The Second Narration

The Third Narration
January 20, 2016
The First Narration
January 20, 2016

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The Second Narration

 

The narration of Umm Haram regarding the naval expedition, narrated by al Bukhari (2766) by way of Thowr ibn Yazid — from Khalid ibn Ma’dan that ‘Umair ibn al Aswad al ‘Ansi told him that he went to ‘Ubadah ibn al Samit while he was staying in his house at the coast of Hims with (his wife) Umm Haram. ‘Umair said:

 

Umm Haram informed us that she heard the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “The first army from my followers who will undertake a naval expedition have made (Jannat) compulsory (upon themselves).” Umm Haram added, “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, will I be amongst them?’ He replied, ‘you are amongst them.’ The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said, ‘the first army amongst my followers who will invade the city of Caesar will be forgiven.’ I asked, ‘will I be one of them, O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?’ He replied, ‘no’.”

 

This narration contains within it a great merit and virtue for Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu since the first naval expedition that was undertaken by this ummah was under the command of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu; and the first to undertake a naval expedition was Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu during the reign of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[1]

 

Ibn Hajar says in al Fath (6/120):

 

Al Muhallab said: “In this hadith there is a merit of Muawiyah since he was the first to undertake a naval expedition.”

 

He says further (6/121):

 

The statement, “they have made it compulsory,” means they have done such an action, on account of which Jannat has been made compulsory for them.

 

Al Munawi says in Fayd al Qadir (3/83):

 

… meaning they have done such an action that made Jannat compulsory for them; or they have brought upon themselves forgiveness and mercy.

 

Despite all of this, the above narration which has been recorded in Sahih al Bukhari has not been spared from criticism for no reason other than it bearing a merit for Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Let us examine the alleged defects and provide the explanations in response to them.

 

The First Alledged Defect

Shudhudh (the contradiction of a reliable narrator of that which is more weightier), the narration is considered Shadh by them; and the correct version is the ‘other stronger wording’.

It is that which is narrated by al Bukhari (2636) and Muslim (5925) from Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu — from his maternal aunt — Umm Haram bint Malhan radiya Llahu ‘anha who said: “The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once slept in my house near to me and got up smiling. I said, ‘what makes you smile?’ He replied, ‘some of my followers who were presented to me sailing on this green sea like kings on thrones.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ask Allah to make me one of them.’” So the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam supplicated to Allah for her and went to sleep again. He did the same (i.e. got up and told his dream) and Umm Haram repeated her question and he gave the same reply. She said, “supplicate to Allah to make me one of them.” He said, “you are among the first group.’ Later on it happened that she went out with her husband ‘Ubadah ibn al Samit radiya Llahu ‘anhu (for Jihad) and it was the first time the Muslims undertook a naval expedition, led by Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When the expedition came to an end and they were returning to al Sham, an animal was presented to her to ride, but the animal let her fall and thus she passed away.”

 

This can be responded to with a number of responses:

 
  1. None have said that the narration is Shadh. Who are the scholars of hadith who have said this?
  2. Assuming that the wording of the first narration is Shadh, and that the second narration is stronger and sound; it still indicates the merit of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Al Lalaka’i has listed this narration in Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah (8/1524) under the chapter of what has been narrated from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding the virtues and merits of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
 

Ibn ‘Abdul Barr, in al Tamhid (1/235) says:

 

… in it is the virtue of Muawiyah since it was under his flag that the first expedition was undertaken; and the dreams of the Prophets are revelation.

 

Ibn Hajar says in al Fath (11/73):

 

The statement, “people from my followers have been presented to me as warriors,” this implies that his smiling was on account of being impressed and pleased with them; especially due him seeing them on such a lofty position.

 

The Second Alledged Defect

The narration has been declared defective on account of the narrators appearing in it all being Nasibis.

I say: Firstly it is necessary to clarify the aspect of the narration of the people of innovation[2]. The correct view in this matter — and Allah knows best — is that the narration of an innovator is accepted without restriction even if such a person is one who invites to his views as long as the narrator is reliable himself; and his innovation is not one that results in disbelief.

 

This matter is one of difference of opinion among the scholars.

