Abu Hurairah

Abdur-Rahman ibn Sakhr al-Dawsi al-Zahrani (Arabic: عبد الرحمن بن صخر الدوسي الزهراني‎‎; c.603–680), better known as Abu Hurayrah,[1] was one of the companions of Islamic prophet Muhammad and, according to Sunni Islam, the most prolific narrator of hadith. He was known by the kunyah Abu Hurayrah "Father of a Kitten", in reference to his attachment to cats, and he was a member of Ashab al-Suffa. Abu Hurayrah was from the clan of Banu Daws which is a branch of the larger and prominent Arab tribe of Zahran and was born in the region of Al-Baha which was in Asir at that time. It is unclear as to what his real name is, the most popular opinion being that it was ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Ṣakhr (عبد الرحمن بن صخر).[2] Abu Hurayrah spent 2 years 3 months approximately in the company of Muhammad[3] and went on expeditions and journeys with him.[4] He is credited with narrating at least 5,374 Ahadith.[5][6]

Abū Hurayrah
أبو هريرة
أبو هريرة.png
Bornc. 603 CE
Al Jabour, Arabia
Died680 CE
Resting placeAl-Baqi'
OccupationSahabah
Hadith narrator
Known forCompanion (Sahabi) of Prophet Muhammad

Early lifeEdit

Abu Huraira was from the Arab tribe of Zahran of the prominent clan of Banu Daws and was born in the region of Al-Baha which was in Asir at that time. His father had died, leaving him with only his mother and no other relatives.

His NameEdit

His name is disputed among Muslim scholars. His name is said to be "Abd al-Rahman Ibn Sakhr", "Abul Rahman Ibn Ghnam", "Abd Ibn Ghnam",[7] "Abd Nahm Ibn 'Amir", "Abd Shams Ibn 'Amir", "'Omir Ibn 'Amir", "Abd Shams Ibn Sakhr", "'Amir Ibn Abd Ghnam",[8] "Sikin Ibn Mal", "Sikin Ibn Hana'", "'Amr Ibn Abd Shams", "Amr Ibd Abd Nihm", "Sikin Ibn Jabir", "Yazid Ibn 'Ashrqah", "Abdullah Ibn 'Aith", "Sikin Ibn Wathmah", "Borir Ibn 'Ashraqah" or "Saeed Ibn Al-Haryth".[9]

His birth name is also disputed among Muslim scholars, his birth name is said to be "Abd Shams", "Abdallah", "Sikin", "'Amir", "Borir", "Amr", "Saeed", "Abd Amr", "Abd Ghnam", "Abd Yalil" or "Abd Tim".[10][7]

His AgnomenEdit

The reason for the agnomen Abu Hurairah has been narrated by him personally:

"I was called Abu Hurairah because I would tend to the goats of my family, and one day I found a stray kitten which I placed in my sleeve. When I returned to my people they heard the kitten purr in my sleeve and they asked, “What is that, O ‘Abd Shams?” I replied, “A kitten I found.” “So you are Abu Hurairah (Father of cats),” they responded and the name stuck thereafter."[11]

Life as a MuslimEdit

Abu Hurairah embraced Islam through Tufayl ibn Amr, the chieftain of his tribe. Tufayl had returned to his village after meeting Muhammad and became a Muslim in the early years of his mission. Abu Hurairah was one of the first to respond to his call, unlike the majority of Tufayl's tribesmen, who embraced Islam later. Abu Hurairah accompanied Tufayl to Mecca to meet Muhammad who renamed him Abd al-Rahman ("servant of the Merciful"). Abu Hurairah then returned to his tribe to live for many years.

Military campaigns during Muhammad's eraEdit

He was present during the Expedition of Dhat al-Riqa‘. Some scholars claim, the expedition took place in the Najd, a large area of tableland in the Arabian Peninsula in Rabi‘ II or Jumada al-awwal, 4 AH (or the beginning of 5 AH). They substantiate their claim by saying that it was strategically necessary to carry out this campaign in order to quell the rebellious bedouins in order to meet the exigencies of the agreed upon encounter with the polytheists, i.e. minor Badr Battle in Sha‘ban, 4 A.H. Muhammed received the news that certain tribes of the Ghatafan were assembling at Dhat al-Riqa‘ with suspicious purposes.

