`Abd al-Husayn Rejects the Hadith of the Stone Fleeing with the Clothes of Musa `alayh al-Salam

`Abd al-Husayn Finds Fault with the Hadith, ‘Intercession will be Sought from the Ambiya’ on the Day of Qiyamah’
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`Abd al-Husayn Objects to the Hadith of Nabi Musa `alayh al-Salam Slapping the Eye of the Angel of Death
December 4, 2015

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‘Abdul Hussain Rejects the Hadith of the Stone Fleeing with the Clothes of Musa ‘alayh al Salam


On page 79, ‘Abdul Hussain quotes the hadith of “the stone fleeing with the clothes of Prophet Musa ‘alayh al Salam whilst his enemy was behind him and Banu Isra’il saw him naked”. Al Bukhari and Muslim report in their Sahihayn on the authority of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:


كانو بنو إسرائيل يغتسلون عراة ينظر بعضهم إلى سوأة بعض وكان موسى(ع) يغتسل وحده، فقالوا: والله ما يمنع موسى أن يغتسل معنا إلا أنه آدر(أي ذو فتق) قال: فذهب مرة يغتسل فوضع ثوبه على حجر ففر الحجر بثوبه! فجمع موسى في إثره يقول: ثوبي حجر! ثوبي حجر!حتى نظر بنو إسرائيل إلى سوأة موسى فقالوا: والله ما بموسى من بأس فقام الحجر بعد حتى نظرإليه فأخذ موسى فطفق ثوبه بالحجرضربا؟ فوالله إن بالحجرندبا  ستة أو سبعة

The Banu Isra’il would bath completely naked (in front of one another), looking at the private parts of one another. However, Prophet Musa ‘alayh al Salam would bath in privacy. Thus, they said, “By the oath of Allah, the only reason why Musa does not bath with us is because he has a scrotal hernia.” Thereafter, on one occasion, he left his clothes on a rock and went for a bath. The rock began to flee with his clothes. Prophet Musa ‘alayh al Salam tried his best to catch up with it shouting, “My clothes, O rock! My clothes, O rock!” In the meantime, the Banu Isra’il got to see the private part of Musa due to which they said, “By the oath of Allah, Musa is perfectly fine!” The stone stopped after he had been seen, he took hold of his clothes and struck the stone. Abu Hurairah said, “By Allah, there are still six or seven marks on the stone.”[1]


The author then casts his doubts saying:


وأنت ترى ما في الحديث من المحال الممتنع عقلاً فإنه لا يجوز تشهير كليم الله(ع) بابداء سوأته على رؤوس الأشهاد من قومه لأن ذلك ينقصه ويسقط من مقامه، ولا سيما إذا رأوه يتشد عارياً ينادي الحجر وهو لا يسمع ولا يبصر: ثوبي حجر.. ثم يقف عليه وهو عار أمام الناس فيضربه والناس تنظر إليه مكشوف العورة كالمجنون ….! على أن القول بأن بني اسرائيل كانوا يظنون أن موسى أدرة لم ينقل إلا عن أبي هريرة …

You can see all the illogical aspects in this hadith. It is not permissible to publicise an incident of Kalim Allah ‘alayh al Salam revealing his private part in front of all and sundry from his nation. It is defamatory and it brings to question his status, especially if they see him running naked, shouting, “My clothes, O rock! My clothes, O rock!” at a stone which neither sees nor hears. Thereafter, he stands beside it, still being naked in front of everyone, and he beats it up whilst everyone watches him exposing his private part as if he is mad! Further, Abu Hurairah is the only one who narrates that the Banu Isra’il were under the impression that he was affected with scrotal hernia.


