Post-Adultery and Post-Fornication Marriage (3)

INTRODUCTION

This is the third article of the series. In the second article, we surveyed two of the accounts narrated from the Sahabas on the issue of post-adultery or post-fornication marriage. We proved therein that one of those accounts was inauthentic because of its narrator being unknown and the other was typically unacceptable because of being narrated by a weak and deceitful narrator – Muhammad bin Is-haq. Even though the account by Muhammad bin Is-haq was also narrated by others, and so to prove its unacceptability would require more explanation. Usually, the laws of the science of the Prophetic Traditions require that, a slightly inaccurate account whose inaccuracy has risen from the weakness of one or more of its narrators, but also narrated by another narrator of the same class in terms of weakness, the account is said to have been upgraded; it is then classified and accepted as hadithu hasan. But, subsequently, for this law to be regarded, it is further stipulated for its texts to be correct and sound. Unfortunately, these various versions of the account contradict one another in terms of both sanad and texts. This brief article is primarily dedicated to expounding upon this subject – the contradiction between and among parts of this account.

CONTRADICTION OF ACCOUNTS

To appreciate how contradictory parts of this account are, we need to firstly look at the account discussed in the previous article and then compare it with another version of the same account. The previous account, as narrated by Ibn Hazm, says that:

بينما أبو بكر الصديق في المسجد إذ جاء رجل فلاث عليه لوثاً من كلام وهو دَهِشٌ فقال لعمر: قم فانظر في شأنه

فإنّ له شأناً ، فقام إليه عمر فقال : إنّ ضيفاً ضافه فزنى بابنته ، فضرب عمر في صدره وقال قبَّحك الله ألا سترت

على ابنتك؟ فأمر بهما أبو بكر فضربا الحد ، ثم زوَّج أحدهَما الآخر وغرّبهما حولا

As Abu Bakr sat in the mosque, suddenly a man came in and beat about the bush, and he was stunned. He (Abu Bakr) said to ‘Umar: ‘Stand up, listen to his case, verily he has an important issue’. ‘Umar stood up for him and he (the man) said to him (‘Umar): that ‘He welcomed a guest, then he (the guest) committed a fornication with his daughter’. ‘Umar stroke his chest and said: ‘Woe be to you! Why not cover up (the sin of) your daughter?’ Abu Bakr ordered that they would be flogged with stripes as a prescribed punishment and then he coupled them together in a marriage and exiled them for a period of one year.[1]

If we contrast this version of the account with another version of the same account as narrated by Al-Bayhaqi, we shall discover some sort of contradiction between them. In Al-Bayhaqi’s Al-Kubra the sanad and the wordings of the account are as follows:

   أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو الْحَسَنِ بْنُ أَبِي الْمَعْرُوفِ الْفَقِيهُ، أنبأ أَبُو سَهْلٍ الْإِسْفِرَايِينِيُّ، أنبأ أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ الْحَذَّاءُ، ثنا عَلِيّ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللهِ الْمَدِينِيُّ، ثنا يَحْيَى بْنُ زَكَرِيَّا بْنِ أَبِي زَائِدَةَ، ثنا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ: بَيْنَمَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ جَاءَهُ رَجُلٌ فَلَاثَ عَلَيْهِ بِلَوْثٍ مِنْ كَلَامٍ، وَهُوَ دَهِشٌ، فَقَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ لِعُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ: قُمْ إِلَيْهِ فَانْظُرْ فِي شَأْنِهِ، فَإِنَّ لَهُ شَأْنًا، فَقَامَ إِلَيْهِ عُمَرُ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ، قَالَ: إِنَّهُ ضَافَهُ ضَيْفٌ فَوَقَعَ بِابْنَتِهِ، فَصَكَّ عُمَرُ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ فِي صَدْرِهِ وَقَالَ: قَبَّحَكَ اللهُ أَلَا سَتَرْتَ عَلَى ابْنَتِكَ، قَالَ: ” فَأَمَرَ بِهِمَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ فَضُرِبَا الْحَدَّ، ثُمَّ تَزَوَّجَ أَحَدُهُمَا مِنَ الْآخَرِ، وَأَمَرَ بِهِمَا فَغُرِّبَا عَامًا أَوْ حَوْلًا ” قَالَ عَلِيٌّ: هَكَذَا رَوَاهُ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، وَخَالَفَهُ عُبَيْدُ اللهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ فِي إِسْنَادِهِ وَلَفْظِهِ

 

