Granted or Not Yet? Solving Anachronism in Abu Sufyan’s Marriage Proposal for the Prophet



This article examines a hadith in Sahih Muslim that records three requests made by Abu Sufyan to the Prophet ﷺ, focusing on a historical anachronism surrounding Abu Sufyan’s proposal of his daughter Umm Habiba. The study analyses the isnad, mentions past explanations, and highlights the shortcomings of each. A compelling explanation proposed by a contemporary hadith scholar is presented and supported by additional evidence. By cross-referencing other hadith reports and biographical data, the article seeks to identify the intended subject of Abu Sufyan’s proposal. The objective is to provide an accurate historical context while reconciling the apparent discrepancy in the hadith, contributing to the scholarly discourse on the subject.

1. Introduction

A hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim and some other works has been controversial for over a millennium. The wording in Sahih Muslim is as follows:

حدثني عباس بن عبد العظيم العنبري، وأحمد بن جعفر المعقري، قالا: حدثنا النضر وهو ابن محمد اليمامي، حدثنا عكرمة، حدثنا أبو زميل، حدثني ابن عباس، قال: كان المسلمون لا ينظرون إلى أبي سفيان ولا يقاعدونه، فقال للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: يا نبي الله ثلاث أعطنيهن، قال: «نعم» قال: عندي أحسن العرب وأجمله، أم حبيبة بنت أبي سفيان، أزوجكها، قال: «نعم» قال: ومعاوية، تجعله كاتبا بين يديك، قال: «نعم» قال: وتؤمرني حتى أقاتل الكفار، كما كنت أقاتل المسلمين، قال: «نعم» قال أبو زميل: ولولا أنه طلب ذلك من النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ما أعطاه ذلك، لأنه لم يكن يسأل شيئا إلا قال: «نعم»

The widely circulated translation of the hadith goes as follows.

Ibn Abbas reported that the Muslims neither looked to Abu Sufyan (with respect) nor did they sit in his company. He (Abu Sufyan) said to Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ): Allah’s Apostle, confer upon me three things. He replied in the affirmative. He (further) said: I have with me the most handsome and the best (woman) Umm Habiba, daughter of Abu Sufyan; marry her, whereupon he said: Yes. And he again said: Accept Mu’awiya to serve as your scribe. He said: Yes. He again said: Make me the commander (of the Muslim army) so that I should fight against the unbelievers as I fought against the Muslims. He said: Yes. Abu Zumail said: If he had not asked for these three things from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), he would have never conferred them upon him, for it was (his habit) to accede to everybody’s (earnest) request.[1]

This translation represents the interpretation of the hadith, which has been a subject of considerable intellectual debate. It implies that the Prophet (ﷺ) granted Abu Sufyan all three requests. However, one of these requests, namely the marriage with Umm Habiba, had already occurred years before. In contrast, the other request, appointing Abu Sufyan as a commander in a military campaign, never materialised. Consequently, this situation has led to a group of scholars criticising the report, contradicting the general agreement among traditional scholars that all hadith reports in Sahih Muslim are authentic. On the other hand, some have cited this among the reports in Sahih Muslim that they thought were not sound.[2] This paper examines the various contentions surrounding this hadith and explores the interpretations proposed by traditional scholarship to address the critiques.

2. Analysis of Isnad (Chain of Narrators)

As Ibn ‘Abbas (d. 68/687 ) reported, the narration comes through his student Abu Zumail. Except in a narration of it with al-Tabarani, it is always Ikrima b. ‘Ammar (d. 159/776), who relates it from Abu Zumail. The other link recorded by al-Tabarani has one Isma‘il b. Mirsal relating it from Abu Zumail.[3] From ‘Ikrima b. Ammar’s student al-Nadr b. Muhammad al-Yamami, at least five people narrated this report.[4]

Regarding the chain of narrators, the attention is particularly drawn to ‘Ikrima b. Ammar and Abu Zumail. While Abu Zumail (d. circa 120/) is generally considered a reliable narrator without any specific concerns, [5]  reservations have been raised about the reports attributed to ‘Ikrima from peculiar sources. It should be noted that ‘Ikrima was considered a reliable narrator, except for his narration from Yahya b. Abi Kathir, in which case he was known to have become confounded.[6] Although some have invoked this observation in the discussion about the hadith,[7] it is irrelevant here since ‘Ikrima did not narrate this particular report from Yahya b. Abi Kathir. Therefore, there is no significant observation regarding the chain of narrators that justifies disregarding the report.

