The famous Hadith of Ubay ibn Ka’b on salawat on the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam):
عنه قال: قال رجل: يا رسول الله أرأيت إن جعلت صلواتي كلها عليك؟ قال: إذا يكفيك الله تبارك وتعالى ما أهمك من دنياك وآخرتك. قال المنذري: وإسناد هذه جيد. انتهى. قال القاري: وللحديث روايات كثيرة، وفي رواية قال: “إني أصلي من الليل” بدل “أكثر الصلاة عليك” فعلى هذا قوله فكم أجعل لك من صلاتي أي بدل صلاتي من الليل. انتهى.
1. I have seen this Hadith graded sahih, hasan, and even weak by different contemporary scholars which is a wide range of gradings. What is the grading of this Hadith bearing in mind that there are a number of shawahid that are similar as cited by Imam Sakhawi?
2. What is the response to those who consider this Hadith weak because of the narrator Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah ibn ‘Aqil who apparently the majority say is weak?
3. When you look at the other chains without him having the same or almost similar wording is that a response to their claims? With all of the different chains wouldn’t it at the very least be hasan lighayrihi?
It is very important to know the accuracy of this Hadith in detail as it is the basis of the practice of many people in sending salawat for the relief of their worries.
As a rule, one should stick to the gradings of those whom one has confidence in. The field of Hadith grading is prone to differences of opinion. See a detailed article on this here.
As far as the Hadith in question is concerned, it has been declared reliable by the following Hadith Masters:
1. Imam Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) declared it: authentic (hasan sahih)
2. Imam Hakim (rahimahullah) declared it: authentic (sahih)
3. ‘Allamah Dhahabi (rahimahullah) concurred with Imam Hakim.
4. ‘Allamah Mundhiri (rahimahullah)declared it good (jayyid)
5. ‘Allamah Haythami (rahimahullah) declared it good (jayyid)
6. Hafiz Sakhawi (rahimahullah) declared it: good (jayyid)
Note 1: The difference between authentic (sahih) and sound (hasan) is minimal. This should not be viewed as any sort of contradiction.
Note: 2 The term jayyid used by many above, refers to a narration being sound (hasan) in the least.
References for the above:
Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2457, Mustadrak Hakim with Talkhisul Mustadrak, vol.2 pg.421 & 513, Targhib, Hadith: 2481, Majma’uz Zawaid, vol.10 pg.160 , & Al-Qawlul Badi’ pg.256-258.
2. As far as the narrator in question; Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah ibn ‘Aqil is concerned, despite some Muhaddithun discrediting his memory, he has been accepted by other seniors like Imam Bukhari, Imam Ahmad, Imam Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) and other earlier Muhaddithun (mutaqaddimun), in addition to several latter Muhaddithun (muta-akhirun) as well.
The objection on his memory should be understood as slight, thereby rendering him a narrator whose Hadiths can be accepted as sound (hasan).
Refer to Shaykh ‘Awwamah’s (hafizhahullah) footnotes on Al-Kashif, number: 2961 & on Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 44 & 8798. Also see Taqrib.
3. In the event of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah ibn ‘Aqil being accepted as weak, the other supports that you have indicated to are sufficient to render it sound, through corroboration (hasan lighayrihi), as you have correctly pointed out.
Refer: Al-Qawlul Badi’ pg.257 & Ad-Durrul Mandud of Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami (rahimahullah), pg.124.
I have personally heard my Honourable teacher; Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizhahullah) saying that this Hadith is a great incentive for abundant recital of salutations upon Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam).
See the translation of the Hadith here.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar