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Raful al-Laa’imah Aanil Ai’mah – Lifting the Blame From the Imams Series – Part 14 – In Defence of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal – Shaikh Irshad ul-Haq al-Athari

In Defence of The Imam of Ahlus-Sunnah, 
The Hafidh of Hadith, The Muhaddith 
Ahmad ibn Hanbal
Part 14
Shaikh Irshad ul-Haq al-Athari (Hafidhahullah)
Series compilers, Translated and Annotated 
Abu Hibbaan & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari


Reciting The Qur’aan Next To A Grave – Clarifying the Position of Imaam Ahmad

Was Imaam Ahmad Unaware of these Ahadeeth

(A student of Abdul-Fattah Abu Guddah al-Hanafee, Muhammad Awaamah attempted to discredit Imaam Ahmad by establishing this chapter heading in his book Athar al-Hadeeth, which Shaikh Irshaad ul-Haqq answered)

Shaikh Muhammad Awaamah during this discussion said about Imaam Ahmad that he also did not have knowledge of certain ahadeeth. Imaam Ahmad no doubt was a man however the examples that have been put forward which the Shaikh has mentioned are not correct. He said, Imaam Abu Bakr Khalaal said,

 “Said to me Hasan bin Ahmad al-Warraaq, said to him Alee bin Moosaa al-Haddaad that, “I was in a funeral with Imaam Ahmad and Muhammad bin Qudaamah al-Jauharee and when the body of the deceased was buried, a blind man began to recite the Qur’aan next to the grave. Imaam Ahmad said, “Reciting the Qur’aan next to the grave is an innovation.” So when we left the graveyard Muhammad bin Qudaamah said to Imaam Ahmad, ”What do you say concerning Mubasshir al-Halabee?” Imaam Ahmad replied, “He is thiqah (trustworthy)” So Muhammad ibn Qaudaamah said, “Mubasshir narrated via Abdur-Rahmaan bin E’laa bin al-Hajjaaj that his father willed that Soorah Faatihah and the beginning and last part of Soorah al-Baqarah be recited when he be buried. He said he heard this from Umar and he would oftenly ask for this to b also done for him. So upon hearing this Imaam Ahmad said to the man, “Return and recite on the grave of the deceased.” (Kitaabar-Rooh (p.17) Athar al-Hadeeth (p.125)

Then Muhammad Awaamah further cited narrations concerning this from Ellal al-Mutnaahiyyah (1/428-443) and from Tahdheeb (6/320)



As for the reference from Kitaab ar-Rooh of the statement of Imaam Abu Bakr al-Khalaal and this incident, then its chain is not authentic because the biography of Hasan bin al-Warraaq could not be found after a lengthy search.

Shaikh al-Asar Allaamah al-Albaanee haafidhahullaah (the Shaikh Rahimahullah) was alive when this treatise was written) said,

“I could not find his biography in any of the books of narrators I have.” (Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz footnote (p.192)


Contrary to this Imaam Abu Dawood writes,

“I heard from Imaam Ahmad when a questioner asked him concerning the reciting of the Qur’aan next to a grave, he said it should not be recited.” (Masaa’il Imaam Ahmad narrated by Imam Abu Dawood (p.158), Majmoo Fataawa of Ibn Taymiyyah (24/301-307), Masaa’il Ahmad (1/190) narrated by Ibn Haanee and narrated by the son of Imaam Ahmad (Abdullaah) (2/494-495)


The position of Haafidh Ibn al-Qayyim himself is contrary to this (as the reference for the above incident is cited from his book), he writes,

“This was not the way of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) to gather the people to recite the Qur’aan in order to mourn the deceased, nor whilst next to the grave or at any other place, all of this are prohibited and despicable innovations.” (Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/146)

He writes a couple of lines before this,

“When the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) would finish burying a person, he and his companions would stand by the grave and would supplicate for the deceased to be steadfast and he would also command the companions with this. He would not recite (the Qur’aan) whilst sitting next to the grave nor would he instruct the deceased to do so, as the people do nowadays.” (Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/145)


Abdur-Rahmaan bin E’laa bin al-Hajjaaj in this chain is unknown. Allaamah Dhahabee said,

“No one other than Bishr bin Ismaa’eel narrated from him.” (Meezaan (2/579)

Imaam Ibn Abee Haatim mentioned him in al-Jarh Wat-Ta’deel but he did not mention any criticism or praise of him. (Imaam Ibn Abee Haatim remaining silent about a narrator in his book al-Jarh Wa-Ta’deel is evidence that he is unknown according to him, see my book Taudheeh al-Kalaam (2/441-442)

However Ibn Hibbaan has mentioned him in ah-Thiqaat (7/90) but according to the Imaams and scholars of this science his praise alone is not sufficient. This is the reason why Haafidh Ibn Hajr said about him,

“From the seventh level (of narrators), he is accepted.” (Taqreeb (p.208)

Whilst explaining the details of the words of praise and criticism in the introduction of his Taqreeb he clarifies the narrator who has less or a small number of narrations and nothing is established from that may cause one to leave his ahadeeth then his hadeeth is accepted, only if he is supported (in his narration) if he is not supported then he will be considered to be weak. In hadeeth

Therefore as Abdur-Rahmaan has no support, he is weak in hadeeth according to Haafidh Ibn Hajr. Hence when the chain of this incident and the chain of the narration are not authentic then it is not correct to draw such conclusions from this hadeeth. For further details see Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz (p.191-193) (of Imaam al-Albaanee)

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