Hadeeth 10 – ‘…Disagreement will occur at the death of a Khaleef…’
The hadeeth of Abu Dawood [Eng. Trans no.4273] from Umm Salamah that the Prophet ( ﷺ ) said, “disagreement will occur at the death of a Khaleef and a man of the people of Madeenah will come forth flying to Mecca. Some of the people of Mecca will come to him, bring him out against his will and swear allegiance to him between the corner and the maqaam. An expeditionary force will then be sent against them from Syria but will be swallowed up by the desert between Mecca and Madeenah, and when the people see that, the Abdaal of Syria and the best people of Iraaq will come to him and swear allegiance to him between the corner and the Maqaam.”
Al-Albaanee says in ‘ad-Da’eefah’ (no. 1965), “Da’eef.” Reported by Ahmad (6/316), Abu Dawood (4286), and via their route ibn Asaakir (1/280) from the route of Hishaam from Qataadah from Abu Khaleel from a companion of his from Umm Salamah from the Messenger ( ﷺ ).
I say: it’s narrators are all thiqah except for the companion of Abu Khaleel for he is not named and is therefore majhool.
Then Abu Dawood and at-Tabaraanee in ‘al-Awsat’ (9613) report it via the route of Abu al-Awaam from Qataadah from Abu Khaleel from Abdullaah bin al-Haarith from Umm Salamah from the Prophet ( ﷺ ).
At-Tabaraanee said, “no one reports this hadeeth from Qataadah except Imraan.
I say: the majhool narrator has been named as Abdullaah bin Haarith, and he is ibn Nawfal al-Madanee and he is thiqah being depended upon in the Two Saheehs. But in the route to him is Abu al-Awaam who is Imraan bin Dawood al-Qattaan and he has some weakness arising due to his memory.
Al-Bukhaaree said, “truthful but makes mistakes.”
Ad-Daaruqutnee said, “he used to commonly be inconsistent and make mistakes.”
And al-Haafidh depended upon this saying of Bukhaaree in his ‘Taqreeb’ Therefore his adding a thiqah narrator (in the isnaad) is something that the soul does not find tranquillity in.
Al-Haakim also reports this hadeeth via him (4/431) with the wording, “a man from my nation shall be sworn allegiance to between the Corner and the Station by a number of people like the number of the people of Badr, then the best of the people of Iraaq shall come to him and the Abdaal of Shaam. Then a expedition from Shaam will set out against him….”
Al-Haakim did not give it a ruling but adh-Dhahabee said, “Abu al-Awaam Imraan has been declared da’eef by more than one, and he was a Khaarijee.”
Then I saw the hadeeth in ‘Mawaarid al-Dham’aan’ (1881) via the route of Abu Ya’la (4/1651) from Muhammad bin Yazeed bin Rifaa’a from Wahb bin Jareer from Hishaam bin Abu Abdullaah from Qataadah from Saalih Abu Khaleel from Mujaahid from Umm Salamah.
The narrators of this isnaad are the narrators of the Two Saheehs except for ibn Rifaa’a, and he is Abu Hishaam ar-Rifaa’ee and he is da’eef. And he additionally mentioned Mujaahid in his isnaad but his addition is not counted. Then I found a follow-up to this hadeeth reported by at-Tabaraanee in ‘al-Awsat’ (1164) via the route of Ubaidullaah bin Umru from Mu’mar from Qataadah from Mujaahid and at-Tabraanee said, “Ubaidullaah bin Umru said: Then I narrated it to Layth and he said Mujaahid reported this to me.”
At-Tabaraanee said, “this hadeeth has not been reported from Mu’mar except by Ubaidullaah.”
I say: and he is thiqah like the rest of the narrators of this isnaad. But they have differed about it’s isnaad to Qataadah in 4 ways:
Qataadah from Abu Khaleel from a companion of his from Umm Salamah. This is the report of Hishaam ad-Dastawaa’ee from him.
The same except the companion of his has been named as Abdullaah bin al-Haarith
The same except that the companion of his has been named as Mujaahid
The same except that Abu al-Khaleel has been omitted between Qataadah and Mujaahid.
This is a severe difference which necessitates investigation and declaring which is the strongest isnaad. It is obvious that the first three options deserve credence due to their agreeing that between Qataadah and Umm Salamah there are two narrators whereas the fourth option mentions only one. So upon considering this the fourth option is to be left due to its opposing the group.
Then we carefully studied the remaining three options. It is totally clear that the third option is to be left due to the weakness of ibn Rifaa’ah. Close to this is the second option due to the poor memory of Imraan as has preceded. Therefore the first option remains, and this is the weightiest out of the four. And when this (first isnaad) revolves around the companion of Abu Khaleel who is unnamed in a route that otherwise would be free of defect then he is the defect. And Allaah knows best.
The hadeeth has a number of other routes from Umm Salamah and other than her summarised, not containing mention of the story of the pledge of allegiance and the Abdaal and it is investigated in ‘as-Saheehah’ (no.1924).
[NB it should be noted that the term ‘Abdaal’ was a term known amongst the salaf and other early scholars as mentioned by as-Sakhaawee in ‘Maqaasid’. Ibn Taymiyyah in ‘al-wasatiyyah’ and al-Albaanee. What is differed about is what it refers to – the strongest opinion is that it refers to the Ahlul Hadeeth as mentioned by a number of early scholars amongst them Khateeb al-Baghdaadee in his ‘Sharf Ashaabul Hadeeth.]