Section Two – Doubts cast against the eminent Sahabi Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu

A Brief Biography of the Eminent Sahabi ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu Continued
September 9, 2021
Imamah: Imam Hassan al Askari and thereafter – NEW UPLOAD!!!
September 14, 2021

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Section Two

Doubts cast against the eminent Sahabi Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu

 

  • Misconceptions related to the lineage of ‘Amr ibn al ‘As
  • Misconceptions related to his impartiality
  • Misconceptions related to his relationship with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
  • Misconceptions related to his relationship with the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
  • Misconceptions related to his conquest of Egypt, his governorship, and his relationship with its populous in general and especially with the Copts.

 

Preamble

One assessing the doubts and suspicions cast against the eminent Sahabi, ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu will notice they fall into one of five categories:

  1. Misconceptions that relate to his lineage
  2. Misconceptions that relate to his relationship with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
  3. Misconceptions that relate to his relationship with the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, principally in regarding the fitnah during the era of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. We have already discussed this fitnah in the introduction and the perspective a Muslim ought to adopt.[1]
  4. Misconceptions that relate to his conquest of Egypt and his governorship.
  5. Misconceptions that relate to his integrity. The aim of casting this suspicion is to bring into question his faith. Far be it for his faith be questioned whereas Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said referring to him:

 

أسلم الناس وآمن عمرو بن العاص

The people submitted whilst ‘Amr ibn al ‘As believed.[2]

 

Such declaration is beyond reproach, and accusations after such an attestation is unfathomable! May Allah save us from the evil of the self and the whispers of Shaitan.

It is important to take note of some rudimentary principles at this juncture which would illuminate the path to correct suppositions. Every Muslim ought to keep these principles in reaching distance in order to save one from falling into the sin of defaming Muslims; keeping Muslims safe from his words and actions.

Before passing a verdict on another, a Muslim should place any statement that reaches him onto the scale of verification and impartiality in the following manner and sequence:

  1. Consider the veracity of the statement. The unverified holds the same weight as the unfounded. Ascribing something to a layman without clear evidence is an injustice, so what can be said of the same done to a Sahabi!

 

  1. If the attribution holds weight, then consider; is it an issue of ijtihad which gives way to differences of opinion? Matters of ijtihad have the capacity for differences of opinion and, thus, the issue allows for a wide berth. The view of one mujtahid is not objectively more correct than another’s, since both are a product of a thorough exertion of the mujtahids mental faculty in finding a solution. Besides, independent reasoning is a result of thought patterns and mental aptitudes which differ from person to person. It is therefore commonly said:

 

لا انكار في مسائل الاجتهاد

There is no reproach in matters of ijtihad

 

This adage refers to those matters wherein there is no implicit text, consensus of opinion, or clear logical conclusion.[3]

 

  1. If it is an issue that cannot accept difference of opinion; however, the statement under consideration can be qualified in a positive light, then an excuse should be sought and it ought to be considered in the most positive manner possible. Judging the words and action of a Muslim in a positive light is always the best course of action; more so if it is a person of integrity and virtue.

 

  1. If none of the above apply, then judgement can be passed. However, at times, some judgments such as takfir (excommunication from Islam) or tabdi’ (accusation of innovation) are passed on the act and not on the perpetrator. This is to rule out the possibility of it being done in view of a different interpretation, out of sheer ignorance, under coercion, or simply by mistake. If such an act is done under the impression of a different interpretation, out of sheer ignorance, under coercion, or by mistake then the act will be branded as an act of disbelief or innovation not the perpetrator due to these aforementioned preventative barriers.

 

Beyond this we also have an agreed upon fundamental principle of fiqh which says, ‘That which is established by way of conviction can only be dismissed by way of conviction’. Accordingly, whoever’s Islam, excellence, and integrity has been proven by way of conviction cannot by relegated from their position of Islam, excellence, and integrity, except by way of conviction.

Al Sarakhsi says:

 

إن التمسك باليقين وترك المشكوك فيه أصل في الشرع، فإن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أمر الشاك في الحدث بأن لا ينصرف من صلاته حتى يستيقن بالحدث، لأنه على يقين من الطهارة وهو في شك من الحدث

Considering conviction and disregarding doubt is a principle of the shari’ah. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed the one in doubt of his purity to not break his salah unless he has conviction of his purity being nullified. This is because he had conviction of his purity whilst he had but a doubt of it being nullified.[4]

 

Taking into consideration these above-mentioned principles, we will delve into the five discussions included in this chapter.

 

 

1. The verses of Surah al Kawthar was revealed about his father

It is said that the following verse was revealed regarding al ‘As ibn Wa’il the father of ‘Amr:

 

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ ٱلْأَبْتَرُ

Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off.[5]

 

Al Amini [al Shi’i] said, “This is attributed to his father and is the view of the majority of mufassirin and scholars.”[6]

 

Answer

This blessed surah, i.e. Surah al Kawthar, will be discussed from three angles:

  1. Is it a Makki or Madani surah?
  2. Who was it revealed regarding?
  3. What does al abtar mean?
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Is it a Makki or Madani surah?

The scholars have differed regarding this. Some have opined it to be a Makki surah. This is the view of Ibn ‘Abbas, al Kalbi, and Muqatil.[7]  This is also the view of al Jazri[8], al Zamakhshari[9], Ibn ‘Atiyyah[10], and al Zarkashi[11]. They have adopted this view based on the narration of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu in which he specifies the Makki and Madani surahs. They also hold this view relying on the narrations recorded from some Tabi’in, such as Qatadah, Jabir Ibn Zaid, and others.

Al Zarkashi has listed the Makki surahs according to the narrations in which he includes Surah al Kawthar. He said, “This is the list of those portions of the Qur’an which were revealed in Makkah. This is based on reports from the reliable narrators and they are in total, eighty-five chapters.”[12]

Some have opined it to be a Madani surah. This is the view of al Hassan, ‘Ikrimah, Mujahid, and Qatadah.[13] This is also the view of Ibn Kathir[14], which al Suyuti has deemed to be correct. He states, “Al Nawawi has given preference to this view in his commentary of Sahih Muslim, the based on the following narration:

 

عن أنس، قال: بينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ذات يوم بين أظهرنا إذ أغفى إغفاءة ثم رفع رأسه متبسما، فقلنا: ما أضحكك يا رسول الله قال: «أنزلت علي آنفا سورة» فقرأ: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم إنا أعطيناك الكوثر. فصل لربك وانحر. إن شانئك هو الأبتر ثم قال: «أتدرون ما الكوثر؟» فقلنا الله ورسوله أعلم، قال: فإنه نهر وعدنيه ربي عز وجل…

One day Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was sitting amongst us and he dozed off. He then raised his head and he was smiling.

We asked, “What makes you smile, O Messenger of Allah?”

He said, “A surah has just been revealed to me, and then recited:

 

إِنَّآ أَعْطَيْنَـٰكَ ٱلْكَوْثَرَ. فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَٱنْحَرْ. إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ ٱلْأَبْتَرُ.

Indeed, We have granted you, [O Muhammad], al Kawthar. So, pray to your Lord and offer sacrifice [to Him alone]. Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off.

 

Then he asked, “Do you know what al Kawthar is?”

We said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.”

He said, “It is a stream which my Lord, the Exalted and Glorious has promised me…”[15]

 

Ibn ‘Ashur said, “The opinions and narrations regarding it being Makki or Madani are varied, in which there is a great difference of opinion. The majority of scholars opine it to be a Makki surah, most of the mufassirin also hold this stance.”

Al Khafaji, reproduced the following quote from al Nashr, “Those who we know are unanimous on it being a Makki surah.”[16] He then comments. “This is questionable since there is a difference of opinion in the matter.”

Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu came into the fold of Islam in the initial stages after the hijrah and since the words of the narration state just (been revealed to me), it shows that the verse had been revealed a short time ago, if the apparent meaning is taken. This would mean the surah had been revealed a short time before seeing that dream.

What has been recorded regarding the tafsir of

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ ٱلْأَبْتَرُ

Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off.[17]

 

Implies that the surah is Makki. While looking at what has been recorded regarding the tafsir of Anhar [sacrifice in the days of Hajj or on the days of ‘Id al Adha], implies that the surah is Madani. If this is considered, then the verse:

 

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ ٱلْأَبْتَرُ

Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off.[18]

 

Would not be in reference to the comments of al ‘As ibn Wa’il. The obvious conclusion is that this surah is in fact, a Madani surah due to the above considerations.[19] Further, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asking, “Do you know what al Kawthar is” and the reply of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, “Allah and His Messenger know best” also strengthens the claim of those who consider it to be a Madani surah. This is because if it were revealed in Makkah, there would have been those present who would have known of al Kawthar. Thus, the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum asking Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam of it and they being unaware of the same implies that the surah would have been revealed shortly before their discussion.

My personal inclination is that the surah is Madani because the narration of Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu is authentic and explicit in it being a Madani surah. We infer this from the fact that Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu is an Ansari sahabi from the Khazraj tribe. He himself says as recorded in Sahih Muslim:

 

قدم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم المدينة وأنا ابن عشر، ومات وأنا ابن عشرين ، وكن أمهاتي يحثثني على خدمته

Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to Madinah when I was 10 years old and he passed away when I was 20. My mother would exhort me to serve him.[20]

 

This view is further supported by the statement of Sa’id ibn Jubayr rahimahu Llah who said:

 

كانت هذه الآية ، يعني قوله: فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَٱنْحَرْ يوم الحديبية ، أتاه جبريل عليه السلام فقال انحر وارجع ، فقام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فخطب خطبة الفطر والنحر ثم ركع ركعتين ، ثم انصرف إلى البدن فنحرها ، فذلك حين يقول فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَٱنْحَرْ

This verse So, pray to your Lord and offer sacrifice [to Him alone], was revealed on the day of Hudaybiyyah. Jibril ‘alayh al Salam came to him and said, “Slaughter and return”. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then stood up and addressed the people with the khutbah of al Fitr and al Nahr and performed two rak’at of prayer. Thereafter he turned to his sacrificial animal and slaughtered it saying, So, pray to your Lord and offer sacrifice [to Him alone].[21]

 

Another aspect to take note of is the determination of the various chapters, by way of narrations, into Makki and Madani surahs still remain an issue of contention. This is of course if we even assume the narrations to be authentic.

Further, some chapters which aren’t mentioned in the narrations are determined to be Makki or Madani which goes to show that the determinations themselves aren’t concrete.

Therefore, the surah under review should be considered as a Madani surah based on the narration of Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Except of course, if it is established that it was revealed in Makkah, it would mean the surah was revealed twice, one in Makkah and once in Madinah; a phenomenon that is encountered in various other chapters of the Qur’an.

 

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Who was it revealed regarding?

The scholars have differed on this issue. Hereunder are some of their views:

  1. It was revealed regarding al ‘As ibn Wa’il. This is the view of Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, Sa’id ibn Jubayr, Qatadah, and ‘Ikrimah. Al Razi has inferred this view to be the general view of scholars of tafsir.

This view is based on the following narration:

 

أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم يخرج من المسجد والعاص بن وائل السهمي  يدخل فالتقيا فتحدثنا و صناديد قريش في المسجد فلما دخل قالوا  من الذي كنت تتحدث معه؟  فقال ذلك الأبتر ، وروي ايضا ان العاص بن وائل كان يقول ان محمدا ابتر لا ابن له يقوم مقامه بعده فاذا مات انقطع ذكره واسترحم منه، وكان قد مات ابنه عبد الله من خديجة

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was exiting the masjid and al ‘As ibn Wa’il al Sahmi was entering. They met and spoke with each other whilst the chiefs of the Quraysh were in the masjid. When he entered, they asked him, “Who was it that you were conversing with?”

He replied, “That abtar

It has also been reported that al ‘As ibn Wa’il would say, “Muhammad is abtar, he has no son to take his place after him. Thus, when he dies his mention will cease.”

His son, ‘Abdullah, whom Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha had born for him had passed away.[22]

 

  1. It was revealed regarding ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt. This is the view of Shimr ibn ‘Atiyyah.[23]

 

  1. It was revealed regarding Ka’b ibn Ashraf and a group of disbelievers of the Quraysh. This is also the view of Ibn ‘Abbas, and ‘Ikrimah. Ibn Kathir said:

 

وقال البزار حدثنا زيد بن يحيى الحساني حدثنا ابن أبي عدي عن داود عن عكرمة عن ابن عباس قال: قدم كعب بن الأشرف مكة فقالت له قريش أنت سيدهم ألا ترى إلى هذا الصنبر المنبتر من قومه؟ يزعم أنه خير منا ونحن أهل الحجيج وأهل السدانة وأهل السقاية فقال أنتم خير منه قال فنزلت إن شانئك هو الأبتر

Al Bazzar narrated from — Ziyad ibn Yahya al Hassani from — Ibn Abi ‘Adi from — Dawood from — ‘Ikrimah from — Ibn ‘Abbas who said: Ka’b ibn al Ashraf came to Makkah and the Quraysh said to him, “You are the leader of them (the people). What do you think about this worthless man who is cut off from his people? He claims that he is better than us while we are the people of the place of pilgrimage, the people of custodianship (of the Ka’bah), and the people who supply water to the pilgrims.”

He replied, “You all are better than him.”

So, Allah revealed:

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ ٱلْأَبْتَرُ

Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off.

 

This is how al Bazzar has narrated it. Its chain of transmission is authentic.[24]

 

  1. It was revealed regarding Abu Lahab. This view has been recorded from ‘Ata who said:

 

وذلك حين مات ابن لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فذهب أبو لهب إلى المشركين فقال بتر محمد الليلة فأنزل الله في ذلك إن شانئك هو الأبتر

When a son of the Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam died. Abu Lahab went to the polytheists and said, “Muhammad has been cut off (i.e., from progeny) tonight.” So, concerning this Allah revealed:

 

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ ٱلْأَبْتَرُ

Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off.[25]

 

  1. It was revealed regarding Abu Jahl. This view has been narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas.[26]

 

  1. It is also narrated from him that this verse means, ‘Your enemy’. Thus, it would include all those who were his enemy who have been mentioned and others likewise. Al Razi said:

 

واعلم أنه لا يبعد في كل أولئك الكفرة أن يقولوا مثل ذلك فإنهم كانوا يقولون فيه ما هو أسوأ من ذلك ، ولعل العاص بن وائل كان أكثرهم مواظبة على هذا القول فلذلك اشتهرت الروايات بأن الآية نزلت فيه

It is not far-fetched that all of the disbelievers said the same thing as they had said much worst regarding him. Perhaps al ‘As ibn Wa’il had been relentless with this particular insult which is why the narrations refer to him as being the target of this verse.[27]

 

  1. It was revealed regarding ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, before he became a Muslim. Al Bayhaqi said:

 

وأخبرنا أبو عبد الله قال: حدثنا أبو العباس قال: حدثنا أحمد قال: حدثنا يونس، عن أبي عبد الله الجعفي جابر، عن محمد بن علي قال: «كان القاسم بن رسول الله و قد بلغ أن يركب الدابة ، ويسير على النجيب ، فلما قبضه الله عز وجل قال عمرو بن العاص: لقد أصبح محمد أبتر من ابنه ، فأنزل الله تعالى على نبيه : إنا أعطيك الكوره عوض یا محمد من نصيبك بالقاسم فصل لربك وانحرو إن شانئك هو الأبتر قال البيهقي: كذا روي بهذا الإسناد ، وهو ضعيف . والمشهور أن الآية نزلت في أبيه

Abu ‘Abdullah narrated to us from — Abu al ‘Abbas from — Ahmed from — Yunus from — Abu ‘Abdullah al Ju’fi Jabir[28] from — Muhammad ibn ‘Ali who said, “Al Qasim ibn Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reached the age where he could alight a conveyance and travel to al Najib. When Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala took him away, ‘Amr ibn al ‘As said, ‘Muhammad has been cut off from his son.’ Upon this Allah Ta’ala revealed to His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “Indeed, We have granted you, [O Muhammad], al Kawthar, i.e., in lieu of al Qasim. So, pray to your Lord and offer sacrifice [to Him alone]. Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off.”

