What is Fazaail-e-Aa’maal?

We begin with the Name of Allaah

All praise is due to Allah and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His messenger (saws). Verily the best speech is the book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad sallallahu alaihiwasallam and the worst of affairs are the newly invented matters and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the fire. (Sahih Muslim Eng. Trans. Vol. 2 Page 40 no. 1885). To proceed: The religion of Islam is that which has been ordained by Allah, fully explained by the prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam as understood and practised by the salaf-us-saliheen (the pious predecessors which includes the Sahâbah, Tabi’een and their followers).

The Sunnah has been preserved in its pristine purity in the books of Sunnah only because of the chain of narrators (isnaad) reaching up to the Prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam, has been meticulously preserved by the Muhadditheen (Scholars of Ahaadeeth). In the words of Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak (died 181 A.H.) on of the very illustrious teachers of Imam al-Bukhari, who said. “The isnaad is part of the religion and had it not been for the isnaad, whoever wished would have said whatever he liked”. Reported by Imam Muslim in the introduction to his Sahih. (Sharh Sahih Muslim – Arabic Vol. 1 Page 87 published by Darul Kuthubul-Islamiyyah, Lebanon).

Only the narrations which reach the level of Saheeh (authentic) or Hasan (good) as defined by the Scholars (Muhadditheen) are suitable to be held as evidence in matter of belief [such as creed (aqeedah) and the unseen (ghaib)], in the rulings and laws of the religion or in matters of worship. Only these can be attributed definitely and directly to the Prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam.

Narrations which fail to reach these two standards will be collectively termed weak (Da’eef) and should not be attributed directly to the Prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam in a definite form as clearly explained by Imam Nawawi in Sharh Sahih Muslim (Arabic Vol. 1, Page 81 – Darul Kuthubul Islamiyyah). Weak narrations provided their weakness is not sever, (i.e. There are no liars and / or fabricators and none suspected of lying or fabricating in the chain) can only be used to exhort or warn of a deed (amal) already sanctioned by the other authentic ahaadeeth (singular – hadeeth). If the weakness is severe (as in the case of false, fabricated, etc. ahaadeeth) it cannot be used for the above purpose as well. If such hadeeth are over to be quoted it should be only for the purpose of warning the Muslim community of false and fabricated ahaadeeth. Even then the defect should be clearly stated so that the ahaadeeth will not be attributed to the Prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam.

The Muhadditheen have collected such narrations for the purpose of warning the community, in separate books Few examples of such books are :

1. Ak-Maudhooaathul Kubra by Mulla Ali Qari.
2. Al-Maudhooaathul Sughra by Mulla Ali Qari.
3. Al-La’aali-ul-Masnuah fil Ahadeethil Maudhoo’ah by Imam Suyooti.
4. Thanzeehus Shareeathil Marfoo’ah anil Ahadith-ish-Shaneeathul Maudoo’ah by Ibnul Iraq al-Kan’ani.

Attributing a saying not told by the Prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam to the Prophet is a very grave sin and will lead the person to Hell. It is reported from a large number of Sahâbah from the Prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam that he said “Whoever lies on me intentionally then let him reserve his seat in hell”. (Sahih Bukhari. Eng. Trans. Book of Knowledge, Chapter – The sin of a person who tells a lie against the Prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam Vol. 1 Hadeeth no 106 and also by Imam Muslim in his preface to Sahih Muslim). Also it will include a person among the liars as can be seen in the following two ahaadeeth also found in the preface to Sahih Muslim.

1. “Whoever narrated a hadeeth from me which is seen as a lie then he is one of the liars[From Sharh Sahih Muslim (Arabic) by Imam Nawawi Vol. 1 Page 62 – Darul Kuthubul Islamiyyah]
2. “It is sufficient for a person to be a liar that he narrates all that he hears” (page 73 of the book referred to above).

And commenting on the above Imam Nawawi goes on to say “……. and there is no difference in the prohibition of lying on the Prophet either in what concerns the laws of the religion or in other than the laws like exhorting, warning, advising and the like of it, all of this is Haram (Forbidden). It is from the greatest of the grave sins and vilest of the abominable matters in the unanimous opinion of the Muslims ..etc”

In the light of this knowledge we shall examine a source reference of a long hadeeth from the original Urdu version of the book ‘Thabligi Nissab’, now renamed as “Fazail-e-Aa’maal”, written by Shaikh Maulana Muhammad Zakariyyah Kandalawi. The source reference which is in Arabic is not translated fully in the original version (which is in Urdu), nor is it found fully translated into the other languages (English/ Tamil / Singhalese). The Arabic source which can be seen in the Old Tamil Editions (untranslated) is itself strangely missing in the new editions in all the languages.

