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Tuesday 24th of May 2022
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Verily, the Companions of the Cave [Aṣḥāb al-Kahf] hid their faith (on account of some expediency) and pretended to be infidels; so, Allah gave them double reward. Abū Ṭālib also concealed his faith and (due to certain expediency) feigned polytheism; so,

Verily, the Companions of the Cave [Aṣḥāb al-Kahf] hid their faith (on account of some expediency) and pretended to be infidels; so, Allah gave them double reward. Abū Ṭālib also concealed his faith and (due to certain expediency) feigned polytheism; so,

Verily, the Companions of the Cave [Aṣḥāb al-Kahf] hid their faith (on account of some expediency) and pretended to be infidels; so, Allah gave them double reward. Abū ālib also concealed his faith and (due to certain expediency) feigned polytheism; so, Allah granted him double reward.[1]

From the set of the stated proofs, we realize that Abū ālib enjoys the following praiseworthy qualities:

1.   Staunch faith in God and the Holy Prophet ();

2.   Devotion to help and protect the Messenger of Allah () and self-sacrifice in the path of Islam;

3.   The Holy Prophet’s () unique love for him; and

4.   The privilege of intercession with God.

This establishes the idea that the repulsive accusations made against him is groundless. 

From this discussion, two facts have been brought to light:

1.   The faith of Abū ālib is acknowledged by the Messenger of Allah (), the Companions of the Prophet (), the Commander of the Faithful (‘a), and the Imāms from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).

2.   The unfair accusations made against Abū Ṭālib are unfounded and baseless, and they were incited for political reasons by a number of Umayyad and ‘Abbāsid caliphs, who always showed enmity toward the Ahl al-Bayt and the offspring of Abū ālib.

Now, it is appropriate to examine the most apparent fabrication intended to besmirch the personality of that persistent helper of the Prophet (), and by considering the tradition known as the adīth a-uḥḍā, the noble verses of the Qur’an, the indisputable Sunnah of the Prophet (), and sound perception, we will prove the groundlessness of these accusations.

A review of adīth a-uḥḍā

Relying on such narrators like Sufyān ibn Sa‘īd ath-Thawrī, ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr, ‘Abd al-‘Azīz ibn Muammad ad-Darāwardī, and Layth ibn Sa‘d, some authors (and compilers) like Bukhārī and Muslim attribute the following two statements to the Holy Prophet ():

a.

“.ضحضاح إلىٰ فأخرجته النّار من غمراتٍ في وجدته

“He is in a shallow place of Fire [uḥḍā].[2] But had it not been for me he would have been in the lowest part of the Fire.”[3]

b.

من ضحضاح فى فيجعل القيامة يوم شفاعتى تنفعه لعلّه

“.دماغه منه يغلى كعبيه يبلغ النّار

“Perhaps my intercession will be helpful to him on the Day of Resurrection so that he may be put in a shallow fire reaching only up to his ankles. His brain will boil from it.”[4]

Although the aforementioned set of traditions and clear proofs which testify to Abū ālib’s faith prove the groundlessness of this grave calumny and libel of adīth a-uḥḍā, we shall discuss this ḥadīth and concentrate on two aspects in it:

  1. The groundlessness of its chain of transmission, and
  2. The discordance of its contents with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (). 

The groundlessness of the chain of transmission of adīth a-uḥḍā

As it has been stated earlier, the narrators of adīth a-uḥḍā are Sufyān ibn Sa‘īd ath-Thawrī, ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr, ‘Abd al-‘Azīz ibn Muammad ad-Darāwardī, and Layth ibn Sa‘d.

Now, we will cite some statements of Sunnī scholars of ‘ilm ar-rijāl in order to have a clear idea of the personal records of these narrators:

a. Sufyān ibn Sa‘īd ath-Thawrī

Abū Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Uthmān adh-Dhahabī, a renowned Sunnī scholar of ‘ilm ar-rijāl, says regarding Sufyān:

“.الضّعفاء عن يدلّس كان

“He used to narrate fabricated adiths from weak narrators.”[5]

This statement confirms that Sufyān ath-Thawrī’s narrations are deceitful and related by weak or unknown narrators. Consequently, his adīths are void of all credibility.

b. ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr

Referring to Ibn ‘Umayr, adh-Dhahabī says:

.حفظه تغيّر بحافظ، ليس أبوحاتم: قال .حفظه وساء عمره طال

ابن قال و مخلط، :معين بن قال و يخلّط، ضعيف :أحمد قال و

.جدًّا ضعّفه انّه احمد عن الكوسج ذكر و لايرضاه شعبه كان :خراش

He has grown old and his memory became defective. Abū ātam says: “He is unable to memorize adīths and his memory changed.” Amad ibn anbal says: “‘Abd al-Mālik ibn al-‘Umayr is weak and makes mistakes (that is, he narrates fabricated traditions).” Ibn Mu‘īn says: “He mixes false adīths with authentic [aī] ones.” Ibn Kharāsh says: “Shu‘bah was not pleased with him.” Kawsaj says that Amad ibn anbal has enormously weakened ‘Abd al-Mālik ibn ‘Umayr.”[6]

We understand from these statements that ‘Abd al-Mālik ibn al-‘Umayr:

  1. has weak memory and is forgetful;
  2. is, according to ‘ilm ar-rijāl, “weak”; a term referred to a person whose traditions cannot be trusted;
  3. makes a lot of mistakes; and
  4. is mukhli, i.e. he mixes false traditions with authentic [aī] ones.

It is evident that detecting any of the mentioned shortcomings can contribute to the groundlessness of the adīths of ‘Abd al-Mālik ibn ‘Umayr, in which all these weaknesses are detected.

c. ‘Abd al-‘Azīz ibn Muammad ad-Darāwardī

Sunnī scholars of ‘ilm ar-rijāl regard ad-Darāwardī as a forgetful person whose memory is so weak that his traditions cannot be relied on.

Amad ibn anbal says about ad-Darāwardī



[1] Ibn Abī’l-adīd, Shar Nahj al-Balāghah (2nd Edition), vol. 14, p. 70; Al-ujjah, pp. 17, 115.

[2] uḥḍā, literally “a shallow spot”, refers to a pit whose depth is less than a man’s height.

[3] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (Egypt), vol. 8, “Kitāb al-Adab,” “Bāb Kuniyyat al-Mushrik,” p. 46.

Muammad Musin Khān (trans.), aī al-Bukhārī (English Translation), vol. 8, book 73, adīth 227. [Trans.]

[4] Ibid., vol. 5, “Abwāb Manāqib,” “Bāb Qiat Abī ālib,” p. 52.

Muammad Musin Khān (trans.), aī al-Bukhārī (English Translation), vol. 5, book 58, adīth 224. [Trans.]

[5] Adh-Dhāhabī, Mīzān al-I‘tidāl (Beirut, 1382 AH), vol. 2, p. 169.

[6] Ibid., p. 660.

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