His Early Life, Becoming Muslim and His Companionship with the Prophet (S.)
He was born in Yemen and grew up there until he was over thirty years old.1 He was so ignorant that he had not a bit of insight, nor a little perception. He was a pauper forgotten by the age, an orphan hit by poverty, serving this and that, man or woman just to fill his stomach,2 barefooted, naked, contented with this disgrace, comforted with his condition.
But when Allah (S.w.T.) had confirmed His apostle’s mission in Medina after the battles of Badr, Uhud and al-Ahzab and so and so, there was no way for this miserable pauper to go in but that of Islam. He migrated to pay homage to the Prophet Muhammad (S.) after the battle of Khaybar in the seventh year of hijra according to all of the historians.
As for his companionship with the Prophet (S.), it was three years as he declared in one of his traditions mentioned by al-Bukhari. 3
When Abu Hurayra became a Muslim, he joined the destitute of Suffa who, as Abul-Fida’ said in his book at-Tareekh al-Mukhtassar (brief history), were poor people with no houses or relatives. They slept in the mosque and they stayed in it at the time of the Prophet (S.). Suffa was their shelter, so they were called by that name (ahl us-suffa). When the Prophet (S.) had his dinner, he invited some of them to dine with him and sent some others to dine with his companions. One of the famous inhabitants of suffa was Abu Hurayra. 4
Abu Na’eem al-Isfahani said in his book Hilyatul-Awliya’5 that Abu Hurayra was the most famous inhabitant of suffa. He lived in it along the life of the Prophet (S.) and he did not move out. He was the introducer of the suffa
He told about himself that he was one of the destitute inhabitants of the suffa, in a long tradition mentioned by al-Bukhari. 6
Abu Hurayra said as in al-Bukhari’s Sahih7: “I saw seventy of the inhabitants of suffa8, no one of them had a dress on him. They either had loincloth or a piece of cloth tied to their necks, some reached half of their legs and some reached their heels, which they gathered in order that their private parts not to bee seen.
Al- Bukhari mentioned another long tradition9 that Abu Hurayra said he had kept to the Prophet (S.) just for feed.
And another narrated by Ibnul-Musayyab and Abu Slama that Abu Hurayra said10: “I kept to the Prophet just for feed.”
In another tradition, he talked about himself11: I was one of the suffa inhabitants. Once I remained fasting. I suffered a stomachache. I went to relieve myself and when I came back I found that the food was eaten. The rich people of Quraysh used to send food to the suffa inhabitants. I said: to whom should I go? I was told to go to Omar bin al-Khattab. I went to him. I found him busy praising Allah (S.w.T.) after the prayer. I waited until he finished. I said to him: Recite me some of Qur’an, I do not want save food.
He recited some verses of sura (Aal Imran). He went in and left me at the door. He was late. I thought he might change his cloths and then bring me some food. There was nothing of that. I left to meet Prophet Muhammad (S.). I went with him until we reached his house. He called a black maid12 of his and said to her: “Bring us that bowl.” She brought us a bowl with a little of eaten food remained at its sides. I thought it was barley. I ate until I became satiate.”
He often described himself by saying13: “I swear by Allah (S.w.T.), who there is no God but Him that I slept on the ground and put a rock on my abdomen because of hunger. Once I sat in their way, by which they (Prophet’s (S.) companions) got out from the mosque. Abu Bakr passed by me. I asked him about a Qur’anic verse just to give me some food. He went away without giving me anything. Then Omar passed by me and I asked him the same. He went away without giving me any food. Then the Prophet Muhammad (S.) passed by me. He smiled when he saw me and knew what was in my mind. He said: “Abu Hirr14.
I said: “Here I am.” He said: “Follow me.” He went and I followed him. He went in his house and allowed me to go in. We found a cup of milk. He asked: “Where is this milk from? They (household) said: “It is a gift from someone.” He said: “Abu Hirr, go and invite the inhabitants of suffa to come”. They were the guests of Islam. They did not have relatives to live with. When the Prophet (S.) got some charities, he sent all charities for them and when he got a gift he shared it with them. I became disturbed. I thought that I was worthier than those of suffa to have a drink from this milk. I thought that if they came the Prophet (S.) would order me to give them from the milk. So what could I get from this milk? I had to obey the Prophet. I went and invited them.
They came and asked permission. They were allowed to go in and take their seats. The Prophet (S.) said: “Abu Hirr, take the cup of milk and give them to drink.” I took the cup of milk and began to give one after the other and they all became satiate until I came to the Prophet. He took the cup, smiled and said: “Abu Hirr, no one remained except me and you.” I said: “That’s right.” He said: “Sit and drink.” I sat and drank. He asked me to drink, too. I drank. He kept asking me to drink until I said: “I swear by Allah (S.w.T.), who has sent you with the rightness, that I can’t drink more.” He said: “Show me it.” I gave him the cup. He praised Allah (S.w.T.) and said, in the name of Allah (S.w.T.), and drank the leftover.”15
Also it was mentioned in al-Bukhari’s sahih16 that Abu Hurayra said: “I often fainted between the minbar of the Prophet (S.) and the room of Aa’isha. The comers put their feet on my neck thinking I was mad. But I was not mad. It was just because of hunger.”
Thujjanahayn (two-winged) Ja’far bin Abu Talib was very charitable, sympathetic and almsgiver to the poor. He often fed Abu Hurayra when hungry. So Abu Hurayra supported him and considered him the best of people after the Prophet (S.), as it was mentioned in al-Issaba (Ja’far’s biography).
