Is the pious man’s punishment for not calling others a hadith? The Tablighi Jamaat mention a pious man was punished first for not calling people to Islam – is this a strong hadith?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah Most Merciful Most Kind

Short Answer

The pious man’s punishment for not calling others to Islam is a Hadith mentioned in Tabarani. However, it is very weak. Therefore, such a Hadith cannot be attributed to the blessed Prophet ﷺ.

Furthermore, there is a difference between a weak Hadith and a very weak Hadith. A weak Hadith can be narrated as long as one clarifies weakness. A very weak Hadith, however, is rejected and so cannot be ascribed to the Prophet ﷺ.

عُبَيْدُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ الْعَطَّارُ، ثَنَا عَمَّارُ بْنُ سَيْفٍ، عَنِ الْأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ، عَنْ جَابِرٍ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: أَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَى مَلَكٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ أَنِ اقْلِبْ مَدِينَةَ كَذَا وَكَذَا عَلَى أَهْلِهَا قَالَ: إِنَّ فِيهِ عَبْدَكَ فُلَانًا لَمْ يَعْصِكَ طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ قَالَ: اقْلِبْهَا عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَيْهِمْ، فَإِنَّ وَجْهَهُ لَمْ يَتَمَعَّرَ لِي سَاعَةً قَطُّ. لَمْ يَرْوِ هَذَا الْحَدِيثَ عَنِ الْأَعْمَشِ إِلَّا عَمَّارُ بْنُ سَيْفٍ، تَفَرَّدَ بِهِ: عُبَيْدُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ الْعَطَّارُ

Ubaid bin Ishaq al-Attar said I was informed by Ammar bin Saif, from al-Amash, from Abi Sufyan, from Jabir who narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: Allah (Most High) revealed to an angel amongst the angels, ‘Turn such-and-such a city upside down upon its people.’ He said: In it is your servant so-and-so who has not disobeyed You for the blink of an eye. He said: ‘Turn it upside down upon him and them. His face was not angered for me even for a moment.’ No one narrated this Hadith from al-Amash except Ammar bin Saif. The only one who narrated it was Ubaid bin Ishaq Al-Attar. (Tabaraani al-Awsat, 7661).

Not a Hadith

The narration above has Ubayd bin Ishaq in the chain of narrators. According to Imam al-Tabarani, this narrator is in all of the chains. However, this is a problem because he is a rejected narrator. As such, since he is in all of the chains, they will all be considered rejected narrations.

عبيد بن إسحاق متروك الحديث. (الإصابة في تمييز الصحابة)

Ubayd bin Ishaq is rejected as a narrator. (Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani, al-Isabah).

وقال البخاري: عنده مناكير. وقال الأزدي: متروك الحديث. وقال الدارقطني: ضعيف. وأما أبو حاتم فرضيه. وقال ابن عدي: عامة حديثه منكر. (ميزان الاعتدال في نقد الرجال)

(Imam) al-Bukhari said: He narrates Munkar narrations. Al-Azdi said: His Hadith are Munkar. Al-Darqutni said: He is weak. As for Abu Hatim, he accepted him. Ibn Adi said: The majority of his narrations are Munkar. (Imam Shams al-Deen al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-Itidal).

As seen in the Nusoos above, Ubayd bin Ishaq is a Munkar or Matrook narrator. This means that his narrations are rejected. They are not merely weak, rather they are very weak. Therefore, it is not permitted to attribute his narrations to the blessed Prophet ﷺ.

It is sound as a statement of Malik bin Dinar
أخرجه الطَّبَرَانِيّ فِي الْأَوْسَط وَالْبَيْهَقِيّ فِي الشّعب وَضَعفه وَقَالَ الْمَحْفُوظ من قَول مَالك بن دِينَار. (المغني عن حمل الأسفار في الأسفار)

It was narrated by al-Tabarani in al-Awsat and al-Bayhaqi in al-Shu’ab. However, he declared it weak. The sound (al-Mahfudh) position asserts that it is the statement of Malik bin Dinar. (Imam Zayn al-Deen al-Iraqi, Takhreej Ihya).

Although the above narration is not a Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ. Imam al-Iraqi did consider it to be a statement of Malik bin Dinar. Therefore, whilst the the pious man’s punishment for not calling others to Islam is not a hadith, it can be attributed to Malik bin Dinar.

This distinction is crucial. This is because the rank of the Prophet ﷺ is such that no other person’s speech can be mixed up with his speech. Additionally, it is a serious matter to conflate the words of other people with the words of the Prophet ﷺ. Consequently, every Muslim should be able to appreciate the seriousness of this issue.

Caution with Hadith

Lastly, it is important to identify groups or scholars that are cautious when narrating Hadith and those that are not. When a person establishes a concern for Hadith authenticity, he will quickly recognise groups and scholars who are diligent regarding Hadith authenticity and those who are not. This is a sad state of affairs since every Muslim scholar and group should take great caution when attributing speech or actions to our beloved Prophet ﷺ.

Unfortunately, the Tablighi Jamat is a group that is known to be inattentive when it comes to Hadith authenticity. This is clear to people who know the group and also pay attention to Hadith authenticity. However, this is not to undermine the group and the Dawah work they engage in. Furthermore, this group are certainly not unique in their lack of focus upon Hadith authenticity. However, they must work to rectify this shortcoming.

Likewise, there are many other groups and scholars who are also inattentive regarding Hadith authenticity. As a result, many of them are completely reckless and spread false teachings to justify their weakness when it comes to Hadith authenticity. However, that is a very dangerous situation and the Muslim must remain cautious regarding such misguidance.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (22.02.24)