Hadith 29

Chapter: On [women’s] ingratitude to their husbands, and actions referred to as kufr (disbelief) which do not amount to complete disbelief.

‘Abdullah Ibn Maslamah informed us from Malik from Zayd Ibn Aslam from ‘Ataa Ibn Yasaar from Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم said, ‘I was shown the Fire and most of its inhabitants were women who had denied.’ He was asked, ‘Did they deny belief in Allah?’ He replied, ‘Rather they were ungrateful towards their husbands and denied the good they had received. Even if you were always good to one of them, then she saw something (displeasing) from you, she would say, “I have never seen any good from you at all!”

Ibn Hajar’s Explanation:

His saying, “Chapter: On [women’s] ingratitude to their husbands, and the lesser kufr”

Al-Qaade Abu Bakr Ibn Al-‘Arbe said, “The author intended to show that just as good deeds are referred to as eemaan (belief), evil actions can be called kufr (disbelief) but this is not the kufr which deems a person outside the realm of Islam. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم choose women’s ingratitude towards their husbands because of it’s severity. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, ‘Had I ordered any person to prostrate to another person, I would have ordered the woman to prostrate to her husband.’ So he صلى الله عليه و سلم associated the rights of the husband upon his wife with the rights of Allah. If a woman falls short in fulfilling the rights of her husband, then she is falling short in fulfilling the rights of Allah. Although the term ‘kufr’ is used, it isn’t referring to the kufr that causes a person to fall outside the fold of Islam.” It may be understood from his words that kufr is the opposite of eemaan.

In another narration the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم once said to a group of women, “Give charity, as I have seen you (women) to be the most numerous of the people of the fire.” So they asked, “Why (is that), O Messenger of Allah?” He responded, “You curse often and are ungrateful towards your husbands.”

The narration (of this chapter) from Ibn ‘Abbaas is part of a longer narration that the author recorded in the chapter on the Kusoof (eclipse) prayer; and will be explained there.


1. Al-Bukhari leans towards the permissibility of using only part of a narration, as long as the meaning is not reliant upon the rest of the narration in a way which would distort the meaning. He began this narration with the statement of the Prophet, “I was shown the fire…”, whereas the entire narration begins with Ibn ‘Abbaas stating, “There was once an eclipse during the life of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم …” and he continued on to relay the incident of the eclipse prayer followed by the sermon of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم during it. So someone counting the narrations may mistakenly assume that a certain narration is two or more narrations. This caused some (scholars), such as Ibn Salaah and Muhyee Ad-deen, to say that he (Al-Bukhari) recorded approximately 4,000 narrations; however in reality he only recorded a total of 2,513, as explained in the introduction.

2. Al-Bukhari does not repeat narrations except for a beneficial purpose. The benefit is derived either from the chain of narrators, the narration itself, or both. We benefit from this reference to the narration, from ‘Abdullah Ibn Maslamah, that the term ‘kufr’ (disbelief) is used at times referring to evil actions. He later makes reference to this narration with the same chain, in the chapter on ‘the one who prays while there is fire in front of him’. In that reference, he limited what was mentioned to the relevant topic. Also, the entire narration was recorded in the chapter on the eclipse prayer. Next, he recorded it in the chapter on the beginning of the creation including reference to the sun and the moon as transmitted by a different narrator. Finally, he recorded it in the chapter on the companionship of women. Nonetheless, he (Al-Bukhari) rarely records the same part of a narration in two different places.


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