Al- Bukari mentioned17 that Abu Hurayra said: “People say that Abu Hurayra narrated much many traditions. I kept to the Prophet (S.) just to satisfy my hunger. I neither ate good food nor wore new cloths. I was not served by anyone. I stuck my abdomen to the ground because of hunger. I asked some people to recite me a Qur’anic verse, which I already knew, that they might invite me for some food. The best one for the poor was Ja’far bin Abu Talib. He took us with him to give us whatever food was there in his house.18
Al- Baghawi mentioned a tradition narrated by al-Maqbari19 that Abu Hurayra had said: “Ja’far bin Abu Talib liked the poor and sat with them. He served them and they served him. He talked to them and they talked to him. Therefore the Prophet Muhammad (S.) called him father of the poor.”20
At-Tarmithi and an-Nassa’ei mentioned that Abu Hurayra had said: “No one, who put on shoes, rode sumpters and trod on the ground, was better than Ja’far bin Abu Talib after the Prophet Muhammad (S.).”21
Suffa was Abu Hurayra’s home, day and night. He did not leave it to any other place until the Prophet (S.) left this worldly evanescent life and joined the Beneficent Companion. Before that Abu Hurayra did not achieve anything that made him be able to fill his stomach save to sit in the way of the passersby complaining his hunger. No great matter attracted his attention. He was mentioned neither in war nor in peace. Yes! It was mentioned that he fled from the army in the battle of Mu’ta.22
He pretended that he was one of the delegation sent to Mecca by the Prophet (S.) with Imam ´Ali (a.s.) carrying the sura of Bara’a, and that he was announcing in the day of great hajj until his voice became hoarse. He had two contradictory traditions about that. You will see them in their certain chapter of this book, inshAllah (S.w.T.).
He pretended that the Prophet (S.) made him almoner to keep zakat of Ramadan in a long tradition.23
We surveyed the age of the two caliphs, Abu Bakr and Omar bin al Khattab, and investigated what had happened at their days but we didn’t find any thing worth mentioning about Abu Hurayra except that Omar had sent him to be the wali of Bahrain in the year twenty-one of hijra.24 In the year twenty-three the caliph Omar deposed him and appointed Othman bin Abul-Aass ath-Thaqafi25.
The caliph not only deposed him but also he saved from him ten thousand dinars for the treasury, alleging that he had stolen them, which they were of the Muslims. It was a famous case. Ibn Abd Rabbih al-Maliki mentioned (in his book al-Aqd al-Fareed, in the first pages of vol. 1) that the caliph Omar called for Abu Hurayra and said to him: “You know well that I had appointed you as wali of Bahrain and you were barefooted and now came to my ears that you have bought horses for one thousand and six hundred dinars. Abu Hurayra said: “We had some horses that bore and gifts that cumulated”.
The caliph said: “I counted your livelihood and income and I found that it is over than yours and you have to return it”. Abu Hurayra said: “You can’t do that”. Omar said: “Yes, I can and I will beat you on the back.” Then Omar got up and beat him with his stick26 until he wounded him and said to him: “Pay the money back.” Abu Hurayra said: “Exempt me for the sake of Allah (S.w.T.).” Omar said: “That would be if it was halal and that you paid it back obediently. Have you come from the farthest lap of Bahrain with people’s taxes to be in your pocket, neither for Allah (S.w.T.) nor for the Muslims? Omayma begot you just to graze donkeys.”27
Ibn Abd Rabbih mentioned that Abu Hurayra had said: “When Omar deposed me in Bahrain, he said to me: “O enemy of Allah (S.w.T.) and enemy of His Qur’an, did you steal the wealth of the Muslims?” Abu Hurayra said: “I am not an enemy of Allah (S.w.T.) or His book, but I am an enemy of your enemies. I did not steal the wealth of the Muslims. Omar said: “Then how did you get ten thousand dinars?” He said: “We had some horses that bore, gifts that cumulated and shares that multiplied.” Omar took the money from me but when I offered the Fajr (dawn) prayer, I asked Allah (S.w.T.) to forgive him.”
This tradition was also mentioned by Ibn Abul-Hadeed in his book Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, vol. 328, and was mentioned by Ibn Sa’d in his book at-Tabaqat al-Kubra (Abu Huraya’s biography)29narrated by Muhammad bin Seereen that Abu Hurayra had said: “Omar said to me: “O enemy of Allah (S.w.T.) and enemy of his Qur’an, did you steal the wealth of the Muslims…etc.” Ibn Hijr mentioned this tradition in his book al-Issaba but he modified it and changed the truth in a way dissented from all the others in order to purify the fame of Abu Hurayra. But he forgot that he defamed the man, who beat Abu Hurayra on the back and took his money and deposed him.
Abu Hurayra became very sincere for the family of Abul-Aass and all the Umayyads when Othman became the caliph. He adjoined Marwan bin al-Hakam and flattered the family of Abu Ma’eet, therefore he became an important person especially after the blockade of Othman’s house during the revolution against him because that Abu Hurayra was with him in the house. Hence he obtained bloom after fading and fame after obscurity.
He got an opportunity during that sedition to slip into Othman’s house and did the family of Abul-Aass and the other Umayyads a favor that had a great impression upon them and their assistants and it strengthened their state later on. So they wiped the dust of obscurity from him and praised him to be well-known. Although they knew that he did not slip into the house of the caliph to be among the blockaded ones until the caliph ordered his companions to be quiet and to stop fighting.
The caliph did that just to spare his and his companions’ blood. Abu Hurayra knew well that the rebellious people did not want but Othman and Marwan. That encouraged him to be among the blockaded ones.
Anyhow the man seized the opportunity, his deal gained m uch, and his goods (traditions) sold well. Henceforth the Umayyads and their supporters listened to his traditions carefully and tried their best to spread them. At the same time, he told of traditions according to their wishes.
For example, he narrated that the prophet Muhammad (S.) had said: “Every prophet had a bosom friend and mine is Othman.”30
He also said31: “I heard the Prophet (S.) saying: “Othman is modest so the angels become modest in front of him.”
