This is a survey of one of Prophet Muhammad’s (S.) companions’ biography. He narrated from the Prophet (S.) so many traditions until he exceeded all the limits, and the Sunni books of Hadith quoted from him until they exceeded the limits too. We didn’t have any way in front of this large number of traditions narrated by this man (Abu Hurayra) except to search for their sources because they concerned our religious and psychological life directly; otherwise we would leave them and their sources aside and look for something more important.
This large number of traditions narrated by this man spread in the branches and fundamentals of the religion that made the Sunni jurisprudents depend upon widely in dealing with the laws of Allah (S.w.T.) and the Shari’ah.
It was not strange of them, for they thought that all the companions were fair and just. And since there was no evidence to prove that, we had no way save to research on this man and his traditions to be certain about what concerned the branches and fundamentals of the laws made by Allah (S.w.T.). This made us obliged to study with scrutiny the biography of this man (Abu Hurayra) and his traditions. I went too far in research until the truth appeared in this book and the sun of certainty shone, thanks to Allah (S.w.T.) for that.
As to Abu Hurayra himself, we will let you see the history of his life and his psychology as it was exactly. And as for his traditions, we studied them thoughtfully as quantity and quality and it was not possible for us, I swear by Allah (S.w.T.), except to deny them as what his fellows did at his days. You will read that in details at its place in this book, inshAllah (S.w.T.).
Was it possible for any wise man to accept this large number of traditions narrated by this man, which were more than all what were narrated by the four caliphs, the nine mother’s of believers wives of the Prophet (S.) and all the Hashemites, men and women?
Could an illiterate man, lately became a Muslim and therefore the period of his companionship with the Prophet (S.) was short, to comprehend from the Prophet (S.) so much many traditions that the first Muslims and the relatives of the Prophet (S.) could not?
The good sense and the scientific criterion would not accept a lot of the plentifulness and the wonders narrated by this man.
The Sunna in its philosophy, its methods and its aspects has certain characteristics that the wise, men of sense and the linguists know clearly. When they hear or read something of the Sunna, they find it distinct according to their common sense and criteria. They find its aspects and signs distinct too without any doubt or suspect.
The Sunna was higher than to have thorny weeds, by which Abu Hurayra had stung the good senses and had wounded the scientific criteria before he distorted the exalted Shari’ah and wronged to the Prophet (S.) and his umma.
In short, the Sunna was the method of Islam and the law of life, according to which life must be typical in morals, beliefs, social relationships, science and literature. So it was no logic to be silent about this disgraceful intervention in the essence of Islam, which called for being free from absurd beliefs and superstition, which mind definitely denied.
So it was necessary to clear the books of Hadith by removing many traditions narrated by this man that mind does not accept.
I say that and I may see some faces frown, and others shrink away from me. They may, because of inheritance, upbringing and environment, shrink away from a fact shone by research different from what they thought that all the companions were just and fair without testing their deeds and sayings according to the criteria the Prophet (S.) put for his umma. Because companionship, in their point of view, was as sanctum and whoever resorted to, could not be accused of anything whatever he did. This was unacceptable, against the evidences and far away from rightness.
In fact, companionship was a great virtue but it did not make the Prophet’s (S.) companions infallible. Among the Prophet’s (S.) companions, there were saints, veracious and honest men, as well as the unknown ones. Also there were the hypocrites, who committed sins and crimes. The holy Qur’an declared that clearly
(..and from among the people of Medina (also); they are stubborn in hypocrisy; you do not know them; We know them).9:101.
So we can depend upon the just companions and research to be certain about the unknown ones, whereas the guilty and criminals have no value, neither they nor their traditions.
This was our point of view about whoever narrated a prophetic tradition. The holy Qur’an and the Sunna were our guide.1 We never excused the liars even if they were called companions, because it was disloyalty to Allah (S.w.T.), His Apostle, and people. It was enough for us to depend upon the jurisprudents, veracious, and virtuous of the great companions of the Prophet (S.) and his family, whom he (S.) ordered to be at the same rank with the holy Qur’an and to be the example for the wise.
As a result, we have agreed upon, even we were somehow different at the beginnings, that the Sunni respected Abu Hurayra, Samara bin Jundub, al-Magheera, Mu’awiya, Amr bin al-Aass, Marwan bin al-Hakam and the likes because they (the Sunni) sanctified the Prophet (S.) and those, who were among the Prophet’s (S.) companions. At the same time we criticized them just to sanctify the Prophet (S.) and his Sunna just like an open minded, who understood the meaning of holiness and glorification.
Of course, after that, he, who denied whoever ascribed to the Prophet (S.) something unbelievable, was worthier to honor the Prophet (S.) and worthier to be in the way, which the Prophet wanted for his umma. The Prophet (S.) had warned that there would be many liars fabricating lies when narrating untrue traditions and he had threatened them to be in Hell.
Here I publish this study in the book (Abu Hurayra) for showing the truth and to purify the Sunna and its ascription to the great sacred Prophet (S.), who
(..never speaks out of desire) 53:3,
to be sincere for the truth in good thinking and honest in consideration and to be impartial for the sake of the truth according to the scientific and mental bases, which deny to respect a liar fabricating lies and ascribing them to the Prophet (S.) and to be exempted from criticism just because he was one of the Prophet’s (S.) companions. We deny submitting blindly to the traditions narrated by this man concerning the prophetic Sunna, which was worthier to be honored because it is the Prophet’s (S.) mission to the world until the Day of Resurrection.
No one is to frown or to be depressed when we present this book with an impartial study, for we respect free thinking and don’t let it be low under the feet of superstitions and then to be surrounded by an illusory wall of holiness
(..with a wall having a door in it; (as for) the inside of it, there shall be mercy in it, and (as for) the outside of it, before it there shall be punishment) 57:13.
We don’t want any face to frown or any one to be depressed, but in fact we want every one who goes under the black cloud of traditions, that reached him age after age, to be free from fanaticism and to read this book thoughtfully
(Those who listen to the word, then follow the best of it; those are they whom Allah has guided, and those it is who are the men of understanding) 39:18.
We do not intend with this book, I swear by Allah (S.w.T.), to split the unity between the different sects of Muslims, which is now going to be active at these days of waking, but to strengthen it with freedom in option and belief in order for this unity to be a clearer and better guided goal. I ask Allah (S.w.T.) for tawfiq.
The mental dignity is the best of dignities that rational people seek out even if it costs them their money or their lives because it is the way to glory and the bridge for unity.
But if some of our Muslim brothers turn their face away in disdain, I ask them just to listen to these simple notes and then to give their suggestion. They will find us, inshAllah (S.w.T.), more determined to strengthen the unity between the Muslims in spite of those thorns, which prick the intellect and sting the conscience.
We will talk about different thoughts here; some of them dealt with mind and its power and horizon, some touched the belief in its aspects and meanings, some touched the natures, others were contradictory refuting each other, some were away from the scientific bases derived from the essence of the religion and many of them were adulation to the Umayyads or to the public opinion at those days, and some were of imagination and insanity. But all of them were away from rightness at all.
One of Abu Hurayra’s wonders is that the angel of death used to come to people visibly, but when he came to Prophet Moses (a.s.) to take his life, Moses (a.s.) slapped him, gouged his eye, and sent him back on his sumpter to his God one-eyed. After this accident, the angel of death went to people invisibly!
One other wonder of Abu Hurayra’s was the competition between Moses and the rock. Moses (a.s.) put his cloths on the rock to swim in the sea away from people. The rock ran away with Moses’ cloths in order to force him to follow it nakedly as he was born in front of the Israelites in order to refute the rumor saying that Moses had a hernia. Moses ran after the rock shouting: “O, rock, my cloths. O rock, my cloths.” The rock stopped after ending its task. Moses began beating the rock with his stick severely until he made some scars in the rock. There were six or seven scars in the rock.
The funniest thing in this tradition was the hesitation of Abu Hurayra about the number of the scars in the rock, because his piety imposed upon him not to narrate a tradition unless he was so certain as he was certain of the sun’s light!
