Abubakrah and his Hadith on Women and Leadership (1): His Integrity

By Salihu Baban Takko

Allah gafarta Malam, am sorry to say you’ve mistaken the context of slander and the eligibility or acceptance of hadith by a narrator who was flogged due to such act. Over thousand plus years of its record, there was no attempt to repudiate this hadith, never. But the most troubled aspect is how you followed Sheikh Muhd Ashqar in castigating the hadith without citing any authoritative predecessor to back you stance.

 To start my observations regarding this subject, I chose to differ with you on the main substances of your perception/claims, your main points, are : 1. “On the case of Abi Bakrah, the person who reported the Hadith that bans women from holding political office, one has only two choices to make. Because he was the same person caned during the lifetime of Caliph Umar for slander.” 2. “Yes you have two choices! Either believe in his testimony against women holding political office, you then deny Umar for caning him and affirm Mughirah and Ummu as condemned adulterers. Or you can simply reject his testimony against women holding political office for what it obviously is, a fabrication no matter the authenticity of the chain. “ 3. “Shi’ites prefer being with Abi Bakrah in order to nail Mughirah Ibn Shubah to the wall. They don’t like many Hadith by Mughirah! It also makes their case that not all the companions of the prophet are just as is believed in some quarters in Sunnism!” These are the main contention points and insha Allahu I’ll detail some missing points from the writer, so that he may correct his assumptions.

 My responses are as follows: 1. It is a clear taqwa, love of Allah and a virtue for a Muslim to submit himself to an appropriate authority to carry out a shari’a prescribed punishment on him for his sinful act, that shows his sincerity and how he values his hereafter. 2. As for the 2nd claim, that the humble companion was canned for slander against his fellow companion, this is a wrong interpretation of slander, as his case was not of a slander par se, but that of inconclusive witness ﻋﺪﻡ ﻛﻤﺎﻝ ﻧﺼﺎﺏ ﺍﻟﺸﻬﻮﺩ. To be more affirmative, this is not a slander case par se. A clear example of slander is for someone to openly claim that one is a fornicator, while not been a firsthand witness & without any witness to back his claim. The irony here is you’re entirely late, because all the past generations (without any exception) of the Muslim ummah are united in accepting Abubakra’s testimony; they have built a concensus on his adala and eligibility to narrate the Sunnah of The Noble Prophet of Allah s.a.w before and after the incident.

