40 Hadith – Shaikh ul-Islam Imam Ibn Taymiyyah -:- Hadith No.21 – The Virtue Of Knowledge – By Shaikh Zubair Ali Zai [1435H]

Tahqiq, Takhrij, Sharh

Muhadith Zubair Ali Zai

Translated Abu Ubaydah
Translated, Checked & Additional Notes
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

The Virtue Of Knowledge

Abu Ishaq Ibrahim Ibn Isma’il Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Yahya Ibn Alawi Ibn al-Husayn ad-Daraji al-Qurashi informed us, it was read to him and I heard it in the month of Rajab in the year of 680 Hijri, Abu Ja’far Muhamad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Nasr Ibn Abi al-Fath as-Sayda Lani informed us of the Ijazah, Abu Ali al-Hasan Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-Hasan al-Hadad informed us, Abu Nu’aym Ahmad Ibn Abdillah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Ishaq al-Hafidh informed us, Abu Muhamad Abdullah Ibn Ja’far Ibn Ahmad Ibn Faris informed us [Muhamad Ibn Asim Abu Ja’far ath-Thaqafi al-Isbahani narrated to us]*[1] he said, [and]**[2] I heard Sufyan Ibn Uyaynah say, Asim narrated to us***[3], from Zir, he said,

I came to Safwan Ibn Asal al-Muradi (Radi Allahu Anhu) (to ask him about wiping over the Khuff), so he said: ‘What has brought you, O Zirr?’ So I said: ‘The desire for seeking knowledge.’ So he said: ‘Indeed, the Angels lower their wings for the seeker of knowledge, out of pleasure with what he is seeking.’ So I said: ‘Indeed there is some doubt in my chest concerning wiping over the Khuff after defecation and urination, (and you were a man from the Companions of the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam)) so I came to you to ask you: Have you heard him (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) mention anything concerning that?’ He said: ‘Yes, he (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) used to order us, that when we were travelers’ – or – ‘in travel, to not remove our Khuff for three days and nights except, from sexual impurity, but not from defecation, urination, and sleep.’” He said: “Have you heard him (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) mention anything concerning love?” He said: “Yes. We were with the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) on a journey when a Bedouin with a loud voice called upon him (saying): ‘O Muhammad!’ So the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) responded to him with a voice similar to him (saying): ‘Come (what is it that you would like to say?).’ ’ The Bedouin said: ‘A man loves a people but he is not with them (in terms of deeds)?’ He (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said: ‘A man is with whomever he loves’” So he did not cease talking with us, until he mentioned a gate in the direction of the west with the width of seventy years journey – or a rider would travel its width – for forty or seventy years. It shall not be locked until the sun rises through it and that is the meaning of the ayah, “The Day that some of the signs of your Rab will come no soul will benefit from its faith” (Surah al-An’am ayah no.158)

He was born in the year 599 Hijri. And he died in the month of Safar in the year 671 Hijri


Ibn Taymiyah narrated this hadith through the chain of Muhamad Ibn Asim ath-Thaqafi and this is the last hadith in the Juz of Muhamad Ibn Asim (hadith no.55) 

It has also been narrated by Tirmidhi (no.3535, and he said, Hasan Sahih), Ibn Majah (no.478 summarised), Ahmad (4/240) and Humaydi (no.883 with my verification and Sufyan Ibn Uyaynah clarified hearing the hadith from his teacher in this book) and other than them. 

The chain of this narration is graded as Hasan li-Thatihi and Ibn Khuzaimah (no.17, no.193 and no.196) and Ibn Hiban (no.1316 – no.1318 and no.1322) have declared it as being Sahih. 

*[1] from the manuscript

** [2] the word ‘and’

***[3] in the manuscript it does not include the word ‘hadathana’ before Asim


1. It is allowed for a traveler to wipe over the leather socks (and cotton socks) for 3 days on the condition that he put them on whilst being in the state of wudhu. From other proofs it is established that a person who is a resident and non-traveler can wipe over them based on the previously mentioned conditions.  

2. The wudhu breaks if one goes to sleep. 

3. The meaning of “and to love” is having true love and if there is exaggeration in this love, i.e. by having love which is more than what the beloved deserves (even if the beloved is a scholar who is righteous, has taqwa and the correct aqidah), then the lover will not (in actuality) be with the one whom he loves. In fact the loved person will be free from the lover due to his exaggeration and this lover will be with the original beloved, meaning Shaytan, just as it is established from other proofs. 

Thinking that the Pauline Christians will be with Esa Ibn Maryam (Alayhisalam) is absolutely false and rejected. 

4. The door of repentance is open till the day of Judgement. 

5. One should travel in order to seek knowledge.

6. None of the companions had knowledge of the unseen.

7. Angels have wings and they become very happy with those who seek knowledge. 

8. Seeking knowledge is an exceptionally good and virtuous deed. 

9. The saying of the bedouin ‘Ya Muhamad’ to Muhamad the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) is an ijtihadi mistake and perhaps he was unaware of the the ruling that it is prohibited. (As mentioned in the same hadith narrated by Tirmidhi no.3535 with the words, “So we said to him: ‘Lower your voice for you are with the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), and you have been prohibited from this.’ He said: ‘By Allah, I will not lower (my voice)).”

10. The hadith is an explanation of the Qur’an.

11. Imam Abul Qasim Sulayman Ibn Ahmad Ibn Ayub at-Tabarani (author of the famous book al-Mu’jam al-Kabir) narrated from his teacher, Abu Yahya Zakariya Ibn Yahya as-Saji (died 307 Hijri), in Kitab as-Sunnah the following,

“We used to go to some of our teachers to listen to the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). So (one day) we were walking (really quickly), and with us was a shameless youngster who said, ‘Lift your feet off from the Angel’s wings (i.e. walk slowly) otherwise you may end up breaking the Angel’s wings.’

After a short while his feet became paralyzed. (Majmu Fatawa of Ibn Taymiyyah 4/539)

Kitab as-Sunnah of at-Tabarani is a book which has become missing, therefore I have been compelled to take this from a different reference. So Khatib Baghdadi has narrated it from the chain of an obscure person called Abul Husayn Ali Ibn Muhamad Ibn Talha al-Wa’idh al-Isbahani (??) who said, at-Tabarani narrated to us. (ar-Rihla fi talabul hadith no.8)

Also Hafidh Abdulqadir ar-Rahawey said, “The (accuracy and reality of the) story (above) is the just like (the reality of) when one receives something from a person hand to hand (i.e. directly with no doubt) or as though you have witnessed or seen it with your very own eyes, the narrators are famous scholars and Imams. (Bustan al-Arifin of an-Nawawi 1/35 containing the story)    


Safwan Ibn Asal al-Muradi (Radi Allahu Anhu)

A Summarised comprehensive biography of Safwan Ibn Asal al-Muradi (Radi Allahu Anhu) is as follows:

Name and lineage: 

Safwan Ibn Asal al-Muradi ar-Rabdi (Radi Allahu Anhu)


Zir Ibn Hubaish Al-Asadi, Abdullah Ibn Salamah al-Muradi and Abu Salamah Ibn Abdurahman Ibn Awf and other than them.


1. He participated in 12 battles against the kuffar with the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). (See Tahdhib al-Kamal 3/460)

2. Abu Hatim ar-Razi said, “He is a companion that settled in Kufah.” (Kitab al-Jarh wa Ta’dil 4/420 – 421)

Knowledge Of Narrations:

There are 21 ahadith of his that are present in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad which he narrated or which have been attributed to him.


It is unknown. Radi Allahu Anhu

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