The First Reply to Asraar Rasheed as-Soofee al-Bareilwee (& Abul Hasan, GF Haddad, faqir & whoever)

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

(an answer to the likes of Abul Hasan, Gf Haddad, faqir, and other soofees)

Asraar Rasheed as-Soofee al-Bareilwi wrote:

The Hadith under discussion has also been narrated in the following sources:
al Bayhaqi in his ‘Dalail al Nubuwwah’; Vol 3, p483 • Ibn Abdil Barr mentions it in ‘al Istiab Fi Marifatil Ashab’; Vol 2, p464 • Ibn Abi Khaythama mentions it with the same chain as mentioned by Ibn Hajar in ‘al Isabah’; Vol3, p484 • al Hafiz Ibn Kathir authenticated the Hadith in ‘al Bidayah wa al Nihayah’; Vol 7, p101 • Ibn Hajar authenticates it in ‘Fath al Bari’ Ibn Kathir also states in ‘Jami al Masanid’ that its chain of narration is ‘strong and good’ (qawwi and jayyid) • Ibn Taymiyya has affirmed the establishment of this report in ‘Istida al Sirat al Mustaqim’; p373 Malik al Dar is known and not majhul, as claimed by this imitator of al Albani. Ibn Hajar mentions hi m i n ‘al Isaba’; Vol 3, p484 saying “He heard from Sayidina Abu Bakr (Radhi Allah anho) and narrated from both the Shaykhayn (Abu Bakr (R.A) and Umar (R.A)), Muadh and Abu Ubaydhah (R.A). Narrated from him Abu Salih Al Siman and his two sons Awn and Abdullah.”. Ibn Sa’ad mentions him as being from the first layer of successors in his ‘Tabaqat’; Vol 5, p6 saying “he is known”. You will also find within the same book the saying of Ali Ibn Madini “Malik al Dar was Umar’s (R.A) treasurer”. al Hafiz Abu Yala al Khalili states in ‘al Irshad’ that: “Malik al Dar is the freedman of Umar (R.A) and is an old Tabi’i who is agreed upon and the successors would land him down with praise”. Ibn Hibban authenticated him ‘al Thiqat’; Vol 5, p384 It was stated: al-Haafidh At-Mundhiree reports another narration from Malik Ad-Daar in his world famous book of narrators; At-Tarkheeb (2/41)…. Correction: The name of the book is ‘al Targhib wa al Tarhib’ and not ‘At-Tarhheeb’. It is not a book on narrators but a book on reports. al-Mundhiri and others saying they do not know him means they could not declare him weak or trustworthy. But as amply demonstrated above, the scholars have declared him trustworthy.

OUR ANSWER

What follows is a very brief reply for Asraar to ponder upon and reply to.

The text of the hadeeth in question is, “It is related from Malik al-Dar, `Umar’s treasurer, that the people suffered a drought during the time of `Umar (his khilafah), whereupon a man came to the grave of the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allah, ask for rain for your Community, for verily they have but perished,” after which the Prophet appeared to him in a dream and told him: “Go to `Umar and give him my greeting, then tell him that they will be watered. Tell him: You must be clever, you must be clever!” The man went and told `Umar. The latter said: “O my Lord, I spare no effort except in what escapes my power!””

1) The scholars are united that one should not delve into hadeeth and its sciences if he does not understand the basics.

2) Asraar has misunderstood the words of the noble Sheikh Albanee may Allah have mercy upon him and be pleased with him. For there is a distinct difference between someone being known as upright and someone being known for his memory and precision, trustworthiness, reliability and justice as a narrator in the field of hadeeth. Therefore, all the quotes of Maalik ad -Daar being the treasurer in the time of Umar may Allah be pleased with him etc are not relevant to the discussion. Nonetheless, this issue is of no major significance nor does it have any bearing upon the reliability of this hadeeth transmission as the chains of narration bought forth for this hadeeth are all weak.

3) It would have been more prudent to mention the fact that yes whilst Haafidh Ibn Hajr in Fath ul-Bari and Ibn Katheer in al Bidaayah have quoted this hadeeth they have clearly explained this to refer to the permissibility of seeking means of rain through a noble person, For example Haafidh Ibn Hajr mentioned this under the heading ‘the people asking the imam to do istisqaa in the time of drought’.

Similarly Ibn Katheer mentions this regarding the narration of Sayf ibn Umar about going to Umar to make Du’a. The point here is that even if this narration was authentic those scholars who have quoted it did not understand this narration to mean to make tawassul through the Prophet (Sallallahu’Alahi’Wassalam) after his death but via the pious living man, (in this instance Umar) which is accepted by all.

