What is the ruling of the following Hadith?
تكون هدة في شهر رمضان توقظ النائم وتفزع اليقظان، ثم تظهر عصابة في شوال، ثم معمعة في ذي الحجة، ثم تنتهك المحارم في المحرم، ثم يكون موت في صفر، ثم تتنازع القبائل في الربيع، ثم العجب كل العجب بين جمادى ورجب، ثم ناقة مقتبة خير من دسكرة تغل مائة ألف
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “There will be a thudding/crashing sound in Ramadan that will awaken [even] one who is asleep and terrify the one who is awake. Then there will appear a group in Shawwal, then wars in Dhul Hijjah. Thereafter prohibitions will be violated in Muharram, followed by death in Safar, then the tribes will conflict with each other in [the months of] Rabi’. The most amazing [thing will happen] between Jumada and Rajab. Then a laden she-camel will be better than palaces consisting of one hundred thousand.”
My Honourable Teacher; Al-‘Allamatul Muhaddith, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) was recently asked about this and the fact that the crushing sound will occur in Ramadan. The following is a translation of his answer. I have added the bold subtitles and explanations in brackets for ease of understanding.
‘This Hadith [known as] Hadithus Sayhah fi Ramadan, also entails mention of other signs and trials, and is reported by the following Sahabah:
Sources of the Hadith
Abu Hurayrah, Fayruz Ad-Daylami and Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu’anhum).
1. Abu Hurayrah’s version is recorded in: Mustadrak Hakim, Hadith: 8580 and Ad-Du’afa of ‘Uqayli no. 3515. Imam Hakim declared it weak, Imam ‘Uqayli said: ‘This Hadith has no basis from any reliable (thiqah) narrator, or any other established source.’ Imam Dhahabi commented on the Hadith of Hakim with the following words in Talkhisul Mustadrak: ‘Fabricated.’
Further, there is a much shorter version [of the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah] in Tabarani’s Al-Mu’jamul Awsat, Hadith: 512, with a weak chain, and [this version] does mention the part in question.
2. The version of Fayruz ad-Daylami is recorded in Al-Mu’jamul Kabir of Tabarani, Hadith: 18 (853) with a chain that consists of more than one weak narrator and defect. One of the narrators is declared matruk [i.e. very weak]. Dhahabi comments on this in Tartibul Mawdu’at, Hadith: 1022: ‘This is baseless (batil), its chain has suspected fabricators’.
3. The version of Ibn Mas’ud is recorded by Imams Abu Nu’aym and Abush Shaykh in their respective ‘Kitabul Fitan’ as part of a longer narration on the topic of trials, and is also recorded by Imam Hakim, Hadith: 8590 who also declared it weak. However, Imam Dhahabi commented: ‘That is a fabrication, wassalam.’
A Fabrication according to some
In this vein, Ibnul Jawzi has mentioned this [as a fabrication] in Al-Mawdu’at, vol. 3 Hadith: 1686, 1687. Similarly, Ibnul Qayyim has declared it a fabrication -without going into the details of its sources- in Al-Manarul Munif, pg.110.
Therefore those [contemporaries or scholars] who have ruled this as a fabrication have the statements of the above Scholars to rely upon.
Abundant Chains and Variations
However, one who pursues the various versions [of this Hadith] in the books of fitan, among them being Kitabul Fitan of Imam Nu’aym ibn Hammad, will find many chains, and variants [of this Hadith]. Some of them are marfu’ (directly attributed to Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) while others are mawquf (statements of the Sahabah or even those after them-athar mawqufah). None of the marfu’ or mawquf versions are authentic or even close to being authentic (sahih). As Imam ‘Uqayli has said: ‘This Hadith has no basis from any reliable (thiqah) narrator, or any other established source.’
Having said the above, there remains a question that is common among the Muhaddithun [in such cases], and that is: Don’t the combined chains and versions afford it a degree of credence and consideration?[Shaykh replies:] Yes indeed!
Even the mawquf reports from the Sahabah or Tabi’un will be understood to have ultimately been acquired from Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam), because the topic is to do with matters of the unseen, and not derivable from intellect (marfu’ hukman). When all these are combined [with the marfu’ versions] it does acquire credence (i’tibar).
Shaykh ‘Awwamah’s view
What I am inclined to: is to abstain from labeling it a fabrication, due to its abundant chains and variants, but also not declaring it, even in its combined form as [technically] authentic (sahih).’
[By the last sentence Shaykh is actually saying that on the one hand, despite the condition of the narrators I would not dismiss it totally as a fabrication, whilst on the other hand, it does not mean that I declare it as a Sahih (authentic) Hadith. Rather it is something that does have some sort of basis due to its combined strength, without attaching a technical term to it, like Sahih, Hasan etc.
There are many examples of this kind in the verdicts of the Muhaddithun of the past.]
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Your Brother, [Al-‘Allamatul Muhaddith, Shaykh] Muhammad ‘Awwamah [hafizahullah]
12 Ramadan 1441 A.H.
Translated by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
See the original Arabic answer here.