This book well known as the “Tha’leem Kitaab” of the Thablighi Jamaat, is reverently read in practically every mosque every day and the general public is made to listen to it in the pretext that it is a genuine and authentic book.

In the part entitled ‘Virtues of Salaah’ there is a sub-section called ‘Reproach on giving up Salaah’, hadeeth number 7 in this section is along hadeeth describing 5 rewards and 15 punishments. After quoting the hadeeth in Arabic a passage follows in Arabic which attempts to give the source of the hadeeth. This is not translated in to Urdu in the original “Tha’leem Kitaab” written by the author for Urdu readers. Further the translations of the book in to English, Tamil and Singhalese do not have the source reference as fully given in the Urdu version (a few inadequate comments are sometimes found in some editions regarding the source, but these do not reveal the true status of the hadeeth).

The translation o the Arabic source reference in “Thabligi Nisaab” (Urdu) by Sheikh Maulana Muhammad Zakariyyah Kandalawi, section “Fazail Namaaz”, Baad Awwal pg. 312 follows :

That which has been said in the explanation of the hadeeth in regard to the number does not tally with 15 as there are only 14. Maybe the narrator forgot the 15th. This has been said by Ibn Hajr al-Makkie* in his books ‘Zavaajir’.

I am saying : Abul Laith Samarkandy (1) has narrated the hadeeth in this book ‘Kurrathul Uyoon’, he has made 6 things as related to his world, saying that the 5th (of the above 6 things) is that “all the creations will hate him in this world” and that the 6th is that “that he will not have any part in the Du’aa of the pious”. Then he narrated the hadeeth till the end, and did not attribute to it (the hadeeth) to anyone.

Sheikh Nassr Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ibraheem As-Samarkandy (2) says in his book ‘Thanbeeh-ghul-Ghafileen’ that it will be said “whoever was constant in his five time prayers with congregation, Allah will honour him with 5 favours. Whoever was negligent in it, Allah will punish him with 12 things, 3 in this world, 3 at the time of death, 3 in the qabr (grave) and 3 on the Day of Judgement”, then narrated the like of it and then said “it has been narrated the like of this from Abu Dharr from the Prophet Sallallahu alaihiwasallam”.

And Suyooti said in his book ‘Zailul Aalee’ (3) after narrating with this meaning from the narration of Ibn Najjar in ‘Thareekh Baghdaad’ with the chain to Abu Hurrairah. (Then Suyooti quotes) “said in ‘Meezan’ (4) this hadeeth is false, composed it : Muhammad Ibn Alee Ibn Abbass on Abu Bark Ibn Ziyaad-an-Naisaboorie.”

I am saying : But said Al-Hafiz (5) in ‘Munabbahath’ from Abu Hurrairah that it was attributed to the Prophet sallallahu alai hiwasallam “the prayer is the pillar of Deen and in it are 10 things”. I have told (wrote) it in ‘Al-Hindiyyah’ and told (wrote) it Al-Ghazzali in ‘Dakaikul-Akhbaar’ (6) the like of it and a more complete one of it, and said “whoever protected it Allah honoured him with 15 things ..” to its end and narrated the hadeeth in detail.

End of Translation of the Arabic source given in ‘Thablighi Nissab’. We shall now discuss some important points in this extract, numbers (1) – (5) at the end of which the authenticity of the narration will become clear for the reader himself.

(1), (2) : The authors referred to in (1) and (2) are both the same person, i.e. : Abul Laith Nassr Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ahmed Ibn Ibraheem As-Samarkandi,

This is an error on the part of the author to give the idea that 2 separate writers are referring to this hadeeth in 2 different books. This sort of duplicity and its other varieties are categorized in the terminology of the scholars of hadeeth as ‘Thadlees’ which literally means ‘concealing’. This will by no means enhance the authenticity of a hadeeth but will further increase its weakness.

Imam Shamsuddeen Dhahabi, a renowned scholar in his book Siar a’alamin nubalaa (Vol 16 Page 323) writing about Abul Laith Saamarkandy says that “he dabbles in fabricated ahaadeeth” and further Imam Dhahabi in his book Thareekthul Islam (reference to period between A.H. 351-380, pg583) says “Thanbeeghul Ghafileen contains numerous fabricated ahaadeeth”.