Al Bayhaqi said, “It has been narrated such with this chain of transmission. And it is weak. The more famous view is that it was revealed regarding his father.[29]

 

This view is weak as stated by al Bayhaqi. There are two issues in its chain of transmission, viz.

    • Jabir al Ju’fi: He is weak as mentioned by Ibn Hajar in al Taqrib.[30]
    • There is a break (Inqita’) in the narration. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali is al Baqir, the grandson of al Hussain ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Abu Zur’ah said, “Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain from — ‘Ali is Mursal[31].[32] Al ‘Ala’i said, “He narrates mursal narrations from his grandfathers, al Hassan and al Hussain, as well as from his great grandfather ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhum.”[33]

 

If the narrations of al Baqir from his grandfathers, al Hassan and al Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma is not acceptable without a link, whilst they are all the children of Madinah Munawwarah, then what of his narration from ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu before even the hijrah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to Madinah?

 

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What does al abtar mean?

The scholars have five opinions on this matter:

  1. Humiliated and This is the view of Qatadah.
  2. Alone and lonely. This is the view of ‘Ikrimah.
  3. One who possesses no good until he it is as though he is cut off. This is the view of Ma’thur.
  4. The Quraysh would use this term in referencing those whose male offspring died. They would say “So and so has become abtar.” When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lost his son, al Qasim, in Makkah and Ibrahim in Madinah, they said, “Muhammad has become abtar and there is no one who will take on his mission after him. Upon these comments the verse was revealed. This is the view of Al Suddi and Ibn Zaid.
  5. When Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala sent down revelation to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and he invited the Quraysh to iman, they said (ibtatara) Muhammad has opposed us and been cut off from us. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala then informed His Messenger that in fact, it is them who are cut off. This is the view of ‘Ikrimah and Shahr ibn Hawshab.[34]

 

Ibn ‘Ashur said:

 

(الابتر)حقيقته المقطوع بعضه وغلب على المقطوع ذَنبه من الدواب ويستعار لمن نقص منه ما هو من الخير في نظر الناس تشبيهاً بالدَّابة المقطوع ذَنَبها تشبيه معقول بمحسوس كما في الحديث: “كل أمر ذي بال لا يبدأ فيه باسم الله فهو أبتر” يقال: بَتر شيئاً إذا قطع بعضَه وبَتر بالكسر كفرِح فهو أبتر، ويقال للذي لا عقب له ذكوراً، هو أبتر على الاستعارة تشبيه متخيل بمحسوس شبهوه بالدابة المقطوع ذنبها لأنه قُطع أثره في تخيُّل أهلِ العرف… ولكن لما كان وصف الأبتر في الآية جيء به لمحاكاة قول القائل: «محمد أبتر» إبطالاً لقوله ذلك، وكانَ عرفهم في وصف الأبتر أنه الذي لا عقب له تعيّن أن يكون هذا الإِبطال ضرباً من الأسلوب الحكيم وهو تلقي السامع بغير ما يترقب بحمل كلامه على خلاف مراده تنبيهاً على أن الأحقَّ غيرُ ما عناه من كلامه ….وذلك بصرف مراد القائل عن الأبتر الذي هو عديم الابن الذكر إلى ما هو أجدر بالاعتبار وهو الناقص حظّ الخير، أي ليس ينقص للمرء أنه لا ولد له لأن ذلك لا يعود على المرء بنقص في صفاته وخلائقه وعقله

Al Abtar: Literally it means a part of something that is cut off. Its general use is for an animal’s tail that has been cut off. It is also metaphorically used for one who has lost favour with people due to his own lack of good; the similitude of an animal with a tail cut off to a man cut off from good. A person who does not have any male offspring is also referred to as abtar; like an animal with no tail. Looking at the verse, the word abtar was used citing what had been said i.e., Muhammad has become abtar due having no male offspring. The verse used the same word to denote a different meaning turning the attention to the more appropriate meaning of the word; one who lacks all good.

This was to refute the idea of judging a man by the gender of his offspring but rather by the content of his character, since having no male offspring does not decrease a man’s traits, character, or intellect.[35]

 

From the above discussion, we can infer that the early scholars differed regarding the surah being Makki or Madani, who was the target of its revelation, and regarding the meaning of abtar.

Taking the view of it being a Madani surah, which is more likely, it is far-fetched that its target be al ‘As. The narrations clearly state this insult of his directed at Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam occurred in Makkah before the hijrah.

And if we take the view of it being a Makki surah then we cannot say with conviction the target was al ‘As due to the differing views of the scholars. If we, for arguments sake, accept that its target was al ‘As and also adopt the view of its meaning to be one who has no male offspring, it does not make sense as al ‘As had male offspring as established; ‘Amr and Hisham. Further, ‘Amr himself had two sons, ‘Abdullah and Muhammad. Ibn Hazm states, “‘Abdullah had close to one hundred dependents in Makkah and al Waht.”[36] If the meaning of ‘one who is bereft of any good and is humiliated’ is taken then this does not affect ‘Amr in the least. It is in relation to his father and it has nothing to do with ‘Amr!

If the sin of the father were to be taken as an insult to the son, then will we defame Khalil Allah Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam for the disbelief of his father? Or Nabi Nuh ‘alayh al Salam for the disobedience of his son? Placing the burden of one’s sin on another is madness and injustice. It goes against the values of justice and the demands logic. Further what of the clear proofs and repeated verses of the Qur’an the prohibit this? Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

أَلَّا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَىٰ وَأَن لَّيْسَ لِلْإِنسَـٰنِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَىٰ

That no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives.[37] 

 

How many of the Sahabah and eminent personalities of the Ahlul Bayt came into the fold of Islam whilst their families remained on disbelief and ignorance. The Qur’an is clear on the destruction of Abu Lahab whilst he is the uncle of our Master and Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. One assessing the situation impartially will need to look no further.

The extremists on the other hand, grovel to search for any connection, no matter how implausible. They are akin to a one drowning searching for something to grasp on to, even grabbing at the algae. The principal reason for this is they make assumptions, believe in it, and then seek evidences to back up their claims; no matter how flimsy.

