What is the grading of this Hadith:
“A group of Jews came to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and said, `Talk to us about some things we will ask you and which only a Prophet would know.’ He said, `Ask me about whatever you wish. However, give your pledge to Allah, similar to the pledge that Ya’qub took from his children, that if I tell you something and you recognise it is truth, you will follow me in Islam.’ They said, `Agreed.’
The Prophet said, `Ask me about whatever you wish.’ They said, `Tell us about four matters:
1. What kinds of food did Isra’il prohibit for himself
2. What about the sexual discharge of the woman and the man, and what role does each play in producing male or female offspring
3. Tell us about the condition of the unlettered Prophet during sleep
4. And who is his Wali (supporter) among the angels’
The Prophet took their covenant that they will follow him if he answers these questions, and they agreed.
He said, `I ask you by He Who sent down the Tawrah to Musa, do you not know that Isra’il once became very ill When his illness was prolonged, he vowed to Allah that if He cures His illness, he would prohibit the best types of drink and food for himself. Was not the best food to him camel meat and the best drink camel milk’
They said, `Yes, by Allah.’
The Messenger said, `O Allah, be Witness against them.’
The Prophet then said, `I ask you by Allah, other than Whom there is no deity (worthy of worship), Who sent down the Tawrah to Musa, do you not know that man’s discharge is thick and white and woman’s is yellow and thin If any of these fluids becomes dominant, the offspring will take its sex and resemblance by Allah’s permission. Hence, if the man’s is more than the woman’s, the child will be male, by Allah’s permission. If the woman’s discharge is more than the man’s, then the child will be female, by Allah’s leave.’ They said, `Yes.’…
This Hadith has been recorded in various Hadith collections with differences in the wording.
(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1 pg. 273, pg. 274, pg. 278, Al Mu’jamul Kabir, Hadith: 12429, Dalailun Nubuwwah of Imam Bayhaqi, vol. 6 pg. 266)
‘Allamah Haythami (rahimahullah) has declared the narrators which appear in Tabarani and one version of Musnad Ahmad as reliable. Other chains which appear in Musnad Ahmad are individually weak. However these various versions corroborate each other and raise the level of the authenticity of this Hadith. The Hadith is suitable to quote.
(Refer: Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 6 pg. 314/315 and vol. 8 pg. 241/2)
Imam Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) has also recorded a shorter version of this narration which he has declared sound (hasan)
(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3117)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar