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Clarification regarding the Hadith ‘Whoever initiates a sin is also sinful when others follow’

Question

1) Are these Hadiths authentic?

2) After reading these Hadiths, is it safe to conclude that if a person initiates a sin and others follow him, he will get a share of this sin?

 

Hadith 1: Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) narrated that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“No soul is killed unlawfully, but there is a share of the sin on the first son of Adam, because he was the first one to set the precedent of killing”

 

Hadith 2: Jarir ibn ‘Abdillah Al Bajali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said:

“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Whoever starts a good thing and is followed by others, will have his own reward and a reward equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their reward in any way. Whoever starts a bad thing and is followed by others, will bear the burden of his own sin and a burden equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their burden in any way.”

 

There is a similar narrations in Sahih Muslim

Hadith 3: Jarir ibn Abdillah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that some extremely poor people clad in woolen clothes came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). He saw them in sad plight as they had been hard pressed by need. He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) exhorted people to give charity. A person from the Ansar came with a purse containing silver. Then came another person and then other persons followed them in succession until signs of happiness could be seen on his face. Thereupon Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“He who introduced some good practice in Islam which was followed after him [by people] he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who introduced some evil practice in Islam which had been followed subsequently [by others] he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this [evil practice] without their’s being diminished in any respect.

 

Answer

Authenticity

All three Hadiths you have cited are authentic.

  1. Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim (rahimahumallah) have recorded the first Hadith. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 3335 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1677)
  2. Imam Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) has recorded the second Hadith and has declared it authentic. (Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2675)
  3. Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith :1017)

 

Meaning

These Hadiths are quite clear and explicit that the person who initiates good will also receive reward when others follow him and carry out the good deed. Similarly if a person initiates evil, he will get a share of the sin for all those who followed him.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) states that this applies when a person does not repent and make tawbah. [If he repents from that sin it is hoped that he will not receive any sin].

(Refer: Fathul Bari, Hadith: 6867, vol. 12 pg. 193)

 

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar