An Analysis of the Hadīth “Whoever Assists a Mu’min in Distress, Allāh Will Grant Him Seventy-Three Rewards…”
An Analysis of the Hadīth “Whoever assists a Mu’min in distress, Allāh will grant him seventy-three rewards, one of which will suffice him in this world and the remaining will be saved for the Hereafter…”
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Abstract: The Hadīth in reference has been reported on the authority of two Sahābah with slight variations in the wording: Thawbān and Anas (Allāh be pleased with them). The narrators from Anas are Ziyād ibn Abī Hassān, ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmān, Abān, ‘Abbād ibn ‘Abd al-Samad and Dīnār, the freed slave of Anas.
Although some of these transmissions are weak (da‘īf) and some inadmissible (munkar), the Hadīth gains strength from the multiplicity of the slightly weak transmission and is thus suitable to mention.
In Hilyat al-Awliyā’, Hāfiż Abū Nu‘aym al-Asfahānī [d. 430 AH] reports on the authority of Thawbān (Allāh be pleased with him):
The Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever relieves a distressed believer [Man Farraja ‘an Mu’min Lahfān], Allāh will grant him seventy-three counts of forgiveness [Maghfira], by one of which He will amend his worldly life and Afterlife, and the seventy-two He will return to him in full on the Day of Judgment.
Thereafter, Abu Nu‘aym writes, “It is rare from the Hadīth of Farqad, and we have only written it from this route.” 
An Analysis of the Hadīth:
“Whoever Begins His Meals with Salt Will Be Saved From Seventy Diseases”
By Muntasir Zaman
In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
[Summary: This Hadīth has been reported Marfū‘an – from the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings be upon him) – on the authority of four Sahābah: ‘Alī, Anas, Sa‘d ibn Mu‘ādh and ‘Ā’ishah (Allāh be pleased with them). However, all of these narrations have been heavily criticized, such that they cannot even collectively corroborate one another. Furthermore, it has been reported Mawqūfan – from a Sahābī- as a statement of ‘Alī (Allāh be pleased with him), but this report is also unreliable.
After analyzing the Ahādīth, we present the Fatwa of Muftī Rashīd Ahmad Ludhyānwī in this regard, who says that it is incorrect to regard this etiquette as a Sunnah.
Thereafter, we discuss the issue of authentication, and in what context a jurist’s citation of a Hadīth will be regarded as authentication of it. Finally, we discuss how the jurists cannot be blamed for mentioning this unreliable narration in their books, as the science of Hadīth was not their specialty.]
Several leading jurists, such as Burhān al-Dīn al-Bukhārī [d. 616 AH] from the early jurists and Ibn ‘Ābidīn [d. 1250 AH] from the later ones, have stated that the etiquette mentioned in the Hadīth in reference is a Sunnah. Ibn ‘Ābidīn even alludes to the Hadīth in his comment, “Not only is it a Sunnah, but it also contains the cure for seventy diseases.”
Before discussing whether it is correct to regard this etiquette as a Sunnah, let us first analyze the authenticity of the Ahādīth in this regard.
Analysis of the Hadīth Read the rest of this entry »
An Analysis of the Hadīth “To Ponder for a Moment is Greater Than Sixty Years of Worship”
By Muntasir Zaman
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
[Summary: It is from the speech of al-Sarī ibn al-Mughallis al-Saqatī [d. approx. 250 AH]. A similar narration is recorded from Hasan al-Basrī, Ibn ‘Abbās and Abū al-Dardā’ (Allah be pleased with them). In any case, this is not a Hadīth of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). For an explanation of “to ponder” refer to the end of this answer. In addition, we have added a brief description of al-Sarī al-Saqatī in the end]
The Hadīth in reference is recorded by Abū al-Shaykh ibn Hayyān [d. 369 AH] in his book, al-‘Ażama, as follows:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: فِكْرَةُ سَاعَةٍ خَيْرٌ مِنْ عِبَادَةِ سِتِّينَ سَنَةً
It is reported on the authority of Abū Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “To ponder for a moment is greater than sixty years of worship”
Hereunder are remarks of the scholar of Hadīth regarding this narration.
Abu ‘l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzī [d. 597 AH] in his book, al-Mawdū‘āt comments:
“To ponder for a moment is greater than sixty years of worship”- This Hadīth is a not authentic (i.e. a fabrication). In the Sanad (chain of transmitters) there are two liars.
Once ‘Umar (Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu) was sitting with his companions when all of a sudden he started to laugh after which he began to cry. Those around him asked him, “What made you laugh after which you cried?” He replied,” During the days of Jāhiliyyah (ignorance), we used to make idols out of dates which we would worship and when we would get hungry we would eat them! Remembering this made me laugh. As for my crying, one day, I took my daughter to a field to bury her alive. As I was digging the grave, some dust fell on my beard. My daughter saw this and wiped the dust off my beard. Remembering this made me cry.”
However, there are some fundamental flaws in this narration.