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In the Name of God بسم الله

One lady's narration accepted as sahih?

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(salam)

I asked this question before and Brother Tahasyed replied by saying that the lady who was the only one narrating these ahadith had 'daleels'.. I wanted to bring this topic up again because I didn't understand what the Taha meant.

Two proofs to consider before my question:

002.282

YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing Let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe refuse to write: as Allah Has taught him, so let him write. Let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear His Lord Allah, and not diminish aught of what he owes. If they party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable Himself to dictate, Let his guardian dictate faithfully, and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her. The witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (For evidence)....

Secondly..

Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."

My question is... Why is it that the majority of the sahih ahadith in sunni books are narrated by Ayesha and she didn't have another lady to back the event up?... wassalaamun alaikum

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  • Advanced Member

(salam)

It is of the utmost importance to always see what the contexts of verses/ahadith are, and how the inheritors of the Prophet - i.e. the scholars - have explained them. It can completely change how one understands the verses/ahadith, and we the lay people cannot simply choose how to interpret them as we please.

As for the ayah, it is talking about inheritance - that is quite clear, and I am sure there's no disagreement here. The requirement of two women as witnesses is from the khusoos (specifics) and cannot be taken to be from the 'umoom (general) of the Qur'an without daleel.

As for the hadith, it is in fact referring to the ayah, and the Mufassireen have included the hadith in their explanation. I also want to clarify that by the 'naqs'/'nuqsan' of the women we don't understand inferiority in intellect (as seems apparent in the poor Abdul Hamid Siddiqui translation). Rather, the naqs is talking about weakness in memory and that is why Ibn Kathir explains that "the other woman's testimony mends the shortcoming of forgetfulness in the first woman". Imam Asqalani, Qastalani and others have discussed the meaning of naqs as well, and the incident with Imam Shafi'i's mother makes it all the more evident.

So what do we understand from this? The Prophet (s), when he uttered these words, he meant the words in verse 2:282.

One of the daleels from the Quran itself that having two women witnesses is from the khusoos as opposed to the 'umoom is the following ayah:

24:8 But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By Allah, that (her husband) is telling a lie.

In this scenario, one woman's oath four times is equated to the witnessing of four men or the 4 oaths of the blaming husband. And if taken an oath, then the woman's oath is given precedence.

This shows that the shar'i ruling of the females' witness differs in different cases and we cannot use the commandment of two female witnesses as the blanket/'aam hukm.

Let us now look at a sahih hadith:

Imam Malik > Imam Ja'far > Imam Baqir: that the Messenger of Allah (s) pronounced judgement on the basis of an oath along with a single witness. (Muwatta Malik, Sahih Muslim)

Therefore, even though the ayah says two (male) witnesses, the Prophet still accepted one witness on oath.

This is yet another daleel that shows that there are various ahkam for various scenarios pertaining to oaths.

I hope this is sufficient to realize that there are generals as well as specifics in the Quran. As for the witnessing of two women, it pertains to transactions. In other matters (e.g. suckling, birth) the witness of one woman is sufficient.

Why is it that the majority of the sahih ahadith in sunni books are narrated by Ayesha and she didn't have another lady to back the event up?
Many of the details accepted by Shia scholars of the birth of the 12th imam are solely narrated by Lady Hakima. She was the only person reported to be present there, and even the mother is supposed to have fainted while giving birth. So the only witness present was Lady Hakima. Thus, every report proving the 12th imam as being the son of his mother relies on the lone report of a woman.

ws

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  • Advanced Member
(salam)

Wa 3laikassalaam

As for the ayah, it is talking about inheritance - that is quite clear, and I am sure there's no disagreement here. The requirement of two women as witnesses is from the khusoos (specifics) and cannot be taken to be from the 'umoom (general) of the Qur'an without daleel.

This point was raised before but it neglects a specific line in the ayah which is...

"...such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her."

It is not the 'type' of event which makes this choice necessary.. it is the nature of the witness... and hence the command.. therefore it can be applied to general situations as well where the witness is a lady.

As for the hadith, it is in fact referring to the ayah, and the Mufassireen have included the hadith in their explanation. I also want to clarify that by the 'naqs'/'nuqsan' of the women we don't understand inferiority in intellect (as seems apparent in the poor Abdul Hamid Siddiqui translation). Rather, the naqs is talking about weakness in memory and that is why Ibn Kathir explains that "the other woman's testimony mends the shortcoming of forgetfulness in the first woman". Imam Asqalani, Qastalani and others have discussed the meaning of naqs as well, and the incident with Imam Shafi'i's mother makes it all the more evident.

Ofcourse (or duh'o :) ).. it is the way we were created.. there are pros and cons for being either male or female which is why there are specific rules religion which govern the actions and requirements for/of both.

So what do we understand from this? The Prophet (s), when he uttered these words, he meant the words in verse 2:282.

One of the daleels from the Quran itself that having two women witnesses is from the khusoos as opposed to the 'umoom is the following ayah:

24:8 But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By Allah, that (her husband) is telling a lie.

