Return of the Soul and the issue of Hayaat un-Nabi (peace be upon him)
Muhammad bin Awf narrated from Abdullah bin Yazeed al-Muqri, who narrated from Haywat bin Shurayh, from Abu Sakhr Humayd bin Ziyaad, from Yazeed bin Abdullah bin Qusayt from Sayyidunah Abu Hurayrah (radiallah anhu) from the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) that:
مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ يُسَلِّمُ عَلَيَّ ، إِلَّا رَدَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيَّ رُوحِي حَتَّى أَرُدَّ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامَ
“No one gives greetings of salaam, except that Allah will restore my soul to me, so that I may reply to him with the greeting of salaam.”
[Sunan Abu Dawood: 2043 – Source]
Authenticity of this hadeeth:
Introduction of Narrators:
1- Muhammad bin Awf – Imaam Dhahabi said regarding him that: “He is al-Imaam al-Haafidh al-Mujawwid Muhaddith of Hims”, and then he narrates the praises of scholars regarding him [See: Siyar A’laam al-Nabula: 12/613]. Imaam Abu Haatim said: “He is Sudooq” [al-Jarh: 241]. Imaam Nasaa’ee said: “He is Thiqah” [al-Mu’jam al-Mushtamal: 930]. Imaam Ibn Hibbaan mentioned him in his book of Thiqah narrators and said: “He is Saahib-e-Hadeeth, memorizer” [9/143]. Abu Ali al-Jiyaani said: “He is Thiqah” [Tasmiyah Shuyookh Abi Dawood: 92]. Haafidh Ibn Hajar said: “He is Thiqah Haafidh” [Taqreeb]
2- Abdullah bin Yazeed al-Muqri – Imaam Dhahabi said concerning him that: “He is al-Imaam al-Haafidh al-Aalim al-Muqri al-Muhaddith al-Hujjah Shaikh ul-Haram….” [Siyar: 10/166]. Imaam Abu Haatim said: “He is Sudooq” [al-Jarh wat Ta’deel: 939]. Imaam Ibn Sa’d said: “He is Thiqah Katheer ul-Hadeeth” [Tabaqaat al-Kubra: 5/501]. Imaam Ibn Hibbaan mentioned him in his book of Thiqah narrators. [8/342]. Haafidh Ibn Hajar said: “He is Thiqah” [Taqreeb: 1/330]
3- Haywat bin Shurayh – Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal said: “He is Thiqah Thiqah (twice)” [al-Jarh wat Ta’deel: 1366]. Imaam Yahya ibn Ma’een said: “He is Thiqah” [al-Jarh: 1366]. Imaam Abu Haatim said: “He is Thiqah” [al-Jarh: 1366]. He is also declared Thiqah by Imaam Ibn Sa’d, Imaam al-Ijlee, Imaam Ibn Hibbaan, Ibn Khalfoon, Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar.
4- Abu Sakhar Humayd bin Ziyaad – Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal said: “There is nothing wrong in him” [al-Jarh: 975]. Imaam Yahya ibn Ma’een said: “He is Thiqah there is nothing wrong in him” [Taareekh Ibn Ma’een by Ad-Daarimi: 260]. Imaam Ibn Adee said: “He is Saalih al-Hadeeth” [al-Kaamil: 236]. Imaam Daaraqutni said: “He is Thiqah” [Sawalaat al-Barqaani: 93]. Imaam Dhahabi included him among those narrators who are criticized but they are Thiqah in reality. [Man Takallam feehi Wahuwa Mawthaq by Imaam Dhahabi: 1/73]. Ibn Hajar said: “He is Sudooq Yahhum” [Taqreeb: 1/181]
Imaam Nasaa’ee said: “He is Da’eef” [al-Kaamil: 236]
This Jarh is unacceptable due to two reasons: 1) Imaam Nasaa’ee is known for his strictness, 2) This Jarh is against the Jumhoor.
5- Yazeed bin Abdullah bin Qusayt – Imaam Yahya ibn Ma’een said: “He is Saalih, there is nothing wrong in him” [al-Jarh: 1152]. Imaam Ibn Adee said: “He is Saalih ur-Riwayaat” [al-Kaamil: 245]. Imaam Ibn Hibbaan mentioned him in his book of Thiqah narrators [5/543]. Imaam Ibn Sa’d said: “He is Thiqah Katheer ul-Hadeeth” [Tabaqaat al-Kubra: 9/204]. Imaam Ibn Abdul Barr also declared him Thiqah. Imaam Ibn Hajar said: “He is Thiqah” [Taqreeb: 1/602]. Imaam Dhahabi mentioned him among those who are criticized but they are Thiqah in reality. [Man Takallam feehi wahuwa Mawthaq: 1/200]
The chain of this hadeeth is declared “Saheeh” by Haafidh Nawawi [Khulasat ul-Ahkaam: 1/441], Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [Iqtida as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem: P. 324], Haafidh Ibn al-Qayyim [Jalaa ul-Afhaam: 1/53], Haafidh Ibn al-Mulqan [Tuhfat ul-Muhtaaj: 2/190], and others.
