Question:

What is your opinion about the hadeeth which states that : ( at the end of every hundred years there will be one who will revive the religion). Please explain this hadeeth in the light of its text and the narrators?

Answer:

Imam Aboo Dawood rahimahullah narrates:

حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ دَاوُدَ الْمَهْرِيُّ، أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ وَهْبٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ، عَنْ شَرَاحِيلَ بْنِ يَزِيدَ الْمَعَافِرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي عَلْقَمَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، فِيمَا أَعْلَمُ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْعَثُ لِهَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ عَلَى رَأْسِ كُلِّ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ مَنْ يُجَدِّدُ لَهَا دِينَهَا ‏“‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ رَوَاهُ عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ شُرَيْحٍ الإِسْكَنْدَرَانِيُّ لَمْ يَجُزْ بِهِ شَرَاحِيلَ

The Messenger of Allaah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: Allah will raise for this nation at the head of every hundred years the one/more who will revive religion for them.

(Sunan Abee Dawood Kitab al-Malaahim Chapter 1; Hadeeth 4291)

The chain of this narration is Hassan Lidhatihi. It has also been narrated by al-Haakim via the route of Abdullah bin Wahb (al-Mustadrak 4/522 h. 8592).

Given below is a brief introduction of the narrators in this chain:

  • سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ دَاوُدَ الْمَهْرِيُّ – Thiqah (Taqreeb at-Tahdheeb: 2551)
  • ابْنُ وَهْبٍ -Thiqah , Haafidh, Aabid (Taqreeb:3294), he used to do tadlees.
  • سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ-Thiqah, Thabt (Taqreeb:2274).
  • شَرَاحِيلَ بْنِ يَزِيدَ-Sudooq (Taqreeb:2763), he is from the narrators of Saheeh Muslim.
  • أَبِي عَلْقَمَةَ -Thiqah (Taqreeb 8262).

The remaining chain is absolutely authentic. Sheikh Albanee rahimahullah has classified this chain as saheeh. (see as-Saheehah: 599)

The text of this hadeeth has quite a few things which need clarification:

  • What is meant by “At the head of every hundred years”?

    Is it the beginning of the century or the end of it? The preferable opinion in this regard is that what is meant here is ‘towards the end of a hundred years (century)’. (see Awn ul-Ma’bood 4/179)

  • What is meant by ‘hundred years’?

    The century in which Hijrah was performed or the one after his (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)’s death.Famous is that it is the century in which Hijrah was performed (and Allaah Knows Best).

  • What is meant by the Mujaddid/Reviver here?

    Various sects and people have tried to place the crown of revival on the head of one whom they like. But they have no evidence as to whether a particular man was definitely a Mujaddid (reviver).

Some people say that the reviver of the first century Hijri was Umar bin Abdil Azeez rahimahullah and that of the second century Hijri was Muhammad bin Idrees as-Shaafiee rahimahullah. However, all these claims are baseless and it is better to keep silent on this matter.

Note:

Many from the Ahlul Bid’ah (who claim to be from Ahlus Sunnah, Ahlut Tawheed & from the truthful scholars) keep claiming that so-and-so was a Mujaddid of the fourteenth century and that so-and-so was a Mujaddid of such-and-such century. All these claims are false and rejected. Remember, only a person or persons who knows and practices the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of Messenger(sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) & Ijmaa(consensus of ummah) while keeping in mind the understanding of Salafus Saalih (the Pious Predecessors) can be a Mujaddid.

Who is a Mujaddid in the sight of Allaah?

No one knows it. So, making someone a Mujaddid based on unnecessary analogy is to be considered evidence-less and hence rejected. It is surely a mockery to call someone a ruler of such-and-such country while he is just a general clerk.

Author: Hafiz Zubair Alizai Rahimahullah

Translated by: taalibeilm via (sheikhzubairalizai dot wordpress dot com)

Reference: Al-Hadees:23 page:34, Fataawa Ilmiyyah Vol.2 p.456-457