Abu Hurayrah in the eyes of the Ahlul Bayt

Chart illustrating the relationship between the Sahabah and Fatimah bint Hussain and her children
December 4, 2019
Moulana Ebrahim Rawat: Sayyiduna Uthman ibn Affan
February 18, 2020

Abu Hurayrah in the eyes of the Ahlul Bayt

By: Al Aal wal Ashaab Society – Bahrain

 

Introduction

All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the entire universe, the Most Beneficent, Most Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement. Verily Allah sent his Trustworthy Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who nurtured the best of nations, who subsisted on little and accorded plenty; thus becoming exemplars for all nations and rulers of empires and countries. May the best of salutations and peace—which fills the heavens and earth, all between them and even more—descend upon Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his progeny, and Companions.

Any person who studies the lives of this illustrious group and one who reflects on the perfection of that generation will be certain that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala had carefully selected them to be the Companions around the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who would gain eminence through him, assist his initiative, spread his message, and propagate his practices.

No sane person would assume that a relationship of enmity and revulsion existed between the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Companions, rather they had such a bond of love and an affectionate relationship which no person can deny.

Yet you will still find certain authors penning books—relying on feeble historical reports—filled with lies and deception, such that they portray a lover as a hater and a champion as an enemy; transgressing all limits of decency. In this brief treatise we seek to present—with Allah’s permission—a glimpse of the harmonious relationship between a great Companion—who possesses such virtues and merits which earned him the station of being the greatest transmitter of the traditions of Islam—and the Ahlul Bayt, may Allah shower his pleasure and blessings upon them.

It is a message from a friend and words of a well-wisher, read it—my brother—with your heart and it will remove all doubts and rid your mind of any misgivings.

 

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah

During the Days of Ignorance his name was ‘Abd Shams (lit. Servant of the Sun), and Imam Bukhari listed his biography under this name[1]. The scholars have differed regarding what his name was changed to after he embraced Islam, but the strongest opinion is that his name was changed to ‘Abdur Rahman.[2] He is from the clan of Daws from the Azd tribe of Yemen. His ancestry is known and been preserved until the founder of his tribe: al Azd ibn al Ghawth. In fact, he is from the progeny of Banu Dhiyab, who were the chiefs of the Daws, making this Companion from the leaders and nobility of his tribe.

The reason for the agnomen Abu Hurairah has been narrated by him personally:

 

I was called Abu Hurairah because I would tend to the goats of my family, and one day I found a stray kitten which I placed in my sleeve. When I returned to my people they heard the kitten purr in my sleeve and they asked, “What is that, O ‘Abd Shams?” I replied, “A kitten I found.” “So you are Abu Hurairah (Father of cats),” they responded and the name stuck thereafter.[3]

 

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu embraced Islam at the hands of Sayyidina Tufayl ibn ‘Amr al Dawsi, who in turn embraced Islam at the hands of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in Makkah, thereafter returning to his people and inviting them to Islam.[4] Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the one who answered his call.[5] He remained in the company of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for four years[6] and he was an excellent attendant of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, following carefully in his footsteps, memorising his words, adhering to his practices, and absorbing his wisdom. He is amongst those Companions who were honoured in the Noble Qur’an, among which are these verses:

 

مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا ۖ سِيمَاهُمْ فِي وُجُوهِهِم مِّنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُودِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ ۚ وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِي الْإِنجِيلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَآزَرَهُ فَاسْتَغْلَظَ فَاسْتَوَىٰ عَلَىٰ سُوقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ ۗ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِنْهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers – so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.[7]

 

And of the last verses that were revealed:

 

قَد تَّابَ اللَّهُ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنصَارِ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ فِي سَاعَةِ الْعُسْرَةِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا كَادَ يَزِيغُ قُلُوبُ فَرِيقٍ مِّنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِهِمْ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Allah has already forgiven the Prophet and the Muhajirin and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of difficulty after the hearts of a party of them had almost inclined [to doubt], and then He forgave them. Indeed, He was to them Kind and Merciful.[8]

 

He is included amongst the Muhajirin, as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

There is no hijrah after the Conquest (of Makkah).[9]

 

and whatever virtue has been reserved for them, in addition to those accolades conferred to this esteemed Companion from the blessed supplications of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

He lived in poverty, with no wealth nor any occupation—relying on what Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala allotted for him. He was amongst the Companions of Suffah, who survived on the gifts given to them by people and the food which the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam shared with them.