Indeed, Abu Hatim has acknowledged that ‘Ikrima occasionally made inadvertent mistakes in his narrations.[8] However, it is essential to have specific indications regarding the occurrence and extent of such an inadvertence. To ascertain whether there are any such indications, we thoroughly analyse the content and delve into the contentions surrounding it.

3. Identifying Anachronism in the Proposal Mention

There are several points of significance in the report around which the contentions revolve. The most significant of these is about the first of the requests Abu Sufyan made to the Prophet (ﷺ) in offering his daughter for the Prophet (ﷺ) to marry. It is agreed that the Prophet (ﷺ) had married Umm Habiba, whose real/given name was Ramla, many years before the conquest of Makkah (i.e., the year 8/630), following which Abu Sufyan made this request.  The marriage had been solemnised in absentia while she was in Abyssinia,[9] and there is no difference of opinion about it.[10] Abu Sufyan had known it and made a witty remark acknowledging the compatibility of the marriage when he learnt of it.[11] Moreover, he had visited Umm Habiba in Madina when he was trying in vain to make up for the violation of the peace treaty by the Quraish’s allies, which led to the conquest of Makkah.[12]

4. Traditional Explanations and Their Limitations

Given this, it is only logical to wonder whether Abu Sufyan could again ask the Prophet (ﷺ) to marry his wife, Umm Habiba.[13]

4.1 Re-solemnizing the Marriage

Several suggestions have been made; he meant to solemnise the marriage afresh and give her to the Prophet (ﷺ) again. This time betrothing Umm Habiba himself. It being a far-fetched suggestion is, nevertheless, evident as there is no such suggestion in the wording of the hadith, nor is there any indication of such an occurrence in any other report. [14]

4.2 Proposal was for Another Daughter of Abu Sufyan

Another way to circumvent the difficulty is that Abu Sufyan meant to offer the Prophet (ﷺ) another of his daughters in marriage. But the report mentions the name, Umm Habiba. On this, it has been argued that another of Abu Sufyan was also called Umm Habiba by way of kunya. Or that some narrator has inadvertently mentioned the name. Perhaps it was ‘Ikrima b. ‘Ammar, for we know that prolific hadith critic Abu Hatim had observed that he would sometimes make such errors. This explanation was supported by another hadith in which Umm Habiba had proposed to her sister to the Prophet (ﷺ). Still, the Prophet (ﷺ) had naturally declined, stating that it was unlawful for him to have two sisters in marriage together.

أن أم حبيبة، قالت: قلت يا رسول الله، انكح أختي بنت أبي سفيان، قال: «وتحبين؟» قلت: نعم، لست لك بمخلية، وأحب من شاركني في خير أختي، فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: «إن ذلك لا يحل لي»


Narrated Um Habiba: I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Marry my sister. the daughter of Abu Sufyan.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Do you like that?” I replied, “Yes, for even now, I am not your only wife, and I like that my sister should share the good with me.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “But that is not lawful for me. (i.e., to be married to two sisters at a time.)”[15]

Accordingly, some scholars have preferred this interpretation of the hadith. Ibn Kathir, who had compiled a monograph on the issue, also found this compelling.[16]

This makes good sense, but there is another problem. The report, we are told, says the Prophet (ﷺ) had responded to Abu Sufyan’s request in the affirmative. This is, in fact, an even bigger problem. How is that when Umm Habiba pressed the idea of the Prophet (ﷺ) marrying her sister, the Prophet (ﷺ) declined, citing the prohibition, but when Abu Sufyan did it, the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Yes”?[17]

4.3 Assigning Blame to a Narrator

For this reason, many scholars have settled on seeing it as a mistake of some narrator rather than trying to come up with a trouble-free explanation.[18] Ibn Hazm (d. 456/1063) went too far and dubbed it a fabrication impugning ‘Ikrima b. Ammar for the fabrication.[19] Scholars such as ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi (d. 600/1203) and Ibn Salah (d. 643/1245) fiercely responded, highlighting that accusing a reliable narrator of fabrication was unjustified.[20] In any case, the absence of a solid explanation considering all the factors has been a cause of all the intellectual wrangling.[21]

