By Hani al-Tarabulsi al-Shafi’i
Some persons like to attack Abu Huraira (raa) like westerners(Christians/Atheists) and their allies The Twelver Shias. Here’s an interesting Defense/Argument.
A- Main Argument:
How can he narrate 5000 Hadiths in two years? Yet the Quran is 6236 verses which was revealed in approximately 20 years.
To point out a few things quickly:
It is known and accepted even by non-Muslims that 1400 years ago people depended on their memory other than writings. (i.e. Liturgical based, not textually based societies). One of the conditions for a person who narrates the hadith is that he has such strong memory. It is strange that a Muslim would deny what the non-Muslims are not able to deny.
Sometimes they ask:
How do you know that Abu Huraira (ra) accompanied the Prophet (saw) for only 2-3 years? We don’t trust the hadiths, so why should we trust the one which says that?
Pertaining to the Quranic verses, the Quran was not revealed every day , 6236 verses of Quran means an average of 20 verses per month.
It is well known and should be noted that Abu Huraira (ra) was a narrator/ collector of Hadiths which is not something most companions took part in as they had their own businesses, he himself answered this question when he was asked. He said that he was one of “ahl elsofaa”. These people used to live in the mosque, so he was almost with the Prophet (saw) every day, 5374 hadiths means an average of 5 per day which is not too much for the Prophet (saw) spent most of his time in the mosque teaching people.
He narrated 5000+ Hadith right? wWell many of them weren’t Hadiths they were just descriptions of things he saw, such as what the Prophet (saw) was wearing, eating etc…
If you spend an entire year with me and pay attention to what I say and record it then you are sure to get much much more than 5000 Hadiths.
The main point is that everything Abdul Rahman Abu Huraira (ra) narrated, was also narrated by other companions with other chains except for around 10 Hadiths. Therefore it is logically impossible that he made up 5000 hadiths and somehow other companions also made up the exact same 5000. (Unless you’re Shia and have a vivid imagination).
Memorizing 5000 things about Muhammad (saw) in 2 years isn’t something amazing, people memorized the Quran and the Tafseers & Hadiths with their narrators in 1-2 years, it’s not even a big deal when compared to those people of his time. However in our time, this feat is absolutely amazing.
Abu Bakr (ra) for example narrated more than Abu Huraira (ra) per-year but he died earlier and the companions don’t necessarily narrate all that they know just randomly and without any occasion. Also not all narrations narrated by companions reach us many could have narrated more than him but it never reached us today, at least not with correct isnad (chain of narration)..
Research was done by the respected Dr. Muhammad Abdo Yamani.
According to his research the number of days Abu Huraira (ra) spent with the Prophet (saw) is:
1460+ days and if we place the number of Hadiths he narrated based on the number of days, we reach the conclusion that he narrated 3 and a half hadiths per day.
365 in each 100 days…so it’s not strange that he memorized this many narrations.
Also the research shows that around 800 Companions and followers narrated from him and all of them are known to be trustworthy. The important part of the research is when these Hadiths are inserted to the PC (personal computer) and into the 6 most important books of the muslims, the research showed that the number was 5374 Hadiths.
Then the computer calculated the Hadiths which are repeated and the number was 4074. Basically the Hadiths he narrated in the six books are 1300 only and the rest are just the same Hadith printed 6 times in the six books.
And when this number of Hadith was tracked, the research proved that almost all hadith he narrated have been narrated by several other chains from other companions, so he didn’t make them up. Then a process of deletion was applied and they realised only around 10 Hadiths which are exclusively narrated by him are “Ahad”. If he was to fabricate something then it had to be one of these 10.
The respected scholar/researcher Diya’a ul Deen Al A’azami also contributed to this research with lots of detailed and accurate data.
Then the research was taken to the next stage. It moved from six books to nine books, in all we get 8960 Hadiths from Abu Huraira (ra) & 8510 with a continuous/full fhain of narrators and 450 without it.
The same process as stage one was applied again here and the number of Hadiths which he narrated has become 1475 Hadiths.
Other companions narrated these Hadiths with him. So when those Hadiths were deleted we realized that Abu Huraira (ra) only narrated 253 Hadiths with repetitions in the various books. They removed the repetitions and concluded that the Hadiths narrated ONLY by Abu Huraira (ra) in the books are ONLY 42 Hadiths exclusive to him and if there is to be a lie like his enemies (Westerners and Shias) say it should be amongst these 42.
And from here we realize that this entire accusation that he narrated 8000 or 5000 Hadiths on his own is just an innocent, weak, unverified argument used by the westerners (christians mainly) and Shia.
