May Allah not fill his stomach

During the era of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, we would not equate anyone with Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, and then ‘Uthman
March 6, 2019
The one who does not observe Taqiyyah has no faith
March 6, 2019

BACK⇒ Return to Table of contents

May Allah not fill his stomach


عن ابن عباس قال كنت ألعب مع الصبيان فجاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فتواريت خلف باب قال فجاء فحطأني حطأة و قال اذهب و ادع لي معاوية قال فجئت فقلت هو يأكل قال ثم قال لي اذهب فادع لي معاوية قال فجئت فقلت هو يأكل فقال لا أشبع الله بطنه

Ibn ‘Abbas recalls: I was playing with the children, when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came so I hid behind a door. He came to me and patted be on the back saying, “Go and call Muawiyah for me.”

I returned saying that he was eating. He again instructed me, “Go and call Muawiyah for me.” And again I came and said he was eating. At this Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “May Allah not fill his stomach.”


Muslim includes this hadith under the chapter: Whoever Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam cursed, swore, or supplicated against and he was not deserving of the same, it will serve as a means of purification, reward, and mercy.

Owing to this, Muslim begins this chapter with the supplication of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:


اللهم إنما أنا بشر فأي المسلمين لعنته أو سببته فاجعله له زكاة و أجرا

O Allah, I only but human. So whichever Muslim I have cursed or sworn, make it a means of his purification and reward.


Another narration reads:


إنما محمد بشر يغضب كما يغضب البشر و إني قد اتخذت عندك عهدا لن تخلفنيه فأيما مؤمن آذيته أو سببته أو جلدته فاجعلها له كفارة و قربة

Muhammad is only human, he gets angry just as humans get angry. I have taken a covenant by You that You will not oppose. So any believer who I harm, or swear, or lash, make it a means for his expiation and proximity.


Keeping in mind the chapters under which the ahadith have been documented is vital in understanding the ahadith.

That is why al Nawawi explains:


With regards his supplication against Muawiyah that Allah should not fill his stomach due to his prolongation, there are two answers.

Firstly, the man was not deserving of this in the sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and in reality. However, externally his du’a’ will be accepted. Outwardly it will appear to him salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam his right to do this due to a shar’i sign whereas internally, he will not be deserving of it. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is commanded to judge on the external while Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala handles the secrets and that which is hidden.

Secondly, this is not the objective. This is part of the Arab custom to add sentences into their speech without intention, for example:


تربت يمينك

May your right hand be turned to dust.


ثكلتك أمك

May your mother be bereaved of you.


Similarly, in the hadith of Muawiyah, “May Allah not fill your stomach.” And other examples of a similar nature. The reality of the du’a’ is not intended. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam feared that any such statement may receive divine acceptance so he implored his Rabb―the Mighty and Majestic―and entreated Him to make this a means of mercy, expiation, proximity, purification, and reward. This would happen to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam very rarely. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not prone to obscenity nor did he force himself to vulgarity, nor was he habitual in cursing, and nor did he take revenge for himself. They told him, “Curse Daws,” but instead he prayed, “O Allah, guide Daws.” And he supplicated, “O Allah, forgive my people for they do not know.”[1]


May Allah shower his mercy on al Nawawi and gather him with the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for defending their honour. Ibn Hajar al Haytami has expressed similar sentiments.[2]

When this was Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam attitude to the tribe of Daws who were disbelievers, then what must be his attitude towards Muslims?

Ibn Hajar al Makki says, “Muawiyah would record wahi for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. How remarkable is this lofty position.”[3]

When the virtues and excellences of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the fact that he was a scribe of wahi is enumerated to the Shia, they say that al Rabi’ ibn al ‘As was also among the scribes of wahi but he turned murtad.


مَا ضَرَبُوْهُ لَكَ إِلَّا جَدَلًا بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ خَصِمُوْنَ

They did not present the comparison except for [mere] argument. But, [in fact], they are a people prone to dispute.[4]


Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not turn murtad so the analogy is erroneous.

In fact, he remained nearly the entire era of the Khalifas a governor over Sham. Some of the best men after the Prophets, viz. Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali appointed him. And he was deserving and worthy of the post. To criticise him, is to cast allegations against the Khalifas who discerned honesty, trustworthiness, and merit in him and considered him worthy for the post of governor.

Al Dhahabi announces, “Sufficient for you is the one who ‘Umar appointed, then ‘Uthman over a vast region and he manages his office par excellence and pleases the people through his generosity and tolerance.”[5]

Ibn Hajar al Haytami says, “When you ponder over ‘Umar’s dismissal of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas who is superior to Muawiyah by far, and his retention of Muawiyah to his post without dismissal, you will realise that this suggests a lofty level for Muawiyah.[6]

This stance of al Nawawi and Ibn Hajar makes it crystal clear that delving into the disputes of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and censuring them is not the approach and methodology of the Ahlus Sunnah. Had al Nawawi and Ibn Hajar felt the same way about Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his enemies do, they would not have seen the need to elucidate on these narrations.

It is enough for us to realise that deviation began with the Shia blaspheming the Sahabah and Ahlul Bayt which led to a conglomeration of deviances like the legalisation of Mut’ah, Taqiyyah, belief in tahrif of the Qur’an, and the rejection of hadith compilations like al Bukhari and Muslim. We should take lesson from this deviation to guard ourselves from further deviation and splitting the ummah into a new sect and causing a new fissure between the Muslims.

One of the merits of Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that should not be forgotten is that he conquered the entire Sham, including Lebanon and Qubrus. Had this not taken place, those who revile him today would have been Jews or Christians.

Nonetheless, ‘Abdullah ibn al Mubarak regarded them better than those who deny the ‘uluw (loftiness) of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. He said regarding the Jahmiyyah, “Worse than the Jews and Christians.” Al Bukhari indicated to this in the chapter of creation of the servant’s actions. Add to this, cursing the Sahabah, i’tikaf by the tombstones, tricks against Allah, and wicked verdicts leading the masses into immorality and depravity.

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were after all human, not infallible. When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says, “I am only human …” and acknowledges human characteristics of anger and outburst of fury despite him being a nabi so for these characteristics to be found in non Prophets is all the more sensible. There were disputes and clashes that occurred between the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Those drowning in muddy water should not misuse these occurrences and stand by them to support their wicked beliefs. Rather, we will remain silent on their disputes. Concealing the faults of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is far superior than concealing the faults of the general Muslims. Swearing happens between contemporaries, although it is necessary to avoid, like what transpired between the contemporary ‘Ulama’ of the past ages.


Next⇒ The one who does not observe Taqiyyah has no faith

[1] Sharh al Nawawi ‘ala Muslim vol. 8 pg. 387 – 390.

[2] Tathir al Jinan pg. 37.

[3] Ibid pg. 12.

[4] Surah al Zukhruf: 58.

[5] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 3 pg. 123.

[6] Tathir al Jinan pg. 22.

Back to top