5. Explanation by Muhammad ‘Awwama: The Prophet () Did Not Grant the Requests

However, a contemporary hadith giant, Muhammad ‘Awwama, has suggested an interpretation of the report that appears to resolve the long debate. He has penned a dedicated treatise on the subject.[22] Studying the opinions of hadith critics about ‘Ikrima b. ‘Ammar, he concludes that he was reliable and one like him cannot be accused of concocting stories.[23]

5.1 Understanding the Meaning of the Word “na’m.”

He then offers an ingenious explanation of the hadith. He says the word the Prophet (ﷺ) used in response to Abu Sufyan first after he said “grant me three things” and then after each of those requests, i.e., na‘m (ﷺ), does not mean ‘yes’ or an affirmation and confirmation.[24] Its meanings change with the speaker’s tone and context. In other words, it is more like “ok” in modern English, which expresses a range of meanings and feelings from agreement to difference, from a way of pausing, a sign of giving an ear, to use for changing the topic.

While Muhammad ‘Awwama, as an Arab, thought it obvious and evident, let’s also see a linguist confirming this.

Abu al-Baqa’ (d.1094/1683) writes:

وللنحاة فِي (نعم) ثَلَاثَة آرا:

أَحدهَا: أَنَّهَا بَاقِيَة على معنى التَّصْدِيق لَكِنَّهَا تَصْدِيق لما بعْدهَا.

الثَّانِي: أَنَّهَا جَوَاب لغير مَذْكُور قدره الْمُتَكَلّم فِي اعْتِقَاده.

الثَّالِث: أَنَّهَا حرف تذكير لما بعْدهَا مسلوب عَنْهَا معنى التَّصْدِيق، وَلَا يبعد أَن تكون حرف اسْتِدْرَاك بِمَنْزِلَة (لَكِن)


The grammarians have mentioned three opinions regarding the meanings of the word na‘m (depending on its usage):

First: it affirms the meanings  ofwhat follows it.

Second: it is used by way of an implicit reply calibrated only in the speaker’s mind.

Third: it is a word denoting reception short of confirmation. In this sense, it may even be used like the interjection ‘but.’[25]

5.2 Application of the Meaning in the Hadith

The hadith has the Prophet (ﷺ) use the word na‘m four times. First, after Abu Sufyan stated that he wanted to make three requests and then after the requests. In response to each of the three requests, the Prophet (ﷺ), it seems, meant it only in the second sense. He was not confirming or agreeing to grant what Abu Sufyan was requesting.

The Prophet (ﷺ) meant it the same way when Abu Sufyan opened up the conversation by mentioning that he had three requests. Naturally, in that first case, the Prophet (ﷺ) would have meant to ask what Abu Sufyan wanted. Accordingly, a narration of the hadith changes the first na‘m to a question, “What are they (wa ma hiya)?”[26] This was indeed by way of narration by meaning, and comparing different narrations, we find out that it was done by Ahmad b. Yusuf al-Sulami (d. 264/878)[27] who was a reliable narrator known for his extraordinary comprehension abilities (wasi‘ al-fahm).[28]

Therefore, the upshot of this explanation is that the hadith does not mention the Prophet (ﷺ) affirming or granting Abu Sufyan’s requests. The narrated part of the conversation only says that the Prophet (ﷺ) had listened to Abu Sufyan’s three requests. As for his response to each of the requests, it was not related.  What Ahmad b. Yusuf al-Sulami discerned from the context for the first instance, however, that was not fully evident in the subsequent instances of the use of the word “na‘m” by the Prophet (ﷺ), and it gave way to objections and concerns that could not be fully settled.

Given this explanation, the hadith can be translated as follows.

Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Muslims would not look at Abü Sufyan nor sit with him. He said to the Prophet  (ﷺ): ‘O Prophet of Allah, give me three things.’ He said: ‘Ok, [what is it you want?].’ He said: ‘I have with me the most beautiful and best (woman) of the Arabs, Umm Habiba bint Abi Sufyan, and I will give her to you in marriage.’ He said: ‘Ok [what else].’ He said: ‘Make Mu‘wiyah your scribe.’ He said: ‘Ok, [and?].’ He said: ‘And appoint me as a commander so that I can fight the disbelievers as I used to fight the Muslims.’ He said: ‘Ok [we will see to it].’

