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A Narrative about the Prophet’s Directive regarding the Appropriate Clothing for Women
Hadith & Sunnah
Moiz Amjad

 

روي أن أسماء بنت أبي بكر دخلت على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وعليها ثياب رقاق فأعرض عنها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وقال يا أسماء إن المرأة إذا بلغت المحيض لم تصلح أن يري منها إلا هذا وهذا وأشار إلى وجهه وكفيه

It is narrated that once Asmā’ the daughter of Abū Bakr entered upon the Prophet (sws) clad in a dress made of a thin cloth. Observing this, the Prophet (sws) turned away his face from her and said: “Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it is not appropriate that anything besides this and this is visible of her.” He said this while pointing towards his face and his hands.

A similar incident has also been reported in Bayhaqī’s Nos. 3034, 13274 and 13275, al-Mu‘jam al-awsat, Nos. 8394, Al-Mu’jam al-kabīr, 24, 142 and Musnad al-Shāmiyyīn, No. 2739.

 

Comment on the Narrative

Of the seven narratives of this incident, Abū Dā’ūd’s No. 4104, Bayhaqī’s No. 3034, Bayhaqī’s No. 13274 and the report of Musnad al-Shāmiyyīn (No. 2739) are reported through Sa‘īd ibn Bashir, who has been considered a weak narrator1. Besides Sa‘īd ibn Bashir, the chain of these narratives is also broken, as it is reported through Khālid ibn Durayk, who is reporting on the authority of ‘Ā’ishah (rta). However, scholars of the field agree that Khālid ibn Durayk did not meet Ayesha (rta), and therefore could not have heard anything from the Umm al-Mu’minīn. Thus, after noting this narrative in Abū Dā’ūd (No. 3034), the following words are added:

 

قال أبو داود هذا مرسل خالد بن دريك لم يدرك عائشة

Abū Dā’ūd has said: “This is a mursal2 narrative of Khālid ibn Durayk, as he did not meet ‘Ā’ishah.”

 

As for the remaining narratives, all of these are reported on the authority of ‘Ayād ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Fihrī and ‘Abdullāh ibn Lahī‘ah. Experts on the information regarding the reliability of narrators have mixed opinions regarding these two narrators3. And they – especially ‘Abdullāh ibn Lahī‘ah – have generally been considered as weak and unreliable in reporting narratives of the Prophet (sws).

 

Conclusion

In view of the fact that from among the various chains of narrators reporting this incident, not even a single chain can be considered as fully reliable, we do not consider it prudent to accept the incident as correctly reported.

 

(This write-up is prepared by the Hadith Cell of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi)

 

 

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1. For detailed comments on Sa‘īd ibn Bashīr, see: Ibn Abī Hātim, Al-Jarah wa-al-ta‘dīl, vol. 4, 6; Al-Bukhārī, Al-Du‘afā’, vol. 1, 49, Al-Nasā’ī, Al-Du‘afā’, vol. 1, 52; Ibn Hibbān, Al-Majrūhīn, vol.1, 319.

2. A mursal is a narrative in which the second generation narrator is reporting on the authority of such a companion with whom he has never met.

3. For detailed information and comments regarding ‘Ayād ibn ‘Abdullāh al-Fihrī, see: Al-‘Uqaylī, Al-Du‘afā’ al-Kabīr, vol. 3, 350; Ibn Abī Hātim, Al-Jarh wa al-ta‘dīl, vol. 6, 409; Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 22, 569; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 8, 180; Al-Dhahabī, Al-Kāshif, vol. 2, 107. While details regarding ‘Abdullāh ibn Lahī‘ah can be seen in Al-‘Uqaylī, Al-Du‘afā’ al-Kabīr, vol. 2, 293-295; Al-Hlabī, Al-Kashf al-Hathīth, vol. 1, 160; Ibn Hibbān, Al-Majrūhīn, vol. 2, 11-14, Ibn Hajar, Tabaqāt al-Mudallisīn, vol. 1,. 54, al-Alā’ī, Jāmi‘ al-tahsīl, vol. 1, 215; Al-Suyūtī, Asmā al-Mudallisīn, vol. 1,125;  Al-Dhahabī, Al-Kāshif, vol. 1, 590; Al-Bukhārī, Al-Tārīkh al-Kabīr, vol. 5, 182; Ibn Hajar, Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol. 5, 327; Al-Bukhārī, Al-Du‘afā’, vol. 1, 66; Al-Nasā’ī, Al-Du‘afā’, vol. 1, 64; Ibn ‘Adī, Al-Kāmil fi al-Du‘afā’, vol. 4, 144-153; Al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb al-kamāl, vol. 15, 487-502.

 

   
 
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