Which Hadiths mention the Abdals and Qutbs and what is their authenticity?
Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) states:
‘The Abdal have been mentioned in several narrations, some of them are authentic and some not. The term Qutb, has appeared in some athar (narrations from the Tabi’un and those after.)’
(Footnotes on Ar-Raf’u Wat takmil, pg.374)
‘Allamah Sakhawi (rahimahullah) has labelled Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) as ‘Qutb’ in his biography entitled:
Al-Manhalul ‘Adhbir Rawiy, fi Tarjamatil Qutb An-Nawawi.
Note: These are terms used to refer to extremely pious, and spiritually very high ranked individuals.
There are several hadiths that mention the Abdal. Hereunder are some of them:
1. Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
‘The Abdals are in Sham, they are forty men. Whenever any of them die, Allah replaces him with another…’
(Musnad Ahmad, vol.1 pg.112)
‘Allamah Haythami, Hafiz Sakhawi and ‘Allamah Suyuti (rahimahumullah) have declared the narrators as reliable.
(Majma’uz Zawaid, vol.10 pg.62, Al-Maqasidul Hasanah, Hadith: 8 and Al-Khabarud Dall, pg.45-46)
2. Sayyiduna ‘Awf ibn Malik (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
‘Among them [the people of Sham] are the Abdal…’
(Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, vol.1 pg.290)
‘Allamah Suyuti (rahimahullah) has declared this chain as sound (hasan).
(Al-Jami’us Saghir; Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 3034 and At-Taysir of Munawi, vol.1 pg.156)
3. Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu’anhu) has also reported Hadiths like this with several weak chains that support each other.
(Al-Maqasidul Hasanah, Hadith: 8, also see Majma’uz Zawaid, vol.10 pg.63)
In addition to the above, there are many other Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhu) who have reported Hadiths of this nature.
4. ‘Allamah Suyuti (rahimahullah) has declared the narration of Sayyiduna ‘Ubadah Ibn samit (radiyallahu’anhu) as authentic (sahih) too.
(Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 3033. Also see As-Sirajul Munir, vol.2 pg.126-127. Also see: Majma’uz Zawaid, vol.10 pg.62-63)
Several Hadith masters have authored booklets that collect all these narrations, among them are ‘Allamah Sakhawi and ‘Allamah Suyuti (rahimahumallah).
Hafiz Ibn ‘Asakir has also cited many of these narrations at the beginning of his monumental book: Tarikh Dimishq.
‘Allamah Munawi (rahimahullah) writes: ‘The collective strength of these chains cannot be refuted, but by the ignorant and obstinate ones.’
(Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 3037)
Also see Majma’uz Zawaid, vol.10 pg.62-63 and Fatawa Hadithiyyah of Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami, pg.324
The general acceptance of the term; Abdal and their existence is further substantiated by the fact that many illustrious ‘Ulama were labelled as such or thought to have been Abdals.
‘Allamah Sakhawi has stated that even Imam Shafi’i and Imam Bukhari (rahimahumullah) have labelled certain people as Abdals.
(Al-Maqsidul Hasanah, Hadith: 8)
Hereunder is a brief list that I compiled over the years from various sources.
These are names of people who were considered as Abdals by their contemporaries:
1. ‘Abdullah Ibnul Mubarak (rahimahullah).
(Al-Irshad of Khalily, number: 120)
2. Abu Nasr At-Tammar (rahimahullah).
(Shadharatudh Dhahab, vol.2 pg.64)
3. Sa’q ibn Hazan Al-Bakry (rahimahullah).
(Tahdhibut Tahjdhib, vol.4 pg.423)
4. ‘Abdullah ibn Sulayman Al-Misri (rahimahullah).
(Tahdhibut Tahjdhib, vol.5 pg.245)
5. Al-Harith ibn Muslim Ar-Razi (rahimahullah)
(Shu’abul Iman, Hadith: 10101)
6. Abu ‘Aqil, Zuhrah ibn Ma’bad (rahimahullah).
(Sunan Darimi, Hadith: 3429 and Tafsir ibn Kathir)
7. Yazid ibnul Aswad
Also see Kitabu Mujabid Da’wah of Ibn Abid Dunya for a few examples.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar