’s own statement in his al-Thiqāt, he himself renders this report to be weak due to Rawhū narrating from Sufyān, who was from Kūfa, so how can they present his authentication.
Matters of belief are not accepted if they are lone reports according to the principles of the detractors. The Ḥanafī madhab, the Ashʿarī’s and Maturidī’s.
There is no other option but to accept that this report is a single lone narration of Rawhū bin Ṣalāḥ based on the clarifications and elucidations of the scholars of Ḥadīth from the likes of Imām al-Ṭabarānī, Ḥāfiẓ Abū Nuʿaym and Ḥāfiẓ Nūr al-Dīn al-Haythamī.
The principle of the detractors whether Ḥanafī, Ashʿarī or Matūridī is that lone reports ie Khabar al-Ahād are not aceepted in matters of creed and Imān because for them matters of belief must be based on certainty and therefore issues that are in relation to belief and disbelief cannot be established by Aḥād or single lone reports. One can refer to Usūl Sarkhasī (p.116), Fawātih al-Rahmūt (2:136) and other general book on Ḥanafi ʿUsūl.
The antagonists present this report as an evidence for Tawassul and since it is related to matters of belief and Imān, it is imperative that it must be mutawatir and not Khabr al-Aḥād in order for them to accept it.
Other Chains for this report
Muḥammad ʿAlawī al-Malikī and others have mentioned other reports which differ in the wording, whilst some of them do not even mention the the words the detractors attempt to prove their belief system from. All of these other narrations are either weak, with weak and unknown narrators or the chains are unconnected and are mursal. G.F. Haddād has also admitted some of these reports do not contain the contentious words.
Answering the Fallacious Claim of Necrophilia
The ignorant people of other faiths, in their emotionally filled rants and outbursts against Islām allege the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) slept with the body of Fātimah bint Asad RaḍiAllāhū ʿAnha based on the wording of this ḥadīth. Such horrible claims are often regurgitated by people who follow and believe in Christianity.
This is an outright lie and a desperate attempt to discredit Islām, such claims are often raised by people who have not read anything about Islām and rather just take some information from websites, who extend most of their efforts to concoct fallacious allegations against Islām.
This treacherous claim rests on the words فاضطجع They claim the word means to sleep, lay down ie he lay down with Fātimah bint Asad to have sex with her and this Arabic word is often used to denote to lie down and sleep with someone. We seek refuge in Allāh from such lies and aspersions. Āmīn
Firstly: we have shown this ḥadīth is weak in the preceding discourse, but let’s assume for arguments sake that it was authentic, then;
Secondly: The word اضطجع means to lie, lie down, recline, repose and sleep according to the well known Arabic dictionaries. It does not mean to sleep or to lay down for sex. This is also the word the Christians use in their Arabic translation of the Bible. Hence, they say وَدَخَلَ أَلِيشَعُ الْبَيْتَ وَإِذَا بِالصَّبِيِّ مَيْتٌ وَمُضْطَجعٌ عَلَى سَرِيرِهِ. [And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. (2Kings 4:32) Kings James Version).
So one asks, does the word laid here also mean, ‘lay to have sex?’ Of course it does not! Then why is this meaning specified and restricted to the ḥadīth only.
Thirdly: the wording of the ḥadīth clearly mentions the Messenger of Allāh (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) entered the grave after it was dug and the body of Fātimah bint Asad RaḍiAllāhū ʿAnha had not been lowered into the grave. The Messenger of Allāh (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) lay in the grave after it was dug by his companions. The grave had a Laḥd, which is a horizontal opening in the vertically dug grave. The Messenger of Allāh (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) also dug the grave and the Laḥd after which he lay in it. Thereafter, he stood up and eventually the body was lowered into the grave.
It should therefore be noted; the body was lowered into the grave after he stood up – the body was not even in the grave when he was lying down in it! What kind of necrophilia was this? We presume the claimants can further shed some light on this matter, for the claimants are likely to know the reality and details of necrophilia the best, perhaps from experience in the modern Christian atheistic world, because surely one only accuses others of things they have experience, practice and knowledge about.
So we ask again? How is the alleged incident even possible when the Messenger of Allāh (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not even lie next to the body, unless the detractors have developed other forms of sex!!! Again, this would not be surprising because this is what happens when you abandon your scriptures by distorting the divine message they contained.