He also said that Prophet Muhammad (S.) had said: “Every prophet has a mate in Paradise. My mate in Paradise is Othman.”32
Abu Hurayra also narrated that the Prophet (S.) had said: “Gabriel came and said to me: Allah (S.w.T.) orders you to marry Othman with Um Kulthoom (the Prophet’s (S.) step-daughter) with a dowry same as to that of Ruqayya (the Prophet’s (S.) other step-daughter).”33
Abu Hurayra said: “Once I entered the house of Ruqayya, the daughter of the Prophet (S.) and wife of Othman. She had a comb in her hand. She said: “The Prophet (S.) was here and just left a moment ago. I combed his hair. He said to me: “How do you think of Abu Abdullah (Othman)?” I said: “He is good.” He said: “Grace him, because he is the most similar to me in morals among my companions.”
He might change the tradition as he did with the Prophet’s (S.) saying: “There will be a sedition and disagreement after me.” They said: “What do you order us to do then?” He (S.) said, pointing to Imam Ali (a.s.): “Keep to the Amir and his companions.”
But Abu Hurayra preferred to flatter the family of Abul-Aass, Abu Ma’eet and Abu Sufyan, therefore he turned this tradition to Othman34 and in return for that they rewarded him for his favor.
Abu Hurayra’s voice died down during the reign of Imam Ali (a.s.). He was wrapped in obscurity again and was about to return to his first condition. He turned away from Imam Ali (a.s.) and did not try to assist him. In fact his destination was the laps of Imam Ali (a.s.)’s enemies.
Once Mu’awiya sent Abu Hurayra and an-Nu’man bin Basheer-they were in Damascus-to Imam Ali (a.s.) asking him to send the killers of Othman to Mu’awiya in order to punish them for killing Othman. Mu’awiya wanted by doing so that when they come back to Damascus, they would excuse him and blame Imam Ali (a.s.), although he knew that Imam Ali (a.s.) would not send the killers of Othman to him. So he wanted to make Abu Hurayra and an-Nu’man as evidence in front of people of Damascus to show them that Mu’awiya had an excuse to fight Imam ´Ali (a.s.).
Mu’awiya said to Abu Hurayra and an-Nu’man: “Go to Ali and ask him to send us the killers of Othman for he has sheltered them. If he did, there would be no war between him and us. If he refused, you would be witnesses against him. Then you come in front of people and tell them of that”. They went to Imam Ali (a.s.). Abu Hurayra said to him: “O Abu Hasan35, Allah (S.w.T.) has given you a virtue and honor in Islam, for you are Prophet Muhammad’s cousin. Your cousin (Mu’awiya) has sent us to you asking you for something to calm down this war and to end the enmity between you that is to send him the killers of his cousin Othman to kill them and may Allah (S.w.T.) reconcile you. Hence the nation will be safe from sedition and disagreement”.
Then an-Nu’man said something like that. Imam Ali (a.s.) said to them: “Let not talk about that. O Nu’man, tell me about you. Are you the best of your people (Ansar)36 in guidance?” He said: “No.” Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “All of your people have followed me except three or four deviants of them. Are you one of the deviants?” An-Nu’man said: “Verily I came to be with you and to keep to you, but Mu’awiya asked me to tell you that. I hoped that it would be a cause for me to meet you and I hoped that Allah (S.w.T.) may reconcile you. If you see other than that, I will be with you and won’t leave you”.
Historians said that Imam Ali (a.s.) did not talk with Abu Hurayra a word. He left to Damascus and told Mu’awiya about what happened. Mu’awiya ordered him to tell people about that. He did and did many things else that satisfied Mu’awiya.
An-Nu’man lived with Imam Ali (a.s.) and then fled to Damascus and told its people about what happened…to the end of this incident.37
When it became serious and the war began, the terror entered Abu Hurayra’s heart to make his legs tremble. At the beginning of that sedition he didn’t doubt that Ali would win the war, so he cowered to the ground and disencouraged others in order not to help Imam Ali (a.s.) by telling untrue prophetic traditions secretly. One of his traditions then was that he said: “I heard the Prophet (S.) saying: “There will be a sedition; the sitting is better than the standing and the standing is better than the walking and the walking is better than the running. Any one finds a shelter, let him resort to it”.38
Abu Hurayra still as he was until the Kharijites rebelled against Imam Ali (a.s.) and Mu’awiya became stronger. He occupied Egypt and killed its wali Muhammad bin Abi Bakr, who was appointed by Imam ´Ali (a.s.). He began to ravage and make raids against the state of Imam Ali (a.s.). He sent secretly Bissr bin Arta’a with an army of three thousand soldiers to Hijaz and Yemen ravaging and spoiling there. They killed, burnt and tore people savagely. They profaned the laws of Allah (S.w.T.). They disgraced the honor of women and captured boys and girls of the Muslims there to blacken the face of history.
After all those atrocities, Bissr extorted homage to Mu’awiya from all people of Hijaz and Yemen.39 Then Abu Hurayra spread what was hidden in his heart to Bissr bin Arta’a. Bissr found that he was sincere to Mu’awiya and loyal in taking homage to Mu’awiya from people. Bissr appointed Abu Hurayra as wali of Medina when he left after ordering people to obey him. He led people in prayers and thought he was the real wali until Jariya bin Qudama as-Sa’di came to Medina with two thousand knights sent by Imam Ali (a.s.). Abu Hurayra was leading people in offering prayer. He fled. Jariya said:40 “If I found Abu Sannour41, I would kill him.”
While Jariya was in Hijaz, he knew that Imam Ali (a.s.) was martyred. He took homage to Imam Hasan bin Ali bin Abu Talib (a.s.) and went back to Kufa. Abu Hurayra came back to Medina leading prayers42 and became stronger until Mu’awiya dominated.
Abu Hurayra lived the best days of his life during the reign of Mu’awiya. Mu’awiya realized many of this man’s hopes, so he told traditions as Mu’awiya liked. He told people incredible traditions about the virtues of Mu’awiya and some others.