He only migrated to Madinah and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during the Battle of Khaybar and therefore was not able to participate in the Battles of Badr Uhud, and Khandaq; however, he participated in all the expeditions that took place after Khaybar: Conquest of Makkah, Battle of Hunayn, Battle of Ta’if, Battle of Tabuk, and the Battle of Mu’tah. He also participated in the Battles against the apostates, the Battle of Yarmuk, and conquest of Armenia, and other battles.

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu prided himself upon his memory, and he was not wrong when he said:

 

I do not know any of the Companions of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who has memorised more ahadith of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam than me.[10]

 

The reason for this phenomenal feat was that he had freed his mind from all other preoccupations during the lifetime of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and devoted it entirely to the memorisation of hadith.[11]

When Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had reached 80 years of his life, he bid farewell to this temporal abode after having conveyed the trust that was placed on his shoulders; spreading the Hadith of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and teaching the Ummah. An arduous fulfilling journey: migrating from a faraway land with little provision, remaining constantly in the company of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, fighting alongside him against the Mushrikin then again in the wars of apostasy, witnessing the Conquest, defending the Caliphate, abstaining from tribulation, propagating the Hadith of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. All that remained was the final step of the journey to meet his beloved Rabb of the entire universe.

 

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah and his love for Sayyidina ‘Ali and Sayyidah Fatimah 

Love for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is sign of belief, an integral component that should be in the heart of every believer and expressed with the tongue of every person who loves the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, on account of his familial relation to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his precedence in Islam, his heroic exploits in all the battles of Islam, and not to mention his marriage to the Queen of the women of this Ummah—Sayyidah Fatimah al Zahra’ radiya Llahu ‘anha.

Iman will not remain in the heart of a Muslim if his heart harbours malice for Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the one who has relayed to us the virtue of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu announced by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam during the Battle of Khaybar. Imam Muslim has reported from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said on the Day of Khaybar:

I will give this flag to a man who loves Allah and His Rasul, Allah will grant victory at his hands.[12]

 

Is there any indication of enmity for Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this narration?

Concerning the virtue of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates the statement of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

Verily Fatimah is the Queen of the women of my Ummah.[13]

 

Why would she not be the Queen of the women of this Ummah when she endured all the difficulties experienced by her father, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: the ridicule, oppression, and rejection. She then lived in Madinah with abstinence and scarcity, content with a little which she ground with her own hands radiya Llahu ‘anha.

 

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah and his love for Sayyidina Hassan 

The ahadith of Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu are replete with love for both Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, but more so for Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu specifically. There are many incidents and interactions between them which inform us of the immense love he bore for Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, such love which cannot be equalled by all those who loved Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

Hassan ibn ‘Ali stood to walk and around his neck was a necklace. When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saw him he stretched his hand out like this and Hassan stretched his hand (to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam embraced him and said, “O Allah, I love him so You love him too, and love the one who loves him.” There was none more beloved to me after the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said this than Hassan ibn ‘Ali.[14]

 

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu also related to us another picture of the loving bond shared between the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

I have not stopped loving this man after I had seen the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam doing with him as he had did. I saw Hassan sitting in the lap of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he was playing with the beard of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam placed his mouth on his mouth. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said, “O Allah I love him so You love him too.”[15]

 

Sa’id al Maqbari has related to us another example of the love that Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had for Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

