The First Narration

The Second Narration
January 20, 2016
The Sixth Narration
January 20, 2016

BACK⇒ Return to Table of contents

 

The First Narration

 

The narration of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

The destruction of my ummah will be at the hands of youngsters from Quraysh.

 

It has been said:

 

The narration on the dispraise of Muawiyah is the narration of Abu Hurairah, “the fasad [corruption] of my ummah — and in some versions halak [destruction] — is at the hands of the foolish among Quraysh,” this narration is in Sahih al Bukhari, and the explanation of who the fools are has come by way of Abu Hurairah himself in another narration: “Banu Harb and Banu Marwan,” and at the top of Banu Harb is Muawiyah.

 

I will start out by saying that this statement is flawed in a many ways and comprises of a number of glaring errors, and farfetched interpretations, the explanation of which is as follows:

 

1. This version is not the wording in al Bukhari. Actually, I have not come across any of the scholars of hadith who have narrated it with that wording! Al Bukhari states in his Sahih (6649):

 

Musa ibn Ismail has narrated to us — who said — ‘Amr ibn Yahya ibn Sa’id ibn ‘Amr ibn Sa’id has narrated to us — who said — my grandfather narrated to me saying: “I was once sitting with Abu Hurairah in the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Masjid in al Madinah and with us was Marwan, and Abu Hurairah said, ‘I heard the trustworthy, believed one [i.e. Nabi Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] saying, ‘the destruction of my ummah will be at the hands of youngsters from Quraysh,’ to which Marwan said, ‘may Allah curse them, youngsters!’ So Abu Hurairah said, ‘if I wished to say the family of so-and-so, and the family of so-and-so, I could have said.’ I [‘Amr ibn Yahya] used to go with my grandfather to Banu Marwan in Sham when they had become the monarchs, when he saw them naïve youngsters, he said that perhaps it is them, and I told him he knows best.”

 

Notice how the utterance “youngster” has been erased from the narration [quoted by the detracting party]? This particular expression appears in many variant narrations, and the reason for that is that the word “Ughaylimah” is the plural of “Ghulam”. Ibn al Athir says:

 

What is intended by “Ughaylimah” is children, and that on account of the diminutive word.” This excludes Muawiyah. Another plausible explanation for this word is the children of those who have been appointed as rulers. So the corruption came about on account of them and therefore it is attributed to them, and in this way Muawiyah is also excluded.[1]

 

Ibn Hajar has stated in Fath al Bari (13/12):

 

The diminutive of “Ghilmah”, plural of “Ghulam”, an individual of diminutive plural “Ghulayyim” with a tashdid [emphasis on a particular letter]. It is said to [describe] a child from the time of birth until he matures by experiencing nocturnal emissions. “Ghulam”, the diminutive “Ghulayyim”, the plural “Ghilman”, “Ghilmah” and “Ughaylimah” and they [the Arabs] do not say “Aghlimah” even though it is in conformity to the pattern, as if they were independent of it since they used the word “Ghilmah”. Al Dawoodi has mentioned something strange, as quoted by Ibn al Tin, he prescribed a fathah [diacritical sign denoting a vowel] to the hamzah and a kasrah [diacritical sign denoting a different vowel] to the Ghayn. It is sometimes used for a man with consolidated power, with resemblance to a young person in his strength and power. Ibn al Athir says: “What is intended by ‘Ughaylimah’ is children, therefore the diminutive word.” I say that the words child and youngster are at times used in the diminutive form for one of weak mind, planning and religion, even if such a person has matured and it is the intended meaning here[2] since the leaders from Banu Umayyah were not appointed to the position of khilafah before attaining puberty, and likewise those whom they had appointed to govern and given responsibilities of state. Unless the intended meaning behind “youngsters” is the children of those appointed as khalifah, who on account of them corruption began, so it is attributed to them, and the more appropriate way is to apply a general meaning.

 

2. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu has indicated the first of these youngsters was Yazid ibn Muawiyah.

Al Bukhari has narrated in al Adab al Mufrad (66) the narration from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that he used to seek refuge from the rule of children and fools, by way of Ibn Abi Dhi’b — from Sa’id ibn Sam’an — from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This chain to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is authentic.