 
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Opinions of the Scholars Regarding Narrating From the People of Innovation

The First Opinion

The narrations of innovators are to be rejected without exception. This view has been attributed to Imam Malik and Qadi Abu Bakr al Baqillani[3], since narrating from such people results in promoting their affair and praiseworthy mention of them. Al Khatib says in al Kifayah (148):

 

The scholars have differed regarding hearing hadith from the people of innovation like the Qadariyyah, Khawarij, Rafidah, and upon relying on, and acceptance of their narrations. Some of the early scholars have prohibited this since they are considered disbelievers according to those who pronounce disbelief on the people of ta’wil, and they are considered flagrant sinners according to those who do not pronounce disbelief on the people of ta’wil. Among those who held this view was Malik ibn Anas.

 

Ibn Hajar said in Lisan al Mizan (1/10):

 

The prohibition of accepting the narration of the innovators who have not crossed the line into disbelief like the Rafidah and Khawarij and their like is the view of Malik and his companions; and Qadi Abu Bakr al Baqillani and his followers.

 

Ibn Salah rebutted this view in ‘Ulum al Hadith (104):

 

The view of unrestricted prohibition is farfetched from the scholars of hadith since their books are filled with narrations of people of innovation who did not invite.

 

Among those who held this view was Abu Ishaq, Ibrahim ibn Yaqub al Juzajani, especially those who were described as being Shia. He would reject the narrations of those being described as such with the exception of a few narrators whose popularity was on the basis of their excellent memories, precision and trustworthiness. Al Dhahabi says in al Mizan (2/66):

 

Abu Ishaq al Juzajani’s expressions are harsh and that is his habit…

 

Al Mu’allimi said in his Tankil (1/46):

 

Al Juzajani has the tendency of Nasb and he is hell-bent on criticism of narrators with Shia tendencies.[4]

 
The Second Opinion

This view is one of distinction and detail. If the narrator is such that he invites to his innovation, his narrations shall not be accepted. However, if he was not a caller to his innovation his narration would be accepted (provided that he was reliable and accurate). This is the view of the majority of the scholars.

Al Khatib attributed this view to Imam Ahmed and narrated it with his complete chain to Ibn Mahdi and Ibn al Mubarak. Ahmed said of Shababah ibn Sawwar: “I abandoned him and did not write from him on account his Irja,’’ so it was said to Ahmed, ‘what about Abu Muawiyah?’ He responded, ‘Shababah was a caller.’”[5]

 

Al Khatib says in al Kifayah (149):

 

Many scholars have said the narrations of those who do not call to innovation are accepted. As for those who call to their innovation then they are not to be relied upon and among those who adopted this view was Abu Abd-Allah Ahmed ibn Hambal.

 

‘Abdur Rahman ibn Mahdi said:

 

Whoever held any such view but did not invite to it would be considered; as for one who invited to his views he deserves to be abandoned.[6]

 

‘Ali ibn Hassan ibn Shaqiq said:

 

I said to ‘Abdullah — referring to Ibn al Mubarak — have you heard from ‘Amr ibn ‘Ubaid? And he indicated with his hand ‘plenty’, so I asked him why do you not name him whereas you name others from the Qadariyyah? He replied, “it is because he was a leader among them.”[7]

 

Al Nawawi said in al Taqrib (43):

 

This is the preferred view and the most balanced of views and the view adopted by the majority.

 

Ibn Salah said in ‘Ulum al Hadith (104):

 

This is the most balanced of the views and the preferred one.

 

Ibn Kathir mentioned in Ikhtisar ‘Ulum al Hadith (1/299):

 

… and that which the majority are upon is the view of distinguishing between those who were callers and those who were not.

