Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala command of verifying information was emphatic in the Qur’an:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا إِنْ جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوْا أَنْ تُصِيْبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوْا عَلىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِيْنَ
O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.
What appears in the tafsir of this verse seems contradictory to this divine command.
Narrations are widespread in the books of tafsir about Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, one of the Sahabah who was a staunch resolute mujahid and at whose hands Allah conquered many cities of Persia. They think that the verse was revealed concerning him and that he is referred to as a fasiq (transgressor) in the Qur’an.
Ibn Kathir explains:
Many mufassirin have mentioned that this verse was revealed concerning Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt radiya Llahu ‘anhu when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent him to collect the zakat of the Banu al Mustaliq. This has been reported from many chains, the best of which is what Imam Ahmed narrated in his Musnad from the king of Banu al Mustaliq, Harith ibn Dirar, the father of Umm al Mu’minin Juwayriyah bint al Harith. Imam Ahmed reports:
حدثنا محمد بن سابق حدثنا عيسى بن دينار حدثني أبي أنه سمع الحارث بن ضرار الخزاعي رضي الله عنه … الحديث
Muhammmad ibn Sabiq narrated to us―’Isa ibn Dinar narrated to us―my father narrated to me that he heard― Harith ibn Dirar al Khuza’i radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
This sanad which Ibn Kathir labelled as the best of all, is da’if because ‘Isa ibn Dinar is majhul.
It is said that the reason for its du’f is Muhammmad ibn Sabiq.
The flaw in the narration is ‘Isa ibn Dinar.
‘Isa ibn Dinar
Hence, the narration is da’if despite it being the best one around.
Ibn Abi Hatim and al Tabari narrated it from al Mundhir ibn Shadhan al Tammar from―Muhammad ibn Sabiq. Musa ibn ‘Ubaidah al Rabadhi is present in this isnad. Moreover, Thabit the freed slave of Umm Salamah is majhul since a slave with this name is not known to be in her possession.
Due to this, al Haythami’s statement that the narrators are reliable is astonishing taking into consideration that ‘Isa and Thabit are majhul.
Al Tabari and al Bayhaqi reported it from al ‘Aufi from Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. This isnad is filled with ‘Aufis who are infamous for being da’if as is common knowledge.
Ibn Kathir reported the statements of Mujahid, Qatadah, and Ibn Abi Layla as well. However, all these are mursal reports which are not fit to establish the accusation of fisq against a Sahabi radiya Llahu ‘anhu. We do not accept such narrations in the rulings of cleanliness and salah, so why would we accept them in criticising the cream of this ummah?
These narrations were in need of deep examination so that, thereafter, it becomes clear that all the narrations are munqati’ and those that are sahih like the one in Sahih Muslim do not exceed establishing proof against him with false testimony; as will be spelt out to you in this invaluable discussion of Ustadh Muhibb al Din al Khatib―May Allah shower him with abundant mercy. It devolves upon everyone who reads this discussion to make du’a for him.
Ustadh Muhibb al Din al Khatib’s testimony in favour of Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
كنت في ما مضى أعجب كيف تكون هذه الآية نزلت في الوليد بن عقبة و يسميه الله فاسقا ثم تبقى له في نفس خليفتي رسول الله أبي بكر و عمر المكانة التي سجلها له التاريخ .. إن هذا التناقض بين ثقة أبي بكر و عمر بالوليد بن عقبة و بين ما كان ينبغي أن يعامل به لو أن الله سماه فاسقا حملني على الشك في أن تكون الآية نزلت فيه
In the past, I was startled at how the verse was revealed concerning Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Allah labelling him a fasiq but then he continues to enjoy a lofty rank in the reign of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam two khalifahs, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, which history bears testimony to. This is inconsistency between Abu Bakr and ‘Umar’s trust for Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and between how they should have treated him had Allah labelled him a fasiq. This made me doubt that the verse was revealed concerning him.
After this doubt gripped me, I thoroughly examined the narrations reported in the reason for revelation of this verse. After studying them, I found them to be mawquf on Mujahid, Qatadah, Ibn Abi Layla, or Yazid ibn Ruman. None of them mentioned the names of the narrators in the span of 100 years or more between them and the incident. This 100 years was filled with narrators with diverse ideologies.
Those who have the desire to defame the reputation of the likes of Walid and those who enjoy a higher status than him, filled the world with narrations which have no academic value.
