The Hadith: “My Companions Are Like The Stars”
(TAKEN FROM FORUM)
QUESTION WAS POSTED AND THEN ANSWER WAS GIVEN BELOW
I posted this hadith on another site,
“My companions are like (guiding) stars. Whomsoever you follow, you will be guided (on the right path).” (Hadeeth)
And someone replied:
The hadith which the brother quoted, “My companions are like (guiding) stars. Whomsoever you follow, you will be guided (on the right path).” (Hadeeth), has always been disturbing to me. How can we find justification for differing amongst the ummah, and for a lack of solidarity. In these times of fitnah, when so many of our brothers and sisters are feeling the painful effects of our disunity, we should not be making excuses for it.
Nonetheless, what is more important is the authenticity of this hadith. To adress this I turn your attention to the book of Shaykh Albaanee (rahimahullah). This section is excerpted from “The Prophet’s Prayer Described”, and for your benefit, I have included the discussion on several hadith, not just the one you mentioned:
1) “The disagreement among my ummah is a mercy.”
a) Laa Asla Lahu (Baseless). The muhadditheen have tried to find an isnaad (chain of narration) for it but have not found one, to the extent that Suyooti said in his al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer, “Perhaps it was collected in one of the books of the huffaadh which did not reach us”! This suggestion is very far-fetched, since it would mean that some of the sayings of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) have been lost to the ummah forever, something which is not permissible for a Muslim to believe.
Manaawi quoted Subki as saying, “It (i.e. the saying) is not known to the muhadditheen and I cannot find any isnaad for it, whether saheeh, da’eef or mawdoo'”, and this was endorsed by Shaykh Zakareeyyah al-Ansaari in his notes on Tafseer al- Baidaawi [92/2].
Further, the meaning of this hadeeth is also incorrect as shown by the verifying scholars, hence Ibn Hazm says in al-Ihkaam fi Usool al-Ahkaam [5/64] after indicating that it is not a hadeeth,
“This is one of the most incorrect sayings possible, since if ikhtilaaf were a mercy, then agreement would be a punishment, something which no Muslim would say, because there can only be agreement or disagreement, and there can only be mercy or punishment.”
More of Ibn Hazm’s words are quoted below.
b) It contradicts the Qur’aan, which has condemned ikhtilaaf in many places.
2) “My Companions are like the stars: whichever of them you follow, you will be rightly-guided.”
Mawdoo’ (Fabricated). Related by Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr in Jaami’ Bayaan al-‘Ilm [2/91] & Ibn Hazm in al-Ihkaam [6/82] via the route:
Sallaam ibn Sulaim, who said: al-Haarith ibn Ghisseen narrated to us from al-A’mash from Abu Sufyaan from Jaabir from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr said, “Proof cannot be established with this isnaad because al-Haarith ibn Ghisseen is majhool (unknown)”; Ibn Hazm said, “This is a fallen narration. Abu Sufyaan is weak; al-Haarith ibn Ghisseen is Abu Wahb ath- Thaqafee; Sallaam ibn Sulaimaan narrated fabricated ahaadeeth – this is one of them without a doubt.”
To judge this hadeeth on Sallaam ibn Sulaim – also known as Sallaam ibn Sulaimaan – is better, for he is agreed to be da’eef; in fact, Ibn Khiraash said about him, “An utter liar” and Ibn Hibbaan said, “He narrated fabricated ahaadeeth.”
As for Abu Sufyaan, he is not weak as Ibn Hazm said, but rather he is reliable as Ibn Hajar has said in at-Taqreeb, and Muslim narrates from him in his Saheeh.
Al-Haarith ibn Ghisseen is unknown as Ibn Hazm said, as did Ibn ‘Abdul Barr, even though Ibn Hibbaan does mention him in ath-Thiqaat (The Reliable Narrators).
Hence, Ahmad said, “This hadeeth is not authentic”, as quoted in al-Muntakhab [10/199/2] of Ibn Qudaamah.