Fabricated traditions exceeded the limits in the state of Mu’awiya according to what his media wanted and his policies needed to spite the Hashimites. The state of Mu’awiya had many liars fabricating prophetic traditions as the Prophet (S.) had warned of. They were advanced in inventing traditions according to what they were inspired with by the rulers. The first of them was Abu Hurayra. He told people of abominable traditions talking about the virtues of Mu’awiya. One of those traditions was mentioned by Ibn Assakir in two ways, Ibn Adiy in two ways, Muhammad bin Aa’ith in a fifth way, Muhammad bin Abd as-Samarqandi in a sixth way, Muhammad bin Mubarak as-Souri in a seventh way and al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi in an eighth way that Abu Hurayra had said: “I heard the Prophet (S.) saying: “Allah (S.w.T.) has entrusted three with His inspiration; me, Gabriel and Mu’awiya!”
And another mentioned by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi that Abu Hurayra said: “The Prophet (S.) gave Mu’awiya an arrow and said to him: “Take this arrow until you meet me in Paradise!”
Another mentioned by Abul-Abbas al-Waleed bin Ahmad az-Zouzani in his book Shajaratul-Aql, in two ways that Abu Hurayra had said: “I heard the Prophet (S.) saying: “There will be a dome of white pearl with four doors for Abu Bakr. The wind of mercy flows through it. Its outside is Allah (S.w.T.)’s pardon and its inside is Allah (S.w.T.)’s contentment. Whenever he longs for Allah (S.w.T.), a shutter opens to look at Allah (S.w.T.) through it.”
Another mentioned by Ibn Habban that Abu Hurayra had said: “When the Prophet (S.) came out from the cave towards Medina, Abu Bakr held his stirrup. He said: O Abu Bakr, may I tell you good news? In the Day of Resurrection, Allah (S.w.T.) appears to the creatures in general and appears to you privately!”
And what was mentioned by Ibn Habban that Abu Hurayra said: “While Gabriel was with the Prophet (S.), Abu Bakr passed by them. Gabriel said: It is Abu Bakr. The Prophet (S.) said: O Gabriel, do you know him? Gabriel said: He is in the heaven more famous than him on the earth. The angels call him the discerner of Quraysh. He is your minister in your life and the caliph after your death.”
Another tradition mentioned by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi that Abu Hurayra said: “Prophet Muhammad (S.) said: The angels rejoiced at the birth of Abu Bakr. Allah (S.w.T.) looked at the Garden of Eden and said: I swear by My glory and loftiness that I will not enter anyone into it except who loved this newborn baby.”
And another one mentioned by Ibn Adiy that Abu Hurayra said: “I heard the Prophet saying: When I ascended the heaven, in each sky I passed by I found that it was written; Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah (S.w.T.), Abu Bakr is…”43
Abul-Faraj ibn aj-Jawzi mentioned a tradition that Abu Hurayra had said: “The Prophet (S.) told me that Paradise and Hell once prided. The Hell said to the Paradise: I am better than you for I have the Pharaohs, the tyrants, the kings and their progenies. Allah (S.w.T.) inspired to Paradise to say: I am better than you because Allah (S.w.T.) had adorned me for Abu Bakr.”
And another mentioned by al-Khateeb that Abu Hurayra had said: “One day the Prophet got out leaning on Ali bin Abu Talib. They met Abu Bakr and Omar. The Prophet said to Ali: Do you love these two men? Ali(a.s.) said: yes, I do. The Prophet (S.) said to Ali (a.s.): Love them in order to enter Paradise!”
Another one mentioned by al-Khateeb in his book History of Baghdad and by Ibn Shahin in his Sunan in two ways that Abu Hurayra said: “I heard the Prophet (S.) saying: “There are in the lower heaven eighty thousand angels asking Allah (S.w.T.) to forgive whoever loves Abu Bakr and Omar and in the second heaven there are eighty thousand angels cursing whoever hates Abu Bakr and Omar.”
Another one mentioned by al-Khateeb that Abu Hurayra said: “I heard the Prophet (S.) saying: Allah (S.w.T.) has seventy thousand angels in the heaven cursing whoever curses Abu Bakr and Omar.”
All these traditions are untrue. All of those who mentioned them declared unanimously that they were null.
As-Sayouti arranged all the fabricated traditions according to their series of narrators and texts in his book al-La’ali al-Massnou’a. But they always defended Abu Hurayra by blaming the others who narrated from Abu Hurayra according to their point of view that every Muslim saw the Prophet (S.) or narrated from him was infallible!
They did the same with all what Abu Hurayra’s imagination had invented, like his saying: “I heard the Prophet (S.) saying: This is Gabriel telling me, from Allah (S.w.T.), that whoever loves Abu Bakr and Omar is a pious believer and whoever hates them is a rogue hypocrite.”44
Abu Hurayra said: “The Prophet (S.) said: Allah (S.w.T.) had created me of His light and created Abu Bakr of my light and created Omar of the light of Abu Bakr and created my nation of Omar’s light. Omar is the lamp of people in Paradise.”45
He also said: “I heard the prophet saying: Abu Bakr and Omar are the best of the first and the last Muslims.”46
And his saying: “The prophet said: My companions are like the stars. Whoever imitates some of them will be guided.”47
And his saying: “The Prophet (S.) said: There was a chapter in the Bible describing me and my companions; Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali… as seed‑produce that puts forth its sprout…”48
And many others that he let his imagination go here and there to invent. Al-Bukhari and Muslim’s49 books of Hadith had many many of the likes.
You will recognise easily the Umayyads’ gifts for this man if you think of his two conditions; one before their state where he was mean and subservient, looking at the lice creeping on his garment50 and his condition during their reign where they pulled him out of the mud of misery and clothed him with silk.51 They made him button his cloths with silk and they clothed him with slender flax52. They built him a palace in al-Aqeeq53. They surrounded him with their charity and covered him with their gifts. They spread his mention and announced his name. They made him wali on Medina, the town of the Prophet (S.)54 and married him, during his rule, to Bissra bint Ghazwan bin Jabir bin Wahab al-Maziniya, the sister of the Amir Otba bin Ghazwan55 and he wouldn’t dream of that or his imagination would ever think of that, because he strove to serve her barefooted just for feed.
Mudharib bin Jiz’ said:56 “I was walking at night and there was a man exclaiming (Allah (S.w.T.)uAkbar-Allah (S.w.T.) is the greatest). I followed him. I found that he was Abu Hurayra. I said: “What is this?” He said: “I am thanking Allah (S.w.T.). I was employed by Bissra bint Ghazwan just for my feed. I led their sumpters when they rode and served them when they got down and now I became her husband. Now I ride and when I get down, she serves me. Before that, when she reached a plain, she got down and said: “I won’t leave unless you make me porridge.” Now when I reach the same place I say to her: “I won’t leave unless you make me porridge.”57
He often said, during his emirate of Medina: “I grew up as an orphan. When I emigrated I was poor. I was employed by Bissra bint Ghazwan jus for feed. I led their sumpters when they rode and served them when they got down and now Allah (S.w.T.) has married me to her. Thanks to Allah (S.w.T.), Who made the religion as basis and made Abu Hurayra imam.”58
Once he said: “I was employed by Bissra bint Ghazwan for my feed. She ordered me to ride erectly and to go barefooted. After that Allah (S.w.T.) made her my wife. I ordered her to ride erectly and to go barefooted.”59
One day he led people in prayer and when he finished he said loudly: “Praise be to Allah (S.w.T.), Who made religion as basis and made Abu Hurayra imam after he was an employee for Bissra bint Ghazwan for his feed and a sumpter to ride.”60
One day he ascended the minbar of the Prophet (S.) and said: “Praise be to Allah (S.w.T.), Who made me eat good food, wear silk cloths and marry me to Bissra bint Ghazwan after I was her employee for my feed. She made me carry her baggage and then I made her carry my baggage.”61
The Umayyads enslaved Abu Hurayra by their favours. They appropriated his hearing, sight and heart and made him tractable. So he was the media of their policies. He changed according to their tendencies. Sometimes he invented traditions to show their virtues and sometimes he fabricated traditions showing the virtues of the two caliphs; Abu Bakr and Omar according to the wish of Mu’awiya and his oppressive group. For they had political purposes against Imam Ali (a.s.) and the Prophet’s progeny (S.), which would not be realised-as they thought-except by preferring the two caliphs. Hence he advanced in fabricating traditions, which we mentioned some of.
There were many traditions we didn’t mention, for example, the tradition about making Abu Bakr Amir of hajj in the ninth year of hijra, the year when sura of Bara’a was revealed to the Prophet (S.), and the tradition saying that the angels talked with Omar.
The Umayyad policy of subduing the Hashimites required certifying and spreading these two traditions as possible as Mu’awiya and his assistants could. They did by any means they could until all Sunni books of Hadith (Sahih) mentioned them as true traditions.
Abu Hurayra, sometimes, cut off the traditions concerning Imam ´Ali (a.s.) to distort their meaning, like his saying: “I heard the Prophet saying: The sun hadn’t been withheld or returned for anyone except for Prophet Usha’ bin Noon (Joshua) when he walked towards Jerusalem at night.”62
And his saying: “When the Qur’anic verse (And warn your nearest relations) 26:214, was revealed the prophet stood up and said: O people of Quraysh,…” Abu Hurayra cut off the tradition and didn’t mention all the text to distort it according to what the Umayyad policy required. We don’t have but to say that there is no power save in Allah (S.w.T.)!
And his saying: “The Prophet said: My heirs are not to inherit what I have left.”
And: “Prophet Muhammad (S.) said to his uncle Abu Talib: Say there is no god but Allah (S.w.T.)…until Allah (S.w.T.) revealed to the Prophet (Surely you cannot guide whom you love..) 28:56” and many other fabricated traditions. They used to subdue Imam ´Ali (a.s.) and the family of the Prophet (S.).
Imam Abu Ja’far al-Iskafi63 said: “Mu’awiya had forced some of the Prophet’s (S.) companions and some of the companions’ successors to narrate bad traditions about Ali to defame and disavow him. He gave them bribes for that. So they fabricated what satisfied him. Among them were Abu Hurayra, Amr bin al-Aass, and al-Mugheera bin Shu’ba. Among the successors was Urwa bin az-Zubayr..”
Abu Ja’far al-Iskafi also said64: “When Abu Hurayra came to Iraq with Mu’awiya in the year of (Jama’a), he came to the mosque of Kufa. When he saw that many people had come to receive him, he knelt on his knees and hit his head with his hand many times and said: “O people of Iraq, you say that I fabricate Allah (S.w.T.) and His apostle’s sayings to be in Hell. I swear by Allah (S.w.T.) that I heard the Prophet saying: “Every apostle had a sanctum. My sanctum is Medina. Whoever spoils in Medina, will be cursed by Allah (S.w.T.), the angels and all the people.” I swear by Allah (S.w.T.) that Ali has spoiled in it! When Mu’awiya heard him saying that, he endorsed him, rewarded him and made him wali of Medina.”65
Sometimes he invented traditions defending the Umayyad hypocrites, whom Allah (S.w.T.) and His apostle had cursed to protect the religion and umma from their hypocrisy and ravage. But Abu Hurayra flattered Marwan and Mu’awiya and their assistants by saying: “I heard the Prophet (S.) saying: “O Allah (S.w.T.), Muhammad is but a human being. He becomes angry like all the human beings. Every believer I have hurt, abused or whipped, You may make that as a cause to forgive him and to bring him closer to You in the Day of Resurrection.”
Marwan and his sons tried their best to spread this tradition in many ways until the books of Hadith (Sahih, Sunan and Musnad) mentioned it as true tradition.
The role of Marwan and his sons in raising Abu Hurayra to a high level and preferring him to all the others in memorising, accuracy and piety, had had its effect until nowadays.
They had done many things to satisfy people that Abu Hurayra was trustee and pious.
One of them was that Marwan pretended that he had seated his clerk in a secret place that he wouldn’t be seen by any one at all and called for Abu Hurayra to come in. He began to ask him about many things. He asked him too many questions. Abu Hurayra answered with the Prophet’s (S.) traditions and the clerk, whose name was Zu’ayza’a, was writing down without letting any one feel of him. He wrote down too many traditions. Marwan waited for a year and then called for Abu Hurayra and asked him the same questions. He answered with the same answers, no word more no word less. Marwan and his clerk spread this lie among the people of Damascus to reach everywhere until al-Hakim mentioned it in his book al-Mustadrak, vol. 3, pg. 510.
And that when Marwan wanted to bring his knights and soldiers in order not to let the Hashimites bury Imam Hasan beside his grandfather, Prophet Muhammad’s tomb, he preconcerted with Abu Hurayra that the latter would oppose Marwan and blame him hardly in front of people to deceive them and to make them perceive that Abu Hurayra was a veracious man. He didn’t fear anyone save Allah (S.w.T.) and His apostle and that no one could stand against him when he became angry for the sake of Allah (S.w.T.) and His apostle.
When Abu Hurayra did his opposition, Marwan showed his anger. There was a false argument and untrue rage between them. Abu Hurayra protested strongly against Marwan justifying that he (Abu Hurayra) had a special position to the Prophet66 which no one of the Prophet’s (S.) companions or relatives had and that he had an ability of perceiving and memorising from the Prophet by which he surpassed the first Muslims like Omar, Othman, Ali, Talha, az-Zubayr and the others. He let himself go farther in describing his aspects, which imposed for him the highest ranks of the close companions. So the disagreement between them ended and Marwan submitted to the great position of Abu Hurayra in Islam and his high rank of knowledge in Sunna. All that happened in front of people. The plan succeeded and Marwan would use Abu Hurayra as a means to fight Imam Hasan, Imam Hussayn, their father and their sons. It was the most successful propaganda for their policies. (Woe, then, to those who write the book with their hands and then say: This is from Allah (S.w.T.), so that they may take for it a small price; therefore woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn). 2:79.
- 1. I came from (Yemen) while the Prophet (S.) was in Khaybar. I was, then, more than thirty years old.
- 2. Abu Hurayra told about himself and said as mentioned in his biography in Issaba, Hilyatul-Awliya, and other books: “I was a servant for ibn (son of) Affan and bint (daughter of) Ghazwan. I led their sumpters when they rode and served them when they got down just for food to stay alive.”
- 3. In his Sahih, (pg.182 in author’s copy of Sahih), vol.2 section on “Signs of prophethood in Islam”. Also mentioned in Abu Hurayra’s biography in Issaba and Tabaqat.
- 4. Refer to chap. (The last days of the Prophet’s life) on mentioning the Prophet’s companions.
- 5. Vol. 1, pg.376 (Abu Hurayra’s biography).
- 6. Sahih, first page of vol. 2.
- 7. Vol.1 chapter of “Prayer”, section on
“Sleep of men in mosques”, pg.60.
- 8. These seventy of suffa were martyred in the day of (Ma’ouna well) before Abu Hurayra came to be a Muslim. It was like his tradition when he said: (I entered the house of Ruqayya and she had a comb in her hand…) whereas she was dead before his coming to Medina.
- 9. Sahih, vol.1 chapter of “Knowledge”, section on “Memorizing knowledge”, pg.24. It was also mentioned by others like Abu Na’eem in his book Hilyatul-Awliya’.
- 10. Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, vol.2, pg.1.
- 11. Abu Na’eem’s Hilyatul-Awliya’, vol.1, pg.378.
- 12. We never knew or heard that there was a black maid in the Prophet’s house.
- 13. Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, vol.4 chapter of “Kind words”, section on “How the Prophet(s.a.w.) and his companions lived”, pg. 81 and Abu Na’eem in his book Hilyatul-Awliya’ (Abu Hurayra’s biography).
- 14. Abu Hurayra: Hirr is cat, Hurayra is kitten .
- 15. This tradition is mentioned in Al-Bukhari’s Sahih in many places of the book, which he considered to be one of the miracles of the prophecy-if it was true-.We don’t know why it was not narrated by any other than Abu Hurayra, at least by one of those who participated Abu Hurayra in drinking the milk. Was there any necessity for that challenge and inimitability? Was it necessary to break the natural rules? Miracles didn’t happen unless there was a necessity for them, though we believe in inimitability of Allah (S.w.T.) and His apostles. It is apparent that this tradition was invented by Abu Hurayra to fawn on ordinary people especially after the death of the great companions and those whom Abu Hurayra was feared.
- 16. Vol.4, chapter of “Seeking Quran and Sunna”, section on “What the Prophet (S.) has mentioned and encouraged ….”, pg.175.
- 17. Sahih, vol.2 section on “Virtues of Jafar”, pg.197. It was also mentioned by Abu Na’eem in his book Hilyatul-Awliya’, vol.1, pg.117.
- 18. Ibn Abd Rabbuh al-Andalussi mentioned in his book al-Aqd al-Fareed, vol.1 that Abu Hurayra said: “One day I followed Ja’far bin Abu Talib and I was hungry. When he reached his house, he turned and saw me. He asked me to come in. I came in. He thought for a while but he didn’t find anything to eat except a sack having some butter. He brought it from on a shelf and opened it between us. We began to lick what it had while he was citing some poetry: Allah (S.w.T.) has not asked one more than his ability and a hand doesn’t give generously except what it has.
- 19. Refer to al-Issaba by ibn Hajar (Ja’far’s biography).
- 20. It was also mentioned by Abu Na’eem in his book Hilyatul-Awliya’, vol.1, pg.117, narrated by al-Maqbari from Abu Hurayra.
- 21. It was also mentioned by Ibn Abdul-Birr in his book al-Isstee’ab.
- 22. Refer to al-Mustadrak, vol.3, pg.42, you will find that Abu Hurayra was blamed for that and he didn’t know what to say.
- 23. Al-Bukhari’s Sahih, vol.2 chapter of Wikala, section on if a man gives money to another and asks him to act on his behalf, pg.29.
