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Covering the head upon entering the bathroom

Published: 27/08/2011 09:57:00 PM GMT
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It is the custom to cover our heads when we enter the toilet. Is it a Sunnah to do so? I heard that is related in Sunan al-Bayhaqî that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to do so.


Answered by

the Fatwa Department Research Committee - chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî

This is merely a customary practice. There is no authentic evidence from the Sunnah to support it.

As for the hadîth in Sunan al-Bayhaqî about covering the head when entering the bathroom, these hadîth are as follows:

The first hadîth:

`A’ishah said: “When the Prophet (peace be upon him) would enter the toilet, he would cover his head and when he approached his wife, he would cover his head.”

This hadîth is related by al-Bayhaqî in al-Sunan al-Kubrâ (1/96) and by al-Dhahabî in al-Muhadhdhab fî Ikhtisâr al-Sunan al-Kabîr (#405).

Its chain of transmission is as follows:

`Abd al-Khâliq b. Alî al-Mu’adhdhin from Abû Ahmad b. Hamdân al-Sayrafî from Muhammad b. Yûnus al-Qurashî (al-Kudaymî) from Khâlid b. `Abd al-Rahmân rom Sufyân al-Thawrî from Hishâm b. `Urwah from his father from `A’ishah.

After relating this hadîth, al-Bayhaqî himself says: “This hadîth is one of those to be rejected from Muhammad b. Yûnus al-Kudaymî.”

Al-Bayhaqî then relates that Ibn `Adî said about this hadîth: “I do not know anyone to relate it except al-Kudaymî with this chain of transmission. And al-Kudaymî is too well known to need to have it clarified just how weak this is.”

Al-Dhahabî likewise says about al-Kudaymî while relating this hadîth: “He is accused of lying.” [al-Muhadhdhab (1/104)]

Ibn `Adî says about him: “Al-Kudaymî has been accused of fabricating hadîth.”

Ibn Hibbân says: “Perhaps he fabricated over one thousand hadîth.”

Refer to: al-Dhahabî, Mîzân al-I`tidâl (4/74 #8353).

Al-Bayhaqî then says: “It has been related that Abû Bakr used to cover his head upon entering the toilet. This is authentically related about him. [al-Sunan al-Kubrâ (1/96)]

The second hadîth:

Habîb b. Sâlih relates: “When the Prophet (peace be upon him) would enter the toilet, he would put on shoes and would cover his head.”

This hadîth is related by al-Bayhaqî in al-Sunan al-Kubrâ (1/96) and by al-Dhahabî in al-Muhadhdhab fî Ikhtisâr al-Sunan al-Kabîr (#406).

Its chain of transmission is as follows:

Abû `Abd Allah al-Hâfiz from Abû Bakr Ahmad b. Ishâq al-Sibghî from Ismâ`îl b. Qutaybah from Yahyâ b. Yahyâ from Ismâ`îl b. `Ayyâsh from `Abû Bakr b. `Abd Allah from Habîb b. Sâlih.

Al-Bayhaqî makes it clear from the start that this hadîth is mursal, meaning that it is related from the Prophet (peace be upon him) by a Successor without his mentioning the Companion who actually related it directly from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Habîb b. Sâlih is a Successor who never met the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Al-Dhahabî, after relating it, comments on the narrator Abû Bakr b. `Abd Allah b. Abî Maryam, saying: “Abû Bakr is a weak narrator.” [al-Muhadhdhab (1/104)]

Ibn Hibbân says about Abû Bakr b. `Abd Allah b. Abî Maryam: “He is very poor of memory. When he relates something he makes mistakes and gets things seriously wrong, so much so that he deserves to be abandoned.”

Abû Zur`ah ar-Râzî says about him: “He is a weak narrator and his hadîth are false (munkar).”

Al-Dâraqutnî says: “He is to be abandoned.”

He is declared weak by a vast number of other specialists in the criticism of narrators, including Yahyâ b. Ma`în, Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Nasâ’î, al-Ajurî, and others.

Refer to: Siyar A`lâm al-Nubalâ’ (7/65) and Tahdhîb al-Tahdhîb (4/490).

Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî says about him: “He is a weak narrator. His house was robbed and after that his narrations became confused.” [Taqrîb al-Tahdhîb (1116 - #8031)]

Neither of these hadîth are suitable as evidence. The first is rejected (munkar). The second is at best extremely weak.

And Allah knows best.

Source: Islam Today




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