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Angel of death's permission hadith

Hadith of the angel of death asking permission of the Prophet ﷺ before entering to take his soul and containing the phrase, "truly Allah longs to see you" (innallāha qad ishtāqa ilā liqā'ik), followed by the description of the visitation of the women to see the noble body in ʿA'isha's house, whereupon a voice was heard saying "As-Salāmu ʿalaykum Ahl al-Bayt...", which ʿAli ibn Abi Talib or ʿAli Zayn al-ʿAbidin said was the voice of al-Khidr.

Al-Tibrizi cites it from al-Bayhaqi's Dala'il al-Nubuwwa towards the end of Mishkat al-Masabih, 2nd chapter on wonder-miracles (bāb al-karāmāt), third part, mursal from Zayn al-ʿAbidin ʿAli ibn al-Husayn ibn ʿAli ibn Abi Talib, Allah be well-pleased with them. See Al-Qari's Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih (1892 ed. 5:503-504) where he mentions the grading of Ibn Hajar al-ʿAsqalani as hasan li ghayrihi or "fair due to its collected chains."


- from Jabir and Ibn ʿAbbas by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (3:58-66) with a chain containing ʿAbd al-Munʿim ibn Idris ibn Sinan whom al-Haythami described as "an arch-liar and arch-forger" in Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id (9:26-31) and his father Idris who is discarded as a narrator (matrūk) according to al-Daraqutni. Al-ʿIraqi graded this narration "condemned" (munkar) in his Takhrij of the Ihya'.

- from Ibn ʿAbbas by al-Tabarani with a chain containing al-Mukhtar ibn Nafiʿ who is "condemned" as a narrator.

- from al-Husayn ibn ʿAli by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (3:128-130) and al-Duʿa' (p. 367-368), both with a chain containing ʿAbd Allah ibn Maymun al-Qaddah who is also discarded as in al-Haythami's Majmaʿ al-Zawa'id (9:35). Al-ʿIraqi also graded it "condemned."

- from ʿAli [ibn Abi Talib] by Ibn Saʿd - as mentioned by al-Nabahani in Hujjatullah ʿala al-ʿAlamin (p. 707-708) - with a "problematic" (muʿdal) chain missing at least two non-successive links in al-Tabaqat al-Kubra (2:258); al-Ajurri in al-Shariʿa as stated by al-Nabahani; al-Bayhaqi in Dala'il al-Nubuwwa and Ibn Abi ʿUmar al-ʿAdani as stated in Kanz al-ʿUmmal (#18785); and al-Jurjani with several chains in Tarikh Jurjan (p. 361-364) containing Muhammad ibn Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad who admitted to being a forger on the minbar two or three years before his death as related by Ibn Hajar in al-Isaba (2:315).

- mursal from al-Muttalib ibn ʿAbd Allah ibn Hantab as cited in Kanz al-ʿUmmal (#18825).

- by Abu Mansur ibn ʿAsakir in al-Arbaʿin fi Manaqib Ummahat al-Mu'minin (p. 107-108 #38) with his chain from al-Bayhaqi, mursal from Muhammad ibn ʿAli - as mentioned by al-Nabahani in Hujjatullah ʿala al-ʿAlamin (p. 708) - and he graded it hasan mursal, but the hadith does not mention al-Khidr.

- by Ibn al-Jawzi mursal from Zayn al-ʿAbidin ʿAli ibn al-Husayn without the Khidr segment in al-Wafa' as related by al-Qari in al-Mirqat (5:504).

- mursal from ʿAli ibn al-Husayn by al-Bayhaqi in full through al-Ajurri according to al-Nabahani in Hujjatullah (p. 708-709).

- mursal from ʿAli ibn al-Husayn by al-Bayhaqi from Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Faqih, from Shafiʿ Muhammad, from Imam al-Tahawi, from Imam al-Muzani, from Imam al-Shafiʿi, from al-Qasim ibn ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿUmar - he is abandoned as a narrator and a forger -, from Hafs, from Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad ibn ʿAli ibn al-Husayn ibn ʿAli (Jaʿfar al-Sadiq), from his father (Muhammad al-Baqir), from ʿAli ibn al-Husayn as cited in al-Shafiʿi's al-Sunan al-Ma'thura (p. 334). Ibn Kathir in the fifth volume of his Bidaya (chapter on the reports connected to the condolences for the Prophet, Allah bless and greet him) noted that it is missing the Companion-link and that there is weakness in its chain because of al-Qasim al-ʿUmari but added that the segment of al-Khidr is also narrated:

- by al-Rabiʿ from al-Shafiʿi, from al-Qasim, from Jaʿfar, from his father, from his grandfather [ʿAli ibn al-Husayn], a mursal chain also containing the weak link (al-Qasim), yet further confirmed by the narration:

- by al-Bayhaqi, from al-Hakim, from Abu Jaʿfar al-Baghdadi, from ʿAbd Allah ibn al-Harith or ʿAbd al-Rahman ibn al-Murtaʿid al-Sanʿani, from Abu al-Walid al-Makhzumi, from Anas ibn ʿIyad, from Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad, from Jabir ibn ʿAbd Allah, a "problematic" (muʿdal) chain missing the Successor-link in addition to one or more links between Anas and Jaʿfar. [Al-Khidr segment only.] Ibn Kathir related that al-Bayhaqi said: "Even if these two chains are weak, yet each is confirmed by the other and indicates that Jaʿfar's narration has a basis, and Allah knows best." Al-ʿIraqi in his Takhrij Ahadith al-Ihya' said that the recognized narration is the mursal report from ʿAli ibn al-Husayn as opposed to that of ʿAli ibn Abi Talib, without mention of al-Khidr, as in al-Shafiʿi's al-Umm.

- from ʿAli ibn Abi Talib (1) by Ibn Abi Hatim in his Tafsir as mentioned by al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur under verses 3:183-185 and (2) by Ibn Kathir in his under the same verses. [Khidr segment only.] Ibn Hajar cites its chain in full in al-Isaba.

See also al-Suyuti's al-Haba'ik fi Akhbar al-Mala'ik.

What is firmly established as authentic is the hadith of ʿA'isha in al-Bukhari and Muslim: "The Prophet ﷺ used to say that no Prophet is seized [by death] until he first sees his seat in Paradise and then is given the choice [between dying and living on]." This shows that Allah Most High has indeed delegated to His Prophets the right to give permission to the angel of death to seize their own soul at their own liking, and Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril

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[ 2000-10-21]





latest update: Thu, 12 Feb 2009
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