Demonstrations, Protests, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab’s Revert Story And The Sahaabah – Shaykh Alee Ridhaa

(My – Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie’s words) Some Muslims claim the sahaba supported protest and they use the hadeeth of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab and his story about him brcoming a Muslim to support this claim. 

On one hand this narration if saheeh (authentic) or hassan (sound/reliable) would support the view that demonstrations and protest are allowed in Islam and the Sahaabah took similar action in the time of the Prophet without his condemnation. 

On the other hand if the narration is daeef (weak) it would not support such a claim as fiqh ruling on something being halaal or haraam or issues to do with manhaj are not taken from weak hadeeth.

Below are a serious of different narrations about this incident followed by their checking – an assessment of their authenticity or lack of authenticity.

First Chain Of Narration

Al-Haafidh  Aboo Nu’aym Al-Asbahaanee in his Hilyat Al Awliyaa (volume 1, page 40)  said: (the chain) Muhammad bin Ahmad Bin Al-Hasan narrated to us that Muhammad bin ‘Uthmaan bin Abee Shaybah narrated to us that ‘Abdul-Hameed bin Saaleh narrated to us that Muhammad bin Abaan narrated to us from Is-haaq bin Abdullaah bin Abaan bin Saaleh from Mujaahid from Ibn Abbaas who said:

Hadeeth

“I asked Umar about how he became known as “Al-Faarooq”, he said, “Hamzah became Muslim three days before me, then Allah opened by heart to Islam, so I said laa illaaha illaa huw, lahul Asmaa’ al-Husnaa (There is nothing worthy of worship except He, to Him belong the most beautiful Names). There is no person on Earth more beloved to me than the Messenger of Allah I said, “Where is the Messenger of Allaah?” My sister said, “He is in the house of Al-Arqam bin Al-Arqam in Safaa.” So I arrived at the house and Hamzah was in the sitting with his companions in the house and the Messenger of Allah was in the house. So I knocked on the door. The people gathered and Hamzah said to them, “What is wrong with you.” They said, “‘Umar.” So the Messenger of Allah came out. He grabbed a part of his (Umar’s) clothes and pulled him to his knees and said “What is it you want Umar?” I said, “I Testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, and I Testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.” So the people in the house make Takbeer so loud that the people in the Masjid could hear it. I said, “Messenger of Allah, are we not upon the truth?” He said, “Of course.” I said, “Why do we conceal it?” We went out in two ranks (lines), in one of which I was and in the other Hamzah, until we entered the mosque, and Quraysh looked at me and at Hamzah. There came upon them gloom and depression the like of which had never before come upon them. The Messenger of Allah – named me on that day “al-Farooq” because Islam had been shown openly and a separation made between the truth and falsehood.”

Hadeeth Checking

Shaykh Alee Ridhaa said, “This narration is not authentic, with the Praise of Allaah -Ta’aala-, rather it is very weak.” Shaykh Albaanee said: 6531:Munkar (rejected).

Second Chain Of Narration

Aboo Nu’aym reported it in his Hilya 1/40 from the way of : (the chain) Ishaaq bin Abdullaah from Abaan bin Saaleh from Mujaahid from Ibn Abbaas who said:

Hadeeth

I asked Umar about how he became known as “Al-Faarooq”, he said, “Hamzah became Muslim three days before me, then Allaah opened by heart to Islam, so I said laa illaaha illaa huw, lahul Asmaa’ al-Husnaa (There is nothing worthy of worship except He, to Him belong the most beautiful Names). There is no person on Earth more beloved to me than the Messenger of Allah I said, “Where is the Messenger of Allah?” My sister said, “He is in the house of Al-Arqam bin Al-Arqam in Safaa.” So I arrived at the house and Hamzah was in the sitting with his companions in the house and the Messenger of was in the house. So I knocked on the door. The people gathered and Hamzah said to them, “What is wrong with you.” They said, “‘Umar.” So the Messenger of Allah came out. He grabbed a part of his (Umar’s) clothes and pulled him to his knees and said “What is it you want ‘Umar?” I said, “I Testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, and I Testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.” So the people in the house make Takbeer so loud that the people in the Masjid could hear it. I said, “Messenger of Allah, are we not upon the truth?” He said, “Of course.” I said, “Why do we conceal it?” We went out in two ranks (lines), in one of which I was and in the other Hamzah, until we entered the mosque, and Quraysh looked at me and at Hamzah. There came upon them gloom and depression the like of which had never before come upon them. The Messenger of Allah named me on that day ‘al-Farooq’ because, Islam had been shown openly and a separation made between the truth and falsehood.’

