Did the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) have a shadow?

Google
Search WWW Search www.central-mosque.com


Question: Did the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) have a shadow?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Before answering your question, it is worth remembering, that the aspect of whether the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) possessed a shadow or otherwise is a secondary issue, and not something that should be made a matter of great debate and dispute, neither is an individual’s faith (iman) dependent upon it. 

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) had many miracles, of which some are rigorously authenticated and well-known in the various verses of the Qur’an & Hadith collections, such as his ascension to the heavens (me’raj), splitting of the moon, water pouring out from his blessed fingers, increasing of food, the Qur’an and others. 

On the other hand, there are certain miracles that are not proven with such authenticity or with strong chains of transmission (isnad). Rather, some chains of transmission for some reports are extremely weak, and even fabricated. 

Keeping the above in mind, we come to the aspect of whether the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) possessed a shadow or not. There are apparently conflicting reports with regards to this, and there is nothing absolutely clear that determines whether he had a shadow or otherwise. Some reports indicate that he (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not possess a shadow, whereas others indicate that he did have one. 

Zakwan (a ta’bi’i) narrates that the shadow of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not show in the sun nor did it became apparent in the moonlight.” (Recorded by al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi (and not the famous Hadith master Imam Abu Eisa al-Tirmidhi) in his Nawadir al-Usul. See: al-Khasa’is al-Kubrah of Imam Suyuti, 1/164)

The chain of transmission of this report is considered by many scholars of Hadith to be extremely weak (dha’if), and also, it does not go back to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), in that it is a statement of a student of a sahabi known as a Ta’bi’i. A report of such kind is termed as Maqtu’. One must also remember that this narration is not recorded by the famous Imam Tirmidhi in his Sunan collection (as some people believe); rather it has been recorded by a great 3rd century scholar of Tasawwuf and Islamic thought (fikr) known as Abu Abd Allah Muhammad al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi in his Nawadir al-usul fi ma’rifat ahadith al-rasul wherein he gathered various narrations pertaining to different aspects of Deen.

Imam al-Zurqani also states that Imams Ibn al-Jawzi and Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak have reported on the authority of Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not have a shadow. (See: Sharh al-Zurqani, 7/200) 

Due to the above and other such reports, some scholars declared that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not possess a shadow. Scholars such as Imam al-Suyuti (Allah have mercy on him) in his Khasa’il al-Kubra, Qadhi Iyadh al-Maliki in his al-Shifa’, Imam al-Zurqani, Shaykh Abd al-Haq Muhaddith al-Dehalwi in his Madarij al-Nubuwwah (Allah have mercy on them all) declared that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not possess a shadow. 

Qadhi Iyadh al-Maliki (Allah have mercy on him) states: 

“The statement which has been made regarding the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) not possessing a shadow in the brightness of the sun or in the moonlight, is due to the fact that he was light (nur).” (al-Shifa, p. 462, no. 1126) 

On the other hand, there are some narrations that indicate that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did possess a shadow. 

Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that once while the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was on a journey, the camel of his wife Sayyida Safiyya (Allah be pleased with her) fell ill. However, his other wife Sayyida Zaynab (Allah be pleased with her) had an extra camel. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said to Sayyida Zaynab: “The camel of Safiyya has become ill, can you lend her your extra camel?” She replied: “should I give that Jew?” (Sayyida Safiyyah was originally a Jew). So, (upon hearing this, the Messenger of Allah became upset and) deserted her for two or three months and he would not come to her…. She says: “Until one day, at midday, I could see the shadow of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) approaching…..” (Musnad Ahmad, 6/132) 

Sayyidduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, one night the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) led us in prayer, and whilst in prayer he stretched out his hand and then pulled it back. We said: “O Messenger of Allah! We saw you doing something in prayer that we have not seen you do before.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Indeed, Paradise was presented before me, and I saw in it, fruits that were low and near. I intended to take one but was told to holdback, thus I held back. Then Hell was presented before me until I saw my and your shadow in it, thus I gestured to you to move back.” (Mustadrak al-Hakim, 4/456 & authenticated by Imam al-Dhahabi) 

Thus, we can see that there are apparently contradicting narrations with regards to this issue. It could be so (and Allah knows best) that at times the shadow of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was visible and at times it was not. However, there is nothing clear to substantiate this.

Finally, I would like to reiterate that, this issue is not a fundamental part of one’s belief. When the scholars of Islamic Creed (aqidah) discuss the miracles of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) in their respective books, they do not even mention this issue. Also, the status and rank of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) will not increase by him not having a shadow, neither will it decrease if his did possess one. Therefore, arguments and disputes must be avoided in this regard.

One may believe that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not possess a shadow and there is nothing wrong in believing this, for many scholars (as mentioned earlier) did have this opinion. At the same time, if one did not believe this due to the other narrations indicating that he did have a shadow, then there is nothing wrong in that also. It is not a matter of belief and disbelief, or Sunnah and Bid’a, and one will not be asked regarding this on the Day of Judgment (qiyama). We need to concentrate on the more immediate aspects of Deen, which is to practically follow and implement the ways of the best of creation, our beloved & Master, the Messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings be upon him).

And Allah Knows Best

Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK
www.daruliftaa.org

Article taken (with Thanks) from Daruliftaa.org


 

Browse Central-Mosque.com
Home
What's new!
Quran
Sunnah
Aqeedah
Fiqh
History
Local Mosque
Comparative Religions
Matrimonials
Guest Book
Signs and Prophesies
Ask a scholar
Links
Guest Book
We regularly update this site so visit us frequently

Change your scrollbar color.
Red | Orange | Yellow | Green | Blue

Copyright 2003-2004 Central-Mosque.com All rights reserved.
Comments and suggestions to webmaster@central-mosque.com

This page was last updated on June 14, 2003 .