In this scenario, one woman's oath four times is equated to the witnessing of four men or the 4 oaths of the blaming husband. And if taken an oath, then the woman's oath is given precedence.

This shows that the shar'i ruling of the females' witness differs in different cases and we cannot use the commandment of two female witnesses as the blanket/'aam hukm.

I read the ayahs.. there are two different senarios discussed here.. one where 'others' bring a charge against a woman... and the second where the husband himself bring a charge agaisnt his wife. In the first senario.. if the accusers fail to bring four witnesses.. there is punishment for them as seen here...

024.004

YUSUFALI: And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors;-

024.005

YUSUFALI: Unless they repent thereafter and mend (their conduct); for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

The evidence becomes null if they fail to bring four witnesses.. the woman doesn't have to take any oaths here.

Second senario...

024.006

YUSUFALI: And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that they are solemnly telling the truth;

This is the spouse (most probably the husband).. notice the words 'their solitary evidence'... only then a single wife's witness can be accepted if she take an oath four times

024.008

YUSUFALI: But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By Allah, that (her husband) is telling a lie;

Solitary witnesses.. different issue.. but I never noticed it.. thank you for bringing it up :)

Let us now look at a sahih hadith:

Imam Malik > Imam Ja'far > Imam Baqir: that the Messenger of Allah (s) pronounced judgement on the basis of an oath along with a single witness. (Muwatta Malik, Sahih Muslim)

Therefore, even though the ayah says two (male) witnesses, the Prophet still accepted one witness on oath.

This is yet another daleel that shows that there are various ahkam for various scenarios pertaining to oaths.

I don't know where you got this.. but I have never heard of it.. if oaths were so easily used.. then the number of witnesses wouldn't have been established.. I don't know how Abu Bakr got away with it :mad:

.... Many of the details accepted by Shia scholars of the birth of the 12th imam are solely narrated by Lady Hakima. She was the only person reported to be present there, and even the mother is supposed to have fainted while giving birth. So the only witness present was Lady Hakima. Thus, every report proving the 12th imam as being the son of his mother relies on the lone report of a woman.

ws

Two things...It would only be right if you back up this claim with a proof.. secondly.. birth of a child does not remain a secret from those in the family.. moreover.. shi3as cannot deny the word of an imam... there is a reason they are called 'infallibles' :).. wassalaamun alaikum

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(salam)

A point that I just remembered

If Ayesha use to take oaths when narrating the ahadith.. then whichever hadith is wrong.. that means she erred.. and according to the Quran.. she committed a grevious sin. I have heard many sunnis say that in one particular hadith.. Ayesha didn't know what she was talking about.. the hadith is as follows

Volume 4, Book 53, Number 325:

Narrated 'Aisha:

(mother of the believers) After the death of Allah 's Apostle Fatima the daughter of Allah's Apostle asked Abu Bakr As-Siddiq to give her, her share of inheritance from what Allah's Apostle had left of the Fai (i.e. booty gained without fighting) which Allah had given him. Abu Bakr said to her, "Allah's Apostle said, 'Our property will not be inherited, whatever we (i.e. prophets) leave is Sadaqa (to be used for charity)." Fatima, the daughter of Allah's Apostle got angry and stopped speaking to Abu Bakr, and continued assuming that attitude till she died. Fatima remained alive for six months after the death of Allah's Apostle.

Upon hearing this hadith... some sunnis say that reconciliation happened between Hadrat Fatima(as) and Abubakr.. but Ayesha wasn't aware of it.. so.. she erreed.. and taking an oath in this situation would be disastorous for her validity as a witness as she took an oath regarding an event she didn't have adequate knowledge of.

Another issue that comes up with regards to the hadith that you mentioned was that the single witnesses in the section of "The office of Judge" were male.. and the Prophet(saww) was the judge of the witness.. now.. using this hadith as the basis for accepting the ahadith narrated by Ayesha won't be acceptable for the following reasons..

1: She isn't male

2: None can say for sure that a witness is reliable like the Prophet(saww) can

3: There isn't a hadith which considers the witness of a lady equivalent to the witness of two males or four females

Furthermore.. why is this one event (ambiguous to say the least) basis for the majority of ahadith that are considered sahih?.. wassalaamun alaikum

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Guest blissful223
.... Many of the details accepted by Shia scholars of the birth of the 12th imam are solely narrated by Lady Hakima. She was the only person reported to be present there, and even the mother is supposed to have fainted while giving birth. So the only witness present was Lady Hakima. Thus, every report proving the 12th imam as being the son of his mother relies on the lone report of a woman.

ws

Two things...It would only be right if you back up this claim with a proof.. secondly.. birth of a child does not remain a secret from those in the family.. moreover.. shi3as cannot deny the word of an imam... there is a reason they are called 'infallibles' :).. wassalaamun alaikum

(salam)

another point: even if this was true and the narration was that of a lone woman, she was the only witness - there was nobody else to bear witness with her. You cannot expect us to believe Aisha was also the only witness for every single hadeeth she narrated alone. there is absolutely no excuse for more narrations in her case.

with salam.

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