What is the authenticity and interpretation of this narration?
عن الحارث بن عبد الله الأنصاري قال: رأيت أم الدرداء على رحالها أعواد ليس عليها غشاء، عائدة لرجل من أهل المسجد من الأنصار
Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration in Al Adabul Mufrad. He has also alluded to this narration in his Sahih (ta’liqan).
(Al Adabul Mufrad, Hadith: 530. Sahih Bukhari, before Hadith: 5654)
The narrators are reliable.
(Also see: Kitabuth Thiqat of Imam Ibn Hibban, vol. 6 pg. 171 and Taqribut Tahdhib: 1032)
Al Harith ibn ‘Abdillah Al Ansari said: “I saw Ummud Darda (rahimahallah) visiting an Ansari man from the Masjid [who was ill], while she was on her camel in an uncovered howdah.”
1) Abud Darda (radiyallahu ‘anhu) had two wives and both were called Ummud Darda. The elder one (Al Kubra) was a Sahabiyyah, and her name was Khayrah (radiyallahu ‘anha). The younger one (As Sughra) was a Tabi’iyyah and her name was Hujaymah (rahimahallah).
Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has mentioned that the narration in question is referring to the the Tabi’iyyah and not the Sahabiyyah.
2) Ummud Darda As Sughra was a Jurist [A Faqihah who would apply her own ijtihad and reasoning as is the case with a Jurist]. Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has also cited another example in which her view differed. (Refer: Fathul Bari, under Hadith: 5654)
Other commentators have also mentioned that ‘الأمن من الفتنة’ is a prerequisite before a female can visit a male who is ill. i.e. The male and female both have to be certain that there will be no fitnah/temptation due to this visit.
(Refer: Fadlullahis Samad, Hadith: 530)
The circumstances surrounding this incident are not known, and one can therefore not draw loose conclusions.
3) I have merely answered your question regarding the authenticity of the narration in question. This should therefore not be viewed as Fiqh ruling. Kindly contact a reputable Mufti/Darul Ifta for a fatwa on this issue.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar