Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Hadith Studies

Rebuttal of the Attacks on Abu Huraira (r.a) [Part III]
Did 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, r.a., stop Abu Huraira, r.a. from Narrating Hadith?

by Kaukab Siddique

[In Part I, the love of the Prophet, pbuh, for Abu Huraira was pointed out, along with Abu Huraira's participation in Jihad both during and after the time of the Prophet, pbuh. In Part II, the reasons for Abu Huraira's ability to narrate more than 2000 Hadith as well as the respect of the Sahaba (Companions of the Prophet) for him was documented.]

For most Muslims, the qualities of Abu Huraira, r.a., documented in the first two parts of this study would be enough to love him. However, the Shias and the Pervezis find that difficult because it would demolish the premises of their sectariam theories.

For Shias, it should have been very difficult to attack Abu Huraira, r.a., because he loved the Ahlul Bait and narrated beautiful Hadith about the grandsons of the Prophet, pbuh. Shia scholars should know that Ali, r.a., Hasan, r.a., and Hussain, r.a., did not speak against Abu Huraira, r.a. There are a few Shia fabrications to this effect but they are from later times and cannot be traced back to the three greats of Shia'ism.

However, the Shias work by way of "guilt by association." They try to make the claim that Ameer Muawiyya and Yazeed were identical in their behavior, For them, connection with Ameer Muawiyya and Yazeed is equally bad, and because Abu Huraira, r.a., cooperated with Ameer Muawiyya they condemn him.

The Shias forget that Imam Hasan, r.a., made peace with Ameer Muawiyya, and he and Imam Hussain both received respect and copious gifts from Ameer Muawiyya. Ameer Muawiyya was KATIBE WAHI [writer of the revelation, the Qur'an] and was accepted by the Prophet, pbuh. During his time, there was general consensus and peace within the Muslim domain, and as a result Jihad of great significance was carried out against the oppressive empires in the West.

The attacks of the sect known as munkareene Hadith [deniers of Hadith] on Abu Huraira, r.a., are much more dishonest than those of the Shia. These sectarians, following the line of Jewish abusers of Hadith, like Goldziher and Schacht, resort to outright intellectual dishonesty. For instance, G.A. Pervez wrote:

"Once Abu Salama asked hazrat Abu Huraira, who is well known for being prolific in Hadith narration, did you narrate Hadith this way in the time of Hazrat 'Umar? He replied, if I had done so in his time, he would have beaten me." [Maqame Hadith, in Urdu language, p.52]

G.A. Pervez gives a reference for this supposed narration but it is not from a primary book of Hadith but from a secondary scholar named Tahir bin Salih al-Jazairi.

Thus Pervez, whose entire book is aimed at proving that Hadith is not to be trusted, tries to use a supposed Hadith narration to oppose Abu Huraira, r.a., and then does not give a primary source. In fact, Pervez's study of Hadith was very poor and he had collected a whole series of quotes from various secondary writers, taken out of context, to attack Hadith.

Let's see what the original texts on which Islam and Islamic history are based, say about the relations between Umar, 'ra., and Abu Huraira, r.a., regarding Hadith :

The context of the personality of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab is that he was very strict with HIMSELF and with ALL the companions of the Prophet, pbuh. But when he would hear Abu Huraira, r.a., reciting Hadith, 'Umar, r.a., would take back his own opinion. There is NO evidence that he wanted to stop Abu Huraira, r.a., from narrating Hadith. Quite the contrary. Here are specific instances:

"A woman who blew on knots (a form of witchcraft) was brought to 'Umar, r.a. He asked the people (assembled): Have any of you heard anything from the messenger of Allah, pbuh, regarding blowing on knots. Abu Huraira, r.a., got up and said: O Commander of the Faithful! I have heard. 'Umar, r.a., asked: What have you heard? Abu Huraira replied: He (the Prophet, pbuh) said: O women who blow on knots, do not do so and and do not ask anyone to blow on knots. 'Umar, r.a., accepted Abu Huraira's words [in front of the entire assembly].
[Sahih Bukhari, vol.2. Urdu translation]

"Once 'Umar, r.a., took Abu Huraira, r.a., with him from Madinah to Makka for Hajj. On the way, a storm started blowing. 'Umar, r.a., asked his Companions, does anyone remember anything from the messenger of Allah regarding a strong breeze.? No one answered. Abu Huraira, r.a., who was trailing behind the caravan learned of the question 'Umar was asking. He put his mount to the gallop, reached 'Umar, and said: I learned of the question you were asking. I heard the messenger of Allah, pbuh, say, the wind is a sign of Allah's mercy."
[Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal. vol. 14]

"Hissan ibn Thabit, r.a., was reciting poetry in the mosque. 'Umar, r.a., passed by and forbade Hissan, r.a., from reciting poetry in the mosque. Hissan replied: I used to recite poetry in the mosque when one better than you [the Prophet, pbuh] used to be there. Then he turned to Abu Huraira, r.a., and asked him: O Abu Huraira, I ask you in Allah's name, didn't you hear the messenger of Allah, pbuh, say about me: "(O Hissan) answer the unbelievers from my side (in poetry). O Allah support him (Hissan) with the sacred spirit." Abu Huraira, r.a. replied: "Yes, I did hear him. (say that)." [Sahih Muslim, vol. 2]

In each case, Abu Huraira's words were accepted by 'Umar, r.a.

There is NO EVIDENCE that 'Umar, r.a., or any other Companion of the Prophet, pbuh, stopped or tried to stop Abu Huraira, r.a., from narrating Hadith. Ayesha, r.a., corrected two of his narrations but did not stop him and did not make any general comment against his narration of Hadith. In fact he used to sit outside her door and narrate Hadith, so that in case he was wrong, she could correct him.

It's possible that in later times Abu Huraira, r.a., might have quipped that if 'Umar, r.a., had heard me reciting so many Hadith, he would have hit me. Abu Huraira, r.a., was very humble and would often say things against himself. He even told of the time when he was an employee of the woman who later became his wife, and he said, she used to push him like a servant, and he said jokingly, after she became his wife, I'll now make her work for me!

Once during Muawiyya's Caliphate, Abu Huraira, r.a., sneezed and then made fun of himself, what a time of wealth has come that the poor man who used to pass out from starvation in front of 'Ayesha's home (he himself) cleans his nose in a fancy kerchief. [Sahih Bukhari]

In any case, NO COMPANION of the Prophet, pbuh, EVER claimed that Abu Huraira, r.a., was narrating too many Hadith.

Only people like G.A. Pervaiz make such false claims against this beloved servant of the Prophet, pbuh.

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2005-01-24 Mon 18:08ct