5.3 Abu Sufyan’s Actual Request: What Did He Seek?

This makes the question of what exactly Abu Sufyan wanted; solemnise the marriage of Ramla Umm Habiba afresh or propose another daughter to the Prophet (ﷺ) somewhat irrelevant. However, Given Umm Habiba’s hadith, the latter looks more probable. While there are no authentic reports to confirm which of Abu Sufyan’s daughters was then proposed by him or Umm Habiba[29], it is interesting to note that some sources mention a daughter of Abu Sufyan called “Umm Habib” whose given name was Umaima (or Amina). She was first married to Huwaitib b. ‘Abd al-‘Uzza and subsequently to Safwan b. Umayya.[30] Perhaps she was meant here, and some narrator mixed up her name with Umm Habiba.

5.4 On the Significance of a Narrator’s Understanding

This interpretation is at odds with the understanding of a sub-narrator Abu Zumail who thought that Abu Sufyan’s requests were all granted. However, it is worth considering that a later scholar may gain a deeper understanding of a specific report than his predecessors, especially when he differs only with a sub-narrator like Abu Zumail, who was not an eyewitness.  This is particularly true when dealing with an isolated report, as the scholar may skillfully derive a more coherent meaning from it, all while ensuring consistency with other received information and without unsettling the understanding of other verses or hadith reports. This is per a saying of the Prophet (ﷺ), “Many a bearer of knowledge conveys it to one who is more versed than he is; many a bearer of knowledge is not versed in it.”[31]

6. The Other Two Requests of Abu Sufyan

As for the other two requests of Abu Sufyan, one was granted; Mu’awiya (d. 60/680) did become a scribe of the Prophet (ﷺ) and had the honour of transcribing the Qur’anic revelation.[32] As for the third request to command a military campaign, we have no information. Perhaps it never happened, though it has been reported that Abu Sufyan was appointed governor of Najran and held that responsibility when the Prophet (ﷺ) passed away.[33] Moreover, command of a military campaign could only be granted when all relevant factors allowed it. It is also relevant that soon after the conquest of Makkah, Abu Sufyan lost an eye during the campaign to Ta’if,[34] which might have influenced the prospects of granting this request.

7. Conclusion

Despite scholars’ attempts to explain the perceived anachronism in the hadith, none seem convincing. These explanations assume that the Prophet (ﷺ) had granted Abu Sufyan’s request for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Interestingly, even Abu Zumail, a student of Ibn ‘Abbas who narrated this hadith, believed that the Prophet (ﷺ) had agreed to Abu Sufyan’s request. Recently, the Syrian hadith scholar Muhammad ‘Awwama put forward a straightforward yet compelling interpretation that resolves this perplexity. To him, in the recorded portion of the conversation, the Prophet (ﷺ) merely listened to Abu Sufyan’s requests without granting any forthwith. The word “na’m” uttered by the Prophet (ﷺ) after each of Abu Sufyan’s requests is akin to the English term “Ok” and does not inherently mean acceptance or affirmation. It can also signify the other person’s engagement in the conversation without revealing their specific reaction.

Taking another hadith report into account, it becomes evident that Abu Sufyan had proposed another of his daughters to the Prophet (ﷺ). Although the narrations do not explicitly mention her identity, information from other sources suggests that she was Umm Habib. In reality, her actual name was Umaima (or Amina). The confusion arises from a narrator mistakenly interchanging the names Umm Habiba and Umm Habib, which has caused unending confusion. Naturally, the Prophet (ﷺ) did not entertain the proposal seriously because she was prohibited from marriage to the Prophet (ﷺ) as Umm Habiba was already married to him.

Notes & References:

[1] Muslim b. Hajjaj, al-Sahih, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 2016) Hadith 2501-168 (6409). The translation is by Abdul Hamid Siddiqui [Book 44, Hadith 240, or Book 31, Hadith 6095)

[2]  Ibn Taimiyya, Majmu‘a al-Fatawa, Vol.1, 257; Vol.17, 236; Vol.18, 73; Al-Qarshi, Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul Qadir, al-Jawahir al-Mudi‘a fi Tabaqat al-Hanafiyya, (Cairo: Hijr li al-Tab‘ah, 1993) Vol.4, 568.

[3] al-Tabarani, Abu al-Qasim, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, (Cairo: Maktaba Ibn Taimiya, 1994)  Vol.12, 199 Hadith 12886;

[4] They were;

  • ‘Abbas b. ‘Abd al-‘Azim al-‘Anbari. See, Muslim b. Hajjaj, al-Sahih, 2501-168; Ibn Abi ‘Asim, Abu Bakr, al-Ahad wa al-Mathani, (Riyadh: Dar al-Rayah, 1991) Hadith 487, 3070; al-Tabarani, Abu al-Qasim, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir,Vol.12, 199 Hadith 12885;23, 220 Hadith 404; Al-Baihaqi, Abu Bakr, Sunan al-Kubra, (Beirut: DKI, 2003) Vol.7, 226 Hadith 13800;
  • Ahmad b. Ja‘far al-Ma‘qiri. See, Muslim b. Hajjaj, al-Sahih, 2501-168;
  • Ahmad b. Yusuf al-Sulami. See, Al-Busti, Ibn Hibban, al-Sahih, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1993) Hadith 7209; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, (Beirut: Dar al-Fekr, 1995) Vol.23, 459
  • Ahmad b. Thabit al-Razi. See, Abu al-Shaikh, ‘Abdullah b. Muhammad, Akhlaq al-Nabi wa Adabuhu, (Riyadh: Dar al-Muslim, 1998) Hadith 160
  • Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Jurjani. See, al-Lalaka’i, Abu al-Qasim, Sharh Usul I‘tiqad Ahl al-Sunnah, (Riyadh: Dar al-Taiba, 2003) No. 2780

[5] Al-‘Asqalani, Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1995) Vol.2, 116

[6] Al-Mizzi, Jamal al-Din, Tahdhib al-Kamal fi Asma’ al-Rijal, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1980) Vol.20, 258-263

[7] Al-Baihaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Vol.7, 226

[8] Al-Mizzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal, Vol.20, 261

[9] This is reported by Umm Habiba herself as related by ‘Urwa. See Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 2001) Hadith 27408; Al-Sijistani, Abu Dawud, al-Sunan, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 2009) Hadith 2086, 2107, 2018; al-Nasa’i, Abu ‘Abdul Rahman, al-Sunan, (Halab: Makatab al-Matbu‘at al-Islamiyya, 1986) Hadith 3350 etc. – classified as sahih. ‘Urwa related it from ‘Aisha as well. See al-Busti, Ibn Hibban, al-Sahih, Hadith 6027 – classified as sahih.

[10] Al-Jazari, Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghaba, (Beirut: Dar al-Fekr, 1989) Vol.6, 116.

 In recent years some have referred to tafsir statements with Muqatil b. Suleman et al. that “when the people of Makkah accepted Islam and the Muslims mixed up with them and married amongst them, and the Prophet (ﷺ) married Umm Habiba bt. Abu Sufyan”, it was the love that Allah referred to in the verse “It is hoped that Allah will bring about love between you and those of them with whom you have enmity” (Qur’an 60:7). This is, however, not impressive. Anyone well acquainted with the tafsir works knows that matters relatable to verses are usually mentioned under them without always considering chronological and other facts. Accordingly, we see more careful scholars calling out Muqatil and those who followed him for this anachronism. See, Al-Samarqandi, Abu Laith, [Tafsir] Bahr al-‘Ulum, (Beirut: DKI, 1993) Vol.3, 353; al-Gharnati, Ibn ‘Atiyya, al-Muharrar al-Wajiz fi Tafsir al-Kitab al-‘Aziz, (Beirut: DKI, 1422 AH) Vol.5, 296; Ibn Kathir, ‘Imad al-Din, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Azim, (Riyadh: Dar al-Taiba, 1999) Vol.8, 89. The same is true for Ibn Habib al-Baghdadi’s take on the issue. His follow-up statements also bear out this point. See Ibn Habib, Muhammad, al-Muhabbar, (Beirut: Dar al-Afaq al-Jadida, n.d.) 88-89.