As for the saying of Sha’raani in al-Meezaan [1/28], “This hadeeth, although debatable in the eyes of the muhadditheen, is nevertheless authentic in the eyes of the people of Kashf”, it is completely false and whimsical, and is not to be given any significance! This is because authenticating ahaadeeth by way of Kashf (“unveiling”, while in a state of trance) is a wicked innovation of the Sufis, and depending upon it leads to the authentication of false, baseless ahaadeeth such as this one. This is because, even at the best of times, Kashf is like opinion, which is sometimes correct and sometimes wrong – and that is if no personal desires enter into it! We ask Allaah to save us from it and from everything He is not pleased with.
Similar narrations to the above are as follows:
2.1) “The example of my Companions is that of the stars: he who follows any of them will be rightly-guided.”
Mawdoo’ (Fabricated). Related by Qudaa’i (109/2) via:
Ja’far ibn ‘Abdul Waahid, who said: Wahb ibn Jareer ibn Haazim informed us from his father from al-A’mash from Abu Salih from Abu Hurairah from The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
One of the muhadditheen, either Ibn al-Muhibb or Dhahabi, wrote in the margin, “This hadeeth is not at all authentic”, i.e. it is fabricated: the flaw in it is Ja’far here, about whom Daaraqutni said, “He used to fabricate ahaadeeth”; Abu Zur’ah said, “He narrated baseless ahaadeeth”; Dhahabi gave some hadeeth because of which he disparaged him, among them being this one, and then said, “This is one of his calamities!”
2.2) “Whatever you are given from the Book of Allaah is to be acted upon; there is no excuse for anyone to leave it. If it is not in the Book of Allaah, then (act upon) a previous example (sunnah) of mine. If there is no previous example (sunnah) of mine, then (act upon) what my Companions say: verily, my Companions are of the station of the stars in the sky, so whichever of them you take, you will be guided, and the disagreement of my Companions is a mercy for you.”
Mawdoo’ (Fabricated). Collected by Khateeb in al-Kifaayah fi ‘Ilm ar-Riwaayah [p.48] and also by Abul-‘Abbaas al-Asamm in the his Hadeeth (no. 142), & Ibn ‘Asaakir [7/315/2] by way of:
Sulaimaan ibn Abi Kareemah from Juwaibir from ad-Dahhaak from Ibn ‘Abbaas from The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
This isnaad is da’eef jiddan (very weak).
About Sulaimaan ibn Abi Kareemah, Ibn Abi Haatim [2/1/138] reported from his father about him, “He is weak in hadeeth.”
Juwaibir is Ibn Sa’eed al-Azadee, and is matrook (abandoned) as Daaraqutnee, Nasaa’i and others have said, and Ibn al- Madeeni declared him to be very weak.
Dahhaak is Ibn Muzaahim al-Hilaalee, and he did not meet Ibn ‘Abbaas.
‘Iraaqi quoted the last part of the hadeeth in his Takhreej of Ghazaali’s Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom ad-Deen [1/25] and then said, “Its isnaad is da’eef.”
The isnaad is actually very weak due to what we have mentioned about Juwaibir, as Sakhaawi said in al-Maqaasid . In meaning, however, the hadeeth is fabricated, as is clear from what has preceeded and what will follow.
Suyooti quoted the hadeeth in its entirety at the begining of his treatise Jazeel al-Mawaahib fi Ikhtilaaf al-Madhaahib from the narration of Bayhaqi in al-Madkhal, and Dailami related it from this route, as occurs in al-Mawdoo’aat of ‘Ali al-Qaari [p.19]. Once you know this, then the saying of Suyooti in his aforementioned treatise is very strange: “… and this hadeeth contains several points to note; among them his (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) informing of the disagreements between the madhaahib in non-fundamental matters, and that is one of his miracles, since it is information about the Unseen; also, his being pleased with that and approving of it, since he described it as a mercy, and that the burdened person may choose whichever of them he wishes.” It could be said to him: first establish the throne, and then sit. What he has mentioned about the choice is false: it is not possible for the Muslim to cling to it and act upon its generality, since it leads to breaking away from the restrictions of the Sharee’ah, as is not hard to see. See also the discussion under 2.4 below.
2.3) “I asked my Lord about that which my Companions would disagri about after me, so Allaah inspired me: O Muhammad! Your Companions are to Me of the station of the stars in the sky – some are brighter than others; so whoever takes from any of them in those matters where they have differed, then to Me, he is upon guidance.”
