Misconception: En route she heard the dogs of Haw’ab barking, yet did not return

Misconception: Talhah and Zubair took her out of her house and travelled with her
March 1, 2018
Misconception: After her army reached Basrah, they looted the Bayt al Mal (treasury) and removed the governor ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf al Ansari disgracefully despite him being a Sahabi
March 1, 2018

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Misconception: En route she heard the dogs of Haw’ab barking, yet did not return

 

Qais ibn Abi Hazim reports:

 

لما أقبلت عائشة مرت ببعض مياه بني عامر طرقتهم ليلا فسمعت نباح الكلاب فقالت أي ماء هذا قالوا ماء الحوأب قالت ما أظنني إلا راجعة قالوا مهلا يرحمك الله تقدمين فيراك المسلمون فيصلح الله بك قالت ما أظنني إلا راجعة إني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول كيف بإحداكن تنبح عليها كلاب الحوأب

While Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was travelling, she passed some of the springs of the Banu ‘Amir. She reached there at night. She then heard the barking of dogs so she asked, “Which spring is this?”

“The water of al Haw’ab,” they replied.

She remarked, “I feel I should return then.”

They submitted, “Take it easy. May Allah have mercy on you. You will come. The Muslims will see you which will result in Allah uniting them through you.”

She said, “I think I should return. Indeed I heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘How will it be when the dogs of al Haw’ab bark at one of you?’”[1]

 

Answer

  1. There is a dispute regarding the authenticity of the hadith in question. A group of Huffaz have graded it da’if the likes of Yahya ibn Sa’id al Qattan[2],[3], Ibn Tahir al Maqdisi[4],[5], Ibn al Jawzi[6], and Ibn al ‘Arabi[7].

If it is accepted to be da’if, this misconception falls away totally.

On the contrary, if it is accepted to be sahih which is the view of some of the latter scholars[8], then the answer will be as follows:

  1. The text of the narration states that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha intended to return. She repeated this sentence twice. However, Sayyidina Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu told her:

ترجعين عسى الله عز و جل أن يصلح بك بين الناس

Are you returning? Probably Allah – the Mighty and Majestic – might unite the people at your hands.

Hearing this, she proceeded and did not return.

 

Moreover, there is no clear prohibition in the hadith, which restricts ijtihad. Even if there had been a prohibition, then too she did not commit any crime since she travelled, after practicing ijtihad, at a time when she had no knowledge of this place being en route. Had she decided to leave, it would not have been possible since no one agreed to it. In the hadith, there is no mention of what she ought to have done after reaching this place. Thus, she committed no crime by proceeding to fulfil her intention of uniting the Muslims which is undoubtedly an injunction.[9]

 

Al Saduq has a report in his book Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih via his isnad:

 

أن جيش عائشة مروا بماء يقال له ماء الحوأب فنبحتهم كلابه فقالت عائشة ما هذا الماء فقال بعضهم ماء الحوأب فقالت عائشة إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون ردوني ردوني هذا الماء الذي قال لي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لا تكوني التي تنبحك كلاب الحوأب فأتاها القوم بمن شهد و أقسم أن هذا الماء ليس بماء الحوأب

Aisha’s army passed by a spring called Ma’ al Haw’ab (the spring of Haw’ab). The dogs began barking at them hearing which Aisha asked: “Which spring is this?”

Some of them answered, “The spring of Haw’ab.”

Aisha lamented, “To Allah do we belong and to Him is our return. Return me! Return me! This is the spring regarding which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told me, ‘Do not be the one at whom the dogs of Haw’ab bark.’”

The people brought men who testified on oath that this spring was not the spring of Haw’ab.[10]

 

This narration which is found in the book of their great Imam, al Mufid, exonerates Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha from the slander they level against her.

Ponder for a moment: a woman who brazenly violates the prohibitions of Allah, defies the bequests of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, parades herself in front of men, solemnly undertakes the mission to assassinate Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu thereby bringing solace to her heart brimming with enmity, and incites people against him … is this the picture you wish to paint of our Mother Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha? You claim this notwithstanding citing the above narration which shows her fear for Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, her regret for leaving, and her recitation of istirja’ with deep regret after coming to learn that the place’s name is Haw’ab.

Is it fathomable for a woman – who shamelessly disobeys Allah and His Messenger, is hell-bent on killing, violates the request of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and daringly trespasses the limits set by Allah (as fabricated by the wicked Shia) – to display regret, remorse, softness, fear, and atonement?

Does it make sense that the army – according to the false narration – had to lie to her by swearing false oaths that this is not the spring of Haw’ab for her to continue the journey with them, fearing that she might return and abandon the entire affair?

Where is her rallying people and inciting them, her enmity for Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and her disobedience to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? Where is her resolution to spill ‘Ali’s blood and snatch the khilafah away from him then?

