Rafed English

Ambiguous Traditions

I previously stated that riwayah from the Messenger of Allah included many ambiguous and odd traditions, of which I cite some herewith for exemplary sake only as covering them all needs several volumes.

Ibn Abbas is reported to have said: Allah created a preserved label from a white pearl with two leafs made of red ruby, and a pen and a book of light. Its width extends between the skies and earth, in which he makes a glance every day. He gives life and causes death, renders strong" and subdues, doing whatever He likes, as He said in the holy Book: "Every day He exerciseth (universal) power -" (55:29). This hadith is reported by Abd al-Razzaq, Ibn al-Mundhir, al-Tabarrani and al-Hakim.

Al-Shaykhan (al-Bukhari and Muslim) with some Sunan, Musnads and Tafsir reported that the Messenger of Allah said to Abu Dharr: Do you know where does it go? He said: Allah and His Messenger know better! He(S) said: It moves along till reaching a place where it will prostrate under the Throne. Thereat it will ask for permission, which it will be granted. In a short time, it may try to prostrate but it won't be accepted of it, and seek permission which will not be granted to it. It will be said to it: Go back to wherever you like. Thereat it will rise from its point of maghrib (sunset), the fact to which Allah the Exalted refers in the holy Qur'an: "and the sun runneth on unto a resting-place for him.."(36-38).

In the introduction to his book, Muslim reported from Abd Allah ibn Amr ibn al-'As, owner of the two fellowships, as saying: In the sea, there are detained devils, tied by Sulayman ibn Dawud, and they are about to go out and recite Qur'an for people.

Al-Bukhari, in his Sahih under "bab al-Dawa’ bi al-‘Ajwah li al-sahar" (Remedy with compressed dates for daybreak meal), reported from 'Amir ibn Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas, from his father, as saying: The Prophet said: "Whoever takes breakfast with compressed dates, will never be harmed neither by poison nor by the daybreak meal of that day till night." In another narration. "... with seven compressed dates...". The same hadith was reported by Muslim from Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas.

Al-Nasa'i reported from Jabir as saying: The compressed dates (‘ajwah) being from paradise and remedy for toxication.

The two Shaykhs reported from Abu Hurayrah that he said "when it is called for prayers, the Satan retraces his steps with producing (breaking) wind, so that not to hear call for prayers. When adhan is over he comes in, till on starting prayers he retreats, after which he would come back to sow dissension between man and his nafs (soul).

The investigating ulama, in exposing this hadith, say: He did this so as not to hear (adhan) and will be obliged to give witness in favour of it on the Day of Resurrection.

Muslim reported that Abu Sufyan said to the Prophet: O Messenger of Allah, promise me to achieve three things: get married to my daughter Umm Habibah, and make my son Mu'awiyah a scribe, and command me to fight the disbelievers as I fought the Muslims (before).

And so it happened, as Umm Habibah was married by the Messenger of Allah when he was in Abyssinia with al-Najashi naming a dowry for her. Also Abu Sufyan embraced Islam (?) in the year of conquest (of Makkah), while several years separated between migration (hijrah) and conquest (of Makkah).

Muslim reported from `Amr ibn al-Sharid that he said: I rode behind the Prophet (S) who said to me: Do you remember any of Umayyah's poetry? I said: Yes. Then I recited for him a hundred verses, when he said: He was about to confess Islam in his poetry.

In his Musnad, Ahmad reported from Ikrimah, from Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (S) said: Umayyah said the truth in some of his poetry. In another narration, the Messenger of Allah said: Umayyah ibn Abi al-Salt said the truth in part of his poetry when he said:

Saturn and Thawr being under His right leg,

And Vulture is under the left and Layth is prepared.

The Messenger of Allah said: He said the truth and he said:

And the sun rises every end of night,

Red with its colour becoming rosy,

It comes but never rises for us fluently,432

But only when suffering pain and tolerating.

This hadith is of correct isnad (chain of transmission), and recorded in Majma’ al-zawa’id, beside being reported by Abu Ya'la and al-Tabarrani through trustworthy rijal.

When objection was raised against his saying "But only when suffering pain and tolerating", Ibn Abbas said:433 By Him Who owns my soul, the sun would never rise but only when being pricked by seventy thousand angels who would say to her: Rise, rise! she would say: Nay, I never rise for a people worshipping me other than Allah! Thereat an angel would approach her, when she would blaze for producing light for mankind. A devil would come to her intending to restrain her from rising when she would rise from between his two horns, under which Allah would burn her. To this the Messenger of Allah referred by saying: The sun has neither risen nor set but only between the devil's two horns, nor it has ever set but only when prostrating her self. Then a devil would come to her intending to curb her from prostration, when it would set between his two horns, under which Allah would burn her.

Also al-Tabarrani reported from Abu Amamah as saying: Allah put the sun into the charge of nine angels hurling snow at her every day, unless which she would set to fire every thing subject to her rays.

In Sahih Muslim, the two Shaykhs reported from Anas ibn Malik that he said: A man questioned the Prophet: When will the Hour come (Doomsday)? Anas said, that the Messenger of Allah kept silent for a while, looking at a lad near him from the tribe of Azd Shanu'ah, saying then: If this lad lives long, he will never become decrepit till the coming of the Hour (Resurrection Day)". Anas said: That lad was among my contemporaries at that time.

It is known that Anas died in 93 H., after his life was contemporaneous with that of the lad regarding whom the Prophet said that he would never reach decrepitude till the coming of the Hour...thus, as is defined by the hadith, the coming of the Hour would have been before the end of the first Hijrah year!!434

So what would adorers of asanid say about this?? Some may daresay and claim that: Who knows, this lad may have not reached decrepitude yet?!!


432. Rasl means rifq (leniency - slowness), see Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. IV, p.7.

433. Ibn Abbas was one of great disciples of Ka'b al-Ahbar, and was surnamed Habr al-Ummah. Al-Mu'arri, with his biting style, sarcasted this hadith counting it among their falsities they used to fabricate against the Prophet (S) saying:

They lied even against the sun that it,

Is contempted and beaten sunrise.

See al-Luzumiyyat, vol. I, p.207.

434. There are other traditions on life-time of the world, that will be stated later on.

Adapted from: "Lights on the Muhammadan Sunnah" by: "Mahmud Ali Riyyah"

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