And many of these aren’t even narrations they are just descriptions of how the Prophet (saw) dressed or what he ate or how some affairs were concluded etc…
C- The Twelver Shiites:
They used to narrate Hadiths about Imamah from him, either they are liars and are making these Hadiths up to prove Imamah OR They got to believe that Abu Huraira (ra) is a good person because he narrates the Virtues of Ali (ra) and tells the people of his Imamah.
Here’s an Example:
أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: كنت عند النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، وأبي بكر، وعمر، والفضل بن العباس، وزيد بن حارثة، وعبدالله بن مسعود، إذ دخل الحسين بن علي رضي الله عنهم أجمعين، فأخذه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، وقال: يا حسين، أنت الإمام ابن الإمام أبو الأئمة، تسعة من ولدك أئمة أبرار، فقال له عبدالله بن مسعود: ما هؤلاء الأئمة الذين ذكرتهم في صلب الحسين؟ فأطرق ملياً ثم رفع رأسه، فقال: يا عبدالله، سألت عظيماً ولكني أخبرك أن ابني هذا -ووضع يده على كتف الحسين- يخرج من صلبه ولد مبارك سميّ جده علي، يُسمى: العابد ونور الزهاد، ويخرج الله من علي ولداً اسمه اسمي، وأشبه الناس بي، يبقر العلم بقراً، وينطق بالحق، ويأمر بالصواب، ويخرج الله من صلبه كلمة الحق ولسان الصدق، فقال له ابن مسعود: فما اسمه يا رسول الله؟ قال: يقال له: جعفر، صادق في قولـه وفعله، الطاعن عليه كالطاعن علي، والراد عليه كالراد علي، ثم دخل حسان بن ثابت وأنشد في رسول الله شعراً وانقطع الحديث، فلما كان من الغد صلَّى بنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، ثم دخل بيت عائشة ودخلنا معه أنا وعلي بن أبي طالب وعبدالله بن العباس، وكان صلى الله عليه وسلم من دأبه إذا سُئِلَ أجاب، وإذا لم يسأل ابتدأ، فقلت له: بأبي أنت وأمي يا رسول الله، ألا تخبرني بباقي الخلفاء من صلب الحسين؟ قال: نعم يا أبا هريرة -ثم ذكر بقية الأئمة- فقال له علي بن أبي طالب: بأبي أنت وأمي يا رسول الله، من هؤلاء الذين ذكرتهم؟ قال: يا علي، أسامي الأوصياء من بعدك، والعترة الطاهرة، والذرية المباركة، ثم قال صلى الله عليه وسلم: والذي نفس محمد بيده، لو أن رجلاً عبد الله ألف عام ثم ألف عام ما بين الركن والمقام، ثم أتاني جاحداً لولايتهم لأكبه الله في النار كائناً من كان
Abu Huraira (ra) said: I was at the Prophet’s (saw) house and so was Abu Bakr (ra), Umar (ra), and Mufaddal bin al Abbas 9ra) and Zaid bin Harithah (ra) and Abdullah bin Masood (ra), then al Huissein entered. Then the Prophet (saw) said: You Are The Imam son of The Imam and the father of The Imams, nine of your children are pious Imams …(After a long narration)… Then the prophet PBUH said: I swear by Allah if a man worships Allah a thousand years between al Rukn and al Maqam and he comes to me while denying your Imamah Then Allah will throw him in the Fire whoever he is.
Source: Bihar al Anwar 36/312, Kifayat al Athar 11.
فعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه: خطبنا رسول الله: معاشر الناس، من أراد أن يحيا حياتي، ويموت ميتتي، فليتول علي بن أبي طالب وبقية الأئمة من بعده، فقيل: يا رسول الله، فكم الأئمة بعدك؟
Abu Huraira (ra) narrated: Prophet Muhammad (saw) in his sermon told us: O People! He who wants to live like Me and die like Me then he should take Ali (ra) as his Wali and the rest of the Imams after him, so they said: O Prophet (saw) and how many Imams after you?
Source: Kifayat al Athar 12, bihar al Anwar 36/314, Ithbat al hudat 1/581-670, Al manaqib 1/301, muntakhab al Athar 47,55.
أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: من صام يوم ثمانية عشر من ذي الحجة كتب الله له صيام ستين شهراً وهو يوم غدير خم، لما أخذ رسول الله بيد علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه وقال..، وذكر القصة ونزول آية الإكمال
Abu Huraira (ra) narrated: He who fasts the 18th of thu al Hijjah, Allah will give him the reward of fasting 60 months and it is The Day of Ghadeer Khum, When the Prophet (saw) took Ali (ra) by the hand and said …(You know the rest).
Source: Amali al Saduq 12, Bihar al Anwar 37/108 & 97/110.