 

In fact, Ibn Hibban had transmitted the widespread unanimity of this view. He said under the biography of Jafar ibn Sulaiman al Dab’i in al Thiqat (6/140):

 

Jafar ibn Sulaiman is from the reliable narrators of hadith whose narrations are accurate and precise; except that he was inclined towards the Ahlul Bayt but did not invite towards his views. There is no disagreement among our scholars of hadith that the trustworthy narrator who is accurate in what he narrates; if he has some innovation but does not invite to it, his narrations are accepted and relied upon. However, if he calls to his innovation then he is not to be relied upon. It is for this reason that they abandoned[8] the narrations of a group of them who adopted innovations and called towards them even though they were reliable. Our acceptance of reliable narrators who have adopted the same views of others is on account of them not being callers to their innovation. Whatever view the slave adopts is between him and his Master; if He wishes He will punish them and if He wishes He will pardon them. It is upon us to accept their narrations if they are reliable according to what we have mentioned in more than one place in our books.[9]

 

Al Hakim has also transmitted the agreement of the scholars on this matter.[10]

 

Al Dhahabi said in al Mughni (1/523) with slight paraphrasing:

 

… As for the extremists and those who invited to their way; majority of the early scholars warned against them and would not narrate from them.

 

In al Mizan (2/6), under the biography of Dawood ibn al Hussain, he stated:

 

Ibn Hibban said that he was one of the Shurat[11] — meaning Khawarij — like ‘Ikrimah. However, he was not a caller of that way. As for the callers, it is necessary to avoid their narrations.

 

Ibn Hajar, in Nuzhat al Nazar (137), considered strange the transmission of unanimity.[12] Some have placed an added limitation that the narration must not be in support of the person’s innovation.

 

Ibrahim ibn Ibrahim al Juzajani, in his book al Shajarah fi Ma’rifat al Rijal (32), said of certain narrators:

 

… among them are those who have veered from the path of truth, but honest in what he narrates, so there is no escape except to accept their narrations which are not objectionable and do not support their innovation.

 

Ibn Hajar said in Lisan al Mizan (1/11):

 

It is necessary to restrict our statement of acceptance of the narrations of the innovator if he is trustworthy, and not a caller to his innovation that his narration which he narrates should not be supporting his innovation; for we cannot be sure in that case of his impartiality. And with Allah is success.

 

He said in al Nuzhah (136):

 

… thereafter the innovation is of two kinds: It either results in disbelief, or it results in major sin. As for the first, the majority will not accept the narrations of such a person. However, further investigation tells us that not every such innovation is to be rejected since every group claims that its opponent is on innovation and on account of exaggeration the other party is deemed to be upon disbelief. So the relied-upon position is that one only rejects the narration of such a person who rejects a mass-narrated narration, the knowledge of which is deemed necessary by the shari’ah. Likewise; one who believes the opposite. As for the second, those narrations are to be accepted of narrators who do not call to their innovation according to the most sound opinion; except if such a narrator narrates that which supports his innovation, then his narration will be rejected according to the preferred view; and this view has been clearly expressed by al Jowraqani, the teacher of al Nasa’i.

 

He said in Hadi al Sari (549):

 

This view is the most balanced and has become the adopted position of many of the scholars, in reference to the acceptance of the narrator who does not invite to his innovation.

 
The Third Opinion

The innovation does not affect the credibility of a narrator as long as he is well-established in terms of his memory, precision of narration, and trustworthiness. This is because his religiousness and honesty will prevent him from lying.[13]

This is the view of the majority among the earlier scholars like al Bukhari, Muslim, ‘Ali ibn al Madini, Yahya ibn Sa’id al Qattan, Ibn Khuzaimah and others among the scholars of hadith.

Al Bukhari has narrated in his Sahih from ‘Imran ibn Hattan at one place, where he is corroborated.[14] ‘Imran ibn Hattan was from the Khawarij. In al Hadi (432), Ibn Hajar says: “He was a caller to his way.”[15]

He also narrates from ‘Abdul Hamid ibn ‘Abdur Rahman al Hammani — and he was a caller to Irja’ as mentioned by Abu Dawood[16] — at one place[17].

Al Bukhari (990) narrates — and this is his wording — as well as Muslim (215) by way of Ismail ibn Abi Khalid, from Qais, from ‘Amr ibn al ‘As who said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying openly and not secretly: “Verily the family of Abu Bayad[18] (indicating a blank space) — meaning so-and-so — are not my allies. Indeed my only allies are Allah and the righteous of the believers.”[19]

Qais ibn Abi Hazim[20] is accused of the innovation of Nasb, and this narration appears to support his innovation yet it is still narrated by al Bukhari and Muslim.[21]

Ibn Hajar says in Fath al Bari (10/515):

 

