The Hadeeth that there is no blame in narrating traditions from the Children of Israa’eel (Israel)
Fatwa No: 9067

  • Fatwa Date:8-3-2012 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 15, 1433
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Question

What is the interpretation of the Hadeeth, "Narrate traditions from the Children of Israa’eel and there is no blame upon you"?

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.

 

Imaam Ahmad and Abu-Daawood  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them narrated this Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him. Al-Bukhari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him also narrated it on the authority of ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him.

This Hadeeth tells us that it is permissible to narrate from the Children of Israa’eel or to quote from their books without verifying the authenticity of the chain of narrators, since their traditions are narrated for the sole purpose of extracting lessons. However, this does not apply to their traditions that are known to be false:

-        Al-Khattaabi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him mentioned that this Hadeeth means that it is permissible to narrate their traditions even if we are unable to verify them, unless we know they are false.

-        Imaams Ash-Shaafi‘i and Maalik  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them considered that this Hadeeth only applies to good traditions, not the ones that we know for certain are false. Ash-Shaafi‘i  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him added that this Hadeeth bears the same meaning as the Hadeeth in which the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded us to neither believe nor disbelieve what the Children of Israa’eel narrate to us.

-        At-Teebi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him mentioned that this Hadeeth applies to their past stories such as killing themselves for repentance.  He also pointed out that there is no contradiction between this Hadeeth and others in which the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, forbade reading their books. The latter Hadeeths date back to the early days of Islam and were meant to prohibit the Companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them from applying the Sharee‘ah of the Children of Israa’eel. Later, when the Islamic Sharee‘ah was established and that risk no longer existed, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, allowed the Companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them to narrate from them.

Allaah Knows best.

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