Some Oft-Quoted Weak Ahaadeeth about Ramadaan
From, "Fasting in Ramadaan as observed by the Prophet" by Shaikh Saleem al-Hilaalee and Shaikh Alee Hassan
Allah, the One free of all imperfections and Most High, has appointed for the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) trustworthy bearers who expel from it the alterations of the people of falsehood, the misinterpretations of those going beyond bounds, and uncovering the false accretions added to it by those who try to adulterate it.
Throughout the ages many accretions have been mixed with it, either weak ahaadeeth, lies or fabrications and the like and this has been fully explained and made clear by the scholars throughout the ages. One who looks today into the works of writers and speeches of admonition will see that they do not give the slightest attention to this matter except those upon whom is Allah‘s Mercy. Even though scholarly reference works, which explain which ahadeeth are authentic and uncover the weak narrations, are readily available.
In explaining this matter and its evil consequences upon the knowledge and the people, we do not intend to rebuke or accuse anyone. We will just quote some examples of narrations which have been introduced and become well known amongst the people, to the point that you will hardly read an article or hear an admonition except that the weak ahaadeeth have a prominent place in it.
So acting upon his (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) saying: ’Convey from me even if it is only a single Aayah...“‘ [Reported by al-Bukhaaree (6/361)]
And his (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) saying: ’The Deen is sincerity and sincere advising.“ [Reported by Muslim (no. 55)]
So we say: The weak ahaadeeth, which have become widespread amongst the people, at every level, are very many, to the point that very few manage to mention anything authentic - despite its being plentiful also. May Allaah have mercy upon the Imaam Abdullaah lbn al-Mubaarak who said: ’There is sufficiency in the authentic ahaadeeth so there is no need for what is weak.“ So let this imam be our example. And let us stick to the authentic and pure knowledge.
From the weak ahaadeeth which people commonly quote concerning Ramadaan are:
1. ’If the servants knew how great Ramadaan was, then they would wish that Ramadaan lasted all year. Indeed, Paradise is decorated for Ramadaan from the start of the year till the next year...“ and it is a long hadeeth.
This hadeeth is reported by Ibn Khuzaimah (no. 1886), Ibn al-Jawzee in Kitaabul-Mawdoo‘aat (2/188-189) and Aboo Yalaa in his Musnad as occurs in al-Mataalibul-‘Aaliyah (46/a-b manuscript) by way of Jareer ibn Ayyoob al Bajalee: from ash-Shabee: from Naafi ibn Burdah: from Aboo Masood al? Ghifaaree.
This hadeeth is fabricated (mawdoo), the cause being Jareer ibn Ayyoob. lbn Hajr quotes his biography in Lisaanul-Meezaan (2/101) and says: ’Famous for his weakness.“ Then he quotes the saying of Aboo Nu‘aim about him: ’He used to fabricate ahaadeeth,“ from al-Bukhaaree: ’Munkar in narrating hadeeth,“ and from an-Nasaaee: ’Abandoned!“
Ibn al-jawzee declared it to be fabricated, and Ibn Khuzaimah said after relating it: ’If the narration is authentic, since there is some doubt in the heart about Jareer Ibn Ayyoob al-Bajalee.“
2. ’0 people a very great month has come upon you, a month containing a night better than a thousand months. Allaah has made it an obligation to fast in it, and standing in prayer in its night is a supererogatory action. Whoever seeks nearness to Him with a good deed in it will be like one performing an obligatory action in other months... It is a month the beginning of which is a mercy, the middle is forgiveness, and its end is a granting of freedom from the Fire...“ It is also a long hadeeth and we have quoted the most well-known parts of it.
This hadeeth is also reported by Ibn Khuzaimah (No. 1887), al-Mahaamulee in his Amaalee (No. 293), and al-Asbahaanee in at-Targheeb (Q/178, B-manuscript) by way of Alee ibn Zayd ibn Jud‘aan: from Sa‘eed ibn al-Musaayib: from Salmaan.