Abu Bakr ibn al ‘Arabi says in Siraj al Muridin: “In the original hadith of ‘Amr ibn al ‘As the words were ‘verily the family of Abu Talib’ and it was adjusted to ‘the family of so-and-so’. This is how he mentioned it with assertion. Some people averted him and were harsh in their castigations and accused him of bearing ill-will against the family of Abu Talib. He was free of this evil since the narration that Ibn al ‘Arabi was referring to is found in the Mustakhraj of Abu Nuaim by way of al Fadl ibn al Muwaffaq — from ‘Anbasah ibn ‘Abdul Wahid — with the same chain as al Bukhari — from Bayan ibn Bishr — from Qais ibn Abi Hazim —from ‘Amr ibn al ‘As from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “Verily the Family of Abu Talib have a bond of relation that I maintain.” Al Ismaili has a similar narration with the exception of the vagueness at this point; as some of them assumed this belittling the family of Abu Talib; whereas it is not the case.

 

Furthermore, Muslim ibn Hajjjaj narrates (237) — from ‘Adi ibn Thabit — from Zirr ibn Hubaysh — from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:

 

Indeed it is the covenant of the unlettered prophet to me that none shall love me except a believer and none shall hate me except a hypocrite.

 

‘Adi ibn Thabit is a well-known Shia preacher.

 

Al Dhahabi says in al Mizan (3/61):

 

‘Adi ibn Thabit is the scholar of the Shia, their truthful one, their preacher, and the Imam of their Masjid.

 

Despite this Imam Muslim narrates this narration from him.

 

Al Khatib narrates — with his chain — in al Kifayah (157) — from ‘Ali ibn al Madini who said:

 

I said to Yahya ibn Sa’id al Qattan that ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Mahdi said: “I abandon from the people of hadith all those who were leaders of innovation.” So Yahya laughed and said, “what will he do about Qatadah? What will he do about ‘Umar ibn Thar al Hamadani? What about Ibn Abi Rawad?” and Yahya listed a number of names which I have refrained from mentioning. Thereafter Yahya said, “if ‘Abdur Rahman abandons this type, he will abandon much.”[22]

 

Al Khatib narrates — with his chain — in al Kifayah (157), from ‘Ali ibn al Madini who said:

 

If I abandon (narration from) the people of Basrah on account of Qadr (predestination), and I abandon the people of Kufah on account of that view — meaning Tashayyu’ — the books would be ruined.

 

Al Khatib said:

 

His statement, “the books would be ruined,” means that many narrations would be lost.

 

Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Khuzaimah states in his Sahih (2/376):

 

‘Abbad ibn Yaqub — who is suspect in his beliefs but reliable in his narration — narrated to us…

 

So Ibn Khuzaimah ratified ‘Abbad ibn Yaqub al Rawajini in his narration despite him being suspected of deviated belief.

This opinion is the correct opinion; and Allah knows best.

It has been found to be the situation in the Sahihayn that there are narrations of some of the people of innovation, and callers to it, but the truthful among them.

 

Al Dhahabi says in al Siyar (7/21):

 

A group of (narrators) have been smeared with (the erroneous belief regarding) predestination; yet their narrations are in the two Sahih’s or one of them on account of them being described with honesty and precision and accuracy.

 

Al Mu’allimi says in al Tankil (1/50):

 

… and the scholars of hadith have ratified a group of innovators and relied on their narrations and transmitted them in their authentic collections. One who repeatedly pursuits their narrations will find a substantial amount of them that appear to support their innovation; whereas the scholars have an alternative interpretation of those reports without censuring them on account of the innovation of the narrator, nor the narrator on account of what he narrates.

 

Al Dhahabi says in al Siyar (7/154):

 

This is a matter of great significance, i.e. the Qadari, the Mu’tazili, the Jahmi, the Rafidi, whose honesty in narration is well known as well as his piety and the fact that he does not invite to his corrupted belief. The majority of the hadith scholars are inclined towards acceptance of his narrations and practicing according to their details. They were less decisive when it came to the matter of one who called to his beliefs; whether his narrations could be accepted or not. Many of the great scholars avoided their narrations and refrained from narrating from them. On the other hand some of them said: “If we are aware of his honesty — even though he is a caller to his corrupt beliefs — and we find with him a sunnah that is not found with others beside him how could we justify abandoning that sunnah.” So the manner in which all the scholars conducted themselves seems to indicate that if the corrupted belief of a narrator does not warrant departure from the faith and does not necessitate the spilling of his blood, then it is within plausible means that his narration be acceptable.