[11] Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat a-Kubra, (Beirut: DKI, 1990) Vol.8, 79; whereas Ibn Sa‘d brings it on the authority of al-Zuhri’s student ‘Abdul Wahid b. Abi ‘Awn (d. 144/761-762) al-Maqrizi (d. 845/1441) assures us that it comes through al-Zuhri on the authority of ‘Urwa b. Zubair (d. 94/712-713). See al-Maqrizi, Ahmad bin ‘Ali, Imta’ al-Asma’, (Beirut: Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiya, 1999) Vol.6, 66

[12] Ibn Hisham, ‘Abd al-Malik, Sirah al-Nabawiyya, Edited Mustafa Saqa, (Cairo: Mustafa Babi, 1955) Vol.2, 396; al-Tabari, Ibn Jarir, Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Maluk, (Beirut: Dar al-Turath, 1387 AH) Vol.3, 46; translated in Fishbein, Michael, The History of at-Tabari – The Victory of Islam, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997) Vol. 8, 164; Ibn Sa‘d, al-Tabaqat a-Kubra, Vol.8, 79 (from al-Zuhri); Al-Waqidi, Muhammad b. ‘Umar, al-Maghazi, (Beirut: Dar al-A‘lami, 1989) Vol.2, 792; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, Vol.69, 150-151 (from Hisham b. Hubaish).

[13] See, for instance, Ibn Hubaira, Abu al-Muzaffar, al-Ifsah ‘an Ma‘ani al-Sihah, (Riyadh: Dar al-Watan, 1417 AH) Vol.3, 249-250; Ibn al-Jawzi, Abu al-Faraj, Kashaf al-Mushkil min Hadith al-Sahihain, (Riyadh: Dar al-Watan, n.d.) Vol.2, 463;

[14] Al-Nawawi, Yahya b. Zakariyya, al-Minhaj Sharh Sahih Muslim b. al-Hajjaj, (Beirut: Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabi, 1392 AH) Vol.16, 63-64

[15] Al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, (Riyadh: Darussalam Publishers, 2007) Hadith 5101, 5106, 5107, 5372

[16] Ibn Kathir, Abu al-Fida’, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, (Qatar: Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, 2015) Vol.4, 349

[17] Al-‘Ala’i, Salah al-Din, al-Tanbihat al-Mujmila ‘ala al-Mawadi‘ al-Mushkila, (Madina: Maktaba al-‘Ulum wa al-Hikam, 1991) 66-68

[18] Al-Jazari, Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghaba, Vol.6, 116; Al-‘Ala’i, al-Tanbihat al-Mujmila ‘ala al-Mawadi‘ al-Mushkila, 68; Al-Dhahabi, Shams al-Din, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1985) Vol.2, 222; Vol.7, 137;

[19] Al-Zahiri, Ibn Hazm, al-Ihkam fi Usul al-Ahkam, (Beirut: Dar al-Afaq al-Jadida, 1983) Vol.6, 23-24; Al-Zahiri, Ibn Hazm, al-Muhalla bi al-Athar, (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, n.d.) Vol.1, 278

[20] Al-Maqdisi, ‘Abd al-Ghani, al-Misbah fi ‘Uyun al-Sihah, no. 48 (Maktaba al-Shamela); Al-Nawawi, al-Minhaj Sharh Sahih Muslim b. al-Hajjaj, Vol.16, 63-64

[21] Ibn al-Qayyim, Shams al-Din, Jila’ al-Afham fi Fadl al-Salah ‘ala Muhammad Khair al-Anam (Kuwait: Dar al-‘Uruba, 1987) 242-252;

[22] ‘Awwama, Muhammad, Wijhatu Nazarin fi Fahm Hadith ‘Ard Abi Sufyan al-Zawaj bi-Umm Habiba ‘ala al-Nabi sallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam, (Jeddah: Dar al-Minhaj, 2017)

[23] ‘Awwama, Wijhatu Nazarin …, 6-10

[24] ‘Awwama, Wijhatu Nazarin …, 12

[25] Abu al-Baqa’, al-Kulliyāt: muʻjam fī al-muṣṭalaḥāt wa-al-furūq al-lughawīyah, (Beirut: al-Resalah Publishers, 1998) 913

[26] Al-Busti, Ibn Hibban, al-Sahih, Hadith 7209; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, Vol.23, 459

[27] This is the apparent conclusion as it is only in his narration from ‘Ikrima’s student Nadr b. Muhammad al-Yamami that we have this change, and across Ibn Hibban and Ibn ‘Asakir’s reports, multiple narrators after him relate the narration with these words.