As Abu Bakr sat in the mosque, suddenly a man came in and beat about the bush, and he was stunned. He (Abu Bakr) said to ‘Umar: ‘Stand up, listen to his case, verily he has an important issue’. ‘Umar stood up for him and he (the man) said to him (‘Umar): that ‘He welcomed a guest, then he (the guest) committed a fornication with his daughter’. ‘Umar stroke his chest and said: ‘Woe be to you! Why not cover up (the sin of) your daughter?’ Abu Bakr ordered that they would be flogged with stripes as a prescribed punishment and then he married her and he (Abu Bakr) ordered that they would be exiled for a period of one year.[2]

Then after narrating it, Al-Bayhaqi quoted his Sheikh, Ali, elaborating it thus:

قال علي هكذا رواه محمد بن إسحاق عن نافع عن بن عمر وخالفه عبيد الله بن عمر فى إسناده ولفظه قَالَ عَلِيٌّ: ثنا يَحْيَى بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، ثنا عُبَيْدُ اللهِ، أَخْبَرَنِي نَافِعٌ، عَنْ صَفِيَّةَ، قَالَ عَلِيٌّ: وَهِيَ صَفِيَّةُ بِنْتُ أَبِي عُبَيْدٍ، أَنَّ رَجُلًا أَضَافَ رَجُلًا فَافْتَضَّ أُخْتَهُ، فَجَاءَ أَخُوهَا إِلَى أَبِي بَكْرٍ الصِّدِّيقِ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ فَذَكَرَ ذَلِكَ لَهُ، فَأَرْسَلَ إِلَيْهِ فَأَقَرَّ بِهِ، فَقَالَ: أَبِكْرٌ أَمْ ثَيِّبٌ؟ قَالَ: بِكْرٌ، فَجَلَدَهُ مِائَةً، وَنَفَاهُ إِلَى فَدَكَ، قَالَ: ثُمَّ إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ تَزَوَّجَ الْمَرْأَةَ بَعْدُ.………

 

Ali said: ‘Such is the narration by Mohammad Ibn Is-haq from Nafi’i from Ibn ‘Umar, while Ubeidi-Lahi bin ‘Umar has gone contrary to his account in terms of both sanad and wordings. Ali said: “We have been told by Yahya bin Sa’id, we have been told by ‘Ubeidi-Lahi, Nafi’i has told me from Safiyya (Bint Abi ‘Ubeid): that a man welcomed another. He (the guest) deflowered his sister (His host’s sister). Her brother came to Abu Bakr Al-Sidq (May Allah be pleased with him) and mentioned it to him. He (Abu Bakr) ordered that the man should be brought before him. The man confessed. He (Abu Bakr) asked: ‘Was she virgin or deflowered already’. He said: ‘She was virgin’. He (Abu Bakr) flogged him with a hundred stripes and exiled them to Fadak. He said: ‘Then after that the man married the woman.[3]

Here is a number of points which show the existence of contradiction of the sanads as well as the wordings of this account as Al-Bayhaqi’s teacher pointed out:

  1. While Muhammad bin Is-haq relates this account from Ibn ‘Umar, Ubaidi-Lah relates it from Nafi’i from Safiyya bint Abi ‘Ubaeid which shows that there is a contradiction in the chain of transmitters (Sanads) of the account.
  2. The former account clearly states that the post-fornication marriage took place on the order or at least under the supervision of Abu Bakr himself as it says: “Then he (Abu Bakr) coupled them together in a marriage”, whereas from another account we learn that though the marriage took place but it is not necessarily understood that it took place on the order of Abu Bakr or even under his supervision.
  3. Yet another point of contradiction lies in the fact that while one narrative insists that the guest committed fornication with the daughter of his host, another narrative states that the guest committed fornication with the sister of his host rather than with his daughter.

Such contradiction in the chain of transmitters as well as in the wordings of the account make it unreliable. It is for this reason that the opponents of the idea of post-fornication or post-adultery marriage have decided to disregard it and instead depend on the Qur-an and other accounts to prove their idea on the subject. The following article will discuss their evidence.

 

To be followed by Article no. 4

Juma Al-Mazrui

 

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[1] – Ibn Hazm Al-Muhalla Vol. 11, p. 35.

[2] – Al-Bayhaqi Al-Kubra Vol. no. 12, p. 441, tradition no. 17447. Note that there is a slight disparity of narration between Al-Bayhaqi and others in that some wordings found in the account by Al-Bayhaqi are different from the wordings found in the narration of the same account by others. This disparity in narration, as seen, has in the long run brought about a significant difference in meaning.

[3] – Al-Bayhaqi Al-Kubra Vol. 12, p. 441, Tradition no. 17447.

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