Al Tabarani has narrated in al Awsat (1379), from the narration of ‘Ali ibn Zaid ibn Jud’an — from Abu Hazim — from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said: “In this bag of mine is a narration, which, if I narrated it to you, you would stone me.” Then he said, “O Allah, let me not reach the turn of the year sixty.” When asked about what is to happen in year sixty he replied, “the rule of children.” However, in this chain is ‘Ali ibn Zaid ibn Jud’an who is weak in hadith.

 

Ibn ‘Adi has narrated in al Kamil (6/81) by way of Kamil Abu al ‘Ala’ who said:

 

I heard from Abu Salih, who was the Mu’adhin, and he used to call out the Adhan for them, saying: “I heard Abu Hurairah saying that he heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say, ‘seek refuge in Allah from the turn of the year seventy, and the rule of children.’”

 

Abu Salih the Mowla[3] of Duba’ah, his name is Mayna’, according to what Imam Muslim has said. Al Nasa’i and al Dulabi have also named him. None besides Kamil Abu al ‘Ala’ narrate from him. Ibn Hibban has ratified him, as well as al Dhahabi in al Mizan, and al Tirmidhi also reports his narrations.[4]

Ibn ‘Adi[5] has brought a number of narrations from Kamil, Abu al ‘Ala’, al Tamimi al Sa’di, this one among them and said regarding him: “I expect that there is no problem with him.”

Ibn Ma’in considered him reliable[6]; and Ibn Hibban said: “He would reverse the chains and link the interrupted chain without realising, and when this became excessive, it invalidates relying on his narrations.”[7] Ibn Sa’d said: “Does not narrate much, not [all] that.”[8]

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala accepted the supplication of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he passed away in the year 59 A.H, and the year 60 A.H is the year in which Yazid took power, so he would be the first of the youngsters assuming the meaning of ‘youngster’ to be one of weak mind, planning and religion even though he was mature in age.

 

Ibn Hajar says in al Fath (13/13):

 

Ibn Battal has said that the intended meaning of destruction has been clarified my another narration from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as recorded by ‘Ali ibn Ma’bad, and Ibn Abi Shaibah, from a variant chain from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who said: “I seek refuge in Allah from the rule of children,” and it was asked what is the rule of children? To which he replied, “if you obey them you will be destroyed [in you religion] and if you disobey them they will destroy you,” i.e. with regards to your worldly affairs; by the loss of life or property or both. In the narration of Ibn Abi Shaibah it says that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was walking in the market and said: “O Allah, let me not see the year 60; and not the rule of children.” This is an indication that the first of the “youngsters” was in the year 60; and that is exactly what occurred since Yazid ibn Muawiyah was appointed ruler in that year and remained until 64 A.H. When he died his son Muawiyah ibn Yazid took charge and he remained for a few months before passing.

 

The incident at the end of the narration: “… I used to go with my grandfather to Banu Marwan in Sham when they had become the monarchs, when he saw them naïve youngsters, he said that perhaps it is them, and I told him he knows best,” is a clear indication that the “youngsters” mentioned in the hadith were the children of whoever was ruling. This excludes Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Ibn Hajar says in al Fath (13/12):

 

The statement, “when he saw them naïve youngsters,” strengthens the earlier possibility and that the intended meaning is the children of those who were ruling. As for the uncertainty of which of them was intended in the narration of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then it is from the fact that Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not mention their names expressly and that those mentioned later on are among them in general, and that the first of the “youngsters” is Yazid as indicated to by Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he specified the turn of the year 60 A.H and the rule of children, since Yazid would dismiss the senior governors and replace them with the young men from his relatives.

 
 

NEXT⇒ The Second Narration


[1]  This interpretation is more apt, and the first is slightly problematic since none of the rulers of Banu Umayyah were handed the Khilafah prior to attaining maturity.

[2]  Later on we will see that it is not the intended meaning, see al Fath (12/13).

[3]  Freed bondsman

[4]  See al Thiqat (5/591) of Ibn Hibban, al Mizan (4/539)

[5] al Kamil (6/80)

[6]Tarikh ibn Ma’in (3/484) narration of al Duri

[7]al Majruhin (2/227)

[8]al Tabaqat (6/379)

Back to top