This doubt is based on the narration wherein Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam heard the voices of two men singing. They were saying:
زوى الحرب عنه أن يجن ويقبرا
لا يزال حواري يزول عظامه
My bosom friend continues to lose his limbs;
But for war, he refuses to die and be buried.
He asked who were the two and was told it was Muawiyah and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As. He said:
اللهم أركسهما في الفتنة ركسا ودعهما إلى النار دع
May Allah throw them in fitnah (sedition) and push them towards hell.
This doubt can be answered in five ways:
This narration is extremely weak.
Al Tabarani has recorded it by way of ‘Isa ibn Sawadah al Nakha’i — from Layth — from Ta’us — from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam heard the voices of two men…”
‘Isa ibn Sawadah al Nakha’i
All of them have narrated it from the chain of Muhammad ibn Fudayl — from Yazid ibn Abi Ziyad — from Sulaiman ibn ‘Amr ibn al Ahwas — from Abu Hilal al ‘Akki — from Abu Barzah with the same text. In it is Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
انظروا من هما قال فقالو فلان وفلان قال فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم
Go and see who are those two. They went and said, “It is so and so.” Al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said…
Yazid ibn Abi Ziyad
Sulaiman ibn ‘Amr ibn al Ahwas
Abu Hilal al ‘Akki:
نظر الى رجلن يوم احد يتمثلان بهذا الشعر في حمزة
He looked towards two men on the Day of ‘Uhud who were saying these couplets in reference to Hamzah.
In Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah and Musnad Abi Ya’la the following appears:
وذالك قبل ان تحرم الخمر
And that was before the prohibition of wine.
It has been narrated by al Muttalib ibn Rabi’ah wherein the two men have also been left unidentified. Hereunder is this report:
Al Tabarani narrated in al Awsat from Muhammad ibn Hafs ibn Bahmard — from Ishaq ibn al Harith al Razi — from ‘Amr ibn ‘Abdul Ghaffar al Faqimi — from Nusayr ibn Abi al Ash’ath and Sharik and Abu Bakr ibn ‘Ayyash — from Yazid ibn Abi Ziyad — from ‘Abdullah ibn al Harith ibn Nawfal — from Muttalib ibn Rabi’ah who said:
بينما رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في بعض أسفاره يسير في بعض الليل إذ سمع صوت … فإذا رجل يطارح رجلا للغناء
Whilst Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was on one of his travels, he heard a voice at night… it was two men singing to each other.
Al Tabarani said, “This narration has only been recorded from Nusayr ibn al Ash’ath by ‘Amr ibn ‘Abdul Ghaffar.”
‘Amr ibn ‘Abdul Ghaffar
Yazid ibn Abi Ziyad
His weakness has already been discussed.
Dear reader, this discussion makes it clear that this hadith is in no way authentic from any of its chains of transmission.
Ibn al Qayyim said:
كذب مختلق. وذكر أن كل حديث ورد في ذم عمرو بن العاص ومعاوية بأنه كذب
The content of the narration is Mudtarib (unresolvably problematic) together with the weakness of its chain of transmission. In some of the narrations there is mention of the two who Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prayed against as ‘Amr ibn Rifa’ah ibn al Tabub and Muawiyah ibn Rafi’; both hypocrites. This has been recorded by Ibn Qani’ and Ibn ‘Adi who both narrate it with the following chain:
From ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar — from Shu’ayb ibn Ibrahim — from Saif ibn ‘Umar — from Abu ‘Umar Mawla Ibrahim ibn Talhah — from Zaid ibn Aslam — from Salih Shaqran who said:
بينا نحن ليلة في سفر إذ سمع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم صوتا فقال ما هذا فذهبت أنظر فإذا معاوية بن التابوب وعمرو بن رفاعة بن التابوب ومعاوية بن رافع يقول لا يزال حواري تلو عظامه روى الحرب عنه ان يموت فيقبرا فأتيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فأخبرته فقال اللهم اكسهما رکسا ودعهما إلى نار جهنم فمات رفاعة قبل أن يقدم النبي و من ذلك السفر
One night whilst travelling, al Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam heard a voice.
He enquired, “What is this voice?”
I went to look and it was Muawiyah ibn al Tabub and ‘Amr ibn Rifa’ah ibn Tabub.
Muawiyah ibn Rafi’ was saying:
My bosom friend continues to lose his limbs;
But for war, he refuses to die and be buried.
I came to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and informed him.
He said, “May Allah throw them in fitnah (sedition) and push them towards hell.”
