Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Category: Nasbul-Majaaneeq – The Story of the Cranes

A Refutation of The Story of the Cranes | Opening Remarks | 2 |


[See here for the first part.]

Before I begin listing the story’s narrations, I feel I must make a [brief] remark in order to complete the benefits to be gained from this book, so I say:

This story has been mentioned by the scholars of tafsir for The Most High’s Statement:

وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٖ وَلَا نَبِيٍّ إِلَّآ إِذَا تَمَنَّىٰٓ أَلۡقَى ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ فِيٓ أُمۡنِيَّتِهِۦ فَيَنسَخُ ٱللَّهُ مَا يُلۡقِي ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ ثُمَّ يُحۡكِمُ ٱللَّهُ ءَايَٰتِهِۦۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٞ ٥٢ لِّيَجۡعَلَ مَا يُلۡقِي ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ فِتۡنَةٗ لِّلَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٞ وَٱلۡقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُمۡۗ وَإِنَّ ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ لَفِي شِقَاقِۢ بَعِيدٖ ٥٣ وَلِيَعۡلَمَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡعِلۡمَ أَنَّهُ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَيُؤۡمِنُواْ بِهِۦ فَتُخۡبِتَ لَهُۥ قُلُوبُهُمۡۗ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَهَادِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٖ مُّسۡتَقِيمٖ

“And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke [or recited], Satan threw into it [some misunderstanding]. But Allaah abolishes that which Satan throws in, then Allaah makes precise His verses, and Allaah is Knowing and Wise. [That is] so He may make what Satan throws in [i.e., asserts] a trial for those within whose hearts is a disease and those hard of heart, and indeed, the wrongdoers are in extreme dissension. And so that those who were given knowledge may know that it is the truth from your Lord and [therefore] believe in it, and their hearts humbly submit to it. And indeed is Allaah the Guide of those who have believed to a straight path.” [Al-Hajj 22:52-54]

And they have differed concerning the explanation of His Saying, “تَمَنَّىٰٓ” and “أُمۡنِيَّتِهِۦ”, and the best that has been said regarding them is that “تَمَنَّىٰٓ” is from [the word] “الأمنية” which means recitation, as the poet said about Uthmaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, when he was killed:

تمنى كتاب الله أول ليلة    وآخرها لاقى حِمام المقادر
He recited the Book of Allaah at the beginning of the night
And at its end did meet the appointed fate of death

Most of the scholars of Quranic exegesis and verifiers are of this opinion, and Ibn Kathir reported it from most of the scholars of tafsir. In fact, Ibn al-Qayyim attributed it to the Salaf without exception saying in Ighaathatul-Lahfaan1 (1/93), “And the Salaf, all of them, hold that the meaning is: when he recited, the Devil threw [some misunderstanding/things not from it] into [في] his recitation.” And al-Qurtubi explained it in his tafsir, saying, (12/83), “And Sulaimaan ibn Harb said, ‘Indeed [the preposition] ‘in/في’ means ‘at the time of/when,’ i.e.: the Devil threw [misunderstanding/things not from it] into the hearts of the disbelievers at the time of the Prophet’s recitation ﷺ; this is similar to [the use of the preposition ‘in/في’] in His Statement, the Mighty and Majestic:

وَلَبِثۡتَ فِينَا
“… and you remained among us …”[Shu’araa 26:18]

i.e., [the preposition ‘in/في’ in the above verse means] ‘‘among’ us,’ and this is the meaning of what Ibn Atiyyah related from his father from the scholars of the East and al-Qaadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi indicated it too.”

Abu Bakr’s statements shall be mentioned in their due place, if Allaah the Most High wills, and what we have stated in terms of the explanation of the verse is what Imaam Ibn Jarir chose, who said, after what he reported from a group of the Salaf, (17/121), “And this statement is the most correct explanation of the verse, shown by the Most High’s Saying:

فَيَنسَخُ ٱللَّهُ مَا يُلۡقِي ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ ثُمَّ يُحۡكِمُ ٱللَّهُ ءَايَٰتِهِۦۗ
“But Allaah abolishes that which Satan throws in, then Allaah makes precise His verses …”  [Al-Hajj 22:52]

because there is no doubt that the verses which Allaah جل ثناؤه makes precise are those of His Revelation, based upon this it is known that what Shaitaan threw into them is what He تعالى ذكره said He abolished and nullified, and by annulling them He made them [i.e., His verses] precise.

So the explanation is:

“And We did not send any messenger or prophet before you except that when he recited and read the Book of Allaah or narrated and spoke, the Devil threw [things not from it in] amongst the Book of Allaah which he [i.e., the Prophet] was reciting and reading, or into his speech which he was narrating and uttering, and so Allaah would, with His Speech, abolish whatever the Devil threw: [i.e.,] Allaah would eliminate whatever it was the Devil threw [doing so] upon the tongue of His Prophet and would nullify it.”

This is the noble verse’s intended meaning and it contains, as you can see, nothing except the fact that at the time of the Prophet’s recital ﷺ the Devil throws forward that which causes those in whose hearts is a disease to be put to trial.

But nothing satisfies the enemies of the religion who sit in wait at every path and lurk in the shadows at each and every place of ambush against it, except to thrust into it things that aren’t from it, and which His Messenger did not say. And as you will soon see in the forthcoming narrations, they mentioned that which is not becoming of the rank of Prophethood and Messengership—and that is their habit of old.

Just as they did with more than one verse concerning other Prophets apart from him ﷺ like Dawud, Sulaimaan and Yusuf عليهم الصلاة والسلام, where when explaining the verses about them they reported Israiliyaat narrations which it is not even permissible to attribute to a [regular] Muslim let alone a revered Prophet, and this can be seen in the relevant parts in the books of tafsir and stories.

So beware, O Muslim, of being deceived by any of that and as a result ending up amongst those destroyed, and, “Leave that which causes you to doubt for that which does not cause you to doubt,” as your Prophet ﷺ said.

وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَهَادِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٖ مُّسۡتَقِيمٖ
“And indeed is Allaah the Guide of those who have believed to a straight path.”[Al-Hajj 22:53]

1 See the Al-Maktab al-Islami and Daar al-Khaani prints, checked by Dr. Muhammad Afifi, 2nd edition, 1/150.

A Refutation of The Story of the Cranes | Introduction | 1 |


 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

All praise is due to Allaah Who chose our Prophet over all of mankind and protected  him from the Devil ever inspiring evil to him; He, the Most High, addressing the accursed Iblees, said:

إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيۡسَ لَكَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ سُلۡطَٰنٌ إِلَّا مَنِ ٱتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡغَاوِينَ
“Indeed, My servants—no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators.” [Al-Hijr 15:42]

In fact He, the Most High, gave him ﷺ control over his devil-companion [Al-Qareen], so what is the case with those who are far removed from Him? As the saying of His noble Messenger ﷺ indicated, “There is not one among you except that Allaah has appointed a companion for him from the Jinn.”  They said, “Even you, O Messenger of Allaah?”  He said, “Even me, but Allaah helped me with him, and he became a Muslim, so he only tells me to do good.”1

And may Allaah send praise upon Muhammad, who Allaah the Most High gave power to over Iblees such that he was almost about to strangle him to death, and he had intended to tie him to one of the pillars of Medina’s Mosque2, and [may He also send prayers] upon his family, Companions and whoever seeks guidance by following him up until the Day of Judgement.

A scholar from our dear brothers in Pakistan who was sent there for some academic purpose wrote to me on 14/7/1952 asking for my opinion concerning the hadith of the cranes [Gharaaneeq] about which two great Haafidhs, Ibn Kathir the Damascene and Ibn Hajr the Egyptian, differed, the first rejected it and the second declared it to be a strong hadith; and he requested that I not refrain from giving him an answer. So I spent some months waiting for the opportunity to be able to respond to his request.

After the Eed al-Adhaa prayer this year, 1371 AH, a beloved brother met me and then also asked me about the hadith of the Gharaaneeq, thus I answered him telling him that it was not authentic but rather false and fabricated. He then mentioned a youth to me, someone in whose heart is a disease, who used that hadith to show that the Prophet ﷺ used to—and far be it from him—say things to please the polytheists to draw them to himself, because according to this youth’s false assumption he was not a true Prophet but only pretending to be one in order to take a position of authority over them, a point some of the infidels of times past and present used to praise excessively without reason.

So that led me to make good the opportunity of the aforementioned Eed and I began, whilst trusting in Allaah the Most Ghafoor, to gather the paths of narration of that story from the books of Quranic exegesis [tafsir] and hadith, clarifying their hidden defects both in the text and the chains of narration. I then made mention of al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar’s statement strengthening those hadiths and followed that up with what clarifies the invalidity of the result he came to, and then commented on that with a mention of pieces of research and reports from some of the eminent Imaams, those of great scrutiny in subsidiary issues and the fundamentals, which support the conclusion I came to concerning the dubiousness of the story and its futility and the obligation of rejecting it and not accepting it, believing in the Most High’s Statement:

لِّتُؤۡمِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَتُعَزِّرُوهُ وَتُوَقِّرُوهُۚ وَتُسَبِّحُوهُ بُكۡرَةٗ وَأَصِيلًا
“That you [people] may believe in Allaah and His Messenger and honor him and respect him [i.e., the Messenger] and exalt Him [i.e., Allaah] morning and afternoon.” [Al-Fath 48:9]

And so came about a treatise unique in its field, strong in its subject matter, removing the confusion of the believing brother and destroying the doubt of the harebrained apostate, and I have called it:

‘Mounting the Ballista to Decimate the Story of the Cranes.’

I ask Allaah the Most High, to make it sincerely for Him and that He accepts it from me as a defense of His Prophet, and that He stores its reward for me for the day when we will be in the utmost need of his intercession:

يَوۡمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٞ وَلَا بَنُونَ إِلَّا مَنۡ أَتَى ٱللَّهَ بِقَلۡبٖ سَلِيمٖ
“The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children.
But only one who comes to Allaah with a sound heart.”
[Ash-Shu’araa 26:88-89]

Indeed He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Damascus, on 2/1/1372 AH, 21/9/1952.
Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani.


1
 Reported by Ahmad, nos. 3647, 3778, 3801 and 4393 of the Maktab al-Islami print, and Muslim 8/139, by way of Ibn Mas’ood. [Sahih Muslim, Darussalam Print, vol. 7, p. 215, no. 7108]
2 This has been reported in Sahih al-Bukhari, 3/62 in Ibn Hajar’s Sharh, Muslim 2/72 and others.

See here for the second part.

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