And: the gold locusts falling over Prophet Ayyub (Job) when he was bathing and that he began to collect them in his cloths.
And: two newborn babies talking with reason and rationality about the unseen where there was no cause to break the natural rules.
And: a cow and a wolf speaking eloquent Arabic showing that they had reason, wisdom and knowledge about the unseen where there is no any cause for challenge and miracles. Abu Hurayra narrated this tradition to show the virtues of the first and the second caliphs.
And another wonderful superstition: that the Satan came to Abu Hurayra’s house in three successive nights to steal some food for his hungry children.
And: that an Israelite nation was lost and after looking for them they found that they had been turned into mice. The evidence was that when they were given camel’s milk they did not drink and when they were given ewe’s milk they drank.
And: that he (Abu Hurayra) was with al-Ala’ with an army of four thousand soldiers. They came to a bay, which had not been crossed before them and would never be crossed after them. Al-Ala’ grasped the rein of his horse and walked above the water! The army followed him without a foot, a slipper or a hoof becoming wet!
And: his tradition about his haversack, which had a few dates, that he fed all the army while the dates still as they were. He had been living by this haversack along the period of the Prophet (S.), Abu Bakr, Omar, and Othman until it was stolen during the revolution against Othman.
And: his tradition about Dawood (Prophet David), who finished reading the holy Qur’an in a very short time. He ordered to saddle his horse and before it was saddled, he had finished reading all the Qur’an. Is that not like someone’s saying: He put the entire world inside an egg?
In some of his traditions, he dealt with Allah (S.w.T.), glory be to Him. His imagination made some images for Allah (S.w.T.). Far it be from Him!
He said that Allah (S.w.T.) had created Adam like His own shape. He was sixty cubits height and seven cubits breadth. Abu Hurayra diversified in this tradition. Sometimes he said: If one of you quarreled with another, let avoid the face because Allah (S.w.T.) had created Adam according to His image. Another time he said: if someone beat another, let avoid the face and never say: what an ugly face you have, because Allah (S.w.T.) had created Adam according to His image. Sometime he said: Adam had been created according to the image of the Beneficent.
This man was fascinated by his imagination to draw such images for Allah (S.w.T.) and Adam with skilled literature and instructions, which if we ascribe to Islam, we will find many strange things that make us laugh and cry at the same time.
He narrated another tradition saying that Allah (S.w.T.) comes to this nation in the Day of Resurrection in a shape different from what they know and says: I am your God. They say: God forbid! We will not move from here until our God comes to us. If He comes we will know Him. Then Allah (S.w.T.) comes in the shape that they know and says: I am your god. They say: You are our God. Then they follow Him.
He narrated that in a long dark story full of imagination, showing Allah (S.w.T.) in different shapes, disguising, coming and going in dramatic actions with jokes, dialogues and deception. The tradition made fun of Allah (S.w.T.) in a way that not only contradicted the Islamic beliefs and the simplest bases of rationality but also the royal etiquette if we accept-God forbid-the thought of embodiment, far be it from Allah (S.w.T.), the Almighty.
And his tradition that Hell will not be full until Allah (S.w.T.) puts His leg in it! In one of his wonders showing that Hell will be proud on having the tyrants and disdainful people, while Paradise will be humble to have poor and miserable people.
And his tradition that Allah (S.w.T.) comes down to the lower sky every night and says: “Who prays to me, so that I grant him?”
And many others like that which were the cause for the thought of embodiment to arise at the age of complexity of thoughts, and because of which many kinds of heresies and errors came out.
