The virtues of Usaamah ibn Zayd: Fath al-Bari

In his Saheeh, Imam al-Bukhari includes a section in his Book of the Sahabah entitled ‘Mention of Usaamah ibn Zayd’: The following is one of 4 ahaadeeth included therein.

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها أَنَّ امْرَأَةً مِنْ بَنِي مَخْزُومٍ سَرَقَتْ، فَقَالُوا مَنْ يُكَلِّمُ فِيهَا النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَلَمْ يَجْتَرِئْ أَحَدٌ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَهُ، فَكَلَّمَهُ أُسَامَةُ بْنُ زَيْدٍ، فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ كَانَ إِذَا سَرَقَ فِيهِمُ الشَّرِيفُ تَرَكُوهُ، وَإِذَا سَرَقَ الضَّعِيفُ قَطَعُوهُ، لَوْ كَانَتْ فَاطِمَةُ لَقَطَعْتُ يَدَهَا ‏”

‘Aa’ishah said, “A woman from Bani Makhzumiya committed a theft and the people said, ‘Who can intercede with the Prophet (ﷺ) for her?’ So nobody dared speak to him (i.e. the Prophet) but Usama bin Zaid spoke to him. The Prophet said, ‘If a reputable man amongst the children of Bani Israa’eel committed a theft, they used to forgive him, but if a poor man committed a theft, they would cut his hand. But I would cut even the hand of Fatimah (i.e. the daughter of the Prophet) if she committed a theft.”

[al-Bukhari #3733]

In his expansive commentary of Saheeh al-Bukhari, Imam ibn Hajar writes the following concerning this hadeeth:

قوله : ( ذكر أسامة بن زيد ) ذكر فيه حديث المخزومية التي سرقت ، وسيأتي شرحه مستوفى في الحدود ، والغرض منه قوله في بعض طرقه : ” ومن يجترئ أن يكلمه إلا أسامة بن زيد حب رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – “

His [i.e. imam al-Bukhari’s] statement, “Mention of Usaamah ibn Zayd”, he mentions herein the hadeeth of the women from Bani Makhzumiya who committed theft – and its explanation will come in the chapter on the hudood punishments – and the purpose of including it here is its statement in one of the routes that “Nobody dare speak to him (i.e. the Prophet (ﷺ) ) except Usaamah bin Zaid, for he is the most beloved to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).

وكانوا يسمون أسامة حب رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – بكسر المهملة أي محبوبه لما يعرفون من منزلته عنده ؛ لأنه كان يحب أباه قبله حتى تبناه فكان يقال له : زيد ابن محمد ، وأمه أم أيمن حاضنة رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم . وكان رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – يقول : هي أمي بعد أمي وكان يجلسه على فخذه بعد أن كبر كما سيأتي في مناقب الحسن عن قريب

And Usaamah was called the Hibb of the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) – meaning his beloved and they [i.e. the sahaabah who made the previous statement] recognized the status that he had with him (ﷺ). For the Prophet loved Usaamah’s father before him, to the extent that he adopted him and he became known as ‘Zayd ibn Muhammad’ [rather than his true lineage of Zayd ibn Haarithah]. And his mother was Umm Ayman, the nurse-maid of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). And the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said (about her), “she is my mother after my mother.’ And he was seated on the thigh of the Prophet after he had grown, just as is mentioned in the up-coming hadeeth about the virtues of al-Hasan.

[Fath al-Bari #3526]

Imam al-Bukhari went on to included the following hadeeth in the same chapter:

أخبرنا عبد الله بن دينار قال نظر ابن عمر يوما وهو في المسجد إلى رجل يسحب ثيابه في ناحية من المسجد فقال انظر من هذا ليت هذا عندي قال له إنسان أما تعرف هذا يا أبا عبد الرحمن هذا محمد بن أسامة قال فطأطأ ابن عمر رأسه ونقر بيديه في الأرض ثم قال لو رآه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لأحبه

One day Ibn `Umar, while he was in the Masjid, looked at a man who was dragging his clothes while walking in one of the corners of the masjid. He said, “See who that is. I wish he was with me.” Somebody then said (to Ibn `Umar), “Don’t you recognize him, O Abu `Abdur-Rahman? He is Muhammad bin Usaamah.” On that Ibn `Umar bowed his head and dug the earth with his hands and then, said, “If Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saw him, he would have loved him.”

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #3734]

Ibn Hajar provides the following commentary:

قوله : ( ليت هذا عندي ) أي قريبا مني حتى أنصحه وأعظه ، وقد روي بالباء الموحدة من العبودية ، وكأنه على ما قيل كان أسود اللون .

His statement, “I wish he was with me” – meaning close to me so that I could give him naseehah and maw’ithah (sincere advising and exhortation, respectively). And it has been narrated in another reading that he was from the (descendents) of slaves, and similarly it is said that was was black in color.

قوله : ( قال له إنسان ) لم أقف على اسمه . قوله : ( لو رآه رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لأحبه ) إنما جزم ابن عمر بذلك لما رأى من محبة النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لزيد بن حارثة وأم أيمن وذريتهما فقاس ابن أسامة على ذلك .

His statement, “Somebody then said to him” it does not provide his name. His statement, “If the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saw him, he would have loved him” – Ibn ‘Umar only asserted this because he had seen the love of the Prophet (ﷺ) towards Zayd ibn Haarithah and Umm Ayman and their offspring, so he evaluated the son of Usaamah according to that standard.

[Fath al-Bari #3527]

See also: “Allah commanded me to recite to you”: Sharh al-Nawawi

One thought on “The virtues of Usaamah ibn Zayd: Fath al-Bari

  1. Pingback: “Allah commanded me to recite to you”: Sharh al-Nawawi | Tulayhah

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