In my last post on categorical narrations about the descent of Eisa (AS) from the heavens above, I quoted a Hadith (# 3) from Imam Baihaqi’s Asma’ wal Sifaat. Ahmadiyya try to raise many questions on it.
I am cognizant of the fact that it may well be too deep and not of too common interest but I feel there is need to document the things for general use if and when required.
The Hadith in full along with the comments by Imam Baihaqi goes as under:
أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْحَافِظُ، أنا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ، أنا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، ثنا ابْنُ بُكَيْرٍ، حَدَّثَنِي اللَّيْثُ، عَنْ يُونُسَ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، مَوْلَى أَبِي قَتَادَةَ الْأَنْصَارِيِّ قَالَ: إِنَّ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «كَيْفَ أَنْتُمْ إِذَا نَزَلَ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فِيكُمْ وَإِمَامُكُمْ مِنْكُمْ» . رَوَاهُ الْبُخَارِيُّ فِي الصَّحِيحِ عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ بُكَيْرٍ، وَأَخْرَجَهُ مُسْلِمٌ مِنْ وَجْهٍ آخَرَ عَنْ يُونُسَ. وَإِنَّمَا أَرَادَ نُزُولَهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ بَعْدَ الرَّفْعِ إِلَيْهِ
Abu Abdullah al-Hafiz (i.e. Imam Hakim) – Abu Bakr bin Ishaq – Ahmad bin Ibrahim – Ibn Bukayr – Laith – Yunus – Ibn Shihab – Nafi’ the freed-slave of Abu Qadadah al-Ansari -- Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him – Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, said: “What will be your condition when the son of Maryam (i.e. ‘Eisa) will descend amongst you from the heavens and your Imam will be from amongst you?” Bukhari narrated it in al-Sahih from Yahya bin Bukayr. And Muslim also narrated it through another chain from Yunus (bin Yazid). And they (also) meant his descent from the Heavens after his ascension towards it.
(Asma’ wa Sifaat 2/331 Hadith 895. Shaykh Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Hashidi has classified the narration as Sahih)
Note: The difference in the reference to Hadith in the current and the previous post is because I am using a different edition now. This one is with research of the scholar mentioned above.
Answers to Objections
Ahmadis contend that the words مِنَ السَّمَاءِ “… from the Heavens” in this narration are not genuine but a later interpolation.
The author of Ahmadiyya Pocket Book has raised certain objections on this narration See Ahmadiyya Pocket Book pp.227-228. In the following lines I respond to each of them.
Comparison with Bukhari’s narration:
He says that Imam Baihaqi has written after the narration, “Bukhari narrated it,” and in Bukhari’s Sahih we do not find the words مِنَ السَّمَاءِ “… from the Heavens” so it means these words are not part of the narration.
This is a rather naïve argument for it shows absolute ignorance of the author.
1. Firstly Baihaqi’s book is not like Kanzul Ummal that he is quoting things on someone’s authority without giving a chain down to himself. Infact as one can see Imam Baihaqi has given the chain down to him and that is why he has clarified that Bukhari has narrated it from Yahya bin Bukayr. Even though the same fellow falls in the chain of Imam Baihaqi but between him and Ibn Bukayr there are two other fellows. This proves Baihaqi has not narrated it on the authority of Bukhari but has given a complete chain for himself.
2. Now as to the question that why it happens. I reproduce the words of Shaykh Shafi Usmani in response to this;
فإن من له أدنى معرفة بالحديث وكتبه يعلم أن المحدثين قاطبة - ولا سيما البيهقي - ربما يعزو رواية لبعض المحدثين إذا أخرجها بأكثر ألفاظها ، ولا يشترط استيعاب ألفاظ الرواية ، فإذا قال المحدث : رواه البخاري كان مراده أن أصل الحديث أخرجه البخاري
'Whoever has even a slight knowledge of Ahadith and its compilations knows the all the Muhaddithin- especially Al-Baihaqi- whenever they ascribe a narration to some other Muhaddithin and they narrate it with more words, they do not mean to relate exactly the same words of the narration [as narrated by the Muhaddith to whom they ascribe it to]. So when the Muhaddith says 'Bukhari narrated it' his point is that the essence of the Hadith has been narrated by him.'