Our comment: This hadith, which he uses to discredit Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, has been narrated by his sixth Imam and wasi. The scholars of tafsir among the Shia have narrated it from him. Tafsir al Qummi reports from Abu Basir who narrates from Imam Jafar rahimahu Llah:


أن بني اسرئيل كانوا يقولون ليس لموسى ما للرجال وكان موسى إذا أراد الإغتسال ذهب إلى موضع لايراه فيه أحد من الناس فكان يوماً يغتسل على شط نهر وقد وضع ثيابه على صخرة فأمرالله الصخرة فتباعدت عنه حتى نظر بنو اسرائيل إليه فعلموا أنه ليس كما قالوا أنزل الله  {  يٰأَيُّـهَا الَّذِيْنَ أٰمَنُوْا لاَ تَكُوْنُوْا كَالَّذِيْنَ أٰذَوْا مُوْسٰى فَبَرَّأَهُ اللّٰهُ مِمَّا قَالُوْا وَكَانَ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ وَجِيْهًا }

Banu Isra’il would say that Prophet Musa ‘alayh al Salam does not have that which men have. Whenever Prophet Musa ‘alayh al Salam intended to bath, he would go to a place where no one could see him. One day, he placed his clothes on a rock and went for his bath at the bank of river. Allah commanded the rock, which began to move away from him until the Banu Isra’il saw him and realised that he was not as they thought. They have stated that Allah revealed (in this regard), O you who have iman, do not be like those who hurt Prophet Musa, after which Allah absolved him of what they said. He was extremely honourable in the sight of Allah.”[2][3]


Their great Mufassir al Tabarsi narrates this hadith—which ‘Abdul Hussain rejects—in his book Majma’ al Bayan from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The narration is as follows:


أن موسى كان حيياً ستيراً يغتسل وحده فقال ما يتستر منّا إلا لعيب بجلده أما برص وأما أدرة  فذهب مرة يغتسل فوضع ثوبه على حجر  فمر الحجر بثوبه فطلبه موسى فرآه بنو اسرئيل عرياناً كأحسن الرجال خلقا فبرأه الله مما قالوا

Prophet Musa ‘alayh al Salam was a person who had a lot of shame and he always kept himself covered, so they accused him saying, “He only covers himself from us due to a defect in his skin, leprosy, or scrotal hernia.” Thereafter, he went on one occasion to bath, leaving his clothes on a rock. The rock ran away with his clothes. Prophet Musa ‘alayh al Salam began chasing after it. As a result, Banu Isra’il seen him naked, with a perfect body of a man. In this way, Allah exonerated him from their accusations.[4]


The leader of their scholars, Ni’mat Allah al Jaza’iri says in his Qisas:


قال جماعة من أهل الحديث لا استبعاد فيه بعد ورود الخبر الصحيح وإن رؤيتهم له على ذلك الوضع لم يتعمده موسى ولم يعلم إن أحد ينظر إليه أم لا وأن مشيه عرياناً لتحصيل ثيابه مضافاً إلى تبعيده عما نسبوه إليه ، ليس من المنفرات

A group of scholars of hadith have stated that there is nothing far-fetched about this hadith as it is established through an authentic narration. Even though they saw him in this condition, (he was not blameworthy) as he did not wish for it to happen and he had no clue as to whether people were watching him or not. His walking nakedly was to retrieve his clothes which also served the purpose of distancing him from their allegations against him. It was not a despicable act.


What is the view of the trustworthy ‘Abdul Hussain? Will he be happy to label his Imams of the Ahlul Bayt—who narrated this hadith—in the same way that he labelled Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu?


NEXT⇒ ‘Abdul Hussain Finds Fault with the Hadith, ‘Intercession will be Sought from the Ambiya’ on the Day of Qiyamah’

[1]Sahih al Bukhari, al Ghusl; Sahih Muslim, l-Fada’il, Hayd, and Salah.

[2]  Surah al Ahzab: 69.

[3]Al Qummi, 2/179; al Safi, 4/205-206; Kanz al Daqa’iq, 8230-231; Bayan al Sa’adah, 3/257; al Jawhar al Thamin, 5/165; Nur al Thaqalayn, 4/308; Qisas al Ambiya’, pg. 249-250; al Burhan, 3/329; al Mizan, 16/353; al Kashif, 6/243; Jawami’ al Jami’, 2/339; Fath Allah al Kashani: Manhaj al Siddiqin, 4/321.

[4]Tafsir Majma’ al Bayan, 8/372.

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