Are there any Hadiths regarding the virtue of beginning things (such as a book) on the day of Wednesday. If so can you mention the Hadith, along with its authentication and reference?
To commence a book of knowledge on a Wednesday has been the practice of the scholars for centuries.
The Author of Al-Hidayah, the Hanafi fiqh masterpiece would also do so, and he would quote a Hadith to support it.
(Al-Fawaidul Bahiyyah, pg.32 and 185. Also see Al-Maqasidul Hasanah, Hadith: 943)
Although the latter day Muhaddithun could not locate the chain for this specific narration, this practice is still substantiated by other Hadiths whose broader meaning do lend it support.
1. The Gem of the last century, Shaykh ‘Abdul Hay Al-Laknawi (rahimahullah) has written the following:
‘I have managed to deduce a basis for this from the Hadith recorded in Bukhari’s Al-Adabul Mufrad and in Musnad Ahmad and Musnad Bazzar from Jabir (radiyallahu’anhu) who said:
‘Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) had made du’a to Allah in Masjidul Fath (in Madinah) on a Monday, a Tuesday and a Wednesday. His du’a was accepted between Zuhr and ‘Asr on the Wednesday. Sayyiduna Jabir says: ‘ Whenever I had a need, I waited for that moment on a Wednesday and made du’a. Every time I did so, I noticed my du’a being accepted.’
‘Allamah Suyuti graded the narrators of this Hadith as good (jayyid) in his book: ‘Sihamul Isabah’
Shaykh Samhudi (rahimahullah) -in Wafaul Wafa- declared the narrators in Musnad Ahmad as reliable.
This Hadith points to the fact that on Wednesdays, there is a moment in which du’as are accepted. Therefore they (the Scholars) liked to commence their lessons on this day.
Since those who commence any task, generally make du’a for its easy and speedy completion, their du’as will be accepted on this day and their tasks shall be completed.’
(end of quote from Shaykh Laknawi’s (rahimahullah) book: Al-Fawaidul Bahiyyah, pg.185-186)
2. Shaykh Laknawi (rahimahullah) then cites further substantiation for this practice from Shaykh Ibn ‘Arraq Al-Kinani (rahimahullah), the author of Tanzihush Shari’ah. The summary of which is:
The Sahih Hadith (in Muslim) states that Allah Ta’ala created divine light (nur) on Wednesday, and knowledge is also termed as nur, It is therefore suitable to start our acquisition of this nur on the same day. Especially since Allah Ta’ala says: ‘…and Allah will definitely complete his nur’ (Surah Tawbah, Ayah: 32)
Commencing Islamic study on a Wednesday indeed has support from the Hadith and the constant practice of the ‘Ulama throughout the centuries, and is therefore recommended.
However, this does not forbid commencing the lesson on another day.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar
[Update (17/01/2017): My esteemed Teacher, Al-Muhaddith Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) has recently published a detailed article on the Hadith in Sahih Muslim cited above, which mentions nur being created on Wednesdays]