This isnaad is do‘eef due to the weakness of …Ale ibn Zayd. Ibn Sad says about him, ’He is somewhat weak, he is not used as a proof“ Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: ’He is not strong.“ Ibn Ma‘een said: ’He is weak.“ Ibn Abee Khaithumah said: …Weak in everything.“ Ibn Khuzaimah said: ’I do not accept him as a proof due to his weak memory.“ - as occurs in at-Tahdheeb (7/322-323).
Ibn Khuzaimah said after quoting his narration: ’If the narration is authentic.“ Ibn Hajr says in al-Atraaf: ’It is narrated by …Ale ibn Zayd ibn Jud‘aan alone and he is weak“ as As-Suyootee quotes from him in Jamul Jawaami (No. 24,714). lbn Abee Haatim reports from his father in …llalul-Hadeeth (1/249) that he said: ’The hadeeth is munkar!“
3. ’Fast and you will be healthy.“
It is part of a hadeeth reported by Ibn …Adiyy in al-Kaamil (7/2521) by way of Nahshal ibn Sa‘eed: from ad-Dahhaak: from Ibn Abbaas. At-Tabaraanee reports it in ol-Awsat (I/Q, 69 A-manuscript of Majmo‘ ul-Bahrain) and Aboo Nu‘aim in at-Tibbun-Nawawee as occurs in Takhreejul-Ihyaa‘ (7/401) by way of Muhammad ibn Sulaimaan ibn Abee Daawood: from Zuhair ibn Muhammad: Suhail lbn Abee Saalih: from Aboo Hurairah.
Its isnaad is weak. Aboo Bakr al-Athrum said: ’I heard Ahmad say - and he mentioned the narration of the people of Shaam from Zuhair ibn Muhammad, he said: …They report ahaadeeth from him which are munkar‘“
Aboo Haatim said: ’There is some weakness in his memory, his ahaadeeth narrated in Iraaq are better than his hadeeth narrated in Shaam due to his weak memory.“ Al-Alee said: ’These ahaadeeth which the people of Shaam narrate from him do not please me,“ as occurs in Tahdheebul-Kamaal (9/417).
Muhammad Ibn Sulaimaan is from Shaam and has a biography in Taareekh Dimishq (15 Q,386 - manuscript) - so his narrations from Zuhair, as the scholars have stated, are munkar and this hadeeth is one of them!
4. ’He who abandons fasting during a day of Ramadaan without a valid excuse, or illness - then even if he were to fast for ever it would not make up for it.“
This hadeeth is quoted in disconnected form by al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh (Fathul-Baaree. 4/160) without an isnaad. It is connected by Ibn Khuzaimah in his Saheeh (No. 1987), at-Tirmidhee (No.723) Aboo Daawood (No.2397). lbn Maajah (No. 1672), an-Nasaa‘ee in al-Kubraa as occurs in Tahfatul Ashraaf (10/373), al-Baihaqee (4/228) and Ibn -Iajr in Taghleequt-To‘leeq (3/170) by way of Abul-Mutawwas: from his father: from Aboo Hurairah.
Ibn Hajr says in Fathul-Baaree (4/161): ’They disagree greatly in their narration from Habeeb ibn Abee Thaabit, it has three weaknesses: (i) contradiction of its narrators, (ii) the condition of Abul-Mutawwas is unknown, (ii) doubt about whether his father met Aboo Hurairah or not.“
Ibn Khuzaimah says after reporting it: ’If the narration is authentic, since I do not know Abul Mutawwas or his father.“ So this hadeeth is also weak.
These are four ahaadeeth which have been declared weak and unreliable by the scholars, yet we still hear them and see them every day in the blessed month of Ramadaan in particular, and at other times. It is apparent that some of these ahaodeeth contain parts whose meaning is correct and established in our Sharee‘ah in the Book or the Sunnah. However, this on its own does not allow us to attribute to Allah's Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) that which is not established authentically from him, particularly since this Ummah alone - to the exception of all previous nations has been particularized by Allaah, the One free of all imperfections, with the use of isnaads (chains of narration). Through them we can ascertain what is acceptable and what has been invented, and what is authentic (saheeh) from that which is not. It is a very precise branch of knowledge, and he indeed spoke well who described it as: ’The study of what is narrated and the measure for the authenticity of narrations.“