Amr bin Salamah’s Narration Concerning Circles of Remembrance

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Text of the Narration

From ‘Amr bin Salamah [who said]:

We were sitting at ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ūd’s door before the morrow so [that] when he came out we would be able to walk with him to the mosque. Abū Mūsâ al-Ash’arî then came to us and said, “Has Abū ‘Abdir-Rahman come out to you yet?”

We replied, “No,” so he sat with us until he came out.

Then when he came out we all stood to him. Abū Mūsâ said to him, “O Abâ ‘Abdir-Rahman, I saw a matter previously in the mosque which I disapproved of. But the praise is Allah’s, I only saw good.”

He[1] said, “So, what was it?”

He[2] said, “If you live, you will see it. I saw a people sitting in circles in the mosque waiting for the prayer. In every circle was a man, and in their hands were pebbles. He would say, ‘Say: Allah is greater one hundred [times].’ So they would aggrandize [Him] one hundred [times]. Then he would say, ‘Say the praise is Allah’s one hundred [times].’ So they would praise [Him] one hundred [times]. And he would say, ‘Say glorified is Allah one hundred [times].’ So they glorify [Him] one hundred times.’”

He said, “So what did you say to them?”

He said, “I did not say anything to them. I waited for your view or for your order.”

He said, “Why did not you order them to count up their misdeeds and assure them that nothing from their good deeds would be lost?”

Then he departed, and we departed with him, until he came upon one of those circles. He stood over them and said, “What is this that I see you doing?!”

They said, “O Abâ ‘Abdir-Rahman, pebbles by which we count the aggrandizing,[3] the acclaiming,[4] and the glorifying.[5]”

He said, “Then count your misdeeds and I assure you that nothing from your good deeds will be lost. Woe to you O Nation of Muhammad! Your destruction did not take very long! These are the companions of your Prophet, may Allah send salutations and peace upon him, [they are] abundant.; these are his clothes that have not yet decayed; his bowl that has not broken. By Him in whose Hand is my soul, either you are upon a religion better guided than the religion of Muhammad or you are opening a door of misguidance.”

They said, “By Allah, O Abâ ‘Abdir-Rahman, we only intended good.”

He said, “And how many of those who intended good did not achieve it. Surely Allah’s messenger, may Allah send salutations and peace upon him, narrated to us «that a people will recite the Qur’an, [and] it will not pass their throats.» By Allah I do not know, perhaps most of them are from amongst you.” Then he turned away from them.

So ‘Amr bin Salamah said, “We saw the the people of those circles fight against us upon the day of an-Nahrawân along with the Khawârij.”

Its Extraction[6]

It was published by ad-Dârimî in his Sunan (1/28-29) and by Bahshal in Târîkh Wâsit (pgs. 198-199), from two routes from ‘Amr bin Yahyâ ibn ‘Amr bin Salamah who said, “I heard from my father, he narrated from his father,” and he mentioned [the narration].

I say this chain is authentic, and the clarification is before you:

Firstly, ‘Amr bin Yahyâ. He was mentioned by Ibn Abî Hâtim in al-Jarh wat-Ta’dîl (2/269), and by al-Bukhârî in Târîkh al-Kabîr (2/382). His accreditation has been narrated by Ibn Abî Hâtim from Ibn Ma’în, while Ibn ‘Adî, in al-Kâmil (5/1773) and Ibn Hajar, in Lisân al-Mîzân (4/378), mentioned his weakening from Ibn Ma’în.

I say the accreditation here is the precedent for [the following] reasons:

1. Ibn Abî Hâtim mentioned it from Ibn Ma’în with an authentic chain, whereas the disparagment is not affirmed with an authentic route;

2. the disparagement is not explained, so the accreditation takes precedence over it;

3. Ibn Hibbân mentioned him in ath-Thiqât (8/480), and his accreditation is considered and accepted because it agrees with the accreditation of one of the imams of [the science of] the disparagement and commendation [of narrators].

4. Ibn Abî Hâtim mentioned that a group from the reliable [narrators] narrated from him.

And with this, ‘Amr bin Yahyâ is reliable, and Allah is more knowledgeable.

In ar-Radd ‘alat-Ta’aqqub al-Hathîth (pg. 47), our shaikh,[7] may Allah preserve him, thought he was ‘Amr bin Yahyâ bin ‘Umârah bin Abil-Hasan, so he authenticated it saying on pg. 47, “Its chain is authentic, all of its men are reliable, [they are] men of al-Bukhârî [utilised] in his Sahîh, other than ‘Umârah, and he is reliable.”

I confirm that he is ‘Amr bin Yahyâ bin ‘Amr bin Salamah and not ‘Amr bin Yahyâ bin ‘Umârah, with reasons. From them:

1. that that came clearly with Bahshal in Târîkh Wâsit;

2. that ad-Dârimî’s shaikh is al-Hakam bin Mubârak and he is from the narrators of ‘Amr bin Yahyâ bin ‘Amr bin Salamah, not from the narrators of ‘Amr bin Yahyâ bin ‘Umârah, just as has come in Tahdhîb al-Kamâl (7/132);

3. that ad-Dârimî and Bahshal reported the statement ‘Amr bin Salamah, “We saw the people of those circles,” and he is the narrator of the tale.

‘Amr bin Salamah is the grandfather of ‘Amr bin Yahyâ, not the grandfather of ‘Amr bin Yahyâ bin ‘Umârah.