3. And the above statement can be substantiated by multiple examples. Following should suffice for now.
أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْحَافِظُ , وَأَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ يُوسُفَ بْنِ يَعْقُوبَ السُّوسِيُّ وَأَبُو بَكْرٍ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ الْقَاضِي , قَالُوا: ثنا أَبُو الْعَبَّاسِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَعْقُوبَ نا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ خَالِدِ بْنِ خَلِيٍّ , نا بِشْرُ بْنُ شُعَيْبِ بْنِ أَبِي حَمْزَةَ , عَنْ أَبِيهِ , عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ , عَنِ الْأَعْرَجِ , عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ , قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِنَّ لِلَّهِ تِسْعًا وَتِسْعِينَ اسْمًا مِائَةً إِلَّا وَاحِدًا مَنْ أَحْصَاهَا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ , إِنَّهُ وِتْرٌ يُحِبُّ الْوِتْرَ» رَوَاهُ الْبُخَارِيُّ فِي الصَّحِيحِ عَنْ أَبِي الْيَمَانِ عَنْ شُعَيْبِ بْنِ أَبِي حَمْزَ
Abu Abdullah al-Hafiz – Abu Abdullah Ishaq bin Muhammad bin Yusuf bin Ya’qub al-Susi and Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Hasan al-Qadhi – Abu al-Abbas Muhammad bin Ya’qub – Muhammad bin Khalid bin Khaliyy – Bishr bin Shu’aib bin Abi Hamza – his father (i.e. Shu’aib bin Abi Hamza) – Abi Zannad – A’raj – Abu Huraira – Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him said: “Verily for Allah there are ninety nine names, one less than hundred – whoever remembers them will enter Jannah. And indeed Allah is Witr (One) and loves Witr.” Bukhari narrated it in al-Sahih from Abi Yaman from Shu’aib bin Abi Hamza.
(Asma’ wal Sifaat 1/21 Hadith 5)
But if you search in Bukhari you find this narration as;
حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو اليَمَانِ، أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ: أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «إِنَّ لِلَّهِ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ اسْمًا مِائَةً إِلَّا وَاحِدًا، مَنْ أَحْصَاهَا دَخَلَ الجَنَّةَ»
Abu Yaman – Shu’aib (bin Abi Hamza) – Abu Zannad – A’raj – Abu Huraira -- Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him said: “Verily for Allah there are ninety nine names, one less than hundred – whoever remembers them will enter Jannah.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 2736)
Clearly it does not have the words, “And indeed Allah is Witr and loves Witr,” and no one can find these words in Bukhari with the chain a through Abi Yaman from Shau’aib bin Abi Hamza as Baihaqi said.
This supports the point 2 above that when Muhaddithin especially Baihaqi says “Bukhari narrated it” all they means is about the essence of the narration and not a verbatim parallel.
And it is never a problem for Baihaqi has not quoted from Sahih Bukhari but given a complete chain down to him as stated in point 1 above.
Weakness of the narrator Abu Bakr bin Ishaq:
Second objection that Malik Abdul Rahman, the compiler of Ahmadiyya Pocket Book has raised is a glaring example of Ahmadiyya scholars’ intellectual “honesty.”
He argues that Abu Bakr bin Ishaq is actually Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Muhammad al-Naqid and then he quotes scholarly views about his being negligent in Hadith narration.
Whatever the author has quoted from Lisan al-Mizan is true but the fact is he is not the narrator here. Narrator infact is Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Ishaq al- Nishapuri.
How do we know this? In Lisan al-Mizan (5/69) Hafiz Ibn Hajr has given the names of the common narrators from Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Muhammad al-Naqid and Abu Abdullah al-Hafiz (i.e. Imam Hakim) i.e. the person narrating from him in the hadith under consideration, is not among them.