Rifa’ah died before Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam returned from that journey.
Al Suyuti said, “This narration removes the qualms and clarifies the mistake that occurred in the first narration was but in one word; that of ‘ibn al ‘As’. Rather it was Ibn al Rifa’ah who was one of the hypocrites. Similarly, Muawiyah ibn Rafi’ was from amongst the hypocrites. And Allah knows best.”
That being said, this narration cannot be deemed authentic either. The chain of transmission has in it Saif ibn ‘Umar al Tamimi.
Saif ibn ‘Umar al Tamimi
The one narrating from him is Shu’ayb ibn Ibrahim al Kufi.
Shu’ayb ibn Ibrahim al Kufi
Ibn Qani’ has the name Sa’id Abu al ‘Abbas al Taymi. The correct name is Shu’ayb ibn Ibrahim as in the al Kamil of Ibn ‘Adi.
Dear reader, the weakness of the narration through both its chains have become evident to you. It is quite clear that the narration cannot be established by way of its chain of transmission.
We have already discussed that the two persons specified in one of the narrations are Muawiyah ibn al Tabub and ‘Amr ibn Rifa’ah al Tabub who were both hypocrites. The other narration deems them to be Muawiyah and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
If for arguments sake, we were to accept the narration as established, it would be said that the narrator was confused or misunderstood.
واذا تطرق الاحتمال المساوي بطل الاستددلال به على الشيء المراد
And when both contradictory possibilities are equally acceptable, neither can be presented as evidence.
Why then would one choose this over the other? Beyond that, to identify them as the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is an arbitrary decision which holds no weight!
This is all of course if we deem the narration established, which it clearly is not. There is no way to establish its authenticity.
If it be said, it is possible that similar incidents occurred on more than one occasion. Then the answer would be as follows: In the narrations that mention the names of Muawiyah and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhuma there is also the specification of the incident occurring before the prohibition of wine whilst another narration specifies it to have occurred at the Battle of Uhud.
This illustrates it to have occurred before both of them accepted Islam since ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted Islam six months prior to the Conquest of Makkah and Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted Islam at the Conquest of Makkah.
Further, when they both presented themselves to accept Islam, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam accepted their pledge. In fact, ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu laid down the condition of forgiveness for his previous misdeeds before pledging allegiance at the hand of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam responded to this saying:
Are you not aware of the fact that Islam wipes out all the previous misdeeds? Verily migration wipes out all the previous misdeeds, and verily the pilgrimage wipes out all the previous misdeeds?
Beyond this Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised him by saying:
أسلم الناس وآمن عمرو بن العاص
The people submitted whilst ‘Amr ibn al ‘As believed.
Additionally, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed him as the leader of the expedition of Dhat al Salasil.
As for Muawiyah, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed him as his scribe as reported by Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum. The Prophet of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prayed for him saying:
اللهم اجعله هاديا مهديا واهد به
O Allah, make him a beacon of guidance, guide him, and guide through him.
How can this be when he had addressed Umm Sulaim saying:
يا أم سليم أما تعلمين أن شرطي على ربي أني اشترطت على ربي فقلت إنما أنا بشر أرضى كما يرضى البشر وأغضب كما يغضب البشر فأيما أحد دعوت عليه من أمتي بدعوة ليس لها بأهل أن تجعلها له طهورا وزكاة وقربة يقربه بها منه يوم القيامة
Umm Sulaim, don’t you know that I have made the following pact with my Lord: I am a human being and I am pleased just as a human being is pleased and I become displeased just as a human being becomes displeased, so for any person from amongst my Ummah whom I curse and he in no way deserves it, let that, O Lord, be made a source of purification and purity and nearness to (Allah) for him on the Day of Resurrection.
Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:
لم يكن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم سبابًا ولا فحاشًا ولا لعانًا كان يقول لأحدنا عند المعتبة ما له ترب جبينه
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not one who would abuse others or say obscene words, or curse and if he wanted to admonish anyone of us, he used to say: “What is wrong with him, may dust be on his forehead.”
In fact, when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prayed against some of the polytheists such as Safwan ibn Umayyah, Suhayl ibn ‘Amr, and al Harith ibn Hisham the following verse was revealed:
لَيْسَ لَكَ مِنَ ٱلْأَمْرِ شَىْءٌ أَوْ يَتُوْبَ عَلَيْهِمْ أَوْ يُعَذِّبَهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ ظَـٰلِمُوْنَ
Not for you, [O Muhammad, but for Allah], is the decision whether He should [cut them down] or forgive them or punish them, for indeed, they are wrongdoers.
Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked to pray against the polytheists. He said:
إني لم أبعث لعانا وإنما بعثت رحمة
I have not been sent as a curser. Rather, I have been sent as a mercy.
Ibn Hajar said:
حکی ابن بطال أن الدعاء للمشرکین ناسخ للدعاء على المشركين ودليله قوله تعالى ليس لك من الأمر شي؟ قال والأكثر على أن لا نسخ وأن الدعاء على المشركين جائز وإنما النهي عن ذلك في حق من يرجى تألفهم ودخولهم في الإسلام ويحتمل في التوفيق بينهما أن الجواز حيث يكون في الدعاء ما يقتضي زجرهم عن تماديهم على الكفر والمنع حيث يقع الدعاء عليهم بالهلاك على كفرهم
Ibn Battal has related the view that praying against the polytheists is abrogated due to the verse Not for you, [O Muhammad, but for Allah], is the decision. However, most of the scholars are of the view of permissibility. The prohibition in this verse is regarding those whose acceptance of Islam can be reasonably expected. Another way of reconciliation is that the prohibition is for praying for their death on disbelief whilst the permissibility is based on a warning for them so they take lesson and abate.
 Al Amini: al Ghadir, Vol. 10 pg. 140; Murtada ‘Askari: Ahadith Umm al Mu’minin Aisha, vol. 1 pg. 295.
 Al Tabarani: al Mujam al Kabir: 1097.
 Al Majma’, vol. 8 pg. 121.
 Al Dhahabi: Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 3 pg. 312.
 Al Musannaf, vol. 15 pg. 232-233: 38875.
 Musnad Ahmed, vol. 4 pg. 421.
 Musnad Abi Ya’la, number: 7436.
 Musnad al Bazzar, vol. 2 pg. 69.
 Al Majruhin, vol. 3 pg. 101.
 Al Mawdu’at, vol. 2 pg. 270.
 Al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 32 pg. 138.
 Bayan al Wahm wa al Iham fi al Ahkam, vol. 4 pg. 287.
 Mujam al Awsat, number: 7080.
 Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 7 pg. 246; Ibn ‘Adi: Al Kamil, vol.5 pg. 146-147.
 Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 6 pg. 131.
 Al Silsilah al Da’ifah: 6567.
 Al Manar al Munif, vol. 1 pg. 118.
 Mujam al Sahabah: 466.
 Al La’ali al Masnu’ah fi al Ahadith al Mawdu’ah, vol. 1 pg. 391.
 Al Mughni fi al Du’afa, vol. 1 pg. 419.
 Al Kamil, vol. 5 pg. 7.
 Al Dhahabi: Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 3 pg. 377.
 Sahih Muslim, Book of Faith: chapter regarding Islam wiping out previous misdeeds and similarly migration and hajj. Hadith: 121.
 Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 17413; Al Tirmidhi: Al Sunan, Hadith: 3844.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Book of Expeditions, chapter regarding the expedition of Dhat al Salasil. Hadith: 3462; Sahih Muslim, Book of the virtues of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, chapter regarding the merits of Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hadith: 6328.
 Sahih Muslim, Book of the virtues of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, chapter regarding the merits of Abu Sufyan ibn al Harb radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hadith: 6565.
 Musnad Ahmed: 17895; Sunan al Tirmidhi, Book of virtues, chapter on the merits of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hadith: 3842. He said the narration is Hassan Gharib. Al Albani has authenticated it. See, al Sahihah: 1969.
 Sahih Muslim, Book of doing good, joining ties, and sublime conduct, chapter regarding the one Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam cursed or prayed against and was undeserving of such, it would be a means for his purification, reward, and mercy. Hadith: 2603.
 Sahih al Bukhari, book on character, chapter on Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not being obscene. Hadith: 5684.
 Sahih al Bukhari, book on expeditions, chapter on the verse Not for you, [O Muhammad, but for Allah], is the decision whether He should [cut them down] or forgive them or punish them, for indeed, they are wrongdoers. Hadith: 3842; Sahih Muslim, Book of salah, chapter regarding the qunut being recommended in every salah when the Muslims face a difficulty. Hadith: 675.
 Sahih Muslim, Book of doing good, joining ties, and sublime conduct, chapter regarding the prohibition of cursing animals and anything else. Hadith: 2599.
 Ibn Hajar: Fath al Bari, vol. 11 pg. 196. The statement of ibn Battal can be found in his commentary on the Sahih vol. 10 pg. 127.