We were sitting with Abu Hurairah when Hassan ibn ‘Ali approached us and greeted us. We returned his greeting but Abu Hurairah was not aware that he had greeted. So we said to him, “O Abu Hurairah, Hassan ibn ‘Ali has greeted us.” He then went to him and said, “And may peace be upon you my leader.” He then said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘He is a leader.’”[16]

 

When this is the love that Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had for Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, it is not surprising to find Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu weeping the day Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu passed away, and telling others to grieve as well. Those around him on that day relate:

 

I saw Abu Hurairah standing in the Masjid and weeping the day Hassan passed away, calling at the top of his voice, “Today the beloved of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has passed away, so cry!”[17]

 

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah and his love for Sayyidina Hussain 

The love Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had for Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu was no less than the love he had for Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates to us another incident:

 

I have never looked at Hussain ibn ‘Ali except that my eyes begin to tear. This is because the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came out one day and found me in the Masjid. He took my hand and leaned on me. So I went with him until the market of Banu Qaynuqa’. He did not speak with me: he walked, took a look around, and then returned; and I returned with him. He then sat in the Masjid, his hands around his legs as he sat. He said to me, “Call the little one for me.” So Hussain came wobbling until he fell into his lap. He then began playing with the Messenger of Allah’s beard and the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam placed his mouth on his mouth. He was saying, “O Allah, I love him so You love him too.”[18]

 

A similar incident was reported by al Bukhari with the exception that Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu is mentioned in place of Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu. However, al Hakim has indicated that both narrations are authentically recorded which is a definite possibility; more so when this narration mentions it happening when he returned to the Masjid.

Which of the narrations is more authentic is not of much importance, as Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates another incident with both of them together.

Al Hakim reports from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came out to us, and with him were Hassan and Hussain, each on his shoulders. He would kiss the one and the other until he reached us. Someone said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, do you love them?” The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Yes, whoever loves them loves me and whoever hates them hates me.”[19]

 

Imam Ahmed also reported this narration but more concisely.[20]

Al Hakim has also reported from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

We were praying ‘Isha’ with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. When he proceeded into sajdah, Hassan and Hussain climbed on his back, and when he raised his head he lifted them off gently. When he proceeded into sajdah again they climbed on top of him again. When he stood to read he placed one on his left and one on his right. I went to him [later after the salah] and asked, “O Messenger of Allah, should I take them to their mother?” The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied in the negative when suddenly there was a flash of lightning, so he said, “Take them to their mother.” They continued walking in the light until they reached her.[21]

 

Ibn Hajar has reported another incident:

 

Ishaq ibn Abi Habibah reports from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

I bear witness that we went out with the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, when we had travelled some distance the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam heard Hassan and Hussain crying by their mother. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam hurried until he reached them.

I heard him saying, “What is the matter with my (grand)sons?”

Fatimah replied, “Thirst!”

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reached for his water skin to see if it had any water [but it did not] and water was scarce that day. People were out searching for water, and the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called out, “Does any one of you have any water?” But none of them had even a single drop of water.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Hand one of them to me,” and she passed him to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from under the veil. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam held him and hugged him to his chest, but he continued crying. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then took out his tongue and the child started sucking on it until he was pacified. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then did the same with the other as well.[22]

 

Again we find Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu sharing their virtues with the masses on the day when Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu passed away. Al Hakim reports from Abu Hazim:

 

I was present the day Hassan ibn ‘Ali passed away; I saw Hussain ibn ‘Ali saying to Sa’id ibn al ‘As, pushing him forward, “Advance (to lead the prayer), were it not Sunnah I would not have put you forward.” And there were ill-feelings between them, Abu Hurairah thus said, “Are you all acting miserly towards the son of your Prophet for a little sand to be buried in? Verily I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘Whoever loves them both loves me, and whoever hates them both hates me.”[23]

 

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to Marwan when he refused to allow Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be buried alongside his grandfather salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

You are not the governor, the governor is someone else. Leave him be!