This particular matter has not become clear to me as is necessary; and what appears to be the case to me is that a person who is involved in an innovation and is not considered from the forerunners of that particular view; neither does he delve into the details of it; his narrations ought to be accepted.

 

He says in al Mizan (1/5) under the biography of Aban ibn Taghlib:

 

Trustworthy; for us is his honesty and against him is his innovation.[23]

 

Al Dhahabi also says in al Siyar (19/368) under the biography of Ibrahim ibn Abi Dawood, Sulaiman ibn Dawood al Asdi:

 

“The reliance in all of that is the honesty of the Muslim narrator; if he is one of innovation, (narration) will be taken from him; although it would be better to avoid him. It is necessary not to take (narration) from one who is known with major sin.

 

He says further in al Siyar (13/395) under the biography of Muhammad ibn al Faraj ibn Mahmud al Azraq al Baghdadi:

 

He has the example of many of the reliable narrators in either one or both the Sahih books who had subtle innovation or perhaps a more defined form of it; what is the way around it? We ask Allah for pardon and clemency.

 

Ibn Hajar says in Lisan al Mizan (1/10):

 

The abstaining from accepting the reports of a narrator described with innovation, whose innovation does not result in departure from the religion is a view adopted by Imam Malik, and his companions, and al Baqillani and his followers. The unrestricted acceptance of those whose innovation is not tantamount to heresy and whose integrity does not bring them to lie is a view adopted by Imam Abu Hanifah, Abu Yusuf and a group of scholars and it has been report of al Shafi’i as well. As for the view which advocates a detailed division; then this is the view of the majority of the scholars of hadith. Ibn Hibban[24] has transmitted their consensus on this matter; since the innovator who is a caller to his way has an incentive to narrate that which supports his corrupted belief.

As for the narrator whose innovation results in departure from the religion; his narrations are to be rejected and al Nawawi has reported the agreement on this. He said: “Whoever commits disbelief resulting from his innovation is not to be relied upon by consensus.”[25]

 

In Ikhtisar ‘Ulum al Hadith (1/299), Ibn Kathir states:

A heretic on account of innovation; there is no problem if his narrations are rejected.

 

Ibn Hajar says in al Nuzhah (138):

 

The conclusion after examination and investigation is that not every innovators narration is to be rejected — even if it might be considered heresy on some level — since every group accuses the next of innovation and some exceed the bounds and declare statements of disbelief against its opponents. So the upheld view is that the narrations of those who reject what is known of the religion by necessity and transmitted by mass transmission, and believe contrary to it; their narrations will be disregarded.

 

Al Mu’allimi says in al Tankil (1/42):

 

There is no uncertainty in the fact that one whose innovation results in disbelief will not be accepted since it is a prerequisite for the acceptance of the narration of any narrator is Islam.

 

The Third Alledged Defect

Numerous problems have been raised with the text of this narration which leads one to the conclusion that it is anomalous.

 

These problems and accusations against this narration are unfounded and what follows are some of the objections:

 

1. In some of the narrations of al Bukhari, Umm Haram radiya Llahu ‘anha was married to ‘Ubadah ibn al Samit the day the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam visited her, and in some versions ‘Ubadah radiya Llahu ‘anhu only wed her later on.

The response: the narration which says that she was married to ‘Ubadah is from the type of narrations which refer to what had occurred later but expression given in the moment. This approach has been relied upon by al Nawawi, upholding the stance of al Qadi ‘Ayyad.[26]

 

2. Some have found it problematic that the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam entered the home of a strange woman and rested his head on her lap.

The response: Umm Haram was a relative of his through breastfeeding; some say she had a maternal relationship, some say she was his aunt by breastfeeding, and others say his sister. This is the view that has been presented with great confidence by Ibn ‘Abdul Barr, Ibn al Jowzi, and Ibn Battal. Ibn Hajar in al Fath (11/81) is of the opinion that this was a unique feature for the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[27]

 

3. This narration describes two naval expeditions; whereas the anomalous narration of ‘Umair ibn al Aswad describes one naval expedition and on land (the city of Caesar).