And let me remind you these: Abubakra is a maula (freed slave) of the Prophet of Allah and in Islam, there is a clear difference between in-adequate testimony and a full-scale slander, and one’s testimony is acceptable even without a repentance, so long as it a case of inadequate witness. This claim has the blessings of many trustworthy ulamas from various fiqh schools of thought, as some can be seen here : a. Ibn Aqeel al-Hanbaliy, in his (al-Wadeeh fi Usul al-Fiqh, 5/27) has quoted Ahmad bn Hanbal r.h, saying : ” ﻭﻻ ﻳﺮﺩ ﺧﺒﺮ ﺃﺑﻲ ﺑﻜﺮﺓ ﻭﻻ ﻣﻦ ﺟﻠﺪ ﻣﻌﻪ ﻷﻧﻬﻢ ﺟﺎﺅﻭﺍ ﻣﺠﻲﺀ ﺍﻟﺸﻬﺎﺩﺓ، ﻭﻟﻚ ﻳﺄﺗﻮﺍ ﺑﺼﺮﻳﺤﺔ ﺍﻟﻘﺬﻑ، ﻭﻳﺴﻮﻍ ﻓﻴﻪ ﺍﻻﺟﺘﻬﺎﺩ ﻭﻻ ﺗﺮﺩ ﺍﻟﺸﻬﺎﺩﺓ ﺑﻤﺎ ﻳﺴﻮﻍ ﻓﻴﻪ ﺍﻻﺟﺘﻬﺎﺩ “. “Narration of Abubakra and his other flogged witnesses most not be rejected, because their case is that of shaida (testimony), they didnt come with a clear case of slander …”. b. Ibn Hazm in (al-Muhalla, 8/532) has this to say : “ما سمعنا أن مسلما فسق أبا بكرة، ولا امتنع من قبول شهادته على ص في أحكام الدين …” “We’ve never heard that a muslim has ever charged Abubakra with fisq or refused his testimony with respect to the hadith of the Prophet s.a.w in the ahkam (jurisprudence) of deen”. c. Àla’uddeen al-Mugaltayi (Ikmal Tahdhib al-Kamal, 12/77) has confirmed the concensus of ummah in respect to acceptance/eligibility of his narrations, he quoted Abubakar al-Isma’iliy in his work (al-Madkhal) this way : ﻟﻢ ﻳﻤﺘﻨﻊ ﺃﺣﺪ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﺘﺎﺑﻌﻴﻦ ﻓﻤﻦ ﺑﻌﺪﻫﻢ ﻣﻦ ﺭﻭﺍﻳﺔ ﺣﺪﻳﺚ ﺃﺑﻲ ﺑﻜﺮﺓ ﻭﺍﻻﺣﺘﺠﺎﺝ ﺑﻪ، ﻭﻟﻢ ﻳﺘﻮﻗﻒ ﺃﺣﺪ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﺮﻭﺍﺓ ﻋﻨﻪ ﻭﻻ ﻃﻌﻦ ﺃﺣﺪ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺭﻭﺍﻳﺘﻪ ﻣﻦ ﺟﻬﺔ ﺷﻬﺎﺩﺗﻪ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﻤﻐﻴﺮﺓ ….”. “None among the Tabi’un (the generation after the Sahaba) and the subsequent generations has ever rejected Sunnah narration from Abubakara, none among the narrators has ever refrained from accepting his hadith or flawed his narration based on his testimony against Mughira r.a….” 3). And that his hadith on “woman leadership” is a fabrication no matter how sound its chain of narrators. Sir, am afraid to say that this view/outburst is a new concept to the science of hadith, though, coming from someone who is not an authority in the field of hadith science, it is nothing and stands no ground to affect the authenticity of the hadith, because it lacks any basic substance in grading the hadith. Moreover, Malam Ibrahim got to put this to his head, that there is no single fabricated hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari, this is the concensus of the ummah and his contrary view is a non-starter and lacks the intellectual substance to affect it. Lastly, if you can reject Abubakra’s hadith or testimony base on that claim, then 1 has no choice but to ask you the authenticity of this famous hadith : ﻋﻦ ﺍﻷﺣﻨﻒ ﺑﻦ ﻗﻴﺲ ﻗﺎﻝ : ﺫﻫﺒﺖ ﻷﻧﺼﺮ ﻫﺬﺍ ﺍﻟﺮﺟﻞ، ﻓﻠﻘﻴﻨﻲ ﺃﺑﻮ ﺑﻜﺮﺓ، ﻓﻘﺎﻝ : ﺃﻳﻦ ﺗﺮﻳﺪ؟ ﻗﻠﺖ : ﺃﻧﺼﺮ ﻫﺬﺍ ﺍﻟﺮﺟﻞ، ﻗﺎﻝ : ﺍﺭﺟﻊ، ﻓﺈﻧﻲ ﺳﻤﻌﺖ ﺭﺳﻮﻝ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﺻ ﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ ﻳﻘﻮﻝ : (ﺇﺫﺍ ﺍﻟﺘﻘﻰ ﺍﻟﻤﺴﻠﻤﺎﻥ ﺑﺴﻴﻔﻴﻬﻤﺎ ﻓﺎﻟﻘﺎﺗﻞ ﻭﺍﻟﻤﻘﺘﻮﻝ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻨﺎﺭ) . ﻗﻠﺖ : ﻳﺎ ﺭﺳﻮﻝ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ، ﻫﺬﺍ ﺍﻟﻘﺎﺗﻞ، ﻓﻤﺎ ﺑﺎﻝ ﺍﻟﻤﻘﺘﻮﻝ؟ ﻗﺎﻝ : (ﺇﻧﻪ ﻛﺎﻥ ﺣﺮﻳﺼﺎً ﻋﻠﻰ ﻗﺘﻞ ﺻﺎﺣﺒﻪ)”. “If two muslims sheds their swords (to fight), both the killer and victim are in the fire …”. (Bukhari) Please say something about its authenticity & how you arrived at its grade. 3). The case that not all the companions of the Prophet are just as is believed in some quarters in Sunnism : Honestly, to say the least is, this statement is ridiculous. Anyway, I won’t say more for now, but I’ll like to ask for a detail on these 2 notions : i. Not all the companions are just. Please define what you mean by that “just” with some clear quotations from some pious ulamahs to back your defination. ii. As believed in some quarters in Sunnism. Sir, is there a segment of the Ahlus Sunnah that goes this way? If there is any, please cite them, along with their supporting evidence(s) backing their stance. Insha Allah I’ll respond appropriately after your submission.