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Is it proven that when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was born, he rested on his arms, raising his head to heaven?

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Publication : 07-12-2016

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Question

Is it proven that when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was born, he rested on his arms, raising his head to heaven?

Answer

Praise be to Allah

It was narrated by ‘Abd ar-Razzaaq in al-Musannaf (9718) from Ma‘mar, from az-Zuhri, that the mother of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: When he was born, he rested on his arms, raising his head to heaven.

This is mursal, although the isnaad is saheeh.

It was narrated by Ibn Hibbaan (6335) and Abu Ya‘la (7163) via Muhammad ibn Ishaaq, from Jahm ibn Abi Jahm, from ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far (may Allah be pleased with him), from Haleemah bint al-Haarith as-Sa‘diyyah… And he mentioned the story of the breastfeeding of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), in which it says that the mother of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

… Then I gave birth to him, and he did not come out as other infants come out; he came out placing his hands on the ground, raising his head to heaven.

Shaykh Shu‘ayb al-Arna‘oot said in his commentary on Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan:

In its isnaad there is an interruption between ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far – who is the son of Abu Taalib – and Haleemah.

Jahm ibn Abi Jahm was mentioned by the author in ath-Thiqaat (4/113), where he said: He narrates from ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far and from al-Miswar ibn Makhramah, who was the freed slave of al-Haarith ibn Haatib al-Qurashi. Muhammad ibn Ishaaq, ‘Abdullah al-‘Umari and al-Waleed ibn ‘Abdillah ibn Jamee‘ narrated from him. Al-Bukhaari (2/229) and Ibn Abi Haatim (2/521) both mentioned him, but they did not say anything about him, good or bad.

No report is known from Haleemah except this hadith, and there is no proof that she saw the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) after his mission began. End quote.

It was narrated by al-Aajurri in ash-Sharee‘ah (964), al-Bayhaqi in ad-Dalaa’il (1/132) and Ibn ‘Asaakir in at-Taareekh (3/91) that Muhammad ibn Ishaaq said: Ibn Abi Jahm told me: someone who heard ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib told me that he said: I was told, from Haleemah bint al-Haarith, the foster-mother of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)… and he narrated this report.

This is a da‘eef (weak) isnaad. Jahm ibn Abi Jahm is unknown. Adh-Dhahabi mentioned him in al-Mizaan (1/426) and said: He is not known; he narrated the report from Haleemah as-Sa‘diyyah. End quote.

He did not hear this story directly from ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far, because he said: someone who heard ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib told me that he said.

And ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far did not hear it from Haleemah as-Sa‘diyyah, because he said: I was told, from Haleemah bint al-Haarith.

But this last problem is minor, because ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far was a Sahaabi, but he was one of the younger Sahaabah.

It was narrated by Ibn Sa‘d in at-Tabaqaat (1/81, 120) via his shaykh al-Waaqidi, via various isnaads, but al-Waaqidi is dubious. He was regarded as a liar by Imam Ahmad and others. Abu Dawood said: I do not write down his hadith and I do not narrate from him; I have no doubt that he made up hadith. Bandaar said: I have not seen anyone who tells more lies than him.

Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh said: In my view, he is one of those who fabricate hadith.

See: Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (9/323-326).

So what he narrates is of no value.

The hadith was classed as da‘eef by Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him), who said in his commentary on al-Booti’s Fiqh as-Seerah:

This story was not narrated via any isnaad which may be taken as evidence. The most well-known of its versions is that which was narrated by Muhammad ibn Ishaaq from Jahm ibn Abi Jahm from ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far from Haleemah bint al-Haarith as-Sa‘diyyah.

It was narrated by Abu Ya‘la (1/128) and from him by Ibn Hibbaan in Mawaarid (1094) and by Abu Nu‘aym in Dalaa’il an-Nubuwwah (1/47) from Ibn Ishaaq.

It was also narrated from him by al-Bayhaqi in Dalaa’il an-Nubuwwah (1/108), except that he said: Jahm ibn Abi Jahm – the freed slave of a woman from Banu Tameem who was married to al-Haarith ibn Haatib; it was also said that he was the freed slave of al-Haarith ibn Haatib – told us: someone who heard ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib told us that he said: I was told, from Haleemah bint al-Haarith.

I say: This is a da‘eef isnaad; there are two problems with it:

Firstly: there is some problem with the isnaad, as is quite clear. In the first report, Ibn Ishaaq narrates it by saying ‘an (from) with regard to all of its narrators. In the second report, it is narrated with a clear statement of it having been told from one narrator to another, even though al-Jahm says that he did not hear it directly from ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far, and he says that ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far did not hear it directly from Haleemah.

In the first report, there is an interruption between Ibn Ishaaq and al-Jahm, because Ibn Ishaaq is known for tadlees (saying ‘an (from) to give the impression that it was heard directly from one narrator to another). In the second report there is an interruption in two places in the isnaad.

Thus you may learn that al-Haafiz was mistaken in his book al-Isaabah, where he said (4/266): Ibn Hibbaan stated in his Saheeh that it was stated that Haleemah told ‘Abdullah, because there is no basis for this idea according to Ibn Hibbaan or anyone else whom we have mentioned.

It is very unlikely that ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far could have met Haleemah, the wet-nurse of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), because when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) died, ‘Abdullah was ten years old; even though no one mentioned when Haleemah died, one would expect her to have died before the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). And Allah knows best.

Regardless of whether the first or second report is more sound, in both cases there is an interruption in the isnaad.

The other problem with the hadith is that its main narrator, Jahm ibn Abi’l-Jahm, is unknown. Adh-Dhahabi said in al-Mizaan: The story of Haleemah as-Sa‘diyyah is not known to be his.

As for Ibn Hibbaan, he mentioned him in ath-Thiqaat (1/31), according to his method of verifying unknown narrators.

According to Abu Nu‘aym, the story has two other isnaads, both of which are connected to al-Waaqidi, who was a liar. One of the isnaads is from his shaykh, Moosa ibn Shayba, who is layyin al-hadith (not strong in hadith), as al-Haafiz said in at-Taqreeb. The other is from ‘Abd as-Samad ibn Muhammad as-Sa‘di, from his father, from his grandfather, who said: Someone who used to tend the sheep of Haleemah told me… These narrators are unknown.

End quote from Difaa‘ ‘an al-Hadith an-Nabawi (39).

He also said in his commentary on Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan (9/128):

… Ibn Ishaaq stated in Seerat Ibn Hishaam (1/172) that the report was told from one narrator to another, but he was not sure. He said: From ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far ibn Abi Taalib, or from someone who narrated from him…

So we cannot be sure that the isnaad is complete, especially since this Jahm is unknown and no one regarded him as trustworthy except Ibn Hibbaan (4/113). Adh-Dhahabi said in al-Mizaan and elsewhere: He is not known. End quote.

See: al-Mataalib al-‘Aaliyah by Ibn Hajar, and the comment of the commentators (17/180-182).

This hadith, with its isnaads, is well known to the scholars of Seerah (the Prophet’s biography), as Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: This hadith was narrated via other isnaads, and it is one of the well-known hadiths that were mentioned by the scholars of Seerah and Maghaazi (reports of military campaigns).

End quote from al-Bidaayah wa’n-Nihaayah (2/275).

Perhaps because it is well-known, adh-Dhahabi classed it as qawiy (strong) and said concerning this hadith of Ibn Ishaaq that is mentioned above:

This is a hadith with a jayyid (good) isnaad.

End quote from Tareekh al-Islam (1/48).

And Allah knows best.

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