Thursday, 16 February 2012

Al-A'mash's Ironic Sense Of Humor.

Al Salamu 'Alaykum.
He was a Tabi'i and his given name was Sulaymaan ibn Mihran. He was a pious and trustworthy muhaddith and his ahadith have also been narrated by Imam Bukhari in his Sahih. These ahadith are as follows:

Found in: Rubbing hands and feet with dust (Tayammum)

Hadith no: 343

Narrated: Al-A'mash*: Shaqiq said, "While I was sitting with 'Abdullah and Abu Musa Al-Ash-'ari, the latter asked the former, 'If a person becomes Junub and does not find water for one month, can he perform Tayammum and offer his prayer?' (He applied in the negative). Abu Musa said, 'What do you say about this verse from Surat "Al-Ma'ida": When you do not find water then perform Tayammum with clean earth? 'Abdullah replied, 'If we allowed it then they would probably perform Tayammum with clean earth even if water were available but cold.' I said to Shaqiq, 'You then disliked to perform Tayammum because of this?' Shaqiq said,'Yes.' (Shaqiq added), "Abu Musa said, 'Haven't you heard the statement of 'Ammar to 'Umar? He said: I was sent out by Allah's Apostle for some job and I became Junub and could not find water so I rolled myself over the dust (clean earth) like an animal does, and when I told the Prophet of that he said, 'Like this would have been sufficient.' The Prophet (saying so) lightly stroked the earth with his hand once and blew it off, then passed his (left) hand over the back of his right hand or his (right) hand over the back of his left hand and then passed them over his face.' So 'Abdullah said to Abu- Musa, 'Don't you know that 'Umar was not satisfied with 'Ammar's statement?' " Narrated Shaqiq: While I was with 'Abdullah and Abu Musa, the latter said to the former, "Haven't you heard the statement of 'Ammar to 'Umar? He said, "Allah's Apostle sent you and me out and I became Junub and rolled myself in the dust (clean earth) (for Tayammum). When we came to Allah's Apostle I told him about it and he said, 'This would have been sufficient,' passing his hands over his face and the backs of his hands once only.' "

Found in: Pilgrimage (Hajj)
Hadith no: 806
Narrated: Al-A'mash
I heard Al-Hajjaj saying on the pulpit, "The Sura in which Al-Baqara (the cow) is mentioned and the Sura in which the family of Imran is mentioned and the Sura in which the women (An-Nisa) is mentioned." I mentioned this to Ibrahim, and he said, Abdur-Rahman bin Yazid told me, 'I was with Ibn Masud, when he did the Rami of the Jamrat-ul-Aqaba. He went down the middle of the valley, and when he came near the tree (which was near the Jamra) he stood opposite to it and threw seven small pebbles and said: 'Allahu-Akbar' on throwing every pebble.' Then he said, 'By Him, except Whom none has the right to be worshipped, here (at this place) stood the one on whom Surat-al-Baqra was revealed (i.e. Allah's Apostle).' "

Found in: Sales in which a Price is paid at once for Goods to be Delivered Later (As-Salam)
Hadith no: 454
Narrated: Al-A'mash
We argued at Ibrahim's dwelling place about mortgaging in Salam. He said, "Aisha said, 'The Prophet bought some foodstuff from a Jew on credit and the payment was to be made by a definite period, and he mortgaged his iron armor to him."

Found in: Loans, Payment of Loans, Freezing of Property and Bankruptcy
Hadith no: 578
Narrated: Al-A'mash
When we were with Ibrahim, we talked about mortgaging in deals of Salam. Ibrahim narrated from Aswad that 'Aisha had said, "The Prophet (SAW) bought some foodstuff on credit from a Jew and mortgaged an iron armour to him."
What he is famous for however is his sarcastic sense of humor. Here are some incidents from Dhahabi's Siyar 'Alam al Nubala and Abi Nu'aym's Hilyat al 'Awliya:
1 - Al-A'mash went out to some neighborhood one day, and some people came up to him to ask him regarding Hadith. His companions said to him: "Won't you narrate to these poor souls?" al-A'mash replied: "Who would hang pearls on pigs?"

2 - Some people came to al-A'mash one day, and he came out of his house to greet them, saying: "Were it not for the fact that there were people in my house that I hate more than you, I wouldn't have come out to see you." Abu Dawud al-Ha'ik asked him: "Abu Muhammad, what is your opinion on praying behind al-Ha'ik?" al-A'mash replied: "No problem, as long as one doesn't have wudu'." He also asked: "What do you say about accepting his testimony?" al-A'mash replied: "Only if it is accompanied by testimony from two trustworthy people."

3 - The governor 'Isa bin Musa sent a notebook along with a thousand dirhams to al-A'mash for him to write down Hadith in it. So, al-A'mash wrote: 'بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم, قل هو الله أحد' (In the Name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful: Say: 'He is Allah, One') and sent the book back to him. He sent to him, saying: "Do you think that I don't know any Qur'an?" al-A'mash sent back, saying: "Do you think that I sell Hadith?" He kept the money for himself.

4 - 'Abdullah bin Idris said to al-A'mash: "What prevents you from getting a haircut?" He replied: "The cuppers talk too much." So, he said: "I will bring you to a cupper who will not say a word to you until he finishes cutting your hair." He brought him to a Junayd, a cupper who was also a Muhaddith. So, 'Abdullah warned him not to talk to al-A'mash, and he agreed. However, when he had cut half of al-A'mash's hair, he said: "O Abu Muhammad, what is the status of the hadith of Habib bin Abi Thabit regarding menstruation?" So, al-A'mash got up, screamed, and ran away, sitting for a month with only half of his hair cut.

5 - A knowledgeable man with a long beard came to al-A'mash and asked him a basic question about the prayer. So, al-A'mash turned to us and said: "Look at him! His beard could carry four thousand ahadith, and he asks a question that the children in school would ask!"

6 - It is said that al-A'mash had a son who was very slow, and he told him: "Go buy a rope for us to hang our clothes on." The boy asked: "How long do you want it to be, father?" He replied: "Ten cubits long." The boy then asked: "How wide do you want it to be?" al-A'mash replied: "As wide as my bad luck with you!"

7 - Husayn bin Waqid was reciting Qur'an to al-A'mash, and asked him: "How do you like my recitation?" al-A'mash replied: "Better than the recitation of any disbeliever."

8 - One time, al-A'mash got up at night and could find no water. So, he rubbed his hands on the wall and performed tayammum and went back to sleep. He was asked about this, and he said: "I am afraid to die without being in a state of purity."

9 -
 One time, al-A'mash went out in the morning and passed by the mosque of Bani Asad. They were about to start praying, and he went inside and prayed. The imam recited 'al-Baqarah' in the first rak'ah, and recited 'Al 'Imran' in the second. When he finished, al-A'mash said to him: "Will you not fear Allah? Did you not hear that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: "Whoever leads the people in prayer should go easy, as there are those behind him who are old, weak, and have needs to tend to."" So, the man said: "Allah Said: {"…and it is heavy except on those who have khushu'…"} [al-Baqarah; 45] So, al-A'mash said: "I am a messenger sent from those who have khushu' telling you that you are heavy."

10 - One time, a soldier wanted to cross a river. He came across al-A'mash, who was standing near the river, so he jumped on his back and had him walk through the water. When he jumped on al-A'mash, he recited 'Glory to Him Who has provided this for us' (سبحان الذي سخر لنا هذا - the supplication for riding a vehicle). When al-A'mash had gotten half way across the river, he threw the soldier off of his back, recited {"…My Lord! Cause me to land at a blessed landing-place, for You are the best of those who bring to land…"} [al-Mu'minun; 29] and left him in the river and ran away.

11 - One day, Shabib bin Shaybah and his friends came by to see al-A'mash, and they stood at his door yelling: "O Sulayman! Come out!" From inside, al-A'mash said: "Who are you?" They replied: "We are {"…those who call you from behind the dwellings…"} [al-Hujurat; 4] So, al-A'mash replied: "And {"…most of them have no sense…"} [al-Hujurat; 4]

12 - One time, he wore an inverted sheepskin, such that the wool was on the outside. Someone said to him: "O Abu Muhammad, why don't you wear it so that the wool is on the inside? This would be warmer for you." al-A'mash replied: "Why don't you go suggest this to the sheep?"
* Al-A'mash means the bleary-eyed.
'Alaykum Salam.

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