Hadeeth Checking

Shaykh Alee Ridhaa said, “This chain of narration is very weak, Ishaaq bin Abdullaah is Ibn Abee Farwah.” Bukhari said: “Abandon him (Ishaaq bin Abdullaah).” Ahmad bin Hanbal said: “His (Ishaaq bin Abdullaah) narrations are not permitted with me and some of them (sholars of hadeeth) considered him a liar.”

Third Chain Of Narration

Then Aboo Nu’aym and Al-Bazzaar (3/169-171) reported from the way of: (the chain) Ishaaq bin Ibraaheem Al-Hunaynee: Usaamah bin Zayd bin Aslam narrated to us from his father from his grandfather who said:

Hadeeth

Umar said to us: Do you like me to let you know about my acceptance of Islam? We said, yes. He said… and he mentioned the long story of his Islam and it did not have the reason for being known as “Al-Faarooq”, nor mention of the two ranks (lines of protest the prophet, him and the other sahaba formed and marched to Masjid al-Haraam in). And Aboo Nu’aym summarized the narration of his Islam with his sister and her husband.

Hadeeth Checking

Al-Bazzaar said, “We do not know any narration with this chain except from Al-Hunaynee, and we do not know about the Islam of Umar anything better than this chain…” Bukhari said: “In his hadeeth there are issues.” Shaykh Alee Ridhaa said, “He is like Ibn Abee Farwah or close to him.” An-Nasaa’ee said: He’s not reliable (Ibn Abee Farwah). Ibn Adee said: “Weak (Ibn Abee Farwah), and with his weakness his hadeeth are written.”

Shaykh Alee Ridhaa said, “Abdullaah bin Ahmad (the son of Imam Ahmed) reported it in his Fadhaa’il as-Sahaba (1/285-288) and he mentioned the Islam of Umar with many narrations and none of them are authentic.”

A Summary Of The Most Authentic Chain Of Narration

Shaykh Alee Ridhaa said, “The best chain in summary is what Ahmad reported (1/17) and from his way by Ibn Al-Atheer in his Asad Al Ghaaba (3/644) by way of Shurayh bin Ubayd – and he mentioned the narration- and the men of this chain are reliable, so it’s chain is authentic, although Shurayh bin Ubayd did not meet Umar bin al-Khattaab (the reporters of this hadeeth are reliable however the chain of narration is munqati (broken) as one of the reporters (Shurayh bin Ubayd) is known to have never heard the hadeeth from his immediate authority (Umar bin al-Khattaab), all munqati hadeeth are weak as they are not muttasil (a continuous connected chain of narration with no breaks in it) and (it is narrated) like that in Al Mujama’ 9/65, and at-Tabaraanee in Al Awsat…”

Conclusion

(My – Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie’s words) None of the narrations of  this hadeeth mentioning the marching in two ranks (lines) of the sahaba are authentic rather all of them are weak. As these narrations are weak they can not be used to explain a fiqh ruling on whether protest and demonstration are halal or haram.

Imam Nawawi said in the Adhkar’:  “As for legal (fiqh) rulings such as what is permitted (halaal) and what is forbidden (haraam), or the modalities of trade, marriage, divorce and other than that: one’s practice is not based upon anything other than authentic (saheeh) or good (hasan) hadeeth…”

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 1/250: “It is not permissible in Islam to rely on weak ahaadeeth that are neither saheeh nor hasan………… None of the imams (scholars of iqh or hadeeth) said that it is permissible to regard something as obligatory or mustahabb (recommended) on the basis of a weak hadeeth; whoever says that is going against scholarly consensus (ijma)…”

(My – Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie’s words) Some scholars allowed the use of weak hadeeth but only for encouraging good deeds or forbidding haraam actions (targheeb wa al-tarheeb) and for (fadail amal) good deeds and character and even when these scholars use these hadeeth there are strict conditions that they adhere to.

Ibn Hajar al-Askalani gives the conditions which all the scholars who allow weak hadeeth to be used give.

  1. It should not be very weak, and one should not act upon a hadeeth which was narrated only by one of the liars or those who are accused of lying, or whose mistakes are serious. 
  2. It should mention a good deed for which there is a basis in the Shareah. 
  3. When acting upon it one should not believe that the action is well-founded, rather he should do it on the basis of erring on the side of caution. 

(My – Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie’s words) From what Ibn Hajar al-Askalani has said it is clear that even the scholars who accepted weak hadeeth in relation to encouraging good deeds or forbidding haraam actions (targheeb wa al-tarheeb) and for (fadail amal) good deeds and character do not accept very weak or fabricated hadeeth like these narrations supporting protesting.

Ref: Compiled from various sources by ASWJ Group

Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie

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About Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie

I am a revert trying to spread the sunnah inshallah.
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