Hadith 30 and 31

Chapter: On acts of disobedience being part of the Jahiliyya [The age of spiritual darkness before Islam]

However, someone who disobeys Allah does not become a disbeliever unless he associates partners with Allah since the Prophet, صلى الله عليه و سلم, said [to Abu Dharr] “You are a man who still has some of the Jahiliyya in you,” and Allah Almighty says, “Allah does not forgive partners being attributed to Him but He forgives, anything less than that, for whom He wills.” (4:48)

30. Sulaiman Ibn Harb narrarated to us, that Shu`ba said, on the authority of Wasil Al Ahdab, from Al-Ma’rur Ibn Suwayd that he said, “I met Abu Dharr at Ar-Rabadha, he was wearing part of a cloak, as his servant was wearing the other part. When I asked him [i.e. about both of them wearing the cloaks] he said, ‘I was exchanging insults with a man, and abused him by insulting his mother. The Messenger of Allah, صلى الله عليه و سلم, said to me, ‘O Abu Dharr! You abused him by insulting his mother! You are a man with some characteristics of the Jahiliyya. Your slaves are your brothers whom Allah has placed under your authority. Anyone who has authority over his brother should feed him from what he eats and clothe him from what he wears, and not oblige him [with work] more than he can bear. If you assign him [with over burdensome work], then assist him.”‘”

Chapter: “If two parties of the believers fight, make peace between them.” (49:9) Allah calls them “believers”.

31. Abdul Rahman Ibn Al Mubarak informed us that Hammad bin Zaid informed us that Ayyub and Yunus informed us from Al-Hasan, from Al-Ahnaf ibn Qays that he said, “As I was on my way to give my support to this man (i.e. ‘Ali), I met Abu Bakra and he said, ‘Where are you going?’ I said, ‘To give my support to this man.’ He said, ‘Go back, for I heard the Messenger of Allah  صلى الله عليه و سلم say, “When two Muslims fight each other with their swords, then both the killer and killed are in the Fire.” I said to him, “Messenger of Allah, I can understand this with regard to the killer, but what about the murdered man?” He replied, “He intended to kill his companion.”‘”

[ar-Rabadha: a place close to Madina]

* It may be that the servant accompanying Abu Dharr was Abu Marawih, and Muslim mentioned his name as Sa`d.

* It has also been said that the man mentioned [that Abu Dharr was exchanging insults with] was Bilal, the caller of the adhaan [call to prayer] and servant of Abu Bakr.

* Al Bukhari added in the narration in “Al-Adab” that Abu Dhar said [regarding the reason he insulted Bilal’s mother]: “And his mother was a foreigner, so I insulted her”, and in one narration: “I said: You son of a black woman”.

The word foreigner refers to the one that is not proficient in the Arabic language, regardless of whether he’s a native Arab or not.

His Saying: part of Jahiliyyah:

What is intended by jahiliyyah here is the age of spiritual darkness before Islam, and the term may be used towards a specific individual intending the state of pre-Islamic ignorance that he is acting upon.

His saying:  someone who disobeys Allah does not become a disbeliever unless he associates others with Allah:

Every sin which comprises of leaving an obligation or committing a prohibition is from the behavior of the jahiliyyah. Shirk is the gravest of sins, and for this reason it was excluded [from the sins that are forgiven]. The intent of the author [Al Bukhari] by indicating that sins are at times called kufr [disbelief] is to show that the word kufr may be used [linguistically]  referring to ingratitude [as mentioned in the previous hadith], rather than the disbelief that takes someone out of the fold of Islam.  This methodology differs from that of the Kharijites, who declare the sinner a disbeliever.  This is rejected by the words of Allah:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا

Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be associated with Him (in worship), but He forgives, anything less than that, for whom He wills

Here, anything less than shirk has been categorized as potentially forgiven.  Shirk in this verse implicates any form of disbelief, such as denying the prophethood of Muhammad, صلى الله عليه و سلم. This denial is a form of disbelief that is not forgiven, according the scholarly consensus, even though it doesn’t entail associating partners with Allah.  The term shirk may also be used to indicate that which is more specific than kufr [disbelief] as in the statement of Allah:

لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ مُنفَكِّينَ حَتَّىٰ تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ

Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikun [the polytheists], were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence.

Ibn Battal said: “Al Bukhari used this chapter as a refutation against those who declare the sinner a disbeliever, such as the Kharijites who say ‘The one who dies upon sinfulness, will dwell eternally in the fire’”.

The statement of Allah:

but He forgives, anything less than that, for whom He wills

is proof against them, as it clearly refers to anyone who dies upon any sin less than shirk!

Al Kirmani said: “The author’s [Al Bukhari] use of the statement of Abi Dharr: ‘I was exchanging insults with a man and abused him by insulting his mother’ as a proof against those who consider major sins to be disbelief is questionable, because insulting one’s mother is not a major sin, and they [The kharijites] don’t declare disbelief on the minor sins.”

My response to that is that the proof derived from the statement of Allah is clear, which is why Ibn Battal sufficed with it.  As for the story of Abi Dharr, it was mentioned here to use as a proof that the one who still possesses a characteristic of the jahiliyyah, other than shirk, does not become a disbeliever whether or not that characteristic be from the minor or major sins.

The author [Al Bukhari] also supports his stance, that if a believer sins he has not disbelieved, with the fact that Allah still referred to such a person as a believer in His statement:

وَإِن طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا

And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting,

And then says:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ

The believers are nothing but brothers (in Islamic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers

He [Al Bukhari] also used as proof the statement of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم:

“If two Muslims meet each other with their swords”…

So he صلى الله عليه و سلم referred to them as Muslims despite threatening them with the hellfire.

Next, he referred to the statement of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم: towards Abi Dharr:

“You are a man who still has some of the Jahiliyya in him,” meaning a characteristic of ignorance, although Abu Dharr possessed a high level of emaan.  The prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم:  reprimanded him despite his high status, as a warning to him not to repeat this action.  Although Abu Dharr was excused in one sense, actions from individuals of such a high status are much more severe (than that of others).  With that said, it becomes clear as to why these two narrations were included under this chapter title.

*Apparently, this action from Abi Dharr was before he was aware of its prohibition, so this characteristic of ignorance was still present.

*After this incident, to be safe, Abu Dharr wouldn’t differentiate between himself and his servant with clothing or anything else [which explains the both of them wearing the cloaks].

*The word طائفة linguistically means a part of something, and is used to refer to one or more according to the majority of scholars.  As for the condition of having four witnesses in establishing the stoning of the adulterer, and the statement of Allah:

وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِين

And let a party of the believers witness their punishment.

The verse here is referring to the actual flogging which has no conditions to it [regarding the witnesses], and the conditions for the stoning come from a different proof.

Regarding the use of the word, طائفة  and the requirement of having three people in the prayer of fear based on the statement of Allah:

فَلْتَقُمْ طَائِفَةٌ مِّنْهُم مَّعَكَ

let one party of them stand up [in Salat (prayer)] with you

The requirement of three here is actually derived from the statement of Allah:

وَلْيَأْخُذُوا أَسْلِحَتَهُم

taking their arms with them

As He mentioned them in the plural reference, which is only established by three or more.


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