Refering to the hadith of Anas on which the Permanent Commitee for Fatwah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and the other great scholars of Islam based the prohibition of bowing in greeting, a brother posted the following comment to me:

“Fatawa Lajna also quoted the Hadeeth and made a comment that the Hadeeth is weak, even though its position is that the act is Haram.”

I answered: “Do you not think it is most absurd and disappointing for those eminent scholars to judge an act haram as you say, warn against it both at commitee level and as individuals and still grade the sole hadith on which their verdict is based ‘weak’?”

The seeming confusion is resolved by going through their detailed commentary on the hadith in question. The Lajnah wrote:

رواه الترمذي وقال: حديث حسن، كذا قال، وإسناده ضعيف، لأن فيه حنظلة السدوسي، وهو ضعيف عند أهل العلم، لكن لعل الترمذي حسنه لوجود ما يشهد له في الأحاديث الأخرى” (فتاووى اللجنة الدائمة ج١،صفحة ٢٣٢).

“Attirmidhee reported it and said it is a good hadith. So he said, and its chain of narration is weak because it contains Hanzalah Assadoosee and he is a weak individual by the reckoning of the scholars, but it is possible that the reason Attirmidhee graded the hadeeth “good” is that there are other ahaadeeth which attest to its correctness [in content]”( The Permanent Commitee for Fatwah, vol 1, page 232).

If this statement of theirs still has any ambiguity as to where precisely they place the hadith, that ambiguity is banished by their verdict that the act is prohibited and their reference to this same hadith as their basis.

Students of hadith (may Allah make me one) know that a hadith with some weakness in its chain of narration can still be judged صحيح المعنى ( sound of content) when its content is confirmed correct by other ahaadeeth. That is the case with this particular hadith – according to the Permanent Commitee. It explains their verdict on bowing.

And by the way, how often have we students of knowledge been warned to beware of hastening to make our independent judgment disagreeing with the trusted scholars when their preponderant view on a matter points in a particular direction, not to talk of unanimity! That precisely is what they refer to as self-conceit in us. May Allah purge us of every bit of it.

Written by: Sheikh Murtado Adedokun, Hafidhahullah.

Eating of cucumber and fresh date to gain weight

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ نُمَيْرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا يُونُسُ بْنُ بُكَيْرٍ حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامُ بْنُ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَتْ أُمِّي تُعَالِجُنِي لِلسُّمْنَةِ تُرِيدُ أَنْ تُدْخِلَنِي عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ فَمَا اسْتَقَامَ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى أَكَلْتُ الْقِثَّاءَ بِالرُّطَبِ فَسَمِنْتُ كَأَحْسَنِ سُمْنَةٍ ‏.

It was narrated that “Aishah said:

“My mother was trying to fatten me up when she wanted to send me to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) (when she got married), but nothing worked until I ate cucumbers with dates; then I grew plump like the best kind of plump.”

Sahih (Darussalam)

English : Vol. 4, Book 29, Hadith 3324
Arabic : Book 29, Hadith 3449
Sunan Ibn Majah

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Beware of calendars that set aside a time called “end of suhoor” (or imsaak) differently from the time of Fajr. They contradict the Quran which says: “Eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)” [2:187]. They also contradict the Sunnah and the practices of the companions from all of which suhoor ends exactly at Fajr with the following allowances:

1) If someone doubts if the Fajr is out or not, he can still eat until he is certain.

2) If someone is already eating when the Fajr appears and he hears the Fajr azaan while on his meal, he can complete his meal before putting away the bowl as stated clearly in a hadith.

Also, Fajr is best determined visually from its description by the Messenger as “that which comes with a tinge of redness” [Abu Dawud]. Only visual observation can guide one to know what adjustment to make to the forecasts on phone apps which are generally more sensitive than the naked eyes and can serve only as a guide and are not precisely acurate – especially for Subh. Beware!

Written by: Sheikh Murtado Adedokun, Hafidhahullah