What is authenticity of following narration?
خمس يذهبن بالنسيان ويزدن في الحفظ ويذهبن البلغم السواك والصيام وقراءة القرآن والعسل واللبان
Five things remove forgetfulness, increases the memory and prevents phlegm; miswak, fasting, reciting the Quran, honey and frankincense.
This narration appears in Musnadul Firdaws on the authority of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu).
(Musnadul Firdaws, Hadith: 2980, ‘ilmiyyah edition and Hadith: 2802, Darul Kitab Al ‘Arabi edition)
I have not come across the chain and can therefore not verify the authenticity. This should not be quoted as a Hadith of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salam) until the chain can be located and then verified.
Imam Ghazali (rahimahullah) has cited a similar narration as the statement of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu). I have also not come across a chain for this version in any reliable Hadith source.
(Ihya Ulumid Din, vol. 2 pg. 265)
1) In a suitable Hadith, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has said that using the miswak removes phlegm. See here.
2) Many of the deeds mentioned in the above Hadith have been recommended by the scholars to boost the memory. Therefore these may be practiced upon without deeming them Sunnah. See here.
3) Several Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) have prescribed frankincense to treat a weak memory. (Zadul Ma’ad, vol. 4 pg. 355. See here)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar