Mawdoo (fabricated) Hadeeth No:19 “Verily, my Companions are like the stars: so if you accept any of their sayings, you will be guided.”

Mawdoo` (Fabricated). Ibn `Abdul-Barr reports it in mu`allaq (suspended, i.e. an incomplete chain of narrators at the collector’s end) form and Ibn Hazm reports it from him; the complete chain was provided by `Abd ibn Humaid in al-Muntakhab min al-Musnad (86/1):

Ahmad ibn Yoonus informed me: Abu Shihaab al-Hannaat narrated to us, from Hamzah al-Jazree, from Naafee`, from Ibn `Umar from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam).

Also, Ibn Battah narrated it in al-Ibaanah [4/11/2] by another chain from Abu Shihaab.

Ibn `Abdul-Barr said, “This isnaad is not authentic; no one acceptable as proof has reported it from Naafee`.”

This Hamzah is Ibn Abi Hamzah; Daaraqutni said about him, “Matrook (abandoned)”; Ibn `Adi said, “His narrations are mostly fabricated”; Ibn Hibbaan said, “He would be alone in narrating things which are fabricated from reliable narrators, to such an extent that it is as if he did so deliberately – it is not permissible to narrate from him”; Dhahabi quoted some of his fabricated ahaadeeth in al-Meezaan, this being one of them.

Ibn Hazm said in al-Ihkaam (6/83), after declaring that this hadeeth (no. 2, with all its versions) is undoubtedly a lie since it also contradicts many aayaat of the Qur’aan, e.g. Najm (53:3-4), Nisaa’ (4:82), Anfaal (8:46), the following:

“… therefore, it is absurd that the Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) would command us to follow every view expressed by the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them all, for there were among them those who permitted something while others prohibited it: if the above were the case, trading in intoxicants would be permissible if one followed Samurah ibn Jundub; it would be permissible for someone fasting to eat snow if one followed Abu Talhah, but prohibited by following others beside him; to not take a bath due to incomplete intercourse would be obligatory if one followed `Ali, `Uthmaan, Talhah, Abu Ayyoob and Ubayy ibn Ka`b, but prohibited if one followed `Aa’ishah and Ibn `Umar; all these examples have been related to us with authentic chains of narration.”

He then went on to explain at length some opinions expressed by Companions in which they were wrong about the Sunnah, both during the lifetime of the Prophet and after his death. He then said (6/86),

“So how can it be allowable to blindly follow the opinions of people who make mistakes as well as get it right?!”

Before that, he had explained, under the heading Differing Condemned (5/64), the error of those who say, “Disagreement is a mercy”, using as evidence the hadeeth, “My Companions are like the stars: whichever of them you follow, you will be rightly-guided”, by clarifying that the hadeeth is a lie for several reasons:

(i) it is not authentic with regard to its chain of narration;

(ii) further, the Prophet could not have commanded us to follow something which he himself had declared erroneous at times; e.g. he pointed out Abu Bakr’s mistake in interpreting a dream, `Umar’s error in another interpretation, and Abus-Sanaabil’s going wrong in a verdict he gave; hence, it is not possible for him to order us to follow someone mistaken;

(iii) the Prophet never spoke falsehood; his words were always truth: the comparison with the stars is clearly flawed, since for example, if someone intends to travel a certain route directed by the stars in the constellation of Capricorn, but instead follows the stars in Cancer, he will not be correctly-guided, but will stray far away from the correct path and err tremendously; therefore, it is obviously false to say that following any star will guide one correctly.

Ibn al-Mulaqqin gave a summarised version of Ibn Hazm’s words in his al-Khulaasah [2/175], endorsed it and ended his discussion of the hadeeth saying: Ibn Hazm said,”This is an invented, fabricated, false narration, not correct at all.”

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