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The Knowledge and Wisdom of Ibn Mas`ud [radiallaahu `anhu] (Hadith No. 2604)


Volume 4, Book 52, Number 209 :
Narrated by Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
Today a man came to me and asked me a question which I did not know how to answer. He said, “Tell me, if a wealthy active man, well-equipped with arms, goes out on military expeditions with our chiefs, and orders us to do such things as we cannot do (should we obey him?)” I replied, “By Allah, I do not know what to reply you, except that we were in the company of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and he used to order us to do a thing once only till we finished it. And no doubt, everyone among you will remain in a good state as long as he obeys Allah. If one is in doubt as to the legality of something, he should ask somebody who would satisfy him, but soon will come a time when you will not find such a man. By Him, except Whom none has the right to be worshipped, I see that the example of what has passed of this life (to what remains thereof) is like a pond whose fresh water has been used up and nothing remains but muddy water.”

The narrator of this hadith, Abdullah, is none other than the famous Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (radiallaahu `anhu), about whom `Allaamah adh-Dhahabi writes:

“‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (ra), the learned leader (al-imam al-rabbani), Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Abdullah Ibn Ummi ‘Abd al-Hudhali; Companion and personal servant of the Messenger (saw); among the first to embrace Islam; among the veterans of the battle of Badr; among the expert jurists and teachers of the Qur’an; among those who strove to convey (the words of the Messenger – saw) very accurately; extremely scrupulous in (his) narrations; and one who would admonish his students upon their negligence in recording the exact words (of the Messenger – saw)…(Due to extreme caution) he would narrate very little (himself)… His students would not give preference to any Companion over him…. Surely he was from among the leading Companions, the bearers of sacred knowledge, and the exemplars (a’imma) of guidance.” (Tadhkirat al-Huffaz 1:13-16)

Abdullah ibn Mas`ud

Hudhayfa (radiallaahu `anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said:

“Whatever ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiallaahu `anhu) narrates to you, accept it.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

Going back to the hadith, his reply to the questioner is basically in affirmative when he says that we used to do whatever the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said to us. And that you would prosper as long as you obey Allah (by obeying the leader). Now we know from yesterday’s post that one must obey the appointed ruler as much as he can and as long as he doesn’t order you to do acts of kufr (disbelief) etc. Ibn Mas`ud (radiallaahu `anhu) did not say yes explicitly to not make it hard for the person to follow his fatwa. So he said when such things happen (I’m supposing this was a hypothetical question), ask someone who can satisfy you – meaning a scholar, who will be rare to find. And his parable of the life already lived as compared to the remaining portion adds weight to his point in my opinion – that the days are only getting worse. So it will definitely happen that rulers will ask of subjects what they cannot do resulting in disobedience of the subjects.

The Matter of Ibn Sayyaad (Hadith No. 1136)


Ibn Sayyaad’s name was Saafi, or ‘Abd-Allaah, ibn (the son of) Sayyaad or Saa’id.

He was one of the Jews of Madeenah, and it was said that he was one of the Ansaar. He was a child at the time when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah. It was also said that he became Muslim.

Ibn Sayyaad was a dajjaal (a liar), and he used to tell fortunes, sometimes what he said came true, and sometimes it did not. He became famous among the people, and it was rumored that he was the Dajjaal. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to find out about him, so he used to go to him secretly, without revealing his identity to him, hoping to hear something from him. He also asked him some questions directly, to find out what he really was. He outlived the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then he was lost on the day of al-Harrah.

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 437:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

‘Umar set out along with the Prophet (p.b.u.h) with a group of people to Ibn Saiyad till they saw him playing with the boys near the hillocks of Bani Mughala. Ibn Saiyad at that time was nearing his puberty and did not notice (us) until the Prophet stroked him with his hand and said to him, “Do you testify that I am Allah’s Apostle?” Ibn Saiyad looked at him and said, “I testify that you are the Messenger of illiterates.” Then Ibn Saiyad asked the Prophet (p.b.u.h), “Do you testify that I am Allah’s Apostle?” The Prophet (p.b.u.h) refuted it and said, “I believe in Allah and His Apostles.” Then he said (to Ibn Saiyad), “What do you think?” Ibn Saiyad answered, “True people and liars visit me.” The Prophet said, “You have been confused as to this matter.” Then the Prophet said to him, “I have kept something (in my mind) for you, (can you tell me that?)” Ibn Saiyad said, “It is Al-Dukh (the smoke).” (2) The Prophet said, “Let you be in ignominy. You cannot cross your limits.” On that ‘Umar, said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Allow me to chop his head off.” The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “If he is he (i.e. Dajjal), then you cannot over-power him, and if he is not, then there is no use of murdering him.” (Ibn ‘Umar added): Later on Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) once again went along with Ubai bin Ka’b to the date-palm trees (garden) where Ibn Saiyad was staying. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) wanted to hear something from Ibn Saiyad before Ibn Saiyad could see him, and the Prophet (p.b.u.h) saw him lying covered with a sheet and from where his murmurs were heard. Ibn Saiyad’s mother saw Allah’s Apostle while he was hiding himself behind the trunks of the date-palm trees. She addressed Ibn Saiyad, “O Saf ! (and this was the name of Ibn Saiyad) Here is Muhammad.” And with that Ibn Saiyad got up. The Prophet said, “Had this woman left him (Had she not disturbed him), then Ibn Saiyad would have revealed the reality of his case.