 

He then said:

You are putting your nose in matters that do not concern you, seeking to gain favour with one (Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu) who is not present.[24]

 

May Allah be pleased with you, O Abu Hurairah, the lover of ‘Ali and his progeny.

 

Narrations of the Ahlul Bayt from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah

Some misguided authors have penned books—filled with deception and lies—in which they have labelled Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu a liar, a baseless claim in contradiction with authentic reports and established facts. A number of the children of Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu have narrated from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and have relied upon his narrations.

 

Narrations of Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin from Abu Hurairah

Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Hussain Zayn al ‘Abidin is an illustrious Imam, trustworthy scholar, and the grandson of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Al Bukhari reports—and all the narrations of Sahih al Bukhari are authentic:

 

Ahmed ibn Yunus narrated to us—’Asim ibn Muhammad narrated to us—Waqid ibn Muhammad narrated to me—Sa’id ibn Marjanah, the companion of ‘Ali ibn Hussain— narrated to me:

Abi Hurairah said to me, “The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever frees a Muslim slave, Allah will save all the parts of his body from the (Hell) Fire as he has freed the body-parts of the slave.”

Sa’id ibn Marjanah said, “I narrated that Hadith to ‘Ali ibn Hussain and he freed his slave for whom ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar had offered him ten thousand Dirhams or one-thousand Dinars.”[25]

 

Another narration has more detail:

 

‘Ali ibn Hussain asked, “O Sa’id, did you hear this from Abu Hurairah?”

Sa’id replied, “Yes.”

‘Ali ibn Hussain then said to one of his slaves, who was in charge of all his slaves, “Call Mutraf for me.”

When he arrived before ‘Ali ibn Hussain, he said, “Go, as you are free for Allah’s pleasure.”[26]

 

It is clear that ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah seeking clarification that it was indeed heard from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a testimony to his reliability, him then proceeding to practice upon it after being told that it was indeed Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who narrated it is a second testimony in his favour.

‘Ali ibn Hussain and Ibn Marjanah then continued relaying this narration and informing people of the glad tiding of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam transmitted by Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain later narrated it from Ibn Marjanah[27] and Zaid ibn Aslam narrated it from ‘Ali ibn Hussain.[28]

Sa’id ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Marjanah is from the early Shia. Al Barqi has counted him among the senior companions of ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah[29] and “he was devoted to him and his accompanying him is known.”[30]

We see how Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah did not hesitate to attest to what Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated, practicing on it, and then imparting what he had learnt from him to others.

It is well-known that Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah would attend the gatherings of Zaid ibn Aslam, Faqih of Madinah, who was one of those who narrated the ahadith of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. And there is no doubt that the narrations—he had heard directly and those he had heard from other students of Abu Hurairah—would be discussed in his gatherings but ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah never once refuted these narrations or cautioned him against narrating from Abu Hurairah. In fact, ‘Ali ibn Hussain is the one who vindicated the gatherings of Zaid ibn Aslam, saying, “Verily a man sits with one who benefits his din.”[31]

 

Narrations of Imam Muhammad al Baqir and Imam Jafar al Sadiq from Abu Hurairah

Our excavation then revealed a priceless treasure before us; we found the two illustrious Imams: Muhammad al Baqir ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and his son Jafar al Sadiq ibn Muhammad radiya Llahu ‘anhum—the one to whom the Shia ascribe themselves without exception and after whom their fiqh is named—both narrating from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

They both have transmitted the ahadith of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, in fact in two narrations found in Sahih Muslim they can both be found in the same chain of narration.

