Assalamualaikum. I want to ask regarding the status of this hadith. From ‘Aisyah R.Anha, the Prophet PBUH said: “Looking at these three are considered as worship: looking at al-Quran, one’s parents and the sea.” In another narration, it is stated: “Looking at the Kaaba is worship.” What is the status of this hadith?
Waalaikumussalam wrt, wbt.,
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Treating your parents kindly is a commandment from Allah SWT and this is stated in most verses of the Quran. Among them is a statement of Allah SWT:
وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ
“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbour, the neighbour farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess.”
Surah al-Nisa’ (36)
Regarding the question presented, this hadith is mentioned by Ibnu Hajar al-Asqalani in al-Gharaib al-Mutaqitah Min Musnad al-Firdaus. He said:
قال أبو نعيم : حدثنا عبد الله بن محمد بن جعفر ، حدثنا عبد الله بن محمد بن زكريا ، حدثنا سعيد بن يحيى ، حدثنا زافر ، عن أبي عثمان ، عن يحيى بن سعيد ، عن محمد بن إبراهيم ، عن عائشة ، قالت : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : " النَظَرُ فِي ثَلَاثَة أَشْيَاءَ عِبَادَةُ ، النَظَرُ فِي َوجْهِ الَأَبوَيْنِ وِفِي المُصْحَفِ ، وَفِي البَحْرِ
“Abu Nuaim said: Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Jaafar told us: Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Zakaria told us: Sa’id bin Yahya told us: Zafir told us from Abu Uthman from Yahya bin said from Muhammad bin Ibrahim from ‘Aisyah R.Anha. She said, the Prophet PBUH said: Looking at these three things are considered as worship: looking at the faces of one’s parents, looking at the mushaf (al-Quran) and looking out at the sea.”
Refer al-Gharaib al-Multaqitah Min Musnad al-Firdaus (2688)
In the same sanad, the hadith is also narrated by al-Dailami from the same Companion who is the Ummul Mukminin ‘Aisyah R.Anha:
النَّظَرُ إِلَى الْكَعْبةِ عِبَادَة، وَالنَّظَرُ إِلَى وَجْهِ الْوَالِدَينِ عِبَادَةٌ، وَالنَّظَرُ فِي كِتَابِ اللَهِ عِبَادَةٌ
“Looking at the Kaaba is worship, looking at the faces of one’s parents is worship and looking at the book of Allah (al-Quran) is worship.”
Narrated by al-Dailami (6863) in al-Firdaus Bi Ma’thur al-Khitab
This hadith is not narrated in any muktabar hadith books such as al-Kutub al-Sittah and others except in Musnad al-Firdaus.
Regarding the status of this hadith, it is a weak hadith. The reason is in the sanad of the hadith there is a narrator whose credibility is criticized. Among them is named Zafir. His real name is Zafir Abu Sulaiman al-Quhastani. Ibnu ‘Adiy said he is a weak narrator. He said:
“Generally, what is narrated by him cannot be used as a support and the hadiths he narrated are not written. Furthermore, Zafir is a weak narrator.”
Refer al-Kamil Fi al-Dhu’afa’ (3/232)
To conclude, the hadith is weak. Furthermore, Musnad al-Firdaus is a book of a collection of weak and fake hadiths as explained by hadith scholars.