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irsyad al ahdith 432


Assalamualaikum ustaz. I want to ask for an explanation regarding a hadith quoted by a famous preacher. He said that there is a hadith that state ‘who has three sons and he did not name even one of them Muhammad, then he is considered as an ignorant,’. Is it true that there is such a hadith? The reason I ask is that none of my children’s name begins with Muhammad? What should I do? Hope for an explanation from ustaz.


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.

Among the main principle of quoting a hadith of the Prophet PBUH is to first verify the authenticity of the hadith and find out its source. This is the attitude that should be cultivated in every Muslim, so that something is not arbitrarily claimed to be from the Prophet PBUH. This is in accordance with the general statement of Allah SWT:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِن جَآءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌۢ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوٓا۟ أَن تُصِيبُوا۟ قَوْمًۢا بِجَهَـٰلَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا۟ عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَـٰدِمِينَ

“O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.”

Surah al-Hujurat (6)

Coming back to the question presented, yes, the hadith is stated in a hadith book. It is recorded by al-Tabarani in his book Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir. Other than al-Tabarani, the hadith is also written in Al-Kamil Fi Al-Dhua’afa, a book written by Ibnu ‘Adiyy.

Al-Tabarani said:

حَدَّثَنَا الْحَسَنُ بن عَلِيٍّ الْمَعْمَرِيُّ، قَالَ: ثنا عَلِيُّ بن مَيْمُونٍ الرَّقِّيُّ، ثنا عُثْمَانُ بن عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ عُمَرَ بن مُوسَى، عَنِ الْقَاسِمِ، عَنْ وَاثِلَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ:مَنْ وُلِدَ لَهُ ثَلاثَةُ أَوْلادٍ لَمْ يُسَمِّ أَحَدَهُمْ مُحَمَّدًا فَقَدْ جَهِلَ

“Al-Hasan bin Ali a;-Ma’mari narrated to us. He said: Uthman bin Abdurrahman told us from Umar bin Musa from Al-Qasin from al-Wathilah, he said: The Prophet PBUH said: Whoever has three sons and he did not named any one of them Muhammad, indeed, he is among the ignorant.”

Narrated by al-Tabarani (17687) in Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir

While Ibnu ‘Adiyy narrated this hadith with a different sanad (chain of narrators). He said:

حَدَّثَنَا عُمَر بن الحسن بن نصر ، حَدَّثَنا مصعب بن سَعِيد ، حَدَّثَنا موسى بن أعين ، عن لَيث ، عَن مجاهد ، عنِ ابن عباس

“Umar bin al-Hasan bin Nasr narrated to us. Mus’ab bin Sa’id told us. Musa bin ‘Ayun narrated to us from Laith from Mujahid from Ibnu Abbas…”

However, a written narration does not make a hadith acceptable. The reason is Ibnu Adiyy ruled this hadith as tafarrud. He said, no one else narrated this hadith from Laith except Musa bin ‘Ayun. (Refer Al-Kamil Fi Ma’rifah Al-Dhu’afa Al-Muhaddithin Wa Ilal, 6/89)

It is best if we discuss every sanad written by Ibnu Adiyy and al-Tabarani. This is crucial in determining the status of the hadith.

Sanad by Ibnu Adiyy

  1. Umar bin al-Hasan bin Nasr al-Halabi is a Qadi in Damascus. Al-Daraqutni state that he is a thiqah (trustworthy) and truthful person (ثقة صدوق). (Refer Siyar ‘Alam Al-Nubala, 14/254). Ibnu Hibban placed him as a thiqah (trustworthy) narrator. (Refer Tahzib Al-Tahzib, 9/363). He passed away in 250 H.
  2. Mus’ab bin Sa’id is also known as Abu Khaithamah al-Missisi. Ibnu ‘Adiyy said that he narrated numerous hadiths from thiqah (trustworthy) narrators with munkar hadith and made alterations on the hadiths. (Al-Kamil Fi Ma’rifah Dhu’afa’ Al-Muhaddithin Wa Ilal, 8/89). Ibnu Hajar al-Asqalani said that most hadiths narrated by Mus’ab is munkar and his memorization is very weak. (Refer Lisan Al-Mizan,8/75)
  3. Musa bin ‘Ayun is one of the narrators in Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Daud, Sunan al-Nasaie and Sunan Ibnu Majah. His moniker is Abu Said al-Harrani. Al-Jauzajani said that Imam Ahmad praises him. Abu Zur’ah and Abu Hatim state he is a thiqah (trustworthy) narrator. Ibnu Hibban classify him as a credible narrator. While Yahya bin Ma’in said that he is a thiqah (trustworthy) person with honourable character. (Refer Tahzib Al-Tahzib,10/298). He died in the year 75 H.
  4. His real name is Laith bin Abi Sulaim. He is praised by some hadith scholars such as Abdurrahman bin Mahdi. He (Ibnu Mahdi) said that Laith is the best of narrators. Ibnu Hatim al-Razi also praises him. However, majority of hadith scholars during his time criticized him. Among them is Yahya bin Ma’in. Yahya said, he is weaker compared to Yazid and Ata’. (Refer Tahzib Al-Tahzib, 8/418)

Laith is not only criticized by Yahya, but he is also criticized by Muhammad bin Muthanna, Ali bin Madini and others. Muammal bin al-Fadhl said that he once asked Isa bin Yunus on why he never listens to hadiths narrated by Laith and Isa answered that Laith is often confused when narrating a hadith. Furthermore, Abu Zur’ah and Abu Hatim said that not only is Laith is a weak narrator but his narrations should not be made as evidence or support in narrations. Imam Ahmad also said that he is disordered and his hadiths are (مضطرب الحديث). Ibnu Uyainah never compliments Laith’s memorization for there are a lot of confusion. (Refer Tahzib Al-Tahzib, 8/418 ; Al-Kamil Fi Ma’rifah Dhuafa Al-Muhaddithin Wa Ilal, 6/88) ; Al-Jarh Wa Al-Ta’dil Li Ibn Abi Hatim, 7/178)

The conclusion for this sanad is, we are inclined to state that the sanad of this hadith is weak due to Laith bin Abi Sulaim who are criticized by most hadith scholars. Moreover, there is also Mus’ab bin Sa’id as one of the narrators of this hadith.