- 24. When the wali, al-Ala’ bin al-Hadhrami, who was appointed by the Prophet (S.), Abu Bakr and Omar, died.
- 25. It was mentioned in Ibnul-Atheer’s History and by others when talking about the incidents of this year (23AH).
- 26. A dry bunch of dates he used to hold in his hand.
- 27. A proverb. Omayma was his mother’s name. This speech of the caliph was the worst of abuse.
- 28. Pg.104,Egypt Print.
- 29. Vol.4, pg.90.
- 30. All the intelligent people agreed that this tradition was untrue, but Abu Hurayra’s friends acquitted him from the falseness by blaming Iss-haq bin Najee’ al-Balti, who was one of the series of the narrators of this tradition. Ath-Thahabi mentioned the tradition in his book Mizan al-I’tidal confirming that it was untrue.
- 31. Ibn Katheer in his book al-Bidaya wan-Nihaya, vol.7, pg.203.
- 32. This tradition was false unanimously. But Abu Hurayra’s friends turned the blame to Othman bin Khalid bin Omar bin Abdullah bin al-Waleed bin Othman bin Affan who was one of the series of the narrators of this tradition. Ath-Thahabi denied this tradition in his book Mizan al-I’tidal.
- 33. Ibn Munda mentioned this tradition and said that it was odd and it was narrated by Othman bin Khalid al-Othmani only. Ibn Hajar al-Assqalani in his book al-Issaba, vol.4 (Um Kulthoom’s biography) said that it was odd and was not narrated except by Othman bin Khalid al-Othmani.
- 34. For this reason, al-Hakim in his book al-Mustadrak, vol.3, pg.99 mentioned this tradition under the subject of (Othman’s virtues).
But the truth was that it must be mentioned in Ali’s virtues, like the Prophet’s (S.) saying: (There will be a separation and disagreement among people, so this and his companions will be on the side of rightness. He pointed to Ali). It was mentioned by at-Tabarani in his book Kanzul-Ommal, narrated by Ka’b bin Ajra, tradition no. 2635, vol.6. And the Prophet’s (S.) saying: (There will be a sedition after me (after my death), so keep to Ali bin Abu Talib (a.s.), because he was the first who believed in me (in Islam) and he will be the first to shake hands with me in the Day of Resurrection. He is the great veracious and he is the distinguisher of this nation). It was mentioned by Abu Ahmed, Ibn Munda and others, narrated by Abu Layla al-Ghifari. It was also mentioned by Ibn Abdul-Birr in his Isstee’ab, ibn Hajar in his Issaba and by others in (Abu Layla’s biography). And the prophet’s saying to Ammar bin Yassir: (O Ammar, if you see Ali going through a valley and the rest of people going through another valley, follow Ali and leave people because he neither leads you to a bad fate nor takes you away from right guidance). It was mentioned by ad-Daylamy in his book Kanzul-Ommal, vol.6, pg.155, tradition no.259, narrated by Ammar and Abu Ayyoub. And also the prophet’s saying: (O Abu Rafi’, there will be after my death a group of people fighting Ali. The duty will be to fight them). It was mentioned by at-Tabarani in Kanzul-Ommal, vol.6, tradition no.2589, narrated by Muhammad bin Obaydillah bin Abu Rafi’, from his father, from his grandfather. There are many traditions like that but we cannot mention them all here. It is enough for us the prophet’s saying: (There is someone of you will fight for the interpretation of Qur’an as I fought for its revelation. People looked up to that, among them were Abu Bakr and Omar. Abu Bakr said: is it me? The Prophet said: No. Omar said: Is it me? The Prophet said: No. But he is the mender of the shoes). It was mentioned by al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, vol.3, pg.122 saying that it was a true tradition according to al-Bukhari and Muslim. It was also mentioned by at-Thahabi in his Talkheess and by Ahmed in his Musnad, vol.3, pgs.33 & 82, narrated by Abu Sa’eed and by Abu Na’eem in his book Hilyatul-Awliya’, vol.1, pg.67 in (Ali’s biography), and abu Ya’la in his Sunan, and Sa’eed bin Mansour in his Kanz vol.6, pg.155, tradition no.2585. The traditions talking about the necessity of fighting the perfidious people (battle of the Camel) and the outlaws (battle of Siffeen) and the apostates (the Kharijites) were certified and each confirming the other. The prophetic traditions talking about the sedition after his death were recurrent and they were of the signs of the prophecy of Muhammad(S.). They were clear in urging to follow Imam Ali (a.s.). The tradition mentioned by al-Hakim and narrated by Abu Hurayra was one of them. What confirmed that was that the Prophet (S.) hadn’t called anyone with Amir except Ali at all. And here is the Prophet’s saying to Anass: (The first who enters from this door is amirul-mu’mineen (commander of the believers) and the master of guardians…). It was mentioned by al-Isfahani in his book Hilyatul-Awliya’, vol.1, (Ali’s biography). The Prophet (S.) ordered his companions to call Ali with amirul-mu’mineen when saluting him. This was certified by many traditions narrated by the Prophet’s progeny(a.s.).
- 35. One of Imam Ali (a.s.)’s surnames.
- 36. (helpers). The people of Medina who believed and assisted the prophet and his companions when they migrated from Mecca to Medina.
- 37. This incident was mentioned by Ibrahim bin Hilal ath-Thaqafi in his book al-Gharat and by Ibn Abul-Hadeed in his book Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, pg.213. Let him who want to know the details refer to it, to see Mu’awiya’s intentions and an-Nu’man’s malfunction in this incident. Imam Ali (a.s.) turned away from Abu Hurayra and didn’t talk to him because he saw that Abu Hurayra was very mean that he flattered Mu’awiya and sold his faith to Mu’awiya for a short worldly life. Imam Ali (a.s.) knew what Mu’awiya’s aim was by sending these two men, so he didn’t answer them, neither positively nor negatively. In fact he turned away from their demand and talked with an-Nu’man about something else. It showed his compact policy.