 

‘Abdul Aziz al Darawardi, Hatim ibn Ismail, and Sulaiman ibn Bilal[32] all three narrate — from Jafar al Sadiq — from his father, Muhammad al Baqir — from ‘Ubaidullah ibn Abi Rafi’, the freed slave and scribe of Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu — from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[33]

 

Imam Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah did not just transmit the reports of Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu but he also substantiated from his narrations and cited them as proof for various Fiqhi rulings, as mentioned by Imam al Shafi’i. Imam al Shafi’i rahimahu Llah while discussing the validity of Khabar Wahid (solitary narrations) and the permissibility of substantiating from it says:

 

We found Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain, like this, reporting from Jabir from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and from ‘Ubaidullah ibn Abi Rafi’ from Abu Hurairah from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, establishing each of what they reported to be Sunnah.[34]

 

Imam al Shafi’i meant that Muhammad ibn ‘Ali passed Fiqhi rulings based on the solitary narrations of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as explained by Imam al Shafi’i himself.[35]

Just as we found ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah allowing his students and companions to freely transmit the narrations of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, never prohibiting them from doing so; we also find the companions of his son, Muhammad al Baqir, and grandson, Jafar al Sadiq, freely transmitting the narrations of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and they never prohibited them from doing so as well. Their silence on this is also a tacit approval of the narrations of Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and recognising it as a valid proof of Shari’ah.

Among the companions of Imam al Baqir are:

  • Faqih of Madinah, ‘Amr ibn Dinar[36],
  • Muhammad ibn Ishaq, author of the famous Sirah[37],
  • Al Awza’i, Imam of the Syrians[38],
  • Al Zuhri,
  • Abu Ishaq al Hamdani[39],
  • ‘Abdullah ibn Shubrumah, the famous Faqih of Kufah[40],
  • Al A’raj,
  • Ibn Jurayj,
  • Al A’mash[41].

 

As for the companions of Imam Jafar al Sadiq, they transmitted the narrations of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu copiously. Amongst them are:

  • Al Darawardi,
  • Hatim ibn Ismail,
  • Sulaiman ibn Bilal[42],
  • Imam Malik[43],
  • Yahya ibn Sa’id al Qattan[44],
  • Yahya ibn Sa’id al Ansari[45],
  • Sufyan al Thawri[46],
  • Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah[47],
  • Hafs ibn Ghayyath[48],
  • ‘Abdul Wahhab ibn ‘Abdul Majid al Thaqafi[49],
  • Ibn Jurayj[50],
  • Yazid ibn al Had[51],
  • Ismail ibn Jafar[52],
  • ‘Abdul Malik ibn ‘Umair,
  • ‘Abdur Razzaq ibn al Humam[53]

and many other narrators whose names appear in the primary source books of Hadith.

 

Narrations of Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah and his son from Abu Hurairah

Also of the sons of Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu is Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, famously known as Ibn al Hanafiyyah, the reliable scholar, ascetic, and devout worshipper. His narrations from his father appear profusely throughout Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. He narrated from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu directly[54] and his son—Hassan ibn Muhammad—followed his practice and is of those who narrated from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well.[55]

 

Narrations of ‘Ali ibn Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain from Abu Hurairah

I found a mursal narration of ‘Ali ibn Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu about the virtue of Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu[56], which adds to the list of the Ahlul Bayt who transmitted the narrations of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Also in the caravan of those who narrated from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the grandson of Hassan al Muthanna, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhum, who has been deemed reliable by al Nasa’i and Ibn Hibban.[57]

 

 

The ‘Alawis and Hashimis never disparaged Sayyidina Abu Hurairah

We have already discussed that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his children never disparaged the eminent Companion Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in any way. Rather, they transmitted Hadith from him. This is sufficient testimony of their reliance and trust in this great narrator of Hadith.

We find Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma had many companions, and many of them narrated from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu but they never once forbade them from doing so. They would visit the Masjid of their grandfather salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and hear the ahadith of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu being transmitted but never disapproved.

Among the companions of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

  • Muhammad ibn Sirin, Imam of his time[58],
  • ‘Ikrimah, freed slave of Ibn ‘Abbas,
  • Abu Mijlaz Lahiq ibn Humaid[59],
  • Salman Abu Hazim al Ashja’i[60],
  • ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Buzarj, who narrated from Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma[61],
  • ‘Umair ibn Ishaq—freed slave of the Banu Hashim—considered reliable by Malik, Ibn Ma’in, and al Nasa’i, who narrated from Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma[62].