Mawdoo’ (Fabricated). Reported by Ibn Battah in al-Ibaanah [4/11/2], Khateeb, Nizam al-Malik in al-Amaali [13/2], Diyaa’ in al-Muntaqaa ‘an Masmoo’aatihi bimaroo [116/2] & Ibn ‘Asaakir [6/303/1] by way of:
Nu’aim ibn Hammaad, who said: ‘Abdur-Raheem ibn Zaid narrated to us from his father from Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
This isnaad is mawdoo’.
Nu’aim ibn Hammaad is weak: Ibn Hajar said, “He makes many mistakes.”
About ‘Abdur-Raheem ibn Zaid al-‘Ammee, al-Bukhaari said, “He was abandoned”; Abu Haatim said, “His ahaadeeth are abandoned: he is unacceptable in hadeeth – he used to undermine his father by narrating disasters from him”; Ibn Ma’een said, “He was an utter, filthy liar.”
About his father, Zaid al-‘Ammi ibn al-Hawaaree, Ibn Sa’d said, “He was weak in hadeeth.”
Suyooti recorded this hadeeth in al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer through the narration of Sijizzi in al-Ibaanah and Ibn ‘Asaakir from ‘Umar; Manaawi said in his commentary on al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer: Ibn al-Jawzi said in his al-‘Ilal, “This is not authentic. Nu’aim has been disparaged; Ibn Ma’een has described ‘Abdur- Raheem as an utter liar; it says in al-Meezaan: This hadeeth is false.”
2.4) “Verily, my Companions are like the stars: so if you accept any of their sayings, you will be guided.”
Mawdoo’ (Fabricated). Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr reports it in mu’allaq (suspended, i.e. an incomplete chain of narrators at the collector’s end) form and Ibn Hazm reports it from him; the complete chain was provided by ‘Abd ibn Humaid in al-Muntakhab min al-Musnad (86/1):
Ahmad ibn Yoonus informed me: Abu Shihaab al-Hannaat narrated to us, from Hamzah al-Jazree, from Naafee’, from Ibn ‘Umar from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
Also, Ibn Battah narrated it in al-Ibaanah [4/11/2] by another chain from Abu Shihaab.
Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr said, “This isnaad is not authentic; no one acceptable as proof has reported it from Naafee’.”
This Hamzah is Ibn Abi Hamzah; Daaraqutni said about him, “Matrook (abandoned)”; Ibn ‘Adi said, “His narrations are mostly fabricated”; Ibn Hibbaan said, “He would be alone in narrating things which are fabricated from reliable narrators, to such an extent that it is as if he did so deliberately – it is not permissible to narrate from him”; Dhahabi quoted some of his fabricated ahaadeeth in al- Meezaan, this being one of them.
Ibn Hazm said in al-Ihkaam (6/83), after declaring that this hadeeth (no. 2, with all its versions) is undoubtedly a lie since it also contradicts many aayaat of the Qur’aan, e.g. Najm (53:3-4), Nisaa’ (4:82), Anfaal (8:46), the following:
“… therefore, it is absurd that the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would command us to follow every view expressed by the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them all, for there were among them those who permitted something while others prohibited it: if the above were the case, trading in intoxicants would be permissible if one followed Samurah ibn Jundub; it would be permissible for someone fasting to eat snow if one followed Abu Talhah, but prohibited by following others beside him; to not take a bath due to incomplete intercourse would be obligatory if one followed ‘Ali, ‘Uthmaan, Talhah, Abu Ayyoob and Ubayy ibn Ka’b, but prohibited if one followed ‘Aa’ishah and Ibn ‘Umar; all these examples have been related to us with authentic chains of narration.”
He then went on to explain at length some opinions expressed by Companions in which they were wrong about the Sunnah, both during the lifetime of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and after his death. He then said (6/86),
“So how can it be allowable to blindly follow the opinions of people who make mistakes as well as get it right?!”