The correct method in ascertaining the truth is for one to look firstly at the evidence and then reach a conclusion. To assess authentic proofs and then build their views based on the inferences of the proofs. This will result in a view built on a strong and sturdy foundation. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

أَفَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَـٰنَهُۥ عَلَىٰ تَقْوَىٰ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضْوَٰنٍ خَيْرٌ أَم مَّنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَـٰنَهُۥ عَلَىٰ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍ فَٱنْهَارَ بِهِۦ فِى نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ

Then is one who laid the foundation of his building on righteousness [with fear] from Allah and [seeking] His approval better or one who laid the foundation of his building on the edge of a bank about to collapse, so it collapsed with him into the fire of Hell? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.[38]

 

2. What has been said regarding his mother in that she was a harlot

Al Asbahani said:

 

ومسألة خبث ولادته معروفة في كثير من الكتب، ككتاب إنسان العيون في سيرة الأمين المأمون، وكتاب المستطرف، وكتاب سبط ابن الجوزي ومحصلها: أن أمه كانت بغية عند عبد الله بن جدعان فوطئها في طهر واحد أبو لهب ، وأمية بن خلف ، وأبو سفيان بن حرب ، والعاص بن الوائل، وادعى كلهم عمرو ، فألحقته أمه بالعاص . وقيل لها: لما اخترت العاص ؟ قالت: لأنه كان ينفق على بناتي

The issue of the immorality of his mother is well documented in many books such as, Insan al ‘Uyun fi Sirah al Amin wa al Ma’mun, Kitab al Mustatraf, and the book of Sibt ibn al Jawzi. The summary of what has been mentioned is as follows: His mother was a harlot of ‘Abdullah ibn Jud’an and in a single period of purity slept with Abu Lahab, Umayyah ibn Khalaf, Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, and al ‘As ibn Wa’il. All of them claimed paternity of ‘Amr. She chose to be with al ‘As. When asked why she had chosen al ‘As, she replied, “Because he would spend on my daughters.”[39]    

 

After reproducing the incident of Abu Sufyan’s acknowledgment that Ziyad was his child from Sumayyah, after being impressed by his perfect rhetoric, al Amini comments:

 

لو كان معاوية استلحق زيادة بهذا الخبر لكان استلحاقه عمرو بن العاص أولى ؛ إذ ادعاه أبو سفيان يوم ولادته قائلا : أما إني لا أشك أني وضعته في رحم أمه واختصم معه العاص. غير أن النابغة أبت إلا العاص؛ لما زعمت من الشح في أبي سفيان

If Muawiyah avowed the paternity of Ziyad based on this, the paternity of ‘Amr ibn al ‘As should be avowed to a greater degree since Abu Sufyan claimed him the day he was born and disagreed with al ‘As. However, al Nabighah preferred al ‘As due to her assumption of Abu Sufyan being miserly.[40]

 

Answer

This allegation will be dealt with in six ways:

  1. This narration is worthless and is not authentic in any way. It is found is some books of literature such as Rabi’ al Abrar of al Zamakhshari[41], Nihayah al Arab fi Funun al Adab of al Nuwayri[42], al ‘Iqd al Farid of Ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi al Andalusi[43], al Tadhkirah al Hamduniyyah of Ibn Hamdun[44], and al Mustatraf fi kull Fan Mustazraf of al Abshihi[45].

I have not found it with a chain of transmission except in the book Akhbar al Wafidat min al Nisaʼ ‘ala Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan authored by al ‘Abbas ibn Bakkar[46]. He has recorded it with the following chain:

 

عبد الله بن سليمان المديني عن قتادة قال : دخلت أروى بنت الحارث بن عبد المطلب على معاوية وهي عجوز كبيرة فلما رآها قال مرحبا بك يا خالة … وذكرت كلاما في النيل من معاوية  فقال لها عمرو بن العاص كفى أيتها العجوز وغضي طرفك واقصري من شر لفظك: فإنه أمر المؤمنين قالت له إيه عنك يا ابن النفيرة فوالله لعهدي بأمك بأبيات مكة وهي باكية من الخطيئة من كل عبد لنا عاهر ولقد احتكم فيك خمسة من قريش كلهم يدعيك ابنه وغلب عليك جزار قريش

‘Abdullah ibn Sulaiman al Madini from — Qatadah who said, “Arwa bint al Harith ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib came to Muawiyah when she was of advanced age.

When he saw her, he said, “Welcome Aunt!” She then spoke at length vilifying Muawiyah.

So ‘Amr ibn al ‘As said to her, “‘Enough old women. Lower your gaze and stop your drivel. He is the Amir al Mu’minin.”

She said to him, “Be silent Ibn Nafirah! By Allah it wasn’t long ago that your mother was in Makkah crying from the sin of our slaves; prostitution. There were five men of the Quraysh who claimed you to be theirs and you were overcome by the butcher of the Quraysh.”

 

This incident is a fabrication. The following narrators are in its chain of transmission:

Al ‘Abbas ibn Bakkar al Dabbi al Basri: 

    • Al Daraqutni said, “He is a kadhab (liar).”
    • Al ‘Uqayli said, “Most of his narrations are wahm (delusions) and manakir (rejections).”[47]
    • Al Dhahabi said, “He is Matruk (suspected of forgery).”[48]

‘Abdullah ibn Sulaiman al Madini:

I did find any bibliographical entry for him.[49]

Qatadah ibn Di’amah al Sadusi:

Even though he is reliable, of high status, and a hafiz of his era, he is renowned for tadlis[50]. He also narrated by way of irsal[51]  a lot from the likes of al No’man ibn Muqrin, Safinah, and others. Ahmed ibn Hambal said, “I do not know of Qatadah having heard from any of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum except for Anas ibn Malik.”[52]

Thus, he did not meet Muawiyah, forget ‘Amr ibn al ‘As. Muawiyah passed away in Rajab the year 60 A.H, according to the correct view, whilst Qatadah was born the year 60 or 61 A.H.[53] Accordingly, he was born the year, or the year after Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had passed away.

The incident is therefore a fabrication. Neither shari’ah nor logic allows attribution to a person by one whose veracity is unknown, so what of one who is a known liar and whose narrations the Imams of hadith discarded?[54]

 

  1. His mother being a slave of war is not a factual matter. We have explained the differences of opinion regarding his mother’s lineage. Neither have any of the books of war mention which battle the mother of ‘Amr was taken as slave.
  2. The reliable books of history make no mention of his mother being a harlot. The most that is mentioned is her being a slave of war from the Bani Jallan ibn ‘Anazah ibn Asad ibn Rabi’ah ibn Nizar tribe.[55] The following incident is mentioned in Usd al Ghabah:

وذكروا أَنَّهُ جعل لرجل ألف درهم على أن  يسأَل عمرَو بن العاص عن أُمه وَهُوَ على المنبر ، فقال: سلمي بنت حرملة، تلقب النابغة من بني عَنَزة، أَصابتها رماح العرب، فبيعت بعكاظ، فاشتراها الفاكه بن المغيرة، ثم اشتراها منه عبد اللّه بن جُدْعان، ثم صارت إِلى العاص بن وائل، فولدت له، فأَنجبت، فإِن كان جُعِل لك شيء فخذه.

The historians mention that a man was paid a thousand silver coins to ask ‘Amr ibn al ‘As about his mother while he was on the pulpit. He took up the challenge and enquired about his mother.

He explained, “My mother is Salma bint Harmalah, with the title al -Nabighah, from the Banu ‘Anazah. The spears of the Arabs afflicted her [i.e. she was captured] and she was sold at ‘Ukaz. Fakih ibn al Mughirah purchased her and ‘Abdullah ibn Jud’an purchased her from him. She then fell into the possession of al ‘As ibn Wa’il. She gave birth to his child. If they had stipulated something for you, take it.”[56]

 

Even if we accept this incident to be true, the only thing we learn from it is that his mother was the slave-girl of his father, al ‘As. Buying slave-girls, having relations with them, and having children with them was a norm amongst the Arabs, both during the period of ignorance and in Islam. Many of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and those that came after them during the golden era had Umm Walad (slave-girl who has borne her master a child). Consider Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He had a slave-girl by the name of Khawlah bint Jafar ibn Qais ibn Maslamah ibn Tha’labah ibn Yarbu’ ibn Tha’labah ibn Duwal ibn Hanafiyyah. She was from the war prisoners of Yamamah, whom Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu had taken as slaves. Some opine she was a slave of the Banu Hanifah but not of the tribe.[57]  She gave birth to a child for the Amir al Mu’minin; Muhammad, famously known as Ibn al Hanafiyyah.

