Waqar Akbar Cheema
The title hadith is narrated in a number of ways. Here we shall discuss each of these ways separately.
On the Authority of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar
Qadi Abu Bakr al-Ansari Qadi al-Maristan (d. 535/1141) narrates:
عن ابن عمر قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “من تساوى يوماه فهو مغبون …”
Ibn ‘Umar said the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: One whose two days are equal is a loser …”
This comes with a very weak isnad as a narrator ‘Abdullah bin Hussain bin Mahmuwayh who is otherwise unknown claims he heard it from Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Mundhar in the year 332 A.H. whereas the later had died in the year 318 A.H. according to most reliable account. Therefore, Hatim Sharif al-‘Awni says, “its isnad is very weak” (isnaduhu shadid al-du’f).
On the Authority of ‘Ali bin Abi Talib
Al-Sakhawi (d. 902/1497) writes:
من استوى يوماه فهو مغبون، ومن كان آخر يوميه شرا فهو ملعون، … الحديث. الديلمي من حديث محمد بن سوقة عن الحارث عن علي به مرفوعا، وسنده ضعيف.
“One whose two days are equal is a loser, and the one whose today is worse than his yesterday is accursed …” Reported by al-Daylami from Muhammad bin Sawqa from al-Harith from ‘Ali from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). It’s chain of narrators is weak.
On the authority of Damrah bin Rabi’ah
Abu al-Hasan al-Mawardi (d. 450/1058) records;
روى سعيد بن أسدٍ عن ضمرة – رضي الله عنه – أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – وعظ رجلًا فقال: “من استوى يوماه فهو مغبون …”
Sa’id bin Asad reported from Damrah [bin Rabi’a] that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) advised a man saying: “One whose two days are equal is a loser …”
Since al-Mawardi’s work is apparently the only source for this report and it neither includes complete chain of narrators from Damrah bin Rabi’ah (d. 202/817) back to the Prophet (ﷺ) nor from al-Mawardi back to Damrah’s student Sa’id bin Asad. It is, therefore, truncated (maqtu’)
Reported from Prophet in dreams
Abu Nu’aym al-Asbahani (d. 430/1038) through a chain of narrators quotes Ibrahim bin Adham:
بلغني أن الحسن البصري، رأى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في منامه فقال: يا رسول الله عظني قال: «من استوى يوماه فهو مغبون ومن كان غده شرا من يومه فهو ملعون ومن لم يتعاهد النقصان من نفسه فهو في نقصان ومن كان في نقصان فالموت خير له»
It has reached me that al-Hasan al-Basri saw the Prophet (ﷺ) in his dream and said: O Messenger of Allah advise me. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: One whose two days are equal is a loser, ….”
Ibn Abi Dunya (d. 281/894) records:
عن شيخ من بني سليم قال: ” رأيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في منامي فقلت: يا رسول الله ما حالك قال: أحدثك؟ قلت: حدثني , قال: من استوى يوماه فهو مغبون
An old man from Bani Salim said: “I saw the Prophet (ﷺ) in my dream. I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, how are you?’ He said: ‘Shall I speak to you.’ I said: ‘Advise me.’ He said: ‘One whose two days are equal is a loser …’”
Al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111) writes:
حديث من استوى يوماه فهو مغبون ومن كان يومه شراً من أمسه فهو ملعون لا أعلم هذا إلا في منام لعبد العزيز بن أبي رواد قال رأيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في النوم فقلت يا رسول الله أوصنى فقال ذلك بزيادة في آخره رواه البيهقى في الزهد
The hadith,“He to whom both days are equal are deceived. He whose today is worse than yesterday is cursed.” I do not know this except as a dream of ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin Abi Rawad who stated: “I saw the Prophet (ﷺ) in a dream and asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah advise me.’ He said this.” With some addition towards the end al-Baihaqi reported this in al-Zuhd.
Reported as a saying of al-Hasan bin ‘Ali
Ali Muttaqi al-Hindi (d. 975/1567) records the following with reference to Ibn al-Najjar’s Tarikh al-Baghdad:
عن الحسن بن علي قال: … من كان يومه خيرا من غده فهو مغبون …
It is reported that Al-Hasan bin ‘Ali said: … One whose present is better than his future is in loss …
Although Abu Talib al-Makki (d. 386/996) also refers to it as a saying of al-Hasan bin ‘Ali, apparently no extant source traces it back to him with a chain of narrators.
Reported as a saying of Salama bin Dinar
The same has been reported as a saying of Abu Hazim Salama bin Dinar;
قال أبو حازم: من اعتدل يوماه؛ فهو مغبون، ومن كان غده شر يوميه فهو محروم
Abu Hazim said: One whose two days are equal is a loser; one whose later day is worse than the former is bereft.
A narration with similar meaning from ‘Aisha
As shown above there is no authentic isnad back to the Prophet (ﷺ) for the hadith, “he whose two days are equal, is a loser” however, another hadith reported by Ishaq bin Rahway among others from ‘Aisha conveys a similar meaning. Ibn Rahway (d. 238/853) records:
أخبرنا بقية بن الوليد، حدثني الحكم بن عبد الله، عن الزهري، عن سعيد بن المسيب، عن عائشة، قالت: قال: رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم “إذا أتى علي يوم لا أزداد فيه علما فلا بورك لي في طلوع الشمس ذلك اليوم”
Baqiyya bin Walid reported from al-Hakam bin ‘Abdullah from al-Zuhri from Sa’id bin al-Musayyib from ‘Aisha who reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “There is no good for me in a day that rises upon me and my knowledge does not increase that day.”
