Why ‘Uthman selected Zayd ibn Thaabit over ibn Mas’ood

When the third Rightly-Guided Khaleefah ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affaan commissioned the writing of the official mushafs in the dialect of the Quraysh for the entire Ummah, he selected a group of people to carry out this task with Zayd ibn Thaabit at their head. There are a number of reports indicating that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood was displeased with this choice. Some orientalists and missionaries use these reports to their attempts to impugn the reliability and preservation of the Qur’an. What follows are the words of two great scholars clearly addressing the nature of ibn Mas’ood’s concerns and the reasons for ‘Uthman’s decision.

The famous muhaddith, historian, and expert in qiraa’aat Imam Shams al-Deen al-Dhahabi mentioned some of these reports and then commented by explaining:

قلت : إنما شق على ابن مسعود ، لكون عثمان ما قدمه على كتابة المصحف ، وقدم في ذلك من يصلح أن يكون ولده ، وإنما عدل عنه عثمان لغيبته عنه بالكوفة ، ولأن زيدا كان يكتب الوحي لرسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – فهو إمام في الرسم ، وابن مسعود فإمام في الأداء ، ثم إن زيدا هو الذي ندبه الصديق لكتابة المصحف وجمع القرآن ، فهلا عتب على أبي بكر ؟ وقد ورد أن ابن مسعود رضي وتابع عثمان ولله الحمد . ـ

I say: The only reason why this upset ibn Mas’ood was because ‘Uthman had given precedence to someone other than him to write the official mushaf. Moreover, he had given that honor to someone who could have been his own son. But the only reasons why ‘Uthman didn’t select ibn Mas’ood was because he was far away in al-Kufah, and because Zayd used to write the revelation for Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). So Zayd was an expert in writing, while ibn Mas’ood was an expert in reciting.  Continue reading

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The Collection of Abu Bakr and the Mushaf of ‘Uthman: ibn Hajr

In part of a longer hadith about the compilation of the Qur’an during the time of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Anas ibn Maalik said:

فَأَرْسَلَ عُثْمَانُ إِلَى حَفْصَةَ أَنْ أَرْسِلِي إِلَيْنَا بِالصُّحُفِ نَنْسَخُهَا فِي الْمَصَاحِفِ ثُمَّ نَرُدُّهَا إِلَيْكِ فَأَرْسَلَتْ بِهَا حَفْصَةُ إِلَى عُثْمَانَ

… ‘Uthman sent a message to Hafsah saying, “Send me the suhuf so that we can copy them over to mushafs, and then we will return them to you.” So Hafsah sent them to ‘Uthman. …

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #4987]

In part of his famous explanation of Saheeh al-Bukharial-haafidh ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani mentioned the following points about certain differences between the suhuf [loose sheets] of Abu Bakr and the mushaf of ‘Uthman:

الفرق بين الصحف والمصحف أن الصحف الأوراق المجردة التي جمع فيها القرآن في عهد أبي بكر ، وكانت سور مفرقة كل سورة مرتبة بآياتها على حدة لكن لم يرتب بعضها إثر بعض ، فلما نسخت ورتب بعضها إثر بعض صارت مصحفا

The difference between the suhuf [of Abu Bakr] and the mushaf [of ‘Uthman] is that the suhuf were just sheets of paper on which the Qur’an had been compiled during the time of Abu Bakr. Each of the surahs was on its own sheet or sheets of paper with its ayaat arranged in order, but without the surahs picking up one right after the other on the same page. But then when the surahs were copied over and written to follow immediately one after the other, then it became a mushaf.

[Fath al-Bari #4702]

Ibn Hajr goes on to also explain another distinction between the compilation of Abu Bakr and that of ‘Uthman in a later part of the same explanation: Continue reading

The supplication is granted so long as one does not show impatience: Ibn Hajr

In Saheeh al-Bukhari, it narrated that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

يُسْتَجَابُ لأَحَدِكُمْ مَا لَمْ يَعْجَلْ يَقُولُ دَعَوْتُ فَلَمْ يُسْتَجَبْ لِي

The supplication of anyone of you is granted if he does not show impatience by saying, “I supplicated but my request has not been granted.”

[al-Bukhari #6340]

Commenting on this in his explanation of Saheeh al-Bukhari, Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani wrote:

قوله : يستجاب لأحدكم ما لم يعجل أي يجاب دعاؤه وقد تقدم بيان ذلك في التفسير في قوله – تعالى – الذين استجابوا لله . ـ

His statement, “The supplication of anyone of you is granted if he does not show impatience” – meaning his supplication is answered, and the explanation of that has already come in the tafsir of Allah’s statement, “Those [believers] who responded to Allah” [3:172].

