'Umar ibn Al-Khattab's statement about the rumbling of his stomach
Fatwa No: 309502

  • Fatwa Date:22-1-2016 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 12, 1437
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum Shaykh. I want to know the statement attributed to 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab, who was reported, while delivering the Friday sermon with an torn overcoat, to have said, “Rumble or do not rumble, you will not eat untill the stomachs of the children are full.” This saying is being widely spread on social media; my question is whether this saying of 'Umar was ever reported in any authentic Islamic texts or books of Hadith. If it is, then I would like to know whether this saying is authentic or weak. Please shed some light on this issue. May Allaah reward you for your time; it is appreciated.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

This narration was reported by Ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqaat and by Ibn 'Asaakir in Taareekh Dimashq (the history of Damascus) with a wording similar to the one that you mentioned in the question.

Ibn Sa'd said:

‘Abdullaah ibn Numayr reported from ‘Ubaydullaah, from Thaabit Al-Bunaani, from Anas ibn Maalik, who said, ‘The stomach of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab rumbled from eating oil during the Year of Famine. He had forbidden himself clarified butter, so he tapped on his stomach with his finger and said, ‘We have nothing else for you until the people have the means of living.’’

This narration has an authentic chain of narrators, as stated by Dr. Abdul Salaam ibn Mohsin Aal-Eesa in his book 'Diraasah Naqdiyyah fi Al-Marwiyyaat Al-Waaridah fi Shakhsiyyat ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab wa Siyaasatihi Al-Idaariyyah Radhiya Allaahu ‘Anhu'.

The wording of Ibn Al-‘Asaakir is as follows:

“Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that in the Year of Famine and when the people of Madeenah were very hungry, ‘Umar said, ‘I swear by Allaah, I will not eat bread with butter,’ and he did not like oil or barley or dates, but he liked butter, and he said, ‘I swear by Allaah, I will not eat bread with butter until Allaah provides for the Muslims in this present year.’ His face looked pale, and his stomach rumbled, and his strength weakened. His daughter bought a container of butter for him, but he swore by Allaah not to eat from it, so when he ate barley bread and dates without butter, his stomach rumbled, so, while he was in a meeting, he put his hand on his stomach and said, ‘Rumble or do not rumble, there is no butter for you until Allaah provides for the people.’

However, we have not come across any scholar who judged its chain of narrators.

Allaah knows best.

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