The Grand Hadith Master & Lover of Cats

(Radiallahu Ta’laa ‘Anhu)

Following the unfortunate debacle that took place on Saturday evening, 22nd July 2017, wherein Joey Rasdien – a Muslim comedian from Cape Town – disparaged one of the greatest Sahabah (Companions) of Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam), I was delighted for one reason, and disturbed for another.

I was delighted that many Muslims took objection at the outright slander of such a great Sahabi. Many Muslims still have deep love and admiration for our foremost heroes – that illustrious galaxy of personages who were guaranteed paradise by Allah Ta’ala in the Qur’an. Although some of the responses to Rasdien may have been excessive, but the dictate of one’s imaan (faith) does not allow some people to take such calumny sitting down. There is still hope in our community, it’s our approach that needs to be modified a bit – but never, NEVER stop defending the Sahabah and Islam in words and deed. It will indeed be a sad day when there is none to stand up for his beliefs.

Rasdien was brave enough to apologize and he is admired for his retraction, but the mission to defend the Sahabah and clear their characters from all blemish, will remain for all time.

Now for the second part. I was disgusted at how an audacious slander like accusing a great Sahabi of narrating 40 000 ahadith, implying that he was a fabricator/forger of hadith, seems to be circulating amongst the Muslim masses and becoming common! Such slander does not materialize from thin air. In fact, it is the common slander of the Shi’ah against Sayyadina Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu ‘Anhu) which the evil Shi’ah priests are currently indoctrinating Muslims with. If we Muslims knew our ‘Aqidah (Fundamental Beleifs) and History properly, we will not fall for the evil schemes of the disbelieving Shi’ah who wish to poison our minds against Islam’s most illustrious sons. Abuse would not have casually slipped out of the mouth of people like Rasdien in order to entertain people, thus unwittingly robbing them off their imaan (faith).

We Muslims are ignorant of our own religion. The avenues and opportunities of learning are abundant in SA, yet we will choose to remain ignorant, thus allowing disbelieving sects like the Shi’ah to corrode our faith from the back door. People are fond of blaming the ‘Ulema for their ignorance, but this is just an excuse that holds no water. Everyone is dutibound to learn, the scholars are there to teach.

Having said that, we must again never see a repeat of this nature anywhere in the ummah – be it in the form of satire from a comedian or as a well disguised innuendo from a glib-tongued evil scholar.

All of us heard the slander, now let’s spare a few minutes to learn a little of the towering personality who was slandered, and why is he being slandered:

1. Sayyadina Abu Huraira (Radiallahu ‘Anhu) was born in Baha, Yemen. His real name was Abd al-Shams, but he was nicknamed Abu Hurairah by none other than Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) when he seen his fondness for cats. This Sahabi would feed all the stray cats around Masjid Nabawi with whatever food he could find, and all the cats would be always around him! He became so famous by this name that today very people actually know his true name!.

2. Sayyadina Abu Huraira (Radillahu ‘Anhu) was amongst the trustworthy and scholarly Sahabah of this ummah. He was placed in-charged of looking after Masjid al-Nabawi when Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) went to Khyber – the same year he accepted Islam (7 A.H).

3. Sayyadina Abu Huraira (Radillahu ‘Anhu) has reported just over 5 000 Ahadith (not 40 000 as the slanderers accuse him of) which are mentioned in great books of tradition like Sahih Bukhari and Muslim. He was from the esteemed people of Suffah (Platform), and cared not to earn a living in Madinah. His only concern was to gaze at the face of Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam), be in his constant service, and to record whatever his noble Master (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) uttered. He perceived that people would accuse him of forging some ahadith due to it’s sheer number, and so he himself narrates:

I said “O Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam), I hear the holy utterences from you but I forget them”. Hearing this Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) directed me to stretch my sheet. I obeyed. The Lord of the Universe (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) raised his blessed hands and scooped something from the air and emptied it into the sheet, He (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) then directed me to take it and clasp it to my chest, I did so. Since then I have never forgotten anything. (Sahih Bukhari Shareef)

4. Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) took Sayyadina Abu Huraira (Radiallahu ‘Anhu) with him on a series of Jihad expeditions immediately after the battle of Khaibar like Wadi al-Qurra and Zaat Ar-Riqaa’ wherein he even prayed Salatul Khauf with Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam). He was present at the time of Conquering Makkah in the Battle of Tabook in 9 A.H.

During the Caliphate of Sayyadina ‘Umar (Radillahu ‘Anhu), he also participated in the epic Battle of Yarmouk which collapsed the power of the Roman Empire. The historian Ibn Asakir in his Tarikh Damishq, writes that the Banu Azd, with its sub group of the Banu Dos, with Sayyadina Abu Huraira (Radiallahu Anhu) at its core, was on the right wing of the Islamic army. Ibn Asakir narrates that Sayyadina Abu Huraira (Radillahu ‘Anhu) rallied the Mujahideen thus:

“O valiant believers! The damsels (houris) of Paradise are awaiting you. Prepare yourself to meet them. Prepare to gain the approach to Allah and to be accepted by Allah. At this time, no place is dearer to Allah than the one where you are standing.” Ibn Kathir, another noted historian, writes that Sayyadina Abu Huraira (Radillahu ‘Anhu) also participated in expeditions as far away as Jilan and Jurjan during the Caliphate of Sayyadina ‘Uthman (Radillahu ‘Anhu).

5. Sayyadina Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu ‘Anhu) remained neutral in the conflict between Sayyadina Ali (Radiallahu ‘Anhu) and Ameer Muawiya (Radiallahu ‘Anhu), as well as in the confrontation between Sayyadina Ali(Radiallahu ‘Anhu) and ‘Ayesha Siddiqah (Radiallahu ‘Anha) Like Hasan, (Radiallahu ‘Anhu), the elder son of Ali, (Radiallahu ‘Anhu), Abu Hurairah opposed the inter-Muslim conflicts.

6. Lastly, due to his acclaimed trustworthiness and scholarship, he was appointed as the Governor of Bahrain during the reign of Caliph ‘Umar (Radiallahu ‘Anhu) – and to make the mark in the eyes of ‘Umar (Radiallahu ‘Anhu) is something very difficult. Later in his life, he was appointment the governor of Madinah during the Umayyad period due to the fact that he was one of the few remaining senior Sahabah in Madinah at the time. In addition to this, he was a prime candidate for leadership in Madinah especially when we consider that he was forwarded to lead the salah during the days of Caliph ‘Ali (Radiallahu ‘Anhu) and Ameer Muawiyah (Radiallahu ‘Anhu).

So why so much hatred for such a towering Sahabi by the conniving disbelieving Shi’ah? The answer is simple.

Many of the ahadith reported by Sayyadina Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu ‘Anhu) are used as the basis of our belief structure and practice. The Shi’ah can not fault Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) – although they inwardly hate him,- so they rather find fault with those who transmitted his words. In their myopic view, if Sayyadina Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu ‘Anhu) is discredited, then a big chunk of Hadith could be discredited. His critics typically pick on one or two of his human frailties and give it a spin so as to paint him in a bad light, but they will never get it right – Insha Allah. The overall idea of the Shi’ah is that if some of the narrations of this great Sahabi is doubted, it would give them free license to pick whichever practices of our Islam suits them, and discard what does not. And this can only be the work of the hypocrites.


Maulana Khalid Dhorat

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