Sanad by al-Tabarani

  1. Al-Hasan bin Ali al-Ma’mari is a thiqah (trustworthy) narrator. Al-Daraqutni compliments him, saying that he is a truthful (صدوق) and hafiz person. However, al-Razi and Ja’far bin Junaid said that he is a liar. However, Abdullah bin Uthman bin Jiblah who is known as Abdan answered them both saying that they are jealous of al-Hasan for al-Hasan wrote many hadiths which they do not have. (Refer Lisan Al-Mizan, 2/223)
  2. Ali bin Maimun al-Raqqiyy. His moniker is Abu Hasan al-Attar. He narrated numerous hadiths from thiqah (trustworthy) narrators. The same is stated by al-Nasaie where he said that it is fine to narrate a hadith from him. (Refer Tahzib Al-Kamal,21/153-154 ; Al-Jarh Wa Al-Ta’dil, 6/no1127)
  3. Uthman bin Abdurrahman. According to al-Haithami, he is a thiqah (trustworthy) narrator but he narrates hadiths from weak narrators. (Refer Majma’ Al-ZawaidWa Manba’ Al-Fawaid, 1/127). According to Yahya bin Ma’in he is a truthful (صدوق) person. Imam al-Zahabi cited the words of Abu ‘Arubah, saying that Uthman is diligent in worship. It is fine to narrate hadiths from him. However, he is also a person who narrates munkar hadiths from majhul (unknown) narrators. (Refer Siyar ‘Alam Al-Nubala, 9/426). Furthermore, he is greatly criticized, for although he is thiqah (trustworthy) he is also known as fire wood collector (حاطب الليل) because he did not analyse what he narrates. (Refer Al-Kamil Fi Ma’rifah Al-Dhu’afa Al-Muhaddithin Wa ‘Ilal, no 585)
  4. Umar bin Musa. He is also known as al-Wajihi. He is a weak narrator. Ibnu Abi Hatim said that he is a very weak narrator and mostly narrated batil and matruk (المتروك – its narration is forsaken) hadiths. (Refer Al-Jarh Wa Al-Ta’dil, 12/142). Ibnu Adiyy classify him as a narrator who is not thiqah (untrustworthy). (Al-Kamil Fi Ma’rifah Al-Dhu’afa Wa ‘Ilal, 3/8). The same with Ibnu Jauzi, where he said that he is included as matruk al-Hadith (his narration is forsaken). (Refer Al-Dhu’afa Wa Al-Matrukin, 1/82)
  5. Al-Qasim or his real name is al-Qasin bin Abdurrahman bin Abdullah bin Mas’ud. He is the grandchild of the companion of the Prophet PBUH, Ibnu Mas’ud. Most hadith scholars classify him as a thiqah narrator. (Refer Siyar ‘Alam Al-Nubala, 5/195)

For the sanad by al-Tabarani, we are inclined to state that the sanad for this hadith is very weak, due to one of its narrators Umar bin Musa is matruk. Furthermore, the sanad is broken. Its source is al-Qasim. Although he is thiqah, he never met Wathilah. Among those who explained this is Ali bin al-Madini, an expert in the defects of hadiths. Ali bin al-Madini said that al-Qasim never met with the companions of the Prophet PBUH except Jabir bin Samurah. (Refer Al-Ilal Wa Ma’rifah Al-Rijal,1/106)

Moreover, it is difficult to strengthen this hadith with other narrations of the same hadith. The reason is, in most sanad for this hadith, there will be a narrator who is weak or is claimed to be a liar. This is explained by Ibnu ‘Iraq in his book Tanzih al-Syariah. He said, there is not a single sanad for this hadith where there is not one of its narrators claimed to be a liar. (Refer Tanzih Al-Syariah Al-Marfu’ah ‘An Al-Syani’ah Al-Maudhu’ah, 1/82). Furthermore, there is another narration from Ja’far bin Muhammad from his father. This sanad is very weak for there is a narrator named Abdullah bin Dahir al-Razi. He is criticized by most scholars. Among the scholars is al-Zahabi who said that he is a liar. Imam al-Suyuti also state that he is a person who is claimed to be a liar. (Refer Al-Laali Al-Masnu’ah Fi Ahadith Al-Maudhu’ah, 1/121)

In terms of the text of the hadith, there are some defects that could be disputed. The reason is, if this hadith are words from the Prophet PBUH, surely Umar would has named one of his child Muhammad. However, as we know, Umar did not name any of his children Muhammad. Does this mean that Umar is ignorant?

To conclude, we are inclined to state that the above hadith is very weak. It can almost be classified as false or fabricated for in every sanad of the hadith, there will be a narrator whose narration is forsaken or is claimed to be a liar. Thus, it is prohibited for anyone to say that it is from the Prophet PBUH.

However, we would also like to explain that it is not wrong to name any of our child Muhammad. But what’s more important is to teach our children the character and sunnah of the Prophet PBUH so that they can learn and take lessons from the Prophet PBUH. At the same time, this will instil and cultivate their love towards the Prophet PBUH, especially in this challenging time where the Prophet PBUH is mocked and insulted. Wallahua’lam.