Similarly, there is ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali and Ruqayyah, twins. Their mother was al Sahba’. It is said, her name was Umm Habib bint Rabi’ah from the Banu Taghlib tribe. She was from the war prisoners of Khalid ibn Walid. ‘Umar was the last child of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[58]

Consider the two leaders of the youth in Jannat, al Hassan and al Hussain. They too had children from slave-girls. Al Hussain had ‘Ali ibn al Hussain from an Umm Walad. He was with his father during the days of Karbala and had taken ill when al Hussain was slain. He was twenty-three years of age at the time. ‘Umar ibn Sa’d discouraged the people from informing him of the terrible news during his illness.[59]

Besides these personalities, there are many other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and those that came after them in the golden era of Islam who had children from slave-girls.

 

  1. Disparaging someone on the basis of their lineage is a characteristic consistent with the pre-Islamic days; an act of ignorance that the shari’ah has prohibited.[60] Refuting or doubting the lineage of a person is a matter of grave concern as establishing such needs to be done by evidence that is both clear and true; something that does not exist here. Not to mention the fact that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recognised the lineage of the polytheists without asking them about the manner of their marriages. This is notwithstanding marriages during the era of ignorance was done in one of four ways. ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair narrates from Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the wife of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the following:

 

أن النكاح في الجاهلية كان على أربعة أنحاء: فنكاح منها نكاح الناس اليوم: يخطب الرجل إلى الرجل وليته أو ابنته، فيصدقها ثم ينكحها، ونكاح آخر: كان الرجل يقول لامرأته إذا طهرت من طمثها: أرسلي إلى فلان فاستبضعي منه، ويعتزلها زوجها ولا يمسها أبدا، حتى يتبين حملها من ذلك الرجل الذي تستبضع منه، فإذا تبين حملها أصابها زوجها إذا أحب، وإنما يفعل ذلك رغبة في نجابة الولد، فكان هذا النكاح نكاح الاستبضاع. ونكاح آخر: يجتمع الرهط ما دون العشرة، فيدخلون على المرأة، كلهم يصيبها، فإذا حملت ووضعت، ومر عليها ليال بعد أن تضع حملها، أرسلت إليهم، فلم يستطع رجل منهم أن يمتنع، حتى يجتمعوا عندها، تقول لهم: قد عرفتم الذي كان من أمركم وقد ولدت، فهو ابنك يا فلان، تسمي من أحبت باسمه فيلحق به ولدها، لا يستطيع أن يمتنع به الرجل، ونكاح الرابع: يجتمع الناس الكثير، فيدخلون على المرأة، لا تمتنع ممن جاءها، وهن البغايا، كن [ص:16] ينصبن على أبوابهن رايات تكون علما، فمن أرادهن دخل عليهن، فإذا حملت إحداهن ووضعت حملها جمعوا لها، ودعوا لهم القافة، ثم ألحقوا ولدها بالذي يرون، فالتاط به، ودعي ابنه، لا يمتنع من ذلك «فلما بعث محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم بالحق، هدم نكاح الجاهلية كله إلا نكاح الناس اليوم

There were four types of marriage during pre-Islamic period of Ignorance. One type was similar to that of the present day, i.e. a man used to ask somebody else for the hand of a girl under his guardianship or for his daughter’s hand, and give her dowry and then marry her.

The second type was that a man would say to his wife after she had become clean from her period. “Send for so-and-so and have sexual intercourse with him.” Her husband would then keep away from her and would never sleep with her till she got pregnant from the other man with whom she was sleeping. When her pregnancy became evident, the husband would sleep with her if he wished. Her husband did so (i.e. let his wife sleep with some other man) so that he might have a child of noble breed. Such marriage was called as Al Istibda’.

Another type of marriage was that a group of less than ten men would assemble and enter upon a woman, and all of them would have sexual relations with her. If she became pregnant and delivered a child and some days had passed after delivery, she would send for all of them and none of them would refuse to come, and when they all gathered before her, she would say to them, “You (all) know what you have done, and now I have given birth to a child. So, it is your child so-and-so!” naming whoever she liked, and her child would follow him and he could not refuse to take him.

The fourth type of marriage was that many people would enter upon a lady and she would never refuse anyone who came to her. Those were the prostitutes who used to fix flags at their doors as sign, and he who wished, could have sexual intercourse with them. If anyone of them got pregnant and delivered a child, then all those men would be gathered for her and they would call the Qa’if (persons skilled in recognizing the likeness of a child to his father) to them and would let the child follow the man (whom they recognized as his father) and she would let him adhere to him and be called his son. The man would not refuse all that.

But when Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was sent with the Truth, he abolished all the types of marriages observed in pre-Islamic period of Ignorance except the type of marriage the people recognize today.[61]

 

With the coming of Islam, all types of marriages were abolished except for the nikah which the Muslims practice today. Even though this was the case, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recognised their lineages without investigating the manner in which the marriage had taken place.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, addressing Ghaylan ibn Salamah al Thaqafi who had ten wives when he accepted Islam, said:

خذ منهن اربعة

Take four from them.[62]

 

Besides, there is no one who can claim purity of lineage by way of marriage, except for the Best of creation, may my father and mother be sacrificed for him and may the salutations of my Lord continue to rain upon him salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who said:

خرجت من لدن آدم من نكاح غير سفاح

My lineage from Adam has been by way of marriage in which there has been no adultery.[63]

 

Al Suyuti affixed the following chapter heading under which he brought the above mentioned hadith, ‘Chapter regarding the specialty of the pure lineage of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in which there was no adultery from Adam.’

The following is written in al Sirah al Halabiyyah after the mention of this hadith:

 

أن المرأة كانت تسافح الرجل مدة ثم يتزوجها إن أراد فكانت العرب تستحل الزنا إلا أن الشريف منهم كان يتورع عنه علانية ، وإلا بعض أفراد منهم حرمه على نفسه في الجاهلية). ومع ذلك كانوا يقرون على أنسابهم ونكاحهم

A woman would fornicate with a man for a period of time, marrying him thereafter if they wished. The Arabs deemed fornication permissible though the noble would make their apparent aversion to it known. Yes, some had made it impermissible upon themselves in the pre-Islamic period as well.[64]

Notwithstanding this, lineage would be recognised.

Al Amir al San’ani rahimahu Llah said:

 

وأما مسألة إقرارهم بأنسابهم وأن هذا ولد هذا وأخوه ونحوه ، فالظاهر أن قبولهم في هذا ثابت في عصر النبوة مستفيض، وأنه ولو بقا أهل الملل على ما هم عليه من إقرارهم بأنسابهم، ودعاهم و بذلك ، وهذا شيء معلوم من ضرورة من يعرف أحواله وسيره ، كما أنه كان يقبل قطعة مثل إخبارهم بأن ما تحت أيديهم ملك لهم، فإنه كان يتعامل مع اليهود والمشركين قطعة ويأخذ منهم، ويبيع ويقبض، بل مات ودرعه مرهون عند أبي الشحم اليهودي كما هو معروف في البخاري وغيره

The issue of recognising their lineage, so and so to be the brother of so and so etc., was accepted during the prophetic era. This is a well-known fact. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recognised the lineage of the various religious denominations and addressed them in a manner that was in line with this recognition.

This wasn’t dissimilar to how he accepted their word in matters pertaining to ownership. He had business dealings with the Jews and polytheists and would accept their goods. In fact, when he passed away his armour was mortgaged to one Abu al Shahm[65], the Jew. This is recorded by al Bukhari and others.[66]

 

Thus, their lineage will be accepted and recognised as they declare it to be. We know that there were four types of marriage in vogue amongst them of which our shari’ah only recognizes one. Then too, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recognized their lineage and did not investigate any person’s marriage in order to establish his lineage. Further the narration:

الولد للفراش و للعاهر الحجر

The child is to be attributed to one on whose bed he is born, and for a adulterer there is stoning.[67]

 

Was only presented at the conquest of Makkah at the dispute of Zam’ah’s son, when Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu claimed paternal right due to the bequest of his brother who claimed the child to be his own.[68]

Based on the above, the lineage of ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu will be to his father, no matter the manner of his parents’ marriage. The statement of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam further testifies to his lineage:

 

ابنا العاص مؤمنان هشام وعمرو

The two sons of al ‘As: Hisham and ‘Amr are believers.[69]

 

In this statement, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recognised his lineage to his father. The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum too, recognised his lineage to his father. There is no single statement of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum doubting his lineage. The fables related in later books are just that; fables.

  1. It seems as though doubting a person’s lineage and accusations of adultery has become the go to for those whose pipes nor theories hold any water. The Jews accused the mother of ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam of adultery and Umm al Mu’minin Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was accused of the same. Similarly, lineage of ‘Umar al Faruq radiya Llahu ‘anhu and other eminent personalities were also doubted.
  2. The statements presented to support the argument of doubt contradict each other. They mention the mother of ‘Amr ibn al ‘As to be a cheap prostitute. What sense does it make for the nobles of the Quraysh to look for and sleep with the cheapest prostitute? These narrations are illogical; the cheapest prostitute sleeping with nobles!

Even if this was the case and his mother was a prostitute, what fault is it of ‘Amr? Is one taken to task for the sins of their parents? Will Allah ask him on the Day of Qiyamah for the deeds of his parents? Did he not pledge allegiance to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without being held to ridicule for the deeds of his parents? What was said in the previous discussion can be repeated here: even if the verse of Abtar was revealed regarding his father, what does that have to do with ‘Amr?

 

NEXT⇒ COMING SOON….


[1] See pg. 53. Most of those who seek to raise their tongues in vilifying this eminent Sahabi fall into issues related to this category. I have already stated in the introduction, pg. 81, the viewpoint a Muslim should adopt in relation to the fitnah that occurred between the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in a way that will protect the individual from falling into vilifying the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. May Allah guide me and you to the truth.

[2] Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 17413; Al Tirmidhi: Al Sunan, Hadith: 3844.

[3] Al Nawawi states in his commentary on Sahih Muslim:

 

وكذلك قالوا ليس للمفتي ولا للقاضي أن يعترض على من خالفه اذا لم يخالف نصة أو إجماعا أو قياسا جليا والله أعلم

It is for this reason they say, “It is not becoming of a Mufti or a Qadi to be critical of another who opposes his view as long as it does not oppose implicit text, consensus, or clear logical conclusion.” And Allah knows best.

 

A similar statement has been issued by Ibn Taymiyyah and his student Ibn al Qayyim. See, al Fatawa al Kubra, vol. 6 pg. 92; I’lam al Muwaqqi’in, vol. 3 pg. 288.

[4] Usul al Sarakhsi, vol. 2 pg. 116.

[5] Surah al Kawthar: 3.

[6] Al Amini: Al Ghadir, vol. 2 pg. 120. Also see, al Majlisi: Bihar al Anwar, vol. 22 pg. 166.

[7] Tafsir al Qurtubi, vol. 20 pg. 216.

[8] Al Nashr, vol. 1 pg. 322.

[9] Al Kashshaf, vol. 4 pg. 811.

[10] Al Bahr al Madid, vol. 5 pg. 530.

[11] Al Burhan, vol. 1 pg. 193.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Tafsir al Qurtubi, vol. 20 pg. 216.

[14] Tafsir ibn Kathir, vol. 8 pg. 498.

[15] Al Itqan fi ‘Ulum al Qur’an, vol. 1 pg. 55. The narration is recorded in Sahih Muslim, vol. 1 pg. 300; Hadith: 400.

[16] Ibn al Jazri said, “Some indications do show this surah to be a Madani surah; however, those who we know—who are masters in the science of circumstances of revelation—opine it to be a Makki surah. And Allah Ta’ala knows best.” [Al Nashr, vol. 1 pg. 223.]

[17] Surah al Kawthar: 3.

[18] Surah al Kawthar: 3.

[19] Ibn ‘Ashur: Al Tahrir wa al Tanwir, vol. 30 pgs. 501-502. With brevity.

[20] Sahih Muslim, vol. 3 pg. 1603; Hadith: 2029.

[21] Tafsir al Qurtubi, vol. 24 pgs. 654-655.

[22] Tafsir al Tabari, vol. 24 pgs. 654-655; al Mawardi; Al Nukat wa al ‘Uyun, vol. 6 pg. 356, Al Razi: Mafatih al Ghayb, vol. 32 pgs. 123-124; and Tafsir ibn Kathir, vol. 8 pg. 504.

[23] Tafsir al Tabari, vol. 24 pg. 657; Al Razi: Mafatih al Ghayb, vol. 32 pg. 124; Tafsir ibn Kathir, vol. 8 pg. 504.

[24] Tafsir ibn Kathir, vol. 8 pg. 504. This narration is found in Sunan al Nasa’i al Kubra: Book of Tafsir: Chapter of the Verse, Indeed, your enemy is the one cut off.” Hadith: 11643. It has also been recorded in Kashf al Astar ‘an Zawa’id al Bazzar, vol. 3 pg. 83 with the following chain of transmission: al Hassan ibn ‘Ali al Wasiti from —Yahya ibn Rashid from — Dawood.

[25] Ibid.; al Mawardi; Al Nukat wa al ‘Uyun, vol. 6 pg. 356.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Al Razi: Mafatih al Ghayb, vol. 32 pg. 124.

[28] Number: 878.

[29] Al Bayhaqi: Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol. 2 pg. 69.

[30] Ibid.

[31] A mursal hadith is when a transmitter cites someone or the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without actually having met him.

[32] Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Marasil, pg. 185.

[33] Jami’ al Tahsil, pg. 266.

[34] Al Mawardi; Al Nukat wa al ‘Uyun, vol. 6 pg. 356.

[35] Ibn ‘Ashur: Al Tahrir wa al Tanwir, vol. 30 pg. 505.

[36] Ibn Hazm: Jamharah Ansab al ‘Arab, vol. 1 pg. 163 – 164.

[37] Surah al Najm: 38-39.

[38] Surah al Tawbah: 109.

[39] Al Qawl al Sirah fi al Bukhari wa Sahihuhu al Jami’, pg. 224.

[40] Al Amini: Al Ghadir, vol. 10 pg. 219.

[41] Vol. 1 pg. 363.

[42] Vol. 6 pg. 48.

[43] Vol. 1 pg. 16.

[44] Vol. 1 pg. 174.

[45] Vol. 1 pg. 408.

[46] Vol. 1 pg. 13.

[47] Al Dhahabi: al Mizan vol. 2 pg. 382.

[48] Al Dhahabi: al Muqtana fi Sird al Kuna, vol. 2 pg. 138.

[49] In some books the following chain of transmission has been recorded from ‘Abbas ibn Bakkar from ‘Abdullah ibn Sulaiman ibn Dawood from — his father from — ‘Ikrimah. So perhaps it is Ibn Sulaiman ibn Dawood al Farra’ al Madani who is the problem. Abu Hatim said regarding his father Sulaiman, “I do not know him as one ought to.” Al Azdi said, “His reliability has been questioned.” Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 4 pg. 111; Al Dhahabi: Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 2 pg. 206.

[50] Tadlis: Transmitting with obfuscation in his transmission; either intentionally or unintentionally narrating a Hadith in manner that obscures or omits transmitters in the isnad.

[51] Irsal: Citing someone or the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without actually having met him.

[52] Al ‘Ala’i: Jami’ al Tahsil, vol. 1 pg. 254; also see, Ibn Hajar: Ta’rif ahl al Taqdis, vol. 1pg. 43.

[53] Al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 23 pg. 517.

[54] After writing the above, I came across another chain of transmission in Al Tabaqat al Kubra of Ibn Sa’d — Khanji print — vol. 6 pg. 384 which reads as follows:

 

أخبرنا يزيد بن هارون. قال: أخبرنا حریز بن عثمان . قال : حدثنا عبد الرحمن بن أبي عوف الجرشي، قال: لما بايع الحسن بن علي معاوية قال له عمرو بن العاص وأبو الأعور السلمي وعمرو بن سفيان: لو أمرت الحسن فصعد المنبر فتكلم عيي عن المنطق فيزهد فيه الناس … فصعد الحسن المنبر فحمد الله وأثنى عليه ثم قال: أيها الناس إن الله هداكم بأولنا وحقن دماءكم بأخرنا وإني قد أخذت لكم على معاوية أن يعدل فيكم، وأن يوفر عليكم غنائمكم، وأن يقسم فيئكم فيكم. ثم أقبل على معاوية . فقال: كذاك. قال: نعم. ثم هبط من المنبر وهو يقول ويشير بإصبعه إلى معاوية وإن أدري لعله فتنة لكم ومتاع إلى حين فاشتد ذلك على معاوية . فقالا: لو دعوته فاستنطقته فقال: مهلا فأبوا، فدعوه . فأجابهم، فأقبل عليه عمرو بن العاص، فقال له الحسن: أما أنت فقد اختلف فيك رجلان: رجل من قريش، وجزار أهل المدينة . فادعياك فلا أدري أيهما أبوك

Yazid ibn Harun narrated to us from — Hariz ibn ‘Uthman — from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi ‘Awf al Jurashi who said: When al Hassan ibn ‘Ali took allegiance at the hand of Muawiyah, ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, Abu al A’war al Sulami, and ‘Amr ibn Sufyan said to Muawiyah, “Why don’t you instruct al Hassan to ascend the pulpit so that people may become averse to him after hearing his speech…”

Al Hassan ascended the pulpit, praised Allah and said, “O people! Verily Allah has guided you through the first of us and has spared your blood through the last of us. I have taken a covenant from Muawiyah that he rules you with justice, be bountiful in your booty, and he distribute the fay’ amongst you.”

He then turned to Muawiyah and asked, “Is that it?”

Muawiyah said, “Yes”.

Whilst descending from the pulpit he pointed to Muawiyah and commented with the following verse:

 

وَإِنْ أَدْرِى لَعَلَّهُۥ فِتْنَةٌ لَّكُمْ وَمَتَـٰعٌ إِلَىٰ حِينٍ

And I know not; perhaps it is a trial for you and enjoyment for a time. [Al Ambiya: 111]

 

Muawiyah was troubled by this.

They said to him, “Why don’t you call al Hassan and question him.”

He refused but they insisted and called for him. When al Hassan came he was faced by ‘Amr ibn al ‘As.

Al Hassan said, “O you! Two men, one from the Quraysh and a butcher of Madinah both claimed your paternity. I don’t know which is your father.”

 

Though the chain of transmission appears to be authentic, the content is highly objectionable due to the following reasons:

  1. It is impossible for one who was raised and lived in the Prophetic household to doubt another’s lineage.
  2. Al Hassan was renowned for being well spoken and tolerant. Consider the following narration of Tahdhib al Kamal:

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Awn narrates from — ‘Umair ibn Ishaq who said:

ما تكلم عندي أحد كان أحب إلي إذا تكلم أن لا يسكت من الحسن بن علي ، وما سمعت منه كلمة فحش قط إلا مرة فإنه كان بين حسين بن علي وعمرو بن عثمان خصومة في أرض، فعرض حسین أمرا لم برضه عمرو، فقال الحسن: فليس له عندنا إلا ما يرغم أنفه ، قال : فهذه أشد كلمة فحش سمعتها منه قط

No one spoke in my presence and I wished they would continue speaking except al Hassan ibn ‘Ali. I never heard him utter an indecent word. Once there was a land dispute between Hussain ibn ‘Ali and ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman. Hussain presented a solution that ‘Amr was not happy with. On this al Hassan said, “Besides this, we don’t have any other solution for him that he will like.” This was the worst I’ve ever heard him say.

  1. Al Hassan would not have doubted the lineage established by his Grandfather salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who said:

 

ابنا العاص مؤمنان عمرو وهشام

The two sons of al ‘As, ‘Amr and Hisham are believers.

 

  1. Al Hassan was born after Uhud and ‘Amr was born in Makkah before the prophethood of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. So, how then could he make such a comment, especially since none of the senior Sahabah nor his father, who was on the opposing side of ‘Amr at Siffin, made such comments.
  2. Al Hassan stepped down from his claim to caliphate in order to prevent Muslim bloodshed and to forge unity between the Muslims. It would be highly inappropriate to make such comments at a time of reconciliation.
  3. The reconciliation was witnessed by a large portion of the populous and if he had really said such, his statement would have caused waves and would have become infamous. The addition of a reliable narrator under such circumstances would cause a defect (‘illah) in the hadith, as attested to by the hadith scholars. Add to this the highly objectionable content of the narration and the addition would be completely unacceptable (mardud), even though it may come from a reliable narrator. Thus, we find the following text of some hadith scholars:

اسناده صحيح أو صالح ومتنه منكر

The chain of transmission is authentic or sound but the content is objectionable.

[See: al Zarkashi: al Nukat ‘ala Muqaddimah ibn al Salah, vol. 1 pg. 368.]

 

The early hadith scholars paid attention to the content of the narration just as they did to the chain of transmission. Accordingly, one of the conditions laid down by them in considering a hadith to be authentic is that it should be free from ‘illah and it should not be anomalous (Shadh).

Abu Dawood wrote in his Risalah li ahl-Makkah pg. 29:

 

والأحاديث التي وضعتها في كتاب السنن أكثرها مشاهير وهي عند كل من كتب شيئا من الحديث إلا أن تمييزها لا يقدر عليه كل الناس والفخر بها أنها مشاهير فإنه لا يحتج بحديث غريب ولو كان من رواية مالك ويحيى بن سعيد والثقات من أئمة العلم

Most of the narrations that I have placed in Kitab al Sunan are Mashahir, and they are found with everyone who has written any hadith, except that not all are able to distinguish between them. And an aspect of pride with these narrations being mashahir is that a gharib hadith is not used as a proof, even if it is from the narration of Malik, Yahya ibn Sa’id, and the Thiqat from the Imams of knowledge.

 

Ibn Rajab wrote in his commentary on ‘Ilal al Tirmidhi pg. 216:

 

وأما أكثر الحفاظ المتقدمين فإنهم يقولون في الحديث إذا تفرد به واحد – وإن لم يرو الثقات خلافه -: إنه لا يتابع عليه ، ويجعلون ذلك علة فيه ، اللهم إلا أن يكون ممن کثر حفظه واشتهرت عدالته وحديثه كالزهري ونحوه ، وربما يستنكرون بعض تفردات الثقات الكبار أيضا، ولهم في كل حدیث نقد خاص، وليس عندهم لذلك ضابط يضبطه

Most of the early hadith masters would say regarding the sole additions of a hadith—even if reliable transistors did not narrate in opposition to it—it is not corroborated. They would deem this a defect in the narration. Unless of course if it was transmitted by a narrator who was famed for his hadith, memory, and righteousness; the likes of al Zuhri. At times they would consider the addition of a reliable narrator objectionable too. Their criticism in this matter was nuanced rather than rule-driven.

