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Claiming to be a Sayyid

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السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته يمشايخنا

there are some evildoers amongst us who claim to be Sayyid, where as in fact they are not, but they do this in order to show off and be praised by people. could you with Allahs permission please name a few narrations and sayings of our elders concerning this, for example i heard a tradition that in the end times people will appear ascribing to themselves false ancestors, also i heard a statement of one the salaf that calling oneself Sayyid before the people even if it is true is a sign of Nifaq, but i can’t find them anywhere. maybe you could elaborate on this only a little and tell me if these two sayings are weak or not. may Allah reward you


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, to attribute oneself to someone else besides his own father is forbidden. There are severe warnings in the hadith on doing this detested action. Consider the following Ahadith

عَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ «قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ انْتَسَبَ إِلَى غَيْرِ أَبِيهِ أَوْ تَوَلَّى غَيْرَ مَوَالِيهِ فَعَلَيْهِ لَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ

Translation: It was narrated from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah () said:“Whoever claims to belong to someone other than his father, or (a freed slave) who claims that his Wala is for other than his real master, the curse of Allah (SWT), the angels and all the people will be upon him.” (Sunan Ibn Majah Hadith # 2609) 

: عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنِ ادَّعَى إِلَى غَيْرِ أَبِيهِ لَمْ يَرَحْ رَائِحَةَ الْجَنَّةِ وَإِنَّ رِيحَهَا لَيُوجَدُ مِنْ مَسِيرَةِ خَمْسِمِائَةِ عَامٍ

Translation: It was narrated from Abdullah bin Amr that the Messenger of Allah () said:“Whoever claims to belong to someone other than his father will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, even though its fragrance may be detected from a distance of five hundred years.” (Sunan Ibn Majah Hadith #2611) 

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: “أَفْرَى الْفِرَى مَنِ ادَّعَى إِلَى غَيْرِ أَبِيهِ

Translation: The worst lie is that a person claims to belong to someone other than his father. (Bukhari Hadith # 6043)

وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ – رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ – قَالَ: «قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ -: لَا تَرْغَبُوا عَنْ آبَائِكُمْ، فَمَنْ رَغِبَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ

 Translation: Abu Huraira narrates: The Prophet () said, “Do not deny your fathers (i.e. claim to be the sons of persons other than your fathers), and whoever denies his father, is charged with disbelief.” (Bukhari Hadith # 6768)

Mulla Ali Qari writes under the commentary of the above mentioned hadith مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح (5/ 2170)

وَالِادِّعَاءُ إِلَى غَيْرِ الْأَبِ مَعَ الْعِلْمِ بِهِ حَرَامٌ، فَمَنِ اعْتَقَدَ إِبَاحَتَهُ كَفَرَ لِمُخَالَفَةِ الْإِجْمَاعِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَعْتَقِدْ إِبَاحَتَهُ فَمَعْنَى (كَفَرَ) : وَجْهَانِ، أَحَدُهُمَا: أَنَّهُ أَشْبَهَ فِعْلَهُ فِعْلَ الْكُفَّارِ، وَالثَّانِي: أَنَّهُ كَافِرٌ نِعْمَةَ الْإِسْلَامِ

“To claims to belong to someone other than his father , while one has the knowledge that the father who he is claiming to belong to is not his real father, such an act is Haraam. The one who considers such an act to be permissible has committed disbelief, due to him going against the Ijma( consensus). As for the one who does not consider this permissible then the word kafara could mean two things, firstly his actions resemble the action of the kuffar or he is denying the blessing of Islam”.

If one is not a Sayyid but still claims to be a Sayyid, he is guilty of committing a major sin.[1] Likewise, if one claims to be a Sayyid, it is incorrect for another to refute that without any basis. Such an attitude is also serious. If the person is really a Sayyid and family of Rasulullah, it will be tantamount to rejecting a family member of Rasulullah from Rasulullah .

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Syed Haneef

Student Darul Iftaa
New York, U.S.A

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

[1] Fatawa Mahmoodiyyah V.29/PG.169

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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