“Ikhtilaf in my Ummah is a mercy…”

Imam Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūt}ī


«ikhtilāfu ummatī rah}mah»[1]

ﺣﺪﻳﺚ : ﺍﻠﺴﻳﻭﻃﻲ

By S. Z. Chowdhury

Summer 2003

6 – h}adīth: «ikhtilāf ummatī rah}mah» (‘Differences amongst my community is a mercy’).[2] 

          al-Shaykh Nas}r al-Muqaddisī in Kitāb al-H{ujjah [narrated] as marfū‘ (‘elevated’)[3] as well as in al-Bayhaqī in [the book] al-Madkhal on the authority of al-Qāsim b. Muh}ummad’s statement.

          And from ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-Azīz who said: “It did not delight me more (mā sarranī) except that if the Companions of Muh}ummad [S}AW] did not differ amongst themselves, because if they had not differed, there would not be any ease (rukhs}ah).”

I say:[4] this indicates that what is meant by ‘their disagreement’ (ikhtilāfihim) is [differences] in the rulings (al-ah}kām).[5] And it is also said: ‘the meaning of ‘their differences’ is related to the peripheries (al-h}iraf) and the branches (al-s}anā’i‘). The majority narrated this.’

And in the Musnad of al-Firdaws via Jubayr from al-D{ah}h}āk and then on the authority of ibn ‘Abbās (RA) as marfūan: “The differences of the companions are a mercy for you (lakum rah}mah).”

And ibn Sa‘d in his T{abaqāt said: Qabīs}ah b. ‘Uqbah related to us, Aflah} b. Muh}ummad related to us on the authority of al-Qasim ibn Muh}ummad who said: “The differences of Muh}ummad’s companions is a mercy for the people (rah}mah li ’l-nās).”


                                                                             And Allah knows Best

[1] An excerpt taken from his book al-Durr al-Muntathirah fī ’l-Ah}adīth al-Mushtahirah (‘The Scattered Pearls Regarding the Famous Narrations’), ed. by Muh}ummad Lut}fī al-S{abbāgh, 1st edn. Maktabah al-Warrāq, al-Riyād} 1994, p.59.

[2] The h}adīth is narrated as weak (d}aīf) by: Imām al-Sakhāwī, al-Maqas}id al-H{asanah fī Bayān Kathīr min al-Ah}adīth al-Mushtahirah alā ’l-Alsinah, Matba‘ah Dār al-Adab al-‘Arabī, Mas}r 1375 AH, p.26; Imām al-Munāwī, Fayd al-Qadīr Sharh} Jāmial-S{aghīr, Matba‘ah Mus}t}afah Muh}ummad, Mas}r 1356 AH, vol. 1, pp.209-212 & Imām al-Suyūt}ī, Tadrīb al-Rāwī fī Sharh} Taqrīb al-Nawāwī, Maktabah al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1959, p.370.

[3] Linguistically, the word is the passive form of the noun raf‘ (‘raising’, ‘elevated’ & ‘hoisting’) which is the opposite meaning of the word wad}‘ (‘placing’, putting down’ & ‘erecting’); so the word rafah means ‘an elevated place’ (‘uluw al-manzil). In the terminology of the majority of the muh}addithūn, it means that report which is directly attributed to the Prophet (S}AW) whether it is a saying, action, approval or property. It can either be ‘continuous’ (muttas}il), ‘discontinued’ (munqat}i‘) ‘problematic’ (mud}al) or ‘abbreviated’ (muallaq); see ‘Abd al-Rah}īm al-‘Irāqī, Fath} al-Mughīth bi-Sharh} al-Fiyyah al-H{adith, 1st edn. Cairo 1937 with the commentary of al-Sakhāwī, p.39; Muqaddimah al-Tamhīd of ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, copied from the facsimiles in the Manuscript Library of the Arabic University, Cairo, no:840, p.7: A-B; al-Kifāyah fī Ilm al-Riwāyah of al-Khat}īb al-Baghdādī, H{aydar Ābād, Deccan 1939, p.21; Us}ūl al-H{adīth: ‘Ulūmuhu wa Mus}t}alah}ātuhu by Dr. Muh}ummad ‘Ajjāj al-Khat}īb, 1st edn. Dār al-Fikr, Beirut 1999, pp.355-356 & Imām ibn al-S{alah} al-Shahrazūrī, Muqaddamah fī Ulūm al-H{adīth, ed. by Abū ‘Abd al-Rah}īm S{alah b. Muh}ummad b. ‘Uwaydah, 1st edn. Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah,Beirut 1995, pp.42-43.

[4] That is, Imām al-Suyūt}ī.

[5] It is not permitted to have disagreements over matters pertaining to definitive articles of belief (‘aqā’id).


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