Among the companions of Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, aside from those mentioned already:

  • Sinan ibn Abi Sinan al Du’ali, who narrated from Hussain[63] and Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma[64],
  • Bishr ibn Ghalib al Asad, who narrated from them both as well[65],
  • ‘Amir al Sha’bi[66],
  • the famous poet Farazdaq ibn Ghalib al Tamimi, who narrated from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu[67]—his love for Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu becomes evident from the poetry he recited for Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he met him outside Makkah on his way to Iraq.[68]

Also among the Ahlul Bayt who transmitted the ahadith of Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

From the progeny of Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

  • Zaid ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,
  • His son, Hassan ibn Zaid
  • Muhammad ibn ‘Amr ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,
  • ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan al Muthanna ibn Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.

From the progeny of Hussain ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

  • Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, student of ‘Abdullah ibn Mubarak,
  • ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali,
  • ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali,
  • Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali,
  • Hussain ibn Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali.

From the progeny of Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah:

  • Muhammad ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,
  • Ishaq ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali,
  • ‘Ali ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali

And also:

  • ‘Ali ibn ‘Umar ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali.

From the progeny of Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah:

  • Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah narrated directly from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[69]

As for his sons, they never disparaged Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu either. Why would they when they saw their own father narrating from him directly? Amongst the children of Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah who narrated from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

  • ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,
  • Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,
  • Hassan ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib[70].

From the progeny of ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib:

  • Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,
  • ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,
  • ‘Ubaidullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,

Aside from them there are many others from the Banu Hashim—from the children of Jafar ibn Abi Talib, ‘Aqil ibn Abi Talib—and the companions of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the Sahabah as well the Tabi’in who transmitted the ahadith of Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, never uttering a word of disparagement against him.

 

Conclusion

It is impossible after this for any Muslim to utter any word of criticism against Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Instead he should say:

  • Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a lamp from the radiant lights of Islam.
  • Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a light that illuminates the heart.
  • Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a luminary of Islam who strove to establish the foundations of Din.
  • Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a symbol and paragon for the scholars of this Ummah who established the principles of the religion, explained the Qur’an to us, expounded on the blessed life of our Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, formulated the prophetic traditions into aspects of belief, preserved his character, revived the spirit of Jihad… and as a result of which he has become the focus of all the enemy’s attacks and because of which he is despised by the followers of whims and passions.

On the contrary, this is the very reason why every devout Muslim and well-wisher of Islam loves Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

When every Muslim is bound to accept the superiority and virtue of that blessed generation, as attested to by the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when he said, “The best generation is my generation,” then how is it possible to imagine that they bore enmity for each other and hated each other at every turn. Especially when the signs of respect and honour for each other are so evidently clear!

 

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[1] Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 3/132.

[2] Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, 4/205.

[3] Mustadrak, 3/506, with an authentic chain, corroborated by al Dhahabi.

[4] Tufayl ibn ‘Amr al Dawsi after embracing Islam in Makkah returned to his people and invited them to Islam, and the first to accept was Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whilst many of the tribe were still insistent on their disbelieving ways. Thus Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu embraced Islam prior to the Hijrah. Shortly thereafter, Tufayl ibn ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu returned to Makkah with Abu Hurairah to complain to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about the stubbornness of the Daws tribe. They approached the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, “O Messenger of Allah, the Daws have disobeyed and rejected, supplicate to Allah against them!” The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then lifted his hands to supplicate, Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu says, “I said the Daws are destroyed [now]!” but to his surprise the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instead of supplicating against them supplicated for them saying, “O Allah guide Daws and bring it to Islam.” [Sahih al Bukhari: chapter on Maghazi: sub-chapter regarding the story of Daws and Tufayl ibn ‘Amr al Dawsi: hadith no. 4392. Abu Hurairah being present and eye witness to this is established from the narration of Imam Ahmed in Fada’il al Sahabah, # 1672] This Du’a’ had borne its fruits and had brought approx. eighty families of the Daws tribe into Islam thereafter. [Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d 4/225: biography of Tufayl Ibn ‘Amr al Dawsi] Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the year 7 A.H then migrated to Madinah along with the other families of Daws who had embraced Islam. [translator’s note]

[5] Mustadrak, 3/259.