There are other narrations as well, where Ibn Sayyaad interacted with the Companions. Some denote that he was the Dajjaal, and some prove otherwise. He himself used to deny it when people accused him of being the Dajjaal, saying that he didn’t have the traits of Dajjaal as described by the Prophet (SAW).
But he was definitely a liar. Once, when he was alone with Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri (RA), he almost convinced him of his innocence. But what he said in the end made Abu Sa`eed (RA) realize that he was lying.

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri said:

We went out for Hajj or ‘Umrah, and Ibn Saa’id was with us. We stopped at a place to camp, and the people separated and I was left with him (Ibn Saa’id). I felt very nervous and afraid of him, because of what had been said about him. He brought his luggage and put it with mine. I said, ‘It is very hot – why don’t you put your things under that tree?’ So he did that. Then some sheep appeared before us, and he went and brought a large vessel (of milk) and said, ‘Drink, O Abu Sa’eed.’ I said, ‘It is too hot, and the milk is hot.’ In fact (the only thing wrong was) that I did not want to drink from his hand, or take anything from his hand. He said, ‘Abu Sa’eed, I have been thinking that I should take a rope and suspend it from a tree, and hang myself, because of what people are saying about me. O Abu Sa’eed, does anyone know more about hadeeth than you Ansaar? Are you not one of the most knowledgeable of people about the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Didn’t the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say that the Dajjaal is a kaafir, and I am a Muslim? Didn’t the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say that he would be sterile, with no children, and I have left my child behind in Madeenah? Didn’t the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say that he will never enter Madeenah or Makkah, but I have left Madeenah and am headed for Makkah?’ … I was about to accept his excuses, then he said, ‘But, by Allaah, I know who the Dajjaal is, where he was born and where he is now. [bro, nobody knows about Dajjal and his whereabouts except Allah!]’ I said to him, ‘May you perish for the rest of the day!’
(Narrated by Muslim, no. 5211).

According to another report, Ibn Sayyaad said: “By Allaah, I know where he is now and I know his father and mother.” It was said to him, “Would you not be happy to be that man?” He said, “If it were offered to me, I would not refuse.” (Narrated by Muslim, 521)

Scholars have differed greatly regarding Ibn Sayyaad. Some said he was the Dajjaal and others said he was not. But it’s safe to say that Ibn Sayyaad was one of the dajjaals or liars, but he was not the greater Dajjaal. And Allaah knows best.

Read more on the topic here.


The Blind Mu’adhin: Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum (Hadith No. 591)


Volume 1, Book 11, Number 591:

Narrated Salim bin Abdullah:

My father said that Allah’s Apostle said, “Bilal pronounces Adhaan at night, so keep on eating and drinking (Suhur) till Ibn Umm Maktum pronounces Adhaan.” Salim added, “He was a blind man who would not pronounce the Adhaan unless he was told that the day had dawned.”

Yes, a blind man. He only needed to be told of the time. Pronouncing the Adhaan does not require sight, does it? :)

Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum was among the first converts to Islam. Muhammad (SAW) sent him and Mus`ab ibn `Umair to Medina for teaching Qur’an to the inhabitants before the Hijrah took place. He and Bilal ibn Rabah were chosen as mu’adhins in Medina by Muhammad (SAW). When Muhammad (SAW) left Medina for participating in battles, he was given the responsibility of leading the prayers. (Islam surely does NOT discriminate.)

Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum requested Umar, the second Caliph of Islam, to let him take part in Jihad in spite of his blindness. Umar allowed him to take part in the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah in 636 C.E. He served in the battle as the standard bearer for the Muslim side, and he was killed in the fighting.

Allah (SWT) revealed a few verses about this awesome Sahabi (companion) as well. The story goes as follows:

Muhammad (SAW) was preaching Islam to Walid ibn al-Mughira and other Quraysh chieftains in Mecca. Abd-Allah ibn Umm Maktum came along and asked Muhammad (SAW) about something. Muhammad (SAW) did not want to turn his attention away from the chieftains and frowned at ibn Umm Maktum. Allah admonished Muhammad (SAW) for this action via the first ten verses of ‘Abasa:

He (Prophet s.a.w) frowned and turned (his) back,
Because there came to him the blind man.
And what would make you know that he would purify himself,
Or become reminded so that the reminder should profit him?
As for him who considers himself free from need (of you),
To him do you address yourself.
And no blame is on you if he would not purify himself
And as to him who comes to you striving hard,
And he fears,
From him will you divert yourself?

Another verse based on an incident involving ibn Umm-Maktum is the 95th verse of An-Nisa. As related by Ibn Kathir in his exegesis of the Qur’an, Al-Bukhari recorded that Sahl bin Sa`d As-Sa`di said, “I saw Marwan bin Al-Hakam sitting in the Masjid. I came and sat by his side. He told us that Zayd bin Thabit told him that Allah’s Messenger dictated this Ayah to him, Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and those who strive and fight in the Cause of Allah. Ibn Umm Maktum came to the Prophet as he was dictating that very Ayah to me. Ibn Umm Maktum said, `O Allah’s Messenger! By Allah, if I had power, I would surely take part in Jihad.’ He was a blind man. So Allah sent down revelation to His Messenger while his thigh was on mine and it became so heavy for me that I feared that my thigh would be broken. That ended after Allah revealed, … except those who are disabled and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah. [Qur’an, 4:95]

So that was Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum, the awesome Sahabi who did not let his blindness be his weakness. He did more than most ‘seeing’ men could ever do. May Allah be pleased with him. :)


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