The response: The city of Caesar is Constantinople and part of it on land and part on sea as is in Sahih Muslim (2920) from the narration of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. What further indicates this is the narration found in al Tabarani’s Mujam (25/133) by way of Hisham ibn ‘Ammar — from Yahya ibn Hamzah — from Thowr ibn Yazid — from Khalid ibn Mi’dan — from ‘Amr bin al Aswad who narrated to him that he had come to ‘Ubadah ibn al Samit while he was at the coast of Hims, in a home of his and with him was his wife, Umm Haram bint Malhan. ‘Amr said: “She narrated to us that she heard the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘the first army of my people to undertake a naval expedition on this sea have made Jannat incumbent upon them,’ so Umm Haram asked the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam if she was to be among them and he said, ‘you are among them.’ Thereafter the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘the first army of my people to engage to the island of Caesar will be forgiven.’ So Umm Haram asked if she was among them as well and the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘no.’” His statement the island of Caesar indicates what was previously mentioned.

 

4. The narration appears to indicate that the expedition of Umm Haram radiya Llahu ‘anha was undertaken during the reign of Muawiyah, whereas Umm Haram passed away before that. Likewise, her husband ‘Ubadah ibn al Samit radiya Llahu ‘anhu passed away before the reign of Muawiyah..

The response: this occurred in the period of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu; and Muʾawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the governor of al Sham during that time; the year 28 A.H. The incident relates to the first naval expedition; and the first naval expedition occurred in the period of rule of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Ibn Hajar states in al Fath (11/78):

The general context of this report might lead one to assume that it occurred during his [Muawiyah’s] khilafah, but it is not so. Some people have been deluded into taking it on its apparent value and fell into error. Indeed the incident refers only in relation to the first army that undertook a naval expedition.

 

5. It appears in some of the narrations that she was thrown off her mount in the city of Caesar; whereas other narrations indicate that this occurred on the coast of Hims, in al Sham.

The response: This incident refers to both Umm Haram and her sister — if the narration is sound that she was buried on the coast of al Sham — on account of it being two separate cases.

Ibn Hajar states in al Fath (11/81):

So based on this, the story mentioned relates to different cases of a similar incident that happened to both Umm Haram and her sister, Umm ‘Abdullah. So, perhaps one of them is buried on the coast of Cyprus and the other on the coats of Hims.

 

In Atraf al Musnad (9/494) he states:

… and this incident is identical to the incident of Umm Haram. However, it is not her [Umm Haram] but someone else besides her undoubtedly.

 

6. The leader of the naval expedition was Mundhir ibn Zubair and not Muawiyah.

This relies on what has been narrated by ‘Abdur Razzaq in his Musannaf (5/285), and via him in the Musnad of Ahmed (27494)— from Ma’mar — from Zaid ibn Aslam — from ‘Ataʾ ibn Yasar that a woman narrated to him saying:

 

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam slept and awoke laughing. So I said, “do you laugh at me, O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?” To which he replied, “no, however, due to a group from my people who are embarking on a naval expedition. Their likeness is similar to that of kings seated on thrones.” Then he slept again and awoke saying a similar statement including the following expression, “they shall return, their booty being little but their sins being forgiven.” So she said, “ask Allah to make me from among them,” and he prayed to Allah [for that].” ‘Ataʾ said: “I had seen her in an expedition which Mundhir ibn Zubair undertook to the lands of the Romans and she passed away there.”

 

Ibn Hajar states in al Fath (11/76): “This chain in on the criteria of the Sahih collection.” In Atraf al Musnad (9/489) he said: “This chain is authentic.”

In the narration of ‘Abdur Razzaq (5/285) it appears: “The wife of Hudhayfah.” The correct version is ‘a woman narrated to him,’ as it is narrated in Musnad Ahmed (27494) and Atraf al Musnad (9/489); since it has been narrated by way of ‘Abdur Razzaq. The woman mentioned in this narration is al Rumaysa’, Umm ‘Abdullah, the sister of Umm Sulaim and not Umm Haram.