I say it then became clear to our shaikh that he made a mistake, so he recanted from that in as-Silsilah asSahîhah (5/12-13), so may Allah reward him with good.

Secondly, his father: Yahyâ bin ‘Amr bin Salamah. He was mentioned by Ibn Abî Hâtim in al-Jarh wat-Ta’dîl (9/176) and he did not mention any disparagement or commendation for him, but [that] a group of the reliable [narrators] narrated from him.

In asSahîhah (5/12), our shaikh, may Allah preserve and pardon him, said,

It is sufficient for his commendation that Shu’bah narrated from him, because he was selecive of the men who he narrated from as it was mentioned in his biography. It is not unlikely that he is in ath-Thiqât by Ibn Hibbân. al-‘Ijlî has mentioned him in his Thiqât and said, “Kūfan, reliable.”

I say he does not have a biography in the printed ath-Thiqât.

He was not alone [in narrating it], rather Mujâlid bin Sa’îd followed him up from ‘Amr bin Salamah; atTabarânî published it in al-Mu’jam al-Kabîr (9/127).

In Majma’ az-Zawâ’id (1/181), al-Haithamî said, “In it is Mujâlid ibn Sa’îd; he was accredited by an-Nasâ’î, and declared weak by al-Bukhârî, Ahmad bin Hanbal and Yahyâ.”

I say however, it is considered.

Thirdly, his grandfather: ‘Amr bin Salamah. So he is reliable; he was accredited by Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Ḥibbân and al-‘Ijlî. And with this, it is made clear that this story is authentically affirmed, and Allah is more knowledgeable.

It has other routes that increase it in strength over its [already established] strength. And they are before you:

1. From routes from ‘Atâ’ bin as-Sâ’ib, from Abil-Bakhtarî, from ‘Abdillah bin Mas’ūd. It was published by ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad in Zawâ’id az-Zuhd (pg. 428), [by] Abū Nu’aim in Hilyah al-Anbiyâ’ (4/380-381), from atTabarânî’s route in al-Kabîr (9/125-126), and ‘Abdur-Razzâq in al-Musannaf (5309).

In Majma’ az-Zawâ’id (1/181), al-Haithamî said, “In it is ‘Atâ’ bin as-Sâ’ib and he is reliable, but he became confused.”[8] In the sidenotes of al-Majma’ (1/182) is, “Abul-Bakhtarî never heard from Ibn Mas’ūd, so the hadîth is severed.”

I say as for the confusion of ‘Atâ’ bin as-Sâ’ib, then indeed it was at a later time, and due to that, the scholars differentiate between [those] who heard from him before the confusion and [those] who heard from him during the confusion. Hammâd bin Salamah narrated this story from him with atTabarânî in al-Kabîr (9/126), and he is from [those] who heard before the confusion, as is [mentioned] in al-Kawâkib an-Nîrât (pg. 63) and with that this defect disappears.

As for the defect of severance, Abal-Bakhtarî was followed up by Abū ‘Abdur-Rahman as-Sulamî with atTabarânî in al-Kabîr (9/126), so this disappears also. And with that, this chain is affirmed, and to Allah is the praise from before and from after;

2. the route of Sufyân bin ‘Uyainah from Bayân, from Qais bin Abî Hâzim, from him. It was published by ‘Abdur-Razzâq (5408), atTabarânî in al-Kabîr (9/125), and al-Haithamî authenticated it in Majma’ az-Zawâ’id (1/181).

I say it is as he said, because its men are reliable [and] established.

3. From the route of Sufyân from Salamah bin Kuhail, from Abiz-Za’râ’, from him. It was published by Abū Nu’aim in al-Hilyah (4/381).

I say Abuz-Za’râ’ is ‘Abdullah bin Hânî’ al-Akbar al-Kūfî. [There are] words about him [that] do not bring his hadîths down from the level of acceptable. The remainder of its men are reliable and the tale has many routes. You will find them in al-Kabîr (9/128), al-Haithamî authenticated some of them Majma’ az-Zawâ’id (1/181), so look (into the matter).

[1] [t] I.e., ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ūd.

[2] [t] I.e., Abū Mūsâ al-Ash’arî.

[3] [t] Ar. takbîr – enlargement, increase, magnification; aggrandisement. It refers to uttering the words, “Allah is greater (Ar. Allah akbar).”

[4] [t] Ar. tahlîl – to utter the words “there is no god [worthy of worship] except Allah (Ar. lâ ilah illâ Allah).”

[5] [t] Ar. tasbîh – to utter the words “glorified is Allah (Ar. subhân Allah).”

[6] [t] al-Hilâlî, Salîm bin ‘Îd. al-Bid’ah wa Atharuhâ as-Sayyi’ fil-Ummah, Cairo, Egypt: Dâr Ibn ‘Affân, and Dammâm, Saudi Arabia: Dâr Ibn al-Qayyim. pgs 42-46.

[7] [t] I.e., Shaikh Muhammad Nâsir ad-Dîn al-Albânî.

[8] [t] I.e., he began mixing up his narrations later on in life.

About Rasheed Gonzales
My name is Rasheed Gonzales. I’m a Muslim convert of Filipino descent. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I was guided to Islam through one of my younger brothers and a couple of friends, all of whom had converted to Islam sometime before me (may Allah reward them greatly). I am married with four children (and the praise is Allah’s) and also a volunteer for the Qur'an & Sunnah Society of Canada, based in Toronto.

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