قوله : يقول دعوت فلم يستجب لي في رواية غير أبي ذر ” فيقول ” بزيادة فاء واللام منصوبة قال ابن بطال : المعنى أنه يسأم فيترك الدعاء فيكون كالمان بدعائه أو أنه أتى من الدعاء ما يستحق به الإجابة فيصير كالمبخل للرب الكريم الذي لا تعجزه الإجابة ولا ينقصه العطاء

His statement, “by saying ‘I supplicated but my request has not been granted’“. … And ibn Battaal said: the meaning is that he became tired and so he abandoned supplicating as if he were expending himself by making his supplication, or he (only) brings supplications which are guaranteed a response so then he becomes like a penny-pincher with His Lord, the Generous One, Who does not show impatience in responding nor does He decrease what He gives.

وقد وقع في رواية أبي إدريس الخولاني عن أبي هريرة عند مسلم والترمذي لا يزال يستجاب للعبد ما لم يدع بإثم أو قطيعة رحم وما لم يستعجل . قيل وما الاستعجال ؟ قال يقول قد دعوت وقد دعوت فلم أر يستجاب لي فيستحسر عند ذلك ويدع الدعاء ومعنى قوله يستحسر وهو بمهملات ينقطع

And it has come in the narration of Abu Idrees al-Khawlaani from Abu Hurayrah in Muslim and al-Tirmidhi:

“The supplication of the servant is granted so long as he does not supplicate for sin or for severing the ties of kinship, or he does not become impatient.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah, what does ‘so long as he does not grow impatient’ mean?” He said, “That he should say, ‘I supplicated and I supplicated but I did not see a response,’ and then he becomes frustrated and abandons supplication.

وفي هذا الحديث أدب من آداب الدعاء وهو أنه يلازم الطلب ولا ييأس من الإجابة لما في ذلك من الانقياد والاستسلام وإظهار الافتقار حتى قال بعض السلف : لأنا أشد خشية أن أحرم الدعاء من أن أحرم الإجابة وكأنه أشار إلى حديث ابن عمر رفعه من فتح له منكم باب الدعاء فتحت له أبواب الرحمة الحديث أخرجه الترمذي بسند لين وصححه الحاكم فوهم قال الداودي : يخشى على من خالف وقال : قد دعوت فلم يستجب لي أن يحرم الإجابة وما قام مقامها من الادخار والتكفير انتهى

And this hadeeth contains one of the etiquettes of supplication, which is that one should persist in seeking and should not despair of a response, for in that there is compliance and submission and demonstrating one’s neediness to the extent that some of the salaf said, “Indeed I am more fearful that I might be deprived of supplication than that I might be deprived of responses to supplication.” And it is as if this is referring to the hadeeth of ibn ‘Umar from the Prophet:

For whomsoever of you the door of supplication is opened, the doors of mercy have been opened for him.

The hadeeth is reported by al-Tirmidhi with a good chain of narration which al-Haakim graded as saheeh. And al-Daawoodi mused, “It is feared for the one goes against this and says, ‘I have supplicated but my request has not been granted’ – it is feared that he will be deprived of a response as well as what goes in its place such as storing-up [good for the hereafter] or expiation of sins.” End quote.

وقد قدمت في أول كتاب الدعاء الأحاديث الدالة على أن دعوة المؤمن لا ترد وأنها إما أن تعجل له الإجابة وإما أن تدفع عنه من السوء مثلها وإما أن يدخر له في الآخرة خير مما سأل

And multiple ahaadeeth have already come in the beginning of the chapter of supplication demonstrating that the supplication of the believer is not rejected, and that it is either that the response is delayed for him, or that it repels some evil the like thereof from him, or something better than what he asked for is stored up for him in the hereafter.

فأشار الداودي إلى ذلك وإلى ذلك أشار ابن الجوزي بقوله اعلم أن دعاء المؤمن لا يرد غير أنه قد يكون الأولى له تأخير الإجابة أو يعوض بما هو أولى له عاجلا أو آجلا فينبغي للمؤمن أن لا يترك الطلب من ربه فإنه متعبد بالدعاء كما هو متعبد بالتسليم والتفويض

And al-Daawoodi indicated that, as did ibn al-Jawzi by his statement, “Know that the supplication of the believer is not rejected – either it is better for him to delay the response, or he will be compensated with that which is better for him, whether in this life or the next. So it is becoming of the believer that he should not abandon seeking of his Lord, for verily he is engaging in worship by means of supplication just as he is engaged in worship by means of submission and entrusting his affair to Allah.

