Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Hadith of the Blind Man

The first few Ahadith I mention below are graded as Sahih by the reliable scholars of Hadith, followed by a couple of hadith graded as hasan. As far as I know there is no credible opposition to the grading of this first Hadith as Sahih [but then you never know!].

The following is quoted from the article:



‏حدثنا ‏ ‏محمود بن غيلان ‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏عثمان بن عمر ‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏شعبة ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏أبي جعفر ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏عمارة بن خزيمة بن ثابت ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏عثمان بن حنيف ‏ ‏أن رجلا ‏ ‏ضرير البصر ‏ ‏أتى النبي ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏فقال ادع الله أن يعافيني قال ‏ ‏إن شئت دعوت وإن شئت صبرت فهو خير لك قال ‏ ‏فادعه قال فأمره أن يتوضأ فيحسن وضوءه ويدعو بهذا الدعاء اللهم إني أسألك وأتوجه إليك بنبيك ‏ ‏محمد ‏ ‏نبي الرحمة ‏ ‏إني ‏ ‏توجهت بك ‏ ‏إلى ربي في حاجتي هذه ‏ ‏لتقضى ‏ ‏لي اللهم ‏ ‏فشفعه ‏ ‏في

Tirmidhi relates, through his chain of narrators from 'Uthman ibn Hunayf, that a blind man came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said,

"I've been afflicted in my eyesight, so please pray to Allah for me." The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: "Go make ablution (wudu), perform two rak'as of prayer, and then say:

"Oh Allah, I ask You and turn to You through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy; O Muhammad (Ya Muhammad), I seek your intercession with my Lord for the return of my eyesight [and in another version: "for my need, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah, grant him intercession for me"]."

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) added, "And if there is some need, do the same."

In his discussion of the above Sahih Hadith Shaykh Nuh Keller states:

"The hadith explicitly proves the validity of supplicating Allah (tawassul) through a living intermediary, as the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was alive at the time. The author of the article holds that the hadith implicitly shows the validity of supplicating Allah (tawassul) through a deceased intermediary as well, since:

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) told the blind man to go perform ablution (wudu) pray two rak'as, and then make the supplication containing the words, "O Muhammad, I seek your intercession with my Lord for the return of my eyesight," which is a call upon somebody physically absent, a state of which the living and the dead are alike.

Supplicating Allah (tawassul) through a living or deceased intermediary is, in the author's words, "not tawassul through a physical body, or through a life or death, but rather through the positive meaning attached to the person in both life and death, for the body is but the vehicle that carries that significance.

And perhaps the most telling reason, though the author does not mention it, is that everything the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) ordered to be done during his lifetime was "legislation" valid for all generations until the end of time unless proven otherwise by a subsequent indication from the Prophet himself (Allah bless him and grant him peace), the tawassul he taught during his lifetime not requiring anything else to be generalized to any time thereafter. ".....

Regarding the authenticity of this Hadith the following was mentioned by Shaykh Nuh:

This hadith was recorded was recorded by Bukhari in his "al-Tarikh al-kabir", by Ibn Majah in his "Sunan", where he said it was rigorously authenticated (SAHIH), by Nasa'i in "Amal al-yawm wa al-layla", by Abu Nu'aym in "Ma'rifa al-Sahaba", by Baihaqi in "Dala'il al-nubuwwa", by Mundhiri in "al-Targhib wa al-tahrib", by Haythami in "Majma' al zawa'id wa manba' al-fawa'id", by Tabarani in "al-Mu'jam al-kabir", by Ibn Khuzayma in his "Sahih", and by others. Nearly 15 hadith masters ("huffaz", hadith authorities with more than 100,000 hadiths and their chains of transmission by memory) have explicitly stated that this hadith is rigorously authenticated (sahih).

As mentioned above, it has come with a chain of transmission meeting the standards of Bukhari and Muslim, so there is nothing left for a critic to attack or slanderer to disparage concerning the authenticity of the hadith. Consequently, as for the permissibility of supplicating Allah (tawassul) through either a living or dead person, it follows by human reason, scholarship, and sentiment, that there is flexibility in the matter. Whoever wants to can either take tawassul or leave it, without causing trouble or making accusations, since it has been this thoroughly checked ("Adilla Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a , 79-83).

[For further details click on article linked above]