Praise be to Allaah.
Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
It was narrated to us via Ibn Luhay‘ah from Qays ibn
al-Hajjaaj from someone who told him: When Egypt was conquered, its people
came to ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas and said to him: O Ameer, this Nile of ours is used
to something and cannot flow unless it is done. He said, What is that? They
said: On the twelfth night of this month, we take a young girl from her
parents, and we placate her parents, then we dress her in jewellery and the
finest garments there can be, then we throw her into this Nile.
‘Amr said to them: This is something that cannot happen in
Islam; Islam erases that which came before it (of bad customs).
So they stayed for a while, during which the Nile did not
flow at all, neither a little nor a lot, until they thought of leaving. Then
‘Amr wrote to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, telling him about that. He wrote to him,
saying: You did the right thing. I am sending you a piece of paper with my
letter; throw it into the Nile.
When his letter came, ‘Amr took the piece of paper on which
“From the slave of Allah ‘Umar, Ameer al-Mu’mineen, to the
Nile of the people of Egypt.
To proceed: If you only flow on your own initative, then do
not flow, for we have no need of you. But if you only flow on the command of
Allah, the One, the Subduer, and He is the One Who causes you to flow, then
we ask Allah, may He be exalted, to make you flow.”
He threw the paper in the Nile and by Saturday morning, Allah
had caused the Nile to flow (to a depth or width of) sixteen cubits in one
night, and Allah put an end to that custom of the people of Egypt until
End quote from al-Bidaayah wa’n-Nihaayah, 7/114-115
Similar reports were also narrated by Ibn ‘Abd al-Hakam in
Futooh Misr, p. 165; al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah,
6/463; Ibn ‘Asaakir in Tareekh Dimashq, 44/336; Abu’sh-Shaykh in
al-‘Azamah, 4/1424, via Ibn Luhay‘ah.
This is a da‘eef isnaad that is not saheeh, and this report
cannot be proven with such an isnaad. Ibn Luhay‘ah – whose full name was
‘Abdullah ibn Luhay‘ah ibn ‘Uqbah – is da ‘eef as he used to get mixed up,
and in addition to that he is mudallis. See at-Tahdheeb, 5/327-33;
Mizaan al-I‘tidaal, 2/475-484
Qays ibn al-Hajjaaj is sadooq, from the sixth level of
hadeeth narrators (tabaqah) according to al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar; they are the
ones who it is not proven that they met any of the Sahaabah. See: Taqreeb
Sometimes he narrated it as a mursal report and sometimes he
narrated it from the one who told him, but the one who told him is majhool
and not known.
So the report is da‘eef (weak) and is not saheeh (sound)
If this story were true, everyone would know about it and it
would be well known, and it would have been widely narrated through
confirmed isnaads, because it is an important and significant event, the
like of which should not be ignored; rather an incident less significant
than this would not be overlooked by historians and narrators.
And Allah knows best.