ومن جملة آداب الدعاء تحري الأوقات الفاضلة كالسجود وعند الأذان ومنها تقديم الوضوء ، والصلاة واستقبال القبلة ورفع اليدين وتقديم التوبة والاعتراف بالذنب ، والإخلاص وافتتاحه بالحمد والثناء والصلاة على النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – والسؤال بالأسماء الحسنى وأدلة ذلك ذكرت في هذا الكتاب

And from the overall etiquettes of supplication is:

-To seek out the preferred times, such as during al-sujood or at the time of the adhaan.

-And from the etiquettes is preceding it with wudhoo’,

-and during al-salaah

-and while facing the qiblah

-and while raising one’s hands

-and preceding it with al-tawbah and recognition of one’s sins

-and having ikhlaas

-and opening with praise and extolling [of Allah] and sending salaah on the Prophet (ﷺ)

-and asking by the beautiful names of Allah

And the evidence for these things in mentioned [elsewhere] is this book.

وقال الكرماني ما ملخصه الذي يتصور في الإجابة وعدمها أربع صور الأولى عدم العجلة وعدم القول المذكور الثانية وجودهما الثالثة والرابعة عدم أحدهما ووجود الآخر فدل الخبر على أن الإجابة تختص بالصورة الأولى دون ثلاث قال ودل الحديث على أن مطلق قوله – تعالى – أجيب دعوة الداع إذا دعان مقيد بما دل عليه الحديث . ـ

And al-Kermani presented four cases related to the acceptance or rejection of supplication that I will summarize:

1) The absence of impatience and the absence of the aforementioned statement.

2) [Conversely] the presence of these two things.

3) and 4) the presence of one of these two things and the absence of the other.

So this narration demonstrates that a response is specific to the first case to the exclusion of the other three.

response to supplications - al-kermani

And he also said, “This hadeeth demonstrates that the general nature of Allah’s statement, “I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me” [2:186] is restricted by what this hadeeth indicates.

قلت وقد أول الحديث المشار إليه قبل على أن المراد بالإجابة ما هو أعم من تحصيل المطلوب بعينه أو ما يقوم مقامه ويزيد عليه والله أعلم

I [ibn Hajr] say, “And the initial hadeeth mentioned refers to the fact that the intended meaning of a response [to supplication] is more general than just attaining what is sought in and of itself or what takes it place, and it is more than that – and Allah knows best.”

[Fath al-Baari #9479]

See also: Avoid the sins which prevent forgiveness and the acceptance of du’a: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: “Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.”: Imam al-Qurtubi’s tafsir of 7:55

See also: Words for those in the midst of long-suffering: Ibn al-Jawzi

See also: “When My slaves ask you about Me, Indeed I am near”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Allah’s Name al-Mujeeb al-Qareeb – Sheikh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq

The sad story of ‘Imran ibn Hittaan

There was an interesting individual from the time of the Tabi’een, whose name was ‘Imran ibn Ḥiṭṭān. Both Imam al-Dhahabi and Imam Ibn Kathir mentioned his biography in their historical works.

Ibn Kathir, in his massive work of history, al-Bidayah w’al-Nihayah, summarized ibn Ḥiṭṭān’s biography by writing:

عمران بن حطان الخارجي، كان أولا من أهل السنة والجماعة فتزوج امرأة من الخوارج حسنة جميلة جدا فأحبها. وكان هو دميم الشكل، فأراد أن يردها إلى السنة فأبت فارتد معها إلى مذهبها

“‘Imran ibn Ḥiṭṭān al-Khaarijee. He was originally among Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, but then he married a woman from the Khawaarij who was extremely beautiful, so he loved her. And he himself was ugly and misshapen. So he intended to return her to the sunnah, but she adamantly refused, so he apostatized with her to her way (i.e. became a Khaarijee after have been a scholar of Ahl al-Sunnah!).”

[al-Bidayah w’al-Nihayah 9/64]

Imam al-Dhahabi wrote about him saying: Continue reading

“And whoever places their reliance upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him”: Ibn Hajr

In his Saheeh, in the book of heart-softening narrations [baab al-Riqaaq], Imam al-Bukhari entitled one of his chapters:

باب ومن يتوكل على الله فهو حسبه قال الربيع بن خثيم من كل ما ضاق على الناس

The chapter of ‘And whoever places their tawakkal upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him.’ And al-Rabee’ ibn Khuthaim said, ‘[He is sufficient for him] concerning everything which constricts a man.’