[6] Musnad Ahmed, 4/111; Sunan Abi Dawood, 1/19; Sunan al Nasa’i, 1/130; Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, 4/327; Ma’ani al Athar, 1/14, with an authentic chain.

[7] Surah al Fath: 29.

[8] Surah al Tawbah: 117.

[9] Sahih al Bukhari.

[10] Ibn Sa’d, 4/332, with an authentic chain; Sunan al Darami, 1/86, with an authentic chain.

[11] It is often claimed that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated 5000 some odd hadiths from Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, a deeper study informs us that this amount reflects his hadiths with their repetitions (or various variations and transmissions, each of which has been considered to be a distinct hadith). Without these repetitions his narrations only amount to 1475 according, of which only 935 are considered authentically established from him. [Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Jamil al Matari: ‘Adad Ahadith Abi Hurairah Tahqiq wa Istiqra’, p. 1] Furthermore it is important to note that most of his narrations are corroborated by the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, which leaves him with only 110 narrations which he exclusively narrates from Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. [Ibid.] Deeper analysis further established that only 8 authentic narrations are exclusively reported by Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Over and above this it should be borne in mind that more than eight hundred people narrated from him, [Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 2/579, biography of Abu Hurairah] amongst who were Sahabah, eminent jurists of the successors and expert retainers of hadith [4] and not to mention scholars of the Ahlul Bayt as well. A list of the people who narrate from him can been seen in ‘Abdul Mun’im Salih al ‘Azzi: Difa’ ‘an Abi Hurairah, p. 273. All of this makes it abundantly clear that he was a meticulous narrator who was honest and sincere in his narration of hadith; he was not one to forge narrations and attribute them to Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. [translator’s note]

[12] Sahih Muslim, 7/ 121.

[13] Al Bukhari: al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/232.

[14] Sahih al Bukhari, 7/205, 3/82; Fadl Allah al Samad Sharah al Adab al Mufrad, 2/567; Sahih Muslim, 7/129/130.

[15] Mustadrak, 3/169, with an authentic chain, corroborated by al Dhahabi.

[16] Mustadrak, 3/169, with an authentic chain. Al Haythami has reported it from al Tabarani in Majma’ al Zawa’id, 9/178, and declared the narrators reliable.

[17] Al Tahdhib, 2/301, on the authority of Ibn Ishaq.

[18] Mustadrak, 3/178, with an authentic chain, corroborated by al Dhahabi.

[19] Mustadrak, 3/166, with an authentic chain, corroborated by al Dhahabi.

[20] Musnad Ahmed, 14/260, with an authentic chain.

[21] Mustadrak, 3/167; Dala’il al Nubuwwah, pg. 494; al Tahdhib, 2/297.  .

[22] Al Tahdhib, 2/298.

[23] Mustadrak, 3/171, with an authentic chain, corroborated by al Dhahabi.

[24] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/108.

[25] Sahih al Bukhari, 3/178; Sahih Muslim, 4/218.

[26] Muntaqa Ibn al Jarud, pg. 325, with an authentic chain; Musnad Abi ‘Uwanah, 1/145; Fath al Bari, 6/73.

[27] Sahih Muslim, 4/217; Mushkil al Athar, 1/311; Tarikh Jurjan, pg. 66.

[28] Sahih al Bukhari, 8/181; Musnad Ahmed, 2/420.

[29] Rijal al Barqi, pg. 9.

[30] Al Fath, 6/72.

[31] Al Tahdhib, 3/396; al Barqi includes Zaid ibn Aslam among the companions of ‘Ali ibn Hussain.

