Friday, May 19, 2017

Weakness of the Hadeeth: to say "Baarak Allahu feek" when a child sneezes

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله ، وبعد

Before proceeding, please note that this post is only to discuss the weakness of the Hadeeth and nothing further. Please do not assume that this post is against Shaikh Saaleh al-Fawzaan حفظه الله.

It is being circulated that Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan (May Allaah protect him and elevate his status) said:

As for the young (child), if he sneezes, it is not said to him: “May Allaah have mercy on you” (Yarhamuka-llaah) rather the person supplicates for him with blessings. Therefore it is said (to the child): “Baarak Allaahu Feek” (May Allaah bless you) because a young child sneezed in the company of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and he said: "Baarak Allaahu Feek".

As collected by Al Hafidh As Salafee

And he (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) commanded the young child to praise Allaah whenever he sneezes from the viewpoint of teaching.

[شرح منظومة اآلداب الشرعية (280)]

The following is the Hadeeth:

Abu Taahir al-Salafee said: Ahmad narrated to us that >> Aboo `Umar Hayyooyah narrated to us that >> `Abdullaah Ibn Sulaimaan narrated to us that >> Is-haaq Ibn Ibraaheem narrated to us that >> Sa`d Ibn al-Salti narrated to us that >> Haaroon Ibn al-Jahm narrated to us >> on the authority of Ja`far >> on the authority of his father who said:

A child - who had not reached the age of puberty - sneezed in the presence of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. He (the child) said: “al-Hamdulillaahi Rabbil-`Aalameen”. So the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: Baarak Allaahu feek, O Child!

So the Sunnah had been established from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that when a child sneezes and says: “al-Hamdulillaahi Rabbil-`Aalameen”, then one should respond to him by saying: “Baarak Allaahu feek”.

[الطيوريات (672)]


First: No one from the compilers of the Sunan, or Ma`aajim, or Masaaneed have reported this Hadeeth, Only Abu Taahir al-Salafee (d. 576H) is alone in reporting it, and he came later in time as compared to the earlier Muhadditheen.

Second: Sa`d Ibn al-Salti, Ibn Hibbaan mentioned him in his book “al-Thiqaat” (The book of reliable narrators) and said: “he reported narration in which he was alone (and no one else reported)”.

Al-Dhahabee said: “He is “Saaleh al-Hadeeth” (meaning: his Hadeeth are written but not used as evidence if he is alone in narrating it), and I have not come across anyone disparaging him”. [Siyar A`laam al-Nubalaa’ (9/317-319)]

Third: Haaroon Ibn al-Jahm, al-`Uqailee said about him: “his narrations go against the narrations of those who were more reliable than him; and he was not known for transmitting (accurately)”. [al-Dhu`afaa’ of al-`Uqailee (4/263)]

Ibn al-Jawzee said: “Sa`d (Ibn al-Salti) and Haaroon (Ibn al-Jahm) are both Majhool (unknown)”. [al-`Ilal of Ibn al-Jawzee (2/238-239)]

Al-Dhahabee said: “Sa`d (Ibn al-Salti) narrated from Haaroon (Ibn al-Jahm) narrations which are Munkar (rejected/denounced)”. [Meezaan al-I`tedaal (4/282) and in Lisaan al-Meezaan of Ibn al-Hajr (8/303)]

Fourth: The chain of this narration is Munkar (denounced, meaning the narration is severely weak) as what Imaam al-Dhahabee had said. Haaroon Ibn al-Jahm is alone in narrating this and he is Majhool (unknown), and apart from the author (Abu Taahir al-Salafee) no one else reported this narration.

Fifth: As for Ja`far, then he is Ja`far Ibn Muhammad Ibn `Alee Ibn al-Husain Ibn `Alee Ibn Abee Taalib.

His father Muhammad Ibn `Alee was a Tabi`ee, he was only three years old when his grandfather, al-Husain رضي الله عنه, was killed. So there is further weakness in the chain as there is disconnection in the chain between him and the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.

Sixth: It is the Christians who say “God bless you” when one sneezes. Perhaps this tradition might have been copied from them and wrongly been attributed to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.

Seventh: What is established from the Sunnah is that when someone sneezes and says “al-Hamdulillaah”, then one is to respond by saying “Yarhamuka-llaah” (May Allaah have mercy on you), even if the person who sneezes is a child.

Abu Burdah reported: I came to Abu Moosaa رضي الله عنه while he was in the house of Umm Fadhl Ibn `Abbaas. I sneezed but he did not respond to it (by saying): “Yarhamuka-llaah” (May Allaah have mercy upon you). Then she (Umm Fadhl) sneezed and he (Abu Moosaa) responded to her (by saying: “May Allaah have mercy upon you”). I went back to my mother and informed her about it. When he came to her she said: My son sneezed in your presence and you did not say: “May Allaah have mercy upon you”, but she sneezed and you said it to her. Thereupon he said: Your son sneezed but he did not praise Allaah so I did not say “Yarhamuka-Allaah” to him. She sneezed and she did praise Allaah and so I said: “Yarhamuki-llaah”. I heard Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم as saying: When anyone of you sneezes and he praises Allaah, then the other should (respond by) saying: “May Allaah have mercy upon you”, and if he does not praise Allaah, then do not say it to him.

[Saheeh Muslim (2992)]

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