Before that, he had explained, under the heading Differing Condemned (5/64), the error of those who say, “Disagreement is a mercy”, using as evidence the hadeeth, “My Companions are like the stars: whichever of them you follow, you will be rightly-guided”, by clarifying that the hadeeth is a lie for several reasons:
(i) it is not authentic with regard to its chain of narration;
(ii) further, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) could not have commanded us to follow something which he himself had declared erroneous at times; e.g. he pointed out Abu Bakr’s mistake in interpreting a dream, ‘Umar’s error in another interpretation, and Abus-Sanaabil’s going wrong in a verdict he gave; hence, it is not possible for him to order us to follow someone mistaken;
(iii) the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) never spoke falsehood; his words were always truth: the comparison with the stars is clearly flawed, since for example, if someone intends to travel a certain route directed by the stars in the constellation of Capricorn, but instead follows the stars in Cancer, he will not be correctly-guided, but will stray far away from the correct path and err tremendously; therefore, it is obviously false to say that following any star will guide one correctly.
Ibn al-Mulaqqin gave a summarised version of Ibn Hazm’s words in his al-Khulaasah [2/175], endorsed it and ended his discussion of the hadeeth saying: Ibn Hazm said,”This is an invented, fabricated, false narration, not correct at all.”
How do i reply to this, or is it a fabricated hadith? Im confused because i got this from riyadul jannah.com which is written by Sheikh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat who is my principal and i know he wouldnt put a fabricated hadith on. anyway plse let me know JazakAllah
There are at least three narrations comparing the Companions to the stars in the sky:
It is reported from the Prophet that he said :
1. “My Companions are like the stars; whoever among them you use for guidance, you will be rightly guided.”
This is a weak (da`îf) hadith narrated:
– from Ibn
Umar byAbd ibn Humayd in his Musnad as stated by al-Suyuti in Manahil al-Safa (p. 193 #1027) and Ibn
Adi in al-Kamil; al-Suyuti indicated it was weak in his Jami al-Saghir (#4603).
– from Jabir by al-Daraqutni in Fada’il al-Sahaba and Ibn
Abd al-Barr in Jami Bayan al-`Ilm (2:924-925 #1759-1760=2:111);
– from Abu Hurayra by al-Quda
i in Musnad al-Shihab with a very weak chain because of Jafar ibn `Abd al-Wahid al-Hashimi who was declared a liar as stated by Ibn Hajar;
Umar and IbnAbbas by al-Bayhaqi in al-Madkhal where he said: “Its matn is well-known (mashhûr) and its chains are weak”; – from
Umar by al-Sajzi in al-Ibana and IbnAsakir as stated by al-Suyuti who indicated it was weak in his Jami` al-Saghir (#4603);
– from Anas by al-Bazzar who said of `Abd ibn Humayd’s narration: “It is condemned (munkar) and unsound” as cited by Ibn Hajar in Talkhis al-Habir (4:190-191 #2098).
Al-Bajawi said in his edition of al-Qadi
Iyad's al-Shifa (2:613): "Ibn Hazm even said: It is forged. The hadith master al-Iraqi said: The author (
Iyad) should not have cited it as if it were definitely a hadith of the Prophet ." Al-Halabi said: "The author should not have cited it as if it were definitely a hadith of the Prophet , due to what is known about it among the scholars of this science, and he has done the same thing several times before." Al-Qari replies in his commentary on al-Shifa' (2:91): "It is possible that he [Iyad] had established a chain for it, or that he considered the multiplicity of its chains to raise its grade from da
îf to that of hasan, due to his good opinion of it, not to mention the fact that even the weak hadith may be put into practice for meritorious acts (fadâ'il al-amâl), and Allah knows best.”
Al-Saghani declared it fair (hasan) as stated by Hasan al-Tibi and al-Sayyid’s respective commentaries on the Mishkat. Shaykh
Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda in his commentary on al-Qari's Fath Bab al-Inaya (1:13) and his al-Masnu
fi Marifa al-Hadith al-Mawdu
(p. 273) rejects the grading of mawdû and equally rejects al-Lacknawi’s grading of sahîh – in his marginalia on the latter’s Tuhfat al-Akhyar entitled Nukhbat al-Anzar (p. 53) and the introduction to his al-Athar al-Marfu
a fi al-Akhbar al-Mawdua – for which the latter cited al-Sha`rani’s phrase in the Mizan al-Kubra: “Even if the authenticity of this hadith is questioned among the scholars of hadith, nevertheless it is sound among the people of miraculous unveiling (kashf).” See also the Tamim brothers’ marginalia on al-Qari’s Sharh Sharh Nukhba al-Fikar (p. 557).
