`Abd al-Husayn Reject the Hadith Regarding Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam Forgetting

`Abd al-Husayn Rejects the Hadith, “Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam Would Get Angry and Lash”
December 4, 2015
`Abd al-Husayn Rejects the Hadith of Nabi Musa `alayh al-Salam Being Reprimanded for Burning an Army of Ants after One of them Pinched Him.
December 4, 2015

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‘Abdul Hussain Rejects the Hadith Regarding the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Forgetting

 

On page 92, ‘Abdul Hussain quotes the hadith concerning the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forgetting two raka’at. Al Bukhari and Muslim report under the chapter of forgetting in salah in their Sahihs from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who narrates:

 

صلى النبي  إحدى صلاتي العشي وأكثر ظني العصر ركعتين ثم سلم ثم قام إلى خشبة في مقدم المسجد فوضع يده عليها وفيهم أبو بكر وعمر فهابا أن يكلماه وخرج سرعان الناس فقالوا: أقصرت الصلاة؟ ورجل يدعوه النبي  ذو اليدين فقال: أنسيت أم قصرت؟ فقال: لم أنس ولم تقصر! قال: بلى قد نسيت! فصلى ركعتين! ثم سلم ثم كبر! فسجد

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam performed one of the evening salahs, which I remember to be ‘Asr. He only performed two raka’at and then made salam. Thereafter, he went towards the trunk that was in the front of the masjid and he placed his hand upon it. Among the crowd was Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, but they were afraid to speak.

The hasty ones exited asking, “Has salah been shortened?”

There was a man whom the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would call Dhu l-Yadayn (the one with two hands). He asked, “Have you forgotten or has salah been shortened?”

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “I have neither forgotten, nor has salah been shortened.”

He replied, “Indeed you have forgotten.”

Thereupon, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam performed two raka’at, made salam, then said the takbir and prostrated…[1]

 

‘Abdul Hussain says:

 

Firstly, this kind of forgetfulness cannot fall to the lot of one who pays the slightest amount of attention to his salah or dedicates himself in any way to it. This only happens to those who are indifferent towards their salah and do not pay attention to their private conversation (with Allah). The Prophets of Allah are far beyond the condition of the negligent. Their nobility is untainted by the accusations of the ignorant. The Prophets, especially their leader and seal, is much loftier than they imagine. This is despite the fact that a mistake like this has not been narrated to us from anyone, and I doubt its occurrence, except from the one whose condition is as explained by the poet,

I performed salah, but when I think about it, I cannot tell whether I performed two raka’at of the mid-morning prayer or eight raka’at.

How can this be said regarding the leader of the Prophets whereas his movement among those who prostrate was watched by Allah? If I had to commit an error like this it would have destroyed my life. I would be extremely ashamed and my followers would have mocked me as well as my acts of worship. This is definitely not possible in the case of the Prophets.

 

Our comment: Firstly, the Qur’an points out many occasions where the Prophets were overtaken by forgetfulness. Allah says to His noble Prophet:

 

سَنُقْرِئُكَ فَلَا تَنْسٰى

We shall soon teach you and you will not forget.[2]

 

وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِيْنَ يَخُوْضُوْنَ فِىْ أٰيٰتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتّٰى يَخُوْضُوْا فِىْ حَدِيْثٍ غَيْرِهِ وَإمَّا يُنْسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطٰنُ فَلاَ تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرٰى مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّـالِمِيْنَ

When you see those who engross themselves with Our ayat, then turn away from them until they engage in some other talk. Should Shaitan cause you to forget, then after recalling, do not sit with the unjust people.[3]

 

وَاذْكُرْ رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيْتَ وَقُلْ عَسٰى أَنْ يَّهْدِيَنِ رَبِّيِ لِأَقْرَبَ مِنْ هٰـذَا رَشَداً

Remember your Rabb when you forget and say, “I have the hope that my Rabb will guide me to that which leads closer to it.”[4]

 

وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسٰى لِفَتٰـهُ لَآ أَبْرَحُ حَتّٰى أَبْلُغَ مَجْمَعَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ أَوْ أَمْضِيَ حُـقُـبًا  فَـلَمَّا بَـلَغَا مَجْمَعَ بـَيـْنِهِمَا نَسِيَا حُوْتَهُمَا فَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيْلَهُ فِي الْبَحْرِ سَرَبـًا فـَلَمَّا جَاوَزَا قَالَ لِفَتٰهُ أٰتـِنَا غَدَاءَنَا لَـقَدْ لَـقِيْنَا مِنْ سَفَرِنَا هَذَا نَـصَبًا قَالَ أَرَءَيْتَ إِذْ أَوَيـْنَا إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ فَإِنِّيْ نَسِيْتُ الْحُوْتَ وَمَا أَنْسٰـنِيْهُ إِلاَّ الشَّيْطَانُ أَنْ أَذْكُرَهُ وَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِى الْبَحْرِ عَجَبًا

