Ibn 'Abbaas' statement about motion of sun
Fatwa No: 336679

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. What is the meaning of this hadith, and is it authentic? Does it contradict science? It was narrated from Ibn Abbas, "The sun is like flowing water, running in its course in the sky during the day. When it sets, it travels in its course beneath the earth until it rises in the east.” He said, “The same is true in the case of the moon.” It was quoted by Ibn Kathir, I think. Thank you very much.

Answer

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

This hadeeth is not attributed to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) at all in any of the books of the Sunnah that we have at hand, but it was reported by Ibn Abu Haatim in his Tafseer (exegesis) as only being a statement of Ibn ‘Abbaas [and not said by the Prophet]; and Ibn Katheer said, “Its chain of narrators is authentic.

So we are afraid that Ibn ‘Abbaas had taken it from the Israelites, as it is known that he would narrate from Ka’b Al-Ahbaar and others, as was stated by Ibn Katheer in Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (1/22).

The same thing was said by Shaykh Al-Albaani in Silsilat Al-Ahadeeth Adh-Dha’eefah wal-Mawdhoo’ah wa Atharuha As-Sayyi’ fee Al-Ummah.

Given that the hadeeth is not proven to be authentic, there is no need to discuss its meaning or its inconsistency with scientific facts.

Allah knows best.

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