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Angel of death's permission hadith

Hadith of the angel of death asking permission of the Prophet before entering to take his soul and containing the phrase, "truly Allah longs to see you" (innallâha qad ishtâqa ilâ liqâ'ik), followed by the description of the visitation of the women to see the noble body in `A'isha's house, whereupon a voice was heard saying "As-Salâmu `alaykum Ahl al-Bayt...", which `Ali ibn Abi Talib or `Ali Zayn al-`Abidin 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 (bâb al-karâmât), third part, mursal from Zayn al-`Abidin `Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn `Ali 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-`Asqalani as hasan li ghayrihi or "fair due to its collected chains."


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

- from Ibn `Abbas by al-Tabarani with a chain containing al-Mukhtar ibn Nafi` who is "condemned" as a narrator.

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

- from `Ali [ibn Abi Talib] by Ibn Sa`d - as mentioned by al-Nabahani in Hujjatullah `ala al-`Alamin (p. 707-708) - with a "problematic" (mu`dal) chain missing at least two non-successive links in al-Tabaqat al-Kubra (2:258); al-Ajurri in al-Shari`a as stated by al-Nabahani; al-Bayhaqi in Dala'il al-Nubuwwa and Ibn Abi `Umar al-`Adani as stated in Kanz al-`Ummal (#18785); and al-Jurjani with several chains in Tarikh Jurjan (p. 361-364) containing Muhammad ibn Ja`far 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 `Abd Allah ibn Hantab as cited in Kanz al-`Ummal (#18825).

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

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

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

- mursal from `Ali ibn al-Husayn by al-Bayhaqi from Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Faqih, from Shafi` Muhammad, from Imam al-Tahawi, from Imam al-Muzani, from Imam al-Shafi`i, from al-Qasim ibn `Abd Allah ibn `Umar - he is abandoned as a narrator and a forger -, from Hafs, from Ja`far ibn Muhammad ibn `Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn `Ali (Ja`far al-Sadiq), from his father (Muhammad al-Baqir), from `Ali ibn al-Husayn as cited in al-Shafi`i'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-`Umari but added that the segment of al-Khidr is also narrated:

- by al-Rabi` from al-Shafi`i, from al-Qasim, from Ja`far, from his father, from his grandfather [`Ali 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 Ja`far al-Baghdadi, from `Abd Allah ibn al-Harith or `Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Murta`id al-San`ani, from Abu al-Walid al-Makhzumi, from Anas ibn `Iyad, from Ja`far ibn Muhammad, from Jabir ibn `Abd Allah, a "problematic" (mu`dal) chain missing the Successor-link in addition to one or more links between Anas and Ja`far. [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 Ja`far's narration has a basis, and Allah knows best." Al-`Iraqi in his Takhrij Ahadith al-Ihya' said that the recognized narration is the mursal report from `Ali ibn al-Husayn as opposed to that of `Ali ibn Abi Talib, without mention of al-Khidr, as in al-Shafi`i's al-Umm.

- from `Ali 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 `A'isha in al-Bukhari and Muslim: "The Prophet 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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