When Musa said to the youngster, “I shall continue to walk until I reach the confluence of two seas or until I pass a long period.” So, when they reached the confluence of the two, they both forgot their fish and it tunnelled its path into the ocean. When they proceeded further, Musa told the youngster, “Bring our breakfast. Without doubt, this journey has been extremely wearisome for us.” He replied, “Did I not tell you that when we sought shelter by the boulder, I forgot the fish? It was certainly Shaitan that made me forget to mention it. It made its way into the sea in an extremely marvellous way.”[5]

 

Secondly, this hadith is narrated by others as well. It has been narrated by Ibn Mas’ud as well as ‘Imran radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.[6]

As for ‘Abdul Hussain’s rejection of the forgetting of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, this is the view of the extremists, who believe that the Prophets cannot forget. Soon I will reproduce for this author as well as all the others who deny that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam could have forgotten, a rejection of this view by his Imams (whom he believes cannot make mistakes or forget and that they are the proofs of Allah on the earth). Abu al Salt al Harawi narrates:

 

قلت للرضا (ع) إن في سواد الكوفة قوما يزعمون أن رسول الله لم يقع عليه السهو في صلاته ، فقال: كذبوا لعنهم الله إن الذي لا يسهو هو الله الذي لا إله إلاهو

I said to al Rida, “There are some who live on the outskirts of Kufah who claim that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not ever make a mistake in his salah.”

He replied, “They have lied, may the curse of Allah be upon them. The one who does not forget is Allah. There is none worthy of worship except Him.”[7]

 

Their Sheikh, al Saduq, says:

 

ليس سهو النبي كسهونا لأن سهوه من الله اسهاه ليعلم أنه بشر فلا يتخذ معبوداً دونه وسهونا من الشيطان …

The forgetting of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is not the same as our forgetting. His forgetting is from Allah. He makes him forget so that it remains clear that he is a human and, thus, he is not taken as deity in place of Allah. Our forgetfulness is from the devil.[8]

 

The truth is that the Shia have differed regarding the belief of whether it was possible or not for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to have forgotten. Their initial stance from the era of al Qummi—who was given the title al Saduq (the truthful)—and his teacher, Muhammad ibn al Hassan ibn al Walid, as well as the stance of the vast majority of the Shia; is that the first step in the direction of extremism is to negate that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ever forgot. Thus, they would consider all those who would negate the fact that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forgot to be extremist Shia. It is clear that ‘Abdul Hussain is amongst the extremists. In fact, al Qummi considers those who believe that the Imams cannot forget as Mufawwidah, “may Allah curse them,” is what he says. According to him, they are not part of the Shia.[9]

 

Their Sheikh, Ibn Babuwayh al Qummi states in Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih:

 

أن الغلاة والمفوضة لعنهم الله ينكرون سهو النبي

The extremists and Mufawwidah—may Allah curse them—deny that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forgot.[10]

 

He also mentions that his teacher, Ibn al Walid, would say:

 

أول درجة في الغلو نفي السهو عن النبي ولو جاز أن ترد الأخبار الواردة في هذا المعني لجاز أن نرد جميع الأخبار و في ردها إبطال الدين و الشريعة، وأنا احتسب الأجر في تصنيف كتاب منفرد في إثبات سهو النبي والرد على منكريه

The first step towards extremism is denying that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forgot. If it is possible to deny the narrations that have been reported in this regard, then it will be possible to deny all other narrations. In doing so, the entire din and shari’ah will be destroyed. I have hope that compiling a complete book to prove that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forgot and refuting the opposite view will fetch a person great reward.

 

However, the Shia took a U-turn and negating forgetfulness from the Imams (not the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) became one of the fundamental doctrines of Shi’ism. Al Mamaqani, one of their great scholars, states in his book Tanqih al Maqal:

 

أن نفي السهو عن الأئمة  أصبح من ضرورات المذهب الشيعي

Negating forgetfulness from the Imams has become one of the fundamental doctrines of Shi’ism.[11]

 

Our comment: Although they have reported in their hadith journals a number of narrations from their Imams negating the possibility of them forgetting and committing errors, a large collection of ahadith from their own sources contradict this claim. Hence, the pride of their scholars, al Majlisi, was dumbfounded when he found that a great number of ahadith in their books refutes the belief that the Imams cannot forget. Thus, he admits in Bihar al Anwar:

 

