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The nasheed “Tala‘a al-Badru ‘alayna”

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Publication : 22-11-2023

Views : 7496

Question

How sound is the nasheed that is attributed to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), “Tala‘a al-Badru ‘alayna”, and is it permissible to sing it?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

The singing of this nasheed, of which the meanings are sound, is mentioned in the books of Sirah (the Prophet’s biography) and in some books of hadith. As for the report that refers to that, it is what was narrated by ‘Ubaydullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘A’ishah (d. 228 AH – may Allah have mercy on him), who said:

When the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to Madinah, the women, boys and young girls started to sing:

Tala‘a al-badru ‘alayna, min thaniyyat al-wada‘

Wajaba ash-shukru ‘alayna, ma da‘a Lillahi da‘.

(The full moon has risen upon us, from Thaniyyat al-Wada‘ (lit. the mountain pass of farewell).

We must give thanks, every time the caller calls to Allah).”

This was narrated by Abu’l-Hasan al-Khala‘i in al-Fawa’id (2/59), and al-Bayhaqi in Dala’il al-Nubuwwah (no. 752, 2019). In Fath al-Bari (7/261), al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar attributed it to Abu Sa‘id in Sharaf al-Mustafa. All of them narrated it via the great and trustworthy scholar of hadith Abu Khalifah al-Fadl ibn al-Habbab (d. 305). See his biography in Siyar A‘lam an-Nubala’ (14/7), narrated from Ibn ‘A’ishah.

This is a da‘if (weak) isnad, in which there is a large interruption. Ibn ‘A’ishah died late, and he was one of the shaykhs of Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud, so how could he narrate an incident from the life of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) without an isnad?

Hence al-Hafiz al-‘Iraqi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It is a problematic report."(Takhrij al-Ihya’  1/571).

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It is a problematic isnad."(Fath al-Bari  2/262).

Shaykh al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: This is a da‘if (weak) isnad. Its narrators are trustworthy, but it is problematic because three or more narrators are missing from its isnad. That is because this Ibn ‘A’ishah is one of the shaykhs of Ahmad, and he narrated it as a mursal report… So the whole story is not proven."(As-Silsilah ad-Da‘ifah  2/63).

The great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim has explained the problem with the story which says that that happened when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came from Makkah to Madinah, as he said: There is something clearly wrong with the story, because Thaniyyat al-Wada‘ is in the direction of Syria [that is, on the northern side of Madinah] and one who is coming from Makkah to Madinah will not see it or pass through it, unless he carries on towards Syria."(Zad al-Ma‘ad  3/551).

Hence al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Perhaps that incident happened when he came back from the campaign to Tabook.(Fath al-Bari  7/262).

But this rejection of the story on this basis is not to be accepted, because it is well known to the narrators of this story that it happened when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came from Makkah to Madinah, as Imam al-Bayhaqi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Our scholars mentioned this in the context of his arrival in Madinah from Makkah, and did not say that it happened when he came to Madinah through Thaniyyat al-Wada‘ on his return from Tabuk."(Dala’il an-Nubuwwah).

However, many historians have stated that Thaniyyat al-Wada‘ is in the direction of Makkah, and that there may have been a different thaniyyah, with the same name, in the direction of Syria.

Others stated that when the Prophet (blessings and place of Allah be upon him) entered Madinah, he passed by the houses of the Ansar, and even passed by Banu Sa‘idah, whose land was in the northern part of Madinah, near Thaniyyat al-Wada‘, so he did not enter the centre of Madinah except from that direction, until he reached the place where he halted.

See: Mu‘jam al-Buldan by Yaqut al-Hamawi (2/86); Tarh at-Tathrib by al-‘Iraqi (7/239-240); Subul al-Huda wa’r-Rashad by as-Salihi ash-Shami (3/277); and al-Athar al-Muqtafa li Qissat Hijrat al-Mustafa by Abu Turab az-Zahiri (p. 155-162).

Secondly:

The weakness of the isnad of these lines of verse does not mean that it is not permissible to quote them, narrate the story, or sing them as a nasheed, because the meaning is sound and beautiful, and it is very famous among the Muslims. Nothing in the story is attributed to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), such that we should be strict about its isnad; rather these are the words of the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them).

Most of the scholars are of the view that we may be lenient and easy-going with regard to the reports of the Sirah, and stories and words of the Sahabah and Tabi‘in on which no issue of creed (‘aqidah) or rulings on halal and haram are based. It says in Sharh ‘Ilal at-Tirmidhi (1/327) by al-Hafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him): Sufyan ath-Thawri (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Knowledge of what is halal and haram should only be taken from prominent figures who are well-known for their knowledge, for they know which reports are sound and which are less so. With regard to other matters, there is nothing wrong with learning them from other shaykhs.

Ibn Abi Hatim said: My father told us: ‘Abdah said:

It was said to Ibn al-Mubarak – when he narrated the report from a man – it was said that this man is not reliable. He said: It is fine to narrate such matters – or such things – from him.

I said to ‘Abdah: Such as what things? He said: Matters such as manners and attitude, exhortation, or asceticism.

Ibn Ma‘in said, regarding Musa ibn ‘Uyaynah: You may accept of his reports that which could soften the heart.

Ibn ‘Uyaynah said: Do not accept reports from Baqiyah – the name of one of the reporters – that speak of Sunnah matters, but you may accept from him reports that speak of reward and so on.

Ahmad said regarding Ibn Ishaq: You may accept from him reports about military campaigns (maghazi) and the like.

Ibn Ma‘in said regarding Ziyad al-Baka’i: There is nothing wrong with accepting his reports about military campaigns, but not about anything else. End quote.

Undoubtedly these lines of verse are among the matters in which it is most appropriate to be easy-going and lenient about narrating them.

Dr. Akram Diya’ al-‘Umari said:

As for stipulating conditions like those of hadith in order to verify historical reports that do not speak about matters of creed or halal and haram, that is too extreme and could lead to some serious problems, because the historical reports that were compiled by the historians among our earlier generations were not dealt with as hadiths were dealt with; rather they were lenient regarding them. If we reject their approach, then the gaps in our history would form a huge vacuum, which would lead to confusion, loss, troubles and alienation. But that does not mean that we should abandon the methods of the hadith scholars when critiquing the isnads of historical reports, for those methods are a means of finding out which of two contradictory reports is more likely to be sound. They are also the best help in deciding to accept or reject some reports that are very problematic, or odd reports that do not fit the general framework of our ummah’s history. But we should be flexible when referring to the standards, taking into consideration the fact that reports from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) are different from historical reports, and that the former were given a great deal of care and attention that enabled the scholars to prove them to be good when measured against very strict standards.(Dirasat Tarikhiyyah  p. 27).

In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with singing these lines of verse, enjoying them, memorising them and teaching them to children, even if they are not proven via sound (sahih) isnads. That is because, when it comes to events such as this, it is sufficient that reports of them are circulated and are very well known among knowledgeable people. Moreover there is nothing in the story to attribute these lines of verse to any particular individual among the Sahabah; rather they are attributed to the women, boys and young girls, which makes the matter more flexible.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A