The wording of the report further shows the great care and love the Messenger of Allāh (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) had for Fātimah bint Asad RaḍiAllāhū ʿAnha, the alleged wording says,
“When camphor water was brought, Allāh’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) poured some water into his hands. Then Allāh’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) took off his shirt and clothed her with it and used his own sheet of cloth as her coffin.”
This showed the love and care the Messenger of Allāh (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) had for her due to her status. The detractors show more affection and care for animals and dogs and regularly bathe them, how about Fātimah bint Asad RaḍiAllāhū ʿAnha, who was his paternal aunt and looked after him just like his mother! At what expense is the human mind and intelligence being carelessly wasted.
Fourthly: another indication which shows the futility of this repulsive allegation is the fact that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) used his shirt and wrapped it around her and then used his own sheet of cloth as her coffin, the words are,
“Then Allāh’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) took off his shirt and clothed her with it and used his own sheet of cloth as her coffin.”
Again, a sane, upright and normal human being asks, why would a person use their own shirt to wrap the corpse of his paternal aunt – a mother like figure, then use his own sheets as her coffin, then dig her grave with his own hands, then lie in her grave and supplicate to the creator to forgive and have mercy on her (allegedly as the ḥadīth is weak), then to have her lowered in the grave, then unfasten the coffin sheets and shirt and then indulge in necrophilia? Absolutely preposterous!
We would like to exercise our common sense by using our brains and minds, given to us by our creator and ask, what were the other companions doing during this incident of necrophilia? Why do this in the grave and not on the ground if they were looking?
These people have no idea about the stature, uprightness and credibility of the illustrious companions, that they would allow someone to do such a heinous act in front of them. The companions were powerful, they were Ūsāmah bin Zayd, Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī, ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb and the Abyssinian companion, May Allāh be pleased with all of them. Who does not know the lofty credentials of ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb, that even satan was forced to change paths when he would see him due to his, principles, morals, standards, character and firm belief. That the likes of these companions just stood there and watched this evil incident to unfold.
Fifthly: the detractors should know in Islām purification and cleanliness play a pivotal role in the daily life of Muslims. For example, Muslims are instructed to hold their private parts with their left hand because they have been instructed to eat with their right. They are instructed to sit down while relieving themselves, they are instructed to protect themselves and their clothes from urine and faeces, they are instructed to clean themselves with water, they are instructed to wash their hands everytime they relieve themselves, they are instructed to conceal their private parts from others and much more.
The Muslims were given these instructions by the Messenger of Allāh (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam), whose words in the Religion are taken as divine texts, ie from the Prophetic Ḥadīth. This said, the rules, regulations and etiquettes for sexual intercourse between legally married partners in Islām require a greater level of purification and cleanliness.
The point being, on another occasion the Messenger of Allāh (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked his companions to help lower a body into a grave, and he asked them if any of them were in a state of sexual impurity, ie if they had spent the night with their lawful wives. One of the companion who was in a state of sexual impurity was asked not to help in lowering the body (Bukhārī).
This honours the deceased, ie the people who help lower the deceaseds body are in a state of ritual purity and clean. So when a person is in a state of sexual impurity and he is not allowed to partake in lowering the deceased, then how about the act of sexual intercourse with a corpse! Let alone the rules and regulations Muslims have when it comes to intimacy and intercourse.
We mentioned examples of how Muslims uphold purification and cleanliness while relieving themselves and at the same token the clever people who regurgitate these treacherous lies about the Messenger of Allāh (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallm), are the same people who do not even wash their hands when they go to the toilet, they have cascades of urine droplets on their clothes and toilet seats. They are the same people who would not bathe for weeks, just less than 100 years and when they would bathe, the whole family would use the water, whereas our glorious Prophetic Divine teachings go back 1400 years.
Therefore, it is absolutely absurd and a despicable aspersion to even suggest this notion of necrophilia, which is an outright treacherous lie.
We have shown this ḥadīth is weak and to use it to prove and argue impermissible tawassul is incorrect, contrary to the authentic evidences.
By the two weak slaves of Allāh,
Abū Ḥibbān Malak
Abū Khuzaimah Imran Masoom Anṣārī
15th Dhul Hijjah 1438H/ 6th September 2017