This chapter was comprised of the single hadeeth in which ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ هُمْ الَّذِينَ لَا يَسْتَرْقُونَ وَلَا يَتَطَيَّرُونَ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Seventy thousand people from my ummah will enter into al-Jannah without question, and they are those who do not practice al-ruqya, nor do they consult omens and they place their tawakkal upon Allah [alone].

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #6107]

Commenting on this, ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani writes:

قوله باب ومن يتوكل على الله فهو حسبه استعمل لفظ الآية ترجمة لتضمنها الترغيب في التوكل وكأنه أشار إلى تقييد ما أطلق في حديث الباب قبله وأن كلا من الاستغناء والتصبر والتعفف إذا كان مقرونا بالتوكل على الله فهو الذي ينفع وينجع

His statement, “The chapter of ‘And whoever places their tawakkal upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him.’” – he is using the wording of the ayah [65:3] because it contains an exhortation for al-tawakkal. And it is as if he is indicating a specification of what he had generalized in the hadeeth of the previous chapter*, and that being independent/content from asking for the help of others, and sabr and abstaining are all connected to placing one’s al-tawakkal on Allah, for He is the one who benefits you and has a real effect [on your well-being].

Continue reading

The prohibition of imitating the opposite gender: Imam al-Mubaarakfoori

Ibn ‘Abbaas reports that:

لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمُتَشَبِّهَاتِ بِالرِّجَالِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْمُتَشَبِّهِينَ بِالنِّسَاءِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ

The Messenger of (ﷺ) cursed the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women.

[al-Tirmidhi #2784, saheeh]

Imam al-Mubaarakfoori, in his explanation of Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, wrote about this hadeeth:

قوله : ( لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المتشبهات بالرجال من النساء والمتشبهين بالنساء من الرجال )  قال الطبري : المعنى لا يجوز للرجال التشبه بالنساء في اللباس والزينة التي تختص بالنساء ولا العكس .  .

Concerning his statement, “The Messenger of (ﷺ) cursed the cursed the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women“, al-Tabari said: The meaning is that it is not permissible for the man to imitate the woman in clothing or adornment (i.e. make-up, jewelry, etc) which are specific to women, nor vice-versa.

قال الحافظ : وكذا في الكلام والمشي ، فأما هيئة اللباس فتختلف باختلاف عادة كل بلد فرب قوم لا يفترق زي نسائهم من رجالهم في اللبس ، لكن يمتاز النساء بالاحتجاب والاستتار ، وأما ذم التشبه بالكلام والمشي فمختص بمن تعمد ذلك ، وأما من كان ذلك من أصل خلقته فإنما يؤمر بتكلف تركه والإدمان على ذلك بالتدريج ، فإن لم يفعل وتمادى دخله الذم ، ولا سيما إن بدا منه ما يدل على الرضا به ، وأخذ هذا واضح من لفظ المتشبهين ، وأما إطلاق من أطلق كالنووي أن المخنث الخلقي لا يتجه عليه اللوم ، فمحمول على ما إذا لم يقدر على ترك التثني والتكسر في المشي والكلام بعد تعاطيه المعالجة لترك ذلك ، وإلا متى كان ترك ذلك ممكنا ولو بالتدريج . فتركه بغير عذر لحقه اللوم

And al-Haafidh [ibn Hajr] said: And likewise concerning their speech and gait (i.e. how they walk). And as for the clothing, then it differs depending on the customs of each country, so perhaps there are a people who do not differ in the dress of their women from their men. However, the women are characterized by veiling and covering. But as for the condemnation of imitating them in speech and gait, then that is specific for the one who does that intentionally. But as for the one from whom those external traits come naturally, then he is commanded to constrain that and abandon it and (to abandon) his addictions to that gradually. But if he does not do that and (instead) continues, then he enters into blame, especially if it appeared that he was content/enjoying that, and in this he is clearly taking up the word ‘imitate’.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi #2784]

“The people will remain on good as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast” : Fath al-Bari

Sahl ibn Sa’d narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

لاَ يَزَالُ النَّاسُ بِخَيْرٍ مَا عَجَّلُوا الْفِطْرَ

The people will remain on good as long as they hasten the breaking of the fast.

[al-Bukhari #1957]

Ibn Hajr, in his commentary on Saheeh al-Bukhari, wrote the following comments on this hadeeth:

قوله : ( باب تعجيل الإفطار ) قال ابن عبد البر : أحاديث تعجيل الإفطار وتأخير السحور صحاح متواترة . وعند عبد الرزاق وغيره بإسناد صحيح عن عمرو بن ميمون الأودي قال : ” كان أصحاب محمد – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أسرع الناس ، إفطارا وأبطأهم سحورا ” .

