A narration has been circulating on social media, the gist of which describes how the Angel of death will eventually take his own life after taking the lives of the other prominent Angels, and then, after nothing remains, Allah Ta’ala calls out making an announcement demonstrating his authority and divinity. Is it really a Hadith, and what is its authenticity?
This is part of a longer narration recorded by Imams Ibn Jarir At-Tabari, Ibn Abi Hatim, Tabarani, Bayhaqi and others (rahimahumullah) on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu).
(Tafsirs Tabari and Ibn Abi Hatim, Surah Zumar, Verse: 68, Al-Ahadithut Tiwal of Tabarani, Hadith: 48, and Al-Ba’th Wan Nushur, Hadith: 1191-1192; Also see: Al-Ba’th Wan Nushur, Hadith: 239, Fathul Bari, vol. 11 pgs. 367 onwards, Chapter Heading: The Blowing in the Trumpet, and Ad-Durrul Manthur, Surah Zumar, Verse: 68)
The Muhaddithun have referred to this Hadith as Hadithus Sur (The Hadith of the Trumpet). In short, this Hadith depicts the ending of this world (Dunya) and the beginning of the next (the Akhirah – i.e. the Hereafter, Judgement, etc.).
The ‘Ulama have differed with regards to the grading of this Hadith.
Hafiz Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) has mentioned that this Hadith is a very well-known [i.e. oft quoted] Hadith recorded by a number of Aimmah, via numerous chains, all going through a narrator named Isma’il ibn Rafi’, the story teller of Madinah. He has mentioned that this narration has a few inconsistencies and seems odd (وفي بعض سياقه نكارة واختلاف); it was because of reporting this narration that Isma’il ibn Rafi’ was criticized.
Hafiz Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) has further added that this narration seems to have been a composite of many different narrations put together. He has cited Hafiz Abu Musa Al-Madini (rahimahullah) to have mentioned: “Even though this Hadith consists of a narrator who has been criticized, majority of it has been narrated in separate narrations via reliable chains.”
(وهذا الحديث وإن كان في إسناده من تكلم فيه فعامة ما فيه يروى مفرقا من أسانيد ثابتة…)
(An-Nihayah, pgs. 227-235, Darul Hadith edition)
In his Tafisr, Hafiz Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) has stated: “This is a famous [oft quoted] Hadith which is extremely strange. Whilst some of it is corroborated by different Hadiths, other parts seem unreliable.”
(هذا حديث مشهور وهو غريب جدا ولبعضه شواهد في الأحاديث المتفرقة وفي بعض ألفاظه نكارة…).
(Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah An’am, Verse: 73)
Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has cited ‘Allamahs Ibnul Arabi and Qurtubi (rahimahumallah) to have graded this Hadith as authentic. After citing them however, he cited Imams Abdul Haq and Bayhaqi (rahimahumullah) having graded the Hadith as weak; he then preferred the latter opinion.
(Fathul Bari, vol. 11 pg. 369, Chapter Heading: The Blowing of the Trumpet; Also see: At-Tadhkirah, pg. 166, Darussalam edition, Al-Matalibul ‘Aliyah, Hadith: 3013, and Al-Budurus Safirah, Hadith: 1)
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar,
The Hadith may be quoted whilst being aware of its condition stated above.