Hadith 23: The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent Abu Bakr with the (announcement of) (surah) Bara’ah. Then he summoned him and said, “It is not right for anyone to convey this except a man from my family.” So he called ‘Ali and gave it to him.

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Hadith 23

 

بعث النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ببراءة مع أبي بكر، ثم دعاه فقال: لا ينبغي لأحد أن يبلغ هذا إلا رجل من أهلي. فدعا عليا فأعطاه إياه.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent Abu Bakr with the (announcement of) (surah) Bara’ah. Then he summoned him and said, “It is not right for anyone to convey this except a man from my family.” So he called ‘Ali and gave it to him.

 

This hadith has been transmitted by Anas, Abu Hurairah, Jabir, Abu Bakr, Abu Sa’id, ibn ‘Umar, Ibn ‘Abbas, Sa’d, and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

The hadith of Anas is narrated by Imam al Tirmidhi (and others) from Hammad ibn Salamah — from Simak ibn Harb — from Anas ibn Malik.[1]

The preferred view regarding the transmitter Simak is that he is da’if (weak), except when Sufyan al Thawri and Shu’bah narrate from him.

All of the chains of transmission are da’if (weak). Some are extremely weak (shadid al da’f), while others are of a tolerable weakness (da’f yasir). Imam al Tirmidhi ruled it a Hassan (fair) hadith, as did Ibn Hajar[2] and al Albani. For that reason, I mentioned this hadith here (in this section of the book).

Ibn al Jawzi ruled this hadith to be weak.

I have mentioned in the original work that Anas’s version of this hadith contains the transmitter Simak, about whom there is a difference of opinion (regarding his status). The version of Abu Hurairah’s hadith only appears with the transmitter al Muharrar ibn Abi Hurairah. Ibn Hibban is the only person to deem him a reliable narrator.

The hadith of Jabir is only transmitted with the ‘an’anah[3] of Abu al Zubair. There are, however, some huffaz (hadith masters) who accept this.

The hadith’s version of Abu Bakr contains (Abu Ishaq) al Sabi’i. He is considered a mudallis[4] and mukhtalit[5]. There are, however, some huffaz (hadith masters) who accept him without question.

 

As for the meaning of the hadith and the intent thereby, Ibn Taymiyyah writes:

 

The issue of (surah) Bara’ah and how only a person from Banu Hashim was permitted to convey it includes all the Hashimis. This is because the custom had always been (at that time) that agreements (made) are only to be rescinded by a person from the tribe of the person concerned (i.e. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).[6]

 

Ibn al ‘Arabi writes:

 

Our ‘ulama’ say that the meaning (of this hadith) is that the way of the Arabs has always been that whenever one of them concludes an agreement, then it is not permissible for anyone other than that individual, or someone from his family to rescind it. (Based on this,) the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (only) remembered after sending Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and so then he sent ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu (afterwards). This was to prevent the possibility of the Arabs from having any proof against him salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by saying, “He made an agreement with us; therefore, only he has the right to rescind it.” Allah permitted this for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam out of benefit, and (to show the) wisdom in a ruling of the Shari’ah. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam fulfilled this wisdom and benefit (which Allah created) through sending ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[7]

 

NEXT⇒ Hadith 24


[1] Imam al Tirmidhi: Sunan al Tirmidhi, hadith no. 3090.

[2] Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalani: Fath al Bari, 8/320.

[3] Mu’an’an is a technical term in the science of hadith. It is used to indicate that established transmission methods, e.g. as indicated by terms such as haddat̲h̲ani (he narrated to me), ak̲h̲barani (he informed me) or sami’tu (I heard), are not known to have occurred, or have not been observed, between the transmitters of one or more links in an isnad. The method described by the term mu’an’an solely consists of the preposition ‘an ‘on the authority of’. Isnads with one or more times the preposition ‘an between two transmitters are called mu’an’an isnads. [translator’s note]

[4] A mudallis refers to a transmitter who (sometimes) transmits with obfuscation in his transmission; either intentionally or unintentionally narrating a hadith in manner that obscures or omits transmitters in the isnad. [translator’s note]

[5] Mukhtalit refers to a transmitter who, on account of becoming senile, blind, or because of his books burning, is unable to transmit hadith correctly anymore. [translator’s note]

[6] Ibn Taymiyyah: Minhaj al Sunnah al Nabawiyyah, 5/34.

[7] Ibn al ‘Arabi: ‘Aridat al Ahwadhi, 13/169.