His [i.e. Imam al-Bukhari’s] statement, “The chapter of hastening the breaking of the fast” – ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: The ahaadeeth of hastening the breaking of the fasting and postponing the suhoor are authentic and mutawaatir. And reported from ‘Abd al-Razzaaq and others with an authentic chain of narration from ‘Amr ibn Maymoon al-Awdi, “The companions of Muhammad (ﷺ) were the quickest of people in breaking the fast, and the slowest of people on taking the suhoor.”

قوله : ( عن أبي حازم ) هو ابن دينار .

And his statement, “narrated from Abi Haazim” – that is ibn Deenaar.

قوله : ( لا يزال الناس بخير ) في حديث أبي هريرة : ” لا يزال الدين ظاهرا ” وظهور الدين مستلزم لدوام الخير .

And his [i.e. the Prophet’s (ﷺ)] statement, “The people will remain on good” – in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah, it says, “The deen will continue to prevail” and the prevailing of the deen is a prerequisite for the continuance of good. Continue reading

A note on differing with the Kuffaar: Ibn Hajar

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that:

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يَسْدِلُ شَعْرَهُ، وَكَانَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ يَفْرُقُونَ رُءُوسَهُمْ، وَكَانَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ يَسْدِلُونَ رُءُوسَهُمْ، وَكَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُحِبُّ مُوَافَقَةَ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ فِيمَا لَمْ يُؤْمَرْ فِيهِ بِشَىْءٍ، ثُمَّ فَرَقَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَأْسَهُ‏

The Prophet (ﷺ) used to let his hair fall naturally, and the mushrikoon used to part their hair, and the Ahl al-Kitaab used to let their hair fall naturally, and the Prophet (ﷺ) liked to follow the Ahl al-Kitaab in matters for which he had not been given any instruction, but later on the Prophet (ﷺ) started parting his hair.

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #3944]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar briefly commented on this hadeeth by saying:

قوله : ( ثم فرق النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – رأسه ) بفتح الفاء والراء الخفيفة ، وقد سبق شرحه في صفة النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – ، وفيه دليل على أنه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – كان يوافق أهل الكتاب إذا خالفوا عبدة الأوثان أخذا بأخف الأمرين ، فلما فتحت مكة ودخل عباد الأوثان في الإسلام رجع إلى مخالفة باقي الكفار وهم أهل الكتاب .

His statement, “but later on the Prophet (ﷺ) started parting his hair” – its explanation has already preceded in [the chapter on] the attributes of the Prophet (ﷺ). And in this is a proof  that he (ﷺ) used to agree with the the Ahl al-Kitaab when differing with the idol worshippers was the easier of the two matters. But then with the opening of Mecca and the entrance of the idol-worshippers into Islam, he returned to differing with the remaining kuffaar, who were the Ahl al-Kitaab.

[Fath al-Bari #3728]

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).

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The original Ash’aris

Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said,

إن الأشعريين إذا أرملوا في الغزو أو قل طعام عيالهم بالمدينة جمعوا ما كان عندهم في ثوب واحد ثم اقتسموه بينهم في إناء واحد بالسوية فهم مني وأنا منهم

“When the Ash’ariyoon [a tribe from Yemen] run short of food during an expedition or when they are at home in Al-Madinah, they gather all the provisions they have in a single sheet and then divide it equally among themselves. They are of me and I am of them.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, writes about this hadith:

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( إن الأشعريين إذا أرملوا في الغزو إلى آخره ) معنى ( أرملوا ) فني طعامهم . وفي هذا الحديث فضيلة الأشعريين ، وفضيلة الإيثار والمواساة ، وفضيلة خلط الأزواد في السفر ، وفضيلة جمعها في شيء عند قلتها في الحضر ، ثم يقسم ، وليس المراد بهذا القسمة المعروفة في كتب الفقه بشروطها ، ومنعها في الربويات ، واشتراط المواساة وغيرها ، وإنما المراد هنا إباحة بعضهم بعضا ومواساتهم بالموجود .

His statement, “When the Ash’ariyoon run short of food during an expedition…“; the meaning of “run short” is that their food supply dwindles. And this hadith includes the excellence of the Ash’ariyoon, and the excellence of the altruism and sympathetic charity, and the virtue of mixing the provision during travel, and the virtue of gathering them in something when they are small in number, then dividing them (equally). And the well-known division found in the books of fiqh involving contractual agreements is not the intended meaning here, and preventing it from becoming usurious, whether based on altruistic charity or otherwise. And the only meaning here is the permissibility of some (giving) to others in altruistic charity. Continue reading