So long as the narrators of the narrations regarding the reason for revelation of the verse are majhul to the masters of jarh and ta’dil, besides the narrators to whom these reports are attributed―the ‘Ulama’ of jarh and ta’dil do not know anything about them, not even their names―then it is impermissible both in the Shari’ah and traditionally to declare the authenticity of these munqati’ (disjointed) narrations and derive rulings from them.
There are, however, two mawsul narrations. One is from Umm Salamah; Musa ibn ‘Ubaidah believes that he heard it from Thabit, the freed slave of Umm Salamah. Musa ibn ‘Ubaidah has been labelled da’if by al Nasa’i, Ibn al Madini, Ibn ‘Adi, and others.
And Thabit who is assumed to be the freed slave of Umm Salamah has no mention in any of the books I studied. He is not mentioned in Tahdhib al Tahdhib, Taqrib al Tahdhib, Khulasat Tahdhib al Kamal, and not even in Mizan al i’tidal and Lisan al Mizan.
I then went on to research the collection of Umm Salamah’s ahadith in Musnad Ahmed. I read them one by one but failed to locate this narration. In fact, I did not find any narration of hers in which a freed slave of hers by the name Thabit appears. Add to this that Umm Salamah did not say in this narration that it was revealed regarding Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, even if it is correctly attributed to her; and there is no way to correctly attribute it to her. She simply said or it is attributed to her that she said:
بعث رسول الله رجلا في صدقات بني المصطلق
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent a man to collect the zakat of the Banu al Mustaliq.
The second mawsul narration is reported in al Tabari in his Tafsir from Ibn Sa’id―from his father from―his uncle from―his father from―his father from―Ibn ‘Abbas.
Al Tabari did not meet Ibn Sa’d and did not learn hadith from him since Ibn Sa’d passed away in Baghdad the year 230 A.H, al Tabari was a child probably six years of age who did not yet leave his city Amil in Tabristan to travel to Baghdad or any other place for that matter.
Then it became apparent to me that the Ibn Sa’d from whom al Tabari narrated is Muhammad ibn Sa’d al ‘Aufi. Sheikh Ahmed Shakir described his sanad as: A sanad filled with da’if narrators from one family.
So all these narrations from the first to the last are not worthy to be used to indict a warrior who was trusted by Abu Bakr and ‘Umar and served Islam, for which the greatest of rewards are hoped, if Allah wills. Add to all of this that at the time when the incident took place to the Banu al Mustaliq upon which the verse was revealed, Walid ibn ‘Uqbah was a young child as will appear in the following lines.
Ahmed narrates in his Musnad about the age of Walid ibn ‘Uqbah on the Day of the Conquest of Makkah from his teacher Fayyad ibn Muhammad al Raqqi from―Jafar ibn Burqan al Raqqi from―Thabit ibn al Hajjaj al Kilabi al Raqqi from―’Abdullah al Hamdani (‘Abdullah ibn Malik ibn al Harith) from―Walid ibn ‘Uqbah. It is apparent that Walid ibn ‘Uqbah narrated this hadith after he isolated himself from people in the final years of his life and chose to stay in a village of his in A’mal Raqqah. The isnad of the narration is filled with Raqqi narrators. Imam Ahmed learnt it from his teacher who learnt it from them. ‘Abdullah al Hamdani is reliable. However, his name was mixed up in the beginning of this narration with another Hamdani whose agnomen is Abu Musa and whose name is Malik ibn al Harith (i.e. the name of ‘Abdullah al Hamdani’s father). This person is majhul according to the masters of jarh and ta’dil.
As regards the ‘Abdullah al Hamdani which Ahmed’s isnad ends at is known and trusted. Qadi Ibn al ‘Arabi has relied upon his reports and the like in determining the age of Walid ibn ‘Uqbah that he was a child at the Conquest of Makkah and that the verse was revealed about someone else.
Shocking indeed is the affair of those who have a burning desire to taint the reputation of this young mujahid Sahabi, who has a pure soul and a beautiful history. People who attempt to disprove the evidence of his young age at that time with another narration which relates his arrival with his brother ‘Umarah in Madinah in the year 7 after hijrah to request Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to return their sister Umm Kulthum to Makkah.
The original narration―if correct―mentions the name of ‘Umarah first before Walid. This suggests that ‘Umarah was the main person in this journey and that Walid accompanied him. What prevents Walid from coming if he was a child accompanied by his elder brother as happens in every era and place?