[32] Al Darawardi narrating from Jafar al Sadiq has been reported in Ibn Majah, 2/988, and others. Hatim ibn Ismail narrating from Jafar al Sadiq has been reported in Sunan al Nasa’i, 1/270, 290, 2/16, 65/274, and others. Sulaiman narrating from Jafar al Sadiq has been reported in Sahih Muslim, 3/9/11, 4/39/41, and others.

[33] Sahih Muslim, 3/15.

[34] Al Risalah li Imam al Shafi’i, pg. 455, # 1245.

[35] Al Risalah li Imam al Shafi’i, pg. 453, # 1238.

[36] He narrates from al Baqir in Sahih al Bukhari, 3/119, 4/110, 5/173.

[37] He narrates from al Baqir in Sunan al Nasa’i; 7/229; Rijal al Barqi, pg. 10.

[38] He narrates from al Baqir in Sunan al Nasa’i, 6/266.

[39] Ibn Abi Hatim mentioned them both amongst the companions of al Baqir in al Jarh wa Ta’dil, 4/26 #1.

[40] Ibn Dawood al Hilli mentioned them both amongst the companions of al Baqir in his al Rijal, pg. 206.

[41] Ibn Hajar mentioned them in al Tahdhib, 9/350.

[42] The first three were mentioned previously.

[43] He narrates from al Sadiq in Ibn Majah, 1/322; Sunan al Nasa’i, 5/230, 336.

[44] He narrates from al Sadiq in Musnad Ahmed, 3/430; Sunan Abi Dawood, 1/444; Sunan al Nasa’i, 3/58, 5/143, 157.

[45] He narrates from al Sadiq in Sunan al Nasa’i, 1/208; Rijal Ibn Dawood al Hilli, pg. 374.

[46] Sunan al Nasa’i, Sahih, 3/188; Sahih Muslim, 3/11, and others.

[47] Sunan al Tirmidhi, 1/53; Sunan Ibn Majah, 2/1055; Rijal al Barqi, pg. 41.

[48] Sunan al Nasa’i, 5/275, 7/221; Sunan Abi Dawood, 1/444; Sunan Ibn Majah, 1/191; Tarikh al Bukhari al Saghir, pg. 52.

[49] Sunan Abi Dawood,1/443; Sunan Ibn Majah, 1/17; Rijal al Barqi, pg. 25.

[50] Sunan al Nasa’i, 5/162, 176.

[51] Sunan al Nasa’i, 4/177, 5/164.

[52] Sunan al Nasa’i, 5/164.

[53] Both were mentioned by al Barqi, Rijal al Barqi, pg. 24.

[54] His narrations appear in Musnad al Tayalisi, pg. 335.

[55] Al Tahdhib, 2/320.

[56] Imam Ahmed: Al ‘Ilal wa Ma’rifat al Rijal, 1/258.

[57] Al Tahdhib, 9/252.

[58] Ibn Hajar mentioned he narrated from Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu in al Tahdhib, 9/214.

[59] Ibn Hajar mentioned they both narrated from Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu in al Tahdhib, 9/296.

[60] Al Jarh wa Ta’dil, 2/297, # 2.

[61] Al Jarh wa Ta’dil, 2/216, # 3.

[62] Al Tahdhib, 8/143, his narrations from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu are reported in Musnad Ahmed, 2/427, 488.

[63] Al Jarh wa Ta’dil, 2/252, # 1; al Tahdhib, 4/242.

[64] Sahih al Bukhari, 7/180; Sahih Muslim, 7/31.

[65] Al Jarh wa Ta’dil, 1/363, # 1.

[66] Al Tahdhib, 2/345.

[67] Al Jarh wa Ta’dil, 3/93, # 2.

[68] Al Asbahani reported it in al Aghani.

[69] We mentioned his narrations in the previous section.

[70] We mentioned in the previous section that he narrates from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu just as his father.

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