Baseless Hadeeth: “Take Half of Your Religion From ‘Aa’ishah”

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

The mother of the believers, ‘Aa’ishah bint Abee Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with her), was the most beloved person on earth to the Prophet Muhammad (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace). She was highly knowledgeable in Islaamic sciences, counted as one of the most discerning scholars of jurisprudence among the Companions, as well as one of the most relied upon in Hadeeth preservation. With all these virtues and with this lofty status deeply rooted in the hearts of believers everywhere, there is no need for fabricated and baseless narrations about her level of knowledge.

Some people heedlessly quote a baseless fabricated hadeeth:

خذوا شطر دينكم عن الحميراء
“Take half of (the knowledge of) your Religion from al-Humayraa’ (‘Aa’ishah).”

This invented hadeeth appeared in a dictionary (of all places) at the end of the sixth century. From there, it spread on the tongues of the people, until it found its way into the scholars’ digests of unauthentic widespread narrations, the books of ‘al-Ahaadeeth al-Mushtaharah’. [1]

Imaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jowziyyah (d.751) (may Allaah have Mercy on him) mentioned it among narrations that are self-evidently false and called it a fabricated lie.[2]

Imaam Ibn Katheer (d.774) (may Allaah have Mercy on him) said:

Regarding the hadeeth which the scholars of Fiqh and Usool repeat often, ‘Take half of your religion from al-Humayraa’,’ it is baseless. It has no origin in the recognized source books of Islam. I asked our shaykh Abul-Hajjaaj al-Mizzee (d.742) about it, and he said: ‘It is baseless.’ [3]

Imaam Ath-Thahabee (d.748) (may Allaah have Mercy on him) said:

It is one of those mistaken reports that have no known chain of transmission. [4]

Al-Mizzee, Ath-Thahabee, and Ibn Katheer were all top-notch Hadeeth specialists known for their massive works in organizing and indexing Hadeeth literature. Another scholar, even more well known as a specialist in the field, Haafith Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalaanee (d.852) (may Allaah have Mercy on him), said:

I do not know of a single chain of transmission for it, nor have I ever seen it in the source books of Hadeeth, but only in an-Nihaayah of Ibn al-Atheer (d.606). [5]

Ibn Hajar went on to mention other books where he saw the narration, yet none of them mention the report with a chain, and none of them are actually Hadeeth sources.

Haafith Jalaal ad-Deen as-Suyootee (d.911) (may Allaah have Mercy on him), yet another specialist in Hadeeth indexing, said:

I have never seen it (in the source books). [6]

‘Allaamah al-Albaanee (d.1420) (may Allaah have Mercy on him), the premier scholar of Hadeeth over the past century, said:

It is fabricated. [7]

Thus, it is important to know that this fake “hadeeth” is not from the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace), rather it is baseless.

Referring to a hadeeth as baseless (laa asla lahu) is a description beneath even fabricated (mowdhoo’), since fabricated narrations at least have chains that can be studied. When the scholars grade a narration as being baseless, it means that it is even more confirmed as a fabrication than a report with a known liar in the chain.

It is extremely important to refrain from attributing anything to the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace), unless one is absolutely sure it is from his actual speech or action, as confirmed by the scholars of Hadeeth. The Companions used refrain from narrating anything they were even slightly doubtful about because of the well-known mutawaatir (overwhelmingly authentic) hadeeth:

من كذب علي متعمدا فليتبوأ مقعده من النار
“Let the one who lies on me intentionally take his place in the Fire.”

May Allaah grant us safety! And Allaah knows best.

Written by: Moosaa Richardson

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Tamyeez at-Tayyib minal-Khabeeth (p.73), Ash-Shathrah of Ibn Tooloon (no. 382, p.270), al-Ghummaaz ‘alal-Lummaaz (no.98, p.102), al-Fawaa’id al-Majmoo’ah (p.399), Mukhtasir Al-Maqaasid al-Hasanah of az-Zurqaanee (no.404, p.118), al-Kashf al-Ilaahee (no.379, v.1, pp.337-338), an-Nawaafih al-Atirah (no.680, p.132), Asnal-Mataalib (no.600, p.135), al-Masnoo’ (no.121, p.98), an-Nukhbah al-Bahiyyah (no.112, p.55). It has more recently appeared on the tongues of those unconcerned for the authenticity of what they narrate, the likes of UK-based Khawaarij supporter Anjem Choudary.

[2] al-Manaar al-Muneef (pp.60-61)

[3] al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (11/338 of at-Turkee’s printing)

[4] As narrated by Ibn Katheer in al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (11/338 of at-Turkee’s printing)

[5] As narrated from his dictation in al-Maqaasid al-Hasanah (no.432, p.321). An-Nihaayah is a dictionary of Hadeeth terminology, nothing close to a source book of Hadeeth.

[6] Ad-Durar al-Muntathirah (no.218, p.160)

[7] Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel (v.1, p.10), As-Silsilah ad-Dha’eefah (v.11, p.664)

9 thoughts on “Baseless Hadeeth: “Take Half of Your Religion From ‘Aa’ishah”

  1. salaam alaikum,
    You said: “Referring to a hadeeth as baseless (laa asla lahu) is a description beneath even fabricated (mowdhoo’), since fabricated narrations at least have chains that can be studied.”
    Then why did sheikh al-Albaani rahimahullah say it is fabricated? Should he not have said that it is baseless? Did the shiekh mention a chain for it?

    • wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. Every baseless hadeeth can be called fabricated, but not every fabricated hadeeth is baseless. Meaning: Many fabricated hadeeths can be traced to the one who invented them (the “base” or origin). When something is baseless it is so bad it has no chain to any source. And Allaah knows best.

      • It is mentioned in the article actually: “When the scholars grade a narration as being baseless, it means that it is even more confirmed as a fabrication than a report with a known liar in the chain.”

    • And there is an important distinction to be made between saying “It is baseless” ( لا أصل له ) and saying, “I don’t know of any basis for it” ( لا أعرف له أصلا ) and similar phrases. The former is decisive, and the latter is not and perhaps the basis of the hadeeth can be found with someone else.

  2. Forgot to ask something,…. why/how does “al-Humayraa’ ” refer to Aishah (may Allaah be pleased with her)? Is there a historical context to this connection?

    • The prophet salallahu alayhi wa salam, called A’isha, ‘Yaa Humayraa’ when the Ethiopians were in the masjid playing. hadith : fathul-baaree 2/444.

  3. The Hadith (Draw a part of your Deen from Al-Humayraa) appears in ‘Al-Ijaba’ (p 31)
    by Imam Zarkashi. Who else will a true Muslim look at? The Hadith is practiced in reality regardless of the scholarly waswas.

    • Yes, we take our Deen from ‘Aa’ishah for sure, a great portion of it has been preserved through her (may Allaah be pleased with her). Yet, we are not free to lie on the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and attribute things to him that he did not say, as that lands one in the Hellfire upon clarity, may Allaah save us.

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