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Are we to excuse our brother 70 times?


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Author Topic: Are we to excuse our brother 70 times?  (Read 144 times)
Heba E. Husseyn
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« on: October 24, 2017, 06:17:29 am »


The apparent allusion isn't literally "70 times" but still more lenient, in that, a Muslim must not heed another Muslim's wrongdoings.  Not true.  This completely clashes with the principles of the Noble Quran. 

Here is a Hadith that promotes bias and the negative trait of partisanship which invariably thwarts the concept of justice.  The Quran, on the other hand, emphasizes to the utmost on the principle of justice.  Bias and partisanship can only help to obstruct justice, not encourage it.  The Hadith says "Seek seventy excuses for your brother."  Different narrations of the same hadith has variations in expression, some are brief, others are lengthier, but the notion is the same in all.

Following are some narrations of this hadith from various so-called narrators:

“If you find something you don’t like in a brother, try to find 1-70 excuses for him. And if you can’t find an excuse, say ‘There might be an excuse, but I don’t know it.’ "  - narrated by Imam Jafar al-Sadeq.

Jafar bin Ahmad supposedly said:  "If you hear anything you do not like about your brother, then seek one excuse for him to seventy excuses, if you find any then all perfect praise be to Allaah, otherwise say 'It might be that he has an excuse which I do not know about.'"

Hamdun al-Qassar (spoken of as an "early Muslim"), said, “If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves.” [Imam Bayhaqi, Shu`ab al-Iman, 7.522]
     Hamdun al-Qassar goes as far as dumping the blame on the innocent for not finding 70 excuses for someone who may well be on the wrong path.

Though this hadith is from the Shiia collections, some (or several) Sunni circles also accept it.  As you can see, names of the narrators vary.  Some sources also propagate this hadith in the name of Imam Ali.  Such wholesale differences in the names of narrators is enough reason to confirm it as an audacious forgery. Neither Imam Ali nor any of his descendants - who were men of piety, wisdom and good repute - would ever nurture such sub-standard ideas.  Most importantly, its very discrepant content clearly in conflict with Quranic principles. 

Hadithists are justifying this narration by quoting Verse 49:12:  "O ye who believe! Shun much suspicion; for lo! some suspicion is a crime.  And spy not, neither backbite one another."  But this Verse has nothing to do with the hadith under discussion.   Verse 49:12 tells us to avoid baseless suspicion, spying and back biting which are very different issues from the theme of this hadith.  Verse 49:12 does NOT express the concept of struggling to find tons of excuses for a person by overlooking the possibility of violations in their erring conduct.  And the hadith in question, on the other hand, does not insinuate suspicion.  It denotes issues about a person that could be wrong and to purposely downplay or ignore them with excuses.  You maybe quite sure a person is erring, yet instead of trying to guide them or correct them, you persist in overlooking their shortcomings by hunting for excuses only to exonerate that person.  How can such an approach ever be right and fair?   In other words it amounts to unconditionally exonerating a Muslim at all costs.  Anyone who has read and understood the Noble Quran would know that such an act would be viewed as inappropriate or unjust, depending on the circumstances / situation.

The Verse that plainly rejects this hadith 4:135, quote:
"O you who believe! Be staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both.  So follow not passion lest you lapse (from truth) and if you lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever Informed of what ye do."  (4:135).

Conveniently and purposely our ulemas have ignored  Verse 4:135.   

These kinds of ahadith (like many more) can cause plenty of confusion and distraction, luring people to overlook the principles of justice and truth and thus drifting away from the Noble Quran.  There can be no question about it.

Please beware of selfishly motivated and discrepant interpolations that completely clash with Quranic values and are influencing the minds of the naive.  Always think, reflect and analyze by using the Sublime Quran as your Sole Criterion.  Never forget the huge emphasis by the Quran on matters of justice and truth.
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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2017, 06:39:07 am »

Hummm .. these Shiia hadiths are also no less astounding.  It seems that all hadith writers, shiia and sunni, had an affinity for the figure '70.'  There's one Tirmidhi hadith claimed to be narrated by Abdullah bin Umar that says "A man came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “O Messenger of Allah, how many times should I pardon my servant?” The Prophet said, “Seventy times in each day.” "  - Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1949. 

As you rightly mentioned at the start, hadithsers will say it doesn't literally mean 70, that it simply means to be forgiving and nice to your friends and servants.  Indeed, we all are.  But why doesn't hadith acquire a straightforward manner of talking instead of always using strange metaphors such as Paradise under feet of mother and the number "70" obsession.  Not to mention, if a brother in Faith is brazenly displaying wrong conduct, you cannot help them by finding excuses for their behavior.  You simply need to speak up, though politely, yet speak up and say what you consider as the right thing to mention.
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 06:35:51 am »

Hadith always talks big about unity yet those hadithists who rave after the hadith literature are least acceptable of a unified ummah by preferring sectarianism.  So many Muslims are presently being tortured and massacred by non-Muslims and takfiris around the world, yet those Muslims living in peace and comfort couldn't care less ... couldn't even bother to utter a few words of sympathy .. and yet they will quote hadiths on unification during conversations and writings.

Moreover on this hadith on excusing "your brother 70 times," I don't think anyone wouldn't observe the misogyny.  Aren't the poor sisters supposed to be excused "70 times" as well?

Not just that, but the contrast in values within the hadith literature is gut-busting.  One hadith is so intolerant that it permits burning people and their homes if they don't visit the masjid for Fajr salat.  Another one says to search for "70 excuses" for wrongdoing. 
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 06:49:45 am »


~ sigh ~
Another irrational hadith.  Thank you sister Heba.  Quran Verse 4:135 is the answer to reject this weird narration downright. 

And very appropriate points raised by Sis Ruhi and Br. TS. 
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 06:55:30 am »

Hadith always talks big about unity yet those hadithists who rave after the hadith literature are least acceptable of a unified ummah by preferring sectarianism.  So many Muslims are presently being tortured and massacred by non-Muslims and takfiris around the world, yet those Muslims living in peace and comfort couldn't care less ... couldn't even bother to utter a few words of sympathy .. and yet they will quote hadiths on unification during conversations and writings.

Moreover on this hadith on excusing "your brother 70 times," I don't think anyone wouldn't observe the misogyny.  Aren't the poor sisters supposed to be excused "70 times" as well?

Not just that, but the contrast in values within the hadith literature is gut-busting.  One hadith is so intolerant that it permits burning people and their homes if they don't visit the masjid for Fajr salat.  Another one says to search for "70 excuses" for wrongdoing. 

Excellent points brother TS.  Couldn't agree more.
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 06:59:01 am »

Brother TS .. you said it!    Right on from start to finish !!
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