However, Imam Dhahbi gives the profile of Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Ishaq al-Nishapuri and counts Abu Abdullah al-Hakim among the people who narrate from him (see Sayr A’lam al-Nubala 15/483-484). This proves Ahmad bin Ishaq and not Muhammad bin Ishaq is the narrator in the chain.
And that is how Shaykh Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Hashidi has said in his research on the book Asma’ wal Sifaat. See his footnotes to Hadith 895 and Hadith 4. Kitabul Asma’ wal Sifaat pub. Makteba al-Sawadi, Jeddah 1993
Weakness of the narrator Ahmad bin Ibrahim:
Next Malik Abdul Rahman, the Ahmadi author, says that Ahmad bin Ibrahim is also Da’if and he says, “See Lisan al-Mizan.” Now in Lisan al-Mizan 18 narrators by the name of Ahmad bin Ibrahim are given. Neither has he clarified as to which one he thinks falls in the chain in question nor has he given any comment that can help us sort the fellow out.
However our contention is that it makes no difference for the actual narrator intended here is not mentioned in Lisan al-Mizan. The actual narrator here is Ahmad bin Ibrahim bin Milhan. And we know it because under his profile Hafiz al-Dhahbi writes “Companion of Yahya bin Bukayr” (see Sayr A’lam al-Nubala 13/533-534) and in the Hadith in question he is narrating from Yahya bin Bukayr only.
And this fellow is indeed trustworthy. Imam Dhahbi writes that Imam Darqutni has graded him as “reliable.” Same is quoted by Khateeb al-Baghdadi, See Tarikh al-Baghdad 5/18 No. 1862. And they have not mentioned any criticism on him.
Shaykh Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Hashidi in his research on Kitabul Asma’ wal Sifaat also says that the narrator is Ahmad bin Ibrahim bin Milhan. See his footnotes to Hadith 895 and Hadith 95.
Weakness of other narrators:
The author then goes further to criticize the narrators, Yahya bin Abdullah (Ibn Bukayr) and Yunus bin Yazid. He is simply trying to be smart by quoting some critical views about them but for general readers it is enough that they are the narrators of Bukhari and Muslim which is good enough of evidence for their reliability. We can insha’Allah answer all the lies but for the fear of making the discourse too lengthy I simply allude to their being the narrators of the Sahihayn (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim).
The two narrators I discussed above are not the narrators of Bukhari and Muslim and further the Ahmadi author was simply lying so the two-fold reason became a drive to discuss their cases in detail.
Are the words “from the Heavens” a later interpolation?
Next the Ahmadi “scholar” comes with an allegation that the hand-written edition of Baihaqi’s Asma’ wal Sifaat was first published in 1328 A.H.and that Muslim scholars added it as an adulteration and interpolation.
There are two problems with the claim.`
1. It is false to say that first edition was published in 1328 A.H. Infact we have extant to this day the hand-written edition published in 1313 A.H.
See the front page
1313 A.H. is certainly not 1328 A.H. And on its page 301 one can find that the words are there.
Download the complete edition HERE
2. Moreover, this is not a proof that first edition was published in so and so year and the words were there. To prove the idea of interpolation one has to be show some manuscript or earlier edition in which words are not there. Burden of proof is on the one who claims!
The case of Durr Manthur:
Next he argues that Imam Suyuti has quoted the narration and has not given the words in question, proving that they were interpolated.
Imam Suyuti writes in Durr Manthur:
أخرج أحمد والبخاري ومسلم والبيهقي في الأسماء والصفات قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : كيف أنتم إذا نزل فيكم ابن مريم ، وإمامكم منكم؟
Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim and Baihaqi in Asma wal Sifaat says: “What will be your condition when the son of Maryam (i.e. ‘Eisa) will descend amongst you and your Imam will be from amongst you?”
One can see that Imam suyuti has given the names of 4 books in which the narration is found and in case when one odd book gives slightly different wording he cannot account for that. This is easily understandable if we consider the fact that in Durr Manthur Imam Suyuti has given loads of narrations and often he quotes them on the authority of multiple compilations. This is the reason he could not take into account slight variation of wording but only considered the essence of the narration.