Muhammad proceeded towards Najd at the head of 400 or 700 men. In his absence, he mandated the affairs of Medina to Abu Dhar al-Ghifari (or according to Umayyad tradition, Uthman ibn Affan)[citation needed]. The Muslim fighters penetrated deep into their land until they reached a spot called Nakhla, where they came across some bedouins of Ghatfan.[12][13]

However, the opinion according to Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri in his The Sealed Nectar, is that the Dhat ar-Riqa‘ campaign took place after the fall of Khaybar and not as part of the invasion of the Najd. This is supported by the fact that Abu Hurayrah and Abu Musa al-Ash'ari witnessed the battle. Abu Hurairah embraced Islam only some days before Khaibar, and Abu Musa Al-Ash‘ari came back from Abyssinia and joined Muhammad at Khaybar. The rules relating to the prayer of fear which Muhammad observed at Dhat Ar-Riqa‘ campaign, were revealed at the Invasion of the 'Asfan and this, scholars say, took place after the Battle of the Trench.[13]

Death and legacyEdit

Following the death of Muhammad, Abu Hurayrah spent the rest of his life teaching hadith in Medina, except for a short period as governor of Eastern Arabia (then called "Bahrayn") during the reign of Umar, and when he was the governor of Medina during the early Umayyad Caliphate. Abu Hurayrah died in 681 CE (59AH) at the age of 78 and was buried at al-Baqi'.[14]

According to the Richard Gottheil and Hartwig Hirschfeld, Abu Hurairah was one of the close disciples of Ka'ab al-Ahbar.[15]

Reliability as Hadith SourceEdit

Although credited with over 5000 hadith (A. Kevin Reinhart states that 5,374 hadith have been attributed to Abu Hurairah),[16] Al-Bukhari's biography of the Prophet Muhammad noted that Abu Hurairah was a late convert to Islam who spent approximately 2 years and 3 months in the company of the Prophet. This averages about seven hadith per day in a land and era when the Arabs were known for memorizing thousands of lines of poetry. It is notable that in many narrations, he may narrate hadith through an unnamed companion he heard it from, and not directly from the prophet Muhammad himself. This is acceptable because in Sunni hadith studies, every companion is considered a trustworthy narrator, and companions would only narrate from other companions.[17]

However, this discrepancy between the number of hadith attributed to Abu Hurayrah and his limited time with the Prophet has been called into question by a number of scholars. In contrast to Hurairah, Prophet Muhammad's closest companions are credited with far less hadith; Abu Bakr is credited with 142 hadith, Uthman ibn Affan with 146, Umar ibn Khattab with 537, and Ali ibn Abi Talib with no more than 586 hadith. [18] Abdullah Saeed points out that Caliph Umar bin Khattab is recorded to repeatedly threaten Abu Hurayrah, noted at the time as a blatant self-promoter, with serious consequences due to his frequent misquote of the Prophet's words.[19][20] Although, rather than originating from Abu Hurayrah himself, it is possible that his large number of reported hadiths can also be attributed to later writers who attached increasing number of unsound hadiths to Abu Hurayrah.[17] Certain sects such as the Shia are also known for doubting his authority as a narrator.[21]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Stowasser, Barbara Freyer (22 August 1996). Women in the Qur'an, Traditions, and Interpretation. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199761838.
  2. ^ Glassé, Cyril (2003). The New Encyclopedia of Islam. Rowman Altamira. pp. 102. ISBN 0759101906.
  3. ^ Sahih Bukhari Volume 001, Book 003, Hadith Number 118
  4. ^ El-Esabah Fi Tamyyz El Sahabah. P.7 p. 436.
  5. ^ Shorter Urdu Encyclopedia of Islam, University of the Punjab, Lahore, 1997, pg. 65.
  6. ^ "Sahih al-Bukhari 118 - Knowledge - كتاب العلم - Sunnah.com - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". sunnah.com. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b Al-Dhahabi. "The Lives of Noble Figures". library.islamweb.net (in Arabic). Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  8. ^ Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani. "al-Isaba fi tamyiz al-Sahaba". shamela.ws (in Arabic). Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  9. ^ al-Mizzi, Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman. "Tahdhib al-Kamal fi asma' al-rijal". library.islamweb.net (in Arabic). Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  10. ^ الإصابة في تمييز الصحابة • الموقع الرسمي للمكتبة الشاملة. shamela.ws. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Abu Hurayrah in the eyes of the Ahlul Bayt – Mahajjah". Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  12. ^ Muir, William (1861), The life of Mahomet, Smith, Elder & Co, p. 224
  13. ^ a b Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, Saifur (2005), The Sealed Nectar, Darussalam Publications, p. 240, ISBN 9798694145923
  14. ^ Abgad Elulm, pp.2, 179.
  15. ^ "KA'B AL-AḤBAR - JewishEncyclopedia.com". www.jewishencyclopedia.com.
  16. ^ REINHART, A. KEVIN (2010). "Juynbolliana, Graduahsm, the Big Bang, and Hadîth Study in the Twenty-First Century" (PDF). Journal of the American Oriental Society. 130 (3): 417. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  17. ^ a b "ON THE TRUTHFULNESS OF ABU HURAYRAH IN NARRATING HADITH". University of Malaya. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  18. ^ "Abu Hurayra and the Falsification of Hadith". al-islam.org. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  19. ^ Saeed, Abdullah (2013). Reading the Qur'an in the Twenty-First Century: A Contextualist Approach. Routledge. ISBN 978-1317974147.
  20. ^ Armstrong, Karen (2019). The Lost Art of Scripture. Random House. p. 390-391. ISBN 978-1473547278.
  21. ^ "Abu Hurayra and the Falsification of Hadith". al-islam.org. Retrieved 12 November 2019.