Musa alaihis-salaam and the Angel of Death | 2

by The Albaani Blog


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Is the Hadith about Musa alaihis-salaam knocking out the eye
of the Angel of Death authentic?

The hadith about Musa’s عليه السلام striking the Angel of Death has been reported by Imaam Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahihs from Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “ The Angel of Death came to Musa عليه الصلاة والسلام and said, ‘Answer your Lord …’” i.e., give me yourself and your soul.

So Musa’s عليه السلام response was nothing but to strike him with that hit which took his eye out. The Angel returned, the Angel of Death, returned to his Lord and said, “O Lord! You sent me to a servant who hates death.”

Allaah said to him, “Go back to him and say, ‘Indeed your Lord says to you, ‘Place your hand on the skin of a bull, and you will have as many years [to live] as come under your fingers.’’’”

The Angel of Death went back to Musa عليه السلام and said what he had been ordered to say by his Lord. So Musa said, ‘And what is there after that?’ He replied, ‘Death.’ Thus he said, ‘So let it be now then.’ At that time the Angel of Death took Musa’s soul عليه السلام.

Our Prophet صلوات الله وسلامه عليه said, “If I were there …” i.e., the place where the Angel of Death took the soul of Musa, “I would have shown you his grave near the red sandhill.” This is the text of the hadith in the two Sahihs.

Now the answer requires that I speak about more than one matter. The first is that it is [now] clear after having related this hadith [and seeing that it is] in the two Sahihs that the one who declared it to be weak is [in fact] weak [himself].

That is because he has spoken without knowledge and is from those numerous people who give authority to their intellects, if not their desires, in passing judgement over authentic hadiths [declaring them] to be weak, maybe even saying they are fabricated.

What is their proof for the weakness or fabrication which they have alleged exists? It is the fact that they have set up their intellects as judge, and followed their desires.

“But if the Truth had followed their inclinations, the heavens and the earth and whoever is in them would have been ruined.” [Mu’minoon 23:71]

And that is because faith is weak in the breasts of many people even if they be from those who associate themselves with knowledge. This is from one angle.

From another angle [we can say] that they have not studied the Sunnah in a conscious manner which takes the paths of narration of the hadith into consideration and which removes some of the difficulties that may occur with some people.

So we have clarified that the one who said the hadith is weak is in fact [himself] the one who is weak because he, firstly, opposed the two Imaams who produced the two books which they called The Sahihs and which are, by the unanimous agreement of the Imaams of the Sunnah, the most authentic books after the Book of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High: Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

And not only that, but the Ummah also met them with acceptance, and for this reason no one from the scholars of hadith who were from the ranks of Bukhari and Muslim spoke with any criticism of the hadiths which have come in the two Sahihs. So all of these hadith are established with certainty from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, thus, we do not give any weight to whoever declares a hadith such as this to be weak whatever his status may be or whatever the people may think of his knowledge.