Abu Hurayra narrated many traditions about the prophets (a.s.). He described them however he liked. In one of those traditions, he described the terrors of the Day of Resurrection. People resort to Adam (a.s.) then to Noah (a.s.) then to Abraham (a.s.) then to Moses (a.s.) then to Jesus (a.s.) in useless clamor, for these prophets (as Abu Hurayra pretended) are prevented to be intercessors by Allah (S.w.T.), Who became very angry with them (before) to a degree that He didn’t become so angry before that nor would be after that because they (the prophets) had committed sins (invented by Abu Hurayra’s imagination). Abu Hurayra did not find any way to prefer Prophet Muhammad (S.) except to defame the other prophets (peace be upon them). Also his tradition when he ascribed doubt to Prophet Abraham (a.s.) when he says (according to the Qur’an):
(And Ibrahim when he said: My Lord! Show me how Thou givest life to the dead…) 2:260,
in which Abu Hurayra made Prophet Muhammad (S.) worthier to be doubtful than Abraham (a.s.) and made Prophet Joseph (a.s.) better than Prophet Muhammad (S.) for he was patient. He criticized Prophet Lot when he says:
(Ah! that I had power to suppress you, rather I shall have recourse to a strong support). 11:80.
And his tradition which showed that prophet Solomon (a.s.) broke his father’s verdict about a baby that two women pretended to be theirs, and prophet David (a.s.) judged that the baby was the old woman’s. Solomon (a.s.) said: “Bring me a knife to cut the baby into two halves, one half for each of them.” The young woman cried: “Don’t do that.” So he judged that the baby was hers. The contradiction between two prophets about one of Allah (S.w.T.)’s verdict was unacceptable according to the Islamic Shari’ah. The funniest part in this superstition was that Abu Hurayra said that he had never heard of sikkeen (knife) in his life where they used to call it midya.
And his tradition that prophet Solomon (a.s.) said: “I will go to bed with a hundred women tonight that every one of them will give birth to a boy, who will fight for the sake of Allah (S.w.T.).” The angel asked him to say inshAllah. He did not say. So no one of his wives gave birth to a baby save one, who gave birth to half a human being!
And another one about an ant that pinched prophet Moses (a.s.). Moses (a.s.) ordered his followers to burn the village of the ants. Then Allah (S.w.T.) inspired to him: “Because of an ant that pinched you, you burnt a nation, which praised Allah (S.w.T.)!”
And his tradition about Prophet Muhammad (S.) that he harmed, abused, cursed and whipped innocent ones just because of anger, therefore his harming, abusing, cursing and whipping them would be a penance for their sins.
If that was ascribed to Pharaoh, it would be shameful for him. How about our infallible Prophet (S.)! Some people were cursed by the Prophet (S.) and they did not deserve forgiveness, could Abu Hurayra force us to love and respect them as virtuous people? What are the right criteria after this funny criterion of Abu Hurayra?
In another tradition he said that the Satan came to the Prophet (S.) to disturb his prayers. Prophet Muhammad (S.) strangled the Satan and wanted to tie him to a column to let people look at him tied up, but he remembered Solomon’s (a.s.) saying:
(He said: My Lord! do Thou forgive me and grant me a kingdom which is not fit for (being inherited by) anyone after me) 38:35,
and set him free. And his tradition saying that Prophet Muhammad (S.) was sleeping and missed the Fajr (dawn) prayer.
And many others, which opened the door to say that the prophets were not infallible and they might make mistakes. This is unacceptable for it cancels the real sense and essence of prophecy.
There was another kind of his traditions showing you the contradiction clearly. Notice the two traditions of Abu Salama, which he heard from Abu Hurayra about infection. He denied it in the first one and proved it in the second. Abu Salama asked him: “Didn’t you say that there is no infection?” Abu Hurayra denied his first tradition and began to murmur in Abyssinian.
See his tradition about Solomon (a.s.) and his wives. In one occasion he said that they were one hundred. Other times he said they were ninety, seventy, and sixty. All of that were mentioned in the Sahih books.
If you see his tradition about his migration, you will find clearly that he was a poor hungry bare-footed servant. He served this and that for a meal. How did he have a servant, about whom he talked in Sham2 (Damascus)? He said (during the reign of Mu’awiya): “When I came to meet the Prophet (S.), my servant escaped in the way. While I had been with the Prophet (S.) to pay homage, my servant came in. the Prophet (S.) said to me: “Is this your servant?” I said: “I set him free for the sake of Allah (S.w.T.).”