However, this narration is also very weak as its narrator al-Hakam bin ‘Abdullah has been condemned as a liar.
A word about hadiths reported in dreams
Dreams do not for themselves constitute a valid proof. Discussing a legal matter Abu Ja’far al-Tahawi (d. 321/933) comments about a statement attributed to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) on the authority of a dream;
إنما هو على قول حكاه عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في النوم وذلك مما لا تقوم به الحجة
It is based on a statement related from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) through a dream which does not establish proof.
Likewise, Ibn Hazm (d. 456/1063) observes:
الشرائع لا تؤخذ بالمنامات
Shari’a is not based on dreams.
This is true not only for legal rulings but also for a matter as serious as attributing something to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), however reasonable it might appear otherwise. Some of esoteric tradition leaning classical scholars, however, did tend to attach some value to such evidence on non-legal issues where the one who related his dream was an upright person and if one were to believe or act upon such evidence by the way of deference, respect, and love without attaching to it legal force. Those who were disposed to such a position include al-Sakhawi (d. 902/1497) and al-‘Ijluni (d.112/1749). Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri (d. 1353/1934) and Mufti Taqi Usmani have also expressed a similar opinion.
References & Notes:
 Al-Ansari, Abu Bakr, Ahadith al-Shuyukh al-Thiqat, Edited by Hatim Sharif al-‘Awni (Makkah: Dar ‘Alam al-Fawayed, 1422 AH) Vol.2, 875-876 No. 322
 Al-Sakhawi, Shams al-Din, al-Maqasid al-Hasana, (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-‘Arabi, 1985) 631 No. 1080
 Al-Mawardi, Abu al-Hasan, Al-Amthal wa al-Hikam, (Riyadh: Dar al-Watan, 1999) 19-170
 Al-Asbahani, Abu Nu’aym, Hilya al-Awliya wa Tabaqat al-Asfiya, (Beirut: Dar al-Kotob al-‘Ilmiya, 1409) Vol.8, 35
 Ibn Abi Dunya, Abu Bakr, al-Manamat, (Beirut: Mo’assasat al-Kutab al-Thaqafiya, 1993) 116 No. 243
 Al-Ghazali, Abu Hamid, Ihya’ al-Ulum al-Din, (Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifa, n.d.) Vol.4, 335
 Al-Hindi, Ali al-Muttaqi, Kanz al-‘Ummal, (Beirut: al-Resala Publishers, 1981) Vol. 16, 214 No. 44236
 Al-Makki, Abu Talib, Qut al-Qulub, (Beirut: Dar al-Kotob al-‘Ilmiyya, 2005) Vol.1, 151
 Al-Dainwari, Abu Bakr, Al-Mujalasa wa Jawahir al-‘Ilm, (Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, 1419 AH), Vol.5, 57-58 No. 181; Ibn Asakir, Abu al-Qasim, Tarikh al-Damishq, (Beirut: Dar al-Fekr, 1995) Vol.22, 59
 Ibn Rahwayh, Ishaq, al-Musnad, (Madina: Maktaba al-Iman, 1991) Vol.2, 553 No. 1128; see also al-Tabarani, Abu al-Qasim, al-Mu’jam al-Awst, (Cairo: Dar al-Haramain, n.d.) Vol.6, 367 No. 636
 Al-Haithami, Nur al-Din, Majm’ al-Zawa’id wa Manb’ al-Fawa’id, (Cairo: Maktaba al-Qudsi, 1994) Vol.1, 136, No. 575; Hussain Salim Asad has in his edition of Majm’ al-Zawa’id an elaborate discussion on the identity of Al-Hakam bin ‘Abdullah whether he is Al-Ayili or Abu Salama al-‘Amili and if these are two different narrators or not. In any case even those who differentiated between the two narrators have graded each of them as rejected. See, Majm’ al-Zawa’id wa Manb’ al-Fawa’id, Edited by Hussain Salim Asad (Damascus: Dar al-Ma‘mun li al-Turath, n.d.) Vol.2, 315-318
 Al-Tahawi, Abu Ja’far, Sharh Ma’ani al-Athar, (Beirut: ‘Alam al-Kutab, 1994) Vol.2, 89
 Al-Andalusi, Ibn Hazm, al-Muhalla bi al-Athar, (Beirut: Dar al-Fekr, n.d.) Vol.4, 342
 Ibn al-Turkamani, Abu al-Hasan, Al-Jawhar al-Naqi ‘ala Sunan al-Baihaqi, (Beirut: Dar al-Fekr, n.d.) Vol.4, 232
 Al-Baqa’i, Burhan al-Din, al-Nukat al-Wafiyya bi-ma fi Sharh al-Alfiyya, (Riyadh: Maktaba al-Rushd, 2007) Vol.2, 154
 Al-Sakhawi, Shams al-Din, al-Maqasid al-Hasana, (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-‘Arabi, 1985) 628
 Al-‘Ijluni, Abu al-Fida, Kashaf al-Khifa, (Cairo: Maktaba al-Qudsi, 1351 AH) Vol.1, 10, 13
 Al-Kashmiri, Anwar Shah, Faid al-Bari bi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, (Beirut:Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyya, 2005) Vol.1, 291
 Usmani, Muhammad Taqi, ‘In’am al-Bari, (Karachi: Maktaba al-Hira, 2007) Vol.2, 182-184