IRSYAD AL-HADITH SERIES 277: LONG LIFE AND FORGIVENESS OF SINS

 IrsyadHadith 277

 

Question:

Assalamualaikum. What is the status of this hadith?

  • It is said to be from the Prophet PBUH said:

سَأَلْتُ اللهَ فِي أَبْنَاءِ الأَرْبَعِيْنَ مِنْ أُمَّتِيْ، فَقَالَ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَهُمْ. قُلْتُ : فَأَبْنَاءِ الخَمْسِيْنَ؟ قَالَ إِنِّي قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَهُمْ. قُلْتُ: فَأَبْنَاءِ السِّتِّيْنَ؟ قَالَ: قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَهُمْ

“I have asked (forgiveness) to Allah for the children of the age of 40 years old from my ummah.” Then Allah states: “O Muhammad, I have forgiven them.” I said: “As well for those of 50 years of age.” Allah states: “I have also forgiven them.” I said once more: “Is it also for those of 60 years old?” Allah states: “I have forgiven them all.”

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam.

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.

Every human does not know when it is his age will end. However, all of it is in the knowledge of Allah SWT as stated in numerous verses of the Quran when the matter of the end of human life is discussed. Furthermore, the Prophet PBUH also mentioned in a hadith related to age and the life of his ummah:

  • From Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

أَعْمَارُ أُمَّتِي مَا بَيْنَ السِّتِّينَ إِلَى السَّبْعِينَ، وَأَقَلُّهُمْ مَنْ يَجُوزُ ذَلِكَ

“The lifespan of my nation is between sixty to seventy, and the least of them are those who surpass that.”

Sunan al-Tirmizi (3550) [this hadith is evaluated as hasan gharib by Imam al-Tirmizi]

Moreover, if Allah SWT prolongs the life or age of a person, it is so that it would be the reason for them to ponder and learn the religion. This is stated in the Quran through the statement of Allah SWT:

أَوَلَمْ نُعَمِّرْكُم مَّا يَتَذَكَّرُ فِيهِ مَن تَذَكَّرَ

“But did We not grant you life enough for whoever would remember therein to remember,”

Surah al-Fatir (37)

Syeikh Sayyid al-Tantawi when commenting on this verse said that Allah SWT rebukes those who remain in loss and distracted with this world whilst they are growing older and are able to seek the truth or the light of faith. (See Tafsir al-Wasith, 352/11)

According to the above question, the narration is recorded in the book al-Jami’ al-Saghir by Imam al-Suyuthi. [See: al-Jami’ al-Saghir, 455/1, no. Hadith 4600]. However, the sanad of the narration is evaluated as dhaif (weak) as stated in al-Siraj al-Munir. (See al-Siraj al-Munir, 205/3)

Furthermore, this narration is also evaluated as dhaif (weak) by al-Albani when he takhrij the book Jami’ al-Saghir. [See: Dhaif al-Jami’, 472/1]. Besides, Syeikh Ali bin Hasan bin Ali al-halabi placed this narration in the group of dhaif (weak) and fake hadiths. (See Mausu’ah al-Ahadith wa al-Athar al-Dha’ifah wa al-Mawdhu’ah, 200/5)

Thus, we are inclined to state that the narration is dhaif (weak). However, the mention of age is stated in other hadiths as narrated by Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Ahmad:

  • From Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

أَعْذَرَ اللَّهُ إِلَى امْرِئٍ أَخَّرَ أَجَلَهُ، حَتَّى بَلَّغَهُ سِتِّينَ سَنَةً

“Allah SWT removes any concession on whoever whose death is delayed (enjoy prolonged life) until he reaches 60 years old.”

Sahih al-Bukhari (6419)

  • From Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

مَنْ عُمِّرَ سِتِّينَ سَنَةً، أَوْ سَبْعِينَ سَنَةً، فَقَدْ عُذِرَ إِلَيْهِ فِي الْعُمُرِ

 "Allah will not accept the excuse of any person whose instant of death is delayed till he is sixty years of age."

Musnad Ahmad (9251) [the hadith is evaluated as sahih by Syeikh Syu’aib al-Arnaouth]

  • From Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

مَنْ أَتَتْ عَلَيْهِ سِتُّونَ سَنَةً، فَقَدْ أَعْذَرَ اللهُ إِلَيْهِ فِي الْعُمُرِ

“Whoever reaches the age of 60 years old, Allah SWT will not accept any excuse due to his age.”

Musnad Ahmad (8262) [The sanad of this narration is strong according to Syeikh Syu’aib and this narration is the syawahid (support to another hadith) by Imam Muslim]

The above hadiths prove that the purpose that Allah SWT blessed a person with long life is for him to use the opportunity and time in obedience so that he would be unable to argue in the hereafter as to how little his good deeds are.

Imam al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani when commenting on this hadith said, the hadith means that there is no remaining concession (no excuses would be accepted) for those who are blessed with prolonged life by Allah SWT, such as the statement of “if Allah SWT prolongs my life, surely I would have obeyed the commandments”. Any concession is removed (excuses are nor accepted), for the person has reached the last of his concessions to leave obedience for they are able to do good when they are blessed with long life. Thus, an elderly person can no longer give excuses to busy themselves with matters other than istighfar (repentance to Allah SWT), obedience and preparing himself to face the hereafter. (See Fath al-Bari, 240/11)

Conclusion

To conclude, every person who believes in Allah SWT and the hereafter would not waste the life blessed to him by Allah SWT. The life and age should be filled with beneficial matters such as with good deeds and study or learning. Lastly, let us all contemplate the words of the Prophet PBUH when he was asked regarding who is the best among the people.

  • From Abi Bakrah RA, he said, a man came to the Messenger PBUH and asked: “O Messenger of Allah, who is the best of the people?” Rasullullah PBUH answered:

مَنْ طَالَ عُمُرُهُ وَحَسُنَ عَمَلُهُ

"He whose life is long and his deeds are good."

Sunan al-Tirmizi (2330) [mam al-Tirmizi evaluated the hadith is hasan sahih]

May Allah SWT bless our age and guide us so that we would be consistent in our obedience to Allah SWT and be included as those who would enter the paradise of Allah SWT in the hereafter. Amin.

Wallahua’lam.


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