[28] Al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala, Vol.12, 384-385;

[29] ‘Awwama, Wijhatu Nazarin …, 16-25

[30] Ibn Sa‘d, Kitab al-Tabaqat a-Kabir, (Cairo: Maktaba al-Khanji, 2001) Vol.6, 5; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Damishq, Vol.69, 55; Vol.70, 208; Al- ‘Asqalani, Ibn Hajar, al-Isabah fi Ma‘rifah al-Sahaba, (Beirut: Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah) Vol.5, 32. Also see, Al-Zubairi, Mus‘ab b. ‘Abdullah, Nasab Quraish, Edited by Évariste Lévi-Provençal (Cairo: Dar al-Ma‘arif, n.d.) 427. See Al-San‘ani, ‘Abdul Razzaq, al-Musannaf, (Dabhel: Majlis al-‘Ilmi, 1983)  Vol.7, 163 Hadith 12625; Vol.7, 171 Hadith 12649; cf. Al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi, Vol.2, 853-855;

[31] Al-Sijistani, Abu Dawud, al-Sunan, Hadith 3660 – classified as sahih

[32] Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Musnad, Hadith 2651, 3104; al-Baihaqi, Abu Bakr, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, (Beirut: DKI, 1988) Vol.6, 243 – classified as hasan. See also, al-A‘zmi, Mustafa, Kuttab al-Nabi, 3rd ed. (Beirut: Maktab al-Islami, 1978) 105-107

[33] Ibn Sa‘d, Kitab al-Tabaqat a-Kabir, Vol.6, 11. ‘Umar b. ‘Abdul ‘Aziz reported it. As for al-Waqidi doubting it, it is based on what was said about Abu Sufyan’s presence in Makkah at the time of the death of the Prophet (ﷺ) and that the Prophet (ﷺ) had appointed ‘Amr b. Hazm in Najran. As for ‘Amr b. Hazm’s appointment, it does not preclude Abu Sufyan’s appointment as it has been noted that ‘Amr was responsible for ensuring prayers and Abu Sufyan for collecting alms. al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Maluk, Vol.3, 318. Moreover, the governor may visit his hometown, especially when his responsibility is occasional. Also see Khalifa bin Khayyat, al-Tarikh, (Beirut: Resalah publications, 1397 AH) 97; Al-Baladhuri, Ahmad bin Yahya, Futuh al-Baldan, (Beirut: Maktaba al-Hilal, 1988), 76; Ibn Habib, Muhammad, al-Muhabbar, 126;

[34] Al-Dhahabi, Siyar al-A‘lam al-Nubala, Vol.2, 106;

About the author

Waqar Akbar Cheema


  • Assalamualaikum please do on narrations wherein the Prophet ﷺ sucked the tongues of Hassan RH and Hussein RH. Also please debunk the claim that he ﷺ was a voluptuary (astaghfirullah) based on reports from Sunan an-Nasa’i and ibn Sa’d’s Kitab al Tabaqat emphasizing the Prophet’s ﷺ love for women, perfume and food.

    • Wa alaikum assalam
      I will try to make separate article on this. However, suffice to mention that playing with tongues of infant babies is nothing odd. Only a retard will find a fault with it.

      As for the other hadith mentining the Prophet’s (saaw) love for women, perfume and prayers, see my musings here.

      It highlights some versions of the hadith, the wording of which is significant. Here, too, it takes a mental disease to find fault that some people of our age have to see it as something wrong. I have quoted an orientalist of the past, John Bagot Glubb, who wrote;
      “The connection of his love of women with prayer seems to prove that it never occurred to him that his fondness for female company could be anything but innocent.” (The Life and Times of Muhammad, Stein And Day, New York, 1971 p.238)

      hope this helps