 

What follows further proves this:

a. Abu Dawood (2492) narrates by way of the same chain — from Ma’mar — from Zaid ibn Aslam — from ‘Ataʾ ibn Yasar — from the sister of Umm Sulaim, al Rumaysa’, she said: “The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam slept, then awoke,” — she was washing her hair — he awoke laughing and she said, “O Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam do you laugh at my hair?’ he replied, “no.” And he related the entire narration with minor additions and exclusions; and this narration is on the criteria of al Bukhari.

b. ‘Ataʾ ibn Yasar did not meet Umm Haram. The narrations above indicate that the woman narrated to him directly. He was too young to have met Umm Haram and to have engaged in military expeditions in 28 A.H; not even in 33 A.H since he was only born in 18 A.H. That is why Ibn Hajar states in al Fath (11/79):

 

What seems apparent to me is that he statement of those who claim that the narration of ‘Ataʾ is from Umm Haram is clearly an oversight. Instead it is al Rumaysa’ and not Umm Sulaim even though she is also referred to as al Rumaysa’ as well.

 

c. The incident which refers to Mundhir ibn Zubair being the leader of the army differs somewhat from the narration of Umm Haram in certain aspects. Firstly, in the narration of Umm Haram she was combing his hair, and in the other narration she was washing her own hair as in the narration of Abu Dawood (2492). Secondly, the apparent expression of the narration of Umm Haram is that the second expedition will be on land; whereas the other narration refers to fighting from sea. Thirdly, in the narration of Umm Haram it mentions that she will be part of the first expedition; whereas in the other narration she is from the second expedition.

d. In the narration of Umm Haram the leader of the army is Muawiyah, and in the other narration the leader of the army is Mundhir ibn Zubair. Ibn Hajar states in al Fath (11/79):

 

So based on this, the story mentioned relates to different cases of a similar incident that happened to both Umm Haram and her sister Umm ‘Abdullah. So, perhaps one of them is buried on the coast of Cyprus and the other on the coast of Hims.”

 

In Atraf al Musnad (9/494) he states:

 

… and this incident is identical to the incident of Umm Haram. However, it is not her [Umm Haram] but someone else besides her undoubtedly.

 

e. Mundhir ibn Zubair was still young during the khilafah of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The likes of him would not ordinarily participate in battle; let alone lead the army. Mundhir was born in the khilafah of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the first naval expedition occurred in 28 A.H.

 

7. General expression does not encompass every individual; so it follows that this Hadith does not refer to Muawiyah on account of the defamatory narrations regarding him.

The response to this is that general expression does encompass every individual except those excluded on the basis of specific evidence. There is specific evidence proving the virtue of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu like the hadith, “O Allah guide him, and guide [others] through him.” The authentication of this narration has been previously mentioned; as well as a rebuttal of the futile attempts to discredit it. Likewise, it has previously been proven that the narrations in condemnation of him are false and unreliable.

 

8. Who killed Umm Haram? It has been said that the greater probability for Muawiyahs assassination of Umm Haram are two speculative – not absolute – matters. The first consideration is the expression in the narration, “a mule was brought for her to mount;” whom do you expect presented her with a demented mule? One that will throw an unknown rider off and cause their neck to snap? The second consideration is that the description of the mule in the authentic narrations is that it is Shahba’ [grey in colour, where the whiteness predominates]; and thus is the description of the mules of Muʾawiyah.

 

The response to the first alleged proof is two-fold:

 
  1. This is based purely on speculation; and speculation is the most untruthful of speech. Further this just displays a negative impression of the Sahabah of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
  2. As for his statement, “a mule was brought for her to mount; whom do you expect presented her with a demented mule? One that will throw an unknown rider off and cause their neck to snap,” the reality is that the mule belonged to Umm Haram radiya Llahu ‘anha and not Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The narration in al Bukhari clearly states this; see Fath al Bari (11/78):

She was thrown off her mount when she returned from sea; and thus passed away.