Look at his traditions talking about himself during his living in the (suffa)3 shelter. You will find that he was one of its destitute inhabitants. He lived in it along the life of the Prophet (S.). It was his abode day and night, for he neither had a clan nor a house in Medina. He clothed himself with a woolen piece, which lice crept on. He tied it around his neck to reach his legs. He gathered it with his hands in order that his private parts not to be seen. Hunger threw him down unconsciously between the minbar and the room of the mosque. So wherefrom did he get a house that he pretended in the last days of his life? It was a part of a tradition he told in Damascus about himself and his mother who became Muslim by the Prophet’s (S.) praying for her and her son-as he said.
Look at his protest against those, who denied his traditions. You will find it contradictory and invalid that hearings turn away from for its silliness and minds deny for its uselessness. Abu Hurayra’s evidence against those, who condemned his traditions was a tradition narrated by him saying that once he spread his garment in front of the Prophet (S.).
The Prophet (S.) began to ladle knowledge with his hands and put it into the garment saying to Abu Hurayra: “Join it to your chest.” Abu Hurayra joined it to his chest and became infallible from forgetting; therefore he was the best of companions in keeping Sunna in mind and the most aware of it.
What ridiculous evidence that served his opponents more than to serve him! It confirmed that what they had ascribed to him was right that he narrated traditions according to his temper without knowing what he was saying. But we do not have save Allah (S.w.T.) to judge between us.
It was enough for us that he narrated traditions without seeing or hearing and then he pretended that he saw and heard. Here is an example:
Abu Hurayra said that one day he entered the house of Ruqayya, the daughter of the Prophet (S.) and the wife of Othman. She had a comb in her hand. She said: “The Prophet (S.) was here and left a moment ago. I combed his hair.”
It was certain that Ruqayya died in the third year of hijra after the battle of Badr and Abu Hurayra came to Medina and became a Muslim in the seventh year of hijra after the battle of Khaybar. So where could he meet Ruqayya and her comb?
Here is an example of his traditions, which were far away from the scientific bases of Islam. He said: “Prophet Muhammad (S.) sent us in a mission and said: “If you find that man and that man (he called them by names) burn them both in fire.” When we wanted to set out he said: “I had ordered you to burn those two men in fire, but it is only Allah (S.w.T.) that may torture people with fire, so if you find them kill them.”
It was an abrogation of a matter before its time to be achieved. It was impossible for Allah (S.w.T.) and his Apostle.
He had many incredible and imaginative traditions. We mentioned six of them at the end of his forty traditions in this book to be examples for the others.
He flattered the Umayyads and their assistants servilely. He also flattered the public opinion at those days very much. We mentioned some of his traditions in this concern in the later chapters. You may inspect them impartially to find that he was hungry and wanted to fill his stomach via inventing traditions for the sake of this and that. He wanted to satisfy his imagination, an imagination of someone who was deprived of the pleasures of an ordinary life. He, after that, confessed that he was a foothold in an age that scorned and starved him and then he was thrown to an age that satisfied his hunger just to invent traditions. After that, do we trust in him and depend on him as evidence? Do we throw our minds and beliefs under his feet unthoughtfully?
If that was right according to mentality and the Shari’ah, then let Abu Hurayra and his followers go to their sanctum, which politics erected and put between traditions and inheritances.
And if that traditions and inheritances were a cause of separation or an object of disagreement, let them be until the sun rises.
(I desire nothing but reform so far as I am able, and with none but Allah is the direction of my affair to a right issue; on Him do I rely and to Him do I turn) 11:88.
- 1. But the Sunni went too far by putting a holy nimbus around whoever called a companion until they became immoderate. They trusted every one of them, good or bad. They imitated blindly the freed captives (whom the Prophet (S.) set free when he conquered Mecca) and every one heard or saw the Prophet (S.). They denied whoever contradicted them exceeding all the limits. Refer to pg. 11-15 and pg.23 in our book (the answers of Musa JarAllah (S.w.T.)).
- 2. Now Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Lebanon.
- 3. A shelter made at a side of the mosque for the destitute and the poor to live in.