As for the claim by the “Salafi” Sa
id Mashasha’s recent tract al-Muqallidun wa al-A’imma al-Arba
a (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami and Dar Ibn Hazm, 1999) (p. 102) that "this hadith is forged (mawdû) as Ibn Hazm said in Usul al-Ahkam (#810), al-Shawkani in al-Qawl al-Mufid (p. 30), and al-Albani in al-Silsila al-Da
ifa (#58) and a number of the scholars": this statement is a shameless lie as all al-Shawkani said in al-Qawl al-Mufid fi Adilla al-Ijtihad wa al-Taqlid on page 9 of its original 1347/1929 edition is: "This hadith was narrated through different routes from Jabir and IbnUmar, and the Imams of narrator-criticism have explicitly said that none of them are sound (lâ yasihhu minhu shay’) and that this hadith is not firmly established as a Prophetic narration…. In sum, this hadith forms no proof.” This is the same opinion as those we have quoted from the majority of the scholars, but it is a far cry from his saying the hadith is forged. Furthermore, it is untrue that “a number of the scholars” have declared it forged, as the only scholar who did was Ibn Hazm, imitated in our time by Nasir Albani. One of the ironies of Ma`shasha’s book is that he attacks taqlîd in every page, yet relies exclusively on Albani for hadith authentication, without any reference to the hadith masters!
There is a confirmatory report for the above narration:
2. The hadith in Muslim and Ahmad narrated by Abu Musa al-Ash`ari whereby the Prophet, , said: “The stars are trust-keepers for the heaven, and when the stars wane, the heaven is brought what was promised (i.e. of the corruption of the world and the coming of the Day of Judgment); and I am a trust-keeper for my Companions, so when I go my Companions will be brought what was promised them (i.e. of fitna and division); and my Companions are trustkeepers for my Community, so when they go my Community will be brought what was promised to you (i.e. following hawâ and vying for dunyâ).”
Another report states:
3. Anas relates that the Prophet , said: “The simile of the scholars of knowledge (al-`ulama’) on the earth is the stars in the sky by which one is guided in the darkness of the land and the sea. When the stars are clouded over, the guides are about to be lost.”
Narrated from Anas by Ahmad in his Musnad (al-Arna’ut ed. 20:52 #12600=al-Zayn ed. 10:508 #12537=3:157 #12606) with a very weak chain according to al-Arna’ut because of Rishdin ibn Sa
d who is weak, Abu Hafs - the narrator from Anas - who is unknown, andAbd Allah ibn al-Walid who is “soft” (layyin), although al-Zayn declared it fair with his usual laxity, as did al-Suyuti in al-Jami` al-Saghir. Cf. al-Haytami (1:121). Also narrated by al-Khatib in al-Faqih wa al-Mutafaqqih (2:70), al-Ramahurmuzi in al-Amthal (p. 51) – both with the same chain – and Ahmad in al-Zuhd, mawqûf from Abu al-Darda’. Also narrated mursal from al-Hasan al-Basri by al-Bayhaqi in al-Madkhal (p. 274).
This is what
Umar meant when he named the Companions: "Those whom people look at and take (knowledge) from" when he disapproved of the difference of opinion between Ubay ibn Kab and
Abd Allah ibn Masud, as related in Ibn
Abd al-Barr's Jami Bayan al-
Ilm (Misr: Dar al-Tibaa al-Muniriyya 2:84).
Al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi said in Nawadir al-Usul: “Not everyone that met him and followed him or saw him once is meant by this hadith but only those that studiously kept his company morning and evening, received his conveyance of the Revelation, took from him the Law that became the path of the Umma, and looked to him for the ethics of Islam and to his noble traits. Those became, after him, the Imams and the proofs in which resides right guidance and in whose path is found right emulation and in them is safety and right belief.”
There are many reports showing the validity or desirability of following and imitating the Companions in their religious practice, and in the case of the Four Well-Guided Caliphs this imitation is actually a Prophetic command, and Allah knows best.
Sheikh Sidi Gibrael Haddad.