 

Al Mu’allimin wrote in his forward to al Fawa’id al Majmu’ah of al Shawkani, pg. 7:

 

إذا استنكر الأئمة المحققون المتن وكان ظاهر السند الصحة فإنهم يتطلبون له علة ، فإذا لم يجدوا علة قادحة مطلقة، حيث وقعت، أعلوه بعلة ليست بقادحة مطلقة، ولكنهم يرونها كافية للقدح في ذلك المنكر، فمن ذلك: إعلاله بأن راويه لم يصرح بالسماع هذا، مع أن الراوي غير مدلس، أعل البخاري بذلك خبرة رواه عمرو بن أبي عمرو مولى المطلب عن عكرمة . تراه في ترجمة عمرو من التهذيب

When the erudite scholars would find the content of a narration objectionable whilst the chain of transmission appeared authentic, they would search for a defect. If they did not find an overshadowing defect, they would consider other finer defects. They would deem this sufficient to brand the narration as defective. An example of this is, considering the irsal of a narrator who is not a mudallis, a defect in the case of not explicitly using narrator words that establish having heard it from the transmitter above. Imam al Bukhari has signaled a defect of this sought in a hadith narrated by ‘Amr ibn Abi ‘Amr mawla al Muttalib from — ‘Ikrimah. This can be seen under the biographical entry of ‘Amr in al Tahdhib.

 

It is clear to me that the defect in this narration is irsal. Even though al Mizzi has mentioned in al Tahdhib that Al Jurashi has narrated from ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and Muawiyah; however, after much searching and investigating, I have not found him narrating from them except in this incident. Yes, I have found him narrating from Muawiyah through Abu Hind al Bajali who is unknown as attested to by Ibn al Qattan. See, Bayan al –Wahm wa al Iham fi Kitab al Ahkam, vol. 3 pg. 258. It is, thus, plausible that he has taken this narration from him or from other entities which was widespread during the days of the fitnah as established in the foreword. My conclusion of this chain of transmission being defective and the statement of al Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu being a falsity is further strengthened when considering the narrations regarding the reconciliation come from varied sources. None of these sources mention the comment of al Hassan to ‘Amr ibn al ‘As regarding his lineage. These sources are as follows:

  1. Al Tabarani: al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 3 pg. 46; Al Hakim: Al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 792; Abu Nuaim: Ma’rifah al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 659; Al Bayhaqi: Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol. 6 pg. 444. These sources have it recorded with the following chain of transmission: Hushaym and Sufyan from — Mujalid from — al Sha’bi who said, “I was present when al Hassan ibn ‘Ali ….

Al Haythami said, “Al Tabarani has recorded it in al Kabir. In the chain is Mujalid regarding whom comments have been made. He has also been deemed reliable. The other narrators are of Sahih. There is explicit mention of the transmitters of this chain having heard directly from each other. See Majma’ al Zawa’id wa Mamba’ al Fawa’id, vol. 4 pg. 208. Al Sha’bi is ‘Amir ibn Sharahil al Kufi. His narrations from al Hassan are found in the Sahihayn and his narrations from Muawiyah can be found in Sahih Muslim. See Al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 14 pg. 29.

The following chain of transmission supports this one:

  1. ‘Abdur Razzaq: Al Musannaf, vol. 11 pg. 452 and with his chain al Tabarani 3 pg. 147 and with the chain of Ma’mar from — Ayub from — Ibn Sirin. This is an authentic chain of Ibn Sirin. Al Haythami states in al Majma’, “The narrators are of Sahih.” Ibn Sa’d has recorded it in al Tabaqat, vol. 6 pg. 384 with the following chain: Hawdhah ibn Khalifah narrated to us from — ‘Awf from — Muhammad. This chain is sound. Ibn Sirin is one of the leading scholars of the Tabi’in. See, Jami’ al Tahsil pg. 264.
  2. Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 13 pg. 274 with his chain to ‘Amr ibn Dinar. ‘Amr ibn Dinar al Makki is one of the leading scholars of the Tabi’in. Many narrations explicitly mention his having heard from Ibn ‘Umar, Jabir, and others. This can be found in the Sahihayn as well. See, Jami’ al Tahsil 243.
  3. Al Tabari: Tarikh, vol. 3 pg. 167; Al Baladhuri: Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 1 pg. 444; Al Bayhaqi: Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol. 6 pg. 444. All these are from different chains of transmissions from al Zuhri.

 

The different sources that have been reproduced, from al Sha’bi, Ibn Sirin, ‘Amr ibn Dinar, and al Zuhri all have one thing in common. They do not mention the addition of al Jurashi, i.e., the attack on the lineage of ‘Amr. This demonstrates that the addition has no standing of authenticity. And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

[55] Al Tabaqat li Khalifah, vol. 1 pg. 25; Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: Al Isti’ab, vol. 3 pg. 266.

[56] Vol. 4 pg. 232.

[57] Al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 26 pg. 147.

[58] Mus’ab al Zubairi: Nasab Quraysh, vol. 1 pg. 18.

[59] Ibid., vol. 2 pg. 58.

[60] Consider the following narration of Sahih Muslim, 3/3220. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

أربع في أمتي من أمر الجاهلية، لا يتركونهن: الفخر في الأحساب، والطعن في الأنساب، والاستسقاء بالنجوم، والنياحة

Among my people there are four characteristics belonging to pre-Islamic period which they do not abandon: boasting of high rank, reviling other peoples’ lineage, seeking rain by stars, and wailing.

 

[61] Sahih al Bukhari, 9/5127.

[62] Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 5027; Al Tirmidhi: Al Sunan, Hadith: 1128; Ibn Majah, Hadith: 1953. The wording is of Musnad Ahmed and Ibn Majah.  Al Albani has deemed it sound in al Mishkat, vol. 2 pg. 220, Hadith: 3176.

[63] Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 1 pg. 61. Al Albani has deemed it authentic in Sahih al Jami’: 5534.

[64] Al Halabi: Sirah al Amin wa al Ma’mun, vol. 1 pg. 68.

[65] The name of this Jew has been explicitly mentioned by al Shafi’i as recorded in Tartib al Musnad, vol. 2 pg. 164; Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 1 pg. 488; and Al Bayhaqi: Al Sunan, vo. 6 pg. 37. The narration is a mursal one from Jafar ibn Muhammad — from his father that Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mortgaged his armour by Abu al Shahm, the Jew who was a man from the Banu Zafar. Al Bayhaqi has stated, “This is munqati’”.  See, Al Talkhis al Habir, vol. 3 pg. 81; and Fath al Bari, vol. 5 pg. 174.

[66] The author refers the hadith of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha which has been recorded by al Bukhari, 3/61; and Muslim, 3/1226. The wording of al Bukhari is as follows:

 

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت: اشتری رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من يهودي طعاما بنسيئة ، ورهنه درعه

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam purchased some grain from a Jew and mortgaged his armor to him.

 

[67] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 2053; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1457. Al Nawawi states in Sharh Muslim, vol. 10 pg. 290:

 

قال العلماء: العاهر الزاني ، وعهر زنی، وعهرت نت، والعهر الزنا، ومعنى له الحجر: أي الخيبة ولا حق له في الولد، وعادة العرب أن تقول: له الحجر وبفيه الأثلث (وهو التراب ونحو ذلك ، يريدون ليس له إلا الخيبة

Al ‘Ahir means the adulterer. And al ‘Ahr means adultery. The meaning of stoning is that he will be subject to humiliation and will have no paternity to the child.

 

[68] Al San’ani: Hukm Shahadah al Kuffar, pgs. 36-38.

[69] Refer back for the reference.

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