 

As for the second alleged proof; the narration appears in Musnad Ahmed (27077):

 

A mule of hers threw her off resulting in her neck snapping…

 

As for his statement, “the description of the mule in the authentic narrations is that it is Shahba’ [grey in colour, where the whiteness predominates]; and thus is the description of the mules of Muʾawiyah,” then it appears in the narration of Hammad ibn Salamah in Ahmed (27077):

 

A mule of her’s, whitish-grey in colour, threw her off resulting in her neck snapping and she died as a result thereof.

 

In the narration of al Tabarani in al Kabir (233) it appears with the wording:

 

It kicked her.

 
 

NEXT⇒ The Third Narration


[1]  See al Fath 11/75

[2]  Al Maliki’s views, and application, of this matter is shockingly inconsistent and self-contradictory. If the narrator is a Shia then his narrations are accepted even if it is in support of his innovation. However, if the narrator is a Nasibi his narrations are subject to severe criticism even though he might be from the most reliable of narrators. The examples of this are many, among them: Nasr ibn Muzahim is a Rafidi, abandoned in hadith; despite this his narrations are considered strong! Talid ibn Sulaiman is a Rafidi and a confounded liar; yet he deems him to be strong. On the other hand he criticises Rabi’ah ibn Yazid al Dimishqi, Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Dimishqi, Thowr ibn Yazid, Khalid ibn Mi’dan and ‘Umair ibn al Aswad despite them being reliable narrators, from whom the entire six narrate.

[3]  See Fath al Mughith 3/60 of al Sakhawi, and al Tankil 1/45 of al Mu’allimi.

[4]  See Sharh al ‘Ilal of Ibn Rajab 1/357; and al Thiqat 8/82; and al Kamil 1/310; and al Tankil 1/99

[5]  See Mizan al I’tidal 1/301, and Tahdhib al Tahdhib 2/147

[6]Al Kifayah (155)

[7]Al Kifayah (155); al Siyar 8/302

[8]  The author has pointed out an error in the printed version of the book he is quoting from.

[9]  See also al Mujruhin 1/18

[10]  See al Tankil 1/43

[11]  See al Farq bayna al Firaq (79)

[12]  See Hadi al Sari (549)

[13]  See al Tahdhib 3/317; Fath al Bari 10/357; Fath al Mughith 2/61

[14]  The chapter of clothing; sub-chapter of wearing silk for men and the amount of which is allowed thereof. Hadith: 5835

[15]  He said in al Fath 10/357: “Al Bukhari brought his narration on the principle that he will narrate from innovators if they are religious and honest.”

[16]  See Tahdhib al Tahdhib 2/487; Hadi al Sari 1/416

[17]  Under the chapter of the virtues of Qur’an, sub-chapter of beautifying ones voice with recitation. Hadith: 4761.

[18]  Ibn al Qayyim said in Jala’ al Afham (255): “… and some of the narrators have erred in this narration by saying, ‘verily the family of Banu Bayad,’ what resulted in their confusion is that it appears in the Sahih as ‘verily the Family of … are not my allies’ and an empty space (Bayad) was left between ‘Family of’ and ‘are not’ and when the later scribes read the book they assumed the word ‘Bayad’ to be ascribed to the phrase ‘Family of’ and they linked the two. There is no Arab tribe known as Banu Bayad; neither did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say that. Rather, all that was referred to was a big family from the Quraysh, and the correct manner of reading the text is to say the “Family of [Blank]” meaning there is an empty space after the word ‘Family of’; or to say there is a blank spot here.” See also Fath al Bari (10/515) and al Nawawi’s commentary of Muslim (3/87); and the wording in Muslim (215) is: “Verily the Family of – meaning so-and-so …”

[19]  See al Tahdhib 3/444 and Fath al Bari 10/516

[20]  See al Tahdhib 3/444 and Fath al Bari 10/516

[21]  See al Tankil 1/51 of al Mu’allimi as well as al Albani’s comments.

[22]  See also al Siyar 5/278

[23]  See also Mizan al I’tidal 1/27

[24]Al Thiqat 6/140, Al Majruhin 1/18

[25]Tadrib al Rawi 1/383 and al Nawawis commentary on Muslim 1/60

[26]  See Fath al Bari 11/75

[27]  For further reading refer to the book of Dr ‘Ali al Sayyah, Ishkal wa Jawabu fi Hadith Umm Haram bint Malhan

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