 

NEXT ⇒ Misconception: After her army reached Basrah, they looted the Bayt al Mal (treasury) and removed the governor ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf al Ansari  disgracefully despite him being a Sahabi 


[1] Musnad Ahmed vol. 6 pg. 52 Hadith: 24299; Musnad Abi Ya’la vol. 8 pg. 282 Hadith: 4868; Sahih Ibn Hibban vol. 15 pg. 126 Hadith: 6732; al Mustadrak vol. 3 pg. 129. Al Dhahabi declared its isnad as sahih in Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 2 pg. 177. Ibn Kathir comments in al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 6 pg. 217, “Its isnad meets the standards of al Bukhari and Muslim.” Al Haythami remarks in Majma’ al Zawa’id vol. 7 pg. 237, “The narrators of Ahmed are the narrators of Sahih al Bukhari.” Al Albani says in Silsilat al Ahadith al Sahihah vol. 1 pg. 847, “Its isnad is extremely authentic. His narrators are reliable and trustworthy, and among the narrators of the six [main hadith books].”

[2] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 4 pg. 200.

[3] Yahya ibn Sa’id ibn Farrukh, Abu Sa’id al Tamimi, al Qattan, the Hafiz and Amir al Mu’minin in hadith. He was born in 120 A.H. and was a forerunner in knowledge and practice. He is responsible for facilitating recording of hadith for the inhabitants of Iraq. All the A’immah have presented him as proof. He passed away in 198 A.H. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 19 pg. 175; vol. 6 pg. 138)

[4] Dhakirat al Huffaz vol. 4 pg. 1922.

[5] Muhammad ibn Tahir ibn ‘Ali, Abu al Fadl al Maqdisi, commonly known as Ibn al Qaisarani. He was born in 448 A.H. and passed away in 507 A.H. He was an Imam, Hafiz, and traveller. He had good beliefs, was an Athari, and a Zahiri. He differed in few matters like the permissibility of sima’ (listening to the singing of slave girls). Some of his books are: al Mu’talaf wa al Mukhtalaf and al Jam’ bayn Rijal al Sahihayn. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ vol. 19 pg. 361; Tarikh al Islam vol. 35 pg. 169)

[6] Al ‘Ilal al Mutanahiyah vol. 2 pg. 366.

[7] Al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim 128.

[8] It is graded sahih by Hafiz al Dhahabi in al Mughni vol. 2 pg. 124; Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Fath al Bari vol. 13 pg. 55; and al Albani in Silsilat al Ahadith al Sahihah Hadith: 474.

[9] Mukhtasar al Tuhfah al Ithna ‘Ashariyyah pg. 269.

[10] Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih vol. 3 pg. 44. Al Mas’udi – the Shi’i and Mu’tazili – reports in his book Muruj al Dhahab vol. 2 pg. 395:

 

و سار القوم نحو البصرة في ستمائة راكب فانتهوا في الليل إلى ماء لبني كلاب يعرف بالحوأب عليه ناس من بني كلاب فعوت كلابهم على الركب فقالت عائشة ما اسم هذا الموضع فقال لها السائق لجملها الحوأب فاسترجعت و ذكرت ما قيل لها في ذلك فقالت ردوني إلى حرم رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لا حاجة لي في المسير فقال الزبير بالله ما هذا الحوأب و لقد غلط فيما أخبرك به و كان طلحة في ساقة الناس فلحقها فأقسم أن ذلك ليس بالحوأب و شهد معهما خمسون رجلا ممن كان معهم فكان ذلك أول شهادة زور أقيمت في الإسلام

600 horsemen moved towards Basrah. At nightfall, they reached a spring of the Banu Kilab known as Haw’ab in the vicinity of which the Banu Kilab resided. Their dogs began howling at the riders. Hearing this, Aisha asked, “What is the name of this place?”

The man leading her camel said, “Haw’ab.”

She recited istirja’ and mentioned what had been said to her about it. She said, “Take me back to the haram of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. I have no need to travel.”

Zubair said, “By Allah, this is not Haw’ab. He erred in his information.”

Talhah was at the back of the army. He joined up with her and swore that that place was not Haw’ab. Another fifty men of those with them testified to the same. This was the first false testimony presented in Islam.

 

Ibn al ‘Arabi says:

و أما الذي ذكرتم من الشهادة على ماء الحوأب فقد بؤتم في ذكرها بأعظم حوب ما كان قط شيء ما ذكرتم

With regards to the testimony you mention over the spring of Haw’ab, you have failed miserably by mentioning it. Nothing of this sort happened. (al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim pg. 162)

 

However, he goes too far and vehemently rejects the hadith of Haw’ab outrightly. Al Albani criticises him for this:

 

و نحن و إن كنا نواقفه على إنكار ثبوت تلك الشهادة فإنها مما صان الله تبارك و تعالى أصحابه صلى الله عليه و سلم منها لا سيما من كان منهم من العشرة المبشرين بالجنة كطلحة و الزبير فإننا ننكر عليه قوله و لا قال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ذلك الحديث كيف و هو قد ثبت عنه صلى الله عليه و سلم بالسند الصحيح في عدة مصادر من كتب السنة المعروفة عند أهل العلم

Although we agree with him in rejecting the authenticity of this testimony – it is something Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala protected the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from especially the ten who were given glad tidings of Jannat like Talhah and Zubair – we deny his assertion, “Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not articulate this hadith.” How can this statement be correct whereas the report is established via an authentic sanad from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in few renowned books of the Ahlus Sunnah according to the ‘Ulama’? (al Silsilat al Sahihah vol. 1 pg. 849)

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