Imam Bukhari's Sahih: Authentic Voice of Islam

An Example to Counter the Abuse
by Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D

Alhamdulillah, our community has given a balanced and mature response to my dear friend's baseless attacks on Hadith. During the exchanges, it came out that there are numerous enemies of Islam, busy trying to undermine Hadith, the second most important source of Islam. If my friend does not realize that he has fallen into the trap of Islam's worst enemies, we'll have to leave him alone to stew in his own juices. Among the responses to the abusive attacks, these should be quoted:
"Good luck to your efforts to convince the people that Hadith should be ignored...So far the Muslims follow Qur'an and Sunnah and will continue to do so."

Br. Shaikh Mohammad, UK
"Qur'an and Hadith go hand in hand." (A humble brother who calls himself 'Ignorant Khan' but gave numerous examples to support his point.)

"Isn't arguing for argument's sake (when you don't plan to do anything about anything) haram?" (Sis. Nadrat Siddique.)

Br. Shaikh Hyder also wrote some pointed comments about the anti-Hadith Fitnah.
My dear friend, instead of accepting his mistakes in good grace, has now come up with more Hadith which he does not like, again taken out of context. Owing to his noxious vituperation against Imam Bukhari, I'll bring a hadith here from the Imam's Sahih which was published with my commentary in August 1995 issue of New Trend. Inshallah, readers can see here that the authentic Islam of Muhammad Mustafa (pbuh) speaks through this Hadith:
"Ismail narrates from Ayyub, who narrates from Hafsa; She said: We used to forbid our never-married maidens from going out. A woman came and stayed at the mansion of the Bani Khalaf. She narrated that her sister was married to a companion of the messenger of Allah (peace be on him) who was with the messenger of Allah in 12 armed expeditions. Her sister was with him in six of these expeditions. She (the sister) said: We used to bandage the wounded and take care of the sick. She (the sister) asked the messenger of Allah (peace be on him): Is there any harm if one of us does not go forth if she does not have an outer covering (jilbab)? He (the Prophet) said: Let her female friend give her of her outercoverings and she should take part in the good works and calls to Allah (supplications) of the believers.

When Umm Atiyya (Allah be pleased with her) came, I (Hafsa) questioned her about it. Umm Atiyya said: Let my father be sacrificed for him. (Whenever the Prophet's name was mentioned, she used to say so.) I asked: Have you heard the messenger of Allah (peace be on him) say so. She replied: yes. By my father, he (the Prophet) told us: Let the unmarried maidens and the young virgins who stay hidden and the menstruating ones go forth to take part in the good deeds and calls to Allah (supplications) of the Muslims. Only the menstruating ones should not be on the actual prayer area.

I (Hafsa) asked (Umm Attiyyah): Even the menstruating women? She replied: Don't they (the menstruating women) go to Arafat and such and such places?
(Hadith # 1543 in Kitab al-Manasik, Imam Bukhari's Sahih)
Analysis by Kaukab Siddique: Muslims, by definition, are one nation and one community. However, for this community to become real, Muslims must learn to respect each other and to work together for good causes, starting at the basic level of man and woman. Decency and modesty are important in Islam but this virtue must not be a cloistered virtue. To achieve real virtue, one must practise virtue within the community.

The hadith begins by mentioning Hafsa's mistaken notion that single women must not go out into community activities. Then along came a woman who talked about her sister who had articipated in six armed expeditions (ghazwat). Although she was part of the ambulance brigade, she did go forth regularly to the battlefield.

Hafsa got this narration confirmed by Umm Atiyya (Allah be pleased with her) one of the greatest female companions of the Prophet.

Note that the Prophet did not accept the excuse of the lack of adequate clothing. Friends can always share dresses. The essential thing is to be part of the struggle. There is no indication whatever that the holy Prophet would want women to be secluded or separated from the men. Decent dress and modest attitiude is all that is needed. Taqwa (God-consciousness) is the key. The biggest surprise for Hafsa was the Prophet's urging that even menstruating women go forth. No mosque or gathering place is holier than the ground of Arafat and menstruating woman can and do go there. They should stay away from actual formal prayer. (Another aspect often forgotten is that in those days, it was difficult to stop the blood flow and the place of prayer would be bloodied.)

Note also that this hadith in a number of ways contradicts the idea that reporting or witnessing by one Muslim woman is not valid. Ismail accepted from Ayyub (both males) a narration from one woman Hafsa, and Imam Bukhari unhesitatingly placed it in his sahih. The second part of the narration is again from one woman, Umm Atiyya (Allah be pleased with her).

BRIEF CRITIQUE OF DR. MUHSIN KHAN'S TRANSLATION: Dr. Khan's translation of Bukhari in 9 volumes has this hadith in volume 2 on page 418 and it is numbered 714. The translator has made a number of errors. Firstly, he adds the words "On 'Ids" and "for 'Id prayer" at the beginning and end of the first sentence narrated by Hafsa. I have provided the Arabic text. If any expert in Arabic can point out where these additions of Dr. Khan are available in the text, please let me know. Secondly, he mentions the menstruating ones only once, leaving out the first reference as given in my translation. Again see the Arabic. Thirdly, he does not know that Hafsa here is not the daughter of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab and the wife of the Prophet and he mistakenly puts (radi Allahu 'unha) in front of her name. He should study Ibn Sa'ad's Tabqat to find out who was this narrator. If she had been the illustrious wife of the Prophet and custodian of the Qur'an, she would not have had to ask Umm Attiyah (Allah be pleased with her). Fourthly, he blunders by translating jilbab as "veil" and his translation comes out as "She should cover herself with the veil of her companion." (Is that physically possible?) Most early scholars of agree that jilbab is the outer garment or covering.

Some close Saudi associates of Dr. Khan have now issued a summary of Sahih Bukhari from which this hadith has been omitted.
Dr. Siddique's second book on women LIBERATION OF WOMEN THRU ISLAM is now available on audio tape (2 tapes 120 minutes each) for a total of $10 from:
New Trend, P.O. Box 356, Kingsville, MD 21087
The funds from his book sales go for Islamic da'wah.

2000-09-21 Thu 11:29ct