Haafidh Iraaqi [Takhreej Ahadeeth al-Ahya: 1013], Haafidh Ibn Abdul Haadi [al-Saarim al-Munki: 1/114], and others have declared it to be “Jayyid (Strong)”.
Moreover, Haafidh Sakhaawi [al-Maqaasid al-Hasanah: 1/587], Haafidh Ajlooni [Kashf al-Khafa: 2/194] and others have declared the hadeeth to be “Saheeh”.
This hadeeth is Hasan but this chain is Munqati’, because the narrator Yazeed bin Abdullah bin Qusayt, who is Katheer ul-Irsaal, did not hear this hadeeth directly from Abu Hurayrah (radiallah anhu), rather he narrates it from Abu Hurayrah (radiallah anhu) with the reference of another narrator in between, which is present in al-Mu’jam al-Awsat by Tabaraani [3/262 H. 3092 – Source], and its chain is Hasan.
In this narration, the teacher of Imaam Tabaraani, “Bakr bin Sahl ad-Dimyaati” is Thiqah according to the Jumhoor, because Imaam Daya al-Maqdisi [al-Mukhtaarah: 159], and Imaam Haakim [al-Mustadrak Ala as-Saheehayn: 4/177, 643, 646] has done his tawtheeq, and Imaam Dhahabi followed him.
Moreover, his narrations are also present in Mustakhraj Abu Nu’aym [583, 586, etc] and Mustakhraj Abi Awaanah [2524, 6903], which is a clear proof of him being a Thiqah.
Allaamah Haythami writes: “Nasaa’ee declared him Da’eef, but others have declared him Thiqah” [Majma az-Zawaaid: 4/117]
Imaam Dhahabi declared him: “Mutawassit” which means the narrator of a middle level. [al-Mughni: 978]
Moreover he said: “Muhadditheen have taken narrations from him, and he is Muqaarib ul-Haal (Hasan ul-Hadeeth). Imaam Nasaa’ee said, he is Da’eef” [Meezaan ul-I’tidaal: 2/62]
While grading a hadeeth in which Bakr bin Sahl was also present, Haafidh Ibn Hajar said: “All its narrators have been declared Thiqah, except Sulemaan bin Abi Kuraymah, and there is some criticism on him” [al-Amaali al-Mutlaqah: 1/121]
Even though Haafidh Ibn Hajar had also narrated the Jarh of Imaam Nasaa’ee concerning Bakr bin Sahl in Lisaan al-Meezaan, still he deemed him to be Thiqah [2/51]
This proves that even according to Imaam Dhahabi and Imaam Ibn Hajar, the Jarh of Imaam Nasaa’ee on Bakr bin Sahl is not acceptable, rather he is Thiqah due to the tawtheeq of Jumhoor.
From this Tahqeeq it gets proven that the saying of Shaikh Albaani regarding Bakr that: “Imaam Nasaa’ee declared him Thiqah, and no one declared him Thiqah” [Silsilah ad-Da’eefah: 4/562] is wrong.
As for the criticisms of Imaam Nasaa’ee and Maslamah bin Qaasim narrated by Ibn Hajar in Lisaan al-Meezaan then their explanation is as follows:
1- The criticism of Imaam Nasaa’ee – The answer to this criticism is that Imaam Nasaa’ee sometimes is too strict concerning the narrators. That’s why his criticism is not accepted against the tawtheeq of Jumhoor.
Moreover, this Jarh is not even proven from Imaam Nasaa’ee himself, as it is narrated from his son Abdul Kareem, whose tawtheeq is not proven from anyone. Wallahu a’lam.
2- As for the Jarh of Maslamah bin Qaasim that: “People have criticized him” [Lisaan al-Meezaan: 2/51], this Jarh is unacceptable due to many reasons:
i- Maslamah bin Qaasim himself was an unreliable person, therefore, his Jarh is of no use.
ii- No one’s Jarh on Bakr is proven except the Jarh of Imaam Nasaa’ee, which means the “people” Maslamah is pointing towards are Majhool.
iii- The third reason is that Maslamah bin Qaasim often uses these words for those narrators who are Hasan ul-Hadeeth according to himself. For example: see Lisaan al-Meezaan [6/262]
Note: In the chain of Tabaraani, there is a narrator named “Abdullah bin Yazeed al-Askandari”. However, the correct name is “Abdullah bin Yazeed al-Muqri” as affirmed by Shaikh Albaani [Silsilah as-Saheehah: 5/338]. We will not go into its details.
In short, this narration is Authentic, and no criticism on this hadeeth is valid.