(3) ‘Zailul Aalee’ is a book by Imam Suyooti. The full name of the book has not been given. The reason for doing so will be soon evident once the full name and its meaning is known, i.e. : “Zailul -La’aali-ul-Masnuah fil Ahadethil Maudhoo’ah” when rendered into English will read ‘Tails of made up pearls in fabricated Ahaadeeth’. Therefore ‘Tails of pearls’ only is given to make it seemingly authentic pearls for a person who is unaware of the full name of the books which is devoted to discussing the false and fabricated ahaadeeth for the purposes of warning the Muslims of their existence! Imam Suyooti quotes this ahaadeeth in this book from another book called ‘Thareekh Baghdaad’ by Ibn Najjar in which the chain of narrators are mentioned. In its chain appears a fabricator of ahaadeeth of the name of Muhammad Ibn Alee ibn Abbaas who attributes it to Abu Bakr Ibn Ziyaad an-Naisaboori.

(4) As for the identity of Muhammad Ibn Alee Ibn Abbaas as a fabricator it is mentioned in “Al-Meezan-ul-I’athidaal fee Naqaddirrijaal”, a book written by Imam Dhahabi which is quoted by Imam Suyooti. Imam Dhahabi declare this hadeeth as ‘Baatil’ or ‘False’ as it is fabricated.

(5) Al-Hafiz as he is popularly know is Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajr Al-Asqalani (773 – 852AH) and is the author of the world renowned commentary on ‘Sahih al-Bukhari’ known as ‘Fath-ul-Bari’, is not Ibn Hajr al-Makkie referred to in * of the above translation. The hadeeth which is quoted from ‘Munabbahaath’ (ie. the prayer is the pillar of the deen and in it are 10 things) is different from the hadeeth for which the source is being provided (ie. The hadeeth referring to the 15 punishments, etc..)

Munabbathaath which has been attributed to Hafiz Ibn Hajar is not found amongst the books written by him. Further the book has not been attributed to Al-Hafiz by any of the scholars including Imam Sakhawi who is one of his students. Also several scholars have actually refuted the saying that Munabbahaath is al-Hafiz’s book. Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani in his book ‘Lisan-ul-Meezan’ (a book analysing the standard of narrators and their narrations) in Volume 5 pages 295-297, has quoted the hadeeth concerning the 15 punishments for neglecting the prayer which is quoted above and said that it is a “manifest falsehood from the people of Tareeqahs (Sufi paths).”

(6) Dakaikul Akhbaar which has been attributed to Imam Ghazali by Maulana Zakariyya again cannot be found amongst Imam Ghazali’s compilations! Rather it is found with the full name “Dakaikul Akhbaar fi bayani dhikri ahlil Jannah wa ahwali ahlin Naar” as a book written by Abul Laith Samarkandy who is the very same person referred to in (1) and (2)!!!!

Note : Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah ibn al-Baz – the Grand Mufti of the Saudi Arabia said in his ‘Fatawaa’ (Vol 1, page 97) in reference to the hadith concerning 15 punishments : “It will be compulsory on a person who finds a paper containing this hadith that he burns it, and warns anyone he finds spreading this narration, in order to safeguard the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam from the lies of the liars”!!!!!.

We stop here with the analysis of the references given as by now it will be evident to the searcher of the truth and the one jealous for Islam, that it will be futile trying to authenticate this hadeeth.

Thus it is the conclusion that this hadeeth is false and fabricated. The hadeeth quoted from ‘Bukhari and Muslim’, the verdicts of Imam Nawawi (an authoritative Muhaddith) and sayings of the illustrious scholars of this Ummaah which are far too numerous to quote in such a small essay is that the Ummah must steer clear from quoting such hadeeth and its like. It should be quoted only for the purpose of warning that such false hadeeth exist. This is only one of the many such false and fabricated narrations which have been put into circulation amongst the Muslims. Insha-Allah further highlights of such false and fabricated ahaadeeth will follow so that the Muslims are warned and will be able to follow truly what the Prophet sallallahu alaihiwasallam said and not what has been falsely attributed to him. Because the prophet (saws) said “Whoever lies on me intentionally then let him reserve his seat in hell”. And our final call is that all praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Aalameen


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