Sunday 11 Rabi‘ at-akhir 1441 - 8 December 2019
English

The hadith “If dawn comes when a person is junub, he should not fast”

Question

Imam Ahmad narrated, with an isnad that meets the conditions of the two shaykhs [al-Bukhaari and Muslim] and others, from Abu Hurayrah, from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), that he said: “If the call to prayer is given and one of you is junub, let him not fast that day.” This hadith, as the scholars said, is contrary to what is narrated in the books of Saheeh from ‘Aa’ishah and Umm Salamah, that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would wake up junub, then he would do ghusl and fast. The majority of scholars, as is well known, are of the view that this hadith of Abu Hurayrah should not be followed, and it is said that the hadith is abrogated (mansookh). But Ibn Katheer said that the date [of the hadith] is not known, and he also said: Some of the scholars interpret it as meaning that his fast is imperfect, because of the hadith of ‘Aa’ishah and Umm Salamah, which indicates that it is permissible for him to fast, and this way of interpreting the two hadiths is the most likely to be correct and is the best way to reconcile the reports. What is meant by his fast being impefect, and which of these views is the correct one?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

Whoever becomes junub at night, then starts his day fasting, his fast is valid and he does not have to make up that day according to the majority of scholars. That is because of the hadith of ‘Aa’ishah and Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with them), who said: We testify that if the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) woke up junub in the morning, not as the result of a wet dream, he would do ghusl then fast. Ash-Shawkaani said: This is the view of the majority. An-Nawawi stated that there was consensus on this. Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eid said: It reached consensus or was like consensus.

End quote from al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (28/63)

See also the answers to questions no. 43307 and 181351

Al-Bukhaari (1926) and Muslim (1109) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) used to narrate from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he used to say: “If dawn comes when a person is junub, he should not fast.” He heard of the words of ‘Aa’ishah and Umm Salamah referred to above and said to the one who told him about it: Did they say that? He said: Yes. He said: They know better. Then Abu Hurayrah referred what he used to say about that to al-Fadl ibn al-‘Abbaas. Abu Hurayrah said: I heard that from al-Fadl; I did not hear it from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Abu Bakr ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan (the one who narrated it from Abu Hurayrah) said: So Abu Hurayrah retracted what he used to say about that.

Ibn Maajah (1702) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: No, by the Lord of the Ka‘bah, I did not say, “Whoever wakes up in a state of janaabah let him not fast”; Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said it. This was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.

Ibn Abi Shaybah (2/330) narrated from Ibn al-Musayyib that Abu Hurayrah retracted his fatwa, “If dawn comes when a person is junub, he should not fast.”

The scholars are agreed that we should follow the hadith of ‘Aa’ishah and Umm Salamah, not the hadith of Abu Hurayrah, with regard to this matter. This is supported by the fact that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) himself retracted his fatwa in favour of their view.

There are several scholarly views concerning the response to the hadith of Abu Hurayrah.

Some said that the hadith of ‘Aa’ishah and Umm Salamah outweighs the hadith of Abu Hurayrah because its isnad is more sound, and because the report of two takes precedence over the report of one.

See: Nayl al-Awtaar (4/253).

Imam al-Bukhaari (may Allah have mercy on him) said, after narrating the two hadiths: The first one is more sound in terms of its isnad – referring to the hadith of ‘Aa’ishah and Umm Salamah.

Some of the scholars said that the hadith of Abu Hurayrah is abrogated (mansookh).

Ibn al-Mundhir (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The best of what I have heard concerning this is that that report is to be regarded as having been abrogated… Abu Hurayrah initially used to give advice based on what he had heard from al-Fadl ibn al-‘Abbaas, and he was not aware of the abrogation. When he heard the report of ‘Aa’ishah and Umm Salamah, he followed it.

End quote from as-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi (4/363).

Some of the scholars interpret the hadith of Abu Hurayrah as meaning that the fast in this case is to be regarded as imperfect.

Ibn Katheer said:

Some of the scholars interpret the hadith of Abu Hurayrah as meaning that this fast is imperfect, because of the hadith of ‘Aa’ishah and Umm Salamah which indicates that it is permissible to fast in this situation. This way of interpreting the two hadiths is the most likely to be correct and is the best way to reconcile the reports. And Allah knows best.

End quote from Tafseer Ibn Katheer (1/517).

What is meant by the fast being imperfect is that what is preferable and more perfect for the one who wants to fast is that he should do ghusl before dawn, so that he will be in a state of purity from the beginning of the day, but if he delays doing ghusl until after dawn, that is permissible.

It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (28/63):

The hadith of Abu Hurayrah is to be understood as having been abrogated or as pointing to that which is preferable, which is that it is mustahabb to do ghusl before dawn, so that one will be in a state of purity at the beginning of the fast. End quote.

Perhaps the strongest scholarly view is that the hadith of Abu Hurayrah is abrogated (mansookh). This is indicated by the fact that Abu Hurayrah decided to follow the hadith of ‘Aa’ishah and Umm Salamah, and abandoned what he used to narrate.

And Allah knows best.

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