So Walid being a child at the Conquest of Makkah is not irreconcilable with him coming with his elder brother to Madinah in the year 7 A.H.
Now it is firmly established that all the narrations which speak about Walid ibn ‘Uqbah in the reason for revelation of the verse are not worthy of establishing a shar’i ruling or historical accord academically. When you add to this the hadith of Musnad Ahmed the age of Walid in the year of the conquest, you will realise the wisdom of Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar capitalising on Walid radiya Llahu ‘anhum, their trust for him, and confidence in him since he was in the prime of his youth at the time.
Walid ibn ‘Uqbah is the gallant warrior, the conqueror, the just, and oppressed. He did every good deed possible for his people. Then he witnessed with his very own eyes how the evil ones were oppressing the righteous and enforcing their evil on them. So he isolated himself from people after the martyrdom of ‘Uthman in a village detached from the noise of populace. It was at a distance of 15 miles from the city of Raqqah in the land of al Jazirah where he waged jihad and invited the Christians to Islam during the caliphate of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
The time has come for the faulty conspiracies of the liars to be exposed and this renowned man should not be harmed. The truth becoming manifest has been delayed for 13 centuries. But the truth is ancient and it cannot be overshadowed.
From the time Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed as governor of Kufah by Amir al Mu’minin ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he desired to be a proverbial governor in justice, magnanimity, and excellent character with people just as he was a legendary warrior in his Jihad and establishment of Islam to a suitable level for the defenders of his da’wah, the carriers of his flag, and the spreaders of his message. He lived as governor of Kufah for 5 years. His house till the last day he ruled had no door which would serve as a barrier between him and people, whether he recognised them or not. So whoever wanted to come, was welcome whenever he wanted, whether during the day or at night. Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had no need to hide from the people.
فالستر دون الفاحشات و لا يلقاك دون الخير من ستر
A veil is to cover immoralities. You will not find any veil in front of goodness.
It was appropriate for all the people to love their benevolent leader. He had established a house of hospitality for the poor and had brought much goodness to the people to the extent that he began distributing wealth to the new-borns and slaves. He would return to every slave every month the extra wealth which was sufficient for them without deducting from their allowances. Practically, majority of the various classes of the populace were fond of this reputed leader the duration of his entire term. Besides, there were a group of evil and corrupt people whose sons were struck with the whip of legal punishments stipulated by the Shari’ah at the hands of Walid. So they waited for an opportunity to harm him.
Some of the names of these men were Abu Zainab ibn ‘Awf al Azdi, Abu Muwarra’, and Jundub Abu Zuhayr. The police intercepted their sons the night they broke into Ibn al Haysaman’s house and killed him. A man from the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was his neighbour, one of the forerunners in Islam, Sayyidina Abu Shurayh al Khuza’i, carrier of the flag of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam against the army of Khuza’ah on the Day of the Conquest of Makkah. He and his son had come from Madinah to depart with one of the armies of Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu which he would despatch to the East for conquering and spreading the message of Islam. This Sahabi and his son witnessed these evil criminals attacking the house of Ibn al Haysaman and they bore testimony against these cold blooded murderers. Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu implemented the law of Shari’ah upon them at the door of the palace in the public square. So their father’s took a covenant upon themselves to conspire against this pure and compassionate leader and they sent spies to watch his every move.
His house was always open. One day, a guest was in his house. The guest was from the North poets who was previously a Christian who lived with his maternal uncles from the Banu Taghlib in the land of al Jazirah and had accepted Islam at the hands of Walid. The spies who were denied blood revenge thought that this poet who was a Christian must be drinking wine and most probably Walid was serving it to him. Thus, they called Abu Zainab, Abu al Muwarra’, and their cronies who converged upon the house from the side of the Masjid. After he was suddenly confronted by them, he put something under his bed. One of them took it out without his permission and it turned out to be bowl with bunches of grapes. So they looked at one another and began censuring each other out of embarrassment. People heard of the whole drama and came to the scene. They began swearing and cursing the gate crashers. Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, however, concealed the matter and kept it secret from Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He just remained silent and observed patience.
Thereafter the plots of Jundub, Abu Zainab, and Abu al Muwarra’ increased. They took advantage of every incident. They would give it a nasty interpretation and fabricated lies. Some of those who had served under Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and were removed due to their evil character went to Madinah and complained about Walid to Amir al Mu’minin ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and demanded his removal from Kufah. While these wicked people were in Madinah, Abu Zainab and Abu al Muwarra’ entered the court house of Kufah with the crowd that entered. Walid went aside for a break and the rest of the people left but these two remained inside. They managed to steal his ring from his house and subsequently left.
When Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu woke up and did not find his ring, he enquired from his wives about it. They were in a small chamber looking at his visitors from behind a veil. They informed him that only two men remained in the house and they described their features and garments to him. Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu realised that it was none other than Abu Zainab and Abu al Muwarra’. He understood that they only stole it for some conspiracy they had cooked up. So he sent people to search for them but they could not be found in Kufah. They had travelled in much haste to Madinah.
They had come as witnesses against Walid for drinking wine. I think that they stole the details of the false incident from an incident that had taken place to Qudamah ibn Mad’un during the caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They said that they were his attendants and they entered his presence while he was vomiting wine. ‘Uthman said that only the drinker of wine vomits the same. So Walid was brought from Kufah and he swore on oath that he was not guilty and informed Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu of their conspiracy. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “We will enforce the hudud and the giver of false testimony will return to Hell.”
This is the story of Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu being falsely accused of drinking wine. This appears in the happenings of the year 30 A.H. in Tarikh al Tabari. Notwithstanding the many references, there is no mention of anything else. The summary of the incident in Tarikh al Tabari is that the witnesses against Walid were two of those who were denied blood revenge who harboured rancour and hatred for him. There is no mention in the testimony of salah at all, forget of it being two or four. The addition of salah is another startling matter.
This story is reported from Hadin ibn al Mundhir, one of the followers of ‘Ali, that he was with Sayyidina ‘Ali by Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma when the hadd was enforced on Walid. People reported this from him until Muslim wrote it in his Sahih in Kitab al Hudud with the words:
شهدت عثمان ابن عفان و أتي بالوليد قد صلى الصبح ركعتين ثم قال أزيدكم فشهد عليه رجلان بأنه تقيأ أحدهما حمران أنه شرب الخمر و شهد آخر أنه رآه يتقيأ
I was present by ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan. Walid was brought who had performed two rak’at of Fajr and then said, “Should I read more for you?”
Two men bore testimony against him that he vomited it, one was Hamran that he drank wine and the other said that he saw him vomiting it.
The witnesses did not bear testimony that Walid prayed two rak’at of Fajr and said, “Should I read more for you?” Rather, one said that he drank wine and the other said that he vomited it.
This addition is from Hadin and he was not part of the witnesses, nor was he present in Kufah when the alleged incident took place. Moreover, he did not mention any isnad for this component of the accusation to any known person.
It is amazing that the exact report that appears in Sahih Muslim appears at three places of Musnad Ahmed reported from Hadin. And the one who heard it from Hadin is the same reporter in Musnad Ahmed at all three places.
The first two places, has no mention of salah from the tongue of Hadin or anyone else. Probably one of the narrators thereafter understood that the salah part is not from the speech of the witnesses so he sufficed on mentioning the hadd.
In the third narration, it appears that Hadin says that Walid led the people in four rak’at of Fajr salah. This contradicts what Hadin himself said in the narration of Sahih Muslim. In one of the narrations, there is an adulteration of waw and Allah knows best the reason for it.
Nonetheless, mention of salah in both cases is from the side of Hadin who was not a witness, nor reporting from a witness. Hence, this portion is useless.
After you have now been educated about the affair of those who were denied blood revenge which al Tabari quoted from his teachers, I would like to increase your knowledge by giving you some background on Hamran who is mentioned in the narration. Hamran was one of the slaves of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He had disobeyed Allah prior to giving testimony against Walid. In the city of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he married a divorced woman and had relations with her while she was still passing her ‘iddah from her first husband. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu became extremely angry with him over this and due to this and other matters which he perpetrated previously, he removed him from his court and evicted him from Madinah. He came to Kufah where he began spreading mischief. He came upon the righteous man ‘Amir ibn ‘Abdul Qais radiya Llahu ‘anhu and fabricated a lie against him to the men of state which led to him leaving for Sham.