 المسألة في غاية الإشكال لدلالة كثير من الأخبار والآيات على صدور السهو عنهم  وإطباق الأصحاب إلا من شذ  منهم  على عدم الجواز

The matter is extremely unclear as many narrations and verses indicate that they did forget. Despite this, the scholars (except a few who went against the grain) are adamant that it is not possible.[12]

 

Thirdly, Abu Hurairah is not the sole narrator of a hadith which points out that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forgot. Rather, he shares this accolade with great and leading scholars of the Ahlul Bayt. The scholars of the Shia have proven this in their sources. Bihar al Anwar reports from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

صلّى بنا رسول الله الظهر خمس ركعات، ثم انفتل، فقال له بعض القوم: يا رسول الله هل زيد في الصلاة شيء؟ فقال: وما ذاك ؟ قال: صلّيت بنا خمس ركعات، قال: فاستقبل القبلة وكبر وهو جالس، ثم سجد سجدتين ليس فيهما قراءة ولا ركوع ثم سلّم، وكان يقول: هما المرغمتان

Once, the Messenger performed five raka’at with us during Salat al Zuhr. Thereafter, when he turned around, one of the people asked, “O Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, has anything been added to salah?”

He replied, “What are you referring to?”

“You performed five raka’at with us,” was the reply.

Thereupon, he faced the qiblah, recited the takbir whilst he was sitting and then performed two sajdah. There was no recitation or ruku’. Thereafter he performed salam.

He would say, “They are compulsory.”[13]

 

Al Baqir narrates:

 

صلّى النبي صلاة وجهر فيها بالقراءة فلما انصرف قال لأصحابه : هل أسقطت شيئاً في القرآن ؟ قال: فسكت القوم، فقال النبي أفيكم أبي بن كعب ؟ فقالوا: نعم، فقال: هل أسقطت فيها شيء ؟ قال: نعم يا رسول الله أنه كان كذا وكذالحديث

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once performed salah in which he recited loudly. When he turned around, he said to his companions, “Did I leave out anything from the Qur’an?”

They remained silent.

Then the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, “Is Ubayy ibn Ka’b amongst you?”

They replied, “Yes.”

He asked, “Did I leave out anything from the Qur’an?”

Ubayy replied, “Yes, O Messenger, the (verse) is such and such.”[14]

 

Wasa’il al Shia reports from al Harith ibn al Mughirah al Nadri:

 

قلت لأبي عبدالله(ع): إنما صلّينا المغرب فسها الإمام فسلّم في الركعتين فأعدنا الصلاة ، فقال : ولم أعدتم ، أليس قد انصرف رسول الله في ركعتين فأتم بركعتين ؟ ألا أتممتم

I said to Abu ‘Abdullah, “We performed Salat al Maghrib and the Imam performed salam after two raka’at, so we repeated the salah.”

He replied, “Did the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not complete (his salah) with two raka’at after he turned around (upon completing the first) two raka’at? Why did you people not complete it?”[15]

 

What is the status of ‘Abdul Hussain’s claims, who says:

 

If I had to commit an error like this it would have destroyed my life. I would be extremely ashamed and my followers would have mocked me as well as my acts of worship. This is definitely not possible in the case of the Prophets.

I performed salah, but when I think about it, I cannot tell whether I performed two raka’at of the mid-morning prayer or eight raka’at.

 

What is the opinion of ‘Abdul Hussain concerning that which his Imams have narrated regarding the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forgetting? Will he label them in the same way as he labelled Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu?

 

NEXT⇒ ‘Abdul Hussain Rejects the Hadith, “Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Would Get Angry and Lash”


[1]Sahih al Bukhari, al Jumu’ah, al Salah, al Adab, Akhbar al Ahad, al Adhan; Sahih Muslim, al Masajid, Mawadi’ al Salah.

[2]  Surah al A’la: 6.

[3]  Surah al An’am: 68.

[4]  Surah al Kahf: 24.

[5]  Surah al Kahf: 60-63.

[6]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Ayman wa l-Nudhur; Sahih Muslim, Kitab al Masajid wa Mawadi’ al Salah.

[7]Musnad al Rida, 2/514.

[8]Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih, 1/234.

[9]  Refer to Sharh ‘Aqa’id al Saduq, pg. 160; Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih, 1/234.

[10] Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih, 1/234.

[11]Tanqih al Maqal, 3/240. Refer to Sharh ‘Aqa’id al Saduq, pg. 160; Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih, 1/234.

[12] Bihar al Anwar, 25/351.

[13] Bihar al Anwar, 17/101.

[14]Al Mahasin, pg. 236; Bihar al Anwar, 17/105; Tarikh Nabiyyina, 84/242, Kitab al Salah.

[15] Wasa’il al Shia, 5/307.

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