I ask the question what was more important for the scholars who quoted this narration. Was it to point out the permissibility of tawassul via the Prophet (Sallahu’Alahi’Wassalam) after his death or was it the permissibility and recommendation of seeking tawassul via the living?

4) So look carefully at what Albanee has said and understand it without looking at the explanation with bigoted blind following, may Allah have mercy on you. Which of the imams of Jarh wa Tadeel have made tawtheeq of Maalik ad-Daar removing issues surrounding Jahaalatul Ayn and Jahaalatul Haal? This is what Sheikh Albanee meant when he said he is unknown.

5) There is no point in quoting the tawtheeq of the later people (mutakhiroon) no matter if those who are quoted are the likes of Ibn Hajr and Ibn Katheer yet there is no clear evidence of what is being presented and nor is it from the Imams of Jarh wa Tadeel. This is a matter of principle even accepted by most of the Sufis who have attempted to delve in to hadeeth past and present.

6) Asraar mentions that Ibn Hibbaan declared Maalik ad-Daar to be thiqah. Once again the writer can only advise that one should only delve in to the intricacies of the chain of narration and its likes only if the principles of such knowledge have been studied with the people of hadeeth. Ibn Hibbaan may Allah be pleased with him is known for his relaxed rules of reporting narrators as trustworthy in his at thiqaat.

In fact the same Ibn Hajr (whom Asraar has quoted from) in Lisaan has mentioned that Ibn Hibbaan was upon a strange Madhab in this regard and that he opposed the majority. SubhanAllah! So after knowing this how can this be taken?!

To make this even clearer please refer to Ibn Hibbaans Dhu’a`fa in which it becomes clear that Ibn Hibbaan’s methodology was that he does not deem being unknown to be a criticism. In fact Ibn Hibbaan says about some narrators that he ‘does not know them and does not know their fathers’ yet still he includes them in his book of trustworthy narrators! Refer to his third tabaqah and mention of Sahl from Shadaad and this point will be clear to you Insha’Allah. So how can this verdict be relied upon after knowing what the manhaj of Ibn Hibbaan in this regard was?

To further expound on the above point it would have been a good idea for Asraar to see what his proclaimed master of hadeeth Kawtharee himself has said about Ibn Hibbaan. In Taneeb page 90 when Ibn Hibbaan criticised the imam Abu Haneefah may Allah be pleased with him Kawtharee said that Ibn Hibbaan was not known for his precision in hadeeth and at least Abu Haneefah was not putting unknown narrators (like Ibn Hibbaan was) as trustworthy in his book of trustworthy reporters! SubhanAllah! Is there still any doubt remaining! But of course it’s a different matter that when it suited Kawtharee he accepted Ibn Hibbaan despite all his faults in hadeeth narrators and reporters classifications in his same book taneeb! May Allah have mercy.

7) As for the quotes of al Khaliliee, Ibn Saad and so on then these are ambiguous and not detailing if what is known of Maalik was him being upright etc or his precision of memory. Asraar needs to provide evidence of which of the successors have said that his memory and reliability was agreed upon. Verily these words ‘agreed upon’ in the sphere of Jarh and Tadeel have to be backed up with clear evidence and cannot be used unless backed up by the salaf.

Indeed the people rely on ambiguous quotes in matters of Aqeedah and this is most strange! With all due respect Khalilee is not a major authority on the names of narrators and one should revert to the more specialised scholars in this field that came before him.

Furthermore, Khalilee himself alludes to the weakness of the report after mentioning it! It is always a good idea to refer to the primary source rather than just quoting from other books. This is just a reminder to Asraar.

8) Finally, Even if all the above of what Asraar has said regarding Maalik was accepted and he was trustworthy the narration would still be weak due to the fact that A’mash is a mudallis who narrates with an’ana in all of the chains that Asraar has alluded to in his above reference citations whether it be from Saaleh as Samaan or Abee Saaleh and this will not be removed or accepted unless by samaa as has been accepted by the specialists scholars of hadeeth. Can Asraar please remove this grave difficulty of tadlees (Of course the narrations in the Saheehayn have a different ruling) and if there is no samaa from these narrations to prove that they are authentic; then there is no doubt these narrations are weak and cannot be relied upon?

What has been stated above has been kept very brief in the hope that it is easily followed. There will be no further responses up until a point by point response is not given to all the matters raised above. After which insha’Allah the discussion can continue.

The writer intends nothing but the face of Allah by this reply and is not of those who wishes to personally attack Asraar, and nor should the reply be taken as such. The truth is sought and islaah.

May Allah help and guide us all. Ameen.

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