I leave the matter of this witness and the other two witnesses to the reader, to decide as he pleases. In my opinion, the hadd of Allah cannot be established through the testimony of such witnesses on laymen and shepherds. So how about a distinguished Sahabi who the Khalifah handed over the responsibility of running a state and mobilising armies. According to him, he had excellent character with people, and upheld the trusts of Allah with integrity. He was trusted by 3 of the perfect Khalifas of Islam, viz. Sayyidina Abu Bakr, Sayyidina ‘Umar, and Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Walid enjoyed a relationship with Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma which the liars think was the reason for his favouritism of him and the reason ‘Uthman overlooked removing them. They attack the reputation of people and take pleasure with six couplets attributed to an insolent despicable man which appear on page 85 of his Diwan. They do not have the critic instinct to realise the inconsistency and discrepancies found in these couplets. Where is Walid’s praise in them? He says:
و رأوا شمائل ماجد أنف بعطي على الميسور و العسر
فنزعت مكذوبا عليك و لم تردد إلى عوز و لا فقر
نادى وقد تمت صلاتهم أأزيدكم ثملا و ما يدري
And they saw the characteristics of a noble man, disdained by gifts in times of prosperity and adversity.
So I pulled back, you had been lied against and you never hesitated to destitution nor poverty.
He called out, after their salah was complete, should I increase for you, intoxicated and unaware.
The one who says the last couplet, it is not imaginable that he will say the first two couplets and praise and censure at the same time in not more than six couplets. I had written a long article regarding discrepancies in poetry in which I cited examples of foreign couplets being slipped into poems on the same rhythm and rhyme, from someone other than the original composer.
Nonetheless, the witnesses who gave testimony before Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not mention the salah incident despite them having no fear for Allah and the Last Day.
Let me declare unequivocally for the pleasure of Allah that had Walid been one of the figures of European history like Saint Louis who we have locked in Dar Ibn Luqman in al Mansurah, they would have titled him a Saint since Louis did not do as much good to France the way Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did for his ummah and the former did not conquer for Christianity the way the latter conquered for Islam.
Amazing indeed is the nation who has been wronged, to destroy and taint its beautiful history and destroy its distinguished people, like how the evil among us do. Then the schemes of these wicked people spread to the extent that the good think that it is the truth.
I would like to say, may Allah have mercy on Muhibb al Din al Khatib for defending the honour of an illustrious Sahabi Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who had been unjustly and falsely accused of drinking wine; a lie which the internal enemies of Islam spread joyfully to plot against the human transmitters of the Qur’an (i.e. the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum) out of rancour. Their ultimate intention is to prove interpolation of the Qur’an and to establish even one example of dishonesty, to break the integrity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. They think they are defending Islam whereas they are unaware that they are indirectly casting doubts against the Qur’an in their endeavour to break the fort and the accepted belief in the integrity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, which has become the ideology and methodology of the Ahlus Sunnah. The Sahabah are the transmitters of the Qur’an. Criticising them is criticising the isnad of the Qur’an. How elated the enemies of the Muslims will be when they find those within Islam helping them to break this chain in their attempt to criticise the noble Qur’an. Why won’t they when the books of these people have stated with “mutawatir isnads” that the Sahabah distorted the Qur’an, changed it, deleted from it, and altered verses from their places.
Is this imaginable regarding men whom Allah describes as:
وَيُؤْثِرُوْنَ عَلىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ
Give [them] preference over themselves.
Should we distort it to please these hypocrites by deleting the ‘ala (over) for then it will read:
Give [them] preference to themselves
so that their belief may be founded that the Sahabah were selfish, greedy to live and avaricious to accumulate paltry worldly possessions.
Instead, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declared:
وَيُؤْثِرُوْنَ عَلىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ
Give [them] preference over themselves.
They preferred others by feeding them and remaining hungry themselves.
Never, by Allah. those who believed, emigrated, waged jihad in the path of Allah, and those who gave refuge and assisted and sacrificed everything they had in the path of Allah to establish the din of Allah; we can never believe anything else about them but what the Qur’an declares.
We now wish to tell the Rawafid: You have become losers at the end of the day and attained no goodness despite your exhaustive efforts. Instead, Allah disgraces you. You are unable to breach our belief that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum of our Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are righteous and truthful. And our grand belief stands lofty: The integrity of all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
 Surah al Hujurat: 6.
 Tarikh al Tabari vol. 11 pg. 383.
 Sunan al Bayhaqi vol. 9 pg. 54.
 Mawquf: A narration attributed to a Sahabi.
 Tafsir al Tabari vol. 1 pg. 263; Dar al Ma’arif print.
 Musnad Ahmed vol. 1 pg. 82, 140.
 Musnad Ahmed vol. 1 pg. 144.
 Al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim pg. 90 – 98; tahqiq of Muhibb al Din al Khatib.
 Surah al Hashr: 9.
 Surah al Hashr: 9.Back to top