Is the following Hadith authentic?
“Spending time in the path of Allah is better than fifty Hajj”
Imam Abu Ya’la (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration on the authority of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) with a weak chain.
(Refer: Ithaful Khiyaratil Maharah, Hadith: 5880)
However, the Hadith in question is supported by the following Hadith recorded by Imam ‘Abdur Razzaq As San’ani and Imam Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaybah:
Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) says:
“Going out [in battle] in the path of Allah is better than fifty Hajj”
(Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, Hadith: 9546 and Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 19705 under the chapters on the virtues of Jihad)
Shaykh Al Muhaddith Muhammad ‘Awwamah (May Allah protect him) states, it will be understood that Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) heard this from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as the nature of this Hadith is not such that he could have made up logically. He has also declared the chain of narrators for this version as reliable.
The correct meaning of this Hadith will be understood from the following Hadiths:
1) Makhul (rahimahullah) says:
“At the time of the Battle of Tabuk, many Sahabah requested permission from Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to perform Hajj. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Going out in Jihad is forty times more virtuous than performing Hajj for those whom have already performed Hajj”
(Al Marasil of Imam Abu Dawud, Hadith: 304)
2) Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Performing Hajj before going out in Jihad is fifty times more virtuous. Going out in Jihad after performing Hajj is fifty times more virtuous and spending some time [in Jihad] in the path of Allah is fifty times more virtuous”
(Hilyatul Awliya, vol. 5 pg. 188)
‘Allamah Munawi (rahimahullah) explains that this (striving in Allah’s way) will be more virtuous for that person who has already performed Hajj and on whom Jihad has become compulsory (Fard ‘Ayn).
(At Taysir, vol. 2 pg. 50 and Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 4621)
In Summary, The Hadith in question is suitable to quote and applies to those who have already carried out their compulsory Hajj. For these people, Jihad is more virtuous than optional Hajj. Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah has also echoed similar sentiments.
(Refer: Footnotes on Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, under Hadith: 19705)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar
Disclaimer: Hadiths of this nature should not be misinterpreted to support terrorism of any form.