- 38. It was mentioned by Ahmed bin Hanbal in his Musnad, vol.2, pg.282. It was untrue, because Allah (S.w.T.) says:
(And if two parties of the believers quarrel, make peace between them; but if one of them acts wrongfully towards the other, fight that which acts wrongfully until it returns to Allah (S.w.T.)'s command..) 49:9.
- 39. Refer to Sharh an-Nahj al-Hameedi, vol.1, pg.116-121 for details. All the historians, who wrote about the incidents of the year forty of hijra, mentioned this event committed by Mu’awiya. It is famous like battles of Harra and at-Taff of his son Yazeed.
- 40. Mentioned by Ibrahim bin Hilal ath-Thaqafi in his book al-Gharat and Ibn Abul-Hadeed in his book Sharh Nahjul-Balagha , vol.1, pg.128.
- 41. In Arabic (sannour) means cat. Jariya meant Abu Hurayra.
- 42. Mentioned by Ibnul-Atheer in his book at-Tareekh al-Kamil, vol.3, pg.153.
- 43. Also mentioned by al-Khateeb in his book History of Baghdad, vol.5, pg.445.
- 44. This tradition was considered to be untrue unanimously. Ath-Thahabi mentioned this tradition in his book Mizan al- I’tidal (in Ibrahim bin Malik al-Ansari’s biography) and said that it was untrue. Every one used nullity to fight the rightness, he, no doubt, would lose.
- 45. This tradition was also considered to be untrue unanimously. Ath-Thahabi mentioned it in his book Mizan al-I’tidal (biography of Ahmed as-Samarqandi). Refer to it to see that it was untrue and that it contradicted the holy Qur’an. And they lost, who wanted to hide the clear rightness by the shameful nullity.
- 46. This is like the two previous in nullity. Ath-Thahabi mentioned it in Mizan al-I’tidal (Jeiroun bin Waqid’s biography) and said it was null.
- 47. Ath-Thahabi mentioned this tradition in his Mizan (biography of the judge, Ja’far bin abdul-Wahid) and said it was one of Abu Hurayra’s afflictions.
- 48. It was mentioned in ath-Thahabi’s Mizan (biography of Muhammad bin Musa bin Atta’ ad-Dimyatti) but they always blamed the others who narrated from Abu Hurayra! The tradition included a Qur’anic verse, 48:29.
- 49. Muslim, here, is a name of someone who collected the Hadith in a book called Sahih.
- 50. This was taken from Abu Hurayra’s saying: I took a garment off my back and spread it between the Prophet and me while I was looking at the lice creeping on it…It was mentioned by Abu Na’eem in his Hilyatul-Awliya’, vol.1, pg.381.
- 51. Ibn Sa’d mentioned in his Tabaqat (Abu Hurayra’s biography) from Wahab bin Kaysan, Qatada and al-Mugheera that Abu Hurayra put on silk cloths.
- 52. Al-Bukhari in his Sahih, vol.4 chapter of “Seeking Quran and Sunna”, section on “What the Prophet (S.) has mentioned and encouraged ….”, pg.175, mentioned that Muhammad bin Sireen said: We were at Abu Hurayra’s and he was wearing two slender flax dresses.
- 53. He died in this palace as mentioned by Ibn Hajar in his Issaba, Ibn Qutayba’s Ma’arif and Ibn Sa’d’s Tabaqat.
- 54. Mentioned by imam Ahmed in his Musnad, vol.2, pg.430, narrated by Muhammad bin Ziyad, Ibn Qutayba in his Ma’arif, narrated by Abu Rafi’ and imam Abu Ja’far al-Iskafi in his book Sharh an-Nahj al-Hameedi, vol.1, pg.359, edition of Egypt.
- 55. He was an ally of the tribe of Abd Shams. The caliph Omar (may Allah (S.w.T.) be pleased with him) made him leader during the Islamic conquests. He established the town of Basra and became its Amir. He conquered many countries and was one of the famous Prophet’s companions and one of the heroes. He died during the reign of Omar. But Abu Hurayra got married to his sister after a long time of his death. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in his book al-Issaba mentioned Bissra and Abu Hurayra’s story with her. He said that she had employed him at the time of the Prophet (S.), then he got married to her when Marwan entrusted him with the emirate of Medina during the reign of Mu’awiya.
- 56. Mentioned by Abul-Abbas as-Sarraj in his History and Ibn Hajar in his Issaba (biography of Abu Hurayra).
- 57. Mentioned by Ibn Khuzayma and Ibn Hajar in his book al-Issaba (Abu Hurayra’s biography).
- 58. Ibn Sa’d’s Tabaqat, second part of vol.4, pg.53.
- 59. Refer to Ibn Sa’d’s Tabaqat, second part of vol.4, pg.53.
- 60. Refer to Abu Na’eem’s Hilyatul-Awliya’, vol.1, pg.379.
- 61. Refer to Abu Na’eem, Hilyatul-Awliya’, vol.1, pg.384.
- 62. Al-Khateeb in his book History of Baghdad, vol.7,pg.35,and vol.9, pg.99.
- 63. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha al-Hameedi, vol.1, pg.358.
- 64. ibid,vol.1,pg.359.
- 65. Sufyan ath-Thawri narrated from Abdur-Rahman bin Qassim from Omar bin Abdul-Ghaffar that when Abu Hurayra came to Kufa with Mu’awiya, he sat at the gate of Kinda in the night and people sat around him. One day a young man from Kufa-he might be al-Asbagh bin Nabata-came and said to him: “O Abu Hurayra, I ask you , by Allah (S.w.T.), if you had heard the Prophet saying to Ali bin Abu Talib: “O Allah (S.w.T.), support whoever supports him and be an enemy of whoever opposes him.” Abu Hurayra said: “yes, I had.” The young man said: “I swear by Allah (S.w.T.) that you have supported his enemies and opposed his assistants.” Then he left.
- 66. In a tradition mentioned by Ibn Sa’d and Ibn Hajar in his Issaba. We shall comment on this tradition in a next chapter of this book.