This is further clear from the following example.
Imam Suyuti in his same book, Durr Manthur writes;
وَأخرج أَحْمد وَالْبُخَارِيّ وَسلم وَالنَّسَائِيّ وَابْن مرْدَوَيْه وَالْبَيْهَقِيّ فِي الْأَسْمَاء وَالصِّفَات عَن ابْن عَبَّاس عَن النَّبِي صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم فِيمَا يروي عَن ربه من هم بحسنة فَلم يعملها كتبت لَهُ حَسَنَة فَإِن عَملهَا كتبت لَهُ عشرا إِلَى سَبْعمِائة إِلَى أَضْعَاف كَثِيرَة وَمن همّ بسيئة فَلم يعملها كتبت لَهُ حَسَنَة فَإِن عَملهَا كتبت لَهُ وَاحِدَة أَو يمحوها الله وَلَا يهْلك على الله إِلَّا هَالك
Clearly He attributed the narration to Bukhari along with Ahmad, Muslim, Nasai, Ibn Mardwiya and Baihaqi’s Asma’ wal Sifaat but the words in red towards the end are not to be found in Bukhari. Infact even for the rest of the narration wording in Sahih Bukhari is different.
Now the question is why this “anomaly”?
Did someone remove the last words from Bukhari after Suyuti and changes the rest of wording too?
Or it is simply that Muhaddithin did not rather could not consider all the variation in the wording from one Hadith collection to another when they referred to multiple works at a time?
For any reasonable person the issue is quite clear. They did so considering the essence of the narration only which remains the same.
So we find all the Ahmadiyya lies refuted Alhamdulillah!
Points to note:
With so much discussion on this narration, let’s not forget this is not the only narration with these words. We earlier saw more of them.
After giving the narration and saying that Bukhari and Muslim have also narrated it, Baihaqi said that they also meant his descent from the Heavens after his ascension. This shows the belief of Imam Baihaqi who has been recognized as Mujaddid by Ahmadis. Moreover even without the narration in question this “mujaddid” of Ahmadis has established the meaning of Hadith from Sahih Bukhari.
Let’s turn the tables now!
Murabbis tell common Ahmadis to take exception to the fact that Imam Suyuti did not put the words مِنَ السَّمَاءِ “… from the Heavens” even though it was infact not possible to take account of all the variation in wording a explained above. But how many times are they allowed to question as to why Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani ate away these words from a narration of Kanzul Ummal when he quoted it.
In my last post I quoted a narration (# 5) from Kanzul Ummal which goes as;
قال ابن عباس: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: "فعند ذلك ينزل أخي عيسى ابن مريم من السماء على جبل أفيق إماما هاديا وحكما عدلا
Ibn Abbas narrated: the Messenger of Allah, on whom be the blessings of Allah, said: ‘And near it (Bait al-Maqdis) will descend from the Heavens my brother ‘Eisa ibn Maryam on Mt. Afiq as a guided leader and a just ruler.’ (Kanzul Ummal 14/619 Hadith 39726)
But when Mirza Ghulam Ahmad quoted it in Humamatul Bushra (p. 148 included in Rohani Khazain vol. 7 p.314) he ate away the words مِنَ السَّمَاءِ “… from the Heavens.”
Now mark the difference, Imam Suyuti quotes a narration from 4 different books with slight variation of wording and Ahmadiyya make an issue of it while their “prophet” quotes from a certain book and eats away the words. Does that not prove “something”?
I will request Ahmadi readers to take these points to Murabbis and Jamaat leaders and question them;
1. Why did Mirza Ghulam Ahmad not quote the Hadith honestly? Or is there any justification for this?
2. How to “explain” the gimmicks of the author of Ahmadiyya Pocket Book who plays with the common people using the proximity of names of different authors?
3. With all the Ahmadiyya arguments refuted what is now the significance of the narration?
And one question that our Ahmadi fellows need to ask themselves;
How it feels to be a part of the group whose leader and “scholars” display such intellectual dishonesty?
Indeed Allah knows the best!