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What is the categorisation of the Hadith on the status of Arabs?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by AskOurImam.com

As-Salamu Alaikum. Mufti Saheb, a hadith is mentioned in Tirmidhi (refer to details in this link http://islamqa.info/en/117609 ) regarding not saying anything bad for the Arabs (even though it is Haq and truth). I have checked with some Ulema and they say that the Hadith cannot be taken and it is a Dha`eef hadith. However, some Ulema from the Tablighi Jamaa`at still insist that the Hadith must be followed. What is the truth about this Hadith? Plkease advice. JazakAllah.


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

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

Hereunder is the Hadith in reference:

عن سلمان قال قال لي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: يا سلمان؛ لا تبغضني فتفارق دينك. قلت: يا رسول الله كيف أبغضك وبك هدانا الله! قال: تبغض العرب فتبغضني

It is narrated that Salman (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and salutations of Allah be upon him) said, “O Salman, do not hate me and give up your religion.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, how can I hate you when Allah has guided us through you? He replied: “By hating the Arabs you would hate me.”[1]

At the outset, it should be understood that the classification of some Ahadith as Sahih (authentic) and Daeef (weak) is often subject to differences among the experts of the science of Hadith. While one Muhaddith declares one Hadith as Sahih, it could be declared Daeef by another. The differences could also be due to different angles and dimensions which are known to people specialising in the field of Hadith.

Nevertheless, the subject matter of the Hadith in reference is about virtue (Fadha`il) and is declared reliable (Hasan) by Imam Tirmidhi who is an authority on Hadith. According to some Muhadditheen, the Hadith in reference is Daeef[2]. In that case, the following explanation will be useful.

The word `Daeef` in the context of Hadith is a terminology with specific conditions and implications known to Ulema who specialise in the field of Hadith. While we understand that the specifications of a Daeef Hadith and its implications may be beyond the comprehension of all people in general, in an attempt to explain ourselves, we will present a simplified version of Daeef in Hadith and how such a Hadith could be accepted by way of example.

If there is a big parcel that needs to be tied, one thin piece of string will not suffice. However, if more thin strings are attached to that one string, the joint strings will become a strong rope and it will suffice to tie the parcel.

Likewise, a Hadith may be declared as weak due to various reasons. However, there may be similar Ahadith that support each other in their general meaning[3]. As such, the focus will not be on the one weak Hadith; rather the focus will be on all the weak Ahadith presenting the common message and consolidating each other[4].

The following Ahadith all collaborate to establish the virtue of Arabs:

من غشّ العربَ لم يدخل في شفاعتي ولم تنله مودّتي

Whoever cheats the Arabs, he will not be included in my intercession, and my love will not reach him[5].

أحبّوا العرب لثلاث: لأنّي عربي، والقرآن عربي وكلام أهل الجنة عربي

Love the Arabs for three things: because I am an Arab; the Qur’ān is in Arabic and the language of the people of Paradise is Arabic[6].

من أحب العرب فقد أحبني، ومن أبغض العرب فقد أبغضني

Whoever has loved the Arabs has done so because of my love and whoever has hated the Arabs has done so because of having enmity for me[7].

The categorisation of Ahadith can only be understood with proper comprehension of the sciences of Hadith. It is not appropriate for anyone to comment on issues pertaining to the Hadith or its categorisation without having proper and thorough understanding of the sciences of Hadith.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hanif Yusuf Patel

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.



[1] [Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 3927]

[2] إسناده ضعيف لضعف قابوس بن أبي ظبيان، ولانقطاعه بين أبي ظبيان ـ واسمه حصين بن جندب ـ وبين سلمان الفارسي

[Al-Jami` al-Kabir (Sunan at-Tirmidhi) with Tahqiq, Takhrij & Ta`liq by Shuaib al-Arna`ut & Saeed al-Lahham, 6: 421-2, Ar-Risalah al-Alamiyah, Beirut; Tuhfat al-Ahwathi bi Sharh Jami` at-Tirmidhi, 11: 4038, Maktabah Nazar Mustafa al-Baz, Riyadh; Tuhfat al-Alma`I Sharh Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 8: 488, Zamzam Publishers, Karachi]

As also classified as weak in [al-Yawaqit al-Ghaliyah fi Tahqiq wa Takhrij al-Ahadith al-Aliyah, 1: 387-94, , Kutub Khana Aziziyah, Dehli]

[3] A great scholar in Hadith, Ismail as-Shafi` al-Ajluni, expounds that although all the narrations on the different virtues of Arabs are categorised as weak , the vast amount of such narrations and chains at least allow the virtue to reach the degree of acceptability.

[Kashf al-Kafa wa Mazil al-Ilbas amma ishtahar min al-Ahadith ala alsinah an-Nas, p. 40-1]

[4] ويجوز عند أهل الحديث وغيرهم التساهل في الأسانيد ورواية ما سوى من الضعيف والعمل به من غير بيان ضعفه في غير صفات الله تعالى والأحكام كالحلال والحرام وغيرهما، وذلك كالقصص وفضائل الأعمال والمواعظ وغيرهما مما لا تعلق له بالعقائد والأحكام اہ

[Tadrib ar-Rawi, p. 252, Qadimi Kutub Khana]

قالوا: إذا روينا في الحلال والحرام شدّدنا، وإذا روينا في الفضائل ونحوها تساهلنا اہ …

وذكر شيخ الإسلام له ثلاثة شروط: أحدها: أن يكون الضعيف غير شديد فيخرج من انفرد من الكاذبين والمتهمين بالكذب، ومن فحش غلطه، نقل العلائ الإتفاق عليه. الثاني: أن يندرج تحت أصل معمول به. الثالثأن لا يعتقد عند العمل به ثبوته، بل يعتقد الإخبار

[Tadrib ar-Rawi, 1: 251-2, Qadimi Kutub Khana]

قال العلماء من المحدثين والفقهاء وغيرهم : يجوز ويستحب العمل في الفضائل والترغيب والترهيب بالحديث الضعيف ما لم يكن موضوعا

[Al-Qawl al-Badi` fi a-Salah ala al-Habib as-Shafi`, 1: 258, Mu`assisat ar-Rayyan]

[In Fatawa Mahmudiyyah, 4: 35-37, Dar al-Iftaa Jamiah Farooqiyyah, Karachi]

The 3 conditions stipulated by Ibn Hajar are:

  1. The Hadith should not be excessively weak, including liars or fabricators.
  2. It must be acknowledged as reliable evidence.
  3. It should not be assumed that by its application its strength is established.

[The Science of Authenticating The Prophet’s Traditions, p. 69]

[5] [Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 3928]

[6] [Al-Jami` as-Saghir, 225; al-Asrar al-Marfu`ah, 273; Majma` az-Zawa`id, 10: 55]

[7] [Al-Jami` as-Saghir, 3666]

This answer was collected from AskOurImam.com, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Hanif Yusuf Patel. He graduated from Jamiatul Ilm Wal Huda, Blackburn, U.K, with a distinction in Alimiyyah degree. He thereafter travelled to Darul Iftaa Mahmudiyyah Durban, South Africa, to train as a Mufti under the tutelage of Mufti Ebrahim Desai and Mufti Husain Kadodia.

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